Morning Sunshine! HOK Dallas is serving breakfast.

Breakfast friday july

In the spirit of promoting inter-office socializing, we’ve implemented a once a month breakfast the last Friday of each month.  This is our second breakfast where Dennis Peck and Mindy Graves provided the wonderful meal.  Thanks you two!


HOK in LA’s Jessica Linn on “Millennials in the Workplace” During Haworth’s 2014 Distinguished Speaker Series

Jessica Linn from HOK in LA’s Interiors division sat on the panel and participated in a small group case study during this year’s Haworth distinguished speaker series, where Millennials were the topic of discussion. What is your perspective on how Millenials are impacting the work environment?


Applied Brilliance 01




St. Louis Team Volunteers at Habitat for Humanity Site

Ten St. Louis HOK staff members recently participated in a Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis build in Spanish Lake, Missouri. The HOK team worked on two of the five homes on the site, where the investment of a little sweat equity helped two soon-to-be homeowners get one step closer to settling into their new residence.

Back row from left: Marketing Manager Jill Davis, Technical Principal Angelo Arzano, Regional Leader of Planning Jeff Davis, Travel Consultant Gina Werkmeister, Ken Werkmeister, Marketing Principal Lance Cage. Front row from left: Interior Design Professional Mackenzie McCulloch, Field Representative Bruce Fraser, Senior Project Architect David Camp.

Back row from left: Marketing

HOK Dallas’ Kim Hogan speaks about “Saving Money for the End User”


CoreNet Southwest's Panel event. CoreNet Southwest’s Panel event.

CoreNet Southwest hosted a panel discussion including Kim Hogan (HOK), KDC Development, Holder Construction and JLL.  They discussed ways to save an end user money over the life of a facility – from planning through occupancy.


HOK Dallas “swings” into Summertime!

Top Golf! The Dallas office loves to chip, putt and drive together as a team!  Friday afternoon at Top Golf was a perfect time to celebrate our employees and our culture. 

HOK Doubles Up at IIDA’s Product Runway

HOK Architecture Entry HOK Architecture Entry and Team: Jasmine Brown, Liz McCormick, Caroline Carlson (model), Susan George, Deborah Sutton, Lavell Fish

This spring, not one but two HOK teams from the Houston practice (Architecture and Interiors) participated in IIDA Texas – Oklahoma Chapter’s 6th Annual “Product Runway.” The 2014 theme was “Garden of Secrets.”

The challenge was to design and construct couture garments utilizing interior design materials provided to the teams by industry partners. Design teams were assigned a specific species of foliage and the garments had to reveal a hidden secret.

The Architecture team won 3rd place overall and ‘Best Use of Hard Goods’! The dress, weighing 30 pounds, consisted of 850 glass tiles …

Using Data to Build Smart

NCAC-APA’s 2014 annual conference, June 21st at Catholic University. NCAC-APA’s 2014 annual conference, June 21 at Catholic University.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using data to help inform development decisions across the country.  Ted Cochin is the head of the EPA’s Smart Growth Program and spoke recently about the agency’s Smart Location Database at the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association’s yearly conference at Catholic University.

The database summarizes more than 90 different indicators associated with the built environment.  These indicators include attributes such as density of development, diversity of land use, street network design, and accessibility to destinations as well as various demographic and employment statistics.  It’s the …

Touring the University of Chicago William Eckhardt Research Center Construction Site

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Last week several employees from our Chicago office ventured down to the South Side for a tour of the new 265,000-square-foot University of Chicago William Eckhardt Research Center, or WERC as we like to call it.

photo 9

Susan Heersema, senior project architect at HOK, led the tour along with Dean Psarros, construction supervisor at W.E. O’Neil, and additional team members from Interactive Design Architects and HOK.

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Highlights included touring four floors and the rooftop, learning about the complexities of the mechanical systems, learning about the components of the cleanroom labs and …

Marriott Marquis Opening Wows in Washington, DC

Thanks to Carol Vanderkloot and Christina Hart in HOK’s New York City office for this post.

Mr. Marriott and other Marriott family and team members cut the ribbon at the Marriott Marquis DC opening. Mr. Marriott and other Marriott family and team members cut the ribbon at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC opening.

Last week, several colleagues in HOK’s New York and Washington DC practices were invited guests at the official opening ceremony of the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, the newest and largest property of Marriott Hotels, the flagship brand of Marriott International Inc., and the brand’s 4,000th hotel. The property is owned by Quadrangle Development, along with its partner Capstone, and …

buildingSMART Team Published in NIBS Journal

I’m proud to announce the publication of not just one, but TWO articles in the Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) by members of the HOK buildingSMART team!! Greg Schleusner and I had submitted abstracts for articles that focused on real world issues that have the potential to transform how the building industry uses BIM data for collaboration.



My article is titled “Understanding the Value and Use of Level of Development,” which provides an overview of the concept of model reliability with the LOD Specification. I have written about this subject frequently on the All Things BIM blog as well as HOK BIM Solutions. …

Q+A with Hal Kantner, HOK’s Director of Visual Communications

Hal Kantner

Hal Kantner, AIGA, LEED GA, is the director of HOK’s visual communications group. Providing clients with creative programming and design, he brings organizational, marketing and management skills to the business of visual communications.

What is a typical day like for you?

HK: It seems my personal pursuits and my work in design ceased to be distinct and separate spheres some time ago. At present, the days seem to have graduated from a career to a calling. Each day is a bigger gift than I usually take the time to realize, though I do try to lift up my head from the daily turmoil and catch a glimpse of our great …

HOK’s NYC Team Competes in J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge

HOK TeamLast week, HOK colleagues battled the masses at the annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in New York. Along with 15,000+ competitors, HOK staff trekked 3.3 miles around Central Park, standing out from the crowd in signature light blue running shirts with bright orange logos (custom-designed by Alan Stevenson).

HOK run

Charitable giving is an important component of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. Approximately $2 million has been donated to various non-profits in participating cities over the past three years. The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in New York benefits the Central Park Conservancy.

Beach Bound: HOK at the AIA Houston Sandcastle


On May 31 st, HOK Houston participated in the 28th annual AIA Houston Sandcastle competition. A total of 63 teams comprised of architects, engineers, designers and schools competed for the coveted Golden Bucket Award. The planning and competitive spirit for the big day began months in advance here at HOK Houston with an internal office wide call for ideas, design development and assigning duties.  HOK participated under the ‘Most Hilarious’ category with its design of the ‘Shellfie’. On the day of the event, beginning early at 6 am, the team battled through the storm and still managed to have some fun while putting it all together.

Additionally this year, the teams along with Galveston …

West Coast v. East Coast: It’s Throwdown Time at HOK!

These are historic times.  For those of you who don’t follow hockey, the Los Angeles Kings are meeting the New York Rangers for the first time ever in the Stanley Cup Final.  Sure, the teams met in the NHL playoffs in 1981, but that was back when the divisions and conferences had names.  Now, it’s a battle for coastal supremacy – Western Conference v. Eastern Conference.

IMG_4498 Randy’s Donuts transformed to a giant hockey puck

Sure, when you think of Los Angeles, you don’t usually think hockey.  But the LA Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012, only 2 years ago.  When was the last time the Rangers won …

HOK Heats Up a Design Bureau Event


HOK’s Chicago office recently participated in a design event in association with Design Bureau at The Underground nightclub. HOK interior designer Craig Gronowski teamed up with photographer JJ Jetel to transform The Underground into a unique interior environment for one evening.


For 30 minutes, Gronowski and Jetel oversaw the lighting, video technology, music, drinks and cuisine for guests based on their selected theme. They converted The Underground into a warm and ethereal “Summer Solstice” environment with saturated hues for illumination and original, abstract video streaming onto a 40-foot video wall.

Focusing on this concept of a warm, sunset beach party, the video …

Q+A with Tom Polucci, Director of Interiors Based in HOK’s New York Office

Polucci Tom for blog

Tom Polucci, AIA, IIDA, LEED GA, director of interiors based in New York City, discusses how his colleagues and clients inspire him every day. He also comments on workplace trends and explains how design can support healthier work environments.

As a firm-wide interiors leader, Tom is a member of HOK’s board of directors and marketing board. He has more than 20 years of experience managing the design of projects for organizations worldwide. Educated, trained and licensed as an architect, Tom focuses on creating exceptional environments for clients.

What workplace design trends are you seeing? What do you predict for the future?

TP: Collaboration is still key. Everyone is focused …

Parking in an Exponential Age

Structured Parking - Nearing an End? Structured Parking – Nearing an End?

With Google’s driverless car in the news again (see link to the Washington Post), it’s timely to start thinking about how fully autonomous vehicles might affect the built environment. The changes this technology could bring to historic patterns of urban development could be, well, historic.

A 2013 report from Deloitte highlighted how driverless cars could dramatically alter car ownership in the future, pushing the pendulum from ownership to rentals and ride sharing. There’s little need for parking, certainly of the expensive structured kind, in this scenario. And structured parking, with its sturdy and specific design requirements, may not be as …

HOK Design Wins Chicago Living Building Challenge Competition

Designers from HOK’s Chicago office recently won the 2014 School Annex Design Competition created by the Living Building Challenge Collaborative Chicago (LBCCC). The LBCCC hopes this competition will encourage the development and construction of a fully certified Living Building in Chicago.

Project Location: Eli Whitney Elementary School Project Location: Eli Whitney Elementary School

HOK team members:Lindy McAra, Justin Warner, Meredith McBride, Olia Miho, and Farid Pour were tasked with designing the ultimate, sustainable classroom building to annex the overcrowded Eli Whitney Elementary School on Chicago’s southwest side.

From Left: Lindy McAra, Justin Warner, Meredith McBride, and Olia Miho From Left: Lindy McAra, Justin Warner, …

HOK Toronto Gets Nutty

Getting everything ready for Nutella Fest! Getting everything ready for Nutella Fest!

Of the many things the HOK Toronto office can be deadly serious about, food and festivals make the top of the list. And Nutella’s upcoming 50th anniversary provided the perfect opportunity to merge the two, and smother it with Nutella.

On Thursday May 15, HOK Toronto’s nutters and nibblers came together for Nutella fest 2014, a gathering to honour Nutella’s 50th Anniversary with homemade Nutella goodies.

Inventive treats included:

  • Nutella stuffed peanut butter cookies with sea salt
  • Nutella empanadas
  • Nutella with chips for dipping, aptly and humorously named the “Captain Obvious”
  • Nutella-Pear Crumble
  • Nutella Croissant
  • Nutella wrapped in phyllo pastry
  • Nutella Gelato
  • Blizzard cookies featuring, you guessed it, Nutella

Latinos in Architecture Book Drive

DSC_0101Bringing inspiration to minority architecture students.

On April 17, David Munoz, an architect in our Dallas office and Co-Chair of the AIA Dallas Latinos in Architecture committee completed the 2014 “From an Architect’s Bookshelf“ event, delivering 300+ architecture and design books.

From an Architect’s Bookshelf promotes higher education in the fields of architecture, engineering, and construction. It is in LiA’s core values to promote the need for a college degree and the importance of giving back to the community. During this event “I am able to share where I am from, where I obtained my education, and my career path. I am able to answers to student’s questions, talk about what …

HOK Chairman Emeritus Bill Valentine Featured in Interiors & Sources Interview

Bill ValentineAs part of its 30th anniversary, the magazine invited some of the notable designers that it has profiled through the years to reflect on their personal journeys since then and talk about how they feel about design today—and tomorrow.

HOK Chairman Emeritus Bill Valentine, FAIA, retired in 2012 after 50 years as a design leader at HOK. Today, he lives in Mill Valley, Calif., and continues to consult on design projects with HOK.

Here are excerpts from Bill’s interview with Interiors & Sources:

In our 2003 cover story, you had said, “Architecture, in its best light, is a social instrument about how you can make the living condition better. And, so, that’s

Whip Your Workplace into Shape

Photo Credit: Oscar Rethwill Photo Credit: Oscar Rethwill

Designing and implementing a successful workplace strategy is much like creating (and sticking to) a diet or fitness program. The underlying  theme is that you are committing to some degree of change in order to better yourself (or your organization) and reach a specific goal. For instance, imagine someone deciding to run a marathon. One can assume some of the underlying goals with this decision. Perhaps the runner is driven by a personal challenge, or a means to get into better shape, or a step in a larger, ongoing training regimen. This initial decision is often the result of both an awareness and desire for …

Optimizing Design at BIMForum

I recently had the privilege to co-host the Spring BIMForum conference held at the Renaissance Waterfront in Boston, MA. BIMForum is a group whose mission is:

“…to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of building information modeling (BIM) in the AEC industry. We will lead by example and synchronize with counterparts in all sectors of the industry to jointly develop best practice for virtual design and construction (VDC).”

James V's view from the BIMForum stage James V’s view from the BIMForum stage

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) was the founder of this growing group, but the AIA has also joined forces with the AGC in support of BIMForum’s goals. We selected the …

Architect Dad: Charlie’s Night at the Career Fair


Charlie Lutz, a senior design professional in our St. Louis office, had a chance to participate in last month’s career fair at Mallinckrodt Academy of Gifted Instruction, where his son goes to school. The kids had fun learning what an architect does, and we suspect Charlie had just as much fun – if not more. Here’s what he shared from the experience:

Charlie 2 Career Night“Everyone from Pre-K to 5th grade was there. People from all sorts of careers were represented: astronomer, electrician, personal trainer, financial planner, animal and hunger non-profit, meteorologist, architect, and even FBI agent.

“Several people brought things from their respective …

HOK Participates in National Rebuilding Day

HOK joined forces with SundtLayton, Sares Regis Group of Northern California, and the Jail Planning Unit from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office on National Rebuilding Day to improve a pocket park in Redwood City, California as part of the Rebuilding Together project. The project team for the Maple Street Correctional Facility, which is under construction in Redwood City, worked with community volunteers to prepare the area and install decomposed aggregate pathways around raised beds for the community garden.



Bonus picture.. Dan Zhou operating heavy machinery:

Dan Zhou




Results of the 2014 Heal the Bay Sandcastle Competition

In the Spotlight: HOK’s Julia Monk on Design in China

HOK staff volunteers at Earth Day Festival

HOK Rocks On at Eco Jam 2014

HOK’s Patrick MacLeamy Delivers Keynote at BIMForum: BIM, BAM, BOOM!

See more