Kansas City is one of the most diverse cities in Missouri. More than 25,000,000 people visit the city thanks to its vibrant creative community, thriving music scene, and rich history. Tourism brings $5.6 billion into the city every year. Thanks to its affordability, it is also one of the Best Places to Live according to U.S. News. If you are interested in starting a retail business in Kansas City, the list below showcases the best retail architects working in the area. These firms were selected for their experience, backgrounds, and portfolios. Our editorial team also considered the various awards and recognitions the firms received from industry institutions and publications.
4200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64111
Multistudio, a firm that has designed and delivered retail projects since 1974, has expanded into five locations, including Lawrence, New Orleans, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Since the firm’s founding, it has been known for its work on architecture, city design, and education design—work that perfectly suited the projects’ respective communities.
The Harvest Dispensaries is one of Multistudio’s most prominent retail projects. The “House of Cannabis” has the approachability of a home and was meant to reflect the brand’s desire to engage customers in conversations with the budtenders. Using home-framed structures and home-scaled displays, Multistudio worked closely with Harvest to elevate the customer experience with a product that is slowly being legalized all around the country. The collaboration also produced a retail planning and design playbook that will allow other Harvest locations to have the same design and interior elements and provide flexible room for growth.
The company’s captivating work has garnered several awards in various categories, including the American Institute of Architect (AIA) Central States Design Excellence Citation Award, the Graphic Design USA (GDUSA)’s Environmental Graphic Design Award, and the Silver Award for Interior Design from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Mid‑America Chapter. The firm’s work has also appeared in several online publications, including the Architect Magazine, Archinect, and the Kansas City Business Journal.
International Architects Atelier
912 Broadway Boulevard, Suite 300, Kansas City, MO 64105
International Architects Atelier (IAA) delivers services for retail, commercial, and mixed-use architecture in Western Missouri. The firm was named on the 2019 list of Top Retail Design Firms and has appeared in Kansas City Star, Architizer, Interior Design, and Modern Builder. IAA was founded by Elizabeth Amirahmadi and Majid Amirahmadi—both AIA-accredited architects and graduates of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in Master of Architecture. Elizabeth has served on the board of the Kansas City Municipal Art Commission for a decade and has designed award-winning projects including higher education, corporate, and cultural centers.
Featured is the Roasterie Factory Café, completed in 2012. The 7,700-square-foot business is an adaptive reuse renovation and addition project located on an industrial strip. With close collaboration between the Roasterie owner and the IAA team of designers and engineers, the Kansas city-based coffee company was able to incorporate a unique exterior decor into the final design: an 18,300-pound DC-3 airplane taking off from the roof. Several features were also added to the cafe, including an outdoor cafe, an event space, and a barista bar. After its completion, the design won several accolades, including the AIA Central States Citation Award for Adaptive Reuse, the AIA Kansas City Design Citation Award, the Kansas City Business Journal Capstone Award for Mixed-use, and the Kansas City Industrial Council Brick-by-Brick Award.
BRR Architecture Incorporated
8131 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS 66204
BRR Architecture Incorporated is a full-service architectural firm that offers services in design, including interior design, virtual reality, and code services. Its commitment to innovative design has brought the firm notable clients like Walmart and Whole Foods. It’s also won a number of awards, including being named the No. 1 Retail Design Firm by Architectural Record from 2013 to 2015 and the 2010 Retail Store of the Year from Cosentino’s Downtown Market Chain Store Age. The firm’s projects have also been featured in several publications, including Architect Magazine, Retail Construction Magazine, Arizona Business Magazine, and Midwest CJ Magazine.
Established in 1963, BRR is currently led by its first female president and CEO, Mariah Meyer, AIA. Prior to joining BRR in 2010 and being named principal in 2017, Meyer had been working in the retail and hospitality industries. Several projects won awards with Meyer’s supervision, and in 2019, she was included in Ingram’s Magazine’s 40 Under 40.
BRR worked on the design of the Children’s Mercy Adele Hall Campus gift shop in Kansas City, which was completed in 2015. The firm was asked to create an innovative design that would give patients and visitors a positive shopping experience. The 3,000-square-foot project is a redesign of the original structure, which was given a suspended oscillating fin ceiling. LED lights were added as fixtures to the design that gave the room a vibrant, eye-catching hue. BRR’s project received the AIA Kansas Merit Award for Excellence in Interior Architecture-Kansas and first place for the City Construction Specifications Institute award for Excellence in Design.
Urban Prairie Architectural Collaborative, P.C.
4523 Mercier Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
The Urban Prairie Architectural Collaborative, founded in 2013, is a design studio that creates residential and commercial projects. It is a member of AIA Kansas City. One of its notable projects is Cellar Rat Wine Merchants located in the Crossroads Art District on Baltimore Avenue in Kansas City. The project preserved the 1900s atmosphere of the interiors using a strategic redesign process. The end result combined authentic materials and modern amenities. Urban Prairie worked with the client to complete the open wine cellar and provide the interior look of Cellar Rat.
Prior to establishing Urban Prairie, Paul Minto, AIA, worked for various firms, including medium-sized and national companies. Minto leads a small group of dedicated architects and designers who work closely with the clients to create the design that will best reflect its products and the brands they build for. Some of the firm’s projects have been featured in Kansas City Spaces, CLADnews, and Home Design Magazine.
600 Broadway Boulevard, Suite 290, Kansas City, MO 64105
Established in 1995, B+A Architecture is an architectural firm that specializes in commercial and residential design and development. The firm’s portfolio showcases the projects it has completed over the years, including multifamily, mixed-use, hospitality, retail, restaurant, custom home building, and the adaptive reuse of historical buildings. The firm also has other in-house services including planning, consulting, entitlement, real-time 3D rendering, building information modeling (BIM), and permitting.
B+A Architecture was founded by Dennis Bradley. He leads a diverse group of professionals whose combined experience and expertise—in close cooperation with the client’s ideas—create innovative design solutions. Bradley has worked on several remarkable projects, including the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge and the Marceline Train Depot at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.
Featured is B+A’s work on the Richline Motors facility on 23rd Street in Independence. The new facility includes a 14,000-square-foot showroom that displays their different lines of wheels and tires. With nine service bays and a public lounge, Richline Motors is able to cater to its customers’ needs without compromising comfort.
iCON Architecture + Fabrication
506 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64106
iCON Architecture + Fabrication is an architecture firm located in Kansas City, Missouri. It serves Western Missouri and specializes in architecture, fabrication, commercial, residential, and hospitality projects. It takes a collaborative and client-oriented approach and has emerged as a leader in the industry. The firm has produced multiple remarkable projects and has been recognized as one of the top 30 interior design firms in Kansas by ReThinking The Future. iCON has also been featured in the Kansas City Business Journal. It is currently led by David Davis. He had over a decade’s worth of experience in the architectural industry prior to establishing iCON in 2006.
iCON worked on the renovation of TIVOL’s flagship store in Kansas City. The idea was to retain TIVOL’s warm and cozy atmosphere while upgrading the lighting and bringing the facilities up to date. The former corner offices were relocated to the back portion of the building, which in turn opened up the showroom to more natural light because the rooms had windows. A new 500-square-foot corner area was also created to showcase the Rolex items over the classic floor-to-ceiling glass wall.