This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.
Hart Studio Residential Architecture
AIA Mayor’s Design Award,
CARE First Place: Interior Remodel Award
P.O. Box 460003, Denver, CO 80246
About Hart Studio Residential Architecture
Hart Studio is one of Denver’s boutique standouts, founded by principal, licensed architect and AIA member, Tomas Hart, who was also previously the principal of The Architecture Studio. Hart tackles everything from remodels and basements to moderate additions, pop-tops, and new houses square one. They’ve worked in neighborhoods with very different aesthetic character — Victorians and Denver Squares in Capitol Hill, Bungalows in Wash Park, and Tudors in Park Hill. In the last decade, they’ve received the Mayor’s Design Award and the CARE First Place: Interior Remodel award.
In Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood, Hart Studio brought charm to life with historically inspired Spanish Mission Revival architecture. Highlights include an arched porch, eave brackets, wrought iron balcony railings, a red tile roof, custom pre-cast concrete details, and a stucco finish. The second floor addition provides four bedrooms, four French balconies, and two baths. This graceful ode to a grand historic style is nothing less than regal. A full-scale remodel was required with a Park Hill Victorian, but additions and remodels are one of Hart Studio’s work foundations. With the help of GO Builders, a substantial addition clad in brick and shingle cut exterior doubles the space available in the house. Other highlights include a sky-lit entryway that leads to a new kitchen, a light-filled breakfast nook, two additional upstairs bedrooms, and period-appropriate, salvaged stained glass, well-paired with hip, modern lighting fixtures.
KGA Studio Architects, PC
Nationals Silver Award for Best Architectural Design,
950 Spruce Street, Louisville, CO 80027
About KGA Studio Architects, PC
KGA Studio Architects, PC was founded in 1977 by John Knudson and is a nationally recognized firm with a specialty in residential design. Within KGA are two design studios — one that focuses on custom homes and one that hones in on production housing. KGA prides themselves on collaboration and unique attention to every client and type of project. They have several repeat clients and enjoy building enduring relationships. KGA has been recognized with the 2017 Nationals Silver Award for Best Architectural Design of a Single-Family Detached Home, the MAME 2016 Best On The Boards Design for a Custom Home, the CARE 2016 BEST Architectural Design (Remodel), the MAME 2016 Best Architectural Design of a Model, the 2016 MAME Award for Active Adult Home of the Year, and the 2015 MAME Award for Best Custom Home Over 5,000 Square Feet.
The Chanin Residence in Boulder took the 2008 BALA award for Best One-Of-A-Kind Custom Home, and it’s not hard to see why. The cutting edge, rectangular construction shape, the open staircases that rises between floor-to-roof glass windows, and the bright modern kitchen are only some of the highlights that go along with the upper patio and the lower covered patio. The Urban Traditional pizzaz of 4,107 square feet of farmhouse-inspired beauty includes a wrap around porch, a window seat breakfast nook, a floor-level patio and a country style kitchen. It represents the way KGA has a versatile capacity for executing modern takes on old, cherished styles.
Doerr Architecture Firm
Mayor’s Design Award
4848 Curie Court, Boulder, CO 80301
About Doerr Architecture Firm
Doerr Architecture Firm is a full-service design film based in Boulder, making a unique stamp on the ecological design that is also expressive, contemporary, and boundary pushing. Their green building practices and sustainability principles have garnered critical acclaim and have included projects with passive solar building designs, historic renovations, urban infill development projects, and net-zero energy homes. Principal architect Thomas Doerr also lends his talent to the educational sector, having taught a Green Building course at Naropa University that focused on the environmental impacts of buildings, as well as the LEED system. The firm has been featured in LOCALE Magazine and their work on the Finch House won the Mayor’s Design Award and was cited for dynamic aesthetics, great passive solar design, and various other energy efficient measures.
The Finch House is like looking at a hip, modern version of a dwelling you’d find in the shire. It combines cozy with charm and functional with sustainable. The progressive artistic vision evident in this structure shines in the dynamism of the vaults, the circular staircase, the exposed wood connector beams, and the appealing overall curvature of the building — not to mention, its shaded southern windows and thermal mass make for sturdy insulation. This beauty features excellent daylighting, a highly efficient furnace and appliances, green materials, and passive solar design. The updates and addition that Doerr Design implemented on a 100-year-old Denver Victorian emphasized their ability to maintain character, adapt for energy efficiency, and complement pre-existing aesthetics seamlessly. The design of a passive solar sunspace that acts as a free furnace warms the house and creates a gorgeous lounge spot and plant room. The home features natural convective cooling and is considered a Green Historic Remodel.
Roth Sheppard Architects
AIA Architecture Firm of The Year,
AIA Young Architect of the Year
1900 Wazee Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80202
About Roth Sheppard Architects
Roth Sheppard Architects has more than 105 awards from AIA, ASID, IIDA, and other design associations. Since 1983, they’ve been making their mark in Denver, winning the AIA Architecture Firm of The Year in 2010 for both Denver and the state of Colorado. Principal and founder Herb Roth is both LEED certified and an AIA Fellow, who received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the City College of New York and is nationally recognized for his contributions to the planning of law enforcement and justice facilities. The other principal and founder, Jeffrey Sheppard, was named the Denver Chapter of AIA’s Young Architect of the Year in 1989. Since then, he’s grown into a strong mentor at the firm. He recently spoke about iconic architecture at the 2016 AIA Wyoming winter conference.
The renovation and remodel to the 1950s 3,000-square-foot Hughes / Brody residence implemented the use of a high ceiling concept, paired with a wall of glass windows in the dining room and long windows in the living room. The artsy, modern aesthetic is emboldened by clean, simplistic, angular visuals. A private, partially covered patio creates cozy outdoor space that feels seamlessly integrated into the home’s layout. The 1,480 square-foot addition to a low 1950s suburban ranch house in Lakewood uses double sets of windows, an open lower and upper level, and a bathroom fireplace to cultivate a visual that mingles contemporary mountain spa with progressive urban add-on.
Semple Brown Design Firm
Sarah Semple Brown
AIA Denver Firm of the Year,
AIA Design Awards,
AIA Merit Awards,
Historic Denver Award of Honor
1160 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
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 themselves 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. Their versatility and scope ranges from Denver cultural icons to ground-up, modern, single-family homes, and their impressive attention to detail makes them stand out as a cross-category firm.
The Duncan Residence in Denver’s Bonnie Brae neighborhood is testament to a well-executed sculptural, modern, light-filled space and is also an emblem for owner-firm collaboration. Wood paneled ceilings, a covered outdoor patio, several walls of windows, and an open upstairs walkway create brightness, warmth, privacy, and an ample openness. Modern light fixtures, an outdoor, lighted water feature, and boxy angles help cultivate the home’s progressive, artistic appeal. The Kerr Residence in Cherry Hills tasked Semple Brown with the design job of honoring Colorado’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle, while also integrating some of the characteristics the owners appreciated during their time living in the Lone Star State. The result is a well-organized floor plan that provides access to porches and grand views of the surrounding landscape. The space is well divided in both public and private areas and connected via a daylight-infused hallway and foyer. Oversized glass windows and doors bring added sparkle to the home’s elegant interior.
Todd L. Heirls
Kevin H. Anderson
Denver Mayor’s Awards
1525 Raleigh Street, Suite 320, Denver, CO 80204
About ArcWest Architects
ArcWest Architects is a more recent addition to the Denver scene, and they believe in design that is progressive and innovative. Since 2006 ArcWest has created an impressive portfolio that includes residential design, as well as commercial, restaurant, warehouse, and corporate. A hands-on principal, founding Partner Todd L. Heirls collaborates directly with senior management and even gets involved in project execution. As an expert welder, he often steps in to complete custom steel details in ArcWest’s work. ArcWest’s other founding partner, Kevin H. Anderson, brings over 25 years of experience as a licensed Colorado architect and enjoys working on a wide scope of projects that represent the diversity of the field. ArcWest was named one of the top 19 best architects in Denver on Expertise. Their portfolio of versatile and cutting-edge residential design gleams. It includes new homes, porches and patios, and additions and renovations.
The Antelope Lane residence in Parker, Colorado was intended to take full advantage of the stunning views to the west of the Rampart Range and Pikes Peak. Colorado architects need to understand how to maximize visual access to the outdoors, and ArcWest is always up to the task. Blending a contemporary and Craftsman aesthetic, the structure features a wraparound porch, handsome wainscot on the foundational layer of the home, and plenty of glorious, large, glass windows. The N. Pecos Street home in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood was all about efficiency and modern appeal. Exterior spaces were designed to utilize passive winter sun and to shade summer heat. The ground-level patio accesses both the living and dining areas, and a balcony connected to the master bedroom creates a private lounge area. Two-tone, hard stucco with horizontal cedar siding and a stone wainscot and lower-level fireplaces create an undeniably inviting cush paired with an aesthetically pleasing dose of chic.
Sexton Lawton Architecture
Sarah Sexton and Matthew Lawton
AIA Denver Merit Award,
AIA Colorado Merit Award,
2011 AIA Colorado Honor Award.
1627 Gilpin Street, Suite A, Denver, CO 80218
About Sexton Lawton Architecture
Sexton Lawton Architecture is a full-service firm founded and run by business partners Sarah Sexton and Matthew Lawton, both of whom attended Cornell University and worked in award-winning design firms (such as OZ Architecture) in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, and Denver before establishing their own firm. During his university program, Matthew Lawton was able to study in Italy, where he received the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal for top thesis project. The firm is licensed in the states of California and Colorado and believes in environmental responsibility, local product sourcing, and hands-on collaboration with clients. The firm received the 2011 AIA Denver Merit Award as a Sustainable Stuart, the 2011 AIA Colorado Merit Award, and the 2011 AIA Colorado Honor Award.
The Belcaro Residence is a fabulous display of what a well-executed renovation and expansion can do to make a midcentury ranch sparkle with modern appeal. The inclusion of operable glass walls to link indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as custom storage walls, makes the space highly functional and full of light. Original flagstone chimneys were extended horizontally to create an exterior fireplace, giving the residence a polished, yet rustic aesthetic. In order to integrate well with the Craftsman style of the existing Congress Park structure, Sexton Lawton had to take care when adding 1,100 square feet of addition. Including a new kitchen, a children’s study area, a mud room, and a second floor master suite, their work was crafted to have light impact on the formal living spaces in the existing house. Interior and exterior finishes were selected with intention to pair perfectly with the original character.
Ekman Design Studio
Stephen P. Ekman
AIA Denver Chapter Architect’s Choice Award
550 8th Ave, Denver CO 80203
About Ekman Design Studio
Ekman Design Studio is a boutique architectural firm that specializes in unique and fine homes. Located in the center of Denver, the studio has been bringing highly recognized, elegant design to the Rockies since 1995. Ekman Design Studios prefers to discover the unique inspiration that emerges with each residence rather than lock into a particular architectural style. They value maximized views, daylight, and harmony with the construction’s pre-existing surroundings. They received the AIA Denver Chapter Architect’s Choice Award in 2014 and have been featured various times in Luxe Magazine. AIA member Stephen P. Ekman is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a B.S. in both Small Business Management and Environmental Design. He currently serves as a board member on the Littleton Historic Preservation Board and the Board of Historic Denver and is a member of the American Institute of Architects.
The Wellshire Contemporary home, designed as an empty nester’s retreat, is the epitome of luxury, style, and privacy. Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired, this gem features an entry courtyard, whole walls of glass windows, ledge stone, wood, and steel. A poolside patio, an entertaining terrace, and a roof deck primed for sunset makes this home a truly spectacular achievement.
On the perimeters of the St. Claire neighborhood, with an 1890s black and white photograph as a guide, Ekman Studio completed full restoration on a gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian. Highlights include a new main floor guest suite, a private elevator, a classic kitchen with a hearth room, and a renovated master suite.
AIA Colorado Denver Awards of Excellence
6030 East Smith Road, Denver, CO 80216
About Meridian 105
Meridian 105 was founded by Chad Mitchell, who received his Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida, as well as his Master of Architecture. When Chad first relocated to Denver, he practiced as an associate with Oz Architecture, focusing on mid- to large-scale residential and commercial mixed-use projects. He founded Meridian 105 in 2010, with the mission to pair fantastic developments hand in hand with each client’s financial and philosophical goals. Meridian’s work has been featured in several domestic and international publications. Their design for the Denver Pallet House received the AIA Colorado Denver Award of Excellence in 2017, and their sculptural work and a video presentation was on display as part of the Time-Space-Existence exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
The 33rd Avenue House in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood is corner property that features boxy modern accents, skylights, three full levels, and ample backyard privacy. Raising the first floor nearly 6 feet above the sidewalk served the dual function of creating separation between the main living space and the street and providing a partially submerged garden level. This stunning contemporary home includes exterior roof deck access from the master suite and views of downtown. Warmth is added by the smooth-faced shiplap Western red cedar of the home’s exterior, stained a handsome, dark brown. Featured in The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, Meridian 105’s created a cutting-edge design for what is known as the Pallet House. In the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood, this house grabs attention with its module of wood shipping pallets, which craft a screening component for the front porch and the interior spaces. The home gleams with White Venetian plaster coats and features operable screen panels, a sky atrium, and glass walls in the master suite. The Pallet House won the AIA Colorado Design Award of Excellence in 2017 for residential.
AIA National Young Architect Award,
AIA Colorado North Chapter Merit Award,
AIA Colorado Citation Award,
AIA Colorado YAAG Built Architecture Award
3222 Tejon Street Studio C, Denver, CO 80211
About Tomecek Studio
Tomecek Studio aims to remain on the cutting edge of their profession by constructing visionary spaces that use light, surface, and material to cultivate unique beauty and structural integrity. LEED certified, Brad Tomecek, AIA member and Tomecek Studio founder, graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Design and a Master of Architecture. His work has been highlighted in Architectural Record, Architect and Builder Magazine, and he serves as AIA Denver’s 2017 president. He was recently recognized with the AIA National Young Architect Award. His firm’s residential design is contemporary, deeply rooted in artistry, functional, and boundary pushing. Tomecek Studio’s has completed award-winning work in smaller commercial architecture categories as well, and the varied palettes of their residential creations show not only the breadth of their skill set, but also the adaptability of their vision. Though Tomecek has done residential work largely in Boulder and other parts of Colorado, his residential design footprint is already leaving a trail of awards in its wake as he makes his mark in Denver.
Recognized with the Builder Magazine Grand Award, AIA Colorado North Chapter’s Merit Award, the AIA Colorado Citation Award, and the AIA Colorado YAAG Built Architecture Award, the Denver 32nd Street modular is “high-quality design meets factory” setting. The home, at its foundation, is two boxes that slide above one another to allow for outdoor living space and a lower, covered rear entry. This spacious, light, inviting structure includes an open concept kitchen and an effective balance of wood and more industrial-looking iron and metal to present as both modern and comfortable. Featured in the Food Network chef Keagan Gerhard’s restaurant dBar as a dessert, and allotted the AIA Colorado YAAG Unbuilt Architecture Award, the Shield House is a handsome blend of a rectangular living space and a contrasted, curved circulation space. Tomecek Studio used restrictions to their advantage and got creative with a tall, curved metal wall that was a result of bulk plane restrictions. An added bonus is that it provides privacy from the adjacent public decks of a three-story triplex. An amazing upper deck and the tasteful use of exposed wood beams and long windows make this space feel airy and bright.