Archive for About Us


The Firm

Baranski Hammer Moretta & Sheehy (BHMS) was founded as Baranski Hammer & Associates in 1991 in Galena, Illinois, focusing primarily on historic preservation and custom residential work. The number of services offered grew based on demand by local and regional businesses and civic organizations.

Acquisition of Moretta & Sheehy

Baranski Hammer acquired the thirty-year old firm of Moretta & Sheehy Architects in December of 2006. Moretta & Sheehy’s vast resume of institutional and commercial work along with Baranski Hammer’s broad experience gives the firm the resources to provide expanded services to clients both large and small.

BHMS today

Baranski Hammer Moretta & Sheehy has offices in Chicago and Galena, Illinois.

BHMS offers a wide range of architecture, master planning and design services. The firm has gained extensive regional experience through commissions for historic preservation, restoration and renovation, residential, commercial, religious, institutional, governmental, light industrial, space planning, ADA and life safety analysis, multi-family housing and mixed use projects.

BHMS’s primary strength is the creativity, talent and diversity of its employees. Each brings his or her own special set of skills to a project, either as designer or technician, that is essential to the success of our client’s buildings.

Philosophy

Baranski Hammer Moretta & Sheehy’s design and business philosophy is centered on client service. Each client’s goal are considered paramount, and the design process is focused on creating environments that embrace those goals.

BHMS is dedicated to cultivating the collaborative working relationships necessary for the success of each project.

BHMS utilizes the latest three-dimensional design and presentation software tools. This strengthens the firm’s ability to quickly convey design ideas to clients in a three-dimensional environment. The benefit to clients is the ability for them to see and better understand their project in a virtual environment, giving them the opportunity to more effectively participate in decisions that have spatial ramifications.

BHMS’s primary strength is the creativity, talent and diversity of its employees. Each brings his or her own special set of skills to a project, either as designer or technician, that is essential to the success of our client’s buildings.

Creative Process

Every project starts with an idea. In our office, we developed the most efficient method of sharing ideas by building them directly into a three-dimensional, life-size digital space.

Our approach does not limit our imagination, it saves you time and gives you – the client – more control over the final result.

Efficient building of digital 3D models requires advanced skills and specialized tools. We use a state-of-the-art program called ArchiCAD, crafted especially for architectural type of work. It allows us to seamlessly visualize our ideas. We can immediately evaluate, revise, then present them to you in a rich, photorealistic way. As we do that, we start working on technical drawings that are progressively developed for permitting, bidding and construction.

Case study: Loyola Law School project

In the multi-phase project for the School of Law for the Loyola University in Chicago, the relevant elements of the existing high-rise building were first modeled: walls, windows, slabs and steel beams.

Then, based on a space plan, the architect inserted new walls with all of the details that would be a part of the final design of the courtroom. The design was re-evaluated and adjusted multiple times throughout the process. BHMS modeled all the crucial millwork details to fully realize and control their visual impact in real, life-size space.

Using this very model, we developed detailed sections to make sure that the complex design would work in reality. The moving parts in the main judge’s bench, the movable whiteboard/wall for regular lectures, and the power screens for large projectors — all had to function in a seamless manner.

Revisions during the process of construction documentation always stay in the context of the whole spatial model — because the model remains an integral part of our “flat” drawings.

When the project is complete, we can come back compare our design to what has actually been built.