ABOUT OUR FIRM
Christopher Strom AIA
Christopher studied art at St Olaf College prior to receiving a Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Upon returning to Minnesota he became a Project Designer at Ellerbe Becket, working on the design of both domestic and international projects including convention centers, health care facilities, and high-rise office towers. He was lead designer for the Tostrud Athletic Center at St Olaf College. From 2003-2014 Chris designed and managed construction for many new homes, additions and remodels. Upon earning the 2014 AIA-Minnesota “Emerging Talent Award” for residential architecture, he founded Christopher Strom Architects.
His work has been selected for four AIA Minnesota/ Star Tribune "Homes of the Month" and several Mpls-St Paul Magazine RAVE awards. His homes have also been featured on four AIA-MN "Homes by Architects" tour. Most recently Chris was an active participant in crafting the Accessory Dwelling Ordinance, and serves as an instructor at St Olaf College for an upper-level studio course on Architectural Design.
In 2016 Chris was honored with an AIA-Minnesota “Young Architect Award” for exceptional leadership and significant contributions to the profession.
Theo Grothe AIA, NCARB
Theo joins Christopher Strom Architects with over 10 years of custom residential experience working for a number of local award-winning firms. His thoughtful consideration of every aspect of a project and commitment to fostering strong client relationships are his greatest assets. He considers residential design to be a very personal endeavor that is challenging, exciting, and thoroughly satisfying.
For Theo, the design of a client's home begins with their personal ethics and values. He believes these must remain paramount throughout the entire process to create an environment that truly reflects their identity.
Theo attended the University of Minnesota and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. He then completed a Master of Architecture program in 2007 from Syracuse University in New York, winning the Graduate School Prize for Architecture.
elizabeth akkerman Associate aIA
Elizabeth comes to us from the Netherlands via Florida and New Mexico. She studied and taught at the University of Florida in Gainesville, completing her Masters 2nd in her class in 2011. Her thesis on ‘An Architecture of Play’ received the AIA Certificate of Merit.
Her work with a master carpenter fueled the appreciation of detail and craft in architecture. She finds that residential architecture is the perfect matrix for this kind of beauty to emerge and be fostered. The specificity of each client’s desires offers opportunities for problem solving and creative applications, which she feels passionate about.
Elizabeth cares deeply about service work and at the office this has been reflected in her participation in ‘CANstruction’ – an initiative that combines a sculptural competition with supplying the local foodbanks. She’s new to Minneapolis and has been loving the outdoor life here.
Alison Markowitz-chan aIA
Alison developed a passion for custom residential design while living in San Francisco, working on a variety of projects including renovating Eichler homes. She has also lived and worked in several different cities and countries including Lausanne, Switzerland, and Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Alison graduated from Northwestern with a degree in Materials Engineering and worked in that field before completing a Masters in Architecture at the University of Minnesota. Having a technical background and living abroad have given her a wide breadth of experiences to draw from when creating unique solutions for clients. She is passionate about all of the details that go in to realizing a project, to craft delightful spaces that highlight both the materials used and the activities that happen within.
Eric Johnson aIA
Eric is a licensed architect with over 15 years of experience. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Minnesota.
His father was a carpenter and their house was always in some state of construction. That early exposure to construction lead to an appreciation for a well-built environment and he believes that can only can be achieved by a thoughtful design process.
Eric volunteers his time in the University of Minnesota’s College of Design mentor-ship program introducing students to the professional design world. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, two sons, a dog and three chickens.