Hunt Hale Jones Architects
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Lance Pelletier
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When Richard Hunt and Dan Hale founded their own architecture firm, it wasn’t long before they brought Ron Jones and his expertise on board as a partner to round out their company. Since then, Hunt Hale Jones Architects (HHJA) has delivered its collective experience to the San Francisco architectural industry. Specializing in residential architecture, HHJA is comprised of experts in single and multifamily housing, urban planning and design, interiors, custom homes and mixed-use facilities.
Building a talented team
“The three partners all have a different expertise,” says Hale, who is the design principal of HHJA. “I focus on design and entitlements.” Hale has specialized in developing residential projects ranging from custom homes to award-winning multifamily housing. His focus is to ensure that each project receives the most creative, innovative and appropriate designs within the given constraints.
“Richard Hunt is our managing principal,” says Hale. “He focuses on the everyday business of the company. Hunt also does design work for custom homes as well as international planning.” Hale’s track record is in land planning and obtaining government approvals for complex development projects throughout the western U.S. Hunt has been the driving force behind the development and management of HHJA Shanghai office.
Ron Jones is the firm’s production principal and has managed the process of product delivery for HHJA since the company’s inception. “Ron has been very instrumental in the firm’s reputation for meeting budgets, schedules and quality of drawings,” Hale explains. “We take the three disciplines that many would consider to make up an architecture company and we individually focus on each of those.” As a relatively small firm, HHJA operates with an “all hands on deck” approach. “When there is a decision to be made, we turn to the person who is primarily responsible for that department.”
A major strength of HHJA lies in its talented team of project managers. The company takes an integrative approach to projects in which people are involved from start to finish. “We take pride in the fact that not only are we very good designers, but we design in a way that’s efficient and easy to build,” says Hale. “That’s a value that our clients really appreciate that we bring to the table.”
In recruiting talented people for the firm, HHJA has maintained relationships with several colleges and universities where Hale and his colleagues are able to view resumes and meet with students who will be entering the industry soon. “We look for younger people who have experience in all of the computer 3-D and AutoCAD knowledge that is being taught in the schools,” says Hale.
“We’re very open to new people bringing in new and fresh ideas of how to explore projects and create drawings not only faster, but also better and more accurately.”
Providing numerous solutions
In its 23 years of existence, HHJA has built a reputation as an architecture firm that works directly with builders completing development work. While the same builders often work with larger firms, HHJA has created a niche for itself with projects that tend to be more complex, require more design expertise and are difficult to entitle. “That is where we add real value to our clients’ projects. “We don’t have to compete with the bigger firms,” says Hale. “Our size allows us to offer a different level of service.”
HHJA has established strong relationships with numerous clients, which has led to a fair amount of repeat business. Clients with which the company maintains strategic partnerships include: City Ventures, Branagh Development, Summerhill Homes, Signature Development Group, Toll Brothers, D.R. Horton, and Taylor Morrison.
“I think what our clients appreciate the most is that we don’t just offer one solution,” Hale explains. “We present a few different creative solutions and work with the builder to find the best option for their needs.”
The high level of service that HHJA provides for its clients is directly due to the fact that the firm has chosen to remain small. With a staff of 20, HHJA has realized over the years that it can be a stronger firm with less overhead.
“Part of our business model and plan is to be able to grow without overheard that does not generate revenue,” Hale elaborates. “It creates a lean, high-quality service response level to our clients. They tell us that they like working with us because we give extra attention to them and service them very well.”
The level of service and attention to detail that Hunt Hale Jones Architects are qualities that will enable the firm to remain a leader in residential planning and design in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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