1253

What Pro Bono Work Has Taught Us

by Audrey Alverson

Pro bono architecture: Why do we do it?

Hacker has long been a signatory of the 1+ Program, which challenges designers to dedicate 1% or more of their time to pro bono service – but through trial and error over the years, we often found it challenging to bring this work to fruition. After a few fits and starts, and some mostly small-scale projects and studies, last year we decided to put some teeth to our commitment to pro bono service. Through this process, we’ve learned that the problem was never a lack of desire or good intentions, but more so a lack of planning.

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1139

Building Community: PCC Cascade’s New Student Union

by Nick Hodges

As higher-education institutions rapidly adapt their curricula and campuses to accommodate new models of learning, the line between places for studying and socializing, learning and leisure time has become blurred, to say the least. We’ve written about how that transition has prompted big changes in the conception and design of libraries, but it’s also led colleges and universities to reconsider the traditional role of the student union.

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1099

From the Vaults: OHSU’s BICC

by Sarah Bell

Of all the potential projects that I could write about for these “From the Vaults” blog posts, Oregon Health & Sciences University’s Biomedical Information Communications Center (BICC, for short) is the one I’ve been most intimidated by. Mostly because it is one of my all-time favorite projects, in addition to being the first large education project completed by the firm (the building opened in 1991). It’s not a stretch to say that winning the commission in 1987 and subsequent completion of the building was seminal in the formation of THA. The firm was just 4 years old, and the 81,000 sf building’s wide acclaim put the firm on the map, led directly to another large project at OHSU (the School of Nursing), and laid the track for nearly 40 higher education buildings completed since the BICC’s opening.

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1067

THA Field Trip!

by Daniel Childs

Last week, our entire office got to step away from our desks, hop on a bus, and take an all-day field trip to see some of THA’s finished projects. We were fortunate to have most of our Principals on board, including THA’s founding principal, Thom Hacker (and his wife, Margaret). Without email, Revit, or ringing phones, it was nice to spend time with co-workers outside of our project teams and daily office rituals.

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1045

Reflections on a Practicum at THA

by Higinio Turrubiates

Beyond the classroom.

As part of my final year at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, I had the opportunity to pursue work as a practicum student for six months before I graduate in May. That I was able to pursue this opportunity with any firm in the country was extremely daunting and I didn’t know where to start. Initially, I thought I would take this opportunity to work in Chicago or on the East Coast, but quickly my research changed my mind. As I began to notice that different regions of the country have certain architectural styles and that I was drawn to the projects found in the West and Northwest, I decided to focus there, and ended up at THA. Read more

986

A Smattering of Sketches | Round 2

by Audrey Alverson

From sketchbook notes to napkin-style drawings to playing with color, it all happens. Please enjoy a peek into our sketchbook.

And if you missed the last round of sketches we posted, take a look.

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893

Behind the Lens: Photographing Discovery Hall

by JD Gutermuth

When done well, a photograph can tell the story of a place – and as architects, we rely on images to tell our stories, to show people what we do. The art of architectural photography lies in being able to compose the photograph in a way that captures the essence, atmosphere, and beauty of the building. This takes precision, an incredible eye for design, and loads of patience.

I recently had the opportunity to assist at an architectural shoot, and take a look behind the lens as THA’s just-completed Discovery Hall (at University of Washington Bothell) was being photographed by Lara Swimmer, a Seattle-based photographer.

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821

Atriums: Bang or Bust?

by Laurie Canup

Last November, Dave Banks (CPP Wind), Mitch Dec (Glumac), and I had the great opportunity to do a presentation at Greenbuild about atrium designs, energy efficiency, and smoke control systems. Particularly in the Northwest region, atrium spaces can offer great energy saving benefits by bringing daylight into the building core and offering a pathway for natural and passive ventilation. However, fire and life safety issues present a design challenge. Throughout the design of the Lewis Integrative Science Building (LISB) at the University of Oregon, we learned a lot about how to design these spaces – both to save energy and to provide a safe environment in the event of a fire. For buildings that have a true atrium space, effective smoke control is an important part of ensuring life safety. After all, if it isn’t safe, it isn’t sustainable.

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721

A Smattering of Sketches | For Fun

by Audrey Alverson

Yes, we do still draw by hand.

For all the hand sketches and diagrams we generate during the design process, most are rarely seen outside the office — have a peek!

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657

Security Obscurity

by Kelsey McWilliams

Upon reading that the Chapel of Ronchamp had recently been vandalized, I was surprised; but even more so I was offended. Personally offended. It’s not that I have an especially close connection to Le Corbusier’s Chapel; In fact I’ve never even seen it in person. I just remember learning about it in school and seeing the photos of the original drawings. They were swoopy, organic, charcoal drawings that captured the weight of the structure but at the same time were based on the fulcrum of the human arm in a simple gesture.

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