Sean E Williams

Sean E Williams

Saint Petersburg, FL, US


Process Zero: Ideas Competition for Metropolis Magazine


HOK / Vanderweil transforms 1960s-era federal building to showcase energy recapture and generation, as well as humanistic design

     A Washington, D.C.-led team of emerging architects and engineers has won the prestigious METROPOLIS Next Generation® Design Competition. This year, the annual contest challenged young designers to “Get the Feds to Zero.” With the help of the U.S. General Services Administration, the magazine selected an eight-story GSA property in Los Angeles as the subject of the competition. Submissions proposed retrofits that would help the 1965 office building attain a Zero Environmental Footprint.

     The winning team, HOK / Vanderweil, is an integrated team of 15 architects and engineers led by HOK sustainability expert Sean Quinn and Vanderweil’s Brandon Harwick in Washington, D.C. The fully integrated design solution collects and cleans water and reduces energy use so consumption is equivalent to on-site renewable energy production in a healthy, uplifting workspace for federal civilian employees.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: HOK
Sean Quinn - Lead Architect, Project Manager
Served as lead architect, managed the design team, and developed integrated technologies for energy performance, including the algae module & bioreactor, PV panels, and atria.
Scott Walzak - Lead Designer, Exterior
Served as lead exterior designer, developed the concept of the building as a cell, and implemented the concept through façade design and integrated technologies.
Antony Yen - Lead Designer, Interior
Served as lead interior designer, and provided planning to create dynamic environments with signature atrium elements.
Alesia Call - Sustainable Design
Provided detailed research throughout the design process, including algae, water, renewable energy technologies; and developed the business plan.
Anica Landreneau - Sustainable Design
Helped to form the design team, establish project objectives, and acquired support from the firm for the development of the project.
Colin Benson and Jarek Bieda - Visualization
Colin and Jarek developed the visualization models used in the final proposal, and provided detailed analysis of various construction elements, including the renewable energy technologies.
John Jackson - Project Designer
Invited Vanderweil Engineers to the design team, and provided consult throughout the façade design process.
Ming Hu and Monika Kumor - Project Designer
Ming and Monika provided early conceptual energy modeling and developed the atria spaces from the exterior into the interior of the building.
Sean Williams - Project Designer (HOK Tampa)
Incorporated the Living Building Components throughout the design process, and addressed issues of site conditions, water harvesting, social equity, and historical context.
Brandon Harwick - Lead Engineer
Served as the lead engineer and contributed to the broad sustainable strategies, the mechanical system design, and energy calculations.
Patrick Murphy - Project Engineer
Provided close coordination with the architect regarding the natural ventilation scheme, renewable energy technologies, mechanical system design, and energy calculations.
Iyabo Lawal and Stephen Lahti - Energy Modeler (Vanderweil Boston)
Iyabo and Stephen provided detailed energy models to focus the design team’s opportunities, and determined optimum areas for renewable energy technologies.