• We’re here for you
    We respond immediately to you.
  • We look forward
    Universal planning that survives the test of time.
  • Our Partners are involved
    Experience, guidance & power at your disposal when you need it.
  • We listen
    We hear what you tell us... and hear what you don't.
  • We focus on the details
    Our attention to detail is our attention to you.
  • We solve problems
    Our wealth of knowledge and creativity yields solutions to your unique needs.

Welcome to DLA Architects.

We’re an architectural design firm specializing in creating spaces that WORK for our Clients.

We love designing spaces that reflect our client’s unique brand, personality and mission. To do this, we roll up our sleeves, listen, and learn about what’s important to them.

From minor renovations to complicated additions or ground-up new construction, we are here to transform your vision into reality.

What kind of change are you looking for? We’ll make it happen.


Student space for peer-to-peer collaboration

Studio C is designed for students by the students. The new, student-centered workspace has various seating options for different sized groups. It is comfortable, flexible, and encourages discussion.
elementary school architecture

Elementary School Architecture designed to create community

The New Steger Intermediate School This project began with an extensive study of the school community. Meetings and surveys were conducted to benchmark the educational delivery methods in place now an

Curriculum takes center stage

New Performing Arts design transforms a 19th century space into an environment for the 21st century
Classroom Design boosts Peer Learning

Classroom Design boosts Peer Learning

The Science Center Addition creates open, flexible learning labs that encourage cooperative learning.

Classroom Additions create spaces to learn 21st Century skills

Learning happens both indoors and out in the designs for these classroom additions.
High School Cafeteria Design

Not your father’s school cafeteria

A new Cafeteria design that entices students to linger for lunch.


  • Working with our architects has given me the opportunity to look beyond my focus on education and challenge my own thinking about how the environment supports the learning process…”
    Jennifer Kelsall, Superintendent – Ridgewood High School
  • We began this endeavor to showcase our Green Design capabilities, now that it is done, we really love the higher quality, more efficient lighting. In many instances, the light levels, with the lamps dimmed 50%, is adequate. To put that in perspective, if having all the lamps at 100% on uses 31% less energy than code, then having the lamps dimmed 50% is a huge savings.

    Brian Berg, Jr., Principal at Berg Engineering Consultants, Ltd.
  • Having never gone through this process, I was very worried that I would overlook something important or miss a deadline along the way. Your patience with me, my staff, and our hard-to-please school board and superintendent helped calm my anxiety, and resulted in an outstanding building...
    Steve Hekert, Principal at Byron Middle School
  • “Working with DLA we have found their budgets to be very accurate and the number of change orders almost non-existent. This means I can plan with confidence and I don’t have to go back to my Board and explain things”
    Josh Aurand, Asst. Supt. for Business & Operations at Harlem Community Consolidated School District 122
  • They worked hard to understand the history. philosophy. and curriculum of Elgin Academy and to design a building that would best meet our needs.”
    John Cooper, PhD, former Head of School at Elgin Academy
  • DLA’s planning process helped us focus our priorities and programming. They listened to faculty as well as students in developing our Long Term Plan.”
    Cheryl Flinn, Business Manager at Ridgewood High School District 234
  • ..The AIA Illinois has named you the Distinguished Firm of the Year for the State of Illinois. We certainly can understand, having had the pleasure of working with you and your firm over a number of years, why they have chosen you. It is a matter of pride for us also that you are involved in our building program for which you have done an excellent job over the years and currently.
    John Kohler, former Director of Construction Management School District U-46
  • We have found DLA to demonstrate an excellent ability to work with our district in a collaborative relationship throughout the design and construction process. The firm has shown an ability to successfully work with contractors in both construction management and general contracting situations. Additionally, the firm has shown a thoroughness in the design documents resulting in tight bids.
    Dr. Brian Knutson, former Superintendent Rich Township High School District 227
  • Thanks to you and your firm for your wonderful design and plans for our new addition. The staff, students, parents and neighborhood residents have all expressed their excitement over the beauty of the building. You have helped make the increase in our student body easier for all to adjust to. Thank you for listening and taking our concerns into consideration when planning our addition.
    Parent Teacher Association, Washington Elementary School

Our Services

  • Design & Construction Administration

  • Assessment & Planning

    • Facility Assessments
    • Needs Analyses
    • Master Planning, Strategic Planning, Long Range Planning
    • Feasibility Studies
    • Life Safety Surveys, Amendments, Safety Reference Plans
    • Americans with Disabilities Act Surveys
    • Educational Specifications
    • Site Evaluation/Site Development Impact
    • Roof Reports
    • Structural Analysis
    • Urban Planning/Preservation
    • Environmental Planning
    • Eco-Charrettes
    • Grant Writing
  • Sharing your organization's Vision with the Community and Stakeholders

    • Community Support Services
    • Public Relations
    • Graphic Design, Computer Renderings, Video, CD-ROM/DVD/Virtual Reality Presentations
  • Post Construction

    • Operations and Maintenance Planning
    • Occupancy Survey
    • Energy Analysis
  • Warranty & Post-Warranty Services

    • Classroom Teaching and Mentoring
    • LEED Certification
  • Funding & Financing

    • Pre-Referendum Services
    • CDB Grant Application Services
    • Creative Planning for Raising Capital/Capital Campaigns
    • Locating Additional Funding Opportunities


Help Wanted: Marketing Assistant

DLA Architects (Itasca, IL) is accepting applications for the position of Marketing Assistant. The ideal individual will...
Read More

Co-founder and President Bruce Dahlquist celebrates retirement

Founding partner Bruce Dahlquist retired on February 14th, the firm’s 34th anniversary.
Read More

Help Wanted: Job Captain / Architectural Intern

DLA Architects, Ltd. seeks an Job Captain/Architectural Intern to join our growing firm located in the Chicago suburbs (Itasca, IL). Candidates must...
Read More

Help Wanted: Architectural Production/Drafter

DLA Architects, Ltd. seeks a Architectural Production/Drafter to join our growing firm located in the Chicago suburbs (Itasca, IL). Candidates must..
Read More

Back To Top