Quinn Evans Architects has promoted Alyson Steele, AIA, LEED AP, to executive vice president and chief design officer. Steele, a principal who has been with the firm since 1997, will manage firmwide operations for the growing national practice. In the newly created chief design officer role, she will also oversee architectural design strategies for major projects throughout Quinn Evans Architects’ five offices in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan; and Madison, Wisconsin.
Steele previously served as vice president and managing principal for the Washington, D.C., office. She has provided planning and design leadership for several of the firm’s most notable projects involving the revitalization of highly visited cultural sites, including the development of an innovative historic building information management (HBIM) model of Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Va.; a new visitor center at Ferry Farm, George Washington’s boyhood home in Stafford County, Va.; the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and the Seal and Sea Lion Exhibit at the National Zoological Park, both in Washington, D.C.; and the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia.
Steele recently helped oversee the acquisition of Baltimore-based Cho Benn Holback + Associates, an award-winning design firm that is also well known for its work in historic preservation and urban revitalization.
“We now have five offices that are vibrant and responsive to their distinct markets, yet share much in common: a love of history and an inspired, resourceful approach to contextual design. Our architects and planners create exceptional places—whether urban or rural in context—and restore valuable historic resources within a community.”
Steele says that she plans to emphasize a robust design dialogue between the offices, with regular design reviews and knowledge-sharing. She also plans to incorporate consistent methodology and deeper analysis into the firm’s post-occupancy evaluation of projects. Quinn Evans Architects recently joined the Center for the Built Environment, a research consortium focused on enhancing the environmental quality and energy efficiency of buildings.
Steele holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Stanford University (1989) and a master of architecture from the University of Virginia (1994). She is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Association for Preservation Technology International.