HGW Architecture’s Selected Projects #1

History of HGW Architecture

HGW Architecture is an award-winning Architecture Studio with its’ headquarters in San Diego, California. The firm was founded in 1997 by principals Randy Hanna AIA, Jim Gabriel AIA, ULI, and Matthew Wells AIA. The company name comes from the founders’ last names: Hanna Gabriel Wells Architects.

Nowadays, HGW is run by 6 principals including the founding members: Randy Hanna, Jim Gabriel, Matthew Wells, Sean Chen, Eric Wendlandt, and Amanda Behnke.

Sean Chen AIA joined HGW Architecture in 2003 because he shared the company’s belief in the power of the built environment to effect positive change. He holds a Bachelor of Art in Architecture from the University of California Berkeley since 1999. On top of being a principal at HGW, he is also a founding member of the US Green Building Council’s San Diego chapter.

Eric Wendlandt ULI joined HGW Architecture in 2002 and is one of the company’s longest-tenured employees. He is passionate in great design and very detail oriented. Eric earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 2002 from Kansas State University.

Amanda Behnke AIA began working for HGW Architecture in 2006 and rejoined the company in 2016 after a brief hiatus. Continually seeking exceptional craftsmanship in every aspect of her work, she finds great inspiration in the chance of storytelling via the built environment. Amanda was awarded her Bachelor of Architecture in 2005 at the University of Miami.

The company specializes in Architecture, Planning, and Interior Design and they offer a variety of services such as Programming, Feasibility Analysis, Master Planning, Architectural Design, Interior Design, and Space Planning.

Architects HGW shape life’s activities while emphasizing the environmental experience. They move forward with the knowledge that every project presents an opportunity for positive impact and that the built environment has a substantial impact on people’s and communities’ wellness.

Randy Hanna, Co-Founder of HGW

He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Arizona State University in 1985. Randy has almost 40 years of experience creating places and structures for people to use. Along with being involved in the firm’s leadership and having a passion for creating architecture, he also likes to travel, play golf, go rowing, and spend time with his kids and grandkids.

Jim Gabriel, Co-Founder of HGW

James (Jim) Gabriel is a graduate of Arizona State University where he got his Bachelor of Science in Design in 1985. After finishing his bachelor’s, Jim went on to get his Master of Architecture degree in 1987 from University of California Berkely. Since he grew up on California’s Central Coast he is constantly inspired by agrarian landscapes, farmer logic, and life on the border of land and sea.

Matthew Wells, Co-Founder of HGW

Mr. Wells finished his Bachelor of Architecture at Montana State University in 1984. He chose to continue his studies and in 2009 was awarded with his Master of Architecture from the same University. He is a native San Diegan with a passion for creating award-winning solutions, whether they are complex master planning studies or elegantly composed construction details.

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Company Culture at HGW Architecture

HGW Architecture was founded with the simple idea of doing amazing work with great people. As a studio, they use their distinct talents and culture to create something bigger than the sum of their parts. HGW is an architecture and interior design firm that creates beautiful and sustainable environments that foster collaboration, healthy living, and community.

Every client, every site, and every program, in HGW’s opinion, is a tale just waiting to be told.

Before the story can be told we must first begin by listening.

They understand that excellent design requires a relationship with the client, and that relationships are built on trust, which is earned through listening and delivering.

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Architect-US is proud to work in close contact with HGW Architecture and to be able to ensure the firm gets to know and work with amazing young architects like Eleonora Caiazzo whom we helped process her J1 Visa through our J1 Visa Program!

Eleonora Caiazzo

An Italian Architect, Eleonora Caiazzo participated in the Architect-US J1 Visa Program, through which Architect-US sponsored her Visa, helped her with the documents, and the Visa process, after which she was able to find her position at HGW having ensured she does not need Visa sponsorship from them. She started her trainee program at HGW in April 2023, which will last until October 2024.

Eleonora finished her studies at the University of Naples “Federico II” with a Master Degree in 2022. She graduated with honors and did her final thesis on Project Design, Restoration, and Landscape in Capri which was titled «Monte Solaro: History with landscape, Knowledge, conservation, enhancement.» The project was awarded Best Academic Work in the Uni Projects Catalog in 2022. During her time in University, she also took a year abroad through ERASMUS and between 2019-2022 she studied at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid_ETSAM which is a NAAB accredited University.

Caiazzo’s professional life started in 2021 when she started her first internship at GNOSIS Coop. where she was involved in concept design and development, site research, schematic design, construction documents in AutoCAD and Revit, and collaboration with Design Architects. On top of that, she also participated in the Historic & Planning Board and gained skills in Project Management and Integrated Projects Delivery.

Her last work experience before joining HGW was in 2023 when she was a Part-Time Architect for Studio Arch. E. Romagnuol. There she worked independently and in teams on multiple architectural projects due to which she got to improve her skills in Revit, AutoCAD, Rhino, Vray, Photoshop and Illustrator. Eleonora was also involved in the preparation of the construction documents and making renders from 3D Models.

HGW Architecture‘s Selected Projects

UC San Diego Spanos Athletic Center – San Diego, California

The new UC San Diego Triton training center flanks an open-air exercise courtyard linked to an existing structure. Enclosed within a strength and conditioning area are tilt-up concrete walls with patterns. The facility’s dynamic nature is suggested by the windows’ rhythmic arrangement, the concrete reliefs on the facade, and the articulated sloped roof.

Photos by HGW

Maluaka Residence – Makena, Maui

Situated to maximize sunlight, breezes, and ocean views, the new family home and guest quarters are designed to impress. The house is built with wrap-around covered porches and open, ventilated walls, inspired by the Lanai concept. The residence’s rich texture is enhanced by features like mahogany doors and windows, stone walls, and copper roofs.

Photos by HGW

Scripps Medical Office Building – Oceanside, California

Patients from North County Scripps can receive primary and specialty care in this three-story outpatient ambulatory facility. This building offers the typical amenities of a medical office building in addition to an open atrium, a rooftop healing garden, and a pedestrian bridge that connects to the parking structure.

Photos by HGW

We will be posting more projects by HGW Architecture in the upcoming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for more of their incredible work! Every Friday we will be posting a new Featured Company, so join us again next week!

HGW Architecture

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