Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

HOK’s Alan Bright Elevated to AIA’s College of Fellows

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Alan Bright, FAIA, design principal in HOK’s San Francisco office, has been elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects 2014 Jury of Fellows. According to the AIA, the Fellowship program “honors architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.” Alan becomes one of only about 3,000 members of the 80,000 AIA members to receive this honor.

Since joining HOK in 1984, Alan has dedicated his career to transforming the design of justice facilities, aviation, healthcare, civic, commercial and science and technology facilities.

“Alan Bright is improving the practice of architecture …

HOK’s Ernest Cirangle Elevated to AIA’s College of Fellows

Thanks to Kelly Morrison in HOK’s Los Angeles office for contributing this guest post.

Ernest-Cirangle3Ernest Cirangle, FAIA, design director in HOK’s Los Angeles office, has been elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects 2014 Jury of Fellows. According to the AIA, the Fellowship program “honors architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.” Ernest becomes one of only about 3,000 members of the 80,000 AIA members to receive this honor.

Since joining HOK in 1982, Ernest has dedicated his career to transforming the design of aviation, …

HOK’s Paul Woolford Explores Biomimicry for Wired’s Innovation Insights

The Mint Canopy

(This post on biomimicry by Paul Woolford, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C,  director of design in HOK’s San Francisco office, first appeared in Wired’s Innovation Insights community site.)

All around us, entrepreneurial organizations focused on everything from information technology to scientific research are continuously reinventing the nature of what they do. Yet design and construction firms — those of us charged with imagining and building the environments that help the creative people in these organizations remake the world — are largely designing and building the way we have for centuries.

One could argue that the last fundamental innovation in the built environment was the mid-20th century …

Q+A: Patrick MacLeamy, HOK’s Chairman and CEO

Thanks to Gigi Jiang and Daniel Wei in our Beijing office for leading this Q+A with HOK Chairman and CEO Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, during his recent visit to Asia.

Patrick MacLeamy

What are your observations of the real estate market in Asia, especially the design profession in China? 

PM: Our Chinese clients demand high-quality design. We have to create projects that not only look great, but function exceptionally well. More and more people are living and working in Asian cities, which is exciting but challenging. People need connections to parks and green spaces, and air quality and traffic congestion issues go beyond architecture to planning. If you take a piece of land and develop …

How Reverse Engineering Nature Can Spur Design Innovation

(This post on biomimicry by Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior principal – design in HOK’s Los Angeles studio, first appeared in Fast Co.Exist.)

It’s not enough to copy nature. Today’s designers need a deeper understanding of environmental nuance, from the biome in.

The William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center in Port-au-Prince is designed to replace an orphanage severely damaged in the 2010 earthquake. HOK’s Thomas Knittel took inspiration from the kapok tree, a native Caribbean species that stores water internally and sheds its leaves in times of drought. The William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center (WJCCC) in Port-au-Prince is designed to replace an orphanage severely damaged in the 2010 earthquake.

HOK 2013: Year in Review

Thanks to our amazing clients, 2013 was a busy and exhilarating year for HOK’s people around the world. Our top blog posts and HOK.com news stories from the past year celebrate many of these exciting collaborations and the resulting projects:

Porsche’s North American HQ and Customer Experience Center in Atlanta Porsche’s North American HQ and Customer Experience Center in Atlanta

Top HOKLife.com 2013 Posts

1. Q+A: HOK President Bill Hellmuth Though Bill leads the design of projects around the world, he is especially proud of the local architectural contributions made by HOK’s DC practice.

2. Paul Woolford: How Biomimicry Inspired the Design of NOAA’s New Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center in

BBG-BBGM Joins HOK to Create Top Hospitality Design Firm

We are thrilled to welcome the hospitality experts of BBG-BBGM in New York and Shanghai to HOK. (Here’s the official announcement.) The addition of a premier hospitality design firm’s team to HOK’s already strong hospitality group will have amazing benefits for our clients and their guests across the world. Based on BD+C’s 2013 survey, our combined practice is now a top-five hospitality design firm.

Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Our new hospitality interiors group will be led by Julia Monk in Shanghai, Christina Hart in New York and Toronto’s Randa Tukan, who has helped guide the growth of HOK’s hospitality practice. BBG-BBGM …

Q+A: Larry Malcic, Director of Design in HOK’s London Office

Larry Malcic

After nearly a quarter-century leading design in HOK’s London office and 35 years as an architect, Larry Malcic is still learning. “I want to always be learning and growing,” he says. “That’s how you know you are alive.”

For Larry, each building is a monument. “It can be a monument to the architect’s ego if the client allows it to be,” he says. “But what it should be is a monument to the ambitions of the client, the community and the team. For architects, this is a tremendous responsibility and privilege.”

Take us through a typical day for the design director in HOK’s London office.

LM: This morning, I …

A Season for Family, Sharing, and Being Thankful

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Fun was had by all at the HOK Oktoberfest Family Picnic.  Games of tug of war, water balloon toss, a stein holding contest, and the ultimate tricycle obstacle course took place.  Luckily there were seasonal craft brews, a great food truck, and a tropical snow cone vender to keep us fueled up for the competitions!

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The fun and creativity continued at the Houston CANstruction build-off. HOK’s team donated over $2000 to the event which funds the Houston Food Bank AND we got to build a formula 1 race car out of canned goods!  The awards ceremony takes place on November 23rd , so keep your …

Combining the Built and Natural Environments to Create Generous Cities of the Future

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(This post on biomimicry by Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior principal – design in HOK’s Los Angeles studio, first appeared in Fast Co. Exist. This is the second post in a three-part series; click here to read the first post.)

Urban growth doesn’t have to destroy nature–it can work with it.

Our collective desire to live in cities has never been stronger. According to the World Health Organization, 60% of the world’s population will live in a city by 2030. As urban populations swell, what people demand from their cities is evolving.

In India and China, developers have embarked on ambitious projects aimed at promoting interactivity between people …

Q+A: Betsy Nurse, Director of Interior Design in HOK’s Atlanta Office

Betsy Nurse, Assoc. IIDA, is HOK’s director of interior design in Atlanta and an experienced project manager. Her other focus is business development, a role she has honed by cultivating relationships across the real estate community for the past 17 years. She is the face of HOK in Atlanta corporate real estate.

What do you love about design?

BN: It a wonderful thing to be able to learn about all kinds of new businesses as a design consultant. Discovering our clients’ business strategies and organizational goals is one of my favorite parts of the job, but there is nothing like being part of a team that delivers …

How Buildings That Imitate Earth’s Creatures Could Save Us From Ourselves

(This post on biomimicry by Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior principal – design in HOK’s Los Angeles studio, first appeared in Fast Co. Exist.)

Sustainable design needs a gut check. When it comes to designing for efficiency, balance, and resiliency, nothing beats emulating Earth’s creatures.

The frenetic consumption that has defined American culture over the past hundred years transcends food, fuel, and “stuff.” We’ve also gobbled up building materials.

From 1900 to 1995, America experienced a five-fold spike in per capita consumption of non-food and non-fuel resources. Of the durable goods we amassed, construction materials for buildings far exceeded any others. In 1900, renewable …

HOK’s Femi Oresanya joins London mayor in opening new facilities at Streatham-Croydon Rugby Football Club

On September 5,  Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, opened the new facility at Streatham-Croydon Rugby Footall Club (SCRFC). The event was marked by a special rugby training session with the children.  Click here for the local news coverage.

HOK in London’s very own Femi Oresanya, rugby coach for the Juniors, led the mayor in a ‘training’ session!

Femi got involved in this campaign as a father (his two youngest sons train here), a passionate rugby player, (he is an ex rugby player for the Harlequins in the pre-professional days) a school governor and a general sports enthusiast. He is part of the SCRFC committee involved in campaigning for this …

Q+A: William Paluch, Design Director for HOK in China

After practicing for 20 years as an architect in California and Hawaii, William Paluch, AIA, was ready for a fresh challenge. Based in HOK’s Shanghai office, Bill now faces several new challenges each day as design director for HOK in China.

What is your vision for HOK in China?

WP: My vision is to deliver extraordinary work to our clients and communities. This may seem like a general approach but we focus on the long-term contributions our work can bring to the built environment. We want to understand the needs of clients as well as of the communities in which our projects are being built.

Designing projects in China …

HOK Softball Team Debuts in Houston

HOK is one of 23 teams competing in the architectural and engineering coed softball league this year. With the recent growth of the office, the team is a fun way to meet outside the office environment and enjoy a hot dog and cold beverage at the same time. As one could imagine, the rivalry runs deep in the profession and it’s evident with teams we play against showing fierce competition. The HOK team plays double-headers every Monday evening and I’m happy to report the team’s first victory was almost a blow-out with a score of 12 to 1!

Keep up the wins and team spirit HOK!

Q+A: Paul Woolford, Director of Design in HOK’s San Francisco Studio

After stops in New York, London, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Paul Woolford, AIA, IIDA, LEED BD+C, is back in San Francisco for the third time, and this time he has found a home.

Paul arrived in HOK’s San Francisco office in 1997. He spent two years mentoring under then-HOK president Bill Valentine before heading east to direct design in the firm’s new Atlanta office. In 2006, he returned to the West Coast to lead the San Francisco studio.

Paul lives in the Twin Peaks neighborhood, on the city’s tallest hill, in a Bauhaus-influenced early modernist house he shares with his partner, Rick Freeman, and their dog, Georgia.

“How …

Paul Woolford on How Biomimicry Inspired the Design of the San Francisco Museum at the Mint

Thanks to Paul Woolford, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, design director in HOK’s San Francisco office, for this post describing the vision for the San Francisco Museum at the Mint adaptive reuse project, which will be one of the country’s most environmentally innovative museums.

This once was a working metal factory that produced gold and silver bars and coins. There also was a public function where people exchanged gold or silver dust for coins and bars.

To organize the building program, we swept away all the unfortunate interventions that had altered the building since the federal government stopped using it as a mint in the 1930s. To understand how the renovated building …

Virtual Meetings Enhance Design of University at Buffalo Medical School

HOK designers in New York, St. Louis and Atlanta are using virtual meetings with their University at Buffalo (UB) client team to improve the design process for UB’s new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The seven-story medical school will bring 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students daily to downtown Buffalo and, at more than 500,000 square feet, will be one of the largest buildings constructed in Buffalo in decades.

Three days after Hurricane Sandy barreled into the East Coast last October, HOK’s project team was scheduled to have a meeting …

Q+A: Chris Fannin, HOK’s Asia Pacific Director of Planning

Whether it’s waking up to a surprise spring snowstorm in Beijing or being served fried baby eel at lunch, what HOK’s Chris Fannin most enjoys about living in Asia is “responding to the unexpected on an almost hourly basis.”

Chris, who moved from St. Louis to Hong Kong in 2010, wears three hats for HOK. He is part of the management team leading the firm’s Asia Pacific practice, he leads the region’s planning practice and, with Suzette Goldstein, he is co-director of HOK’s global planning practice. As Chris moves between these three overlapping roles, he says each enriches the other. “We have …

Introducing HOK’s 2013 Design Annual

What are the visions guiding some of the world’s most progressive organizations? We can see their aspirations take physical form in the 2013 HOK Design Annual, which illustrates our design processes and products for 42 remarkable clients over 340 pages.

From three flame-shaped towers in Baku to a high-tech lab in DC, a striking new broadcasting house for the BBC in London to a bio-inspired orphanage in Port-au-Prince, the projects in this book offer a glimpse into – and optimism for – our world’s future.

Read the 2013 HOK Design Annual on Issuu or download a PDF (43 MB).

Join the Yahoo! Workplace Debate at Inscape NYC

If you’re in New York City on March 19, please join us at Inscape NYC for a Workplace Salon discussing the Yahoo! No-Work-From-Home Memo. HOK will help moderate the event and participate in a debate on both sides of the argument. We’ll be joined by folks from Gensler, Credit Suisse, BrightSpot Strategy and Perkins + Will.

Workplace Salon: The Yahoo! Debate
March 19, 2013 from 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Inscape NYC Showroom
414 W. 14th Street, 6th floor
RSVP by March 15, 2013
jfeuerborn@inscapesolutions.com

The audience will be polled on which side they most agree with before and then again after the debate. Let the …

Q+A: Todd Bertsch, Design Director for HOK in Atlanta

When he was six years old, Todd Bertsch, AIA, moved with his family to Atlanta from Pocatello, Idaho. Through what he calls “serendipity,” Todd never left. He earned his architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has spent his entire professional career in Atlanta. In 2008, he joined HOK as design director in our Atlanta office.

Todd and his wife, also an architect, live with their 11-year-old daughter in a house they designed together near Piedmont Park in Atlanta’s vibrant Virginia Highland neighborhood.

“I have seen Atlanta undergo a tremendous transformation over the past 30 years,” says Todd. “It is still young compared to Paris or …

Q+A: HOK President Bill Hellmuth

Bill Hellmuth, AIA, who joined HOK in 1991 and ascended to president in 2004, leads design projects worldwide. But he is especially proud of the local architectural contributions of HOK’s Washington practice, which is located in Georgetown’s historic Canal House. Under Bill’s leadership over the past two decades, the DC studio has designed more than 25 buildings across the city.

Why is contributing to Washington’s built environment so important to you?

BH: I am committed to cities. They are my focus. Washington is a high-energy city with great institutions and museums and terrifically interesting things to do. It’s a wonderful place to live.

I love being able to …

Top 10 Reasons Your Workplace May Not Be Working for You

When you visit your doctor to talk about what is hurting or not right, you may find yourself describing sharp pains, headaches or numbness. If your doctor is doing her job, she will then ask you follow-up questions about these symptoms to get to the root of the problem.

You are probably painfully aware of some symptoms. Others are less obvious and take some probing and testing to figure out. Having studied for many years and seen many patients, your doctor should be able to give you a reasonably accurate diagnosis of what is ailing you.

That’s our job, but for space. At HOK, we listen to our clients and evaluate their complaints. …

Lessons on the Korean Culture and Workplace

I’m in Seoul, South Korea, with Korean gas company Samchully, helping to design their new headquarters building. This is my second trip to Korea, and each has been a pleasurable, humbling experience. In addition to having serious flashbacks from the movie Lost in Translation, it has been fascinating to be embedded in a business that is truly Asian.

With the ceremonial guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace in northern Seoul

The incredible cast of HOK people working on this project includes Ken Drucker (NY), Josh Schroeder (Hong Kong), James Mallory (NY), Phillip Luse (NY), Seung Lee (NY), Neil McClelland (NY) and Claire Whitehill (NY). I would be …

Q+A: Kenneth Drucker, Design Director for HOK in New York

Like a proud father, Kenneth Drucker, FAIA, notes that two of his New York team’s projects that began more than half a decade ago have opened in recent months: Harlem Hospital’s new Mural Pavilion and a replacement hospital for the University Medical Center at Princeton.

While keeping an eye on all of the projects coming out of HOK’s New York studio, Ken is also designing a headquarters for Korean energy company Samchully in Seoul and the Singapore Chancery infill building in Manhattan. He recently began design of a new ambulatory care center for New York-Presbyterian Hospital on a prominent Upper East Side site. Finally, he just returned …

Q+A with Russ Drinker: New Management Principal in HOK’s San Francisco Office

Thirty-four-year architectural veteran Russ Drinker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, joined the leadership team in HOK’s San Francisco office on Sept 4. as a new senior vice president and management principal.

As a pre-teen growing up in a 150-year-old Victorian farmhouse surrounded by an apple orchard in Saratoga, California, Russ built tree houses and forts. By the time he began studying architecture at the University of California in Berkeley in 1976, he had graduated to designing and constructing 2,000-square-foot solar homes.

“I had no business doing this, but I designed and built a custom house while an undergraduate at Berkeley,” said Russ. “It taught me about designing buildings from the inside-out and about sustainability. And I …

HOK Workplace Experts on Working from Home without Slacking Off


HOK’s Robin Ellerthorpe in his Grand Rapids, Mich., home office

Sue Shellenbarger’s recent Wall Street Journal piece on “‘Working from Home’ Without Slacking Off” reminded me of the question so many clients ask about the benefits and drawbacks of home working.

HOK gets drawn into the conversation because when our clients’ employees work at home full- or even part-time, they typically lose their assigned seat in the office. With more and more people working outside the office, large portions of office buildings can sit empty for long periods and there can be less of a reason to be there. Heck, with everyone away from the office, will there even be people to …

HOK Selected to Design University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

After winning a global design ideas competition, HOK has been selected to design the new medical school on the University at Buffalo‘s downtown campus.

Located at the center of the region’s emerging bio-sciences corridor, this new transit-oriented medical school development will anchor a lively, urban mixed-use district on campus and bring 1,200 students, faculty and staff downtown. To foster collaboration and interdisciplinary care, the new academic medical center will create connections that allow students, faculty, biomedical researchers and clinicians to move easily from classroom to bedside to lab.

“Building a new medical school is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our university and region, and a critical …

Designing in Borneo

You’ve heard of the Sultan of Brunei? (Back when Bill Gates was a nobody, the Sultan was the richest man in the world.) In a sense, His Royal Highness was our client for a project to plan the entire city of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei, in Borneo. (You’ve heard of Borneo? One of the biggest islands in the world, full of dense rainforest, orangutans, world class diving, and Mount Kinabalu…)

Planning for an entire, 100-square kilometre city in the rainforest was, as you might expect, a great challenge. Besides the overt environmental aspects of design, we had to take into account concepts distinct to Brunei, like Melayu Islam Beraja:  the national philosphy promulgating …