I frequently drive by this gorgeous house on Waterloo Street in Warrenton, VA every week. I’ve often thought of who might live there, who designed it and how wonderfully unique it is! Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the architect who not only designed and built the house, but who also calls it his ‘home’.
James Hricko is a local architect located in Warrenton, Va. When a project he had designed brought him repeatedly to Fauquier County during its construction, it quickly dawned on him what a beautiful place this was. After deciding to move to Warrenton, Jim and his wife Joya purchased a lot on Waterloo Street (pictured above right) in 2002, designed and built their house and live there today.
Jim received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame, followed by a Master’s Program at Catholic University of America in City and Regional Planning. He worked for architectural firms in Washington D.C. and Virginia as well as the Department of the Navy as an Architect/Planner prior to establishing James Hricko Architect LLC, originally located in Clifton, Virginia. Jim is currently involved with Fauquier Habitat for Humanity as a member of the Board of Directors, the Building Committee and designed the Sterling Court Duplex Community in the Town of Warrenton. When completed, the seven-duplex community will be home to fourteen families (five duplexes are now complete, and the last two under construction). The completed units have received the EarthCraft of Virginia Certification for energy efficiency.
Jim’s firm was established in 1975 as a full-service architectural firm and has extensive experience with commercial, residential and historic projects — working comfortably with business owners, residential clients and business contractors. Projects include new custom homes and remodeling, additions to and adaptive reuse of historic structures, and office and industrial buildings. Jim is involved in all aspects of the design of a project and assembles and manages the design team himself.
Recently completed projects include the renovation and expansion of the Pavilion at Airlie Center into a year-round flexible indoor/outdoor meeting space which is the first building in Fauquier County to officially achieve LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy Environmental Design). Another recently completed project is The Old Bust Head Brewing Co., pictured below.
The Old Bust Head Brewing Company has breathed new life into former World War II army industrial warehouse structures, located at Vint Hill in Fauquier County, Virginia. Existing industrial elements were incorporated with new materials and products to create an updated industrial aesthetic for the new tap room and beer garden.
One of Jim’s projects in Ambergris Caye, Belize was recently featured by the American Institute of Architects.
“The program called for a full-time, low-maintenance, secure residence for a retiring individual on Ambergris Caye, Belize, C.A. on a one-third acre lot facing the Caribbean Sea. It was required that the house be located to take advantage of the view of the sea and the distant barrier reef (the second longest in the world) and take advantage of the continuous trade winds blowing from the east.
The owner required one bedroom, one bath, an open kitchen-dining-living area opening to a covered porch facing the sea, utility area and a small storage room. Since water wells are not possible and there is no public water, a 10,000 gallon cistern was located below the house to capture rainwater from the roof. The water is pumped through a water treatment system for domestic use. Natural ventilation is facilitated by large windows and doors opening to the sea and prevailing breezes, all with security shutters. A cathedral ceiling, which runs the length of the house, and ceiling fans, facilitate air movement.
The primary way of getting building materials to the site is by barge from the water requiring the design to utilize traditional island building techniques and materials, including: reinforced concrete building frame (footings, columns, beams, slab), concrete block wall in-fill with stucco finish on the exterior and interior, native wood timber harvested from the Belize mainland (mahogany ceiling; other exposed hardwood being barbajolete), corrugated metal roofing and native ceramic tile flooring. Playful exterior colors recall indigenous architecture.”
It’s amazing to see the work that our local architects have accomplished and the projects that they are still working on, be it in our beautiful Piedmont or elsewhere. In a way, you could consider their buildings and design a “work of art”! They are absolutely stunning and should be appreciated much more than they are.
Be sure to visit James Hricko’s website at www.jameshricko.com.