Tim Hilkhuijsen holds Degrees from Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado as well as from Southern Illinois University and has 25 years of experience in the field of architecture. With a strong knowledge of both residential and commercial design, including construction methods and materials, Tim’s ability to see a project through, from conception to completion is unsurpassed, as he has been involved in architecture since 1989. His work can be seen throughout the United States such as, South Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, including the islands of St. Kitts and Antigua. Tim’s distinguished work has been published and can be found in various books and magazines for which he has received several “Prism” awards for outstanding designs, as well as a SARA award for exemplary graphic representation.
Having a spirited understanding of accrual management, Tim has owned, operated and directed several Architecture firms throughout his career, and is regarded to be one of the top sought after designers in the South Carolina low country. His primary goal has always been customer service and satisfaction and he prides himself to be “only as good as his last job”.
A member of the American Institute of Architects, the Royal Institute of British Architects, as well as the Society of American Registered Architects, Tim and his partner, Kevin Whalley, established Architecture Plus sc, llc in January of 2012. Architecture Plus sc, llc recently partnered with Aaron Ede in order to provide unparalleled services in a challenging market to their discriminating custom residential clients. Here he tells us more about the company’s beginnings, priority toward their clients and recent projects they’ve worked on.
How did the idea about Architecture + come about? How did the company develop into the company it is today?
Kevin Whalley and I struck out on our own back in 2012, when the economic landscape in the United States was a much different, scarier place than it is today. While we understood the risks of starting a business in the middle of the worst recession in recent memory, we also knew it was a chance for us to design and manage projects the way we wanted and the way we needed them to be managed.
We saw an opportunity to combine our 50 years of architecture experience in the Charleston, SC region and grow it together. The combination of our experience allows us to complement each other.
Another major factor in our company’s success is that we learned to be diverse. We’ve learned how to get into new markets and how to address and implement the creation of such new market services.
How has technology changed the architecture sector in recent years?
Technological advancements have made it easier to convey design ideas and executions to clients. Flat, two-dimensional drawings and renderings are no longer the only way to show the scope and scale of a project. Now, we as architects display our creations in three-dimensional graphic presentations that are much more photo-realistic and easier for our clients and their contractors to understand. These tools also enable us to work more closely with general contractors and their estimating departments. It helps them become more accurate during the bidding process and when they are on target with budget, it results into a satisfying reflection of our firm. Drawings are simply much more understandable to read and ideas are more easily conveyed. Not just to our clients, but also to the entire project team that is turning a vision into a reality.
Can you detail any current projects that Architecture + is working on? What are some of the key issues that you are facing in the process?
Some of our most recent projects include a Starbucks, a mixed-use facility, retail and office building, a restaurants and an industrial building. The biggest hurdle we are continuously challenged with is learning to work with local governments. Time equals money and having to go through the rigorous requirement of city review and submittal processes tends to add 6 months to our project timeline. We find that roughly 18 to 20% of a projects’ expense ends up being allocated towards governing regulations. So the challenge for us in the industry is how can we, as professionals of our industry, provide more affordable projects. Whether it’s a multi-family housing project or a commercial project. Average salaries simply do not run parallel to the average wage earner, so we must continue finding a solution, as this is just not a developer problem. It’s going to take work from multiple parties in our industry to band together in search of viable solutions. Finishes that were deemed as upgrades a decade ago, have now become expected standards today.