James D. Jordan Architects http://jdjarch.com/ JDJ Architects was founded in 2000 and specializes in commercial interior architecture. en-us Tue, 23 May 2017 20:41:41 +0000 Tue, 23 May 2017 20:41:41 +0000 Co-working offices for small law firms feature modern, professional aesthetic, privacy http://jdjarch.com/blog/co-working-offices-for-small-law-firms-feature-modern-professional-aesthetic-privacy Wed, 01 Mar 2017 15:46:00 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/co-working-offices-for-small-law-firms-feature-modern-professional-aesthetic-privacy There are more than 100,000 attorneys in the state of Illinois, and many may be setting up an office for the first time. Others may be downsizing from a larger firm. For them, a co-working space minimizes the risk of a costly office and staff, says Ron Bockstahler, CEO of Amata, which provides co-working offices and virtual offices for law offices and small businesses at six centrally-located and prestigious addresses in downtown Chicago. 

Bockstahler knew that shared office suite tenants have many choices when selecting a co-working environment, so he chose to focus on serving small law firms for the new space, which is located on the 16th floor at 161 North Clark Street in Chicago.

He then turned to JDJ Architects, interior architects for several Amata co-working centers, to design the company’s new 20,000 sq. ft. aLaw Center.  

While the requirements for a co-working space for small law firms may be similar to that of spaces for entrepreneurial business enterprises, law firms need to ensure client confidentiality. JDJ Architects created private meeting areas as well as areas for collaboration and quiet, focused work. All feature easy access to integrated technology, which allows tenants to work more efficiently and take advantage of the flexibility of co-working and the networking and synergies between peers and colleagues.

“The result, according to feedback from attorneys, is that the experience of moving to aLawCenters from big-law spaces is a seamless transition from their previous law firm offices to the high-quality and thoughtful design of 161 North Clark,” says Bockstahler.

Each of the aLawCenters offers a slightly different design aesthetic. At the new co-working space at 161 N. Clark Street, the elegant palette creates a positive, soothing environment through the use of subdued colors, textures and simple lines. Colors range from the traditional Chicago grays, to wood tones and considered touches of vibrant teal. 

“Our design incorporates a sleek, modern aesthetic with dark woods for warmth,” says James Jordan, Principal at JDJ Architects. “The sense of light and space and the use of jewel tones give the offices an upscale, professional look that inspires client confidence.”

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Easy-care white flooring in the elevator corridor features minimal texture, in contrast to the deep rich surrounding walls that open the space to a distinct reception area. Next to reception is the waiting area, which follows the current “resimercial” trend of creating a comfortable, familiar living room atmosphere to put clients at ease. A dropped ceiling in warm woods and an accent wall frame the waiting area and combine traditional elegant materials with more dynamic, colorful accents, resulting in a welcoming environment that caters to both young attorneys and senior partners.

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Conveniently located adjacent to the reception area is the more formal conference room, with a large screen system for videoconferencing and a whiteboard for strategy sessions. Dark finishes, contrasting white tones and a subdued teal color create a serene palette. A frosted door and windows afford privacy while admitting light; also adding light and interest is the expansive city view opposite the door.

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Jordan notes that furniture was selected in conjunction with Joanne Ciurla, furniture specialist at Arthur P. O'Hare, Inc. for the room’s function and ambiance. The design of the large conference room, with its long rectangular table, encourages the presenter or leader to ‘take charge’ of the room. In contrast, two smaller, more informal meeting rooms are furnished  with round tables seating up to six people to allow for collaborative exchanges; one small conference room has a small rectangular high-top table that seats up to four. Two huddle rooms for up to four people feature low-back, relaxed seating and coffee tables for reflection, discussions and exchange of confidential information.

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Other shared spaces at Amata include a sleek, industrial-chic cafe with a high-top bar, tables and chairs and comfortable booths, fostering tenant interaction and networking. This space serves as a casual place for informal client meetings and work from a laptop or tablet. A high-backed banquette within the cafe faces a large screen display for small-group viewing of videos and presentations. Oversized light fixtures help to delineate the cafe areas.

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Offices and office suites throughout the space introduce an earth-tone inspired palette that provides a harmonious vibe that evokes quiet confidence. Soundproofing and walls up to the deck minimize noise and protect confidentiality. And for small after-work gatherings, the co-working space features a Cognac Room, appointed with armchairs built for relaxation and a generous selection of celebratory beverages. 

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For Chicago building, a contemporary new image with smart, cost-effective update http://jdjarch.com/blog/for-chicago-building-a-contemporary-new-image-with-smart-cost-effective-update Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:44:00 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/for-chicago-building-a-contemporary-new-image-with-smart-cost-effective-update For building owners and managers, the appearance and upkeep of common areas is key to attracting and keeping tenants. Elevator lobbies, hallways, doorways, restrooms and other common areas impact the building’s image and the wellbeing of tenants.

Chicago-based JDJ Architects recently updated the common corridors and areas to complement a Chicago building's renovated building lobby. Keeping the budget in mind, the architectural firm looked at the main existing elements: ceiling, walls, floors and lighting and considered which interior finishes could stay and which needed to go. 

"Conceptually, the intent was to create a sense of space through the use of materials and light. The palette complements the recently renovated main lobby while also taking cues from the modernist architecture of the building itself, resulting in contemporary and inviting common areas," says Pablo Jones, project manager at JDJ Architects.

JDJ Architects’ team approach includes maintaining strong relationships with vendors so that information on finishes, product benefits, pricing and lead time is always available.  

The existing arched ceiling was incorporated as an element to inform the design of the renovation, and all interior walls and electrical points were retained. 

The new flooring In the elevator lobby was designed to mirror the geometry of the existing arched ceiling. The italian porcelain tile Casalgrande was selected  for its durability, ease of maintenance and low absorption properties, which makes it less prone to stains. A simple and elegant combination of white, gray and brown porcelain tile was installed in a settle pattern to accentuate the existing symmetry. 

"Casalgrande Italian porcelain tile has something for every application – interior and exterior, " says Tom Mikrut of Terrazzo &  Marble Supply Company. “Light to heavy traffic elevator lobbies are an ideal application for Casalgrande’s durable porcelain.”  

In common corridors, carpet tiles were specified, as they are easy to install and replace if needed. 

As to wall finishes, since the elevator lobby and common corridors are high traffic areas, Bolta and Genon vinyl contract wall coverings was specified to offer maximum durability and ease of cleaning.  A light color was selected for the elevator lobby to brighten the space and continue the monolithic design of the building's main lobby. For the common corridors, a medium gray tone was specified to minimize wear and tear resulting from normal use.

"Bolta and Genon wallcoverings are engineered to offer an array of design options without compromising performance in heavily trafficked commercial areas,” says Dan Brandt, MDC product manager.  “Whether the design vision calls for a deeply textured finish, bold signature prints, or wallcoverings designed to complement the surroundings, Bolta and Genon will meet all needs. The design offerings are aesthetically unique while offering one of the most cleanable and durable wall finishes available." 

Mindful of the budget, New lighting enhances the renovated space. LED wall sconces brighten up the elevator lobby, and LED perimeter fixtures enhance the glass tile in the restrooms. Direct/indirect fixtures provide the common corridors with a calm, glare-free appearance.

Common area restrooms are prone to wear and tear, so JDJ Architects incorporated a timeless and sleek design. A simple color palette and the use of traditional white subway tile with a hint of blue glass mosaic tile brings an elegant, more current look to the space.


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Invest in building lobby to attract and retain tenants http://jdjarch.com/blog/invest-in-building-lobby-to-attract-and-retain-tenants Fri, 02 Oct 2015 21:34:32 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/invest-in-building-lobby-to-attract-and-retain-tenants You have only one chance to make a good first impression, which is why the design of a building’s main lobby is so important. The lobby, along with other common areas, plays an important role in attracting and retaining tenants.

“It can also add to a building’s overall value and make it more saleable,” says James D. Jordan, principal at JDJ Architects, Chicago. JDJ Architects renovated the building lobby at Columbia Centre, a complex of three office buildings located in Rosemont, IL. Building occupancy rose from 70 percent to 93 percent, and the complex recently sold. “JDJ Architects gave our building common areas the sophisticated, contemporary look we needed to attract tenants -- and a buyer,” says Tom Saletta of Saletta Realty. 

Here are a few things to consider when renovating an existing building lobby:

Tie in with existing architecture

New design elements should work well with building elements and architectural style for a cohesive look. “By incorporating classic, timeless design elements, a building lobby can look fresh and current for a very long time,” says James D. Jordan, principal at JDJ Architects, Chicago. 

Choose high quality, durable, finish materials

Painted walls require additional upkeep, and changing color trends will make the walls look dated quickly. “Consider wood, stone, glass, and metals as primary finish elements; they will stay in style longer and their durability will help avoid numerous maintenance nightmares,” says Jordan. 

Carpet areas should be limited in size, such as around lobby seating, and should be capable of handling high traffic without showing signs of wear and tear. Recessed walk-off mats are highly recommended for buildings in wet and snowy climates for numerous reasons.These mats will remove the majority of water and debris from shoes, speeding lobby floor cleanup. Permanently-recessed mats are not only more aesthetically pleasing than surface mats, but they avoid the inevitable curling of surface mats which can become a major tripping hazard and liability.

Lighten it up

Consider updating the lobby by incorporating natural light and views whenever possible and removing light-blocking partitions and other superfluous elements. Light-colored tile or stone flooring also can help to make the lobby brighter and more welcoming.

Evaluate existing lobby lighting and consider updating it with LED fixtures. Lighting accounts for 30% of a building’s energy consumption. Even if the existing lighting design does not need an overhaul, LED fixtures provide significant energy cost savings. In addition, LED fixtures can last for decades without needing replacement, providing a return on investment in a very short period of time. 

Plan for tenant comfort and security

Lobby seating should be provided for building guests and tenants. This can include easy-care chairs or space-saving benches. If the building has a security desk, the look and location should be in keeping with the overall lobby design. It should also be situated so that security personnel can easily see and be seen by guests entering and exiting the building.

Overall, sticking with classic designs and brightening up a lobby can help building owners and managers improve tenant satisfaction as well as occupancy rates. “Clean lines, high-end natural materials and good-quality lighting can have a dramatic effect on a building’s overall appeal in the marketplace,” says Jordan.

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The new shared offices at Amata: cool, contemporary and collaborative http://jdjarch.com/blog/the-new-shared-offices-at-amata-cool-contemporary-and-collaborative Tue, 15 Sep 2015 23:28:00 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/the-new-shared-offices-at-amata-cool-contemporary-and-collaborative JDJ Architects returned after 10 years to redesign shared offices for Chicago-based commercial real estate firm  Amata, creating a vibrant renovation that encourages collaboration and interaction between the tenants, for an overall richer work experience.

“We have seen a real change in how workers are utilizing work space. Technology advancements allow workers to move around, utilize creative work environments and collaborate with fewer barriers. To meet these new demands, landlords have adjusted their floor designs, creating brighter, more functional environments and reducing the number of closed-off areas. Rather than just a kitchen area stuck in an interior room, large cafes with great views and multiple seating options are popular,” says Amata CEO Ron Bockstahler.

To meet these needs, JDJ’s redesign of Amata Office Centers, 150 N Michigan Ave, in Chicago incorporated concepts borrowed from the hospitality industry, with areas for planned and serendipitous meetings and conferences, a coffee bar and the popular Cognac Room for celebrations and after-work get-togethers.

“People’s ability to work from anywhere has given rise to new satellite offices and coworking spaces,” says Wilma Rendon, business development director at JDJ Architects, Chicago. “The change in the way we work required a rethink of the office environment to embrace flexibility, information-sharing and connectivity.” JDJ Architects worked closely with Amata, which has six Chicago shared-space locations and also offers virtual offices and leasing. “Amata does a very good job of staying connected with their clients and learning what their needs are.”

With cloud-based computing, the need for large work surfaces and file storage areas has been reduced, so the resulting shared-spaces are more open and light-filled. “Over the years we’ve seen the workplace change to become more dynamic and mobile,” says Rendon.

The new look begins with the central reception area for all of the shared-office guests, which layers color with texture to lead the eye through the space. A dynamic modular art panel forms the reception desk backdrop, and the open, flexible guest seating is set in two pods, flanked by Skyline glass featuring the graphic designs Alexander Girard.

“We wanted to create a contemporary, welcoming reception area for a vibrant first impression,” says Morgan Telang, project manager at JDJ Architects..

In addition to private offices for Amata’s shared-space tenants, the renovation created opportunities for flexible work areas, including tech-equipped huddle rooms, which provide a space for quiet collaboration and concentration; small sitting areas, with soft seating to encourage informal discussions; and a large conference room, incorporating impressive city views. The conference room, located near the Java coffee bar, encourages meeting participants to grab a quick coffee before meeting.

Socializing is welcomed at the centrally-located cafe, which features casual booth seating with dry-marker walls for fun, relaxed discussions. Traditional cafe seating combined with a high-top bar accommodates larger crowds and buffet-style serving for events.

After work, small groups of tenants and guests can unwind in the Cognac Room, sinking into comfortable chairs with a favorite beverage. The Cognac Room still retains the contemporary look and feel of the Amata space, but with a more “club-like,” relaxed vibe.

JDJ Architects worked closely with furniture manufacturers to create a workplace environment, carefully selecting furniture styles and fabrics to enhance the space and allow a cohesive look that contributes to the well-being of Amata’s tenants. The result is a comfortable sophistication that integrates color, texture and movement into the workplace environment.

“The word "evolving" is what keeps us engaged and moving forward,” says Rendon. “We’re designing workspaces that encourage productivity and creativity for the way we work today, and anticipating how we’ll work 10 years from now.”

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JDJ Architects Does Natural Contemporary at an Irish Dairy Cooperative http://jdjarch.com/blog/jdj-ornua-foods-project-featured-in-office-insight Tue, 15 Sep 2015 00:35:00 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/jdj-ornua-foods-project-featured-in-office-insight Office Insight recently featured JDJ's office design for Ornua Foods North America, Inc. JDJ worked with Ornua (formerly Irish Dairy Board) to craft an 8,000 square foot collaborative work space that reflects the unique traditions and culture of the brand.

JDJ Architects was featured in workplace design magazine Office Insight. The article, "JDJ Architects Does Natural Contemporary at an Irish Dairy Cooperative," details our architectural design work with Ornua, formerly Irish Dairy Board, and highlights the importance of a collaborative team approach that involves the client in the design process.

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JDJ Architects showcases a vibrant brand with a contemporary workspace for Ornua Foods North America Inc. http://jdjarch.com/blog/jdj-and-ornua-foods Mon, 06 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/jdj-and-ornua-foods A fresh look to reflect the brand and a contemporary, multifunctional workspace for a young, energetic staff were key to the design of the Ornua Foods North America Inc. offices by Chicago-based JDJ Architects.

The Evanston, Illinois sales and business development office is one of 11 North American offices for the dairy cooperative, which represents thousands of dairy farms in Ireland. Its largest brand, Kerrygold, is the top-selling imported butter brand and the number one brand in Specialty Cheddar in the U.S.The new office, which replaced a smaller space in the same building, was meticulously planned by Chicago-based JDJ Architects to showcase Ornua’s corporate tradition and culture and to accommodate collaboration and meetings with the regional sales teams. Prominent when entering the space is the new reception area wall, with photography by the Ornua team, which depicts the Irish countryside and brand logos. Office colors combine a lively green with a warm grey, complemented by white furnishings.

“We were looking for an earthy, yet modern vibe,” says Roisin Hennerty, President of Ornua Foods North America Inc. “And we wanted to highlight the grassroots quality of our brand.”

We wanted the space to capture the authenticity of our brand while highlighting the dynamic culture of our team and the remarkable growth we’ve experienced,” says Roisin Hennerty, President of Ornua. “JDJ invested time early in the project, gaining an understanding of our brand, the work and the people. They recognized the pivotal role that culture plays in our business and created a space that would enhance our ability to work collaboratively without compromising our authenticity.”

Also important to Ornua was a natural light-filled space that worked more efficiently than the previous offices, which had five-foot-high cubicles pushed into the center of the room. The new offices feature a partial skylight in the reception area, as well as walls of windows on two sides flooding the entire space with light, including central, but low-walled workspaces. The use of frosted glass doors and walls for perimeter offices and meeting rooms also keeps the space bright.

The offices include seven “hot desks,” laptop-sized spaces positioned against a window for a city view, to accommodate sales and business development staff visiting from other US and overseas offices.To enable both small and large group meetings and encourage collaboration, a small breakout room can hold up to six people and a large, sleek presentation room acts as a true multi-use space. “Everything in our space is very clearly thought out,” says Hennerty. Ornua has hosted 40 for formal luncheon, as well as dynamic Innovation & Ideation sessions. Tables and chairs fold and flip up quickly for receptions, and presentations look professional with a built-in flat screen. A large glass, instead of plastic, whiteboard lends a sophisticated touch. A sizable outdoor terrace allows for meetings and casual get togethers when weather is pleasant.

“We were delighted to work with the Ornua team to create a wonderful workspace,” says Wilma Rendon of JDJ Architects. “We were inspired by their commitment and care for staff members as well as the many dairy farmers they represent in Ireland.”

About JDJ Architects

JDJ Architects, Chicago, Illinois, reimagines commercial interior architecture, designing inspiring and productive work environments. The firm partners with corporations, building managers and tenant brokers and provides a full range of planning, design, documentation and code compliance services. For more information, visit jdjarch.com.

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How to plan for productivity and growth by redesigning your workplace http://jdjarch.com/blog/how-to-plan-for-productivity-and-growth-by-redesigning-your-workplace Mon, 08 Jun 2015 16:52:00 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/how-to-plan-for-productivity-and-growth-by-redesigning-your-workplace More than 15 years of experience creating office interiors with an array of functions, styles, locations and budgets have taught us that it’s not one size fits all. That is why we love what we do.

Moving, relocating, downsizing or expanding your workplace can actually uplift your business. It can improve employee morale, boost productivity and even help to energize your operation.

Before you start the search for your new office space, however, take the time to reflect, assess your current workspace and set goals. Do you need to add workspaces for future employees? Are you thinking of reorganizing your space because of changes in your company’s product or service offerings? Do you think that a new space will help your firm to operate more efficiently? What kind of growth are you expecting?

Engage an architect to help you brainstorm and develop a program and plan for your new office. With an architect as part of your team, he or she can evaluate possible office locations and help you choose a location best suited for your company’s needs. Your architect can work with managers at the buildings you have selected to do quick test fit layouts of the space.

How does this program get translated by an architect to fit your company’s personality, brand and future growth? Each client has a unique work style but all environments ultimately need to support the company's growth and the employees’ well being. You can develop your space to accommodate a range of design and work styles.

Recognizing the varying needs of the workforce is key. The current dynamic open space plan benefits companies with people who require continuous collaboration and thrive in this environment. In contrast, the conventional walled office offers advantages for employees who require a quiet space to excel and focus. This design also is essential for businesses that need offices for private discussions and exchange of sensitive information. Balancing these secluded, private areas with collaborative, casual environments allows for a diverse set of experiences during our work day. Some combination of public/private spaces will suit most companies.

Ultimately, a well-thought-out space is an extension of the company’s personality and brand. It inspires, motivates and supports growth. Sometimes we don't realize the impact of our workplace design, yet we spend many hours in it every day.

Stay tuned: in the weeks to follow, we will present simple, smart solutions and show you that there is a unique solution for every client and every budget and they all share a common goal: creating a happy, healthy and productive workplace.

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Hanging out after work: The Cognac Room http://jdjarch.com/blog/hanging-out-after-work Mon, 08 Jun 2015 16:46:00 +0000 jdj@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/blog/hanging-out-after-work ChicagoInno recently hosted an Office Hang challenge to find the best office spaces to enjoy an after-work beverage and conversation with colleagues and featured our client, Amata Office Centers. JDJ Architects designed the first Cognac Room and several subsequent Cognac Rooms for Amata Office Centers. It proved to be a popular space because of its elegant yet convivial feel, and has since been duplicated at all six Chicago area locations. 

While the look and feel of all of the Cognac Rooms are basically the same, the color palettes vary depending on the Amata Center location's tenants. Amata's 150 N. Michigan Ave. location in Chicago, for example, appeals to its marketing company clients, so the colors are vibrant and energizing; the Cognac Room at the Amata Center in Naperville, which has an understated, neutral palette, was designed for that location's mostly financial and banking clients. 

"The mission, for JDJ Architects, was to create a signature space so that Amata's shared-space tenants can relax and unwind with colleagues after a long day, or host a more casual client meeting or get-together," says Jim Jordan, principal at JDJ Architects. "The Cognac Room, while still modern, has a more classic look and offers a slight reprieve from the contemporary colors and styling of the other common areas."

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Our Projects http://jdjarch.com/projects Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:13:20 +0000 http://jdjarch.com/projects Tom Saletta, White Oak Realty Partners Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:33:00 +0000 wredon@jdjarch.com Holly Duran, HDREP Fri, 07 Nov 2014 15:46:00 +0000 wredon@jdjarch.com Contact http://jdjarch.com/contact Sat, 04 Oct 2014 00:38:07 +0000 http://jdjarch.com/contact 2401 W. Ohio St.– Suite 1N
Chicago, IL 60612
Get directions

t – 312-850-2200
f – 312-850-2215

e – info@jdjarch.com

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Homepage http://jdjarch.com/ Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:59:59 +0000 http://jdjarch.com/ It’s all about spaces that inspire. Work environments that encourage collaboration but also enable privacy and quiet conversation. Inventive space planning for the way teams work now, with an eye to the ever-changing business landscape.

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Firm http://jdjarch.com/firm Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:25:32 +0000 http://jdjarch.com/firm For more than a decade, James Jordan has transformed office environments throughout Chicagoland, creating dynamic, thoughtful, client-focused designs. Inspired by entrepreneurial verve, Jordan established his own firm in 2000. James D Jordan Architects, Ltd. meets clients' unique needs and aesthetic goals by delivering strong analytical strategy and bold imagination. Loyal employees and a roster of return clients are testimony to Jordan's uncompromising work ethic and commitment to excellence.

James Jordan holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a licensed architect (Illinois). He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a Registered Energy Professional in the City of Chicago, and is a Chicago Self-Certified Architect.

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Offices of Amata Law Centers http://jdjarch.com/projects/amata-161-n-clark Wed, 14 Dec 2016 18:48:42 +0000 alishapax http://jdjarch.com/projects/amata-161-n-clark Co-working space for legal firms helps them to grow

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Projects http://jdjarch.com/portfolio/projects Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:02:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/portfolio/projects About us http://jdjarch.com/about/about-us Sat, 04 Oct 2014 00:30:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/about/about-us James D. Jordan, Principal, AIA, ALA, LEED-AP

For nearly 20 years, James Jordan has transformed building interiors and office environments throughout Chicagoland, creating dynamic, thoughtful, client-focused designs. Loyal employees and a roster of return clients are testimony to Jim’s uncompromising work ethic and commitment to excellence.

He formed JDJ Architects in 2000, specializing in commercial interior architecture. His previous position introduced him to commercial interiors, where he discovered his passion for the fast-paced work, mathematical calculations and the hands-on construction details.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a licensed architect in Illinois. A member of the AIA and ALA, he is a LEED-accredited professional, a registered energy professional in the City of Chicago, and is a Chicago self-certified architect.

Wilma Rendon, Business Development

Wilma Rendon’s career in architecture spans eighteen years. It began in Quito, Ecuador where she worked as an associate designer for DIPLAN, a prominent architecture firm in Ecuador. Ms. Rendon taught at two major Ecuadorian universities.

In 1994, she moved to Chicago and served as a project manager for Morgante Wilson Architects (MWA). In 1996, Wilma created and led the MWA marketing department, working with industry leaders to successfully promote the growth and national recognition of the firm.

Since 2000 in conjunction with her life partner James Jordan, she has contributed to the creation and development of JDJ Architects. Wilma believes in a holistic design approach in which teamwork is the foundation for an all-inclusive project solution. 

Alena Jewell, Project Management

Alena Jewell is passionate about sustainable design, involved in Biomimicry Chicago, and loves the idea that buildings can mimic nature--a naturally perfect system. Outside of the office, she serves as the treasurer for the University of Florida Windy City Gators college scholarship program, is a marathoner for PAWS - supporting no-kill shelters and was previously a green event organizer and logo designer for AIA Chicago Committee on the Environment.

Originally from South Florida, Alena has called Chicago her home since 2006. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Design in Interior Design and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. She earned her Master of Architecture degree with a focus on graphic design from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Alena has experience in a wide variety of project types from inception to completion, and is skilled at developing brands and building client relations. 

Karisa Vargas, Project Management

Karisa knows that thoughtful design represents the spirit of the client and captures the essence of the space. Her designs are characterized by elegant clean lines and a sophisticated style that emphasizes new construction techniques and innovative sustainable materials. 

Her passion for architecture began more than 10 years ago when she first volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in the Dominican Republic. After working in residential design for several years in Santo Domingo, she moved to the U.S. to further her education. She's been involved in commercial design projects since 2012. Karisa holds a Master of Interior Architecture degree from the Art institute of Chicago and a Professional Degree in Architecture from the Iberoamerican University in the Dominican Republic.


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Architectural Services http://jdjarch.com/services Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:25:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/services Tenant broker services
  • Analysis of prospective spaces
  • Pre-lease consulting services, including space programming analysis
  • Pre-lease space planning and schematic design 
  • Budgetary construction cost analysis
  • Tenant space design and construction documents

Building owner services

  • Commercial architecture interior design/redesign/refresh
  • Existing conditions documentation
  • BOMA square footage calculations
  • Lease exhibits/marketing plans
  • Building standard manuals
  • Code compliance analysis

Corporate clients

  • Space programming analysis
  • Culture and workstyle-based design development
  • Millwork design and furniture specifications
  • Construction documents
  • Bidding & negotiation
  • Permitting
  • Construction observation
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For Tenant Brokers http://jdjarch.com/services/for-tenant-brokers Fri, 03 Oct 2014 23:30:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/services/for-tenant-brokers We help make your deals happen, with a seamless process that enables us to quickly understand your client’s needs. We perform cost benefit analyses and test-fit plans in several locations so clients can select the optimum space for their needs. 

After that, JDJ Architects further develops the design, keeping in mind your client’s vision and brand identity. With approved designs, we move into construction documents and permitting. JDJ Architects is self-certified in the City of Chicago and also understands the complex permitting requirements of the numerous Chicago suburbs.

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Amata Office Center - 150 N. Michigan http://jdjarch.com/projects/amata-office-center-150-n-michigan Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:15:00 +0000 wredon@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/amata-office-center-150-n-michigan Repeat clients are king. They are testament to a happy client.

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Our Clients http://jdjarch.com/portfolio/client-list Thu, 29 Jan 2015 02:24:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/portfolio/client-list Selected Clients
  • Levi Strauss
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Pepsico
  • J Power 
  • Metlife
  • Amata 
  • Fiserv 
  • Verizon
  • Lufthansa German Airlines
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 
  • Wyndham Hotels 
  • Young America
  • Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
    (CMAP)
  • Zurich North America
  • Holly Duran Real Estate Partners
  • McKesson
  • Irish Dairy Board
  • Benefit Express
  • Cavanagh Law Group
  • Crawford & Company
  • Epstein Becker & Green, LLC
  • Travelon 
  • Levy Family Partners 
  • Liberte Investors, Inc. 
  • Williams Group Holdings 
  • Open Advanced MRI 
  • Clarion Associates, Inc. 
  • Sperling & Slater 
  • Green Courte Partners
  • WLS-TV
  • Fleetmatics
  • FFastfill
  • Elliott's Off Broadway Deli
  • Verizon
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For Building Managers/Owners http://jdjarch.com/services/for-building-managers-owners Sat, 04 Oct 2014 00:02:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/services/for-building-managers-owners It’s all about first impressions. Whether your building needs a total renovation or a budget-friendly refresh, JDJ Architects redesigns lobbies, elevator cabs, common corridors, fitness centers, cafes, roof decks, restrooms and other common areas to help attract and retain tenants. We work with building managers to evaluate traffic flow, effective use of space, and creative reuse of materials whenever possible.

JDJ Architects can ease the arduous process of building records documentation and management, code compliance, leasing services and more. We survey a tenant space or an entire building to create an existing condition plan and transform dated blueprints into current CAD drawings. We also perform all building floor area calculations in accordance with BOMA standards. JDJ Architects evaluates existing, new and renovated tenant spaces for building code and ADA compliance and supplies proper evacuation plans for all floors and spaces as jurisdictions require.

To assist with leasing and property marketing, JDJ Architects also offers development of a building standards manual, which describes available finishes, and provides marketing plans to promote building amenities, highlight floor plans and describe location assets.

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Ornua Foods North America http://jdjarch.com/projects/irish-dairy-board Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:26:00 +0000 ahmed@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/irish-dairy-board Maximizing natural light and integrating new spaces for collaboration

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For Corporate Clients http://jdjarch.com/services/for-corporate-clients Sat, 04 Oct 2014 02:47:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/services/for-corporate-clients We do our best work to help you do yours. For nearly 15 years, we have designed workplaces for a diverse roster of clients, from boutique offices to large corporate spaces, and for each, we strive to realize our client’s singular vision, incorporating the company’s brand and work style. At the heart of the process is our collaborative studio approach, which allows the JDJ Architects team to combine experience and knowledge to design comfortable, energizing spaces that foster productivity and creative thinking.

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Columbia Centre Complex http://jdjarch.com/projects/columbia-centre-complex Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:12:00 +0000 ahmed@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/columbia-centre-complex Refreshing lobby and common areas for improved occupancy

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Akoo International http://jdjarch.com/projects/akoo-international Fri, 10 Oct 2014 01:54:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/akoo-international Incorporating a vibrant brand identity

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Oasis Legal Finance http://jdjarch.com/projects/oasis-legal-finance Mon, 06 Apr 2015 17:21:00 +0000 wredon@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/oasis-legal-finance Distinctive color palette for growing funding firm

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American Digital http://jdjarch.com/projects/american-digital Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:03:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/american-digital A sleek, contemporary workspace 

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211 E. Chicago Ave. http://jdjarch.com/projects/211-e-chicago-ave Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:21:00 +0000 wredon@jdjarch.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/211-e-chicago-ave Modern look for storied 1965 building

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Amata Office Centers http://jdjarch.com/projects/amata-office-center Wed, 08 Oct 2014 22:12:00 +0000 ahmed@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/amata-office-center Maximizing space in shared office center

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Cavanagh Law Group http://jdjarch.com/projects/cavanaugh-law-group Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:05:00 +0000 ahmed@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/cavanaugh-law-group Traditional + contemporary for Chicago law office

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Colgate Palmolive http://jdjarch.com/projects/colgate-palmolive Wed, 08 Oct 2014 19:41:00 +0000 ahmed@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/colgate-palmolive Energizing work environment preserves brand identity

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J-Power http://jdjarch.com/projects/j-power Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:35:00 +0000 ahmed@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/j-power Minimalist design for Japanese energy firm

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Williams Group http://jdjarch.com/projects/williams-group Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:34:00 +0000 usha@paxrodentia.com http://jdjarch.com/projects/williams-group Light-filled space encourages collaboration

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