Congratulations to Gene Guszkowski for being recognized by The Daily Reporter as a construction industry Icon. Gene has been dedicated to architecture and the design of places where people live for over 50 years. While Gene’s roots are in Milwaukee, he has impacted the senior living industry on a national level. Gene is truly worthy of this Icon status.
Gene is one of the initial graduates of the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning (which recently celebrated its 50-year history). He received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies in 1971 and Master of Architecture from UWM in 1973. His dedication to the field and loyalty to the Milwaukee design community has been demonstrated by his longevity with one Milwaukee area firm for 52 years. He began as a print boy at The Shepherd Associates in 1967 and his innate design capabilities, communication skills and natural charisma have supported him as he has transitioned into a firm leader, first as a shareholder with Shepherd, Legan, Aldrian in 1981 and then as a partner with Aldrian Guszkowski in 1992. In 2002, the firm rebranded as AG Architecture and he has continued to be an integral part of the leadership team.
As Founding Principal, he has directed all of AG’s design activities and served as planner, design architect and project architect for numerous multifamily and mixed use developments in and around the Milwaukee area as well as an extensive portfolio of senior living environments across the country. From print boy to CEO he has grown with AG Architecture, and while the name on the door and ownership teams have changed, Gene has been a constant, one might say the heart of the firm.
In that time, Gene has worked with over 403 employees and touched over 725 projects. He has been a registered architect since 1975 and is licensed in 39 states. AG is known for specializing in the design of innovative senior living environments. Gene has been integral to developing long term relationships with senior living providers from coast to coast who benefit from the firm’s unique ability to provide vision, build consensus and bring certainty and predictability to the development and construction process. Gene himself is continuously recognized by clients for his ability to build consensus among multiple project stakeholders as well as neighborhoods and community leaders.
Under Gene’s leadership, the firm has received local and national recognition for award-winning multifamily, mixed use and senior living design. He is a recognized thought leader and innovator in the senior living industry who has contributed to industry publications and been a panelist and featured speaker at national conferences. He was recognized by Environments for Aging as a 2019 Design Champion – an awards program that recognizes individuals who are advancing the design of senior living environments and who have fought for design solutions that make a meaningful improvement in the lives of residents, staff, or the greater community.
Gene is also a true mentor who has supported the creativity and professional growth of numerous professionals—those who have pursued successful career paths within AG as well as those who have continued on to firms around the Milwaukee area and beyond. He has supported his alma mater by year after year welcoming numerous UWM grads into the AG family as well as introducing young architectural professionals to the world of senior living through internships. Those who have had the opportunity to watch and learn from Gene know he sets a standard of excellence—in design as well as in communication, collaboration and fostering a sense of community.
“AG’s tagline is – a sense of community, and Gene is the ambassador of community in every sense of the word. He is a respected leader and mentor. I know, because he has spent great time and effort teaching me about the industry, allowing me to test ideas and explore alternative solutions. That guidance always has the client, residents, staff and communities we are serving at the forefront of our process. He pushes us to use technology and our own knowledge to make a difference in the environments we create. As he encourages us to push the envelope, he guides us on how to effectively communicate new ideas and build consensus with key stakeholders. He is raising the bar for us to dig deeper to create a new model of communal senior living that will set our clients apart in the market and ultimately benefit residents of all ages.”
–Eric Harrmann, AIA – Chief Design Officer | AG Architecture
Gene has championed innovation across the senior living continuum of care—from design that supports culture change and person-centered care to affordable senior housing solutions, enhanced rehab environments and hospice settings that support dignity. He is truly an Icon that has been creating a sense of community in projects from coast to coast—an innovator who has been helping the industry evolve with impactful design solutions, decade after decade.