HOK Named Design Firm of the Year by ENR California

ARTIC640Each year, ENR California recognizes one firm that is leading the state in the categories including quality of work, sustainability, revenue performance and community involvement. HOK’s offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles received the honor this year and were featured in ENR California’s recent issue.

“Every opinion counts at HOK. The 59-year-old firm embraces an interdisciplinary approach that values feedback from everyone: architects, engineers, planners and consultants. The resulting cross-pollination of free-flowing ideas and strategies produces innovative structures, some of which emulate the natural world to maximize sustainability.”

“We want an integrated team, as opposed to consultants, embedded throughout the project process from start to finish,’ says Russ Drinker, a HOK senior vice president and San Francisco office management principal. ‘A more holistic design approach produces high performance results.’ The approach was used to design the $188.8-million Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), scheduled to open in November.”

“Our charrette-like design process takes different viewpoints and combines them into an ‘ask’ session—art, science and knowledge—where intersecting input is synthesized and vetted,’ says the firm’s San Francisco design director Paul Woolford.”

“HOK’s uniquely comprehensive approach produced the campus master plan for Kaiser Permanente’s $275-million Redwood City Medical Center. [We] were skeptical that HOK would be able to fit so many functionalities into a tight site with a building footprint almost one-third smaller than similar hospitals with as many patient beds,’ says Jeff Russell, project executive with Rudolph and Sletten, the hospital’s general contractor. ‘But they pulled it off, working with us every step of the way to find attractive design solutions to every construction detail challenge.’”

“It’s not good enough to just apply sustainable rules,’ says Ernest Cirangle, design director for HOK’s Los Angeles office. ‘You have to ingrain sustainable thinking into the design process, making it an essential part of your process and culture.”

HOK’s biomimicry-inspired design for the San Francisco Museum at the Mint, for instance, adapts an 1874 federal landmark and a rare survivor of the 1906 earthquake into a net-zero building. “‘HOK listened intently to our group of stakeholders and fashioned a design that embodied and enlarged upon our vision,’ says Jeff Sosnaud, interim executive director of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. ”Their team is both creative and collaborative—an all too rare combination.”

“When it comes to designing for efficiency, balance and resiliency, nothing beats emulating Earth’s creatures,’ says Thomas Knittel>, HOK senior design principal in Los Angeles. ‘Architects can bridge the gap between the built and natural environments through biomimicry, an emerging field of study urging emulation of naturally occurring principles and processes.”

Other projects highlighted in the ENR article led by the firm’s California offices include the Cedars-Sinai Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion in Los Angeles, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the Central & Wolfe technology campus in Sunnyvale, Calif.
ENR California

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