Trahan Architects, an award-winning global architecture firm founded by Victor F. “Trey” Trahan, III, FAIA, announced today that it has appointed Kevin Thomas as Managing Principal, and April De Simone as Principal, in its New York City Studio.
Thomas led REX’s Brown University Performing Arts Center project and maintains a résumé that includes more than 21 years of experience designing projects from theatres to university buildings, healthcare facilities, and commercial towers. Thomas worked on several prestigious institutional and cultural projects, including the Kellogg School of Management, Global Hub at Northwestern University; Sprague Memorial Hall for the Yale University School of Music in New Haven CT; the Young Centre for the Performing Arts for Soulpepper Theatre; George Brown College in Toronto; Massey Hall in Toronto; and the LEED Platinum Manitoba Hydro Place in downtown Winnipeg.
“Kevin excels in collaborative processes with a wide range of participants and is tireless in his pursuit of design excellence," said Trahan. "He brings expertise in the design and delivery of complex building projects. His exceptional balance of design and management skills, technical knowledge, and commitment to uncovering the best possible solutions to project challenges has made him a well-rounded Managing Principal with a proven ability to lead large teams and function as the client’s partner for the proper development of the projects."
Thomas said, “I was immediately drawn to Trahan’s refined and timeless designs that are webbed into their architectural stories. I’m excited to be part of a team that inspires us to look at our surroundings, materials and society to create profound physical statements that inspires, motivates and values environmental conservancy.”
As a transdisciplinary designer, De Simone brings 20 years of experience navigating the intersectionality of architecture, planning and systems thinking. Her work, inspired by her experiences growing up in the Bronx, New York, cultivates reframed opportunities within pedagogy and processes, advancing opportunities within the practice of architecture to spatialize healing, equity and restitution. In 2015, De Simone co-founded Designing the WE, where she co-curated the exhibition and platform, Undesign the Redline, which explores the historical and contemporary spatial reverberations of unjust policies and practices like residential racial ordinances, Redlining and Urban Renewal.
“I deeply admire April's work in understanding the spatialization of systemic racism and other perceptions within the built environment, and her continual optimism that we can design a better world -- one that brings us together and truly allows us to realize the full potential of our democratic ideals,” said Trahan. “It is important for architecture to be intentional about equity and justice. I am inspired by April and the matrix of collective efforts that led to this moment.”
De Simone said, “Joining the Trahan Architects team not only carves a space for clients who are committed or want to learn how to incorporate spatial justice and equity into their projects but who also want to work with a firm that practices such an ethos internally. This proves with the right intentionality we can move architecture in a progressive direction and respond to Whitney M. Young’s call to action in his 1968 speech to the AIA where still today we are facing many of the same challenges within the industry and built environment.”
Trahan Architects was founded on the belief that the mindful design of everyday spaces can elevate human experience. It is a multi-disciplinary firm with projects that include the renovation of the Caesars Superdome (formerly the Mercedes-Benz Superdome) in New Orleans and the Coca-Cola Stage at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Trahan Architects is ranked the number one design firm by Architect 50, the annual ranking by Architect magazine, the official publication of American Institute of Architects, which topped the list by building “dramatic, sumptuous and well-detailed projects.” Trahan Architects has received over 100 national, regional and local awards, as well as several international design competitions, including five National AIA Awards.