News / 4.30.18

Welcome to Epstein… Priyanka Rao!

Our new Project Architect joining the Architecture Department

We are happy to welcome our new Project Architect, Priyanka Rao, to Epstein!

Most recently, Priyanka worked as an architectural technician for Aria Group Architects. One of her last projects with the Oak Park-based firm was the local Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, where Priyanka served as the lead architectural technician. Prior to Aria, she was employed at a small startup firm, PMPC, as an architectural designer. She worked on residential and small commercial projects. Although, her favorite assignment was a challenging, award-winning Adaptive Reuse Project, which involved converting a dilapidated and abandoned church into student housing apartments. “Unity Hall” is located in the Bronzeville Historic district just outside of the Illinois Institute of Technology (ITT).

Since joining us, she has primarily been working on the People’s Gas Field Service center, a facility which will house People’s Gas personnel and assets that are engaged in operating the utility company and maintaining its infrastructure systems.

Priyanka received her B.Arch, Architecture from the Manipal Institute of Technology and her M.Arch, Architecture from ITT (go Hawks!). During the earlier years of her academic career in India, she also did extensive research on correctional facilities and had the opportunity to visit and study 10 central prisons in India.

“I was drawn to this creative field because there is no limit to the ideas you can design, places you can go and lives you can positively impact while significantly transforming the human environment,” Priyanka said of what led her to join this industry. “A career in architecture has prepared me to be more responsive to the behavioral, social and physical needs of individuals, families and communities.”

She grew up in South India, and loves being outdoors and traveling. Though she has seen most of India, she still has a list of places she hopes to visit. She also attempted a rim-to-rim hike and camped at the Grand Canyon, a place she says she would love to visit again.

So, we’re just going to say it – Priyanka is that crazy cat lady. Self-proclaimed! She is quite proud of the fact that she trained her cat, Fify, to walk on a leash. Furthermore, Fify is fondly referred to as the “walking cat of Streeterville.” The two used to go for walks every nice day by the Riverfront when they lived near there. Fify cannot wait for the summer to begin. Us too, Fify, us too!

Priyanka is also the proud mom of a 7-month-old boy, Milan, who keeps her on her toes.

Once again, welcome, Priyanka! We are thrilled to have you. And please, oh please, bring photos of Fify for your desk. Milan, too!