Emerging Voices winner profile

Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Johnsen Schmaling Architects | Ferrous House, Spring Prairie, WI, 2007. Image courtesy Johnsen Schmaling Architects

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

Johnsen Schmaling Architects won a 2008 award.

Brian Johnsen and Sebastian Schmaling founded Johnsen Schmaling Architects as a design and research studio in Milwaukee in 2002. Exploring the local “tensions between a besieged urban rustbelt and its agrarian hinterland,” Johnsen Schmaling Architects informs its projects with “a poetic reading of site and terrain that rejects contextual mimesis as much as modernism’s preoccupation with self-referential objects.” Instead, Johnsen Schmaling’s intense dissection of context and cultural memory translates into an abstract palette of articulate architectural operations and a sober design vocabulary, transcending both entropic rustbelt fantasies and bucolic sentimentalism that, for decades, have stymied the architectural discourse in Middle America.

Recent and current projects include the Ferrous House in Spring Prairie, WI; the Camouflage House in Green Lake, WI; and the Parts House Pavilion and Blatz Housing in Milwaukee.

The work of Johnsen Schmaling Architects has been widely published in Architectural Record, Metropolis, Azure, Dwell, and Interior Design. Johnsen Schmaling has won several architectural competitions and has received numerous design awards, among them a National AIA Housing Design Award and several Honor and Merit Awards from the AIA Wisconsin.

Brian Johnsen received his MArch from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Sebastian Schmaling received a MArch from Harvard, a MArch from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Dipl. Ing. Architekt degree from the Technical University Berlin.