Archive for the ‘Blog News & Updates’ Category

ARTIC Grand Opening

2014 was a fantastic year for me.  My architecture fraternity, Alpha Rho Chi, celebrated 100 years of existence, I became a California licensed architect, and I finished my first building, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), from start to finish with the VIP Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Monday, December 8th and the General Public Grand Opening on Saturday, December 13, 2014.

IMG_6724 IMG_6738 IMG_6741 IMG_6749 IMG_6759

HOK’s Net Zero Water Ideation Event: Designing Our Future Through Creative Partnership

Dozens of California communities are starting to dry up. No, they’re not banning alcohol – they’re rapidly running out of water. In response, HOK’s San Francisco office recently hosted a cross-disciplinary, one-day workshop tackling this major problem with the goal of generating actionable ideas for small cities seeking a more resilient water supply.

Brian Jencek, HOK’s design director for planning and landscape architecture for the West Coast region, presents the prototypical case study of “Springfield by the Sea,” a coastal community that is running out of water.

From NASA scientists to environmental non-profit leaders, the event was attended by a group of field-leading experts on scientific research, art, policy, engineering and venture capital from …

Training for the London Marathon – 15 weeks to go…

As I write this blog it does not seem like 5 years have passed since I last put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) to share the ups and downs and highs and lows of my physical training in pursuit of a personal goal and more importantly raising money for a great and worthy cause. In 2010 it was Ironman Austria and children’s charity BOSP which grabbed my attention. Five years on and whilst the challenge may appear more straight forward, the cause it just as worthwhile and my circumstances very different.

I am running the London Marathon in support of Hospice UK, the Charity previously known as Help the Hospices and who’s work supports …

HOK at Women in Architecture, Houston

Several outstanding events have taken place as part of the current  AIA Women in Architecture exhibit at the Architecture Center Houston. One of these was the impactful AIA Women in Architecture Leadership Panel  featuring elected women leaders in the American Institute of Architects. HOK is proud to see its own Janis Brackett, 2014 AIA Houston Chapter President, as part of the panel. Janis is a known and proven leader within HOK and in the professional community, an inspiration and mentor to many. Seen below is the power packed panel with Janis on the left.


Currently ongoing through January 16, 2015, Women in Architecture is a compelling exhibit that spotlights contributions women have made to the profession …

Congratulations on 25 years with HOK, Jay Tatum

On December 5, 2014,  the people in HOK’s Houston office gathered to mark the 25th anniversary of Jay Tatum, managing principal for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Congratulations and a big thank you to our fearless leader from all at HOK! photo 1 photo 3 photo photo 5




We Care 2014

Every year Herman Miller hosts the We Care event in support of the Boys & Girls Club of America.  This year the Dallas event served a record 357 kids!!


Our craft supplies ready to get started:

IMAG1584 IMAG1585














Our craft this year was candy filled ornaments and we had an assembly line starting with decorating the clear ornament with stickers and jewels and then adding ribbon to the ornament so you could hang it from a tree.  They were also able to choose what kind of candy …

Miami Office Holiday Party

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Parties…

HOK in Miami took to the big top with a performance at Cirque du Soleil Amaluna.


Victor and Marlene Liriano are pictured in front of the Grand Chapiteau.


Cocktail reception followed at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in Turnberry Isle.

Street Art to End Hunger: HOK in New York at CANstruction

Thanks to Shayna Cooper in New York for this guest post.


Fifteen volunteers from HOK’s New York office participated in the 22nd annual CANstruction design/build competition. All of the food products used in the competition are donated to City Harvest, which helps feed 1.4 million New Yorkers facing hunger each year. HOK has participated in the New York CANstruction event for 20 years.

IMG_7078The team’s design was inspired by the street artist, Banksy, whose works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls and bridges of cities throughout the world. The New York office team chose to build Banksy’s work in Williamsburg out …

AIA Miami Wynwood Office Crawl

HOK’s Miami office was the first stop of the night for the Young Architects Forum (YAF) Wynwood Office Crawl sponsored by AIA Miami held on Dec. 11.


The team provided tours of the studio space while guests mixed and mingled.


Tim Blair and Marlene Liriano gave an overview to the group and a Q+A session.



HOK in Miami recognized as Top 3 South Florida ID Firms for 2015

HOK in Miami was recently recognized as a Top 3 South Florida ID Firms for 2015.

This year marks the fourth annual NEWH Top ID List. The 2015 Top 3 South Florida ID Firms are chosen by the Board of Directors of the NEWH/South Florida Chapter.

HOK in Miami was among three South Florida firms that were recognized and promoted as the best in design industry at the Festive Holiday Celebration of Excellence Gala held at the Historic Coral Gables Women’s Club in Coral Gables, Fla., on Dec. 10.

There to accept the award for HOK’s Miami office were Tim Blair and Kristyna Borden.



We Care 2014: Helping Make the Holidays Bright

Thank you to Jacquelyn Suozzi in New York for this guest post.


Each holiday season, Herman Miller and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America organizes We Care, an event that brings the architecture and design profession together to provide holiday cheer to children in the local community.

We Care NY 2014At We Care, children from the boys and girls club have the opportunity to make gifts to give to their family and friends during the holidays, something they may not otherwise be able to afford. Participating architecture and design firms created a holiday craft for kids ages 5-12. Volunteers man the station and help the kids.

Every year, …

HOK Net-Zero Energy Design Competition: D-breath


Four designers from HOK’s Beijing office – Philip Kwong, Yuhai Cheng, Xiaoqian Yang and Summer Su – entered the firm-wide Net-Zero Design Competition as the team “D-breath.”

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 community. 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 D-breath team designed a public medical office northeast of the 2nd Ring Road in Beijing, where there is a massive air pollution problem. The site sits quietly in the neighborhood of the famous Linked Hybrid …

HOK Toronto Gets Hairy for a Cause

This past November, the HOK Toronto office came together in support of Movember – an initiative committed to changing the face of men’s health.

The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during “Movember,” formerly known as November, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men’s health programs. To date, 4 million moustaches have been grown worldwide.

This year, that group of 4 million included eight men from HOK’s Toronto office: Calvin Smith, Allen Humphries, Hugo Arriojas, Mike Djukic, Denim Pascucci, Umair Imtiaz, Chansoo Byeon and Rukshan de Silva.

7 Serious  faces Movember Men

We sat down with Rukshan’s moustache to …

Build it Forward – 2014

On Saturday November 22nd, HOK Houston along with other members of the Houston design, engineering and construction community, participated in the third annual ACE Mentor Program event Build it Forward, on site at the Marek Brothers Systems construction workshop. 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 19 outdoor storage benches that were donated to local charitable organizations. The HOK team- Eric Henderson, JaeMan Moon, Carrie Bagnall, and Andres Mendoza, led by Donald Hickman, partnered with mentored students in constructing 2 of the 19 benches. Recipients of …

The Education Construction Network (ECN) Conference November 2014

The theme of day one was what is ‘exemplar’ in terms of education buildings? What was discussed during the day was what exactly is ‘Exemplar’ is and that it is distinctly different from ‘Exemplary’ with exemplary being a thing of value and a desirable model, where exemplar is a typical example, a pattern to be replicated. It highlighted the difference between the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) desire to build exemplary schools, where the current Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) is creating typical schools which can be easily, quickly and cost effectively built.

This discussion made me think that there has to be a balance which can exist between the two different approaches, the high aspirations of the BSF programme …

HOK Wins Awards & Cover Story at Healthcare Design Conference

HOK received two Healthcare Environment Awards at the Healthcare Design Conference in San Diego last month: Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital is the Acute Care winner, and the Stanford Hospital and Clinics Infusion Therapy and Ambulatory Treatment Center received an Ambulatory Care honorable mention.  It was great to see my HOK colleagues up on the stage in front of thousands of people.

Bill Roger, Shiva Mendez and Donald Cremers accept the award for Mt. Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

It was also very cool to see the newly opened Eskenazi Hospital grace the cover of the Healthcare Design Magazine that was issued to every conference attendee.  What a pleasant surprise it was to …

Happy Thanksgiving

This annual ‘delicious’ thanksgiving luncheon that brings all of us here in Houston together to mark the beginning of the holiday season is definitely one of my favorite office traditions! In addition to the classics that get brought in, the wide variety of  foods from different cultures seen on the table is the best representation of the diverse group we have here!  A big thank you to Cindy Landry for leading this massive undertaking with an army of volunteers responsible for table set up, flower decoration, food set up, labeling, holiday centerpieces, clean up and storage! THANKSGIVING

Making Hunger Extinct: HOK in Houston at CANstruction

This year the “CANstruction” team from HOK’s Houston office decided to go big and craft a mighty T-Rex to help make hunger extinct!


Several Houston-area architects, engineers and construction firms competed to build creative and ingenious “CANsculptures” with canned food and other non-perishable food items. All items were then donated to the Houston Food Bank to benefit the less fortunate throughout the greater Houston area.

A big shout out to the HOK team – Matt LeinartDavid Baldacchino, Randy Taylor, Todd Neisner, Diana Codispoti, Richard Bugbee, Ceci Bugbee, Lindsey Merz, Hilary Jones, Chris Roberts and Francisco Silva along with Linbeck construction for crafting this giant creation from over 4,800 cans of food. Seen in the picture above is part of the …

HOK Net-Zero Energy Design Competition Winner: 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 …

Festival of the Trees 2014

There were a record 32 “trees” on display at this year’s Festival of the Trees, which was held at The Coral Gables Country Club. Each year Florida International University’s Interior Architecture Department hosts this event to raise scholarship monies for the students. It’s a great event for the design community to join forces to support design innovation and education.


The HOK Miami staffers took a moment to goof around in the photo booth…


This year’s theme was GPS: Global Prismatic Spectrum and our sponsor was Teknion. HOK Miami’s concept was centered around Kaleidoscopes.


The Holiday Season comprises a combination of

HOK Hospitality Interiors Team Nets Top Award at Tabletop Challenge

Thanks to Carol Vanderkloot for this guest post.

Rachels blog

Photo credit: Dave Turner of Tabletop Journal
Right to left: HOK interior designers Rachel Mongeluzo and Rachel McCaslin decorate the winning table at the second annual Tabletop Challenge.

Rachel McCaslin and Rachel Mongeluzo, interior design professionals based in HOK’s New York office, were named winners of the second annual Tabletop Challenge, a competitive design event during the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS). Held at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, the IHMRS Show is one of the hospitality industry’s largest annual events.

The Tabletop Challenge calls for designers to create a stylish and imaginative vignette using various …

HOK at the TxA Convention

The Texas Society of Architects (TxA) hosted their 75th Annual Convention and Design Expo in Houston this year. HOK’s architect interns in Houston and Dallas got to take advantage of a wonderful learning opportunity while volunteering for the convention!


In exchange for monitoring three educational sessions, the volunteers were granted complimentary registration to the convention. Their tasks included helping the presenters set up, introducing the speakers, collecting surveys and ensuring a smooth session. HOK provided time for the volunteers to monitor sessions and attend the convention as part of their professional growth and development.  All attendees will be presenting their learning experiences from the convention at an internal bi-weekly technical meeting.

HOKers Janis Brackett, also the current AIA Houston …

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 …

Hospitality at the Workplace


During the past five years, the worlds of hospitality and corporate real estate have undergone an incredible transformation. The traditional approach toward real estate asset management has shifted to a focus on offerings that accommodate mobility, changing demographics and technology.

In the past, hotels approached their planning and visioning process by looking at brand standards and identifying a suitable theme based on the destination’s local culture. Similarly, companies relied on space allocation metrics to identify the amount of support spaces needed per employee and to balance the number of offices and workstations.

Recently, however, clients from both sectors are looking for innovative ways to respond to the demands of the new economy. Randa Tukan and …

Happy buildingSMART Day!

Five years ago on November 5, 2009, we celebrated the retirement of “CAD” and a complete shift of thinking towards building information modeling (BIM). Back in 2009, “CAD” came to be synonymous with AutoCAD software and we touted “BIM” as representative of a broader design and delivery strategy. In the years since, BIM has become somewhat synonymous with Revit software (no offense intended to other great software developers).


Now, we encourage our staff and the AECO industry to embrace an even broader concept – buildingSMART - which, in simple terms, strives for complete lifecycle implementation of BIM processes …

Global conversations at Greenbuild: Sustainability as a means of economic empowerment

Continuing on the Greenbuild highlights thread, I have to agree with Mara on how great a host city New Orleans was! Their story of resiliency and healthy restoration was not just brought to light in several of the sessions but also experientially apparent. IMG_8161

What stood out to me at Greenbuild this year? Definitely the expanded and inclusive focus on a global conversation especially as it relates to the realm of social sustainability in several parts of the developing world.

The topic of educating girls as a sustainable strategy to channelize emerging economies was brought up at the night of the opening plenary celebration and further emphasized next morning at the Women in …

Building Codes and Rating Systems: Carrots or Sticks?

Thanks to Anica Landreneau, director of Sustainable Consulting, for this guest post.

Landreneau Anica EventsGreenbuild is always a great time to meet up with clients, peers and industry leaders while learning about the latest developments in LEED certification, product manufacturing and performance standards.  I went to Greenbuild to do all of those things, but also to speak on a panel about the District of Columbia’s adoption of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). My fellow panelists were Fulya Kocak, director of sustainability at Clark Construction, and Dave Epley, green building and sustainability coordinator for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).

In 2006, Washington, DC, passed the Green

Let’s Get Carving at the Job Site!


This Halloween, Skanska’s West Memorial Place project site in Houston hosted a pumpkin carving contest.  Team HOK took on the challenge at the job site and created this sharp entry! Shout out to HOK Houston’s carving team, Chris Heikkila and Ricardo George, and designer Kathrin Brunner.


Greenbuild’s Health Datapalooza

The Greenbuild Conference and Expo is always one of my favorite, albeit the busiest, weeks all year. This one was no exception. New Orleans was a great host city: the weather was perfect, the food was plentiful and the southern hospitality made us all feel warm and fuzzy inside (or was that all the Sazeracs they kept pushing our way?).

Greenbuild took New Orleans by storm Oct. 21-24.

City sights aside, my favorite part of the week was the consistent emphasis on health impacts, research, and metrics. I attended the daylong Materials and Health Summit, then participated in several sessions related to health issues.  The overarching message was that the green building …

HOK Teams Volunteer at Architecture for Humanity New York’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 …