i4Design : Class of 2011Winter 2011
The Team Players
Jay Keller, Jean Dufresne — Why we love them: We know so many excellent designers, but few have the stuff and stance of these partners. Both have earned every design qualification we can think of-including architecture and interior design licenses, LEED AP, registered energy professional and more, and look at it as keeping current, exploring possibilities and stocking their proverbial "toolbox"—all the better "to accommodate our clients," notes Dufrense.
They bring the same thoughtful approach to their seven-person practice, where "we operate as one big team. No hierarchies, no stars and all team players," he explains. "You always need someone to keep you in check, and bounce things off," agrees Keller. That approach may explain the accolades they've garnered for recent projects, such as Benchmark Restaurant & Bar in Old Town, which sports a 70-foot-long retractable roof for alfresco dining on the structure’s second story, and a historically significant Lincoln Park rowhouse, featured in local and national shelter magazines . . .
Chicago Magazine : Message Alert, Telegraph Wine BarOctober 2011
Night Out, Telegraph Wine Bar
. . . In any case, the space makes a pretty place to ponder such questions. Both of the bar's side-by-side rooms overlook the square, and the furniture, custom-made in Mexico (where co-owner Tom MacDonald, the man behind Webster's Wine Bar and The Bluebird, has lived for the past year), is easy on the eyes but hard on the ears once voices start to bounce off the hard surfaces. Ladies, wear pants if you plan to try to shimmy into a banquette, whose awkward metal legs make a dance out of where to put your own.
In fact, on future visits, I would forgo a table altogether and opt for a more romantic arrangement: two seats for my date and me at the front bar, where conversation requires leaning in rather than shouting, and a direct line is available at all times to one of Quinn's fellow oenophiles, whom we'll ask to bring us something worldly and exotic. And not too stingy on the pour. . .
Renovation Style : Destiny's QuarterFall 2011
The young couple who first saw this historic brick Victorian in Chicago's Lincoln Park in 2000 could only dream of owning it. Expecting their second child and anticipating all the work that needed to be done to the home, the couple passed, knowing they couldn't afford it.
Instead, they settled on a smaller, rehabbed Victorian rowhouse. But they went by the grand dame every day, and as their family grew to four children, so did their yearning for more space and a yard . . .
Chicago Architect : Open For BusinessMarch / April 2011
Open For Business
In many cases the visionary ideas in building are not thought of by the architect, but by the building owner or developer. As architects, we are called upon to develop that initial idea and bring it to fruition by navigating the hurdles it may face from inception to completion.
Such is the case with the recently completed Benchmark Restaurant and Bar at 1510 N Wells in Old Town, which is the brainchild of the Four Corners Tavern Group. One of the partners of the group approached us in the summer of 2009 with the idea of a manually operated retractable glass roof like those partners had seen at hotel bars in NYC . . .
Chicago Social : Modern MannersMarch 2011
In the words of Victorian-era educator Thomas H. Palmer, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again." In 2000, when a Lincoln Park couple with a growing family laid eyes on a graceful mansion on a rare oversized lot—built in 1872—they wanted it badly. Reason number one? A yard that wrapped around the west and east sides of the property seemed like a potential paradise for kids. "We loved the place, but it was in pretty serious disrepair," says the wife, an art consultant. "We couldn't afford the work, so we ended up in another house around the corner."
Eight years later they noticed their once and future home was sporting a "For Sale" sign yet again. It had become a developer foreclosure and was being sold by a bank. "I'll never forget when the realtor opened the front door and we stepped back inside," says the wife. "In full sales mode, she started her pitch: 'Okay, there are two great things about this house...' And my husband said, 'Yeah. The yard, and the yard.'" . . .
Chicago Realtor : Q & A with Jean DufresneSpring 2011
Commercial Forum: Q & A with Jean Dufresne
Commercial Forum: As an architect, why did you think joining CommercialForum would be valuable to your business?
Jean Dufresne: My grandfather's favorite expression was, "Don't ever put all your eggs in one basket." My firm makes a conscious effort to diversify our projects and clientele. CommercialForum is a resource for anyone who wants to tap into a wider range of potential partners and business development ideas. It is one of several professional groups I belong to, most of which are expanding my reach in architecture.
CF: How have CommercialForum educational and networking events directly served your strategic goals?
JD: Knowing that residential development, which had been our bread and butter, was slowing down, CommericalForum events have helped us build new relationships that might lead to involvement in , or at least a better understanding of, commercial and other types of projects. We knew expanded relationships would be key to our continued success . . .
American Builders Quarterly : Responsible DesignJanuary / February 2011
SPACE Architects + Planners
SPACE Architects + Planners has been standing at attention since 2003. In fact, Jean Dufresne, principal and partner, will be the first to tell you that his firm was built on a successful foundation of paying attention to both details and clients.
As a boutique architecture firm, SPACE specializes in the Chicago-area market, from residential to commercial projects. "We handle every aspect of a project, from site selection, design, bid/permit/construction documents, interior design, construction administrations, and final delivery," Dufresne notes. The LEED-accredited firm also infuses all of its projects with as much environmentally responsible design elements as possible . . .
ENR Midwest : Top 20 Under 40January 24, 2011
Top 20 Under 40
As part of the premier issue of ENR Midwest, we set out to identify the rising stars in construction. We asked readers to nominate talented young professionals who were aged 40 or younger and based in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, or Wisconsin. From a field of 40 highly qualified up-and-comers, an independent panel of judges selected the top 20 on the basis of professional excellence; leadership in their company and profession; service to their profession and community; honors and awards they earned and their involvement in landmark projects. once ratings were compiled, the 20 candidates with the highest scores were named ENR Midwest's Top 20 Under 40.
JEAN DUFRESNE: In 2003, Jean Dufresne and business partner Jay Keller formed SPACE Architects + Planners, making an immediate impact on Chicago architecture, colleagues say. Dufresne soon emerged as a voice for sole practitioners and small firms in Chicago's design community. He is a LEED-accredited professional, certified interior designer, and self-certified professional with the City of Chicago . . .