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Ronald A. Krueck (b. 1946)

Dates of Interview:

June 12-15, 2002

Location of Interview:

Krueck's office in Chicago, Illinois


Kathleen Murphy Skolnik

Length of Transcript:

116 pages
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Biographical Summary

Ron Krueck was born in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where, in his early years, he was exposed to art in the local art museum and encouraged to draw. He chose to study architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he was impressed with Crown Hall, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. During the summers, while studying at IIT, Krueck traveled, thinking he could gain more architectural insights from seeing the world's great monuments than from working. After he received his B.A. from IIT in 1970, Krueck took a job at the Chicago office of C.F. Murphy and then with the office of Hammond Beeby. Krueck opened his own office with Keith Olsen in 1978 in Chicago. In 1991 Krueck's partnership with Olsen was dissolved and formed another partnership with Mark Sexton. Krueck has taught at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and at the Illinois Institute of Technology, a position he still holds. Krueck's built work has received numerous design awards and his architectural drawings have been exhibited in exhibitions worldwide since 1981. Krueck is active in Chicago's cultural affairs and serves on boards and committees of related interest. Krueck was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1992.

Interview Highlights

Krueck speaks about his family background and influences; study of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology; professors and classmates; summer travel in Europe; the influence of James Speyer on his development; integrating art with architecture; master's thesis; working at C.F. Murphy and Hammond Beeby; studying painting at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago; the Steel and Glass House, his first commission; forming Krueck and Olsen; the work of Krueck and Sexton; the selection of the design of the Arts Club of Chicago; his own design evolution; teaching; involvement with art organizations; reflections.

Steel and Glass House, Chicago, IL, 1981.
Photo by Philip Turner, courtesy of Krueck & Sexton.

Transparent House, Gulf Breeze, Florida, 2002.
Photo by Mariusz Mizera, courtesy of Krueck & Sexton.

Interview Excerpt

"I think that there are freedoms that could be brought to the curriculum. In fact, that's what I think our office, as I think you mentioned in your introduction, is interested in. That is to take the doctrines of modern architecture, to take the vocabulary of modern architecture that did what I would say are very simple sentences, and realize that you can create--by using this vocabulary, you can put periods at the end of that sentence and fracture a space without having to pull it completely apart. And you can use this vocabulary in new ways. That's exactly what we are interested in." (p. 15)

Funding for this oral history was provided by The Art Institute of Chicago.