Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Denver’s architecture adds to the unique visual fabric of a naturally scenic setting. Imaginative and innovative, the designers of Denver contribute to the character of neighborhoods, improve public spaces, and practice sustainable style. From adaptive reuse projects to groundbreaking structures, examples of distinctive and noteworthy architecture can be seen all over the city.
If you’re looking to redesign your Denver home or office space, you likely plan to pore over portfolios, ratings, and recommendations to choose an architect. We’ve done some of the work for you, and have curated a list of the top 15 architects in the Mile-High City. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite in the poll below! If you’ve previously worked with an architect you feel should be included here, let us know in the comments section.
Wendy Mather Wendy has been the principal designer of Mather Architecture since 2000. She specializes in modern and contemporary design, as well as color rendering, lighting, sculpture, and photography. In addition to architectural and interior design services, Mather Architecture can provide custom-designed furniture for clients. Wendy holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver and a BA in architecture and art from Southwestern University.
Amy Burkett Amy is the founder and president of Burkett Design, a Denver-based architecture firm with offices in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Amy and her team have left their mark on a number of international projects, yet remain a well-respected force in the Rocky Mountain region. Her national clients include Lockheed Martin, The Children’s Hospital, Boeing, and a sampling of her international portfolio includes educational facilities for the American University of Afghanistan. Amy is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
E.J. Meade E.J. is a principal and co-founder of Arch11, and a regular design critic at the University of Colorado and other universities. His architectural work draws from his own philosophy and American studies at Colby College, a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado, and years of building experience. E.J. was the recipient of the Alpha Ro Chi Medal for Design Excellence and the Emerging Impressions Award from the AIA. Arch11 has received numerous accolades, and the firm’s work has been showcased in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Architectural Digest.
Jesse Adkins As a principal of Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects, Jesse has passion, professionalism, and creative drive that sets the standard. Jesse is actively involved in the design community, and has served as a co-chair of the AIA Colorado Housing Committee and as a member of the Urban Land Institute Housing Committee. A goal-oriented leader who has a clear ability to direct a strong, process oriented team at SA+R, Jesse also puts these skills to use as a volunteer lacrosse coach. He graduated with a Master of Architecture with Distinction degree from the University of Michigan, and earned his BS in architectural studies from the University of Nebraska.
Brandon Anderson Brandon is a principal at LIVStudio, AIA Colorado’s 2015 Young Firm of the Year. The firm has won multiple design awards, and Brandon himself has been named Young Architect of the Year by the AIA Denver chapter and Mentor of the Year by AIA Colorado. His work experience includes a number of public and private projects such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation Headquarters, Los Angeles Police Headquarters, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations DNA Laboratory. Brandon received his Master of Architecture from Texas Tech University, and has served as secretary for the AIA Colorado Board of Directors.
Stephen P. Ekman Stephen is the founder and principal architect of Ekman Design Studio, a boutique architectural firm located in the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood and specializing in unique fine homes. His design philosophy is that “form follows function and function dictates form”. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a BS in both small business management and environmental design, Steve began his career as an apprentice at Walter Elias Disney’s Imagineer Division of WED Enterprises. Steve presently serves as a board member on the Littleton Historic Preservation Board and the Board of Historic Denver.
Sarah Semple Brown Sarah is the principal of her eponymous firm, a leading architecture studio that has won 75 regional and national design awards and has been recognized in over 30 design publications. Among other accolades, Semple Brown Design was named Firm of the Year in 2002 by AIA Denver and in 2005 by AIA Colorado. The firm’s projects have been featured in Sunset Magazine, Residential Architect, and Builder Magazine. Sarah graduated with a BS in environmental design and architecture from the University of Oklahoma, and she is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Alan Ford Alan is the founder of Alan Ford Architects, as well as a published author. He has served on the editorial board of the award-winning AIA magazine, Architect Colorado, and as an honorarium professor and guest critic at the University of Colorado, School of Architecture. Alan is a former member of the national AIA Soloso (now Architect’s Knowledge Resource) Editorial Content Review Board and former subject matter expert for the website’s design content. Alan has a Bachelor of Environmental Design and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado.
Curtis Fentriss Curtis is the president, CEO and principal-in-charge of design at Fentriss Architects. In 2010, the American Institute of Architects honored him with the highest award for public architecture, the Thomas Jefferson Award, recognizing “a portfolio of accomplishments that evidences great depth while making a significant contribution to the quality of public architecture.” That same year, Curtis was also awarded the highest honor from the AIA Western Mountain Region, the Silver Medal. He was inducted into the AIA College of Fellows in 1996, and is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Tania Salgado Tania is one of the founding principals of Handprint Architecture, a design firm centered in craft, collaboration and community. She has served as the president of AIA Denver’s Board of Directors, and currently serves on Denver’s Lower Downtown Design Review Board and sits on the Society of College and University Planning Regional Council. In 2013, Tania was awarded the Medal of Achievement, the highest individual honor recognized by AIA Denver, and was additionally awarded the AIA National Young Architect of the Year award after receiving this from both Denver and the Western Mountain Region AIA Chapters. Tania received her Master of Architecture from the University of New Mexico.
David Tryba David is the founding principal of Tryba Architects, an architecture and urban design firm committed to design excellence. David received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Colorado for significant transformation of Denver’s urban form in 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and he was selected as AIA Colorado’s 2013 Architect of the Year in recognition of his outstanding achievement. David earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design and his Master of Architecture with honors from the University of Colorado, Boulder and Denver campuses respectively.
Brad Tomecek Brad is the founder of Tomecek Studio Architecture, and combines practice with intermittent teaching at the University of Colorado. His work has been recognized in publications like Architectural Record, Architect, and Builder Magazine, as well as international books and local magazines. He has received recognition at the state, regional, and national levels, culminating with the AIA National Young Architect Award. Brad graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Design and Masters of Architecture, and he serves on the AIA Denver Board of Directors.
Dennis Humphries Dennis has been a principal at Humphries Poli Architects since 1994. He has been practicing architecture for over 40 years, and has been principal in charge for over 80 public library projects, completing more public library work than any other architect in Colorado. Dennis has a long list of community involvement, including serving as past president of the Denver Architectural Foundation, and he was recognized as the 2013 recipient of the James S. Sudler, AIA Award for his contributions to Denver architecture. Dennis received both his B.Arch and M.Arch with High Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jim Johnson Jim founded the firm as JG Johnson Architects in 1993, later reformed as Johnson Nathan Strohe. JNS specializes in hospitality and multi-family housing design, offering both architecture and interior design services. Jim has completed the design of over 65 hotels and over 5,100 urban-infill, multi-family units. His design philosophy is that architecture and interior design are a combination of pragmatism and beauty tailored to its specific context and program. He received his Bachelor of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder, and his Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado Denver.
Marc Applebaum Marc has designed a wide variety of award-winning projects over a span of more than 40 years. Prior to founding his self-titled firm, he was the design principal with Semple Brown Design, where he designed such notable projects as the Revitalization of Larimer Square project, The Denver School of the Arts, and the Pura Vida Fitness Club. Marc has drawn the house sketches for the Park Hill House Tour for over 25 years. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, holding a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in architecture and urban design.