The VA-based furniture company Haynes was looking for a green architecture firm in Norfolk, Virginia and region to renovate the exterior of their flagship store and HEDS was hired to update the existing 500′ long showroom. The Owners were looking for a modern facelift that incorporated green strategies. The existing facade was dominated by a heavy canopy dating from the 70’s. The facade was dreary and car oriented. We wanted to make it people oriented. We created a large glass entrance with a modern cornice. HEDS architecture firm introduced trellises for a dappled light effect that shades the expanse of glass at the entrance. We brought in color. We provided interest at the building corners with large signage visible to the nearby four-lane boulevard. We planted a tall hedge across the length of the facade to soften the effect. We created tree islands planted with natives. The client is happy. Business is good.
But our efforts as architects serving our Norfolk-based client did not end with a pretty façade. The work of our architecture firm strives to create layers of value in the choices we make. We saw at Haynes, with its vast parking lot, an opportunity to contribute to “Saving the Bay.” The Norfolk region is the endpoint of hundreds of waterways that flow into the Chesapeake Bay, a body of water designated by the Clean Water Act’s “dirty waters” list. Our client was interested in improving the experience of the visitor to their showroom. We saw an opportunity to also help to clean the water entering the Chesapeake Bay. We used a strategy called Phytoremediation where we introduced planting islands as a means to detoxify the soil from heavy metals or minerals.
Another area where we sought to create layers of value: the entry canopy – our design not only brings scale and interest to the entry, it also shades the glass from penetrating solar rays and associated heat gain.