FIRM

MORSE E GALLERY

Established in 1992, Hibbs Architects is an architectural and interior design firm with offices located in New York’s Hudson Valley.  The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books and publications, both here and abroad.

 

PHILOSOPHY

Hibbs Architects is dedicated to the design and planning of cultural, civic, and educational facilities; theater and audiovisual spaces; residential and commercial buildings, as well as adaptive reuse and preservation projects. Across this broad range of project types, the firm successfully applies a unified design philosophy that is both forward looking, yet rooted in tradition. This philosophy is bolstered by years of experience practicing in the Hudson Valley and New York City. This results in quality designs that consistently meet the functional needs of clients without compromising the underlying creative spirit that ultimately enhances the human condition.

Using our expertise, we are able to collaborate with clients, community leaders and activists not only to preserve architectural assets, but to add value to and introduce new ways for buildings to accept changing programs and keep pace with changing times (a key to the revitalization of decaying business districts). The firm’s creative process combines a keen design sense, technology, and a respect for tradition as a way of realizing the potential of forgotten or “obsolete” structures. We believe in using technology in a responsible way, taking advantage of renewable and reclaimed resources, environmentally-friendly mechanical systems, and fully integrating sustainable materials into every design solution.

The award winning Samuel F.B. Morse Historic Site Museum and Interpretive Center (Locust Grove) embodies this approach in all aspects. As a focal point of one of the Hudson Valley’s precious architectural landmarks, the interpretive center thoughtfully draws inspiration from a rich tradition of local architecture and craft. The building’s real importance, however, lies in its ability to actively connect visitors and the community to the past. The galleries, video-equipped orientation hall, and educational workshops provide a place where parents, children, educators, and visitor’s from all over can share in the heritage of the Hudson Valley. The wide verandas and newly refurbished grounds are also ideal meeting places, and have helped make the Morse Visitor’s Center a favorite choice for community gatherings, weddings, and other social events. As a result, the Morse historic site has become an important part of modern life in the region. The cultural value of the visitor’s center is complemented by its environmental sensitivity. The design of the visitor’s center incorporates many “green” features such as old-growth timbers reclaimed from the Great Lakes, a rainwater recycling system, as well as many other sustainable concepts. The project has garnered much recognition and won several awards.

 

ADAPTIVE REUSE / HISTORIC PRESERVATION

We believe that it is important that the goals of adaptive re-use, “green” design, and technological sophistication in building are balanced by strong sensitivity to context, history, and tradition. It is this balance that ultimately makes any project truly unique, while fostering a strong connection between the building and the users as well as the community.  Our approach to this type of project relies on a respect for the accumulated layers of history imbedded in a structure; not only the physical “bricks and mortar”, but also less tangible qualities which are just as important in defining the character of a building and its role as part of  the fabric of the community.

For this reason, adaptive-reuse projects are often much more challenging than new construction. It is always our desire not to conceal or strip away a building’s past, but to complement and highlight intrinsic architectural value. At the same time we strive to create a new experience that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. This requires a sensitivity that is one of the fundamental concerns of Hibbs Architects; One that goes beyond merely the application of technical solutions to buildings endowed with a living history.

 

Arthur Jay Hibbs, R.A., A.I.A., LEED AP, principal of the firm, studied at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City and at The American Academy in Rome. He graduated in 1980 and has been licensed to practice Architecture since 1982.

Prior to establishing Hibbs Architects, Mr. Hibbs worked on and directed a wide range of institutional, commercial and residential projects for Architectural firms in the greater New York City area including James Stewart Polshek & Partners (currently Ennead Architects). There, his responsibilities as Project Architect included the restoration and renovation of Carnegie Hall in N.Y.C., the Theater and Performing Arts building for York College in Queens, the landmark Washington Court apartment building in N.Y.C. and the U.S. Embassy in Oman.

For more than eleven years Mr. Hibbs held the position of Chairman of both the Planning Board and Architectural Review Board of the City of Beacon, NY.  He is a former member of the Dutchess County Planning Board.  In recognition of his work on historic structures, he has been listed as a Preferred Architect by the New York State Historic Preservation Office.

Mr. Hibbs has been an architectural guest critic at The Cooper Union and the University of Kentucky. Since 1987, he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he is also the director of Advanced Building Technologies.