Norfolk-based architecture firm moves to Richmond


Nick Cooper, the new Hanbury market leader, in front of his future local office at 119 W. Broad St. (Photo by Mike Platania)

An out-of-town architecture firm plants its flag in Richmond with an office in the arts district and an industry veteran as its first local employee.

Earlier this month, Norfolk-based Hanbury began operating in Richmond. The architectural firm has been in business since 1979, specializing in higher education and commercial design.

Hanbury leased 119 W. Broad St. in Monroe Ward as its local home port and hired Nick Cooper to be its market leader.

A Virginia Tech alumnus, Cooper worked as an architect in Richmond for over 20 years with stints at Odell Associates, BAM Architects and most recently, HKS. He joined Hanbury at the end of 2021.

Cooper said Hanbury has done work in Richmond over the years, most notably for the University of Richmond, but will now look to explore other areas.

“(Hanbury) started a very strong life science and technology practice three years ago. It’s one of the things I want to bring to Richmond because this market is so hot, ”Cooper said.

“I now lead their corporate-wide civic and business practice so that we can do a lot of the mixed-use, multi-family and urban design work that I have done over the past 10+ years. . It is an emerging market for them.

Cooper said he hoped Hanbury’s reputation as well as his background in Richmond would help the market entry be successful.

“The fact that I have been here for 20 years and have close relationships with developers, members of civil society and the community, non-profit organizations, the AEC industry (architecture, engineering and construction) ) in general – it’s almost the first step in successfully entering a market, “he said.

“The statewide identity that Hanbury already has in higher education will help us as well. It won’t be a cold introduction to VCU, VUU, or UofR. We are already a well-known company, we just never had an office in Richmond. It’s kind of like we’re doubling down on Richmond and the opportunities there. “

Hanbury’s work has already started for VCU, Cooper said, as he handles the planning and site selection for a facility for the VCU School of Dentistry.

Richmond is the fifth market in which Hanbury has a physical presence, joining Blacksburg, Norfolk, Charlotte and Clemson, South Carolina.

Cooper said he expects to have a local staff of around seven by the end of the first quarter and around 13 by the end of 2022, when Hanbury will also be able to offer local services. main planning and interior design.

Hanbury was represented by Nathan Hughes and Betsy Mangum of Sperity Real Estate Ventures in the 119 W. Broad St. lease. The architectural firm will move into the 3,000 square foot space in February as its current tenant, Virginia Interactive, will move into the 3,000 square foot space. prepares to head further down Broad Street to the Sauer Center.

Jackson Ward and Monroe Ward have been popular destinations for architects in recent years.

Further east, Broad is where DC-based Hickok Cole moved his local office in 2020, the same year Architecture AF bought the building it was leasing on Second Street.

North Adams Street is home to the offices of Walter Parks Architects and ArchitectureFirm, which the latter also became its own owner in 2020. Future Cities, the urban design firm behind the major GreenCity project in Henrico and the Navy Hill project now collapsed in the city, is based in a building on the corner of Broad and Foushee Street.


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