Overview

Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the US, with an architectural scene that boasts classic highrises of brick and steel alongside newer structures with a more futuristic energy. Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Denver’s major commercial architects are tasked with maintaining a skyline that works with and against the city’s dramatic, and often snow-capped, mountainous backdrop.

While fusing the aesthetic of Denver’s historic past with its blossoming contemporary vibe, the architects on the list use the beauty of the landscape to create structures that combine the best of both man and nature.

Denver’s commercial architecture scene is populated by a number of firms that are not only multi-focused in regards to project type, but also have a national and sometimes international presence.

Top Architects

10
Venture Architecture

Architects:
Martin Goldstein

Address:
535 East Mexico Avenue, Denver, CO 80210

Contact:
303-722-9988
info@venturearchitecture.com

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About Venture Architecture

Venture Architecture is small, tight knit team with a big vision. Their office even caters to a canine intern named Burley. LEED-certified Principal Architect Martin Goldstein received his Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado. Venture’s mission is to reveal each space’s innate beauty regardless of perceived obstacles. Although this company is more modest than other firms with a longer history or a larger reach, their work is versatile, clean, creative, and modern. With their keen design eye, they’ve cultivated and renovated business headquarters and multi-family homes. As their work continues to come to completion, they will likely rise up the ladder of trusted, small-team Denver design firms.

Featured Projects

Case Plow is what happens when you revitalize a 110-year-old building without losing its character and adapt it into a multi-use development that includes retail, restaurant, and loft spaces. Case Plow’s rejuvenated brick exterior reflects the charm of days gone by. This project was made possible by federal and state historic tax credits and new market tax credits. Applied Control is a headquarters facility for the local representative of a large national business based in South Metro Denver, and it fuses the clients practical needs with a functional and bright design. The work kept in mind future expansion, so the facility can adequately serve the growth of the company.

9
BurkettEUA

Architects:
Rick Burkett
Catherine Quintero

Address:
1899 Wynkoop Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80202

Contact:
303-595-4500
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About BurkettEUA

When Burkettdesign’s 27-person staff joined forces with Eppstein Uhen Architects, (a well-respected 110-year-old design firm), it was a merger of like-minded business models, and BurkettEUA was born. Burkettdesign was founded in 1990 and was known for high quality and personalized design services. Their integration with EUA created an expanded reach within the midwest region. Rick Burkett, co-founder and principal at BurkettEUA, is an AIAA member and LEED certified, and he focuses on strategic planning and conceptual design. Catherine Quintero, another LEED certified principal at BurkettEUA, managed the historic renovation of Evan’s Scholar Fraternity in Bouler. BurkettEUA has a diverse aesthetic capacity, showing examples of their clean, dignified style with the Colorado Academy of Music and their out-of-the-box innovation with the Denver Botanical Gardens.

Featured Projects

The Colorado Academy School of Music serves approximately 945 students in Lakewood, Colorado. The building combines a classic appeal with a modern twist and is an elegant emblem for learning on the 94-acre campus. The 1000 Speer Buildings of BurkettEUA offer high-rise vantage points on Denver’s low-rise city. These luxury apartments provide 83 units, mountain views, and a swimming pool. They showcase BurkettEUA’s ability to create a modern look that doesn’t clash with Denver’s historic elements.

8
Craine Architecture

Architects:
Dan Craine

Awards:
Downtown Denver Partnership Award

Address:
2490 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80205

Contact:
720-457-2012
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About Craine Architecture

Principal architect and founder Dan Craine, who previously worked for David Tryba of Tryba Architects, made his way to Denver from New York, where he completed his Master in Architecture at University of Colorado. He is a member of the Congress of New Urbanism, the Arapahoe Square Design Advisory Board, and AIA Denver’s Urban Design Committee. Craine’s team approach is attractive to clients who value their own participation in visioning and feedback. Craine has done consistent, high-quality work on commercial, multi-family community structures and single-family residential properties, as well as dabbling in the hospitality and resort sector. In 2016 they received the Downtown Denver Partnership Award for the Wheatley, which celebrated the transformational impact on the vitality of Denver.

Featured Projects

Fairmont Breckenridge Resort Residencies was a noble nod to the luxurious grace of Colorado’s winter wilderness. The site hosts a lush lodge and spa on a secluded ridgeline above 188 acres of nature preserve. You can expect gondola access from your doorstep for easeful travel time between your lodging and the slick slopes.

Located in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, the Lydian, (named after a jazz scale), pays homage to the jazz heritage of Five Points, infusing the area with a classic architecture feel. Featuring 129 apartments, 15k square feet of office space and almost 10k square feet of retail, the Lydian is one of Denver’s classiest integrative spaces.

7
GMH By Design

Architects:
Greg Houston

Address:
600 17th Street, #2800, Denver, CO 80202

Contact:
303-868-1808
greg@gmhbydesign.com

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About GMH By Design

GMH By Design is a full-service architectural firm with specializations in commercial, civic, and church architecture, as well as custom homes and corporate office design. Colorado native and Principal Architect Greg Houston brings his longtime knowledge of his hometown into his unique awareness of Denver’s evolving character. GMH By Design prides itself on client collaboration and a willingness to work on projects of varied sizes. GMH By Design’s versatility shows in the professional, clean aesthetics they’ve crafted for apartments in the center of downtown Denver and in the contemporary elegance they’ve cultivated in revitalized church spaces. As they steadily grow their portfolio, GMH By Design is sure to climb the ranks of coveted architecture firms in the Denver area.

Featured Projects

The 1755 Blake Street Building makes a refined, functional statement in a five-story office building that incorporates retail spaces at the street level. It maximizes the building area, while staying away from the corner, as to not create visual competition with other structures. This unique attention to the detail of surrounding construction allows GMH’s work to integrate seamlessly into the environment around them. The ninth tallest building in Denver is known as The Spire, an LEED-certified condominium with 496 units. This high rise residential is attired in glass and steel and complements the aesthetic of the Colorado Convention Center, which sits across the street. Along with 41 stories of residential living, there is street level retail space, social clubs, a fitness center, and swimming pools.

6
Humphries Poli Architects

Architects:
Dennis Humphries and Joseph Poli

Awards:
AIA Colorado Merit Award,
AIA Architect’s Choice Award,
Colorado Construction Gold Hard Hat Award

Address:
1655 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203

Contact:
303-607-0040

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About Humphries Poli Architects

In the early 1970s, Dennis Humphries and Joseph Poli cemented a friendship at the University of Illinois that evolved into the successful Humphries Poli Architects, a Denver design firm who believes friendship and community are at the heart of great business. Humphries Poli Architects has won nearly 100 awards for design, including the AIA Colorado Merit Award and the AIA Architect’s Choice Award. Dennis Humphries and Joseph Poli both hold a Master in Architecture and aim to create a vibrant energy in their workplace and an innovative edge in their diverse national work.

Featured Projects

The Skyline Park Pavilion won the Colorado Construction Gold Hard Hat Award for Architectural Design. Its palette integrates durability and permanence while maintaining a connection to the park’s materials. The Pavilion opens to the adjacent outdoor plaza and provides subtle nighttime lighting from the ground plane. After a nationally covered incident in 2004, when the former Granby Public Library was destroyed by an angry citizen with a bulldozer, Humphries Poli Architects stepped in to design the new 10,800-square-foot structure. Fusing sustainability with a contemporary feel, this new edifice includes a children’s room, a teen zone, an adult collection, a quiet reading area, study rooms, and a meeting venue.

5
Tryba Architects

Architects:
David Tryba

Awards:
ULI Global Award for Excellence

Address:
1620 Logan Street, Denver, CO 80203

Contact:
303-831-4010
info@trybaarchitects.com

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About Tryba Architects

In the last 29 years, Tryba Architects, self-described as civic architects with a passion for sustainable urbanism, has evolved from origins in restoration to a niche developing and creating innovate urban spaces in Denver and beyond. They received the ULI Global Award for Excellence for Denver’s Union Station and Firm of the Year from AIA Western Mountain. FAIA Fellowship recipient David Tryba has spearheaded projects across North America and Mexico. Since he returned to his home state in 1988 after working briefly for Beyer Blinder Belle in New York City, he has put his mark on many standout structures within the urban profile of Denver, including the elegant yet contemporary History Colorado Center and the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building complex.

Featured Projects

In the last 29 years, Tryba Architects, self-described as civic architects with a passion for sustainable urbanism, has evolved from origins in restoration to a niche developing and creating innovate urban spaces in Denver and beyond. They received the ULI Global Award for Excellence for Denver’s Union Station and Firm of the Year from AIA Western Mountain. FAIA Fellowship recipient David Tryba has spearheaded projects across North America and Mexico. Since he returned to his home state in 1988 after working briefly for Beyer Blinder Belle in New York City, he has put his mark on many standout structures within the urban profile of Denver, including the elegant yet contemporary History Colorado Center and the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building complex.

4
Davis Partnership Architects

Architects:
Ann Adams
Gary Adams
Brian Erickson

Address:
2901 Blake Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80205

Contact:
303-861-8555
info@davispartnership.com

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About Davis Partnership Architects

Davis Partnership Architects has been bringing its special touch to Denver landmarks since 1967, although different formations of the firm first existed as far back as 1892. Their mission is to elevate the joy and dignity of the human experience through their functional and artistic conceptualization of both urban and rural spaces. From the futuristic flare of the Hamilton Building at the Denver Art Museum to the understated beauty of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Davis Partnership Architects executes a consistently diverse aesthetic. Though the firm has a wide focus, they put special attention towards facilities for education, healthcare, research, and commerce. Among the firm’s principals are Ann Adams, a certified member of the American College of Healthcare Architects, Gary Adams, an AIA committee member on Architecture for Health, and LEED-accredited professional Brian Erickson.

Featured Projects

The 112k-square-foot mixed-use space known as Civica Cherry Creek is set to be completed in 2018. Cherry Creek’s rooftop terrace will offer views of Denver’s downtown and the iconic Rocky Mountains. Electrochromic glass will tint windows for privacy, and four-level, 73,650-square-foot parking garage will provide easy access to 214 parking spaces. The New Headquarters for the Colorado Health Foundation required comprehensive design services from Davis Partnership Architects. This 34k-square-foot project, completed in late 2016, was a true integration of architectural versatility and attention to landscape, and extra attention was paid to interior layouts that support collaboration and communication. The Museum of Contemporary Art’s new addition in downtown Denver was a collaboration with London-based architect David Adjaye and features a three-story atrium, five galleries, and a rooftop area.

3
Pickard Chilton

Architects:
Jon Pickard
William D. Chilton
Anthony J. Markese

Awards:
IDP Outstanding Firm Award,
IDP Emerging Architects Award

Address:
980 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510

Contact:
203-786-8600
info@pickardchilton.com

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About Pickard Chilton

Pickard Chilton may be based in New Haven, Connecticut, but they have made a visual impact on Denver’s skyline. Their reach is international, yet their personal touch is intimate. Their blend of pragmatism and creativity reflects an appreciation for research-driven design and their quality work has not gone unappreciated. Pickard Chilton received the IDP Outstanding Firm Award and the Emerging Architects Award and was nominated Innovator of the Year in Business New Haven Magazine. Jon Pickard, William D. Chilton, and Anthony J. Markese make up Pickard Chilton’s impressive trio of principals. All hold the distinguished honor of being AIA Fellows and remain deeply involved with every project, which range from high profile international work to corporate buildings and campuses. Pickard and Chilton both received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Iowa State University.

Featured Projects

1144 15th is Denver’s 40-story-high performance LEED Gold-certified office tower, which includes an 880-space parking garage. This sleek emblem of Denver’s burgeoning metropolis showcases a natural stone, daylit lobby with wood and stainless steel accents. Floor-to-ceiling glass in the tower’s office floors will allow for a sweeping view of the Rockies to become the backdrop of one’s daily routine.
4600 South Syracuse was the first of a two-building complex within the Denver Technology Center, designed to be the corporate headquarters for a leading software developer. Also privy to well-designed gazing stations on the Rocky Mountains, this building includes floor-to-ceiling clear glass windows, natural sun protection created by deep horizontal mullions, and premium office and conference space.

2
Semple Brown Design Firm

Architects:
Sarah Semple Brown
Rusty Brown

Awards:
AIA Denver Firm of the Year,
AIA Design Awards,
AIA Merit Awards,
Historic Denver Award of Honor

Address:
1160 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204

Contact:
303-571-4137
info@semplebrown.com

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About Semple Brown Design Firm

Semple Brown Architectural Firm has been finding the perfect balance between form and function since 1982. Co-founded by Sarah Semple Brown, whose style is known to fuse depth, warmth, and quality, her 21-person staff includes six LEED-accredited professionals. The firm’s diverse portfolio has been highlighted in over 30 publications. Semple Brown prides itself on their team-based approach and on their ability to cultivate community through a strong sense of place. Sarah Brown was made an AIA fellow in 2013, and the firm previously received Firm of the Year for both AIA Denver and AIA Colorado. From demure cultural icons, such as the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, to the modern, multi-venue lobby at Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Semple Brown’s versatility and attention to detail makes it stand out among the masses.

Featured Projects

The Ellie Caulkins Opera House was no easy feat. Imagine being asked to construct a completely new facility within the shell of a century-old historic structure. Semple Brown, however, was up to the task. $92M and five years later, The Ellie Caulkins Opera House is a gorgeous modern throwback to the dapper days of old. Seating 2,268 patrons for a range of productions, including critically acclaimed dance, opera, and music, the opera house is a cultural pivot point in Denver’s growing arts scene. Semple Brown is currently wrapping up renovation on another important entertainment hot spot — the Colorado Ballet’s new building at 1075 Santa Fe Drive. Semple Brown values their ability to support the nonprofits they work with by trying their best to stretch donor dollars. Due to the firm’s ingenuity, Colorado Ballet was able to raise the money needed for both the purchase and renovation costs of their new building.

1
Fentress Architects

Architects:
Curtis Fentress

Awards:
AIA Thomas Jefferson Award

Address:
421 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

Contact:
303-722-5000
info@fentressarchitects.com

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About Fentress Architects

Fentress Architects, an international design firm founded by Curtis Fentress in 1980, is considered among the top green design firms in the United States. Their commitment to sustainable design has been a cornerstone of their approach since the early ‘90s and has influenced the creation of the world’s largest daylit structure and the world’s largest LEED building. The firm has executed the award winning, cutting-edge design of convention centers, museums, government buildings, and airports, which includes their highly regarded work on the Denver International Airport. They have also extended their reach to international markets, being responsible for the world’s tallest building in Kuwait, a 60-story, Class-A office tower, and the more than 700-foot tall structure known as The Dancing Sisters in Dubai. Curtis Fentress, who remains the CEO and principal-in-charge-of-design at the firm, graduated with honors from North Carolina State University College of Design and has received an AIA-AIAF Fellowship.

Featured Projects

Fentress Architects and Boston-based firm Machado Silvetti are all set to begin renovation work on the Denver Art Museum’s historic ‘north building,’ a $150M project that includes a $25M pledge from the museum’s board chairman, J. Landis Martin. Both firms have worked closely with the Denver Art Museum to ensure that their plan will allow them to sensitively restore the historic building and simultaneously create access to the seventh floor, where mountain and city views await. They also plan to expand the structure for additional exhibition space, as well as unveil a new welcome center. A poll by the American Institute of Architects showed that the Denver International Airport was ranked as the 4th “Favorite American Architecture” landmark built in the last 15 years. The project was behind schedule and over budget when it was initially handed to the firm, and in three weeks Curtis Fentress conceptualized a plan that was faster to construct, more affordable, and would ultimately become iconic. In 2010, he was honored with the Thomas Jefferson Award (considered the highest award for public architecture) by the American Institute of Architects.

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