Located in Denver, Colorado, UNUM collaborative (pronounced ooh-nuhm and meaning "one") is a group of architects, designers, visionaries and craftsmen. The collaborative was founded on the principle that all great design must originate from the collective. The office approaches design with a critical intent that challenges the established paradigms of architecture and design. The work encompasses a variety of scales and media, and blends the domain of art, architecture, industrial design and fashion. At the core of our design explorations is the desire to stimulate the senses and engage the user socially, intellectually and physically, while generating functional and beautiful solutions.
We are a full service Architecture and Interior Design firm focusing on craft, construction and emerging fabrication techniques. We have a commitment to serve our clients and the community we exist in. We believe in a design forward approach to architecture that focuses on our clients needs, while providing socially driven and responsibly economic solutions to help our clients achieve their goals.
We are committed to enriching the community in which we exist, and feel that our contribution is the architecture we create. We believe that the role of architect carries with it an obligation to integrity, and a responsibility to consider the greater good. Our team will always seek new and better ways to support our community.
Our goal is to execute simple and exciting processes that leverage every tool at our disposal to create effective, functional, and beautiful spaces. Design and construction can be filled with challenges, but the act of bringing a new space, brand, or idea to fruition is always exciting. We aim to carry that passion through the entire process.
We have a strong belief in teamwork and collaboration. By encouraging full engagement in the process, unique points of view are allowed into the thought process, and truly brilliant solutions can be uncovered. We are also committed to open, honest communication with everyone involved in each project. We believe that every problem, no matter the complexity, is easier to solve the earlier it is attacked. No project is without its hurdles and challenges, the strength of a team is measured by how it handles those challenges.
There is a long-accepted idea that the beauty of design is born of its gracefulness in functionality. We feel that there is value in actively remembering that idea, and using it within our design process. Each of our clients comes to us with a need to solve a problem; each one, presenting an opportunity for a graceful solution. Our team seeks to understand issues, and work to find specific solutions.
Adam B. Steinbach AIA, LEED AP
A native to Pennsylvania, Adam has called our charming city of Denver his home for many years. Adam received his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Colorado Denver, with distinguished honors including the Henry Adams Certificate. With over fifteen years of experience in the field of architecture and design, Adam has worked on a variety of commercial and residential projects both here in Colorado and along the Eastern United States. His knowledge in architectural practices combined with his desire to push the envelope in design methodologies and material exploration inspired him to co-found UNUM collaborative. He believes that bringing together multiple individuals with a diverse knowledge in art and design will yield the most interesting, appropriate and elegant solution.
As the design director, Adam is responsible for leading the creative vision of the firm, as well as the overall concepts of every project. He recognizes that for a project to be truly successful it not only needs to function properly, but should also incite an emotional response to its user and should reflect the client’s story. Adam thrives on collaborating with clients and feels that the most significant projects are those with a strong concept that drives the form, function and experience of the space. He enjoys the early stages of any design, specifically focusing on the research, exploration, and possibilities of a project, as well as discovering new ways to create order out of chaos. Adam approaches every project with the idea that it is important to experiment with new concepts and methods. He challenges ongoing styles and tries to find ways to merge existing trends with new fashions and theories. His steadfast ability to cultivate and manage the design directions of the firm is continuously affirmed by the collaborative approach. Adam advocates that “the collective is always stronger than the individual.”
Adam B. Steinbach AIA / LEED AP
Jim was raised in Pennsylvania and graduated in 2005 from Thomas Jefferson University. As a registered architect in multiple states, Jim has numerous years of practice both in the field of architecture and construction. His fifteen plus years of industry experience ranges from serving as a project architect and manager, to his time in construction working as a laborer to the field superintendent. He has collaborated with clients and firms of all sizes, from startups to industry behemoths. Jim’s work includes large-scale aerospace, educational, institutional, government, retail, and healthcare projects up to $65 million, as well as smaller-scale residential and commercial work. His lifelong immersion in both construction and design formed a uniquely comprehensive, holistic approach to architecture– the very foundation of UNUM.
As a co-founder of UNUM:collaborative, Jim is responsible for project delivery and oversees the detailing of every project. He assumes an active role during the documentation and construction process, regularly communicating with the client while also managing the team during day-to-day operations. His technical expertise, positive energy, and attention to detail make him a credible and valuable asset on every project. He appreciates when the logic behind a design is effortless and the functionality of a design is equal to its aesthetics. He considers delivery an essential part of design, believing that a good design does not hit you over the head, but is naturally captivating and inspiring to any onlooker. His commitment to a collaborative approach within a creative environment is unyielding. Jim’s focus on teamwork makes him a value not only in the office but within every project he is a part of.
Jim Pfeiffer NCARB
Jim Pfeiffer NCARB
Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, Scott relocated to our great city of Denver after earning his Master’s in Architecture, from the University of Utah in 2013. He joined the UNUM:collaborative team in 2018, prior to which he worked on a variety of project types from high end custom residential, skyscrapers, to multi-family housing. Scott believes architecture should adhere to a certain moral obligation when building. He prioritizes creating the most effective environment for the people and community who will be inhabiting a space and how the design will impact their daily lives.
Scott is motivated by the nature of how technology and architecture have converged, giving way to the digital world becoming visible reality. He enjoys when architecture presents the opportunity to push the boundaries, allowing him to implement his creative ideas involving material exploration, parametric design, and rapid prototyping into the scope of a project. Scott carries out his role as an architectural designer by instilling a collaborative and holistic approach throughout the development of a project. His comprehensive background and diverse professional experiences assure a strong understanding of many project types, making him a valuable team member during the design and communication process.
A native to North Denver, Nora has witnessed firsthand the rapid changes to the city’s culture and character. In 2011, she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Interior Design, with an emphasis on Sustainability from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Before joining UNUM in 2018, Nora worked as a freelance designer for residential and commercial projects in the area. She also served as the sole Interior Designer for Helikon Gallery & Studios in the River North Art District. Nora treasures the timelessness of style and form, firmly believing in the importance of honoring the past while embracing the future.
Nora is passionate about the overall design process and the amount of creative diversity each new project presents. She enjoys turning a client’s vision into a reality, and appreciates seeing the transition of every project as it matures from the initial site visit to the completed project. She brings her keen attention to detail, love of textiles and color to every project she works on. Her background makes her proficient with understanding color, material, texture and how they contribute to the overall spatial experience. Nora is active throughout the entire design and construction process to ensure the design intent is communicated and implemented correctly. She is a true collaborator who loves creating stunning and original designs, making her a vital asset to our team.
A native to Colorado, Chelsea has called many places home in the last 15 years before establishing her roots back in Colorado in 2014. With a degree in Music Business and Entrepreneurship, Chelsea has spent the last 8 years working for a handful of startup companies, where she was able to gain knowledge and insight into many aspects of a business including customer service, operations, project management and branding.
In 2020, Chelsea completed the Master's Certification in Interior Design at Heritage School of Interior Design. A shift toward Interior Design was inevitable due to a combination of professional pursuits, and an ongoing passion for dissecting the way that design impacts our behavior and mood. Drawing knowledge from her time spent in brand marketing, she enjoys the challenge of connecting a physical space to the heart of a brand. She is thrilled to have joined the Unum:Collaborative team where she can put her past experience coupled with her technical design skills to use and breathe life into both commercial and residential spaces.
Originally an East Coast native, Eliane moved to Denver in 2019 in order to be closer to the great outdoors. Her love of design began at an early age when her family had the opportunity to move to Switzerland. During this time, she developed a strong connection to the roots of language, travel, and design. She eventually returned to the states where she attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, receiving her BS in Architecture in 2012 and her M. Arch in 2013.
Since then, she's worked on a wide variety of commercial projects including health clubs, spas, university rec, hospitality and higher education. Eliane sees design as an international language that is strongly influenced by culture, religion, traditions and geographical location. She enjoys being able to design spaces that will have an impact on others and leave a lasting impression on future generations
Architectural / Interior Designer
Eliane Kelley Assoc. AIA
Architectural / Interior Designer
Sona was born and raised in Yerevan, Armenia, a mountainous city well-known for its grand Soviet-era architecture. Shortly after graduating high school, she began studying dentistry. However, with the encouragement from her father, an architect, she decided to switch her focus toward architecture where she could explore her artistic talents. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Armenian University of Architecture and Construction. During this time she was also working as a graphic designer at various organizations, which allowed her to develop strong graphics skills. Sona moved to Colorado 6 years ago when she was accepted into the University of Colorado’s M. Arch program which she graduated from in 2021. One of her favorite academic projects was designing a health clinic in Aurora, which was selected by the client as one of the Top 5 projects and used for fundraising and marketing of the new clinic.
Sona is excited to join the UNUM team and work on both residential and commercial projects where she can get to know the client on a personal level to help bring their vision to life. She is a strong believer that architecture and design can be used to improve the lives of the end-user.
In her free time, Sona enjoys hiking and baking.
Born and raised in Toledo, OH, Austyn recently packed up his Midwestern roots to move to Denver! A 2021 graduate from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Austyn received his Bachelor’s of Architecture in the architecturally rich city of Chicago, IL. However, he didn’t skip a beat when the opportunity to move to Denver and join the UNUM team arose!
Austyn is excited to dive headfirst into several projects where he can experience firsthand a project from conception to completion. He deeply appreciates the process of designing in its entirety and looks forward to creating physical spaces that are meaningful to so many people. In 2017, he had the opportunity to participate in building models for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, an international exhibition of architectural ideas, and projects. This is just one example of many hands-on experiences that will make Austyn a great addition to the UNUM team!
In his free time, you can find Austyn ice skating, exploring Denver on foot, and appreciating architectural photography.