Award honors exceptional graduates for contributions to design, leadership and service.
Bill Hellmuth, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, a 1975 graduate of University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, is the institution’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for 2018. In naming Hellmuth this year’s winner, the selection committee praised the HOK chairman and CEO for his innovative design approach, advocacy for sustainability and social responsibility while overseeing a network of offices and design teams.
“Bill’s energy, drive, creativity, and vision have led HOK to become a major global architectural firm,” noted Ila Berman, dean of the architecture school. “Leading a 1,700-person firm while being intimately involved in the details that have contributed to its success is an incredible achievement and speaks to Bill’s ability to strategically curate the firm’s tremendous architectural production on the world’s stage. We couldn’t be prouder to have Bill as one of our most distinguished alumni.”
The committee singled-out Hellmuth for leading the design of award-winning projects such as NOAA’s National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Headquarters, which pushed the boundaries of sustainability, while championing HOK IMPACT (the firm’s charitable arm).
“Bill’s consistent success at HOK, characterized by the firm’s resurgence as a design force, its early embrace of sustainable design as a mindset, and its conviction to socially responsible and pro bono design services exemplifies the type of professional leadership and impact that the Distinguished Alumni Award exists to recognize,” noted Paul King, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and chair of the dean’s advisory board.
As an alumnus of University of Virginia, Hellmuth has brought visiting instructors and professionals to the School of Architecture as part of the “HOK Lecture in Sustainable Design” program and has hosted numerous student and alumni events.
“My time at UVA instilled in me a love of architecture, first at an emotional level, but eventually I learned that architecture can embody meaning as well and become even richer,” said Hellmuth. “Very importantly, I learned how to draw at Virginia—under Carlo Pelliccia’s watchful eye—and realized that drawing is about seeing and understanding, not just recording. My time at UVA created in me a love of the profession that grew and blossomed throughout my career.”