Qatar has been radically reshaped by growth and development. The sovereign state transformed since the second half of the twentieth century after the discovery of the Dukhan oil field in 1940. Capitalizing on over 70 years of economic development, Qatar now has the highest per capita income in the world. Reflecting the country’s wealth, its modern architectural projects are being built at a monumental scale.
Hok: The Latest Architecture and News
For the Dubai 2020 Expo, the United Arab Emirates and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, selected the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Organized around ideas of Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity, the next world Expo will be the first to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. Organised every five years, the world expo lasts six months and is created as a global destination for millions of people to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity.
In 776 BC, the Olympic Games of antiquity were hosted at the Olympia stadium in Peloponnese, Greece, an arena widely believed to be the world’s oldest stadium. The elongated U-shaped track and stand had a capacity of up to 45,000 people.
Almost 3000 years later, and the typology of the sports stadium continues to act as a gathering place for tens of thousands of eager spectators. As populations, and indeed revenue generated from sporting events continues to increase around the world, the design of sports stadiums is destined to follow suit.
I hope you’ve caught your breath after this year’s FIFA World Cup. France’s win in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium marked the end of an era; the last World Cup with a classic format. After the 2022 Winter tournament in Qatar, the competition will be expanded to 48 teams (rather than the current 32).
HOK's Mercedes-Benz Stadium is officially the first LEED Platinum certified professional sports stadium in the United States. The new home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons boasts the highest sports venue LEED score at 88 total points.
There is much more to learn from this stadium than just its unique retractable roof system. The two-million-square-foot venue is an unprecedented model for sustainability and performance innovation. Its notable design solutions conserve water, lighting, and energy.
The Oakland Athletic's have hired four firms to lead the design and urban planning for their new ballpark on the Peralta site, near the heart of Oakland. HOK will be collaborating with Snohetta on the design of the ballpark. Snohetta will also be working on the masterplan along with Sasaki and Oakland-based Studio T-Square.
With somewhere between one and three million cats, Los Angeles is home to one of the United States’ largest populations of homeless felines. For the “Giving Shelter” exhibition in Los Angeles, 12 architects designed and built 13 small, one-of-a-kind shelters for these cats. The shelters, which are being sold through an online auction until 9pm PST tonight, will raise money for FixNation, a non-profit which provides a free service to spay or neuter homeless cats. Read on to see all 13 shelters.
Olson Kundig, CookFox, Morris Adjmi Among Top Firms to Design Buildings for Revitalization of Downtown Tampa
Developer Strategic Property Partners has announced plans for a new $3 billion 50-acre mixed-use neighborhood in Tampa, Florida. To be known as Water Street Tampa, the multi-phase project will create 9 million square feet of commercial, residential, educational, cultural and entertainment space on a site currently underused and occupied by highways and surface parking.
Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium has released a new video showing the structure’s unique aperture-style retractable roof closing for the very first time. Designed by 360 Architecture (now a part of HOK), the eight ETFE-clad roof “petals” slide along tracks on the stadium roof to come together at a central point, much like how a camera operates. When fully operational, the roof will be able to open and close in less than eight minutes.
Architectural Record has released the 2017 edition of its annual list of the “Top 300 Architecture Firms” in the United States. Compiled by Record's sister publication Engineering News-Record, the list ranks firms based on architectural revenue from the previous year (2016). This year, the top 4 firms held fast to their spots, led by Gensler with a record-best $1.19 billion in revenue. Moving into the top 5 was HOK, while the designation of biggest mover in the top 25 belongs to Dallas-based Corgan, who jumped from 22nd place in 2016 to 14th this year.
See the top 50 firms after the break.
Few architectural typologies are more centered around the human experience than a sporting arena. The design of sports stadiums often feature notable architecture firms, such as Herzog & de Meuron’s design for Chelsea’s football stadium in London, and Kengo Kuma’s 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. Recently, renowned design practice HOK tackled stadium design using an obvious yet untapped resource in the design of rugby stadiums –rugby players themselves.
John Rhodes, a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, met with legendary rugby players Jamie Roberts (Wales), Tim Visser (Scotland), James Horwill (Australia) and Danny Care (England) to capture their ideas, both as players and fans. The findings were collated into a video by HOK, which you can watch below.
Earlier this year, BDOnline released the 2017 edition of the WA 100, their annual survey of the world's largest practices. Ranking the firms by the number of architects they employ, the full report also investigates these firms' financial records and industry trends. The top spots show only slight changes from last year's rankings, with Japan's Nikken Sekkei taking second place from AECOM being perhaps the most notable change. However, the big story behind this year's WA 100 is the rapid growth of #1 firm Gensler, with the firm increasing their lead from last year. The firm now employs almost 800 more architects than any other firm in the world.
"Gensler’s total domination of the rankings continues as it achieves the seemingly impossible task of growing still more after last year’s huge leap in size," says BDOnline, noting that the company's total of 2,570 employed architects represents an increase of almost 1,000 in under 2 years. Gensler's co-chief executive Diane Hoskins explains this growth as the result of expanding overseas while continuing to expand in the US. "It’s not an either/or," she explained to BDOnline.
Read on to see the top 20, or go see the full list of 100 top practices at BDOnline here (for subscribers only).
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have named the recipients of the 2017 Top Ten Awards, celebrating buildings that best exemplify the integration of great design, great performance and sustainable design excellence.
Now in its 21st year, the COTE Top Ten Awards program was established to honor projects that protect and enhance the environment through an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology.
Cardiff City Council has just approved the third and latest phase of Cardiff University's £300 million Innovation Campus. Hawkins\Brown and HOK each designed one building for the project, which will bring together researchers, students, investors, and businesses to work on technological innovations and new enterprises that aim to drive economic growth. The project is the latest development in Cardiff University's vision of embedding innovation within the university's fabric and generating a self-sustaining cycle of economic growth for the community as a whole.
Visualizations of the last full-scale skyscrapers in Moscow’s new International Business Center (“Moscow City”) have been revealed. Designed by an international team made up of HOK (USA), FXFOWLE (USA) and SPEECH (Russia), the two “Neva Towers” will provide additional residential and office space to the skyscraper district, which includes many of Europe’s tallest structures, including Europe’s tallest building, Federation Tower (sometimes called Vostok Tower); and one of the world’s tallest twisting buildings, Evolution Tower.
The AEC industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Cumbersome organizational structures and high financial stakes make it difficult for AEC professionals to experiment. Due to the limited role of architects in the project development process, innovative design solutions and experimentation with new manufacturing techniques are still confined to academic circles and research institutions.
However, some architecture firms are utilizing their high profiles, international success and the influx of talented, young designers to establish in-house research divisions and incubators that support the development of new ideas in the AEC industry. The following five companies are consistent in pushing the envelope and helping architecture adopt some of the latest technologies:
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released some of the facts and figures behind the projects appearing in their recent book, 100 of the World’s Tallest Buildings. The construction of tall buildings requires collaboration between many different companies and firms and the efforts of hundreds of people, but a few select firms have been responsible for more of the design and engineering achievements than any other.
Continue reading to see the 18 design architects that have contributed multiple buildings to the top 100 list.