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HOK Year in Review: The People, Projects and Milestones of 2022

We celebrated project milestones and completions. We welcomed new leaders and promoted from within. We expanded with new studio openings. We strengthened our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as sustainability. We even won awards along the way.

As these highlights demonstrate, 2022 was another memorable year at HOK.

Gyo Obata

Honoring Gyo Obata

In early 2022, Gyo Obata, world-renowned architect and HOK’s cofounder, passed away at 99. He was celebrated across the architectural profession by those touched by his work, character and passion for design. Gyo’s distinguished career included the design of dozens of iconic, award-winning projects including the Priory Chapel at Saint Louis Abbey in Creve Coeur, Missouri; The Galleria in Houston; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; and the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Watch the celebration of his life.

People

We welcomed new leaders and promoted many from within HOK. Luke Bridle joined us as firmwide director of transportation. David Oh came on board as a regional leader of Science + Technology based in Los Angeles, bringing more than 30 years of experience planning and designing labs. Also in Los Angeles, Mike Goetz was promoted to director of design, interiors following a successful tenure in our Chicago studio and Meng Gong joined us as a regional leader of sustainability. In Washington, D.C., Sabret Flocos was brought on board as the director of interiors and Joshua Stephens was named regional leader of Aviation + Transportation for HOK’s D.C. and Southeastern offices. Across the pond, Michelle Ludik joined the London studio as regional leader of conservation and James Leathem was promoted to technical principal. Bill Johnson started a new role as design principal for our growing Denver studio and the global Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice. In New York, Dina Lamanna was promoted to director of Hospitality interior design and Tara Roscoe joined the firm as director of design, interiors. Sherri King Parente was elevated to director of interiors in Philadelphia and Kristina Kamenar was promoted to the same role in Toronto.

Roger Schwabacher became design principal of our Washington D.C. studio, taking over for Bill Hellmuth, HOK’s chairman and CEO, who announced plans to retire in April 2023. Over Bill’s distinguished 32-year career at HOK, he has championed design excellence, sustainability and diversity, positioning the firm for long-term success.

In Kansas City, Sarah Godfrey was named the new director of interiors, Steven Roark was promoted to regional leader of WorkPlace and Peter Sloan moved into a new role as senior principal, design. We welcomed Peter Broeder back to HOK as the design principal for our Kansas City studio. Emily Payne, also based in Kansas City, was promoted to director of experience design, and Stephen Williams was promoted to director of operations for the group.

San Francisco’s Sean Quinn was appointed to director of regenerative design, tasked with leading a new regenerative design studio that will use design to restore and renew the natural world. Peter Choi joined the San Francisco team as principal-design, while Levi Rippy was promoted to technical principal for HOK’s San Francisco and Seattle studios.

Kimberly Dowdell HOK

Kimberly Dowdell

Our people were recognized for taking on industry-wide leadership roles. Kimberly Dowdell, marketing principal in Chicago, was elected the AIA’s 2024 president, making history as the first Black woman and first Millennial president in the organization’s 100-year history. Karen Freeman, a practice leader in our Atlanta studio, was elected president of Women in Healthcare. J Lee Rofkind and David Frey were elevated to the AIA’s College of Fellows for their contributions to the profession and society. Emily McGee won the coveted AIA Associates Award and was named a 2022 Bloomberg Fellow. The ASID recognized three HOK designers – Kristina Kamenar, Jessica Collins and Erika Reuter – as rising leaders in interior design. In San Francisco, Donald Cremers received the IIDA Northern California Leadership Award for his impact on the interior design profession. And L.A. Design Principal Adaeze Cadet was named to Building Design + Construction’s 40 under 40 class.

Studios

We opened three new studios across the United States, strategically expanding our reach to serve clients better and attract and keep the best people. In February, HOK announced the opening of our Denver studio in the LoDo District. Led by Bill Johnson and Candace Todd, the office supports HOK’s diverse markets. Steven Burgos, an esteemed workplace designer, was brought on board to assist with the August opening of HOK’s new studio in Miami. In November, HOK announced the addition of a new studio in Austin to support current clients, including the Texas Facilities Commission’s new Capitol Complex Phase II project. Led by long-time Austinites Vanessa Rabe and George Blume, the new Austin studio increased HOK’s office count to 26.

CITYPARK

Projects

HOK projects across the globe made a lasting impact on people, communities and cities.

We commemorated project openings, including the completion of the much anticipated second skybridge at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B. In St. Louis, MLS team St. Louis CITY SC hosted its inaugural match at CITYPARK to rave reviews. The Translational Research Hub at Cardiff University and Advanced Research Centre at the University of Glasgow also opened. In Florida, we celebrated the opening of the AdventHealth Training Center, home of the Orlando Magic and a connected community clinic. Both the University of Florida and University of Georgia unveiled new practice facilities and the University of Wisconsin debuted a major transformation at Camp Randall. BBC Studios opened its new HOK-designed workplace in Bristol, England, and Boston Consulting Group welcomed employees to its new Canadian headquarters in Toronto.

Zurich Airport Dock A Conceptual Design

In June, we announced our collaboration with a team including BIG and 10:8 architects to design the new predominantly timber Dock A at Zurich Airport. Our Science + Technology practice won a $750 million New York Public Health Lab project in Albany, a Life Sciences Research Hub for Sanofi in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the new Rhode Island Public Health Laboratory in Providence. We announced significant project wins for our Sports practice, including Marquette University’s Wellness + Recreation Facility, large-scale renovations of Avicii Arena and Desert Diamond Arena, and the renovation and expansion of the Garry Weber Training Complex at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Our London studio won planning work for Northolt Grange, an affordable neighborhood in West London. New projects for our Healthcare group included the new Peel Memorial Hospital in suburban Toronto and the UCLA Health Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Los Angeles.

Projects that broke ground included the University of Miami Comprehensive Cancer Center, Longfellow’s Bioterra Campus, the Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse project and Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health at St. Elizabeths East Campus. Construction continued on the new Miami-Dade County Civil Courthouse, while two arena projects in Gateshead and Cardiff received planning approval.

LaGuardia Airport Terminal B

Milestones + Awards

In 2022, HOK projects, people and ideas were honored in our industry and beyond. Based on our leadership in the design of LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B, we were named one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential Companies and made Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list.

HOK’s commitment to innovative research also drew attention. NYC2100, a research project exploring design solutions to combat sea level rise in New York City, was a finalist in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas competition.

HOK won dozens of design awards for projects spanning a variety of markets and regions. LaGuardia Airport Terminal B earned glowing reviews from New York Magazine, Curbed, The Washington Post and The New York Times. The project’s numerous awards included the UNESCO 2021 Prix Versailles Award, a national DBIA award and honors from the New York chapters of AIA, ASLA and ULI.

Our projects and ideas appeared in Interior Design, Wallpaper and Fast Company, to name just a few publications. We contributed to important industry conversations on topics like behavioral health crisis units and neurodiversity in the workplace.

We also shared ideas and contributions of our leaders helping shape the future of our cities, campuses and communities. HOK’s publications featured insights on the future of courthouse design, the rise of hybrid sports medicine and performance centers, rethinking public spaces to bring new life to cities, achieving justice and dignity by design, designing impactful college football training facilities, designing for equity in transit projects, resilient design strategies for coastal cities and how architects and designers can help define the metaverse.  We used LinkedIn Live to lead conversations with peers and collaborators on topics including how the Inflation Reduction Act will impact the building sector, strategies for minority-owned businesses to grow, designing behavioral health spaces to improve patient outcomes and designing with and for nature.

Members of our San Francisco studio volunteer at the Bayview District, a pro-bono design project in one of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods.

DEI + Sustainability

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has never been stronger. Our Diversity x Design scholarship program grew in its second year. In 2022, we awarded a combined $90,000 in scholarships to nine students from HBCUs and institutions with a history of educating BIPOC students. We announced a new partnership with Indspire to support Indigenous Canadian youth through a series of bursaries and grants. We also launched an internal Designing for Equity platform to give our design teams the framework and resources they need to create equitable solutions. Through its Rise Initiative, Bisnow recognized HOK for championing DEI in the commercial real estate sector.

HOK continued to blaze new trails in sustainable and regenerative design. In addition to launching our regenerative design studio, we signed the MEP 2040 Challenge and committed to lifecycle decarbonization across building systems. Our leaders also expanded our definition of sustainability to incorporate health, well-being and equity, and our 2022 issue of HOK Forward focused on sustainable interiors.

We are thankful for our clients, colleagues, industry partners and the communities in which we work. And we’re looking forward to an even better year together in 2023!

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