Dallas-based HODGES Architecture achieves the firm’s goal: to create inspiring, highly functional designs.
THE PEOPLE AT HODGES Architecture approach forward-thinking design as a collaborative endeavor. Working with clients, the established Dallas firm has become a national name, with over 40 million square feet of built space in Texas and beyond.
Founded in Dallas in 1977 by Charles Hodges, HODGES Architecture is led by Hodges and partners Gerald Luecke, Gary DeVleer and Kerry Overall, along with an experienced team with diverse talents. The firm provides a full-service approach in a variety of sectors: retail, healthcare, assisted living, entertainment, mixed-use, office and multifamily. With projects often beginning with little more than an idea and a potential location, the firm also offers pre-development services and land planning expertise.
Among the most important aspects of the firm is how the partners and team consider the client experience, says DeVleer, one of the firm’s principals.
“Our design approach starts with listening to our client,” he says. “It is very important to walk in their shoes and understand their needs, desires, budgets, etc., to achieve a successful end result. We then strive to provide the best result, given the parameters and objectives of the project. We appreciate great design, but also understand it is only great if it works for the client.”
HODGES works to understand its clients’ core businesses to create thoughtful designs, and the company’s principals start a project with a client and stay involved through the very end. That’s part of what the company calls a “holistic” approach that encourages collaboration – making for a stronger end product and long-term relationships with clients.
Open lines of communication and information sharing are built into each project, employing technologies like BIM. Included in the firm’s BIM strategy are visualization tools like Revit and SketchUp, as well as project information management software such as Newforma. Those help create data/information transparency for the team. Among the firm’s strengths is retail design, and HODGES continues to help shape shopping experiences. In recent years, HODGES provided design for hot spots like the 700,000-square-foot, openair Village at Cumberland Park in Tyler, Texas; the 600,000-square-foot Arboretum of South Barrington, complete with a movie theater, in suburban Chicago; and the hip and historic Alamo Quarry Market in San Antonio, which maintains the façade and smokestacks from the site’s former life as a cement factory. HODGES also provided the design for the Alamo Quarry Cinema.
“Our roots are in retail design of all types – typically larger retail developments,” DeVleer says. “However, we’ve diversified over the last several years to focus more on entertainment projects such as cinemas with full dinner service, bowling and game venues, indoor skydiving, etc. The demand for affordable entertainment options has increased and we see that trend continuing.”
The firm has designed numerous cinema projects throughout the country for Alamo Drafthouse and Ipic Theaters. Other entertainment venues, with multiple locations, include iFly Indoor Skydiving and Main Event Entertainment. DeVleer says the firm also recently has opened a couple new Alamo Drafthouse cinemas in urban settings, including a new building along booming South Lamar Street in Dallas and an extensive renovation of a historic landmark building in San Francisco.
One growing sector the company serves is the design of assisted living and memory care facilities for the aging population. DeVleer says he and the other principals anticipate continued expansion in that arena.
“Our goal is to design innovative facilities that work in conjunction with new treatments to slow the progression of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and to improve the quality of life for the residents,” he says.
“We are about to break ground on a memory care facility in Prosper [Texas] with 82 beds in the first phase,” he says. “This facility is going to be more research-based than other facilities, and many physical design elements have been incorporated to aid in that research.”
The 60,000-square-foot facility ultimately will house over 100 residents in a community setting designed to help senior citizens with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease experience improved quality of life. The facility is to become a flagship location – with plans to make it the first of many. Though striking and functional designs are part of the HODGES story, so is an attention to its clients’ needs.
“I believe client satisfaction is the most important thing that we focus on to maintain and build our business,” he says. “Getting the second job with a new client is more important than getting the first. The first job is based on how well you sell your abilities, but the second – and beyond – is based solely on your performance. Our approach, and reputation, is to do whatever it takes for success on the project, which sometimes is more than what is spelled out in the contract.”