Self-proclaimed generalists in a world of increasing specialization, Hugh Hardy, Malcolm Holzman, and Norman Pfeiffer have been practicing architecture and interior design as HHPA since 1967. Examining the firm's project roster confirms their assertion.
Best known, perhaps, for work with educational institutions that include Middlebury College, Wellesley College, Boston University and the University of Nebraska, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates maintains an active client list in the genre and is currently part of the think tank for Christopher Whittle's intriguing and controversial Edison Project. The firm has achieved equal prominence for expertise in renovation/restoration work, giving new life to the Andrew Carnegie mansion as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, transforming Brooklyn Academy of Music's derelict Majestic theater into an unorthodox reincarnation and injecting a healthy dose of glamour into Rockefeller Center's fading Rainbow Room, while creating a surrounding complex of restaurant, bar and club spaces. The HHPA project list also cites an impressive compendium of theaters and performing arts centers, museums and galleries, libraries and research facilities, cultural and religious institutions, public works and residences.
While the scope of HHPA's work may be awe-inspiring, the work itself is meant to be anything but intimidating. In fact, a particular strength of firm designers is their ability to create spaces for participatory enjoyment. Abstract volumes devoid of the human element are simply not part of the vocabulary. The firm revels in its heterogeneity, its emphasis on the exploration of materials and the sense of discovery and surprise integral to each project.
Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer has offices in New York and Los Angeles, the latter established in 1987 under Pfeiffer's direction. The partners are Fellows of the AIA. Of the firm's numerous awards, principals are particularly proud of the 1988 Bard citations for both the BAM theater and Rainbow complex and for the 1981 AIA Architectural Firm Award.