John Ronan (b. 1963, Grand Rapids, Michigan) is known for his sensual atmospheric buildings that tend to unfold layer by layer their spatial complexity, as one moves through them. His focus is on the use of materiality in ways that reinvent architecture. Ronan holds a Master of Architecture degree with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1991) and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan (1985). He has been teaching architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology since 1992. John Ronan Architects was established in Chicago in 1999, the year Ronan won the Townhouse Revisited Competition sponsored by the Graham Foundation. In 2006, the firm was featured in the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices and the Young Chicago exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2007, the architect was selected to build the prestigious Poetry Foundation in Chicago, out of a pool of 50 international contenders. His monograph Explorations: The Architecture of John Ronan was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2010. In 2016, the firm was named one of seven international finalists for the Obama Presidential Library. The following interview is a condensed version of our conversation at the architect’s studio in Chicago.
Normally, houses are divided into common areas, rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. However, sometimes the client demands to add other programs related to their work or hobbies, making efficient design and daily spatial distribution more complex. As architects, we are faced with an interesting challenge: to merge the private life of its inhabitants with more public and open programs, generating exciting mixed-use spaces.
If you are interested in designing hybrid homes, we have selected 26 houses with additions including shops, soccer fields, barns, greenhouses, and even skateparks.
Employing unconventional building materials, the North American firms 5468796 Architecture, Factor Eficiencia and NYL Structural Engineers have teamed up to create "One Bucket at a Time," an interactive pavilion that has made waves as it traveled from Mexico to Canada. Read on to learn more about the installation.
Paying homage to the shapes and volumes of the existing building, the new construction—by Machado Silvetti and Fentress Architects—aims to enhance the museum campus’ connection to the Golden Triangle neighborhood, as well as to improve visitor navigation and amenities.