Thunder Ridge High School

Hummel Architects worked on Thunder Ridge High School in 2017

Hummel Architects, a Boise-based architecture company, is opening a new branch in Idaho Falls.

Hummel Architects has worked throughout Idaho, as well as across the Pacific Northwest. It specializes in educational, health care and government facility design. Its work includes the State Capitol building and buildings at the University of Idaho campus and the Boise State University campus.

“We’ve worked on a lot of landmarks throughout Idaho,” said marketing director Carrie Applegate.

Originally established in 1896, it is one of the oldest architecture firms in the state.

“We have ties to the landmarks and heritage of Idaho. When the Capitol was built 100 years ago, that was one of our designs. Hummel is woven in the fabric of Idaho’s history,” Applegate said.

Hummel Architects prides itself on remaining independent for so many years.

“We are a small, local business. Next year is going to be our 125th birthday. When other architects firms have been purchased by larger architecture companies, we’ve stayed true. We’ve only had five leadership changes in the history of those 125 years,” Applegate said.

One of Hummel’s most unique ventures is its Adaptive Reuse project, which seeks to find unique ways to re-purpose old buildings, something city officials have made efforts to do in downtown Idaho Falls in recent years.

“Designing around complicated existing conditions like engineering systems and applying new building programs to existing structures all require critical thinking and creative design. Beyond the challenges, Adaptive Reuse also allows us to implement new square footage by adding floors and combats urban sprawl by repurposing a vacant facility and turning it into a fully-functional building — pouring new life back into the community,” reads the project’s website.

The firm has done work in eastern Idaho before. Its oldest local building is the original Holy Rosary Catholic Church built in 1947. More recent work includes Thunder Ridge High School and Idaho State University’s administration building and the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center in Pocatello. Currently, it is working on an addition at Sunnyside Elementary School.

“We’ve already had some experience on projects in eastern Idaho, but we’re hoping we can expand there,” Applegate said.

A ribbon cutting for the new branch will be put on by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce at 12 p.m. Oct. 14 at 482 Constitution Way Suite 111.