CHRIS ANNMARIE SPENCER

Wheeler Kearns Architects

SAY IT LOUD - Illinois Exhibitor

Illinios Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I’m inspired by those who embrace and explore differences. By doing so we can find common ground and hopefully stronger richer solutions.

CHRIS ANNMARIE SPENCER

Bio:

Chris-Annmarie Spencer is from a rural town in Jamaica. She has worked on several award-winning projects including Inspiration Kitchens which received the 2013 National Rudy Bruner Gold Medal Award, The Alice at Goodman Theatre, and Chicago’s first high school for students with Learning Differences, Wolcott School. She is the recipient of the 2015 AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect Award, the 2017 AIA National Young Architect Award and is a 2019 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

My mother helped to guide my interested in drawing and object making into participating in an architectural drawing class. Concurrently construction began on our home – observing the conversion from a drawing to a home was profound.

What do you do?

I try to understand and reinterpret my client’s mission and objectives into space, form or details within scope, budget and schedule constraints.

What excites you in the work you do?

When a client realizes an alignment of mission and design at the beginning of the project and are fully invested. There are also moments when someone outside the project team are able to appreciate the intersection of mission and the designed space.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I’m inspired by those who embrace and explore differences. By doing so we can find common ground and hopefully stronger richer solutions.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

Inspiration Kitchen serving it’s first meal to residents of East Garfield Park; students and community members using The Alice; students and staff using Manuseto High School.

Featured Project Name: 

The Alice at Goodman Theatre

 

Featured Project Location: 

Chicago, IL

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2016 (Phase 1) 2018 (Phase 2)

Role in Featured Project: 

Lead Project Architect

 

Featured Project Description:

At The Alice, the Goodman Theatre’s new Center for Education and Engagement, warm materials are used to transform a vacant office space into a welcoming and inspiring environment that serves all ages and backgrounds. The project includes STEM learning labs, an auditioning studio, a reception and lobby space. A two-sided acoustical wood feature wall---assembled to allude to a Venetian contour curtain--meanders through the space to dissipate and absorb sound within STEM learning labs and reception spaces.

Photography Credit:

Steve Hall, Hall + Merrick Photographers (formerly Hedrich Blessing)

Featured Project Name: 

Manuseto High School (Noble Network of Charter Schools)

 

Featured Project Location: 

Chicago, IL

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2017

Role in Featured Project: 

Lead Project Architect

 

Featured Project Description:

Mansueto High School is a new student-centered campus, where learning spaces encircle a central green space in Chicago’s largest “park desert”. The project transformed 5.5 acres of industrial brownfield into a place of opportunity for its students, which are 98% minority and over 91% low-income. The central green space with classrooms wrapped around, presages a college quadrangle, where freshman can begin to envision a college experience from their first day on campus. Mansueto is a place of new growth.

Photography Credit:

Steve Hall, Hall + Merrick Photographers (formerly Hedrich Blessing)

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