The 15 Best Architects In Milwaukee

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Who are the best architects in Milwaukee? Here are 15 candidates. Vote for your favorite and tell us who we missed in the comments section.


Milwaukee’s rich architectural history reflects an expansive and diverse heritage, from the North Point Lighthouse in one of the city’s oldest public parks to the Flemish Renaissance style found in the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion and Milwaukee City Hall. Wisconsin is the native state of Frank Lloyd Wright, and six of his 1916 American System-Built Homes can be found west of downtown Milwaukee. In modern times, the architectural tradition continues with a lakefront landmark featuring a 90-foot-high vaulted glass ceiling – the Windhover Hall at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

With such interesting architecture, it’s no surprise that the city is filled with talented architects. Who are the best and brightest? We’ve gathered the 15 best architects in the greater Milwaukee area, and listed them here in no particular order. After you take a look, don’t forget to vote for your favorite in the poll below! If there’s an architect we missed, let us know in the comments section.

AllysonAllyson Nemec Allyson’s diverse academic and professional background makes her well-suited for coordinating architectural and engineering services on renovation and adaptive re-use projects. She earned her BA in architectural history from the University of Virginia, and her Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to completing projects that her company, Quorum Architects Inc., takes on, Allyson makes time to participate in community efforts. She is the acting president of the UWM Alumni Association and past president of the AIA Wisconsin, among other foundations.

Wadeheadshottiny2Wade Weissmann Guided by high-level craftsmanship worthy of trans-generational appeal, Wade is principal of Wade Weissmann Architecture Inc., an exceptional company with offices in three different areas of the country. They began in 1996, and have expanded immensely due to their aim to offer clients a thoroughly rewarding, life enhancing experience.  The design of fine residential and equestrian estates is the primary focus of artisan’s projects.  Wade’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Wisconsin, and he earned his Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

richard-sherer-portrait_reduced-2013-380x522Richard B. Sherer An industry veteran with 30 years of experience, Richard has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for excellence in design. He is known for his one of a kind custom home designs and his ability to accurately interpret a client’s dream, assess site possibilities, and assemble a cohesive team of artisans. Richard’s design philosophy is that a holistic experience encompassing both the design and creation process. He earned his BS in architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he took first place in a sand castle competition.

RoryRory Palubiski Rory has led Fein Design since founding the company in July 1995.  He graduated from the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning with a Bachelor of Science degree.  A backpacking trip through Europe where he came face to face with the buildings and structures that had inspired him in school and his post-graduate work at the prestigious Vetter-Denk firm led to the start of his independent venture.  He incorporates beauty and personal style, and can effectively convey his hands-on knowledge of the building process, which is invaluable to his clients and students of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

KarlKarl Holtermann After earning his degree in hotel and restaurant cooking, Karl completed his BS in Architecture, and further continued his studies at the Ecole Specilae d’Architecture in Paris, France. He started out his career as a project manager for architectural firms, overseeing projects such as restaurants and bars, travel centers, and universities. The field of residential design allowed him express his creativity while working hands-on with crews of carpenters and craftspeople. Karl has now parlayed his experience with design and construction firms into his role as the Principal Leader of Karl Holtermann Designer + Builder.

ToddProfilePicTodd Wolff An entrepreneur from the start, Todd worked in construction during high school, and built his first business from a deck building company to a design/build residential remodeling company headquartered in Minneapolis. At the same time, he worked to obtain dual bachelor’s degrees in architecture and construction management  from the University of Minnesota. After returning to his native state of Wisconsin, he worked for a commercial construction company and a high-end residential architecture firm. His desire to own his own business never left him, and he formed Highland Builders with partner Shane Pionkowski.

Ken Dahlin As the owner of Genesis Architecture, Ken has the passion, drive, and knowledge necessary to create award-winning custom residential designs. His firm specializes in natural and contemporary design, and provides services from working drawings and construction administration to final details like art glass and furniture design. Ken earned his Master of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he is today an adjunct professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Ken serves on the board of directors of the Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin organization.

WareKarl Wallick and Kyle Reynolds Karl and Kyle are the founders of Ware architecture, a firm based in Milwaukee and Chicago. With a collective 32 years of professional experience, the duo specializes in projects requiring practical wit and economical form. Kyle is an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee, and was recently honored with a 2015 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture New Faculty Design Award. Karl is an associate professor and chair of the architecture department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has experience working on several large-scale institutional projects for Sidwell Friends School, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. 

Ken EttenKen Etten For the past 23 years, Ken has been a partner and leader at McCormack + Etten / Architects, a small-scale, hands-on architectural firm offering a full range of high level professional services. In 2008, the firm was voted Best Architect by the Best of Lake Geneva. Ken was recently featured in At The Lake magazine for his commitment to “preserve Lake Geneva’s history and built-heritage for future generations.” He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and is active member of his local AIA chapter and the Lake Geneva Historic Preservation Commission.

Stephen BrunsStephen Bruns In 2008, Stephen founded Bruns Architecture with the simple goal of designing and building well. His philosophy is that every project deserves unique attention, and that part of the design process is developing relationships with clients. A visionary architect and artist, Stephen’s holistic approach sets him apart and has earned his firm such distinctions as ALA Design Awards and being named a Houzz Influencer. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Todd OvardTodd Ovard After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Architectural Sciences, Todd headed west to Colorado to pursue a dream of  becoming a professional bicycle racer. He simultaneously worked in award-winning Denver-based interiors & architectural firm, serving in various capacities and leaving the firm as a senior associate. After their son was born, Todd and his wife Sarah relocated to historic Cedarburg, where they eventually formed 1128 Arch Design. Their business model blends the best of the classic and the new: a forward-thinking architectural practice operating out of an historic 1870’s brick farmhouse.

Ryan HundtRyan Hundt With 12 years of experience and a portfolio ranging from pro bono work to multi-million dollar hospitals, Ryan is capable of handling a wide range of budgets and project sizes. The Milwaukee native earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He then took the opportunity to experience a unique urban environment while earning his Masters at the University of Oregon’s Portland Urban Architecture Program. Prior to founding Hundt Architecture, Ryan was a designer at several prominent local firms that provided crucial experience working on high-end single-family homes.

Joe-e1448913704461Joe Galbraith Joe is a partner and director of business development at Galbraith Carnahan Architects, where his strategic vision and communication skill sets are an asset to the organization. These qualities are also invaluable in assisting clients as they plan and organize multi faceted projects. Joe holds a BA from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In his free time, the LEED Accredited Professional enjoys outdoor activities and designing and fabricating furniture.

John Van RooyJohn Van Rooy John is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Trained in both architecture and art history, with a working experience in the construction trade, John draws from multi-faceted expertise to execute the pragmatic aspects of building design. As the principal of John Van Rooy Architecture, John serves as the point person on projects, coordinating the efforts of engineers, landscape architects and other consultants to ensure quality and production. Experienced in commercial and residential design, he is passionate about giving artful expression to the aspirations of clients for the spaces in which they live and work.

RichRich Pipek Rich is a partner at architecture, delivering architectural solutions which provide clients with the most effective spaces possible. He was honored with a Building Owners and Managers Association of Wisconsin Outstanding Building of the Year Award for excellence in a renovated building, among other awards and competitions. Rich graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Architectural Studies from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin. He continued on at the school to earn his Master of Architecture, and work as a research assistant studying the Greenbelt Communities.

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Amanda Miller

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