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Top Interior Design | HOK

Home | Introduction | Brief History | Mission and Vision | Innovation and sustainable design | The Most Iconic Projects | People about HOK | HOK California Studios | One of the Latest finished projects of HOK | Next big Project to be | Top Projects Gallery


Besides HOK isa global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, is at the same time the largest U.S.-based architecture-engineering firm and the second-largest interior design firm.

HOK Architecture enriches people’s lives with its more than 1,800 people collaborating across this network of 25 offices on three continents.


HOK counts with two larger offices in California, one in San Francisco and the other in Los Angeles.

ENR California named HOK in 2014 Design Firm of the Year.


Brief History

In 1955, HOK was established in St. Louis, Missouri, and the company was named due to the surnames of its three founding partners: George Hellmuth, Gyo Obata and George Kassabaum. The HOK founding partners were all graduated at the School of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.

The design firm started with 26 employees and its three founders.

The firm has started winning commissions across the United States by the mid-1960s, and HOK began to open additional offices, starting with San Francisco.


In 1968, HOK released its interior design practice and started to expand also to Washington DC. In 1973, HOK established its presence in New York and acquired Kahn & Jacobs, and by the 1970s, the firm was operating internationally too.

Just in the decade of 90s HOK opened its first office outside the US, in Hong Kong. In 1987, it was time for HOK’s London office. And actually by 2007 international work represented more than 40% of HOK’s annual revenue.

In 2013, HOK acquired the New York and Shanghai offices of hospitality design firm BBG-BBGM, creating one of the largest interior design firms, and in 2015, HOK announced that it had completed its acquisition of 360 Architecture.


Mission and Vision

HOK’s mission is to deliver exceptional design ideas and solutions for all clients, having the focus that creativity and human needs need to be the main goal of every project.



The thinking on environmental stewardship, value creation, science and art is one of the main issues that designs from HOK have in mind.
HOK design solutions result from a collaborative process between multidisciplinary professional to built different environments.

SEE ALSO: Top Interior Designers | Jeff Andrews


Innovation and sustainable design

The digital era arrived HOK in 1983 with HOK Draw, a computer-aided drafting software products that specialized in conceptual architectural design. Nowadays HOK uses Building Information Modeling (BIM) to streamline the design and construction process. And actually in 2012, HOK was ranked in No. 1 BIM Architecture Firm by Building Design + Construction.

HOK is a leader in sustainable design, and its professionals authored the “The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design,” originally published in 2000 by John Wiley & Sons.

In 2010, HOK and energy and daylighting consultant The Weidt Group completed design of Net Zero Court, a 170,735-square-foot, market-rate, zero-emissions class A commercial office building in St. Louis.


In 2015, for the sixth consecutive year, the DesignIntelligence journal ranked HOK as a leader in sustainable and high-performance design”.


The Most Iconic Projects

Priory Chapel at Saint Louis Abbey

The Abbey Church, also known as the Church of St. Mary and St. Louis and the Priory Chapel, was designed by Gyo Obata of HOK, with the Italian architect and engineer Pier Luigi Nervi serving as consultant. The Abbey Church was an important landmark and name-making project for HOK, now the world’s largest architectural practice.

Priory Chapel at Saint Louis Abbey designed by HOK

National Air and Space Museum in Washington

The Smithsonian wanted a building that would be architecturally impressive, so the architect Gyo Obata of HOK designed the museum as four simple marble-encased cubes connected by three spacious steel-and-glass atria.

National Air and Space Museum in Washington designed by HOK

Tokyo Telecom Center in Tokyo

Telecom Center Station is a station on the Yurikamome Line in Kōtō, Tokyo (Japan), operated by Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Corporation. It is numbered “U-09”. It is named after the adjacent Telecom Center building and it was designed by HOK.

Tokyo Telecom Center in Tokyo designed by HOK

Kellogg Company Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan

An American multinational food manufacturing company headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan (United States). The headquarters was designed by HOK.

Kellogg Company Headquarters in Battle Creek designed by HOK

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)’s annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia (United States) and designed by HOK.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly designed by HOK

Indianapolis International Airport Colonel H. Weir Cook Terminal in Indianapolis

Indianapolis International Airport is the new gateway to the city. The Colonel H. Weir Cook Terminal is a high-performance building that minimizes the airport’s environmental footprint.

Indianapolis International Airport Colonel H. Weir Cook Terminal in Indianapolis designed by HOK

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a public research university located in Thuwal (Saudi Arabia) designed by HOK.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal designed by HOK

Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

The Salvador Dalí Museum is an art museum in St. Petersburg, Florida (United States), dedicated to the work of Salvador Dalí. It houses the largest collection of Dalí’s works outside Europe. It is located on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront by 5th Avenue Southeast, Bay Shore Drive, and Dan Wheldon Way, and was designed by HOK.

Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg designed by HOK


People about HOK

Christopher Browne, Senior Vice President/Practice Leader at HOK had this to say about the value of client feedback: “As designers and architects, we are trained to focus primarily on the design and technical aspects of our profession.  We too often forget about service: the importance of a positive, enjoyable, rewarding customer experience. HOK has been using ClientFeedbackTool since 2008 … and have seen a big boost in both customer and employee satisfaction. I’m a big fan.”

Managing Principal at Los Angeles HOK Studio

fun place to work


Lots of team work, sharing of information


Upper management too focused on cutting overhead



good pace of working while still challenging


low pay and long hours


HOK California studios

San Francisco

The San Francisco office has been part of HOK’s United States network since 1966 and has been certified as a San Francisco Green Business

  • Follow the San Francisco office on Instagram
One Bush Street - Suite 200 - San Francisco, California 94104 USA | +1 415 243 0555 |
Life at HOK – San Francisco Office

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles office has been part of HOK’s United States network since 1983, and has c onsistently ranked as one of the top 10 architectural design firms in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and, as the third-largest commercial interior design firm in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

  • See images of HOK’s Los Angeles office on Flickr.
9530 Jefferson Boulevard - Culver City, California 90232 USA | +1 310 838 9555 |
Life at HOK – Los Angeles Office


One of the Latest finished projects of HOK

Auburn University Shelby Center for Engineering Technology
Auburn, Alabama, USA


This lovely facility supports Auburn’s efforts to recruit experienced faculty members, to draw high-achieving students into engineering programs and to improve the research efforts of existing programs.

The Shelby Center houses laboratories, classrooms and administrative areas for computer science and software engineering, electrical engineering, industrial systems engineering, aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering.

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HOK’s design of the lab facilities provides opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research projects early in their academic careers, preparing them for a future in the “real world” of engineering. The design takes advantage of the interest provided by the “hands-on” nature of these labs, helping to attract students to Auburn’s mechanical engineering programs.


Next big project to be


Tom Wilson, CEO of the Red Wings and president of parent company Olympia Entertainment, and sports architect George Heinlein, HOK’s principal-in-charge of the project, are the minds behind this revolutionary design and concept.

it will spur additional development from businesses looking to join the novel design of a ‘village of buildings,’ as Heinlein describes the project.

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The project broke ground in September, and the arena is scheduled to open in 2017.



Top Projects Gallery