Featured Architects

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. 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.

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 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. 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.

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

About Hirsch-MPG LLC

Hirsch Associates has completed more than 600 projects since 1994. President and Founder, Howard Hirsch, AIA LEED AP, has over 30 years of experience as an architect, designer, project manager, and land planner. Its founder’s extensive knowledge in the industry has translated into the firm. This diverse architecture and planning firm has designed highrises, urban master plans, and transit designs, among numerous smaller commercial and residential projects. Throughout the years, Hirsch Associates has won various awards that highlight the firm’s versatility. Its most recent awards are an Excellence in Masonry Architectural Award and the Best Adaptive Reuse Project distinction for the Hotel Julian.

Featured Projects

Hirsch converted an abandoned rail yard into a lifestyle center called the Roosevelt Collection. The firm drafted a master plan that included two stories of retail, a cinema, six stories of residential units, and an urban plaza. One of the challenges was connecting the isolated Roosevelt Road to the Printers Row neighborhood. It was a success and the Hirsch Associates, alongside RTKL and Epstein, was able to transform a forgotten lot into a vibrant urban space that provided housing and leisure.

Loewenberg Architects

Architects:
James Loewenberg

Awards:
AIA National Honor Award, FIABCI Prix d’Excellence International Award

Address:
25 N Columbus Drive #100, Chicago, IL 60601

About Loewenberg Architects

Loewenberg Architects was established in 1919 as an architect for retail and hotel storefronts. After a hundred years, the firm is still in business and has now expanded to designing residential, retail, office, governmental, educational, health care, financial institutions, and large multi-use communities. James Loewenberg, AIA, president of Loewenberg Architects, is continuing the legacy established by his father and uncle. Besides being a prominent developer and architect, Loewenberg also serves as co-CEO of Magellan Development Group, an organization responsible for many of the city’s largest development projects. One of Loewenberg’s current master plans, Lakeshore East, earned an AIA National Honor Award for excellence in urban design and the Prix d’Excellence International Award from FIABCI, otherwise known as The International Real Estate Federation.

Featured Projects

Built in partnership with the Magellan Development Group is the Village Market Center. The 211,300-square-foot retail center has an array of shops that includes boutiques, nail salons, diners, and even a chiropractic center. Loewenberg Architects designed the building to have a floor plan that made the shops accessible. The Village Market was also designed to be accessible to its neighboring community residents.

Lothan Vanhook DeStefano Architecture (LVDA)

Architects:
Avram Lothan
James DeStefano
Mary Ann Van Hook
Connie Miller

Awards:
AIA Design Awards,
AIA Award for Divine Detail

Address:
57 W Grand Avenue, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60654

About Lothan Vanhook DeStefano Architecture (LVDA)

Lothan Vanhook DeStefano Architecture (LVDA) boasts two AIA Fellow architects and a LEED-Certified architect—Founding Principal and Design Director Avram Lothan and Principal James DeStefano. James DeStefano, FAIA, has worked on commercial, residential, and civic projects that are found all over the country and various international locations like London and the Middle East. Beyond his design achievements, Avram Lothan, FAIA, is known for his teaching and humanitarian work. While Mary Ann Hook, LEED, is a strong advocate for minority and women-owned enterprises. All of the founders are expert planners whose projects include the Illinois State Capitol Complex Master Plan, as well as several plans and studies for the development of the University of Illinois campuses. Hook is the Principal in Charge and uses her 40 years of experience in the field to oversee the quality control and contract compliance for the firm. LVDA offers planning services, building and interior design, and LEED consulting. The firm has received AIA design awards, among others. Its most notable distinction is receiving an AIA Award for Divine Detail for its renovation of a lecture center at the University of Illinois.

Featured Projects

LVDA’s most distinguished project is the One South Dearborn located in the heart of the Loop. The 40 story-tower is the first LEED for Core and Shell Silver-rated highrise in the state. Its modern metal and glass exterior is complemented by a distinctive three-story glass and marble lobby and outdoor plaza covered in Italian granite. The building houses conference facilities, a fitness center, 8,000 square feet of retail space, and four floors of parking.

Pappageorge Haymes Partners (PHP)

Architects:
George Pappageorge, David Haymes

Awards:
AIA Design Excellence Awards

Address:
640 North LaSalle Street, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60654

About Pappageorge Haymes Partners (PHP)

Founded by George Pappageorge, FAIA, and David Haymes, AIA, is Pappageorge Haymes Partners, an influential figure in Chicago’s urban planning for over 30 years. Pappageorge became one of the youngest members of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, while Haymes is perhaps best known for the development of One Museum Park, an all-residential skyscraper and the tallest building on the Southside of Chicago. Together, the partners have reinvented urban living by implementing adaptive reuse and mixed-use development plans. Some of its adaptive reuse projects have been recognized, including The 65th Infantry Regiment Borinqueneers Veteran’s Apartments which won the Urban Land Institute Chicago (ULIC) Vision Award.

Featured Projects

This entertainment mall in 1800 N. Clybourn is a testament to the firm’s expertise in restoration and adaptive reuse. Originally an industrial factory, the property was transformed into a three-story shopping mall that has a contemporary style. PHP refurbished the original design to give a contemporary edge unique to this shopping center. PHP also wanted to showcase the local art scene which is why the first-floor displays work from local artists. Other stunning features include a skylight roof, accessibility ramps, and many retail stores.

Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

Awards:

AIA Design Excellence Award
American Architecture Award
Architizer A+ Award
Emporis Skyscraper Award
Urban Land Institute Award

Address:
625 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 800, Chicago, IL60611

About Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) is an architecture, interior design, and planning firm that practices nationally from offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. Since 1931, SCB has made a lasting impact on the nation’s skyline, campuses, and neighborhoods, helping clients across the country achieve their goals, serve their constituencies, and make their mark. As a firm working across a variety of building typologies, SCB’s holistic design approach considers each building within its broader city context. Their work blurs the lines between uses and spaces to meet the needs of changing cities and demographics, successfully incorporating residential, office, hospitality, and retail to create memorable, new urban environments.

Featured Projects

The Marquee at Block 37 is a 41-story skyscraper that has more than 650 residential apartments and was constructed over an existing four-story retail mall and major underground transit station. Working closely with the structural engineering team, the design incorporates large steel trusses and a concrete mat that spans the width of the tower at the fifth floor, transferring structural loads to the perimeter to avoid conflicts with the existing conditions below.  Perhaps its most striking feature is the undulating patterns that accent the façade.

Studio Gang

Architects:
Jeanne Gang

Awards:
American Architecture Prize Firm of the Year,
Emporis Skyscraper of the Year Award,
Architizer A+ Awards,
AIA National Honor Award for Interior Architecture

Address:
1520 W Division Street, Chicago, IL 60642

About Studio Gang

Studio Gang is an architecture and design collective that consists of over a hundred designers and planners. The collective was founded in 1997 by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, FAIA, Architectural Review’s 2016 Architect of the Year. Gang is a prominent American architect known for her sustainable design habits and the visionary ways her projects connect communities to their environments. The Architizer recently named Gang as one of the “50 Women Rocking the World of Architecture” and she was invited to join the panel of judges at the 2020 Gray Awards. Among many other notable recognitions, the Studio Gang has been shortlisted for the 2019 Dezeen Architect of the Year Award.

Featured Projects

The Aqua Tower is Studio Gang’s most important work because it is the tallest building in the world that is designed by a woman. The 28-story tower is a massive mixed-use tower combining a hotel, offices, rental apartments, condos, parking, and a green roof. The tower’s unique, wavy shape is functional as well as aesthetic. The design creates outdoor terraces meant to connect neighbors, as well as offering a vista view of Chicago and Lake Michigan. A spiral staircase connects the tower to a neighboring public park. Aqua Tower has won several distinctions and, recently, AIA Illinois recognized the tower as one of the “Great Places” in the state.

The Best Bathroom Remodelers in Chicago (with Photos)

Overview

The bathroom is one of the most important and intimate rooms in the house, and when it is given the proper design attention, the results can be extraordinary. A jet tub to relax in after a long day, a TV to watch your favorite shows, a shower that falls like rain, or heated floors in wintery weather. The luxuries of modern bathroom mahodesigns can transform the bathroom from a small, cramped space into a room that can both function well and make the often arduous task of getting ready for the day enjoyable.

In Chicago’s fast-paced lifestyle, a bathroom that offers modern conveniences and a warm and inviting atmosphere is a must. Chicago’s bathroom remodeling contractors are keenly aware of the power of a small powder room and how it can make or break a successful home design. Our list of the 15 best bathroom remodel contractors in Chicago are ranked for their level of design expertise, their industry recognitions and awards, and their ability to transform these seemingly unimportant rooms into spaces of aesthetic beauty, self expression, and modern luxury.

Top Bathroom Remodelers

15
Chi Renovation & Design

Principals:
Lior Ben Zur

Awards:
Angie’s List Super Service Award

Address:
4868 W. Dempster St. Skokie, IL 60077

About Chi Renovation & Design

Chi Renovation & Design offers full-service bathroom remodeling in Chicago and the surrounding areas. They handle all of the details from concept to completion and deliver the highest level of customer service while keeping bathroom remodeling costs reasonable. Chi was founded by Lior Ben Zur, who grew up in the construction business and had a passion for it from a young age. Zur attributes his company’s success to their sincere focus on mastering unique homes and challenging spaces. The company is a Better Business Bureau accredited firm with an A+ rating. They also received the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Chi Renovation & Design serves Chicago, Skokie, Glencoe, Highland Park, Glenview, Lincolnwood, Round Lake, and the entire Chicagoland area. For a Chicago master bathroom remodel, they created a timeless and glamorous space with a monochromatic color palette that includes varying shades of grey. They installed dark grey cabinets, light grey walls, and white tile with grey patterns. They built a large walk-in shower with glass shower doors and installed a freestanding tub for convenience and relaxation.

14
Chicagoland Remodeling

Principals:
Wladyslaw ‘Wally’ Szymanski

Awards:
Angie’s List Super Service Award

Address:
2130 N Harlem Avenue, Elmwood Park, IL 60707

About Chicagoland Remodeling

Founded by Wladyslaw ‘Wally’ Szymanski in the late 1980s, Chicagoland Remodeling has been helping homeowners make their home improvement and remodeling project dreams a reality for almost a quarter of a century. The full-service remodeling firm takes pride in their talented and professional staff. With their help, Chicagoland Remodeling delivers an outstanding experience from the first meeting to the final inspection of their client’s dream home. The company has received several awards, including the 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award. They are a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business with an A+ rating and a Smith Approved Contractor.

If you’re looking for unique bathroom ideas with one-of-a-kind features, Chicagoland knows just how to help. Their bathroom designs are among some of the most elegant and distinctive designs in the field. One of their bathrooms features a bathtub that looks like a giant wooden bowl. The warm wooden rings inside the tub are a part of the design’s charm. The bathtub is situated on a bed of natural stones. The space also incorporates the wood theme in its wooden floating vanity with raised ceramic sink bowls for a stunning, modern effect.

13
JAR Corp

Principals:
Jonathan Rubenstein

Address:
1574 Old Deerfield Road, Highland Park, IL 60035

About JAR Corp

Over the past 20 years, JAR Corp has been making a difference in their client’s homes and lives through their home improvement project expertise. The company is a member of the US Green Building Council Coalition for Clean Air and the Better Business Bureau. They are also a Lead-Safe Certified firm. They specialize in complete renovations of kitchens and baths, interior and exterior painting, custom finishes, and maintenance services. JAR Corp is led by owner Jonathan Rubenstein, who started his career as a driver for a general contractor and quickly moved up to benefits manager. Rubenstein trained in every aspect of the industry for a decade before starting JAR Corp.

One of their perfectly designed bathrooms is a surprisingly rugged space on one side of the room, while classic and sophisticated on the other. It features an exposed brick accent wall and a beautiful cement and wood vanity, complete with delicate gold faucets, that offers plenty of storage space. A frameless glass shower and glossy white tile make up the opposite side of the room, creating a refreshing contrast with the brick. There is also a one-of-a-kind tile accent behind the simple mirror that adds a touch of elegance to the space.

12
Dream Maker Bath & Kitchen

Principals:
Jason Derouin

Address:
1000 Butterfield Road, Suite 1001, Vernon Hills, IL 60061

About Dream Maker Bath & Kitchen

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen lives and works by a certain code of values. They believe if they treat people with respect and integrity, success will inevitably follow. They are a Better Business Bureau-accredited company and a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the National Association of Home Builders, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Led by President Jason Derouin, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen is an independently owned and operated franchise. They reap the benefits of being part of a national franchise with annual training on the latest products, technology, and techniques.

One of their master bath designs features a large arched window that invites an abundance of natural light into the space. The space also includes vaulted ceilings, recessed lighting, and an inviting soaking tub. To the right is a wall of delicately detailed wooden cabinetry, meticulously tiled floors throughout, and a spacious, glass-enclosed shower that make this space a dream home retreat.

11
Chicago Renovation and Development

Principals:
Brad Ashman

Address:
4947 N Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640

About Chicago Renovation and Development

The team at Chicago Renovation and Development understands the difference between a bathroom remodel and a great bathroom remodel, and they feel that difference isn’t the price, it’s the planning. Owner Brad Ashman was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in the Chicagoland area. He is a graduate of Deerfield High School and the University of Illinois. Ashman fell in love with the process of remodeling while he was still a university student. He founded Chicago Renovation and Development in 1999 and has been successfully remodeling in the Chicago area since.
The company was featured in Chicago Home Magazine, Kitchens & Baths Magazine, and the online edition of the Chicago Tribune, in an article titled, “Six Ways to Save On Your Home Projects.” One of their bathroom designs, the Lakeview Master Bath, stands out for its sophisticated simplicity, and the harmony of colors. The one-of-a-kind design features white wood paneling that reaches three-fourths of the way up the walls, at which point a beautiful soft grey is introduced that speaks perfectly with the white. The bathroom also features a marble subway-tiled shower, two stunning sconces, and a small, romantic crystal chandelier that completes the design.

10
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 is a remodeler and builder of custom homes led by President Dan Kittilsen, whose love for construction began at a young age. Kittilsen has been in the building industry over half of his lifetime. He started out in masonry and now personally handles the daily design and building operation of the company. Their excellent customer service and craftsmanship garnered them a 2015 and 2016 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 numerous others awards. DJK Homes services the Chicago suburbs, including Naperville, Elmhurst, Lincolnshire, Plainfield, Woodridge, and Yorkville.

The company successful remodeled a spacious bathroom using high end custom cabinetry in dark wood tones, oversized mirrors with matching dark wood frames, beige tile flooring, a stunning oval shaped soaking tub, and attractive light fixtures installed over the two sets of mirrors to add glamour and symmetry. The relaxing and gorgeous design is completed by a wall mounted flat screen TV positioned above the soaking tub.

9
Leader Builders Corp.

Principals:
Peter Antonow

Awards:
Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Gold Key Award,
Best of Houzz 2018,
Best of Houzz 2017

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

About Leader Builders Corp.

Leader Builders Corp. is a design-build firm and general contractor specializing in architectural home additions, renovations, and custom new home design and construction. They’ve been serving Chicago, the North Shore, and the Northwest Suburbs for 30 years and counting. You may recognize them from HGTV, where they were most recently featured on an episode of House Hunters Renovation. Their work has also been featured in The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and Trends Magazine.

The pictured master bath was part of a landmark renovation in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. This was the only wood building in the area to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The homeowners wanted to preserve its character while adding a new master suite and updating the whole house. Leader Builders peeled back layers upon layers of previous remodeling jobs to uncover original features such as the stained glass above the whirlpool tub. Meanwhile, a glass walk-in shower and floating vanity add a touch of contemporary style and convenience.

8
Mahogany Builders

Principals:
Matt Lederer

Awards:
Angie’s List Super Service Award

Address:
3823 N Southport, Chicago, IL 60613

About Mahogany Builders

Mahogany Builders is a full-service boutique general contractor owned by Matt Lederer. The company has been serving the Chicago area since 2000. They are winners of the Angie’s List Super Service Award and one of Remodeling Magazine’s Big50 for 2016, making them among the most innovative companies in the field. They are also members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

Mahogany Builders creates absolutely stunning bathrooms with character and charm that are unsurpassed. Their attention to design details and their master craftsmanship skills are apparent in every example of their work. One of their delicately crafted bathrooms has beautiful tilework on the floor, in a soft cream and brown pattern with a central mosaic piece that adds classic detail. Above the gorgeous tile is a unique standalone faucet with slim, silver legs. To the right, the bathroom door is framed with a carefully crafted molding design. A round window serves as a reminder that this is not an ordinary bathroom. To finish off the Pinterest-ready, one-of-a-kind look, French-inspired curtains are ruffled to perfection.

7
Benvenuti and Stein

Principals:
Geno Benvenuti

Awards:
Winnetka Preservation Award for Rehabilitation,
Professional Remodeler Magazine Design Award,
Marvin Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award,
Chrysalis Award

Address:
2001 Greenleaf, Evanston, IL 60202

About Benvenuti and Stein

Award-winning construction and remodeling firm Benvenuti and Stein has been a leading player in the Chicago and North Shore building industry for over 40 years. They have been made popular for their innovative designs and bathroom remodeling ideas. They are recipients of the 2016 Winnetka Preservation Award for Rehabilitation; the 2015 Professional Remodeler Magazine Design Award; the 2015 Marvin Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award; and the 2010 Chrysalis Award for a Whole House Remodel over $1M. The team is led by Owner Geno Benvenuti, who has been designing new spaces in Chicago homes since 1977.

One of their exciting powder room remodels is a perfect example of the use of pattern. In this design, they limited their use of color to varying shades of grey and white and went bold with pattern. The restraint of color makes the daring pattern use not only appealing but also a welcomed example of risk taking done correctly.

6
MB Design and Build

Principals:
Martins Buka

Address:
2141 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

About MB Design and Build

Scroll through their portfolio and you will see that MB Design Build creates amazing bathrooms. They are stunning examples of the marriage of design and functionality. MB Design and Build is a full-service company specializing in interior and architectural design, renovation, and restoration. The company was founded by Martins Buka, a Chicago-based contractor and designer. Buka is passionate about creating unique spaces. He has 18 years of construction experience, including a degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Buka was featured in The Men’s Book for a penthouse design, and he made an appearance on the hit show Kitchen Crashers.

In one stunning bathroom remodel, Buka’s minimalism is striking, bare, and beautiful. The bathroom features clean, sharp lines and a few necessities: a single white soaking tub perfectly centered in the room; a white, glass-enclosed shower; and a large screen TV in front of the tub that almost disappears into the space. To add elegance to this already gorgeous space, a perfectly sized crystal chandelier is suspended above the tub.

5
Foster Design Build

Principals:
Bob Berg

Address:
2661 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

About Foster Design Build

Foster Design Build (FDB) was established by Bob Berg in the Chicago area in 2009. Berg’s mission was to create a home remodeling firm that would take their client’s projects from design to completion. To help simplify the process for their clients, the firm has an in-house design team. The company is a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and 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 for a remodel, with the secret service watching, of a home at 5040 S. Greenwood Avenue, next door to the Obama residence.

Foster Design Build’s successful master bathroom design for a Sheridan Road residence features a sleek and modern barn door-style entry, and a beautiful dark vanity with a countertop that extends past the cabinet and over the soaking tub for added space and functionality. The company installed marble tile coupled with slate grey stacked stone walls that add warmth and natural beauty. The space is completed by two wooden floating shelves for the perfect decor elements, and chrome faucets that add a touch of glamour to the understated design.

4
Normandy Design Build Remodeling

Principals:
Jack Steindl
Reg Marzec

Awards:
Professional Remodeler Magazine Design Award,
NARI Remodeling Excellence Award

Address:
440 E. Ogden Avenue, Hinsdale, IL 60521

About Normandy Design Build Remodeling

Jack Steindl and Reg Marzec founded the award-winning Normandy Design Build company in 1979. Their goal was to make home building and remodeling as enjoyable as possible. They have since become one of the premier home remodeling firms in the Chicago area with a flagship showroom in Hinsdale, Illinois. The company received a Professional Remodeler Magazine 2017 Design Award, a 2017 NARI Remodeling Excellence Award, and was also included on Qualified Remodeler Magazine’s Top 500 list as well as Remodeling Magazine’s Top 550 list. They were included in multiple issues of Kitchen & Bath Business Magazine, Naperville Magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, and West Suburban Living Magazine, among others.

One of their glamorous bathroom designs includes a white floating vanity backed with a large mirror that spans floor to ceiling, reflecting the beautiful tile floors. The company installed a mother-of-pearl inlay in the shower tile, adding another layer of elegance to the space. The bathroom also features a freestanding bathtub with a floor-mount, a vintage-style silver faucet, and delicate crystal bathroom fixtures that serve to accentuate the timeless beauty of this bathroom design.

3
Drury Design

Principals:
Gail Drury

Awards:
ASID Awards,
NKBA Awards

Address:
512 N Main Street, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

About Drury Design

Gail Drury is the creative director at Drury Design, a design-build firm that is home to some of the top kitchen and bath designers in Chicago. Drury has over 35 years of experience in the field and puts her personal touch on each of their designs, ensuring their utter perfection. The company has been featured in Trend Magazine’s Top 50 American Kitchens, named one of KBDN’s Top 50 Innovators in the industry, and received awards from the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) and National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

Their Chicago Brownstone Master Bath offers complete perfection of design and craftsmanship. It is a breathtaking space loaded with high-end elements of style and master decision making. It boasts custom-made soft white cabinets, marble countertops, oversized mirrors, and an arched doorway leading to the stand-alone tub. The space also features marble floors with mosaic accents throughout, elegant crown moldings, carefully chosen up-lighting that accentuates a unique ceiling, and chic bathroom fixtures.

2
Synergy Builders, Inc.

Principals:
Sara Scimeca

Awards:
Remodeling 550 Award,
Guild Quality Service of Excellence,
Angie’s List Super Service,
Chrysalis Awards,
Qualified Remodeler Master Design Award

Address:
850 Meadowview Crossing #13, West Chicago, IL 60185

About Synergy Builders, Inc.

Synergy Builders has consistently been chosen as one of the Best Places to work in Illinois. It is an award-winning home remodeling firm that has serviced the Chicago area for over 15 years. The firm has helped hundreds of families with their kitchens, bathrooms, and additions since its founding in 2002.

Led by Sara Scimeca, the team has also taken home many awards. It made the list of Qualified Remodeler’s “Top 500 Remodelers” for the past nine consecutive years. For the last eight years and counting, Synergy Builders has been presented with the Remodeling 550 Award. They have also made the list of Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50. It was awarded the Guild Quality Service of Excellence, Angie’s List Super Service, Chrysalis Awards, and the Qualified Remodeler Master Design Award.

One of their unique bathroom designs uses gorgeous decorative mirrors at its focal point. The mirrors hang above a classic double vanity with undermount sinks and a marble countertop. There is also a glamorous crystal lighting fixture that ties the space together, giving it a timeless quality.

1
Goldberg General Contracting

Principals:
Jacob Goldberg

Awards:
AIA Chicago Small Projects Award,
North American Copper Architecture Copper Development Association Residential Architecture Award,
Custom Home Magazine Custom Home of the Year National Award

Address:
3510 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

About Goldberg General Contracting

Goldberg General Contracting (GGC) has provided their clients a personal and collaborative approach to remodeling a bathroom for the past three decades. No matter the nature of the job, their experienced crew guarantees their clients a positive experience. Headed by President Jacob Goldberg, they employ 25 skilled craftsmen to deliver an exceptional service and high levels of quality to each client they meet.

They have received the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Small Projects Award; the 2016 North American Copper Architecture Copper Development Association Residential Architecture Award; and the 2013 Custom Home Magazine Custom Home of the Year National Award, among many others. The company was featured in LUXE Magazine for a Highland Park residence, and in the the New York Times for a postmodern residence, in addition to other features.

GGC collaborated with the award-winning Michael Richman Interiors to customize a high-end designer home in a Chicago condominium. The resulting design glitters. The walls are covered in a high gloss mosaic tile. There is a curved wood ceiling-to-wall transition, and shimmering dark floors. The highly reflective surfaces make this space more than just an ordinary bathroom, as the space dazzles and shines.

The Best Condominium Remodel / Interior Contractors in Chicago

Overview

Condominiums are increasingly becoming the housing of choice of the future for many major cities. With increasing population and a shrinking land supply, developers and homeowners alike opt to build multiple ownable residences in a single lot, and usually upwards through mid- and high-rise towers.

Such an arrangement, however, does not preclude the homeowners from customizing their respective units, especially the interiors, as a way of personalizing their spaces. Chicago, as the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, has been at the forefront of this trend, made possible by contractors who specialize in interior remodel and design. This articles lists the top 15 condominium remodel and interior contractors in Chicago.

Top Contractors

15
URB Chicago Home Remodeling Contractors

Address:
4751 W Touhy Ave, Ste 101, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

About URB Chicago Home Remodeling Contractors

URB Chicago Home Remodeling Contractors is a remodeling contracting firm based in Lincolnwood, IL, operating in the West and South Sides of Chicago and nearby suburbs. The company specializes in kitchen, bathroom, and interior remodels for single homes, condominiums and residential high-rises. The firm is the remodeling arm of URB, Inc., a full service real estate investment and development company specializing in redeveloping foreclosed and demnified residential properties. URB was formed in 1986 by President Brian Urbanowski.

URB was responsible for remodeling a condominium unit in North Lake Shore Drive. For the project, the firm renovated the bath and the kitchen, installed new hardwood flooring for the kitchen and bedroom, and repainted the entire home.

14
Braun Renovation Management

Address:
800 Custer Ave, Ste 2, Evanston, IL 60202

About Braun Renovation Management

Based in Evanston, Braun Renovation Management is a Chicago-serving general contractor that specializes in customized home renovation and remodeling, as well as additions, new construction, and multi-family projects.

Principal Josh Braun established the firm in 2007 with “the goal of providing the highest quality construction services for individual homeowners, business/commercial property owners and condominium associations”. Braun brings with him 20 years of experience in the real estate business and a hands-on approach to every project. Braun recently renovated the entire interior of a 3-story, 6-unit condominium in West Wrightwood Avenue. In addition to renovations on the existing baths and kitchens, additional baths were designed and built.

13
Artane Construction

Address:
1342 W 31st Pl, Ste C, Chicago, IL 60608

About Artane Construction

Artane Construction is a Chicago-based full-service designer-builder established in 2001 by Principals Simon and Rachel McCormac. The firm specializes in single family and condominium home remodels and commercial build-outs. They find pride on their “service, communication, availability and, most of all, accountability.” Simon McCormac serves as the on-site project manager, while Rachel McCormac is the designer and point person for procurement. Both apply a hands-on approach in doing business.

A condominium unit in North Pine Grove Avenue recently had a full interior renovation, complete with a renewed kitchen, bath, and living-dining area, as well as new hardwood floors, paint and lighting. Artane takes pride in this particular project for only taking four weeks to complete.

12
Archway Home Remodeling

Address:
1962 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

About TM Grady Builders

Owner Scott Lieberman founded Chicago-based Archway Home Remodeling in 1989. Lieberman’s work started as a hobby in his college days, renovating condos and houses in his spare time. From there, he worked for a Chicago remodeling company for sometime, until he decided to venture on his own. Today, Lieberman and Archway specialize in all types of remodel, both exterior and interior, for single-family and condominium homes.

Within the firm’s neighborhood in Lincoln Park, and just across from the Lincoln Park Zoo, Archway remodeled a 2-bed, 2-bathroom condominium unit. The project covered the kitchen, both bathrooms and both bedrooms. The kitchen was given new cabinetry, countertops, hardware, appliances and lighting. The bathrooms were thoroughly remodeled, and both bedrooms received new carpet flooring. Additional storage space were also made for the master bedroom.

11
Areté Renovators

Address:
3821 W. Montrose Ave, Chicago IL 60618

About Areté Renovators

Areté Renovators, Inc. is Chicago-based family-owned remodeling contractor specializing in residential interiors, particularly kitchens and baths. Since its founding in 2001, the firm has built a portfolio consisting of more than 1000 projects ranging from countertop installation to whole-home renovation. Areté has a sister company called Renovators Outlet, a kitchen and bathroom showroom and design center for residential and commercial clients located in West Montrose Avenue.

Areté conducted a full condo remodel of a unit on North Canal Street. The renovation included bathroom and kitchen upgrades, hardwood floor refinishing, and whole home repaint. It also gave the property new marsh maple autumn cabinetry with yellow wall cabinets and frosted glass doors, single bowl stainless steel undermount sink, grohe polished chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms, 12×24 tile flooring in the foyer, and barn doors.

10
Remodeling Experts of Chicago

Address:
3406 N Bosworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

About Remodeling Experts of Chicago

Remodeling Experts of Chicago is a Chicago-based general contractor specializing in kitchen, bathroom, and condominium home improvement services. Owner Jim Heaney formed the company in 1983, and has been serving Chicago’s neighborhoods ever since. The firm provides full remodeling services, from beautifully crafted kitchens, to tailored bathrooms and rich millwork. In addition to remodeling, Heaney is real estate agent, bringing his expertise in the field into remodeling projects, especially those for homes destined for sale. The firm is a Better Business Bureau-accredited company.

Remodeling Experts renovated a unit in North Lake Shore Drive quite extensively. Work done in the unit included partial partition wall demolition, and upgrades to the kitchen and bathroom.

9
Homewise Remodelers

Address:
2841 N Pulaski Rd, Unit CN, Chicago IL 60641

About Homewise Remodelers

Homewise Remodelers is a home improvement company in Chicago specializing in remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, basements,attics, and condos and apartments, as well as building room additions. The firm was established by President Mirek Klosowski in 1999, and has since aimed at delivering premium service and results at reasonable prices. Homewise has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, and is an accredited business by the same agency.

Homewise was responsible for remodeling a downtown Chicago condominium on East Chestnut Street. The unit was thoroughly remodeled, including the flooring, the kitchen and the bathroom.

8
Catalyst Construction and Remodeling

Address:
2000 W Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

About Catalyst Construction and Remodeling

Catalyst Construction and Remodeling is a full-service Chicago general contractor with over 50 years of combined experience in renovation and remodeling. President Eric Udelhoven started the company in 2003 after having a bad experience from a contractor who was tasked with a renovation for a condo association in which Udelhoven served as president. The firm has grown into a veritable company, being one of the only 4 NARI Member & Certified Remodeler in the entire city of Chicago, and having received an A+ rating and consecutive Complaint Free Awards from the BBB since 2008.

In a third-floor unit in Catalpa Avenue, Catalyst led an interior upgrade of the kitchen and bathroom. Meanwhile, a full remodel was completed in West Fulton Market.

7
Dynasty Innovations

Address:
520 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60642

About Dynasty Innovations

Based in 3 offices in Chicago, Dynasty Innovations is a an A+ Better Business Bureau-rated design-build remodeler established in 1991. Combining the team’s 100 years of experience, the firm proudly continues to deliver luxury designs, quality construction, and most importantly, client satisfaction. Such a reputation is further bolstered by their membership in both NKBA and NARI, as well as their certification as a EPA Lead Safe Contractor.

The firm took on a full condo renovation in downtown Chicago. The kitchen and bathrooms were upgraded with new plumbing and fixtures. New hardwood flooring was placed from the living/dining room, into the kitchen, to one of two guest bedrooms. The other guest bedroom and the master’s have new brown carpeting. Each of the three bathrooms were customized, from wood and white paint walls for one of the guest bathrooms, to the intricate black patterned tile walls for the master bath.

6
Centaur Interiors

Address:
215 W Huron St. Ste 1, Chicago, IL 60654

About Centaur Interiors

In 2007, Principal Michael Miller founded Centaur Interiors (CI), a boutique design-build remodeling firm that specializes in “turn-key bespoke solutions for residential interior renovation.” The firm has since transformed many a residential space in a variety of styles and trends, from traditional to modern. Centaur Interiors has established a collaborative environment and network of industry experts; craftsmen, licensed tradesmen, architects, designers and project managers, working in harmony to produce superior results. With a commitment to innovation, precise execution, extraordinary design and superior customer service, CI is able to be a transformative force in the Chicago residential remodel industry. The firm and its works has been featured in a number of publications, such as Luxe, Interiors, and Crain’s.

Chicago Magazine featured CI’s work on a three-bedroom condo unit currently owned by United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz. CI transformed an Old World-inspired abode formerly owned by Oprah Winfrey to a modern day art deco masterpiece. Custom details include stone counter profile, casings, wood doors, marble fireplace, and wall-covering patterns at the entry and powder room. Art is a central theme in the build, thus the integrated lighting and finishes that highlight and incorporate the artworks curated exclusively to the home.

5
M5 Chicago

Address:
2001 N Halsted St, Ste 301, Chicago, IL 60614

About M5 Chicago

M5 Chicago is a Chicago-based designer-builder formed 30 years ago in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. From its start as a contractor exclusively working on for-sale residences in the local neighborhood, the firm now offers design-build, new construction, renovation and remodeling services to both residential and commercial clients in the Chicago area. Chicago Magazine and Voyage Chicago have featured M5’s works.

M5 Chicago remodeled a 16th floor condominium unit in Chicago. The kitchen was given new black stone and wood countertops, white cabinets, and modern appliances and fixtures. Dark hardwood flooring was installed in the living, dining and kitchen areas. A pair of glass barn doors separates the study room from the rest of the residence. In the bathroom, meanwhile, blue wall tiles and dark grey floor tiles give contrast to the otherwise white features.

4
Leader Builders

Address:
6327 Dempster St, Morton Grove, IL 60053

About Leader Builders

Leader Builders is a general contractor based in Morton Grove and specializing in architectural home additions and renovations. The firm services Chicago, the North Shore, and the Northwest Suburbs. President Pete Antonow formed the company in 1988. Leader Builders is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, and its works has been featured Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Trends.

Featured in Chicago Tribune was Leader Builders’ work on a condominium in a high-rise in downtown Chicago. The project took two phases: the first covered most of the unit, while the second, coming in about a year later, covered the master suite. The entire project is characterized by “high design” as exemplified by the customized stone work, cabinetry, millwork and various types of glass products, as well as the use of creative partitioning and usage of multitude of lighting arrangements.

3
123 Remodeling

Address:
5070 N Kimberly Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

About 123 Remodeling

Currently led by General Manager Sharone Lavi, 123 Remodeling is a home remodeling and renovation contracting company based in Chicago. The firm offers services in kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and basement remodeling, as well as tuck pointing, masonry, roofing, and other general contracting services. The Celebration Media Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Award, and the Better Business Bureau Complaint Free Awards are among 123 Remodeling’s many accomplishments.

Thirty-six high-rises and condo projects are featured on the 123 Remodeling website. One of the most thorough was done in a unit on West Delaware Place, which involved theliving room, the kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen was gutted, and was given new espresso shaker cabinets, white quartz countertops, and a mosaic backsplash. The bathroom meanwhile received aesthetic and hardware upgrades. Finally, the entire condo received new Brazilian pecan flooring.

2
MAW Chicago

Address:
830 W Northwest Hwy, Ste A, Palatine, IL 60067-2377

About MAW Chicago

Based in Palatine, IL, MAW Chicago is an award-winning general contracting and remodeling firm that offers services to both residential and commercial clients throughout the Chicago area. Principals Scott Sevon and Mike Nagel formed the company only in 2008, yet the firm has already bagged a respectable array of awards, including the NAHB Certified Graduate Remodeler of the Year Award. MAW is also a proud accredited member of NAHB, EPA, and NARI.

In East Delaware Place, two condominium units were merged into a single residence. The new space had its drywalls replaced, and its bathrooms refurbished. In another Chicago condo unit, MAW made a complete and thorough remodel, creating a neoclassical residence through the numerous custom features of the space.

1
Normandy Design Build Remodeling

Address:
830 W Northwest Hwy, Ste A, Palatine, IL 60067-2377

About Normandy Design Build Remodeling

Based in Hinsdale, IL, Normandy Design Build Remodeling is a general contracting and design-build firm that specializes in kitchen, bathroom, and home remodel, as well as home additions. Founders Jack Steindl and Reg Marzec established the firm in 1979 with “ the idea of creating a better kind of home remodeling company in the Chicago area.” The firm is currently owned and headed by President Andy Wells, who leads a staff of over 40 designers, architects, project managers and craftsmen. Among its accomplishments, Normandy has won the NARI Contractor of the Year Award and the Qualified Remodeler Magazine Master Design Awards.

As of this writing, Normandy has completed more than 4,000 remodeling projects throughout Chicago. One of these projects is a condo unit in downtown Chicago with spectacular views of the Lake Michigan. The project was done in multiple phases, each one taking advantage of the view. Another notable project was a complete renovation to turn a Chicago condo into a pied-a-terre for a couple. The highlight of this project was the custom cabinetry that maximized the rather limited space of the residence.

The Best Retail Contractors in Chicago

Overview

Chicago is a lively, urban city characterized by skyscrapers and bold architecture. The city is home to more than 2.7 million people living in various neighborhoods, each with a personality of its own. West Loop is Chicago’s culinary capital. Lincoln Park has lines of high-end boutiques, homes, and restaurants. River North and Gold Coast, on the other hand, have impressive skylines due to the sheer number of high-rise buildings.

It is Michigan Avenue, a north-south street stretching along the Chicago Grid, that features many of the city’s retailers. This area is home to many international brands and labels. Set against a backdrop of older Chicago buildings, these retail stores must be designed and constructed to demand attention. Read on to learn more about the best retail contractors in Chicago.

10
Dickinson Cameron Construction

Address:
109 W. 26th Unit 2A, New York

About Dickinson Cameron Construction

Dickinson Cameron is a leading, prolific retail and restaurant construction firm. The company has completed over a hundred projects throughout the U.S. in its 20 years of operation – ranging from complete ground-up construction, flagship stores, and build-outs, to structural renovations, and interior remodels. Their clientele includes Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Barneys, Burberry, and other retail giants. Frank Naliboff currently heads the firm as its President and CEO.

In Chicago, DCC has constructed stores for Montblanc, Lululemon Athletica, Sandro, Hermes, and Adidas. The company also completed the Chicago branch for jeweler Van Cleef and Arpels, and for high-end, home furnishing company Z Gallerie.

The firm offers pre-construction planning and project management, specifically detailed scope qualification, site survey, value engineering, coordination of permitting and approvals, and labor and contract review. DCC also offers green building options for clients. DCC’s work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Forbes, WWD, and Los Angeles Ranked.

9
Novak Construction

Address:
3423 N. Drake Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

About Novak Construction

Novak Construction Company is a Chicago-based general construction firm in more than 30 states. The firm offers construction services in commercial and mixed-use residential markets. Novak employs numerous LEED accredited professionals and has experience in all levels of green-building construction practices. John Novak is the firm’s founder and president. The firm ranked 192nd in Crain’s Largest Privately Held Companies in Chicago, and 363rd in ENR’s Top Contractors List. Almost 85 percent of their projects came from repeat clients. The firm credits it to their excellence and accountability.

“At Novak, we take the time to understand our clients, enabling us to begin each project with a clear picture of their expectations and vision. Regardless of project type, we ensure our client’s satisfaction with the process, outcome, and value for their construction investment.”

Novak’s projects included large-scale retail stores. The firm constructed 55 Whole Foods Market branches in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, and Minnesota. Novak also worked on 150 Costco Wholesale branches in different areas – each having 135,000 to 150,000 square feet of retail space. The firm was the general contractor for Naperville and Westmont branches for Standard Market, and all four branches of Heinen’s Fine Foods in Illinois. Novak worked on 100 locations of Target, a leading supermarket store chain. The Chicago branch was awarded a LEED Silver, while the Target Express store in Downtown Chicago received the Gold Award of Excellence from the Association For Retail Environment (ARE).

8
WM. A. Randolph, Incorporated

Address:
820 Lakeside Drive, Suite 3, Gurnee, IL 60031

About WM. A. Randolph, Incorporated

Founded in 1958, WM. A. Randolph Inc. focused initially on building Illinois infrastructure such as sewage treatment plants, bridges, and pumping stations, but shifted to commercial construction in the 1990s, now building hotels, hospitals, parking decks, offices, restaurants, and retail centers. Randolph ranked 25th in Crain’s List Chicago’s Largest Contractors in 2010.

“We are committed to providing you with the kind of engineering and construction expertise needed to get your project successfully off the ground and one-on-one service to manage it every step of the way. Our philosophy is simple: we’re not satisfied until you are,” they state on the company website.

Under their retail service, Randolph offers tenant build-outs, big box stores, grocery stores, urban infill projects, inline retail centers, mall redevelopment, facade renovations, structured parking, and mixed-use facilities. The firm has worked on a Walmart store, Kohl’s, CVS/Pharmacy, the Vitamin Shoppe, CarMax, Mariano’s Fresh Market, and a corner branch for the Banana Republic.

Randolph appeared in Construction Magazine in a piece titled Evolving with Time, which celebrated the construction of American landmarks.

7
PWI Construction

Address:
3903 West Martin Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89118

About PWI Construction

PWI Construction was founded in 1985, and over the course of 30 years has completed a myriad of luxury retail, hospitality, restaurant, and specialty construction projects throughout the country. PWI has worked with Bvlgari, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co., Hugo Boss, Marriott International, Ritz Carlton, and several others in various industries. The firm has completed 1,800 projects – 250 of which in the last five years. Jeff Price is the current president of PWI Construction.

“We will provide the highest quality craftsmanship using the latest construction techniques with the best materials and service, to exceed our partner’s expectations,” they say on their website.

PWI has constructed Chicago stores for high-end brands such as Cartier, Cole Haan, Giorgio Armani, Prada, and Tiffany & Company. The firm also worked with other brands such as Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Escada, Etro, Fendi, Ferrari, Gucci, Hermes, Kate Spade, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Piaget, Michael Kors, Rolex, Ted Baker London, Versace, and Tory Burch.

The company offers feasibility studies, materials evaluations, site analysis, value engineering, conceptual budgeting, CPM Scheduling, pre-construction services, general contracting services, and project management. The firm’s work has appeared in Foothills Magazine, in the Conde Nast Traveler’s 2017 Hot List, and their restaurants for TAO and LAVO made it to Vegas Eater’s ‘Biggest Sales.’

6
MOD Construction

Address:
917 W. Washington | Suite 275, Chicago, IL 60607

About MOD Construction

MOD Construction is one of the most renowned and go-to construction firms in Chicago – having completed hundreds of residential and commercial projects. MOD has worked with top clients such as Audemars Piguet, Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, Ulysee Nardin, Waldorf Astoria, and ECJ Luxe. The firm received a Special Recognition from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Chicago for one of their residential projects in Chicago.

“We are proud to say that 100% of our work comes from client referrals and repeat business from our satisfied clients. We are always interested in the prospect of working with our clients to accomplish their dreams and goals,” the firm states on its website.

The company has completed Chicago projects for high-end retailers Del Toro, a handmade Italian shoe store, Swiss watchmakers Ulysse Nardin and Audemars Piguet. The Ulysse Nardin store has an all-glass, black and white store. Their work for Piguet contrasts contemporary finishes with natural elements such as stones and leaves. The firm has also worked on numerous apartment renovations, restaurant build-outs, and a million-dollar garage.

MOD offers an array of construction services for residential and commercial projects. The firm’s project managers can complete the projects on time and on budget. MOD’s works have appeared in Modern Luxury – Gold Coast, Houses Now, Chicago Tribune, and DNA Info Chicago.

5
Englewood Construction Management

Address:
80 Main Street, Lemont IL 60439

About Englewood Construction Management

Englewood Construction Management (ECI) is a Lemont-based general contractor specializing in commercial construction. The firm was founded in 2001 and has since expanded their construction projects in retail, restaurant, office, senior housing and hospitality construction industries throughout the U.S. Bill Di Santo is the current president of ECI.

ECI is experienced in building projects as large as substantial shopping malls, and as small as a single store branch of a label. Their mall projects in Illinois include the Fox Valley Shopping Center, Hawthorne Center, Shopping Center on Golf, Bolingbrook Commons, Oak Brook Peppermill, Wheaton Plaza, Two Rivers, and Maple Park. The firm also worked on The Shoppes at Farmington Valley in Canton, Connecticut, and the Brazos Mall in Texas. ECI has also built individual stores for American Girl, Ann Taylor, Spanx, Scandia Down, Dick’s Sporting Goods, J.Jill, Barnes & Noble, MNG by Mango, and international retailer Zara, as well as big-box retailers such as Hobby Lobby and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

ECI offers general construction and management from inception to completion. The firm has a database of more than 20,000 qualified subcontractors and suppliers across the country to provide service. Englewood has been featured in the Daily Herald Business Ledger, Heartland Real Estate Business, Northern Illinois Real Estate Journal, Construction Dive and other business and industry publications. Retail & Restaurant Facility Business and Restaurant Development + Design have profiled their restaurant projects.

4
WE O’Neil Construction

Address:
1245 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

About WE O’Neil Construction

W.E. O’Neil Construction, a general construction firm, has worked on several high-profile retailing projects in Chicago. The firm was founded in 1925, and has won numerous awards and high rankings. Brian Ramsay currently serves as the firm’s CEO and President, and William O’Neil as the chairman. The company places a high value on relationships with clients, and prides itself on 80% of its work coming from repeat customers.

The firm has worked with international clothing retailer H&M and GH + A Design Studios in building an 11,000 square-foot, three-story building with basement on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. They also completed a build-out for the Canada Goose flagship store, and in a team-up with Callison Architecture, they built the Chicago Nordstrom – all 237,000 square feet of a department store with renovations. Other projects include a three-floor renovation and build-out of 60,000 square feet building for Japanese retailer Uniqlo, the retail center at 108 N. State Street, Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s Medinah Temple, and Metra Market.

W.E. O’Neil Construction has won several distinctions, including the Design Award from A + Awards, the Gold Award from Landscape Contractors Association, the Large Contractor of the Year award by the Cornerstone Foundation, ENR Best Renovation Project, and Best Office Project from the Los Angeles Business Journal. Building Design + Construction ranked the firm as 17th in its Top 75 Retail Construction Firms.

3
LG Construction + Development

Address:
2234 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

About LG Construction + Development

Founded by Brian Goldberg and Marc Lifshin in 2005, LG Construction + Development since expanded to offer construction, management, and warranty. The firm is best known for completing luxury residential and commercial projects. They pride themselves on their ability to combine high design and quality craftsmanship with attention to client needs.

In River North, the firm worked on a 30,000 square-foot build-out of Chicago-based online high-end clothing-service and stylists-haven, Trunk Club, and transformed a loading dock into a high-end retail store for Oliver Peoples. They constructed the Wicker Park branches of Paris-based luxury goods brand Diptyque, and New York-based clothing store, Steven Alan. LG also built a pop-up store for Goop, a lifestyle company owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, in Gold Coast’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, and just a few blocks away, reconfigured a 5,000 square-foot showroom for Italian tile icon Transceramica to showcase 8,000 square-feet of installed Italian and U.S. custom-made tile.

LG’s work has appeared in Curbed Chicago, Construction Today, Building Up Chicago, Multi-Housing News, Architect Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago, Loop North News, and Chicago Architecture.

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Centaur Construction

Address:
1200 W. Lake Street, Suite 200, Chicago, 60607

About Centaur Construction

Founded by 1998, Centaur Construction is a Chicago-based construction company that works in a variety of different markets, such as new construction, historic renovation, and hospitality constructions. The firm, currently headed by Spiro Tsaparas, partners with world-class architects, designers, and developers.

The firm worked on the flagship store of Barney’s, on a succession of retail buildings that would be the stores for Bebe, Intermix, and Lululemon Athletica at 1627 N. Damen, and a one-story commercial retail development – to be the location for international retailers Club Monaco and LeSportsac at 1727 N. Damen. They recently completed work on the upcoming, five-star Nobu Hotel & Restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop.

Centaur offers general contracting, construction services, real estate development, owner’s representation, and other services. Their work has been featured in appeared in Antiques & Fine Art and the Chicago Tribune.

1
Summit Design Build

Address:
1032 W. Fulton Market, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60607