PALMYRA PLLC is a woman-owned full-service architecture practice based in Chicago.
The practice, like its founder, is named after the city of Palmyra in present-day Homs Governorate, Syria, a city with an independent streak and an incredibly rich multicultural history. The archaeological site of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was partially destroyed by ISIS in 2015. Even in its ruinous state, Palmyra is a palimpsest, if there ever was any. In our practice we believe that we are never creating in a vacuum and the name of our practice serves as a reminder of that.
Architecture always starts with a problem: sometimes an eminently practical one and sometimes an abstract or conceptual one. Any formal or aesthetic merits a project achieves become meaningful only when the project has met and exceeded the purpose it was intended to serve.
Beyond the clinical joy of problem-solving there is also something deeply rewarding to the process of listening to the needs and desires of a client/end user and helping them realize their vision by infusing it with the spatial thinking, holistic planning, and technical expertise only an architect can provide. Architecture, after all, is a deeply humanistic endeavor, one that requires empathy, conviction, and an insatiable appetite for knowledge, the knowledge that comes with inhabiting a problem, internalizing its limitations, and making the judgment calls that ultimately lead to its solution.
In our work we strive to adopt this exacting but empathic approach to design.
Palmyra Geraki is a licensed practicing architect and educator. She is the founder and principal of Palmyra PLLC.
Before founding her own practice, Palmyra worked on affordable housing and other mission-driven projects as Project Manager/Project Architect at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects in San Francisco and on a wide range of mid-rise and high-rise residential and commercial projects as an Associate at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in New York City.
Palmyra teaches at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She previously taught at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and has frequently been an invited juror at Yale, UC Berkeley, Pratt, City College of New York, New Jersey Institute of Technology, California College of the Arts, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an active member of the Architecture Lobby, on behalf of which she helped organize and participated in a roundtable discussion titled "No Borders" at the 2018 Venice Biennale.
Palmyra received her B.A. in 'Architecture' and 'Ethics, Politics & Economics' from Yale University and her M.Arch. from the Yale School of Architecture, where she was the recipient of the George Nelson Traveling Fellowship. She grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece, and has lived in New Haven, New York, the Bay Area, and Chicago.