It’s a rare man who can say after 50 years in a business, more interesting.” That’s how architect Lou Chiodini describes his work, which probably goes a long way toward explaining why he’s been so successful.
Born and bred here, Chiodini grew up in South St. Louis, the son of Italian immigrants. While still a youngster, he worked summers as an office boy at Hellmuth, Obata, Kassabaum, a premiere St. Louis architectural firm where he later became vice president of design and project management. His uncle, an electrical contractor, had noticed Chiodini’s interest in drawing and helped him get the summer job. “I guess I was lucky to have such a good opportunity at a very young age,” Chiodini says.
But it was more than luck that’s brought him to this, the 50th anniversary of Chiodini Associates. After attending Roosevelt High School, he earned his architecture degrees from Washington University in 1961 and 1962. In 1971, Chiodini was awarded the university’s Steedman Fellowship, which allowed him to study architecture throughout Europe for a year. Interestingly, two of his sons, Chris and Michael-who were 3 and 5 at the time are now architects at Chiodini Associates. Lou Chiodini left HOK in 1974, when he started his own firm. Chiodini considers architecture the perfect career, adding that he runs into people all the time who tell him they wanted to become architects-like the priest of a Catholic church he just designed. “Architects basically are problem solvers. They take clients’ physical needs and creatively sculpt a functional three dimensional solution, fitting a structure into an environment. It’s a very enjoyable process,” he says. “You’re not just tied to your desk, but interacting personally with people.”
Chiodini Architects is an award-winning architecture and interior design firm committed to excellence in design while enhancing the lives of the users with economically and environmentally responsible solutions. In 1974, Lou Chiodini founded Chiodini Architects and has passed down to his son and co-President, Michael, the importance of producing work of enduring value: buildings that are expressly right for their time and place and that culturally and physically age gracefully. Our projects are diverse in type, size, and location. The firm has earned a reputation for both designing exceptional new facilities and spaces and, through preservation, adaptive reuse, and renovation, discovering innovative ways to reuse buildings.
We use a truly integrated process to reduce energy consumption, maintenance and operation costs, and the environmental impact of our designs. The benefits of Green Building Design (LEED) are very wide ranging. They begin with efficiencies and environmental qualities that can be realized directly by the user or owner and extend to global concerns of pollution, renewable resources, and recycling.
Architecture is a collaborative art. We actively engage our clients and consultants to understand the needs of the users, the opportunities of the site and facility, and the budget, in consideration of the social, cultural, and environmental constraints and goals of each project. Our architects and interior designers thrive on the healthy dynamic and meaningful dialogue surrounding projects.
Fostering both Principal involvement and personal attention, Chiodini has purposefully maintained a collaborative team studio environment; a team with a median tenure of 18 years. This continuity exemplifies our philosophy of commitment and dedication to continuously advance better practices when working together as a team, both internally and with clients.
We strive to be the most creative designers and problem solvers out there we have a passion for what we do and bring that enthusiasm to you!
(Parts Edited from 1999 Ladue News: by Dorothy Weiner )