Alfredo Landaeta, Vicepresidente del HOK Planning Group, conversa sobre la aproximación metodológica del HOK Planning Group al desarrollo de proyectos y sus ventajas para clientes tanto del sector público como del privado. Basado en experiencias recientes en Latinoamérica, específicamente en Colombia, Alfredo discute como esta metodología ha resultado en soluciones económicamente rentables y altamente personalizadas para proyectos que presentan retos complejos, ya sean técnicos o sociales.
Meet Alfredo Landaeta, the brilliant urban design director for the HOK Planning Group in Toronto. Alfredo, who is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, holds a Master in Urban Design from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Alfredo has this to say about doing business in Latin America: “It is very personal relationship-oriented. You need to know the person you are going to be dealing with. It is very hard to do business by sending a proposal, trying to get someone to sign it and send you a check based on how nice your website is or how many articles you have published — that is is a no-go. You have to take the effort of shaking hands and getting a personal …
Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, HOK’s chief executive officer, has a unique vision for the future of the building industry. He believes that today’s buildings cost too much to build, don’t work as well as they could and don’t last long enough. In this five-part video series, Patrick explains why he believes this to be true and offers a solution for creating better buildings at much more affordable prices.
Patrick’s story begins with A Tale of Three Domes, inwhich he chronicles the gradual separation of designer and builder and suggests that Integrated Project Delivery is an idea whose time has come again:
Part 2 –Team Organization: Owner-architect-contractor teams should be reorganized into a single-contract buildingSMART organizational model that mandates teamwork and thus leads
In 1987, HOK Co-Founder George Hellmuth, FAIA (1907-1999), who retired in 1980, sat down to reflect on his career. Here are a few clips from the interview:
I like his quote about marketing an architectural practice: “There’s no way in God’s world you can get work in a hurry, on command. Nobody can get it! You’ve got to buy the field, cultivate it, plant your seed, tend it and then go out and pick it – all of which takes years.”
George was a masterful marketer, and in 1944 he wrote a 23-page memorandum on how to create a recession-proof architectural office. In his 1984 book, Architecture in the Real World: The Work of HOK, authorWalter McQuade highlighted some …
HOK President Bill Hellmuth talks about one of his favorite projects: the Sheraton Timika Eco-Hotel in New Guinea, “where the neighbors are the people who ate Michael Rockefeller.”
We recently came across evidence that Nora Akerberg, senior project manager in HOK St. Louis’ Interiors group, also worked on the Sheraton Timika project:
Here’s Nora’s description of the photo:“It was 1993 and we were in the town of Agats, which is located in the Irian Jaya province of Indonesia on the island of New Guinea. My five friends were enjoying a lazy afternoon chewing their betel nut. We had just come up the river after sourcing some small villages for local artifacts for the Timika hotel project.”
What makes a design great? We posed that question to David Chassin, an architect and SVP who has seen more than his share of great design over 26 years in HOK’s St. Louis office (Yes, he joined the firm when he was 13).
HOK Canada’s design director talks about the Edmonton Clinic.
“Our client, the University of Alberta, has asked us to help them change the world of health and wellness. So it’s not a small goal in any way, shape or form.”
In this next clip Gordon talks about topics ranging from why he is a designer to his team’s design process. “The client holds the secret,” he says. “What makes a really great piece of design is when the actual people who are making use of that design are living and working within it and they are completely enjoying their lives — they are being productive and effective. That is when the design is truly successful — when they are engaged.”
“We were sitting around drinking beer at midnight and then we started drawing. … A billion dollars in construction later, there it was. It was just that idea that came out of the group in the time of need.”
You may think you don’t know HOK Planning Group landscape architect and urban planner Mark Vogl, but you do. Sort of. He’s one of those unassuming, quiet people in your studio who you don’t often talk to because he or she is so intensely focused on doing amazing work for clients. And then when you do happen to engage him or her at the coffee machine, you realize you can learn a whole lot by listening.
“What inspires me personally is the legacy we can leave for our kids,” says Mark. “We talk about creating great places and a great quality of life, but I think what is really important in design is the confluence of the built environment with the natural environment. …
“Right now is a great time to be entering the design profession because we are going through another revolution,” says HOK Sustainable Design Director Mary Ann Lazarus, AIA. ”We need to include young voices in the mix…we need to have our assumptions challenged.”
Greening a building is hard. Greening an entire organization is even harder. At last count, HOK had more than 900 LEED accredited professionals and 39 LEED certified projects (with 150+ pending). Those results don’t come from spreading magical green pixie dust across the firm. They come from blood, sweat, tears and an unwavering commitment to sustainable design. One of HOK’s earliest and hardest-working green pioneers has been Mary Ann Lazarus, who literally, along with Bill Odell and Sandra Mendler, wrote the book …
Life at HOK’s own Valerie Greer just returned to St. Louis after spending six months working in the Singapore office, which she calls a “dynamic studio environment.” In this clip she talks about what she learned. “The more we are collaborating and working across continents,” says Valerie, “the more richness we bring to the solutions and the design work we do for our clients.”
You can learn more about Valerie’s career as an architect — and what’s on her iPod — here:
Thanks to Valerie for playing along. I’m pretty sure that if the job of “HOK Spokesperson” existed, she would be uncontested in her appointment. Of course we’d miss her too much in the design studio to ever let …
Dhaval Barbhaya came to St. Louis from India to get his master’s degree in urban design and planning from Washington University and we’re thankful that he never left (except for those dozens of trips back and forth to India for project work). For most of his eight years at HOK, Dhaval has been one of the team leaders for the amazing Lavasa project, which is a series of compact villages rising along the water’s edge of several thousand acres in the mountainous Western Ghats region between Mumbai and Pune.
India’s DNA Money just ran a story on the Lavasa project in which Ajit Gulabchand, chairman and managing director of Hindustan Construction Co Ltd (HCC), says, “It’s time to stop calling …
Nicola Greenaway, a director in HOK’s LEED-certified Singapore office, grew up in New Zealand and also has worked in the London and Hong Kong studios. She better not move again soon — her mother finally knows exactly what she does!
Colin Greene of the HOK Planning Group in Washington, DC, specializes in town planning and community design — and I’ve always thought he has a great voice for radio. Here Colin talks about choices, inspiration, sustainability and more.
Colin Rohlfing is director of sustainable design in HOK’s Chicago office. He took time out from his effort coordinating the sustainable design messages and LEED documentation for one of the largest projects in the firm’s history – KAUST - to talk to us about sustainability. And he has a pointed message for our video crew.
Something most HOK people don’t know about Bill: In addition to knowing everything there is to know about laboratory design and being a driving force behind HOK’s design for KAUST, he has run a few marathons and in November 2007 talked to Lance Armstrong outside a porta potty in the Staten Island staging area at the start of the New York City Marathon. “He’s a big guy,” Bill told me. “Nice guy.”
One day in the late-1990s I found myself in a car driving through Belgium with Bill and a few other HOKers. We had …
Riccardo Mascia talks about sustainable design as a common value that binds all of HOK. “We’re going to leave all these buildings and this environment to the next generation and it would be unconscionable of us to think otherwise.”
Yiselle Marie Santos is a vibrant young architect and prolific Life at HOK blogger interested in exploring both science and design. Hailing from Puerto Rico, she practices her craft in the DC studio. I love how Yiselle says “guttural!”
This final 2008 edition of Inside the Designer’s Studio (ITDS) features Internet sensation and proud Canadian (via San Antonio) Justin Zawyrucha, the Toronto-based Life at HOK blogger who ranks way up there in terms of having the most interesting posts, widest following and hardest last name to spell. Sorry we made you stare into the sun for the interview, Justin!
Life at HOK blogger Todd Macyk is a senior design architect in HOK’s Toronto studio. His practice and style are heavily influenced by his background in the visual arts, which includes studying sculpture and photography.
Life at HOK blogger Chirayu Bhatt has worked as an urban planner in HOK’s Atlanta studio since 2005. He earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture from the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) in Ahmedabad, India, and completed his Masters of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. Chirayu is passionate about all things urban and about the opportunity to positively influence India’s development through his work at HOK — plus he’s an all-around cool guy.