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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 LEED Gold Penitentiary in Iowa

Iowa State Penitentiary
Fort Madison, Iowa, USA

“HOK works well in a collaborative team atmosphere. They truly work with and listen to stakeholders to arrive at the best design possible. This was no small feat considering the many levels of stakeholders and detail involved in a state-funded project of this magnitude.”

Brad Heir
Deputy Director, Iowa Department of Corrections

The team achieved LEED Gold certification for this 800-bed maximum-security correctional center, which replaced the state’s 19th-century facility.

This new prison houses 350 more inmates than possible in the previous facility and will use about half the amount of energy to operate.

“They’re using every efficiency that is available to make it effective in providing security and also as economical to operate as possible,” Iowa Board of Corrections member Charles Larson said in The Hawk Eye.

The eight-building campus includes three housing units, as well as facilities for medical treatment, mental health, food services, laundry, prison industries, offender activities and a new administration building.

Evidence-based practices drawing on the state’s extensive experience in offender treatment guided the team’s programming and design decisions, creating a secure campus that enables staff to positively impact the behavior of offenders.

Elements of the Iowa landscape, including natural plant material and healing gardens, create a campus-like environment. Housing and program spaces are organized around a large open quad. The buildings are simple geometric forms with sloping metal roofs reflecting Iowa’s agrarian vernacular architecture.

To support the client’s goal of creating a normative environment, the design gives offenders and staff extensive exterior views while bringing large amounts of natural light into the building core. Access to natural ventilation and sophisticated automated temperature controls improve energy efficiency while contributing to the health and well-being of occupants..

HOK collaborated with Durrant and Venture Architects on the design.




472,000 sq. ft. / 43,850 sq. m.
800 beds


Landscape Architecture
Master Planning


AIA Justice Facility Review – Exemplary Justice Desgin


Increase in energy efficiency compared to code requirements


Increase in water use efficiency compared to code requirements



24 October 2014
“David Dillon Symposium in Dallas Tackles the Theme of Building the Just City”

30 October 2013
“Iowa Upgrades Correctional System with Two New Facilities”
Correctional News

May/June 2013
“Maximum Design”
Correctional News