homeWelcome, sign in or click here to subscribe.login



Architecture & Engineering

print  email to a friend  reprints add to mydjc  

January 9, 2024

Architect Alan Hart dies, VIA practice co-founder

Photo from VIA [enlarge]
VIA’s work includes the John Lewis Memorial Bridge, which opened in Northgate in 2021.

Prominent Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., architect Alan Hart has died at age 71, only a few weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Hart was the co-founder of VIA Architecture (now Perkins Eastman), which has offices in Seattle, Vancouver, B.C., and San Francisco. VIA was founded in 1984. Hart led the firm for over 35 years.

The respected architect was known for his public infrastructure work that gave a heart and voice to communities in metro Vancouver, B.C. Those include one of his earliest projects as the architect in charge of expanding the city's SkyTrain, a role traditionally held by engineers. Hart was honored with the Premier's Award for Accessible Design for his work in this field.


According to a notice from Perkins Eastman, under Hart's unwavering personal dedication, VIA garnered recognition on both sides of the U.S./Canada border as the firm blazed trails in technology, the design process, and the role of the architect in the world.

Infrastructure was also a focus of Hart and his firm's work in Seattle. Recent local infrastructure projects included the renovation of the Westlake monorail station, which was completed in 2021, and the John Lewis Memorial Bridge that connects people walking, rolling and biking between North Seattle College and Northgate station across Interstate 5. This bridge also opened in 2021.

Hart was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on April 15, 1952, the son of George and Jean Hart, and the fourth of six children. The family moved to Ottawa when Hart was six and to Montreal four years later. He earned a bachelor's in urban systems at McGill University and his graduate degree at the University of British Columbia.

Hart had a love of music — popular, rock and classical. He combated a stutter in early adolescence, which he overcame and went on to be a presenter around the world on architectural and transit projects. The notice said he loved wine, traveled extensively, and being a father meant everything to him.

Hart is survived by his partner Deborah Frausto; his son Brandon and wife, Faye Hart, and granddaughter, Lockelee Hart; his daughter, Sage Raven Hart-Talkington; his siblings Charles, Gwendolyn, Deborah, Jonathan and Jennifer; and many nieces and nephews.

Perkins Eastman describes Hart as a larger-than-life presence and an empathetic listener, with a humble and curious mind, eager to solve the next problem. He relished being a friend, mentor, and advocate for his colleagues, graciously sharing in their triumphs as well as their hardships. The firm notes that his work will continue through the hundreds of professionals Hart inspired to fearlessly seek a better way of building, thinking and being.

Email or user name:
Forgot password? Click here.