At Studio Architects we believe that every home, every structure should enrich the human spirit.  Our mission is to create projects and homes that truly and beautifully reflect the individual client.  In guiding each project to fruition, we are committed to interpreting the client's vision and fulfilling their personal dreams and aspirations.  With our foundation of passion, experience, and integrity, we are dedicated to offering boutique service and architectural excellence.



Though the experience of building a home or business is as individual as every client, we have developed an efficient and enjoyable process that ensures the best outcome for any project.  We start with the compilation of data by actively listening to you, and understanding your expectations for the project.  Together, we develop a loose description of the program. How will the structure look and feel? Where will it be set?  What is the timeframe? The budget?


Once we have a thorough understanding of what you want (and what to avoid), we begin to create spaces.  How many rooms will there be?  What is the square footage? How will the floor plan look? Regardless of how involved you want to be, this process is entirely driven by your individual needs and desires for the project.


The phases you will go through in creating your dream home are not unique.  But your experience at Studio Architects will be.  As a full-service, boutique firm, our associates have a unified desire to create something that is individual and distinctive for each client.  Using a collaborative approach that is client driven, we are committed to meeting your needs and fulfilling your vision through active listening, honest communication, exceptional design, and a steadfast work ethic.


The final step before we break ground is the technical design phase, during which we develop a thorough set of construction documents by making even small decisions early on – and on paper – questions and confusion during construction can be lessened, and the interpretation of the builder is narrowed to avoid surprises.  This phase is critical in, among other things, controlling costs of construction.


The next step in the process is the schematic design phase.  The Studio Architects team will work collaboratively to envision your project, eventually translating it into sketches and plans.  Your input continues to drive the project and the associates’ skills serve to broaden your vision.


Residential Architecture

From year round homes to mountain-top getaways, residential architecture involves every step - from site analysis and schematic design, to construction management and architectural interior design - in the complete creation of distinctive homes.  As a full-service, boutique firm, we are committed to providing the highest standards for every service necessary.

Commercial Architecture

Armed with the broad experience and technical expertise that commercial architecture requires, our range of services spans form complete design and construction to appropriate remodels, additions and renovations.  Our portfolio includes an array of offices, healthcare facilities, restaurants, banks, and retail centers, among others.

Resort Architecture

Whether a dramatic lakeside lodge or a ski-in - ski-out condominium complex, resort architecture is the design of idyllic spaces to meet highly specialized purposes and programs.

Ranch Architecture

A first-hand knowledge of the way a working ranch should function and flow inspires every ranch project, from private homes and guest lodges to horse barns and riding facilities.  In order to best take advantage of the often, breathtaking settings, ranch architecture frequently involves the design of extraordinary outdoor living spaces.

Site Feasibility Studies

Before a structure is drawn on paper, a feasibility study can establish parameters for the project including site, orientation, square footage, and budget.

Site Analysis

From studying flood levels and snow loads, to seismic activity, site analysis is the science of determining the way a structure should be soundly set.  Site analysis is simultaneously an art form, setting the structure to maximize its own beauty and that of its surrounding environment.

Architectural Interior Design

Remembering that form follows function, architectural interior design enables clients to create a highly personalized style that extends down to the smallest details, from light fixtures and hardware to built-in furnishings and window treatments.

Architectural Landscaping

The setting is a critical part of any design.  Architectural landscaping - the shaping and crafting of the surrounding land – allows for the structure and its setting to relate even more intimately, and more beautifully in the landscape.

Construction Administration

Through construction administration, we stay involved in the creation of your home or facility by being on-site to answer questions, and working directly with the contractor to ensure the project is built according to the program, the budget, and the time schedule.  Using the website, absentee clients can track progress via posted weekly construction photos.

Master Planning

Master planning requires looking at a piece of land with macro-vision, then micro-vision, and back again.  Understanding the way site and structure can mutually enhance one another is the fundamental key on projects that range from subdivisions to ski resorts.


Van K. Bryan

Principal Architect

Raised on a ranch outside of Choteau, Montana. Bryan was born in New Orleans, the son of a Baptist minister-turned cattle rancher. Growing up on the ranch instilled in Bryan a deep respect for hard work, and intimate understanding of the importance of place, and a profound love of Montana, all of which shape the man and inspire his designs.  A dedicated family man and a respected community leader. Bryan has managed to blend his southern graces with his western sensibilities.

With a career that spans more than 15 years and an impressive personal portfolio, Bryan founded Studio Architects from a desire to create a boutique firm that offers architectural excellence, unmatched customer service, and a collaborative design process showcasing the talents of an entire team.

Leah Shute

Principal Architect

Leah has spent more than 25 years making visions a reality on thousands of designs for commercial, residential, industrial, and government clients. As the Managing Partner and Principal Architect at Studio Architects, she leads the studio’s design direction and oversees all aspects of client projects, from proposals to schematics, from design development to buildout. For Leah, architecture is more than just great design. She takes a holistic approach to every project – listening intently to client’s desires, immersing herself into the environment and surroundings, and taking cues about the lifestyle and setting to make the most out of every build. Whether she’s evaluating land use for a ranch, identifying sustainable opportunities for a home, or designing a unique user experience for retail, Leah gives attention to every detail and is actively involved in ensuring her design is executed to perfection. She is very hands-on from the first client meeting until move-in day, partnering closely with civil and structural engineering, construction, and interior design professionals along the way.

She has vast experience designing diverse projects including family homes, healthcare buildings, resort communities, multi-family homes, recreation centers, banks, schools, restaurants, government buildings and more. Leah received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Montana State University and studied abroad in Europe during college, giving her exposure to different architectural styles and approaches. She is a LEED-accredited professional and has a passion for integrating sustainable elements into her designs. In her spare time, Leah loves to travel with her family, and enjoys photography and volunteering because she believes in giving back to the local community.

Eli Oldham

Architectural Intern

Born and raised in Billings, Montana, Eli graduated from the Montana State University School of Architecture. Eli's architectural and construction career has spanned experimental urban minimalist and commercial to adobe, Tuscan, and mountain rustic bringing him from New York and Massachusetts to Colorado and Montana. Throughout life he's traveled much of America and a few countries, including an undergrad semester in South America, but now enjoys exploring the many southwest Montana mountains and streams, seeking fishing spots, backcountry hikes, motorcycle rides, and being around family.  Now back home, he's thankful to bring his knowledge and experience to Studio Architects' team.

Kayla Johnson

Architectural Intern

Kayla was born and raised in Gallatin County, Montana. She is currently pursuing an Bachelor's in Architecture at Montana State University. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking and creating art.


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