HOK is the largest American-based architecture-engineering firm and the world’s fourth-largest global architecture, interiors, engineering, planning and consulting firm. HOK is also the country’s leading design firm in terms of non-U.S. fee growth and the second-largest interior design firm. As of 2009, the firm maintains more than 2,000 professional staff across a global network of 23 offices and is active in all major architectural specialties. HOK was established in 1955, St. Louis, Missouri. The firm’s name is derived from the surnames of its three founding partners: George Hellmuth, Gyo Obata and George Kassabaum, all graduates of the School of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. In 1983, HOK formed HOK Sport Venue Event, which became a leader in designing sport stadiums, arenas and convention centres. The Board of HOK Group, Inc. and managers of HOK Sports Facilities, LLC transferred the ownership of HOK Sport Venue Event in January 2009; and in March 2009, HOK Sport Venue Event announced its rebranding as Populous, reflecting the practice’s recently completed buyout and separation from HOK. HOK is an innovator in the building design industry and has greatly influenced the business of architecture. In 1983, HOK introduced HOK Draw, one of the first computer-aided drafting software products that specialised in conceptual architectural design. More recently, HOK has made a commitment to using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to streamline their design and construction processes. HOK is a leader in sustainable design, a rare consideration for engineers.

Their inspirations:

Their philosophy:
Innovation and sustainable design, commonly referred to as ‘green architecture,’ has been the eternal basis of their design philosophy. The firm authored one of the industry’s most respected resources on the topic, ‘The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design,’ originally published in 2000 by John Wiley & Sons; a second edition was published in 2005. HOK currently has more than 800 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professionals and 52 LEED certified projects, helping it place first in the Engineering News-Record’s 2009 ‘Top 100 Green Design Firms’ survey. To better integrate nature’s innovations into the design of buildings, communities and cities worldwide, HOK announced an alliance with the Biomimicry Guild, co-founded by Janine Benyusin, September 2008 and thus continues its tradition of sustainability and innovation pioneers. It’s probably the only engineering firm that puts sustainability at its design core.

Their impact / Their Projects:
1962: The Priory Chapel, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
1970: Houston Galleria, Houston, Texas, United States
1975: King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
1976: National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., United States
1979: Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States
1982: Levi’s Plaza, San Francisco, California, United States
1981: Metropolitan Square St. Louis, Missouri, United States-Current Worldwide Headquarters of HOK
1983: King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
1985: St. Louis Union Station Renovation and Redevelopment, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
1986: BP Building Cleveland, Ohio, United States
1988: Coca-Cola Field (formerly Pilot Field) Buffalo, New York, United States
1991: 801 Grand, Des Moines, Iowa, United States (tallest building in Iowa)
1992: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
1993: Apple Inc. R&D Campus, Cupertino, California, United States
1994: Independence Temple, Independence, Missouri, United States
1995: Tokyo Telecom Center, Tokyo, Japan (co-designers)
1996: Tuntex Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Republic of China)
1997: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Restoration, London, England
1999: Northwestern Memorial Hospital Facility Replacement and Redevelopment, Chicago, Illinois, United States (co-designers)
1999: Edificio Malecon Office Tower, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2000: Passenger Terminal Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2001: United States Environmental Protection Agency Research Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States (1.2 million-sq.-ft. campus)
2002: Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, Passenger Terminal Cork, Cork Airport, Ireland
2002: Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse, Denver, Colorado, United States
2003: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum, Chantilly, Virginia, United States
2005: Cisco Systems Executive Briefing Center Interior Design, San Jose, California, United States
2005: Terminal A at Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts, United States (world’s first LEED certified air terminal building)
2006: Lavasa Hill Station Master Plan and Design Guidelines, Moss Valley, Pune, India
2006: Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center), Tupper Lake, New York, United States
2006: SJ Berwin European Headquarters Interior Design, London, England, (Business Week/Architectural Record Award winner)
2007: Dubai Marina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2008: Midfield Terminal at the Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (master designer)
2009: Doha City Centre, Doha, Qatar, (design of five hotel towers for largest retail development in the Middle East)
2009: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Quotes to Remember:

St. Louis Daily Record/St. Louis Countian on HOK’s new space:
"We are approaching a half century of design excellence headquartered in downtown St. Louis," said Clark Davis, HOK vice chairman and chief administrative officer for the firm’s north central region. "Our commitment to downtown has never been stronger. We want to be a part of its rejuvenation - a rebirth which is vital for the health of the entire region."

Gyo Obata – "We’ve made a tremendous effort to make this a very green and healthy environment for our employees. But we’re trying, too, to make this a model for our clients."

The goal, aside from resource conservation, was to design space as absolutely open and collaborative as possible, with less individual space, more shared space...and space that will be used for multiple uses at multiple times. The skylights will enliven what otherwise would be the darkest part of the floor, and we are wrapping it with workspace where no one will sit more than 35 feet from windows and everybody will have views to the windows." – As quoted by McFarland, group vice president and director of interior design for the St. Louis and Chicago offices.