Jonathan Kuhn has been creating inviting spaces and innovative structures for almost 20 years. His ability to listen to and understand people have made his collaborative approach to design a natural extension of his personality. From modern urban condos to quaint suburban homes to edgy office space, he begins every project with a conversation then applies his extensive experience and passion for design to create a space that is aesthetically engaging and approachable.
Jonathan’s engaging approach coupled with his expertise and industry knowledge have led to a diverse portfolio of award-winning residential, commercial, retail, and multi-family projects. He started this journey at Perkins and Will (formerly Ai) where he was engaged on a wide range of projects; designed high-end, modern residential projects at ColePrevost as a project architect; then took on the role of principal at the Wicomico Development Corporation, a design-build firm in Maryland. Before owning his own practice, he was a founding principal of LangKuhn Architects • Builders where he oversaw design-build services for residential, retail, and small-scale commercial clients. He’s accomplished in all aspects of running an architectural business, but what he enjoys most is developing relationships with his clients – and bringing their dreams to life.
Growing up in a small industrial town in northwest Pennsylvania, Jonathan was surrounded by railroads, textile mills, and machine shops. He was intrigued by his grandfather who generated drawings of parts he would later fabricate at the local mill. Jonathan and his father, who studied architecture in college and was a welder on the railroad, would often work together in the home workshop. Through all of these hands-on projects, Jonathan discovered how ideas become tangible objects that shape the environment – and began to define what “pride of craftsmanship” really means to him.
After summer jobs at a lumber yard and tool & die company, Jonathan pursued a formal education in architectural studies. He holds dual master’s degrees in architecture and construction management from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to his extensive architectural experience, he is also an active member in the architectural community. Jonathan is on the steering committee of the AIA affiliated Capital Area Custom Residential Network (CRAN) group that hosts events promoting the residential sector and has been LEED-certified since 2009. He can change hats as needed since he often needs to mediate differing opinions, organize disparate ideas, and ease the stress and anxiety that sometimes accompany a project.
Jonathan’s experiences have shaped the way he approaches each project – as an open dialogue and on-going conversation. He focuses on understanding how people live and work – and how to create spaces that work with their unique design and emotional needs. He sees himself as a trusted partner and capable guide, and clients appreciate the balance of approachability and design competence Jonathan brings to every project. His knowledge and collaborative approach help get things right – and his pragmatic understanding of the building industry helps get things done.
John Choi has over 10 years of experience in architectural design, focused on high-end residential and small-scale private institutional projects. He’s managed all aspects of architectural practice from design concept to construction details – for detached single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses, as well as commercial improvements and small school projects. And his talents don’t end with architecture. He also has an incredible flair for interior design.
John found his way to JKA via San Francisco where he worked for Huang Iboshi Architecture. He was drawn to JKA because of the collaborative environment and attractive project portfolio – and he was also excited about the opportunity to touch on every aspect of an architectural project. While at JKA, John has especially enjoyed working on multi-family projects where social and economic values are intertwined with creative design.
A natural problem solver, John finds the challenge of designing architectural solutions, with given constraints, extremely rewarding. As part of a prestigious Los Angeles competition called Small Lots, Smart Design, John designed a prototype for multi-family housing. Entrants were asked to design affordable housing on a narrow lot, and his team was one of the 12 finalists in the competition. It was extremely rewarding for John to be able to create affordable spaces for first-time home owners, given a very limited amount of space.
Another aspect of architecture that John enjoys is the ability to design something that can actually get built. Of course, he’s a fan of beautiful design, but he employs a very grounded approach. This applies to the way he works with clients too. He believes listening to the client is always paramount, but he takes his role as an educator seriously – and clients appreciate his ability to articulate the pros and cons of different architectural choices.
While working in San Francisco, John also taught design studio at the Academy of Art University. Prior to his architectural career, he worked for an international market research firm for over nine years. To top it all off, John is also fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese.