Colorado Architecture Firm of the Year: Roth + Sheppard Architects
Roth + Sheppard Architects is having a phenomenal year.
Recently named Firm of the Year by both AIA Denver and AIA Colorado, the Denver-based firm has also garnered seven design awards from AIA Denver and an additional three from AIA Colorado. The latest recognition brings the firm’s total awards to nearly 100, including those for design and from design associations such as ASID and IIDA.
Herbert Roth and Jeffrey Sheppard were peers at one of the Denver’s most prolific architect “incubators,” WC Muchow & Partners, before launching Roth + Sheppard in 1983 with a vision of providing multilayered design grounded in what they call “romantic minimalism.”
The firm’s first civic project was the Denver District 4 Police Station, which aims to make law enforcement seem more accessible though design features that incorporate daylight, express transparency and support community interaction.
Now, with an impressive portfolio of commercial, civic and residential work, the 15-person firm is perhaps still best known for its more than 40 law enforcement facilities that include the Boulder Regional Fire Training Facility, Los Angeles Police Department’s Headquarters Facility and Colorado Bureau of Investigations Regional Criminal Justice Facility.
The firm’s restaurant and high-end retail work includes projects such as the new Museum Shop at the Denver Art Museum, Tokyo Joe’s restaurants, Modmarket in Boulder, D’Jangos restaurant in Crested Butte and Scandinavian Designs stores in three states.
To facilitate the firm’s stated dedication to “impacting the environment in a positive way while elevating the profession’s and public’s expectation of design,” both Roth and Sheppard put great emphasis on professional involvement, mentoring and teaching, and speaking and writing.
Roth, elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows in 2007, has presented to organizations, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies on planning and design of police facilities, and he has served on the advisory board for IACP’s Police Facility Planning Guidelines. He chairs the national AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice Advisory Group.
Sheppard has served on 25 design award juries, seven design review committees and has been design coordinator for the third-year environmental design program at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a frequent guest lecturer and juror whose work has been published in “Composite Drawing and Techniques for Architectural Presentation.” Some of his drawings are part of the Denver Art Museum’s permanent collection.
In his 2010 Firm of the Year recommendation letter for Roth + Sheppard Architects, Mark Gelernter, dean of the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning, describes Sheppard as “an advocate of regionally appropriate design, but not as a pastiche of historic images. Rather, he digs deeply into the qualities of the place and abstracts certain key elements and ideas that can then be used in a fresh expression.”
In 2007 the AIA Jury of Fellows said Roth’s work was “at the forefront of inventive, intelligent programming and design of efficient, inviting public safety facilities.”