meet the team

Nicole Ellis Semple, AIA, NCARB


Nicole loves diving deep into the patterns and habits of her clients to foster better design collaborations. Need to incorporate a random antique heirloom or house a large collection of cookware in a small space? Have a business idea that needs creative process and space design? She’s an expert at designing those solutions.

Her work is inspired by color, pattern, and making the ordinary into the extraordinary. She has a unique ability to incorporate interior and architectural design with technical knowledge. A native Kansan, she attended Kansas State University and spent a semester in Prague studying urbanism and historic preservation.  She loves baking, a good cocktail, cycling, and gardening.

Scott A. Rappe, AIA, LEED AP


Scott is a space explorer and time traveler whose prime directive is exploring old buildings, uncovering family history, and beholding the wonders of science. Hailing from four generations of Chicagoans, he is deeply invested in the community around him and continuously advocates for sustainable living, responsible development, and the preservation of unique neighborhood character. Wholly focused on architecture from a young age Scott wondered in third-grade when they would start teaching him about buildings.

Like the mitochondria of a single-celled organism, Scott is a powerhouse in the office. Using his experience in architecture, since graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1987 with his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Business Administration in 1991, Scott has helped build a robust and design-forward firm over the past 25 years. Scott has also leveraged his training outside the office, serving on the boards of AIA Chicago, AIA Illinois, the Chicago Architecture Center, the East Village Association, and Preservation Chicago to support his profession and the his community.

Dalton Wharff, Associate AIA

Interior+Architectural Designer

Dalton is a veritable force of nature within the field of design who always focuses on bringing intentional and thoughtful design when collaborating with clients. His extensive knowledge in both architecture and interior design is the perfect equation for bringing an unbridled level of finesse and harmony to any project he is a part of. The specialized education he received while attending the University of Kentucky School of Architecture helped prepare him for incorporating innovative design at any scale.

Dalton has an unnatural eye for color and is a modern-day wizard, perfect for nailing down that perfect shade of teal you’ve been searching for. Originating from the far-off land of Delaware, he found his way to the windy city and a new coast to call his home by happenstance after college. Thankfully it is less salty and free of jellyfish and crabs. Home for him is with his partner and two pups Beatrix and Shiva. When not using his skills for design at the office, he enjoys using them for costume design, painting, and video games.

Beth Szczesniak, Associate AIA

Project Manager

Beth is a transplant from Minnesota who found her home in Chicago while attending the Illinois Institute of Technology for her bachelor’s degree in architecture. She always knew she would find her way into architecture after her love for design was sparked by a drafting class in the 7th grade. Need a designer who will remember every pivotal detail from your concept drawings? Look no further.

Beth brings in a wealth of knowledge through her many years of expertise and even more from her many travels around the globe. Her ability to present new perspectives within design discussions helps all those around her discover new solutions. When she is not around the office she enjoys finding new international locales to visit, cooking for those around her, and board games with her husband and two sons.


Barkitect + Pawject Manager