Frank Mahan


Principal - Design, Adaptive Reuse Practice Leader

New York

Frank Mahan approaches his work with the conviction that sustainable cities must blend new construction with stewardship of existing building stock. He is adept at weaving together a project’s aspirations with the history of its site, while balancing local economic and regulatory requirements, to create buildings that support healthy and vibrant cities.

A recognized leader in preservation and adaptive reuse, Frank sees our existing buildings as key components of a global effort to combat climate change. Through adaptive reuse, he believes that architects can save embodied carbon while reviving our most cherished cultural landmarks. Frank begins these projects with deep research in order to understand the history of a building before shaping its next life—a method that he has applied in the redevelopment of icons like the Waldorf Astoria and the James A. Farley Post Office.

He is also pioneering an emerging type of work—the rejuvenation of aging midcentury modern buildings. With a portfolio that includes some of SOM’s own legacy projects, such as Lever House and 9 West 57th Street, this work is enhancing the vitality and sustainability of midcentury landmarks.

Frank has been recognized with the AIA Young Architects Award and has been named to Building Design+Construction’s 40 Under 40 list.

With adaptive reuse projects, I love that each building has its own collection of stories to tell — a history that must be understood and harnessed in order to give it new life.

Selected Work