Tim Hilkhuijsen and Kevin Whalley jointly began their firm, Architecture Plus, more than five years ago. They started out of a small Daniel Island office and have expanded their firm beyond its original scope to include commercial architecture as well as high-end custom homes. Their focus has remained squarely on the most important aspect of any project — servicing their client and fulfilling their programmatic requirements.
“We are expanding our services toward more commercial projects,” co-founder Tim Hilkhuijsen says. “But we will never get so big that we can’t provide a personal service. We are hands on. You get Kevin or me, or sometimes even both. And we will be hands on from the start to finish of your project.”
While Whalley and Hilkhuijsen understood the risks of starting a business in the middle of the worst recession in recent memory, they also knew it was a chance for them to design and manage projects the way they wanted.
“We saw an opportunity to combine our 50 years of architecture experience in Charleston and grow together,” Whalley says. “The combination of our experience allows us to complement each other.”
The two located their office in North Charleston’s Park Circle four years ago to put them in a central location for the Charleston metro area. They also have an office on Johns Island for the convenience of clients on Kiawah and Seabrook islands.
While custom home design is still a substantial part of their business, Whalley says the expansion into commercial projects allows them to use their skills in more diverse ways.
Hilkhuijsen adds, “In our dynamic and cyclical industry, it is essential that our business be as diverse as possible.”
“We want the public to know that we’re not just a custom residential design company,” he says. “We have designed several new, ground-up commercial buildings, adaptive reuse projects and tenant finish-out projects.”
Technological advancements have enhanced the ability to convey design ideas and executions to clients. Three-dimensional graphic presentations that are much more photo-realistic and easier for clients and their contractors to understand have taken the place of flat, two-dimensional drawings.
A Design Award of Merit in 2016 from the Society of American Registered Architects for their use of 3-D imaging is a testament to the success of Whalley and Hilkhuijsen in staying at the forefront of technological advancements.
“We will never get so big that we can’t provide a personal service. We are hands on. You get Kevin (Whalley) or me, or sometimes even both. And we will be hands on from the start to finish of your project.”
– Tim Hilkhuijsen, Co-Founder