Hanaa is a Director of BuildForward Capital LLC where she contributes to the development of architectural standards and energy efficiency qualification procedures for BuildForward's loan product. She has previously worked in sustainable design, energy efficiency and climate adaptive practices and policies through Urban Green Council (New York branch of USGBC), Em[POWER] Energy Group and most recently, A Better City. Her experience includes developing green building training and working with the City of Boston to promote energy efficiency in buildings as a part of the City’s Climate Action Plan. Hanaa studied architecture at Princeton University, where she was awarded the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Research and Travel Fellowship, and is currently studying for her masters in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. Her research has focused on the intersection of design and environment and delves into issues of energy, health and resilience.
Gisela Baurmann is an award-winning architect, who practices and teaches architectural design in Europe and the US. She is founding partner of the architecture office Büro NY based in New York and Berlin, and Chief Architect at BuildForward Design LLC.
Gisela leads the team responsible for creating and implementing BuildForward design standards in every stage - from vetting and advising on project designs to providing the architectural supervision required during the construction phase of BuildForward projects.
Gisela's education and construction experience in Southern Germany and Berlin from the 1970s through 2000 engrained in her the principals of sustainable engineering techniques as a fundamental driver for high-quality architectural design. She received a Master's degree from Columbia University in 1994 (honors) as a Fulbright scholar and a degree in architectural engineering from the Technical University Berlin, Germany in 1991. In 1990, while a student at the Architectural Association London, she started to explore techniques of representation and transformation in architecture.
Gisela teaches architectural design at Princeton University, Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania and serves as guest critic the Cooper Union, MIT and Yale University, City College and Rensselear Polytechnical Institute among others. During the 1990s she taught Design and Construction at the Technical University Darmstadt. In 2008-2009 she was a Guest Professor and head of the Department of Design and Building design at the Technical University, Institute of Architecture, Berlin.
Gisela's design was chosen as finalist and first runner-up in the World Trade Center Memorial Competition, with over 5,200 participants the largest design competition in history. Other awards include: New York State Council on the Arts Grant (2005), Kinne Fellow Prize and Honor Award for Excellence in Design, Columbia University (1994). In 1993, Gisela was a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Program) and Fulbright Scholar. Recognized design competition entries are: Lecture Hall Complex, RWTH Aachen, finalist (2009), New Silk Road Cultural Park, China, finalist (2006), Green Plaza van Alen Institute competition, 2nd prize (2001), among others.
Her design and research work has been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Metropolis Magazine, New Yorker, the Cornell Journal of Architecture, Architectural Record, Architecture, Paper Magazine, Daily News, Newsday, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Spiegel, among others. It was exhibited at the Van Alen Institute New York, Columbia University, the Goethe Institute in New York and in Washington DC, the Martin Gropius Bau Berlin and the World Financial Center in New York City.
In her private time Gisela is an active singer; she plays cello and piano. Gisela is actively involved in the arts education, the school garden and the education to a healthy lifestyle at the school of her son in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Jonas Coersmeier is an award-winning architect whose work has been published internationally. He is a founding partner of the office Büro NY based in New York, chair of the advisory board at BuildForward Capital LLC and advisory Board Member at the Green Parking Council. Before co-founding his first design practice in 2001 specializing in online environments, Jonas worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
He teaches graduate design studio and research seminars at Pratt Institute, where he recently started the international summer program Pratt Berlin. He also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at the University of Kassel, Germany, where in 2008-2009 he was interim chair of the Digital Design Department, and he serves as a regular guest critic at Columbia University, Princeton University, Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania.
Jonas received a Master’s degree from Columbia University (honors) and an Engineering degree from TU-Darmstadt. While a student at M.I.T. he started to explore the relationship between science and culture through computational design techniques.
His recent work pairs nanotechnology with algorithmic tools to study natural systems. Natural cell formation became a guiding concept for the WTC Memorial design (2003) and the RWTH Aachen project (2009). A silk pattern as it occurs at nano- and at global scale generated the New Silk Road project (2006). Engineered and natural green were synthesized in the Queen’s Plaza project (2001).
Jonas’ design was chosen as finalist and first runner-up in the World Trade Center Memorial Competition, the largest design competition in history. Other awards include: Young Artist Award State of NRW Germany (2007), Kinne Fellow Prize (2000), Lowenfish Prize for Design (2000) and Honor Award for Excellence in Design, Columbia University (2000). In 2010, he was nominated for the German Academy in Rome (Villa Massimo) and in 2009 for the Young Architects Program (P.S.1/MoMA). In 1999, Jonas was a DAAD Scholar (German Academic Exchange Program). Recognized competition entries are: Lecture Hall Complex, RWTH Aachen, finalist (2009); New Silk Road Cultural Park, China, finalist (2006); Monaco Luxe Pack Design Award, finalist (2005); and Green Plaza Van Alen Institute competition, 2nd prize (2001), among others.
His work has been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Metropolis Magazine, Architectural Record, New Yorker, Architecture, Paper Magazine, Daily News, Newsday, FAZ, Spiegel and others. It has been exhibited at the van Alen Institute New York, Columbia University, the Goethe Institute in New York and in Washington DC, the Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, and the World Financial Center in New York City.