Architect John Potter…aka “Potter”

Kandice Korte
Morgante Wilson Architects

Oct 2, 2015 - 5 min read

Architect John Potter…aka “Potter”

First up: architect John Potter

... or “Potter,” as he’s known around here.

So, Potter – how long have you been with MWA?

Almost nineteen years! I got my undergrad degree in Art History from the University of Chicago, and then continued with my Masters in Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. That’s where I was first introduced to Fred, at a lecture he was giving back in 1995!

Besides Fred, what do you like most about working at MWA?

I really enjoy the collaboration - both with our clients and with my colleagues. And of course, I greatly enjoy the relationships. After spending so much time together, you always know someone has your back.

What are three adjectives people use to describe you?

Definitely optimistic, and I hope funny and kind.

List some of your passions for us.

You mean besides architecture? (Laughs.) I’d say the Arts – my favorite is the Symphony. You can’t beat the CSO. I’m also a voracious history reader, and just finished a fascinating book on the development of the medieval North Sea economy so masterfully exploited by the Vikings. And I really love cooking – and then sitting down and digging in!

You create dream homes for other people every day. What would your own dream home look like?

It would probably be something like Bruce Wayne’s penthouse in The Dark Knight. With the garage, too, of course!

Tell us about your favorite MWA project.

There have been so many great projects over the years, but two we’re working on now are particularly interesting. One is a passive house under construction in Michigan that really makes you re-think the way a house uses energy; the other is on St. John in the Virgin Islands. It’s been fun working with different building practices and regulations there – and you sure can’t beat the climate!

Who inspires your sense of design, and why?

Without a doubt, my favorite architect is Mies van der Rohe – Bruce Wayne’s penthouse was filmed in the IBM building, after all - my sense of design is truly inspired by our clients. Every project, as you can see by our work, is unique, and every project presents its own challenges. Incorporating our clients’ experiences and likes into their homes is very rewarding, and very exciting. There’s never a dull day around here!

Talk a bit about your love for travel.

Here’s the thing about travel: it encourages me to always learn more. I just got back from Italy, and literally stumbled upon the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence. It was built around 1450, and it’s a little haunting, since it was never actually completed. Still, it was so inspiring to see a building that’s not only truly classic, but that has informed so much of our residential design sense today. That’s overwhelming to think about, and humbling, too.

What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

Well, I spent one summer in college employed as a United States Postal Service mailman.

That is surprising! Anything else you want people to know?

Just that if they work with MWA, they’ll be in good hands with a great team behind them.

Kandice Korte

Morgante Wilson Architects