Finegold Alexander Staff Spotlight: Megan Hoover, AIA

Megan shares her journey from childhood dreams to shaping communities through passion, principles, and transformative design.

Megan Hoover, AIA, NCARB
July 31, 2023
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This month's Staff Spotlight is all about Megan Hoover! Megan is a diligent and efficient architect with significant experience in all project phases. Megan has significant experience in design development through construction documentation for a variety of project types including retail, corporate office spaces, and educational institutions. Megan's most recent project was York Judicial Center and now she is currently working on Beverly City Hall, Jones Library, and Barnstable Probate & Family Court.

Q: What inspired you to become an architect/designer?

I was always into designing things as a kid whether it was making plans for a new treehouse, re-designing my bedroom, or creating things from items I found around my house. In high school, I really excelled in physics and math classes, but also developed a love for drawing and painting. When I learned what it meant to be an architect and what the field of architecture was all about, I knew that it would be a good fit for me, and I never looked back.

Megan H. in the studio at Parsons School of Design

Q: If you could give advice to a young designer what would you say?

Maintain balance. This profession can be consuming in both your academic and professional careers. It is easy to become passionate about every design you create, and the work involved to produce a final product is immense. It is important to have a life outside of architecture to maintain both your health and personal relationships. Having a balanced life will only make you a better designer throughout your career.

Q: Do you have any guiding design principles in your process?

Keep it simple and improve the surrounding context, but don’t be afraid to break some rules.  All projects should meet the needs of the client and better the surrounding community. The best designs meet these criteria but also question traditional form.

Q: What have been some of your career highlights/proudest achievements so far?

Aside from becoming licensed in 2021, I’ve been lucky enough to be part of some great project teams within our office that have produced some exceptional work. Most notably, for the past three years, I have been part of the team that completed construction documents and oversaw the construction of the York Judicial Center in Biddeford, Maine. This project was just completed this past spring, and it has been rewarding to hear how our hard work has improved the experiences of the court employees who occupy the building every day.    

Q: Do you have a favorite city to visit for architecture?

It’s a toss-up between New York City and Chicago, although I’m biased toward New York after living there for several years! Some of the best architects in the world have had a huge impacts on both cities and it’s always exciting to see new developments in both locations. Internationally, I would love to visit Copenhagen – I’ve heard great things about the architecture and culture in that city too.

The Shed, New York City – photo courtesy of

Q: Do you have a favorite building or perhaps a favorite architect?

I’ve always admired the work of Alejandro Aravena and his perspective on social housing and the balance of technology, natural materials, and local manual labor and craft. He makes architecture accessible to populations that need it the most, and I appreciate the vision of making housing and public spaces available to the entire community, rather than only to those that can afford it. My favorite project by his office, Elemental, is his affordable housing development in Iquique, Chile. Given the low available budget, Aravena chose to design a “half good house” rather than a “whole bad house” for each unit, meaning each structure provided the basics of plumbing and shelter, which residents could then expand using their own labor and skill. This allowed the housing units to remain affordable, while giving residents the tools to create a home reflecting the different skills and desired aesthetics of the houses’ inhabitants.

Alejandro Aravena Buildings – photo courtesy ofArchDaily