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HOK Year in Review: The People, Projects and Milestones of 2021

Clockwise: Center for Academic Medicine (Stanford); Overseas International Center; Hamad International Airport; HOK's Rob McGill and Komal Kotwal.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, 2021 was an exhilarating year at HOK. We promoted and added new leaders. We helped clients reach new milestones. We expanded our thought leadership, and we won a few awards along the way. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.


The past year saw the addition of many new leaders at HOK. Adaeze Cadet (above) joined our Los Angeles studio as design principal, overseeing a team of nearly 70 architects and designers. Kristine Bishop Johnson joined our Washington, D.C., studio as a director of our Justice practice. In San Francisco, Leslie Ashor came to HOK as a director of our Science + Technology group. In St. Louis, Tony Raya was promoted to technical principal and Angelo Arzano was made managing principal. Our Toronto studio saw key promotions in Ben Fehrmann being named design principal and Caitlin Turner taking over as director of interiors.

We made several moves in 2021 to bolster our leadership in sustainable design. Rob McGill joined our London studio as its sustainable design leader, and Susan Rowley joined our Toronto studio as senior sustainable design specialist.

Our firm prides itself on being a welcoming and inspirational place to work. Proof of that is in the many “boomerang” colleagues who return to HOK after working elsewhere. In 2021, Loretta Fulvio came back to HOK to serve as director of interiors for our Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice and Keith Hui returned to serve as regional leader of Aviation + Transportation in Seattle.


HOK projects continued to improve the way people live, work and gather. In New York City, the HOK-designed Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport (above) reached several new milestones as the $5 billion project nears competition. In July, Terminal B became the first airport terminal to be awarded LEED v4 Gold certification for sustainability. In December, Terminal B won the coveted UNESCO Prix Versailles Award as the world’s best new airport of 2021.

In Canada, work is underway on the renovation of Centre Block, Canada’s main Parliament building. CENTRUS, a HOK and WSP joint venture, is leading the design for the massive project—the nation’s largest and most complex heritage rehabilitation ever. Other project developments of note in 2021 included the debut of the renovated Footprint Center (home to the NBA’s Phoenix Suns); the opening of Stanford University’s Center for Academic Medicine; the completion of Accenture’s Innovation Hub in New York (HOK interiors); and significant progress on the Terminal 5 expansion at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Outside of North America, 2021 saw the opening of a HOK-designed addition to London’s Royal Botanic Garden, Kew; the design reveal for the 71-story Overseas International Center in Tianjin, China; and the pandemic-delayed opening of Expo 2020 Dubai for which HOK provided master planning.


Our firm, clients and colleagues achieved many milestones in 2021. In March, HOK was named to Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. The publication specifically honored HOK for our work planning and designing the mixed-use Cortex Innovation Community (above) in St. Louis.

We loved seeing our clients earn accolades in 2021. Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, was voted Skytrax’s Best Airport in the World. LG’s North American Headquarters and New York-Presbyterian’s David H. Koch Center earned U.S. Green Building Council Leadership Awards for sustainability and resilience. Two HOK Justice projects—Howard County Circuit Courthouse and Nashville/Davidson Metro Justice Center—earned Justice Facilities Review Awards from the American Institute of Architects.

HOK committed like never before to diversity, equity and inclusion. In February, we launched HOK Tapestry, an initiative that is helping us identify and support more minority and women-owned business partners. In June, we announced the first recipients of the HOK Diversity x Design Scholarship, a $10,000 stipend to be awarded annually to eight BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) design students. In 2021, we also celebrated the 10th anniversary of HOK Impact, our social responsibility arm, and published Making a Difference by Design, an update to our environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities.

We also expanded our thought leadership across multiple sectors. Bill Kenworthey talked to Fast Company about NYC 2100 (above), HOK’s research into how New York City can adapt to a predicted 6-foot rise in sea levels by the end of the century. Kay Sargent provided expert testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on how federal workspaces can improve in function and design. Aman Krishan, a senior project designer in our New York studio, kicked off HOK Design Perspectives, a new video series exploring our design thinking and creativity.

On our Ideas page, HOK design leaders published insights and research on the role of airports as ‘front doors’ to cities; renovation and adaptive reuse design strategies for labs; designing respite spaces for healthcare workers; the future of health education design; preserving New York’s Governors Island; and how London’s transit infrastructure could support its creative class.

And finally, for the first time, the 2021 HOK Design Annual debuted as an all-digital publication that allowed us to showcase our biggest and best projects in a new, more immersive format. A look through it provides a glimpse of where we have been and where we are headed.

Thanks again to our colleagues, clients and partners for a great year. Here’s to an even better 2022!

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