About Knauer

Knauer Incorporated, founded in 1984, is an exceptional Architecture, Interior Design, and Engineering firm providing their clients with added value consulting and direction services.

We are exceptional because of our many successful projects in the hospitality industry. We are exceptional because of our reputation as creative designers and qualified architects. We are exceptional because we understand our client's business and the design business.

We have distinguished ourselves by our experience and resourcefulness. In the past 27 years since Knauer Incorporated was founded, we have completed thousands of projects including hotels, restaurants, casinos, nightclubs, resorts, and specialty retail stores, all successful designs for places where people want to be and buy.

Our approach to a project, which we call concept development, is a unified package of Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, Engineering, and Graphic Design. Our unified package is a holistic approach to design where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This approach is market driven, meeting the needs of our clients and their guests, while helping our clients maximize the project potential as realized through their return on investment (ROI).

Our goal is for a customer to walk in and not only say "Wow," but for that customer to remember the whole experience, remember how comfortable they felt in the space, and come away with a memorable experience and the desire to return.

Design has the potential to influence our world. We take that philosophy seriously and are respectful of the responsibility we have in shaping our client's world. We endeavor to create intelligent designs that exhibit timeless and enduring qualities while performing to the fullest and respecting our environment. We are never limited to known or redundant solutions. We use our many years of experience to develop new and better ones.

The Knauer Team

Photo of Mark Knauer

Mark Knauer

founder | principal | design

Mark Knauer has been a leading visionary in the hospitality design business for more than 30 years. In 1984 he founded Knauer Incorporated. Mark's success has led to countless industry awards including being recognized by Crain's Chicago Business to be a "Top 40 Executives Under 40" and two Nation's Restaurant News "Hot Concept Awards." Mark has designed a wide range of projects that encompasses the world's who's-who list of restaurants, hotels, resorts, retail stores, clubs and casinos.

In addition to Mark's skill in developing blockbuster concepts that work, his Knauer team has developed a branding process that they utilize with their design clients and have implemented with numerous corporations worldwide. His Brand DNA® process has been the core element in allowing these companies to become more successful.

Mark is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Hospitality Administration. He started his career as a dishwasher and busboy and has held or worked in every staffing position in a restaurant and hotel. Mark is a frequent speaker and judge at industry functions, conventions, and competitions.

Photo of Mayur Modi

Mayur Modi

director | projects

Mayur Modi has over 20 years of architectural, planning and management experience at Knauer Incorporated. His projects have included hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, luxury homes and lifestyle shopping centers throughout the United States. After completing a Bachelor’s in Architecture from L.S. Raheja School of Architecture in Mumbai, India. Mayur moved to the United States to pursue his dream and passion for the profession.

Mayur completed his Masters in Urban Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. In 1994, Mayur joined Knauer Incorporated. During his years at Knauer, Mayur has worked his way from architectural drafting to managing multi-million-dollar projects. He is closely involved with most every Knauer project. All project information funnels through him.

Mayur is responsible for helping with the fee proposal, project scheduling, budgeting, design execution, setting milestones and all deliverables. Mayur Modi’s journey at Knauer Incorporated has given him an opportunity to work with numerous clients ranging from single restaurant owners to nation chains.

Photo of Stan Obuchowski

Stan Obuchowski

director | architecture | code & quality standards

Stan has been working in architecture for nearly 40 years. He has been part of the Knauer Team since 1989, returning in July 2013 to full time position as Director of Architecture, Code and Quality Standards. Stan achieved his initial architectural registration in 1991 and currently maintains registration in multiple States. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Photo of Christian Schaller

Christian Schaller

director | design

Christian Schaller has 22 years of experiences in architecture, design, and planning, working on projects in across the private and public sectors. Christian has been active in the design, planning, and construction of restaurants, hotels and resorts, luxury housing, universities and libraries. Christian holds a Bachelors of Architecture from The University of Kentucky, College of Architecture.

Christian joined Knauer, Inc. in 2011 as the Director | Design. Christian is committed to high-quality design and personalized client service. He works with his clients to design and plan spaces that incorporate their DNA. He is responsible for translating the clients' ideas into design by creating drawings, schematics, and 3-D illustrations. He works with Knauer’s clients and the studio throughout the design and construction process, keeping his clients' needs and budgets in mind.

Outside of work, Christian enjoys renovating historic homes, gardening, and traveling. He especially excited to discover new and old-time restaurants and bars to inspire the next project.

Photo of Warren Stetson

Warren Stetson

director | architecture | hotels

Warren Stetson has over 30 years of architecture and design experience in the hospitality industry. He has participated in, and led the planning, design and construction of numerous restaurant, hotel, and resort projects from New York City to Hawaii and California. Warren worked with the Knauer Team for 15 years and then took a short hiatus with Looney & Associates as a team leader responsible for the renovation of, and addition to, The Hyatt Regency New Orleans, and the ballroom renovation for the Grand Hyatt New York. Warren has again joined Knauer bringing his unique and polished design esthetic as well as his depth of experience based on many years in the hospitality industry. This experience and his love of travel bring a global exposure and thoughtfulness to the projects on which he works.

Warren is a licensed architect in seven states, including his home state of Illinois. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Design and Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo and later received his Master’s in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Photo of Eileen Driscoll

Eileen Driscoll

studio leader | design | procurement

Eileen Driscoll has always held a passion for the hospitality industry. Prior to entering the field of architecture and design she worked in the hospitality management industry for 15 years. In 2006 she joined Knauer, Inc. as an executive assistant and office manager. She immediately connected with the team’s appetite for creating bold new designs that cohesively married a restaurateurs’ culinary concept with Knauer’s architectural innovation. During her tenure Eileen attended college ultimately gaining firsthand experience with project design, specification writing and procurement. Her daily engagement with colleagues, clients and vendors was instrumental in completing her Associates of Science Degree in Interior Design, with Honors from Triton College in 2014. Today she is an integral part of the design team.

Photo of Jake Stawicki

Jake Stawicki

studio leader | architect

Walter (Jake) Stawicki joined Knauer in 2006. He graduated the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Master’s in Architecture, earned his NCARB certificate and is a registered architect in the state of Illinois. As an experienced Studio Leader, he has contributed his skill set to a multitude of successful projects.
When not at work, he can be found with his wife and kids at a baseball field or basketball game.

Photo of Tami Marczak

Tami Marczak

administration | resources

Tami Marczak joined the Knauer Team in 2016. She is responsible for the administrative duties, bookkeeping and managing the resource library. Previously Tami worked as an administrative assistant for a doctor before joining the team and has 20+ years of experience in the administrative field and hospitality industry.

Photo of George Tobias

George Tobias

studio leader | architecture

George Tobias comes from the residential sector and has worked on Single and Multi-Family Housing. In addition to ground up construction and Historic renovations, He has also spent time working at The Museum of The Art Institute of Chicago. There he designed and coordinated construction of gallery renovations, temporary exhibits that include a miniature display for the Pullman Train cars and architectural installation in the Modern Wing architecture galleries. In addition to his academic design Inspired projects George has also volunteered at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization servicing the people on a community level and is currently working on becoming a licensed architect.

Photo of Jacob Trompler

Jacob Trompler

studio leader | architecture

Jacob Trompler is a “Young Lion” at Knauer. He received his Bachelors of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Right after graduation, he joined the Knauer Team in 2015 and has worked on all sorts of successful projects - restaurants, casinos, and hotels. Jacob has been a fast learner and has quickly picked up becoming a Studio Leader taking charge of coordinating consultants, staff, and meeting client needs. His dedication to his craft puts him at the top of the “Young Lion” class. His enthusiasm, creativity, and unmatched technical savvy are instrumental to the success of any project.

Photo of Jason Kittridge

Jason Kittridge

studio leader | architecture | IT guru

Jason Kittridge holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami and has been with Knauer since 2005. His attention to detail and ability to anticipate the clients' needs led him to begin experimenting with alternative and emerging technologies to keep Knauer at the forefront of design. He has worked on all aspects of restaurant and hotel projects, including on-site project management of the multi-million-dollar renovation of the historic Deer Path Inn. Jason also has the responsibilities of information technology management at Knauer. This includes all administration of computer systems and networks, as well as software implementation, training, CAD/BIM management, and customized programming to increase efficiency and create a higher standard of product for our clients.

Photo of Ketan Chokshi

Ketan Chokshi

studio leader | architecture

Ketan Chokshi of Knauer Incorporated is recognized for his creative architectural designs and for his dedicated work ethics. Ketan holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture Degree from the School of Architecture (CEPT University) in Ahmadabad, India. He has had the esteemed experience in working with full-service Architect & Design firms on a National and International level. Ketan joined Knauer Incorporated over 24 years ago, working on an innovative assortment of projects. Ketan specializes in creating sophisticated presentations as well as crafting highly structured construction drawings.

Photo of Kevin Jele

Kevin Jele

studio leader | architecture

Kevin became part of the Knauer team in 2013 after studying at the University of Illinois. While in school, Kevin was invited to The Rotch Traveling Studio to re-think the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. He enjoys traveling and recently took a year to gain international work experience in Australia. At Knauer, he is a Studio Leader working on numerous restaurant projects.

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