The layout and flow of an office or retail space has a direct influence on both the client and employee experience, which helps elevate a brand, entice new customers, and motivate company staff. This can be achieved with the help of an architect, who creates a unique, interactive space while considering the purpose of the building and considering the client’s requirements.
The list below describes the best commercial architects in St. Louis, Missouri, selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. Industry awards, client reviews, and press features were also considered. The below article also examines the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.
2823 Olive St., St. Louis, MO 63103
JEMA sets the bar for quality architecture, interior design, urban planning, construction, and graphics that have won awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The firm shapes spaces that benefit people and their communities. John Mueller established JEMA after more than two decades working in New York City with the firms HOK and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, and in St. Louis with Arcturis. He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and a member of the AIA. As a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, John leads JEMA in building socially and environmentally responsible structures.
The firm has earned awards from the AIA St. Louis Chapter, the St. Louis Business Journal, and the DesignSTL Magazine for its impressive portfolio of projects, which includes Rockwell Beer Company. Visitors enter the brewery under a cantilevered lightbox container, supported by the crane, and through a ground level container inserted into the existing building. The kitchen is in a shipping container that connects the street through the building wall and into the tasting room. Large openings are inserted into the façade as well as between the tasting room and the brewery to maximize natural light and connect views from the landscape through to the stainless brewing tanks. Reclaimed white oak forms the ceiling that directs visitors to the bar, the kitchen, and out to the patio, where it provides additional shade. The white oak is sourced from the scraps of the manufacturing of the brewery’s wooden fermentation tanks called foeder barrels.
100 N. Broadway Ste. 1800, Saint Louis, MO 63102, US
Trivers specializes in architecture, planning, urban design, and interior design tailored to its clients’ needs and goals. It has built a solid reputation for its capabilities in historic renovation and new construction of higher education, government, housing, and treatment center facilities. All of the company’s work and research strive to achieve a sense of well-being and positivity under the direction of Joe Brinkmann. As someone who began his career designing passive solar homes, Joe has also demonstrated a career-long commitment. His in-depth experience encompasses higher education and civic projects, contributing to the growth of the firm’s practice.
One of Trivers’s most prominent commissions is the Westin Hotel at Cupples Station. Once a complex turn-of-the-century warehouse complex, this series of four buildings was renovated as a portion of the Cupples Station Historic District. A modern bridge connects the four buildings and provides circulation for the 255-room Westin Hotel. The warehouse complex was also converted to provide contemporary meeting spaces, a ballroom, executive lounge, entry motor-court, restaurant, and health center.
4168 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63110
When the architect is also the builder, the project becomes simple. Founded in 2005, St. Louis-based SPACE aims to do that—simplify clients’ projects by taking care of clients’ design and construction needs. A professional architecture and commercial construction firm, SPACE has executed hundreds of projects and gained a strong reputation throughout the years. The SPACE team is also made up of licensed architects with Tom Niemeier at the helm. Tom, the firm’s owner, brings 30 years of experience to the table. As a member of the AIA, he ensures that SPACE produces work that aligns with the standards of the organization.
The firm converted this church-turned-theater into a multidisciplinary venue for community dance troupes, music groups, and theater ensembles to practice and perform in, and to serve as the new home for The Dark Room, a restaurant, gallery, and live music space. A stone load-bearing wall was removed to accommodate the kitchen, and a small stage was installed, along with a large bar. The bar is open on four sides, and the east-facing side is oriented to serve guests who are heading to the main theater. Steel panels created the gallery for photography exhibitions.
V Three Studios, LLC
2717 Sutton Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63143
V Three Studios (V3) is well-known for its integrated practice of architectural design, and media and communication. The firm approaches architecture with a sense of environmental and civic awareness while considering cost and aesthetics. It has been honored with Interior Design Excellence Awards and Merit Awards from AIA St. Louis. Principals Kurt and Steve Kerns maintain solid ties between V3 and the Hometown Chamber of Commerce. In Kurt’s 25-year career, he has won the St. Louis Business Journal‘s “40 under 40” and “Who’s Who in Technology” awards. Steve, on the other hand, draws on two decades of project management experience. In addition to design, he is adept in code analysis, documentation, materials specification, and construction administration. Their efforts have resulted in the Sugarfire Smoke House in St. Louis, Missouri.
V3 included rustic, raw materials in the design to translate Sugarfire’s southern roadhouse feel. Low walls covered with reclaimed wood and corrugated metal siding featuring a hand-painted logo create a comfortable yet urban space for diners to enjoy. To compensate for the generous volume offered by the 18-foot ceilings in the 100-capacity dining space, V3 combined track lighting mounted 12 feet above the floor with additional accent lights to break up the space and create a unique guest experience.
Anthony Duncan Architect LLC
4527 Virginia Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111
Originally built in 1920, the historic Nash Building has been completely renovated by Anthony Duncan Architect LLC (AD:ARCH) to accommodate 17 luxury apartments and five commercial spaces. New windows were cut where they once were and the brick was tuck-pointed. Along Locust, the terracotta facade was restored to a fine white look. The glass block windows were removed in favor of normal glass. All units feature 12-foot high ceilings, exposed brick walls, a designer kitchen with black stainless appliances, custom cabinets, and quartz countertops. This structure is part of a distinguished portfolio of work that has earned the firm the title of 2018 St. Louis City Business of the Year.
The firm’s goal is to offer its clients creative, functional designs that enhance the vision and goals of the client. Anthony Duncan founded AD:ARCH in 2006, bringing with him over 20 years of project experience in the residential, corporate, retail, and government sectors. Tony has extensive experience renovating historic structures for which his company has won several historical preservation awards. The AIA member has a passion for modern architecture as well and has gained an ability to expertly move between styles as the need arises. He and his team at AD:ARCH guide their clients through the process from design to construction.
Bond Architects Inc.
222 South Central Ave., Ste. 501, St. Louis, MO 63105
Bestowed with awards from the International Interior Design Association, Bond Architects provides architecture, interior design, and planning services to educational, municipal, and commercial clients. The Certified Women’s Business Enterprise has established a reputation for developing sustainable solutions that support communities. Regardless of project size or complexity, the firm places a high value on being sensitive to its clients’ cultural, environmental, and economic demands. Principals Art Bond and Susan Pruchnicki are active members of the AIA, with Susan having been elevated to the College of Fellows. Thanks to its successful and vast portfolio, the firm has had several repeat customers who are loyal to the firm and its work.
One of Bond Architects’s most notable projects is the Summit’s office complex. Its open, clean design was inspired by mid-20th century modern architecture. The crescent-shaped office facility features a curved wall of non-reflective glass which saturates the office space with natural light. The interior space plan takes advantage of the building’s strong geometric shape and natural lighting by maximizing views for the entire floor.
319 N. 4th St., Ste. 1000, St. Louis, MO 63102
Lawrence Group is an architectural firm driven by its mission to realize its clients’ dreams. Its core competencies encompasses interior design, master planning, landscape architecture, and furniture procurement. CEO Steve Smith is actively involved in all projects at Lawrence Group, ensuring each project is developed to meet his clients’ visions and programming needs. He ensures that the firm’s valued clients receive high quality, creative, professional design services. He provides exceptional personal service that has resulted in a long list of repeat clients.
Lodging Hospitality Management collaborated with Lawrence Group to create the Train Shed dining experience. The restaurant is decorated with era-inspired materials and custom built-in components that complement the building’s original concrete floors and waffle slab ceiling. A large ribbon media panel spanning the length of the bar adds a modern touch to the space. Tufted Wrap-around booths, a community style table, bar seating, and two private dining rooms make up the establishment’s diners. Customizable lighting, acoustics and operable glass partitions allow the restaurant to transition from casual lunches to upscale dining.
319 N. 4th St., Ste. 1000, St. Louis, MO 63102
Initially an interior design firm, Arcturis has evolved into a multidisciplinary studio of architects, graphic designers, interior designers, landscape architects, planners, and strategists. An innovative and collaborative spirit is weaved into the studio’s operations, an effective process grounded in relationship-driven and client-oriented service. One of Arcturis’s key goals is to elevate its community through long-standing buildings in the education, corporate, healthcare, retail, and hospitality markets.
CEO Traci O’Bryan ensures this goal is achieved by overseeing the development and management of the firm’s long-term strategy and next generation of leaders. She serves on the boards of the Regional Business Council, The Greater STL Investors Advisory Board, and the United Way of Greater St. Louis. She lends her knowledge of project management to Arcturis’s collection of commercial facilities.
Aside from designing Spire’s new headquarters, Arcturis developed new workplace standards and helped educate Spire’s staff about the changes and new way of working. The LEED-Gold certified space consists of office space, a showcase kitchen, multipurpose room, a work café, coffee bars on each floor, catering kitchen, gas control room, executive offices, and a variety of collaborative spaces.
4501 Lindell Blvd., Ste. 1A, St. Louis, MO 63108
Learning lifestyles, listening to people, and proposing solutions is how CORE10 Architecture finishes each project with integrity. It does not favor any style but instead finds the relation that each client brings to a project to define a distinct design language. Through this customization, every home has its own unique identity allowing its occupants to feel like it is an architectural interpretation of themselves. Comprising a staff of accredited and licensed professionals, the firm provides a full range of design and planning services to assist clients.
Principal Tyler Stephens leads the design process to create dynamic solutions uniquely catering to clients’ vision. He is an expert in master planning, housing, commercial buildings, banks, and mixed-use urban projects. Tyler builds on CORE10’s prowess in commercial design, resulting in the Phase 1 development of the M1 Bank headquarters.
Exposing the beautiful steel trusses supporting an arched wooden roof instantly opened up the previous maze of small offices. Knowing that M1 Bank is a generous supporter of the local community and that they desire to host philanthropic functions, the team designed this space as a stunning banquet center attached to a new outdoor courtyard carved into the building.
Gray Design Group
9 Sunnen Dr., Ste. 110, Saint Louis, MO 63143
For 39 years, Gray Design Group has produced work defined by elegant architecture and interior design. Spanning every scale and scope, the firm’s commercial projects are the result of a considered investigation into the social and environmental context, as well as a careful understanding of the client’s ambitions. In the last three decades, Gray Design Group’s president, Lorrie Kramer, has guided designs ranging from corporate, civic, and historic buildings, to housing, industrial, and places of worship. Under Lorrie’s leadership, the firm has garnered prestigious awards from the Building Owners and Managers Association, the City of St. Louis Planning Commission, and the AIA.
Gray Design Group embraces architecture that brings a community together and creates something distinctive for modern urban living. Professionally inclined to forward-thinking designs, the firm took on the challenge of designing the Courtyard by Marriott. This four-story hotel offers 118 rooms with comfortable spaces for both relaxation and work. It is perfect for business groups and family travel, with four meeting rooms totaling 1,239 square feet of space and amenities that include the Bistro, fitness center, heated outdoor swimming pool, an oversized patio area with a fire pit, and free high-speed Wi-fi and parking.
Srote & Co Architects
2900 S. Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, MO 63144
As a full-service firm, Srote & Co goes beyond creating artistic structures by ensuring the space is functional and sustainable. It caters to its clientele by designing within the client’s budget while considering operating costs throughout the building’s life cycle. Internationally recognized, the firm has produced award-winning restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and workplaces throughout the years. Schematic designs provided by the firm enable clients to implement personal preferences for the project.
Principal Robert Strote views every project as an opportunity to enhance the lives of his clients and the built environment while remaining in harmony with the natural landscape. He opened Residential Masterworks, a studio to further develop and carry out this mission, and in 2012, formed Srote & Co Architects Planners Interiors. Today Srote & Co Architects is a multi-disciplinary firm with residential architecture and commercial architecture divisions, a structural engineering division, and an interior design division.
The firm has been the architect for Shop ‘n Save Supermarkets for 30 years and has designed and remodeled every store in the chain throughout Missouri and Illinois. The grocery stores are distinguished by their large storefront windows under the eye-catching Shop ’n Save logo. Each location contains shelving and storage for produce and dairy, meats, and pallets of drinks and other goods.
4565 McRee Ave., Ste. 100, St. Louis, MO 63110
With expertise in architecture and engineering, HDA Architects partners with clients in shaping budget- and schedule-sensitive commercial, educational, and municipal buildings, and places of worship. The firm develops custom-tailored design solutions and champions personalized service throughout the process, which has garnered accolades from the Arizona Masonry Council. Grounded in collaboration, the HDA team works with the clients’ ideas and takes inspiration from the site characteristics and context of each project.
Pete Barker and Bruce Scott are the driving force of leadership and design within the firm. Pete’s 30-year career has focused on the construction and renovation of numerous K-12 educational projects. He serves on the Tempe/Kyrene Business Advisory Council and aligns HDA’s practice with the council’s ethos of bridging business and education to achieve community goals through the manipulation of the built environment. Bruce has also expanded HDA’s education design specialty to accommodate civic and commercial clients.
An outstanding representative of its long portfolio of commercial projects is the Dave Mungenast Lexus of St. Louis. The 70,000-square-foot dealership is the first car dealership facility in Missouri that follows LEED guidelines. The Lexus branding is translated through the fluted facade and prominent signage. The most notable visual aspect of the two-story dealership is the glass-encased showroom running the length of the building.
Killeen Studio Architects
3015 Salena St., Saint Louis, MO 63118
Killeen Studio Architects has been recognized in the industry for over 21 years, confirming its position as a leading architectural and interior design firm. Headed by Mike Killeen, the studio stands out with its ability to leverage advanced technology to enhance the design process. Mike is currently serving his second term as vice president of the Benton Park Neighborhood Association. He is a board member of the City of St. Louis Preservation Board, a member of Missouri Historic Preservation Alliance, and chairman of the 2010 Missouri State Historic Preservation Conference. As a steward of the community, he is accustomed to working with owners, developers, and business owners. Mike and his team walk clients through design all the way to construction.
Killeen Studio designed the conversion of this abandoned warehouse into a special event facility with float away doors and vaulted ceilings. The team also added a large patio area, conference rooms, and a kitchen.
600 Emerson Rd., Suite 401, St. Louis, MO 63141
Since its founding in 2004, Vessel Architecture has designed buildings and built friendships. From concept through completion, it provides comprehensive architectural services for Senior Living, Church, Workplace, Retail, and Residential clients. Its strength is creativity, and it expresses that through collaborative problem-solving.
Founded by AIA members Brian Van Winkle and Peter Schwartz in 2004, Vessel Architecture uses its creativity and collaborative problem-solving to design buildings that serve communities. The firm quickly established its reputation as a team of locally influential designers, garnering awards from the International Interior Design Association. After 17 years, Vessel’s reputation as an innovator in contextual, site-appropriate urban architecture has expanded to the rest of the US, with projects ranging from senior living and multifamily facilities, offices, retail, adaptive reuse, and beverage distribution centers. At its core, Vessel Architecture remains anchored on the value of its people.
The firm is responsible for the design of the Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. The original structure is load bearing brick masonry with steel columns and beams. The team removed a portion of the concrete masonry wall to create a covered exterior terrace where large storefront openings provide views to the fermentation tanks inside. To further intertwine the public experience with the beer-making process, the stainless steel brewing equipment and tanks serve as the backdrop to the bar, letting patrons experience the beginning and end of the process from one spot.
200 N. Broadway, Suite 1000, St. Louis, MO 63102
PGAV has dedicated itself to bringing its clients’ ideals to life using creative and technological innovation for more than 50 years. Principal Mike Schaadt has cultivated a studio culture where master planning, architecture, exhibit design, interior design, graphics, theming, landscape architecture, and industrial design are all combined to create incredibly immersive settings. The firm is rooted in customer service and fueled by the desire to transform life’s wonderful experiences into successful workplaces. PGAV has been recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal for its work on corporations, colleges, universities, theme parks, zoos, museums and governments.
The firm completed the Ameristar Casino Resort and Spa, which elevated the St. Charles property as an entertainment destination along the Missouri River. Overlooking the River and the City of St. Charles, the hotel has over 400 rooms on 25 floors and features stepped floors, a presidential suite, spa suites and a variety of other amenities.