Architecture firms grow or shrink based on several factors; current state of the economy and some faze-out due to the principals moving to their twilight era. Architect and Engineering firms are constantly targeted with ‘not good at business’ and Succession plays right into that narrative. Even with all the research and data easily accessible, it is quite hard to find the exact number of firms that have been serving communities for over three centuries, and five (5) generations. Hutton & Hutton Architects & Engineers (HHAE) was founded in 1895, with its primary office located in Hammond, Indiana. We are honored to have our Succession on solid ground. The firm was under the leadership of its fourth-generation principal, William ‘Bill’ Hutton, who recently celebrated his birthday at the office! Clients and Employees look for stability and stability means Succession. HHAE has its succession in place with Bill Hutton – fourth generation and Justin Hutton – fifth generation, who currently leads the day-to-day operations.
In Bill’s words, “As a single-family owned firm that’s lasted over 125 years, it’s unheard of, a very very rare feat. When you think about it…having endured two world wars, many other wars, depressions, recessions and continue to survive. Excelling in such a way that we have taken the visions of our respected clients and turned them into reality. This family has held together and held tight, to create lasting Architecture and Engineering. Some of the buildings designed by the first generation still stand today and are occupied. That is an accomplishment in itself. Our work is extremely gratifying; it is something that I am definitely very proud of. Furthermore, the success of any company, especially like ours, is contributed to the employees. They are the most important people who pursued their careers under the umbrella of HHAE and ensured longevity of this firm and we do our best to treat them like family. Work – Life balance if very important to Justin and I.”
HHAE has been involved with a multitude of projects of varying magnitudes and costs for many years over vast building types and project scopes. While the project names change and its context, a Good Architect’s fundamental principles of design application and the essence of a project continue to be a strong backbone for successful design. The knowledge, experience, understanding of codes and guidelines, appreciation for the project scope, and confidence of all tools that we employ, is a privilege to learn. Most of all, the firm’s strength is in its resilience and leadership to persevere under similar tutelage over the years. The roller coaster journey nevertheless has witnessed transformations due to internal personnel shifts, technology advancements, and responding to industry growth shifts and awareness. The secret sauce to this firm’s continued success and growth can be summed up in one word - caring - period. That mantra can lead one’s firm into a successful transition when you know future leaders have a similar belief system.
HHAE works through Lean Processes, Integrated Project Delivery, Client Conscious Design, Knowledge-Based Design, and more to develop individualized solutions catered to every Client and each Project. The firm has refined its strategy to engage with clients by providing a team environment and a highly collaborative process to promote a foundation of long-term facility success. It is easier said than done, but having quality Succession in place for our Clients and Employees is a great start.
Maintaining a practice has not only been a rewarding journey, but an opportunity to continue earning the respect and confidence of clients and communities it has engaged with. While marketing and social media are great tools for gaining new clientele, this firm is proud of repeat clients and community projects that have solely happened due to our successful project history. Our future looks bright, which means so does our Clients!! Bill stated, “I look for Justin and other future leaders of this firm to continue, to be successful, to grow, to do good things for all the clients that come through our front door. Since Justin has been here our Client base has grown and broadened, developing quality and sustainable relationships.”
A Good Architect should be proud of the legacy of work accomplished, knowing that solutions were explored and quality was the foundation. Start succession planning early and put people in positions to be successful.
Please visit our website, info / about, for additional firm history. https://hhaes.com/about