While COVID-19 has driven us indoors and online, Chicago architects have still been bringing their visions to life around town. In this special edition of our Current Projects series, we spotlight exciting new works from the past year. This program is part of Open House Chicago 2021.
Local architects are continuing to remake Chicago at every scale and in every context, from the new hotel on Navy Pier to state-of-the-art office buildings in the Loop and affordable housing with a designer's touch on the South Side.
Get the scoop from designers Jackie Koo (KOO Architecture) on the Sable Hotel, Juan Gabriel Moreno (JGMA) on the KLEO Art Residences in Washington Park, Lamar Johnson (Lamar Johnson Collaborative) on the Fulton East office tower in the West Loop and Ernie Wong (site design group, ltd.) on the 75th Street Boardwalk pop-up project in Chatham.
Presenter: Lamar Johnson, FAIA, LEED AP
As a registered architect in 42 states, including California, Lamar Johnson leads a multi-disciplinary practice that invigorates his clients’ businesses by simultaneously expressing their values, supporting their culture and expressing their legacy through architecture. Lamar moved to Chicago more than 20 years ago to open and lead a new office for a large global design firm. Under his leadership, the firm grew to become the largest architecture firm in the Chicago area, providing services to the region’s most prestigious clients. Actively involved with civic, community and not-for-profit organizations, Lamar serves on the Cristo Rey Board of Directors and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. His commitment to community endeavors has been recognized with the AIA Illinois’ R. Buckminster Fuller Award for dedication to humanitarian concerns and social impact; and “Man of the Year” honors from the Chicago Building Congress and Real Estate Council of the City of Hope.
Presenter: Jackie Koo
Jackie Koo has 25 years of experience in architecture and design. After graduating with a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago, she sought to combine this with her interest in aesthetics and enrolled in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Illinois at Chicago during a theory-focused period in the program. Koo started her career at Richard Meier and Partners in New York and founded KOO in 2005 after working for 15 years in corporate firms. During her career, Koo has developed a strong vision for the firm, and has successfully completed numerous complex projects in a wide range of building types including hospitality, residential, institutional and planning.
Presenter: Juan Gabriel Moreno, AIA
Juan Gabriel Moreno is an award-winning architect and President of JGMA (Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects). Mr. Moreno was born in Bogota, Colombia, and studied architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and in Florence, Italy. In 2010 he launched JGMA with the sole purpose of positively impacting Chicago’s diverse communities. Since then, JGMA’s designs have helped create a culture of change in many of these disadvantaged communities by bringing an architecture of dignity and profound transformation. These works include the Esperanza Health Center and the Northeastern Illinois University El Centro Campus. JGMA also recently broke ground on their first project in South America, the Arena Bogota, the largest music venue in Latin America, seating over 24,000 spectators.
Presenter: Ernest C. Wong, PLA, FASLA, APA
Ernest C. Wong, Founder and Principal of site, has been instrumental in fostering the landscape architecture profession in the city of Chicago. For over 30 years, site has established a reputation for creative design solutions and developing thoughtful, community-oriented urban spaces. Mr. Wong has directed numerous acclaimed projects including Mary Bartelme Park, Ping Tom Memorial Park, Henry Palmisano Park (formerly Stearns Quarry) and Argyle Shared Street. Recent projects include Pullman National Monument, the Chicago River Design Guidelines, the Old Chicago Post Office redevelopment and the ongoing Elevate State Street Corridor Plan. Through professional and service leadership, Mr. Wong has advocated for and helped revitalization efforts of numerous Chicago neighborhoods, including Woodlawn, Lincoln Square, Chatham, Grand Crossing and Chinatown. Mr. Wong sits on the board of numerous service organizations and professional juries including the Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Chinese American Service League, Near South Planning Board and the Chicago Landmarks Commission.