HKS, Inc. is an international architecture firm based in the USA that found its inception in Dallas, Texas (USA) in 1939. The firm has continued to grow its 80 years old legacy by expanding its team beyond architects and interior designers to include researchers, urban designers, nurses, anthropologists, graphic designers, and more. HKS has grown to become America’s largest architectural firm, with over 20 locations and several projects spread across the world: Jinjiang International Exhibition Center in China, Mosaic Stadium, Canada, and Four Seasons Bodrum in Turkey, to name a few. 

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Their projects range from hospitality to health, residential to commercial, and even including sports and cultural centers, each striving to create an impact through their extraordinary designs, highly focused on the users and clients.

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HKS, Inc. Headquarters at Dallas_©HKS, Inc.
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Creating a More Just, Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive World_©HKS, Inc.

What Do They Believe in?

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HKS, Inc., with their astonishing designs, are building upon their legacy of industry-leading architectural delivery while establishing a trust between the collaborators, clients, and the users who are going to inhabit the space. Any architect or designer must ensure that their design not only justifies the site and its context but also satisfies the needs of future users. In the case of such major architectural firms like HKS, Inc., where many individuals are involved in different stages of design, the need for understanding and trust among them is amplified. 

The firm’s core value to design and work in the architectural industry is to explore the limitless and hidden opportunities of designing. They also aim to not only empower and inspire the communities they work with but protect and preserve the natural resources as well. With each project realized, the firm strives to create groundbreaking designs while staying true to its beliefs.

Take a peek at what they have to say to learn more about their beliefs –  https://youtu.be/AIi6epG-4oM 

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HKS, Inc. While Designing_©HKS, Inc.

How do they Design?

Design is viewed as a process or journey of exploration and discovery at HKS, Inc. The design journey for them begins with the initial step of research fueled by the infinite thinking of many ignited and curious brains. The HKS Lab, at the headquarters in Dallas, is dedicated entirely to the exploration, creation, generating, exchanging ideas, and advancement of design through research. It becomes a common ground for design teams, clients, industry professionals, and academic partners to meet and connect with their creative thinking, adopting a ‘think-make-test framework.’ With scientific knowledge and the best possible insights from their research, they seek to develop a meaningful, insightful, and deep foundation for their impactful designs.

LINE, the Laboratory for Intensive Exploration, is another research team at HKS, Inc. that focuses on developing the intersection of emerging technology and the existing architectural methodology. This helps the firm to use the wonders of modern technology to elevate their architectural production, construction, and even the systems, materials, processes, and toolsets. Research at the basis of every design gives an added assurance to the users and clients whereas, research in the fields of technology allows HKS, Inc. to carry out the best possible and most efficient construction and design. It is no wonder that they claim research to be the key to their design practice.

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Upali Nanda, Director of Research at HKS_©HKS Inc

What Have they Designed?

In their historical journey of more than 80 years, HKS, Inc. has designed in nearly every practice or typology of buildings. From creating experiences for sports fans with their stadiums to creating authentic world gateways with their hospitality projects; from designing environments for life-long learning with their educational complexes to saving lives with their health and research centers, HKS, Inc. has surely designed to inspire, connect and perform, irrespective of the typology and usage of the design. 

HKS has executed building projects worth more than $75 billion in more than 1,498 locations across 84 countries since its inception. Some of the projects are briefly discussed below to demonstrate the range of designs they have worked on throughout the years.

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1. Jinjiang International Exhibition Center

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Jinjiang International Exhibition Center_©HKS, Inc.

Located in Fujian Province of China, Jinjiang International Exhibition Center is a commercial project completed in 2019. The large-scale and highly dramatic structure includes a hotel, exhibition halls, and a plaza with parking spaces. The design efficiently managed large numbers of people and vehicles while becoming a beautiful centerpiece to the new masterplan of Jinjiang city. 

2. Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia

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Children’s Hospital of Richmond_©HKS, Inc.

A facility for healing children and their families in Richmond, Virginia, USA, the design had to connect them with researchers, caregivers, doctors, students, and faculty while maintaining the quaint and less stressful environment. Envisioned as an urban oasis for children, the health facility has become the largest and the most advanced outpatient health facility for children in the area. The emphasis on physical, visual, and abstract links to nature in the design gives it a relaxing and serene touch that decreases anxiety and tension while encouraging health and healing.

3. Four Seasons Bodrum

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Four Seasons Bodrum_©HKS, Inc.

Four Seasons Bodrum is a contemporary residential and resort complex designed by HKS, Inc. on an unspoiled peninsula of Turkey of the high seismic zone. The site posed many problems such as the natural rough terrain of the site, the lack of accessibility and budget. However, the firm successfully designed a complex of low-profile buildings conveying an image of a humble fishing village. Along with the structures, they are also developing a forest on the outskirts of the site, to restore the ecosystem lost in the last few years.

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HKS, Inc. Architects_©HKS, Inc.

HKS, Inc. ability to imagine, innovate, and design to create an environment for the users that leave a meaningful impact in their mind and heart is honored by numerous awards: 2018 IIDA Global Excellence, 2018 Innovator Women in Leadership Awards, 2020 Fast Company Innovation by Design, to name a few. Balancing their exemplary design with technical aspects and constructions for streamlined, on-time, and within budget, at HKS, Inc. they create not only spaces but places that enhance the human experience every day.

References

    1. HKS. (2019). HKS: What We Believe. [online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIi6epG-4oM [Accessed 19 July 2021].
    2. HKS, Inc. (2021). What We Do. [online]. Available at: https://www.hksinc.com/what-we-do/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
    3. HKS, Inc. (2021). How We Think. [online]. Available at: https://www.hksinc.com/how-we-think/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
    4. HKS, Inc. (2021). Who We Are. [online]. Available at: https://www.hksinc.com/who-we-are/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
    5. HKS, Inc. (2021). Jinjiang International Exhibition Center Master Plan A Centerpiece for a New Town District. [online]. Available at: https://www.hksinc.com/what-we-do/case-studies/jinjiang-international-exhibition-center-master-plan/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
    6. HKS, Inc. (2021). Children’s Hospital of Richmond Pavilion at Virginia Commonwealth University. [online]. Available at: https://www.hksinc.com/what-we-do/case-studies/childrens-hospital-of-richmond-pavilion-at-virginia-commonwealth-university/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
    7. HKS, Inc. (2021). Four Season Bodum. [online]. Available at: https://www.hksinc.com/what-we-do/case-studies/four-seasons-bodrum/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
  • Architect Magazine. HKS Architects. [online]. Available at: https://www.architectmagazine.com/firms/hks-architects [Accessed 20 July 2021].
  • AIA Dallas, (2021). HKS, Inc. [online]. Available at: https://www.aiadallas.org/v/firm-detail/HKS-Inc-/p8/ [Accessed 21 July 2021].
  • Rethinking The Future (2019). HKS Architects: 25 Projects every Architect Should Know about. [online]. Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/know-your-architects/a267-25-projects-by-hks-architects-every-architect-should-know-about/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
Author

Trying to explore architecture and design with words and a fresh perspective, Rashi is still a student in her Undergrad. Her curiosity drives her to learn new things in life while her passion for writing makes her capture her experiences in her play of words.

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