owner | project architect

Zahra Ali-Shapiro


Projects that I have contributed to have won awards and recognition

about zahra

As an NCARB-certified architect holding licenses in multiple states, I have built a reputation for overseeing and delivering projects with excellence to high-profile clients. With a degree in architecture from the University of Illinois in Chicago, graduate coursework from Lawrence Technological University,  and fifteen years of professional experience working for large design firms in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, I have worked on a wide range of project typologies including hospitality, retail, multi-family, mixed-use, healthcare, aviation & transportation, workplace interiors, corporate headquarters, and residential.

I pride myself on my organizational skills and thoroughness, which have enabled me to win repeat clients and help projects achieve recognition and awards.

I am proud to have built a reputation for overseeing and delivering projects with excellence to high-profile clients

As a WELL-accredited and LEED professional, I am committed to designing environments that prioritize occupant health and sustainability.

My deep commitment to design and creating built environments that stimulate human cognition and advance the larger goals of human cooperation and exploration has been forged through extensive travel throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North Africa. I have also had the privilege of spending a lot of time in hotels as a guest, which has informed my design sensibilities in hospitality and residential.

I believe that buildings and spaces should appeal to all our senses, with emotionally-inspiring, cognitively-stimulating, and texturally-complex design elements. Rather than boldness, I find beauty in details, subtlety, innovation, and appreciation for context.

In my free time, I enjoy painting dreamy watercolor scenes, playing the piano, and reading history, philosophy, and classical literature. My diverse interests and experiences have contributed to my well-rounded approach to design, and I look forward to bringing this expertise to your project.

past projects

firm life

I present some of my most notable projects completed at other firms here.


Global Design, HQ | Global

I was brought on as a senior Project Architect within WeWork’s global Creative Studio to lead high-profile enterprise projects and WeWork HQ projects. I also helped establish global design standards which included the look & feel of the WeWork product. Paired with the associated construction details we were able to achieve exceptional quality and performance throughout each location around the world.

Halley Rise

Brookfield Properties | Reston, Virginia | Firm: Morris Adjmi Architects

A 650,000 square-foot mixed-use development within a larger masterplan in the DC-metropolitan area. This Brookfield Properties project included a 30-story, multi-family tower with 300 apartments, retail, specialty food & beverage shops, an entertainment & cinema building, and expansive public green spaces. This was a LEED Silver Project.

Nashville Yards

Park MGM | Nashville, Tennessee | Firm: HOK

A partnership between MGM International Resorts and AEG, an entertainment company, this mixed-use development included three buildings: a 21-story five-star hotel with 315 guest rooms, banquet halls, conference rooms, retail, food & beverage, a music venue and a mixed-use entertainment building. LEED Silver Project.

330 W. 34th St.

Vornado Realty Trust | New York, New York | Firm: HOK

A gut renovation of a Midtown Manhattan Vornado property consisting of an 18-story, 682,000 SF building. Major elements included a new bank of elevators, a double-height lobby, amenities and social spaces, roof terraces, retail areas, and re-design of the building enclosure up to the third floor. This project received a BOMA/NY 2015-16 Pinnacle Award for best renovated building. LEED Platinum certified.

Central Park East

Private Client | New York, New York

High-end interior architecture project that included the complete renovation and interior design of a Upper Eastside Manhattan condominium. Two units were combined into a single 2,800 square foot residence. Luxurious finishes, light fixtures, and furniture were sourced from global vendors and manufacturers for this project.

Novo Nordisk Headquarters

LCOR | Plainsboro, New Jersey | Firm: HOK

For Novo Nordisk’s North American headquarters, we completely overhauled an outdated 1980’s, 731,000 square-foot building stripping the building to only it’s structure. The new design consisted of a new glass and metal panel building enclosure, a Danish-inspired interior, and landscaping. This was an undertaking that deployed a fast-track & integrated project delivery strategy; we began construction before the design phase concluded in order to shorten the time to completion. This project won the Engineering News Record’s “Best of Office/Retail/Mixed-Use” project of 2013.

Washington Union Terminal

Phase 1

Amtrak | Washington, D.C. | Firm: HOK

A feasibility study conducted for one of the most important transportation hubs in the United States, Washington Union Terminal. As the first phase of a Master Plan, the goal of this project was to facilitate subsequent construction phases relieving passenger congestion by relocating the Amtrak crew to a new building. This study was presented to the United States Congress for budgetary approval.

LaGuardia Airport Terminal B

Port Authority of NY/NJ | New York, New York | Firm: HOK

Helped with creating the early vision and concept of Terminal B for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey design competition. Our team at HOK was awarded the project.