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Sara Pepitone | March 01, 2012
In 2009, the AIA awarded HOK one of 12 inaugural Awards for Diversity Excellence, acknowledging the St. Louis-based company's advocacy, community involvement, and partnerships with various community organizations. That same year the firm also received the American Society of Interior Designers' Design for Humanity Award.
Founders: George Hellmuth, Gyo Obata, George E. Kassabaum
Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri
Projects: corporate, cultural, education, healthcare, hospitality, institutional, residential and more
"The people of HOK have always been generous, volunteering their talents to serve unmet needs in their own communities," says Clark Davis, HOK Vice-Chairman. "One of our core values is genuine caring about the many people and places we touch in our work. And our corporate social responsibility program, HOK IMPACT, is our way of promoting that strategy and getting more people involved."
HOK, a member of Public Architecture since 2007, is currently designing a new orphanage and children's center in Haiti. The team is aiming for net zero water and waste, and for the building to provide a net positive energy source.
In 2010, HOK helped Taproot renovate their San Francisco headquarters. Taproot may now have the resources to help other non-profits, but that doesn't mean they can't use some assistance themselves. The project was made possible by donations from many manufacturers, contractors and vendors, and was led by HOK. Staff from the international firm's local office provided pro bono workplace consulting and design services.
HOK began the renovation by working with Taproot to envision the type of space that would best support their day-to-day activities. The resulting design provides a clutter-free, inviting environment with low partition workstations and several collaborative spaces for spontaneous meetings - communal table in the collaborative area was a natural fit to encourage team communication. HOK also incorporated Taproot's new branding program (which was being formulated simultaneously) into the altered space through accent colors, graphics and signage.
HOK donated the equivalent of $80,000 in design services, and coordinated the time and material donations from manufacturers, contractors and vendors, enlisted by Novo Construction.
Other members of the A&D industry are pitching in to enhance the lives of those less fortunate across the globe, too. Click the links below to see additional firms who are active in giving back to the community.