Tag Archives: HOK

On the Move: Recent Top Promotions and Hires


Roberta Silva (pictured at left) has been named CEO of Flos. She was selected by the group’s shareholders together with Piero Gandini, the entrepreneur who sold Flos to Design Holding. As CEO, she will carry forward the brand’s history of excellence and guide the company into a new phase of growth.

York Wallcoverings

Vincent Santini has been named vice president and general manager of York Brands. He will oversee all sales and support for York’s residential and commercial businesses. The company, approaching its 125th year in 2020, hopes to grow its reach in over 85 countries.


James Slade has joined the design team at WeWork as VP of architecture. He will work with SVP of architecture Michael Rojkind and chief architect Bjark Ingles on all ground-up projects. Slade co-founded Slade Architecture with his partner, Hayes Slade, in 2002, and has built projects in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Ware Malcomb

Joshua Thompson (pictured at right) has been promoted to studio manager, interior architecture and design in Ware Malcomb’s downtown San Diego office. He previously served as senior project manager for the past five years in the Phoenix office. He will lead Ware Malcomb’s interior architecture & design studio in San Diego and manage select projects.

R&A Architecture & Design

Culver City-based R&A Architecture & Design is rebranding their firm to OfficeUntitled and expanding the leadership team, made up of principals Christian Robert, Benjamin Anderson, Shawn Gehle and Lindsay Green. Recent projects include Woodlark Hotel in Portland, The Cayton Children’s Museum in Santa Monica, and the Harland in Beverly Hills.

The Switzer Group

Sabrina Pagani has joined The Switzer Group’s Manhattan team as principal. She will oversee a number of high-profile workplace interiors out of the nationally ranked interior architecture firm’s New York studio.

BDG Architecture + Design

BDG Architecture + Design is opening a new studio in New York, expanding into the North American market. BDG’s global chief creative officer, Colin Macgadie will provide creative direction for the studio. Kelly D. Powell and Rebecca Wu-Norman will be studio leads.


Ericka Moody has joined TRIO as regional vice president. Moody is a 30-year veteran of the interior design industry and has overseen hundreds of successful national and international projects. TRIO has expanded its work in California significantly over the last several years and has recently completed dozens of projects, including work with Touchstone Communities, Shea Homes, and Simpson Property Group.

Perkins + Will

Maha Sabra has been promoted to associate principal in the New York studio of Perkins + Will in support of the healthcare practice. In the past five years at the studio, she has transitioned from a design practitioner to project manager. As a senior project manager, Sabra plays a central role leading the studio’s healthcare teams.


Kimberly Dowdell (pictured at right) has returned to HOK as director of business development in Chicago. Dowdell is a licensed architect with a wealth of expertise in strategic planning, design, project management, housing policy, and real estate development. She previously worked in HOK’s New York studio from 2008-2011.

Wilson Associates

Kathleen Lynch has joined the Dallas studio of Wilson Associates as operations director. Lynch has 15 years of professional experience as a LEED-accredited interior designer and field manager. She will oversee teams on a roster of hospitality projects in Nevada, California, and other areas across the Southwest.

WRNS Studio

Kevin Wilcock has joined WRNS Studio as associate principal. He brings 25 years experience leading affordable and market-rate housing projects. He will be based out of WRNS Studio’s Honolulu office, guiding the studio’s multi-family housing practice with a focus on the Pacific region.

Read more: On the Move: April’s Top Promotions and Hires

Continue reading On the Move: Recent Top Promotions and Hires


Advertising Giant WPP Looks to HOK to Gather Its New York Offices Under One Roof

SQ. FT. 700,000 SQF

In one sense the remit was straightforward: WPP, the London-based international advertising and public relations behemoth, wished to gather the New York offices of several subsidiaries into a single location. They chose 3 World Trade Center, the 80-story tower by Pritzker Architecture Prize–winning Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and HOK won the bid to design the consolidated workplace.

A custom steel pergola shelters the terrace. Photography by Eric Laignel.


Many factors raised the complexity of the commission, however, starting with its sheer size: 700,000 square feet (that’s more than 16 acres) on 14 floors, including a 3,000-square-foot outdoor terrace. Additionally, WPP wanted an innovative, creative habitat; maximum interconnectedness among its 4,000 on-site employees; and a high degree of versatility for potential growth and reconfiguration over the course of its 20-year lease. The company also asked that each corporate entity’s space be individually designed in accordance with its function, branding, and mission. Two major WPP subsidiaries moved to 3WTC: Kantar, a global market-research consultancy, and GroupM, the planet’s largest media investment conglomerate, which places approximately one-third of all ads worldwide. The latter oversees seven smaller divisions—Essence, MediaCom, Mindshare, [m]Platform, OpenMind, Xaxis, and Wavemaker—all of which had to be accommodated, too.

A lounge for Kantar, a WPP company, boasts Hudson River views and Michael Anastassiades pendant fixtures. Photography by Eric Laignel.


While the sprawling project was helmed by HOK director of interior design Tom Polucci, each subsidiary was assigned its own designer to provide it with a unique environment. This involved a special event: “We had a ‘mixer’ where we brought 12 or 13 of our designers together with the CEOs and creative teams of all the different brands,” Polucci explains. First the designers made short presentations about themselves, their personal passions, and their inspirations. Then each company did the same about its culture, brand, and staff. Next they met, one-on-one. “I had a bell,” Polucci reports. “Every two minutes the designers moved onto another brand.” It was designer/client speed dating—“an equal-opportunity event for  both parties”—and it succeeded in pairing number-one choices “across the board.”

In the adjacent pantry, a custom media installation hangs above the solid-surfacing countertop. Photography by Eric Laignel.


Polucci and his team devised a master plan to maximize creative variation while meeting the client’s budget and schedule. The envelope was kept consistent and neutral, with a color palette of black, white, and grays, and materials like stone, steel, laminate, and wood. The overall look is “refined industrial,” so ducting suspended from the ceiling remains visible, downtown-loft style. And individual spaces are broken into three unequal zones: the truly bespoke, the flexible, and the fixed. Fully custom spaces include reception and other client-facing areas. Fixed areas house “pantries, coffee/tea points, small and medium conference rooms, and huddle and focus spaces,” Polucci enumerates, but even these have been individualized to a limited extent with colors and finishes.

Lievore Altherr Molina’s sofa and a custom wool rug in MediaCom’s corporate colors furnish its reception area. Photography by Eric Laignel.


Most of the square footage, however, is devoted to flexible work space, conceived to provide utmost adaptability as needs evolve. While differing from company to company, these areas are all created from the same kit of parts, which includes such furnishings as sitting and standing desks, oval oak conference tables, and engulfing podlike chairs that take their cue from first-class airline seats.

In reception for OpenMind, another agency, a panel of preserved lichen is installed across from a conference room furnished with Sava Cvek chairs. Photography by Eric Laignel.


Initial layout decisions were based on a survey of more than 3,000 WPP employees. Planning was helped enormously by the building, which has few internal structural columns to get in a designer’s way. (WPP occupies the top five floors and part of the setback terrace of the building’s 16-story podium, and floors 28 through 35 in the tower above, which have 70,000- and 30,000-square-foot floor plates, respectively.) “The entire project is designed on a grid of power and data locations,” Polucci explains. “That offers the ultimate amount of flexibility in being able to switch out the furnishings over time.”

The bistro for MediaCom, one of the agencies owned by WPP, includes dinerlike booths and oak picnic-style tables and benches. Photography by Eric Laignel.


At the core of the project is WPP’s shared communal space, dubbed the “town hall,” where “brand-agnostic” graphics pull together the colors of all the WPP subsidiaries. At its center, a two-story atrium features stadium-style bleachers that connect the 15th and 16th floors. Rising from a capacious lounge with views of the World Trade Center and the Hudson River beyond, the wide steps lead to a cluster of employee amenities above. These include the bistro, a grab-and-carry food vendor; the wellness center, staffed by a full-time nurse; and the tech hub, an electronics-repair station designed like a snack bar. (Every subsidiary’s space includes a canteen and multiple coffee spots.) Topping it all off is the landscaped terrace on the building setback immediately overhead.

Wool-nylon covers cushions in the town hall, which serves all the WPP subsidiaries in the building. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Even in today’s world of the activity-based workplace, Kantar and GroupM’s thrumming new quarters feel like a giant leap away from the past. The ambiance is part hotel lobby, part mall, part think tank, and part student-activities center at a particularly savvy university. According to Mark Sanders, CFO for GroupM North America, the entire project has helped put a more cutting-edge face on the companies’ work than their former scattered locations in pre-tech buildings, which did nothing to reinforce a forward-looking corporate gestalt. Indeed, the client has expressed satisfaction in the sincerest possible way: WPP is moving even more of its business to 3WTC and HOK will design the additional space.

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

A wall of LED-backlit logos of all Kantar and GroupM divisions dominates the main reception area. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Employee locker areas on all floors feature a custom wall covering. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A MediaCom office area has a closeup view of Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus transit hub. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Jordi Vilardell and Meritxell Vidal’s pendant fixture and a custom MDF zigzag wall flank the stairs connecting agency Wavemaker’s two floors. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A custom natural-edge table sits under a metal-mesh dropped ceiling in a collaborative area at the agency Essence. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Custom neon signage hangs above Essence’s telephone booth–inspired work nooks. Photography by Eric Laignel.
In the same firm’s lounge, BassamFellows’s sectional sofa hugs a wall paneled in white oak. Photography by Eric Laignel.
LED strips separate wall and ceiling plates of blackened steel in an elevator lobby at WPP’s multi-brand 14-floor office in New York by HOK. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Oak paneling backs a stairway at Mindshare, another agency. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Project Team: Stephen Beacham; Anthony Spagnolo; Erika Reuter; Elizabeth Marr; Julia Cooper; Emily Dunn; Bob Elliot; Sarah Gunnink; Yasaman Hoorazar; Jeremy Jonet; Matthew Jordan; Claire Mcpoland; Kerri Mcshea; Yelena Mokritsky; Jessica Pepito; Justin Ping; Scott Smith; Adam Stoltz; Christine Vandover; Kristi Zoref; Bill Bouchey: HOK. Lighting Workshop: Lighting Consultant. Shen Milsom & Wilke: Audiovisual Consultant. Acoustic Distinctions: Acoustic Consultant. Jones Lang Lasalle: Leed Consultant. Wsp: Structural Engineer. Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers: MEP. 9wood; Terramai: Woodwork. Mistral Architectural Metal + Glass: Metalwork. Gardiner & Theobald: Project Manager. JRM Construction Management: General Contractor.

Product Sources: From Top: Rich Brilliant Willing: Sconces (Bistro). Bold Furniture: Custom Tables (Bistro, Essence Collaborative Area, Phone Rooms). Erg International: Banquettes (Bistro, Pantry). Hay: Tables, Benches (Bistro), Chairs (Pantry), Table, Chairs (Kantar Lounge). Gubi: Stools (Pantry). LG Hausys: Countertop. Tiles By Tina: Backsplash. Arper: Tables (Pantry), Sofa, Armchair, Ottomans (Mediacom Reception). Maharam: Stool Fabric, Banquette Fabric (Pantry), Chair Fabric, Ottoman Fabric (Reception, Kantar Lounge), Cushion Fabric (Town Hall), Rug (Essence Lounge), Side Chair Fabric (Essence Phone Booth). Cassina: Side Tables, Coffee Tables (Mediacom Reception). Kasthall: Custom Rug. Haworth: Raised Floor. Davis Furniture: Lounge Chairs, Side Tables (Mediacom Reception, Kantar Lounge). Koncept: Table Lamp (Mindshare Stairway). Naughtone: Stool. Carnegie: Paneling (Main Reception). Muuto: Stools (Main Reception), Side Chair (Essence Phone Booth). Vibia: Pendant Fixtures (Main Reception, Wavemaker Stairway). Lukas Lighting: Custom Pendant Fixtures (Town Hall). Extremis: Picnic Table (Terrace). Loll Designs: Lounge Chairs, Tables. Hollman: Lockers (Locker Area). Boss Design: Sofas (Mediacom Office Area). Knoll: Tables. Interface: Carpet Tile (Mediacom Office Area, Kantar Lounge). Benetti Home through Coverings Me: Moss Panel (Openmind Reception). Color Cord Company: Pendant Fixtures (Openmind Reception, Essence Collaborative Area). Bernhardt Furniture Company: Table (Conference Room). Stylex: Chairs. Dtank: Custom Wall (Wavemaker Stairway). Herman Miller: Chairs (Essence Collaborative Area), Sofa (Essence Lounge). Armstrong: Dropped Ceiling (Essence Collaborative Area). Tacchini: Chairs (Essence Collaborative Area). Lapalma: Ottomans (Kantar Lounge). Flos: Pendant Fixtures. Sandler Seating: Lounge Chair (Essence Phone Booth). Camira: Lounge Chair Fabric. HBF: Sofa Fabric (Essence Lounge). Connox: Coffee Table. Vitra: Side Tables.

> See more from the May 2019 issue of Interior Design

Continue reading Advertising Giant WPP Looks to HOK to Gather Its New York Offices Under One Roof

On the Move: V Starr Interiors Fills Two Leadership Roles

SofA building in Delray Beach, FL. Image courtesy of V Starr Interiors.

V Starr Interiors

Two leadership roles at V Starr Interiors, a Florida-based design firm led by Venus Williams, have been filled as part of the firm’s growth. Sonya Haffey has been promoted to vice president, while Holly Caswell Nixon has been hired as design director. Haffey has been a firm leader for almost 10 years, and has helped transition the firm from exclusively residential to include commercial projects. Caswell Nixon has 12 years of hospitality work in several countries, including her native United Kingdom.


Dauphin has added two regional sales managers: Roger Vasseur for the Southeast and Peter Sullivan in the Midwest. Vasseur formerly worked at Humanscale and most recently Exemplis, and will be based in Houston. Sullivan previously worked with Interface and Mohawk Group.


Stephen Beacham has relocated from HOK’s Philadelphia office to Washington, D.C., where he will be principal and director of design for interiors. He will lead the D.C. office with Vincent Ng, director of interiors. Beacham joined HOK at the Philadelphia office in 2015.

Rowland and Broughton

Two team members at Rowland and Broughton, Amanda Christianson and Mark Bever, have passed the Architect Registration Examination in Colorado, bringing the total number of licensed architects at R+B to 15. Christianson is the director of operations, executive team member, and studio leader for the Denver studio, and has over a decade of experience in architecture and project management. Bever has been a team member in the Denver studio since 2014.

Dick Clark + Associates

Austin-based firm Dick Clark + Associates has named Mark Vornberg, Kim Power, and Kevin Gallaugher partners. Vornberg has also been named principal. All three new partners are long-time senior associates at the firm.

James Welling, 8183, 2016 from the series Chicago, 2016-2017 for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image courtesy of the Artist and David Zwirner, New York/London.


Chicago Architecture Biennial

Curator and educator Sepake Angiama and architect and urbanist Paulo Tavares have joined artistic director Yesomi Umolu on the curatorial team for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Both newly announced co-curators have international research-based practices and will play a key role in directing the theme and programming for the next Biennial.


Lok Yoon has joined the Buildings practice at Philadelphia’s Stantecoffice as senior associate. Yoon has nearly 35 years of industry experience as a mechanical engineer, and his innovative approaches to energy efficiency have earned many of his projects LEED Gold and Platinum certification. He will lead the MEP teams on a range of project types.


Chris Townsend has joined HLW as senior associate in Madison, New Jersey. Townsend has 20 years of architectural experience across a range of project scales and types. He also has experience managing corporate interiors projects in New Jersey.

California College of the Arts

Keith Krumweide has been appointed dean of architecture at the California College of the Arts. Krumweide was named a Rome Prize fellow in 2017 for his investigation of the origins of the suburban house on the Italian peninsula. He previously served as director of the graduate architecture programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and as assistant dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University.


Contract furniture manufacturer KI has completed a transition to an employee stock ownership plan, meaning that the company is 100% owned by its over 2000 employees.


Dayna Fucarino has joined Havwoods International as the company’s first North American marketing manager for their New York City showroom. Fucarino has over seven years of experience in design marketing and brand management, including as integrated marketing manager for Interior Design.

Continue reading On the Move: V Starr Interiors Fills Two Leadership Roles

6 Design-Minded Offices in the USA and China

Design talents truly excel at American and Chinese offices.
1. Firm: Float Design Studio.
Project: Casper Sleep.
Site: New York.
Standout: Matching the blue from the online mattress maker’s popular subway ads, a stained-oak structure offers niches for quick naps or long meetings.


Quartz by Desai Chia Architecture. Photography by Mark Craemer.
2. Firm: Desai Chia Architecture.
Project: Quartz.
Site: New York.
Standout: A central divider with Douglas fir supports, which double as shelving, separates the reporters’ and editors’ desks from communal areas including a cafe.

paul-hastings-gensler-spray-painted-steel-0517Paul Hastings by Gensler. Photography by Garrett Rowland.
3. Firm: Gensler.
Project: Paul Hastings.
Site: New York.
Standout: Spray-painted steel latticework derives from an algorithm that merged motifs from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, among regions where the law firm has a presence.

da-cheng-design-fuzhou-courtyard-area-0517Da Cheng Design Co by Da Cheng Design Co. Photography courtesy of Da Cheng Design Co.
4. Firm: Da Cheng Design Co.
Project: Da Cheng Design Co.
Site: Fuzhou, China.
Standout: The Chinese concept of the courtyard house is expressed in pitched-roof volumes that hold both meeting rooms and the offices of creative directors.

alibaba-hok-pasadena-lounge-open-area-0517Alibaba Pictures Group Limited by HOK. Photography by Eric Laignel.
5. Firm: HOK.
Project: Alibaba Pictures Group Limited.
Site: Pasadena, California.
Standout: For the e-retailer’s entertainment arm, a textured wall in a painted mineral composite channels the crumpled paper discarded during the creative process.

uber-bean-buro-hong-kong-cafe-area-0517Uber Technologies by Bean Buro Limited. Photography courtesy of Bean Buro Limited.
6. Firm: Bean Buro Limited.
Project: Uber Technologies.
Site: Hong Kong.
Standout: Felt-wrapped pendant fixtures hang over the cafe’s communal table conceived as the collaborative and social heart of the space.

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