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Most Innovative Companies

HOK

HOK is a global architecture and design firm with more than 1,700 employees in 24 offices. Founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1955, the firm originally designed schools. It went on to pursue larger projects and is now known for slick corporate offices and cultural institutions in the United States and abroad. Prominent buildings include the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the Tokyo Telecom Center in Japan, and the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. A few years ago, HOK’s in-house structural engineers developed a proprietary design tool called HOK STREAM, which uses parametric model and structural analysis to vet architectural ideas and quickly gauge whether they can feasibly be built. The process has allowed HOK to design “buildings thought unbuildable,” as the firm describes it. Case in point: For the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, HOK designed two 900-foot-long, translucent canopies over a terminal to shield passengers from inclement weather. STREAM allowed the six-person design team to generate more than 500 design options, then whittle down the list, in just three weeks. A conventional design process would’ve required 100 people working for three months. The first canopy was completed in 2018. 

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