If we haven’t had the pleasure of doing a project with you yet, we’d like to tell you about how we work.
Matthew Stais Architects was founded in Breckenridge almost 25 years ago on the basis that we want to do good work in a small mountain community. We thrive on the relationships we’ve built with everyone around us. We call on our clients, consultants, contractors, and permitting agencies for their direction and expertise throughout every project – they empower us to effectively execute on design. Years of collaborating has built trust and created vital partnerships that help us do what we do, better.
Within this framework, we have established an integrated design process that we apply to every project. We focus on up-front visioning and sustainable goal setting early on with all of our clients. We look at the nuances of each site and pull in the right people from our design/build arsenal to guide us through whatever challenge is at hand. We work together with necessary municipalities, fire districts, and permitting agencies, as well as our tried-and-true civil/MEP/structural engineers, landscape architects, wetlands scientists, lighting experts, solar consultants, etc. Through interdisciplinary collaboration and ongoing stakeholder engagement, it means we efficiently address all aspects of the built environment throughout the project. This future-oriented approach leverages sustainability goals to allow for greater impact – achieving maximum energy efficiency, lowering cost, and increasing ultimate building performance. And on top of all this, we collectively strive to make your building look good.
It all comes down to our team of people. By putting our heads and experiences together, we provide you with better service and end product. Come to us with a puzzle…we know and assign the right people to put the right pieces together and work with us on creating great buildings. We value this design community we have cultivated and are always looking for opportunities to grow in new relationships. We couldn’t do it without them.
We design buildings. And we get things built.
We started almost 25 years ago in this place we love, designing thoughtful, high-quality buildings grounded in sustainability. Our focus was largely on single-family homes and local timeshares. Now, just as our mountain resort town has grown, so have we. We have since proudly taken on opportunities to design larger upscale residences, municipal and recreational facilities, affordable housing complexes, commercial restaurants, mixed-use spaces, and major resort hospitality developments throughout Summit County, the Denver metro area, and afar – all with only a very small, diverse, dedicated team of architects and interior designers that cares about how our designs shape the trajectory of each place.
Moreover, we have loved this parallel process of growth and change with our town. Broadening what we do means we aren’t limited to one specialization, keeping our business fresh, flexible, and creative. Our growth, too, has supported the expanding development needs within our community. The bulk of our work over the last two decades was in designing the multi-family and commercial hospitality lodges around the base of the ski resort in Breckenridge, allowing us a distinct, personal chance to elevate the experience of recreating, staying, and dining right here in our hometown. Now, as development nears build out capacity at the base of Peak 8, we’re focusing on residential architecture and interiors, recreational facilities, and commercial designs for local restaurants. In addition to our private residential clients, we are currently working on projects with Copper Mountain Resort, the Frisco Marina and Peninsula Recreation Area, the Breckenridge Ice Rink, and smaller developers around the County. And even though we have grown our scope of work alongside the town, remaining small allows us to give individualized attention to each client and have a greater stake in each of these spaces we create.
Again, we design buildings and get things built. We are a small full-service architectural and interior design firm that cares about our towns and communities, only now we have the demonstrated capacity to take on a wider range of projects with a more refined set of skills. We still hustle and get things done – over the years, we’ve developed an integrated design platform that propels us to understand client goals and work efficiently with all contractors, consultants, and municipalities from the outset of the project. We thrive on further helping clients through the confusing processes of master planning, entitlements, permitting, and construction. Most importantly, our designs are still thoughtful and high-quality and sustainable, built on doing honest work for people in a place we love.
Oh, and we also might take you skiing or on a boat in Lake Dillon for client meetings.
Welcome to our blog! Since this is our first post, we think it’s fitting to tell you a little about us and why we do what we do. Before we can answer the why though, let’s talk about what we do. Most people know architects design buildings. Fairly simple, right? We draw pictures that at some point become construction documents that contractors eventually (hopefully) turn into a building. Pretty straightforward or so it appears from the outside. We as designers, however, like to think we take this to a deeper level. Without getting too philosophical, most of us strive to create meaningful spaces that have an impact on those who get to experience them. Equally important to this is that a space functions well. You can create something that looks cool, but if it doesn’t serve its purpose well, then we aren’t doing our job. There are building codes, structural criteria, local guidelines – so on and so forth – that provide the framework for how a building is designed, but we have to find balance between the required “science” of a building and the “art” that propels it to architecture. Merely touching the surface on architecture, this at least gives a little background on what we work towards.
So, as architects, what is it that drives us? Why do we come to work everyday? For me personally, and I think I can speak for my colleagues in this matter, it’s all about relationships. Period. We have the pleasure of working in one of the most beautiful places on earth and this attracts like-minded people who embrace that beauty. Lucky for us, some of these people become our clients and we have the opportunity to continue building on what mother nature has already begun. One of the most fulfilling parts of our job is when we get to know our clients well enough that we are able to help them realize their dreams through the built environment here in the mountains. People come to us with images or stories about experiences and we help turn those ideas into a home or project they appreciate for years to come. Above any money or award, when a client expresses appreciation for what we help them achieve, we rest easy with those words of gratitude we get to take home. Whether it’s the relationship we are able to grow with a client or those that come out of experiences through work we generate, this brings us satisfaction of a job well done.
At the end of the day, we are constantly building relationships that matter with clients, contractors, and our community and that’s why we practice architecture here in Breckenridge. And we love the work-life balance our own work affords us. The joy that comes from riding your bike through the trees on a blue bird day or the excitement of watching your child scream down their first black run – these are just great things we get to piggy back in our line of work in the mountains. Don’t get me wrong – we love to design and create works of art – but it’s when our projects have a positive impact on the lives of people and places around us that we feel good about the work we do.