The Kubala Washatko Architects
640 S. Fifth St., Milwaukee
Neighborhood: Walker’s Point in Milwaukee
Founded: TKWA was co-founded in 1982 by Allen Washatko and Tom Kubala.
Owners: Chris Socha, Matt Frydach, Vince Micha, Erik Hancock and Ethan Bartos
Service: Architecture, urban design, interior design, historic preservation and tax credits
Who are your clients?
Chris Socha, TKWA partner: “Our work is diverse and wide ranging, from designing new schools in China to repurposing a historic neighborhood butcher shop for a nonprofit arts organization down the street. Currently, we are helping redevelop the Grand Avenue Mall to create a dynamic new urban place.”
What is it like to work in your office?
“Our work environment is informal and collaborative. Based on project and client needs our staff may divide their time between our two Milwaukee-area locations, our primary office housed in a historic power plant along Cedar Creek in Cedarburg and our TKWA UrbanLab office set in an urban storefront in Walker’s Point.”
Where does TKWA draw inspiration for designs?
“We take a holistic view of design. Each project is a unique response to specific physical, cultural and ecological attributes. We seek to create places that are authentic, timeless and meaningful.”
How has the neighborhood changed?
“The opening of TKWA UrbanLab (in Walker’s Point) coincided with a major street reconstruction that transformed the public realm – widened sidewalks, narrowed vehicle lanes and the addition of street trees have created a pleasant pedestrian environment. The investment in the street spurred the adaptive re-use of many existing buildings. New renovations have attracted offices, restaurants, and craft makerspaces.”