SmithGroup merges with AREA Design, Ltd.

SmithGroup, a leading architecture, engineering, interiors and planning firm, announced that it has merged with Chicago-based AREA Design, Ltd, a commercial interiors firm headed by architect Angie Lee, FAIA, IIDA.


SmithGroup, one of the nation’s largest architecture, engineering, interiors and planning firms, announced that it has merged with Chicago-based AREA Design, Ltd, a commercial interiors firm headed by architect Angie Lee, FAIA, IIDA.

The move will help grow SmithGroup’s Chicago office by expanding its studio dedicated to serving the needs of corporate and commercial workplace clients, while strengthening the firm’s national workplace practice.

Lee is a 25-year industry veteran who established AREA Design in 2005 to provide high professional services in interior architecture and design to corporate and commercial clients.

“Angie is a proven leader who quickly led AREA Design to become one of Chicago’s fastest growing designers of innovative, workplace environments,” said Andy Vazzano, FAIA, managing director of SmithGroup’s Chicagouccess in the Chicago market,” Vazzano added.

Several of AREA Design’s 20 active clients in Chicago, including DDB Chicago, Exelon Corporation, The HON Company, and the Harrington College of Design are positive about the merger with SmithGroup. “The value of this merger comes in the form of access to SmithGroup’s nationally recognized experts in innovative, client-focused, inspiring workplace design,” Lee said.

Lee founded AREA Design to provide clients with creative solutions for office environments.

The merger between the two firms will also allow many of SmithGroup’s national workplace clients an enhanced level of service, according to Rebecca Nolan, IIDA, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, who leads

“Angie is an accomplished, recognized leader in workplace design.

The creation of AREA Design followed Lee’s 12 years as leader of the interiors and then corporate practices at Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm OWP/P.

Lee joined OWP/P in 1992, first leading the firm’s interior architecture practice.enue.  Lee resigned from OWP/P in 2005 and with a business partner established her own company, AREA Design Ltd.

Lee, a licensed architect, was elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Instituteve with Chicago Real Estate Executive Women (CREW).  Lee is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she earned a bachelor of architecture with honors.

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