For more than 40 years Group 4 has honed our ability to collaboratively develop community architecture with project owners, users, and stakeholders. Our participatory process and integrated approach create award winning projects that celebrate the values and aspirations of those they serve.

We evaluate each design against four overall considerations:


Minimized footprint and maximized performance – balance for impact.


Finite resources align short- and long-term goals toward latent strengths.


Support of many fosters cohesive, owned, and responsive places.


Our identity develops those rare spaces that embrace their users.

Our distinctive approach grows from deeply rooted beliefs:

  • Innovative and memorable design solutions should enrich individuals and amplify a community’s collective spirit.
  • We believe in the power of community decision making and stewardship of public places and spaces. An interactive user-based planning process can build community empowerment alongside the project’s design development.
  • Design solutions should foster a positive and conscious relationship between the built environment and the natural environment.
  • Open, collaborative design environments cultivate dedicated, responsible personnel at every experience level.
  • We cherish balance between our professional and personal lives.
  • Architecture builds relationships – between people and place; within a community; from past to future; between designer and client. We build relationships for the long term, and as a result enjoy repeat business from those who have experienced the benefits of our approach firsthand.

The Team

Our staff includes architects, planners, interior designers, and technical and construction support specialists. Our principals and associates have spent years, if not decades, working together on public architecture.

Most other firms ask communities what they want. Group 4 asked what we value.

- Marie Alberry-Hawkins, City of San Jose

The Group 4 team did an amazing job adapting to our community and facilitating a process that not only resulted in unprecedented input from a diverse cross-section of our City, but also created a new model that we will follow for community outreach for all major projects going forward.

- Councilmember Rick Kowalczyk, City of Half Moon Bay

Group 4 has really made a difference in facility planning in our state. They work closely with their clients and, most importantly, care about the communities they serve.

- Susan Hildreth, Executive Director, Peninsula Library System
(former IMLS Director; former California State Librarian)

Group 4 listened and they were truthful in how they worked with us. If they made a promise, they kept it, which is very important to us.

- Dr. Merrill Ewert, President, Fresno Pacific University

Group 4 is well-organized and can manage a vast amount of activity and multi-faceted parts of the overall project extremely well. They make moving through a very complicated and labor-intensive process much easier and manageable.

- Marilyn Gillespie, Palo Alto Library

Group 4 is deeply layered in their creative thinking ability. As a result, we have a unique and stunning community center that surprises and delights visitors. We love our community center, and are very proud of what we accomplished together!

- Carlene McCart, City of San Rafael

Their product is of incredible quality. Every time I talk with other libraries that need a master plan I always recommend Group 4.

- Gerald Garzon, Oakland Public Library

Their ability to successfully facilitate a staff and/or community meeting where diverse individuals are presenting challenging and, at times, opposing questions and concerns is a real testament to Group 4 members' abilities and stamina!

- Marilyn Gillespie, Palo Alto Library

Group 4 showed a tremendous amount of flexibility responding to scope evaluation requests and at the same time managed to meet every one of our tightly scheduled milestones for the project. Their excellent project management skills meant that they planned things well ahead of time, with the clients as well as with their subconsultants, and helped facilitate timely resolution on issues.

- Ashwini Kantak, City of San Jose

The scope of the project, the impact on the community, and the debate about saving the original building created a sometimes difficult atmosphere at the council meetings. I continued to be impressed with the calm and flexible way in which Group 4 conducted their presentations and answered questions and criticisms. At all times they took into account the needs of the community and the concerns of the city council and staff, and presented a concept and plan that is truly outstanding.

- former mayor

Group 4 has received many honors, including awards and invitations to speak before a variety of organizations.


Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, Palo Alto

  • Community Improvement Project of the Year 2015 – American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) San Francisco
  • Award of Excellence – California Parks & Recreation Society (CPRS)
  • LEED-NC Platinum
  • New Landmark Library – Library Journal
  • Pinnacle Award of Merit: Commercial Exterior – Marble Institute of America (MIA)
  • Site Design Award – SCVURPPP
  • Finalist, Public/Civic Project Structures Award – Silicon Valley Business Journal
  • Second Place, New Institutional Buildings, Educational Facilities – ASHRAE Golden Gate Chapter

Environmental Innovation Center, San Jose

  • Site Design Award – Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program

Milpitas Public Library

  • Merit Award – AIA East Bay

San Lorenzo Library

  • Citation – AIA East Bay
  • LEED-NC Silver

81st Avenue Library, Oakland

  • Citation Award – AIA San Mateo County
  • Outstanding Project – American School & University Magazine
  • LEED-NC Gold

San Leandro Senior Community Center

  • Facility Design Award-Class I – National Recreation and Park Association
  • Bay-Friendly Landscape – StopWaste.org
  • LEED-NC Gold

Scotts Valley Library

  • Award of Merit – IESNA National

West Sacramento Community Center

  • Award of Excellence – CPRS
  • Project of the Year – APWA Sacramento
  • ed+c Excellence in Design Award – Honorable Mention
  • LEED-NC Gold

Walnut Creek Library

  • CoD+A Award – Institutional Category
  • LEED-NC Gold

211 Linden Avenue, South San Francisco

  • Merit Award – AIA San Mateo County

Roosevelt Community Center, San Jose

  • Project of the Year, Structures Category – APWA
  • Award of Excellence for Facility Design – CPRS
  • Excellence in Design Award – ed+c
  • LEED-NC Gold
  • Storm Water Pollution Prevention Award – SJPW
  • Site Design Award – SCVURPPP
  • Green Project of the Year – Silicon Valley Business Times
  • Top Storm Water Project – Storm Water Solutions

Pickleweed Park Community Center, San Rafael

  • Citation Award – AIA San Mateo County
  • Award of Merit – IESNA Northern California
  • Helen Putnam Award for Excellence – League of California Cities
  • California State Library grant funded

Central Park Library, Santa Clara

  • Award of Merit – APWA South Bay
  • Technology Award – ASHRAE Golden Gate Chapter
  • Technology Award – ASHRAE Region X

Rinconada Library, Palo Alto

  • Merit Award – AIA San Francisco
  • Honor Award – AIA San Mateo County
  • Project of the Year – APWA Silicon Valley
  • First Place, Existing Institutional Buildings, Educational Facilities – ASHRAE Golden Gate Chapter
  • Preservation Award Winner, Contextual Infill – California Preservation Foundation
  • Institutional Restoration & Remodel Award – Palo Alto Stanford Heritage

Concord Senior and Community Center

  • Distinguished Project Award – APWA National
    Achievement Award – CPRS
  • Illumination Award – IESNA Golden Gate Chapter

Ingleside Library, San Francisco

  • Italy Design Competition- Honorable Mention
    Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Prize for the best new building in SF by Architectural Foundation San Francisco
  • Educational Interiors Showcase Special Citation by American School & University Magazine
  • First Prize and Commission for a New Branch Library