Houser Walker Architecture is an Atlanta based firm founded by Hank Houser and Gregory Walker in 2004. Although their projects range from institutional to commercial, civic to residential, their common approach is to design ecological buildings and spaces to support spontaneous activities for the communities involved. They believe in creating buildings that people can identify with and concurrently feel safe and engaged. To achieve this, they integrate Art and Architecture following the local ecology and craft customized unique places. Following this approach, Houser Walker Architecture succeeds to fabricate unique value through their various award-winning projects.

1. Palmetto Library, at Palmetto, Georgia

This 11,000 sqft public library is situated over a 3 acres land parcel in a rural but developed setting of Georgia. This $3.5M facility design is inspired by the local vernacular design of a nearby large agricultural barn. Further, to translate the architectural style of the barn to a civic building, the volume of the structure is adjusted by carefully slicing the structure into quarters and introducing connected open spaces. This building is well connected with the surrounding landscape by following the formal geometry of nearby tree farms and using locally available materials in the exterior facade. This LEED Silver certified structure has won the AIA Georgia design merit award in 2016.

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2. Newnan hospital renovation for the University of West Georgia

The main structure was originally built in 1920 and major renovation works were carried out before and after the war. Houser Walker Architecture was assigned to convert this hospital into a nursing teaching school by renovating the classroom spaces and adding an auditorium and a future expansion area. The renovated hospital succeeded in maintaining the historic value of the building and created many working opportunities in the locality. This renovation project won ‘”Excellence in Rehabilitation” award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in 2016.

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3. Emmanuel Episcopal Church Expansion and Renovation

This historic church, built in the 1890s in downtown Athens, Georgia,  was renovated to make it more welcoming and comfortable to the growing community. Without altering the existing historic fabric, this building is preserved, a narthex is added to the street side, and an internal garden is designed for socializing. Although the existing materials and forms are followed, large glass openings are introduced in the Narthex to open up the building to street life. The church becomes more connected with the surrounding community, visually and functionally. This renovation project won the AIA Georgia, Design Citation Award, and AIA Faith & Form National Design Award for Religious Architecture.

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4. University of West Georgia, Ingram Library Renovation

Two floors consisting of 52,000 sq.ft. was redesigned by introducing double-height space and compact shelving. This approach helped to double the number of student seats to meet the present and projected needs. Further, designing collaborative spaces and engaging circulation areas, learning opportunities were strengthened and the renovation was warmly received by the students and faculties. This project succeeded to win the AIA Georgia, Design Citation Award as well.

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5. Toco Hill Branch Library at Decatur, Georgia

This LEED Silver certified regional branch library is designed to serve approximately 30,000 residents. Flexible sitting areas are designed, minimizing the stacking spaces for books, and the programs and parking areas are doubled by introducing a ‘plateau’ under the new structure, utilizing the site fill area. A 100 seat auditorium, conference halls, and event organizing areas are designed complimenting the surrounding park. Several ecological methods are also adopted to reduce energy consumption and minimize the overall impact on the site.

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6. University of West Georgia, Visual Arts Building

This 25,000 sq ft facility is designed to accommodate sculpture, ceramic and printmaking programs along with many other workshop studios. The gallery space at the entrance was designed with a brick wall made in collaboration with the students and faculties using the bricks from the school’s kilns only. A crane way system is introduced to move heavy objects and an advanced filtration system is introduced to remove the ceramic particulates from the air.

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7. Gordon State College Hightower Library Renovation, Barnesville, Georgia

Originally constructed in 1976, it was redesigned in 2015 with $4.2 million by providing spacious seating, more daylight, modern and digital conveniences, and a prime view of the campus. This 35,000 sqft library renovation could house more effective usable spaces by careful design only and without adding any extra square footage.

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8. Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School

This $6.1-million project was to design a 24,000-sq-ft expansion between two buildings by creating a new entrance area, a new dining, additional classroom, and administrative areas. Two curtain wall systems were installed to provide a welcoming background to the existing brick building.

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9. DeKalb County Senior Center at Decatur, Georgia

This is the first county-owned facility in the Central DeKalb area. This two-floor high building has arts and crafts rooms, exercise areas, a cafe, a large multi-purpose room, billiards room, several classrooms, and activity spaces. This $15 million project is successfully designed to engage with the community with various activities.

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10. Roark Capital Group Corporate Office Renovation at Atlanta, Georgia

This is an expansion project for an office in Midtown Atlanta, featuring a new spiral staircase connecting two floors. Besides renovating reception, lounge, and office areas, a board room with 50-person capacity is also designed with a breathtaking view of the outside.

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11. AIA Georgia Office at Atlanta, Georgia

This is a joint office of AIA Atlanta and AIA Georgia, located in the historic Hurt Building, which was opened in 1913. To fulfill the needs of both organizations, there is a flexible gallery space for private events along with large boardrooms, workshop areas, and adaptable spaces for work and other activities.

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12. Atlanta Residence Addition & Renovation at Atlanta, Georgia

A series of renovations were done in this post-war house in Atlanta, using many sustainable technologies. The interior is redesigned to open up to a courtyard and a concrete shell is also designed with custom steel doors and windows. This project won the AIA Georgia, Residential Honor Award in 2004.

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13. Mayfield Arts Center Design at Alpharetta, Georgia

This is a $3.3 million arts center to serve the local arts community. The building has 10,000 sq ft space, designed as a central location to foster classes, events, workshops, exhibits, and other cultural services.

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14. University of Georgia | Baldwin Hall Addition & Renovation at Athens, Georgia

This renovation project of Baldwin Hall, built-in 1938, consists of interior renovation and addition of 15,775sf to the 53,200sf main building. Besides adding classrooms, meeting rooms, and research spaces, painting, corridor flooring, acoustical and mechanical system enhancement are also carried out during the process. 

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15. Georgia Tech ATDC office Renovation at Atlanta, Georgia

This renovation project is to upgrade the incubation hub to provide various range of startup tenant spaces for multiple technology-based businesses. Therefore, the spaces are arranged in an open layout allowing the people and companies to work and connect through various conference areas, reading areas, coffee bars, and seating nooks.

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References:

  1. Archello. 2020. Palmetto Library | Houser Walker Architecture, LLC | Archello. [online] Available at: <https://archello.com/project/palmetto-library> [Accessed 26 May 2020].
  2. Georgia, U., 2020. UWG | UWG Newnan Wins 2016 Georgia Trust’S Preservation Award. [online] Westga.edu. Available at: <https://www.westga.edu/news/academics-newnan/trust.php> [Accessed 26 May 2020].
  3. AIA Georgia. 2020. Emmanuel Episcopal Church – AIA Georgia. [online] Available at: <https://www.aiaga.org/design-award/emmanuel-episcopal-church/> [Accessed 26 May 2020].
  4. tvsdesign Architecture & Design. 2020. UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA – IRVINE SULLIVAN INGRAM LIBRARY – Tvsdesign Architecture & Design. [online] Available at: <https://www.tvsdesign.com/portfolio-posts/university-of-west-georgia-library/> [Accessed 27 May 2020].
  5. A
  6. Houserwalker.com. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.houserwalker.com/uwg-visual-arts-building> [Accessed 27 May 2020].
  7. Spotlight, G., and Hightower Library, G., 2020. Hightower Library, Gordon State College In The Spotlight! | Georgia Library Association. [online] Georgia Library Association. Available at: <https://gla.georgialibraries.org/hightower-library-gordon-state-college-in-the-spotlight/> [Accessed 27 May 2020].
  8. Aligbe, D., 2020. GSC Hightower Library – DEZAIN.Io. [online] DEZAIN.io. Available at: <https://dezain.io/folios/gsc-hightower-library/> [Accessed 27 May 2020].
  9. Facebook.com. 2020. Houser Walker Architecture. [online] Available at: <https://www.facebook.com/houserwalker/posts/recapturing-an-underutilized-void-between-two-existing-buildings-our-recent-proj/10157357618593631/> [Accessed 28 May 2020].
  10. Park, C., 2020. Central Dekalb Senior Center Coming To Mason Mill Park. [online] Medlockpark.org. Available at: <http://www.medlockpark.org/2013/02/central-dekalb-senior-center-coming-to.html> [Accessed 28 May 2020].
  11. Open House Atlanta. 2020. AIA Atlanta And AIA Georgia | Open House Atlanta Tours. [online] Available at: <https://ohatl.org/site/aia/> [Accessed 28 May 2020].
  12. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.northfulton.com/alpharetta_roswell/alpharetta-to-open-doors-to-new-arts-center-oct/article_8ddf782a-c5cc-11e8-9ad3-374b5f881064.html> [Accessed 28 May 2020].
  13. Architects.uga.edu. 2020. Baldwin Hall Expansion And Renovation | University Architects. [online] Available at: <https://www.architects.uga.edu/projects/baldwin-hall-expansion-renovation> [Accessed 28 May 2020].
  14. Archello. 2020. Toco Hill- Avis G. Williams Branch Library | Houser Walker Architecture, LLC | Archello. [online] Available at: <https://archello.com/project/toco-hill-avis-g-williams-branch-library> [Accessed 29 May 2020].
  15. Issuu. 2020. Jennifer A Lewis // Design Portfolio. [online] Available at: <https://issuu.com/j6nnif6r/docs/2019_jennifer_a_lewis_portfolio_v3> [Accessed 29 May 2020].

 

Sudeshna Sarkar
Author

Sudeshna is a practicing architect and urban designer who believes in collaborative approach for designing successful spaces. She is passionate about finding innovative and sustainable solutions to urban issues. Her avidity to design and enormous interest in research work has motivated her in voicing architecture and design through writing as well.

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