Archive for the ‘In the Studio’ Category

HOK Net-Zero Energy Design Competition Winner: soLar

soLar

Five designers from HOK’s Los Angeles office – Jessica Ginther, Frank Cauthen, Jamila Valero, Zach Capehart and Kris Surichamorn – competed in the firm-wide Net Zero Design Competition as the team “soLar.”

The net-zero competition challenged HOK’s teams to create a conceptual net-zero energy design for a building on a site in their local communities. Teams were required to use HOK’s Sustainable Analysis Tool to obtain climate data, set energy use intensity (EUI) targets and estimate the size of on-site renewable energy systems required to reach net-zero energy.

The soLar team designed a mixed-use building on a site in downtown Los Angeles. The team’s design won first place in the internal HOK …

St. Louis Team Tours 700 Market Project Site

Thanks to Jason Pierce, project architect in St. Louis, for this post.

Aimee and Tom

HOK’s Aimee Rowbottom, project manager, and Tom Kaczkowski, project lighting designer, share interesting facts about the 700 Market building. It is the youngest building on the National Historic Registry, sat vacant for approximately 10 years and contained more than 150,000 bricks, including 20,000 special radial and angle bricks.  

A group from HOK’s St. Louis office toured a current project at 700 Market in downtown St. Louis. HOK is part of the team updating the building originally designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee for the General American Life Insurance Company.

The building opened in 1975 but has been vacant since 2004, when General American moved …

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

Create, Inspire, Connect, Care

This time of year HOK’s values are shared with the City of Houston through volunteering, donations, and community involvement.

HOK Movember 2013

As we completed the month of November…and “Movember” (dedicated to raise awareness to men’s health), many thanks to those who joined the worthy cause and sported mighty stylish “staches” or donated to the team.

We Care Event

Another year of We Care is complete and the snowman hot cocoa jars were cute and tasty! The event was full of children zooming around to create crafts and with a great turnout of volunteers and kids, all 96 of HOKs crafts were made within an hour….

A Season for Family, Sharing, and Being Thankful

potluck 1

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!

picnic1

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 …

Build it Forward

Team HOK with their student team leader Cassandra Team HOK with their student team leader Cassandra

On Saturday November 2nd, HOK Houston along with other members of the Houston design, engineering and construction community, participated in the second annual ACE Mentor Program Build it Forward event. The event was designed to raise scholarship funds for the Houston chapter of the ACE Mentor Program while giving students and their mentors an opportunity to give back to their community.

This year teams constructed convertible picnic tables that function as benches or a full size picnic table when converted. The teams built approximately 15 composite picnic tables that will be donated to local charitable organizations.

HOK Houston Supports Fun + Fundraiser

HOK represented their bowling skills amidst whacky bowling rules and silly scorecard names to contend with. With bowlers named “Citrix nightmare, BIMMY Hog, and Navisworks,” it was truly an architectural themed fundraiser that challenged us to bowl like zombies, on one foot, and with our eyes closed!

The 5th annual bowling fundraiser raised funds for the Texas Architects Committee (TAC) which promotes the interest of architects in Texas and raises funds to make campaign contributions to those seeking election or re-election to political office.

Big THANKS to our very own Janis Brackett for arranging our participation in this fun event!

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 …

Right Brain with Left Brain Personalities — or Vice Versa?

Guest Post By Angela Zwink, HOK Visual Communications, Houston

As the Knowledge Manager of HOK Visual Communications, I was really curious to know where we fall as a group. Are we collectively right-brain or left-brain dominant? I quickly ran through the personality attributes that define the left brainers and right brainers and this is what I found, starting with the left brain:

Words and Language — Check. I have to say we are pretty good in languages as almost half of our team is bilingual. In Houston, additionally, we all are slowly learning a new word everyday in Espanol from our very friendly office custodian.

Logic and Critical Thinking — Check. We have located and programmed a …

A Christmas Gift from Generations Past

Sal Gimbert, a structural engineering technician in our St. Louis office, posted this photo on Facebook the other day. Shared here, with her permission:

Using my grandfather’s (Alexander F. Newlands) slide rule this afternoon to get some work done from home. My mother and my grandmother passed it on to me as a Christmas gift this year. He was a civil engineer and ambidextrous. I never knew him, as he passed when my mother was two years old, but I feel influenced by him daily. Beauty in the smallest things. Powerful moment for me. Happy Holidays all!

Leaving Space for People too.

This is a short post I’ve written as a guest contributor for a friend at Otto. Check out other amazing posts on design and products at 3Rings!

There’s an intrinsic dilemma that all architects and designers carry with them: the struggle with the idea of control. We lose precious sleep over the often unknowable outcomes of our projects.

20121114 - HOK Office-248 small

An ever-present but less contemplated thought is the impact of those outcomes. While this also can be “unknowable,” designers can draw on evidence and research to predict the impacts of projects with more accuracy. From a business culture standpoint, we crave predictability. Yet, it rarely leaves room for growth, …

Gingerbread Build Off

T’was a warm winter day in Houston when the 4th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off took place in Hermann Square. HOK’s team built a holiday version of James Turrell’s Skyspace that was made of green cake covered in parsley, white chocolate, ginger bread, and various candies.

Thanks to our builders and strategists:

Builders:
Jasmine Brown, Deinte Dan-Princewill, Alex Lara and Leming Yang.

Candy Strategists: Lauren Flemister, Ashley Craig and Sara Bullington

…and those who came to support and vote!

Follow the link below to explore more on the built pavilion:

http://www.architectmagazine.com/lighting/a-skyspace-in-houston.aspx

A Skyspace in Houston – Lighting – Architect Magazine Page 1 of 3

James Turrell’s latest project is an architectural pavilion that frames an artwork—and an artwork that accomplishes an …

The Bikes of HOK Washington, DC

As you know, it’s Bike to Work month and the DC office is kicking butt. Today is no different, especially because it is national Bike to Work day. I counted 19 bicycles in the office, and that doesn’t include those people who parked outside or used Capital Bikeshare bikes (there is a station right outside the office).  BTWD is practically religion in our office.  First question everyone asks is, what swag did you get?!  This is immediately followed by, “oh, I went to a different pit stop, we didn’t get that!”  Today my top swag item was a “Bike Arlington” reflective vest, one-size-fits-giant-people.

So…for those of you who were wondering how our four teams …

2012 Design by Designers

Is it really possible that this is the FOURTH annual Design by Designers at HOK Washington, DC? Organized and hosted by fabulous Graphic Design Principal and Guru Jim Doussard (famous for the HOK monograph and salad bar potlucks, among other achievements), Design by Designers is an opportunity for HOK’s talented team to share our outside-the-office design pursuits over a frosty beverage and tasty snacks.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Flash video.

As you might expect, there were quite a few drawings and paintings, a few home improvements, but also a couple of “outside the box” design pursuits. Colin Benson, visualization specialist by trade, industrial designer by education, and bicycle-restorer by night brought in two amazing restored bicycles, including a bicycle built for …

Pretty Female Architects

I was curiously Google-image searching the term “female architect” one afternoon and the results were stereotypical as expected; hard hats inside finished buildings, abundant rolls of paper, every face with a huge smile and the occasional Zaha head shot (go girl!). Another observation was that every female is young and attractive; this made me wonder where that portrayal was conceived?

Soon after, I came across an article in February’s “Architect” magazine (p.29) stating that “Only about 3% of executives in major American corporations – including architecture firms- are women (according to McKinsey & Co.).”

I wasn’t so shocked; it’s a man’s world we’re infiltrating, and only for the last few generations. However, the …

GreatPier in (moving) Images

The Navy Pier Pierscape Competition website has been updated to include the full videos and design booklets

The other submission books and videos are up as well, so check those out too!

How it Happened: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at HOK and Partners’ Proposal to Transform Navy Pier

You may have heard by now that for the past 8 weeks we’ve been busy over here at HOK preparing for the Pierscape at Navy Pier Design Competition. Joined by collaborating firms !melk  and UrbanLab, the design was finally presented to the public on Tuesday. 

 

The team included !melk., Urban Lab, Terry Guen Design Associates, Thirst, Zoe Ryan, Conservation Design Forum, HR&A Advisors, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Leni Schwendinger LIGHT projects, CMS Fountain Consultants, and Karin Bacon Enterprises.

We always see (and drool over) these competition entries, but very rarely do you get to peel back the covers and see what really goes into the preparation of these submissions, so we thought we’d give …

Fall Fun, Fairs and Festivity at HOK in San Francisco

Let it never be said that San Francisco HOK-ers don’t know how to have a good time. Take a look at the lineup of events from this fall – and you’ll agree that we can party like rockstars!

October: Wellness Fair: We kicked off the festivities this fall with a health fair to make sure we were all medically certified to have a good time. Practitioners from the Pure Wellness Intl Team, Kaiser and Concentra were at hand to answer questions, along with posture and stress screening, chiropractic advice and healthy snack samples.

October: Pumpkin Carving Contest: HOK SF then flexed its creative muscles with a pumpkin carving contest. Look below for the winners!

Sometimes Oprah is Pretty Smart

…OK, a lot of the time Oprah is pretty smart. 

The reason I say Oprah is smart today is (once again) due to an article I ran across on CNN: “The New Rules for Succeeding at Your First Job.”  There are some great ones in here (like “never stop taking notes”), but there were a couple that REALLY stuck out to me:

“Think About Presentation” – Oprah suggests that you format everything beautifully.  I agree.  For starters, do not EVER give your boss something that hasn’t been spell checked and read to make sure you didn’t say “panty” instead of “pantry.”  She doesn’t want to see it, and she wants to …

Welcome to HOK Airways

On Thursday 22nd September, London’s property industry came together to celebrate the inaugural HOK London Annual Party on board HOK Airways.  Having celebrated a number of  successes and project milestones particularly in our Aviation  sector, we chose this theme for our 2011 Annual Party.  On the following evening we opened our doors to the public in celebration of the London Design Festival.

We wanted to celebrate 2011 with clients, partners, consultants supporters and journalists whom we have had the pleasure of working with through this challenging yet rewarding year.

Planning began in June and we made it just in time to register to be part of the London Design Festival. Weekly meetings were …

Create, Inspire, Connect, Care

 

Power to the people – especially those who turned out to attend the Interior Design Regulation celebration August 4 honoring the successful efforts to keep the interior design profession regulated in the state of Florida (more info in 10 May 2011 post). The IIDA event featured guests Senator Jack Latvala, Senator Jim Norman, Senator Arthenia Joyner, and Representative Darryl Rouson. Special kudos to HOKer Kelly Betts for having such a STRONG voice throughout the debate!
More power to HOK and the exhibit we had at the ACA (American Corrections Association) conference in Orlando this week. We were represented by the JBU team and the amazing justice projects across HOK. I had the …

Biking to work in the FL sunshine

A local paper columnist interviewed HOKer Anna Vasquez, as he explored the option of bike commuting in the Florida summer heat.  The humorous article featured some tips from Anna that I can relate to as a fellow commuter. I especially love the outfit tip – matching shoes are a must, but I must admit I forgot my entire dress once!

Read the article here:

See me rollin’, ridin’ dirty – tbt*.

Mockups and Music

Okay, so I was trying to be alliterative… it’s not really a mockup, it’s the real thing!  The first sign to attach to the Freno Raingarden System arrived today and will soon be installed at the pilot project here in downtown St Louis.  This sign will help people to know what’s going on, the benefits of urban rain gardens, and to learn more about the system itself.  Nice job, Matt, Jim, and Paul!

Also, we got to admire the sign against the backdrop of some wonderful jazz music in the center space, courtesy of Jazz St Louis.  The three student musicians were in as a part of …

Create, Inspire, Connect, Care

By “Cars 2”… well Maybe.

An interview on ABC’s “Nightline” highlighted Pixar’s studio space designed for creativity.(http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/pixar-animation-factory-studio-3d-toy-fun-13919853 - the studio tour starts about half way through this 6 minute interview by “Nightline’s” Bill Weir.)

 This place yields billions of dollars a “cartoon” and looks super fun to be at for 70 hours a week (sorry social life you may be replaced). 

So, maybe a hospital, airport, or even a federal courthouse isn’t as profitable as a feature film but can it be? If we could create architecture and the world that surrounds us in a place that harbors creativity, can it be?

I’m bringing a scooter to work …

HOK Anniversary Surprise from Outer Space!

These images say it all – there are some very creative people at HOK!

 Kim Frey, vice president and business manager has been with the firm for 30 years this month – what a huge accomplishment!  The traditional 30th anniversary gift is Pearls but we decided to surprise her with aluminum, A LOT OF ALUMINUM! Besides, it’s much more shiny, flexible, affordable, and best of all- Recyclable!!!

Kim “sincerely wants to thank each of you for the pleasure of being part of this great group of professional for all these years, …

Q+A: Burning Calories with HOK Washington, DC, Sustainable Design Specialist Sean Quinn

“I have a lot of energy and I like to move fast,” says Sean Quinn, who just celebrated his first anniversary as a sustainable design specialist in HOK’s Washington, D.C., design studio. These days, Sean is channeling his energy into sustainable design with a focus on – you guessed it – energy. “It’s an obsession,” he admits.

Sean was the project manager and lead architect for the HOK / Vanderweil winning net zero building retrofit design for Metropolis magazine’s 2011 “Get the Feds to Zero” Next Generation® Design Competition. Metropolis and the …

Bike to Work Day 2011 – Sun, Fun, Mud + Action!

As you’ve read before…May is Bike to Work Month, and today, May 20 is Bike to Work Day.  We take this month seriously here in the DC office, and the day too. 

Not to brag…ok, to brag a little bit…the DC team is KICKING MAJOR BUTT in this year’s Cascade Bicycle challenge.  We have two teams – and are in first and third place within the company, mileage-wise.  Combined, well, it will be pretty darned tough to catch us – we’re over 2K miles!!  We probably needed to do this as we might have trash-talked the other offices a little bit this year.

Today was a big day as many …

Not your average lunch and learn

Today the New York office had the unique opportunity to learn about a subject that is a little off the beaten path of our usual lunch-time seminars. In an architectural office you are likely to have representatives speak to you about the latest advancements in spray-on fireproofing or sustainable glazing sources, but I was quite surprised when I received this invitation…

HOK’s own Joe Nocella – registered architect, firm-wide BIM leader, and custom bike shop proprietor – built a bicycle wheel right in front of us!  In addition, he gave us a brief history of the bicycle and how their wheels have evolved. Really interesting stuff!

Be sure to visit Joe’s …

Tampa Bay Bike Safety Campaign Blasted by Readers’ Comments

“The 3-foot rule is a joke” was commented by a reader of the TBO breaking news story titled “Buckhorn promotes bicycle safety by riding bike to work.” This story was released after this morning’s Bike to Work Day event in downtown Tampa that was led by our newly elected Mayor (http://www2.tbo.com/news/breaking-news/2011/may/19/2/buckhorn-promotes-bicycle-safety-by-riding-bike-to-ar-208525/?referer=None&shorturl=http://tbo.ly/mToK6O).

As a participant and devoted bike commuter, I am appalled by the ignorance that persists among drivers not wanting to share the road and acknowledging a bicycle as safe mode of transportation – that is as long as drivers are willing to cooperate.

I was browsing the local news online for an article to link with this post …

Designers Protest Florida HB 5005 to Deregulate Interior Design

watch newscast

Florida State lawmakers are considering House Bill 5005, which would deregulate nearly 20 different professions.  H.B. 5005 originally deregulated over thirty different professions, including Landscape Architecture, Geologists, and Surveyors and Mappers.  Many professions were removed from the legislation prior to the Economic Affairs Committee meeting, however Interior design remains. Interior Design is the only profession in the bill which requires a college degree, experience, and a national exam.

As a registered interior designer at HOK, Kelly Betts has taken the opportunity to voice her concerns by speaking out at the Capitol in Tallahassee at the House of Representatives Economic Affairs subcommittee meeting and through the media on …