River Studio Architects


Designing a building is part of the process, but what we really do is create places for people to connect with. We believe successful architecture is created through a partnership between the owner, the architect, the builder and the community. We believe it is this process of collaboration that makes a building a true “place” that connects it with the life of the community.


Combining real-world knowledge and experienced intuition, River Studio Architects is one of the premier Denver architects that specializes in urban infill, multi-family, residential, historic preservation and mountain architecture. With over $300 million in completed projects our in-house capabilities include master-planning, urban design, full-service architectural, interior design and space planning. We have produced projects throughout Colorado, as well as Wyoming, Arizona, Michigan, Massachusetts, and New York.


The breadth of work produced at River Studio ranges from private residences to urban lofts, from coffee shops to casino-hotels, contemporary architecture as well as historic preservation. Our portfolio reflects the diversity of our practice and demonstrates our ability to adapt our knowledge and experience to a wide variety of clients, building types, and site conditions. River Studio Architects are denver architects that create memorable places to live, work and play.

Bob Schnautz

Founding Principal

Bob Schnautz brings to this team the special talents of a rigorous working method, which he has evolved over the past three decades of his career in architecture, planning and development as a Denver architect. His facility in working with complex design and programmatic requirements, community review boards, and building codes has produced many notable and award winning projects. His leadership in the early stages of design, and continued involvement throughout the project has enhanced his success in completing challenging projects in sensitive community contexts.

  • Architectural Design
  • Community Planning
  • Project Management
  • Sustainable Design
  • Historic Preservation
  • Lead Coffee Maker
Cups of Coffee
CAD Files
Ground Breakings
Satisfied Clients

As one of the leading Denver architects, we pride ourselves in delivering an extra effort to our clients by approaching new projects with a fresh perspective, diligent research, alternative design solutions and timely production of documents.

  • We have expertise in both large and small-scale projects in virtually all building types from restaurants to recreation; contemporary architecture as well as traditional neighborhood development.
  • We excel at both new construction and historic renovation, and have learned from both. Our firm has extensive & award-winning experience in creating projects that respond to both owner and community concerns, each one unique, and each one built within the cost and time constraints of a rapidly changing marketplace.
  • We incorporate thoughtful and sustainable approaches to the built environment as an integral part of the design process. Our experience in addressing sustainability began with passive solar and wind energy grant projects in the 1970’s, and continues through the renovation/recycling of existing buildings, integrating site planning with energy & daylighting strategies, and application of Built Green/Energy Star/LEED standards. We believe that intelligent design can orchestrate the wise use of energy & natural resources to create healthy & productive environments for living, working and play.
  • The combination of senior level experience and technical support staff we offer is geared toward a delivery system for maximizing opportunities: Creative/Responsive Design, Technical Excellence and Quality Assurance.
  • In addition, the management and methodology for executing the project is structured to emphasize our dedication to the “hands-on” personal involvement of the principal.

"Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design."

Charles Eames

"Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union."

Frank Lloyd Wright


2017 Mayor’s Design Award

The Mayor’s Design Awards honor bold, creative projects throughout the city for excellence in exterior design, architecture and place-making. The awards are intended to encourage thoughtful, sustainable development and use of public spaces that transform the ordinary into extraordinary, enhance our community, and encourage engagement in it with a nod to the past and an eye on the future.

Selected from the largest-ever pool of nominees, the 2017 winners exemplify the best Denver has to offer. Among them are projects that brighten streets and neighborhoods, projects that showcase Denver’s growth and vibrant economy, and projects that address the challenges we face as a community. The Mayor’s Design Awards celebrate those who brought these projects to life-from the property owners and developers committed to investing in our great city to the architects, designers, artists and builders whose creativity and effort are changing our urban landscape for the better.

The awards were broken into the following categories:

  • Active Spaces: Projects or events that activate public spaces in a way that creates interaction, discourse and community.
  • Density By Design: Multi-family and mixed-use developments.
  • Neighborhood Gem: Projects that exemplify the unique character of their neighborhoods and are recognized by the community as local treasures.
  • Back to the Future: Projects that involved the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.
  • This Is Home: Single-family projects.
  • Art All Around: Projects that involve murals, sculpture and other forms of art in the public realm.
  • Distinctive Denver: Projects with unique features or elements that set them apart from similar structures, uses and building forms.


You can read more about the 2017 recipients at  Colorado Homes and Lifestyles.


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Inside Denver’s Coolest New Co-Working Space :: From 5280 Magazine

Shift Workspaces’ second outpost is full of unique design details and amenities to wow the shared-office crowd.

Original art, a massage center, a rooftop deck, an open bar…you might rightly ask how anyone gets anything done in such an environment. But designing offices to feel a little less like work is the intent of real estate developer Grant Barnhill, whose adventures in co-working began when he found himself with extra space to rent in one of his office buildings in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood a few years back.

You can read the rest of the feature article at 5280.


River Studio Architects


2546 15th Street | Suite 200

Denver, CO  80211


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