Innovation is a choice.
As a 100+ person firm with a 37-year track record of success, OPN is one of the largest architectural firms in the Midwest. We’ve won wide recognition for our design work and are listed by Architectural Record in the top 100 Design Firms nationally. We believe our success is the result of a deliberate, sustained commitment to an open culture that nurtures excellence and new ideas. We collaborate closely during planning and design phases in our studios. We camp out in teaming rooms during intensive periods of research and design. We document our ideas with layers of trace paper, sticky notes, photos, and boards, and workshop ideas together during weekly design critiques. We understand that physical space can foster or inhibit collaboration and innovation, and we believe passionately that success lies in bringing people and perspectives together. We encourage open dialogue, and as a team we find the optimal design solution for our clients. Responsiveness, responsibility, and collaboration are our most important attributes, and we believe these commitments are the reason for our high percentage of repeat clients. We work to create trusting, mutually beneficial relationships on each project simply because we believe it’s the right thing to do.
Work hard. Play hard.
OPN brings together a diverse group of intelligent and creative designers, thinkers, and planners. People at OPN believe in the importance of doing what you love, doing it well, and having fun along the way. OPN is a truly open design studio, and we seek diversity in both our people and our projects. We welcome variety for its capacity to inform our work and broaden our understanding of the world. As a studio, we make time to have fun with each other. Regular lunches, wellness challenges, athletic leagues, parties, and retreats keep our team in sync. Our annual retreats are a mix of strategic updates, architectural appreciation, mixing, and mingling. Our recent retreat in Minneapolis featured a stay at the RadissonBlu, private tours of the CHS Field and the Lakewood Mausoleum, and an unforgettable rooftop dinner and dance party.
At the center of our core values is our shared commitment to community involvement. OPN is invested in the well-being of its communities and often donates time, talent, and money to organizations in need. As a firm, we regularly undertake pro-bono projects; office-wide, we annually support Habitat for Humanity, Canstruction, and United Way. Our designers serve on boards and committees for national- and state-level professional organizations and have been recognized for their advocacy in architectural and civic life. In the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2008, OPN offered its services to civic and corporate entities to recover and revive the affected areas, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Des Moines, Iowa.
Since the company’s inception, OPN’s leadership has been instrumental in supporting community initiatives. From serving the United Way as Campaign Chairs and Board Members, to helping start charitable organizations such as 100+ Men Who Care and the I Have a Dream Foundation, OPN’s team members set the tone for the company’s commitment to philanthropy. Following is a sampling of organizations our 100-plus employees dedicate their time, money, and talents to every year, in varying positions from board member to annual volunteer: Dubuque Community YMCA; YMCA’s Partners With Youth Program; Ankeny YMCA Board of Directors; YMCA Pee Wee Coaches; Boy Scouts of America; Boys and Girls Club; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Leadership for Five Seasons; Matthew 25; Czech Village / New Bohemia Main Street District; City of Cedar Rapids Czech-Bohemia Design Review Technical Advisory Committee; Theatre Cedar Rapids; Brucemore Garden & Art Show; Impact CR; 100+ Men Who Care; 100+ Women Who Care; United Way of Iowa; Junior League; The American Cancer Society; University of Iowa Dance Marathon; Iowa State University Dance Marathon; Habitat for Humanity; National Council on Youth Leadership; Open Minds, Open Doors; Central Iowa Shelter & Services; ACE Mentoring; United Way Sinclair Society; Metro North Rotary; Iowa Women in Architecture; OPN Day of Caring; Corridor Canstruction; Urban Ambassadors. Notably, in 2012 Katie Harms, was recognized by the American Institute of Architects with an AIA Young Architect Award for her outstanding professional service and leadership.