It was the perfect Oregon scene: a technicolor sunset behind Haystack Rock and 4,000 cans of food ready to nourish families in need. This concept became reality through a partnership between Hennebery Eddy Architects and general contractor Skanska as part of the 2019 Canstruction Portland fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank.
Hennebery Eddy is gearing up for our second-annual Net-Positive Month in October — an entire month of activities aimed at promoting our net-positive philosophy in both professional and personal activities. With the goal of giving back more than we take – creating a “net-positive” impact – we invite our clients and friends to join us in two action-focused events.
Architect Cara Wessel and interior designer Abby Cridland share about their experience volunteering with the ACE Mentor Program. The firm annually sponsors and enables staff to participate in this architecture industry mentorship as part of our Hennebery Eddy Gives program.
Cara (standing left) explains architectural design concepts to students during a mentor session in the Hennebery Eddy office.
Describe how the ACE program works.
Cara: ACE is an after-school program for high school students interested in Architecture, Construction and Engineering. Students are placed on teams and collaborate on a building design project under the mentorship of industry professionals from each of the three disciplines. Over the course of 12 meetings, the students learn about different phases of design through presentations, hands-on activities, and construction site visits. The mentors guide the students to complete their design project and present it at the end-of-year program.
Abby: These students are from all over the Portland metro area and are grouped together to create their own project. I even had a student who traveled from Jefferson County — that’s almost a three-hour drive! Each ACE session is hosted at a mentor’s office. This gives students a sense of not only how we work but were we work, helping make what they are learning more real.
What was your goal for the students in ACE?
Cara: I wanted to inspire the students and demonstrate the immense impact they can have on the built environment and the surrounding community.
Abby: My goal was to teach them about teamwork and communication: how it’s not up to a single person or discipline to make all of the decisions for a project, and all of the disciplines have to communicate for a project to be successful. I also wanted to teach the students there are multiple avenues in the ACE industry. I am the only interior designer in the ACE Mentor Program, so I show students how important it is to look at the interior of the building, the psychology of space, and different design principles to make building users comfortable.
Nestled on a hilltop above Skyline Boulevard in Southwest Portland, the Aubrey Watzek House sits quietly, almost as a suspended moment of early modernism just minutes from downtown Portland. The Watzek House, designed by renowned Oregon architect John Yeon and built in 1937, is his masterpiece in wood and the precursor to Pacific Northwest Regional Modernism. The house is now owned by the University of Oregon’s College of Design.
This famous house has carefully articulated use guidelines — and designation as a National Historic Landmark and a local City of Portland landmark. But the house, like any aging structure, is showing its susceptibility to age and the Pacific Northwest elements. While a roof replacement is planned for the short term, the Watzek House requires a long-term preservation plan that takes a proactive approach to anticipating, planning for, and implementing maintenance and repairs that retain the historic building’s integrity. A comprehensive look at the building’s current condition, use, and its future is also long overdue. This need is the impetus behind a graduate-level historic preservation planning course taught by principal David Wark and associate Carin Carlson at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture & Environment Historic Preservation Program.
Hennebery Eddy Architects has welcomed Kim Davis as its Chief Financial Officer and Business Manager. Davis brings more than 20 years of professional accounting, finance, and operations leadership, including financial analysis and reporting, forecasting, budgeting, and financial modeling. She manages and implements strategic and day-to-day business and financial operations of the firm. Working closely with the leadership team, she is responsible for financial administration and management, firm-wide project financial management oversight, corporate operations, risk management, and oversight of the firm’s administrative team and human resources.
“Kim’s experience and skills are a strong match for the firm as we shape our strategic plan for Hennebery Eddy’s ongoing evolution and growth,” said Tim Eddy, FAIA, firm president.
By Karen Chen, Carlton College extern
Each year, the firm hosts an “extern” from Carleton College. These are undergraduate students who may be interested in pursuing design studies and architect careers, and their 1-2 weeks here are designed to give them a taste of every aspect of our profession. Our most recent extern, Karen Chen, shares reflections from her November externship. Her post has been slightly edited for brevity.
I had the privilege and pleasure of being dipped into the professional sphere of architecture for a week at Hennebery Eddy Architects. During the externship application process, I was attracted to Hennebery Eddy’s demonstrated core values of innovative design, responsive service, and the obligation that firm members take ownership in their work. They aligned with my developing interests in art, STEM, and environmental and social justice — what would be more complementary than a discipline that uses considerations in aesthetics and physical function to create structures for people to inhabit in the real world?
I was exposed to an eye-opening, informative slice of the architectural industry and what professional life entailed. I gleaned a ton of knowledge and insight about architect careers simply through watching and talking with architects in various roles. Through shadowing, observing meetings, and conversations, I have a firmer handle on topics like entrance into the field, schooling, school-to-career transitions, internships, and career and job development. I both sat in on meetings about projects and accompanied architects who had volunteered to take me to tours of those project sites, including the Clackamas County fire stations, the new PDX terminal, a commercial renovation at Columbia Square, a factory cafeteria, and community college buildings.
It’s a festive and fun Friday in the Hennebery Eddy studio when we break out the holiday headgear, don our ugly sweaters, and celebrate the season and our staff. This year, our winter quarterly all-staff lunch featured an Italian feast and homemade eclair cake (yum). We launched the first round of HEA Connections, a program designed to foster new relationships among our ever-growing staff. Promotions were announced, recognizing the contributions of new firm associates and associate principals — and everyone got to enjoy a little envelope revealing a year-end bonus.
The giving extended to the community, as we wrapped up our office food drive for the Oregon Food Bank and shared the annual “principals gift,” a donation on behalf of individual staff members to a nonprofit organization in the name of our five principals; this year, we pitched in $1,600 for Friends of the Children. A white elephant gift exchange brought out the wacky, weird, and wonderful. And to top it all off, the famous Hennebery Eddy Elf Cart delivered treats throughout the office.
We hope your holidays are filled with just as much good cheer — and all of us at Hennebery Eddy Architects wish you a happy holidays and prosperous new year!
Photos from our annual holiday festivities and a snippet from our 2018 holiday card
In 2018, Hennebery Eddy awarded its first Community Service Scholarship to associate Nick Byers, AIA, supporting his proposal to provide design services to a school with limited access to volunteer design professionals. The community service scholarship is part of the firm’s larger philanthropic effort, Hennebery Eddy Gives, which provides a framework for volunteering, financial contributions, and pro bono work to support community development where we work, live, and play. Here, Nick shares the process, successes, and lessons learned from his project.
Please describe your service project. How did you conceive of it?
In the summer of 2014, I volunteered with a group at an elementary school in Portland, where we assisted in improving a tired courtyard into a vibrant open space, complete with new landscaping, raised planters, and trees. The effort was led by a local construction company, and the final product was a beautiful new courtyard that gave the school a greater sense of pride and provided the opportunity to add gardening and healthy eating to its curriculum. My fond memories of this project inspired my service project proposal for Hennebery Eddy’s community service scholarship.
Two design-build partners. One Revit model. Six hours to build. And 3,515 cans.
“Here Lies Hunger” brought home two awards from this year’s Canstruction Portland volunteer competition benefitting the Oregon Food Bank: Best Use of Labels and People’s Choice. Hennebery Eddy teamed with INLINE Commercial Construction to dream up this design-build canstructure paying homage to the original Oregon Trail educational computer game ubiquitous in 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s classrooms.
This spring, architect Monica Mader and interior designer Elyse Iverson volunteered as co-teachers for the Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s (afo) Architects in Schools (AIS) program. For six weeks, architectural design and engineering professionals visit elementary schools on a weekly basis, teaching a series of lessons that introduce students to various aspects of the industry and profession. Below, Monica summarizes their six-week residency at KairosPDX, a public charter school in NE Portland focused on serving low-income students and students of color.
What was your goal for the students in your AIS program?
By the end of the program, we wanted the students to be able to demonstrate an understanding of their own community and recognize valuable components of a neighborhood in relation to architecture.