Bayside architect wins design award for turning a Little Neck home into a mini-mansion

Rick D. Chandler
Photos courtesy of Tim Hao

A Bayside-based architect continues to receive accolades for his design work around Queens.

Tim Hao, who lives and works in the northeastern Queens neighborhood, has been in the architecture business for 34 years. In December, the Queens Chamber of Commerce awarded Hao the 2017 Excellent Design Award — his seventh decoration from the organization since 2011 — for rehabilitation work on a Little Neck home.

Originally from China, Hao has been interested in architecture since he was a child. After immigrating to the United States years ago, he established his practice, HCD Architecture, where he has worked on designing and redesigning residential, office, commercial and mixed-use spaces throughout the city.

Hao’s design approach is to make the best use of the existing structure, minimize negative environmental impact and create the lowest construction cost without cutting corners.

“I try my best in architectural design to improve the appearance of buildings I designed and to work toward bettering and beautifying Queens,” Hao said. “It’s my great honor to get encouragement from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and [former president] Helen Marshall.”

He took the same approach when designing for the award-winning Little Neck rehabilitation job. The owner of the single-residence home located on a hill wished to add more rooms, according to Hao.

While maintaining the original structure, Hao made a vertical extension and split the volume of the building in a way that matched the appearance of the current neighborhood. He also added balconies and dormer windows to the exterior of the home, which he said enhanced the appearance of the home.

Hao has consistently been recognized by the chamber for his architecture work around the borough. Prior to his most recent award, he was recognized for his work remodeling Nippon Cha, a Japanese restaurant and cafe at 39-34 Bell Blvd.

“Architecture is the landmark or symbol of a city and represents the specific cultural ethos. Appearance is vital,” Hao said. “I’ve been trying to provide designs that create uplifting spaces for people’s daily lives.”

The Queens Chamber of Commerce gives out the Builders Awards annually to recognize architects who better and beautify the borough through their designs.