New metrics for commercial office building design

Open Air Office Building by Nash Hurley Architecture Studio

Humans tend to measure what we value.

For many of us that means money. We equate more money to increased autonomy and greater happiness. For others it is time. Time spent on what we want to do versus time spent on what others want us to do. We measure the first as “vacation time” and account for the second as “work time”. We will give up money for “vacation time” but expect to receive money for “work time”.

What about us architects? What do we measure? For commercial office buildings, it has historically…

repositioning the architect for existing buildings

“Intersections of Play” a tensile structure that retrofits to existing buildings to provide play space for dense urban areas. Developed by architect Nash Hurley and structural engineer Bruce Danziger, SE in 2020.

As an architect, if you express an interest in existing buildings you may quickly be presented with a choice. This choice revolves around how you define yourself and consequently how your architecture community will try to confine you. It typically falls into two discrete buckets.

The first bucket elevates the nostalgic — the preservation architect. This is an identity of an architect who lives more in the past than present. A cliché of a preservation architect may insist that hand-drawn documentation remains better than any contemporary computer-aided design drawing. A preservation architect may be…

Should I have bought Apple stock in 2000? Is smoking good for you? Will smart phones catch on? All have clear answers in hindsight — yes, no, yes. But what about the maybes?

Last summer, we got together with our mechanical engineer friend Marco to discuss the topic of fresh air in buildings with a not-so-secret goal: to raise awareness that most of the air in many of our buildings is recirculated. At the time, if we were to achieve the levels of outside air recommended by the CDC, we would likely need to adjust our expectations around thermal comfort…

Making sense of centralized and distributed workspace

Concept diagram of centralized and distributed workspace by Nash Hurley

Every generation builds the world of their imagination. Human memories, however, are short-lived, and we forget the imaginations of past generations. That forgetfulness can lead to the mislabeling of foreseeable market forces as unexpected social disruptions — making the path forward unclear. Where we forget, our buildings remember. They tell a story of cycles of change: expansions and contractions of production that result in an ebb and flow from centralized to distributed workspace.

Garage Space Illustration by Nash Hurley

Creating a sustainable legacy for America’s Car Culture

As part of our larger Network Communities research, we have been investigating gaps in the existing marketplace — between what we produce today and what these networked communities will need. These will be the products and the services that will allow people to seek value and create economic opportunity in new places outside of the traditional city centers.

If I have learned one thing this year, it is that “should” is a horrible motivator, and any product or service based on telling people they should do something is a recipe for failure…

Nash Hurley

Educated in economics and architecture - working on healthy, sustainable, connected spaces.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store