Join us for Best Practice, a virtual fireside chat series dedicated to practice operations at architecture firms and beyond. From pain points to potential, hear how leaders in the architecture and engineering industry are innovating through new business models and managerial techniques.
We’re chatting with Brad McWhirter and Margaret Jankowsky of Trahan Architects.
Brad McWhirter, AIA is Partner at Trahan Architects. “Design is a search for the right response.” A New Orleans native, Brad left the Crescent City to study architecture at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Graduating in 2002, he joined Trahan Architects as an intern and through the years quickly grew into a managerial role, becoming a Partner in 2017. Growing up with a father who worked in the machining and fabrication industry, Brad has a keen interest in precision — developing a trained eye for detail at a very young age. He is passionate about process and execution, and takes pride in ensuring that the end product meets and exceeds the conceptualized design. Brad’s expertise includes a wide range of building typologies and scales of projects, designing and executing numerous sports venues, cultural spaces, event centers, hospitality spaces and office buildings to name a few. He oversaw the rebuilding of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome following its devastation by Hurricane Katrina, a $200 million dollar renovation which was designed and constructed in just 9 months, as well as the award winning Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame, widely praised for its low construction cost relative to the complexity of the architecture and materiality. Brad thrives on the academic nature of the studio environment Trahan Architects has created, and views each project as a unique opportunity for study, discovery and implementation. In his free time, he enjoys boating and fishing in the unique and naturally beautiful bayous and byways of the Mississippi River Delta where he grew up.
Margaret Jankowsky, ASLA is the Director of Urban Design at Trahan Architects. Margaret aims to improve cities through their public realm and open space. With a background in landscape architecture, urban design, architecture and theory, her deep love for cities and the energy found in urban public spaces is paired with an understanding of how large-scale environmental, social and infrastructural systems interact with and impact one another. Margaret has over fourteen years of design experience, from working on large-scale public realm projects in Seattle and Miami, to highly detailed garden design. Jankowsky was one of the Urban Design Forum’s 2018 Forefront Fellows, where her collaborative work researching homelessness in New York City led to a proposal to create a citywide Office of the Public Realm. She was the co-editor of The High Line (Phaidon 2015), documenting the design and cultural impact of this transformational piece of urban infrastructure. She has been a guest critic for design studios at PennDesign, RISD, Columbia University’s GSAPP, Kean University and Rensselaer University. Prior to joining Trahan Architects, Margaret was the Director of Development at James Corner Field Operations for 5 years.
In this 45 minute chat, we'll talk to Brad and Margaret about collaborating across disciplines.
Trahan Architects is a global architecture firm with offices in New Orleans and New York founded on the belief that the mindful design of everyday spaces can elevate human experience. Learn more at trahanarchitects.com