Sketchbook: Works by Hany Hassan

On View at the District Architecture Center in Washington DC
April 05, 2016
Credit: Beyer Blinder Belle

Partner Hany Hassan’s exceptional hand drawings – notably, his sketches of significant buildings and sites around the world – stand out as works of art in their own right. A selection of Hany’s drawings are on display at the District Architecture Center in Washington, DC, through May 7th. We hope you will have the opportunity to stop in and see the exhibition.

Hany Hassan, FAIA is a Partner at Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, and the Director of the firm’s Washington DC Office. In an age when architects have come to rely heavily on computer-aided design and drafting software, Hany possesses the increasingly rare ability to draw his designs by hand. This exhibition features sketches, drawings, renderings, and watercolors — spanning more than thirty years — from Hany’s personal collection.

A trained architect but a born artist, Hany has dedicated himself to professional practice while simultaneously pursuing a lifelong passion for drawing. During his studies at Cairo University, Hany came to embrace visual communication as an essential part of the architect’s role. Drawing — the architect’s first language — continues to benefit his work, providing clarity to clients and constituents on the overall vision and choreography of a project’s design.

For Hany, the practice of drawing is both personal and sacred. His collection includes hundreds of drawings of historic buildings across the United States and abroad, documenting a lifetime of personal and professional travel.

BBB clients, colleagues and staff attended the opening reception on March 28th:

Beyer Blinder Belle
Beyer Blinder Belle
Beyer Blinder Belle
Beyer Blinder Belle

Below is a selection of drawings featured in the exhibition:

Hany Hassan

Old Cairo, Egypt

The play of light and shadow in the narrow streets of Old Cairo.

Hany Hassan

Old Post Office, Washington, DC

A view of the Old Post Office tower from Pennsylvania Avenue, looking west. Designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke and built in 1899, this Romanesque Revival building is one of the most iconic in Washington DC. The effort to save it from demolition in 1970 during the expansion of Federal Triangle was a catalyst for the local historic preservation movement. Beyer Blinder Belle is the design and historic architect for the renovation and adaptive reuse of the building.

Hany Hassan

Union Station, Washington, DC

Historic view of Daniel Burnham’s 1908 Washington Union Station. The building was designed to be monumental in character due to its proximity to the US Capitol, and to serve as “the vestibule of the city of Washington.” The Union Station Master Development Plan is one of Beyer Blinder Belle’s most prominent projects in the city.

Hany Hassan

Cathedral of the Ascension, Bank Bridge, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Bank Bridge is a small pedestrian suspension bridge, whose innovative design hides the bridge supports inside elegant sculptures. The gold-winged Griffons are one of the numerous monumental sculptures designed by artist Pavel Sokolov in St. Petersburg.

Hany Hassan

Cultural Center at K.A.C.A.R.E., Saudi Arabia

A conceptual sketch of the cultural center for the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.C.A.R.E.) — a model sustainable city near Riyadh, designed to be an incubator for new ideas and technologies. The free and fluid quality of the lines suggest the project’s spirit of openness and optimism, while the radiant quality of the translucent stone conveys that it will be both a literal and figurative beacon of light in the open desert landscape surrounding it.