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George Johannes

George Johannes, AIA, has been teaching Professional Practice courses in the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design since 1994 and is currently a faculty advisor in the Sustainability Exchange. After earning his Master of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, Johannes accepted a position as architectural designer with the highly regarded and national award-winning firm Hoffman/Saur Associates. His work there primarily involved educational projects, including a new high school for the Parkview School District in west St. Louis County.

Over the next several years his work included high-rise luxury condominiums and a number of restaurants. Due to his educational design experience, Johannes was recruited by The Christner Partnership, Inc. in 1976. His early work there included several educational master plans, a number of elementary and secondary school projects, and ultimately the programming, design, production, and project management for a new high school in Craig, Colorado, for Moffat County.

In 1980 Ted Christner asked Johannes to take on leadership of the firm as managing partner. During his tenure there from 1980 to 1990, the firm grew from 19 to 70 individuals, including 35 architects. This growth caused TCP to rise from the 26th-largest firm to the 5th-largest in St. Louis, allowing it to design and manage larger projects, including St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond Heights, Missouri, and a $40 million flight simulation and research and development center for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis (now Boeing), for which Johannes was the managing director of a team of 20 architects and engineers.

In an effort to re-immerse in the architectural design process, particularly on smaller, less complex projects, Johannes left TCP and founded with partner Tom Cohen the Johannes/Cohen Collaborative, Inc. Johannes served as president from 1992 to 2006. Project types included single-family residential, new housing for HIV-AIDS victims, historic rehabilitation of abandoned warehouses for Historic Tax Credits, land planning projects for Bi-State Development and Trailnet, many restaurants (including the Tap Room and Sqwires), the Hope Clinic for Women, the Kingsbury Animal Hospital, and the “Kayak” building for Washington University.

Since 2006, practicing as George W. Johannes, AIA Architect, Johannes’ work has focused largely on new and remodeled residential projects. Additionally, he completed a 40,000-square-foot “Clubhouse” project for Independence Center, a day-place facility for social communing for severely mentally ill individuals. His research, analysis, and expert testimony for lawsuits challenging highly restrictive state laws intended to shutdown abortion clinics has been significant in recent years, including the successful U.S. Supreme Court decision in “Whole Women Health v. Hellerstedt (State of Texas),” which overturned their restrictive building code regulations.

Throughout Johannes’ over 1,000 projects, his attitude toward the object of architectural design has consistently evolved toward a belief that the beauty of architecture should emerge from the elegance, clarity, and correctness of the underlying logic of the design decisions and their implementation. Once the final product emerges, its beauty should emanate from its obvious logical correctness.

Work by George Johannes

Interior view of renovated office space showing exposed timber structure and masonry columns with suspended lights

Independence Center – St. Louis, Missouri

40,000 sf conversion of an abandoned factory and warehouse to a “Club House,” a day facility for communing, working, and socializing for severely mentally ill individuals. Programmed activities include preparing and serving meals, banking, fund-raising, accounting, a flower shop and resale shop. All planning and design decisions were made by consensus of the volunteer planning committee, open to all staff and Club House members.

Johannes provided all planning and architectural services as George W. Johannes, AIA Architect.

Exterior elevation view of Moffat County High School

Moffat County High School – Craig, Colorado

Project Manager, Project Designer/Programmer & Project Architect for a new $9 million high school for a community rapidly expanding during the oil shale extraction period on the Western Slope of Colorado.

Work completed while serving as Managing Partner of The Christner Partnership, Inc.

Master Plan of the Chain of Rocks Bridge identifying features and assets on the Missouri and Illinois side of the Mississippi River

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Master Plan – St. Louis, Missouri

The abandoned Chain of Rocks Bridge had been the connection between Missouri and Illinois for US Route 66 prior to the new I-270 bridge construction. The bridge was leased to Trailways, Inc., a cycling promoting non-profit. The bridge was to become part of a bike trail connection between the two states. Johannes/Cohen Collaborative was hired to provide bridge modification designs to accommodate cycling and pedestrian use, as well as to create a destination for this historically significant crossing. Johannes was the planner and designer of the proposed modifications and master plan.
An interior view of the retail shop with a counter and register int eh foreground, checkered flooring, and neon signage descriptive of the clothing for sale

ScholarShop – Webster Groves, Missouri

The ScholarShop is a retail shop selling donated previously owned quality clothing to raise money to provide interest-free loans to prospective college students through the Scholarship Foundation. Johannes was designer and project manager. The design intent was to create a quality image while using inexpensive and donated materials.
Interior photograph of the playroom

Win Family Residence – Clayton, Missouri

A new 11,000 sf home on four levels was designed for a young family of six in an established 1934 neighborhood. The design required both architectural review board approval and a zoning variance on setbacks. The house was designed to meet LEED certification requirements and includes geothermal wells in the front yard.
Photograph of the entry walkway

Sinquefield Lakehouse – Folk, Missouri

This 6,000 sf house was designed as a guest house on a 1000+ acre estate in rural Missouri. It presides at the end of a created 17-acre lake in a beautifully designed landscape. The central portion of the house in visually open, while the flanking wings provide privacy for the four bedrooms.