Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

HOK Dallas teams up with CRE Cares

Scottish Rite

Ian Sinnett, the Gulf Coast regional leader for Healthcare, and Kristen Harrison, director of business development, partner with CRE Cares to make a donation to the Scottish Rite Hospital.

Transportation and Transforming Tysons Corner

Tysons Center Metro Station under construction in April, 2014 during a site tour with the Urban Land Institute. Tysons Center Metro Station under construction in April, 2014 during a site tour with the Urban Land Institute.

The Washington, DC, area recently opened up a new line to its Metrorail public transportation system – the Silver Line.  Connecting Reston, Va., and Tysons Corner to downtown DC, the line is already drawing people in – with nearly 220,000 trips during its first week of operation.

Before the completion of the line, Fairfax County adopted a sweeping new comprehensive plan for Tysons Corner, which rezones land around the new metro stations.  The new zoning will transform the …

The Next Generation Sustainable Design Leader

I have always taken my role as a mentor pretty seriously, but this rose to new heights last month when I brought my five month old daughter to the annual summit of the Architecture + Design Sustainable Design Leader network.  Held on Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle, the summit brought together a group of 50 people who serve as sustainable design directors at mid- to large-sized firms.

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I had special help with my presentation on energy efficiency at the Oregon State Hospital at Salem.  Photo by Alex Wilson

This is my sixth year attending the summit, and I have come to count many …

It’s Showtime! The Dallas HOK office kicks off the weekend with a movie.

Studio Movie

Our office decided on the movie “Lucy” to watch together before heading into the weekend.  Good times!

 

 

HOK in LA’s Jessica Linn on “Millennials in the Workplace” During Haworth’s 2014 Distinguished Speaker Series

Jessica Linn from HOK in LA’s Interiors division sat on the panel and participated in a small group case study during this year’s Haworth distinguished speaker series, where Millennials were the topic of discussion. What is your perspective on how Millenials are impacting the work environment?

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St. Louis Team Volunteers at Habitat for Humanity Site

Ten St. Louis HOK staff members recently participated in a Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis build in Spanish Lake, Missouri. The HOK team worked on two of the five homes on the site, where the investment of a little sweat equity helped two soon-to-be homeowners get one step closer to settling into their new residence.

Back row from left: Marketing Manager Jill Davis, Technical Principal Angelo Arzano, Regional Leader of Planning Jeff Davis, Travel Consultant Gina Werkmeister, Ken Werkmeister, Marketing Principal Lance Cage. Front row from left: Interior Design Professional Mackenzie McCulloch, Field Representative Bruce Fraser, Senior Project Architect David Camp.

Back row from left: Marketing

HOK Dallas “swings” into Summertime!

Top Golf! The Dallas office loves to chip, putt and drive together as a team!  Friday afternoon at Top Golf was a perfect time to celebrate our employees and our culture. 

HOK Doubles Up at IIDA’s Product Runway

HOK Architecture Entry HOK Architecture Entry and Team: Jasmine Brown, Liz McCormick, Caroline Carlson (model), Susan George, Deborah Sutton, Lavell Fish

This spring, not one but two HOK teams from the Houston practice (Architecture and Interiors) participated in IIDA Texas – Oklahoma Chapter’s 6th Annual “Product Runway.” The 2014 theme was “Garden of Secrets.”

The challenge was to design and construct couture garments utilizing interior design materials provided to the teams by industry partners. Design teams were assigned a specific species of foliage and the garments had to reveal a hidden secret.

The Architecture team won 3rd place overall and ‘Best Use of Hard Goods’! The dress, weighing 30 pounds, consisted of 850 glass tiles …

Using Data to Build Smart

NCAC-APA’s 2014 annual conference, June 21st at Catholic University. NCAC-APA’s 2014 annual conference, June 21 at Catholic University.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using data to help inform development decisions across the country.  Ted Cochin is the head of the EPA’s Smart Growth Program and spoke recently about the agency’s Smart Location Database at the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association’s yearly conference at Catholic University.

The database summarizes more than 90 different indicators associated with the built environment.  These indicators include attributes such as density of development, diversity of land use, street network design, and accessibility to destinations as well as various demographic and employment statistics.  It’s the …

Marriott Marquis Opening Wows in Washington, DC

Thanks to Carol Vanderkloot and Christina Hart in HOK’s New York City office for this post.

Mr. Marriott and other Marriott family and team members cut the ribbon at the Marriott Marquis DC opening. Mr. Marriott and other Marriott family and team members cut the ribbon at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC opening.

Last week, several colleagues in HOK’s New York and Washington DC practices were invited guests at the official opening ceremony of the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, the newest and largest property of Marriott Hotels, the flagship brand of Marriott International Inc., and the brand’s 4,000th hotel. The property is owned by Quadrangle Development, along with its partner Capstone, and …

HOK’s NYC Team Competes in J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge

HOK TeamLast week, HOK colleagues battled the masses at the annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in New York. Along with 15,000+ competitors, HOK staff trekked 3.3 miles around Central Park, standing out from the crowd in signature light blue running shirts with bright orange logos (custom-designed by Alan Stevenson).

HOK run

Charitable giving is an important component of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. Approximately $2 million has been donated to various non-profits in participating cities over the past three years. The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in New York benefits the Central Park Conservancy.

Parking in an Exponential Age

Structured Parking - Nearing an End? Structured Parking – Nearing an End?

With Google’s driverless car in the news again (see link to the Washington Post), it’s timely to start thinking about how fully autonomous vehicles might affect the built environment. The changes this technology could bring to historic patterns of urban development could be, well, historic.

A 2013 report from Deloitte highlighted how driverless cars could dramatically alter car ownership in the future, pushing the pendulum from ownership to rentals and ride sharing. There’s little need for parking, certainly of the expensive structured kind, in this scenario. And structured parking, with its sturdy and specific design requirements, may not be as …

HOK Design Wins Chicago Living Building Challenge Competition

Designers from HOK’s Chicago office recently won the 2014 School Annex Design Competition created by the Living Building Challenge Collaborative Chicago (LBCCC). The LBCCC hopes this competition will encourage the development and construction of a fully certified Living Building in Chicago.

Project Location: Eli Whitney Elementary School Project Location: Eli Whitney Elementary School

HOK team members:Lindy McAra, Justin Warner, Meredith McBride, Olia Miho, and Farid Pour were tasked with designing the ultimate, sustainable classroom building to annex the overcrowded Eli Whitney Elementary School on Chicago’s southwest side.

From Left: Lindy McAra, Justin Warner, Meredith McBride, and Olia Miho From Left: Lindy McAra, Justin Warner, …

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

Architect Dad: Charlie’s Night at the Career Fair

CareerFair-Charlie

Charlie Lutz, a senior design professional in our St. Louis office, had a chance to participate in last month’s career fair at Mallinckrodt Academy of Gifted Instruction, where his son goes to school. The kids had fun learning what an architect does, and we suspect Charlie had just as much fun – if not more. Here’s what he shared from the experience:

Charlie 2 Career Night“Everyone from Pre-K to 5th grade was there. People from all sorts of careers were represented: astronomer, electrician, personal trainer, financial planner, animal and hunger non-profit, meteorologist, architect, and even FBI agent.

“Several people brought things from their respective …

Results of the 2014 Heal the Bay Sandcastle Competition

Last weekend Santa Monica provided, as expected, beautiful weather and ideal conditions for the staff volunteers to be able to enjoy the day at the beach in support of a worthy cause with Heal the Bay. HOK had a great showing of support, ranging from the original team members who had worked hard for the last month and a half in preparation for the day’s main event, to the friends, family, and fellow coworkers who came out to support and cheer us on! The end result was something that we were all more than able to be proud of and was certainly the fan favourite:

 

The entire team ready for the big build!

In the Spotlight: HOK’s Julia Monk on Design in China

Julia Monk Headshot 2Julia Monk, AIA, IIDA, is a senior principal and director of HOK’s hospitality practice. Julia has been based in Shanghai since 2010, and recently offered Contract Magazine readers some insight about designing hospitality interiors in China.

Today, is the economy healthy in China for firms to obtain projects? How does it compare with, say, six years ago, before the recession 
in the United States? How is it different now? 

While the Chinese government watched other world economies crash in 2008 and 2009, China maintained an enviable seven percent growth rate, and that generally continues today. This steadiness is significant, particularly as its population of 1.3 billion continues …

HOK Rocks On at Eco Jam 2014

In honour of Earth Day, HOK-ers from the Toronto office participated in Smith + Andersen’s Eco Jam 2014, an event that aims to raise money for Trees Ontario, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the re-greening of Ontario and hosted by S + A’s sustainability division, Footprint.

The event brought together industry professionals for a night of live music and talent pooled from some of the city’s most prominent firms, HOK included!

Jenny Hyatt, Gordon Stratford, Jozef Pilasanovic and Dean Macapagal braved the stage to entertain their peers and coworkers, with many other HOK team members in attendance to cheer them on.

Jozef as Frontman! Jozef as frontman!

Jozef Pilasanovic, an associate in …

HOK LA: King of the Beach

For nearly 30 years, Heal the Bay has supported a healthy and vibrant Santa Monica Bay.  The Los Angeles office has been very involved with Heal the Bay for over fifteen years, and is once again ready to dominate the Designer Sandcastle Competition.  A/E firms from all over LA will build jaw-dropping, creative forms that support the great work that Heal the Bay does.  As an original sponsor in 1998, HOK is very pleased to once again join forces with Heal the Bay as a Coordinating Partner for this year’s event.

pictured l to r: Jamila Valero, Bryant Suh, Steven Christian, Suellen Asato, Mike Goetz, Jane Skulmoski pictured l to r: …

ARTIC Topping Out Ceremony

“Why do you want to become an architect?”

This was the question asked by my first year professor at USC on the very first day of studio.

My answer?

“To see my ideas turn into reality. To have sense of pride knowing that I helped create something that has a lasting effect on others. To see a building come to life from beginning of design to end of construction.”

Well this February (I know… it’s a little late), I really really developed that sense of pride when my project, ARTIC, crossed a major milestone – the last piece of steel was placed on my project.

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It has been a long journey. It …

HOK Dazzles at Dining by Design 2014

Thanks to Carol Vanderkloot and Bob Elliot in our New York office for contributing to this post.

Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) recently staged its annual Dining by Design fundraiser in New York City. The event featured nearly 40 inventive tabletop installations throughout the exhibition at Pier 94. While our participation in DIFFA’s Dining by Design 2014 was a first for HOK’s New York office, partnering with Knoll made it an extremely gratifying experience. Together, we created a visual collaboration between the brands that illustrates an organic transformation of the senses.

DIFFA__03C1626 Photo courtesy Timothy Bell

A wall of roses provides a dramatic back drop for the dining vignette. Using Knoll Textiles, the …

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 …

Filling Santa’s Sleigh: HOK’s St. Louis Office Collects Toys for Tots

Thanks to Dianne Brown of our St. Louis-based firm-wide legal team for passing along this message. Well done, team!

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Charlie, Dianne, Sarah and Kevin display a few of the gifts donated by our St. Louis colleagues.

HOK’s St. Louis office recently participated in The “Toys For Tots” Drive in cooperation with the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation and the Metropolitan Square building.

The goal of Toys for Tots is to help less fortunate children experience the joy of Christmas through the collection and distribution of toys.

Thanks to the generosity of the St. Louis office, a child’s holiday will be extra special because of your donation.

Special thanks to HOK volunteers: Sarah Dirsa, Dianne Brown, Charlie

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….

HOK in Toronto: Designing Astana 2017

HOK_Expo2017_02a_300dpi_crop

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 …

HOK Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Metropolitan Square in St. Louis

MetSquare

PlaqueEarlier this week, our St. Louis team participated in the Metropolitan Square building’s 25th anniversary celebration. Met Square is not only the tallest building in St. Louis; it’s also an HOK design from the 1980s and the home of our St. Louis office today.

The first building on this site was the Berthold mansion, built in 1829 when the site at 5th (now Broadway) and Pine was out in the country. Certainly, times have changed. The Berthold Mansion became the Democratic Party headquarters in 1859 and was the site of demonstrations during the Civil War. As the years passed and the city expanded …

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 …

HOK’s Chris Brown Scopes Out an Island Paradise in the Seychelles

Thanks to Chris Brown, RIBA, LEED AP, architecture practice leader in our Dubai office, for this guest post.

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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.

1_ChrisBrownThe 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 …

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.

Celebrating James Klaiber’s 40 Years of Service to HOK

 

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.