Send us your news, firm updates, retirements to share at Arch-Alumni@illinois.edu.
Alex Patsavas, AIA, of Normandy Remodeling recognized as next generation of innovators taking the remodeling industry by storm. Normandy Remodeling Designer Alex Patsavas AIA, was included in Professional Remodeler Magazine’s 2019 Top ‘40 under 40’, an annual award that recognizes top design professionals from across the country. Patsavas is the fifth Normandy Remodeling Designer to make this esteemed list of industry leaders. To read more, please visit this PRESS RELEASE.
Environmental Psychology Shapes the 1/24 Marine Battalion Memorial (The Fallen Comrade Table)
Twenty-two Marines did not return home following a 2006 to 2007 deployment of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines (1/24) to AI Anbar Province, Iraq. Twelve years later, a memorial in their honor has been completed and dedicated outside of Chesterfield Township, MI, near the Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The Fallen Comrade Table is a black, granite table with empty place settings, each inscribed with a fallen Marine’s name. The Table is the centerpiece of a 1/24 Marine Battalion Memorial precinct composed of a path, seating, commemorative plaques, a wall, and a Fallen Soldier Battle Cross. Nicholas Watkins, PhD, and Anna Ives, AIA, designed the memorial with the Marines and Ben Tiseo, AIA, of Tiseo Architects. Watkins is a 2007 Ph.D. graduate of the School of Architecture’s Social and Cultural Factors in Design program. Watkins’s dissertation research of the psychological impact of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, on Vietnam War Veterans’ PTSD symptoms informed design and experiential elements for the 1/24 Battalion Memorial. The adoption of these design and experiential elements including the empty place settings, a wall evocative of Iraqi family courtyards, and circular circulation around the site directly engage the Marines, their family members, community members, and other visitors in ritualistic acts of interpretation and mourning. As time passes, the Memorial will require regular maintenance and upkeep. To learn more about the Memorial and find out how you can support it, please go to the following website: http://1-24memorial.com/.
Don A. Halperin, FAIG, Director Emeritus, School of Building Construction, at the University of Florida, passed away on Monday April 15, 2019, in Gainesville, FL while under the care of Haven Hospice. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Moses P. and Sara Halperin.
Don earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Case School of Applied Science. He earned a Master's Degree in Architectural Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a Master's Degree in Architectural Engineering in 1958 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences in 1964 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. An avid supporter of education, he has provided for scholarships at all three of the colleges he attended: Case Western Reserve University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Because he attended the University of Illinois on a scholarship and later was a member of the University of Illinois Foundation's President's Council, Consular Circle, he established the Don A. Halperin Endowment Fund to support students enrolled in the architectural structures program in the School of Architecture. His fund will grant the Don A. Halperin Architectural Structures Award.
In 1983 he was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Constructors, an honor only one percent of the members ever attain and at that time was only one of two educators so honored from the School of Building Construction at the University of Florida. He served in the United States Army and was discharged in 1949. Dr. Halperin received the 'W.G. Thompson Employ the Handicapped' award from the Florida B'nai Brith. He was named consultant in architecture for the Florida Easter Seal Society. An avid supporter of Gator Football, he attended home games as often as possible even when confined to a wheelchair.
Besides being a licensed Certified General Contractor, Don Halperin was the author of several books: The Ancient Synagogues of the Iberian Peninsula, Principles of Timber design for Architects and Builders, and Building with Steel. He also co-authored Construction Funding: The Process of Real Estate Development, Appraisal and Finance, and Principles of Timber Design for Architects & Builders. In addition, he illustrated and illuminated a Haggadah of Passover Manuscript, a traditional Haggadah with full English translation and beautiful illustrations for the text. He was preceded in death by Elsa P. Halperin, his wife of 46 years, and by his parents. He is survived by two sons; Phil (Polina) Halperin of Netanya, Israel and Ken (Caryn Wexler) Halperin of Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition, he has 6 grandchildren and two great grandchildren, a brother David Halperin of Negev, Israel, and 2 nephews. Funeral Services were held privately. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Congregation B'nai Israel 3830 NW 16th Blvd. Gainesville, FL 32605, www.bnaigainesville.com. Arrangements are in the care of MILAM FUNERAL HOME 311 S. Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com
Robert Score, (M.ARCH '94). BOSTON (September 26, 2018) – Consigli Construction Co., Inc. announced today that Robert Score has joined the firm as its new Director of Historic Preservation.
Score joins Consigli with 25 years of experience, most predominantly as an architect and project manager specializing in historic preservation. In his new role, Score will partner with project teams throughout our markets in establishing quality control measures and developing creative solutions for unique preservation challenges. Score has extensive experience with developing creative approaches and techniques for restoring nationally significant historic properties.
“Bob brings technical expertise to historic preservation projects that will serve as a valuable resource to our project teams,” said Todd McCabe, Vice President of Project Services for Consigli Construction Co., Inc. “Historic preservation is the cornerstone of our business, and with the addition of Bob, we will be able to continue to pursue specialized projects while supporting our client’s needs.”
Score joins Consigli after twelve years as a senior project architect/project manager at the design firm Harboe Architects in Chicago. His historic renovation and preservation work is extensive and includes leading the restoration of several national historic landmarks such as the Lafayette Building, Washington, D.C., Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois and preservation masterplans for several other Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings and sites, including Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Consigli has been recognized for its award-winning historic preservation work on projects including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, Boston Public Library and the New York State Capitol Building to name a few.
Purnima Gupta, (M.ARCH '70), has recently published an autobiography titled, "My Write to Right", that can be found at this link. Ms. Purnima Gupta was raised on a residential engineering campus in India. Her move to [the] University of Illinois was smooth. She enjoyed her 10 years in Chicago in a cosmopolitan culture. Her move to [the] less developed South became challenging. “She would rather live a challenging life in discomfort than live a boring life in comfort.” Her most important lesson of life came from her daughters, “To live without those who leave us”.
Joshua Enck, (BSAS '99), has been selected for a 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant. He was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award in Teaching/Research to work for five months in Delhi, India. His project entitled, "Art, Design, and Craft: Utilitarian Metalwork in India" will focus on teh metalworkign skills associated with traditional vessel making - specifically the techniques associated with spinning and soldering milk cans, hand texturing tiffin lunch boxes, and hollow forming brass water pots. He will combine the roles of artist and teacher at the Sushant School of Design at Ansal University, Gurgaon, India. Below you can find the link for my project bio and Fulbright page:
John Marx, AIA, (BSAS '80), Co-Founding Principal and Chief Creative Officer of San Francisco-based Form4 Architecture, was invited by the Global Art Affairs (GAA) Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organization, to participate in an exhibition coinciding with the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale titled “Time-Space-Existence”. Debuting concurrently with the exhibition is the firm’s monographic work, The Absurdity of Beauty: Rebalancing the Modernist Narrative. Questions raised concern cultural vibrancy, rethinking Silicon Valley architecture, and the architect as calligrapher. We salute Mr. Marx and his achievements!
Form4 Architecture believes architecture is the art of giving form to ideas. The award-winning firm specializes in creating environments, whether for tech offices, mixed-use developments, or residences, that respond as equally to the topography of a site as they do to the people they serve. Winner of the 2017 American Prize for Architecture, Form4 creates formal expressions that are not only poetically moving and conceptually thoughtful, but also reflective of the client’s values and goals. As collaborative partners in the design process, the principals of Form4 Architecture—Robert J. Giannini, John Marx, AIA, Paul Ferro, AIA, and James Tefend—are personally involved with every project from concept to completion, bringing the collective wealth of years of expertise and knowledge to each client's vision. Since 1998, the firm has built a rich portfolio of award-winning work for national and international clients within diverse market sectors.
Ralph E. Montgomery, age 84, passed away on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at Bay Pines VA Hospice, following a five-month-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Melrose Park, Illinois on December 24, 1933 and resided in Indian Rocks Beach since 1990, following a rewarding career full of world travel. Ralph was an Emeritus member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He obtained his degree in Architecture through the G.I. Bill, at the University of Illinois, after serving in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Ralph retired after more than 40 years of architectural practice. He was a Senior Associate in the Walter Gropius firm, The Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Partner in the Boston architectural firm of Kennedy/Montgomery Associates, Ralph was also director of design for architectural firms in the Middle East for several years.
After his retirement to Indian Rocks Beach, Ralph was a founder of IRB Action 2000 (IRB A2K Inc.), a not for profit organization providing the city with landscaping and other amenities on a volunteer basis through fund raising and private donations. He designed more than a dozen mini parks for the City of IRB as a volunteer.
Art was also a lifelong hobby for Ralph, with many pieces of his work being recognized during the last two decades. For several consecutive years, he won First Place Ribbons for his art work, at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center in Florida, where he was an outpatient due to a service connected disability. Twice, he was recipient of the Veterans Administration Gold Medal at their annual National Creative Arts Festival. Ralph hosted several one-man art shows in the Pinellas County area. He taught at the Beach Art Center in Indian Rocks Beach and has also taught art to disabled vets, on a volunteer basis, at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center.
Ralph is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Phyllis (Larson) Delta Zeta1957.
April 2018 - Andy Jasek and Tim Kwiatkowski Named Managing Principals of FGM Architects Inc.
FGM’s Board of Directors recently elevated Andy Jasek, AIA and Timothy Kwiatkowski, AIA to Managing Directors. Andy will be responsible for operations in the Chicago and Oak Brook, Illinois offices while Tim will be responsible for St. Louis, Missouri and O’Fallon, Illinois operations. Andy joined FGM in 1995 and has focused his efforts in public architecture and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Tim, a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, joined the firm in 1999. Both Tim and Andy have held management positions in their roles at FGM and both are members of FGM’s Board of Directors. Their leadership will further FGM’s mission to Enhance Communities by Creating Quality Environments.
FGM Architects FGM Architects has specialized in the planning and design of environments for work, study and play since 1945. From early strategic facilities planning through building and interior design to furniture selection, our team of more than 75 professionals supports the needs of our clients with a total commitment to service. We offer a unique combination of experience, talent and proximity to our clients. Commitment to service means approaching small renovation assignments with the same enthusiasm as large, highly visible projects. We build relationships as well as projects. www.fgmarchitects.com
January 17, 2018 - Barbara Anderson-Kerlin, AIA to serve as 2018 AIA St. Louis Chapter president
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) St. Louis Chapter announces the election of its 2018 President, Barbara Anderson-Kerlin, AIA of HOK who will lead the nearly 800 members of the local chapter of the national organization. Anderson-Kerlin plans for 2018 are for greater involvement in local schools and communities, as well as the development of a Resource Library @ AIA St. Louis for the design and construction community.
Anderson-Kerlin is a Senior Associate l Project Manager at HOK and is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Anderson serves as a Board member of Habitat for Humanity, US Green Building Council and serves as a member of the City of St. Louis Energy Benchmarking Advisory Group. She is a resident of Edwardsville, Illinois.
January 16, 2018 – John Castellana, FAIA, Chairman of TMP Architecture, was elected Secretary of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows Executive Committee.
John was honored as a member of the College of Fellows with the American Institute of Architects in 1988. He was chosen for his outstanding professional achievements at the young age of 39, the youngest architect to be selected in Michigan and one of the youngest nationally. John served as the Chair of the Jury of Fellows in 2015. It was through his involvement with the Jury and his dedication to the College of Fellows that led to his election to the Executive Committee. John has been recognized by AIA for his exceptional design talents and commitment to educational planning, receiving the Detroit Chapter AIA Gold Medal and the AIA Michigan Gold Medal.
John was formally confirmed on December 7, 2017 into his new role as Secretary in Washington D.C. at the College of Fellows Annual Inauguration Event. John will serve as Secretary for two years, followed by one year as Vice Chancellor, and then as the Chancellor of the College of Fellows in 2021. It has been over 35 years since a nominee from Michigan has served as Chancellor (Bill Jarrett, FAIA, 1982). John notes, “The past work of the College has indeed been very important to our profession – I want to build upon the traditions of the past interspersed with bringing a fresh perspective.”
John received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kent State University in 1971 and his Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1972. In 1974 he was selected as one of four Young Architects in the USA through a competition sponsored by Building and Construction magazine.
Throughout John’s 45 year career, he has concentrated his efforts on the planning and design of educational facilities that have received over 60 design awards. John’s expertise is also evidenced by his impressive national and international credentials. He was the past American representative to the International Union of Architects Working Group on Educational Facilities. He has been a featured speaker in the Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, England and Portugal and hosted and organized the 1998 meeting of the International Working Group at Cranbrook Educational Community.
Jan. 12, 2018 - Stacey Wehe ('05), Appointed to Christner, Inc. Office of the President
Architectural design firm Christner, Inc. announced today that
Stacey Wehe has been appointed to its three-person “Office of the President.” Wehe received her bachelor’s degree in architecture in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign – Illinois School of Architecture.
As education market leader, Wehe has brought projects to life through her meticulous project management skills and commitment to ensuring clients are delighted. She joined the firm in 2015.
Christner’s current president and CEO, John Reeve, will retire after 42 years with the company. His retirement will take effect on March 30, 2018. He will redeem his remaining equity and transition his responsibilities to the Office of the President, comprised of Wehe (managing principal, marketing) and two colleagues: Shanna Wiechel (managing principal, operations), and Jeff Ryan (managing principal, design).
“We wish John all the best on his well-deserved retirement, and look forward to sharing our strategic outlook for the future of Christner in the coming months,” said Wehe.
During Reeve’s 22 years of leadership, Christner has earned a national reputation in strategic facility planning for healthcare and education clients across the country. In our St. Louis regional market, Christner has gained recognition for client-centered design excellence.
September 2017 – Morgante Wilson Architects Names Three New Partners as Firm Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Evanston, Ill.-based Morgante Wilson Architects, a leading national residential architecture and interior design firm, has announced that long-time employees and associate principals John Potter, K. Tyler and Bob Zuber have been made partners. The announcement comes as Morgante Wilson Architects (MWA), which was founded by husband-wife team and co-principals Fred Wilson and Elissa Morgante, celebrates its 30th anniversary this month.
“As Fred and I built our business over the last three decades, so much of our success has stemmed from our incredibly dedicated and talented team,” said Morgante. “John, K. and Bob, in particular, have all been tremendous leaders and instrumental in helping us become the company we are today. Naming them as partners as we celebrate our 30th anniversary is the perfect testament to the important role they have played in getting us here.”
“Thinking ahead to the future of Morgante Wilson Architects, it was a natural step for us to make some of our most trusted employees our first-ever partners,” added Wilson. “We are excited for our next chapter as we work together to grow our firm and continue our reputation for delivering excellent designs and a truly collaborative experience for our clients.”
According to Morgante and Wilson, the three new partners also represent the firm’s comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to design, which includes expertise in architecture, interior architecture, interior design and furniture design. All three have worked on not only the luxury private residences and vacation homes the firm is known for, but also commercial projects, including partnering with some of Chicago’s top developers such as Fifield Realty Corp. to design high-end multifamily interiors.
“In recent years, as John, K. and Bob have taken on additional leadership in their respective specialties, it has allowed us to pursue new opportunities for our firm,” said Wilson. “Their involvement will continue to be key in shaping the company in the years ahead.”
John Potter, 49, joined MWA in 1997 as a project manager. He has worked with clients on private residences located across the country, including in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan as well as the Virgin Islands. He has also been involved with most of the firm’s commercial, multi-use and multifamily projects, and is actively involved in marketing the firm. A native of Syracuse, N.Y., and Boston, he earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Potter is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and is licensed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is also active with Inspiration Corporation, a group that helps people affected by homelessness and poverty, and was recently named to the organization’s board of directors.
A 10-year veteran of MWA, K. Tyler, 45, launched the firm’s interiors department with Elissa Morgante in 2007, expanding the richness and scope of the company’s work while also providing a valuable add-on service to clients. Tyler now leads interior design work spanning primary and vacation residences; private offices; and multifamily common areas, amenity suites and unit interiors. Prior to joining MWA, Tyler was a senior merchandise manager for Baker Furniture and a buyer for the home décor division of Neiman Marcus Direct. She transitioned to the interior design and furnishings industry after spending several years as a CPA/auditor for Price Waterhouse Coopers. Tyler received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Methodist University in 1994, and later went on to earn a degree in interior design from Chicago’s Harrington College of Design in 2007. An Allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Tyler is a new member of the Women’s Club of Evanston and is also the fundraising co-chair of the philanthropic arm of the Delta Chi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Bob Zuber, 44, has been with MWA more than 19 years, joining the firm in 1998 after moving to Chicago and following a short tenure with the architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Skilled in a variety of design styles, Zuber, an AIA member, works closely with every architectural project manager and the associated project teams at MWA. In his role as senior designer, he collaborates on projects at all stages, from early schematic design on. He is also involved in hiring and employee professional development, and heads the company’s mentor/mentee program. A native of Assumption, Ill., Zuber attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural studies, and a Master of Architecture degree. He is active in volunteering, with a focus on organizations serving those impacted by AIDS/HIV.
About Morgante Wilson Architects:
Morgante Wilson Architects, Ltd. is an architecture, interior design and urban planning firm specializing in residential and commercial design, as well as LEED certification. Founded in 1987, Morgante Wilson Architects has designed innumerable projects throughout Chicago, the Midwest and the country. Morgante Wilson has received AIA Chicago’s prestigious “Young Architect Award,” AIA Special Recognition Award for Interiors, as well as awards for several historic rehabilitation projects. The firm’s work has been featured in an array of noteworthy publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune to Traditional Home, while its projects have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Architectural Foundation and the Chicago Athenaeum. Morgante Wilson Architects has a growing online presence with its highly read blog, “Show & Live Well,” and received the "Best of Houzz” award in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 in the design category. For more information on the company, visit www.morgantewilson.com. To learn more about Morgante Wilson Architects’ projects and approach to design, visit its blog, “Show & Live Well,” at http://www.morgantewilson.com/blog.
May 2017 – Steve Clem, ASID, FAIA, Principal - tvsdesign
Mr. Clem was recently named the 2017 Designer of Distinction by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Presented annually, this award honors an ASID professional member who has established a body of superior work demonstrating creativity, excellence, and innovation. This is the premier award for personal achievement and social consciousness in the interior design profession.
May 2017 – Gregório Zolko
He graduated in 1955 and came back to his home country in São Paulo, Brazil, where he worked for one year in the office of architect Gregori Warchavchik, then considered the founder of modern architecture in this country. In 1956, he set up his office going into private practice. In 1958 he won a national design competition against 222 entries, for the State of Rio Grande do Sul Parliamentary building which was constructed in the city of Porto Alegre. The same year, his office designed the first Radio and TV station in São Paulo, for which he later received a special recognition, as a building to be preserved.
Meanwhile, Mr. Zolko took in as partner a German architect, Wolfgang Schoedon, and together they designed over 50 industrial plants including some multinational as Philco Ford, Siemens, and Amortex of Germany and Legrand, French. They were also contracted by Chase Manhattan Bank to remodel some 26 branches as well as office buildings in the cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba. They also were contracted by Bank of America to design their offices in São Paulo. Many of these projects and others where published in books and magazines.
In 1980, he received the visit of then dean of the School of Architecture, Robert Link, who convinced his daughter Karen to study architecture at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. After she graduated, she became his partner and also responsible for some of the projects mentioned above. At 85 years old, he still comes daily to the office.
Of his generation, he was able to meet many local architects because for two terms, he was elected director of the Brazilian Institute of Architects. While Karen was in Champaign, on a visit to their daughter, he gave a lecture about Brazilian architecture as well as his work. He also had a chance to meet Mies Van Der Rohe when he came to São Paulo, and also Frank Lloyd Wright, during a lecture he gave at the school in the 50´s. To conclude, "I am sure I owe the University of Illinois School of Architecture for having had a successful career."
Class of 1955 picture: Mr. Zolko is third row, bottom to top, second from the right to left.
April 2017 – Rose Grant, AIA, has been named the 2017 Chair of the AIA Disaster Assistance Committee. In addition Rose will be moderating a panel at the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando at the end of the month. The session is: “What Architects Need to Know About Disasters and Risk Reduction” and will be held on April 28 2017 at 7:00 AM.
April 2017 - Kevin W. Harkins, RA - Building ONE Consulting, LLC
Mr. Harkins is a 1991 and 1993 graduate in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He started a consulting firm 11 years ago and now has an office in Denver and Boston. He pursued a non-traditional role in architecture that of a construction consultant and an owners representative. His firm provides these services as well as building envelope consulting and accessibility consulting. All of their work has a sustainability component to it whether it be in an established certification or simply the process of building with a longer useful life in mind.
Students are well prepared to enter industry after the degree program he was in. However, they should also be taking classes in business, finance, and economics. Many architects become sole practitioners or work in small firms and need the ability to wear many different hats as part of their career.
Mr. Harkins lives in the Denver suburbs with his wife and two children. www.building-one.com
April 2017 - Larry Friedberg, FAIA - State Architect, Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration
Mr. Friedberg transferred to the U of I in 1970 after Ohio University lost it's accreditation in architecture, and then graduated in 1973 in the first 4-year degree program. (I had the privilege of being a student in Professor Warfield's first design studio).
He then worked with Irv Shwartz, Lebbeus Woods, George Turner and Harold Young at IDS in Champaign for 5 years. Some of his projects were the former Champaign Public Library, Katsina's Restaurant remodel and addition and Dooley's Disco.
He then worked at SOM in Chicago for 2 years on several projects for the Shaw of Iran until he was over thrown and the projects including a new town, a Disney World like amusement park and an Air Force Academy were all shut down in various stages of design.
In 1979 he moved to Denver and worked for ten years for three different architectural firms that all eventually fell victim to the economic downturn during the eighties.
In 1989 he became the In-house Architect at the University of Colorado Hospital at Denver and stayed for five years.
In 1994 he took a job with Colorado State government in Denver. He eventually recreated that job and established through legislation, the Office of the State Architect responsible for state funded capital construction at state agencies and institutions of higher education.
In January of 2017, he was elected to the AIA College of Fellows, and will receive his Fellowship medal at the Investiture Ceremony in Orlando on April 28, 2017.
April 2017 - Robert Ousterhout
After retiring from the Illinois School of Architecture in 2006, he is retiring once and for all in June 2017. Here are some catch-up links of recent activities:
February 2017 - DLA Architects, Ltd. co-founder, Bruce Dahlquist, celebrates retirement after 40 years of leadership
DLA Architects, Ltd. in Itasca, Illinois, announces the retirement of founding partner Bruce Dahlquist, following a 40-year career in architecture with a focus on education and recreation.
Bruce grew up on the northwest side of Chicago and attended Lane Tech High School. Although he initially pursued an engineering degree at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Bruce soon realized he loved design more than math and science and switched to architecture. Upon graduation in 1972, he worked in Chicago as an architectural designer with an international design firm followed by a return to U of I to complete a Masters of Architecture degree in 1977.
In 1983, Bruce and lifelong friend Dwain Lutzow started Dahlquist and Lutzow Architects in Elgin and later also in Hinsdale.
By 2008 the business was renamed DLA Architects to reflect the growth of the firm, which included multiple partners and architecture professionals. The firm has provided architectural/planning services for 41 school districts in the Chicagoland area, representing 127 elementary schools, 50 middle schools, and 48 high schools. DLA Architects’ motto is “form follows learning” and continues to focus on effective design to enhance the educational environment of students.
Inspired by his love of the outdoors, Bruce is a major supporter of Green and Sustainable Design. Preserving the integrity of the natural environment through the sensitive impact of the “built environment” upon nature is a benefit not all architects consider. He took any opportunity to design energy-conscious facilities while being mindful of cost and the client’s vision. Bruce also works actively for preservation. He respects the architectural legacy left behind by previous generations and is gratified by designing something that will be used and appreciated by current and future generations.
Bruce has a knack for working and collaborating with clients, employees, and even students. He is passionate about teaching and mentoring, whether in the classroom or the conference room.
Noteworthy industry recognition includes: co-founding the Fox Valley Branch of the United States Green Building Council; Those Who Excel Award from the State of Illinois Board of Education; Community Service Award from the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association/Illinois Association of Park Districts; Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Certificate of Merit; Illinois Association of Historic Districts Certificate of Appreciation; Elgin Mayor’s Award; Elgin Image Award; and serving on numerous City of Elgin visioning committees including New Century Partnership for Elgin, Lords Park Task Force, City of Elgin Sustainability Action Plan, co-founding and serving on the Elgin Heritage Commission.
Bruce and his wife Peggy have four children and eight grandchildren. Having completed 2,000 projects in his career, he is looking forward to retirement. Bruce and Peggy are moving to Marco Island, Florida, where Bruce will indulge in his passions for fishing, photography, golf, travel, and cheering for the Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs.
A retirement party with employees, clients, and friends will be held on Friday, February 17, 2017, from 4pm-8pm, to celebrate Bruce’s 34-years at DLA Architects.
February 2017 - Jim Graham (M.Arch '92) marks 10 years as co-founder of Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects
SEATTLE, December 13, 2016—Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects is pleased to announce the firm’s 10th anniversary. Co-founded by architects Jim Graham and Brett Baba in 2006, the firm has enjoyed a growing reputation for their work, which includes adapting existing buildings, creating thriving public market venues, designing residences that highlight craft, and developing commercial projects that focus on user experience. “To get the opportunities we’ve had—and to earn the trust of our clients—has been humbling,” says Jim Graham. “Hiring an architect can feel like a leap of faith, emotionally, intellectually, and financially. It all starts with clients who come to us with a vision and challenge us to find solutions for their needs. It has been our honor to work with them. Our success represents the hard work of so many talented people—our staff, consultants, craftspeople and builders.”
The firm found early success transforming existing, underutilized buildings, as exemplified by Seattle projects Melrose Market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the Kolstrand Building in Ballard. New, mixed-use infill buildings (including Building 115, which features retail and office space, and a residence) were also part of the firm’s early work. Projects of this type continued with 325 Westlake/MadArt, an adaptive reuse project that merged an art-making studio with residences, and the MadArt foundation’s headquarters. “In many ways, repurposing existing buildings and urban infill projects are the future of architecture,” notes Baba. “Finding ways to invigorate our cities by capitalizing on the embodied energy and hard-earned legacy of existing structures while protecting existing unbuilt land is essential to rational development.”
Working with owners to redevelop their buildings led directly to working with the tenants who occupy them. The firm soon began creating signature spaces for some of the city’s top chefs, including restaurants for James Beard Award nominees and winners. “Osteria La Spiga was our breakout restaurant project,” notes Graham. La Spiga was followed in quick succession by Miller’s Guild for Jason Wilson, Westward for Josh Henderson, Revel for Rachel Yang, The Walrus and the Carpenter for Renee Erickson, and Bravehorse and Serious Pie for Tom Douglas, among many others. “Working with chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs has been incredibly exciting,” says Graham. “Their artistic spirit is inspirational. The commitment they bring to their work is what we look for in every project.”
Residential projects have been an important part of the firm’s work since its founding. “From the very start, we made a commitment to maintain a balance between residential and non-residential projects,” notes Baba. “Residential design is incredibly personal. It’s the most elemental form of architecture and serves as a springboard for everything else. Working with residences allows us to explore detail and craft in greater depth. We can then bring that knowledge to our other projects.” The firm is currently at work on residences throughout the Puget Sound, in Yakima, and in Pebble Beach, California.
By 2010, the firm's work had expanded to include office space and public markets. Pybus Market in Wenatchee, completed in 2013, further solidified the firm’s expertise in creating successful public venues. “Working in smaller towns is an incredible responsibility,” notes Baba. “The lower volume of construction activity in small towns means that whatever you do will invariably have a significant impact. In big cities, the responsibility to ensure civic vitality is spread out among a lot of projects.” Cowiche Kitchen and Ice Bar, in Baba’s hometown of Yakima, received a Main Street Award for its impact in revitalizing downtown Yakima, while the Washington Fruit & Produce Co. headquarters project, also in Yakima, was recently recognized with a 2016 Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Award and a Seattle AIA Merit Award.
More recently, the firm has been sought out for its ability to provide experience design for large-scale development projects which has enabled the firm to scale-up their practice. Collaborations include work with ZGF, Kieran Timberlake, and LMN Architects (with whom they are working on the Washington State Convention Center Expansion and 4/C residential tower in Seattle). “We recently realized,” notes Baba, “that if you add up the street frontage of our civic engagement projects—work such as restaurants, retail, public markets, and so on—that it would reach over a mile in length. We were pleasantly surprised. It represents our commitment to the urban realm and the betterment of cities and communities.” Graham adds, “Working with other firms has been incredibly rewarding. We’ve been fortunate that other architects have found value in our work, and that together we are creating something special. It is a trend we hope will continue.” The firm’s recent project, Chophouse Row, designed in collaboration with SKL Architects, was a finalist for Urban Land Institute’s Global Award for Excellence, which recognizes projects for their positive civic impact.
Other current work encompass a variety of cultural and civic projects, such as the Pratt Fine Art Center, a gallery for artist Lino Tagliapietra in Seattle, the Yakima Public Plaza in collaboration with GGN, a plan for a new Madison Public Market in Madison, Wisconsin, and the adaptive reuse of an historic train station in Napa, California.
As for the future, Graham notes, “The potential for architects and designers to positively impact our world is as strong now as ever. The ongoing merger of technology and craft is providing architects with amazing opportunities to explore traditional as well as new materials. We look forward to finding ways to celebrate the craft of building and community.”
About Graham Baba
GRAHAM BABA ARCHITECTS is a Seattle-based architecture firm recognized for the successful place-making of commercial, residential, and cultural spaces. Whether enlivening an urban community or creating a quiet refuge, we strive to design venues that resonate with memory and a sense of discovery. The firm believes every project—from adaptive reuse of existing buildings to new construction—provides an opportunity to reveal and celebrate authentic materials in their natural state. The firm’s work is found across the Pacific Northwest and in California and Wisconsin. Among the firm’s notable projects are the Melrose Market, Kolstrand Building, and 325 Westlake in Seattle; Pybus Market in Wenatchee, Washington; and the Washington Fruit & Produce Co. headquarters in Yakima, Washington. Work in progress includes the studio for artist Lino Tagliapietra in Seattle and the Kenmore Community Building in Kenmore, Washington.
For further information contact: