We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of one of our Honorable mentions for the “SKYHIVE Skyscraper Challenge” competition - Rosa Zlotkovsky, Sean McTaggart and Anthony Maiolatesi from United States!

Rosa Zlotkovsky, Sean McTaggart and Anthony Maiolatesi from United States

Hickok Cole is a hundred-person collective of architects, project managers, interior designers, graphic / media designers, strategists and researchers, each contributing to our broad-based design practice. We create wonderful places for people to live, work and play – places that support their lives and inspire their imaginations. Our iLab program consists of “bottom-up” research by staff through micro-grants that allow them to pursue passion projects that also have potential to benefit the firm, and “top down” research conducted with our marketing and business development departments based on what we see coming onto the marketplace. Tony, Sean, and Rosa were able to utilize these resources, as well as specialized consultation from Arup engineers, in order to research and design their mass timber skyscraper in Philadelphia.

Michael Hickok, FAIA, the founding partner of Hickok Cole, started the firm in 1988 and has guided the firm through its continuous growth and transformation. The office has been widely recognized for design excellence - earning numerous industry awards, including recognition from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). Mr. Hickok has served as President of the DC Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and has served as a design critic on juries at University of Maryland. Yolanda Cole, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, merged her firm, LyrixDesign, Inc., with Mr. Hickok’s firm in 2003. Ms. Cole began her design career with New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC, where she served as senior designer on such projects as the 1.2-million-square-foot Chifley Tower in Sydney, Australia and the award-winning Capital Cities / ABC headquarters in New York. She is an alumnus of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, has been an adjunct professor of architecture at Lehigh University and has been a guest lecturer, thesis advisor and has served on design juries at The Catholic University of America. Ms. Cole is currently serving as Washington chair of the Urban Land Institute.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

Anthony Maiolatesi is a staff architect who specializes in multi-family residential design, and is currently leading the construction administration of a large residential project in Northeast DC.

Sean McTaggart is a project architect currently splitting time between three major multi-family projects in the DC area, gaining invaluable construction experience.

Rosa Zlotkovsky is a project architect in the commercial base-building sector, currently overseeing the construction of a major office building in Northwest DC.

All three team members have been at HCA for five years, and are emerging leaders within the firm.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Architects are responsible for the life, safety, and welfare of all those who enter our buildings. Furthermore, architects are collaborative leaders, the optimistic ones who envision a better environment and work to make it a reality. While our work can be considered “art”, the ultimate goal is to accommodate and enhance the quality of human life.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We participate in architecture vision competitions to provide an outlet for creative design, considering that all three of us are currently working on projects under construction, which will last for several years. We’re hoping to take lessons learned from the back end of the process and inform the earliest schematic design phase, and vice versa. We had already been gathering mass timber research, and felt that this skyscraper competition was an opportunity to bring something new to the table as informed designers. Our projects in DC are restrained by a 130’ height limit, and in choosing a Philadelphia site, we had the chance to really push the envelope of what is possible with wood technology.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

For those who wonder whether competitions are worth their time, we would advise them to consider what their passion is beyond the 9-5 (or perhaps later!) daytime job. A healthy work-life balance is critical in this profession, and getting involved in a competition like this certainly runs the risk of getting in the way. However, if you discover a particular topic or project that you want to explore, and you believe will directly enhance or expand the work that you do on a daily basis, then go for it. It’s important to heed the advice of directors, but it’s also necessary to occasionally charter your own course to discover unknown talents.

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