meet the hewitt team
Our three studios – Architecture, Transportation Architecture and Landscape Architecture – combine to make up HEWITT. We’re a design firm dedicated to improving the way cities move and people live.
Principal, Director of Design - Transportation Architecture
Leah Ephrem, AIA, LEED AP, Assoc. DBIA
As the leader of the Transportation Architecture studio at HEWITT, Leah is motivated by connecting communities and people. Her passion and careful attention to the specific goals and character of each community is evident in the light rail, commuter rail and multi-modal transit centers she designs.
With more than 25 years of architecture experience, including over 15 years of urban transit facility design, Leah is helping shape the Puget Sound’s infrastructure as it prepares for anticipated growth and increased mobility demands. She has successfully directed and managed preliminary engineering and final design in architecture and urban design for a large array of regional transportation projects for Sound Transit, working in collaboration with King County Metro, Seattle DOT and multiple municipalities.
Arian van der Aar
Impelled to design around the sensation of place, Arian came to HEWITT to be a part of the ongoing contribution that interdisciplinary, integrated, responsible architecture makes toward engaging with communities to enrich human experiences and promote vibrant, meaningful places for people. He is currently a team member on the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions project with Sound Transit, igniting his enthusiastic passion for public transportation infrastructure and his belief that careful planning and sensitive station design can strengthen neighborhood identity and increase access to critical, reliable mobility options for transit-dependent riders around the region.
Arian earned his Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Washington and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he has experience with mixed-use residential, industrial, office, hospitality, and retail projects around the country.
Chao Joined HEWITT’s Transportation Architecture team to pursue his passion of influencing the lived experience of others by improving access to public transportation. He believes with greater and more sustainable public transportation that connects cities and communities, we will have a richer human experience, healthier communities and brighter futures.
Chao earned his Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Design at the University of Washington. Originating from a small village of China, Chao has experienced the disconnection and inconvenience of lack of public transportation. Growing up in the rapidly growing city, Fuzhou, he has witnessed both positive and negative impacts of the public transportation system and its infrastructures. His personal experience has taught him how important it is to build environmentally responsible infrastructures in a public transportation system that is more sustained, more integrated and more connected.
Emily Stein, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB
Passionate about equitable sustainable development, Emily is thrilled to be a member of the transportation team at HEWITT. With a diverse professional background including townhouse, hotel, commercial, casino, office, residential interior, lighting design, and master planning projects, she discovered her niche in developing Washington’s transportation networks. She found her dream job of organizing complex information while contributing to building resilient, environmentally responsible infrastructure for Seattle and beyond. Emily is currently working on various projects for Sound Transit and Seattle Department of Transportation.
Emily earned her Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Penn State University and started calling Seattle home five years ago. An avid traveler, she enjoys exploring the world via public transit, occasionally for months at a time, before returning home to her overly talkative cat.
Jan Peter Eklund, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Jan has worked on the design phases for the Northgate Station, Roosevelt Station, and Redmond Technology Link Light Rail Station projects for Sound Transit, and provided design services during construction for Roosevelt Station. Jan is currently part of the team working on the Sound Transit West Seattle to Ballard link extension. Jan is interested in the intersection of transit, urban design and sustainability and is excited to be contributing to the design of Seattle’s public transit system.
An East Coast native, Jan moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2002 to attend the Master of Architecture program at the University of Oregon. After graduating, Jan relocated to Seattle in 2006 and joined HEWITT in 2011.
Driven to design for sustainable and equitable development, Jasmine came to HEWITT to foster her passion for transformative architecture that has a widespread impact and plays a large role in the image of the city. She is currently working on construction administration for the Roosevelt and Northgate Link light rail stations slated to open in 2021, as well as sustainability studies for the Southeast Redmond station and garage. Her previous experience is diverse – spanning across single family residential, hospitality, workplace interiors, recreational and educational facilities, and transportation projects. A highlight of her background was being part of the team responsible for interior renovations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.
Jasmine earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the Ohio State University and her Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech. Originally from the suburbs of Northern Virginia, her love for the built environment and equitable development are shaped by her experiences traveling and observing the wide scope of experiences different people are offered solely based on their economic and geographical status. She hopes to continue providing a wide scope of positive, healthy and sustainable built environments for everyone through thoughtful and collaborative design processes.
Kevin Jones, AIA, NCARB
Inspired by the opportunity to improve public transportation and develop the urban fabric of Seattle, Kevin joined HEWITT eager to help enhance the life of commuters and travelers alike. Kevin is currently working on Redmond Technology Station next to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., where he is facilitating construction phase services through the completion of the transit station and parking garage. Kevin is driven to improve the quality of construction through collaborative project delivery methods such as Design-Build. His experiences working with a Design-Build team have left a lasting impression of how working together can enhance and inform design.
Kevin earned his Master of Architecture from Washington State University. A lifelong resident of the Seattle area, Kevin’s experience with the urban context and local culture is as much a part of his design as his passion for improving the public realm.
Laura Graden-Cotts, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Laura has a deep love of the endless challenges that come with the real-world implementation of the built environment, and thrives on the practical and technical questions that really make a building work. She has unique experience as an architect, serving her formative years as a full-time owner’s on-site representative for both large and small construction projects, and relishes seeing the design on paper become a reality. As a result, she has a unique talent for communicating with owners, designers and contractors alike, as well as an understanding of complex contractual roles required to bring intricate projects to life.
She is currently serving as the team lead for design services during construction for Sound Transit’s Northgate Light Rail Station.
Laura earned her Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from University of Idaho. Her previous experience includes healthcare, biotechnology, and research and development facilities for higher education, and retail facilities.
Mary Wyllie, AIA
Mary has over 20 years of diverse experience in architecture which includes transit, hospitality, retail, office, tenant build-out, renovations and mixed use, and in sustainable/energy saving design. In the 10 years she has been with HEWITT, she has worked as the project manager and project architect on Northgate Station, Judkins Park Station and Downtown Redmond Link Extension early work phase. She also represented Sound Transit as a part of the DBPM team for the final design phase of Downtown Redmond Link Extension. Mary brings that extra level of care and attention to detail that translates into a successful project for the entire team and one that responds to the needs of individual communities.
Active in AIA Seattle, Mary served as co-chair for Women in Design and the AIA Transportation Task Force. She served on committees to plan and host the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit in Seattle and plan a Women in Design installment for the Design in Public’s Design Festival. Mary moved to Seattle to experience and enjoy all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. On any given day, you might find her out on a long run or discovering a new wine.
Morgan Hougland, LEED AP
Morgan has contributed his planning and design skills to several of Sound Transit’s initial future light rail station planning efforts and significantly contributed to several light rail station designs. He is currently providing design services during construction for the Judkins Park Station and the Mercer Island Station on the beginning segment of Sound Transit’s Eastlink expansion. He is also currently providing design guidance on the City of Seattle’s Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit – RapidRide G Line, and the RapidRide J Line through Roosevelt, Eastlake, and Downtown.
Morgan earned his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. He spent a summer studying and building at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, Vermont. He has previous experience designing fire stations and fire training facilities, cultural museums and environmental learning centers, and worked on the restoration of historical multi-story manufacturing buildings into residential lofts, art galleries, and restaurants. This diverse work experience contributes to his drive to design resilient, sustainable facilities, with a focus on the user’s experience of the spaces, and a deft integration of the project into the urban fabric of the site and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Sean Sullivan, AIA
Sean joined HEWITT fourteen years ago with a background in hospitality and adaptive reuse and the goal to practice urban architecture and placemaking. During his early years at HEWITT, Sean enjoyed collaborations with developers and the contributions that he and the HEWITT team made to the fabric of Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. The Northgate Station Parking Garage was Sean’s first transportation project, where he was impressed by the client’s focus on the user’s experience and grew a fondness for the inherent public nature of transportation architecture. Sean has since dedicated the last seven years to expanding the region’s transportation projects and is privileged to continue this journey with HEWITT colleagues, project partners and transportation agencies.
Sean earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design from Miami University and after earning his Master of Architecture from Washington University spent a decade working in St. Louis where he developed an appreciation for the sense of place and history embedded in existing buildings. Sean’s appreciation of the existing built environment combined with his private development project experience have fostered sensibilities useful to the planning phases of Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link, West Seattle and Ballard Link extension projects. Sean’s twenty-five years of experience in the industry allows him to shepherd the design process from concept through construction for the Redmond Transit Center where he and the design build team are working collectively with client and stakeholders to create a unique place that benefits the community while supporting the region’s transportation network.
Founded in 1975
HEWITT is driven in the pursuit of inspired design that deepens the urban experience. We seek innovative solutions through a rigorous exploration of human constructs within historical, cultural and natural conditions. We focus our collective expertise and energy on a wide range of project types. Our work endeavors to evoke strong, positive emotional responses within the complexities of urban life.