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Overview

When most of us think of Las Vegas, we think of the Strip, that dazzling stretch of lights and glitz and “what happens there stays there” mentalities. We think of casinos so fancy, so huge, that families even take children there to ooh and ahh at the fountains of Bellagio, marvel at the pyramid of the Luxor, or swim in the glistening pools of Mandalay Bay. The architects behind those fancy casinos deserve attention; those are beautiful, functional, and smart buildings. There’s more to Vegas, though, of course, in terms of commercial buildings. Many off-the-Strip buildings are impressive in their own right. Here we name the top 10 commercial architects in Las Vegas, some responsible for some of the glitz of the Strip and others making Vegas beautiful elsewhere. What they have in common is their passion and dedication to creating lasting structures for private and public use that look impressive on the outside and are also highly functional on the inside.

Top Architects

Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects

Architects:
Rick Sellers
Mike Del Gatto

Awards:
NAIOP of Southern Nevada Chapter 2016,
2014 Architecture Firm of the Year Awards,
AIA Nevada Firm of the Year Award in 1999

Address:
8882 Spanish Ridge Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89148

About Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects

Founded in southern Nevada in 1986, Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects has completed a long list of high-profile, beautiful projects in 41 states. Since its establishment, the firm has won over 145 design awards which include the 2019 AIA Western Mountain Region Firm of the Year, the 2018 AIA Nevada Firm of the Year Award, and the 2014 NAIOP Architecture Firm of the Year among many other honors. The firm has also garnered coverage in local press and national publications alike. A shared passion for the profession and a commitment to design excellence—led by Principals Rick Sellers, AIA, and Mike Del Gatto, AIA, LEED AP—allow each staff member to take pride in the work, excel in a culture that fosters strong team spirit, and thrive in a collaborative process that delivers highly functional, sustainable, and appropriate designs. Rick Sellers was named AIA Nevada Young Architect in 1997 and serves on AIA committees such as the Committee for the Environment.

Featured Projects

A commercial space dubbed Lee Canyon is the firm’s most recent work. A 5,000 square foot space, Lee Canyon is a two-story building that includes retail space, restrooms, corporate space, and a catering kitchen on the lower level. A bar and enclosed seating are in the upper level. An outdoor deck provides outdoor seating and a connection to the existing hillside. This project has been featured in Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Sun, and Las Vegas Review Journal.

EV & A

Architects:
Edward Vance

Awards:
AIA Nevada Young Architect Citation,
the AIA Nevada Service Award,
AIA Nevada Silver Medal

Address:
900 South Pavilion Center Drive, Suite 180, Las Vegas, NV 89144

About EV & A

EV&A was founded in Las Vegas to provide a wide range of architectural, planning, and interior design services to the hospitality, commercial, and healthcare markets. The firm’s work has been recognized for design excellence due to the personal involvement of the design principals with each client throughout the entire design process and into construction. A total commitment to the overall project is the hallmark of the firm. Currently, the firm is managed by founding principal and CEO, Edward Vance. He has received the AIA Nevada Young Architect citation, the AIA Nevada Service Award, and the AIA Nevada Silver Medal, which is the top honor an architect can receive. In 2014, Vance received the AIA Regional Silver Medal and was elected to the AIA College of Fellows. He also served a three-year term on the AIA National Board of Directors.

Featured Projects

Las Vegas is known for its casinos, but there are plenty of other high-dollar buildings in town, some of which EV&A can take credit for. EV&A’s projects include the UNLV Tech Park, Arroyo Corporate Center, Ceilos Edge Retail Center, Citibank, Coronado Promenade Center, Desert Art Museum, Dynasty Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Convention Center, World Market Center, and The Crossings Offices. When designing The Desert Art Museum, the firm approached it by considering that the space needed to be a place for local artists to display their work, and it also needed to reflect the desert environment in which it resides. The 10-acre site is in a floodplain, which can be concerning to artists displaying their work. But EV&A designed the new gallery with a perimeter wall that deflects flood waters, providing peace of mind. And the firm collaborated with the Jerde Partnership and JMA Architects on four of the World Market Center’s buildings. Each phase of the project added a new highrise to the complex of interconnected buildings, and each building featured multi-level lobby atriums and showrooms. Building A is 10 stories covering 1.3M square feet, and Building B is 16 stories and 1.6M square feet. Building C — a 2.1M-square-foot project — has 16 stories plus an eight-story, $60M parking center with about 4,200 spaces. For the unbuilt 17-story Building D, consisting of 1M square feet, EVA was the architect of record and collaborated with design architect Jerde.

JVC Architects

Architects:
Jim Van Compernolle

Address:
5385 Cameron St. Suite #15, Las Vegas, NV 89118

About JVC Architects

When Jim Van Compernolle founded JVC Architects in 1991, he had a vision of creating an atelier — or workshop — where every member of his firm could work closely together. Today, the firm does just that. Licensed in Nevada, California, and Arizona, JVC Architects specializes in commercial, religious, institutional, and public work architecture. The firm offers a wide scope of services, including programming, master planning, needs assessment, architectural design, and construction administration. JVC’s goal is to create architecture that inspires and motivates. The firm’s highly qualified team includes accredited professionals in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and members of the Council of Educational Facility Planners.

Featured Projects

The firm’s projects include the Desert Inn Medical Complex, Saffron Restaurant, Paradise Park Recreation Center, and Heritage at Cadence Recreation Center. JVC Architects’ work on the Desert Inn Medical Complex in 1999 is its most notable commercial project. The complex features an 11,500 square foot outpatient surgery center and 4,600 square foot medical offices, additional medical office space, and a state-of-the-art physical therapy facility—all designed by JVC Architects. The building material features rich earth tones that complement the desert environment. This exceptional design earned JVC Architects a 2002 Southwest Contractor Award.

Klai Juba Wald Architects

Architects:
John Klai II
Dan Juba
John Wald

Awards:
AIA Nevada Distinguished Service Award,
AIA Western Mountain Region Silver Medal Award

Address:
4444 West Russell Road, Suite J, Las Vegas, NV 89118

About Klai Juba Wald Architects

Klai Juba Wald is a 25-year old firm that links master planning with conceptual design and architecture. Over the years of designing structures for gaming resorts and hospitality projects, planning, and mixed-use developments, the firm has been recognized for creating a rich portfolio of stunning developments. Collectively, the firm has over 160 years of history witnessing the evolution and reinvention of Las Vegas. The firm has worked on projects like the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Seminole Hard Rock Cafe, and the first-ever LEED Gold Rivers Casino outside Chicago. Currently, the firm is managed by co-founder and principal John Klai II. He has overseen the MGM Grand expansion and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Resorts in Florida. He serves on the Nevada Board of Architecture, and in 2015, was named to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. In 2004, AIA Nevada honored the firm with the Nevada Distinguished Service Award. In 2013, AIA’s Western Mountain Region Council recognized John Klai’s outstanding contributions to the profession and his community with its highest honor, a Silver Medal Award.

Featured Projects

Klai Juba Wald’s projects include The Luxor, the Linq, Planet Hollywood, the Orleans, Four Seasons, Panorama, and Sky in Las Vegas. The firm has also completed work in Florida, Illinois, California, and Maryland. In Las Vegas, Klai Juba Wald stepped in to handle the overhaul of the Aladdin Hotel, a casino that helped shape Strip history since it opened in the 1960s. The project, completed in 2000, focused on a 100,000 square foot casino and 35,000 square foot European gaming salon. After the Aladdin had been transformed into the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in the early 2000s, Klai Juba Wald was commissioned to be the architect of record for the 2007 renovation, a three-year project costing around $217 million. Klai Juba Wald added a new lobby and renovated the casino floor, VIP check-in, retail shops, and the Race and Sports Lounge. A more high-profile project had KJW as the architect of record for one of the Vegas Strip’s most famous destinations, the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The postmodern structure opened in 1999, costing $950 million. The resort’s 9 million square feet are spread over 40 acres that house a 43-story, 3,300 room hotel and 135,000 square foot casino, designed around an aquatic playground theme. Visitors who need a break from gambling can enjoy a 12,000 seat indoor arena that hosts fighting championships, sports tournaments, beauty pageants, and concerts. There’s also a 2,000 seat House of Blues, a 1.6 million gallon Wave Pool, and a 90,000 square-foot shark reef boasting one of North America’s largest shark tanks.

KME Architects

Architects:
Melvin Green
Emanuel Arguelles

Awards:
Las Vegas City council Outstanding Business Owner Award

Address:
5588 South Fort Apache Road, Suite 110, Las Vegas, NV 89148

About KME Architects

Established in 2009, KME Architect is a firm that has been nominated by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce as Best New Small Firm. Since then, its offices have expanded to not just Las Vegas, but also through Atlanta, and even Guam. A diversified firm, KME works in architectural and interior design, as well as in construction administration, landscape architecture, LEED consulting or sustainable design, design-build services, tenant improvements, master planning, and custom home design. Over the years, its reputation has gained it various high-profile clients including the U.S. Airforce, Starbucks, the Mirage Hotel, and McDonald’s. With such clients, it has been featured in APWA Reporter and Preservation and has been recently awarded AIA Nevada’s 2019 Honor Award. Aside from being an award-winning group, KME Architects is also known for providing environmentally friendly and eco-conscious design services. Currently, the firm is managed by principals Emanuele Arguelles and Melvin Green: they both have many years of experience in the architecture industry.

Featured Projects

The firm’s restoration of West Side School is an impressive display of talent and community vision. The City of Las Vegas chose KME Architects to do the master design for the school, and the firm began by engaging the community to assess their needs. The finished product now holds a LEED Gold certification and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1923, West Side was Las Vegas’s first grammar school and the state’s first public school to admit African American students. The $12.5 million restoration project, which took seven years to complete, had KME Architects handling the architecture, interior design, civil and structural engineering, and historic architectural consulting to restore the 1948 Annex building, original courtyard, and grounds. Although the school closed in the 1960s, the building is now home to a radio station and nonprofit tech company. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the state’s Historic Property Register.

PUNCH Architecture

Address:
4425 Wagon Trail Avenue, Las Vegas, NV, 89118

About PUNCH Architecture

An architecture and design firm known for its international reputation, PUNCH Architecture creates spaces that are site-specific to the client and their brand while still keeping an eye on the structure’s environmental effects. Over the years the firm has built a portfolio of stunning commercial and residential projects that have won it several awards including the 2020 City of Las Vegas Mayors Urban Design Art Award (MUDA), the 2019 AIA Western Mountain Region Awards (WMRA), and the 2019 AIA Nevada Awards. Its most notable is the 18,000 square foot Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Center (CPFFC). A unique adaptive reuse project, the center combines the existing classic brick building with a more modern look that contrasts modern materials with exposed systems and industrial aesthetics. The unique project won the 2019 AIA Nevada Built Award Citation.

SCA Design

Architects:
Sheldon Colen
Gary Carlson

Address:
2580 St. Rose Pkwy. Suite #305, Henderson, NV 89074

About SCA Design

Since 1995, SCA Design has been crafting functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings for clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, and the state of Nevada. The firm has worked on high schools, restaurants, community college, several casinos, and custom homes. Some of these have been featured in magazines such as Las Vegas Home and Design Magazine. Currently, the firm is led by principal architect, Sheldon Colen, who has won numerous state architecture awards since high school, and co-principal Gary Carlson, who has been practicing architecture since 1979. Combining their experience, the firm can point to over 70 years of industry experience that has helped it complete over 200 projects per year.

Featured Projects

Among many of its projects, its renovation work on The Boulevard Mall is its most notable. A 1.1 million square foot complex, the project required modernizing the mall’s façade. They gave the mall a softer color scheme that emphasizes mid-century beauty, reflecting the year of 1965 when the mall was originally built. Improvements also included a full-scale exterior renovation and expansion of the front entrance to include new dining restaurants with a cozy seating area. This project was also featured on The Las Vegas Review Journal.

Simpson Coulter Studio

Architects:
Sean Coulter and Wade Simpson

Awards:
AIA Nevada Excellence in Design Award,
AIA Nevada Architecture Firm Award

Address:
151 Warm Springs Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119

About Simpson Coulter Studio

Simpson Coulter Studio is an award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm that has been designing since 1968. This longevity has allowed the firm to hone its expertise in various architectural services that range from pre-design to construction administration. So far, these services have been completed for projects in k-12 education, higher education, community, retail, residential, transportation, libraries, and hospitality. Overall, Simpson Coulter Studio strives to create relevant and meaningful spaces that have earned it awards such as the American Institute of Architect (AIA)’s 2015 Nevada Excellence in Design Award. The firm has a team of highly talented professionals and is currently managed by principals Wade Simpson and Sean Coulter.

Featured Projects

Among its commercial projects, Simpson Coulter Studio’s notable projects include the Clark County Development Services, a Village Square Shopping Center renovation, a Lotus Studio addition, the Athleticare Physical Therapy facility, the Costello office, State Bar of Nevada offices, and Perini corporate headquarters. Among these, its most notable work was completed for the State Bar of Nevada– a licensing and policing agency that supports attorneys. The State Bar had outgrown its space: the firm was called on to design a new office environment that focused on the office culture and individual interactions in the firm’s design. After conducting a survey about the workplace culture, the firm crafted a structure with a high-ceilinged public lobby that opens to the corridor above and funnels into a smaller, semi-public lobby for the State Bar of Nevada. Translucent glass was strategically located to mediate between private and public spaces while maintaining the necessary light for a creative workspace.

Steelman Partners

Architects:
Paul Steelman

Awards:
HOSPY Award for Best Casino Space,
HOSPY Award for Best Buffet,
Preservation Design Award,
and a Casino Design Award for Best Overall Interior Design for a Casino.

Address:
3330 West Desert Inn Road, Las Vegas, NV 89102

About Steelman Partners

Steelman Partners is an international architectural firm that specializes in various disciplines. This includes entertainment architecture, interior design, graphic design, planning, theater design, 3D design, and lighting. With a team that’s made up of the industry’s most talented and acclaimed architects, planners, and artists, the firm has been creating renowned and remarkable international work since 1987 and has offices in Zhuhai, Macau Ho Chi Minh, Amsterdam, and Phnom Penh. This reputation has brought the firm consistent ranks as one of the top 300 largest architectural firms by Architectural Record Magazine and is also featured in Engineering News-Record (ENR)’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. So far, it has over 4,000 projects and has become a giant in the entertainment architecture industry. Some of its most notable clients include MGM, Caesars, Hyatt, Swiss Casinos, Venetian, and Lady Luck among many others. It is also known for designing Sands Macau, the world’s most successful casino and the first Las Vegas style casino in the Republic People’s of China. Locally, it designed Circa in Downtown and Resorts World on the Strip.

Currently, Steelman Partners is guided by the expertise of Paul Steelman who has been involved with projects such as the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, as well as The Mirage.

Featured Projects

Over the years, Steelman Partners has designed more than 4,000 casinos and integrated resorts all around the world. These projects include Buena Vue Resort in Buena Vista, California, La Jolla Band Casino in La Jolla, California, the Showroom at Resorts World Las Vegas, Hard Rock Cafe in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the Casino at the Empire in London. The latest is Resorts World Las Vegas. Scheduled to open in 2021, this $4 billion structure has 3,500 rooms and suites contained within two magnificent towers.

In 2003, the firm was also awarded the opportunity to design the Nevada State Museum. Consisting of 75,000 square feet, it brings approximately 11,000 square feet to exhibition space. The layout covered three levels and also included a retail shop, a research library, an auditorium, a permanent collection library, the main level museum, and administration offices. The museum was originally slotted for a 2007 opening, but the state’s budget constraints delayed the $50 million project for several years. Nevada’s new flagship museum opened in October 2011.

The Friedmutter Group

Architects:
Brad Friedmutter

Awards:
Fodor’s 100 Award for the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas,
HOSPY Awards,
Best of Last Vegas Awards

Address:
4022 Dean Martin Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89103

About The Friedmutter Group

The Friedmutter Group works exclusively in mixed-use hospitality, casino, and entertainment projects. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has won several awards for its work on these projects. These awards include several HOSPY Awards and numerous Best of Las Vegas awards. Most recently, it was honored with the 2017 Casino Entertainment Awards for its work on The Vine at del Lago Resort and Casino. This award-winning firm has also been featured in numerous magazines including The Gazette, AIA Magazine, and Business Insider among many other publications. Currently, it is managed by founder Brad Friedmutter. A registered architect in 43 states, Friedmutter is well-known for his ability to pinpoint each client’s goals for a project, regardless of the market sector.

Featured Projects

The Friedmutter Group was the design brain behind Sin City’s 6.7 million square foot casino, The Cosmopolitan. Between 2004 and 2010, the firm was the executive architect on the project and handled all of the casino’s interior layouts. When it opened in 2010 the casino became one of the world’s most expensive structures with a final budget of $3.9 billion. Aside from its 90,000 square foot casino, it has over 3,000 rooms, 300,000 square feet of retail and dining space,
a 40,000 square foot gym and spa, a 3,200 seat theater, a 150,000 square foot convention area, an entertainment sky deck, nightclub, and separate pools for relaxing, daytime and night club use. Off the strip in Henderson is another popular Vegas destination by The Friedmutter Group—The Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa Casino. The firm handled all three phases of the project, which opened with an 80,000 square foot casino, 10 screen theater complex, 200 guest rooms and suites, and a 50,000 square-foot conference area. By the second phase, 300 guest rooms and an 80,000 square-foot ballroom were added. Phase three saw casino expansion, a poker room, and an 11,000 square foot entertainment lounge. The project won special praise for its Italian-style façade and charming vineyards.

TSK Architecture

Address:
314 South Water St., Henderson, NV 89015

About TSK Architecture

In 1960, TSK Architecture was known as Tate, Synder, and Kimsey Architects. Even back then, this international planning and design firm had already built a reputation that allowed it to expand its offices from Henderson to Reno Tahoe, Los Angeles, and even into China. Today the firm is a known name throughout the industry and has been included in high rankings by many industry organizations and also has a plethora of awards to speak for its reputation. Most recently, it was included on ENR’s list of Top Design Firms in 2020 where it took the 38th rank. In the same year, AIA Nevada named it the Architecture Firm for the Year. In 2019, it was also included in Architectural Record Magazine’s List of Top 300 Architectural Firms. Its most notable project might be the Southend on Water—a 33,600 square foot project. A four-story mixed-use complex, Southend on Water serves as TSK Architecture’s headquarters and features eight multi-level luxury residential units with modern styling, outdoor terraces, and a garage parking over an 800 square foot street-level commercial suite. The complex also houses the Public Works Coffee Bar—a small, independently owned business, and a community room that can be served to host evening lecture events and wine tasting.

Projects like these are guided by principal and CEO Windom Kimsey, who is well-known for possessing a myriad of awards and associations with several industry organizations.