JLK has a design philosophy based on our years of experience responding to clients’ needs. We have designed everything from new additions, to restoration plans, to adaptive reuse projects, to interior office build outs. No matter the program, we are given, we strive to achieve an innovative solution that satisfies the client’s needs and respects their budget constraints. Whether we are approaching a bridge, an office build-out, or the stabilization of an historic façade, we recognize that the way to achieve a strong design is to listen to client’s needs and respect their intentions while using our design and architectural expertise to translate their wishes into completed forms and projects.
JLK is proud to be a 100% woman-owned small business. Nearly 50% of architecture graduates are women, but only 17% of those who graduate become registered architects. The numbers are slowly improving, but only a very small percentage of architecture firms in the US are women-owned, and only 3 of the top 100 firms worldwide are owned by women. Based on a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects, women are significantly more concerned about a work-life balance and balancing their careers with starting a family than their male counterparts. The survey also demonstrated a lack of female role models in the industry for new architects to look up to. Meg Kindelin, JLK’s President and Owner, is passionate about the type of work we do and JLK exemplifies her devotion to encouraging, respecting, and emboldening female architects, while also allowing for a realistic work-life balance for employees at all levels.
JLK incorporates sustainability best practices in our projects, regardless of any requirement or goal of LEED certification. We have also updated historic and cultural institutions, making our most precious national treasures accessible to all. We recognize that the reuse of existing buildings is inherently sustainable. We also have a unique ability to combine historic preservation with LEED certification. JLK is concerned with responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. This sense of stewardship extends to the existing structures that we address in the course of our work. A number of our team members are LEED certified, and we appreciate our position as professionals charged with responsibly allocating resources for our projects. We are active in designing with climate, day lighting, and other no-cost or low-cost environmental approaches to good design in all our work.
Founded as Johnson Lasky Architects in 1992 by Walker Johnson and Larry Lasky, JLK is one of the most established preservation architecture firms in Chicago. Historic preservation has been an integral area of work since the firm’s inception. As Walker and Larry looked to ease into retirement in 2014, Meg took over to serve as owner and president. As the new president, Meg looked to strengthen JLK’s presence locally and earn work as a women-owned business. Since taking over the firm, JLK has grown from 10 people to more than 20 staff and expanded into both the public and private sectors and transportation work.
We are experts at…
JLK provides design services to public and private sector companies and organizations to help them work smarter and to meet their bottom line through efficient planning.
JLK was founded with a specialty in historic preservation. We have worked with many important historic buildings and structures all over Illinois and the Midwest and from all eras, from 1840 to 1975.
JLK understands the importance of transit in our daily lives in moving people safely and quickly throughout the Chicagoland area.