Rahul Sharma (Editor)

HOK (firm)

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Type  Private company
Website  www.hok.com
Parent organization  HOK GROUP, INC
Area served  International
Founder  Gyo Obata
HOK (firm) httpslh4googleusercontentcomGD3W9Kms7MAAA
Industry  Architecture, Engineering, & Urban Planning
Founders  George Hellmuth Gyo Obata George Kassabaum
Key people  Patrick MacLeamy (chairman) William Hellmuth (president + CEO)
Founded  1955, St. Louis, Missouri, United States

HOK, formerly Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, is an American worldwide design, architecture, engineering and urban planning firm.


As of 2016, HOK is the largest U.S.-based architecture-engineering firm and the second-largest interior design firm. The firm maintains more than 1,800 professional staff across a global network of 23 offices and is active in all major architectural specialties. Its senior leaders are located in several different locations across the world.


HOK was established in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1955. 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. The design firm started with 26 employees and its three founders.

The practice's first building designs were schools in St. Louis suburbs, and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florissant was the first private/parochial school designed by the firm. Another prominent school they designed was the Saint Louis Priory School. By the mid-1960s, the firm was winning commissions across the United States and began to open additional offices, starting with San Francisco in 1966 for the design of a library at Stanford University and Dallas in 1968 for the master planning and design of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Also in 1968, HOK launched its interior design practice. HOK also expanded into Washington, DC, after winning the commission to design the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. In 1973, HOK established a presence in New York by acquiring Kahn & Jacobs, designers of many New York City skyscrapers. By the 1970s, the firm was operating internationally and in 1975 the firm was named as architect of the $3.5 billion King Saud University in Riyadh, at the time the single largest building project in the world. In 1979, George Kassabaum was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician.

In 1983, HOK formed HOK Sport Venue Event, which became a leader in designing sport stadiums, arenas and convention centers. In January 2009, the Board of HOK Group, Inc. and managers of HOK Sports Facilities, LLC transferred ownership of HOK Sport to leaders of that practice. The company became an independent firm, and rebranded itself as Populous.

HOK's first office outside the United States opened in Hong Kong in 1984. In 1987, the firm opened a London office and then, in 1995, expanded this London practice by merging with renowned UK architectural practice Cecil Denny Highton. In November 1994, HOK acquired CRSS Architects, Inc. based in Houston, Texas, adding offices in Houston and Atlanta. HOK established its first offices in Canada (Toronto and Ottawa) in 1997 with the acquisition of Urbana Architects.

In 2004, George Hellmuth's nephew, William Hellmuth, was named president of the firm.

By 2007, international work represented more than 40% of HOK's annual revenue.

In 2008, HOK opened an office in Mumbai, India. In 2010, it established an office in Seattle, Washington.

In 2012, HOK Chairman Bill Valentine retired after 50 years with the firm. HOK Chief Executive Officer Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, assumed the role of chairman.

In 2013, HOK acquired the New York and Shanghai offices of hospitality design firm BBG-BBGM, creating one of the largest interior design firms. BBG-BBGM's office in Washington, D.C. continues to operate as BBGM.

In 2014, ORO Editions published “HOK Tall Buildings,” a 300-page book exploring the design of the contemporary high-rise.

On January 13, 2015, HOK announced that it had completed its acquisition of 360 Architecture, a 200-person, Kansas City-based firm specializing in the design of stadiums, ballparks, arenas, recreation and wellness centers, and mixed-use entertainment districts. The acquisition enabled HOK to launch a new global Sports + Recreation + Entertainment design practice and to open new offices in Kansas City and Columbus, Ohio. On May 15, 2015, the firm announced a multi-year partnership with the United Soccer League (USL) in the USA to lead a stadium development, design and standards initiative to help house all USL clubs in soccer-specific stadiums across North America by the end of the decade.

In January 2016, HOK announced that Bill Hellmuth, the firm's president, would succeed Patrick MacLeamy as CEO, effective April 19, 2016. MacLeamy continued to serve as chairman of HOK.

Innovation and sustainable design

In 1983, HOK introduced HOK Draw, computer-aided drafting software products that specialized in conceptual architectural design. In the early 2000s, HOK began using Building Information Modeling (BIM) to streamline the design and construction process. In 2012, Building Design + Construction ranked HOK the No. 1 BIM Architecture Firm. In 2013, DesignIntelligence magazine, based in part on the firm's leadership in buildingSMART and BIM, ranked HOK the No. 1 Design Firm for Technology Expertise.

HOK is a leader in sustainable design. Professionals in 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 of the book was published in 2005. In September 2008, to better integrate nature's innovations into the design of buildings, communities and cities worldwide, HOK announced an alliance with the Biomimicry Group, co-founded by Janine Benyus. In 2010, HOK and energy and daylighting consultant The Weidt Group completed design of Net Zero Court, a 170,735-square-foot, market-rate, zero-emissions class A commercial office building in St. Louis.

In 2013, HOK and Biomimicry 3.8 released the Genius of Biome report, a textbook for how to apply biomimicry design principles.

In 2015, for the sixth consecutive year, the DesignIntelligence journal ranked HOK as a leader in sustainable and high-performance design". HOK currently has more than 725 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credentialed professionals and 231 LEED, BREEAM, Green Mark and Green Globe certified projects.

Global offices

United States: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Washington, D.C.

Canada: Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto

Asia Pacific: Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai

Europe: London. Also leads European Architects Network (EAN) - affiliated firms in Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Rome

India: Mumbai

Middle East: Dubai

Selected projects

  • 1962: The Priory Chapel, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
  • 1970: Houston Galleria, Houston, Texas, United States
  • 1970: Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, California, 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
  • 1981: Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, United States
  • 1981: Metropolitan Square, St. Louis, Missouri, United States – Current location of HOK St. Louis office
  • 1982: Levi's Plaza, San Francisco, California, United States
  • 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
  • 1986: Kellogg Company Headquarters Battle Creek, Michigan, United States
  • 1986: Riverchase Galleria Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 1991: 801 Grand, Des Moines, Iowa, United States (tallest building in Iowa)
  • 1992: Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research (CEPSR), Columbia University, New York City, 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
  • 1996-1997: Nortel Brampton Centre HQ, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
  • 1997: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Restoration, London, England
  • 1997: George Bush Presidential Library, College Station, Texas, United States (on the campus of Texas A&M University)
  • 1999: Northwestern Memorial Hospital Facility Replacement and Redevelopment, Chicago, Illinois, United States (co-designers)
  • 1999: Edificio Malecon Office Tower, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 1999: Boeing Leadership Center, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
  • 1999: American Airlines Arena (home of NBA Miami Heat), Miami, Florida, United States
  • 2000: Passenger Terminal Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2000: Nationwide Arena (home of NHL Columbus Blue Jackets), Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 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
  • 2004: Harlem Hospital Center Master Plan and Patient Pavilion, New York City, 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)
  • 2005: Stockton Arena (home of ECHL Stockton Thunder), Stockton, California, United States
  • 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
  • 2007: Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai, China
  • 2007: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
  • 2008: Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, United States
  • 2008: Midfield Terminal at the Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (master designer)
  • 2008: Kansas City Power & Light District, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
  • 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 (Saudi Arabia's first LEED certified project and the world's largest LEED Platinum project)
  • 2009: Carnival House, head office of Carnival UK, Southampton, England
  • 2009: Bakrie Tower, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 2009: Huntington Park (home of Triple-A MiLB Columbus Clippers), Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2010: Indira Gandhi International Airport – Terminal 3, Delhi, India (LEED Gold certification)
  • 2010: New Building 20 at NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, (LEED Platinum certification)
  • 2010: MetLife Stadium (home of NFL New York Giants and NFL New York Jets), East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
  • 2011: Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • 2011: Brigade Gateway Enclave, Bengaluru, India
  • 2011: Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, Hanoi, Vietnam (tallest building in Vietnam)
  • 2012: Canon USA Headquarters, Melville, New York
  • 2012: Baku Flame Towers, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • 2012: Harlem Hospital Center Mural Pavilion, New York City
  • 2013: San Francisco Mint Adaptive Reuse, San Francisco, California
  • 2013: BBC Broadcasting House Headquarters Workplace Strategy and Interior Design, London, England
  • 2013: Husky Stadium (home of University of Washington Huskies), Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2013: Auburn University Recreation & Wellness Center, Auburn, Alabama, United States
  • 2014: 535 Mission Street, San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2014: Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, Anaheim, California, United States
  • 2014: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Inouye Regional Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States
  • 2014: Hamad International Airport Passenger Terminal Complex, Doha, Qatar
  • 2015: Avaya Stadium (home of MLS San Jose Earthquakes), San Jose, California, United States
  • 2015: Porsche U.S. Headquarters and Customer Experience Center, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2015: University of Chicago William Eckhardt Research Center, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2016: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Headquarters, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 2016: Rogers Place (home of NHL Edmonton Oilers), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 2016: Perot Tower, Mixed Used, Dallas, Texas
  • 2016: St Bartholomew’s Hospital Redevelopment and King George V Building, London, England
  • 2017: University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, New York
  • 2017: Capital Market Authority Tower, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 2017: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta United FC) Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2017: Little Caesars Arena (home of NHL's Detroit Red Wings and NBA's Detroit Pistons), Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • 2018: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport Passenger Terminal Modernization, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2018: LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B, New York, New York (Phase 1)
  • 2019: FC Barcelona New Palau Blaugrana Arena, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2020: Spire London Skyscraper, London, England
  • References

    HOK (firm) Wikipedia

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