Improving the real estate for some realtors

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Terms used in the programming interview by our clients – young, enterprising professionals who have newly formed a real estate company – to describe their wants for their new office space.  They seek a space that is aesthetically pleasing yet comfortable;  concurrently conveying and inspiring creativity.  Edgy and open, the office should be an environment where their clients will inherently feel a sense of belongingness.


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Interval Pavilion



Our submission to the Centennial Festival of Riverboats Pavilion Competition

With gentle curves that follow the river, the Interval Pavilions offer spaces for entertainment, exhibitions, and other activities during the Centennial Festival of Riverboats.  Visitors will be drawn to the flowing structures that line the waterfront.

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The curved design allows for each pavilion to be oriented differently along the waterfront,  and creates a beautiful rhythm against the backdrop of the waterfront.  Regardless of orientation, the river and riverboats can be viewed from each pavilion through the structures’ open panels, and at night light will pour out, serving as beacons for visitors walking through the Festival. Continue reading

Tales of the Immortals: Aqua Nymph Takes on Man in the Moon

Kwaske Fan Fiction

They asked for provocative…and got it.

Reality Cues announced the winners of their Fan Fiction Competition, and our submission, “Tales of the Immortals: Aqua Nymph Takes on Man in the Moon” took an honorable mention!

The Reality Cues Fan Fiction Competition asked contestants to create the most provocative image representing a story line of architecture responding to the questions posed, “Which starchitects would make up the cast of your dramas? Which buildings would populate the backdrops of your global stage?”  We were inspired by the greek myths about the wrath inflicted on Arachne and Cassiopeia, humans who viewed themselves more talented or beautiful than the gods, the immortals.  What happens when the immortals have it out with each other?

A hometown coffeehouse is back from its world trip



Gloria  Jeans coffee  will again be freshly brewed in their shop in Chicago!  The office of  Ron Kwaske,  Architect, is proud to be the architect  for the first Gloria Jeans coffee shop in Chicago in years.  Started as a single coffee shop in Chicago in the late 70’s, Gloria Jeans closed locally and expanded internationally.  After many years, Gloria Jeans coffee shop is back where it started in Chicago.

Though we faced some obstacles with the spatially challenged space  located in a landmarked building, design has been approved and construction has begun on the shop at 79 E. Madison that  plans to open this summer.   If you are downtown and looking for a place to grab a cup of quality coffee, stop by Gloria Jeans.

What to do with four walls….

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Currently conducting a feasibility study for a client who owns a building – really, it is only four walls –  in Logan Square.   Eager to develop the property on its gentrifying and artsy block, the client has asked us to propose different solutions for the space. The existing structure is quite dilapidated.  Much of the roof has collapsed, but we can see great things arise from the four walls left standing. Continue reading

Ole Lukøje : House of Fairy Tales

Our submission to the Hans Christian Andersen House of Fairy Tales Competition


Light and dark, good and evil, rich and poor, beauty and revulsion. The House of Fairytales provides visitors an experience of the magic, meaning, and metaphors that are woven throughout Hans Christian Andersen tales. The new structure is personified by the name of one of the fairytales, Ole Lukøje, a storyteller who would pull children into different fantasy worlds every night. Gold, silver, and copper translucent panels envelope the larger masses transforming to ultra-clear glass. Depending upon the perspective, the darker panels appear to either consume the clear panels or dissipate into them, akin to the fairytales in which characters are not always as they seem.


Visitors may walk through Enchanted Gardens, lushly landscaped and interspersed with vibrant playscapes designed in the image of flowers, trees, and forest creatures. Visitors can enter the House of Fairytales on the ground floor through a permeable main entrance and have easy access to the existing museum, which intersects with Ole Lukøje. The exhibition spaces weave in and out of a light corridor used for visual contrast, taking visitors through conceptualizations of the fairytales. Continue reading

Self certified architect in Chicago – what does that mean?

Our principal, Ron Kwaske, is a self-certified architect in Chicago.  We have been asked by many, “what does it mean to be self-certified?”

Essentially, it means that for eligible projects Ron takes  responsibility for code compliance.  For projects that are eligible, self-certfication can significantly cut down the time to procure a permit since plan reviews with the City are eliminated.Depending upon the project and the City’s backlog of work, getting a permit  through the Standard Plan Review process can sometimes take several months.  Clients who are trying to meet tight deadlines (e.g. restaurants or retailers  with absolute opening dates) can benefit from choosing a self-certified architect because the permit procurement process is drastically expedited.

If you are interested in learning if your project qualifies for self-certification, please feel free to send us an email or call us at 312-698-5024.

Louisville Children’s Museum

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The results of Designing a Louisville Children’s Museum, Revitalizing a Downtown Edge, an international ideas competition, were announced.  Our submission was not chosen as the winner, but will be included in a slide show as part of an exhibition of the winning proposals being held at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, KY.  Having visited the 21c  last  October, we are very excited to be included in the exhibition, even as part of the slide show.  You can find more information about the exhibition that is running through April 1   here.

The office of Ron Kwaske, Architect, proposed a new unfolding gem, crystallized into the heart of Louisville that would enlighten children of all ages. At the new Louisville Children’s Museum (LCM), children could explore facets of our evolution.  The LCM is based on a series of ramps, serving as passages through time from agrarian to technological societies.  From cultivating the earth to playing with large touch screens, the LCM would facilitate these multi-sensory experiences that encourage children to learn through play.


The development of children, types of play, and advancements in our society were all considered and integrated in the design process.  With the ramps serving as passages through time, exhibitions that integrate various types of play and learning experiences would also deliver content about innovations throughout history.   The ramps would be constructed as different kinds of bridges  (e.g. rope, steel, wood), with  the palette of the museum composed of primary colors slightly askew to provide a visually stimulating backdrop for exhibitions. Continue reading