blending optimism and realism is our recipe for success
We’ve been improving quality of life through design since 1982 when our founder and principal architect, Gary W. Anderson, decided he wanted to change the trajectory of a community. His dedication to the revitalization of Rockford Illinois’ downtown – honoring its unique architectural history while building spaces that met the community’s needs for the future – was visionary. Where others saw abandoned properties, Gary saw possibility. That unique blend of determination, optimism, and realism has become the firm’s calling card.
Over the years, Studio GWA has become the home to other like-minded urban planning, architecture, interior design and development professionals. Their flexibility, adaptability and creativity make them easy to work with and acknowledged stars in their respective fields.
The firm has a well-deserved reputation for being undisputed experts in historical renovation and adaptive re-use and we apply our place-making expertise to a variety of these and new construction projects.
No challenge is too big for our dynamic team that thrives on stretching our capabilities to make the improbable quite possible.
From early financial feasibility studies and community engagement to final touches for interior design, our services cover the planning, design and development of any project.
amazing work starts with having an amazing team.
Easy collaborators. Creative powerhouses. Powerful advocates. Problem-solving masters. Our team members have been called all these things and more. Check out their impressive creds and discover who prefers to travel on two wheels, who does the best impersonations, and who is mastering paddleboard headstands.
Gary W. Anderson, AIA
Jennifer Spencer, AIA
Partner, Senior Project Architect
Aaron Holverson, AIA
Partner, Senior Project Architect
Ashley Sarver, AICP
Partner, Senior Urban Planner
Erin O'Keefe, AIA
Michael Smith, AICP Candidate
honored to be recognized for great work
awards & recognitions
We don’t do great work for the awards, but recognition from some of the industry’s most well-respected associations and organizations sure is nice. Our work and team members have earned recognitions from:
We want to make a positive, measurable contribution to the communities in which we live and work. Here are just a few of the organizations to which we dedicate our time and financial support.
317 Art Collective
AIA National Associates
AIA Prairie Chapter
American Planning Association (APA)
Congress for New Urbanism (CNU)
Friends of the Coronado
Friends of Ziock
Indian Hill Manor Illinois Historic Group Directory (IHGD)
International Interior Design Association (IIDA)
Jason Pettigrew Memorial Scholarship
National Association of Realtors
National Council of Architectural Registration
Natural Land Institute
River District Association
Rockford Area Arts Council
Rockford Area Association of Realtors
Rockford Art Guild
Rockford Art Museum
Rockford Register Star
Salem Lutheran Church
Urban Land Institute
Studio GWA does not currently have any vacant positions, but we are always interested in discussing opportunities with talented designers and planners. Feel free to contact us if you think you would be a unique fit.
We can’t wait to connect with you. *denotes required field
200 Prairie St. Suite 201
Rockford, IL 61107