1,600 people in 24 cities living 4 values for 1 goal:
To use design to help our clients succeed.

We create exceptional environments that meet our clients' most complex design challenges.

We inspire people through our work by expressing timeless cultural, organizational and personal values.

We connect people and place with ideas that come from many minds and imaginations.

We care about serving our clients, enriching lives, improving communities and protecting our natural environment through design.

We are a global architecture, design, engineering and planning firm.

60+ Years of Design + Innovation

A Desert Oasis

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

The design of KAUST has set a strong regional precedent for creating environmentally responsible large-scale developments.

The team designed and built KAUST’s 3,500-acre campus – including more than 70 neighborhood parks – in less than 30 months.The strong, clear master plan enabled the project to quickly progress from a conceptual idea into detailed design and construction. Site development began less than a year after the team created the initial sketches.

The harsh climatic conditions along the Red Sea made the landscape architecture strategies extremely important. The team selected plants, materials, structures and streetscape furnishings based on their ability to withstand the hot, humid, marine climate.

An expansive network of parks and open spaces serves as the connective tissue for the state-of-the-art research university, vibrant commercial center and two residential neighborhoods that form the KAUST community.

Design strategies focused on reducing the campus’ heat island effect. The team selected light-colored paving materials to reflect solar heat gain and decrease the overall temperature.

A grand staircase connects the campus with the bustling commercial center. This area features pedestrian streetscapes, plazas, private residential courtyards and public parks with recreation facilities.

The campus is Saudi Arabia’s first LEED-certified project and, at the time of its certification, was the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.


LEED-NC Platinum


5.5 million sq. ft. / 511,000 sq. m.
3,500 acres / 1,400 hectares


Construction Administration
Facility Programming
Interior Design
Laboratory Planning
Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design
Master Planning
Structural Engineering
Sustainable Design


AIA/ALA – Library Building Award

AIA Chicago – Design Excellence Awards – SustainABILITY Leadership Award – Citation of Merit

AIA Committee on the Environment – Top 10 Green Projects

AIA Houston – Design Award (KAUST Library)

AIA St. Louis – Honor Award

AIA San Francisco – Energy + Sustainability Merit Award (KAUST Library)

AIA San Francisco – Excellence in Architecture Merit Award (KAUST Library)

ASLA Georgia – Honor Award

Association of University Research Parks – Emerging Research and Science Park

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design – International Architectural Award

Congress for the New Urbanism – Charter Award

European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies – Green GOOD DESIGN Award

IIDA Northern California – IIDA Award (KAUST Library)

Interiors & Sources – Top 10 LEED Projects (#1 Ranking)

R&D Magazine – Lab of the Year

Sustain Magazine – International Project of the Year


First LEED-certified project in Saudi Arabia


Length, in months, of the design and construction process


December 2011
“Interview: HOK’s Bill Odell on the Design of Saudi Arabia’s KAUST University, the World’s Largest LEED Platinum Project”

9 June 2011
“Rising from the Desert: 2011 Lab of the Year”
R&D Magazine

November 2010
Architectural Record

1 October 2010
“King Abdullah University of Science and Technology”
Interiors & Sources

July 2010
“King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)”

30 September 2009
“King Abdullah University of Science and Technology / HOK”