cheers to 24 years, tom!
We have some bittersweet news from the Studio21 Architects office: after twenty-four years at our firm, Tom Fend is retiring. While this is sad news for us, as we will sorely miss the sharp wit Tom brings to the office every day, it is still joyful news for Tom. He will officially retire on September 8th, fittingly chosen to correspond with his twenty-fourth-year anniversary at Studio21 Architects. So, let’s break out the champagne and spend some Studio Pages time looking back at the greatest hits of Tom’s time at the firm!
the cross's "just right" design+Build home
DESIGNS THAT STOOD THE TEST OF TIME
A RUSTIC & REFINED NORTHWOODS HOME
reflect one’s personality, and can make daily life more comfortable and more joyous. When I was younger, anytime I saw a design that I loved or a home feature that piqued my interest, I mentally filed it away for that time in the future when I could build a dream home of my own.
welcome to the studio
emma — MARKETING COORDINATOR
Communication is one of Emma’s standout strengths and is an aspect of her role that she takes very seriously. Just like the belief at Studio21 Architects, she believes that honest and compassionate communication is at the heart of building long-term partnerships. With her personable and attentive approach, she ensures that each and every interaction is handled with the utmost care and professionalism—a vitally important aspect of a firm that truly values its clientele.
Recognizing the impact of visually captivating and easily absorbable marketing materials, Emma’s attention to detail and a keen eye for design have revitalized (or as we say in the office, “pretty-fied”) our printed materials, including each piece of our client folders and informational handouts. Her creative touch has breathed new life into our visuals, making our printed marketing not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly effective in showcasing our firm’s expertise and capabilities. One of Emma’s most recent results of “pretty-fying" comes in the form of our newly-redone Studio21 Architects website. You should check itout—Emma would love to show it off, even if she won’t admit it!
In addition to her design skills, Emma consistently showcases her exceptional writing abilities through the reintroductions of this very newsletter. And although she did flat-out refuse to write this article about herself (let's call it humility), Emma uses her knack for storytelling and insightful content curation to turn newsletters into veritable must-reads. Through the newsletters, she has expertly translated our firm's vast experience, project updates, and industry insights into an informative yet interesting leisure read, solidifying our position as a trusted authority in the field.
Another crucial pillar of Emma's role lies in the social media realm. Recognizing the immense potential of online platforms, Emma took charge of reinvigorating our company’s social media presence. With her strategic planning, she’s revamped our social media strategy, creating engaging and shareable content to showcase our projects, expertise, and company culture. Through her efforts, our firm has regained its momentum in the digital universe, attracting a new audience and fostering meaningful online interactions.
As we move forward, we eagerly anticipate the impact Emma will continue to make in shaping our firm’s marketing. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Emma and celebrating her contributions to the team. We are sure that Emma has many more efforts up her sleeve, so stay tuned to see what’s next!
written by: karen hart
Karen is the Office Manager for Studio21 Architects. Although she doesn't typically write articles for the Studio Pages newsletter, she works closely with the marketing team in all client-facing responsibilities. Because our Marketing Coordinator, Emma, felt shy about writing an article about herself, Karen took charge and wrote this wonderful piece about her.
a note from bill
definING your own sense of home
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique—just like everyone else.” This quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead seems like a truth we can all agree on. Design especially fosters the expression of that uniqueness; for many, it acts as an outlet for individualism. Certain architects—if they know what to look for—can harness originality to use as a helpful tool, like how I seek to understand the unique traits of each of my clients to create a design that accurately reflects how they live, in the best possible way.
DRIVE FOR 195
the race to end homelessness
can all become the difference between paying rent and losing your home.
Locally-serving organization, DuPagePads, has a clear goal in mind: to advocate for those who cannot easily advocate for themselves. According to the team at DuPagePads, success starts with housing. The foundational need to get addressed first and foremost is the provision of a safe, clean place to live. Their clients—called clients to give back a deserved sense of esteem—seek assistance for a wide range of reasons and after placement into housing, they can receive any of the supplemental services that DuPagePads arranges. All clients seek to improve their lives, and in providing safe housing, they subsequently lay the groundwork for other improvements to happen.
The philosophy of DuPagePads advocates in more ways than one. They do not hold their clients to a proverbial measuring stick; the only one who makes timelines and goals is the client themselves. More often than not, homelessness arises as a side effect of other struggles. Among the most frequent circumstances are financial hardships, need of mental health support, disabilities and asylum from abuse. For each of these struggles, DuPagePads offers assistance to help clients find jobs, heal from trauma and receive proper support.
Throughout the year, DuPagePads organizes several annual events to garner donations for their cause. This July, the thirteenth annual Drive for 195 Race to End Homelessness takes place. This year marks Studio21 Architects’ fourth year of participation in this one-of-a-kind charitable event, in which we have put together a team not only to race, but to fundraise to achieve DuPagePads’ goal of 195 thousand dollars. In the country, DuPagePads is the largest organization of its kind, and they need donations now more than ever. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of children in need of aid has doubled. Moreover, other Chicagoland shelters—specifically those serving women who have escaped from domestic violence—have reached capacity. DuPagePads remains committed to bridging this gap in availability, especially since the initial period after leaving domestic violence is, statistically, the most dangerous time for them. This organization sees the immense need of shelter and housing since the pandemic, and they refuse to be deterred as long as someone needs their help.
The Drive for 195 Race to End Homelessness will be held on July 8th, 2023 at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet. Here, we have linked a video from DuPagePads about what the Drive for 195 is all about.
Finally, we ask that if you care about the mission of DuPagePads, please consider making a donation to support our team for the event, so that DuPagePads may even surpass their goal this year. You can click here to donate to Studio21 Architects’ fundraising page for Drive for 195.
written by: emma halliday
Emma works as the Marketing Coordinator at Studio21 Architects. For each of our newsletters, Emma conducts interviews, writes articles, and formats the pages to make sure they reflect the great design we value so strongly at this firm. She may not be an architect, but she certainly makes sure that the marketing materials have architect-worthy design as well!
seeing the construction progress at Oceanside Resort. Situated on the Atlantic side of the island, the development’s nine homes were designed in part by Studio21 Architects. Bill met with the future homeowners to customize the homes to fit each person’s needs. Although the trip to the Keys was for work, it’s still Florida, and some mandatory relaxation was had before heading off to the next race, at the Sebring International Raceway in Central Florida.
Bill arrived in Sebring a day early to ready his racing vehicle for the raceway’s infamous twelve-hour race on concrete track, formerly runways of a World War II bomber base. This, by far, is the mostjarring track the team races at. The potential to win was met with disappointment in both races; Bill began with a lead on Saturday and spun on cold tires in anticipation of a restart following a full course yellow, recovering to finish in third place. On Sunday, Bill had the lead going into a hairpin corner, only to have a coil wire shake loose from the bumpy concrete course. Just like that—the race was over.
The car was still loaded on the trailer when the opportunity to race at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, arose. Another extremely challenging course, the Circuit of the Americas, more commonly known as COTA, is also one of the stops on the Formula One circuit. At COTA, up against a number of Formula Vee National Champions, issues with the car, and this being Bill’s first visit to the track, his personal results turned out relatively dismal.
Sprints at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. July will be a bit different—a charity endurance karting event on the track at the Autobahn Country Club near Joliet, IL. The charity organization, DuPagePads, holds its annual Drive for 195 karting race to raise money to end homelessness. You can read more about the Drive for 195 event on the next page.
written by: bill styczynski
Bill Styczynski is the president of Studio21 Architects, as well as an architect in his own right. Every month, Bill writes an article for the Studio Pages newsletter about design topics that he believes will be informative, helpful reads for all of our clients, established and potential. He also writes regularly about his other passion: racing cars!
fairview station flats
you may remember what used to be in the new building’s spot. The site originally housed a gas station and auto repair shop which had long fallen out-of-use. Craig Ross of Ross Builders came to Studio21 Architects with the idea of an apartment development with condominium quality, and due to the site’s proximity to the train station, it turned out to be the ideal spot to work with. With its location, the tenants at the Fairview Station Flats can enjoy easy city access with the METRA station just footsteps away.
In contrast to many of the apartment complexes that have popped up in recent years, Ross wanted smaller-scale, boutique living, with more focus on the amenities within the units themselves. Instead of communal pools or workout spaces, they opted for higher-end units with spacious rooms and high-end finishes. Open concept kitchens with islands large enough to accommodate seating, in-unit laundry rooms, and patios/balconies with privacy lent by sleek aluminum fences are just some of the features that make this apartment building appealing. One amenity in particular that proves itself very useful are the twelve indoor garages. With a mixture of one-car and two-car garages, and some units having direct access to them from their units, Chicago renters would immensely enjoy this feature, especially in the wintertime!
while also designing with the developer’s ideas in mind. Storage space also involved creative design solutions. Most of us can agree that apartments generally lack in the storage department, but in the spirit of condominium quality, Stahr worked to incorporate enough storage in each unit that would make any tenant feel organized.
a note from bill
there's no place like home when growing old
my current home is not conducive to someone with limited mobility. A temporary issue with a knee after surgery is only the tip of the iceberg; I am an architect, after all—I tend to coach my clients to think about how they might live in their homes in future years.
The term aging-in-place gets thrown around often on the topic of retirement. Fundamentally, it means staying in one’s own home permanently, rather than moving into assisted living. Experts have made contrasting conclusions regarding aging-in-place; some say the benefit outweighs the risks, and some say the complete opposite. But when we look at what older folks have to say, the message couldn’t be clearer: Most of us want to stay in our own homes. Of those aged fifty and older, 77% want to remain in their homes long term, and according to the same AARP study, that number has not changed in over a decade. The biggest pitfall of aging-in-place comes down to the home itself; many of our homes don’t accommodate the changes in needs that come with age. As we get older, upstairs bedrooms, bathrooms without grab bars, and steep flights of stairs can cause discomfort and even danger.