HOK is back on the sports scene
Do you remember the name HOK Sport+Events? They were a party to the design of the Olympic Stadium in Sydney. That company name disappeared with the emergence 5 years ago of Populous. HOK remained in operation, based in St Louis, US, but was not involved in sports projects. There was five year non-compete clause in place. Now, Populous has decided to enter non-sports markets for design projects and HOK is set to return to sports…having bought Kansas City firm 360 Architecture. The company is a well-regarded designer of stadiums, ballparks, arenas, recreation and wellness centres, plus mixed-use entertainment districts. The sports portfolio of 360 Architecture includes projects such as MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets; Basra Sports City in Iraq, which includes a 65,000-seat stadium; Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio and the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The firm is currently participating in designing the retractable-roof, multipurpose stadium in Atlanta for the Falcons and a Major League Soccer expansion team, renovation of Sun Life Stadium for the Miami Dolphins, Rogers Place Arena for the Edmonton Oilers, the AT&T Center redevelopment for the National Basketball Association’s San Antonio Spurs and a proposed new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics in San Jose.
HOK employs some 1600 staff globally; 360 Architecture employs about 180. Gyo Obata co-founded global architectural firm HOK in 1955. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri and still works in HOK's St. Louis office. He is the son of painter Chiura Obata and his wife, Haruko Obata, a floral designer. At this stage the closest their offices come to Australia is Hong Kong…but who knows?