The cornerstone of our architectural practice is inclusive design.

We thrive on the collaborative energy that is released when we work with a group of people, a committee, or an entire community to solve a problem and achieve a goal. We firmly believe that “joint authorship will lead to joint ownership.”

The firm started in 1981 as V. J. Schute Associates, Inc. In 1984, as the firm grew, our name became Schute-Larson Architects, Inc.

Then in 1997, the firm’s name was changed to River Architects, Inc. Although the firm no longer has the founding partner’s name, River Architects, Inc. was deliberately selected to de-emphasize a single individual’s efforts; instead focusing on the collaborative energy of everyone in the firm. The choice of River celebrates the place of our tri-state practice and serves as a unifying symbol of our association.

The firm was founded on four basic ideas. These ideas are the essence of our practice, and to this day, constitute who we are.

  • A partner be intimately involved with each project, from concept to completion.
  • Involve the client/user in a collaborative and creative process that produces responsive solutions.
  • Only do the type of projects for which we are qualified and in which we are interested.
  • Enjoy our work.

As the firm has grown and matured, we have developed a firm personality that has unique traits which distinguish us.

We ask you to measure us by these traits because they are fundamental to the way we practice.


People are the essence of an organization. We assemble a professional team of specialists to complement our architectural expertise.


Each member of the design, engineering, and construction areas work together effectively because of the team commitment to communication. This includes listening, in addition to graphic, written, and oral presentation skills.


You can identify our projects by their individuality, not by their similarity in style. We search for the best solution for each specific project, achieving distinctiveness by fitting the design to the unique program, site, budget, and user requirements presented by the project.

Cost Control

We use the unit price approach to estimate contruction costs early in the design and at each phase in the project development process, which provides greater accuracy and reliability than gross square footage guessing.