Hickok Cole Celebrates 2022 Fall Promotions

Twice a year, we formally recognize our employees’ astounding achievements and contributions to the firm with a round of promotions. This month, we’re pleased to share that Bertin Radifera, Thomas (Tom) Corrado, and Paul Quast—who represent a combined 48 years with Hickok Cole—have been elevated to Associate Principal.

Lauded for their project excellence and leadership within the firm, we’re also thrilled to promote Emily Giannone, RA, WELL AP, Jordan Camp, IIDA, Joseph O’Connor, and Zaki Mallasi, PhD, MSc VE, LEED BD+C to Associate.

Clockwise: Jordan Camp, Joseph O’Connor, Thomas Corrado, Paul Quast, Bertin Radifera, Emily Giannone, and Zaki Malassi.

“Many of us have been with the firm for decades, a testament to the community and culture we’ve worked hard to cultivate. It’s an immense privilege to take on new opportunities and challenges alongside the people you trust and respect most,” said Robert Holzbach, AIA, LEED AP, Hickok Cole’s Principal and Commercial Office Director. “With the well-deserved additions of Bertin, Tom, and Paul to the Associate Principal group, there’s no doubt our firm will be stronger and better positioned for long-term growth and success.”

  • Bertin Radifera, AIA – Since joining Hickok Cole in 2015, Bertin has successfully developed and cemented our repositioning service, leveraging his project management skills and appreciation for his hometown to give old buildings a second life. From institutional building renovations to surgical interventions in office buildings and everything in between, Bertin’s expertise runs the gamut. Bertin is a member of the AIA and currently serves on the firm’s DEI Council. His most notable projects include St. Thomas Parish, Studio Theater, MLK Gateway Phase I, and Franklin Square.
  • Thomas (Tom) Corrado, LEED AP – Having joined the firm in 2006, Tom’s design career has catapulted him from residential to commercial projects throughout the DMV. Passionate about design and its impact on both the planet’s and human health, he is credited with spearheading our firm’s mass timber research, securing several studies, grants, and projects along the way. As Senior Project Designer, Tom recently delivered 80 M Street, the first mass timber addition to an office building in the Mid-Atlantic, as well as Anthem Row and 909 Rose Avenue.
  • Paul Quast, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CSI CDT – Paul is one of our most tenured employees, having solidified his career at Hickok Cole in 1997. A member of the Construction Specifications Institute, AIA, and Hickok Cole’s internal Quality Control Committee, Paul specializes in contract administration and leverages his impeccable attention to detail to expertly steer projects from design documentation through completion. His portfolio ranges from commercial to residential projects and includes The Avenue, 909 Rose Avenue, and the International Spy Museum.

“We’re always proud of our staff and take great pride in nurturing their talent. So, it’s especially rewarding when they move into a new or higher leadership role in response to their exceptional contributions and achievements,” said Mark Ramirez, AIA, Hickok Cole’s Principal and Managing Director. “We value the diverse expertise and perspectives of our staff and what’s more, we ensure they each have a seat at the table.”

DEI Design: Improving the Office Experience for All

By Kirsten Lytle, NCIDQ, LEED Green Associate – Interior Designer and Associate

A typical visioning session includes a presentation of major industry trends and defines key design concepts as they relate to a client’s mission and culture. We recently re-branded these concepts as Design Considerations because, to us, the umbrella themes—sustainability, wellness, branding, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)—are essential to good design. By regularly engaging in these conversations with clients and partners, we hope to fundamentally transform the industry’s expectation of space. Space is not meant to be stagnant. Space must evolve indefinitely to respect its surroundings and serve its end-users.

DEI is at the forefront of our most recent sessions to ensure we acknowledge and address the diverse needs, sensitivities, and preferences of individuals in the workplace. In response to the systemic inequalities underscored by the pandemic combined with employee demand for transparency, companies are jumping to commit to variations on similar DEI initiatives and goals—including a reevaluation of their office space. Leveraging findings from our recently delivered headquarters for Nava PBC and visioning sessions with our hybrid-model client The DC Center for the LGBT Community, we’ve uncovered the DEI design parameters helping to empower occupants and improve the interiors experience for all. (Spoiler alert: you’re already doing more than you realize—going the extra mile will feel like an inch.)

DIVERSITY

Diversity in design means making a space comfortable and functional for people with different work considerations and tasks—whether they’re neurodivergent and need a quiet space to focus, or a new mother that needs privacy to pump. Instead of designing solely for primary users such as staff and clients, truly diverse design takes all potential users into account including, but not limited to, vendors, partners, and maintenance crew. As an extension of universal design, a DEI approach encompasses the entire spectrum of users. Examples of diversity in the workplace can include:

  • Going beyond the minimum ADA requirements to ensure those who use mobility scooters can navigate the environment with ease. Current ADA requirements are based on anthropometric averages that exclude many disabled people.
  • Ensuring equal access and comfort for users with low eyesight or color blindness. Readability of space, or an implicit understanding of activities and tasks appropriate for a given space, is especially critical.
  • Establishing a sense of community and comfort through the use of imagery depicting and reflecting diverse demographics, as well as symbols of acceptance and affiliation.
  • Storing regularly used items, like cups or paper towels, below the counter for people of all mobilities and heights to access.
At Nava, employee comfort isn’t the only priority. Radiused corners and the location of trash bins are strategically planned to accommodate the maintenance staff.

EQUITY

In a modern office, equal access to benefits and resources ensures users do not feel disadvantaged or inferior. Since the pandemic, offering hybrid work strategies and access to technology has become integral to employee productivity and career advancement. While contingent on instilled culture and reinforced behaviors, spacial equity can be achieved through consistent and widespread communication in various formats (verbal, written, and otherwise) that address all sensory and language differences. Examples of equity in the workplace can include:

  • Indicating occupants are equally valued and considered through the use of same-size offices or workstations, proximity to amenities, and access to a variety of room types.
  • Eliminating outdated hierarchies through the use of open office floor plans alongside dedicated, personal office spaces.
  • Programming spaces with the most coveted attributes, like natural sunlight or views of nature, as communal areas rather than an executive’s office.
  • Integrating technology in all meeting rooms to mimic in-person experiences with remote workers.
  • Selecting round tables instead of rectangles in meeting rooms to avoid seats of power.
  • Including amenity lounge chairs designed with wider seats and armrests to suit all bodies, ages, and mobilities.  
At Nava, neighborhoods of workstations feature standard and customizable features to ensure employees have the same resources and adjustability no matter where they work from or what their preferences are.

INCLUSION

Creating an authentic connection and instilling a sense of belonging within a space is integral to a successful DEI design. The application of inclusive design practices ranges from literal to cultural and behavior-driven. Inclusive design combines strategies that inspire serendipitous collision and social interaction with tailored solutions that allow individuals to adjust their environments to fit their distinct needs—including a connection to their personal identity. Examples of inclusion in the workplace can include:

  • Allowing employees to put their values on display through the use of pin-up boards and wall or storage space at workstations that further a cycle of connection between occupants, the company, and brand values.
  • Offering private wellness suites with non-gendered restrooms.
  • Integrating signs of welcome and branding that tie everyone to a community.

Good design is meant to respond to its surroundings and end-users. If we make assumptions about those surroundings and end-users, we risk excluding entire populations. Good DEI design strategy encourages employees and occupants alike to be themselves. But for them to be truly comfortable doing that, we must be prepared—as designers, building owners, and decision-makers—to see and celebrate them as individuals.

Hickok Cole Welcomes New Director of Interiors Mike Johnson II

Mike Johnson II brings local roots and a corporate focus to the Hickok Cole interiors team.

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Mike Johnson II, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, NOMA to our senior leadership team. Mike joins fellow Associate Principal and Director of Interiors Melissa Brewer, NCIDQ, IIDA to oversee sector operations and guide corporate strategy to expand our interiors practice in DC and beyond.

“Mike’s commitment to DC, his grassroots leadership approach, and natural mentorship align perfectly with our firm values. We are fortunate to have found someone with such robust knowledge and appreciation of our city to support the organizations who call it home,” says Melissa. “I feel confident that our combined experience provides an ideal platform to realize our team’s vision, further collaborate with our architecture and creative sectors, and fortify long-term client relationships in the commercial interiors industry.”

Mike joins us with over two decades of experience in the architecture and design industry and a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Howard University. His body of work is comprised of high-end corporate interiors, base building repositioning, healthcare, and higher education projects. A studio leader at his previous firm, Mike has an impressive track record in delivering successful and thoughtful designs while consistently procuring strategic new business opportunities. Mike is a licensed architect and interior designer, LEED AP certified, and a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). He is a long-time member and leader of IIDA, serving as President of the Mid-Atlantic chapter in 2020 and was recently elected to serve as Vice President on the International Board of Directors for the 2022-2023 term.

“As a Washington, DC-native, I’ve challenged myself to proactively seek opportunities to positively influence the city’s architecture and design community. I found that same ideal – and a genuine appreciation of history, culture, and people – embedded in Hickok Cole’s identity and reflected in its portfolio,” says Mike. “I take pride in contributing to our city’s evolution and look forward to partnering with Melissa to steer this group of talented design professionals as we establish the next chapter of workplace design.”

In his new position, Mike will be responsible for strengthening our roster of forward-focused partners within the brokerage community, working with Melissa to manage the daily operations of our interiors practice, and collaborating with the broader leadership team to pursue our mission of doing work that matters to our team, clients, and community.

Hickok Cole Receives Just Label

And Just Like That.

We’re proud to announce that Hickok Cole has received its JUST Label 2.0 from the International Living Future Industry (ILFI). The transparent program measures how a participating organization performs against several key social justice indicators and produces a public label reporting on its progress. Led by Hickok Cole staff and supported by leadership, the grassroots initiative officially launched in January 2020 with the objective to demonstrate the firm’s commitment to building a better and more inclusive workplace for current and future employees.

“Our mission is about doing work that matters – through our project work and in our community. Just provided a formalized framework to measure our progress and ensure we’re walking the walk of the core values and culture we’ve established,” explained Laura Ewan, CPSM, Senior Associate and Director of Marketing and Communication. “Working towards this ambitious set of goals was both challenging and rewarding. We’re extremely proud of where we are today and the changes we made to get here. Now we’re looking forward to 2024 with clearly identified areas for improvement and growth that we can hold ourselves accountable for over the next two years.” 

The JUST label application process requires reporting on a range of organization- and employee-related indicators which outline measurable accountabilities for an organization to be recognized at four levels of performance. Just indicators include Diversity and Inclusion, Equity, Employee Health, Employee Benefits, Stewardship, and Purchasing and Supply Chain. When an organization receives its label, ILFI posts the detailed information in its publicly viewable database.

“In many ways, the JUST application process gave us a format to reevaluate our current policies and challenge the status quo. We sought to demonstrate how deeply we value our staff and proceeded to invest in the most impactful improvements to best align our operations with the personal, societal, and cultural aspiration of today’s workforce,” added John Bisch, Principal and CFO. “We want to be transparent about how we run our business and how we process feedback – and that extends to our clients and partners. We’re proud to join the global community of organizations embracing social equity and corporate responsibility. Hickok Cole is in great company.”

The intensive and highly collaborative application process united members from across the firm, including contributions from JUST label champions, leadership, committee chairs, and the accounting department while regularly informing and engaging staff at all levels. After nearly two years of documenting, analyzing, improving, and reporting on the firm’s performance, Hickok Cole received its official JUST 2.0 status and achieve the highest score for six social justice indicators:

  • Gender Diversity
  • Engagement
  • Full-Time Employment
  • Pay-Scale Equity
  • Gender Pay Equity
  • Volunteering

Hickok Cole plans to renew its label in two years, as required by ILFI. Now championed by the firm’s DEI Council, they have already made headway on strengthening efforts across several key indicators.

High-Performance Hot List: What to Know and Where to Begin

We’re committed to our role in securing a bright future for the next generation and stand alongside our industry partners to advocate for the urgent change needed to get there. This change requires constant and intentional learning by all parties involved–and transparency of lessons learned and impact achieved to help us get to smarter and more sustainable solutions faster. Our High-Performance Hot List leverages market research and project expertise for a holistic overview of the major high-performance strategies driving our collective response to climate change in hopes that today’s firsts become tomorrow’s standard. So read up, meet up, and let’s do this–together!

Stay tuned for latest info and efforts changing the way we work for the health of our people and planet. Want to learn more? Connect with us today.

Passive House is a thorough and comprehensive certification process designed to reduce a building’s energy consumption by an average of 40-60% over its lifetime. Contrary to what the name suggests, Passive House isn’t just for single-family homes and offers a greater potential for energy reduction in large multifamily and commercial projects. Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC®) Kate Braswell addresses the certification’s biggest misconceptions and what developers interested in leveraging its principles should consider instead.

READ: PASSIVE HOUSE MYTHS, DEBUNKED

Spoiler Alert: Recent data shows the overall cost increase to pursue Passive House certification in multifamily is only 0-3% over a building built to Energy Star baseline.

Having seen its potential for the environment and our client’s bottom line, we’re eager to mainstream mass timber in the building industry. Senior Designers Tom Corrado and John Lang describe what’s next for this sustainable material and why local government is crucial to securing its future.

READ: WHAT’S NEXT FOR MASS TIMBER?

Tour 80 M Street with Senior Designer Tom Corrado for insight into the project’s design and development process. Watch as Tom describes the deciding factor that ultimately led to creating Washington, DC’s first mass timber office renovation.

WATCH: THE CASE FOR TIMBER

Jason Wright and Tom Corrado talk all things mass timber with ThinkWood, including tips for navigating code approvals, and why they chose to sacrifice density for design at 80 M Street.
Learn about the benefits of differentiating with mass timber at 80 M Street SE–the District’s first mass timber construction, scheduled to complete this May.

A net zero energy (NZE) building maximizes energy efficiency, consuming only as much as energy as it produces through renewable sources. To deliver the first net zero energy renovation in the District, Senior Designer and Director of Sustainability and High-Performance Design Gui Almeida worked with the American Geophysical Union project team to test dozens of sustainable strategies before landing on a custom mix, ideal for the headquarter’s urban environment.

READ: AGU’S PATH TO ZERO

A 117-panel solar array generates energy and provides shading for a rooftop amenity and event space with lush landscaping and sweeping city views.
A new connecting stair encourages activity while hydroponic phytoremediation (HyPhy) walls provide natural air filtration. Read all about it in Interior Design.

Embodied carbon accounts for a significant portion of the building industry’s greenhouse gas emissions yet remains an afterthought in most climate action discussions. As building policy and code evolve to include more stringent sustainability requirements, our partners share what the industry can do to move the needle towards carbon neutrality and net zero carbon projects today.

READ: CARBON IS IN YOUR COURT

It’s generally assumed low carbon materials, including alternatives to steel and concrete, come at a premium–but we weren’t convinced. Design Director Elba Morales and Senior Project Architect Kerron Miller set out to test the true cost of embodied carbon on a real project site in Washington, DC. What they discovered has challenged their approach to material selection entirely.

READ: THE REAL COST OF MATERIALS

INTERESTED IN APPLYING ONE OF THESE HIGH-PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES TO YOUR NEXT PROJECT? CONNECT WITH DIRECTOR OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE DESIGN GUI ALMEIDA TO LEARN MORE.

Five Misconceptions About Passive House Certification

Passive House is a comprehensive certification process designed to significantly reduce a building’s energy consumption over its lifetime by an average of 40-60%. Detailed modeling of energy gains and losses takes into account a project’s location and climate, envelope area, occupant density, and other factors to determine the best strategy to achieve PHIUS certification goals.

Though the number of Passive House projects continues to rise, the certification process is not yet considered mainstream. Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC®) and Associate Kate Braswell is on a mission to change that. In honor of Earth Month, Kate shares five common myths about Passive House and what to consider instead before pursuing PHIUS certification on your next project.

Passive House incorporates a precise combination of envelope detailing and ventilation strategies to reduce the need for extraneous heating and cooling products while improving durability.

MYTH #1: Passive House is just for single-family homes

The term Passive House is actually a misnomer. While the certification can be applied to single-family homes (and is all over the world), it has greater potential for energy reduction in larger commercial and multifamily projects—even high-rises.

In fact, Passive House strategies are very well suited to small-to-medium density multifamily projects, with wood-frame buildings offering a unique advantage over their more thermally conductive steel or concrete counterparts. Likewise, the utility structure of affordable housing projects lends itself well to centralized systems with an efficient distribution. Many jurisdictions have gained a lot of traction by offering tax credits or similar subsidized funding strategies for sustainable and equitable housing.   

MYTH #2: Passive House only benefits the environment

Stringent construction and quality assurance processes are inherent to Passive House certification. This includes a precise combination of envelope detailing and ventilation strategies to reduce the need for extraneous heating and cooling products while improving durability. While this might present a challenge for the architectural team (one we’re up to!), it creates a series of unexpected benefits for building occupants, including premium indoor air quality, unmatched comfort regardless of exterior conditions, and more predictable utility costs.

MYTH #3: It’s more expensive than typical building processes

The cost of Passive House has reduced significantly thanks to a recent expansion in market adoption and will continue on that path as more owners and developers adopt it for their buildings. Furthermore, market demand for increased energy-efficient window and door options is driving down cost premiums. To date, the overall cost increase in multifamily is only 0-3% over a building built to Energy Star baseline.  

Passive House design principles—including an airtight envelope and a balanced heat-and-moisture recovery system—produce a durable building that’s resilient to extreme weather conditions. Subsequently, Passive House buildings require minimal long-term maintenance and system replacements, providing owners with impactful cost savings over time.

MYTH #4: Passive House and Net Zero Energy are the same thing

Net Zero Energy is more of an umbrella term used to describe the balance of a building’s energy use. Passive building principles focus on reducing operational energy through envelope and ventilation strategies at the building scale. From there, the road to zero is much shorter. In fact, PHIUS now has a PHIUS Zero certification to provide a roadmap for energy independence.

MYTH #5: Passive House certification is too complicated

Well, this isn’t exactly a misconception. As with any new endeavor, achieving goals is best done when all parties are present early. The first step is to engage a Certified Passive House Consultant (like Kate!) to act as the tour guide and liaison with PHIUS throughout the design and construction process. From there, getting all parties—the owner, architect, engineers, and general contractor—to align and test strategies together is key to a cohesive process from design to delivery.

INTERESTED IN PURSUING PASSIVE HOUSE CERTIFICATION FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT? CONNECT WITH KATE.

Introducing Our 2022 iLAB Winners

Our iLAB microgrant program exists to promote research and innovation by investing in our team’s passion and curiosity to inform our Design for What’s Next culture. More a creative outlet beyond project work, iLAB explorations have served as the spark behind some of our most forward-focused work, including the net zero energy renovation of American Geophysical Union’s headquarters and the mass timber addition at 80 M Street—both major milestones for us and our region.

After a short hiatus (thanks, COVID), we’re proud to say that iLAB is back and better than ever. This year’s applicants inspired us with renewed energy and a shared focus on work that matters across a variety of scales. And after our traditional all-staff vote, the people have spoken and selected two winning topics with the potential to change the way we look at what goes into our projects when it comes to materials and uses. Without further ado, we are thrilled to announce this year’s iLAB winners. We invite you to learn more about their research in their own words and follow along with us all year as they make progress towards their goals.

Ethical Manufacturing

In her iLAB, Emily Everhope will explore manufacturing standards in the interior design marketplace, with a particular focus on ethical and Fair Trade practices to uncover the standards and stories behind the products we use. Emily’s goal is to establish a methodology that empowers the design community to discern and uphold best practices in material manufacturing and selection.

We forget that people are part of the natural environment and the more that we can connect with that, the mores sustainable everything will be.

Emily Everhope, Interior Designer

Vertical Opportunities

Leveraging their research on building types, zoning, and program adjacencies, iLab teammates Katherine Dorsey and Jack Lynch seek to define the future of vertical mixed-use developments. Katherine and Jack plan to create two market-specific prototypes that apply strategies designed to consider all stakeholders and support adaptation and building resiliency as needs evolve.

It’s valuable to do this kind of work because it gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to pushing the firm forward and to feel a sense of ownership.

Katherine Dorsey, Project Architect

Want to learn more or get involved? Connect with our team of experts today.  

The True Cost of Embodied Carbon

In 2021, Hickok Cole, Redbrick LMD, Arup, and DPR Construction were awarded a Building Innovation Grant from the Department of Energy and Environment to study the Lifecycle Analysis of Embodied Carbon for 1300 Sycamore Drive at St. Elizabeths Campus. Having recently delivered their report, we asked Design Director Elba Morales and Senior Project Architect Kerron Miller to share further insights on their findings and why grant opportunities like these are vital to driving what’s next in design.

Tell us about the value of grant programs when it comes to advancing adoption of high performance design strategies. Why did we pursue the Department of Energy and Environment’s (DOEE) Building Innovation Design Assistance grant?

We have a responsibility to seek out and test strategies to lessen the impact of our buildings on the environment. Some of these tools and methodologies may be newer to market or have yet to be applied early on to certain project typologies. These DOEE grants give us the opportunity and resources to study key areas of interest like energy performance or embodied carbon on real projects in ways beyond what we normally do for current project work. Throughout the process, we report back to the DOEE and receive feedback which provides valuable insight to both parties. There’s also a deliverable component so what we discover has a potential impact on future projects and research. We don’t design in a vacuum. The more depth of knowledge we have, the better our buildings are now and in the future.

How did you choose your area of study? What were you hoping to achieve by analyzing sources of embodied carbon?

Embodied carbon is a particularly important topic for our industry because it considers the lifecycle of a building and its components. It tells us how much greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and how a specific project—and the material choices we make—contribute to global warming. However, it’s not something we typically assess during early stages of design, when decisions about the primary structure and envelope matter most. It’s generally assumed that low embodied carbon materials would come with a high premium, but we wanted to explore that idea further, and formulate a methodology to test alternative materials early on and evaluate cost in a broader conversation with our engineers, the owner, and the general contractor. 

What made 1300 Sycamore at St. Elizabeth’s Campus a good candidate to study?

The biggest factor in any project is to partner with a client whose goals align with yours. We were interested in pursuing this grant idea and our client Redbrick LMD was on board. They want to build projects with greater longevity and higher long-term value, which made our partnership ideal. The other important detail here is that this particular site is not constrained by surface area, which is super rare in DC. Our constraints were height and overall density which meant we could consider an alternative model with a larger floorplate and taller ceiling heights with cross laminated timber, without losing overall square footage.

How did you develop your methodology?

We sought to test materials at concept and early schematic design phase, so one of the hurdles was to find an appropriate software that allowed us to do that. Once we determined what software to use, we zeroed in on the primary structure and envelope as the most impactful components to analyze and ran a base scheme of typical assemblies against low carbon versions, generating live cost comparisons for each.

We used a European software because it was the best available option for what we were hoping to achieve. Europe closely regulates how manufacturers report their environmental product data (EPD), but we don’t see the same uniformity in the data from American manufacturers whose products we regularly use. This means added extra steps to understand their EPD and sufficiently compare systems. In this situation it wasn’t as cumbersome because we only looked at two components, but with each added component it would become more challenging and onerous—a problem for design teams often constrained by time. Our experience highlighted the need for uniformity in the American manufacturers’ reporting system. It’s our responsibility to hold each other accountable if we want to make progress in reducing our carbon footprint, but we can’t do this without proper data.

What was the outcome of your study? Do you foresee applying this knowledge to future projects?

We discovered the premium for leveraging low carbon materials was not as high as we anticipated and could be offset by a variety of other factors. For example, a change in the concrete mix dramatically decreased the embodied carbon in our base scheme (by 42%), far outweighing the 2% cost premium. While small changes like this could have a big impact, the use of cross laminated timber for the primary structure demonstrated the most potential value. When combined with the material’s significance as a differentiator in the marketplace, its cost could be offset by an extra $1.50 per square foot in rent.

This experience allowed us to attribute real metrics to embodied carbon and translate those findings into terms that resonated with our client’s objectives at a pivotal point in the design process. Working alongside a client who shared our vision was vital to the process, but so was teaming with partners whose experience and prior knowledge we could lean on. These multiple perspectives combined with actual data proved invaluable in producing meaningful results.

Download the full study to learn more about the embodied carbon lifecycle analysis of 1300 Sycamore.

The DOEE is currently accepting applications for Green Building Innovation Assistance Grants until February 23, 2022. Potential subjects range from net zero energy to deconstruction and reuse. Interested in partnering with us? Connect with our team of experts today.  

Hickok Cole Celebrates Spring 2022 Promotions

We are thrilled to kick off the new year by recognizing the accomplishments of our team. Today, we celebrate the promotion of several firm leaders, including Starr Ashcraft, AIA to Associate Principal.

“As a firm, we know our success is dependent on that of our staff so when we see talent, we recognize it,” said Mark Ramirez, Principal and Managing Director. “By promoting a culture of recognition, we seek to empower our staff to take on new challenges and growth opportunities. The individuals we celebrate today exude the kind of dedication and passion we strive for as a community and our work is that much better for it.”

Starr Ashcraft has been with Hickok Cole since 2008 and leads wood frame projects for our housing group. She specializes in urban multifamily and low-rise mixed-use buildings that combine wood frame efficiencies with high-design aesthetics to distinguish these projects in the marketplace. Her most notable projects include The Current, Kite House at Walter Reed, Charlton at The Mile, and Block Eye at West End, part of the Landmark Mall redevelopment.

“Starr has been instrumental in driving and developing our wood frame project work, a major growth area important to Hickok Cole and the housing market at large,” said Laurence Caudle, Principal and Director of Housing. “Her commitment and care go beyond what is expected to encompass improving design standards, elevating detailing, and educating the next generation of architects. Starr’s impact directly correlates to our roster of repeat clients, and I have full confidence that her vision will continue to build upon our success and position us favorably for future opportunities.”

We are also proud to promote Jamie Mitchell and Rosa McTaggart, AIA, LEED AP BD+C to Senior Associate and Ava Busler and Randy Stogsdill to Associate. These firm leaders are recognized for both their project excellence across market sectors as well as their involvement in extracurricular staff-led initiatives that strengthen and support our firm culture and values.

Hickok Cole Expands Design Leadership Team

Senior Associates Tammy Lippman and Patrick Gegen promoted to Design Director positions.

Today, we celebrate the promotion of Senior Associates Tammy Lippman and Patrick Gegen to Design Director positions. They join Elba Morales and Stefano Sani as design leaders tasked with promoting an innovative design culture across practices and enhancing the framework of principles underpinning our project work.

“Tammy was an obvious choice for the role. She has innate creativity that emanates from her designs and lends a boutique, curated quality to a project, regardless of its size or budget,” says Mike Hickok, Senior Principal. “Her artistic eye and dedication to delivering one-of-a-kind custom details are major assets when it comes to property differentiation within the competitive DC marketplace. We look forward to seeing Tammy instill this art-driven strategy into our collective design approach and encouraging more of our clients to do so as well.”

Tammy joined Hickok Cole in 2006 as an interior designer focusing on multifamily, mixed-use, retail, and hospitality projects. During her tenure, she has also worked on a range of corporate interior projects for build-to-suit, government, spec suites, associations, and nonprofit organizations. Tammy graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and received a Certificate of Fine Art from the Governor’s School for the Arts. An experienced artist, Tammy leverages her fine arts background to provide thoughtful art curation and custom pieces that differentiate her projects within the marketplace. Her most notable work of late includes The Earl Apartments, 1133 15th Street, The Batley, and Evo and Pierce at The Highlands (opening in 2022).

“In the short time Patrick has been at the firm, he has left an astonishing impression on our partners and staff with a strong design voice that is clearly articulated in his work,” says Yolanda Cole, Senior Principal. “He is a talented storyteller with his finger on the pulse of the Richmond marketplace and a keen ability to identify the trends that resonate most with our key audiences. Moreover, Patrick is a natural mentor and has already shown a commitment to sharing his expertise and shepherding junior designers towards success.”

Patrick has over 15 years of international experience and a diverse portfolio specializing in branded workplace, retail, and hospitality projects. Originally from North Carolina, Patrick resided in New York City for over a decade working on large flagship retail stores and workplaces for Fortune 500 firms before relocating to Washington, DC. He joined our Richmond studio at the start of 2020 where he currently focuses on crafting highly unique and tailored environments for commercial office and multifamily clients. A dedicated educator, Patrick has served as an adjunct faculty member at the New York School of Interior Design and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a concentration in urbanism as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Art History from the College of Charleston. His most recent work includes interiors for NAEYC, public spaces at 80 M Street NE, Care Hospice executive offices in Charlottesville, and Richmond’s Salisbury Country Club.

CONNECT WITH TAMMY AND PATRICK. CONGRATULATE THEM HERE.