Danielle Tillman

Chicago - Managing director at bKL Architecture

Describe what you do. I imagine the spaces that people walk by or walk through. As managing director, I touch a little bit of everything, from client interface and business development to master planning and concept design, to reviewing drawings during construction.

What first sparked your interest in architecture? As a child, I had an affinity for art, math and science. I also enjoyed driving all over the city looking at buildings. Architecture fused all of my interests.

What has been the key to your success? Hard work, focus and patience. I have learned a lesson from every task and every project.

How would you describe your aesthetic? Classic and modern, but with a slight edge.

Blend-in buildings or standout buildings? Both. A successful building should relate to its context and have the ability to withstand time, but there should still be something to make it unique and modern.

What is your favorite color palette? Gray with blues and teal.

What’s the best bang for the buck to make a big impact on a project? It’s all about the details, like the choice of exterior material. The look and longevity of the investment starts with the exterior wall.

What do you wish more of your clients understood? I have been fortunate to work with great clients, and I think one of the most important things they understand is that good design makes good financial sense.


Photography by: Photo by Katrina Wittkamp