What are the visions guiding some of the world’s most progressive organizations? We can see their aspirations take physical form in the 2013 HOK Design Annual, which illustrates our design processes and products for 42 remarkable clients over 340 pages.
From three flame-shaped towers in Baku to a high-tech lab in DC, a striking new broadcasting house for the BBC in London to a bio-inspired orphanage in Port-au-Prince, the projects in this book offer a glimpse into – and optimism for – our world’s future.
When he was six years old, Todd Bertsch, AIA, moved with his family to Atlanta from Pocatello, Idaho. Through what he calls “serendipity,” Todd never left. He earned his architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has spent his entire professional career in Atlanta. In 2008, he joined HOK as design director in our Atlanta office.
Todd and his wife, also an architect, live with their 11-year-old daughter in a house they designed together near Piedmont Park in Atlanta’s vibrant Virginia Highland neighborhood.
“I have seen Atlanta undergo a tremendous transformation over the past 30 years,” says Todd. “It is still young compared to Paris or …
Bill Hellmuth, AIA, who joined HOK in 1991 and ascended to president in 2004, leads design projects worldwide. But he is especially proud of the local architectural contributions of HOK’s Washington practice, which is located in Georgetown’s historic Canal House. Under Bill’s leadership over the past two decades, the DC studio has designed more than 25 buildings across the city.
Why is contributing to Washington’s built environment so important to you?
BH: I am committed to cities. They are my focus. Washington is a high-energy city with great institutions and museums and terrifically interesting things to do. It’s a wonderful place to live.
Any design project, even the simplest one, involves some sort of change for the occupants of a space. Sometimes it means moving them to a different location in the building. Maybe it means moving them across town. Perhaps, for good reasons, it means that their new work environment will look and operate differently than it does now. It is crucial to keep in mind that many people have a tough time when it comes to adopting a new environment. Change is hard and takes some mental effort to take on fully. Making any change – even when it might be better in the long run – is often resisted. Resistance to change is in our DNA.
When you visit your doctor to talk about what is hurting or not right, you may find yourself describing sharp pains, headaches or numbness. If your doctor is doing her job, she will then ask you follow-up questions about these symptoms to get to the root of the problem.
You are probably painfully aware of some symptoms. Others are less obvious and take some probing and testing to figure out. Having studied for many years and seen many patients, your doctor should be able to give you a reasonably accurate diagnosis of what is ailing you.
That’s our job, but for space. At HOK, we listen to our clients and evaluate their complaints. …
What do a 5.5 million-square-foot research university in Saudi Arabia and a 6,000-square-foot orphanage in Haiti have in common? Inspired by sustainable architecture on two vastly different scales, their bond will soon help hundreds of children begin their journeys home.
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.
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, …
Thirty-four-year architectural veteran Russ Drinker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, joined the leadership team in HOK’s San Francisco office on Sept 4. as a new senior vice president and management principal.
As a pre-teen growing up in a 150-year-old Victorian farmhouse surrounded by an apple orchard in Saratoga, California, Russ built tree houses and forts. By the time he began studying architecture at the University of California in Berkeley in 1976, he had graduated to designing and constructing 2,000-square-foot solar homes.
“I had no business doing this, but I designed and built a custom house while an undergraduate at Berkeley,” said Russ. “It taught me about designing buildings from the inside-out and about sustainability. And I …
Yes, that’s right, HOK is Kind of A Big Deal! Why do I say this (other than the obvious fact that I am employed here and might have a vested interest in saying so?). Well, some of you may know, I spent the last week visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with some of my favorite HOK people: Bill Hellmuth, Suzette Goldstein, and Colin Greene**. While there, we thought we would swing by a bookstore to see if we could find any cool local architecture books. Lo and behold, what did we find??
Yes, that’s right….several copies of the HOK monograph (as well as several HOK Asia books) located prominently …
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 …
When you hear the word “Deltek” mentioned at HOK, the first thing that pops to mind isn’t always the accounting/time software we all know so well…it’s usually the great new project that’s about to open. Deltek is moving their headquarters into a new facility, complete with HOK-designed interiors. Yes, some of your favorite Work+Place bloggers are behind this design (Catherine Haley and Daphne Kiplinger).
What is it about Deltek’s new space that’s so special? One of the many features is Deltek’s commitment to an open office – even the CEO will be seated in open plan workstations. Check out an article in today’s Washington Post (Deltek …
Surely many of us this weekend ran across GOOD Magazine’s article, “Why Architecture’s Identity Problem Should Matter to the Rest of Us,” covering an issue that writer John Cary believes is harming the profession of architecture. It’s a well thought out piece and well worth a read. In short, the article argues that the process of becoming a licensed architect takes away from our ability as a profession to contribute in a valuable way to society. Mr. Cary explains that the system requires us to work for years as interns before becoming licensed (which is true), and goes on to suggest that it is this purgatory of sorts that prevents us as professionals from contributing …
Next week is Modern Atlanta‘s ‘Design Week’ here in the ATL and as a part of that I’ve been asked to co-curate the ‘Design is Material’ exhibition on innovative products and materials in our industry. I’ve think I’ve found some amazing things from Plexwood, Promesh, FibreC and 3M to name a few, but I’d like to crowdsource a little bit and see what you think.
What materials have you seen, or which ones would you add? Want to share?! Leave a comment! I’ll make sure to reference your name on the information tag as the submitter!
On a warm evening in St. Louis, HOK sponsored a special event in Washington University’s Steinberg Auditorium focused on innovation, change and design thinking in the 21st century. Alan Webber, business journalist and co-founder of Fast Company Magazine, previously managing editor of Harvard Business Review, shared with the HOK Board of Directors, St. Louis employees and HOK clients his wisdom on what we should be thinking about to be successful in the 21st century.
Alan started his talk by explaining a recent trip he took to Austria. He sat with a wide cross section of very smart people (an emerging think tank) who asked themselves what were the big recent surprises in …
Here’s a rundown of our 20 tweets (a new one-day record for @HOKNetwork!) summarizing what Alan Webber, Fast Company founding editor, “global detective,” and author of Rules of Thumb, just told a crowd of 150 HOKers and clients gathered at Washington University’s Steinberg Auditorium about the power of design in the 21st century.
Just met Fast Company founding editor @alanmwebber in our STL office! Tonight he’s talking to HOK & our clients about the power of design.
What does today’s world need from a global design firm? We have asked Alan Webber to challenge us.#alanwebber
We’re live tweeting Alan Webber’s address to HOK’s BOD and our clients …
In her role as HOK recruiter, Nikki Duffner is always on the lookout for new design talent. She’s also attuned to noticing how design can improve people’s lives – sometimes in fresh and unexpected ways.
I think it’s safe to assume that design probably wasn’t top-of-mind when Nikki had to accompany her young son Max for a seven-day stay at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Yet that’s where they came face-to-face with a bright green alligator wagon. It wheeled past them and helped turn what could’ve been a stressful hospital experience into a playful one.
She later discovered the wagon was the creation of a good friend of hers, Jack Heller. …
While I’m not necessarily mocking either of those, neither are good examples of data that I’d want to party with. However, it’s these mind-numbing misinterpretations of what is potentially an exciting way to look at our society, the things we know and the things we create.
On the sustainability front, I’ve written about things like IBM’s ‘Smarter Planet’ campaign and how the notion of public policy and connected information can help us create the types of communities and societies that build better cities and infrastructure. I’ve also written about exciting things …
We celebrated this sweet synergy with some delicious green and white cupcakes. Sharing guest-of-honor duties was the incomparable Joyce Saunders (MAL’s right-hand gal), who recently marked her own milestone (25-year) HOK anniversary.
This greened-at-the-hip duo has worked together to advance sustainability within HOK – guiding it from an intriguing idea, to a fringe movement, to a specialty group, to an integral part of our entire practice.
This month’s First Friday Event (which is usually not on a Friday nor the first week of the month – we like to keep things following organically) took place at the DC office on Thursday, February 18th. The event, Design by Designers, besides being a resounding hit, showcased the design projects our talented HOK’ers work on when they are not at their 9-5.
I must confess I wasn’t able to exhibit at the event, so I’m putting my 2 cents in by showcasing my writting “flair” through the blog, and I’m very happy to say I will gladly participate in the next exhibition!
Picking up from a morning HOK LA’s kitchen coffee chat with Aneirin Owens, who was on the way travelling to Doha for NDIA project, we started talking about what an ideal long flight aircraft seating should be. As much as we both love the branding and high tech concept of Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic, we thought the new Upper Class Suite seating designed by Pearsonlloyd is arguably not too ideal.
Ideal for full body resting, but would you rather be facing the aisle with service and passenger traffic while you are sleeping?
Most (probably all) of you have heard of Gary Hustwit’s films Helvetica and Objectified. Well this post is merely to inform you that Objectified is now out for purchase on iTunes!! Go buy it, your life will thank you. Ps- During the Atlanta screening of this film, Gary was here and mentioned that he is working on another design documentary already, but didnt say what about, or which industry. What will it be? Fashion? Interiors? Architecture?
In celebration of ‘the Fifth of November’, aka ‘BIM Day’ I thought I’d post some ideas of what BIM (Building Information Modeling/Management) might look like in the future. This could be 20 years or 30 years, or never, but we should never stop thinking ‘what if’. In fact, recently I’ve been thinking about the possibilities so much that I’m getting scared that I don’t really know nearly as much as I should.
At any rate, I’m going to post possible future-casting ideas for the way in which we could be using BIM in the future to harness the power of the ‘building in vitro’. Some of these ideas are simply and process software related, but a majority of the focus is …
Well, here it goes… in just my second blog post I’m potentially ruining all credibility as a designer (or professional in general) as I blog about one of my favorite TV shows, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance“. (Yep… I’ve already lost some of you.) I will admit to having an obsession with this show, its contestants, and choreographers. Say what you will about dance, but this show can teach huge lessons about what true collaboration looks like.
The show takes dancers of different styles, pairs them together, and then they perform in yet another style. For all intents and purposes the end product could be merely passable or even a train wreck. But the dances that become the showstoppers are the …
Ever thought of Architecture + Ice cream = Coolhaus?
Architecture inspired ice cream sandwiches, run based on the popular Kogi Taco Truck model, was designed and founded by Natasha Case and Freya Estreller in Los Angeles. You may have already caught them proffering their wares at various events around town — Barnsdall Park, Venice First Fridays, Stories Books — in their pink, chrome-rimmed converted postal jeep.
Check out the product specification that offers selection of Frank Behry (sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream), Mintimalism (chocolate cookie and mint chip ice cream), Mies Vanilla Rohe (chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream), …