HMFH Architects

We Believe

The best buildings break through barriers. Challenging projects compel us to seek new answers. They demand the best from us as architects.

Julia Nugent AIA Principal

Design Inspires

We design spaces that provide opportunities to learn. Whether you’re mastering a skill or uncovering something about a friend, interacting with a space should be a comfortable, memorable and inspirational experience.

Design is about more than appearance. It's the experience that unfolds as you walk through a building—the sound of footsteps, the feel of materials, the rhythm of sunlight or pattern, color, and texture—these details matter. When thoughtful elements are woven into a unified whole, the resulting architecture enlightens our senses and enriches our daily lives.

We believe that the alchemy of design can leverage commonplace forms and materials to yield an elegant solution. A successful design connects users to both their place in the building, and their place relative to the outside world; its scale fits and makes sense both to the people using the building and those interacting with its environmental context; and the experience feels both inevitable and surprising.

It is our deeply held belief that design is about people. Good design delights us as individuals and enriches our relationships with others.


The idea of an architect working in isolation to sketch a brilliant design on the back of a napkin is only movie magic. We know that the best buildings are realized when a design team works closely and collaboratively with one another and the community. Buildings with complex uses and goals require creativity, expertise and a tried and true process.

What is the use and purpose of the building? Who are the primary users? Who else spends time in the building—maintenance workers, community members, others? Is the space used during the day, at night, 24/7? Will there be site or use constraints during construction? Is the building in a city, a suburb or rural community? Do users walk, take public transportation or drive to the site? Is the budget generous or limited?

Because every project has a different set of challenges and opportunities, HMFH creates a planning and design process to meet the unique needs of each client. We start by learning the goals, challenges, constraints and aspirations for the space. With a clear understanding of the project, we offer options and ideas that fit the situation and the resources. Then, we listen again and reflect on the feedback we receive, whether it be from the project team or community in which we are working. Guided by openness and patience, as well as expertise and experience, we repeat this process until the design and the client's needs align in a thoughtful and cost-effective solution.

Sustainability is

Responsible energy use and conservation has been guiding the design process at HMFH since its inception. As stewards to both our clients and the environment we live in, we ingrain sustainability into all of our practices. From LEED, to CHPS, to Net Zero, we help our clients make smart decisions about how to build a cost-effective, efficient building.

Our clients care deeply about energy efficiency and protecting the environment but are often unsure where to begin and how to make cost effective choices. Through HMFH's collaborative design process, we find practical ways to provide innovative, energy-efficient, high-performance buildings and systems while enhancing, not compromising, the goals.

HMFH’s public school buildings are typically 30% more efficient than comparable spaces that are “built to code”. We have been leaders in introducing energy saving lighting solutions and Net-Zero-ready buildings. The firm combines commitment to sustainable design with proven expertise in the process. After all, every building we design is impacting our future as well.

An example of sustainable achievement is the net-positive energy Fales Elementary School, which is projected to produce 10% more energy than required for the school itself.

We have joined the AIA 2030 Commitment program and its goal of carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030. Read more about our sustainable practices, and our work towards greater energy-efficiency in the built environment in our AIA 2030 Sustainability Action Plan.


People are the driving force for all that we do. From the client who sparks the idea of the project, to the design and construction team that propel the project forward, to the end-user who inspires the whole process—these people matter. The most critical element to a project’s success is the ability of these people to work together. That’s where we come in.

Clients choose to work with architects whose creativity, demonstrated success and professional standards closely match their needs and culture. We know that a successful client-architect relationship is at the heart of any quality outcome. We work hard to create an understanding, respect and mutual trust with our partners.

Building long-term relationships with our clients, consultants and construction professionals is rooted strongly in our practice at HMFH. Since 1969, our people have been dedicated to achieving the finest outcomes for our clients. The stability, experience and exceptional creativity of our staff are key to successful working relationships and ultimately to successful projects. People matter.

Learn more, view a client list and HMFH staff profiles.