Some would recognize their work, but not everyone is familiar with the architects behind some public buildings dotting the Wasatch Front.
MHTN Architects, Inc., one of the largest architectural firms in the Mountain West, recently marked its 75th anniversary noting its work on such buildings as the Scott M. Matheson Courts Complex, Gateway Tower, Franklin/Covey Leadership Center, Riverton High School, Swire Coca-Cola, BYU Wilkinson Center Addition, Centennial Plaza and Riverton Library to name a few.The firm employs more than 100, with offices in a historic building on Exchange Place in Salt Lake City and Tucson, Ariz. The firm has experienced steady growth.
"The growth stems from our belief in building long-term relationships that are founded upon the commitment of listening, communicating, responding and providing results," the company's Web site reads.
The firm began in 1923 as Ashton & Evans Architects. Among its first projects were the Saltair Resort, the old University of Utah Student Union and Library.
Over the years, the firm has been responsible for such projects as a terminal at the Salt Lake International Airport, Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph building, Utah State Prison, University of Utah Medical School, Kennecott Building and Heber M. Wells State Office Building.
The name of the firm has changed over the years as principals were added and finally boiled down to their initials to became MHTN. Recently the firm restructured its management, expanding the number of principals from three to 12, adding nine core leadership positions to the company's management team.
"This move is a direct reponse to the recent growth and success the company has realized,' said Lynn Jones, president and CEO. "We have grown from a company staff of 50 just a few years ago to a regional architectural firm with 100-plus employees."
While architecture has always been at the firm's core, a changing marketplace has meant additional services ranging from master planning, design-build, facilities management to interior design and computer imaging.
The firm focuses on commercial, government, educational and health-care related projects. The firm's designs have garnered many awards, including Jordan District high schools.
In 1997, the American Association of School Administrators-American Institute of Architects-Council of Education Facility Planners gave the project a "Citation Honor."
In planning, the company tries to incorporate principles of an organization's values or culture. In Provo, at the Franklin Covey Leadership Center, themes from Stephen Covey's book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" are found in thematic architecture. For example, a large compass is the focal point of a large fountain on the building's plaza. The compass represents Covey's admonition for people to find their "true north."
In planning of the Skaggs Catholic Center, located on a 60-acre site in Draper, MHTN has used ideas prevalent in early Christian architecture. Definition of axis, vistas, edges and cloister define the central Campus Round - a circular area of formal gardens representing Catholic community ideas. A sculptural bell tower provides focus to the campus.
New technology also plays a significant role. Such computer modeling helps clients understand buildings even before ground is broken.