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The Best Life Science Architects in Chicago, Illinois

6 Min Read

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


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

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

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

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

Wright Heerema Architects

140 South Dearborn, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60603

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

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


1251 NW. Briarcliff Parkway, Suite 500, Kansas City, MO 64116

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

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

MRSA Architects and Planners

822 West Washington Boulevard Chicago, IL 60607

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

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


224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400 Chicago, IL 60604

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

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

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

Flad Architects

644 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711

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

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