JNKA’s Areas of Expertise

JKNA believes that successful buildings are the direct result of thoughtful and thorough collaborations between the owner, architect, and contractor.

We believe that our primary strength lies in our thorough understanding of a multitude of design related issues pertaining to religious buildings. This includes architectural, liturgical, and interior design, acoustics, lighting, and landscape design.

After the exact scope and nature of a particular project’s design and engineering needs are defined during the Master Plan and Schematic Design Phase, JNKA expands the required professional expertise to include selected consultants that would best complement the Owner-Architect team. Typical project teams include civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering consultants.

Through our 50 years of experience, we have developed a broad network of expert design consultants, appropriate product resources, contractors, and subcontractors who understand and can meet the special needs of each project. The JNKA Team has the capabilities to work well with building committees, assist with fund-raising and budgetary concerns, and to meet aggressive project schedules.

JNKA’s Services

JNKA takes great pride in its ability to manage all phases of its building projects. From design inception through completion of construction, JNKA maintains continuity in project management and is proactive in guiding its clients during each phase as required to successfully realize their goals.

From the Visioning, Master Planning and Design Phases, through the completion of the Construction Phase, JNKA is committed to developing strong working relationships, providing steadfast guidance to its clients, and maintaining a very collaborative and team oriented approach to working with consulting engineers and contractors to assure the success of its projects.

All of our work is overseen by one of JNKA’s Principals, and a Principal or Associate is assigned to manage each project based on their experience, expertise, or personal connection and understanding of the particular client. The project manager then directs all phases of the project from the master plan through the completion of construction. This approach provides continuity in communication, management and leadership over the duration of our projects and insures our personal and professional relationship with each client, which is essential to the success of every project.

On an as-needed basis, other members of the JNKA team are assigned to work on our projects directly under the project manager’s supervision, including project architects, interior designers, LEED certified professionals, design coordinators and intern architects. The project architect will assist the project manager in directing the architectural and engineering work and will also serve as an additional contact/liaison with the client, contractor and other professional associates and consultants.

A Master Plan is a comprehensive inventory of the current physical and spiritual assets, with detailed projections for future activity. It starts with an analysis of the past and present and ultimately develops a blueprint for future growth. Jaeger Nickola Kuhlman & Associates can be of great assistance, helping to create a Master Plan that will result in a new building, renovation, or an addition that will serve the community now and for years to come. This is perhaps our greatest strength as an architectural firm.

Our architects and engineers begin by making a complete evaluation of the existing building(s) and the site. Does it meet the local building and zoning codes? Is it in need of physical repair? In what areas does it need to be expanded?

Community leaders then set out on a fact-finding mission to identify the activities and requirements of all the user groups that will use the facility. As architects, we meet with the key individuals and user groups, conducting personal interviews to gain insight and perspective. This dialogue is instrumental in giving us the proper perspective of our clients’ needs.

The Master Plan is an exercise in soul searching. It stimulates discussion, sets expectations for analyses and elevates vision. When completed, it tells what the community is able to do, and what it is not able to do. The community will find itself asking “Does this help fulfill our purpose? Are we meeting our current needs? Can we afford to do this now? Are we anticipating the future?”

And finally, by helping the community to identify its needs, our Master Plan process makes the community more aware of how they interact with the physical building, making them better caretakers of the final building product.

JNKA believes that it is important to have a strong relationship between worship spaces and their liturgical furnishings. The materials and forms of these uniquely designed furnishings can emphasize the sacred aspects of religious worship within the surrounding space and reinforce the overall visual impact. A coordinated relationship between the various furnishings is also important for creating a unified statement about the presence and purpose of the liturgical items.

JNKA works closely with the Liturgical or Worship Committees to establish the parameters and budgets for the liturgical items. Once designs and materials have been finalized, competitive quotes from liturgical artists and fabricators are obtained and the coordination process continues through installation.

Whether a primary liturgical furnishing such as altar, pulpit, or baptismal font, or secondary furnishings such as candlesticks or credence tables, our liturgical designs are developed with respect to each church community’s individual beliefs and approach to liturgy. Always rooted in the fundamental guidelines and direction provided by the particular church client, the elements of liturgical design become customized expressions that reinforce the faith community’s liturgy and work within the unified environment of the entire worship space.

JNKA offers housing and residential design services to religious communities and faith-based senior housing providers, universities, colleges and non-profit affordable housing developers. Drawing from the professional experience of the JNKA staff, including over 11 years serving Catholic Charities of Chicago’s Housing Development Corporation on a wide range of senior housing projects, and coupled with our current and recently completed residential projects, JNKA provides master planning and full architectural and interior design services for independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, student housing, and religious housing projects of all sizes.
JNKA provides interior design and space planning services as an integral part of new or renovated building projects and for interior build-out projects. From dynamic and colorful interiors for educational spaces, to more sophisticated interiors for senior living and corporate work environments, JNKA takes great pride in its ability to design interiors that reflect the identity and values of the end users. JNKA can also provide assistance with the selection, layouts, materials and finishes for interior furnishings, including classroom and systems furniture.
JNKA performs Property Conditions Assessments that help our clients to understand and maintain their buildings more responsibly through evaluations of the exterior grounds, building envelope (roofs, walls, windows, doors, etc.), interiors, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems of their existing properties. With our team of architects, engineers, masons, roofing contractors and specialty consultants (i.e. stained glass window specialists), our process documents the existing conditions of our clients’ buildings and identifies code deficiencies, life safety violations, areas of air and water infiltration, and building systems equipment items that need to be repaired or replaced. Budgetary cost estimates are also developed for the recommended or required work and integrated into 10-year spreadsheets that serve as maintenance plans for the properties. With these services, JNKA helps its clients to be good stewards of their physical and financial resources and responsible managers of the built environment.

Additional Skills & Services

  • Adaptive re-use conversions and renovations of old buildings to new uses
  • 3D computer modeling and photo-realistic color renderings and video animations
  • Obtaining design approvals from municipal boards or commissions
  • Assistance with selecting qualified general contractors, construction managers, and subcontractors
  • Assistance with selecting qualified acoustical consultants
  • Assistance with selecting qualified lighting design consultants
  • Assistance with selecting qualified audio/visual consultants

What Clients Say

“You requested a brief statement containing my opinion about the renovation of St. Basil/Visitation Church. I found it very well done. The result is a skillful blend of the original architectural design with changes that enable today’s liturgies. The church invites community prayer. You and your fellow architect can be proud of it. It is a ‘house of God.'”
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I, Archbishop of Chicago
“JNKA is a firm that listens and respects its clients. They are very sensitive to the unique identity of their clients and worked well with our diverse building committee during every step of our Master Planning process through the completion of construction for the first phase. I would highly recommend JNKA to any church or faith based client seeking architectural services.”
Rev. Bonnie Beckonchrist, former Pastor of the Fist United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights
“Your warmth, skill and ownership during the building project were impressive. The leadership team learned so much from you.”
Sheila Reed, Business Manager, Grace Lutheran Church of LaGrange
“Working on a church is not just another construction project. JNKA ‘gets’ church. They respect the need to meet deadlines and honor cherished, sacred places and traditions […] Not a day goes by that the congregation and I are not mindful of the enormous undertaking and the incredibly beautiful and functional results of our partnership with JNKA”
Diane A. King, Flossmoor Community Church
“The office of Catholic Schools uses JNKA regularly to conduct feasibility studies, code reviews and school design. […] Having JNKA on a project immediately instills a sense of confidence that the project will be well programmed, designed, and managed.”
Lynne Allen, Former Project Manager, Archdiocese of Chicago