hughesumbanhowar architects is an architectural firm with studios in South Florida and Los Angeles. We create buildings, objects and projects for discriminating and engaged clients. The work we do is a reflection of our interest in craft, form and building technology in response to the contemporary condition. Guided by curiosity and intelligence, we excel in translating materials and state-of-the-art technology into practical, unique and solution oriented projects to the benefit of clients and the broader community.


John Umbanhowar, AIA, LEED AP is the Los Angeles based principal of hughesumbanhowar. His design process initiates in compelling ideas and his solutions are derived through cross-field investigations in materials, technology, the natural and social sciences. Umbanhowar oversees huum work and projects from beginning to end, directing the tempo of the offices and acting as its central hub for communications. His hands-on involvement runs from schematic design through completion of construction and post-occupancy. Umbanhowar has been integral in several historically significant Los Angeles building projects during his career including renovation of the Troxell House by Richard Neutra and EastWest Recording Studios in collaboration with Philippe Starck. He has been the recipient of multiple AIA awards and furniture design awards. John speaks frequently on architecture and design in Los Angeles. He is actively involved in the Los Angeles art community. Umbanhowar received his Master of Architecture degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture/SCI-Arc.

Licensed Architect, California, Florida
Member, USGBC
Master of Architecture, SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture
Bachelor of Arts, Art History/French, Carleton College


Scott Hughes, AIA, is the founding principal of hughesumbanhowar (huum). Hughes is recognized for his transformative vision that blends form with program and utilizes the unique qualities of each project to create a practical yet concept-driven solution. He was the first designer certified under the Foreign Missions Act of 1982 soon after opening his own firm in 1981. Scott has practiced as a principal in several architectural firms, accumulating over 30 years of experience. During those years he has been recognized over thirteen times for “design excellence” by his peers in the American Institute of Architects. Those award winning projects include the pine school and the widely published river road and beach road 2 residences. In 1995 Scott took a 2 year educational sabbatical in Los Angeles which culminated in a Masters of Architecture degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture /SCI-ARC. Spending time on both coasts, in Los Angeles Hughes is a Trustee of The Southern California Institute of Architecture /SCI-ARC and presently serves as the Chair of the Trustee’s Governance Committee. On the east coast, Hughes serves as a member of the Land Planning Agency for the Town of Jupiter Island Florida.

Licensed Architect, California, Florida
Master of Architecture, SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture
Undergraduate Architectural Studies, University of Virginia



We provide solutions driven both by form and function.

We employ the term "performance": a hybrid definition that doesn’t discriminate between use, organization, and form. We free ourselves from the debate over whether architecture is an art or a tool. Art performs; tools perform. Art can be boring, tools can be beautiful.

We create collaborations
Architects should nurture teamwork. We replace authorship, "I made this thing," with the notion of collaboration: "We fostered this process."

Communication is critical.
We ensure clients and architects are speaking in a common language at all times. We identify the core issues facing our clients and establish shared positions from which we can collectively evaluate the architectural proposals that follow.

Responsibility realizes the solution.
Architectural invention is more powerful with responsibility. We design with attention to processes of contractual relationships, budgets, project schedules and procurement.

We believe constraints reveal the solution.
Engaged intelligently, limitations of budget, schedule, code, politics, sustainability and site conditions are opportunities that can inspire innovative solutions.

Pro bono work in our community provides local solution.
We participate in the 1+ Program, donating 1% of our budgeted billable hours annually. The 1+ Program creates a forum for “existing public interest work and pro bono architectural practice, with an ultimate goal of increasing the quality and quantity of that work.”

Sustainability is essential to the global solution.
Sustainable design creates both economic and environmental value. Sustainability is anchored in the same tenets that produce good design and is inherent in our work: the essential characters of the site itself, the arrangement and location of buildings relative to solar orientation, winds, topography, and the choices of building systems and material palette. We educate clients on the sustainable potentials of projects, both as part of good environmental stewardship and good business. 


Architectural Team

The diversity and experience of our team enhances our continuously expanding ability to enrich the environment with thoughtful, daring and precise concepts and designs. In addition to the principals, there are two licensed architects on staff.

Past Collaborators: Maria Barreu, John Benavente, Jon Burton, Ted Butcher, Lisa Canoy, Haan Chau, Tiago Dias, Daniel Feig, Thierry Garzotto, Hadley Hughes, Daniel Huh, David Johnson, Steven Knudsen, Michael Knopoff, Andrew Lindley, Lauren Mishkind, Ayako Mizushiro, David Montalba, Kyle Pfister, Louann Prestegard, Anastasia Tokmakova, Lorna Turner, Bryan Winters



AIAFL Design Excellence Award - Gomez Road II Residence
AIAFL Design Honor Award - Umbria WInery and Farm
AIATC Design Merit Award - Blade Residence
AIATC Design Merit Award - Gomez Road II Residence
AIATC Design Distinguished Award - Oblivious Holdings

AIATC Design Merit Award - Big Timber Residence
AIATC Design Merit Award - Holly Lane Residence
AIATC Design Excellence Award - Via Marina Residence
AIATC Design Excellence Award - Helicopter Hangar
AIATC Design Excellence Award - Prairie Chapel
AIATC Design Excellence Award - Ski House H2o
AIATC Design Excellence Award - Grenville Road Residence

AIALA NEXTLA Design Merit Award - Prairie Chapel
AIAFL Design Honor Award - Prairie Chapel
PA Progressive Architecture Award - Prairie Chapel

AIAFL Masonry Building of the Year - River Road House

AIAFL Design Merit Award - Ski House H2o

AIATC Design Excellence Award - Pine School
Listen to jury's awards discussion
AIATC Design Excellence Award - Beach Road 5
AIATC Design Excellence Award - Abbot Kinney Live/Work
AIAFL Design Merit Award - Beach Road 1

AIA/TC Design Excellence Award - Beach Road 2
AIA/TC Design Excellence Award - Paseo Miramar

MSCA Starr Award - Monique L'Huillier, Edina
Winner Interior Design Future Furniture Competition

AIATC Design Merit - Isle Ridge Road
AIATC Design Excellence - Gomez Road
AIATC Design Excellence - Beach Road 1

AIALA Int. Arch. Design Award - Monique L'Huillier (with Design Bureau)
AIAFL Design Excellence - Gomez Road