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Chris HawleyChris Hawley
BA ’04, architecture, BA environmental design
2018 Horizon Award
The Horizon Award recognizes alumni of the past 15 years who have demonstrated outstanding career achievements or have provided exceptional service to their community.

Chris Hawley is the founder and principal architect at Fargo-based Chris Hawley Architects. With a unique ability to meld art and science and tell a story through architecture, Hawley is creating an indelible presence on the region’s landscape.

Hawley’s reputation for designing unique and awe-inspiring spaces for both living and work continues to grow throughout the region. His one-of-a-kind architectural designs have earned many awards including eight from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), North Dakota chapter. He has received Design & Living magazine’s People’s Choice Award for Best Residential Architect each of the past three years and he has also been awarded the AIA’s 2014 North Dakota Early Career Architect Award.

Hawley founded Chris Hawley Architects in 2011 as a sole practitioner of architecture. In just a few short years, he added a staff of 11 full-time employees to meet the growing demand for his custom designs and his ability to provide seamless design/build services. Hawley established his firm on the belief that great process has the potential to result in quality, timeless design that can shape neighborhoods and transform communities.

In 2015, Hawley’s vision for a new North Dakota governor’s residence won over state officials who conducted a national search for designs. Hawley’s design, dubbed “Prairie Meets the Edge of Western Clay,” was created in the Prairie School style of architecture associated with Frank Lloyd Wright. Hawley oversaw construction of the governor's residence.

He also transformed the iconic Fargo Laundry building into a spectacular residential property. His work can be found throughout the area, from high-end homes to restaurants and other commercial properties.

When Hawley enrolled at NDSU, he planned on becoming a civil engineer. But after taking a few architecture classes, Chris said he found the discipline and people who really spoke his language. Hawley completed his first project before graduating, when he designed and built his family’s cabin near his hometown of Minot.

He has these words of advice for today’s architecture students: “The architecture business is just as much about having the patience to listen and care as it is about design. And, you might want to take a business class.”

Chris and his wife, Sarah, live in Fargo with their two daughters, Amelia and Ruby.

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