WERK | Building Modern is a group of Indianapolis Custom Builders and Construction Managers (CM) helping clients BUILD highly personal, customized, detailed architecture and interiors; selectively working with progressive single-family residential and commercial clientele.


Who are we?  We are the Architects at HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles, and we started building our own projects around 2004.

Why do we prefer building the projects that we designed?  Simply, we want HAUS projects to be built correctly.  Building allows us to make that happen with oversight of every aspect of the project, enhancing our client relationships and simplifying the process as one point-of-contact.

So, what’s the backstory?  Having apprenticed at commercial, design-focused architectural firms, we became accustomed to a process of design and construction that was comprehensive and well-documented, with all design decisions going through the Architect.  When we began working in the residential design marketplace in the late 1990’s, we quickly learned that this was a different ballgame.  In Indiana at that time, having an Architect involved on a residential project appeared to be relatively rare, the market was dominated by builders who often led the process with or without design professionals involved, and there appeared to be general lack of design sophistication and documentation.  Our most prevalent ongoing professional concern over the last 20 years in the residential market involves errors, misinterpretations, or unapproved design changes that continue to occur during the construction phase.  WERK | Building Modern was formed to protect the design vision with seamless professional execution.

How could construction errors happen and why are they not always corrected?  In commercial design/construction, it’s a normal and expected practice to have the Architect as an active participant during the Bidding and Construction phases of the project to answer questions, provide supplementary details, and provide regular site visits to ensure construction meets design-intent (ie, protect the interests of the client).  But in the residential marketplace where Architect involvement is less common, the client may choose not to involve the Architect during bidding/construction phases.  This is when problems can occur, as mistakes may not be noticed until it is too late.  Or compromises may have been agreed to by client as suggested by builder without the benefit of Architect review.

What are the advantages of having WERK lead the building process?  Having originated the design, the Architect has already dreamed it, drawn it, detailed it, and virtually walked-through it before construction begins.  With Architect as Master Builder, execution of design concepts and alternatives along the way (ie, value engineering) receive the benefit of daily Architect oversight and clear communication at each step of the process, which is a major benefit of direct collaboration between Architect, trade contractors, and client.  Clear communication by less parties may also translate into less time, less cost, and higher quality.  With WERK, our clients get a 2-for-1 and better outcomes.

If you care about excellent design and protecting the vision during the construction phase, then WERK | Building Modern may be the perfect partner in the planning, management, and oversight of your building process from beginning-to-end.


Obviously, we collaborate regularly with our sister company, HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles, in a design-build arrangement.

If you are interested in excellent design and see the benefits of an Architect-led process, please contact WERK or HAUS to see if we may be the right fit to help meet your goals!


Chris Short – Owner/Principal – AIA, LEED AP BD&C, NCARB
Derek Mills – Project Management/Trade Collaboration
Paul Reynolds – Architect/Maker/Builder


Phone:  317.652.2828
Email:  angle@werk-build.com
Address:  933 N Layman Avenue – Studio 1, Indianapolis, IN  46219


Check out our project stories below and please check back for ongoing updates, as we have a lot of new news to share!