Regarded for being the capital of the state of Colorado, Denver is a timeless metropolis reminiscent of the Old West era. Its oldest city block showcases landmark 19th-century buildings, while its other more modern districts feature impressive museums and galleries. Being the state capital, it houses several flagship stores, in addition to countless commercial tenant improvements. This list showcases Denver’s 15 best and leading commercial architects. These firms were chosen based on their experiences and outstanding portfolios.
Semple Brown Design
1160 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204
With decades of industry experience, Semple Brown Design operates out of its office in Denver and extends its services across its nearby areas. The firm has secured a solid reputation for its highly integrated architecture and interior design, in addition to its impressive indoor-outdoor spaces. Its comprehensive services work encompasses design, documentation, and construction administration for renovation and new construction projects, ranging from single-family residences to large-scale commercial and institutional facilities. It has been recognized on countless occasions by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Showcased above is one of the firm’s best works. Located in Denver, this photo depicts the firm’s work for Sunday Vinyl. It spans over 2,000 square feet and can seat over 68 patrons. Some of its best elements include a full kitchen and a large curated wine selection.
1620 Logan St, Denver, CO 80203
Tryba Architects is an interdisciplinary architecture firm that has gained an impressive national reputation for itself. It extends its services throughout Denver and has worked on multiple complex projects from concept through construction using a principle-driven design approach. The firm draws inspiration from three decades of industry experience and has worked on preserving and restoring some of Denver’s beloved and iconic buildings. Tryba has been named Firm of the Year by the AIA and is also a proud Honor Award recipient from the same organization.
Located in Denver, the showcased project is one of the firm’s best spaces. Completed for Aimco, this was finished back in 2020 and spans over 42,000 square feet. For this, the firm’s team employed an impressive contemporary design and an interconnecting stair.
3501 Wazee St, Unit #212, Denver, CO 80216
First established in Jackson Hole, Wyoming back in 1994, Dynia Architects specializes in private residences, multifamily housing, hotels, restaurants, office and cultural centers. At the firm’s helm is its founder, Stephen Dynia, FAIA. Stephen received in Fine Arts and Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Prior to his establishment of the firm, he first gained experience working on private residences and as a senior designer in the New York office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, where he focused on large mixed-use projects both across the US and abroad.
When Dynia Architects arrived in Denver they moved into a neighborhood with no name. At the time the area was nothing more than abandoned warehouses, a single breakfast joint, and run-down auto-part shops. The frayed industrial environment — one part tumbleweeds and two parts railroad tracks — spoke to their studio. They quickly began envisioning and transforming the area into a new kind of neighborhood — transforming old garages and abandoned buildings into workspaces and paving the way for a new creative scene. As artists and tech startups started populating River North, a moniker soon shortened to “RiNo”. The neighborhood now includes dozens of projects designed by Dynia Architects including The Source Hotel and Market Hall, Zeppelin Station, Flight, Freight, Kabin, and more. Dynia Architects has helped bring vision to a blurry neighborhood, helping transform RiNo into one of the hottest neighborhoods in America.
Dynia has continued to grow in Colorado designing significant homes in Boulder, Hilltop, and Cherry Creek; along with impressive award-winning multi-family developments like The Victor in City Park and Bus Stop in Boulder.
Shears Adkins Rockmore
1550 Wynkoop St, Suite #100, Denver, CO 80202
Otherwise known as “SAR+,” Shears Adkins Rockmore extends its services throughout Denver and the areas surrounding it. It offers a great array of architecture, interior design, and planning work. The firm is regarded for its highly hands-on approach and infusion of various sustainability practices into its spaces. Since its establishment, SAR+ has been the recipient of countless accolades from vital organizations like the AIA. Showcased above is one of the firm’s best commercial projects.
Located in Denver, this photo showcases the firm’s work for Urban Villages. The project spans over 2,000 square feet and entailed having to work on an extensive interior renovation. First built in 1906, this office is shaped like a cube and features a mix of new and reutilized wood materials.
3507 Ringsby Ct, Suite #117, Denver, CO 80216
Headquartered in Denver, 4240 Architecture is a mid-sized firm that provides its clients a great list of commercial architecture services. Its portfolio also depicts several excellent mixed-use urban infill, multifamily residential, commercial office, active senior living, higher education, resort, and hospitality projects. The firm is composed of nearly 50 experienced and talented professionals, to whom the firm credits its success. Depicted above is one of its best projects.
This project was designed for Bow River Capital. Located in Denver, this project spans over 15,525 square feet. For the firm’s efforts, the firm’s team was distinguished with the 2020 AIA Colorado Award of Distinction and Award of Merit.
3003 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
OZ Architecture draws inspiration from over five decades of industry experience and is composed of over 130 architects, interior designers, and support staff. The firm can take on regardless of size or complexity. It also commits itself to the best sustainability practices, which assure clients of the high efficiency of its spaces. The project above is a stellar example of the firm’s talent and expertise.
Located in Boulder, this project was finished back in 2020. Designed for Avanti, this project serves as its first location in Denver. For this, the firm was tasked with transforming its first and fourth floors from being an existing mixed-use building from office space into this modern food hall. The structure houses six restaurant concepts that offer everything from pizza to Taiwanese cuisine.
2901 Blake St, Suite #100, Denver, CO 80205
Davis Partnership offers potential clients a full range of multidisciplinary services, which encompass health care, higher education, and commercial projects. Its portfolio also showcases several great cultural spaces, resorts, and multi-family housing. The firm’s services include not only architecture but also landscape architecture, interior design, lighting and wayfinding and experiential design . It stands among the leading design firms in the country and draws inspiration from 50+ years of industry experience. Depicted below is one of the firm’s best projects.
Located in the heart of the RiNo neighborhood in Denver, their office is a beacon for neighborhood specific respectful design as their office is one of the highest performing adaptive reuse renovations with XCEL Energy and is LEED Gold Certified. They also engaged a local artist to design and provide artwork in their office. True to the neighborhood at heart.
1830 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
Rowland+Broughton is a leading and progressive architectural firm that operates out of its office in Denver. It is composed of an experienced team of architecture and interior design experts and is particularly regarded for its contributions to both mountain and urban landscapes. Since its inception, it has worked on over 350 national architecture and interior design projects. Its services also include custom residential, commercial, hospitality, interior design, and master planning. The firm has established an excellent reputation, in addition to its outstanding reviews. Most recently, it was named the 2020 AIA Colorado 2020 Firm of the Year.
The chosen project showcases the firm’s work for the Aspen Shop. It spans over 1,256 square feet and pays homage to the on-mountain experience with merchandise displayed on a chairlift and gondola-inspired clothing racks. Its other products are displayed beneath an abstracted bull wheel.
421 Bdwy, Denver, CO 80203
Fentress Architects is an international design firm with studios in Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; San Francisco, California; Washington, D.C.; and Houston, Texas. It is the product of the vision of its founder Curtis Fentress, who established the firm back in 1980. He is a Fellow of the AIA, which is the highest distinction the prestigious organization bestows on its members. Under his leadership, the firm has designed over $43 billion of architectural landmarks worldwide, visited by more than 650 million people each year. Fentress also ranks among the Top Green Design Firms in the U.S. and is a trailblazing pioneer in sustainable design.
Given this impressive background, it comes as no surprise that the firm is also known for its award-winning design of airports, museums, convention centers, laboratories, higher education, civic, and government buildings. Additionally, the firm designs office, mixed-use, religious and residential buildings. In fact, the firm was the mind behind the “Best Airport in North America.”
Clutch Design Studio
309 W. 1st Ave, Denver, CO 80223
Clutch Design Studio is the product of the vision of its principals Matt Robertson, Christopher Campbell, and Mark Bourne. Robertson serves as the firm’s president and holds a degree in Environmental Design from Miami University. He first gained experience working on design schools with Steed Hammond Paul Architects in Cincinnati. Campbell, on the other hand, is a principal architect of the firm and showcases a portfolio spanning regions and countries, from the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal expansion to The United States Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. Lastly, there is Bourne, a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture and an active member of the AIA and the Urban Land Institute. Featured above is one of the firm’s best works.
This project serves as Shift Workspaces’ third location. For this, the firm’s team employed elements from previous locations—borrowed timber, Edison bulbs—with site-specific found objects including agriculture trinkets and railroad artifacts. Some other great details include reclaimed wood and different iterations of glass chandeliers.
1200 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204
Arch11 works on modern and contemporary designs and has worked in some of the most sought-after commercial districts in the Denver metro area. The firm operates out of two offices in Denver and Boulder and aside from its stellar commercial spaces, it is also highly regarded for its luxury residences and office spaces. The firm has been in business since 1993 and also adheres to the best and latest sustainability design practices. Since the firm’s establishment, the company has won countless AIA Awards. Most recently, it was lauded with the 2012 AIA Colorado Award of Merit.
In the chosen photo above, the firm was tasked with working on the Roth Living Showroom and headquarters. It had to design a first-class building that would serve as a perfect fit for the Sub-Zero / Wolf brand and its outstanding reputation for quality. For this, its team opted for an L-shaped base coupled with a simple palette of steel, wood, and glass.
2490 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205
Craine Architecture designs a wide range of impressive architectural vernaculars and has worked across the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The firm works with its clients closely throughout the entire process, from inception all the way through completion. It operates out of its office in Denver and is led by its principal, Dan Craine. He is a New York native and a graduate of Colgate University. His experience also includes serving as a member of Historic Denver’s Board of Trustees, a member of the Congress of New Urbanism, a member of the Arapahoe Square Design Advisory Board, and an active member of AIA Denver’s Urban Design Committee. Craine makes sure that each of the projects that the firm takes on receives the benefits of his insight and experiences.
The project above is an outstanding example of the firm’s talent. Labeled in its portfolio as “The Lydian,” this project is located in Denver. It is a mixed-use high-rise construction project. Some of its best features include its own fitness center, clubhouse, pool, and amenity deck.
1600 Wynkoop St, Suite #100, Denver, CO 80202
Consistently regarded as among Denver’s leading architecture and interior design firms, JNS offers its clients three decades of industry experience. It specializes in hospitality and multifamily spaces, in addition to historical restorations. The firm is also regarded for the talent and impressive experience of its team of diverse professionals. Together they make use of a highly collaborative approach, which has resulted in outstanding spaces. Its work has been featured in publications like The Denver Egotist and Mile High. Showcased above is one of the firm’s best works.
Designed for The Crawford, the scope of this project includes a luxury hotel, several communal spaces, and outlets. The firm first started working on this in 2011. Some of its best elements include its acoustic plaster ceiling, the subtle introduction of venting and exhaust systems, and the utilization of heavy timber roof attics.
Eppstein Uhen Architects
1899 Wynkoop St, Suite #700, Denver, CO 80202
With 115 years of experience, Eppstein Uhen Architects is the oldest firm on this list. It specializes in workplace, healthcare, learning, living, science + technology, industrial and community environments. The firm is composed of a diverse team of over 250 employees, the multi-faceted firm is made up of professionally registered architects, engineers, interior designers and LEED accredited professionals located in five office locations. Depicted above is one of the firm’s best projects.
Designed for Sterling Ranch, The Civic Center is a 30,000 square feet modern community landmark inspired by the surrounding landscape. The new building acts as a community hub for social and business gatherings.
tres birds workshop
3821 Steele St, Unit B, Denver, CO 80205
Tres Birds is a full-service planning, architecture, and general contracting firm based in Denver. The firm has been in business since 2000 and is regarded for its stellar contributions to the fields of architecture, engineering, and art. Its portfolio showcases an excellent range of everything, from mixed-use developments and corporate headquarters to net-zero energy homes, museums and city parks. At the firm’s helm is its principal and founder, Michael M. Moore. He is an artist who holds a degree in both Environmental Biology and Fine Art from the University of California, in addition to a master’s in Architecture at the University of Colorado at Denver.
The photo above showcases the firm’s work for Fjällräven & Royal Robbins. For this, the firm provided full-service architecture, interior design, and general contracting. This project is heavily day-lit, with displays hanging on beetle-kill-pine posts, rather than solid walls. Some other great elements include reclaimed boxcar flooring, gun-blued steel, and excellent handmade tile work.