Andrew Dasso left the comforts of job security behind three years ago. A seasoned architect, he began his own one-man firm. Today, managing several employees and working to open his third location, Dasso's risk continues to pay off.
Dasso, a Rock Island native, opened [design] [build] by architects, at 318 E. 3rd St., Davenport, in 2015, with the goal of working with contractors during both the design and construction processes. Dasso said the business took off, and in early 2017, he partnered with a friend, Zachary Enderle, to open a firm in Rockford, Illinois.
"We opened the office in Rockford and (Enderle's) business is just going at an inclined rate," Dasso said. "And now, in Davenport, we're at the stage that we've grown out of our location. We have two spaces now — one is a studio and another is a conference room — and we're packed already."
With growing interest, the firm decided to rebrand and change its recognizable — yet, Dasso admits, often confusing — silver bracketed logo. The company is now called Streamline Architects. And as part of the rebrand, it started a sister company, Streamline Artisans, for fabrication work.
Now with about a half-dozen employees, Dasso said the company will open a third location, this one in East Moline, near The Bend development on the riverfront.
"We want to continue to develop the fabrication company we just started," he said. "The whole idea behind it is we can have the architects and designers working hand-in-hand with fabrication so we're all in a collaborative environment."
The roughly 7,000 square-foot space will feature a main studio, with a wood shop and fabrication shop, a metal shop, plus a retail store and coffee shop.
While housing architecture, design and fabrication work all in one place is growing in popularity across the country, Dasso said the firms doing it are still few and far between.
"They're calling it the maker movement. There's firms in Seattle and New York doing it and able to design really custom features," he said. "I'm a hands-on architect, and I was doing a lot of restaurants, so I saw the opportunity for it ... It's really going back to innovation and inventing new ways to design."
He expects the addition of a fabrication company to propel the business into bigger markets, such as Iowa City, Des Moines, Chicago and Milwaukee.
And in East Moline, the new studio, plus retail and coffee shop, will add to the new development on the riverfront. East Moline Glass Co. owner Larry Anderson bought a 40-acre industrial complex off 7th Street about a year ago.
Now, the area is being taken over by Quad-City music mogul Sean Moeller as he creates a 4,000-plus-capacity music venue, called the Rust Belt. Healthy Harvest Urban Farms is opening a grocery store, café and indoors farmers market. And several other plans are in the works, including a brewery, he said.
"It's got a lot of industrial, cool factors," Dasso said. "There's also artist studio spaces planned and a lot more. It'll be a really hip place."
Streamline Architects' new location in East Moline is under construction. Dasso hopes to open the space in August.