Insights  |  News

Atlantic Park Gets Go-Ahead with Financing in Place

Morgan Yuzhbabenko, Mar 30, 2023
Insights  |  News

Revitalizing City Center: Richmond's Bold Step Towards an Urban Innovation District

Morgan Yuzhbabenko, Jun 01, 2023
Insights  |  News

Hanbury Awarded Grand Prize in 2022 AIA Film Challenge

Kendall Roberts, Nov 03, 2022
Insights  |  News

Robert V. Reis, FAIA, Becomes Hanbury's Eighth Fellow

David Keith, Feb 22, 2023
Insights  |  News

Portal to the Past: Unearthing Nostalgic Energy with Atlantic Park's Construction Fence

Morgan Yuzhbabenko, Aug 29, 2023
We believe buildings that are loved and endure, matter. Hanbury Design Philosophy
Project  |  Architecture

Atlantic Park: Mixed-Use Development

Venture Realty Group

Atlantic Park is a transformative mixed-use development in the heart of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Led by local developer Venture Realty Group and backed by music legend and Virginia Beach native, Pharrell Williams, phase one of the $335-million development will unify three city blocks and integrate a surf park within a blend of urban residential offerings, an indoor-outdoor entertainment venue, shops and restaurants, and office space into the 10.95-acre site, creating a vibrant atmosphere that reflects the unique character of the local community and continues its authentic heritage of music and surf culture. 



The development prioritizes a holistic lifestyle experience, combining the best of urban and natural elements to promote health and well-being. Atlantic Park will maximize wellness by addressing the health of occupants through tangible elements, such as ecology, biophilia and materiality. The design integrates nature back into the site through a curated collection of public green spaces and landscaped gardens which will provide an immersive oasis in the heart of the bustling community. The development has been thoughtfully designed to foster a sense of community and connectedness, with plazas, rooftop terraces, and outdoor recreation areas imagined as a sustainable nexus for well-being to maximize human interaction with nature while encouraging exploration and relaxation.


“Well before it was concrete and asphalt, the Oceanfront was a dense coastal forest on the edge of windswept dunes. A century later, we are drawing on that inspiration to create an organic architecture that invites lush landscape back onto the site and becomes a fluid gateway from the Vibe Creative District to the Atlantic Ocean.”       – Alec Yuzhbabenko, AIA, Design Principal 


At the heart of Atlantic Park, a 2.67-acre surf lagoon stands as the development's centerpiece. Powered by revolutionary Wavegarden Cove technology, the surf lagoon will replicate natural waves, creating an authentic ocean-like experience for surfers of all levels. The first of its kind in the U.S., this state-of-the-art attraction is sure to make Atlantic Park a dynamic bucket-list destination unlike any other on the East Coast. 



In addition to the surf lagoon, Atlantic Park will be home to a new 70,000-square-foot entertainment venue that honors the legacy of "The Dome," an architectural masterpiece that served as a cultural icon for 35 years. The new venue will have an indoor capacity of 3,500, which can be expanded to 5,000 for outdoor events via 6 large hangar doors. On non-event days, the venue's surrounding amphitheater space will transform into a welcoming community park, hosting art fairs, markets, free performances, and more, adding to the cultural vibrancy of the entertainment district. 



With a strong emphasis on multi-family living, the development will feature a diverse collection of over 300 flexible living options from studios to three-bedroom apartments. The residential buildings are designed to create elevated courtyards that provide community spaces with views of the surf lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. The gentle curves and recessed forms, soft edges and spacious balconies harmoniously connect private living and verdant gardens, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor environments. A range of amenities complement the apartments to enhance the resident experience, including a large pool deck overlooking the surf park, fitness areas, outdoor pet areas, indoor and outdoor communal lounges, and co-working spaces. 

Atlantic Park represents the synergy of history and modernity, redefining the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and cementing its place as a cultural hub for generations to come. With its innovative design and community-driven approach, Atlantic Park is poised to create a new paradigm for urban design, offering a unique model for community-centered living and ushering in a new era of growth and cultural rebirth, one that promises to improve not only the urban landscape but also the lives of the people who call it home. 


“This project changes everything for Virginia Beach. With year-round surfing, entertainment, community gatherings, and the influence of global visionaries like Pharrell, the heart of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront will be changed forever and for the better, for locals and visitors alike.” - Bob Dyer, Virginia Beach Mayor


Project  |  Architecture

VGXI Headquarters and Biomanufacturing Facility

VGXI, Inc.

Situated on a 20-acre plot in an emerging technology and research park, the new VGXI Headquarters and Biomanufacturing Facility was designed with careful consideration for both the client's needs and employee well-being. The design team expertly translated VGXI's vision into an architectural statement that embodies the client's values and aspirations, reflecting a commitment to transformational science and employee well-being through strategic facility planning and life science expertise.

The design incorporates a modular concept to allow for future growth and expansion while maintaining the highest standards of safety, containment, and cGMP requirements needed for pharmaceutical manufacturing. The building's unique architecture utilized site cast concrete panels designed as modular units which reflects the constraints of tilt-up construction and the prescriptive nature of lab facilities. The design team turned these constraints into design opportunities, resulting in a building that breaks down the scale of the form with the use of light and shadow and provides visual interest through multiple panel types.

The innovative use of chamfers, textures and projecting elements allows the facade to transform throughout the day, creating a captivating interplay of light and shadow that enhances the building's aesthetic. With an equally impressive interior, the material palette consists of neutral tones, including polished concrete floors, warm wood tones, and the client's primary brand color. This serves as a means of wayfinding, guiding occupants through the space and marking the important communal gathering spaces throughout.

Shared spaces and circulation zones continue the theme of engaging environments and adapt to different work methodologies. The double-height entry plaza, monumental stair, wood slat walls, and ceilings visually connect the interior design to the exterior canopy soffits and establish a material language that is carried throughout the office and circulation areas.

The VGXI headquarters showcases the impact of collaboration, innovation, and careful attention to detail. The close coordination between the design team, client, and contractors allowed for key details to be thoughtfully articulated, resulting in a building that is both functional and visually stunning. It represents VGXI's commitment to transforming scientific processes and generating a positive global impact through their products, cementing their place as a leader in the Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) industry.

Project  |  Architecture

Karsh Institute of Democracy

University of Virginia

At the heart of the University of Virginia's Emmet-Ivy Corridor, the Karsh Institute of Democracy stands as a beacon of intellectual vitality and democratic engagement. This educational ecosystem is poised to unite faculty, students, and the wider community in a vibrant space designed to inspire scholarship, foster dialogue, and champion the principles of democracy. With its elevated position overlooking a  curated green corridor and outdoor gathering spaces, the Institute not only symbolizes the exchange of ideas but embodies it through its design. A testament to collaboration and purpose, the Karsh Institute of Democracy represents a powerful catalyst for advancing democracy and shaping the future of governance.



An anchor for the new redevelopment site, the building will serve as a unifying force, augmenting the work of multiple schools and centers already dedicated to the study of democracy at UVA. It will also accommodate the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, facilitating intentional cross-pollination of ideas and initiatives.



The building itself is a testament to the Institute's mission. Its design showcases a compelling architectural composition, with a subtle curve on the eastern façade that acts as both the main entrance and a visual landmark. Carved cornerstones anchor the structure, providing solidity and permanence, while rhythmic panel arrangements add texture, reflecting the dynamic nature of democracy.

The choice of exterior materials connects the Institute with the University's architectural legacy through a design that pays homage to tradition while introducing a fresh visual language that symbolizes the Institute's forward-thinking approach. Thoughtfully designed outdoor spaces, including a paved promenade and tree-lined central green, create a sense of community and offer opportunities for gathering and intellectual discourse.



The design team's collaboration with the Karsh Institute and the Batten School of Leadership has resulted in a design that caters to the multifaceted needs of its users. The building's interior seamlessly integrates academic, research, and work spaces, centered around the public-facing auditorium, multimedia, and event spaces. The building's lobby acts as a dynamic hub of community activity, welcoming visitors with a spiraling staircase that leads to the heart of the building—the state-of-the-art auditorium.



Inspired by the concept of the portico, the second-floor pre-function space is located between a warm cherry wood-clad "drum" and the perimeter white columns. Panoramic views overlooking the linear green pay homage to UVA’s iconic red brick Rotunda nestled behind white columns that frame the Lawn. Inside the auditorium, thoughtfully positioned balcony tiers promote audience interaction and encourage inclusive "in the round" participation.



The design team is led by Höweler + Yoon with Hanbury, in collaboration with representatives from the Office of the Architect for the University, Facilities Management, the Karsh Institute, and the Batten School.

Visuals by Bloomimages