January’s Architect of the Month: HDR

A design-firm specialized in architecture, engineering, environmental and construction services whose work I have admired for many years is HDR Inc. The company’s history spans more than 100 years.

Henningson Engineering Company was founded in 1917 in Omaha, Nebraska, by H.H. Henningson, a visionary who cared about rural communities. It was his commitment to people that drove the firm’s incredible growth.

In the 1930s, the Rural Electrification Act opened up fresh possibilities, leading engineer Willard Richardson to join Henningson. In 1940, Chuck Durham came on board and the firm became Henningson, Durham and Richardson, Inc. – later HDR – with Durham serving as president and Richardson as secretary-treasurer. Together, these three pioneers contributed to what became known as the Midwestern work ethic.

Today, HDR employs more than 11,000 people in over 200 offices around the world. The company’s multi-disciplinary approach means that clients can count on HDR to push the envelope when it comes to what’s possible. Under the leadership of Eric L. Keen, they are helping clients to meet the challenges of our ever-changing, technology-driven economy.

HDR is known for designing inspired spaces. The company ranked as one of the top three US architecture firms in 2022, according to Architectural Record. This continued its three-year streak leading the annual ranking of the top 300 firms in the sector.

Recently, HDR won the Grand Prize in the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards competition for its design of the Interstate 579 Urban Open Space Cap project in Pittsburgh.

The firm served as the engineer and sustainability consultant for Alliant Energy’s West Riverside Energy Center, a 730-megawatt power generation facility in Beloit, Wisconsin, which earned the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Bronze Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Clayco is currently building cleanrooms and a training center with HDR as the architect of record for a new, confidential client. We enjoy working with HDR as they share many of our values. Their strong commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as their collaborative culture and HDR Foundation align with our goal to always build “Beyond These Walls”.

HDR is known for designing environments that inspire people to do their best work. The company’s commitment to innovation is just one of the reasons why I am looking forward to continuing to work with this amazing team.

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