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 met with …
King Abdulah University of Science and Technology is one of the largest LEED Platinum projects in the world. Photo: Jean Picoulet
I have a vivid memory of an architecture professor telling me that thinking about sustainability was a waste of time – no one outside academia would bother with that kind of silly obsession. This was Missouri in the 1990s, when a gallon of gas cost less than a dollar and “green” was a paint color. I stubbornly pushed onward despite the disparagement – as I am prone to doing – …
For the past three years, Komal Kotwal, HOK’s senior sustainable design specialist in Houston, has served on USGBC’s Program Working Group (PWG) to help vet proposals that are submitted for Greenbuild. She was in charge of shortlisting sessions under the international category and, from the many stimulating panel suggestions, one truly stood out from the rest: “Certifying Neighborhood Sustainability Around the Globe.”
“A lot of development internationally is at a much larger scale (i.e. neighborhood scale vs. building scale). At this scale, it is particularly important that the design solution responds to the specific context and needs of the region. This session addressed this critical issue of the …
In the early summer of 2013, HOK was invited to participate in a design competition for the 2017 Expo Design in Astana – the rapidly developing capital of Kazakhstan. The theme for the expo; “Future Energy”, challenged entrants to demonstrate the use of innovative technologies capable of affecting people’s perception of energy and green development.
In order to submit the most stunning and creatively adroit entry possible, a multidisciplinary team from the HOK Toronto office made up of Landscape Architects, Urban Planners, Architects, and experts in Sustainable Design, worked closely with equivalently talented engineering teams from ARUP and RWDL.
Inspired by the traditional assemblies of Kazakh tribes, the core concept of the design …
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!
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 …
Mara Baum, HOK’s Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, has been elevated to the LEED Fellow class of 2013 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
According to the USGBC, the LEED Fellow program ”designates the most exceptional professionals in the green building industry.” Mara becomes one of only 128 Fellows – a very small percentage of the approximately 180,000 LEED professionals across the globe. The LEED Fellow is a relatively new honor; this year’s cohort represents only the third class of Fellows. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum of a 10-year history of “exceptionality” across four of five dimensions of green building: technical proficiency, leadership, education and mentoring, commitment and service, and …
Thanks to Chris Brown, RIBA, LEED AP, architecture practice leader in our Dubai office, for this guest post.
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit a unique site belonging to our client in the Seychelles, a 115-island country scattered across the Indian Ocean. We were there to consider development on an island owned by our client.
The Seychelles is a large archipelago of granite and coral islands about 2,000 miles south of Dubai and 1,000 miles east of mainland Africa. The economy is largely dependent on tourism and relies on the beauty and protection of its natural environment.
Our destination was …
What defines “beauty”? What defines “beast”? Perspective is everything, and it was the driving concept in HOK Chicago’s 2013 Dining by Design installation. Hosted by DIFFA, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDs, this year’s Dining by Design called for designers and table hosts to create a “Beauty and the Feast” themed dining environment. Abiding by this theme, HOK Chicago and Steelcase examined the perception of beauty through both informed and uniformed perspectives. The team worked with an anamorphic illusion – the evolution of a graphic that culminates by viewing it at a single vantage point – to create an eye-catching dining installation.
The team used mainly Steelcase, Inc. products, such as furniture borrowed from Coalesse and a custom Pantone-matched wall covering from …
12 November 2013 | Posted inBlog News & Updates, Clients, Cool Stuff, Design, Furniture, In the Studio, New Hires, People, People - Workers of Tomorrow, Pictures, Recruiting Efforts, workplace
Posted by Nico
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.
Hatchet Head Pumpkin won first place in HOK Chicago’s Pumpkin Carving Contest, thanks to its creative carvers Dave Ivey, Meredith McBride, Linda Chlimoun and Jenna Redline. The runner ups, who deserve special mention due to their own mad carving skills, include:
Tastefully Simple, created by Andrew Mechenes, Sarah Wilkinson and August Rukli
Let’s Boogie, created by Leila Ray, Dave Salela and Nai Owens
Jacko Randy, created by Olia Miho, Preethi Srikanth and David Genc
Yesterday the US Green Building Council Northern California Chapter announced its Building Health Initiative, in partnership with HOK and 26 other organizations. This program kicks off with a two year “Building Health Challenge” intended to put the spotlight on health and wellness as key aspects of green building. The challenge will require HOK and other participants to implement key actions and programs in support of human health that are intended to help transform the market.
We are excited to be participating in this groundbreaking initiative, which will focus on goals such as peer and client education, health and wellbeing research, and material ingredient transparency tools such as …
HOK volunteers from Open House Chicago.
HOK Chicago recently participated in the third annual Open House Chicago, a weekend festival presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Open House Chicago is a free event that allows visitors get a behind-the-scenes look at Chicago’s most iconic buildings, mansions, theaters, offices, universities and churches. Open House Chicago offers a chance to explore spaces throughout the city that are normally closed off to the public. For two days, Chicago employees gave tours of our 14th floor space, showcased HOK projects and provided insights into daily life at HOK.
Over 150 sites overall participated in Open House Chicago, including the House …
Zorana Bosnic, Sustainable Design Director, and Lynn Filar, Technical Principal, presented “Eco-Responsibility Goes Beyond Sustainable Design” on October 22, 2013 as part of AIA’s DESIGN[realized] “Eco-Responsible Design 2030″ education series.
The session focused on HOK’s “Occupant Engagement Program” and how inhabitants play a key role in reducing the carbon footprint.HOK presented three case studies – one owner occupied, one leased, and one higher education – each demonstrating how clear end-user guidelines result in maximum eco-responsible building performance using the following methods:
- discover ways to develop end-user guidelines that support maximum building performance;
- formulate methods for changing management’s role in the operations of an eco-responsible building;
- determine how to use adaptation as a sustainable
For a while now companies have been advised that flexibility is a key component to a successful workplace strategy, with remote working being a big consideration. But more recently corporate America seems to be on a tipping point, wanting to bring people back to the office. Some argue that we’ve moved the needle too far towards a “work anywhere” culture. Two noteworthy cases are Marissa Mayer’s much criticized ban on working from home at Yahoo! and more recently, Meg Whitman setting a new policy at HP “encouraging” many employees to work from the office, noting:
“During this critical turnaround period, HP needs all hands on deck. We recognize that in the past, we …
Members of HOK Chicago recently participated in the second annual USGBC Green Apple Day of Service at Benito Juarez High School. The Green Apple Day of Service is a day where parents, teachers, students, companies and organizations across the globe have the opportunity to transform schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects. Together, volunteers from HOK Chicago, Leopardo Construction, Benito Juarez High School and the local community, helped by:
- Developing the school’s vegetable garden with new plantings and composting
- Mulching and weeding landscaped areas, including the rooftop garden
- Removing litter from the campus
- Painting the school’s cafeteria with vibrant new colors to promote a healthy environment for
This month the Houston office honored James Klaiber for his great accomplishment of 40 years with HOK, YES ANOTHER engineer to join “40 year club!”
James practices electrical engineering and has good company in the MEP department… many of which are here for the long haul, like 20 and 30 years, plus!
Congratulations James and THANK YOU for your continued excellence.
Last week I spent my first day in a co-working space. I need to give a big thanks to the great folks at WELD in Dallas for being so accommodating and friendly. Great space. Great people. Great coffee. WELD will be setting up a new space in Nashville in the near future, so be on the lookout for that if you’re in the area.
My day started with working from home for a few hours. WELD’s typical hours are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. so I had some time at home in the morning to catch up on a few things and jump on a conference call before …
HOK Chicago’s Dave Ivey and Colin Rohlfing recently spoke at the BUILDINGChicago/Greening the Heartland Expo & Conference in Chicago. Their panel “Integrating Environmental Analysis Into BIM Workflow: Utilizing the HOK Design Analysis Methodology” focused on HOK’s Design Analysis Methodology that builds environmental analysis, including climate analysis and energy and carbon modeling, into all stages of project design. The panel also included Boyd Black, Assistant Vice President for Capital Project Delivery at the University of Chicago, and Moderator Peter Marchese, Senior Consultant at Microdesk.
Dave discussed the BIM process and how to streamline delivery in order to minimize energy demand, with Colin focusing on how energy analysis improves design and delivers exceptional energy performance …
There’s much speech-giving, a lot of applause, many smiling faces, some nervous laughter and tons of confidence-building. This is a familiar scene for anyone who has been part of a Toastmasters Club. But for most of us at HOK San Francisco’s newly-formed Toastmasters Club, this was a new experience.
The SF office decided to form the club after we had a very successful summer workshop on presentation skills. Most of us wanted to continue improving our confidence and public speaking skills, and we heard that Toastmasters was a great place to do it. So far – so good! We have formed a fantastic executive committee that has mapped out an exciting program year, and we’ve had 4 club sessions till date. Several …
A group of designers in HOK’s Toronto office won the Global Group’s “Best Seat in the House” chair design competition with their “Kill Bill” entry.
To coincide with the Toronto International Film Festival, designers from more than 50 Toronto firms were asked to decorate entries in a cinematic theme to portray a favorite movie, screenplay, actor or actress.
In addition to the first-place, Quentin Tarantino-inspired ”Kill Bill” chair, the Toronto team submitted “The Fly” chair, an homage to the 1986 David Cronenberg flick about a giant man/fly hybrid played by Jeff Goldblum.
Just about every conversation I have related to employee attraction and retention tends to turn into an HR sounding discussion about office protocols, incentives, and perks. And there are many great articles on this topic. This recent article by Josh Bersin is a great example of some economic factors and organizational approaches to retaining the best people. But as a workplace strategist, I need to help my clients make more tangible links between their physical workplace and how it can be leveraged to attract and retain top talent. Below I offer up a few thoughts.
Most people would guess that …
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 …
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!
By: Julia Oseland
On Monday, August 19, HOK in San Francisco opened its doors to the AIA East Bay Chapter’s Emerging Professionals Group for the Chapter’s Firm Tours Summer Series. The event was attended by 25 guests from the AIA East Bay and 10 from the HOK’s Young Designers Group. HOK’s Ted Davalos, AIA, LEED AP, senior vice president and senior project manager and a member of the AIA East Bay Chapter and Arnold Lee, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, vice president and senior project designer kicked off the evening with a presentation followed by a tour and three short project presentations about HOK’s current work. The project presentations were given by architectural …
The Kiosk Museum celebrated its grand opening in downtown San Francisco on July 24. A puppeteer kicked off the celebration, and individuals from Community Arts International kicked off spoke about how the project came to be and thanked everyone involved.
Partners on the project included JCDecaux, HOK and the Union Square Business Improvement District. Individuals representing each of these organizations also had a chance to say a few words, including Justin Kelly, who was the project leader from HOK. The kiosk was then unveiled in a Ribbon Ceremony.
The HOK team designed the case and led the installation of the street museum as well as provided graphics support. The project has been …
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.
This month we honored Ed Abboud with a lunch event to show our support of his great accomplishment of 40 years with HOK, YES 40! Along with his HOK family, Ed’s wife, children and grandchildren were able to join the celebration and coincidently it was also 40 years ago that day his daughter was born! He shared stories about his journey through which he has observed the advances of technology and the sustainability of construction with the less experienced staff, which includes all but a handful of us!
Congratulations Ed, and THANK YOU for your continued excellence.
In his own words, he express his thanks below.
“Your thoughts, e-mails, words, cards, hugs and gifts have truly touched me …
HOK San Francisco’s Zorana Bosnic recently spoke at the Summer 2013 RegenForum in San Francisco. Her talk, entitled “The Future of High-Performance Buildings at a Global Scale”, began with the audience offering ideas on what global issues in the coming decade will shape the future of high performance buildings. The responses were then tied into the presentation topics:
- Furthering focus on building performance in design and operations
- Making high performance buildings a norm for the future of all buildings
- Prioritizing human health and happiness
- Creating a connection to nature and biomimicry
- Expanding advances in the use of healthy building materials
Points discussed in the presentation included:
- Are we meeting the challenge: The 2012
Deborah Fuller, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C and Mara Baum, AIA, LEED AP BD+C of HOK are part of the Health Product Declaration (HPD) Collaborative team, which promotes manufacturer disclosure of the chemical makeup of building products through the HPD standard format. Ultimately, this will allow designers to better understand and make decisions about the adverse health effects of the chemicals in products that compromise employee health such as PVC in several building materials, fire retardants in insulations and upholstered products, formaldehyde in composite wood and millwork, and phthalates in cleaning products to name a few. To accomplish these goals, Deborah and Mara are dedicating time outside of the office to perform research because they feel so passionately about …
It has been nearly three years since the HOK re:NEWS project was first conceptualized, and this simple but powerful idea still lives on! July 24 will mark the rejuvenation of two new kiosks next to San Francisco’s Union Square. While previous reuse ideas have included a bike repair kiosk and printmaking, this one will be a pop-up museum of sorts, housing a collection of puppets from around the world. This project is a partnership effort with Community Arts International, the Union Square Business Improvement District, HOK and JCDecaux. HOK’s role was to reengineer the kiosks by creating and installing a display case inside the …