The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Chicago

Overview

Chicago architects continue to pay tribute to the legacy of world-renowned architects of yesteryear who made their home in the city. Architects like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright set the standard with pragmatic, environmentally focused designs. While the city’s easily accessible suburbs provide opportunities for historic rehabs and new green-focused construction, the real trend is an influx of people moving into the city, seeking an urban oasis in trendy neighborhoods like Lincoln Square and River North. Major renovation projects are giving the city’s row homes and condos new life. Chicago’s new urban designs blend modern and classic elements and focus on sustainability, privacy, natural light, and simple elegant spaces. The following 10 architectural firms are ranked according to their prestige, accolades, industry recognition, and forward-thinking designs.

This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Given the growing cost of building a custom house in Chicago, it’s important to know what professionals are qualified to assist you. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.

Top Architects

Becker Architects

Architects:
Richard Becker
Nancy Becker

Awards:
AIA Chicago Design Awards,
Highland Park’s Historic Preservation Commission Awards

Address:
595 Elm Place, Highland Park, Chicago, IL 60035


                                                                                                                                                                   Trump Tower Condo; Chicago, IL; Becker Architects; Darris Lee Harris Job#1289

About Becker Architects

Founded in 1982 by Principal Richard Becker, AIA, LEED AP, award-winning Becker Architects has worked on rehabs, additions, and new construction projects throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. It has received numerous awards and notes in publications such as AIA Chicago, the Driehaus Foundation, Remodeling, Chicago Home, Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, and Traditional Home. The firm has also been featured in a number of HGTV productions, including the 13-week reality series Dream House. With a focus on preservation, the firm has also received many awards from Highland Park’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Featured Projects

Becker’s intensive rehab project known as “High Above Chicago” is a 3,400-square-foot apartment found in a downtown high-rise, with a stunning view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The condo opened up the tightly compartmentalized space, merging the living and dining room areas. Lacquered doors separate the master bedroom from the living room, allowing the master suite free access to the main living space.

Blender Architecture

Address:
2215 West School St., Chicago, IL 60618

About Blender Architecture

Blender Architecture is the product of Maria Segal and Richard Blender’s five decades in the architectural industry. Both founders specialize in residential projects with a unique structural approach. The detail-oriented architects are very meticulous with the materials they are working on because they want their designs to be elevated by well-crafted resources. The firm sets itself apart by designing multi-sensory projects that are uniquely made for each client. These are projects that utilize materials that play on light and have unique textures. The goal of every Blender Architecture project is a space that will promote a healthier lifestyle inspired by its surroundings.

Featured Projects

The Resurrection Home is a unique project, because the site was a former funeral parlor. What was left is a dilapidated building that was fully gutted but there were still remnants of the original facade. Blender Architecture wanted to design a modern home that had an old gothic charm. For its entryway, the original facade of the funeral parlor was refurbished back to its former glory but the interiors were given a brand new contemporary look. The living room is an homage to the former gothic charm of the space. It has a black and white color palette and it has a very minimalist design. This stand-out home remodel received an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Honor Award last 2012.

Booth Hansen

Architects:
Laurence Booth

Awards:
AIA Design Awards

Address:
333 South Desplaines Street, Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60661

About Booth Hansen

Established in 1980, Booth Hansen’s projects include commercial, cultural, educational, multi-family, and single-family designs. The firm has received over 90 design awards; 36 of those were from AIA. Principal and founder Laurence Booth, FAIA, leads the conceptual development of all the firm’s projects. With degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Stanford, Booth has maintained close ties to the academic study of architecture and engineering. He is a clinical professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Richard C. Halpern/Rise International Distinguished Architect in Residence at Northwestern University. Previously, he also served as a visiting professor for Harvard, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois.

Featured Projects

This Beverly Shores residence received a 2014 AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Honor Award, as well as the Grand Award for Best Custom Home at the 2016 Gold Nugget Awards sponsored by Builder Magazine. Found in the dunes on the south side of Lake Michigan, this two-story home is mostly glass, connecting to its natural environment. The 4,200-square-foot home occupies only nine percent of the property, leaving over 76 percent of the site undisturbed dune grass and woodlands. Its sustainable focus doesn’t end there, however. The residence uses a geothermal ground source heat pump, in-slab radiant heating, and high-efficiency forced air for a low-carbon footprint.

Brininstool + Lynch

Architects:
David Brininstool
Brad Lynch

Awards:
AIA Design Excellence Awards,
American Architecture Awards,
Architectural League of New York Emerging Voice in Architecture

Address:
1144 W. Washington Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607

About Brininstool + Lynch

In 1989, David Brininstool and Brad Lynch established the eponymous Brininstool + Lynch. Both were named Emerging Voice’s in architecture by the Architectural League of New York, an award which spotlights individuals with distinct design voices that have the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture. The firm was named 2019 Firm of the Year and, in addition, has amassed over 50 major design awards, 29 of those being from AIA Chicago. Brininstool + Lynch has a wide range of clients from the commercial sector, but it is best known for the gorgeous private homes it has designed.

Featured Projects

The award-winning Wood House has been featured in numerous publications and has received five major design awards including both AIA Chicago’s Divine Detail and Interior Architecture Awards, North American Copper in Architecture Award, American Architecture Award, and Residential Architect Design Award. B + L was guided by the principles of privacy, sustainability, and indoor-outdoor continuity. The focal point of the L-shaped home is a private courtyard. Despite its name, the 5,800-square-foot home is built with brick and copper and balanced with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall, an open floor plan, and glass exterior doors that lead into the courtyard.

bba Architects

Architects:
Gary Beyerl
Edward Twohey

Awards:
Chicagoland Real Estate Forum Gold Key Award,
Luxe Interiors and Design’s Gold List

Address:
1010 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605

About bba Architects

bba Architects specializes in high-end single-family residences that range from urban townhouses to lakefront cottages. Gary Beyerl, AIA, co-founded the firm in 1993 with his now-retired partner Steven Burns. He was joined by Edward Twohey, AIA, in 1994, who was named principal five years later. The firm focuses on creating sustainable homes that consume the least energy when built. In 2011, the firm won a Gold Key Award from the Chicagoland Real Estate Forum for their design of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Chicago home. In 2017, the firm made the Luxe Interiors and Design’s Gold List, a guide of architects, designers, and home builders whose projects were featured in the magazine.

Featured Projects

The firm proved they can work from modern to classic with their single-family residence known as the Classic Georgian. Inspired by Georgian homes in London, this stately home features a brick façade, using an English bond pattern. Inside, an elliptical stairwell joins the home’s four levels. The home was built for the Middlefork luxury Home Builders based in the Loop. It won an AIA Citation of Merit in 2016.

Collective Office

Architects:
Jeff Klymson
Carlo Parente

Awards:
AIA Citation of Merit

Address:
9 E. 24th Street, Chicago, IL 60616

About Collective Office

Collective Office was founded by Principal Jeff Klymson, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), to focus on both practice and research for residential and commercial clients. Through his practice, Klymson attempts to create “a more intuitive connection for people in the built environment.” He also teaches at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) where he received his own Master of Architecture degree. Collective Office specializes in residential projects that have a connection with their physical environments. Its residential portfolio has a signature contemporary look that is unique to the firm; this is why its works are often featured on architectural websites like Dwell and Curbed.

Featured Projects

A retired couple commissioned Collective Office to design a prairie home on grassland overlooking Lake Geneva. This contemporary interpretation of a prairie home was divided into three. The clients wanted a bungalow that looked like it was emerging from the crest of the prairie. From afar, the three sections have a classic gabled silhouette. This welcomes natural light from under the vaulted ceilings. Each volume has independent functions. The first section is located near the pool house and has bedrooms and bathrooms, while the middle area is for the living area and the kitchen. Lastly, the third section has a garage and screened-in porch that has an amazing view.

Gibbons, Fortman & Associates

Architects:
Scott Fortman
Nick Peterson

Awards:

ICAA 2016 Acanthus Award of Arete

Address:
900 N Franklin St, #612, Chicago, IL 60610

About Gibbons, Fortman & Associates

Gibbons, Fortman & Associates is a Chicago-based firm dedicated to creating custom projects that are intended to be timeless in style and an authentic reflection of the people who live there. Established in 2000 the firm continues with President Scott Fortman, AIA, LEED AP, at the helm. Nick Peterson, NCARB, LEED AP, joins him as partner and Richard Gibbons, AIA, as partner emeritus and design consultant. The firm’s designs range from classical to modern and are crafted in collaboration with its clients, landscape architects, and interior designers. Its projects have been featured in Architectural Digest, Luxe, and Chicago Home, and are recognized with both national and regional awards, including the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s 2016 Acanthus Award of Arete.

Featured Projects

Paying homage to the Chicago Prairie Style, this home was designed to wrap around a 150-year-old oak tree at its opening and highlight lakefront views at the rear. This intimate connection to the outdoors continues throughout the home, with tall windows lining its diverse spaces: a spa area, a potting room, a yoga room, gym, billiard room, kitchenette, home theater, and a genuine 80s video arcade. The home cascades onto an inground pool area in its backyard.

Kipnis Architecture and Planning

Architects:
Nathan Kipnis, FAIA

Awards:
Chicago Magazine Green Award,
Natural Home Magazine Home of the Decade

Address:
1642 Payne Street, Evanston, IL 60201

About Kipnis Architecture and Planning (KAP)

Kipnis Architecture and Planning was one of the first firms to sign AIA’s 2030 Challenge, which calls for all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to be carbon-neutral by 2030. The firm is best known for exceptional sustainability efforts while taking overall excellence in design just as seriously, and designs new construction homes with modern designs to sensitively rehabilitate historic homes. The firm was founded in 1993 by Nathan Kipnis, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a LEED Accredited Professional certified in Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD&C), who earned a Master of Architecture with an emphasis in Energy Conscious Design from Arizona State University. He serves on the AIA National 2030 Commitment Working Group, as well as the Citizens Greener Evanston group. Among other notables, KAP designs have won the Chicago Magazine Green Award, Home of the Decade by Natural Home Magazine, and the Best Residential Architect from Better Magazine.

Featured Projects

KAP designed one of the first LEED Platinum homes in Glencoe, Illinois in 2011. Another home, located in Evanston, is also LEED Platinum and is aging-in-place certified. The firm used reclaimed materials that are all locally-sourced to utilize resources that are affordable, and supports small business owners. This home was designed with accessibility in mind. The single floor plan has flush floors with wide clearance doors for the hallways and doors. Some of the other features include a lap pool and a front yard with native plants designed to retain stormwater.

Liederbach & Graham Architects

Architects:
Phillip Liederbach
R. Michael Graham

Awards:
ICA Excellence Awards,
AIA Awards

Address:
500 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654

About Liederbach & Graham Architects

Principals Phillip Liederbach and R. Michael Graham founded their firm, Liederbach and Graham Architects in 1991. The firm keeps its operations small in order to design and produce carefully crafted residential and commercial buildings. Both principals studied with Thomas H. Beeby, one of the “Chicago Seven,” a postmodern group of influential architects in Chicago who were especially active in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Liederbach and Graham Architects has received several Excellence in Architecture awards from the Institute of Classic Architecture and the American Institute of Architecture for their residential designs. Their work has also been featured in House Beautiful, Luxe, and Traditional Home, as well as several books.

Featured Projects

Liederbach & Graham won a 2016 AIA Small Project Award for its single-family home project on Burling Street. The residential street in Lincoln Park is known for being one of the priciest in the city. The firm designed two houses on one lot altogether totaling 7,800 square feet, five bedrooms, and six baths. The main house, standing at over 4,600 feet, won the award for its playful design. “A Little Spark of Madness” is carved into the kitchen island, serving as the home’s built-in motto.

Morgante Wilson Architects

Address:
2834 Central St., Evanston, IL60201

About Morgante Wilson Architects

Luxury homebuilder Morgante Wilson Architects was started by a couple who has been married for as long as they have been architects. Fred Wilson and Elissa Morgante have been architects for three decades, and their eponymous firm is the milestone of all their expertise. It specializes in creating luxury houses with a holistic sense. The couple works closely with its clients, Wilson often focuses on the architectural facade while Morgante considers how the design can be connected to the interiors. Their teamwork has produced numerous award-winning homes and features from national publications like Luxe Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and Modern Luxury Interiors magazine.

Featured Projects

Its most recent project is also one of its most impressive projects to date. This lake home is a three-story house that embodies the elegance of coastal living. Morgante Wilson Architects gave a modern take to the traditional farmhouse homes often found in lakeside neighborhoods.

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

Architects:
Pam Lamaster, AIA
Greg Howe AIA LEED AP

Awards:
AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Honor Award, Builder Magazine Grand Award

Address:
500 N Dearborn Street, Suite 1050, Chicago, IL 60654

About Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

The prestigious Searl Lamaster Howe Architects has been featured in Architectural Digest, CS Interiors, Dwell, Elle Décor, and Custom Home. Its designs have earned several awards from AIA and the Grand Design Award for Renovation Project from Custom Home. Searl Lamaster Howe Architects uses intense collaboration with its clients to produce quality custom designs. Primarily a designer of single-family residences, the firm’s portfolio also includes commercial and institutional projects. The firm was founded by Principal-at-Large Linda Searl, FAIA, in 1985. Among her accomplishments is membership in Architectural Digest’s AD100, a collective of the top architects and interior designers in the world. Searl was the former president of the Chicago AIA Chapter and Regional Director of the National AIA.

Featured Projects

This Asbury Residence, located in Evanston, received an AIA Citation of Merit in 2016. The design’s roots stem from the client’s request for a blend of contemporary yet traditional Mediterranean design. The stucco-clad house is based on a 1920s Italian theme and brings in modern minimalism with an open interior wrapping around a central courtyard.

Studio Dwell

Architects:
Mark Peters

Awards:
AIA Design Awards,
Architectural Record Awards,
Congress for New Urbanism Grand Prize

Address:
1135 N California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

About Studio Dwell

Studio Dwell is a Chicago-based, full-service architecture firm dedicated to utilizing simplicity and light to produce quality designs. The studio’s custom design homes have won awards from Builder Magazine, AIA, Architectural Record, and Residential Architect Magazine, among others. The firm recently won the Congress for New Urbanism Grand Prize for its contribution to a neighborhood development in Detroit. Studio Dwell was founded in 2005 by Principal Mark Peters, AIA, who previously worked for prestigious firms such as Pappageorge Haymes and Hartshorne Plunkard. Peters received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Featured Projects

Urban 24, which received a Citation of Merit from AIA in 2015, was a residential infill project. The new row-house filled a gap within the line of existing homes built in the West Loop during the 1890s. Studio Dwell was able to build an innovative new space without disturbing its neighbors. One of the biggest concerns of any row-house is light sources. The firm used skylights, vertical open rooms, and transparent walls and floors to allow natural light to filter through the home. One AIA judge called these solutions “very sensitive to the site.”

Wheeler and Kearns Architects

Architects:
Dan Wheeler
Larry Kearns

Awards:
AIA Chicago Firm of the Year

Address:
343 South Dearborn Street, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60604

About Wheeler and Kearns Architects

Based in Chicago, Wheeler Kearns Architects is a collective practice of architects devoted to creating exquisite single-family homes that embody their clients’ purpose, energy, and vision. The 20-person firm designs award-winning residences throughout the Great Lakes region. Since its founding in 1987, Wheeler Kearns has twice been named by a national jury as AIA Chicago’s Firm of the Year. The award honors sustained outstanding achievement and excellence in a body of work produced by a firm over time. Learn more from their website here.

Featured Projects

With unobstructed views of Lake Michigan, Wheeler and Kearns designed a 4,600-square-foot, single-family residence on Lake Shore Drive. The wedge-shaped structure, with a smooth limestone façade, is peppered with large, east-facing windows and an open, glass-faced living room. The house contains many sustainable aspects, including solar panels and brise-soleil on the west-facing windows. Completed in 2011, the home won a 2013 AIA Distinguished Building Award.

Best Residential General Contractors in Chicago (with Photos)

Overview

Chicago has always been home to innovative architectural style and experimentation. From its world-famous Chicago bungalows and two-flats to the grand greystones and sweeping skyscrapers of the Loop, Chicago is a perfect hub of design and building innovation. The Windy City has made a great impact on the residential contractors serving Chicago and the surrounding areas. They are some of the most innovative thinkers and builders doing the most prolific work in the country.

Our list of the 15 best residential contractors in Chicago are rated for their years of experience in the field, their professional recognitions, and their ability to make creative contributions to Chicago’s already rich body of home design and construction.

Whether you’re looking to make small changes to a home you love, envisioning a great remodel with a fresh new palette, or desiring an entirely new home build, these home improvement contractors understand the dos and don’ts of remodeling and construction. They are dedicated to timely and open communication and provide the highest level of expertise to make their client’s home improvement dreams a reality.

Top General Contractors

15
Wujcik Construction Group

Address:
8322 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie, IL 60077

About Wujcik Construction Group

Mike Wujcik started Wujcik Construction Group, Inc. in 1993 with an emphasis on the upper bracket specialty construction market. From Condominium Restoration in the Gold Coast to Lake Front Mansions on the Northshore, Wujcik has provided its clients with exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail for nearly three decades. The firm’s work has been featured in several high-profile magazines and digests such as Interiors Magazine, Chicago Magazine, and Better Homes and Gardens. Its work in 2019 on the “North Orchard Street Residence” was a proud recipient of the ICAA’s Award for Residential Architecture for a Home Over 5000 Square Feet.

WCG, Inc. uses an ‘open book’ approach by providing clients with meticulous project accounting reports and realistic deadlines. Wujcik has a team of carpenters who can self-perform all rough framing and finish carpentry. As a family-owned business, the firm is committed to providing high levels of quality and integrity to each project.

15
Frank Ponterio

Principals:
David Larkin

Address:
770 N Church Road, Unit A, Elmhurst IL, 60126

About Frank Ponterio

Since its founding in 1994 by David Larkin, DAL Builders has been helping homeowners in the Chicago area build, renovate, and remodel their homes to perfection. From historic classic homes in Barrington to celebrity mansions in Lincoln Park, they have built and remodeled thousands of homes and understand the intricacies of home construction. They are an A+-rated Better Business Bureau firm serving Chicago, Elmwood Park, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, and Kenilworth.

In one of their home designs, they incorporated a reclaimed wood accent wall in the living area that serves as a partition and a focal point for the room. They added crown molding, recessed lighting, and warm wood floors. A greyish olive wall color warms the room, and a beautiful iron and wood banister wraps around to the second floor. Another home remodel project features an open and spacious design with vaulted ceilings, recessed lighting, and a fireplace with a detailed white mantle. Attractive wood floors and an ornate crystal chandelier complement the airy design.

14
Chicago Master Maker & Builder

Principals:
Peter Majchrowski
Tom Bugaj

Address:
Chicago, IL

About Chicago Master Maker & Builder

Peter Majchrowski and Tom Bugaj are friends and business partners from Poland. With the combined the skills they’d acquired back home, the duo started Master Maker & Builder in Chicago. Their fine craftsmanship training lends itself to their current home designs and allows them to build a strong returning clientele. They specialize in high-end designs and custom millwork for home building projects of all sizes. The firm serves the areas of Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Burbank, Chicago, Evanston, and Schaumburg.

Their Eugene project includes a stunning kitchen with dark wood cabinetry and a large island with an abundance of seating, cooking, and entertaining space. It also offers the perfect glass-doored cabinets for easy access to glassware, and stunning mini chandeliers over the kitchen island that create elegance and warmth.

13
Domain Construction LLC

Principals:
Adam Piser

Address:
325 W Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60654

About Domain Construction LLC

Domain Construction is a licensed, bonded, and insured Chicago general contractor committed to building sustainable spaces. They take on home remodeling projects big and small, and they work in residential, retail, office and industrial spaces, including green construction projects. Adam Piser, president and CEO, founded Domain in 2004. He has personally been involved in the development, construction, and management of over one million square feet of real estate. Previously Piser worked for a brokerage firm in New York City, selling luxury properties throughout Manhattan. He then moved back to Chicago and founded Domain, a full service real estate, design, and construction firm.

The company has been featured in LUXE Magazine and in Sophisticated Living. One of their home designs, called the “River North Loft,” is a stunning example of industrial and glamorous design elements coming together to create a dazzling space. It is an open concept living space with a white marble kitchen island, and it incorporates color with a blue wall and red brick accents. Exposed piping and beams coupled with shiny light pendants make this home of opposites a thoughtfully executed design.

12
Old Towne Custom Builders

Principals:
Allen Drewes

Awards:
Home Builders Association of Illinois President’s Award.

Address:
5N765 Crane Rd, Saint Charles, IL 60175

About Old Towne Custom Builders

Old Towne Custom Builders is a home builder/remodeler with an in-demand emphasis on energy conservation. They offer levels of performance for a new home or remodel using knowledge obtained from their US Passive House Builder certification. Fittingly, their motto is “Energy Efficiency Through Building Science.” Led by Allen Drewes, Old Towne Custom Builders has built homes with the winning combination of beauty and energy efficiency. The company performs jobs ranging from $200k to $1.25M. They are a Passive House Certified Builder and recipients of the 2015 Home Builders Association of Illinois President’s Award.

In one of their expansive home designs, a sweeping stairwell leads up to the second floor. A family room with tall windows floods the space with natural light. A master bath with a soaking tub is positioned just right in the corner of the room, surrounded by large windows, and a gorgeous kitchen is outfitted with a breakfast bar.

11
Hogan Design and Construction

Principals:
Brian Hogan

Address:
21 North 6th Street, Geneva, IL 60134

About Hogan Design and Construction

From an early age, Brian Hogan, owner of Hogan Design and Construction, has been aware of what makes people happy. He had his first hunch about his social aptitude for contracting work when he worked with other contractors who did not honor commitments or return phone calls. Hogan Design and Construction was created to exemplify the better alternative. This goal has kept their customers happy and has garnered them industry-related awards. They were named among the 2016 Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50.

One of their stunning home remodels includes reclaimed wood accents throughout the house, including along the face of the kitchen island and on a bathroom wall. This warm accent adds a modern and inviting element to the home design. Other features like beautiful wood beams and an airy open floor plan with large windows and glass doors invite the beautiful outdoors in.
Impeccable design and construction elements are featured in another home remodel by Hogan Design. A white kitchen crafted with crown molding above the cabinets, a cleverly disguised range hood, stainless steel six-burner stove, and a spacious custom-built kitchen island with ample seating complete this luxurious space.

10
MAW Chicago LLC.

Principals:
Scott R. Sevon
Michael Nagel

Awards:
CAPS National Certified Aging In Place Specialist of the Year Award,
Multiple HBAGC Crystal & Gold Key,
March National Remodeler of the Month Award,
NAHB Graduate Master Remodeler of the Year Award,
HBAI Remodeler of the Year Award,
NAHB Build-Pac Trustee

Address:
830 West Northwest Highway, Suite A, Palatine, IL 60067-2377

About MAW Chicago LLC.

With over 80 years of experience, the MAW Chicago team knows just what to do no matter the size and scope of your home remodeling project. The firm is led by Scott R. Sevon, whose father ignited in him a passion for construction at a young age. Under Sevon’s leadership, his firm specializes in building, remodeling, home renovation, and new construction. They pride themselves on their ability to plan perfectly, and to design and budget your project to your complete satisfaction.

MAW Chicago has won countless awards, including the 2015 CAPS National Certified Aging In Place Specialist of the Year Award; the 2015 Multiple HBAGC Crystal & Gold Key; and the 2012 March National Remodeler of the Month Award. They also received the 2011 NAHB Graduate Master Remodeler of the Year Award and the 2011 Home Builders Association of Illinois (HBAI) Remodeler of the Year Award, and they were a 2016 NAHB Build-Pac Trustee.

9
S.N. Peck Builder, Inc.

Principals:
S. Neil Peck
Marcia Hundt

Awards:
NAHB Gold Key Award for Whole House Remodel,
Silver Key Award

Address:
1647 West Fulton Street, Chicago, IL 60612

About S.N. Peck Builder, Inc.

S.N. Peck Builder creates exceptional spaces that enhance lives while delivering the highest level of customer service. They are a residential general contractor in Chicago specializing is residential remodeling, kitchen and bath remodeling, and home additions. They have served the Chicago area since 1982. Led by S. Neil Peck, they also have expertise in green and sustainable construction.

The company received the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Gold Key Award for Whole House Remodel and the NAHB Silver Key Award for Kitchen and Bath Remodel, and they made the list of Remodeling “Big 50” from Remodeling Magazine. They are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) AP Certified, EPA Lead-Safe Certified, and a member of National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). They are also a 2013 Better Business Bureau Complaint Free Award Recipient.

Their Lincoln Park home remodel is an example of using color to enhance the charm and draw of a home design. The home includes a swirling staircase with a wooden banister that wraps around a deep, blood orange wall. Color is used again in the kitchen, with high-gloss orange cabinetry.

8
Nottingham Builders

Principals:
Lee Norton

Address:
23372 Lake Cook Road, Deer Park, IL 60010

About Nottingham Builders

Nottingham Builders has been building incredibly high-quality, picture perfect homes with the highest level of craftsmanship and attention to detail for the past 35 years. Led by Lee Norton, Nottingham Builders specializes in energy-efficient homes, green building, home extensions, home remodeling, architectural drawings, new construction, and much more. They have successfully built spacious, custom homes on five acre lots, all the way to smaller homes on the lake. Their construction costs range from $50,000 to $10M.

Their exceptional home designs incorporate large windows, grand ceilings, swirling staircases, beautiful moldings, and delicately detailed fireplaces. One design incorporates a deep blue living area with a built-in wine bar, recessed lighting, and rich wooden floors. Another home features a spacious bathroom with three arched windows and a central tub housed in a custom-built tile enclosure. A third home has a grand stairwell that opens up to the east and west wings of the residence, in a gorgeous curving design.

7
DJK Homes

Principals:
Dan Kittilsen

Awards:
Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Gold Key Award,
NIHBA ICON Award of Excellence Silver Award,
ICON Award for Best Home

Address:
26108 Stewart Ridge Drive, Plainfield, IL 60585

About DJK Homes

DJK Homes has lead the way for the last 30 years building and remodeling homes with the highest level of attention to details in design, performance, quality, and craftsmanship. The company’s motto is “The Difference is… in the Details!” DJK also leads the way in building sustainable, high performance, and healthy homes throughout the Chicago suburbs, including Naperville, Plainfield, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, St. Charles, Oswego, and surrounding areas. The company is led by President Dan Kittilsen, whose love for construction began at a young age. He first ventured into masonry for a local company and worked his way up, and he has been in the building industry over half of his lifetime. Kittilsen handles overseeing the operations and sales process to ensure that each project is handled with a unique and personal experience.

Under Kittilsen’s leadership, the company has accomplished many feats including building two of the very first homes to achieve 100% Net-Zero status in Naperville. Both homes have received high levels of recognition thru LEED Platinum level and NAHB Green Emerald certifications. The company has also received a 2016 and 2015 Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Gold Key Award; a 2013 NIHBA ICON Award of Excellence Silver Award; and the 2010 ICON Award for Best Home Under $500k, among many others accolades and awards. One of their stunning remodels features a family room with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. A fireplace with a modern wood panel facade extends up to the ceiling. The sheer length of the fireplace makes the room feel grand. The room also boasts cozy wood floors and a contemporary geometric light fixture.

6
Element Worx

Principals:
Brett Williams

Awards:
Angie’s List Super Service Award,
Oak Park Historic Preservation Award,
Oak Park Cavalcade of Pride Award

Address:
212 N Harvey Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302-2333

About Element Worx

Worx builds smart and thoughtfully conceptualized spaces full of high-quality finishes and modern, clean designs. The contractor’s motto is, “We don’t just rehab houses — we create homes.” Element Worx is dedicated to creating homes that combine today’s modern amenities with an eye for important details. They believe each home has a specific individual personality, and they strive to let that personality shine through their designs.

Led by President Brett Williams, Element Worx won the 2012 and 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award, as well as the 2011 Oak Park Historic Preservation Award and the 2011 Oak Park Cavalcade of Pride Award. They are also an A+-rated Better Business Bureau residential contractor.

Custom woodwork was used in one of their stunning remodels. An expansive breakfast bar is accented by meticulous woodwork. The double-level space includes spacious wood floors, a modern stone fireplace, recessed lighting, high ceilings, and tall windows for natural light.

5
Foster Design Build

Principals:
Bob Berg

Address:
2661 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

About Foster Design Build

Foster Design Build was established in 2009 as a small family business with the sophistication of large firm. Founder Bob Berg’s mission was to give Chicago a full-service, boutique design-build firm for handling all the details from concept to creation. Berg founded FDB after spending over 20 years in the construction business. FDB is a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and both the Chicago and national chapters of the US Green Building Council. Foster Design Build was featured in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times among other publications.

FDB’s remodel of 2022 N Dayton is nothing short of spectacular, with high coffered ceilings, elegant lighting, and warm wood floors. A hint of dark accents, such as the dark wood banister, the black framed fireplace, and the black trim windows give this space an extreme sense of elegance and grace.

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Scott Simpson Builders

Principals:
Scott Simpson

Awards:
Make it Better “Best Green Builder” Award,
Historic Preservation Awards

Address:
1529 Shermer Road, Northbrook, IL 60062

About Scott Simpson Builders

Scott Simpson Builders is a Chicago area and North Shore architectural and construction firm founded in 1994 by Scott Simpson. Simpson always loved working with his hands, and he founded the company after attending Loyola University and majoring in psychology. The contractor specializes in the construction of new homes; historic renovations; and eco-conscious, green building projects. Over the years they have build over 100 homes in the communities of Chicago, Evanston, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, and Winnetka, among others. SSB was awarded the 2016, 2015, and 2014 Make it Better “Best Green Builder” Award, as well as 10 Historic Preservation Awards. Scott Simpson Builders has Illinois’ second ever LEED Platinum Certification and Glenview’s first LEED Gold Certification.

The Scott Simpson team was approached by a client who had plans for a condo remodel that would have been too expensive to execute. With their in-house architects, they were able to devise a more budget- and timeline-friendly approach. The new plan included floor-to-ceiling glass walls, beautiful built-ins, and free flowing transitions from one room to the next. The generous open spaces throughout the layout allow the condo to fill with light and provide stunning views of Lake Michigan.

3
A. Perry Homes

Principals:
Tony Perry

Awards:
Lakeland Builders Association Award,
LUXE Interiors + Design Gold List

Address:
1220 Washington Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091

About A. Perry Homes

A. Perry Homes calls themselves “dream builders.” Tony Perry dreamed of building homes as a young boy. As an adult, he traveled extensively throughout Europe to study architectural details of historical buildings, and he often incorporates what he learned into his designs. Innovation and process improvement is always present in their work. The firm received the Lakeland Builders Association Award for Best Overall Layout and Best Kitchen. They made the LUXE Interiors + Design 2015 Gold List, and Tony Perry was featured in Crain’s Chicago Business section, among many other publications and awards.

The before-and-after photos of A. Perry Homes’ remodeling projects are great examples of the power of their spectacular remodels. Lackluster spaces are transformed into luxurious and functional homes. For a project titled “Fairway Elegance,” they transformed the complete look and feel of the house by doing away with outdated cabinetry, revamping old banisters, and removing walls from cramped areas to create a modern, open, and highly elegant design

2
Orren Pickell Building Group

Principals:
Orren Pickell, CEO
Lisa Pickell, President

Awards:
Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago – Best Custom Builder Award,
Crystal Key Award,
Platinum Key Award,
Interiors Chicago Best Custom Builder

Address:
1799 Willow Rd., Northfield IL 60093

About Orren Pickell Building Group

Orren Pickell Building Group is one of the premier home-builders and remodelers in the Midwest. With 40 years of experience, he and his firm understand the dilemma many homeowners face when they love their home but have outgrown its size, or have simply grown tired of its aesthetics. One thing Orren Pickell knows for sure: remodeling is a cost-effective alternative to moving or building a new home.

The company received the Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago – Best Custom Builder Award in 2018, a Crystal Key Award and a Platinum Key Award, among countless others. Orren Pickell was named “Best Custom Builder” by Interiors Chicago.

Orren Pickell renovated a Gold Coast mansion to perfection with an overall classic aesthetic. The residence features beautifully ornate fireplaces, a sweeping staircase, a gorgeous wood enveloped study, and a wine cellar. Detailed molding design accents including crown molding, one-of-a-kind sconce lighting, and recessed lighting make this mansion remodel truly spectacular.

1
Nicholas Design Collaborative

Principals:
Peter Nicholas

Awards:
AIA Chicago Small Project Honor Award,
Home Book Design Excellence Silver Award for Remodeling,
One of Build Direct Magazine 15 Best Architects in Chicago

Address:
509 N Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

About Nicholas Design Collaborative

Peter Nicholas established Nicholas Design Collaborative, a small architectural firm committed to high-quality design in 1989. In 2001, after experiencing many projects with uneven craftsmanship and construction management by outside contractors, Nicholas formed a Design-Build entity, NCA Build, Ltd. in an effort to ensure the quality and economy of the architectural design work produced by Nicholas Design Collaborative.

This method of construction delivery has proven over the years to give the client a higher level of service and a better quality project by having the Architect control both design and construction for an integrated solution. With a more significant presence at the construction site, the architect-builder has better control over the way details are executed, insuring that the materials and methods that have been specified are followed and built correctly.

Through the years, NDC has demonstrated the ability to meet their clients’ needs and produce award-winning designs. The firm has won multiple awards from the American Institute of Architects, Chicago Chapter for both Small Project and Distinguished Building Awards, the Illinois Chapter of the Association of Licensed Architects, the National Association for Registered Architect and the Chicago Home Book. They have also been featured in several publications including Luxe Magazine, Crain’s Chicago, GA Houses, Chicago Tribune, Trends Ideas, Curbed Chicago, Curbed National, Chicago Architect, Chicago Home Magazine and The Contemporist. The firm been recently named as one of Build Direct Magazine’s 15 Best Architects in Chicago, Expertise’s 2018 – 20 Best Architects in Chicago and Chicago Architects Top 10 Design Build Firms in Chicago.

NDC is currently finishing a new home adjacent to the campus of the University of Chicago for a professor and his family and also will be starting a new home this summer in Wilmette for a professor couple who teach at Northwestern University. Both homes feature floor to ceiling glass, strong connections between interior and exterior spaces, energy efficient design and green material selections. Both houses are modern in design, but mindful of the more traditional surrounding homes in both scale and material.

The Best Life Science Architects in Chicago, Illinois

Overview

One of the largest cities in the United States with a population of roughly three million people, Chicago, Illinois, is famous for its bold architecture, museums, and jaw-dropping skyscrapers. Chicago also has several beaches, a broad range of recreation activities, a rich cultural landscape, and a solid job market. Business services, retail, and health care are some of the most prominent industries in the city. The list below names seven of the best life sciences architects in the area. They were chosen for their awards, experience, and portfolios.

Top Life Science Architects

HKS

Address:
125 S. Clark St, #1100 Chicago, IL 60603

About HKS

HKS Architecture is a design-oriented firm that has been committed to providing exemplary service since its founding in 1947. The firm specializes in architecture, engineering, interior design, and consulting services. It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and extends its services globally. HKS Architecture currently has 17 offices in the United States and eight offices throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Mexico.

Featured Projects

The firm’s design team implements a rigid quality control procedure throughout its projects. Then it is continually monitored to ensure effectiveness, make improvements, and design smarter solutions for the long term. The team has an equal commitment to each phase of the project delivery and client services.

HKS Architecture is accredited and certified by the American Institute of Architects, LEED, NAIOP, and more. During its 74 years of extensive experience in the business, the firm has also received various awards from different organizations, including the 2020 Outstanding Organization of the Year for New Construction, the 2020 Fast Company Innovation by Design Spaces & Places, Health, and General Excellence, and the 2019 Architizer A+ Architecture for Greater Good, to name a few.

Wright Heerema Architects

Address:
140 South Dearborn, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60603

About Wright Heerema Architects

Founded in 1996, Wright Heerema Architects started with a simple goal: provide the highest quality of design and service to its clients. The firm specializes in building corporate headquarters and commercial offices, expanding interior architecture, education, hospitality, laboratories, and multi-family buildings. Most of its projects are situated in the Chicago Metro areas, but it has also had projects in other locations, such as Vail, Colorado, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Featured Projects

In the firm’s first five years, it was able to complete roughly 5 million square feet of projects. Since then, its portfolio has constantly expanded, allowing them to move to a collaborative space in the historic Marquette Building in Chicago. The firm runs under the leadership of principals Stephen T. Wright, AIA, LEED AP, Roger Heerema, AIA, and Ken Wardingley, AIA.

CRB

Address:
1251 NW Briarcliff Parkway, Suite 500, Kansas City, MO 64116

About CRB

CRB is a leading global provider of sustainable engineering, architecture, construction and consulting solutions to the global life sciences and advanced technology industries. Their more than 1,600 employees provide world-class solutions that drive success and positive change for their clients, their people and their communities. CRB is a privately held company with a rich history of serving clients throughout the world, consistently striving for the highest standard of technical knowledge, creativity and execution.

Featured Projects

With 20 offices across North America and Europe, CRB holds accreditations and certificates from the American Institute of Architects, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Building Design and Construction), and is a Certified Energy Manager.

MRSA Architects and Planners

Address:
822 West Washington Boulevard Chicago, IL 60607

About MRSA Architects and Planners

MRSA Architects and Planners is a Chicago-based firm that offers architecture, interior design, planning, LEED consulting, re-measurement, OEMC consulting, and design strategy services to clients within the Chicago Metro area. The firm was established in 1981 and has been striving to create spaces that work as well as they look. The firm has a proven track record of transforming clients’ vision into remarkable results.

Featured Projects

The firm also understands that each client has unique requirements. The firm starts its projects by encouraging clients to learn about its people and their capabilities. It believes that when clients are comfortable with the team, it is easier and more comfortable to exchange ideas necessary for the project’s success. The firm operates under the leadership of Mark Schaefer, AIA and Michael Semenzin, LEED AP.

Stantec

Address:
224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400 Chicago, IL 60604

About Stantec

Operating out of its office in Chicago, Illinois, Stantec is a full-service architecture planning and design firm that has been in the business since 1954. 67 years in the industry have seen the company grow to more than 350 locations across six different continents, with over 22,000 employees in total. It services a wide range of markets, including aviation, civic, education, entertainment, restaurants, hotels, and more.

Featured Projects

The firm always designs with the community in mind because they provide a foundation and sense of belonging. Stantec consists of skilled designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers who work together to complete projects that improve the quality of life in communities worldwide.

It has garnered various accomplishments, including the 2018 Property Council of Australia/Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation & Excellence Awards, the 2019 Financial Review Client Choice Awards, and the 2018 Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) WA Excellence Award.

Flad Architects

Address:
644 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711

About Flad Architects

A national planning and design firm, Flad Architects, has almost a decade of experience in the industry. It specializes in architecture, planning, interior, landscape, and structural engineering projects and services in the United States. The firm is committed to creating facilities that stand out and enhance human potential. It partners with universities, science-based companies, leading research organizations, and healthcare institutions to design innovative buildings that impact society.

Featured Projects

The firm strongly believes that a collaborative approach is essential for the success of each project. Together with its clients and partners, the firm delves deeply into the challenges they encounter, and then it creates solutions. Flad Architects runs under the leadership of Jeff Zutz AIA, LEED AP, president, and CEO. Jeff has been the firm’s managing principal for 12 years before taking over the role of president and CEO.

Best Custom Home Builders & Design-Build Firms in Chicago

Overview

Chicago’s residential design-build firms are setting a high standard with two trends in elegant, family-friendly dwellings. The custom home builders are buying up oversized lots in upscale neighborhoods, like the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park, and offering ready-to-build custom designs perfect for the area. Using a design-build firm can ensure building a Chicago custom house goes smoothly. In downtown highrises, as well as in neighboring North Shore suburbs, design-build firms are winning awards for their historically sensitive renovations. Whether it’s expanding or renovating an existing home or starting from scratch, these design firms are offering first-rate services from the design phase through the finished product. Ranked below are Chicago-based firms receiving attention in local and national publications, winning awards for their exemplary customer service and designs, and designing award-winning homes.

Top Custom Home Builders & Design-Build Firms

A. Perry Homes

Principals:
Tony Perry

Awards:
Make It Better Magazine Best Architect and Builder

Address:
1220 Washington Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091

About A. Perry Homes

With over 30 years of experience, founder Tony Perry has been the design architect on over 400 homes, surpassing $600M in construction costs. Specializing in luxury homes in the North Shore suburbs, A. Perry Homes offers design-to-build services for remodels and new construction. They were named Best Architect and Builder for Make It Better Magazine’s Best Of lists from 2013 through 2017. They’ve also been featured in Luxe Magazine and the Chicago Tribune.

Featured Projects

The firm’s custom-designed home in Glencoe, Illinois was featured in Luxe Interiors and Design. The family of six takes advantage of the 8,656-square-foot space. The design offered a sensitive mix of formal and informal family areas made of durable elements for the active family, such as distressed hardwood floors. The home has a grandeur that combines the old-world and coastal living appeal.

Airoom Architects Builders and Remodelers

Awards:
National Kitchen and Bath Association National Builder/Remodeler of the Year

Address:
6824 N Lincoln Avenue, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

About Airoom Architects Builders and Remodelers

With over 60 years of experience, this firm has completed over 16,000 projects all over the Chicagoland area. Airoom specializes in home additions, kitchens, and bathrooms, but the firm also builds complete custom homes, as well. The firm was named the 2017 National Builder/Remodeler of the Year by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. They have received additional remodeling awards from Build Magazine, The Chicago Home Book Design Competition, Professional Remodeler Magazine, among many others. Their projects have been featured in Kitchen and Bath Business Magazine and Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago.

Featured Projects

Airoom’s task for this family home in Lake Bluff was to revamp a crowded first floor with four small rooms into a more practical living space that would accommodate a busy family. The team removed load-bearing walls and moved or hid elements like upper-level plumbing. The result was an open split level, utilizing two large rooms with natural light and a more comfortable overall flow.

Benvenuti and Stein

Design-Build President:
Geno Benvenuti

Awards:
Professional Remodeler Magazine Design Award,
Professional Remodeler Magazine Market Leader Award,
Chrysalis Awards,
Marvin Integrity- Red Diamond Achiever Award,
Village of Winnetka Preservation Award,
City of Evanston Preservation and Design Award,
Village of Glencoe Historic Preservation Award,
Village of Wilmette Preservation Award

Address:
2001 Greenleaf, Evanston, IL 60202

About Benvenuti and Stein

Benvenuti and Stein offers remodel, addition, and new construction services, as well as custom cabinetry. Founder Geno Benvenuti has been a design/ builder in Chicago since 1977 with in-house architects and designers. Especially active in Evanston, he is an executive board member and treasurer of the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse- A non-profit organization that promotes the reduction of waste in landfills through sustainable deconstruction and renovation building practices, while fostering job training programs. Benvenuti and Stein runs a design center and showroom in Winnetka, as well as a custom cabinetry shop in Evanston. The firm received three Chrysalis Awards in 2020, a 2015 Design Award and 2007 Market Leader Award from Professional Remodeler and numerous local historical preservation awards.

Featured Projects

The firm’s rehab project for a 1950s home in Winnetka won the 2016 Winnetka Preservation Award for Rehabilitation, a Professional Remodeler Magazine Design Award, and the Marvin Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award. This massive rehab started in the home’s bones, gutting the framing of the first floor to the roof rafters. With coveted views of the lake in almost every room, the newly designed home features glass walls and an open floor plan.

BGD&C

Awards:
NAHB Best in American Living Award,
Home Builder Association of Greater Chicago Diamond Key Award

Address:
875 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

About BGD&C

In 1986, Rodger Owen and Charles Grode teamed up to form a small contracting firm serving the city’s high-end architects. After much success, they expanded their offerings to offer a complete set of design and build services. The firm focuses on the Lincoln Park and Gold Coast neighborhoods. Their houses have set records for the highest selling prices of a single-family residence in the city. The firm has lots available in the neighborhoods’ hottest areas, including North Orchard Street, where empty lots go for around $3M and are ready for their $9-$12M custom-designed home. Roger Owen was recently inducted in the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame for his contribution to the residential design industry. The firm won the 2019 Best in American Living Award by NAHB.

Featured Projects

BGD&C collaborated with KADLEC Architecture and Design to design and build a 13,000-square-foot home in Lincoln Park. Per the client’s wishes for a mix of formal and informal living spaces, the home blends a classic French Provincial style with more casual, contemporary elements. Recreation spaces include a pool and a dedicated playroom. KADLEC focused on the interior design, while BGD&C oversaw the planning, overall design, and building portions of the project.

Foster Design Build

Principals:
Robert Berg

Address:
564 W Randolph – Second Floor, Chicago, IL 60661

About Foster Design Build

Founded by Robert Berg in 2008 this firm offers custom home design and building services for residential and commercial clients. With nearly 30 years in the construction business, Robert Berg has worked on a wide range of projects, from luxury custom homes to the renovation of the O’Hare International Airport Food Court. He also led the renovation of Randolph Place Lofts which, at nearly a million square feet, was the largest residential conversion in the country at that time.

FDB has developed multiple properties in the trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood. It has become one of the top names for custom luxury home designs, while also standing out for its dedication to historic restoration. The company has been featured in Luxury Home Quarterly, NBC News, and the Chicago Architecture Blog, among others.

Featured Projects

In 2012, Luxury Home Quarterly featured the firm’s renovation of a century-old residence in Hyde Park, which just happened to be right next door to President Barack Obama. The renovation included careful replacement of the dilapidated windows and brick facade, which needed to be approved by the City of Chicago’s Department of Landmarks. The renovation, which upgraded the 6,000-square-foot home to 11,000 square feet, also added new smart features and many practical offerings, such as kid-friendly storage space.

More recently, fully renovating David Adler’s historic 2700 N Lakeview Residence. Built in 1915-1917 by owner Emily Ryerson, this 15,000 square foot home now features two luxury residences in the Lincoln Park area by the lake, now available for purchase. You can view the details here.

Leader Builders

Principals:
Peter Antonow

Address:
6327 W Dempster Street, Morton Grove, IL 60053

About Leader Builders

Owner and President Peter Antonow has operated this design-build firm out of Morton Grove for over 30 years. Leader Builders offers home improvements, additions, and renovations, as well as new home design and construction. They have been featured on several episodes of HGTV programming, including House Hunters Renovation. Their work has also been featured in Wall Street Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and Trends Magazine.

Featured Projects

The Chicago Tribune covered the firm’s renovation of a three-bedroom Gold Coast high-rise condo. The condo’s previous owner made structural and decorative modifications that its new occupant felt did not match the architecture of the building. The firm worked with Powell/Kleinschmidt Architectural firm to strip the condo down to its bones and start over. Finishing touches included custom stone and millwork, new cabinetry, and tinted solar screens for the windows.

Moss

Principals:
Laura Cripe
Matt Nardella

Address:
2855 West Diversey Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

About Moss

Moss is a full-service architecture and design studio serving the residential, retail, and commercial sectors. The firm assists clients from site selection and design to the permitting and construction process. Moss creates site-specific designs with an emphasis on integrating natural light and air, creating and protecting green spaces, and using sustainable materials. The firm was co-founded by Laura Cripe and Matt Nardella, AIA, LEED-AP. Cripe is a certified permaculturist and urban farmer and manages the firm’s business development. A graduate of the New School of Architecture, Nardella returned to his hometown of Chicago to establish his own firm after spending a decade designing sustainable architecture in San Diego. Moss was selected to be part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s 50 Designers, 50 Ideas, 50 Wards Exhibit. They’ve been featured in Chicago Architect Magazine and have made a number of appearances in CS Interiors.

Featured Projects

Moss’s Erie Street Loft project was Curbed Chicago’s 2011 Home Remodel of the Year. The 2,400-square-foot, two-story loft accents its industrial origins. To give it an open feel, parts of the floor have been left open, and the loft includes a glass walkway on the second floor. The loft also features a reclaimed wood fireplace, custom shelving, Shoji doors, and a green roof terrace. The project has been featured on Apartment Therapy and CS Interiors Magazine.

Nicholas Design Collaborative

Principals:
Peter Nicholas

Awards:
American Licensed Architects Design Awards,
Association of Licensed Architects Award of Merit,
AIA Chicago Honor Awards

Address:
509 N Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

About Nicholas Design Collaborative

Principal Peter Nicholas, AIA, NCARB, founded his own architectural firm in 1989 and added the design/build component in 2001. The firm can now guide clients from the design phase through the entire building process. The firm has been focused on custom single family homes since its inception, but has also completed multi family, affordable housing, renovation and addition projects. Among the firm’s many distinctions, NDC has won design awards from the Association of Licensed Architects, AIA Chicago and has been published in numerous print and online publications.

Featured Projects

In 2015, Chicago Architect Magazine featured NDC’s Periscope House, located in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood. A complete renovation of the 1970s-era 1,200-square-foot home added two new bedrooms and one new bath to the existing two of each. The entire project raised the square-footage to 2,500. The second-floor master bedroom suite was designed with floor-to-ceiling glass, creating a periscope effect with a view of the tree-filled street. The open living space below wraps around a stunning urban courtyard. The firm recently completed a new house in Wilmette, IL on a triangular lot which weaves outdoor space with indoor space in order to maximize site usage which blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor space.  They are also working on a new four unit, attached single family residence development in Highland Park Illinois.  Each house is over 4,000 sf with basement and has floor to ceiling glass, a landscape private courtyard and roof deck.  Construction is scheduled to start in spring 2021 and is being developed by Peter Nicholas. 

Norsman Architects, Ltd.

Principals:
Brent Norsman

Address:
1309 N Wicker Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

About Norsman Architects, Ltd.

This full-service architectural firm offers collaborative and sustainable-focused services for commercial, residential, and mixed-use developments. Through the firm’s construction arm, House Plant, Inc., the architects work closely with clients and subcontractors to create the best possible finished space. Founder Brent Norsman teaches at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Featured Projects

Completed in 2013, a Wicker Park home was built around a 13-square-foot sunken living space. The 5,500-square-foot home maintains a clean modern aesthetic using an open floor plan, concrete and walnut floors, and cabinetry. The open winding stairway calls attention to the beautiful pine ceiling treatment. The firm completed an adaptive re-use to an Oak Park single family residence in 2012. The project included a substantial rear addition, bringing the total square footage to 5,700. Additions include a new great room and kitchen area, a playroom, and second-floor bedrooms. A custom-made plate steel, glass, and wood stairway joins the addition to the existing structure and serves as a central point of balance. The firm moved a one-car garage to the front to the house, which opened up space at the back of the lot. The added great room uses large corner windows to take advantage of their newly claimed greenspace. Standing seam exterior siding acts as a rain-screen and redirects runoff to a rain garden.

Orren Pickell Building Group

Awards:
Best Home Builder” North Shore Choice Awards,
Best Custom Builder for a Traditional Home

Address:
740 W Fulton St., #601, Chicago, IL 60661

About Orren Pickell Building Group

Orren Pickell is a design-build, remodeling, and home maintenance professional serving the Chicagoland area, Southern Wisconsin, and Harbor Country Michigan with time-tested practices. For over five decades, the Pickell family has been putting up premium custom homes all over the North Shore. Orren has personally made a name for outstanding design and construction in his over forty years in the industry. These qualities led the firm to multiple Crystal Key and Platinum Key awards for residential projects. You can view more of their work here.

Featured Projects

This traditional home in Lake Geneva is a Crystal Key award-winning residential project done by the firm. The home has a clean appeal achieved with neutral colors and finishes, along with traditional design elements. This project packs exterior millwork, cropped stone for the gardens, and porches with impeccable stone detailing.

Power Construction Co.

Principals:
Brandon Rogalski

Awards:
Professional Builder Magazine 40 Under 40

Address:
8750 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60631

About Power Construction Co.

Founded in 1926, Power Construction is the largest construction firm that focuses exclusively in the greater Chicago area. In the 1990s, Power created the Luxury Residence Group to focus on the design and construction of luxury-scale condos and single-family homes. The firm is managed by Brandon Rogalski, whom Professional Builder Magazine named in its 40 Under 40 list in 2011 while he was the senior project manager at Norcon.
Beyond the self-standing homes, the group has designed condos in The Waldorf Astoria, The Palmolive Building, and The Ritz Carlton Residences among many other prestigious places. The firm often pairs with other notable architecture firms and contractors to provide the best services to their clients.

Featured Projects

Working alongside Gary Lee Partners, an independent interior design collective, Luxury Residence Group completed a massive renovation of a historic Hyde Park residence in 2015. The home was originally designed by architect Henry Van Doren Shaw in 1904.

Scott Simpson Design + Build

Address:
1529 Shermer Rd., Northbrook, IL 60062

About Scott Simpson Design + Build

When it comes to luxury homes, Scott Simpson has been a leading name for over 30 years. The firm has captured the attention of luxury home magazines and home building organizations all over the North Shore. Publications such as Realtor Magazine, Interiors Chicago, and Modern Luxury took notice of the firm’s top-notch workmanship.

Featured Projects

The firm’s portfolio sports age-old classics including Ranch homes, Tudor, and Prairie homes. The photo displays a Rustic home with Ranch elements, one of the firm’s finest works. This unique home has an exterior with a combined wood and stonework which makes a statement of elegance and good taste.

The Best Industrial Architects in Chicago, Illinois

Overview

As a global commercial, finance, technology, and transportation hub, Chicago has one of the busiest and most dynamic industrial scenes in the region. The best industrial architects in Chicago are witnesses to the complex, technology-based, and high-performance architectural and design demands for many of the city’s structures.

The firms featured here have worked with the biggest and most significant industries for decades to provide modern, sustainable, and multi-awarded architecture. These firms are supported by architects, engineers, and general contractors to help the city respond to the emerging challenges of industrial design.

Top Industrial Architects

Lamar Johnson Collaborative

Address:
35 E Wacker Dr. Suite #1300, Chicago, IL 60601

About Lamar Johnson Collaborative

Lamar Johnson Collaborative, a full-service design and architecture firm, was commissioned by 3M to design its largest logistics facility in DeKalb, Illinois. The completed work totaling close to 1,000,000 square feet includes office spaces, hazard storage areas, and loading and unloading docks. The building’s facade features modern architecture’s clean and minimalist look with an indoor-outdoor connection, ample lighting, and open-air spaces featuring a clean contemporary design. This project utilized the Enterprise’s integrated design-build capabilities and was built by Clayco and developed by Venture One Real Estate, LLC.

Featured Projects

Since the firm’s inception, LJC has designed large industrial manufacturing and distribution facilities across the nation. Some of these projects are featured in Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, and Architect Magazine. LJC is committed to enhancing the quality of the human experience and improving how design and architecture can impact each individual’s emotional being. By harnessing the power of integrated design, including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and engineering, the company achieves its clients’ goals and aspirations. For more information, please visit www.theljc.com

Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects

Address:
130 E. Randolph Suite #3100, Chicago, IL 60601

About Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects

Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects led the architecture and design efforts for the Franklin Park Data Center. Located in Illinois, the 412,500-square-foot facility was completed in two stages for its much-needed modernization. The project’s first phase covered the expansion of the campus and the second phase focused on the transformation of the two existing industrial buildings. Completed in 2015, the final work achieved US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Silver certification.

Featured Projects

Sustainability-focused projects inspired by modern architecture dominate the firm’s portfolio. Leading its Chicago office’s location are principal architects known for their extensive background in architecture and sustainability. Aside from their offices across the country, the firm also serves European clients through their London office. Since the firm’s inception in 1966, it has produced work commended by Archinect, Crain’s Chicago Business Journal, Architect Magazine, and Forbes.

Ghafari Associates

Address:
122 S Michigan Ave. Suite #1500, Chicago, IL 60603

About Ghafari Associates

Ghafari Associates led the architecture and design work for Woodward’s airframe systems manufacturing facility in Niles. Covering 334,000 square feet, the building also accommodates 100,000 square feet of office buildings. One of the goals of the design was to provide collaborative spaces that can encourage creativity, problem-solving, and knowledge sharing. Originally an old, one-story warehouse, the firm transformed the facility into a modern structure that is commended for its efficiency and performance.

Featured Projects

Projects that highlight efficient engineering and architecture can be found in the firm’s global portfolio. These projects are constant features in American industry publications, including Architect Magazine, Engineering News-Record, Chicago Magazine, and Building Design+Construction. In Chicago, it has delivered many celebrated landmarks for the industrial market. Jim Jobes, AIA leads the firm’s services for its Illinois office.

Epstein Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

Address:
600 W. Fulton St., Chicago, IL 60661

About Epstein Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

Epstein Architecture, Engineering, and Construction delivered the retrofitting of Magid Glove & Safety Manufacturing Company’s new facility in Illinois. Housing the client’s headquarters, manufacturing, and warehouse complex, the structure covers approximately 604,000 square feet of area. Some of the goals of the design include improved acoustics, ventilation, access to natural light, and energy-efficient lighting. The newly retrofitted facility will also accommodate more than 200 employees for its corporate division, 150 employees that will work in the new manufacturing section, and 60 employees to maintain and manage its warehouse. Magid also required additional dock structures along the building’s south side.

Featured Projects

The company delivered this featured project using its design-build delivery method. The same approach has been used to produce projects for other notable clients in the industrial sector. Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Curbed, and Northwestern Now have documented many of the firm’s milestones throughout its over 100 years of practice.

Earles Architects and Associates

Address:
566 W. Lake St. Suite #100, Chicago, IL 60661

About Earles Architects and Associates

Earles Architects and Associates was commissioned by industrial and commercial products distributor, Grainger, to expand, renovate, and construct its showrooms and warehouse centers throughout Chicagoland. One of its projects was for its Illinois facility that covers 190,000 square feet. This design work included warehouse additions and space planning, exterior upgrades, landscape design, corporate office design, as well as installation of the building’s mechanical and electrical components.

Featured Projects

The firm’s success in completing complex design projects for the industrial sector can be attributed to the background of its principal architect, Dan Earles, AIA, LEED, AP ID+C. Under his leadership, the firm has produced a multi-awarded portfolio, with projects honored with the 2020 Retail Interior Concept, Rethinking the Future’s Architecture Awards, and the 2020 ALA Award for its Akuna Capital project.

C+K Architecture

Address:
19934 Wolf Rd. #176, Mokena, IL 60448

About C+K Architecture

C+K Architecture was tasked with the design of a 2,000-square-foot data center laboratory as preparation for a larger structure for the client’s operations. The firm included corporate offices, a temporary data center, and a UPS room into the design. They also were in charge of managing the structure’s overall space programming, structural and fire protection, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installations among other tasks. In order to deliver the work, the company provided architecture and building information modeling (BIM) services.

Featured Projects

For this featured work and other industrial projects, the firm has been commended for its extensive skills in delivering mission-critical structures. This range and expertise can be attributed to its principal architect, Christopher D. Krestel, RA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C.

MRSA Architects and Planners

Address:
822 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

About MRSA Architects and Planners

Since the company’s establishment over four decades ago, it has partnered with the biggest institutions in the region to deliver projects of the same complexity and quality requirements. For the different sectors that the firm serves, Mark Schaefer, AIA and Michael Semenzin, LEED AP, the firm’s principal architects, developed the company’s design practice focusing on excellent architecture and sustainable design.

Featured Projects

MRSA Architects most recent industrial project is an 89,750 square foot plastics manufacturing building in Gurnee. The building includes 83,250 square feet of high-bay warehouse and manufacturing area with a cleanroom, grinder pits, production and rack storage. The client will be fabricating high-end polymer sheeting for the airline and automotive industries. There is also 6,500 square feet of office for client’s commercial headquarters. The building is currently under construction and scheduled to be delivered in November 2021.

The Best Green Architects in Chicago, Illinois

Overview

In 2019, Chicago was named The Greenest City in Green Building Adoption Index, a spot that it has consistently secured over the past years. This recognition can be attributed to its growing number of green building certifications being submitted and passed by construction and architectural firms that serve the commercial, corporate, and multifamily industries, among many others. This could present a timely solution, in that, according to a recent study, a big percentage of Chicago’s carbon emissions come from the city’s buildings and other urban structures. With Chicago’s government aiming for a stronger and thriving environmental and economic future, the role of architects and builders that share the same advocacy and embrace green design practices is significantly put into focus.

Below are the best green architects in Chicago. The firms included here are design and architecture studios that are led and operated by licensed architects. These firms are either based in the city or have taken on design and architecture commissions for residential and multiresidential projects in the area. The article looked at each of the firm’s contributions to the industry’s sustainable movement through projects conceptualized based on the emerging green design and building practices that its advocates have championed for years. The list also considered the number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified projects that the firm delivered through the years as well as its affiliations with relevant entities in the industry, including the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Built it Green organization, among others. Additionally, these firms are multi-awarded design and architectural studios that have caught the attention of the design and building community through highly commended and unforgettable architectures, many of which have transformed and revitalized the city’s most vibrant residential communities.

Top Green Architects

Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture

Address:
57 W Grand Ave. Suite #300, Chicago, Illinois 60654

About Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture

Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture traces its beginnings from one of Chicago’s prolific architecture firms, DeStefano Partners. The company first opened its doors over three decades ago and was a prized venture by the renowned studio’s executives, Avram Lothan, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), LEED AP BD+C, Mary Ann Van Hook, American Institute of Architects (AIA), LEED AP, and James R. DeStefano FAIA, FALA, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The practice primarily focuses on the residential, education, commercial, and community sectors. Its overall scope covers programming, planning, interiors, design, sustainability, and LEED consulting services.

As a green architect that serves Illinois, the firm has completed an overwhelming list of single-residential designs that not only celebrate the sustainable characteristics of green architecture, but also highlight the transformative qualities of great architecture. One of the projects that showcases the best of both green design and design excellence is a private residence in Chicago. The project won multiple AIA awards, including the AIA Chicago Chapter’s Distinguished Building Award and the Interior Architecture Award. Leading industry publications such as Chicago Tribune magazine also featured the work.

Featured Projects

For another project, this time for the education market, the firm led the programming, architecture, and interior design of the 61,038-square-foot Legacy Charter School in Illinois. The client wanted a sustainable building that features inexpensive, minimalist materials. Additionally, it wanted to provide a learning environment that encourages creativity, critical thinking, and environmental and social responsibility. The choice of palette in bright, vivid colors is meant to provide a visually interactive space. The preference for energy-efficient systems, such as solar photovoltaic solutions, exemplifies the school’s vision of teaching citizenship and civic responsibilities. Included in the plan are study and workrooms, private breakout space, as well as traditional and specialty classrooms. Completed in 2017, the project was designed to pass the LEED-Platinum standard. Licensed Architect and The Architect’s Newspaper featured the project in their 2014 and 2015 issues, respectively.

2 Point Perspective, Inc.

Address:
1137 W Webster Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

About 2 Point Perspective, Inc.

Incorporating “sustainability without compromising design.” These words define 2 Point Perspective, Inc.’s integral practice, as a professional that specializes in LEED-certified buildings. Guided with the vision of creating a more environmentally sustainable future, the firm champions green building advocacy that not only defines its architecture practice, but also advances its design methods to cater to the emerging needs of modern lifestyles. The company is known for its innovative practice where it makes use of green building materials and smart technologies that promote sustainability through reduced water consumption, lower carbon emissions, and waste reduction. These characteristics can be found in the firm’s extensive portfolio for the medical, corporate, restaurant, and residential sectors.

The company was founded in 2006 by Lisa Elkins, LEED AP, a licensed Illinois architect and registered interior designer along with her husband, Ron Elkins. The Elkinses have each practiced for more than two decades. Their love of architecture and design has led to including extensive travel, architectural teaching stints, and job opportunities in London, San Francisco, and eventually, Chicago. 2 Point became a certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE) in 2012 and talented staff member, Emily Tjeerdsma, became a partner shortly after.

Featured Projects

As a full-service architecture and interior design firm, the company not only takes on designs for new builds, but also specializes in modernizing some of the city’s most iconic historic residences.

As an advocate of the green building movement, 2 Point Perspective, Inc. has completed a long list of projects that follow the standards of sustainability and actively takes part in industry-sponsored events that promote such advocacy. For instance, the design of the Oak Park Zero Energy Home, a small-foot-print residential design developed to pass USGBC’s LEED Platinum standards, was recognized in a village-sponsored green home competition. Another example of its sustainable design project is a recently completed solar powered residence in Chicago. The residence was designed to produce more energy than it will use over the course of a year. It also utilizes energy-efficient windows. Inside, the home features recycled glass countertops and tiles. Aside from using LED lighting, it is also equipped with modern appliances — all are selected based on their energy efficiency.

Elements Architectural Group

Address:
1040 North Blvd. Suite #220 Oak Park, IL 60301

About Elements Architectural Group

Since Elements Architectural Group’s inception in 2006, its practice has been guided by the goal of “designing, creating, and implementing a sustainable vision.” True to this vision, its years of practice are represented by an extensive list of ecologically-responsible designs that showcase its nod to sustainability while putting a spotlight on its excellence in architecture, through multi-awarded and unforgettable projects, featured in the industry’s most prestigious publications.

Modern Luxury Interiors, Chicago’s Kitchen and Bath, Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Home + Garden, among others, have highlighted its residential and green designs. These works also caught the attention of respected entities, including the AIA, Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), ALA, and USGBC, just to name a few. These recognitions are not only a testament to the company’s influence as a renowned architectural firm, but also emphasizes its role in the industry’s growing sustainable design movement. They also represent the vision of the firm’s principal architect, William Scholtens. When Scholtens founded the company, he aimed at creating a studio that practices a highly collaborative and holistic approach to client interaction. True to this goal, the company has conceptualized and curated unique, custom luxury residential, and commercial spaces across the region, many of which feature green and sustainable designs.

Featured Projects

One project that represents its caliber as an architect is the Bathed in Light. Located in Lincoln Park, Chicago, this LEED Platinum-certified home used to be a multifamily building that accommodates six different flats. From being a dark, dreary, and forgettable structure, the firm transformed the home into a revitalized haven. The project was an iconic representation of how dated spaces can evolve into a modern abode that carries the promise of sustainability and energy efficiency through green design. The company also deployed state-of-the-art technologies that deliver subtle, yet functional crucial features that maximize the availability of natural light and fresh air. Aside from being the city’s first single-home renovation project that received USGBC’s prolific accreditation, the project was chosen as a setting for Brazilian Furniture + Design company Sossego for its catalog photoshoot.

DESALVOFLORIAN Architects

Address:
53 West Jackson, Chicago, Illinois 60604

About DESALVOFLORIAN Architects

When John DeSalvo Design merged with Florian Architects, it introduced a comprehensive, sustainable, and technology-based design practice that looks at architecture as a “collaborative art.” DESALVOFLORIAN Architects nurtures an environment of collaboration where clients, builders, and designers actively take part in the design process. The initial stages start with conceptualizing design ideas where the project owners, guided by the firm’s design team, choose from a number of options and specific details about the project. The company then synthesizes and refines the resulting design to create a structurally feasible and architecturally unique work. Both builders and project architects then work together to determine the budget and ensure quality control.

The result is a project that represents the stylistic and functional preferences of its homeowners. Similarly, many of the firm’s projects incorporate custom structural and design elements that embody the individuality of their owners: color themes, the choice of materials, fixtures, and other exterior and interior finishes. Its extensive portfolio features modern and contemporary residences, some of which have been commended by the AIA Illinois and AIA Chicago through several Citation of Merit awards. The Benrubi Cohen Residence featured here, for instance, exemplifies these characteristics. The free-standing house highlights contemporary details that allow the indoors to freely interact with the outdoors. Its open, expansive atmosphere is created through the thoughtful use of materials, light, space, and palette.

Featured Projects

The firm is currently led by principal architects Paul Florian, FAIA, and John DeSalvo, AIA. With the support of USGBC members and LEED-Accredited Professionals within its team, the company delivers iconic green spaces that highlight sustainable designs and promote how green building practices can enhance the lives of individuals and single-family homeowners. Many of these projects are curated not just to fit the definition of a dream home, but to champion green architectures that promise a better, healthier, high-performing, and enduring residential haven that can be enjoyed by present and future generations.

HKS, Inc.

Address:
125 S Clark St. Suite #1100, Chicago, IL 60603

About HKS, Inc.

Since HKS Inc.’s inception in 1939, it has brought to life some of the most meaningful architecture and design projects in the country, curated to enhance the lives of their users and bring forth a meaningful impact on the communities that they serve. Its earlier practice highlights several specializations, including services for urban design, interior design, architecture, and sustainable design projects. As an interdisciplinary global design firm, the company has evolved to explore projects beyond architecture and design.

Today, the firm is composed of several teams that come from a multi-faceted background, including anthropologists, researchers, urban designers, healthcare professionals, graphic designers, and more, to deliver services to the aviation, commercial, civic, cultural, education, health, government, hospitality, entertainment, sports, senior living, and residential mixed-use, among others. In Chicago, the firm opened its first doors almost 10 years ago and brought with it the legacy of its early practice as well as introduced its take on sustainability and environmentally responsible practices. Rand Ekman, FAIA and LEED Fellow, leads the company’s sustainable design team as its Principal and Chief Sustainability Officer. Under his leadership, the company has produced some of the most iconic multi-residential and mixed-use green buildings not only in Illinois, but also across some of the major cities in the U.S.

Featured Projects

In recent years, the company was named LEED Proven Provider by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), a prestigious title that includes the firm in the industry’s elites that have exhibited a thorough and outstanding practice in administering LEED-certified projects and its relevant documentation. This certification allows the firm to optimize its LEED certification review process for all of its projects. Additionally, the said designation reflects the firm’s performance as a significant leader in the country’s green architecture movement by delivering high-performing, sustainable, and environmentally-conscious architectures across the country.

HOK

Address:
333 S Wabash Ave., 14th Fl., Chicago, IL 60604

About HOK

HOK is an award-winning American company that has a global presence as a leader in architecture, design, engineering, and planning. The company is supported by more than 1,600 professionals and works from its 23 offices across three continents. With its more than six decades of practice, the firm remains one of the country’s most established companies that has championed continuous innovation and evolution through the years. These achievements are constantly recognized by the industry’s biggest entities.

For one, ENR has ranked the firm on its top spot for the Best Green Building Architecture/Engineering Firms and the Best Architecture and Engineering Firms listings. The firm was also included among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Architecture Firms in 2019. Aside from its excellence in architecture and engineering, the company is an active and vocal advocate for green architecture. In recent years, the firm was ranked top in Engineering News-Record’s survey of the Top Green Building Design Firms, Architecture/Engineering firm category, and ranked third in the overall report results. Sustainable architectures and green-design projects can be found in its extensive portfolio, especially for its works in the residential sector.

Featured Projects

Sustainable living is a huge factor in the firm’s campaign to produce modern spaces that deliver functionality, energy efficiency, and resiliency. Projects all over the world, especially for the high-rise multiresidential sector, mixed-use facilities, and wholesale residential neighborhoods, embody these characteristics. To date, the firm has designed more than 100 million square feet of green spaces, with over 360 green-certified projects. These works are designed to pass USGBC’s most stringent LEED certifications. Some of these projects earned AIA COTE awards for the Sustainable Design Excellence category.

John Ronan Architects

Address:
610 N Fairbanks Ct., Chicago, IL 60611

About John Ronan Architects

From John Ronan Architects’s headquarters in Chicago, this firm expands its services to deliver an internationally-recognized design practice, renowned for its research-based and collaborative design methodologies. The approach is reflective of its principal architect’s signature as a designer and innovator. Since he started his own firm, John Ronan, FAIA, has pursued an iterative process that allowed him to explore a wide spectrum of ideas aimed to produce a systematic curation of designs that responds to the specific needs of a project’s site, situation, and social, cultural, and economic context. By looking at the specificities and uniqueness of project types from different perspectives and market sectors, Ronan is able to deliver an ever-evolving architectural and design methodology that has transformed many of the region’s architectural landscapes since its founding more than 20 years ago.

The company currently offers urban planning and design, landscape design, interior, and graphic design, and architecture designs. These services cater to different market segments, including cultural, educational, recreational, commercial, spiritual, hospitality, as well as the single and multifamily sectors. The firm’s projects can be found worldwide, many of which are highlighted for their exploratory approach and imposes a thoughtful stand on sustainability and enduring performance.

Featured Projects

In recent years, Architect magazine ranked the firm among its Top 50 in Sustainability listing. As a green architect that serves the region, including Chicago’s rising environmentally conscious homeowners, the firm has completed many outstanding works in the city. These are projects that bear the innovation and green design that the firm is celebrated for. The Loft House project, for instance, was one of its most unforgettable works. The firm transformed an existing commercial building and re-adapted it into a loft residence that highlights green spaces, high-performing, and energy-efficient structural features.

Landon Bone Baker Architects

Address:
1625 W Carroll Ave., Chicago, IL 60612

About Landon Bone Baker Architects

Established in 1987, Landon Bone Baker Architects is a transformative and community-driven practice that has not only shaped the region’s residential landscape, but has also uplifted people’s lives through thoughtfully-designed homes that celebrate sustainability, accessibility, and comfort. True to the original vision of the firm, the company remains focused on addressing affordable housing options in the often-overlooked communities in Chicago through close collaboration with their clients.

Featured Projects

In 2019, the firm led the design of the Tierra Linda project for the housing advocate organization Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA). Tierra Linda provides 45 affordable housing units across the Humboldt Park community, embodying LUCHA’s commitment to providing healthy and sustainable living spaces to Chicago’s underserved communities. The work was a collaboration with Linn-Mathes Construction, RTM Associates MEP engineers, and Eco Achievers energy consultants. One of the most interesting parts of this commission was the design of the first multifamily Passive House residence in the city. The development ultimately received recognition by Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) as Best Overall Project Winner, representing the marriage between affordable housing and green technology.

Legat Architects

Address:
549 W Randolph St. Suite #602, Chicago, IL 60661

About Legat Architects

Legat Architects, a Chicago-based sustainable architecture and interior design firm founded in 1964, works with building owners and communities to overcome facility challenges with design that improves performance and lives. The firm operates six Midwestern studios to bring its local clients convenient access to an exclusive team of architects and designers who know the local context. At the same time, as a global firm, it delivers the caliber and resources of a large company, providing both familiarity and scope to take on projects of different sizes and complexities.

Featured Projects

Through the latest in design technologies and innovative architectural practices, Legat emphasizes sustainability and performance. These qualities can be found in its extensive project list, which includes facilities ranging from corporate and multifamily to educational and governmental. Legat has helped clients cut building energy costs by 50% to 60% over standard buildings. The company is also supported by a staff of LEED Accredited Professionals and architects trained to take on green design works inspired by social responsibility.

The firm’s understanding of designing contextually conscious, cost-effective, and sustainable facilities has been showcased through many of its works. For instance, Legat designed the first two community college buildings in Illinois to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) highest rating for sustainability. For years, the company’s overall contributions to the green design movement as well as its outstanding architectural practice have been constantly commended by the industry. In the past, it earned the notable AIA Northeast Illinois Chapter’s Sustainable Design Award, AIA Chicago’s Distinguished Building Awards, and Landmark Illinois’s Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award.

moss

Address:
2855 W Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

About moss

moss is a homegrown, full-service architectural and urban design firm that specializes in architectures curated to deliver an “ecological, green, holistic, and sustainable” approach to design. From its Chicago office, the company expands its services throughout the entire Illinois and other cities in California, Ohio, and Michigan. Laura Cripe and Matt Nardella, a member of the AIA and a LEED-AP, founded the company over 12 years ago.

Before Nardella established his own practice, he spent almost a decade of his career honing his craft and exploring the transformative aspects of sustainable architecture and incorporating them into commercial and residential projects, many of which have been icons in the industry’s green housing movement.

Featured Projects

Today, Nardella’s firm highlights a design practice that inspires and motivates people to embrace green design. One of the biggest aspects that have inspired the company to grow and evolve is its nod to sustainability and the conservation of the environment. As an advocate of environmental responsibility, it has conceptualized, curated, and produced residential and commercial properties that provide a healthy, high-performing, and energy-efficient way of life. The company is supported by a team of designers, architects, LEED-accredited professionals, and advocates. Backed by its experience in designing commercial, hospitality, brewery, winery, and residential spaces, this represents an architectural practice that focuses on innovation, creativity, and green design.

Perkins&Will

Address:
410 N Michigan Ave. Suite #1600, Chicago, IL 60611

About Perkins&Will

For more than 85 years, Perkins&Will has explored the power of design and how it can inspire joy, uplift lives, and strengthen the spirit of community. This core concept has guided the company’s practice for decades to produce spaces where architecture delivers a transformative experience to its users and the communities that they serve. Its team of designers and principal architects are honored members of industry institutions, such as the AIA, USGBC, and many are certified as LEED-Accredited Professionals. The firm currently serves a long list of market sectors and operates from its 25 studios around the world.

In Chicago, the firm has designed several multi-award-winning projects that embody the firm’s core belief as an influential mover and practitioner that champions innovation and sustainability. One of its most important works in the city is the design for its own office, a LEED-Platinum-certified office design that represents the firm’s “bold, brave, and brilliant” stand as a reputable company with a multi-awarded practice, recognized by the AIA, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Featured Projects

As a premier architectural firm, the Chicago Studio of Perkins&Will has positively impacted the social fabric and urban landscape of the community designing schools, hospitals, universities, research buildings, museums, residential towers, and workplaces. The Northtown Library and Apartments, for instance, represents a new urban typology, co-locating affordable senior housing with a community library to encourage life-long learning, collaboration, and exploration. Awarded a 2020 AIA-ALA Library Building Award, the library is anchored at both ends with vibrant community spaces, while a community room and lobby at the opposite end house an artist-in-residence, available to the community after regular library hours. The 44 affordable apartments help reduce the number of seniors facing housing insecurity in West Ridge. The modular housing units wind above from the west to the east, enlivening the typical residential corridor while creating roof gardens that acknowledge the public park to the east and the quiet residential neighborhood to the west.

Ratio Design

Address:
30 W Monroe St. Suite #500, Chicago, IL 60603

About Ratio Design

For more than 35 years, Ratio Design has been at the center of innovation and sustainability, especially when it comes to producing architecturally stunning spaces that answer the call for a more sustainable future, especially in the Chicago construction and design scene. Sarah Wood, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is a senior associate and the director of Sustainability who leads the firm’s green design practice. In the past, Wood took charge of several large-scale projects not just in the U.S. but in many parts of Asia, including China, India, and UAE.

Under Wood’s leadership, the firm highlights sustainability and how green design can transform, revitalize, and introduce new architectures that acknowledge the need for energy-efficient, environmentally conscious, and transformative spaces, to cater to the demands of its modern inhabitants. The company’s team is composed of leaders and architects, LEED-Accredited Professionals whose works have helped rural and urban landscapes embrace a more sustainable future through healthy, high-performing buildings.

Featured Projects

The firm is responsible for some of the most stunning multifamily structures in Chicago. One of its high-rise housing projects is the Cityfront Plaza, a mixed-use building that transformed a vacant and underused property in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood into a luxury multiresidential building. The structure now houses 800 units of high-end living spaces. During the early stages of the development, the firm had to build a solid familiarity with the needs of the community and curate a space that blends with its surrounding architecture. The solution was to work with local groups that understand the context of the community. The property’s existing parking garage now serves as the building’s base and was re-clad to fully let in natural daylight and enhance ventilation.

Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM)

Address:
224 S Michigan Ave. Suite #1000, Chicago, IL 60604

About Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM)

SOM believes that design is not just about conceptualizing spaces that awe and stun — it’s more about meeting the needs of its users, turning their aspirations into reality, and transforming how they interact with the world around them. This core principle has guided the company since its inception in 1936. As a green architect and advocate for sustainable design, the firm has focused on how design plays a significant role in leading a future of change, especially in the protection and restoration of the natural environment.

Many of its projects all over the world represent the firm’s passionate environmental activism through green-certified architectures that have transformed landscapes in a wide range of sectors, including the multifamily and mixed-use commercial markets. Composed of a team of architects, designers, and engineers, the firm’s sustainable designs are modeled on its ultimate goal of contributing to the much-needed transition into a zero-carbon economy. Aside from producing projects that passed USGBC’s Platinum, Gold, and Silver LEED standards, many of its works in its home city in Chicago also carry the same ideals.

Featured Projects

In recent years, the firm designed the Lincoln Common. Commissioned by developer Hines and McCaffery Interests, the firm partnered with architectural, planning and interior design firm, Antunovich Associates. The collaboration produced a design for the 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use facility on the former site of the Children’s Memorial Hospital. The new 20-story structure aims to revitalize the urban neighborhood and serve as a central hub for the community. The design also accommodates a long list of spaces for retail, workplaces, and residential units connected by green spaces and a communal area for socializing. Completed in 2019, the project was designed to pass the LEED Silver certification standards. This iconic work was featured in leading industry publications, including Curbed.

Zoka Zola Architecture + Urban Design

Address:
1737 W Ohio St., Chicago IL 60622

About Zoka Zola Architecture + Urban Design

Zoka Zola Architecture + Urban Design is an award-winning studio celebrated for its monumental contribution to Chicago’s residential and urban architecture. Principal and founder Zoka Zola is an award-winning architect that has established a reputable name not only in the U.S. but also in the countries and communities that she has served through the years. She is licensed to practice architecture in Illinois, in the UK, and her home country of Croatia. Many of her works focus on sustainability and green design, characteristics that made her one of the most relevant designers of today.

After years of apprenticeship and design practice with some of the most renowned architectural studios in Europe, Zola moved to Chicago in 1997 and from there began to establish her presence in the design community.

Featured Projects

Aside from three net-zero houses found in Chicago and in Kuala Lumpur, Zola led the architecture team for a solar tower in the city. She is also the lead architect for many prototypes and proposals for residential and affordable housing projects that promote the region’s advocacy for green and energy-efficient designs. One of Zola’s most recognized works is the Pfanner House, a contemporary home named by Architecture magazine as its Home of the Year Award, Best House in North America. It was also among the 43 featured homes in American Masterworks–Houses of the 20th and 21st Centuries, curated by Kenneth Frampton.

Best Restaurant Architects in Chicago

Overview

Chicago is the Midwest mecca for restaurant innovation. The city is home to the Alinea Group, whose restaurants offer some of the best experiential dining establishments in the country. The craft cocktail business is thriving, with a history of infamous bars and lounges dating back to Prohibition. But the Midwest is truly known for its unique blend of casual and couture, as displayed by one of America’s top chefs Stephanie Izard, who offers upscale dining experiences with a retro diner theme. Chicago’s got a little bit of everything, and the city’s diverse restaurant designers, in turn, are prepared to offer a wide range of styles. The firms listed here have elevated the restaurant scene by designing spaces that embody their clients’ visions. They have been recognized by industry professionals and have won awards for their projects.

Top Architects

555 International

Architects:
Karen Herold

Awards:
Bon Appetit Magazine’s 50 Best New Restaurants

Address:
4501 S Western Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60609

About 555 International

For three decades, 555 International has managed 130 employees to provide design, development, and fabrication services to the leading retail and restaurant businesses in Chicago. The firm stays busy designing spaces and making cool custom products for many of Chicago’s hottest retailers and restaurants, including Girl and the Goat and Coda Di Volpe. Its founder and president James Geier is internationally recognized for his stunning retail work. He has designed spaces for such a diverse span of clients as the Green Bay Packers and Gucci. While Founding Partner Paul Ohadi has a metal manufacturing business that creates custom lighting fixtures. Ohadi’s custom business paired with Geier’s designs resulted in a successful architectural firm that has caught the attention of Eater Chicago, Hospitality Design magazine, and Chicago Tribune.

Featured Projects

Last year Roister, located in the Fulton Market, was one of four Chicago restaurants to be listed in Bon Appetit Magazine’s 50 best new restaurants in the nation. 555 took the meal preparation process into account for this open space design. A casual family-style was used so diners can get comfortable and enjoy the open views of the kitchen. From custom-designed wood ceiling beams with inlaid copper to an open wood fireplace at the heart of the kitchen, the design team fulfilled the owner’s desires for a casual but elegant atmosphere. The International Interior Design Association also gave Roister the RED award for best hospitality project.

AvroKO

Architects:
William Harris, Greg Bradshaw, Kristina O’Neal, Adam Farmerie

Awards:
James Beard Award, HA & D Award

Address:
224 Centre Street, 3rd Floor, New York City, NY 10013

About AvroKO

AvroKO is an architecture and interior design firm with a focus on concept-driven spaces. It has designed award-winning restaurant, bar, hotel, retail, and residential projects from New York to Hong Kong. Recognition has included The James Beard Award and HA & D Award. The suite of companies also includes a branding studio, an independent furniture line, and a hospitality group offering such services as food and beverage concept development. They have offices in New York, San Francisco, Bangkok and London, but the company has designed many of Chicago’s high-end restaurants. AvroKO is a favorite of the Boka Restaurant Group, which runs 14 of the highest-rated restaurants in the city.

Featured Projects

From its food to its design, Momotaro is a winner. It was No. 5 in the Tribune’s Top 50 Best Restaurants in Chicago, as well as winner of the Chicago Eater’s So Hot Right Now award. The design was nominated for a James Beard Award and won a Jean Banchet Award for Best Restaurant Design, as well as being a finalist for a Hospitality Design Award from Upscale Restaurant Magazine. The 11.5k-square-foot space centers on post-World War II era Japan, when Japanese and Western styles merged. A key design feature is the two-story pendant lighting. The space is filled with strong vertical lines, representing the Japanese attention to form and order. In 2015, the firm managed the interiors, custom furniture, and lighting and graphics for Swift and Sons, named one of the best new steakhouses in Chicago by Time Out Chicago and in the U.S. by Zagat. The steakhouse is designed to invoke 19th century Chicago at the height of the city’s cattle trade business. The design won Hospitality Design’s Best Upscale Restaurant award, as well as an honorable mention in Fast Co. Design’s Innovation by Design Awards.

Bureau|AD

Architects:
Tom Nahabedian

Awards:
AIA Chicago Small Project Award, ASLA Merit Award, James Beard Award

Address:
165 West Chicago Avenue, Third Floor, Chicago, IL 60654

About Bureau|AD

Bureau|AD is a boutique architecture and design firm founded in 2012 to work on residential, hospitality, institutional, and commercial projects. The firm is known for its sensitivity to detail, space planning, and sustainability. Founder and Principal Tom Nahabedian is a Chicago native who worked in various Los Angeles-based architectural firms prior to establishing Bureau |AD. His residential and hospitality works have been recognized by prestigious organizations like the AIA, James Beard Foundation, and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Featured Projects

Bureau has designed two high-end restaurants for Principal Tom Nahabedian’s restaurant entrepreneur cousin, Carrie Nahabedian. Brindille won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant. The French bistro takes its theme from its name, Brindille (meaning “little branch” in French), which Bureau reinforced with delicate branch-like glass and metal light fixtures. The Parisian-inspired space offers sophisticated, yellow-tinted lighting with clean, dark walls.

bba Architects

Architects:
Gary Beyerl
Edward Twohey

Address:
1010 S Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605

About bba Architects

bba Architects specializes in high-end, single-family residences and restaurants, with a focus on sustainable practices. Gary Beyerl, AIA, co-founded the firm in 1993 with his now-retired partner Steven Burns. Beyerl leads the firm with Edward Twohey, AIA, who joined the firm in 1994. The firm is mainly known for its luxury residential projects but, under Twohey’s leadership, there was a surge of hospitality and restaurant designs. One of its famous clients is Top Chef runner-up Dale Levitski’s Chicago restaurant, Frog N’ Snail.

Featured Projects

Blues legend Buddy Guy contracted Burns and Beyerl to design his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, one of downtown’s go-to blues venues. For Guy, a true blues bar shouldn’t be too polished, and should have a vintage vibe that transports its clients back in time. It was built in the style of old-school blues venues with a retro look. Its interiors are adorned with exposed red-brick walls and its white and blue tile floors add a fun splash of color to the funky space. Some of the additional features of Buddy Guy’s Legends are a main stage, billiard room, and private party facility. Burns and Beryl designed a two-story 16,000 square foot building with the bar located on the first floor and Guy’s production offices are located on the second floor.

D + K interiors, Architecture, and Management

Architects:
Corey Dunnem
Paul Kozlowski

Address:
1147 W. Ohio, Suite 103, Chicago, IL 60642

About D + K interiors, Architecture, and Management

Some of the best restaurants in the country are designed by D+K Interiors, Architecture, and Management. It is a full-service design, architecture, and interiors firm that has works found at the Times Square and at the Dolce Italian in Chicago’s Godfrey Hotel. Co-owner and Principal Corey Dunne focuses his designs around attention to detail and function, while fellow Co-owner and Principal Paul Kozlowski focuses on ecologically responsible designs and new smart building technology. D+K boasts a collaborative design process that will involve research on a client’s target market and intentional design that will improve service flow.

Featured Projects

The firm’s design of the Backdoor Saloon has been nominated for the International Restaurant and Bar Design Award for Surface Interiors. The restaurant, which features locally sourced food and craft cocktails, is a completely immersive space with rich details from the architecture to the interior decorating. A tin-pressed ceiling, ornate wall-to-wall bar, and warm wood wainscoting help give the space its Victorian-era Wild West feel.

Heisler Hospitality

Architects:
Matt Eisler
Kevin Heisner

Awards:
Chicago Magazine Emerging Power Players,
StarChefs Rising Star Restaurateurs Award

Address:
2001 W Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612

About Heisler Hospitality

Hospitality entrepreneur Matt Eisler teamed up with designer Kevin Heisner in 2006 to form Heisler Hospitality, a firm that creates some of the best concept-driven restaurants in the city. The duo was named “Emerging Power Players” by Chicago Magazine, and Eisler was included in Crain’s Chicago Business’s “40 under 40” list. In 2015, they earned a StarChefs Rising Star Restaurateurs Award. Some of Chicago’s newest restaurants and bars have hired Heisler Hospitality for its contemporary design. Many of the firm’s clients have been included in the annual Best Bar Lists of Chicago Magazine and Bon Appetit’s 50 Best Restaurants in the City.

Featured Projects

Opened December 2013, Heisler’s Sportsman’s Club offers craft beers from around the world and has a diverse cocktail menu that changes daily. In honor of the original Sportsman’s Club bar, which served the neighborhood’s Polish immigrants, the renovated tavern has preserved pieces of the bar’s history like the original art deco bar. The bar features exposed brick, wood, and leather wall-lined booths, and metal-grated open shelving. Sportsman’s Club was named one of Chicago’s Best Bars by GQ Magazine, and it was a runner up for Bar of the Year in Time Out Chicago’s 2017 Bar Awards.

Moss

Architects:
Matt Nardella

Address:
2855 West Diversey Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

About Moss

Moss is a full-service architecture and design studio serving residential, retail, and commercial sectors. It assists clients from site selection through the permitting and construction process. Moss creates site-specific designs with an emphasis on integrating natural light and air, creating and protecting green spaces, and using sustainable materials. The firm was co-founded by Laura Cripe and Matt Nardella, AIA, LEED-AP. Cripe is a certified permaculturist and urban farmer and manages the firm’s business development. Graduate of the NewSchool of Architecture, Nardella returned to his hometown of Chicago to establish his own firm after spending a decade designing sustainable architecture in San Diego. Moss was selected to be part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s 50 Designers, 50 Ideas, 50 Wards Exhibit. The firm also won the Historic Preservation Award for its adaptive reuse development project in Logan Square.

Featured Projects

Moss designed Appellation and Pastoral, a restaurant and bread and cheese shop. Located in Andersonville, the space was previously occupied by a small grocery store. The firm gave it a more updated look by using natural materials and a modern layout that can accommodate a separate restaurant and shop. A custom wine rack separates the retail and restaurant spaces. The cozy restaurant centers around a slab-wood bar accented by exposed brick around the far walls. The marketplace shows off a striking, pressed-tin ceiling.

Rugo / Raff Ltd. Architects

Architects:
Steven Rugo
Dennis Raffensperger

Address:
20 W Hubbard Street, Floor #5, Chicago, IL 60654

About Rugo / Raff Ltd. Architects

Multidisciplinary Rugo / Raff Ltd. Architects provides new construction and historic renovation for residential and retail projects. Before starting his own practice, Principal and Founder Steven Rugo, AIA, worked with the prominent Chicago firm Booth Hansen. The firm’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Traditional Home magazine, and LUXE Magazine. One of the firm’s first restaurant client is Flat Top Grill Chain; the firm has designed several branches, which can be found all over the country. The firm eventually built a professional relationship with the Alinea Group. It has worked on designs for Alinea Group’s award-winning restaurants like Aviary, Next, and Roister.

Featured Projects

Founded by the world-renowned chef Grant Achatz, Next Restaurant won a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in America. The Michelin Star restaurant changes its menu every four months to provide a unique culinary experience to every customer. The design needed to be simple to match the restaurant’s fluctuating moods. A highlight of the design is a private dining room featuring an LED-backlit wall in bright pink and blues that serves as a high contrast for the rest of the restaurant’s dark earthy tones.

SPACE Architects + Planners

Address:
2149 North Talman Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

About SPACE Architects + Planners

In the last 17 years, SPACE Architects + Planners has designed some of the hippest spaces in Chicago. Jean Dufresne and Jay Keller established the firm with the goal of creating a collective of architects and designers who have a passion for creating modern spaces. SPACE Architects became known when it started developing contemporary condominiums in Wicker Park and, soon enough, its restaurant projects started to gain traction in the media. The firm’s works are often featured by online magazines such as Curbed Chicago, Eater Chicago, and, Dwell.

Featured Projects

BIXI is the firm’s latest project, and has made waves in the Chicago restaurant scene. Brewpubs are the newest food trend in Chicago and BIXI is the newest addition to the bunch. But unlike its competitors, BIXI puts an Asian twist on the usual pub offerings. The firm designed a contemporary restaurant with subtle nods to the restauranteur’s Asian heritage. The owners want its patrons to enjoy their drinks in peace so SPACE Architects opted for a dark and moody feel for the first floor. Its focal point is the mural of the restaurant’s namesake, Bixi, a Chinese dragon turtle that symbolizes the owner’s journey in the industry.

Woodhouse Tinucci Architects

Architects:
David Woodhouse
Andy Tinucci

Awards:
AIA Chicago Firm of the Year Award

Address:
230 W Superior, 6th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654

About Woodhouse Tinucci Architects

David Woodhouse, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), started his own firm in 1987 after working with two prominent Chicago firms, Stanley Tigerman and Associates and Booth Hansen and Associates. In 2014, he was joined by Andy Tinucci, AIA, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Advanced Professional (LEED AP), whose work has received the Architectural Record Houses Award and AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award. Together they formed Woodhouse Tinucci Architects, an award-winning firm that provides detail-oriented architecture and interior design services. Woodhouse Tinucci Architects wins an AIA award almost every year and it has been internationally published in over 60 publications.

Featured Projects

The firm’s design for More Cupcakes won two AIA Chicago small project awards. The biggest challenge for this project was its limited space. More Cupcakes was only 550 square feet, but the firm was able to design a shop that had enough space for its clients and a full kitchen. Customers can quickly peruse through the cupcakes sitting on open-glass shelving. While the butter cream-colored backlighting is broken up by custom-designed white swirling lights, made to resemble frosting. The project was also featured in Chicago Architect, Architect Magazine, and CS Interiors.

The Best Office Architects in Chicago

Overview

Chicago is a bustling home for expanding tech startups and enterprise-level organizations. They’re taking over multiple levels of downtown highrises and requiring more space with consistent branding and high-tech capabilities. Some are even moving into old forgotten buildings because these are cheaper spaces and it’s more affordable to have them remodeled. Open collaborative workspaces are the hot new trend — minimal interiors offer companies maximum flexibility and possibilities for expansion. The best design firms tasked with building or revamping major corporate spaces are ranked below, highlighted for their ability to turn unique spaces into workable offices for some of the top businesses in the area. These are award-winning architects who have works that are known all over the state and overseas.

Top Architects

Brininstool + Lynch

Architects:
David Brininstool
Brad Lynch

Awards:
AIA Honor Awards,
Residential Architect Design Awards

Address:
1144 W. Washington Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607

About Brininstool + Lynch

In 1989, Partners David Brininstool and Brad Lynch established Brininstool + Lynch. The firm has been the recipient of more than 50 major design awards from regional and national organizations like the American Institute of Architects, Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and the Architectural League of New York. The firm concentrates on commercial, residential, and institutional sectors. Their clients include Basecamp, University of Chicago, Barack Obama Foundation, Grosvenor, and Syracuse University.

Featured Projects

Brininstool + Lynch designed the 10,000-square-foot offices for Basecamp, a web-based software company in the West Loop. The firm delivered a simple yet effective office space to match the company’s “less is more” approach to business and software design. At the heart of the office, clad in a custom configuration of stacked industrial felt strips, a large central core acts as organizing element and acoustic mediation for the large open space.

The firm also designed a new Streeterville office space for the private equity firm, Sterling Partners. B + L incorporated Sterling Partner’s business philosophy of “inspired growth” into the 21,000-square-foot design. They used a minimalist approach to maintain 360-degree views of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and the whole of the city center. The high-finish clean-lined office space frames these views while providing a calm work environment.

CannonDesign

Address:
225 North Michigan Ave. Ste. #1100, Chicago, IL 60601

About CannonDesign

Integrated Design Firm CannonDesign is nationally recognized for its Living-Centered design principle. This design principle aims to make establishments and clients interdependent with each other. In this way, improving the structure and making it convenient for its occupants will create a systemic change.

The firm has been around since 1945 but it was named by Fast Company magazine as one of the most innovative companies in the world last 2017 and 2019. The firm has 18 locations spread throughout the country and its Chicago branch contributed a number of award-winning projects to the firm’s portfolio.

Featured Projects

Its most recent award-winning work is the Brunswick Headquarters in Mettawa. The firm designed a space that captures Brunswick as a market leader in fitness, marine, and billiard industries. The design encourages employees to be in constant motion. A circulation path that leads to different departments also serves as a walking track for employees. This circular design also makes different offices more accessible and encourages employee teamwork. This modern office is very different from the traditional work environment that the brand started but this brand new headquarters signifies Brunswick’s efforts to elevate its products. This stunning 55,000-square-foot office was recognized with a Citation of Merit from AIA Chicago.

Collective Office

Architects:
Jeff Klymson

Address:
9 E. 24th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60616

About Collective Office

Collective Office was founded by Principal Jeff Klymson, AIA, so he could focus on both practice and research. Klymson also teaches at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where he received his own Master of Architecture degree. Through his practice, Klymson attempts to put an emphasis on detail-oriented design. The goal is to transform every project into a branded space, an environment with a specific identity and purpose for its inhabitants. The design team will ask questions to its clients through every stage of the process to make sure that all of their expectations are met. The firm provides architecture, interior design, and design strategy for commercial and residential clients in Chicago and Toronto.

Featured Projects

The Honor Headquarters is an award-winning office project designed to have a transparent connection between the scenic environment and its modern offices. The large outdoor space was transformed through graded slopes that flow through the rear and north. Collective Office designed the operations office to be accessible by coordinating each individual floor plate with an operational group. To make workflow more efficient, the building has 5,000 square foot neighborhoods that contain different workgroups and are connected by an informal meeting “spine.” The project won the 2017 Brick in Architecture for Commercial Buildings and the 2018 PCI Design Award for Best Office Building.

Eastlake Studio

Architects:
Tom Zurowski
Christina Brown
Jon Salzmann
Kevin Kamien

Awards:
Antron Design Awards,
Contract Magazine Inspiration Award for Socially Responsible Design,
AIA Design Excellence Award

Address:
333 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

About Eastlake Studio

Check out the coolest new office spaces in Chicago, and you’ll keep coming across Eastlake’s name. The studio designs corporate, residential, and retail environments using two core principles: the management of information and the communication of ideas. The studio has won several AIA Chicago awards, as well as awards from the International Interior Design Association, Architectural Woodwork Institute, and Antron Design Awards. Many of the studio’s designs are LEED certified. Offices designed by Eastlake can be found throughout the city and have been featured in publications like Trends Magazine, Interior Designs Magazine, Interiors & Sources Magazine. Founding Principal Tom Zuroski, AIA, has been designing offices for the past 35 years and is the past president of AIA Chicago.

Featured Projects

Eastlake’s architect Kevin Kamien and designer Steph Geronimo Smothers designed the 33k-square-foot Pandora office in Prudential Plaza with a John Hughes theme. Two Hughes films with influential soundtracks were set in Chicago suburbs, and the theme connects music and Chicago pride in a fun, nostalgic way. To invoke a ‘80s pop-punk feel, the Eastlake team used era-appropriate textual and graphic components over a post-industrial (punk-like) aesthetic, with exposed ductwork and polished concrete floors. The office topped Crain’s list of 2016 Chicago’s Coolest Offices and won the People’s Choice for the 2017 RED awards. The office was also featured on the cover of AIA Chicago Architect Magazine in 2013. Office Revolution, a leading furniture dealership in Chicago, commissioned Eastlake Studio to design their office space located in the Loop. Office Revolution wanted a design that emphasized their commitment to excellent design while providing comfortable, ergonomic workspaces for their staff. Eastlake used reclaimed wood wall finishes and a custom live edge harvest table to create a truly distinctive space.

Gensler

Architects:
Office Leaders: Sarah Bader, IIDA, LEED AP; Todd Heiser; Grant Uhlir, AIA, LEED AP BD+C; Brian Vitale, AIA, LEED AP
Regional Managing Principal: Nila R. Leiserowitz, FASID, IIDA

Awards:
Architectural Record 2017 Top 300, #1 Architecture Firm; Architectural Record and Interior Design 2017: Most Admired Firm; Business Insider ranks Gensler #25 on “Top 100 Creators” List in 2016; Building Design 2018 World Architecture 100 Rankings, #1 Overall Firm, #1 Most Admired U.S.Firm, #3 Most Admired Global Firm; Building Design + Construction 2017 Giants 300, #1 Architecture Firm; AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture in 2014 and 2012; and, for the 35th consecutive year, Gensler tops Interior Design Magazine’s “Top 100 Giants” List.

Address:
11 E. Madison Street, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60602

About Gensler

An integrated architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm with over 6,000 professionals spread across 50 offices, Gensler is one of the most prominent design firms in the world. The firm is consistently named as one of the Top 500 Design Firms in the Country by Engineering News-Record. While the firm is headquartered in San Francisco, Gensler’s Chicago office has a strong influence on the city, from renovating the Children’s Library at the Harold Washington to designing the new student center for Columbia College. Gensler Chicago’s Principal and Design Director Todd Heiser was also named as Designer of the Year by Contract magazine. He is the firm’s first honoree in the last 37 years. The Chicago office won the 2017 Best of Show and Contract Office Large RED awards for their design of the Banfield Pet Hospital in Vancouver, Washington.

Featured Projects

Its most notable project in the city is Linkedin’s Chicago office. This ambitious project doubles the company’s West Loop office and injects some Chicago culture into the professional Linkedin brand. When guests enter the office, they are welcomed by a huge “Chicago” sign that celebrates the city’s vibrant culture. The theme is inspired by Chicago as the city of firsts. From local inventions to cultural phenomena, graphic representation of these first can be seen through the conference rooms and transitional areas.

Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED)

Architects:
J. Peter Devereaux
Michael Sullivan

Awards:
Engineering News-Record Top Design Firm,
Architectural Record Top Design Firm,
IIDA Recognizing Exemplary Design

Address:
1 East Wacker Drive, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60601

About Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED)

HED was named a Top Design Firm in 2016 by both Engineering News-Record and Architectural Record. This massive company has offices in Chicago, Detroit, LA, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco. The Chicago branch has snagged office contracts for many big-name companies, such as Stryker, Assurance, and Northern Trust, as well as the famous Sky Lounge in the iconic Kemper Building, which offers 360-degree views of the city skyline. Listed among “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the National Association of Business Resources, they’ve made the list 10 years in a row starting in 2005. One of its most prestigious recognition is the Trifecta Award from The Zweig Group. This exclusive award is only given to companies that have won Hot Firm, Best Firms to Work For, and Marketing Excellence Awards in the same year.

Featured Projects

The studio’s design for the Austin office of the independent media agency Kelly Scott Madison won a 2017 Recognizing Exemplary Design (RED) award from the Illinois Chapter of the International Interior Design Association for a small contract office. The company’s Chicago headquarters also hired HED to design its interiors with the theme “All the World’s a Stage”. The 30k-square-foot space uses marquee lighting and sheer finishes to accent the office’s bold color palette and well-defined interior spaces. The contemporary design reflects the advertising company’s mission to be ever-cognizant of media and consumer trends.

HKS

Address:
125 S. Clark St. #1100, Chicago, IL 60603

About HKS

World-renowned HKS is an architectural firm that has projects all over the globe. It is one of the most recognized firms in the country and it was founded by Illinois native Harwood K. Smith. He did not start the firm in his hometown but when he brought it to Chicago in 2011, it became one of the most successful branches of the firm. HKS Chicago specializes in commercial, health, mixed-use, and education projects. Notable organizations like the Chicago Public Schools and Illinois Green Alliance have worked with the firm to design more sustainable establishments in the city. The firm’s most well-known sustainable project is its own headquarters which was also the first gold-certified design firm in Chicago.

Featured Projects

The HKS headquarters decided to relocate into the historic building, The National. It is an iconic figure in the Chicago architecture industry because it was designed by renowned architect Daniel Burnham. HKS wanted its offices to be inspired by timeless architecture and the city’s unique culture. Many parts of the office are patterned after The National. For example, a multipurpose room was named “The Park” because it serves as the recreational area for many employees. Biophilic design strategies were used for the office: graphics, in other words, mimic the ambiance of the outdoors to give employees a peaceful atmosphere for work. The office also acts as a living lab where employees constantly test environmental conditions through sensors and employee surveys.

Kipnis Architecture and Planning

Architects:
Nathan Kipnis

Awards:
Design Evanston Award

Address:
1642 Payne St., Evanston, IL 60201

About Kipnis Architecture and Planning

This Evanston-based firm were early signers of the AIA’s 2030 Challenge, which calls for all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to be carbon-neutral by 2030. Local companies looking for sustainable office solutions turn to Kipnis Architecture and Planning (KAP) for eco-friendly designs. Although best known for its exceptional sustainability efforts, KAP takes overall excellence in design just as seriously. The firm was founded in 1993 by Nathan Kipnis, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a LEED Advanced Professional certified in Building Design and Construction (FAIA, LEED BD+C). Mr. Kipnis earned a Master of Architecture with an emphasis in Energy Conscious Design from Arizona State University. He serves on the AIA National 2030 Commitment Working Group, as well as the Citizens Greener Evanston group.

“Near where I grew up, along the North Shore of Chicago, there are amazing homes designed by everyone from David Adler to Frank Lloyd Wright. Many of the homes located right along the lake on Sheridan Road are textbook examples of great European homes mixed in with the very first Prairie homes designed by Wright. In addition, there are also various contemporary designs. My parents would occasionally drive into Chicago and we would occasionally travel along Sheridan Road to get there. I would be glued to the window watching these great homes.
Later, the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and ensuing Middle East oil embargo opened my eyes about America’s dependence on foreign oil. I felt that designing energy-efficient buildings would help decrease our reliance on that volatile energy source.” – Nathan Kipnis

Featured Projects

Core 3 Creative has offered branding, photography, catalog, and interactive solutions for renowned companies such as National Geographic and ESPN Radio. When they relocated into an 80-year-old warehouse that required major renovation, they needed the space to reflect their creative and national-scaled vision. Kipnis not only designed a fully modernized space, including a photography studio and workshop, they also added their signature green features, such as zoned radiant heat flooring and a high-efficiency, gas-fired boiler. Kipnis won a 2015 Design Evanston Award for their work on the offices of CraftJack, Inc., a growing internet startup. The fun design created an entire village, including an outdoor courtyard, within CraftJack’s office building, along with open programming stations, collaborate workspaces, and a spacious conference room.

“What my firm attempts to do with as many projects as possible is to incorporate “green” principles at as many stages as possible. The earlier in the process the better. We try to do this in an integrated way, as opposed to “tacking on” green technologies and materials.
At the beginning of the project, I try to see what design decisions make the most sense in terms of sustainable design and in response to the projects specific goals. If there is a solution that I feel works to satisfy both, I pursue it in detail. There is usually a single overall theme that unifies a design. Finding it is really the challenge. If I can get that one big idea to solve the project’s key problem and make it work sustainably, it usually can be done in an economical way and helps the client support it. To me, designing a sustainable project is an opportunity to make the pure design even better and have more meaning. It should not be a burden to design that way.” – Nathan Kipnis

NELSON Worldwide

Architects:
John Nelson Sr
John Nelson Jr

Awards:
Chicago Food Depository Interior Design Firm of the Year,
Association of Licensed Architects Silver Award,
RED Award

Address:
30 West Monroe Street, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60603

About NELSON Worldwide

NELSON is an award-winning firm delivering architecture, interior design, graphic design, and brand strategy services that transform all dimensions of the human experience. It provides its clients with strategic and creative solutions that positively impact their lives and the environments where they work, serve, play, and thrive. Its collective network includes more than 1,100 team members in 25 offices, combining industry experience, service expertise, and geographic reach to deliver projects across the country and around the world. The firm was founded by John Nelson Sr., who has designed a number of high-profile projects, including the headquarters for Sun Oil and SmithKline Beecham, both in Philadelphia. The Chicago branch of NELSON was founded in 2003, with a concentration in the financial sector. After two mergers, the firm has expanded into various markets, including law firm and media marking. NELSON Chicago was named the 2016-2017 Interior Design Firm of the Year by the Chicago Food Depository at the Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards. The firm continues to design award-winning, tech-friendly flexible designs for fast-growing companies.

Featured Projects

NELSON Worldwide created a modern office space for the Ferrara Candy Company within Chicago’s Old Main Post Office building. The firm was tasked with designing a space that would accommodate growth and flexibility and support the unique aspects of Ferrara’s diverse brand portfolio, all while honoring the history of the building. Exposed sightlines encourage a more open environment and the 18-foot-tall ceilings and large windows accommodate natural light in all angles. A clean, industrial, and neutral backdrop can be seen throughout so each section can layer on its own unique style and personality.

Partners by Design

Architects:
Principal: Ron Carlson

Awards:
#3 Coolest Office in Chicago in 2017; Crain’s Chicago Business, Architect of the Year in 2013; Crain’s Chicago Business Real Estate Awards, Interior Design Firm of the Year in 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010 and 2006; Crain’s Chicago Business Real Estate Awards, Interior Design Magazine’s “Top 100 Giants” List.

Address:
363 W Erie St, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60654

About Partners by Design

Partners by Design has been named as Interior Design Firm of the Year by Crain’s Chicago Business Commercial Real Estate Awards. The firm has won this award seven times since 2006. Established in 1993 with a specific focus on corporate and commercial architecture, interiors, and image design, the fast-growing firm ranks as the 90th largest design firm in the country. The firm was founded by Ron Carlson, who has over 30 years of experience in shell building and corporate interior design. Carlson has been the firm’s principal architect since its inception and has personally overseen the company’s strategic growth throughout the years. Partners by Design is also part of ONE Global Design, a network of international architectural firms that are all principal-led. It is one of the largest design collectives with more than 1500 professionals in its register.

Featured Projects

The digital advertising software company Centro was placed on Crain’s 2015 and 2016 list of Best Places to Work. The 70,000-square-foot space in the heart of the Loop is a merger of several buildings. PbD created interior “parks” to split up the space and create identities for the company’s departments. It has an open-seating floor plan that is very navigable and encourages collaboration. The office lobby has a contemporary waiting area that displays the company’s name on a backdrop of lush plants.

RATIO|SMDP, LLC

Architects:
Grace Kuklinski Rappe

Address:
30 W Monroe Street, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60603

About RATIO|SMDP, LLC

Ratio Design used to be an Indianapolis-based architecture firm that specialized in historic preservation. It was an international firm of designers and planners with four studios across the country. The firm decided to branch out in 2012 and operate as a partnership with SMDP Studio. Now known as RATIO|SMDP, LLC, it has rebranded into a global design studio with works found in Southeast Asia. The firm has designed state-of-the-art headquarters for Samsung, USG Corporation, and Bank of Communications Suzhou.

Featured Projects

Ratio designed the new Big Ten Conference Headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois, conveniently located near O’Hare International Airport. The three-story, 50k-square-foot headquarters is used for nearly 200 meetings each year and has offices for 40 full-time employees. Besides office space offering state-of-the-art technology, the headquarters also features a 3,000-square-foot interactive exhibit on the organization’s 120-year history, and a high-end restaurant. The design of the space reflects the organization’s athletic and academic ties, while offering the conveniences of a corporate headquarters. When Ratio opened their Chicago studio in 2016, they renovated the office space located within the historic Inland Steel Building. Their open workplace design reflects the firm’s values of employee retention, productivity, and collaboration. It centers around a “Design lab” that fosters natural interaction among their 30-person team.

Von Weise Associates

Architects:
Chip von Weise

Awards:
AIA Mies van der Rohe Citation of Merit Award
AIA Chicago Design Awards

Address:
1049 N Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

About Von Weise Associates

Founded by Chip von Weise, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, in 1999, Von Weise Associates became an active member of the Chicago design community. The firm’s designs have appeared in Archello, Metropolitan Home, and Green Building & Design, among many others. The founder is a member of the Chicago Architecture Club and the US Green Building Council. His green designs have won awards, such as the 2012 Illinois AIA Mies van der Rohe Citation of Merit Award, an honor given to architects who continually innovate the overall concept and design of a project. The firm’s projects include a diverse mix of residential and commercial establishments. Its office projects are the current stand-outs in its portfolio because of its modern aesthetic.

Featured Projects

Von Weise Associates had the fun task of designing the new headquarters for the Chicago-based game company Cards Against Humanity. The firm designed a whimsical office space that perfectly reflects the company’s creativity. The office was created out of a 12k-square-foot warehouse in an industrial corridor. Crain’s List named it as one of Chicago’s Coolest Offices and Office Lovin’, a website that features some of the country’s best offices, made a feature on the unique space.

The Best Commercial Architects in Chicago

Overview

Ever since building the world’s first skyscraper in 1884, the Windy City has been a leader in design innovation — a tradition that continues today. Chicago architects drive eco-friendly and smart city design practices, create new ways of thinking about the relationship between people and urban spaces, and push the limitations of the sky. Architects from Chicago have made their mark in the global architectural industry. The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, was designed by Chicago architect Adrian Smith and the tallest building in the world designed by a female-led firm can be found in the Windy City. The Chicago-based firms are ranked below based on their innovation, the quality of their, previous accolades and experience, and their active contributions to shaping the city’s urban landscape.

Top Architects

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill (AS+GG)

Architects:
Adrian Smith
Gordon Gill
Robert Forest

Address:
111 W Monroe Street, Suite 2300, Chicago, IL 60603

About Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill (AS+GG)

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill designs and develops energy-efficient large-scale architecture. The firm was founded in 2006 by Adrian Smith, FAIA, Gordon Gill, and Robert Forest when the three left the prestigious Skidmore, Owings & Merrill firm. AS+GG’s works are found all over the world. One of its most famous works is the Masdar Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, the world’s first mixed-use zero-waste building. In an effort to create eco-friendly globally contextual designs, Smith’s designs have used solar, wind, and geothermal energy, sensitive not only to the geography and climate of his buildings but also to the cultural influences. His co-founder Gordon Gill maintains the philosophy of performance-based design, which has led to the world’s first net-zero-energy skyscraper, the Pearl River Tower. The firm’s third co-founder, Robert Forest, is a globally-recognized expert on the economics of sustainable design.

Featured Projects

In addition to its global work, AS+GG is involved in many public and cultural spaces throughout Chicago. The firm has been contracted to expand the current grounds of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier. The Yard consists of 35,000-square-feet and has a second theater and lobby that connects to the company’s existing theater. Known for their sustainable focus, AS+GG added daylight sensors that tint the façade in direct sunlight, a feature that reduces the heating and cooling costs for the building. The new Chicago Shakespeare Theater received an Honorable Mention from the AIA and another Honorable Mention from the American Architecture Prize.

bKL Architecture

Architects:
Thomas Kerwin
James Loewenberg

Awards:
Chicago’s Friends of Downtown
Organization Best New Building Award,
AIA Mies van Der Rohe Citation of Merit Award,
Engineering News-Record Midwest Award of Merit

Address:
225 N. Columbus Drive, Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60601

About bKL Architecture

Founded in 2010, bKL Architecture is an architectural firm with award-winning national and international projects. The firm features an open studio environment that encourages a lively exchange of ideas between its associates. The Chicago-based firm also has an active office in Shanghai specializing in building design and urban plans. In 2010, bKL completed a master plan for Beijing’s central business district covering 1.5M-square-feet. The firm’s impressive projects are found on the pages of Forbes Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury Interiors Magazine, and Mansion Global.

Featured Projects

Towering over the Chicago River is the Wolf Point West Chicago, a 48-story luxury residential skyscraper. Layered planes give its façade an elegant look and the lush landscaping that surrounds the tower pairs well with the riverbank. bKL designed the tower to achieve LEED Silver Certification which, the firm explains, exemplifies its commitment to sustainable development. The tower received the CISCO Project of the Year award for New Construction in 2016.

Booth Hansen

Address:
333 South Desplaines St. Ste. #100, Chicago, IL 60661

About Booth Hansen

Booth Hansen is a nationally recognized firm that has been in the Chicago architectural industry for the past four decades. Despite its longevity and acclaim, the firm has maintained its medium-sized team to provide focused services to its clients from the commercial, educational, and residential sectors. Founder Laurence O. Booth started the firm to gather a team of architects who can design establishments with an open creative process. Booth has been the design principal of the firm since its inception and he has won numerous awards during his leadership. He has won more than 20 AIA awards and is an International Distinguished Architect in Residence at Northwestern University.

Featured Projects

The Palmolive is a Chicago landmark that was originally built in 1929. Its Art Deco façade is considered an iconic landmark in the city and Booth Hansen wanted to modernize the establishment without tarnishing the striking original. The firm opted for an adaptive reuse effort and converted the office spaces into condominiums in 2008. Booth Hansen was hired again in 2015 to give its retail space a more updated look. The firm wanted the original structure to showcase luxury brands through the use of seamless large glass expanses. The adaptive reuse project was a success because the firm was able to use the Art Deco facade into elegant storefronts.

Epstein Global

Address:
600 West Fulton, Chicago, IL 60661

About Epstein Global

Multi-disciplinary architectural firm Epstein Gold has been in business since 1921 and its dedication for service has never failed. It might have been in business for almost a century but Epstein Gold has remained employee-owned all throughout. It also has a diversity and inclusion initiative program for its employees. This program aims to educate employees on the importance of diversity in the workforce. Besides its work philosophy, Epstein Gold is an internationally-renowned architectural and engineering firm with works that are found across the country.

Featured Projects

The firm has also been winning awards since 1989 and its most recent accolade is an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois for its work on the Riverside Investment and Development. This 54-story commercial high rise was a very technical project that involved the reconstruction of the river wall and the Lake Street and Randolph Street bridge structures. The building was constructed over Amtrak rail lines and a public plaza was built over the tracks. The plaza’s former location used to be a site covered with inaccessible gravel. Green building features were also designed like its green roof where the stormwater would be routed to the east edge so it can be filtered and discharged into the Chicago River.

FitzGerald Associates

Architects:
Pat FitzGerald

Awards:
Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Crystal Key for Innovation and Creativity for Technical Innovation Award, ULI Chicago Vision Award

Address:
912 West Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607

About FitzGerald Associates

Founded in 1919, FitzGerald Associates was originally known as Rissman & Hischfeld Architects. It was one of the pioneering architectural firms in Chicago and designed many of the first skyscrapers on Lake Shore Drive and in Lincoln Park. It was rebranded into FitzGerald Associates when Pat FitzGerald became the president of the firm in 1986. Chairman and Managing Principal, Pat has contributed more than 20k units in Chicago, from student housing to luxury residences. Besides architecture and interior design, Fitz Gerald Associates offers a wide range of services like entitlements, feasibility studies, historical research, and adaptive reuse planning. The firm operates under the philosophy that a design should serve both the needs of the building’s occupants and its neighbors and municipalities. The firm has received several awards, such as the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago’s Crystal Key for Innovation and Creativity for Technical Innovation Award and the ULI’s Chicago Vision Award.

Featured Projects

Located at the intersection of Madison Street, FitzGerald designed a highrise apartment complex that is a prominent visual fixture of Chicago’s expanding Greektown neighborhood.727 West Madison is a residential tower with street-level retail spaces, a business center, a pool and health club, and a 400-room hotel. The building will be Chicago’s tallest building west of the Kennedy Expressway. It is also designed for LEED certification.

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

Architects:
Ray Hartshorne, Jim Plunkard, Megan Zack

Address:
232 N Carpenter Street, Chicago, IL 60607

About Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

Ray Hartshorne and Jim Plunkard co-founded Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture in 1987 to provide versatile design services, including architecture, planning, and interior design. Hartshorne has since designed more than 25,000 residential units in multifamily complexes, while Plunkard has worked on respected projects like the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel and Soho House Chicago. The firm is known for its LEED-certified sustainable design, as well as for their expertise in historic preservation and adaptive reuse.

Featured Projects

Essex on the Park is a standout project of Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture because it is the first WELL Certified multi-family building in Chicago. The WELL Building Standard is an international standard that measures, certifies, and monitors the features of the building environment. It is the first building that was built on the historic district of South Michigan Avenue.

Hirsch-MPG LLC

Architects:
Howard Hirsch AIA
Andrew Myren AIA
Richard Parks AIA
David Genc AIA

Awards:
Association of Licensed Architects Renovation Award

Address:
225 W Hubbard Street, Suite 500 Chicago, IL 60654