Heidi is a founder and the managing partner at HK. She runs the HK office’s day-to-day activities. Her architectural career began with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Heidi also worked with Richard Meier & Partners and Ellerbe Beckett. At age 29, she started Heidi Hefferlin Architects during her time in Los Angeles before moving back to Chattanooga. Heidi’s approach is both practical and artistic: she works closely with the owner, contractors, and craftsmen during the construction process, balancing the challenges of design, cost, and schedule. She loves the conceptual phase and often develops her designs in model form. She studies the forms and sculptural qualities of the buildings and then investigates the building materials and systems at great length to find materials that are interesting and appropriate for each project. Heidi likes the outdoors and horseback riding. She’s also heavily involved in the Chattanooga community. Heidi is on the board of the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, served on the Chattanooga Public Art committee, and served a term as president of the Chattanooga Chapter of AIA. She has lectured at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the American Institute of Architects Tennessee Convention, and her work was included in an exhibit at the Los Angeles City Hall “Reflections of Working Women: Building the Public Environment”.
Craig began his career with a series of international projects. He was a senior designer by the age of 26, and worked with agencies like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and was a design partner at IEDC in Asia. With such an intense start, Craig developed an aptitude for site planning, master planning and solving complex problems. His business experience comes from starting several firms with close friends and coworkers. Craig thoroughly enjoys urban design. Craig has designed numerous multi-family housing developments in urban areas. He enjoys collaborating with landscape architects, engineers, and graphic designers – each important to urban design. He is especially skilled in mixed-use projects. If he could choose anything, Craig’s favorite project would be an office building for a segmented business that needs room to grow, but is confined to an existing property. Working on Melissa and Daud’s studio was a dream come true – collaborating with the artists and not being totally in control was refreshing, he says. “They wanted an interpretation of their life, and the outcome was great. We were all thrilled with it.” Craig speaks French, enjoys drawing, plays tennis and loves to cook.
Clif has worked with HK Architects since 2000 and has been a principal since 2012. He enjoys coming to work each day and solving problems for HK’s clients. His background shows his devotion to his craft: He received Highest Honors from Georgia Tech and studied Urban Form and Theatrical Set Design at L’Ecole d’Architecture de Paris – La Villette. Upon graduation he relocated to the West Coast and managed several dozen office renovations for dot com companies during the tech boom of the late 1990’s. Additionally he spent three years restoring historic properties in Upstate New York. Clif is a matchmaker: he breaks projects into tasks and pairs those tasks with the HK colleagues who will perform them best. He himself likes measuring existing buildings and dealing with any of the complex construction detailing tasks. Clif reviews designs to ensure they meet national codes and standards, and also the standards of HK. He also has an eye for design and takes the opportunity to pick up pen and pencil every now and again.
Matthew has been with HK for eight years. He studied architecture at the University of Tennessee and at Bauhaus University, Germany. Matt designs projects and oversees construction through site visits. He says design has made him a good problem solver “because any good design is set by its parameters”, and the designer must be creative to deal with existing spaces and requirements. Matt wants one day to design his own home and thinks it would be fun to design in Europe, especially Switzerland. He is passionate and artsy, open-minded and a strong member of the HK team. Matt says, “In Chattanooga, there’s lots of warehouse and industrial space being converted to clean and useful buildings. I love it. I’m looking forward to the progress Chattanooga will make in the next ten years. It’s a great city.”
Chris graduated in 2000 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, where he completed his architectural studies and minored in fine arts. He received his professional license in 2009. He lived in Brooklyn and NYC for over 12 years; where he worked for several creative and award winning firms and also practiced independently. His portfolio contains work from many various project types and sizes including ground up projects as well as renovations. He has successfully managed highly designed boutique projects as well as those over several hundred thousand square feet and tens of millions in construction costs. In 2016 he relocated to Tennessee and joined HK. Having lived most of his working career in New York City, he has developed a very can do approach to design and construction which can help bring any project to life.
Nick graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, ranked one of the top three undergraduate architecture programs in the nation. With help from the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara’s Architecture Award, he studied abroad for a year in Copenhagen Denmark with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad and traveled extensively through all of Europe. After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture, he moved to New York City. He spent six years working at Axis Mundi, a small residential interior architecture firm, and was fortunate to have been a part of a wide range of projects. Having been involved in all phases of the design process from start to finish, he acquired not only technical and creative skills, but also the ability to manage, coordinate, and present throughout the entire architectural process.
Sarah graduated with honors and awards from Drury University in 2012 with degrees in both Architecture and French. During her time at Drury, Sarah studied abroad at the Institut de Touraine in Tours, France and at the Drury University Center in Volos, Greece, where she pursued studies in language, culture, and architecture. After her studies in Greece, Sarah completed a three month internship under the architect and current Dean of the College of Art and Architecture at LSU, Alkis Tsolakis in Aegina, Greece. Sarah was an active member in her university’s chapter of Tau Sigma Delta and AIAS, where she served as her chapter’s vice president during her third year. After graduating, Sarah chose to further her French language studies by working as an au pair in St Germain-en-Laye, France and taking advanced language courses.
Growing up and studying in the Midwest has Alex eager to explore and be a part of the development in Chattanooga. Alex graduated from Drury University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Architecture and received his professional license in 2015. At Drury University Alex traveled abroad to Greece, Germany, and Egypt. While growing up Alex would draw plans and sections for tree houses in the woods behind his home. When Alex is not working you can find him outside climbing at the local crags or hitting the mountain biking trails.
Jennifer’s passion for architecture is a synthesis of her most beloved interests: serving the community at large, creative expression, and the natural environment. She graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design with both Master and Bachelor degrees in architecture as well as an Artistic Honors Fellowship and Scholarship. Prior to joining the HK team, Jen lived in San Francisco where she spent four + years designing office spaces for technology and sustainability driven companies like Google, Apple, Konica Minolta, and Marin Clean Energy during her time at Studios Architecture and WK Design Group. Outside of the office, Jen enjoys backpacking in the wilderness, running, serving the local community, and making use of her creative energy.
A life long resident of Chattanooga, Steve began his career in 1983 as a draftsman for the late C. Ralph Cheek. Over the last 30 years, Steve has witnessed the transformation of Chattanooga, and has had the privilege of working on the renovation of a number of historic downtown buildings. He looks forward to continuing help shape the face of Chattanooga as a part of the HK team. When not working Steve enjoys sharing concerts and music festivals with his sons Paul and Alex.
James officially began his architectural career in 1984. Absorbing the complexities of how things fit together has always been his passion. Even as a child, he delved deep into the Foxfire book series intent on learning how to construct a log cabin, which he successfully accomplished in his early teens. Upon completion of technical design school, he promptly entered the job market. During his career, he has worked with a plethora of architectural firms within historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut, the suburbs of Seattle, Washington, then eventually settling down in the greater Chattanooga area. His most notable employment was with the design team at Life Care Centers of America in Cleveland, Tennessee where he learned the fine art of ADA compliance. Each successive architectural firm further honed his skill of infusing a “potentially annoying” attention to detail into every aspect of creating an organized set of construction documents. In his personal time, James is very active at his church, within the local community and also happens to thoroughly enjoy any sport involving skis. He is a musician, writer, father and husband of 26 years.
Raised in the small town of Woodbury Tennessee, Jordan ventured to the big city of Knoxville to pursue a degree in architecture. While at UT he spent a semester abroad studying at Arkansas’s Rome Center where he learned to love all things brick and concrete. Fortunate to have been raised in a family of builders and draftsmen, he has been encouraged to be creative and make things from a young age. Architecture has provided the perfect outlet, balancing both design and technical ability. When not at work you can find him on his bike scouring Chattanooga for the perfect cup of coffee.
Having been raised in Chattanooga, Wilson has witnessed the development of the city, fueling his passion for architecture. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s College of Architecture + Design and spent a semester studying abroad at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. While in Finland, Wilson realized a higher appreciation for woodworking due to its rich Finnish cultural significance. In his final year at UTK, Wilson spent the majority of his time developing a sustainable – and currently underutilized – building method with a few of his classmates. Stemming from his interest in traditional Finnish log cabin style construction, he helped progress a method for modern building that incorporates undried oak from the Appalachian Region that saved energy by not drying the wood and was an upcycled or repurposed material from unused palates. The proposal was successfully presented at the Washington D.C. Convention Center for the Environmental Protection Agency and won the People, Prosperity & the Planet Competition. Wilson also has a passion for building furniture in his spare time, as well as working with clay and drawing.
Bhen worked in Nashville designing residential projects before joining the HK team. He decided to move to Chattanooga in 2016 after visiting the city and recognizing its many unique and inviting qualities, from the treatment of the riverfront to the bucolic surroundings. He was also very interested in working in the collaborative design studio environment offered at H+K. Bhen is happy to now be living in Chattanooga and contributing to its built environment. While Bhen is not in the studio you can find him on his drawing board or immersed in Chattanooga’s music scene. See Wilson Kessel’s profile for educational experience.