Our Story

Our Story

The central and lasting pillars of our professional ideology began with the founder of the firm Edwin S. Darden Sr. FAIA. in 1959. It is apparent his professional integrity and devotion to continued development of the Architectural craft have left an indelible mark on the services we provide even today.

Originally conducting business as Nargis & Darden Architects, the firm was later incorporated as Edwin S. Darden Associates and finally the current Darden Architects. Early works supported the burgeoning communities of the California San Joaquin Valley through provision of high-quality design and excellent customer service.

This foundation was further strengthened by the continued leadership of Edwin S. Darden Junior. Retaining the core values prevalent in the work of the firm, Ed Jr. wove into the fabric of our services a passion for design excellence and innovation. To this day, with each project we ask ourselves “what is good design?”

After Ed Darden Jr. transitioned to Principal Emeritus, Martin Dietz stepped up as Managing Principal from 2011 to 2018. The third generation of leadership under Martin Dietz led to a more collaborative design style than ever before. The added in-house interior design, graphic design, and sustainability services contributed to an increasingly dynamic design philosophy. Our relationships with clients became more consultative and has resulted in several multi-award-winning projects which were designed through in-depth collaboration and more integrated project teams.

We are now in our fourth generation of firm leadership with Robert L. Petithomme serving as Managing Principal. So far, the 4th generation of leadership embraces a modern pragmatic design philosophy. Use of new design technology to create 3D visualizations and produce more complete, concise, well-coordinated documents is a focus. There is an importance placed on scheduling and efficiency for our clients that contributes to confidence in our services and a communicative process.

Darden Architects has been in practice continuously for over 60 years and remains an active contributor to good works in our community and supporter of the continued development of Architecture as a profession.