Principal, Rinka Chung Architecture
756 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee
Family: Wife: Renee. Children: Kyle and Alex.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“We have added some very talented and experienced studio members to our already remarkable team in the past year. We consider the most valuable component of architecture to be great ideas, and everyone in our studio contributes to make the projects inventive and unique. The livability and vibrancy of Milwaukee, along with the exciting projects that are happening in the city, are attracting architects from other areas to make the move.”
What’s new at your company?
“We continue to push the realm of virtual design experiences in architecture, whether it’s new rendering/animation software or virtual reality walk-throughs of the building models. Almost everything in our office is modeled in 3-D before it is built, and we’re always upgrading our virtual tools.”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“We tend to think about this in the context of the business sectors we serve as they are constantly changing. Whether it is financial services, restaurants, residential or any other project type, each project is an opportunity to learn from the last and to innovate on the next one. We find that by deeply understanding the goals or challenges our clients face, design solutions can be directed to meet their objectives, often in unexpected ways.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“Deliver exceptional service to our clients. We’ve intentionally focused our business on creating relationships and doing great work rather than frequently chasing specific project opportunities. This has led to a high percentage of repeat work from some of the most influential companies in the city. And it’s fun for us – we enjoy the relationships as much as the projects.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“I’ve been fortunate to have several brilliant mentors in my career, but my business partner Matt Rinka has been the most influential. His balance of business savvy and being a great architect is exceptional. The company is celebrating its 11-year anniversary and has steadily grown each year.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“I recall interviewing my grandfather for a grade school project and I asked him a similar question. He answered with the golden rule – do to others what you want them to do to you. The profound simplicity of this has always stuck with me.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Everything outdoors. Hunting, fishing, boating, skiing, biking or just a backyard BBQ. Milwaukee and Wisconsin are so blessed with outdoor recreation opportunities in all seasons. My latest interest is salmon fishing on Lake Michigan – watching the sun rise over the lake to the east with a stunning view of the city skyline to the west (and the chance of catching a big fish), all within a few minutes of my house, underscores how unique and special our city is.”