Recognized as Chicago’s premier award winning sustainable architectural practice, Kipnis Architecture + Planning (KAP) was founded in 1993 and is based in Evanston, Illinois. KAP has practiced the architectural design philosophy of 'High Design/Low Carbon™' long before it was in vogue. We are guided by the idea that architectural design excellence need not be sacrificed for principles of sustainability. Rather, we believe sustainable design expands the possibilities for innovative architectural forms, construction methods and the use of materials. A particular expertise is the architectural integration of passive solar and bioclimatic design. We are early signatories to the AIA's 2030 Commitment, rigorously working towards having our projects be 'net zero' for their energy use by 2030.
Stylistically, our designs are the creative synthesis of the client's wishes and the site's context. We excel at modern, transitional, and historic aesthetics.
In addition to creating award-winning architecture, KAP has earned a solid reputation for expertly integrating architectural styles in the renovation and rehabilitation of historic homes and other significant projects. Our work ranges from seamless additions to full historic restorations. We emphasize combining aesthetics with cutting-edge mechanical systems to maximize energy efficiency, while maintaining a structure's distinctive vintage character. Many projects have successfully met the requirements for the State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency's tax Assessment freeze program.
The firm's commitment to affordable housing is evidenced by our unique position as the only firm in Chicago to be involved with the New Homes for Chicago program, Scattered Site Housing, Green Homes for Chicago program, the Green Bungalow Initiative and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP2).
Philosophy / Sustainability
Our goal is to provide the highest quality architectural services, based on our commitment to creative design, technical excellence and attention to detail. Each project is looked at as a unique challenge, matched to a specific site and the client's requirements. Rather than emulating a specific design style, the architectural style organically develops during the design process as a consequence of site specifics, as well as design and sustainability goals. We are equally adept at contemporary and historical based designs.
KAP is guided by the idea that architectural design excellence need not be sacrificed for principles of sustainability. Rather, we believe green design expands the possibilities for innovative architectural forms, construction methods and the use of materials.
As an early signatory to the AIA’s 2030 Commitment, we are dedicated to significantly reducing each building's CO2 emissions. To accomplish this goal, designs are reviewed throughout the process to best utilize green materials, advanced construction methods, and energy efficiency techniques. This total systems integration helps to reduce the environmental impact of the building through its entire life cycle. We can conduct a carbon footprint analysis of the design on behalf of the client..
First and foremost, our goal is to design excellent spaces that are client specific, energy and resource efficient and healthy places to live and work, all while being mindful of the budget. We thoroughly explore appropriate options to ensure that the design meets both the client’s exacting expectations and our high standards. As part of the design process, we review multiple schemes to foster productive and creative discussions. By providing a wide range of design options at the beginning stages of the project, we can explore unique possibilities and then confidently select the one that works best for the client.