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The Best Residential Architects in Chicago, Illinois

6 Min Read

Last updated on May 27th, 2024 at 01:23 pm

Framed by the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, captures hearts with its world-class museums, vibrant music scene, diverse culinary offerings, and architecture rich in history and forward-looking. Life in Chicago is a dynamic fusion of culture and charm. To experience this city’s architectural prowess, consider the following list featuring eight of the best residential architects in Chicago, Illinois, selected for their extensive experience, awards, and captivating portfolios.


UrbanLab

3209 S Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60608

Established in 2000, UrbanLab is a Chicago-based architecture and urban design firm founded by Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn. Felsen is a registered architect and professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Dunn is a professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Together, they lead a team whose creations stimulate vibrant spatial experiences and promote sustainable environments.

Known for its innovative approach, UrbanLab seamlessly blends research and design, resulting in projects that range from residential to large urban designs. The firm’s innovative work has earned recognition from institutions like AIA Chicago. Its approach is grounded in collaboration, involving early-stage clients and specialists and facilitating the birth of unique design solutions. Ultimately, the firm aims for simple, economical, and aesthetically pleasing solutions. Renowned publications such as Dwell and Architectural Record have featured the firm’s projects. It holds accreditations from AIA and has LEED AP professionals on its team.


HPZS

314 West Institute Place, Suite 1E, Chicago, IL 60610

Operating since 1976, HPZS is a renowned, 100% woman-owned architectural firm specializing in the intersection of adaptive reuse, historic preservation, and sustainable design in order to fight climate change. Its reputation is bolstered by its President and Managing Principal, April Hughes, a University of Kansas graduate, LEED AP BD+C certified professional, and former Board President of AIA Chicago. With several accolades to her name, including the 2014 AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect of the Year, she leads a team that has received a plethora of awards from prestigious institutions such as AIA Chicago for its work in decarbonization and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The firm’s projects, notably LEED, IFLI Living Building Challenge, and PHIUS certified which received the 2022 Honor Award for Excellence in High-Performance Buildings from AIA Illinois showcase a commitment to sustainability and energy-efficient design, garnering features in publications like ARCHITECT and TreeHugger. This unique blend of experience and forward-thinking continues to position HPZS as a leader in its field, as it remains committed to providing integrated, sustainable solutions for its clients.


Level Architecture

3489 North Elston Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

Operating since 2016, Level Architecture is a collective of architects and designers led by principals Michael Wilkinson and Greg Gibson. Wilkinson, with his award-winning background in high-end residential and small commercial projects, and Gibson, a University of Virginia graduate with a plethora of experience, combine their expertise to form a dynamic duo. Level Architecture emphasizes collaboration and connection, values that permeate every aspect of its practice.

The firm, boasting numerous honors including a Gold Medal from the ALA Awards and a Design Excellence Award from AIA Chicago, delivers intuitive, human-centric solutions that respond to both context and client. The firm’s projects have received LEED for Homes – Gold certification, highlighting a commitment to sustainability. Over the years, it has been featured in publications such as Chicago Architect and Crain’s Chicago, further amplifying its standing as a key player in its field.


Collective Office

9 E 24th Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Established in 2009, Collective Office is an esteemed architecture and design practice that excels in creating physical spaces that narrate the client’s unique story. Led by Founding Principal Jeff Klymson—who brings academic distinction and creative leadership from institutions like IIT and Toronto Metropolitan University—-the firm focuses on the intersection of art and clients’ journeys, delivering design solutions deeply intertwined with clients’ identity and values.

Its approach reaches beyond conventional design, considering behaviors, work patterns, and the unique factors that characterize each client. Recognized with the Design Excellence Award from AIA Chicago and the AIA Honor Award, it crafts contemporary experiences that are truly exclusive. Its work, featured in leading publications such as Dwell, Dezeen, and Crain’s Chicago, is a testament to its commitment to unparalleled design practice.


– lieu

53 W Jackson Boulevard, #1357, Chicago, IL 60604

– lieu, founded in 2018, is a women-led architecture and design studio committed to creating distinctive spaces anchored in empathy, curiosity, and thoughtfulness. Its design approach is context-specific—the approach takes every aspect into account, including the people and their aspirations as well as the culture, economics, and environment of the area. – lieu firmly believes in the potential of thoughtful design to impact individuals and communities.

The firm’s Founding Principal, Danielle Beaulieu, brings a wealth of experience from her time at John Ronan Architects and a solid academic background from the University of Michigan. – lieu’s work embodies a blend of technical proficiency and aesthetic integrity. The company’s work, which has attracted attention from Dwell magazine, continues to redefine the essence of design, ensuring it remains a vital contributor to the architecture and design landscape.


34-TEN

3010 N California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

Located in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, 34-TEN is a prominent architecture firm known for its residential, furniture, and commercial interior design portfolio. Since its establishment in 2013, 34-TEN has perpetually sought new challenges, aiming to leave a substantial impact on clients. 

Founding Principal, Josh Hutchison, leverages his experiences from Solomon Coldwell Buenz, Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill, Friedman Properties, and Shapack Development. He simply brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm’s ventures. Hutchison, a licensed architect in Illinois and Michigan, also holds a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

34-TEN’s contribution to the field has not gone unnoticed. The firm was recognized by the AIA Chicago with the Design Excellence Awards in 2022. Featured in Archinect twice, the firm continues to explore the architectural landscape, delivering creative and innovative solutions that exceed the conventional boundaries of design.


Seth Romig Architect

325 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60201

Seth Romig Architect, founded in 2010, undertakes an array of projects, from comprehensive urban renovations to grand new constructions, specializing in homes, boutique commercial spaces, and institutional designs. The firm’s principal, Seth Romig, utilizes his experience from several leading design firms in Chicago and his architectural and structural engineering knowledge acquired from Yale University and the University of Iowa, respectively.

The firm believes that the joy of living in a new home should begin with the design and construction process. Hence, it emphasizes collaborative efforts that unearth clients’ deep-seated desires for their residences. It has been honored with multiple awards, including the AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards in 2022 and the Gold List Honoree in Architecture by Luxe Interiors + Design in 2019. Its works have also been featured in esteemed publications like Custom Builder Magazine and LUXE Interiors & Design Magazine.