What do you picture when you imagine the setting where you’ll live out your final years?  Regardless of health status, an authentic SENSE OF HOME is a core psychological need among the aging.  In fact, from a psychological standpoint, residents who live in senior communities without a sense of home are considered homeless.


Barry Yang, AIA, Associate & Senior Design Architect, just made a presentation, Better Senior Living Spaces: Creating a True Sense of Home, at the 2019 AIA National Convention in Las Vegas on June 8.  If you are interested in creating spaces that support residents’ independence, dignity, health, and ability to enjoy life, please contact Barry for more information.

Bary C Yang
Associate & Senior Design Architect
Director, Senior Living Environments
Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Milwaukee, WI

TOC – Better Senior Living Spaces-Barry Yang

Raasch Named New CEO of Zimmerman Architectural Studios


Milwaukee, WI (For Immediate Release)  —  Steve Raasch, AIA, LEED-AP, EDAC and current president of Zimmerman Architectural Studios, has been nominated as the firm’s new Chief Executive Officer.  Zimmerman Architectural Studios is one of Wisconsin’s oldest and most successful architecture firms and employs a professional staff of more than 110.  The firm provides a full spectrum of building design services including:  architecture, engineering, interior design, planning and landscape architecture.

Raasch succeeds Dave Stroik, AIA, who has led the firm since being named president and CEO in 1999.

Steve’s passion for his profession, innovative approach and commitment to client service led to his appointment as CEO.  Steve has driven the reinvention of Zimmerman’s culture, strategy and business efforts, bolstering its place in the industry.  “This is the perfect time for Steve to accept the role of Zimmerman’s next Chief Executive Officer.  He is a champion of the Firm and has an incredible connection with employees and clients”, shares Dave Stroik, the Firm’s retiring CEO.  “Steve has a gift for organization and tenacity.  He will pursue a goal long after I would have given up – the perfect quality to lead us into the future”.

With over 30 years of architectural planning, design and project management experience, Raasch has focused on projects delivered within the healthcare environment for over two decades. His notable clients include: Froedtert Health; Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; Aurora Healthcare; Rogers Hospital; Milwaukee County and Marshfield Clinic.   Since accepting nomination as the president of Zimmerman Architectural Studios in April of 2018, Raasch has been a key figure in the firm’s renewed focus on commercial, industrial and mixed-use market segments.  Healthcare, education, municipal and recreation facilities will also remain central areas of expertise that drive the firm’s practice.

In addition to being based in the area throughout his career, he attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering before earning his degree from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dave Stroik will continue with the firm as Director of Client Services.  In this role Dave will assist in a variety of sectors – marketing, profitability and client satisfaction.  Stroik joined Brust-Zimmerman in 1975.  He was named President of the Zimmerman Design Group in 1999 and was instrumental in re-focusing the firm’s efforts on client satisfaction, design excellence and maintaining the business for future generations.  During Stroik’s tenure, the firm advanced sustainable design practices, energy conservation and new component technology.   In 2000, the firm received an “Architectural Firm Award” from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and in 2016 was named Architecture Firm of the Year by the Daily Reporter’s “Newsmakers” publication.  Additional initiatives led by Stroik include the firm’s 2006 re-brand, which included a name change to our current Zimmerman Architectural Studios, and also the development of a new headquarters building, a multiple award winning adaptive re-use of an early 20th century industrial building in Milwaukee’s resurgent Menomonee River Valley.

Zimmerman Architectural Studios, which traces its roots to the firm formed by Peter Brust in 1906, is among the top 50 oldest Architecture firms in the United States according to Design Intelligence.  The firm currently ranks among the Top 300 US Architecture firms by Architectural Record.    Primary service market sectors include healthcare, education, commercial, municipal, recreational, religious and multi-family housing building planning and design.  The firm’s headquarters renovation project was most recently recognized by the Business Journal as the areas “Coolest Office” in 2018.

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Zimmerman’s Milwaukee Public Museum Conceptual Design | Museum in the Park

Design Approaches to Museum Architecture

Zimmerman Architectural Studios – MPM Design

Museum architecture is the social product of a city & society. It is related to the history of a city & should fit into the existing urban fabrics. Museum architecture expresses a level of “monumentality” as part of its public function or social mission. This “monumental value” can be achieved through its symbolic expression of a communal building, a social gathering place, an educational resource, or a research center. Its architectural form serves as its own architectural characters.

Museum architecture’s basic function is to “serve” the artwork it surrounds. It plays a supportive role to “house” other works of art, rather than overpower the art with artistic aspirations of its own. Its interior design, room layout, & architectural form with historical associations should be designed with careful “neutrality.” “Neutrality” seems to satisfy what museum professionals expect of exhibition spaces. In other words, a museum should serve as a “laboratory” for visitors’ sensual perception & critical thinking. Kimbell Art Museum designed by Louis I. Kahn (1972) is a great example of this design approach.

Contemporary architects tend to have the motivation to establish the primacy of architecture over art. What really matters is not the art inside the museum, but the museum architecture itself. The exhibited artwork is thus considered as second-best or as decoration for architecture. This design approach to museum architecture considers a museum as a “public dormitory, entertainment center, or cultural shopping mall.”

Museum architecture has three components, namely exhibited spaces, administration spaces, & catchment spaces (reception, lobby, restaurant, cafeteria, library, gift shop, computer rooms, etc.). In the 19th century, the exhibited space occupied 90% of the museum spaces, while it only occupied 34% of the museums built in the past 55 years.

Too many museum buildings gave cities a new face & life, but little innovation/progress has occurred in the exhibition rooms, the very rooms for which the museum is built in the first place. A museum should present works of art in an environment where Space, Light, & “Emotional” Condition are ideal.

Which design approach do we take? Do we consider museum as (1) sculptural architecture (Guggenheim Museum-Bilbao, Frank Gehry, 1997), (2) the open museum (Center Pompidou, Renzo Piano, 1977; Guggenheim Museum-New York, Frank Wright, 1959), (3) a converted monument (Grand Louvre, I.M. Pei, 1989), or (4) museum with traditional manifesto (State Gallery of Stuttgart, James Stiring, 1984; J Paul Getty Museum, Richard Meier, 1997)?

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