Pfeiffer Partners, now Pfeiffer—a Perkins Eastman Studio, evolved from our prior practice as Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (HHPA) . . .
a long-running, successful partnership of three designers, which first became a force in American architecture in the late 1960’s. At the outset practicing from New York, Norman Pfeiffer and his partners were part of an emerging restless generation of architects who reacted against the “less is more” solutions of Modernism with an inclusive and eclectic architectural approach. The firm flourished for 37 years, avoiding perfection of a specific architectural style, and producing an award-winning body of work that truly reflects American architecture. In 1986, the establishment of a Los Angeles office supported a growing national practice, responsible for work with remarkable diversity and civic presence.
“The firm’s work is rather brash, often irreverent, more a collage of interesting elements than a pure statement.”
Paul Goldberger, “Brash, Young and Post-Modern,” New York Times Magazine, Feb. 20, 1977
The buildings reflected HHPA’s characteristic attention to materiality, fascination with industrial forms, and experimentation with spatial organization, in conjunction with intense focus on the development of interiors that humanize the experience of buildings and deliver pleasure to occupants.
The scale of commissions grew as the firm became best known for work for cultural institutions, including Boettcher Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Robert O Anderson Building and Times Mirror Central Court, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, and later civic buildings, such as the Evo DeConcini Federal Courthouse.
The increasingly diverse practice extended internationally from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand Information Services Building, to the American University in Cairo Library, to the University of British Columbia Irving K Barber Learning Center. It also encompassed a planning capability
From innovative educational environments at Mt. Healthy School and Pingry School, to quirky cultural spaces for Brooklyn Children’s Museum and Madison Civic Center, early projects challenged traditional uses of building materials, sought new architectural expression, inventing form and style for each project.
Still present in our practice today is HHPA’s pioneering attitude toward older buildings . . .
A reverence for architectural heritage leads to renovation, augmentation and adaptive reuse of structures of other eras with fearless additions and skillful reinventions, using contemporary technology and responsiveness to scale, mass and ornamentation. This can be seen in our work on several quad buildings at Stanford University, dramatic interventions as at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and with the renovation and expansion of the landmark Los Angeles Central Library and Griffith Observatory.
In 2004, Norman Pfeiffer, seven HHPA Principals and five HHPA Associates became the leadership of Pfeiffer Partners Architects . . .
an exciting new practice built upon the HHPA foundation and committed to continued exploration of history and context, the creation of invigorating places that celebrate public activity, and a collaborative design process.
Today, with nationally recognized experts in cultural and campus planning, restoration and reuse, libraries and theaters, Pfeiffer, as a studio of Perkins Eastman, will continue to be a force in architecture in the 21st century.