About Us

The Architects

Mike and Mark Balay are cousins, both originally from Indiana, the only sons of twin brothers who were also born and raised in Indiana. Mike and Mark attended Ball State University College of Architecture together in the 1970’s. They went on to build architectural practices after they became registered architects in the 1980’s. Mike formed Balay Architects, Inc. in Indiana and Mark formed Mark S. Balay Architects, Inc. in Minnesota. They have separate practices but collaborate on many projects.

Our Virtual Practices Are
Made up of Individual Freelancers, Not Employees

Project Team Approach

Typically, architectural firms are organized in a hierarchical pyramid structure of principals, partners, employees, and support staff. Since the early 1990’s Mike and Mark have chosen to organize their practices as flat organizations of autonomous firms and consultants which can be brought together in a customized way for each project. Broadband communication between all members of the project team allows real time access to all phases of the project and enhances information flow to the client. Each uniquely organized project team is headed up by Mike or Mark, not a lower level partner or employee. The client gains the full benefits of sophisticated use of information technology in the organizational structure of the project team. This Project Team Approach creates value by enabling more work to be produced faster and at a lower cost.

About the Architects

Mark S. Balay Architects, Inc.

Professional Registrations:

  • Current Active Registrations in Minnesota and Wisconsin
  • Nationally Certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
  • National certification allows registration in all 50 states by reciprocity

Balay Architects, Inc.

Professional Registrations:

  • Current Active Registrations in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois
  • Nationally Certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
  • National certification allows registration in all 50 states by reciprocity

Our Client Centered Design Process

Client Relationships

The success of any project lies in the professional relationships between the client, the architect, the contractor, and all members of the project team based on trust and integrity. While the architect understands the design process and takes into consideration such factors as site constraints, availability of building materials and the application of technology, the real needs of the client are initially known only to the client. The architect must help the client discover their needs and then organize them into a building program from which a final design will evolve. Focusing on the needs of the client throughout the project will result in the most competent design and a successful building project.

Client Focus

The architect also keeps the contractor focused on the best interest of the client throughout the bidding and construction phases of the project, which will result in a final product that has the most possible value for the lowest possible cost. The aesthetic needs of the client and community, for exciting spaces and attractive buildings, can also be achieved in a cost effective manner by utilizing proven construction practices. The quality and thoroughness of the construction documents are key factors in obtaining the most competitive bids and in avoiding conflicts during construction.
By listening to the client and staying focused on the client’s needs through all phases of the project, Balay Architects helps to assure that your project will result in another Client Success Story.

Client Centered Design

At the center of the design process at Balay Architects is the client. We listen to the client through all phases of the project and strive to keep the client involved in all decisions during the design of their project.

The client is afforded many important advantages by this design philosophy

  • Close association with the Architect in examining the requirements, budget, and building site to define the program and scope of the project.
  • Participation in the creation of multiple design solutions that look beyond the Client’s immediate requirements and adapt to his changing needs.
  • Creation of total interior and exterior environments that are functional and exciting places in which to work and live.
  • Common Sense Design that greatly contributes to project completion on time and within budget.

Comprehensive Services

  • Architecture / Engineering
  • Programming / Analysis
  • Design / Master Planning
  • Project Administration
  • Bid / Contract Administration
  • Post Contract Services
  • 3D Interactive Visualization

Areas of Specialization

  • Automotive Sales and Service
  • Private Schools
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Sports / Leisure
  • Leasing Centers / Clubhouses
  • Mixed-use Commercial
  • Historic Restoration / Adaptive Re-use

Our Process

At Balay Architects we believe that our Client Centered Design Process is what builds successful client relationships. The key is to listen and understand the client’s needs, and then put together a project team designed specifically for each project. Utilizing advanced information technology allows the client to keep in close contact with the project team and participate fully in the design process, thereby obtaining maximum flexibility and value.

Awards & Recognition

Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Award
Stillwater Heritage Preservation Commission
Associated Builders and Contractors Award of Honor
Associated Builders and Contractors Award of Excellence
Mangosoft Case Study of Balay Architects 2001