From her travels to places as far flung as Paris and Hong Kong, Kate Egan has made a study of buildings in all corners of the globe.
“Getting out there and seeing the world has really impacted me,” said Egan, who has been in the industry for 15 years.
Egan is now an indispensable member of the Bray design team for several multimillion-dollar K-12 projects, including a recent expansion and renovation of Mayville High School and the design and construction of the new Neenah High School.
Egan has also worked on addition and renovation projects for the Waukesha School District, which she attended as a student. There she advocated for bright and open spaces — calling, for instance, for the demolition of an inefficient and inaccessible cafeteria at Les Paul Middle School and overseeing the design of a new space with better accommodations for wheelchairs, said Matthew Wolfert, principal and president of Bray Architects. She also led an effort to install an elevator at Butler Middle School.
“These initiatives illustrate … the ways in which she consistently seeks to make a more equitable world through architecture,” Wolfert said.
Egan has a love for benchmarking and being onsite to witness how a building is coming together. She is recognized by clients for her involvement in listening sessions, site visits and construction updates.
“She has a nice ability to make sense of all the moving pieces,” said Agatha Vonderberg, architect and design specialist at Bray. “Architecture is a pretty complex machine. There’s a lot of input and reading between the lines. She does a really nice job of extracting those meanings and being proactive about clients’ intentions.”
Even with more and more work going online and being conducted on computers, Vonderberg said, Egan manages to bring humanity and warmth to projects.
“Every building is special and different,” Egan said. “I try to form relationships with the people who will be using the building to really listen to their priorities, their goals and vision.”