Top 100: VOA Educates Itself
|VOA was once a small firm focusing on higher education projects. Perhaps it took a few classes in between, for it's grown into a 150-employee Chicago office with international reach.|
During the recession, the firm grew its government and international practices, but some of the team's favorite projects (according to Richard Fawell, Nick Luzietti, Paul Hansen and Patty Looker) are in Chicago. Perhaps Flattery 101 is a course at Roosevelt University, where Paul's working on a renovation; the vertically integrated campus—residence on top, classrooms on the bottom—is just south of VOA's Michigan Avenue offices.
They say collaboration has been critical, and not just with clients but with outside help, since VOA doesn't have any engineers or contractors. The merging of Miller and Coors last year also proved advantageous; VOA designed the company's Chicago offices. The principals say they've designed everything except prisons, but with the way federal work is picking up, they may end up doing those, too.