Architecture is an art form that has always been subject to evolution, constantly adapting to the changing needs of society. At Hanbury, we believe that the greatest creative evolution is born from unrelenting experimentation. As the design landscape continues to evolve, we have taken a step back to reflect and ask ourselves some fundamental questions: Who are we? Do we experiment enough? And by that metric, are we evolving enough? Through honest introspection emerged the desire to push beyond the ordinary boundaries of our industry and embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth. Our foray into the unknown marks a new chapter in our story, marked by exploration of new ideas, designs, and passions.
At the center of this new chapter lies a dynamic entity, one that challenges our own preconceived notions through an embracement of untethered creativity. The fuel? Orange Juice, a vibrant punch of energy that powers the team’s relentless pursuit of fresh perspectives. This creative collective set out to create something reflective of their own internal passions and interests that extend beyond architecture’s conventional field-of-view. From film and fashion, to set design and video games, the team draws inspiration from a variety of influences, resulting in designs that are both practical and functional, yet flavorful, thought-provoking, and visually stunning.
Our focus at Hanbury remains on creating designs that we can be proud of. It’s not about following the latest trends like Artificial Intelligence or coding, but rather is representative of an introspective examination of our personal growth and evolution as designers.
As we pivot, grow, and juice more oranges, our warehouse continually expands, and so does our knowledge. With luck, maybe we will be successful in nudging respected professional practice and avant-garde art just ever so slightly closer to one another, aiding in an evolution of architectural expression.
So, where does this journey take Hanbury? We don’t have a clear answer, but we trust our abilities and instincts. So far, we’ve been invigorated by the results. From mulling over neon pink fuzzy chairs to dropping augmented-reality murals, we are embracing the unknown, continuously driven by a love of design, a commitment to creativity, and a desire to set the table with something truly memorable.
Join us as we pull back the curtain and invite you to step inside our ever-evolving think tank, experiential lab, and in-house art gallery to witness the fruits of our exploratory work. Handpicked, pressed, and served in a refreshing glass.
This Member Voice was submitted by Hanbury Orange Juice contributors Jack Wasielewski, Tony Lin, and Alec Yuzhbabenko. A multi-disciplinary architecture, design and planning firm, Hanbury shapes civic and community, higher education, and life science environments and experiences.
Erica Cochran Hameen, Assoc. AIA, is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture, where she directs its equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, and co-directs the Center for Building Performance & Diagnostics. She holds a B.Arch. from Virginia Tech and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon in Building Performance & Diagnostics, and serves as the Track Chair for the Doctor of Design degree program. Hameen observes that this generation of architecture students arrive at their first year studios with a greater sense of agency than before. That’s good, says Hameen, because they’ll need it to make a difference as the next generation of architects, engineers, and designers.
As someone who trained to be an architect and now helps designers consider their pathways, how would you characterize the professional landscape today?
In terms of students, they’re coming into the university with more agency than before. It’s exciting because we see students from multiple demographics who are expressing the intricacies and qualities of their demographics, and asking questions about how they can bring their experiences into design. We haven’t always seen that, and we see it today more and more. I see this with undergraduate and graduate students—they’re thinking about things from a global perspective. They’re asking how they can help people in the tropical global south—and these are students in Pittsburgh— who recognize that certain regions are disproportionately suffering from climate change. So, I see a generation of students who are thinking that way—about regions outside their own and regions beyond their experience.
What is the ethical imperative of architecture?
Making our buildings sustainable—and when I say that, I don’t mean just solar panels. We must think about it holistically. Sustainability deals with diversity, economics, and inclusivity. If we’re talking about Pittsburgh, African Americans here have the second highest energy burden rate in this country—which means you are spending a disproportionate amount of income on your appliance, taking buses and rides, cooling and heating your home. It is important to ask: Are you living in a place where your R-value is compromised because of your leaky roof? Are your children learning in a school where the air filters haven’t been cleaned lately and whose walls are crumbling? Do you live in a place where, 50 years ago, a highway was brought through the heart of the neighborhood? All of these things have an impact on our physiological health, our emotional health, and our mental health.
Before the pandemic, we spent 90 percent of our time indoors. As we migrated to spending more and more time indoors because of the pandemic, it rose to 95 percent. For those without means, low-income Americans—it’s imperative that they have opportunities for quality design. As architects and designers, we have a responsibility to ensure that our buildings don’t leak, have the right R-values, are airtight, and are properly ventilated.
How can architecture co-opt the concepts and practices associated with justice in a way that is meaningful?
Changing our building codes and making certain things a requirement. If we want to right wrongs, that’s what we have to do. If you’re designing housing or schools, it should be a requirement that you’re awarded LEED Gold. All low-income housing should be zero-energy housing. These are people who don’t have a lot of money and disposable income, so why should they pay energy bills? That’s one way to right an economic wrong. Another thing we can do is make post-occupancy evaluations a requirement—as part of our design process. It’s not enough to finish the project. We have to return to it and make sure what we designed is working the way it should. Thermal, acoustical, spatial—all the dimensions. Architects’ fees should be tied to it—and they shouldn’t get the last paycheck until the building is verified to be working as designed.
I teach a course on Indoor Environmental Quality, or IEQ, and in the second half of the course, students go and measure building environmental conditions—in disadvantaged communities. For one of the class projects, we went into a newly renovated school where we measured CO2 levels 400 percent higher than it’s supposed to be. The facility manager said, “Yes, in this classroom—the kids are very sleepy and the teacher complains about headaches,” and it was because that room had zero fresh air. Windows were sealed and nobody there knew had to adjust the mechanical system to receive fresh air. If there was a requirement for a post-occupancy evaluation and a provision for facility manager training on new systems contingent on the final design and construction payment, the poor air quality conditions could have been alleviated.
What are some concepts that you think the next generation of architects will have to redefine or, in some cases, define for the first time?
On the technical side, the next generation will need to address where to put the vapor barrier—and this is me wearing my techie hat. The maps that were drawn for America in terms of climate and temperatures are different now. It used to be that we always put the vapor barrier on the warm side of the wall, but what do you do for walls constructed in a colder region with a climate that is now much warmer than 30 or 50 years ago? The weather data files we were using in our energy modeling simulations were based on temperature ranges and climate data over a 25 year period almost 20 years ago, from 1991 to 2005—the weather files have had to change because our climate today includes noticeably warmer temperatures and precipitation variances. The next generation is going to have to identify what we’re going to do with our existing building stock—how do you retrofit them to prevent mold? I don’t know the answer, but I think my students will figure it out.
Also, I think the demographics of our cities are changing quickly and there are greater desires to recognize and express individual cultures. We must understand that different cultures have different needs—and if you have a client that’s of a different culture than yours, how do you identify and respect what’s important to them, and bring it into your design work? In terms of gender, I challenge my students on how they design bathrooms—why can’t there be gender neutral restrooms everywhere? Why can’t we have changing tables and spaces for nursing and breast pumping in every building? Quality design is also about empathy, and the more we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes—as people and as designers—the more successful we’ll be in redefining architecture.
William Richards is a writer and the Editorial Director of Team Three, an editorial and creative consultancy based in Washington, DC.
In early November, AIA Virginia partnered with the Hanbury Community Design Lab to leverage the opportunity of having hundreds of visiting designers in Richmond for its annual Architecture Exchange East conference by hosting a design charrette to reimagine a site within the Broad Street Arts District.
Manoj Dalaya, FAIA, founding principal and co-President of KGD Architecture, with offices in Washington, D.C., Arlington, Bangkok, and Boston, talks a lot about the concept of balance as the basis of good design and forging a design-based architectural practice. Dalaya, the 2021 President of AIA Northern Virginia, received AIA Virginia’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2018 in part because of his leadership in balancing the requirements of clients seeking security in their office buildings as well as healthy, open, and light-infused spaces for their employees. “It’s an interesting question — balance,” he says, “and if you go back to look at the role of the architect, it’s always to keep things in balance from the first conversation to the last punch list item.”
Lauren Wingo, a senior structural engineer with Arup based in their Washington, D.C. office, discusses her work on the renovation of 80 M Street SE — three floors designed by Hickok Cole constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT) totaling nearly 108,000 square-feet of commercial office and conference space atop an existing seven-story office building. CLT is part of a family of engineered wood products known as mass timber that are far stronger than traditional lumber and used to span distances normally reserved for steel beams. The project is the first of its kind in Washington D.C. to feature a vertical extension constructed using mass timber and the first high-rise overbuild timber structure in North America.
On Nov. 3, 2022, AIA Virginia announced architect Paul Battaglia, AIA, will be its next Executive Vice President bringing more than 25 years of practice, teaching, administration, and business development experience to lead the 2,500-member organization. Since 2011, Battaglia has been at Clark Nexsen, in recent years as a principal engaged in business development, where has specialized in education, research, outreach, and strategic partnerships. Battaglia has also held faculty positions at Hampton University, North Carolina State College of Design, VCU, and Virginia Tech, where he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture.
William Abrahamson, AIA, is a senior associate at Grimm + Parker Architects, with offices in Charlottesville, Tysons, and Calverton, Maryland. He’s also Co-Chair of Virginia’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), which is hosting “Creating Your Sustainability Action Plan,” a workshop at Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx) in November. Since July, Virginia COTE members have been presenting a multi-part series called “Embodied Carbon 101,” which originated with the Boston Society of Architecture and aims to empower architects at the design and specification stages (and beyond) to make sustainable choices. At ArchEx, Abrahamson and COTE will offer specific and actionable steps for architects and designers to continuously work with the environment in mind.