top of page



Tom Retnauer strikes out on his own to achieve his goal of owning his own design firm at age 35 by starting Retnauer Design Associates, P.C. out of his home. RDA's focus at this time is to introduce local builders to home designs that are carefully crafted. For too long, Hampton Roads homes were designed by builders or designers, not architects. RDA set out to educate not only the local builders, but the public, about historical architecture principles. For the first year, Tom used his own, newly designed home as an example on proportion, vistas, detailing and other features that had gone missing from homes built in the later 20th century. Building on his early success,Tom decided to begin building a team that would change the face of residential architecture in Hampton Roads and beyond.


Sandra Baynes was presented with Chesapeake Economic Development Business Leadership Award for outstanding Vision, Dedication and Commitment to Excellence in the Hampton Roads Business Community.


We celebrate our company's 10 year anniversary. The company continues to grow over the years in regards to projects and staff, but the passion to serve our clients remains strong and continues to serve us well.



RBA wins The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Chesapeake Small Business of the Year 2016.This award validates the passion and leadership that the RBA brings to the Hampton Roads Community.



RBA undertakes its most complex project to date, converting the 24-story historic Bank of America Building in downtown Norfolk to The Icon Apartments.  This repurposing project literally changes the face of Norfolk for years to come.  When you arrive in Norfolk, look up.  You will see the Icon logo and the ultimate rooftop amenity in the Mid-Atlantic Region.



20 years…  RBA started out in 1991 out of Tom’s home office.  In a few short years, RBA grew into our first commercial office and ramped up to 7 team members.  We soon out grew our leased space and built the building we are in today.  Along the way, we have made a significant impact on the Hampton Roads community and beyond in many ways.  From the repurposing of the Bank of America Building into the Icon Apartments, to the richly detailed single family homes, RBA has created thoughtful architecture and enriched our client’s lives.  We are looking forward to the next decade as we begin RBA 3.0.


Sandra Baynes joins Retnauer Design Associates as business partner and the company name changes to Retnauer Baynes Associates, LLC. Utilizing Sandra's legal background and excellent communication skills, growth is steady and RBA begins to expand beyond the residential sector into multi-family, commercial, government, and religious sectors.


RBA earns its certified Female Minority Owned Micro Small Business classification. The Senior Management Team expands their efforts to explore new project market sectors. Utilizing our diverse staff experience, the team successfully enters the new sectors and continues to attract new clients who understand the passion and drive we bring to their projects.


Sandra Baynes was appointed to the Virginia Board of Asbestos, Lead and Home Inspectors by Governor Terry McAuliffe.  


RBA wins HR ACRE Award of Merit for The Law Building with Best Multi-Family/ Commercial Housing Project.


RBA opens up our state of the Art Design Center and Virtual Lab.  Recognized nationally for our use of technology in the design process, the new Virtual Lab allows our clients the ability to walk through their projects in life size photographic quality using our room-scale sensors.



RBA has situated our team as the Leading Residential Architect in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We will continue expanding our focus and exploring new opportunities outside the residential arena. We envision RBA becoming a leader also in the Storage Building and Hospitality Sectors, developing relationships with clients that share our Core Values.

bottom of page