The Studio


McKay Landscape Architects was founded by Michele McKay in 1982. We are a small business, certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise, practicing throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Our design experience scans a variety of project types and scales, including affordable, supportive and senior housing, universities, parks and private residences.

Our approach to the design of a project involves in depth discussion with the client to determine vision, program needs, budget considerations, cultural influences and aesthetics.

We believe that the natural environment that a person experiences on a day to day basis is of the greatest importance to his or her mental and physical health and well being. Particularly in a city, green spaces are critical for the microclimates they create, for the oases they provide from the built environment and for their therapeutic value.

The housing projects we work on commonly incorporate green roofs, permeable parking lots, bioswales or rain gardens to deal with site drainage and heat island effect. Recently some of our projects have included urban agriculture and even chickens.

Ultimately good design is an experiential process in which both success and failure play a significant part. We attempt to look honestly at our completed projects and to learn from them.

mimi pic
Mimi mckay
Education Smith College – Bachelors in Art History
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Masters in Landscape Architecture
Hometown Tuxedo Park, NY
National Park Lodge Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier
Children’s Book Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Drive Going To the Sun Road, Montana
Wilderness Area Gila Mountain Wilderness, New Mexico
National Trust Garden Sissinghurst Gardens, England
Painter Arthur Dove
Sculptor Louise Bourgeois


Education Carleton College – Bachelors in Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Masters in Landscape Architecture
Hometown Athens, WI
Historic Landscape Chicago Park Boulevard System
National Park Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pastime By day, gardening. By night, Argentine tango!
Illustrator Nikki McClure
Book Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
Poet Mary Oliver
Plant Sporobolus heterolepis ‘Prairie Dropseed’

Justin Taylor
Education Ball State University – Bachelors in Landscape Architecture
Hometown Fort Wayne, IN
Travel Austria, Schladming
Burger Kuma’s Corner
Pastime Creating music and visual art
Random Adventure Going on day long walks across the city
Mountain Range  Austrian Alps

A complete list of projects and publications are available on request.