Congratulations to the St. Louis Science Center, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium today! This hyperboloid structure, designed by HOK Founding Partner Gyo Obata, opened on April 16, 1963, in Forest Park.
“The strength comes from the shape,” HOK architect Roger McFarland said in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. “Think of an egg; it’s tiny but strong. It’s a beautifully simple concept. But once you start looking at the construction photographs, you realize how difficult it is to build something so simple.”
In 1966, architecture students from Washington University in St. Louis unknowingly …
Another successful HOK Structure’s Pi day has come and nearly gone as I write this. As always it was an enjoyable event for all; we brought pie, we ate pie, we recited pi. This was the St. Louis Structural Engineering group’s sixth annual event to celebrate the mathematical constant pi, an irrational and transcendental number represented by the Greek letter “π”.
To celebrate, we hosted an event inviting colleagues in our office to bring in a pie and participate in a “Best In Show” pie contest (and of course to eat pie) in addition to hosting the “most recited digits of pi” contest. Winners were awarded with …
A continuation of the HOK Diversity Quilt posts … today we are featuring “all about me” squares. We’ve found that each square represents the maker in a unique way, and the next two were uniquely made:
Donovan Oliff (Assistant General Council) – “Donovan”
1. Did you have any inspiration in making your square (and what process did you use to make it)?
I wish I could point to something interesting as a source of inspiration. To tell you the truth, I was a little intimated by all the stunningly creative people working in our office. My knowledge of artistic media is limited to what I was taught to use in grade
As part of the HOK Diversity Quilt posts, I’ll be highlighting some squares. I want to share the ideas and talent that have come from this project; I also want to give others inspiration; I mostly want to show you that making a square is easy and fun! Today I’m sharing three squares…each a simple idea basically using blank fabric squares and some fabric markers. Simple says a lot!
Matt Lindsey (ARC Print Shop) – “Tic Tac Toe”
1. Did you have any inspiration in making your square?
I loved playing Tic Tac Toe as a kid and I wanted to put my inner child in to the quilt.
Senior specifications writer Terry Mattison is celebrating 50 years at HOK – and counting.
Members of the St. Louis office gathered on August 30 to celebrate with Terry, whose 11-page resume includes a staggering 341 HOK projects. That number likely would double if it included the projects he has unofficially touched by providing advice on building materials. Terry, who still arrives at the office by 3:00 a.m. on most days, joins an elite group. HOK’s other two half-century employees are Co-Founder Gyo Obata and Chairman Emeritus Bill Valentine, who retired last spring.
Vice Chairman Clark Davis kicks off the festivities
Lightwork. I can’t think of a better single word to describe what we do every day at HOK Lighting Group, the five-person lighting design team based in St. Louis. 2012 has been a very busy year for us. It is more than half over, so I wanted to share some of the highlights (pun is unavoidable in our profession). I also welcome you to follow me on Twitter (@LightworkPDZ) for continual lighting related announcements, observations and chatter.
The St. Louis Interiors and Lighting Groups have expanded and revitalized our workshop to include multiple lighting mock-ups including the HOK Product Design/Neoray recessed indirect …
Diversity is an important role in each person’s life. We understand diversity from things as simple as trying a new food, designing buildings in new ways, and knowing people who differ from ourselves. Simply put, without diversity, life would not be like a box of chocolates (and really, who wants that).
HOK is certianly the type of firm the appreciates the dedication that people make to HOK, which is in fact what makes HOK the great organiztion that it is. It is important to recognize the diversity of each of these individuals that make up the greater part of HOK. To celebrate and enhance our diversity, as well as to show appreciation for …
According to the AIA, the Fellowship program “honors architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.” Bob becomes one of only about 3,000 members of the 80,000 AIA members to receive this honor.
Since joining HOK in1979, Bob has dedicated his career to transforming the design of U.S. courthouses, pretrial detention centers, correctional and local law enforcement facilities. His design leadership has helped make …
The future of composting food and other biodegradable “waste” in large multi-tenant office buildings is unfolding in a pilot program orchestrated by HOK in its St. Louis headquarters at the One Metropolitan Square (Met Square) downtown.
HOK’s Terri Muckensturm and Mary Ostafi separate and discard food leftovers
A team in HOK’s St. Louis office is managing an $18,000 grant engaging eight Met Square tenants in the pilot program that began on October 26, 2011. Through December 12, 2011, the tenants have recycled 11.33 tons of food waste for composting, averaging more than 1.5 tons of food each week. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans discard more than 96 billion pounds of …
Calling creative minds itching to get their ideas for solving the big hairy challenges of the cities of St. Louis and Portland out to the world! GOOD Design and CEOs for Cities have teamed up with a grant from ArtPlace to expand their GOOD Ideas for Cities, which taps creative problem solvers to tackle real urban challenges and present solutions at live events across the country.
You can follow it all on Twitter or visit link here, but for right now, the big thing to do if you live in one of these two cities is to throw your hat into the ring to see if you can be one of the …
What’s a truly authentic experience? For me, is was running through Forest Park in St Louis last week between our board meetings. Wow! When did they put that there? I’ve run in some pretty nice urban parks around the world (thanks, HOK) but Forest Park is extraordinary. It’s where I go in my head when I go running. Now I’ve been there.
Over the weekend, prominent buildings across North America and the world — including the Empire State Building in New York City and the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada — turned their lights blue to raise awareness for autism and commemorated World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 2.
Over the past few weeks, HOK Lighting Group in St. Louis has been assisting Autism Speaks’ awareness campaign by involving St. Louis on a grand scale for the first time. The Light-It-Up-Blue campaign has been running strong across the nation (and world) for a few years, but 2011 saw a 400%+ jump in the total number of projects …
In this blog series you have heard from the women designers; from architects to interiors to graphics and landscapes. Today I bring you another side of HOK, one not often gracing the pages of Architectural Record, well, let’s face it not ever. But a side I would argue equally important. Meet Stacy Sensel and Anne Rogles, a dynamic duo who take on the world of numbers, invoices, Deltek and Concur. They fight the fight every day and still come back early, and I mean early, the next morning to do it all over again. They are our Business Manager and Accounting Specialist – the $$ side of the …
HOK and other architectural firms are working to reduce the carbon emissions of the buildings we design. Yet to reverse climate change, we need to look beyond the impact of individual buildings and create regional plans for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
These days you’d be hard-pressed to find a municipality that isn’t battling budget problems. How can a city afford to conduct a thorough greenhouse gas inventory — a careful accounting of greenhouse gases emitted to or removed from the atmosphere over a period of time — when it may be struggling to come up with the money it needs to fix potholes, pay its police offers and educate …
Our leadership team recently served up a delicious holiday lunch during the first-ever HOK St. Louis Leadership Potluck. The leaders - including Vice Chairman Clark Davis, CFO Bob Pratzel and friends – donned aprons and gloves (and, in some cases, Santa hats and other holiday accessories) to serve turkey and stuffing to STL’s HOKers. Dozens of employees joined forces to create… well… the largest potluck I’ve seen in my life.
Earlier this month, some particularly creative members of the office put their skills to use for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. For the third year in a row, an HOK crew (on …
A pilot project is generally a project designed as a test or trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of a full program or product. It was time we started doing this with FRENO. It has been in development for 2 years, and we’ve built prototypes, models, animations, etc.– it was time to get our hands dirty! Partnering with the Downtown Community Improvement District, HOK helped to choose an appropriate site in downtown St. Louis, and began the plans for installation. The first of many to come, we learned some valuable lessons installing FRENO for the first time. Read on for our findings:
Location, Location, Location! Situated away from historic buildings (and their challenging below-grade vaults), the location for this raingarden
I’d claim that I took off on some great lunch time adventure along a quaint river road bike trail, but alas, I did not. I must live vicariously through my coworkers these days (being 9 months pregnant is quite the deterrent to do much of anything).
About a week ago, my boss and avid cyclist Steven Crang took off at lunch time to catch a ride. He did in fact take a portion of the River Road Bike Trail that leads from downtown St. Louis to Chain of Rocks Bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois over the Mississippi River. Today, Steven and avid cyclist cronies Ruben Aya (recently
Watch the HOK Model Shop craftsmen in [time-lapse] action as they create a three-dimensional model of an 88-story tower. Kim, Victoria, Michael and Vince relocated to their new digs in downtown St. Louis a few months ago.
The new facility expands the capabilities of HOK to create three-dimensional models for building design, planning and site development, product development, custom crafted interior decorative elements, and full size mock-ups of building details.
The St. Louis Office has begun participating in a new service called Fruit My Cube. The Farmer’s Market in Belleville, IL has come up with a new business idea that connects hungry office-bound folks with healthy snacks. Our employees can sign-up to have their cubes (or in our case workstations) “fruited.” For $9.99/week we receive a box filled with 16 pieces of fruit and vegetables delivered to our office. The fruit & veggie types change weekly and selections are seasonal.
This week our box contained apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, plums, pluots, baby carrots, a tomato, and an avocado. That’s a ton of fruit, so the STL …
Most architects with the prominence and portfolio of Gyo Obata are expected to publish some type of vanity book honoring their work and career.
Gyo wanted to mix it up a bit.
Rather than producing a standard puff-piece homage to himself, he decided to include the perspectives of his clients (what a novel concept). Active listening has always been a signature element of Gyo’s work, so the approach is fitting – and refreshing.
We’re on a road. It’s not a road to nowhere as the Talking Heads might have thought, it’s a sustainable road. It’s a long road for us, and somehow, we still seem refreshed and eager to keep on going! A few summers ago, HOK St. Louis started what is now referred to as “a green feeding” list. It’s a score card of places that the office uses for catering lunches. It’s really a great idea the more I think about it. Where can we make another impact? By the very thing we do everyday, eating!
On Thursday, June 24th, HOK St. Louis kicked off our 2010 St. Louis Arts and Education Council Campaign which runs until Friday, July 2nd. Founded in 1963, the Arts and Education Council has raised $95 million that has been distributed to local arts organizations who provide music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literary arts, film, art education and community outreach programs. They are the only privately-funded arts umbrella organization whose geographic reach benefits the 16-county, bi-state area of St. Louis.
Recently, Jaki, Michelle and their fellow cohorts of the HOK St. Louis Diversity Task Force unveiled a scheme to get us on our feet and out of our comfort zones. An ingenious mashup of The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Game of Life and Lego, The Amazing HOKLife encouraged everyone to mix, mingle and learn about the diversity of our practice neighborhoods.
Here’s a video postcard from the event to give you a taste of Life at HOK in St. Louis:
Designed to lower the barriers that separate practice neighborhoods, The Amazing HOKLife encouraged people to collaborate with members of other groups while promoting a deeper cohesiveness among the people and teams that form the HOK St. Louis community.
Armed with maps and instructions, 20 teams visited “neighborhoods” and gathered as many Lego pieces as possible to build the most creative structure to enter in a prestigious design competition (juried by HOK practice leaders, who are still deliberating…)
It’s been a while since I wrote about our friendly product development happening right behind my desk. Matt’s been fast at work moving toward a pilot project here in downtown St Louis and tweaking last-minute details. Matt Snelling, along with Paul Wilhelms and Jim Fetterman are the brains behind the operation, but Matt has really been around since day 1, and thus, is the subject of this post.
Recently I fired off a bunch of questions to Matt (I mean really, why just turn around and talk to him when I can send a verbose email?) and I think some of his answers really get to the heart of this project. Stay tuned …
Thursday morning, I accompanied the fearless Donald Tate to the historic Lemp Brewery for a good old-fashioned stroll through the annals of HOK.
My mission was to survey the voluminous marketing materials that have accumulated over the decades, with the goal of consolidating them a bit.
And because it was my inaugural visit to the iconic Lemp complex, Donald graciously led me on a tour of the 1800s building, which is constructed upon a maze of natural limestone caves once used for the lagering of beer by early German brewers.
On our way back to the office, we visited another St. Louis icon – Gus’ Pretzels – for some nourishment worthy of an archivist.