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The Best Architectural Firms in Minnesota

9 Min Read

Minnesota, a state of dynamic contrasts, is a canvas where urban sophistication meets natural splendor. From the vibrant cultural scene in Minneapolis to the serene lakeshores that dot the landscape, Minnesota embodies a harmonious blend of tradition and originality.

For those seeking architectural excellence in this diverse state, our curated list presents the premier architectural firms to consider. These firms have been meticulously selected based on their portfolios, industry renown, affiliations, and media recognition. Embracing a holistic approach, these firms create spaces that harmonize with the environment and elevate the human experience. Each project showcases the marriage of creativity and functionality from cutting-edge urban designs to sensitive historic restorations.

Snow Kreilich Architects

219 North Second St Ste 120, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Snow Kreilich Architects, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, garners national acclaim for its exceptional architectural design. Established in 1995 by Julie Snow, the studio, formerly Julie Snow Architects, focuses on achieving multifaceted design success. This approach consistently leads to accolades for projects marked by rigorous and original design exploration. 

Snow Kreilich Architects emphasizes continuous design evolution and detailing, utilizing physical and digital models, full-scale mock-ups, and comprehensive documentation. The studio’s offerings include interior design, custom furnishings, and specifications. Collaborative partnerships with specialized designers and engineers enable the execution of intricate projects with precision.

The firm earned the esteemed 2022 American Architecture Award and maintains affiliations with the American Institute of Architects and the International Living Future Institute. Featured in publications such as Finance & Commerce and Hospitality Design, the studio’s co-principals, Julie Snow and Matthew Kreilich, both AIA Fellows, lead the creative journey. Julie Snow has a distinguished teaching career and recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Matthew Kreilich’s extensive design and teaching background includes the AIA National Young Architect Award and the Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Business Journal’s 40 under 40 distinction.

MSR Design

510 Marquette Ave S Ste 200, Minneapolis, MN 55402

MSR Design, a seasoned architectural and interior design firm established in 1981, specializes in crafting transformative, human-centric, and award-winning spaces. Its dedication to creating enduring structures harmonizing with their surroundings is central to its ethos. The firm approaches every project with adaptability, resulting in a diverse portfolio of sustainable, equitable, and visually captivating endeavors.

From its inception, MSR Design, founded by Thomas Meyer, FAIA, Jeffrey Scherer, FAIA, and Garth Rockcastle, FAIA, aimed to pioneer original, responsible, and lasting designs. Today, the studio’s commitment to evolution persists. Current firm leaders carry their values while infusing fresh energy, ideas, and expertise to address intricate challenges in built and natural environments, serving its clients and communities.

Awards such as the AIA Minnesota Honor Awards underscore MSR Design’s achievements. It is also affiliated with the American Institute of Architects and has garnered recognition in reputable sources like Star Tribune and Architect Magazine.


124 Third Ave N Ste 301, Minneapolis, MN 55401

VJAA, a collaborative design studio, is deeply committed to design excellence, crafting architecture that thoughtfully engages with social, cultural, and environmental concerns. Employing a research-based approach, it continuously reevaluates building fundamentals, program, site, materials, and structure. The practice consistently delivers original design and thoughtful solutions regardless of project scale or budget. Sustainability and material craftsmanship are ingrained in its ethos.

Notably, VJAA earned the prestigious 2012 American Institute of Architects Firm Award. Across its journey, the firm garnered 23 national design accolades, including six National AIA Honor Awards, six Progressive Architecture Awards, and two AIA/Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Building Awards. In 2010, Architect Magazine ranked VJAA as the top U.S. firm for design recognition and sixth globally, spotlighting its sustainability initiatives. Further acclaim includes the 2001 Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

VJAA’s work has graced esteemed publications like Architectural Record, The New York Times, and international magazines and books. Notably, Princeton Architectural Press published a monograph dedicated to VJAA’s work.


333 Washington Ave N Ste 210, Minneapolis, MN 55401

At DJR Architecture, collaboration is at the core of its approach, enabling the firm to conceive original solutions and bring forth successful client projects. Its spectrum of services covers architectural and interior design, guiding projects seamlessly through the pre-development, planning, design, bidding, and construction phases. Over the last decade, the firm’s focus on specialized pre-development services has propelled it to the forefront, establishing it as a leader in development planning.

Adapting to industry evolution, DJR Architecture stays abreast of emerging trends in the building sector. Being a part of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), their team has several LEED Accredited Professionals, catering to clients keen on sustainable and high-performance design. Its design professionals, dedicated and adept, channel their efforts toward the triumph of each project. DJR’s project teams, under the supervision of project managers and architects, ensure design coherence and seamless coordination among disciplines.

Christopher Strom Architects

3308 Gorham Ave, St. Louis Park, MN 55426

Christopher Strom Architects is driven by a commitment to weave thoughtful, inspired architecture into the fabric of daily life. The company focuses on translating the family’s aspirations, hopes, and ideas into a distinctive architectural language that shapes their home, lakefront retreat, or accessory dwelling unit. 

Regarding accolades, in 2023, the firm achieved the prestigious Home of the Month recognition from the Star Tribune and is the only firm to have been selected for the last nine consecutive years as a Home of the Month on the print edition of Dwell. Additionally, affiliations include membership in the esteemed American Institute of Architects. The company’s work has also gained recognition through features in prominent publications such as Midwest Home Magazine and Lake Society Magazine.

Christopher Strom is the principal architect, bringing extensive expertise cultivated through academic pursuits at St. Olaf College in Studio Art and the University of California – Berkeley, where he earned his Master of Architecture degree. His accomplishments include the AIA-Minnesota Young Architect Award, underscoring his dedication and originality in the field.

ALTUS Architecture + Design

945 Broadway St NE Ste 240, Minneapolis, MN 55413 USA

ALTUS Architecture + Design, headquartered in Excelsior, Minnesota, specializes in comprehensive architecture and interior design services. The firm crafts living spaces that harmonize with their surroundings and embody the client’s essence.

In today’s era marked by evolving Modernism, advancing technology, and burgeoning eco-friendly design, ALTUS adheres to the idea that understanding the enduring aspects of great architecture is crucial. The firm nurtures these aspects to create design integrity that evolves and flourishes, resulting in distinctive, project-specific solutions. The showcased residence in this publication exemplifies this philosophy, epitomizing forward-thinking contextualism that celebrates individuality while evoking intangible experiential elements.

ALTUS Architecture + Design has garnered recognition in the industry, with prestigious awards such as the 100 Best Wood Architecture Projects by ArchDaily in 2020 and 2019. The firm is also affiliated with the American Institute of Architects and has been featured in renowned outlets like ArchDaily and the Gallery of 50. Principal architect Tim Alt, the owner, leads the firm’s commitment to delivering exceptional design solutions that seamlessly blend with the environment and reflect the essence of each project.

SALA Architects

326 E Hennepin Ave Ste 200, Minneapolis, MN 55414

SALA Architects’ philosophy revolves around recognizing the positive impact of quality architecture on people’s lives, communities, and the planet. Its approach places sustainability at its core, seamlessly blending aesthetics and functionality to create a harmonious coexistence with the environment. In pursuing this vision, the firm comprehensively assesses its clients’ needs. It then implements a spectrum of solutions that enhance energy efficiency, minimize resource consumption, and elevate the client’s overall well-being and surroundings.

SALA’s dedication to excellence has been recognized through accolades such as the 2023 HOTM Award. As a member of the American Institute of Architects, it remains deeply committed to advancing the art and science of architecture. The company’s work is highlighted in RD Architects and Midwest Home Magazine and is a testament to its principles. Guided by architects of distinction, Eric Odor and Paul Hannan, the team draws from diverse academic backgrounds to craft spaces that resonate with purpose and creativity.

TEA2 Architects

2724 43rd St W, Minneapolis, MN 55410

TEA2 Architects, situated in historic Fire Station 28 within the vibrant Linden Hills neighborhood of southwest Minneapolis, is a residential architecture firm. A successor to TEA, one of Minnesota’s oldest and most seasoned residential firms, it continues a tradition dating back 40 years, dedicated to crafting custom homes and renovations.

In 2018, TEA2 was honored with the Home of the Month Award by AIA Minnesota/Star Tribune. It is also affiliated with the American Institute of Architects, a testament to its commitment to architectural excellence, with its work having been featured in press articles, including the Inspired By Marvin: Case Study and coverage in StarTribune’s “Homes” section.

Leadership is overseen by Dan Nepp, a University of Minnesota Architecture alumnus, recognized with the Ralph Rapson Traveling Fellowship from the Minnesota Architectural Foundation and hailed as Architect of Distinction by AIA Minnesota and Midwest Home Magazine. Leffert Tigelaar serves as associate principal, contributing to the company’s legacy of originality and quality.