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Michael C Barnes, AIA, Leed AP


Michael Barnes collaborates with Dirk Lohan on the development of a project’s design and the firm’s management.  One of Mr. Barnes’ strengths is the breadth of project types he has designed.  His experience includes the design of public libraries, hospitality venues, and corporate headquarters, as well as religious and academic buildings.

Michael has worked for over 30 years on a diverse range of projects, through collaboration with talented and knowledgeable colleagues at Wight & Company, Lohan Anderson, and Lohan Associates. He also founded his own practice, michael c barnes architect, pllc, in 2018 prior to being invited by Dirk Lohan to be his partner in 2021.

His diverse experience includes multiple public libraries, cultural spaces, academic buildings, corporate offices, and residential projects of varied size.  He has been responsible for design of the acclaimed Dining Pavilion at Ravinia Festival including its recent refresh and expansion with the Ravinia Music Box, the award-winning Chicago Sinai Temple, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, and Calamos Investments’ Headquarters.

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Michael has established himself as a recognized expert in library design, having designed award-winning public libraries, including those in Des Plaines, Elmhurst, Orland Park, and several branches for the Chicago Public Library, as well as renovations to the libraries in St. Charles, Des Plaines, Evanston, and Orland Park.

In addition to practicing architecture, Michael has taught architectural design at the collegiate level and has served many times as an adjunct reviewer at the University of Illinois, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies degree in 1985 and his Master of Architecture degree in 1987. Michael has been licensed as an architect in Illinois since 1989.

Professional / Civic Organizations

  • American Library Association (ALA)

  • Illinois Library Association (ILA)

  • United States Green Building Council, LEED Accredited Professional

  • Society for College and University Planners (SCUP), Former Member

  • Frederick Law Olmsted Society, Former Board Member

  • LaGrange Public Library Building Committee, Past Volunteer Advisor

  • Illinois Library Association 2006 Annual Conference Program Panelist “Growing Pains...So You Need More Space?”

  • “Marketing Sustainable Design” 2006 SMPS Chicago Program Panelist

  • American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), Coached for 8 years


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