Posts Tagged ‘st. louis’

St. Louis Interns Inspire, Collaborate and Discover with ReFabSTL

As summer winds down, internships are wrapping up for Cari, Scott and Thomas in the St. Louis office. During their time here, the interns have been involved in a variety of projects and experiences. In addition to working on project work for sports & recreation, healthcare and corporate projects, the group was also involved in site visits and one-on-one meetings with local leadership. Each of these experiences aimed to give the interns a greater understanding of the different facets of an architecture practice.

Cari, Scott and Thomas onsite at the BJC HealthCare Kingshighway Campus Renewal project. Cari, Scott and Thomas onsite at the BJC HealthCare Kingshighway Campus Renewal project.

As a group,

HOK Shines Blue


Today is World Autism Awareness Day.  HOK supports this by participating in Autism Speaks’ “Light It Up Blue” campaign.

This year, HOK’s lighting group has turned the brand new St. Louis office work-lab a vibrant blue.  Attached are some pictures from our test last night.  Tonight, HOK will shine blue with many other buildings and structures worldwide.  To learn more about autism & the Autism Speaks organization, please visit





HOK’s St. Louis Office Moves to New Downtown Location

A prefunction space outside of three smaller conference rooms. A prefunction space outside of three smaller conference rooms.

HOK’s St. Louis office recently relocated to 10 S. Broadway in downtown St. Louis, across the street from the Old Courthouse and Ballpark Village. The new open work area is a considerable change from the previous space and allows for increased flexibility, featuring touchdown spaces and collaborative bench seating. A new two-story interior space will offer a variety of work settings for small and large gatherings and opens to a new outdoor street-level patio.

HOK Net-Zero Energy Design Competition: Feedback Hydronics

Feedback Hydronics_800

Five designers from HOK’s St. Louis office – Brian Ballok, Lauren Field, Christoph Ibele, Brad Liebman and Leslie Wheeler – competed in the firm-wide Net Zero Design Competition as the team “Feedback Hydronics.”

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 Feedback Hydronics team chose to design a culinary school on a site south of downtown St. Louis in the LaSalle …

St. Louis interns complete their summer project

Exterior signage and lighting concepts. Exterior signage and lighting concepts.


Stage concepts. Stage concepts.

Exterior concepts. Exterior concepts.

Summer is winding down, and so is another HOK intern season. HOK’s St. Louis office welcomed five interns this summer in landscape architecture, interior design, general architecture, lighting design and healthcare. Their wide-ranging skill sets created a great team for HOK’s annual intern project – a pro bono project they work on together as a team throughout the summer.

This summer’s client was the Innovative Concept Academy (ICA), the only school in the United States overseen by a court system …

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

Architect Dad: Charlie’s Night at the Career Fair


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 …

HOK staff volunteers at Earth Day Festival

HOK’s St. Louis office capped off Earth Week with a volunteer effort at St. Louis Earth Day Festival at Forest Park.

The festival is the second-largest celebration in the country, with crowds of 30,000-40,000 people each year – many of which bike to the park. The volunteers managed the bike valet for the festival. They logged the names of people who biked in and kept their bikes safe until they were ready to leave.

Thanks to our volunteers and to the entire St. Louis office for a great Earth Week!


HOK volunteers Mackenzie McCulloch, Reagan Branham, Mike Chung, Brad Liebman, Tim Slazinik, Lauren Field and Alyse Garbisch.


Mackenzie McCulloch shows …

HOK’s St. Louis Office Celebrates Earth Day

HOK’s St. Louis office celebrated Earth Day all week with a series of office-wide events including a staff-wide Pecha Kucha luncheon. About a dozen professionals around the office each presented five slides in 20 seconds apiece on a wide range of topics centering on Earth Day.

Sustainable Design Leader Tim Gaidis talks about the 2014 AIA Committee on the Environment Top 10 award winners.

Lighting Designer Kathleen Hamilton challenges the staff to leave the lights off and enjoy natural daylighting.

Project Manager Maren Engelmohr shares her story of creating a LEED Platinum home for her …

HOK Interior Designer Runs the Boston Marathon


Marklin at the finish line.

HOK interior designer Kirsten Marklin learned first hand what the phrase “Boston Strong” means.

She recently ran in the Boston Marathon after qualifying last year in the her first ever marathon – the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon in Napa Valley, California. She needed to finish in 3:35 to qualify, and achieved that easily with a time of 3:23.

For most, running 26.2 miles doesn’t sound like fun. But Marklin said the atmosphere in Boston was electric and she felt fortunate to be a part of such an important event.

“You couldn’t walk one block in that entire city without seeing the words ‘Boston Strong’ somewhere. It was a big year for Boston, …

Members of IMPACT meet with area middle school students

The Aim High students pose for a group photo after spending the morning in HOK's St. Louis office.

The Aim High students pose for a group photo after spending the morning in HOK’s St. Louis office. 

Members of HOK IMPACT recently met with 70 area middle school students in the Aim High St. Louis program to help them learn about architecture.

The 5th to 8th grade students spend the morning learning about HOK and what it means to be a professional architect, then broke into small work groups where they were challenged to think like an architect about a space they are very familiar with – their own …

Taking Charge of Your Career

Jan De Weer advises to not be afraid to self promote. Jan De Weer advises the group to not be afraid to self promote.

Stacy Krell talks to the office about career advancement.

In the first of a year-long Careers by Design series, Senior Human Resources Manager Stacy Krell talked to the St. Louis office about “Taking Charge of Your Career!”

The session is part of an office initiative for 2014 in which professionals from around the office discuss topics ranging from general industry trends, looking in depth at ongoing and completed projects and career development.

Stacy’s overarching message to the staff was the need to take …

Your Next Lamp Purchase: Tread Cautiously

Cree LED Soft White 60w Replacement (9.5w) Cree LED Soft White 60w Replacement (9.5w)

Happy New Year.  Welcome to 2014.  As of January 1st, Edison’s incandescent A-lamp (40w & 60w) is now considered “illegal,” while recreational marijuana use in Colorado is not.  We have officially entered the new age.

You’ve probably been hearing about the incandescent light bulb ban for a while.  75w (and above) lamps have been gone for some time, but these lower wattage lamp bans are hitting home in a much more personal way.  As part of this global sustainable firm, I am excited about the energy savings that will occur as people purchase new lamp alternatives.  But as a person who enjoys (and …

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!

Charlie, Dianne 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: Dianne Brown, Charlie Lutz, Kevin Sexton,

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


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 …

Architectural Bucket List: Visiting the Priory Chapel at Saint Louis Abbey

Every day, our communications team writes about HOK projects around the globe. Although we’re very familiar with many of these designs, we know we’ll only be able to see a fraction of them in person.

HOK was founded in St. Louis, though, so I’ve seen a number of projects in the area. Gyo Obata designed the campus for my undergrad university in HOK’s early years. The firm designed my favorite museum, too. In St. Louis itself, I’m fortunate enough to see HOK-designed buildings – including the one I work in – nearly every day.

One of the projects on my “bucket list” of projects I’d like to see in person …

McDonnell Planetarium Marks 50 Years — Now, to Infinity and Beyond!

Photo courtesy St. Louis Science Center Facebook page

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 …

2013 Pi Day

Happy Happy Pi Day – Happy Happy Pi Day


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 …

Diversity Quilt (Part 3) – The Squares

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

Diversity Quilt (Part 2) – The Squares

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.

2. Anything fun we …

Terry Mattison Celebrates 50 Years with HOK

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.

“A lot of things have happened while Terry has been creating great work at HOK,” …


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 Task Force STL

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 …

HOK’s Bob Schwartz Elevated to AIA’s College of Fellows

Bob Schwartz
, FAIA, a justice planner and designer with HOK in St. Louis, has been elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2012 Jury of Fellows.

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 …

HOK Leads Pilot Composting Initiative In Downtown St. Louis’ Largest Class A Office Building

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 …

GOOD for St. Louis and Portland

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 …

Postcard from Forest Park

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.

A White Paper and an Award for HOK’s Net Zero Emissions Building Prototype

How feasible is it to expect new buildings to reach net-zero emissions? Building Design + Construction features the zero carbon prototype office building designed by HOK and the Weidt Group in its new white paper exploring that topic. Visit the white paper home or go the the HOK “Lessons from a Zero Carbon Prototype” paper directly. Thanks to BD&C Editor-in-Chief Rob Cassidy for his excellent work on the NZEB White Paper!

More exciting news about Net Zero Court: The HOK-Weidt Group design just won an Innovator Award in the Growing Green Awards sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council’s …

Lighting St. Louis Up Blue

(Above Image: Missouri History Museum)

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 …

STL Team Fights for Air at ALA’s ‘Master the Met’

A few endeavoring HOKers participated in the American Lung Association’s 2011 Fight for Air Climb on Saturday. As one of the ALA’s many stair-climbing events nationwide, roughly 1,000 participants accepted the challenge to ascend the 42-story Metropolitan Square building in downtown St. Louis.

The Met Square building – the tallest in the Gateway City – happens to be home for HOK St. Louis. HOK designed the building in 1989 and it remains our office’s home base today.

HOK’s Master the Met team – Cathleen Feland, Elizabeth Baird, Mary Ostafi, Bob Powers and Jodie Schiro – raised more than $900 for the ALA.(The event as a whole brought in a whopping $313,500!)