Elevating Spaces of Everyday Life
This article is part of our series of profiles on The Architectural League of New York’s 2023 Emerging Voices winners published in the March/April issue of AN. The full list of winners can be found here.
Working from Raleigh, North Carolina, Katherine Hogan Architects (KHA) is led by Katherine Hogan and Vincent “Vinny” Petrarca. The duo began working together in 2003 under the name Tonic; they led both a design practice and a construction company, which often worked together as a design-build entity. Today KHA is an eight-person architecture office that enjoys growing recognition of its work: Last year the outfit was recognized by AN in its AN Interior Top 50 Architects and Designers of 2022 listings and received a 2022 Best of Practice Award for small architecture offices in the Southeast. Hogan shared with AN that “the intention was always to have an architecture practice, but in our place, it was important to also be able to build our projects to make them happen.”
“We are in Raleigh, and we have learned to kind of morph and expand in different ways and realize projects for the architecture that we love,” Hogan continued. She added that it is necessary to be “resourceful in the service of architecture.” That effort has paid off, as the office’s portfolio is now stocked with many striking (and award-winning) projects. KHA’s origins are in single-family residential work, and early efforts like the modern, steel-framed Chiles Residence demonstrate the practice’s talent.
In recent years KHA has also realized public projects for clients like the Wake County Public School System and North Carolina State University. Its Art as Shelter pavilion for the North Carolina Museum of Art combined design ambition with construction expertise when making a versatile outdoor classroom structured in steel and clad in perforated aluminum. The move connects the interior to the surrounding landscape while offering a space for the local community.
Petrarca shared that while the office is small, the intention is to operate at a high level: “We want to have impact in our place.” He said that KHA is “not doing the same project types all the time,” but instead is “looking for those projects that fall in the cracks.” As the office states on its website, “We have been shaped by our place.”
In conversation, Hogan and Petrarca related how they develop empathy with their clients and communities. The sensibility is seen in their renovation of Brassfield Elementary in Raleigh; the architects couldn’t change the building’s plan, but they sculpted its section to introduce light (via rooftop monitors) and color into the interior. The result is a powerful reminder that design is a useful tool that can elevate the spaces of everyday life.
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