Respected 18-year firm veteran to “lead from the front” at DuPage County architectural studio
Zach Wiese got into architecture because he enjoys solving problems. During his 18 years with Legat Architects, he has solved many problems. Building owners have turned to Wiese to help with challenges ranging from code compliance issues and roof leaks to major new construction.
Now he will apply his knowledge at the management level: Legat Architects has appointed Wiese to studio director of its Oak Brook, Illinois location.
The position tasks Wiese with supporting project teams by maintaining a culture of learning, collaboration, and accountability. He will ensure projects are staffed appropriately, deadlines are achieved, and clients get designs that support their building users and communities.
“Zach’s approachability to employees and dedication to clients make him the ideal candidate for this position,” said Berry DeSimone, Legat’s chief operating officer. “He has proven to be a strong and decisive leader who brings the best effort from the people he works with.”
Throughout his career, Wiese has been a trusted resource among emerging professionals. Stating that “I’d never ask employees to do something that I wouldn’t do myself,” he will “lead from the front” by continuing his role as a senior architect.
Coworker Robert Musial said, “Zach doesn’t play favorites, and no matter how busy he gets, he’s always willing to take time out of his day to make sure people are understanding and learning.”
Wiese replaces principal Jay Johnson, who held the position for 10 years. Johnson will intensify his focus on projects and quality assurance.
A Well-rounded Initiation
When he graduated from the University of Michigan in 2000, Wiese heard many horror stories about novice employees at mid- to large-sized architecture firms getting pigeonholed into doing the same thing all day. Legat’s emphasis on giving recent grads a well-rounded experience is what drew him to the firm. Wiese was quickly immersed in all phases of projects.
Today, he continues to work on everything from details to construction administration at projects such as schools and senior living centers, as well as municipal and corporate facilities.
Wiese cut his teeth in the industry on educational projects. Major projects in his portfolio include sustainability pioneers Colin Powell Middle School (Matteson, Illinois) and Hubble Middle School (Warrenville, Illinois), as well as major additions to Niles North High School that were part of a $112 million, two-school project. Currently, Wiese is project architect for $38 million in renovations at LaSalle-Peru High School in LaSalle, Illinois.
Taking Care of Healthcare Clients
Wiese has also developed a specialty in code-related projects for healthcare providers. When the State of Illinois tags a rehabilitation/skilled nursing facility for a code violation, achieving compliance could require costly alterations. Wiese relies on his knowledge of code, honed on over 150 projects, to help clients avoid such an expensive fate and find a way to resolve the tag.
Another area in healthcare where Wiese excels is additions and rehabilitations to skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities. For instance, he led four simultaneous large additions at Generations at Neighbors, which was occupied throughout construction. Owner Generations Healthcare Network then tasked Zach with similar projects at other facilities.
“Zach has worked with us on three large projects, and in each case, the end result is a masterpiece,” said Kirsten Schloss, VP of physical plant and dietary services at Generations Healthcare Network. “We’re grateful for all of his knowledge, hard work, and loyalty throughout the years.”
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