Congratulations to HOK in San Francisco’s Justin Kelly, who was recently named the 2013 Young Architect of the Year by the AIA San Francisco Chapter.
“Justin is a rare individual whose combination of deep technical knowledge and a sensitive eye uniquely position him as a special professional. His leadership brings visions to reality; his dedication improves the public realm.” – Paul Woolford, Design Principal, HOK in San Francisco
A licensed architect, Justin has been with HOK for five years. In both his personal and professional activities, Justin is motivated by engagement with the physical world. A love of materials and making things drove him to become a successful engineer, and further to have a hand in the creation of the built environment. Now an architect, he applies the mandate of “actionable, scalable and sustainable” to his many design efforts. He directs his skills to projects that improve the public realm and is stubborn about ensuring that they succeed.
5 Facts About Justin
- Prior to his devotion to architecture, Justin was a design engineer in Silicon Valley, earning two patents for his innovative work.
- In 1993 he took a three month, solo motorcycle trip through the American Southwest.
- He has a young daughter and considers fatherhood his greatest achievement.
- He is quite the athlete. Justin won second place in his age group for the Napa Triathlon in 2008 and third place in his age group for the Big Sur Trail Marathon in 2012, a brutal marathon that includes more than one vertical mile of climbing and descent. Additionally, he participated in the Swim from Alcatraz for the first time in 2009, a mile-and-a-half swim through the cold San Francisco Bay. He has since swam the event two more times.
- He is an accomplished photographer, having used a camera as a tool to observe the world since he was 17.
One of the numerous achievements on which Justin’s award is based is the re:NEWS program.
The blighted Mid-Market District of San Francisco has the highest crime rates in the city and is notorious for low occupancy rates for businesses. Many previous efforts have tried to address this anomaly in an otherwise vibrant and progressive city, but none have succeeded.
In 2010, HOK, led by Justin, spearheaded an eight-week, pro-bono community based charrette to envision actionable, sustainable, scalable and realistic solutions to this urban-scale challenge. This effort drew together residents, business leaders, designers, and engineers, most notably the Central Market Community Benefit District (CMCBD), Public Architecture and WSP Flack + Kurtz, culminating in a simple adaptive reuse solution: converting disused newspaper kiosks along the arterial Market Street into community-centered hubs for free services and opportunity for small businesses.
The design team proposed several uses for these unused kiosks to cultivate local business, inspire more pedestrian traffic and provide a platform to showcase the unique culture that exists in the Mid-Market neighborhood. In 2011, after one year of effort, the first kiosk was activated – free bicycle repair at the 7th and Market kiosk (courtesy of a neighborhood bicycle store). An artist-in-residence kiosk is now also open and other uses are in the planning stage.
“Architects too often look only to newly constructed interventions to solve problems. The elegance of this project and approach is that the solution artfully exploits the resources that already exist. This illustrates the most profound level of service that architects can offer their client and community.” – John Peterson, AIA, Founder and President, Public Architecture
Recognition for re:NEWS
- AIA San Francisco Chapter, “Special Achievement Award”, re:NEWS, 2012
- Venice Biennale “Spontaneous Interventions” U.S. Exhibit, re:NEWS, 2012
- Two articles in the San Francisco Chronicle
- Three speaking engagements: Public Architecture, Lambda Alpha – the Land Economics Society, and Meet and Match – The Open Hand Studio