EVP with Chicago’s Related Midwest named AIA Fellow

Ann Thompson (Photo courtesy of Related Midwest.)

Ann Thompson, executive vice president of architecture and design with Chicago’s Related Midwest has been elevated to The College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects.

The AIA Fellowship is the organization’s highest membership honor for exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society and is bestowed on only 3% of AIA members.

Thompson leads the design and planning of Related Midwest’s mixed-use, mixed-income, affordable and luxury developments. Since joining the firm 29 years ago, she has overseen the design of a diverse and multifaceted real estate portfolio that has earned her and the firm over 25 awards and recognitions from AIA, Landmarks Illinois, the Urban Land Institute and Crain’s Chicago Business, among others.

Working in more than 30 distinct neighborhoods, Thompson has helped create 5,000 residences – more than half affordable – with a focus on how cumulative project work can culminate in better urban districts and healthier, active and equitable communities.

Among her ongoing and recently completed projects are The Row Fulton Market, Chicago’s first high-rise built under Affordable Illinois legislation; Lathrop, the restoration and transformation of the historic Julia C. Lathrop Homes into mixed-income housing; 400 Lake Shore, a pair of residential towers at the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River; The 78, a transformative master plan along the Chicago River that will convert a vacant, 62-acre site into a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly mixed-use neighborhood; and Roosevelt Square, a 120-acre multi-phase mixed-income development.

Over the course of her career, Thompson has stressed the importance of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion across the industry. In addition to mentoring diverse students and young professionals, she has hired 50 MBE/WBE architecture and engineering firms, awarding them over $15 million in contracts.

Reflecting her philosophy that architecturally significant design should extend beyond the building and enhance the public realm, Thompson has led projects that have created urban community parks, revitalized riverfronts and public art installations.

Thompson serves as the board chair of the Chicago Architecture Center and is a member of the International Women’s Forum, the Chicago Network, the American Institute of Architects and the advisory board for the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois. She is a past board member of the Lycée Français de Chicago, where she led the facility committee, and has served on the city of Chicago’s Committee on Design.

A licensed architect in Illinois, Thompson received her Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.