Founding Principal and Design Director
Founding Principal, Mary Ann Van Hook, AIA, LEED AP leads the management of the firm and serves as the Principal In Charge overseeing quality control and contract compliance for diverse building types and multi-project programs.
Her 40 years of experience performing a variety of roles, including Managing Architect, Architect of Record, Design Architect, Owner’s Representative and Construction Manager, uniquely positions her to view a project from many perspectives. Clients and colleagues appreciate her knowledge of construction and ability to read people as well as she reads a set of drawings. Her energetic determination combined with her unique skills enable her to move a project along while assuring its constructability and effectiveness.
Mary Ann is a strong advocate for the growth and equitable participation of disadvantaged, minority and woman owned businesses in the AEC industry. She is an involved member of Hispanic American Construction Industry Association and currently serves on the Scholarship Foundation Board and on the Professional Development Committee. She also is a certified Illinois Capital Development Board Project Manager for Architecture/Engineering and a member of several design industry organizations.
Mary Ann received her Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she participated in Unite Pedigogique d’Architecture 3 while attending the Ecoles des Beaux Arts in Versailles, France.
As part of a young design practice at the beginning of the 21st century, I am energized by the prospect of designing buildings that support and dignify contemporary life. We live at a unique time in the evolution of American culture, an era of limits; limits on budgets and schedules, on energy and infrastructure.
At the same time, the programmatic and performance requirements of projects are more complex than ever. Rather than bemoan this current state of affairs, I embrace it. I use these limits to discipline and prioritize my design process and focus on the aspects of the project, including its resources and community most essential to creating a positive outcome.
Founding Principal and Design Director, Avram (Avi) Lothan, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C leads the direction and development of the firm’s design efforts. Effective consensus building and a stimulating exchange of ideas define his process, while intellectual creativity and determination distinguish his outcome.
Characterized by a global and humanistic approach to contemporary architecture, his projects are widely recognized for planning and design excellence. Top-tier publications and organizations, respected by the architectural community as well as clients’ professional industries, regularly honor his work with editorial features and awards. Avi demonstrates his generous dedication to charitable and educational causes through years of teaching, advising, and pro bono services. He is an active member of several cultural and professional organizations and has served on the Board of Directors and various committees at Elmhurst Art Museum, Society for Contemporary Art, Harvard Club of Chicago, American Institute of Architects, and National Public Housing Museum.
Avi received a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University. Upon graduating from Harvard University, the National Professional Fraternity for Architecture and the Allied Arts honored Avi with the coveted Alpha Rho Chi Medal to recognize his affinity for leadership, willing service, and promise of professional merit through his attitude and personality.