Archive for the ‘Blog News & Updates’ Category

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 Houston at CANstruction

This year HOK Houston’s CANstruction team decided to go big and craft the mighty REX to help make hunger extinct! 20141108_164251

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 4800 cans of food. Seen in the picture above is part of …

HOK Net-Zero Energy Design Competition Winner: soLar

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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. 

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

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

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The Holiday Season comprises a combination

HOK Hospitality Interiors Team Nets Top Award at Tabletop Challenge

Thanks to Carol Vanderkloot for this guest post.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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).

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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!

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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?).

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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 …

IFMA World Workplace 2014

IFMA’s World Workplace 2014 annual conference and exposition took place September 17-19 in New Orleans. The conference was well-attended, with more than 1,000 industry professionals traveling to New Orleans to attend the conference and enjoy the city’s amazing food and music.

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Several HOK professionals participated. Lisa Brinkman and Cheryl Jefferies, part of HOK On-Site Services, attended the event. Leigh Stringer, Isilay Civan, Sofia Fonseca and Eva Garza participated as speakers.

IFMA 2014

Open House Chicago 2014

IMG_0020 Karen Osborn discussing the Obama Presidential Library submission

For the second year in a row HOK’s Chicago office participated in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s annual Open House Chicago. For two days, our Chicago employees gave tours of the office space, showcased HOK projects and product samples and provided insights into daily life at HOK.

IMG_0009 Jaclyn Lash guiding her tour group throughout the office

New this year, we set up our conference rooms to showcase interior project samples, HOK Product Design samples, the Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Chicago Competition (a first place win) and the Obama Presidential Library submission.

Guests were very pleased with …

Chicago-Style Carving Contest

HOK Chicago hosted our second annual pumpkin carving contest today in the HOKafe. Take a look at our creepy creations!

Evil Pumpkin House First Place – Evil Pumpkin House

Jack Skellington Second Place – Jack Skellington

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Baku Flame Towers Baku Flame Towers

 

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 …

Celebrating 30 Years with HOK

The Gulf Coast region congratulates Gary Marsh, engineering practice leader, on his 30-year HOK anniversary!

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Thank you Gary for your client commitment, design perfection and plumbing group leadership through the years. You have proven to be an important part of our success and we look forward to your continued contributions.

 

 

 

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 …

USC Architectural Guild – Engage! with HOK!

This past summer, HOK’s Los Angeles office had the pleasure of hosting an event for USC Architectural Guild – Engage! .

The Engage! series is essentially an open house event that provides an opportunity for students, interns, architects, engineers and other allied professionals in the Los Angeles region to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, exchange and generate ideas, and learn about the host firm’s expertise and work.  Oh, and to have a good time!

(To piggy back on Laura‘s post) HOK Los Angeles’ Thomas Knittel was the featured speaker in this event.

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Marketing Principal, Alicia Wachtel kicked off the event with an introduction to HOK – what we do, how long we have …

ARTIC Construction Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated on the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center aka ARTIC….

Last you have all seen, we were at the topping out ceremony… But we are getting to the home stretch..

All the ETFE have been inflated, trees are getting planted, finishes are getting installed, this is when we really get busy!

But in the meantime, let’s get a side by side comparison on what we designed and what is actually getting built!

The arrival

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Future location of ARTIC’s first tenantThe Lost Bean.

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 +

HOK’s Yiselle Santos Selected to Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program

Santos_Yiselle400Yiselle Santos, a senior design professional in HOK’s Washington, DC, office, has been selected as one of 16 scholars making up the 2015 class for the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development (CKLD) Program. The first of its kind for the AIA DC chapter, the program was launched in 2013 with the goal of training and nurturing the next generation of leaders.

The CKLD program takes place over nine individual half-day sessions and covers eight core skills: marketing and business development, office and firm management, presentation and public speaking, professional ethics and the law, philanthropy and board involvement, community service, industry trends and the future of the practice. Each topic is …

DC Interiors “Boot Camp”

boot camp 2Taking advantage of a beautiful afternoon as an excuse for “team bonding,” Vincent Ng, director of Interiors in HOK’s Washington, DC, office, led his team in a 5K run down the C&O Canal last Friday.  The path was marked by Amy “Sporty Spice” Fabry, who ran ahead and back to mark the route before the rest of us could make it three feet.  Despite client deadlines and lots of other work on their plate, the interiors team took advantage of some time away from the office and burned off some serious calories to boot.  Many folks hadn’t run in years, but …

A Mindful Workplace

Walter Reed Healing Garden

I have spent the last several months writing about healthy workplaces – how work and the places that we work affect our health in one way or another. My research lately has focused on stress – how we get stressed and ways to manage it through meditation and other mindful practices.  I have learned there are many different kinds of meditation practices, including transcendental meditation, walking meditation, concentrative meditation, qi gong and heart rhythm meditation. The most popular, widely adapted, and widely researched meditation technique in the Western world is known as mindfulness meditation, which is a combination of concentration and open awareness. Mindfulness is found in many contemplative

A Conversation With Kevin Chen, Director of Planning for HOK in Shanghai

KevinChenKevin Chen, ARBV, Ph.D. in Urban Design, is director of planning in HOK’s Shanghai office. Dr. Chen has more than 20 years of international planning and architectural design experience.

What’s unique about urban design in China?

KC: China’s urban designers must deal with unprecedented urbanization, as immigrants coming into our cities have tripled the urban population over the last 30 years. How to better accommodate these 100 million migrant workers and other permanent residents with city hukou (household registration) becomes a significant challenge. Ongoing models of community development must shift from gated residential quarters to open and resource-sharing neighborhoods. Laying out public amenities throughout communities can alleviate social issues triggered by the wealth gap. And …

Making Chicago a Greener Place: Green Apple Day of Service

IMG_3462 HOK volunteers in front of the new ChiArts recycling center.

Our HOK Chicago team recently participated in USGBC’s Green Apple Day of Service at Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts). Green Apple Day of Service gives individuals, companies and organizations the opportunity to transform schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places.

Focusing on key sustainable initiatives, our volunteers worked with W.E. O’Neil and DIRTT Environmental Solutions to plant and garden the ChiArts outdoor spaces, install a recycling center and install a DIRTT Breathe Wall inside of the school.

IMG_3453 Installing the DIRTT Breathe Wall!

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LEED Lessons Learned at Healthcare Design Conference

Kim Shinn and I presented a session on lessons learned from the first three years of LEED for Healthcare at Greenbuild 2013. The session and the research we conducted before and after it was extremely valuable for everyone involved.  We’ve been accumulating lessons learned based on “war stories” from people in our networks and from our own projects. This presentation opened up a big can of worms that we’ve decided not to shut — we’re currently preparing a “deep dive” workshop at Healthcare Design Conference in November 2014 and a LEEDuser webcast for winter 2015.

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The Hospital Replacement Wing at Ventura County Medical Center is targeting LEED for Healthcare Silver