architecture is community art.
We have broad expertise with commercial, municipal, residential and mixed-use buildings. As specialists in adaptive re-use, we enjoy the challenge of renovating existing buildings into new purposes. At the same time, new construction provides the opportunity for additional creativity and a clean slate. We work with owners to achieve their vision, incorporate important design details that will stand the test of time, and aim for practical budgeting that ensures a project’s success.
The Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens is situated along the banks of the Rock River in Sinnissippi Gardens. The Conservatory is the third largest in Illinois, and its highest point stands 52 feet tall to accommodate the unique exotic plants and trees that it houses year-long. It acts as a beacon and landmark along the river, providing a venue for several events throughout the year.
Wahl Clipper Corporate Headquarters
Wahl Clipper Corporation is a world leader in professional and home grooming devices. Founded in Sterling, Illinois over one hundred years ago, the company wanted to develop a new corporate headquarters building that could better respond to an increasing global demand for its products.
Prairie Street Brewhouse
Located on the east bank of the Rock River, the Prairie Street Brewhouse has become synonymous with the revitalization of downtown Rockford. Originally the home of the Peacock Brewery, this landmark building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the largest historic preservation projects in the region.
Company 251 is a 20,000 square foot event space imbued with industrial charm and modern luxury. Formerly the home of the International Harvester Manufacturing Company, this 1908 industrial building in Aurora’s Middle Avenue Historic District retains a raw and historic character with ghost lines of the original building’s use.
The Lawrence Brothers and Stanley-National complexes are former manufacturing buildings that have shaped the southern gateway to Sterling, Illinois for over 100 years. The success of each enterprise was manifested in the sheer size of their buildings; put together, the complexes have over 688,000 square feet of space.
The historic Keefer Hotel was a social center for Hillsdale and many public and private functions were held there after its construction in 1864. Several well-known guests graced the halls of the hotel including Annie Oakley, John Ringling, and “Buffalo Bill” Cody. To date, the building serves as one of the most historically intact buildings Studio GWA has had the pleasure to work on.
Rockford Public Library
The main branch of the Rockford Public Library has been located along the banks of the Rock River since 1902. Prior to the library’s construction the property was used as a gasification site. In order to remediate the site, the existing 88,000 SF structure needed to be removed, which entailed an extensive analysis of current and future needs as well as possible temporary and new locations for the main library.