Erin Bahrke, AIA


Erin is a licensed Architect in the state of Illinois, a LEED AP professional and a member of the American Institute of Architects. 

Erin graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a B.S. in Architectural Studies in 2001.  She was a member of the professional fraternity Alpha Rho Chi and participated in the study abroad program in Versailles, France for one year.  Erin attended Parsons School of Design in New York City for graduate studies.  While in NYC, she accepted a position at Zakrzewski & Hyde Architects, learning how detailed planning and complex drawings are key to simple elegance in minimalist home design.  Residential Architecture became Erin’s passion. 

Eager to be closer to family, Erin relocated to Chicago in 2003.  She worked for Nicholas Clark Architects, where she learned the permitting process in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.  She was the project manager on a 54-unit Condo Conversion and many home Addition/Renovations, as well as New Construction projects.  Erin was involved in every aspect of the projects, from conception to construction.  In 2006, Erin joined Kathryn Quinn Architects (KQA).  She was the project manager on many high-end contemporary and traditional residential projects.  Her highest achievements include a new hilltop home near Napa Valley and a new 14,000 sq. ft. home in a landmarked district in Chicago's Lincoln Park.  Erin attributes KQA for sharpening her skills as an Architect and bringing out her talent to design appropriate, thoughtful homes that are refined yet understated.  She continues to look to Kathryn as a mentor.   

Erin is a member of the American Institue of Architects and was a participant in AIA Chicago's 2014 Bridge program.

Extensive travel though Europe and South America has made a profound impact on Erin’s interest in architecture, culture and lifestyle.  But traveling also helped solidify her understanding of home and the importance of creating and maintaining a place to call home.  Erin founded Abode Architects, Ltd. in 2013, in Evanston, where she resides with her husband and fellow Architect, Scott Utter, and their daughter.  She was drawn to Evanston by the tree-lined streets filled with beautiful homes that serve as a living collection of architectural styles. 

Jennifer Ries

Jennifer has more than 15 years of professional architectural experience focusing on building preservation and repair. She graduated from Kent State University in 2000 with both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture degrees. Before arriving in Chicago in 2004, Jennifer worked in Winston-Salem, North Carolina documenting and producing repair drawings for historically significant churches and buildings in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and throughout the Southeastern U.S. Jennifer has worked for Harboe Architects, PC in Chicago where she had the opportunity to work on numerous historically significant buildings including Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple restoration, Sullivan Center Cast Iron Restoration, Mies Van der Rohe's Crown Hall at IIT, and Main Building at IIT.

Jennifer is drawn to the hands-on aspect of field work, building documentation, and investigation. She enjoys the challenge of marrying historic construction methods and detailing with modern design solutions. She currently resides in Oak Park where she is inspired on a daily basis by the large variety of early twentieth century architectural styles.

Jennifer has been working with Abode Architects since 2018. She is a licensed Architect in the State of Ohio and NCARB Certified. She currently serves as an active member of the Restoration Committee at Pleasant Home in Oak Park. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys bike riding with her family, sailing, and traveling.

Heather Mees

Heather graduated from the University of Illinois in Chicago with a M.Arch in 2014.  She worked as a Teacher's Assistant in Structures.  She received a B.A. in Music and English from Colgate University in 2004.  She taught piano on the North Shore for 7 years before returning to school to pursue her interest in residential Architecture.  

Heather has worked for Goodfriend Magruder Structural Engineers, Morgante Wilson Architects and Kathryn Quinn Architects. 

She built a scale model of the Reliance Building in school that she keeps as a doll house! 

Photo Credits:

Lori K Sapio Photography / / LoriSapioPhotography

Instagram: @Lori_Sapio_Photographer