EMILY RAY

Wheeler Kearns Architects

SAY IT LOUD - Illinois Exhibitor

Illinois Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Anyone willing to explore possibilities. Our masonry contractor at Bernard Zell was willing to push the boundaries of typical construction to realize the vision of the prayer shawl. We are indebted to their attention to an unconventional detail.

EMILY RAY

Bio:

Emily is a registered architect in the state of Illinois. Current projects include a charter school and an artist workspace, both on Chicago’s south side. She regularly serves as a visiting critic for design programs including SAIC, UIC College of Architecture, and the University of Texas School of Architecture. Emily is a member of AIA Chicago, active in the AIA Chicago LGBTQI+ Alliance, and chairs the annual Acanthus Awards ceremony for the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture.

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

As a kid I was an insatiable designer of speculative houses for my family. In fifth grade, I served as “Architect” for our five-person toothpick-bridge project team. Our bridge held the most weight, and that sealed the deal. I’ve never looked back.

What do you do?

I learn what my client is passionate about and create a vision that reflects those passions. Aided by the expertise of our consultants and contractors, I bring the vision to life in the real world.

What excites you in the work you do?

A great building requires camaraderie and perseverance. It excites me to experience a team coming together to create something larger than any of us could create on our own. Ushering the vision into the built world is an extraordinary experience.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Anyone willing to explore possibilities. Our masonry contractor at Bernard Zell was willing to push the boundaries of typical construction to realize the vision of the prayer shawl. We are indebted to their attention to an unconventional detail.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

Seeing the Bernard Zell kids using their new school!

 

Featured Project Name: 

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School Expansion

Featured Project Location: 

Chicago, IL

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2019

Role in Featured Project: 

Lead Project Architect

 

Featured Project Description:

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School Expansion establishes a new head and heart for an existing Jewish day school. The new building organizes an assemblage of existing structures with a singular masonry volume that floats above the ground floor like the tzitzit (fringe) of the tallit (prayer shawl). The new entry for Bernard Zell draws in its family members and students via a gracious plaza, inviting loggia, and daylight-filled ground floor.

Photography Credit:

Wheeler Kearns Architects

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