Koo

Profile

KOO is a full-service Architecture, Interior Design and Planning firm based in Chicago. We craft buildings and interior environments that create a unique identity for each project. We create space and atmosphere. We embrace the new, temporal and experimental with a spirit of innovation but are mindful of the technical rigors that experimentation requires.

People

KOO’s talented architects and interior designers all participate in design thinking.  All members of the staff contribute ideas and inspiration for projects in a collaborative studio environment.  The creativity and dedication of each person is fundamental to the success of our projects.   

 

Jackie Koo   AIA, IIDA, LEED AP


Jackie, the firm’s founder, has twenty-five years of experience in Architecture and Design. After graduating with a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago, Jackie 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.  

She 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, Jackie 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.

Dan Rappel   AIA, MBA, LEED AP


Dan Rappel is KOO’s Director of Sustainable Design and Partner. He has eighteen years of experience in Institutional, Commercial, Residential and Retail design and brings an emphasis on sustainability to every KOO project. He has worked on 15 LEED projects including the LEED Platinum Kresge Foundation and has won four AIA design awards. Dan’s superior design skills and sophisticated management strategies expertly respond to challenging budget and schedule constraints.

Dan is the proud parent of three children and lives with his family in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago. He enjoys camping and hiking in the great outdoors, whenever and wherever he can. Dan also plays guitar and bass in a local Indie band.

Bruce F. Roth   AIA, CSI


Bruce grew up in Southwestern Wisconsin, a place of rolling meadows dotted with small towns and dairy farms. His interest in Architecture started early, drawing and building with blocks. By junior high, the decision to become an Architect had already been made.

Bruce has over 25 years of professional experience, with a focus on Project Management, Building Technology and Construction Methodology. With a clear understanding of the complexities of the building design process and a focus on the client’s goals, Bruce utilizes his skill and expertise to successfully implement complex projects and programs. 

Bruce and his wife Jackie, have three boys, Max, Sam and Leo (and dog, Red) and live in Riverside, Illinois. He coaches youth basketball and enjoys father and son activities with the Riverside Indian Guides. He has also become the family genealogist, tracing his ancestry to colonial America and beyond.

Andrew J. Buck   AIA


Andrew is a native New Yorker with a golf swing to envy. He relocated to the Midwest to earn his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois.  Though his primary focus at KOO is on multi-family housing, Andrew also has significant experience with a variety of projects such as high-end single family residences and large scale commercial buildings.  In 2009 Andrew returned to school to earn his Master of Architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis before planting roots in Chicago. Andrew currently lives downtown with his wife, and thrives on the energy of the city. He is a self-proclaimed restaurant connoisseur, and is known in the office as the person to talk to for a recommendation on where to make reservations for Friday night.

Ashlen V. Williams  


Ashlen is a gifted designer whose approach is informed by a passion for enriching architectural experiences, particularly within urban communities. While studying architecture at the University of Kansas, it was Ashlen’s internship at Ibos & Vitart in Paris that cemented her taste for international travel and culture. She later spent time living in Madrid, exploring the country. Ashlen’s philosophy is that every new encounter offers critical insight into the human experience, and as a designer, it is her goal to translate this knowledge into architecture that inspires communities. In addition to her love of design and world travel, Ashlen is an artist whose practice includes painting and collage. She is always up for a bit of bowling and enjoys the rich, live music scene for which Chicago is known.

Jacob Simanowitz   LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE


Jacob is an adventurer at heart. Growing up he spent every summer packed into the back of a car driving cross country. Through this experience he developed an intense desire to explore and live around the world.  He received his first chance to accomplish his dream at the University of Kansas when he was granted an internship with the Office of Mobile Design in Los Angeles, and later at JDS Architects in Copenhagen.  Jacob has varied experience working on commercial projects in Kansas City, Boston, and now Chicago (his favorite city). Outside of the office, you might see Jacob skateboarding in Wicker Park, snowboarding in Colorado, or tinkering around on his synthesizers.

Jean Paul Duhon   LEED AP


Jean Paul began his professional career in Chicago after graduating from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. He has been involved in a wide variety of project types including corporate interiors, single family residential, cemetery, institutional, multi-family residential, hospitality and industrial.  His career path has led him through many related roles such as I.T./CAD Manager, teacher, landscaper and woodworker, each one contributing to his development as an architect. 

Intensely passionate about craft, design, family, food and the pursuit of knowledge (mostly of obscure topics), Jean Paul will often be found sketching, building, renovating, helping with homework or searching the far corners of the internet for the hidden mysteries of existence.

Maria Tasada  


Maria views architecture not only as her profession, but also as a vehicle to understand and express the world we live in. She has dedicated nearly ten years to the field of architecture, working and teaching in Argentina and Ecuador before joining the team at KOO. With a strong background in residential and healthcare, she focuses her designs on the different ways architecture can give back to the community, and how it can have a positive effect on its surroundings. Maria has a yearning to travel and spends most of her holidays curiously exploring and photographing new places. She keeps attuned to the energy of the city by attending art openings and local concerts. She is happiest when outdoors or surrounded by friends.

Joe Cuevas   LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE


Joe is a true Chicagoan, born and raised on the South Side. He received both his BA, and his love for Modern Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology.  Joe has the unique ability to successfully manage multiple high-intensity projects with overlapping deadlines, while never deviating from the calm and silly demeanor for which he’s known. He has well-developed technical skills and possesses a keen eye for detail. Joe has carefully honed his craft through a myriad of institutional projects with KOO. He believes that each project should be approached with extreme thoughtfulness regardless of the size or complexity. When he’s not sweating the architectural “small stuff”, he’s raising seahorses at his home and making references to the TV show ‘The Office’. 

Jonathan Skinner  


Jonathan has a well-informed appreciation for both the old and the new. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting ancient historical sites and seeking out modern technological wonders. Jonathan successfully draws upon this contrast between vintage and contemporary in his design.  As a member of the KOO design team, he has worked on a variety of projects from multi-family residential to large institutional and hospitality projects.  Jonathan attended Illinois Institute of Technology where he received his Bachelor of Architecture with Honors. While at IIT, he engaged student life by becoming an active member of AIAS and joining the college’s cycling team. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike, practicing photography, or playing a friendly game of cards—but always for money.

Kaleb Quirin  


Kaleb was inspired to become an architect at the age of 9, when he observed the building process of his family’s home. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Kansas before deciding to trade in the “wheat field state” for the skyscrapers of Chicago. Kaleb’s ability to transition between a highly creative and highly technical mindset adds greatly to the strength of the KOO team. He has worked on projects ranging is scale from a 100 square foot store in New York to a complex of buildings the size of a small city in Kazakhstan. Kaleb often rides his bike to work in lieu of the train and actively practices the art of film photography.

Kevin Parzych  


Kevin is an architect who approaches each project looking for pragmatic design opportunities within the labyrinth of conventional building requirements and restrictions. Kevin views architecture as a cultural discourse capable of re-imagining our collectivity via projecting novel and expanded realities. Kevin joined KOO in 2011 and has worked on a wide range of projects including educational, hospitality, and institutional buildings. Having earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Ohio State’s Knowlton School of Architecture, he is also a passionate Buckeyes football fan.  Aside from architecture, Kevin enjoys biking, utilizing the Chicago parks system, and taking advantage of the extensive food and craft beer establishments around Chicago. Kevin is happily married to his wife Jenna and is a proud member of the Chicago Rangers men's baseball team.

Megan Walters  


With a boundless passion for all things design and an innate sense for creating forward-thinking environments, Megan is a natural part of the KOO team.  From a young age she felt an undeniable magnetism towards art, which grew into an affinity for Interior Design as she gained her Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design at Western Michigan University. Megan helps complete the KOO vision by applying a hospitality approach to every project, shaping spaces with new ideas and distinguishing character.

Growing up a Mortician’s daughter, school-required “take-your-daughter-to-work days” with her father were interesting to say the least, and led Megan to know what she did NOT want to do when she grew up. What she gained from the experience was her father’s advice: it's important to have a balance of laughter and a sense of humor in life, no matter what profession you choose. To this day, Megan and her husband Mike have a huge love of animals and can never get enough comedy, both of which are drawn from their love of laughter.

Stevie L. Reynolds  


Stevie is positive and inspired by nature. With a knack for creative thinking, Stevie actively supports the people and projects of KOO through strategic operations and brand management. She draws upon her combined background in Visual Art, Marketing and Business to fulfill a multifaceted role within the company. From spearheading special projects to developing and implementing KOO policies and procedures, Stevie is always eager to redefine her role with new challenges. When she isn’t off backpacking, Stevie can be found in the kitchen trying out a new recipe, curled up with a great book, or feeding her passion for art at a museum or gallery.

Tanner Avery  


Tanner Avery was born and raised in Alabama. He received his Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Interior Architecture from Auburn University in 2014, and made the journey to Chicago after a year at the Rural Studio. There, he designed and built his thesis project – a two-bedroom, handicapped accessible “20K House.” In the office, Tanner has been working on large scale renovations. In his spare time, he enjoys experimenting with design at a small scale in the woodshop by building custom furniture. Tanner believes that we should always ask what should be built, rather than what can be built.

Daria Piekos  


Daria  is a collector of experiences and adventures. Originally from Podlipie, Poland, she moved to Chicago with her family at the age of 11. She recently returned from a six-month stay in Hong Kong where she lived, studied and worked—immersing herself in the culture and architecture. Daria is currently in her final semester at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is earning her Bachelor of Science in Architecture.   Daria is the intern extraordinaire at KOO and contributes to a wide range of projects.   When not at KOO, Daria is working in studio, consuming loads of chocolate, cuddling with her dog, and planning her next adventure. 

Services

Our services include:

Planning
Masterplanning
Phasing
Site planning
Community engagement

Architecture
Feasibility Studies
Entitlements
Zoning and Code compliance
Programming
Schematic Design
Design Development
Construction Documentation
Permit Documents
Bidding and Negotiation
Construction Contract Administration
Construction Closeout

Interior Design
Programming
Space Planning
Interior Architecture
Furniture Fixture and Equipment Selection
Finish Selection
Custom Hospitality Design and Specifications
Construction Documentation
Construction Contract Administration

 Sustainable Design
LEED N.C.  Design & Certification
LEED ND
LEED Midrise
Enterprise Green Communities
Chicago Green Homes

KOO is a certified Minority Business Enterprise and Women’s Business Enterprise and a member of the US Green Building Council.

  • Jackie Koo Jackie
  • Dan Rappel Dan
  • Bruce F. Roth Bruce
  • Andrew J. Buck Andrew
  • Ashlen V. Williams Ashlen
  • Jacob Simanowitz Jacob
  • Jean Paul Duhon Jean Paul
  • Maria Tasada Maria
  • Joe Cuevas Joe
  • Jonathan Skinner Jonathan
  • Kaleb Quirin Kaleb
  • Kevin Parzych Kevin
  • Megan Walters Megan
  • Stevie L. Reynolds Stevie
  • Tanner Avery Tanner
  • Daria Piekos Daria

Projects

theWIT

theWit, a Doubletree hotel was KOO’s debut project. This 27 story mixed-use building is positioned at the northern gateway of Chicago’s Theater District and State Street shopping corridor. Rather than turning its back to Chicago’s signature elevated “EL” train, the building’s design embraces the urban condition and the train that stops there. The dramatic zig-zagging chartreuse glass performs like a super-sized marquee, creating a signature identity for the building that echoes the geometries of the adjacent EL tracks.

The building houses a four-star 298 guestroom boutique Hilton hotel as well as three restaurants including ROOF, a popular rooftop lounge, 7,000 SF of conference space, and a signature spa in an expertly planned 250,000 SF structure on a diminutive 9,500 SF footprint.

Projects

Purple Hotel

KOO was the master planner, architect, and designer for the historic restoration of the infamous Purple Hotel site in Lincolnwood, Illinois. By incorporating adjacent sites to the complex, the Masterplan added retail and office space and re-focused the entrance to the hotel complex off a redesigned courtyard. The 200 room hotel included three restaurants, a lounge, spa, and 20,000 square feet of banquet space.

Projects

Autograph

This 22 story, 200 room Marriott Autograph hotel in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago was designed for the millennial traveler. The high-tech embossed rainscreen façade creates an ever changing pixelated “digital” pattern.

It includes a double height multi-functional lobby lounge and meeting place intended to function as an inviting neighborhood amenity, a planted 2nd story planted art installation terrace, and an agricultural green roof.  

Projects

The OUT

KOO is architect and designer for The OUT Chicago Hotel and Resort located in the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. Based on the program from its sister hotel in New York City, the OUT NYC [http://theoutnyc.com/urban-resort/], this eight story, 130 room building includes a lounge/restaurant/ boutique space at street level, a spa and great lawn within a central atrium, and an event space at the eighth floor. The Halsted Street facade is focused on creating a strong identity for this high-energy, full-service experience hotel while incorporating contextual materials and pedestrian friendly street frontage.   

Projects

Inn at Lincoln Park

The design for this approximately 140 room, 8-story neighborhood hotel in Lincoln Park sits atop 3 stories of parking and first floor retail.   The contemporary urban approach to the select service prototype hotel incorporates a highly activated base extending the pedestrian oriented retail frontage on Diversey.  The 3 parking levels for the building use a softly illuminated translucent materiality which serves to break down the massing of the building and “float” the guestroom blocks above.   

Projects

Fairfield Inn

The design concept for this custom interior renovation for Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites near Museum of Contemporary Art and the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago incorporates an innovative layering of electronic media arts with a warm interior palate. LED lighting, video art exhibited on two large displays, and scrolling text screens combine with glowing drapery and furnishings to establish a vintage inspired, yet entirely contemporary aesthetic. The design refreshes and repositions Fairfield’s signature blue color with a current materiality, lighting effects and artifacts that invigorate the space.

Projects

Aloft Hotel

Projects

Sunset Millennium

Located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood California, the Sunset Millennium development is a comprehensive pedestrian-oriented development of hotel, retail, office, residential and restaurant uses on three parcels.   The east parcel contains two hotel building with ground floor retail and restaurant uses facing Sunset Boulevard separated by a broad plaza which bisects the site.  Underground parking for 800 cars is located on six levels below grade.   The hotel building feature tall walls along the east and northeast walls of the West Hotel and on the northwest and east walls of the East hotels with tall wall billboards facing Sunset.   

Projects

Royal Oak Lofts

This 26-unit project- 1 block east of Main Street- in Royal Oak, MI provides a new housing option for this vibrant small city in suburban Detroit for those desiring a walkable, culturally rich urban lifestyle. The large loft-style condominium units are designed to be modern, but with warm rich woods, greenery and glass along ample exterior space. Large windows bring in ample natural light and luxurious natural palette create a warm airy refuge. The massing for this block long site is broken down into multiple volumes that bridges the higher density commercial street with the lower density residential neighborhood that the site abuts.   

Projects

Britton Budd

The 11-story Britton Budd Apartments is a Chicago Housing Authority renovation of a 1920’s historic courtyard residence in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Interior design elements were selected to complement the period restoration while refreshing the space with a contemporary color palette. The design brings the richness and graciousness of hospitality design to public housing, while responding to the rigorous requirements of senior housing.

Public space architectural details were restored to meet the requirements of historic tax credit funding. Original terrazzo floors, molding, and doors were refinished and enhanced with art deco elements.

Projects

Heirs of Bronzeville

Located between 51st Street and 54th Street along State Street in Chicago, Heirs of Bronzeville is a plan for a mixed-use, multi-media artist community that aims to provide a strong anchor for community redevelopment. KOO was asked to design approximately 80 artist live/work residences and a boutique hotel for the site. The residential building includes retail use on the first level and a screening room. The boutique hotel sits on a similar retail base and contains two distinct hotel blocks linked by a common core and perforated by multi-media digital art walls.

Projects

Park Douglas

KOO was the Architect for 42 rental apartments in nine buildings ranging in size from 2 units to 9 units. These new construction buildings are scattered over four city blocks as part of a master plan to provide affordable housing on the west side of Chicago. The building design expression ranges from traditional to contemporary.   The traditional buildings are situated in infill sites and integrate local, salvaged architectural ornament to enrich the traditional architectural language with an authenticity and depth that would be impossible to afford with new construction.   Saving these one-of-a-kind architectural pieces also supports our commitment to bringing low-cost, high-impact, sustainable design strategies to each project.

Projects

Pomeroy

Public spaces of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Ralph J. Pomeroy Senior Apartments were renovated to create a warm and gracious hospitality aesthetic in this Senior Building. Architectural details were restored to meet the requirements of historic tax credit funding and original terrazzo floors, molding, and doors were refinished. The interior design elements were selected to complement the period restoration while refreshing the space with a contemporary finishes, furnishings, lighting and accessories.   

Projects

Thorncreek

The Thorncreek senior apartments are located in the Village of Thornton beside the Thorn Creek and Jurgenson Woods Forest Preserve.   The complex includes 46 senior living units with balconies and amenities such as a resident garden, community room, library, game room, fitness center and parking.   The design of the building takes cues from the area’s lumber manufacturing past and incorporates the warmth of wood for a unique and much needed senior residence.

Projects

Water Street Lofts

This 53,000 SF mixed-use residential project along Rockford’s historic riverfront seeks to inject new vitality into Rockford’s urban renewal program. The developer worked closely with the City of Rockford to adaptively re-use an existing two-level parking garage to provide 22 housing units and 12,000 SF of retail and office space. The design is anchored by a brick plinth, which shields the existing parking structure from view, topped with a series of townhomes. The office component forms a dramatic cantilever, creating a monumental canopy for the retail space.

Projects

Pilsen Housing

This 36-unit development is comprised of 3-flat, 6-flat, and 9 unit apartment buildings on a triangular lot in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Green space shifts from the back yard adjacent to the railroad track to the front garden.   The design strives to be contextual, sustainable, pragmatic and innovative. A gabled roof motif echoes the grain of the adjacent residential neighborhood to the south, while reframing these traditional forms by deploying a single material on the massing.   Window surrounds provide sun shading and graphic patterning and interest to the monochromatic mass.   

Projects

Walter Payton

KOO is currently working on a 50,000 SF addition to Walter Payton, the top-rated High School in Illinois. The project includes a competition gymnasium, lunchroom, black box theater, dance studio, additional classrooms and special education facility. The outcome of this extensive addition will allow the school to accommodate 50% more students.

The design of the annex is defined by a rotated gymnasium mass that references the oblique angle of the original building. It utilizes a complementary building palette that takes cues from the existing structure without striving to replicate it. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2015.

Projects

Lafayette School

KOO is the designer and Architect of Record for a 170,000 SF transformative renovation of a turn-of-the-century elementary school in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. The project includes a new black box theater in the former gymnasium space, a major facelift for the auditorium, four new science labs, seven dance studios, seven art studios, an art gallery, sixteen music classrooms, six practice rooms, a large ensemble room, new administrative spaces, a kitchen renovation, major masonry renovations and ADA upgrades including a new elevator. The interior design hews to the building’s historic character but is punctuated by pops of color inspired by ChiArts graphic identity.

Projects

Olive Harvey Math Emporium

City Colleges of Chicago wished to renovate three existing classrooms into one large computer lab space with a separate conference area for group tutoring.  Not only did they want to accommodate the change to the pedagogy, but also to spark an interest in the math curriculum.   The design elements are inspired by math concepts and include an Informational Mural defining the entry to the space.   This custom Info Mural represents the history of some of the most influential contributors to the field of mathematics. The project was completed in August of 2014. City Colleges plans to roll out this Math Emporium design at six other City Colleges.

Projects

Urban Prep Academy

KOO is the designer and Architect of Record for the CPS Charter Urban Prep High School, a 110,000 SF extensive renovation of a turn-of-the century school and office building. The project includes 30 classrooms, three science labs, three computer labs, a gymnasium, assembly hall, locker rooms, ADA bathroom upgrades and exterior wall renovation. The project had an incredibly aggressive schedule, allowing only a month to move from programming to Permit documents. Design for the public areas reference the school’s preppy blazer-and-tie dress code. The renovation was completed in September of 2011. Urban Prep High School was selected as the CPS project of the year.

Projects

Daley College

KOO is the Interior Designer and Architect of Record of the 7,000 SF re-imagining of this City College lobby as a flexible multi-function space to be used as a student lounge, a large gathering space for presentations and media events, as well as a pre-function space for the theater. In order to accommodate these varied uses, KOO created a range of seating options including intimate collaboration spaces for small groups, enclosed by mobile walls, an internet cafe and many opportunities for student relaxation with lounge seating. The design takes its cues from the successful manufacturing program at the school - incorporating references to both high-tech digital fabrication and low tech manufacturing processes creating an exciting point of entry and visually reinforcing the school’s identity and aspirations.

Projects

CPS Improvement

KOO has worked with both Chicago Public Schools and the Public Building Commission on the renovation of over 1,000,000 SF of Elementary and High Schools. The renovations have taken place over the past five years in sixteen schools. The improvements have included everything from transformative intervention creating new program spaces to ADA upgrades to building envelope renovation. Inevitably, the projects have aggressive schedules, tight budgets and high standards for durable construction. In 2011, KOO received CPS Project of the Year honors.

Projects

Pomeroy

Public spaces of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Ralph J. Pomeroy Senior Apartments were renovated to create a warm and gracious hospitality aesthetic in this Senior Building. Architectural details were restored to meet the requirements of historic tax credit funding and original terrazzo floors, molding, and doors were refinished. The interior design elements were selected to complement the period restoration while refreshing the space with a contemporary finishes, furnishings, lighting and accessories.   

Projects

Fairfield Inn

The design concept for this custom interior renovation for Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites near Museum of Contemporary Art and the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago incorporates an innovative layering of electronic media arts with a warm interior palate. LED lighting, video art exhibited on two large displays, and scrolling text screens combine with glowing drapery and furnishings to establish a vintage inspired, yet entirely contemporary aesthetic. The design refreshes and repositions Fairfield’s signature blue color with a current materiality, lighting effects and artifacts that invigorate the space.

Projects

Olive Harvey Math Emporium

City Colleges of Chicago wished to renovate three existing classrooms into one large computer lab space with a separate conference area for group tutoring.  Not only did they want to accommodate the change to the pedagogy, but also to spark an interest in the math curriculum.   The design elements are inspired by math concepts and include an Informational Mural defining the entry to the space.   This custom Info Mural represents the history of some of the most influential contributors to the field of mathematics. The project was completed in August of 2014. City Colleges plans to roll out this Math Emporium design at six other City Colleges.

Projects

Britton Budd

The 11-story Britton Budd Apartments is a Chicago Housing Authority renovation of a 1920’s historic courtyard residence in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Interior design elements were selected to complement the period restoration while refreshing the space with a contemporary color palette. The design brings the richness and graciousness of hospitality design to public housing while responding to the rigorous requirements of senior housing.

Public space architectural details were restored to meet the requirements of historic tax credit funding. Original terrazzo floors, molding, and doors were refinished and enhanced with art deco elements.

Projects

Hampton Inn & Suites

Projects

Daley College

KOO is the Interior Designer and Architect of Record of the 7,000 SF re-imagining of this City College lobby as a flexible multi-function space to be used as a student lounge, a large gathering space for presentations and media events, as well as a pre-function space for the theater. In order to accommodate these varied uses, KOO created a range of seating options including intimate collaboration spaces for small groups, enclosed by mobile walls, an internet cafe and many opportunities for student relaxation with lounge seating. The design takes its cues from the successful manufacturing program at the school - incorporating references to both high-tech digital fabrication and low tech manufacturing processes creating an exciting point of entry and visually reinforcing the school’s identity and aspirations.

Projects

Altgeld Gardens

Projects

Smart Growth Initiative

Projects

Green Development

Projects

Finkl

Projects

450 Federal Plaza

Projects

Fulton Market

Projects

Lafayette School

KOO is the designer and Architect of Record for a 170,000 SF transformative renovation of a turn-of-the-century elementary school in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. The project includes a new black box theater in the former gymnasium space, a major facelift for the auditorium, four new science labs, seven dance studios, seven art studios, an art gallery, sixteen music classrooms, six practice rooms, a large ensemble room, new administrative spaces, a kitchen renovation, major masonry renovations and ADA upgrades including a new elevator. The interior design hews to the building’s historic character but is punctuated by pops of color inspired by ChiArts graphic identity.

Projects

Daley College

KOO is the Interior Designer and Architect of Record of the 7,000 SF re-imagining of this City College lobby as a flexible multi-function space to be used as a student lounge, a large gathering space for presentations and media events, as well as a pre-function space for the theater. In order to accommodate these varied uses, KOO created a range of seating options including intimate collaboration spaces for small groups, enclosed by mobile walls, an internet cafe and many opportunities for student relaxation with lounge seating. The design takes its cues from the successful manufacturing program at the school - incorporating references to both high-tech digital fabrication and low tech manufacturing processes creating an exciting point of entry and visually reinforcing the school’s identity and aspirations.

Projects

Fairfield Inn

The design concept for this custom interior renovation for Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites near Museum of Contemporary Art and the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago incorporates an innovative layering of electronic media arts with a warm interior palate. LED lighting, video art exhibited on two large displays, and scrolling text screens combine with glowing drapery and furnishings to establish a vintage inspired, yet entirely contemporary aesthetic. The design refreshes and repositions Fairfield’s signature blue color with a current materiality, lighting effects and artifacts that invigorate the space.

Projects

Urbran Prep Academy

KOO is the designer and Architect of Record for the CPS Charter Urban Prep High School, a 110,000 SF extensive renovation of a turn-of-the century school and office building. The project includes 30 classrooms, three science labs, three computer labs, a gymnasium, assembly hall, locker rooms, ADA bathroom upgrades and exterior wall renovation. The project had an incredibly aggressive schedule, allowing only a month to move from programming to Permit documents. Design for the public areas reference the school’s preppy blazer-and-tie dress code. The renovation was completed in September of 2011. Urban Prep High School was selected as the CPS project of the year.

Projects

Hampton Inn & Suites

Projects

Olive Harvey Math Emporium

City Colleges of Chicago wished to renovate three existing classrooms into one large computer lab space with a separate conference area for group tutoring.  Not only did they want to accommodate the change to the pedagogy, but also to spark an interest in the math curriculum.   The design elements are inspired by math concepts and include an Informational Mural defining the entry to the space.   This custom Info Mural represents the history of some of the most influential contributors to the field of mathematics. The project was completed in August of 2014. City Colleges plans to roll out this Math Emporium design at six other City Colleges.

Projects

Sustainable Suites

Projects

Mobile Farmstead

Projects

1801 W. Cuyler

Projects

Walter Payton

This 50,000 SF addition to the top-rated High School in Illinois contains a competition gymnasium, lunchroom, black box theater, dance studio, classrooms and special education facility. The addition will allow the school to accommodate 50% more students. The design of the annex is defined by a rotated gymnasium mass that references the oblique angle of the original building and utilizes a complementary building palette that takes cues from the existing building but does not try to replicate it. The project is under construction and is scheduled to be completed in late 2015.

Projects

Thorncreek

The Thorncreek senior apartments are located in the Village of Thornton beside the Thorn Creek and Jurgenson Woods Forest Preserve.   The complex includes 46 senior living units with balconies and amenities such as a resident garden, community room, library, game room, fitness center and parking.   The design of the building takes cues from the area’s lumber manufacturing past and incorporates the warmth of wood for a unique and much needed senior residence.

 

The project was designed to meet LEED Mid-rise and is anticipated to be the first LEED Mid-rise certified building in Illinois.   It was designed to meet universal design criteria and received funding from a wide array of sources including IHDA, Cook County,  National Equity Fund and DCEO.   The developer’s website can be found at http://thorncreekseniorliving.com/.

Projects

Green Development

Projects

Park Douglas

KOO was the Architect for 42 rental apartments in nine buildings ranging in size from 2 units to 9 units. These new construction buildings are scattered over four city blocks as part of a master plan to provide affordable housing on the west side of Chicago. The building design expression ranges from traditional to contemporary.   The traditional buildings are situated in infill sites and integrate local, salvaged architectural ornament to enrich the traditional architectural language with an authenticity and depth that would be impossible to afford with new construction.   Saving these one-of-a-kind architectural pieces also supports our commitment to bringing low-cost, high-impact, sustainable design strategies to each project.

Projects

Smart Growth Initiative

  • 1 theWIT
  • 2 Purple Hotel
  • 3 Autograph
  • 4 The OUT
  • 5 Inn at Lincoln Park
  • 6 Fairfield Inn
  • 7 Aloft Hotel
  • 8 Sunset Millennium
  • 1 Royal Oak Lofts
  • 2 Britton Budd
  • 3 Heirs of Bronzeville
  • 4 Park Douglas
  • 5 Pomeroy
  • 6 Thorncreek
  • 7 Water Street Lofts
  • 8 Pilsen Housing
  • 1 Walter Payton
  • 2 Lafayette School
  • 3 Olive Harvey Math Emporium
  • 4 Urban Prep Academy
  • 5 Daley College
  • 6 CPS Improvement
  • 1 Pomeroy
  • 2 Fairfield Inn
  • 3 Olive Harvey Math Emporium
  • 4 Britton Budd
  • 5 Hampton Inn & Suites
  • 6 Daley College
  • 1 Altgeld Gardens
  • 2 Smart Growth Initiative
  • 3 Green Development
  • 4 Finkl
  • 5 450 Federal Plaza
  • 6 Fulton Market
  • 1 Lafayette School
  • 2 Daley College
  • 3 Fairfield Inn
  • 4 Urbran Prep Academy
  • 5 Hampton Inn & Suites
  • 6 Olive Harvey Math Emporium
  • 1 Sustainable Suites
  • 2 Mobile Farmstead
  • 3 1801 W. Cuyler
  • 4 Walter Payton
  • 5 Thorncreek
  • 6 Green Development
  • 7 Park Douglas
  • 8 Smart Growth Initiative
  • Hospitality
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  • Planning
  • Renovations
  • Sustainability

2014 Archive


  • Wit Developer Plans 195-room Streeterville Hotel

    December 3, 2014 - Crain's Chicago Business

    The developer of the Wit Hotel in the Loop has picked Streeterville for its next project, adding to the crush of hotel rooms slated for the downtown market.

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  • This Architect Moved From Philosophy to Actual Buildings

    March 1, 2014 - Crain's Chicago Business

    Jackie Koo's architecture career began when she was a graduate student in the early 1990s at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studied the field as an "angle of philosophy"—an academic discipline connected as much to literary theory as to building sites. In the end, the actual practice of expressing ideas through the built environment won her over.

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2013 Archive


  • Koo & Associates Out the OUT Hotel

    April 11, 2013 - Curbed Chicago

    The 112-room hotel planned for the 3300 block of North Halsted now has a rendering, courtesy of Koo & Associates.

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2012 Archive


  • Purple Reign

    July 13, 2012 - 99% Invisible

    But Gwen Macsai, host of Re:sound from the Third Coast International Audio Festival, has a secret about the Purple Hotel.

    Gwen talks to the original architect of the Purple Hotel, plus WBEZ architecture critic Lee Bey, developer Jack Weiss, and the new architect, Jackie Koo, who’s looking to bring the Purple Hotel back to its former glory.

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  • Koo To The Rescue

    June 27, 2012 - The Architects Newspaper

    Beloved, maligned, mold-infested, the Purple Hotel, for better or worse, is the most recognizable building in suburban Lincolnwood, Illinois. The defunct and distinctly colored mid-century modernist structure was slated for demolition last year. But the village recently turned a corner in its conflicted relationship with the hotel.

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2011 Archive


  • August 25, 2011

    Dan Rappel will present "Beyond Intensive: Agricultural Green Roofs" at the USGBC Illinois Credential Maintenance Blitz--November 1, 2011 in Chicago 

    View the Full Article
  • June 23, 2011

    Dan Rappel will present our work helping author CHA's Green Guidelines at the Greening the Heartland Conference -- June 23, 2011 in Cincinnati, OH

    View the Full Article
  • Favorite Things

    February 11, 2011 - Chicago Tribune

    With the zig-zaggety lightning streak she carved into the 27-story glass facade of theWIT hotel, architect JACKIE KOO of Koo and Associates, injected high voltage energy onto State Street.

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2010 Archive


  • Mayor Daley's Chicago Legacy

    October 22, 2010 - The Architects Newspaper

    Jackie Koo and other architects about Mayor Daley's legacy in the Architects Newspaper

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  • October 21, 2010

    Jackie Koo will be a presenter at the FUSE conference April 11-13, 2011 in Chicago

    View the Full Article
  • October 19, 2010

    Dan Rappel will be a panelist at USGBC's Residential Financial Incentive Program at Ryerson Woods Welcome Center in Riverwoods IL 

  • September 17, 2010

    KOO will be a facilitator at the Chicago Housing Authority's Green Retreat 

  • September 16, 2010

    Dan Rappel will be a speaker at the Luxe Home VIP Summit at the Merchandise Mart.

    View the Full Article
  • September 11, 2010

    Jackie Koo is on the jury for Design Evanston. 

    View the Full Article
  • The Wit

    March 11, 2010 - ARCHITECT

    Local architect Jackie Koo (and her eponymous firm, Koo and Associates) has taken a stand against this curvaceous trend with the recently opened Wit hotel, proving that once again, straight lines are in.

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2009 Archive


  • A Flash of Wit

    August 1, 2009

    Koo’s design for the Wit, which opened in late May, revives a once-desolate stretch of North State Street (at the corner of Lake Street), and not just with flashy gestures. The real action of the Wit is inside, where Koo fit 298 guestrooms, two restaurants and a rooftop lounge, and conference and banquet spaces on a narrow urban site. The more startling aspects of form followed Koo’s command of the high-rise’s function.

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  • Koo and Associates Ltd.

    July 1, 2009 - WTTW

    Part of the new guard of Chicago architects shaping the Loop in the 21st century, Jackie Koo and her firm, Koo and Associates, brought a bolt of energy to the North Loop in 2009 with theWit Hotel at 201 North State Street.

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Contact

312.235.0920            

53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 215
Chicago, IL 60604