Employee Spotlight: Christina Henning

Mackey Mitchell By: Mackey Mitchell

Each month of our 50th anniversary we’ll feature two Mackey Mitchell employees to show how they embody our four key values – curiosity, innovation, drive, and discovery.



As an architect, how does discovery play into your day-to-day?

Encountering the unknown can be daunting, but the moment of discovery is exhilarating. These moments happen after learning a new rendering software that helps illuminate a vision while working through construction details, or when collaborating with a client to help uncover their needs. Since every project is unique, the steps in the design process change and require new ways of thinking and problem solving—the route to get there isn’t always straightforward, but that’s part of the fun!

How does your community involvement influence your perspective?

The process of developing a building program based on the needs of a given community is at the heart of every project. I think getting to know the community where you live and work can help influence your understanding of people and the spaces they interact with. Designing a building that will successfully serve its occupants requires stepping into someone else’s shoes and seeing the world from their perspective. The broader your perspective is, the easier it is to do that.

Tell us about where you hope to take your career at Mackey Mitchell.

If my first year of working at Mackey Mitchell is any indication of where I’m headed, then it’s sure to be an exciting adventure. I hope to continue to build relationships with clients, learn new technology that can inform our design process, and learn from the many talented people I’m surrounded by. I’m really interested in design and hope to ultimately move into a role where I’m leading the design on a project.

Explain your interest in adaptive reuse and urban design. How does that influence your ideation?

St. Louis has a lot of available, quality infrastructure. The idea of using these existing buildings (many of which are currently vacant) and infusing them with new life is really exciting to me. This infrastructure is part of our city’s identity and is a unique feature that sets us apart. Many people describe St. Louis as a collection of neighborhoods. Gateway Greening is working to create a citywide pedestrian and bicycle network that will connect these different destinations. Tying these historic neighborhoods together with this new, connective network would make our city a more vibrant and desirable place.

The context of a new building can inform its appearance, but it can also influence the day-to-day experience of its occupants. Consideration of transportation networks, nearby amenities, and public spaces are all vital in designing buildings that support wellness and sustainability.

What is your dream project?

My dream project would be to renovate an existing tower downtown. The ground floor would be transformed into a community center and grocery store and the upper floors would provide mixed-income housing. The roof would be home to an Urban Harvest farm.