Published January 21, 2016
Volume 24, Number 1

Robert Hidey Architects Marks 25th Anniversary with New

Projects, Awards

Robert Hidey Architects is celebrating their 25th anniversary.

By Jay Hipps

Currently celebrating their 25 year anniversary, Robert Hidey Architects continues to be an innovative firm that is sought after by builders. 2015 saw RHA’s trophy cabinets swell with three more awards, including Community of the Year recognition in the Bay Area Building Industry Association’s Excellence in Home Building awards for their Orchard Park project in San Jose as well as two prestigious Gold Nugget awards. 
While the firm is based in Southern California, they maintain a second office in Hacienda to serve Bay Area clients. “Primarily, we do high design residential communities,” says Mark Amiot, Pleasanton studio director. “We’ve been in Gale Ranch since it began in the 90’s, over in San Ramon. One of our projects just had a grand opening, Ashbury at Alamo Creek, by Toll Brothers, that one is up and running. Another would be Andorra at Gale Ranch, that’s up and running right now. Two more for Toll Brothers are going to be opening soon, and down in the Fremont area we’ve got a product for Robson Homes called Darrow Farms, and that’s right off Mission and 680.”
San Jose’s Orchard Park development has received much acclaim. It is one of that city’s first communities to feature medium density plotting with multiple product types on the same site. Among the 239 homes are south-facing townhomes (dubbed “Towns”) designed to make the most of their sunny exposures; “Courts,” three story units with open floor plans that live like single family homes; and “Flats,” which are attached units with private elevators that offer single-story living in up to 2,147 square feet. Located near the intersection of Old Oakland and East Brokaw roads, the development is close to the planned Berryessa BART station.
The kind of innovation seen in Orchard Park is one of the firm’s hallmarks, thanks to founder Robert Hidey. “Bob is adamant about keeping his hands on the projects throughout. He’s a hands-on designer,” says Amiot. “He has a crew of designers that he oversees in Irvine, in the main office, and he often refers to himself as a surgeon doing rounds — everyday he goes in and sits down with all of his designers, so he’s got involvement in projects every single day.”
Hidey’s creative approach, which frequently looks to the history of architecture and design, is one of the keys to RHA’s success. “Most of the time, he’s looking for new, cutting-edge stuff to push the limits and to make his own signature out of,” Amiot explains. “That’s kind of what put him on the map when he first opened up the office — one of his first projects was the reintroduction of garages to backyards again, bringing that back from the 20s and 30s. That whole thing kind of re-revolutionized production housing again, and putting living suites and bonuses above the garages. There was a time where so many houses looked like a garage with a house attached behind it. He kind of flipped that on its ear so that the house became the most prominent item and the garage became secondary again, which is a better value to us. That’s what you want to see is the person’s house, not the garage. He’s always searching for stuff like that, to be out in front (of the field).”
For more information on Robert Hidey Architects, access the company’s web site at http://www.roberthidey.com.


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