Morris Architects Planners


Founded by John Morris, Morris Architects Planners is an architectural practice based in Chicago, Illinois. Since 1984 he has provided a broad scope of architectural services with a special emphasis on performing arts projects. Morris Architects Planners also has established practice areas in residential, retail, and commercial architecture.

Known for buildings that are conceptually clear, MAP involves building owners in a collaborative process to create a project which meets or exceeds clients' needs and expectations. The firm's objective is to design spaces that raise artistic standards while respecting context.

John Morris, AIA

John Morris, AIA, has had distinguished careers in both professional theater and architecture. In 1986, he founded the firm James, Morris & Kutyla, where he designed residential and commercial projects. In addition, he headed the firm's theater design division, leading design teams for several adaptive re-use and new-construction theater projects, including the internationally-acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company's home in Chicago. Other Morris-designed spaces in Chicago's Loop and off-Loop theater and performing arts districts include the Noble Fool, the Lookingglass Theatre, the Raven Theatre, the Beverly Arts Center theater, the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, and the Old Town School of Folk Music's performance space.

For ten years prior to 1980, John worked on over 200 professional theater productions in Detroit, New York, and Chicago. He owned and operated an independent scenic studio in Chicago, where he designed sets and lighting for local productions. John has also worked as scenic artist, master carpenter, stage electrician, rigger, stage manager, and technical director. He has worked with the Goodman Theatre, Meadowbrook Theatre, The Apollo Theater, and Second City, among others. John has been artist-in-residence for the Chicago Council on Fine Arts, and he has taught set and lighting design for a summer program at Cranbrook Institute in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

"It was his fondness for stagecraft that lured Morris into architecture in the first place, and provided him with some of the hands-on savvy he draws on in designing theaters today. But in a roughly competitive town like Chicago, his rising profile is worth examination. This is particularly true since his most challenging job - a new home for Steppenwolf Theatre - may turn out to be one of the best new legitimate houses seen here for some time." -- Paul Gapp - Architecture Critic - Chicago Tribune

David Burns

David brings an expertise in design documentation and project management to Morris Architects Planners. Since completing his studies at Kansas State University and the Helsinki University of Technology, he has focused his professional work on managing the design documentation process to provide structures that meet the client's needs and budget.

David has worked on over 15 projects since joining Morris Architects Planners. He was the project manager for the recently completed performance space at the Francis W Parker School. David is currently managing the CA duties for Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN.

Before joining Morris Architects Planners, David worked at Warman Olsen Warman in Chicago, and was involved in numerous projects as the Project Architect and Project Manager including the Tarkington School of Excellence for the Chicago Public Schools, a new Satellite Location for the University of Chicago Hospitals, and a new five-floor 39-unit condo mid-rise in Chicago.

Jon McNeely, AIA, LEED AP

Jon has extensive experience in design documentation with a specialization in presentation graphics. After graduating from the University of Miami School of Architecture, he has focused his professional work on 3D presentation materials,from environmental studies to animation editing.

Before joining Morris Architects Planners, Jon worked at RVL Architects in Miami, FL and RTKL Associates in Chicago. He has been involved in numerous projects as an active member of the design team, including the renovation/expansion of Christiana Mall in Delaware.