Johnsen Schmaling Architect's studio.


The work of Johnsen Schmaling Architects represents a unique synthesis of conceptual rigor, technical know-how, and an unsurpassed attention to detail.  Specializing in high-end residential and commercial design, Johnsen Schmaling Architects offers a full range of architectural and design services, from masterplanning and schematic design to construction administration, furniture design and graphics.  A thorough understanding of site and program for each individual project, combined with a passionate interest in materiality and building technology, lead to innovative and environmentally sustainable design solutions with uncompromising artistic integrity. 

The two founding principals, Brian Johnsen and Sebastian Schmaling, have been widely recognized as distinctive emerging voices in contemporary American architecture. In 2008, Johnsen Schmaling Architects received the Emerging Voices award from the Architectural League of New York, and Architectural Record featured the office in in its prestigious Design Vanguard issue as “one of ten exceptional global architecture firms to watch.”  Residential Architect, published by the American Institute of Architect, selected Johnsen Schmaling for the 2012 Top Firm Award, praising the “stoic brilliance” permeating its work.   Exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, Johnsen Schmaling’s work has received more than 70 professional design awards, including 25 national and regional Honor and Merit Awards from the American Institute of Architects, a National AIA Top Ten Green Projects Award, a 2011 Annual Design Review Award from Architecture magazine, a Contract Design Award for Public Spaces, a Record Interiors Award, an Architype Review Award, a Metal Architecture Design Award, a North American Wood Design Award, as well as several Project of the Year Awards from Residential Architect magazine. In addition, Johnsen Schmaling’s projects and texts have been featured in countless books and design periodicals here and abroad, including Architectural Review, Metropolis, Architectural Record, Architect, Dwell, Detail, Architectural Digest, Azure, Harvard Design Magazine, Architects’ Newspaper, Plan, a+a, ofArch, Interior Design, GreenSource, Modernism, Architectural Lighting, Frame, Monitor, GQ, Landscape Architecture of China, Vision, Interni & Design, Arquitectura & Construção, Deco, D Casa, Häuser, Competitions, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal.

Brian Johnsen, AIA, NCARB, grew up in Chicago and received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, LEED AP, is originally from Berlin and received a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University, where he graduated with distinction; a Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and a Dipl. Ing. Architektur degree from the Technical University Berlin. Both licensed architects, Johnsen and Schmaling are currently Professors in Practice at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.  They frequently lecture on their work in the United States and Europe and continue to teach as visiting critics around the country, most recently at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Toronto, and the University of North Carolina.