Contemporary architect Juan Gabriel Moreno respects the past, builds for future

UNO Elementary School Soccer Academy (JGMA)

October 15, 2012 2:39:04 PM PDT
Award-winning architect Juan Gabriel Moreno, the man behind UNO Soccer Academy, believes his work- and the work of other architects- can transform a community.

"The idea of celebrating the Latino spirit and bringing life and helping transform a community is a big part of who we are," Juan Gabriel Moreno said. "But I think our work is transformative. We find our work is touching the community."

Moreno is the president and founder of JGMA, the architectural firm that built UNO Soccer Academy on two acres of land, creating an open space for both students and the Gage Park community. JGMA also transformed an existing Pilsen building into Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy High School.

"Respect the old and think about the future and make the students and the community feel like they were stepping into a state-of-the-art facility," Moreno said.

While JGMA is based in Chicago, the firm has projects around the world.

"I think there is such a respect for architects in this city that you do not see in other places," Moreno said. "I get to work with people i respect . Every day is a wonderful day to be with them in this creative journey."