For over 50 years, Lucien Lagrange has designed iconic architecture and interiors in Chicago and around the world. In 1985, Lucien began his own practice, one that has grown to include Managing Principal Alfredo Marr, and Design Principals My-Nga Lam and Victor Krasnopolsky. Together, we share ideals regarding quality design, hands-on work ethic, collaboration, and trust.
A studio approach
A hands-on team of professionals who apply deeply rooted, cross-disciplinary architectural insights and collective expertise. We bring projects to life. LLP adapts and responds to our clients’ needs, exceeding expectations and sparking the imagination of surrounding communities. The result is distinctive design–high-value projects that stand the test of time. Our studio culture allows for an exploratory design approach that is less rigid/structured. This results in engaged studio culture.
We’re a small studio with a deep understanding of people and lifestyles, capable of taking on complex architectural projects. We collaborate internally and with clients, offering direct, personal contact and the ability to design for any scale. Our studio size translates to streamlined efficiencies, with results delivered unencumbered by bureaucracy. With decades of experience, Principals at LLP provide a strategic understanding of the big picture and an effective approach, from design to buildout.
An understanding of people and lifestyles
We apply a human-centered approach to our work, evoking a sense of place, refinement, security, and livability. Each project considers the full experience of the building – the approach from blocks away, the threshold of arrival, and the feeling of connection that remains for years to come.
We design for humans. Building homes that make people feel valued and protected. Our approach works from a user’s perspective, designing for what’s both tangible and intangible. With a deep knowledge of building, construction, people, and lifestyles, we understand the process of development and the interplay between projects and neighborhoods.
Design That Endures
With a legacy grounded in quality and value, our projects do more than simply stand the test of time; they increase in value as decades pass. This is a testament to the relevance and resonance of their enduring design.
It’s the little things that craft a memorable experience. We bring intense focus to color, materials, and fixtures, ensuring each selection reflects the project’s greater vision. We bring value to the design of a building through a rigorous architectural process: a similar upfront cost as other firms but greater return on investment over time. LLP projects exude artistry and detail while offering comfort and utility for the people who live and work within them.
Artistry in architecture
We value thoughtful building design. LLP buildings are recognized for fine details, elegant proportions, exquisite craftsmanship, and timeless quality. They are truly memorable with purposeful architectural achievements, distinctive in appearance, and by design.
Thoughtful design provides added value to client properties. LLP understands the psychological impact of transitioning from space to space: whether it’s guiding a vacationer from a luxurious hotel to the ocean or a CEO from the city, to a motor court entrance, to her private residence.
Design invites captivating, inspiring experiences. A sense of home, artistry, and comfort are all apparent while simultaneously building value and retaining marketability. Our buildings are recognized for fine details, elegant proportions, exquisite craftsmanship, and a certain timeless quality—distinguishing them as truly memorable, purposeful achievements.
For the past 35 years, Lucien Lagrange has built a legacy as one of the most respected architects of his generation.
Born in France and schooled in Montreal, Lucien has designed contemporary skyscrapers, classically inspired commercial mixed-use structures, and sophisticated renovations, many defining the local Chicago cityscape and others gracing cities around the globe – all of which have earned international renown.
Before founding his own firm in 1985, Lucien Lagrange was with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where he designed major office tower and retail projects, among others, across the nation. Some of Lucien’s most notable projects include the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Erie on the Park, and Chicago Union Station.
As an architect in Chicago for more than 20 years, My-Nga Lam has left her mark on the industry, the firms she has worked with, and on iconic properties in Chicago and beyond. In her role as design principal with Lucien Lagrange Partners, My-Nga oversees all design work undertaken by the firm, which specializes in luxury residential and hospitality projects. With a keen understanding of lifestyle needs and how people truly occupy their spaces – gleaned from her years of work in the residential sector – she heads up an insightful, strategic design process that balances the goals of the clients, the needs of the end-user, and the inherent interplay between a building and its surroundings.
My-Nga’s tenure with Lucien Lagrange Partners brings her full circle back to the earliest days of her career when she first started out working with Lucien at Lucien Lagrange Architects, his firm at the time. After more than eleven years with the company during which she was part of notable projects including the Waldorf Astoria, 10 East Delaware, and Lincoln Park 2550, My-Nga shifted gears and spent several years at other prominent firms including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Solomon Cordwell Buenz before re-joining the Lucien Lagrange Partners team. Today she marries her rich background in luxury residential design with insights and knowledge gained in roles that required her to think creatively around project complexities and budgets. The result is a strategic approach through which she meets the client at their level, while remaining dedicated to delivering the quality and craftsmanship for which the firm is known.
Experienced in commercial, residential, hospitality, and public sector work, Alfredo’s skills streamline production processes and ensure maximum efficiency. He has worked on top-tier projects, including Lincoln Park 2550, 10 East Delaware, JW Marriott in Chicago, the King Abdullah Road Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and a mixed-use high-rise building in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Alfredo has spearheaded projects for more than 30 years with companies including Jones Lang LaSalle, Teng & Associates, and McDonald’s.
For over 30 years, Victor Krasnopolsky has been driven to find better ways to approach architectural problems. His work has spanned projects from bubble gum factories to baseball stadiums and everything in between.
Victor’s expertise is instrumental to how we maintain a collaborative atmosphere while delivering the highest quality design. When he’s not working on our next major project, Victor spends his time sketching out new concepts and finding creative solutions to architectural problems.
With a wide range of interests and skills, Michelle Uctum ensures that everything we do at Lucien Lagrange Partners runs according to plan. She balances day-to-day tasks that help our studio run smoothly while developing long-term financial strategies.
Michelle has worn many hats throughout her career. Starting in accounting, she’s leveraged her ability to master new skills into roles in human resources and accounting software implementation. Outside of the office, Michelle finds inspiration in her family and classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films.
Joseph Lai brings a passion for humanity to everything he does. As a Senior Architect here at Lucien Lagrange Partners, Joseph is deeply involved in our collaborative process—helping craft and refine the details that make our buildings stand out.
Originally from Taiwan, Joseph grew up in Madison, WI and Chicago and has lived in New Orleans and Washington, D.C. He’s proud to have a career that has given him the opportunity to use his skills to positively impact cities and neighborhoods across the country through design.
At the heart of everything Carlos Valdes does is perseverance. Whether he’s honing his musical abilities or spearheading build processes, Carlos knows what it takes to push the needle forward.
Carlos was drawn to Lucien Lagrange Partners after studying and traveling throughout Europe, taking a passion for old-world design sensibilities with him. Today, he’s proud to bring his skills and experiences to the place he sees as the epicenter of architecture: Chicago.
In just under a decade as an architect, Josh Whitener has leveraged his unique design perspective into an impressive range of projects. Though he’s helped steward several major builds from concept to completion, he still finds inspiration in how a humble sketch can become a skyline feature in the right hands.
When he’s not at work, Josh finds time to explore the city’s neighborhoods and coach fifth-grade basketball.
Creating a positive impact through architectural design has driven Carl Sillman since his college days. A UNESCO grant opened the door for him to travel to Nepal, inspiring him to focus his thesis on designing accommodations for Tibetan refugees.
Carl’s global travels have been central to how he approaches design. Today, he feels fortunate to have found a studio that carefully considers the full impact of everything they produce.
Making people feel welcomed plays a significant role in how Kellen Plutowski views architecture. Prior to joining Lucien Lagrange Partners, he worked in Las Vegas on hospitality projects as a designer and coordinator.
Kellen’s insight into the unique experience created by a building has led him to contribute many memorable details built environments, including at the Hard Rock Hotel in Kansas City.
As a resident of the Loop, Christian Newman always finds inspiration in the ever-evolving Chicago skyline. He’s a firm believer in the power of process and collaboration and enjoys the opportunity to hone his skills as part of the Lucien Lagrange Team.
Outside of the office, Christian is a dedicated father and avid musician. You can see his band, Angfang, at different venues around Chicago.
From Serbia to London to Chicago, Kosta Sevic’s path to Lucien Lagrange Partners has given him plenty of stories along the way. He’s worked with shipbuilders in Finland on luxury cruise ships to single-family residential projects across the U.S.
In addition to his past industry experiences, Kosta finds inspiration in books, art, and history.
For Bahareh Shirkhanloo, architecture is like a puzzle. And she’s passionate about making sure every piece fits. Bahareh’s experiences have taken her from her home in Tehran to North Carolina, to our studio in Chicago. Along the way, Bahareh has gained experience with every step of the design process.
After hours, Bahareh enjoys playing in competitive tennis leagues and painting.