Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

Congratulations Justice Team

Congratulations to the HOK Justice Team!

HOK has been awarded the Kern County Justice Facility – a design/build project with Balfour Beatty. What are the odds of being awarded a Justice project on Halloween?

Pictured below from left to right are: Suren Sumian, Erika Casillas, Ivan Rodriguez, April Lenkey, Jason Voss, Edith Bailon, and Steven Kiss. OITNB

HOK Teams Volunteer at Architecture for Humanity’s Day of Impact

Thanks to Richard Rivera and Marisa Caban for contributing to this post.

Last Saturday, HOK’s New York office participated in Architecture for Humanity New York’s first annual Day of Impact with two teams of volunteers. The event consisted of one-day service projects in different sites around the city to help support communities in need.

HOK Impact Groups

One HOK crew joined over 250 other participants to help rebuild homes in Far Rockaway, a neighborhood that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy two years ago. HOK’s New York office has a history of volunteering in the Rockaways, so it was disappointing for some participants to see that there are still so many families in need two …

Office Carnival Raises $35,000+ for United Way

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In HOK’s St. Louis office Oct. 6 through 10 was the United Way Fair, a week-long campaign benefiting the United Way of Greater St. Louis. The campaign raised $35,219.84- more than $5,000 over goal- through pledge donations, lunches, a silent auction, games, a bake sale and raffles.

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This year’s theme was the United Way Fair, so a mini carnival was set-up in the office Thursday during lunch. It included a cakewalk, lollipop tree and a “pick-a-duck” pond. There was even a Wii with carnival games!

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Thank you …

New Ocean Friendly Garden Designed for Loma Vista Elementary

Sean Robinson - Loma Vista School

Pictured above (from left to right) at the dedication of the garden: Sean Robinson (HOK), Jesse Doty (Clark Construction) and Ryan Shirah (Clark Construction).

Loma Vista students now have a new ocean friendly, drought-tolerant landscape design that allows for the capture of rainwater and beautifies their school. Many people from local companies came together as contributors to help this project happen, including several members of Clark’s on-site personnel and HOK’s Sean Robinson. After an old tree had to be removed from the property, the school was chosen by the Midtown Ventura Community Council’s “Adopt-A-School Program” as the recipient of this improvement project.

From augers to shovels and mulch to …

HOK’s Justin Ping Wins First Prize in International Design Workshop Competition

Justin Ping, a student intern in HOK’s Dallas office, recently returned from a two-week long student trip to China, where he was working on a five-day competition for the International Design Workshop on Waterfront Leisure, Recreation, and Sustainability in Zhengzhou, China.  The competition was composed of three teams, each with a mix of students and professionals from the University of Michigan, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and SPD Planning Design Corporation.

Each team developed proposals for a large park/commercial district in Zhengzhou, one of China’s rapidly developing cities.  The proposals were then presented to the client, as well as local government officials, and the workshop/presentations were documented and aired by the local media. The rate of growth in central China is …

Lualdi and HOK Product Design Launch Half + Half Door Collection

HOK Product Design recently celebrated the U.S. launch of a new collection of doors developed in collaboration with Lualdi, a premier Italian manufacturer of luxury doors, interior furnishings and modular systems. Culture + Commerce helped bring together the two firms. The doors in the Half + Half collection have been specifically designed to fit in small spaces, where swing and sliding doors are not feasible. The new door swings and pivots to open into a “half-in-half-out” position. Held at the Sandow headquarters in New York, the launch event displayed the three doors in the collection, designed by the HOK Product Design team and manufactured by Lualdi in its family-owned factory near Milan, Italy.

Half and Half Image: Culture +

Biomimicry for green building: Harnessing the genius of nature to help conserve water

Thomas Knittel blog post

Last Tuesday night, HOK in Los Angeles’ Thomas Knittel took part in a panel hosted by the Westside Branch of the US Green Building Council in Los Angeles on the subject of water challenges, looking to nature for solutions – biomimetic approaches to water conservation.

As of July, over 58% of areas in California have entered the highest, or exceptional, stage of drought. In addition to the ongoing social, economic, and environmental costs of wasting water, new green building frameworks such as the Living Building Challenge are emphasizing Net-Zero or closed-loop water systems.

Thomas spoke about biomimicry, the emulation of elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex …

HOK Dallas Teams Up with Celanese for Hearts and Hammers

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The mission of Hearts and Hammers is to refurbish qualified homes owned by low income citizens within the Dallas Metroplex. The HOK Dallas office along with Celanese worked on the home for two weekends in a row scraping trim and siding, replacing rotted siding, cutting down overgrown trees, priming and painting the trim and siding, caulking and completing some light yard work.

 

HOK Dallas’ Pedro Pesantes Showcases His Work at the LIA ENLACES Exhibition

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Pedro Pesantes will be showcasing some of his work at the Dallas AIA Enlaces exhibition this year and we are very excited about this opportunity! The pictures attached are a small version of the presentation board.  This showcased four of his favorite personal projects that he did while at SCAD.  The numbers on the pictures represent his experience level so No. 1 is during his first years while No. 4 is his thesis project.

 

 

Los Angeles Teams Build Bikes for Kids

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HOK’s LA office participated in the second annual Geared for Kids bike-build event sponsored by Haworth this past Saturday, Sept. 13.

Haworth donated two dozen bicycles to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica, who selected children from low-income families, who could not otherwise afford to purchase bicycles on their own, to receive them. Haworth invited design firms from around LA to provide teams to assemble the new bikes alongside the children who received them. The Santa Monica Police Bicycle Patrol was also on-hand to provide safety and rules of the road training to the recipients.

A big thank you to the members of the two HOK LA teams that built …

HOK’s LA Team Creates ‘Fan Favorite’ Cat Shelter

A team from HOK’s LA office designed and built a cat shelter for a design competition benefiting FixNation. The show, titled Giving Shelter, was organized by Architects for Animals.

HOK’s creation was named the “fan favorite.” Check out all of the shelters on Curbed LA.

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Kaiser’s Annual Volunteer Day at the Crenshaw YMCA

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This past Saturday was Kaiser’s Annual Volunteer Day at the Crenshaw YMCA, which is across the street from the Kaiser Baldwin Hills MOB project site. HOK’s Los Angeles office participated in the day by installing new lobby furniture and wall art.

Senior Interior Design Pro Rachel Rosenberg handled the interior design for the YMCA lobby remodel and was a huge contributor to the project. A huge thank you goes to Chris, Rutger and Mona for helping prepare for the day with a furniture pick-up earlier in the week, and to Hunvey and Emily for donating their time to help with furniture installation on Volunteer Day.

Kaiser had over …

Dallas HOK Office Tours Tarrant County Courthouse Project

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HOK Dallas teams up with CRE Cares

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Ian Sinnett, the Gulf Coast regional leader for Healthcare, and Kristen Harrison, director of business development, partner with CRE Cares to make a donation to the Scottish Rite Hospital.

Transportation and Transforming Tysons Corner

Tysons Center Metro Station under construction in April, 2014 during a site tour with the Urban Land Institute. Tysons Center Metro Station under construction in April, 2014 during a site tour with the Urban Land Institute.

The Washington, DC, area recently opened up a new line to its Metrorail public transportation system – the Silver Line.  Connecting Reston, Va., and Tysons Corner to downtown DC, the line is already drawing people in – with nearly 220,000 trips during its first week of operation.

Before the completion of the line, Fairfax County adopted a sweeping new comprehensive plan for Tysons Corner, which rezones land around the new metro stations.  The new zoning will transform the …

The Next Generation Sustainable Design Leader

I have always taken my role as a mentor pretty seriously, but this rose to new heights last month when I brought my five month old daughter to the annual summit of the Architecture + Design Sustainable Design Leader network.  Held on Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle, the summit brought together a group of 50 people who serve as sustainable design directors at mid- to large-sized firms.

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I had special help with my presentation on energy efficiency at the Oregon State Hospital at Salem.  Photo by Alex Wilson

This is my sixth year attending the summit, and I have come to count many …

It’s Showtime! The Dallas HOK office kicks off the weekend with a movie.

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Our office decided on the movie “Lucy” to watch together before heading into the weekend.  Good times!

 

 

HOK 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?

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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 “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 …

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 …

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).

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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.

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

Architect Dad: Charlie’s Night at the Career Fair

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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 …

Results of the 2014 Heal the Bay Sandcastle Competition

Last weekend Santa Monica provided, as expected, beautiful weather and ideal conditions for the staff volunteers to be able to enjoy the day at the beach in support of a worthy cause with Heal the Bay. HOK had a great showing of support, ranging from the original team members who had worked hard for the last month and a half in preparation for the day’s main event, to the friends, family, and fellow coworkers who came out to support and cheer us on! The end result was something that we were all more than able to be proud of and was certainly the fan favourite:

 

The entire team ready for the big build!

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

Julia Monk Headshot 2Julia Monk, AIA, IIDA, is a senior principal and director of HOK’s hospitality practice. Julia has been based in Shanghai since 2010, and recently offered Contract Magazine readers some insight about designing hospitality interiors in China.

Today, is the economy healthy in China for firms to obtain projects? How does it compare with, say, six years ago, before the recession 
in the United States? How is it different now? 

While the Chinese government watched other world economies crash in 2008 and 2009, China maintained an enviable seven percent growth rate, and that generally continues today. This steadiness is significant, particularly as its population of 1.3 billion continues …