Frank Mahan


Principal - Design, Adaptive Reuse Practice Leader

New York

Frank Mahan leads the design of some of SOM’s largest and most complex projects in New York, where he is helping to reshape some of the city’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods including Lower Manhattan, East Midtown, and the West Side. With a track record for building consensus, he is adept at navigating the city’s wide variety of stakeholders and regulatory agencies, including the Department of City Planning and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. 

Frank is an expert in preservation and adaptive reuse, and approaches his work with the conviction that our existing building stock can be part 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 his adaptive reuse projects with deep research in order to understand the history of a building before shaping its next life—a method that has led to the successful redevelopment of icons like the Waldorf Astoria and the James A. Farley Post Office

He is 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 our 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