residential architects in Iowa
Top Residential Architects in Iowa

Whether you’re building a new home or planning a renovation, working with an architect is a sound investment. An architect can discover design solutions that maximize energy efficiency, reduce life cycle costs, and uniquely reflect your lifestyle—all while helping you manage costs and schedules. 

At Neumann Monson, our portfolio includes projects of all building types. While we love the intimate and collaborative experience of designing one’s home, we only take on residential projects occasionally. We know we may not fit everyone’s needs, and so we are listing our top recommendations for residential architects in Iowa. 

These recommendations include: 

  • BNIM 
  • Substance Architecture 
  • PLaN Architecture 
  • AKAR Architecture 
  • Knop Architects  
  • Spiller. Design & Architecture 

This list includes firms of various sizes and levels of experience, selected for their style and quality of work. After reading, you’ll have a better understanding of the area’s architectural stock, helping you find someone who fits your needs.   

residential architectural project

Working with an architect can help you find unique solutions.

Top 6 Residential Architects in Iowa 


BNIM is a full-service architecture firm located in Kansas City, MO, San Diego, CA, and Des Moines, IA. Known for its commitment to sustainable design, the firm has won national recognition for its work, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Firm of the Year Award.  

Their residential portfolio includes projects of various sizes, from large-scale multi-unit developments to elegant single-family homes. 

Substance Architecture 

Substance Architecture is an architecture and interior design practice in Des Moines, IA. Since its founding in 2005, the firm has won numerous national, regional, and local awards.  

Their team takes on projects of various sizes, “from an $85 million corporate campus to a $20,000 interior renovation” according to their website. Their residential experience includes several single-family homes in Iowa and across the US. 

PLaN Architecture 

Located in Sioux City, IA, PLaN Architecture is a full-service design firm specializing in adaptive reuse and public-private partnership projects. PLaN’s portfolio includes a wide range of building types, including residential renovations and bespoke single-family homes.   

Their residential work has earned praise from AIA Iowa and has been featured in numerous publications, including Iowa Architect Magazine, Dwell, and the New York Times. 

AKAR Architecture 

AKAR Architecture has been operating out of Iowa City, IA since 1998. According to their website, their work is guided by the philosophy that all design “should be a poetic response to people, nature, and function.” 

Unlike other firms listed here, AKAR primarily focuses on residential projects. Their portfolio includes residential additions, renovations, and new builds. They also run AKAR Design in downtown Iowa City, which sells art, ceramics, kitchen tools, and other home-related products. 

Up-and-Coming Firms 

Knop Architects is an up-and-coming architecture firm based out of Des Moines, IA. Its founder, Cody Knop, has over 14 years of experience in the field.  

Spiller. Design & Architecture was founded by Rachel and James Spiller in 2017. Located in Des Moines, they focus on custom residential design and boutique commercial spaces.  

Both firms are new to the market, but we recommend them based on their founders’ reputation and experience.  

What are Your Next Steps?  

Working with a residential architect can be a rewarding experience. They can help manage costs and schedules while finding unique solutions that bring your dream home to life. We hope this list helps you find an architect who fits your needs. 

At Neumann Monson, we occasionally take on residential projects—especially those that have the potential to create a positive environmental or community impact. We seek to find thoughtful and relevant solutions that elevate the design standard for all.  

Read about our approach to residential projects and our typical pricing to determine if we are the right fit for you. To learn more about our approach, reach out and schedule an exploratory meeting with a project manager.