Our drawings are featured by an English provider of architectural educational services as examples for professionals to emulate

We are honored to have our working drawings featured by an English provider of architectural educational services as examples for other professionals to emulate and learn from.

Sloped, the only Sketchup and Layout Certifier

We work very hard to make legible drawings that read well, provide clear instructions and look great! Architects, just like the artist Sol Lewitt, create instructions for others to follow and it’s crucial that they are comprehensible. Please have a look. We put great effort and pride into our work. Clear, accurate drawings are a key ingredient in project success and a happy client.

#sketchup #layout #trimble #sloped.io #sloped #architecturaleducation #sollewitt #architectureprojectsuccess #happyclient

A beautiful garden is beautiful at all heights, scales and seasons

A beautiful garden is beautiful at all heights, scales and seasons. What does that mean? It means that the Japanese maple in the example turns super red in fall and creates a spectacular presence from above. (We hope to put this POV to work on the Mies van der Rohe highrise building we live in soon because of the example of Federal Plaza in Chicago. We want to look down and see beautiful patterns, compelling geometry and colors that change with the seasons.) See the bluestone patio and the closeup of the wood screen with the perennial flowers in front it. #FortSheridan #LandscapeArchitecture

What would Mr. Rogers say about Windy City Rehab?

We recently saw an episode of Windy City Rehab and were reminded of a documentary about Mr. Rogers in which he decries the idiocy of so much children’s television. So he made a show that was respectful of his audience and that’s what we aim for at make Architecture. Rogers’s critique can be aimed at design and home improvement shows like Windy City Rehab. For instance, in episode one of season 4, there’s a steel beam spanning the first riser of a temporary stair. It blocks the head room. There’s a crisis as somehow no one knew. First, it’s a temp stair and, second, the City of Chicago issued a permit# 100979999 for RENOVATION TO EXISTING 2-STORY OFFICE BUILDING TO CONVERT TO A SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE AS PER PLANS. TO INCLUDE ASSOCIATED MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING WORK AND NEW SKYLIGHTS. (EXISTING / PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION TYPE: III-B; EXISTING OCCUPANCY: B, PROPOSED OCCUPANCY:R-5) 2733 N. Pulaski Rd. (public record)

City of Chicago Permit Records

This job is not that difficult and the stair and head height would have already been figured out by the architect at the permit/bid stage. They would not have gotten their permit without the code-required 6’-8” head room. Why don’t the GC and the designer ever look at the architect’s drawings??? They never did on camera. So this is pure made-for-TV drama. What is curious that the City of Chicago records show the crew failed many plumbing and electrical inspections and had a “partial pass” on an electrical inspection as late as 08/16/2023 (See episode from March 2023 above). They failed a plumbing inspection on 02/03/2023 and did not finally pass the final plumbing inspection until 09/12/2023. They did not pass their electrical inspection until 10/12/2023 or 7 months after the filming of the first episode. Both the plumbing and the electrical design requirements should have been obvious because the zoning and use were changed and the building was clean slate requiring everything from a new plumbing service to all new mechanical. Just changing the zoning from M to R-5 is easily $10k in attorney’s fees BTW. The designer/damsel-in-distress added two electric car chargers and some lights but it is surprising that this was not figured out in the beginning and the City of Chicago required them to pull an additional permit 101022368 to spell out these changes. The show is fun to watch–kinda’ like a car accident at times–and remember a lot of architects, can also do beautiful interiors and be effective GCs. Good GCs always follow the approved drawings which are by law supposed to be kept on site and that’s the first step to minimizing the drama and having a less stressful project delivery.

#windycityrehab #mrrogers #alisonvictoria #cityofchicagopermits #logansquarearchitect #whatanarchitectdoes #avondale #avondalerenovation #avondalearchitect #oakpark #oakparkrestoration #oakparkrenovation #highlandpark #millwork #custommillwork #fortsheridan #customkitchen #fortsheridan #lincolnpark #oldtown #historicpreservation #historicpreservationlincolnpark #historicpreservationoldtown #historicpreservationhighlandpark #historicpreservationwinnetka #winnetka #glencoe #kenilworth #riverforestrenovation #won’tyoubemyneighbor #burnhamworldwide #hgtv

4 Tips for Successful Project

The 4 things that make for a successful project:

1) Clear Expectations
2) Alignment
3) Communication
4) A clear contract spelling it all out

1) Clear Expectations
We architects have as much education and training as medical doctors. Yes, that’s true. We know the difference between occupancy for zoning and occupancy for buildings and all kinds of productive info. So expect to learn a great deal and be a partner in a process rather than a consumer of a product. There’s a goal and outcome but it is the result of an iterative process that takes time, patience and dedication.

2) Alignment

We do a three different kinds of projects:

1 – Design, this is our bread and butter. It’s usually begun with a schematic design phase, then a  bid/permit phase and set of drawings and then, if needed, an interiors/construction set. It takes time, love and hard work to create something beautiful. Master planning is another design choice with the bid/permit set to follow.

2 – Sometimes we do Technical work, such as designing and detaling a steel post and beam with calculations. This is something we love to do. Yes, we enjoy math and physics as much as colors and materials. 

3 – Permit services with or without zoning work. Here we create the docs needed for a permit. It generally doesn’t involve design work. Sometimes it requires a zoning hearing and a zoning attorney. FYI The City of Chicago requires two or three times the permit work effort and time when filing a Self-cert permit. 

There are no shortcuts or jumping ahead. Architecture is an iterative process. It operates step-by-step and there are choices and outcomes that become apparent only through the iterative process. Sometimes we hear “Just get me a drawing” and while we want secretly inside want to laugh, we kindly explain what the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) requires and work backwards from there. We like knowing and understanding as much as possible before going into any project and then bringing you into the fold.

3) Communication

We prefer phone calls and email. No texting. We prefer to overexplain and listen. Listening is important for the success of a project.

4) A clear contract spelling it all out

We have a contract that may seem long but it spells it all out. Your contractor is required to abide by its conditions so you get the space/product/home and/or building you deserve.

Have any questions? Please ask us.

#Alignment #conditionsofthecontract #greatwork #thisoldhouse #contracts #workingwithanarchitect #A201 #greatclientservice #RichardNickel #LouisSullivan