Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Chicago, IL

Licensed Architect

A native Chicagoan, grew up in the abundant stock of post war industrial housing of the area. This influenced me at a very early age that there must be a better way for homes to be designed. A lifelong interest in improving my skill as a semi-​professional musician and years of tinkering with projects and model making lead him to studying architecture at the University of Arizona. The school and living in the southwest exposed me to an emphasis in solar architecture and a new appreciation for the physiological importance of being close to nature. While at Arizona, I worked with professors Al Miller & Larry Medlin. Al Miller was the right hand man to Architect/Engineer/Philosopher Buckminster Fuller, while Medlin was a protégé of German architect Freii Otto, both continued the study of geodesics, tensile structures and doing “more with less” to minimize humankind’s impact on our “spaceship earth” as Fuller used to say.

While at Arizona, I was introduced to the Japanese martial art of Shotokan Karate-​Do. The intense physical practice over time transcended into understanding how the practice of this art form was also a path to spirituality. With my thesis work, I began the endeavor of studying how architectural environments may be designed using eastern philosophy, to encourage the opportunity for experiencing this transcendence within its users. I continued his practice of eastern Zen disciplines after returning to Chicago, studying Karate with Midwest Chief Instructor, Sugyama Sensei. This was followed by studying the art of Aikido with 9th degree black belt, Midwest Chief Instructor, Shihan Aikira Tohei.

My first apprenticeship was with internationally renowned architect/developer Bertrand Goldberg. “Goldberg’s work attracted me for he was the only architect in town whose original work is founded on the forms found in nature, which resonated within me.” This was followed by many years with Evanston designer/builder Andrew Spatz, where I continued studying curvilinear design, construction management and working within the means of real costs of construction. In 1995, I opened my Touhy Avenue Beach studio in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. My firm is continuing the efforts started with my thesis work via integrating my philosophy within our residential, commercial and retail interior projects. I now specialize in net-zero passive house design.

Environmentally Sustainable Choices

Certified Passive House Consultant; PHIUS Certified Passive House Builder; EPA Indoor Air Plus; DOE Net Zero Ready; Energy Star Certifications; LEED Platinum


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Mark A. Miller Architects/Builders Inc.

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