Dirk Denison Architects has built its reputation for design excellence through a wide range of projects, including award-winning architecture for homes and restaurants.



Established in 1990, DDA crafts a narrative for each of its spaces — one that weaves together the idiosyncrasies of the site, program, and client. Its process centers care and consideration. Quality and craft. Design and landscape. The result elicits surprise, revelation, information, poetry, and seduction while fulfilling the basic human desire to shape one’s surroundings.

The firm offers a full range of programming, site analysis, design, preparation and administration of construction documents, and post-construction analysis, as well as interior furnishing and furniture design.


Dirk Denison

Dirk Denison, founder, is an architect and educator. He trained at the University of Michigan, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He has been a full-time faculty member at IIT for the past two decades and is a dedicated supporter of the arts, particularly in Chicago. His first monograph, 10 Houses, will be published by ACTAR in September 2018.

Dirk Denison  




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Dirk Denison Architects' designs — for homes, offices, galleries, student housing, and other spaces for living and work — respond to the humanity, personality, and uniqueness of each client and environment. The work, found in and near cities throughout the U.S., has been recognized by international design publications and has won awards from the Chicago Architectural Club, the National Association of Home Builders, and the American Institute of Architects.




The private home is the design task where a personal dream has the potential to be most fully expressed. DDA is known for award-winning residential projects that are refined, comfortable, and wholly unique to the client’s needs and desires.




DDA’s architecture for offices is as specific to the people who inhabit the spaces as a custom home would be. Each project reflects the identity of the business, as well as its humanity.



Spaces for Art

DDA believes that every space has the opportunity of presenting art. Of containing art. Of collaborating with art. The firm designs galleries and places to house art and culture. It also curates fine art collections for homes, offices, and other lived-in environments.




DDA’s award-winning architecture highlights the very subtle specialness of each hospitality environment — the food served, the clientele, the aspired atmosphere, and the desired mood.



Student Life

Architecture is the background to student life — it contains relationships, experience, and, ultimately, memories. This reverence for “placeness” is at the heart of DDA’s work for college and university campuses, including designs for large-scale student housing.