Garvin Design Group has established itself as one of the premier full-service architecture firms in South Carolina, having won numerous local and state design awards. We have extensive project experience in the areas of higher education, civic, commercial, and athletic work. Over our 15-year history, we have maintained a consistent focus on finding creative, client-driven solutions for a widely varied portfolio of project types. Our goal is to develop working partnerships with stakeholders in order to arrive at creative, functional, and innovative design solutions together.

Interior Design

We view interior design as an integral part of every architectural project we undertake. Our interior designers have over 25 years of experience, and over 20 years of experience with our team. In addition to keen design sensibility, our design focus devotes significant effort to remaining current with the latest advances in the industry, including color and material trends, as well as technological and sustainable initiatives in finish product improvements. Beyond the careful selection and coordination of interior finishes, our interiors team provides guidance for furniture selection and specification, building signage, as well as interior project management and scheduling.


Our desire is to work with clients from the inception of an idea through construction. Developing a Master Plan is the first step in creating a complete and cohesive vision for the future. From the onset of a project we aim to engage leadership, user groups and stakeholders in a process of brainstorming and collaboration to distinguish the goals and ideals that ultimately will define success. We have completed Master Plans for universities, schools, churches, and civic/urban developments.

Historic Preservation

The preservation of historically significant structures has remained a constant in the firm’s history. It began with the purchase, renovation, and redevelopment of the 1890s historic building in downtown Columbia that houses our current offices and various retail and commercial tenants. Since this initial effort, we have designed the renovation of over one million square feet of residential housing in the Olympia and Granby Mills, and the redevelopment of once-derelict structures at 701 Whaley, Palmetto Compress Warehouse, Mast General Store, the South Carolina Research Authority offices, City Market, and 1649 Main Street in Columbia. The firm has won numerous awards for Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse. We provide comprehensive historic consulting including applications for tax credits, landmark status, and related grants, and have worked with local and state authorities to facilitate the process.

Marketing & Fundraising

From the earliest conception of an idea, the visual expression of that idea is paramount in conveying the concept to others. Through both traditional graphic methods and three-dimensional modeling, we assist clients in developing the visual tools necessary to generate interest and understanding. In addition to full architectural graphic capabilities, we can assist with the design and preparation of brochures, videos, 3D animations, and any other materials needed for marketing or fundraising.

Feasibility Studies

Many of our clients need a thorough analysis of a site or building during their due diligence period to ensure that a project is viable. We provide in-depth feasibility studies that evaluate site constraints, new building test fits, existing building systems analysis, space programming, concept designs, exterior images, cost estimates, and construction schedules. We incorporate engineering consultants and construction input into our analysis.

Construction Consulting

Our philosophy concerning project cost and construction management is to utilize market-based information rather than traditional cost estimating methodologies to control scope, schedule, and budget. We firmly believe that construction input during design leads to more practical and realistic decisions, which in turn minimizes delays due to budget overruns. On public/institutional projects we work with a construction consultant to provide constructability reviews, cost estimates, and construction scheduling throughout the design phases. Our consultant also provides strategic oversight during construction, to keep our clients aware of critical issues impacting schedule and budget. In our private work, we insist that a contractor be hired early in the design process to provide the same services and have found that the overall project schedule is reduced significantly.

Graphic Design

Our passion for design excellence extends beyond buildings. Graphic design opportunities simply offer additional avenues for creatively expressing our values and sharing them with our clients. We offer a wide range of graphic design services from building signage to corporate re-branding. In-house, we continually challenge ourselves with each proposal and each presentation to explore new ideas and improve on our effectiveness in conveying the intended message. We have taken great pride in collaboratively developing our own corporate graphic identity, including business cards, letterhead, signage, and website.

Sustainable Design

We are committed to infusing environmentally-conscious design practices into every facet of our work. Product selection, regional awareness, and incorporation of new technologies all play key roles in guiding our design practice. With seven USGBC LEED Accredited Professionals on our staff, our team has led and managed multiple sustainable and LEED certified projects.