This morning we went into the loop for a firm tour. These tours are a great way to better understand how the professional world of architecture operates. The first tour we visited was Gensler. Gensler is a large architecture firm of about 350 employees in Chicago alone. On the tour of their very open offices, we saw plenty of drawings, models, and architects busy at work. Because Gensler is a large firm, it is more capable of tackling large projects such as high rises, international developments, and even product design!
After our brief tour of Gensler we headed towards River North for a tour of a much smaller firm, Woodhouse Tinucci Architects. This firm of 14 architects generally works at the smaller scale on projects such as interiors, renovations, houses, and community centers. When we arrived, principle architect Andy Tinucci sat us down to discuss the workflow of his firm. We learned about what it’s like to work with a single client versus a whole community, how a site can change a design, and how the first design is almost never the final product. Once we had finished the discussion, we got the chance to walk around the office, look at their various models and drawings (some of which we recognized from our hometowns), and talk to the employees of Woodhouse Tinucci Architects.
After heading back to campus for lunch, it was off to studio to begin the final project!
Using the information collected during site analysis, the site was divided evenly between each student. Students began by sharing their brainstorming ideas and receiving a general rule set for the project. Some students found that beginning a design is sometimes very difficult. I was excited to see many students collaborating! Once the students put their pencils to paper, some promising preliminary designs were produced.