You may not know the name Douglas Burdge, but you probably know his work—it’s a big part of why Malibu is so chic.

Burdge Architects Rustern
Courtesy of Burdge Architects

When you think of Malibu, what comes to mind are dreamy beaches, surfing, celebrities, and incredible homes. When you think of architects for those multimillion-dollar view homes, Doug Burdge is usually the first name that pops up. Burdge Architects and founder Douglas W. Burdge, AIA, is celebrating his 30th year in business. With a rich history as being one of Malibu’s top architects, Doug and his team have designed 400+ projects between Malibu, Cabo, and Sun Valley. Doug and his wife Laura have been deeply rooted in Malibu, raising twin boys, Reed and Hayden, where they have experienced the real strength of a community that comes together after a natural disaster. They are former owners of Malibu Beach house, a design and home goods store that closed after the Woolsey Fire, and are currently partners in Malibu Mary, a company making farm-to-table, organic veggie-filled bloody Mary Mix. Doug’s passion for design and strong ethics are reflected in the positive environment he has created for those who work with him and the clients lucky enough to boast about living in a Doug Burdge-designed home. 

With a diverse architectural style, Burdge Architects is known for spectacular estate homes, often referred to as a family’s “legacy home.” When asked what he is most proud of, Doug shared, “Architecturally speaking I feel great knowing over the many years in service that our clients and their families have enjoyed living in one of our homes … that is the real design goal, knowing we provided a healthy and happy environment filled with love, enrichment, and respect … so a legacy of knowing we were a big part in creating a better community.”

In the last several years, Doug has expanded his talents into designing boutique hotels, such as the trendy Surfrider Hotel and the chic Native motel, both in Malibu, along with premier shopping centers like Trancas Country Market, which feels like a locals-only artisan location. Each property is an extension of who Doug is at the core: laid back, but exceptionally organized with a warm sensibility to luxury lifestyle living that’s designed well. 

Burdge Architects Buhaus

Courtesy of Burdge Architects

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Most recently, Doug and his partner Nate Garnero took the prestigious CA Home + Design award for “Best Home Office Design” 2021. Buhaus is a 160-square-foot space designed from a shipping container that is fully customizable and available in the choice of three exterior and interior design finishes. 

Also, Doug and his team have recently developed an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) with Plant Prefab and Sunset Magazine called the Sunset BUD Living Home. The luxury unit offers three different floor plans all meeting California’s ADU’s size allowance and are built with fire-resistant materials and upscale finishes. Burdge Architects is near completion on the Marisol project, which will be Malibu’s first carbon-neutral luxury estate and California’s first Zero Carbon home certified by the International Living Future Institute.

Burdge Architects Marisol
The Marisol Project

Courtesy of Burdge Architects

As an avid outdoorsman and with twin boys who love to surf and ski, Doug prides himself on Burdge Architects being socially responsible. A company built on diversity, Burdge continues to make a positive impact on the communities he designs for. He’s always looking to future trends and sustainability, making recycled sources a priority in his latest designs. Doug closed in saying, “That’s really what gets me going every day, knowing there is so much left to do and more designs to accomplish … one is faced with challenges that in the end seem to always create a better good.” Cheers to 30 years, Doug Burdge, and we can’t wait to see what you do next! 

Story by Karen Waldron