Grace Rappe Joins HDR as Managing Principal for the Chicago Architecture Studio

Grace Rappe, AIA, LEED AP

Grace Rappe, AIA, LEED AP, has joined HDR as managing principal for the Chicago architecture studio.

Rappe comes to HDR from Ratio Architects where she was the Chicago Studio Leader. Her 30-plus years of experience includes architecture and landscape architecture projects in retail, mixed-use, education, and civic in both the private and public sector.

Many of these projects are located in Chicago and the surrounding area. Rappe has a particular interest in how public-private partnership and interdisciplinary collaboration can help create meaningful spaces and experiences that often defy traditional building or landscape typologies.

“Throughout my career, I’ve found developing talent, finding opportunities for younger staff, and helping connect people around projects that make a positive impact in the public realm to be incredibly fulfilling work,” said Rappe. “I am very much looking forward to bringing that passion and perspective to the Chicago architecture studio.”

In addition to overseeing the studio’s 60 staff, Grace’s responsibilities include setting the strategic vision for the practice, developing and retaining talent, delivering design excellence and technical quality to HDR’s clients, and strengthening the firm’s presence in Chicago and the surrounding area.

“Grace brings a great combination of design talent, business acumen, and people skills to this role. She is a connector — skillfully using client and community connections to better understand the city landscape and identify great, new projects,” said John Steinert, North Central Regional Operations Director at HDR. “We look forward to her bringing her sharp, collaborative approach to the Chicago team.”

A long-time Chicago resident, Rappe is active with both the local architecture/engineering/consulting industry and the greater community. She has previously served on the board of directors for the Magnificent Mile Association, Chicago Gateway Green Association, and the Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation.