Franklin Report Report Card for Wheeler Kearns Architects in Chicago
★ Franklin Report Card
Wheeler Kearns Architects
343 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-7787
Main Contact: Larry Kearns
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Clients, decorators, and even competitors seem to agree that Wheeler Kearns is at the top of its game. A collective practice of architects, the firm gains accolades for its superb residential architecture. Work also includes everything from designing furniture to children's museums, elementary schools and dental clinics. Whatever the project, clients say, the firm is aesthetically, technically, and professionally devoted to the pursuit and practice of architecture.

We hear WKA creates spaces that depict and enhance a full, rich and dignified way of life. Its style is described as simple and adaptable. Simple, direct solutions are favored on the firm's belief that an architect's task is to improve the world with enlightened problem-solving and that each project begins with an "emotional center." Clients find Wheeler Kearns wonderfully innovative and especially commend its selection and use of materials.

Dan Wheeler established his private practice in 1987. Since then, his work has been widely published, and he's become a highly respected figure in the community. He is chairman of the Architectural Alliance at the Chicago Historical Society and teaches graduate-level design studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Larry Kearns joined the firm in 1988 and has been a partner since 1990. Technical skills accompany his architectural accomplishments, developing the firm's proprietary computer-aided design programs.

The firm is deliberately limited to a staff of 10 architects. A project architect is assigned to each job, managing it from schematic design through final construction. All of the firm's architects, however, have input on all jobs. This collaboration and free exchange of ideas is at the heart of the firm's true "studio" philosophy and, no doubt, the reason why many of its project architects have devoted followers.

Wheeler Kearns also wins accolades for its pricing structure, with clients mentioning that "they deserve to be paid three times more than I paid them." ID Hall of Fame.

Representative Client Comments:
"Great firm and Dan is such a good person." "They spec'd the job down to the last nut." "The firm wins the clients by my friends just seeing my apartment!" "Budgets were easy to discuss and never an issue." "Very responsive. Met every Tuesday at site for three years." "My project architect was absolutely tremendous."

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