GREC Architects


In 2014, Chicago’s GREC Architects made the expansionist move into a background building on the Magnificent Mile. It was a sign of health and ambition—that a firm cut to half its 2007 size by the recession was back on the warpath. From a generic office floor, GREC is spinning a symphony of modernism that threatens to infect the building’s common areas.Founded in 1989, GREC counts a growing staff of 30. The three managing principals hail from corporate America, easing the courtship with large clients like Related Midwest, John Buck Company, and Chicago newcomer Gerding Edlen Development. Every client large and small gets principal involvement from start to finish.Their work fans out programmatically, with hospitality and multifamily residential as the sweet spots. “We’re trying to find the strengths of living in an urban high-rise and bleed that into our hospitality work,” said principal Don Copper. “Conversely, we want to bring hospitality’s social component into our residential work. How can we promote people coming out of their units for a greater sense of community?”