Kaufman | O'Neil Architecture

“Architecture forms the backdrop of our lives. It serves to witness and give context to the events of our lives as well as natural phenomena like a sunrise or sunset. The most successful architecture enhances and highlights special moments and events, whether by revealing the changing colors of a sunset or providing adequate mingling space for guests at a dinner party.”

Jim Kaufman

James W. Kaufman, AIA, Principal

For over 20 years, Jim’s architectural career has afforded him the opportunity to work on an incredible variety of projects ranging from small single family renovations to complete new luxury high rise buildings. With work ranging from adaptive re-use of Landmarked Buildings to new ground-up construction, Jim’s experience included work in the office as well as extensive on-site interaction working directly with contractors. Jim brings that vast experience of design, detailing and project management to every project in which Kaufman O’Neil engages.

Prior to Kaufman O’Neil, Jim worked with highly respected firms in the architectural and development community including Rugo Raff Architects, VOA, Sandvick Architects and Related Midwest, formerly LR Development. Notable projects include the adaptive re-use of the historic Cleveland Arcade in Cleveland Ohio, the luxury Residences on Lake Shore Park in Chicago and Canyon Ranch Chicago.

Jim believes that the key to a successful project is a strong, cooperative and considerate relationship between members of the project team including the Owner, Contractor, Sub-Contractors, Design Team and Consultants.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree from The Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture degree from The University of Illinois at Chicago, is a registered Architect in Illinois and Michigan, NCARB certified and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Jim Kaufman

Timothy M. O'Neil, AIA, Principal

Although Tim’s early career was significantly spent over a drafting table and constructing models, he loves the digital tools now available to architects. The ability to quickly develop designs and effectively communicate them to clients allows greater client participation in the design process.

Tim has been fortunate to work in the Midwest and East Coast since leaving school for the work world. Projects types have ranged from large worship facilities to high rises to single family homes and resort communities. Working in New York gave him the opportunity to experience all of Manhattan’s warts as well as wonders. Working in Turks and Caicos taught him a new respect for hurricanes, building codes, and indigenous building techniques. He has never felt more at home than in Chicago with both architectural and natural wonders to admire and occasionally curse.

Prior to forming Kaufman O’Neil’s partnership, Tim contributed to many successful and award winning projects at development companies CMK and Related Midwest, formerly LR Development and the architectural firms of Richard Rice Architects in NYC and Ware Associates in Chicago.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a registered Architect in Illinois and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Jim Kaufman

Lindsey Olsen, Project Manager

Lindsey joined Kaufman O’Neil Architecture in 2016 after eight years of practice in a well-known Chicago Architecture firm. With experience in project types including institutional, cultural, landscape, multi- and one of her favorites, single family residential, Lindsey is able to collaborate on designs of varying types and scales. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and is an accredited LEED AP.  

Jim Kaufman

Marjorie Gascon, Project Architect

Marjorie joined Kaufman O’Neil Architecture in 2015. With more than 10 years’ experience in residential design, Marjorie brings a solid background in incorporating a range of building techniques into new construction and renovations throughout Chicago and the surrounding area. Marjorie works directly with owners, consultants, and contractors to manage all aspects of the design process for a successful project.

Marjorie holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a registered Architect in Illinois, and is certified to pour the perfect pint of Guinness.

Jim Kaufman

Justice Leppanen, Project Designer

For over fifteen years Justice has worked in architectural offices, furniture design firms, metal fabrication studios, artist ateliers, zoos, and aquariums, from Chicago to San Francisco and New York City.

Once a metal fabricator and skilled craftsman, Justice returned to school to study interior design. His exposure to the construction industry and many aspects of the built environment give him unique insights to your project. His record of delivering high quality finished products that exceed client expectations and his experience are evidence to his effective interpersonal skills not only with clients, but with contractors and skilled tradesmen as well.

A Chicago native, Justice received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Furniture Design and his Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from Columbia College Chicago. His experience ranges from high end residential to exhibitry and commercial projects for firms and such as Dan Blue Studios, Shedd Aquarium, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Bronx Zoo WCS, Product and Design, Roman Thomas, Tsao McKown, RAL Industries, Bohn Design, Griskelis Young Harrell, and Andres Imaging.

Justice can be frequently be found racing his bicycle as a Cat 3 cyclocross racer for Evanston’s own Pony Shop. He is also an accomplished printmaker who maintains his own intaglio etching studio and has exhibited his work in galleries in New York and Chicago. His green thumb keeps our office looking great and blossoming through the seasons.