» PEOPLE «

KOO’s talented architects and interior designers all participate in design thinking. All members of the staff contribute ideas and inspiration for projects in a collaborative studio environment. The creativity and dedication of each person is fundamental to the success of our projects.

KOO’s talented architects and interior designers all participate in design thinking. All members of the staff contribute ideas and inspiration for projects in a collaborative studio environment. The creativity and dedication of each person is fundamental to the success of our projects.

» KOO BIOS «

JACKIE KOO

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Jackie, the firm’s founder, has twenty-five years of experience in Architecture and Design. After graduating with a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago, Jackie sought to combine this with her interest in aesthetics, and enrolled in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Illinois at Chicago during a theory-focused period in the program.

She started her career at Richard Meier and Partners in New York and founded KOO in 2005 after working for 15 years in corporate firms. During her career, Jackie has developed a strong vision for the firm, and has successfully completed numerous complex projects in a wide range of building types including Hospitality, Residential, Institutional and Planning.

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DAN RAPPEL

Dan is KOO’s Director of Sustainable Design and Partner. He has nineteen years of experience in Institutional, Commercial, Residential and Retail design and brings an emphasis on sustainability to every KOO project. He has worked on 15 LEED projects including the LEED Platinum Kresge Foundation and has won four AIA design awards. Dan’s superior design skills and sophisticated management strategies expertly respond to challenging budget and schedule constraints.

Dan is the proud parent of three children and lives with his family in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago. He enjoys camping and hiking in the great outdoors, whenever and wherever he can. Dan also plays guitar and bass in a local Indie band.

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ANDREW BUCK

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Andrew is a native New Yorker with a golf swing to envy. He relocated to the Midwest to earn his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois. Though his primary focus at KOO is on multi-family housing, Andrew also has significant experience with a variety of projects such as high-end single family residences and large scale commercial buildings. In 2009 Andrew returned to school to earn his Master of Architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis before planting roots in Chicago. Andrew currently lives downtown with his wife, and thrives on the energy of the city. He is a self-proclaimed restaurant connoisseur, and is known in the office as the person to talk to for a recommendation on where to make reservations for Friday night.

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ASHLEN WILLIAMS

Ashlen is a gifted designer whose approach is informed by a passion for enriching architectural experiences, particularly within urban communities. While studying architecture at the University of Kansas, it was Ashlen’s internship at Ibos & Vitart in Paris that cemented her taste for international travel and culture. She later spent time living in Madrid, exploring the country. Ashlen’s philosophy is that every new encounter offers critical insight into the human experience, and as a designer, it is her goal to translate this knowledge into architecture that inspires communities. In addition to her love of design and world travel, Ashlen is an artist whose practice includes painting and collage. She is always up for a bit of bowling and enjoys the rich, live music scene for which Chicago is known.

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BRUCE ROTH

GREEN CIRCLE - PEOPLE - Bruce Roth

Bruce grew up in Southwestern Wisconsin, a place of rolling meadows dotted with small towns and dairy farms. His interest in Architecture started early, drawing and building with blocks. By junior high, the decision to become an Architect had already been made.
Bruce has over 25 years of professional experience, with a focus on Project Management, Building Technology and Construction Methodology. With a clear understanding of the complexities of the building design process and a focus on the client’s goals, Bruce utilizes his skill and expertise to successfully implement complex projects and programs. Bruce and his wife Jackie, have three boys, Max, Sam and Leo (and dog, Red) and live in Riverside, Illinois. He coaches youth basketball and enjoys father and son activities with the Riverside Indian Guides. He has also become the family genealogist, tracing his ancestry to colonial America and beyond.

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JONATHAN SKINNER

GREEN CIRCLE - PEOPLE - Jonathan Skinner

Jonathan has a well-informed appreciation for both the old and the new. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting ancient historical sites and seeking out modern technological wonders. Jonathan successfully draws upon this contrast between vintage and contemporary in his design. As a member of the KOO design team, he has worked on a variety of projects from multi-family residential to large institutional and hospitality projects. Jonathan attended Illinois Institute of Technology where he received his Bachelor of Architecture with Honors. While at IIT, he engaged student life by becoming an active member of AIAS and joining the college’s cycling team. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike, practicing photography, or playing a friendly game of cards—but always for money.

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MEGAN WALTERS

GREEN CIRCLE - PEOPLE - Megan Walters

With a boundless passion for all things design and an innate sense for creating forward-thinking environments, Megan is a natural part of the KOO team. From a young age she felt an undeniable magnetism towards art, which grew into an affinity for Interior Design as she gained her Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design at Western Michigan University. Megan helps complete the KOO vision by applying a hospitality approach to every project, shaping spaces with new ideas and distinguishing character.
Growing up a Mortician’s daughter, school-required “take-your-daughter-to-work days” with her father were interesting to say the least, and led Megan to know what she did NOT want to do when she grew up. What she gained from the experience was her father’s advice: it’s important to have a balance of laughter and a sense of humor in life, no matter what profession you choose. To this day, Megan and her husband Mike have a huge love of animals and can never get enough comedy, both of which are drawn from their love of laughter.

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TANNER AVERY

GREEN CIRCLE - PEOPLE - Tanner Avery

Tanner was born and raised in Alabama. He received his Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Interior Architecture from Auburn University in 2014, and made the journey to Chicago after a year at the Rural Studio. There, he designed and built his thesis project – a two-bedroom, handicapped accessible “20K House.” In the office, Tanner has been working on large scale renovations. In his spare time, he enjoys experimenting with design at a small scale in the woodshop by building custom furniture. Tanner believes that we should always ask what should be built, rather than what can be built.

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TYLER HOPWOOD

Tyler received both his B.A. and M.Arch from Judson University. As an architect, he sees the value in designing small. He believes in creating thoughtful details and working closely with the human scale and was fortunate enough to participate in designing a tiny homes community for the homeless. When it comes to his architectural philosophy, he is a firm believer that buildings should be designed selflessly, to serve the communities that they participate in. He thinks that creating a sense of place and belonging is paramount to the well being of all urban environments and it is our duty as architects to cultivate such environments. Tyler loves working with his hands, and specifically enjoys making small scale furniture, building architectural models, and hand sketching. On his time off, Tyler spends time exploring the city via bicycle with his wife, Brittany, and catching up on some reading and making tasty meals!

KAITLIN RIGNEY

Although born in Texas, Kaitlin grew up on Chicago’s North Shore.  She has had a passion for art ever since her father started taking her to museums at a very young age.  Kaitlin has a strong background in Fine Art and worked for years in the art world, following the completion of her Masters in Art History & World Practice, with a concentration in 19th Century German landscape painting, from the University of Glasgow.   She has business management experience ranging from running art galleries to managing a Fine Art appraisal company.  Currently, she is in the process of obtaining her Masters in Business Management from DePaul University.

In her spare time, she enjoys travel, art hunting, visiting museums/galleries and any kind of outdoor activity; especially hiking in the Colorado mountains with her best friend.  Due to Kaitlin’s art career, she has lived and traveled around the world, but always called Chicago home and is now thrilled to be back.  She is also an avid classic movie connoisseur.  Kaitlin lives across from Lincoln Park with Willow, her loving, ever entertaining kitty.

AMELIA HOOVER

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Amelia is a true northern girl at heart. At an early age, she was drawing up floor plans and imagining new possibilities for interior spaces. During high school, she was able to explore this creative and technical world in an interior design class, which solidified her desire to make it a career. She received her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Auburn University’s Interior Design program, one of the top ten programs in the country. Over the course of her four years in school, and multiple summer internships, Amelia found that her true passion existed in commercial and hospitality design.

Amelia is thrilled to once again be apart of the vibrancy and culture of city life. Even so, annual hiking trips to the Adirondacks with her family and dogs, where nature’s true beauty is ever-present, continue to inspire her to create designs that evoke harmony and a sense of bliss.

OWEN BLODGETT

Owen was raised in Dayton, Ohio, a small but vibrant Midwest city where his desire to express himself creatively was fostered and encouraged by friends, family, and teachers. He grew up playing a myriad of different sports and musical instruments, singing in choirs, and performing on-stage.  However, what spoke to him the most was the potential for beauty and harmony in the built environment. This led him to attend the University of Cincinnati’s school of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning with a focus on Architecture, where he developed a well-rounded and sharpened sense for design and presentation. Owen also has been writing poetry since childhood and used his college education to develop his writing alongside his architectural education. Outside of architecture and literature, he is fluent in (or at least will talk about) photography, fashion, music, and visual art.

Across internships in Ohio, New York, and Chicago, he discovered a need to be immersed in the thrumming energy of a metropolis and decided to move to Chicago upon graduation. Owen now spends his time (when not working at KOO) thrift shopping, going to shows, modeling imaginary monuments, writing, and following the sunlight and its shadows around the city.

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312.235.0920
55 W. Wacker Dr.
Suite 600C
Chicago, IL 60601

KOO