Press, Awards, Events and Philanthropy

Architectural Record Magazine / Lincoln Park Residence / April, 2016

Architect - Tigerman McCurry Architects, General Contractor - Bulley & Andrews LLC - Interior + Exterior Custom Metal Work & Ornamental Metals - O'Brien Metal Inc.. "This house certainly proposes a new way of doing it, albeit one that's available to a select few and doubtful to be repeated any time soon. Here McCurry has deftly drawn on precedent and worked with a complex urban setting-one that is in part distinctly Chicagoan and in part anonymous-to create a unique urban home."

FF Journal / Weaving a Digital Thread / January, 2015 →

“In many ways, O’Brien Metal is a textbook example of how a company its size can compete in what’s increasingly a digital age. It has redefined the classic supply chain in leveraging a diverse vendor network and advanced digital tools to fabricate nonferrous precious metals into architectural pieces that adorn universities, libraries and private residences throughout Chicagoland.”

Crain's Chicago Business / 'Metal bender' demonstrates future of digital manufacturing / April 05, 2014 →

"O'Brien's digital approach, which stress-tests ideas in a computer before materials are wasted, allows its small staff to navigate million-dollar projects, comprising thousands of components, with the ease of a company twice its size."

Interiors Chicago Magazine / Strength in Numbers / Winter 2014 →

Designer - Gary Lee Partners LLC, General Contractor - LG Construction & Development. "A multidisciplinary team suffuses a concrete and steel backdrop with warm design details and a comforting color scheme." / O'Brien Metal - John O'Brien / November, 2013 →

"We have been highly successful in merging an age-old craft with cutting-edge technology – allowing our clients to turn computerized visions into metallic works of art. We pride ourselves in being a leader of a new breed of metal fabricators on the forefront of a digital revolution of technology and artistry that is evolving at a dizzying pace."


Acanthus Award Winner / Allied Arts & Craftsmanship /November 2016 - Richard H. Driehaus Museum: Cast Aluminum Urn & Pedestal Replication

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is housed in the Gilded Age home of banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson (1830-1914). The 25,000-square-foot, Victorian style mansion, built from 1879 to 1883, was one of the grandest residences of nineteenth century Chicago. Between 2003 and 2008, a meticulous restoration transformed the building into the Richard H. Driehaus Museum. Today, the Driehaus Museum preserves and interprets the home in order to promote the understanding and appreciation of historic architecture and design. Close collaboration with museum directors and architect was essential to reproduce three new 7-ft-tall approximately 500-lb cast urns and pedestals as part of the Garden Entrance Restoration.

Architect:  Antunovich Associates Architects
Artisan: O'Brien Metal Inc.

2016 Palladio Awards Winner- Restoration & Renovation/Traditional Building Magazine/Period Home Magazine/June 2016

Restoration of the West Entry - Charles Deering Library, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. Each year, the Palladio Awards honor outstanding achievement in traditional design. The program recognizes both individual designers and design teams whose work enhances the beauty and humane qualities of the built environment, through creative interpretation or adaptation of design principles, developed through 2,500 years of the Western architectural tradition. The Palladio Awards are the first and only national awards program for residential and commercial/institutional projects which demonstrate excellence in traditional design.

Architect: HBRA Architects
Ornamental Metals & Restoration: O'Brien Metal Inc.

Small Projects Awards Winner / Chicago Architect Magazine/ May-June 2015

"Jurors delighted over this project that functions as both an art piece and as a functional table with a seating capacity up to 12. The resin top of this elongated dining table is balanced with the support of three identical cast aluminum legs, whose ‘tenuous aesthetic’ respond to the adjacent cable structure supporting the cantilevered house. One juror noted, 'This object is well-proportioned and offers a great deal of flexibility.' The jury also enjoyed the combination of the elliptical resin top with the porous cast aluminum, calling it 'elegant, complex and playful.' The overall effect brings a new texture to the sleek interior of the private residence."

Architect: Dirk Denison Architects
Fabricator: O'Brien Metal Inc.

Acanthus Award Winner / Allied Arts & Craftsmanship / 2013

The Acanthus Awards recognize excellence and distinction in classical and traditional architecture. O'Brien Metal was honored in helping to restore the Deering Library at Northwestern University to its striking historic condition and add period pieces to uphold the collegiate Gothic style of architecture.

Architect:  HBRA Architects
Artisan: O'Brien Metal Inc.


Crain's Midwest Manufacturers Summit / May 2014

John O'Brien, Founder & CEO O'Brien Metal Inc., Guest Speaker "Manufacturing for Growth"
"American manufacturing is coming back – driven largely by technology, innovation and favorable energy prices. But challenges remain especially in areas such as human capital and talent development. What will it take to keep Midwest manufacturing growing."

Evergreen International Equestrian Grand Prix / Supporter 2012, 2014 & 2016
"Helping to raise awareness, in the Midwest and beyond, of this unique and beautiful sport and working together to raise crucial funds for women's health programs and services throughout the Chicago area."