HKS’ New Atlanta Office: What the Future Office Could Be

BayCare Wesley Chapel Hospital

Case Study

BayCare Wesley Chapel Hospital Prototyping to Lead the Market

Wesley Chapel, Florida, USA

The Challenge

BayCare is one of the largest health care providers in the fast-growing Tampa Bay/Central Florida region. The health system was formed 23 years ago when several area hospitals joined together to offer high-quality, compassionate care in a community setting. BayCare needed a design partner to develop a prototype hospital that could be built quickly and create an architectural representation of the BayCare brand, and asked global design firm, HKS, to lead that effort.

As part of BayCare’s larger growth strategy, BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel is the first prototype hospital to be built in the heart of Pasco County, recognized as one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. The program includes a 235,000-square-foot (21,832-square-meter), 50-bed acute care hospital with all required support services and an attached 85,000-square-foot (7,896-square-meter) medical office building.

The Design Solution

Drawing inspiration from the wind, water, and earth pervasive to the Florida landscape, the design utilizes soothing colors, vibrant textures, and flowing patterns to create healing spaces. Great attention was given to the connection between the interior and exterior.

The BayCare brand is visually represented in architectural elements both inside and out. The open architectural framing on the exterior signifies openness and welcoming. This open framing is repeated throughout the interior with wood cladding over registration desks, conference spaces, patient room doors, headwalls, and elevator lobbies representing thresholds and anchoring community spaces. The varied wooden shapes are reflected in the tile patterns on the floor.

The interior palette focused on hues and textures of Florida’s coastal environment including sand, water, and earth tones to bring warmth to the spaces. This palette is seen throughout the hospital, enhanced in different ways throughout each space.

Each patient floor was carefully choreographed with soothing colors in paint, big graphics, and accent tiles that gently remind us of the coastal breeze and waves to bring a sense of soothing calmness as our patients receive care.

The Design Impact

By analyzing BayCare’s existing facilities and HKS benchmarks, the prototype design has a more efficient and compact footprint and can adapt to different locations and growth avenues. The hospital’s branded look is repeated both inside and outside to give patients and visitors a unique BayCare experience.

BayCare Wesley Chapel Hospital provides full diagnostic, treatment, and inpatient services to the expanding communities in the Wesley Chapel area. The hospital is fitted with the latest technology, including SmartRooms that give patients and families control over their own environment and data. Patients can open shades, change lighting and temperature, view charts, or page the nurse using voice commands.

The campus connects to the surrounding communities and parks through a recreational path. A 38,000-square-foot YMCA with an aquatic center and soccer fields is currently under construction just south of the hospital, adding healthy lifestyle options to the campus. This prototype hospital design was so successful, an additional campus is currently under construction in Plant City, and is scheduled to open in 2024.

Project Features


Five Design Trends Shaping Communities in 2024

Five Design Trends Shaping Communities in 2024

Advances in artificial intelligence, modular construction and other methodologies will bring renewed energy to the architecture, engineering and construction industry in 2024 despite economic and environmental challenges.  

In response to — and at the forefront of — current real estate and design trends, global design firm HKS is striving to revive and strengthen communities worldwide. In 2024, HKS will continue to create healthy, resilient, dynamic places that support peak performance and bring people joy. 

1 – Spaces for Healthy Living and Learning 

HKS is leveraging the firm’s research and health design expertise to help people navigate ongoing and emerging crises in health care, student health and well-being, and senior living. 

The Sanford Health Virtual Care Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of several exciting HKS health care projects opening in 2024. The telehealth center will improve access to care for rural patients, a medically underserved population.  

Clinical workforce shortages will be a continuing challenge for health systems in the year ahead, according to McKinsey & Company. HKS is designing facilities to address the health care staffing crisis. To further this work, the firm is partnering with design brand MillerKnoll on a study to identify factors that contribute to nurse burnout and to learn how these factors relate to the built environment. The study findings will be published this year. 

This year HKS will also participate in an impact study to gauge how the design of Uplift Luna Preparatory School, which is scheduled to open in Dallas in January, affects student outcomes. HKS’ design of the school was informed by research into how design can support social and emotional learning.  

At the 2024 Environments for Aging conference, HKS and industry partners will present a case study of Elevate Senior Living’s Clearwater, Florida community. HKS’ design for Elevate Clearwater is intended to help address the senior living affordability crisis. The number of middle-income older adults in need of affordable care and housing options is swiftly rising, as demonstrated by a study into the “forgotten middle” senior cohort, by research group NORC at the University of Chicago

2 – Commercial Office Reinvention 

It’s clear by now that hybrid and remote work are here to stay. Changes to work habits over the last four years caused major fluctuations in corporate real estate portfolios, leading to increased vacancy rates and diminishing valuations worldwide. But according to Deloitte’s 2024 commercial real estate outlook, newer, higher quality assets are outperforming older spaces and new construction projects designed to accommodate hybrid work strategies are on the rise.  

HKS commercial interior designers are creating offices with hybrid-ready technologies and attractive amenities for companies like Textron Systems in Arlington, Virginia and AGI in Naperville, Illinois. HKS’ advisory groups have also teamed with influential companies, including CoreLogic, to develop strategies and design concepts for their robust asset portfolios that help them keep up with the evolving real estate landscape. 

The firm’s industry-leading research on brain healthy workplaces has yielded exciting discoveries about how offices that prioritize employee well-being can be designed, delivered and operated. Piloting strategies in the firm’s own real estate portfolio and advocating for “breaking the workstation,” HKS researchers and designers are setting new standards for inclusive, productive office environments. In 2024, HKS will present these ideas to a global audience at South by Southwest® (SXSW®) and continue to design workplaces for new modes of working. 

3 – New Mixed-Use and Planning Match Ups

Fluctuations in the commercial office sector and retail are providing new opportunities in mixed-use development. PwC and ULI’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2024 report indicates that real estate investors are increasingly diversifying or pivoting their portfolios to counteract disuse of downtown offices and regional malls.  

A shift toward developments with a variety of localized services and amenities is occurring — and HKS designers and planners are at the forefront of creating exciting new projects with unique anchors. In Hangzhou, China, the 2023 Asian Games Athlete Village Waterfront Mixed-Use is becoming a prime destination for retail and entertainment, not unlike HKS-designed SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in Los Angeles with its newest attraction, Cosm. Beyond these new mixes, HKS designers are creating dynamic properties such as NoMaCNTR in Washington, DC, to join hotel and residential uses — a combination on the rise in many major cities. 

In 2024, HKS is expanding its ability to serve communities with mixed-use planning and design, fostering sustainable growth for cities in the years to come. The Austin Light Rail team — consisting of Austin Transit Partnership, HKS, UNStudio and Gehl — is set to finalize design guidelines for proposed station locations that will provide opportunities for Austin residents to live in more affordable locations and promote urban expansion into less dense areas. As the transit network expands, it will unlock real estate opportunities and give rise to a variety of diverse and exciting mixed-use properties. This work complements the Transit Oriented Developments projects HKS is working on to elevate the health and well-being of our communities nationwide.  

HKS designers are also set to craft a new master plan for the Georgia World Congress Center’s 220-acre campus in downtown Atlanta this year. The cohesive, sustainability-driven master plan will create a legible pedestrian-friendly environment that maximizes economic potential of the convention center campus. This will integrate the campus’ global canvas with surrounding historic neighborhoods using a comprehensive framework. 

4 – Adaptive Reuse Rising 

In their report on 2024 real estate trends, PwC and ULI write that that “the movement to convert existing buildings from office to multifamily (or any other asset class, really), offers a meaningful achievement in saving carbon emissions.”  

As part of HKS’ efforts towards sustainable and resilient design, the firm is igniting adaptive reuse for a variety of building types, such as ParkwayHealth Gleneagles Chengdu Hospital in China, a tertiary care facility created from a former shopping center. HKS’ design for Mount Sinai Beth Israel Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center in New York City reinvigorated a structure built in 1898 to create a new destination for behavioral health. HKS designers in London renovated a 19th-century office building into a 21st-century clinic. And for an expansion of Rusk State Hospital in Texas, HKS reinvented the hospital campus, which opened in 1883 to house a penitentiary, into a therapeutic and dignified behavioral health care setting. 

In a highly poetic adaptive reuse project, HKS reimagined a defunct airport terminal, which dated to the 1940s, as a creative, contemporary workspace for online travel company Expedia Group. 

In 2024, HKS will continue to advance adaptive reuse design across different markets and geographies. 

5 – Creating a Better World through ESG

Balancing holistic sustainability — including decarbonization, climate resilience, and equitable design practices — with business goals is imperative for commercial real estate investors according to 2024 outlooks by both Deloitte and PwC. Leading the architecture and design industries to a brighter future, HKS is committed to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). 

HKS leaders recently demonstrated the depth of the firm’s ESG efforts through thought leadership — speaking at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the United Nations Science Summit on Brain Capital, and at the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) conference, where HKS was also a Diamond Sponsor. 

Driven by ESG goals, HKS designers strive to enhance human and environmental well-being through the places they create day in and day out. The firm’s growing portfolio of high-performing projects includes the world’s first WELL-certified airport facility, a COTE Top-Ten Award-winning campus in California and a IIDA Global Excellence Award finalist hospital in Saudi Arabia to name a few. In 2024, HKS architects, sustainable design leaders and advisors will continue developing building portfolio sustainability guidelines and high-performance designs for major tech companies and educational institutions.  

HKS will also align with the Science Based Targets Initiative, which recently established building sector guidelines, to ensure the firm’s carbon neutrality goals are science-backed and can be properly benchmarked. The firm will provide voluntary disclosures about its offsets portfolio to meet regulatory requirements, enhance transparency and improve accountability. 

Most excitingly, 2024 marks the 10-year anniversary of Citizen HKS, a firmwide initiative that impacts lives and drives change through design, community service and financial philanthropy. HKS designers around the world will celebrate the pro-bono design work and service projects they have contributed to through Citizen HKS and re-commit to enhancing their communities for years to come. 

Expedia Group

Case Study

Expedia Group A Dynamic Design Driven by Connection and Adaptation

Springfield, Missouri, USA

The Challenge

Global online travel company Expedia Group occupied a decommissioned terminal of the Springfield-Branson National Airport for more than a decade, expanding it over the years into a workplace for nearly 1,000 employees. When the company needed a more cohesive and updated design, it partnered with longtime collaborator, HKS, to transform the building into a contemporary office environment. The design team was charged with creating a workplace that offers a frictionless experience and supports Expedia Group’s brand mission to make travel easier and more enjoyable.

The Design Solution

An integrated design process including company-wide stakeholders yielded a vision for the project that emphasizes connection and authenticity of place. Drawing inspiration from the airport as a physical connector and the company’s function as a digital connector between destinations and experiences, the design team solved navigation challenges present in the existing workplace. The design prioritizes access to natural light, improved environmental comfort, and a variety of spaces to support different work and social functions.

The new workplace honors the terminal’s history, highlighting its original features with elements that draw the eye toward them and outward to views of the surrounding airport and sky. It includes clear signage, biophilic elements, and plentiful visual references to air travel with custom experiential graphics featuring three-letter airport codes and maps.
Sustainability and performance are foundational to the project. The design remediates HVAC and building envelope issues and optimizes new systems for efficient energy use and thermal, acoustic and sensory comfort. To reduce carbon footprint, the project team minimized new construction, reused many workstation desks and chairs, and repurposed or recycled flooring and ceiling materials. New interior materials and products were carefully selective to minimize environmental impact and enhance the health of people and planet.

This project’s client is at the forefront of creating progressive, flexible work experiences to better accommodate its workforce. The design serves current and anticipated future needs with design strategies that focus on equity, accessibility and well-being.

The Design Impact

The project has garnered positive feedback from the client’s leadership and end users, who have praised the space as a dynamic, supportive environment that improves comfort and enhances social and work functions. Success stems from deeply collaborative efforts among the design team, the client’s real estate group, and company employees. The dynamic workplace honors the past, present and future of the airport terminal in which it resides and sets a new design standard for the travel company that calls it home.

Project Features

The Place at Honey Springs

Case Study

The Place at Honey Springs A New, Inviting Future for a Historic Dallas Community

Dallas, Texas, USA

The Challenge

The Joppa community was founded in 1872 as a freedmen’s town in present-day South Dallas. Today, the community is isolated from the rest of the city by the borders of a highway, a river, railroad tracks and industrial sites. The neighborhood — also known as Joppee — is a food desert and lacks access to city infrastructure such as grocery stores or sports facilities.  

Citizen HKS partnered with the Melissa Pierce nonprofit organization to revive the abandoned 1950s Melissa Pierce School into a vibrant multipurpose center that reflects the rich history and character of Joppa.

The Design Solution

After extensive community engagement, the design team developed The Place at Honey Springs, a multipurpose center that embodies the vibrant spirit of Joppa’s residents. The center is named for the Joppa community’s original name of Honey Springs, which was annexed into the City of Dallas in 1955.

The Place at Honey Springs features several indoor and outdoor multipurpose areas for community gatherings and dining. A recording studio and classrooms for after-school programs and continued education encourage creativity and lifelong learning.  

The center also boasts a variety of opportunities for neighbors to pursue active lifestyles, including a soccer field, basketball court, exercise stations, open green areas and an indoor swimming pool. Further, community members will have access to fresh produce from multiple aeroponic gardens, and there is dedicated outdoor space for a pop-up clinic to deliver medical services. 

The Design Impact

The Place at Honey Springs stands as a testament to Joppa’s enduring history while equipping the community with tools to design its future. By reimagining the original school building, the new community center helps preserve Joppa’s identity, but is also more sustainable than a brand-new structure.  

The new sloped roof allows for the collection of rainwater to irrigate the center’s native landscaping, and the addition of new trees helps to mitigate the urban heat island effect. If incorporated, solar panels, minimal glazing on the south side of the building and other passive strategies could reduce both energy use and operating costs. 

Project Features


CyrusOne Headquarters

Case Study

CyrusOne Headquarters New World Headquarters Connects Staff and Boosts Efficiency

Dallas, Texas, USA

The Challenge

CyrusOne sought to establish a new world headquarters to promote operational efficiency, increase staff connection, and recruit and retain top talent. The data company tasked global design firm HKS with designing the new office space to enable employees to do their best work, embody the company’s rich culture and be a business catalyst for years to come.

The Design Solution

Initial test fits of various office spaces identified an ideal location for the headquarters on the top floors of the Harwood No. 10 building in Dallas’ Harwood District — a 50,000-square-foot (4,645-square-meter) space featuring a penthouse level with 360-degree views of Downtown and Uptown Dallas. Rather than working within the given framework of inherited office space, CyrusOne identified the company’s unique attributes and key priorities to ensure the new space speaks to the character of the organization and its values. 

Both company leadership and general staff embarked on a workplace strategy process to identify the organizational roles, work processes and organizational culture that would make the build-out of the office space uniquely CyrusOne. Work sessions, an employee survey and focus groups to discuss survey results generated a data-informed approach to workplace design and planning. 

A communicating stair connects the three floors to encourage a higher rate of collaboration and use of the amenity space and conference center located at the penthouse level. With ample seating and easily detachable technology, the breakroom is a café and small event space. All-hands meetings can flow out of the large training room into the café space and even onto the outdoor terrace. Bench seating at the base of the communicating stair and coffee stations at the east and west ends of the building serve as landmarks that support additional opportunities to form organic connections.  

Formal meetings can be held in the office’s large conference spaces or training room. The training room features classroom-like seating and presentation capabilities, while one conference room can be configured into three smaller meeting spaces with operable partition walls. The other large conference space is a boardroom-style space lined with floor-to-ceiling windows.  

One of the office’s hallways is home to custom touches that represent the brand’s culture and identity. CyrusOne’s “Rules of the Road” mottos are highlighted on a wall adjacent to a long wire memo board that showcases postcards and items such as a baseball cap that are important to the company’s identity.  

The Design Impact

CyrusOne’s world headquarters is a meaningful space for the company as it continues to grow its international business in the data center marketplace. The project embodies the CyrusOne brand and work experience as a result of extensive engagement with employees and leadership.  

Project Features

Textron Systems Technology Center 

Case Study

Textron Systems Technology Center  Honoring the Past While Showcasing the Future 

Arlington, Virginia, USA 

The Challenge

After touring an HKS-designed technology center at its sister company, Textron Systems tasked HKS with designing a technology center of its own. The defense, government and aerospace technology company wanted the center to convey its values and mission, immerse its customers in its current technological offerings and inspire collaboration to solve the challenges of the future. 

The Design Solution

At Textron Systems’ technology center, customers are greeted at reception and introduced to the company’s history by a 160-square-foot (14.9-square-meter) LED tile display. Through reception and into the gallery hall, touch panel displays set among metal wall panels guide users along a path through the space.  

Along the path, a technology demonstration theater and reconfigurable, multipurpose boardroom form the core of the center. The theater provides a fully immersive experience with a large LED screen controlled by a touchscreen. As the path curves, visitors are treated to views of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Potomac River and Washington D.C. monuments.  

The ceiling of the gallery hall is adorned with curvilinear ceiling baffles meant to symbolize the organic curves of topography, ocean waves and clouds in the sky. They are a physical representation of the innovation that Textron Systems brings to its seven operational domains: land, air, sea, propulsion, weapon systems, electronic systems and test, training and simulation.  

The Design Impact

Textron Systems’ distribution center simultaneously honors the grit and hands-on collaboration of its 50-year history and invites customers to explore the cutting-edge innovations of its future.   

The technology center contributes to sustainability with energy-saving fixtures and recyclable materials. The use of daylight harvesting sensors that measure daylight and adjust controlled lighting accordingly, energy efficient appliances and manual on/auto off lighting resulted in a 28% reduction of energy use. The ceiling baffles are carbon neutral and made of 100% recyclable PET plastic. Other materials are made of recycled content and are Cradle to Cradle-certified.

Project Features


How Staff Respite Space Can Help Address the Health Care Staffing Crisis

How Staff Respite Space Can Help Address the Health Care Staffing Crisis

Health care is experiencing a staffing crisis worldwide. The International Council on Nurses has estimated that up to 13 million nurses will be needed to fill the global nurse shortage gap.

The U.S. nursing workforce has lost at least 200,000 experienced registered nurses and 60,000 experienced licensed practical nurses/licensed vocational nurses since 2020, according to an estimate reported in the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Study. More than 334,000 nurses participated in the study, which revealed nearly 20 percent of the U.S. nursing workforce is likely to leave the field by 2027.

“Right now, there’s a huge need for nursing staff,” said Lynne Rizk, Partner and Health Studio Practice Leader at global design firm HKS.

To attract staff members – whether recent graduates or experienced nurses who have taken a leave of absence – health systems need to provide facilities that “give the ultimate staff experience,” Rizk said.

“In health care, there is such a strong focus on the patient’s experience that sometimes the staff spaces can be overlooked,” said Jessica Karsten, senior architectural designer, HKS London. “As the people who spend the most time in the facility, it is crucial to ensure the staff’s experience of the building is considered.”

‘Important Real Estate’

Staff spaces are a top priority at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, a recently opened replacement facility in Liverpool, England, that was designed by HKS and architecture firm NBBJ.

The hospital features multiple outdoor landscaped courtyards designed for staff members, patients and the public. Additional courtyards at the hospital are reserved for staff.

The courtyards help supply natural light and views to 90 percent of the hospital’s staff spaces. The building is roughly the shape of a figure eight, with patient floors surrounding the large interior courtyards. A central circulation spine crosses between the courtyards, to reduce travel distances in the hospital.

Staff support areas, such as changing space, staff resting areas, seminar rooms and offices, are located along the central staff circulation route, for convenient access outside the main hospital departments. Flanked by the courtyards, these spaces receive generous daylight and provide expansive outdoor views.

In addition, an entire floor of the hospital is dedicated to staff functions. The 9th floor, which includes administrative offices, on-call areas, resting space for staff members, seminar rooms and a staff dining lounge, has some of the best views of Liverpool available in the building, according to Karsten.

In the design of the facility, hospital leadership made sure “important real estate was given over to the staff,” she said. “Especially now, for staff retention and recruitment purposes, they really wanted to ensure the staff spaces were nice spaces to be in.”

‘Emotional Environment’

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital demonstrated similar thinking on a recent expansion project designed by HKS. The children’s hospital, part of the South Florida-based Memorial Healthcare System, is a tertiary care facility in Hollywood, Florida, that treats everything from common childhood illnesses to highly complex conditions.

“Our staff does a wonderful job taking care of patients and families,” said Scott Singer, the hospital’s assistant administrator. “Pediatrics is a very emotional environment. They deal with a lot of heavy, heavy, heavy subjects.”

The culture at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is focused on upholding staff “and making sure they have the things that they need,” Singer said. He added that facility design is one piece of this organizational strategy. “The building just looks beautiful, to support the wonderful work that the staff does. It was designed based on their input,” he said.

In a health facility, “square footage is very much at a premium,” Singer noted. “As we were programming the space, we felt it was important to include the employees.”

There is a staff lounge on each new patient unit at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. The hospital also reserved a separate block of space in the expansion project for staff use. This respite space includes a kitchenette and dining area; a zone for active socializing and games, such as foosball and darts; and a quiet space with massage chairs and dimmable lighting.

“Health care is stressful,” said Laura Thielen, Studio Practice Leader, HKS Orlando, and an interior designer on the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital project. A retired registered pharmacist, Thielen is one of several HKS staff members with frontline caregiving experience. She said that during her pharmacy career, “it was always nice to have some place where you could go to kind of get away, when things were just too much.”

New Approaches

Providing a variety of respite spaces can help health care staff access the supportive environment they need when and where they need it. Depending on the circumstances, this may be a nearby space to rest or regroup during a shift. An example of such spaces are the respite rooms located within each unit at the new HKS-designed Children’s Tower at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond (Virginia) at VCU.

Or another type of respite spot may be a space that’s removed from the patient unit, where staffers are less likely to be interrupted. They may need to be alone with their thoughts, gather with teammates or go outdoors.

“We have to think about (staff respite) in different ways,” said Deborah Wingler, PhD, HKS Principal and Research Practice Director, Health & Experience.

“It’s not just a room with a plant in the window. It’s about helping health care workers connect to wellness for themselves in a new way.”

HKS and architecture firm KPF are currently designing a renovation project at the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, located on the Mount Sinai Health System campus in New York City. The renovation is slated to include a spa and wellness center that will be used by staff as well as patients. The spa and wellness center are designed to offer yoga, meditation, massage and salon services, such as hair styling.

The design for Tisch Cancer Center also includes a two-story meditation area for patients, family members and staff. The meditation area will feature natural light, comfortable seating and abundant greenery (lifelike artificial trees and plants, for infection control).

“If you’re a staff member and you’re on the floor and you’ve had a couple of tough back-to-back cases, you can go use that quiet space,” said Rizk.

Healthy, Supportive Workplace

In 2021, HKS partnered with the University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for BrainHealth to investigate the role of place, process and technology in creating a brain-healthy workplace – one that empowers people to find purpose, reach peak performance and thrive.

“Brain health is not just about improving mental health, but also improving cognitive skills – allowing you the brain space to do what you’re good at in the best possible way,” said Upali Nanda, PhD, HKS Partner and Global Practice Director, Research.

The research project identified five brain-healthy workplace affordances, or design characteristics. These are: focus, exploration and ideation, collaboration and co-creation, rest and reflection, and social connection.

Focus is especially critical in health facilities, Nanda said. “Distraction is a key issue, especially for nurses. They’re always trying to do a lot of different things at once.”

Environments that afford health care staff the ability to focus, think, collaborate, rest or connect with their colleagues promote brain health, which helps people feel and perform at their best.

HKS is currently partnering on a research project with design brand MillerKnoll to identify factors that contribute to nurse fatigue, exhaustion and burnout, and to learn how those factors relate to the built environment. Wingler said that early results indicate that organizational support is essential to staff satisfaction. Staff respite should be integral to health facility design and operations, as part of overarching policies of respect and support for staff.

Last year, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company surveyed 368 frontline nurses providing direct patient care in the U.S. “Not valued by organization” tied as the number one reason the surveyed registered nurses gave for deciding to leave a job in the past 18 months. Providing dedicated quiet space for staff was one strategy the McKinsey report noted that had been successful in increasing staff retention and decreasing feelings of burnout.

“We have the most rapidly diminishing health care workforce that we’ve ever had,” said Wingler. “We have to start thinking about ways not only to extend our current workforce in health care, but to make it a place where people want to invest a career.”

HKS Hospitality Interiors Becomes ROAM

HKS Hospitality Interiors Becomes ROAM

Today’s announcement of the launch of ROAM Interior Design, a new independently operated luxury design firm, is the result of extensive planning and research by a veteran team of designers. We at HKS look forward to continued collaboration with ROAM as it takes luxury design to new heights. Below is a release from ROAM about its new venture.

DALLAS, TX [November 8, 2023] – Today we proudly announce the launch of ROAM Interior Design, a new independently operated luxury design firm with specialization in hospitality and residential categories. Previously known as HKS Hospitality Interiors, ROAM will be led by design veterans Mary Alice Palmer and Olga Acosta. They will be ably supported by an award-winning team of interior designers and interior architects underscored by a well-established international portfolio, including Auberge Resorts Bishop’s Lodge in New Mexico and Esperanza Los Cabos. As a newly established maverick interior design firm, ROAM may now more freely showcase its work and operate independently with external partners, expanding the firm’s reach within the highly competitive landscape. 

“The ability to establish ROAM as an independent practice is a pivotal moment for our team, allowing the opportunity to bring on new, exciting projects with the added flexibility of working with independent brands, owners and architectural partners,” said Mary Alice Palmer, Global Creative Director and Founding Principal at ROAM. “We look forward to continued collaboration with HKS, pushing each other’s project boundaries through innovation and curiosity to achieve extraordinary results for our clients, while allowing ROAM to freely compete and establish its own identity within the highly specialized industry.”

ROAM’s name is conceived from its story of discovery, journeys and place – that a life well-lived is one of insatiable curiosity that finds inspiration and creativity through exploration. With this story, ROAM crafts its narratives through immersive, multifaceted spaces that evoke a sensory-driven experience, eliciting a sense of luxury with the freedom to relax without a timeline in surroundings that exceed expectations. The firm’s distinguished design team does not fear “jumping into the abyss,” Palmer said, which allows their instinctual creative direction and innovation to lead them in their projects. With a natural focus on creating spaces that promote a human-centric experience rooted in well-being, the ROAM team has already established itself as an organic leader in hospitality, focusing on a collective mindset that allows the creation of something that transcends the individual.

“We look forward to continuing to lead with our deeply held ideals of empathetic listening and collaboration as we take on exciting new projects,” said Olga Acosta, Global Practice Manager and Principal at ROAM. “I believe the establishment of ROAM will open doors to interesting new clients, opportunities and talent across the globe, and I look forward to leading that charge alongside Mary Alice and our expert team.”

ROAM Interiors will operate in Dallas and London with plans to expand to additional international regions in the future. The firm will continue to collaborate with HKS and directly with hospitality owners, brands, operators, developers and architectural partners globally, offering a menu of services including interior design and interior architecture, branding, product design, creative direction, strategy, art and accessory curation, and F&B concept development. 

The formal launch of ROAM Interior Design will take place on November 8th in New York marking the beginning of a new era for luxury design in the hospitality and residential sectors.

For more information on ROAM, please visit our website and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.


Case Study

CoreLogic Navigating CRE Investments in Post-COVID Times

United States (Multiple Sites)

The Challenge

To realign its North American commercial real estate portfolio with its evolving suite of services and the work patterns of its staff employs to deliver them, CoreLogic tapped HKS to assess its employees’ new ways of working to align itself with the post-Covid needs of its customers. The study included more than a dozen office locations totaling nearly 800,000 square feet of leased space for more than 3,500 employees. Insights and recommendations are helping CoreLogic make targeted investments in its offices that elevate the everyday experience and amplify the signature “Moments That Matter” for its Brand.

The Design Solution

A diagnostic look at the work patterns and preferences of its employees included: current-state assessment of space utilization, senior leadership alignment workshops, as well as a deep ‘How You Work’ engagement with every employee. This multipronged approach captured a holistic perspective of actual work patterns in the current context and identified attributes of an ideal future-state. Insights around the uniqueness of CoreLogic’s deep expertise and analytic nature enabled HKS to advise on both portfolio-level and location-specific recommendations for real estate and design interventions.

An overall impact framework identified office design concepts tailored to CoreLogic’s current needs and improvement opportunities. Design concepts range from foundational expressions of Brand, while others pilot innovative work environments borrowed across industries, such as the gaming arenas, brain-break salons, and rapid-ops collaboration. HKS recommendations support unique team workflows, prioritized in-office experiences, and maintaining CoreLogic’s strongly aligned culture of excellence as measured in expertise, responsiveness, and accuracy.

The Design Impact

At the time of publishing, CoreLogic is actively implementing both foundational and pilot interventions at multiple locations. Each location has been analyzed for primary work group needs and office priorities based on unique work team strengths by geography. They are expected to open or re-open these offices in 2023. With the study in hand, CoreLogic can critically evaluate existing offices and proposed real estate acquisitions leveraging facility data to maintain their workspace effectiveness affordably and consistently over time.

In order to balance financial investment with project priorities and existing resources, CoreLogic considers each site location’s space typologies and office design relative to cost and impact.

HKS identified different space types based on CoreLogic’s unique organizational culture and work patterns to optimize the office experience bespoke to each geographic location, departmental representation, and local employee feedback.

Project Features

“CoreLogic came to realize we needed to make our workplaces where our team members wanted to come to, not had to come to. That’s a very important distinction. HKS is key enabler in helping us refine our design language to a place where we could turn that priority into reality. With the tools they have armed us with, we stand a chance at attracting team members to be together, rather than other, more prescriptive approaches. Being the employer of choice is about being where our team wants to be.”

Ryan T. Martin,
Sr Leader, Real Estate & Facilities Management

Private Client Outpatient Centre

Case Study

Private Client Outpatient Centre From 19th Century Office Building to 21st Century London Clinic

London, UK

The Challenge

Our client sought to convert an existing six-story, 19th century office building into a modern health care facility that provides a comprehensive range of services. The design had to consider the constraints of the building’s Central London location, including limited space and noise pollution. Challenges included compliant design for any specialist health care technology, such as the MRI suite, in a narrow floorplate within a period building facade.

The Design Solution

The Outpatient Centre is designed to provide a safe and welcoming environment where patients can feel comfortable while receiving medical care. The facility is equipped with the latest technology to enhance quality, safety and experience of care. It offers a variety of outpatient services including outpatient appointments, diagnostics, and general practice appointments for cardiology, neuroscience, digestive diseases, orthopedics, ENT, urology and executive health assessments.

Structural reinforcement was introduced to the imaging scanning rooms, and the slab below the scanning rooms had to be strengthened. The existing façade was structurally reinforced and carefully dismantled for equipment installation and returned to its original condition. Existing bricks were retained and reused as much as possible, otherwise reclaimed bricks were used. A sustainable approach was also taken in the choice of materials. Timber wall paneling, rubber flooring and natural stone were all chosen due to their low end-of-life environmental impact.

The clinic’s design is focused on creating a healing environment that would reduce stress and anxiety for patients. The registration and admissions areas have clear wayfinding to give patients an initial impression of confidence. The waiting areas are soothing, with comfortable seating and access to natural light. Consulting and treatment rooms are located on the upper floors to take advantage of the surrounding area’s beautiful views. This provides a pleasant, calming, and therapeutic environment for staff to work in and for patients receiving medical care.

Staff retention and recruitment were also considered in the design of the building. For example, comfortable spaces were created to support staff alertness, health, and well-being. The aim was to create an environment where staff could feel comfortable and supported while providing medical care to patients. This helps to improve staff satisfaction and retention rates, which can ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.

The Design Impact

The Outpatient Centre is a modern and functional health care facility designed to provide patients and staff with a safe and welcoming environment. Repurposing the existing building to its new clinical function while maintaining its structure, vertical circulation and façade significantly extended the life of the building and eliminated the need for a new build.

Project Features

Seven Surprising Things about Globe Life Field’s Design

Seven Surprising Things about Globe Life Field’s Design

The last time HKS-designed Globe Life Field hosted a World Series, the team that plays its home games there, the Texas Rangers, wasn’t a participant. That will change this year when the Rangers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks to determine baseball’s best.

In 2020, for health and security reasons during the height of the Covid pandemic, Major League Baseball selected Globe Life Field as the neutral site for that year’s Series matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Back then, Globe Life Field was in its first year of use and fans and players alike were still getting used to the sights and sounds of what remains Major League Baseball’s newest ballpark. Designed and built to provide the ultimate fan experience, at 4 years old, Globe Life Field is still full of surprises and interesting tidbits that make coming to a game or any Globe Life Field event more fun. Here are just a few.

1. It’s All About the Roof

The stars do indeed shine bright deep in the heart of Texas, and fans can see for themselves whenever the Rangers (or Major League Baseball during the playoffs) open the massive retractable roof at Globe Life Field. At 240,000 square feet (22,296 square meters), it is the largest single-panel operable roof in the world. And while it took three weeks to assemble the crane used to hoist the roof into place, it takes slightly less time than that — about 12 to 15 minutes — to open or close it. And even when the roof is closed, the use of 223 ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushions, which is lightweight and transparent, allows natural light to filter throughout the stadium.

2. Rock Around the Clock

At Globe Life Field, it’s possible to watch the game while literally sitting in a rocking chair. Located in section 203 outside the Karbach Brewing concession area in left field, the rocking chairs – which do require a game ticket – offer fans the opportunity to experience the game with a Texas “back porch feel” and a birds-eye view. And that’s not all, fans can even watch the game from picnic tables and, out at the Wild Rag Deck in centerfield, they can watch from small taco tables with in-seat service. And even if you can’t nab a seat in a rocking chair or at a picnic table, don’t worry, there are no bad seats within Globe Life Field. All 43,300 seats are designed to provide an intimate look toward the field. Even when fans head out of their seats to grab their favorite concession items or to use the restrooms, the clear, wide concourses —including a 360-degree lower-level concourse that is unique in baseball to Globe Life Field — allow fans to always keep an eye on the action. It’s all part of the overall design plan to take facility beyond just being a place to watch a game, but a place that feels like home for fans and players alike.

“One of the things that rises to the top for me is that (the Rangers) wanted to create a backyard feel, something that was a true destination amidst this larger entertainment district,” said Fred Ortiz, HKS Principal and the lead architect for Globe Life Field. “Something that would lend itself to be welcoming, to allow families and friends to have a really great time, and to actually walk away with some incredible memories.”

3. The World is Watching

Well, maybe not the whole world, but the 58’ by 150’ LED videoboard in right field is among the biggest and brightest in the Major Leagues. And when we say the board is in right field, we mean just that. HKS worked with Major League Baseball to gain approval to place the videoboard in the field of play, the only one like it in baseball. It extends 40 feet from the outfield wall over the playing surface. And although designers also did much research to ensure that a ball never reaches the scoreboard, in the unlikely event a batted ball does strike the board, stadium ground rules call for it to be ruled as a home run.

4. We’re Moving on Up (and Down)

A key design element of any HKS-designed stadium is flexibility, the ability to host a variety of professional and other top-tier events in the facility, sometimes on the same day. Globe Life Field is no different. But the baseball stadium has an additional challenge that AT&T Stadium and American Airlines Center — both also designed by HKS — do not have a 10-inch-high pitcher’s mound in the middle of it. But the mound is never truly removed for non-baseball events. According to Thomas Smith, HKS Principal and Senior Project Architect on the Globe Life Field project, the mound was designed with a hydraulic lift that takes about 10 minutes to raise and lower it whenever necessary.

“With some minor field prep and the push of a button, the mound drops below the playing surface and is covered up in preparation for setting up alternate field events like concerts, football games, or even dirt events like motocross.” 

5. The Suite Life

Globe Life Field has 71 long-term suites and 37 nightly suites that offer a range of configurations. In addition, there is ample premium club seating, some of it below the playing field, which gives fans a view and feel equivalent to those of players in the dugout. And the distance from home plate to the field level club behind it is 42 feet, which is simultaneously the closest in baseball and a tribute to baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson. In fact, most of the ballpark’s field dimensions are tributes to former Ranger greats including Adrian Beltre, Ivan Rodriguez and Nolan Ryan. The close proximity of the premium seats is another staple of HKS stadiums; similar seating is found at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, as well as SoFi Stadium in California, the home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers.

6. Forward, Arch

One key design element of Globe Life Field is found from outside the stadium and inside into the upper reaches of the outfield concourse where the “arches that make up the north colonnade are inspired by the façade of Choctaw Stadium,” Smith said. Choctaw Stadium was formerly known as The Ballpark in Arlington, the Rangers former home, which HKS also had a hand in designing.

“Instead of simply replicating the arches on the façade of Globe Life Field, our design team decided to rotate the arches 90 degrees so we could maximize indirect daylight into the space while also creating an opportunity for fans to experience the arches as part of their journey to their seats,” Smith said.

Ortiz also noted the architectural shout out to the arches, along with other HKS-designed structures nearby such as AT&T Stadium, Texas Live! and three hotels that, along with Globe Life Field, comprise a major entertainment district that has become a destination location for fans near and far.

“It had to be about the Texas Rangers, its brand its culture, it’s identity,” Ortiz said. “Yes, we made a nod to the architecture of Globe Life Park. You see the beautiful arches that create an incredible feature that’s of the scale of the (entertainment) district. It’s a large window . . . both into the ballpark, and from the ballpark out into the district.”

7. The Global Influence

Globe Life Field has not only transformed the local North Texas sports and entertainment scene, but it has also flexed its design muscle internationally. The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters were so impressed with Globe Life Field, that team officials asked HKS to design something similar. The 35,000-seat Es Con Hokkaido stadium, the first new ballpark in Japanese baseball in two decades, opened March 30 to much fanfare. Like Globe Life Field, the Japanese stadium’s signature element is a large retractable roof. It also features a 360-degree concourse and the Fighters’ clubhouse is the second largest in the world behind only, you guessed it, the Texas Rangers.

Alejandro Danel 

Case Studies

Seven Considerations for Health Care Design in the Middle East 

Seven Considerations for Health Care Design in the Middle East 

The Middle East is steeped in rich heritage and cultural subtleties, so designing the region’s next generation of health care facilities requires a nuanced approach. Each year, the Global Health Exhibition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, brings health care professionals together to connect and drive health care innovation in the region. Please visit global design firm HKS at our booth at Riyadh Front Exhibition and Conference Center from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31, 2023, as we reflect on the various ways HKS addresses key Middle Eastern cultural and environmental characteristics through our award-winning health care designs. 

Responding to the Climate with Vernacular Architecture 

With temperatures hovering at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade for more than half the year, a building’s orientation is one of our first considerations when planning new structures. The site location of Kuwait Children’s Hospital required the HKS team to design patient windows to face east and west. Solar studies were performed to create sophisticated shading systems on both sides of the building to not only reduce solar gain but also reduce glare and enhance comfort within patient rooms. Catwalks on every other floor allow easy cleaning of the windows and shading systems after humid dust storms characteristic of the region. Canopies over outdoor respite areas are necessary for a large portion of the year, and HVAC systems need to be powerful, durable and efficient to minimize energy consumption. 

Water is a Precious Commodity in the Desert 

Because much of the region relies on desalination plants to provide water, irrigation is strictly regulated. Through the use of regional plant life such as Ghaf trees, we provide xeriscaping to minimize water usage. On-site water recycling plants efficiently irrigate green spaces. 

During transportation, water is warmed by intense heat and must be cooled before use. Brutal sunlight means that roof storage isn’t an option for cooling. Some jurisdictions, such as Kuwait, require water be stored in subterranean tanks or cooling towers before it is distributed. Pumps are then required to move water to its destination. Further, the use of large water features is discouraged due to the high evaporation ratio year-round. 

Designing for Cultural Subtleties and Privacy 

The Middle East can appear to be one large desert to some, but each country has specific cultural interests. Some countries are more conservative than others, and thus, understanding how varying cultural and religious customs can affect traffic patterns throughout a hospital is important. For example, some hospitals may include separate waiting rooms for men and women or an emergency room with an entrance split in different directions for men and women. Prayer rooms for men and women, and sometimes even mosques, are incorporated into convenient locations of our designs. 

Some clients prefer traditional architecture to help patients feel comfortable, especially as health care can be a sensitive topic in the Middle East — many patients prefer not to share details about their health. Health care facilities such as Prince Sattam University Hospital in Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia, are in conservative agricultural areas outside of urban centers. Sensitivity to the local community is important, so the team focused on developing a design that utilizes local stone for the exterior facades. To reduce the sense of anxiety while providing familiarity to the agriculture community, the project was organized around a wadi, or valley, including natural elements that blend into the lobby. The National Rehabilitation Clinic (NRC) in Abu Dhabi also employs vernacular architecture to ease anxiety.

Planning for Large Families

Families tend to be larger in the Middle East than in western countries, and rather than one or two visitors, a patient might receive six or eight at a time. Patient rooms are designed with patient, caregiver and family zones, and public areas are designed to accommodate multiple families. 

Incorporating amenities in public spaces is a priority. Kuwait Children’s Hospital’s five-story atrium stretches nearly 1,500 feet and includes a hollow whale where movies are played, cafes, and other elements that blend health care, hospitality, and retail. We developed outdoor courtyards for Prince Sattam University and the NRC to allow families, or even patients, to walk away and take a break from the hospital. 


Rising energy costs and a harsh climate mean that sustainability is being pushed to the forefront of the region’s unique challenges. Dubai, for example, requires a sustainability checklist when submitting building permits, and other countries require a minimum of LEED-Silver equivalent design for government hospital projects. Our exterior design for Prince Sattam resulted in a 30% reduction of energy. Designers must continue to encourage clients and peers to support energy efficient initiatives. 

Rapid Growth 

The Middle East has a large middle-income class with growing expectations, and HKS is creating the next generation of health care facilities to meet the region’s needs. Dubai and some other cities have almost quadrupled in size over the last 20 years, and health care investment is struggling to keep pace. 

Private providers are beginning to invest in new facilities. Hospitals such as Danat Al Emarat, a private maternity hospital, are successful examples of an efficient and financially responsible project meeting the needs of Abu Dhabi. HKS has been involved with several teaching hospital campuses, including CapitalMED Medical City in Egypt and Prince Sattam University Hospital, in the ongoing challenge to meet the region’s demand for experienced physicians.  

Part 2: How Do We Break the Workstation, and What Should We Design Instead?

Part 2: How Do We Break the Workstation, and What Should We Design Instead?

In the first installment in this series, we made a provocative, brain-based, and historically-informed argument for the need to break the concept of the open office workstation. This time, we’ll describe a case study of how we can break the workstation, and what we can remake in its place. In doing so, we’re also addressing the rule and tradition of the workstation – behaviors many workers have come to expect and accept without questioning why. 

First, take a look at Office Plan 1 below. Where do you go? Easy, right? You find your default seat amongst the banks of other workstations. Now, take a look at Office Plan 2. Where do you go?

Not as easy? If you’re like many experienced corporate employees, you’re looking at Office Plan 2 and not seeing what you’d expect. Your brain cannot predict where to go right now because you don’t see the traditionally placed bank of open office workstations. In other words, the concept of the default workstation you’re dependent on is no longer there. It has been broken. 

What you see instead are different groupings of desks and tables in varying sizes of space. A couple of the rooms look like they might be conference rooms, but what about the rest of the office?  

To Create Places that are Experiential We Need to Address Experiential Blindness

While trying to figure out what those other spaces are, and when you don’t have any contextual information from your past to try and make sense of the present, some neuroscientists might say that you’re in a state of experiential blindness

This sounds like a bad thing, but it’s not – it’s a huge design and behavioral opportunity to change how you make sense of the intent of a space, and what it offers you when you use it (i.e., what the space affords you). Once your brain has the context it needs to understand that intent, your experiential blindness is resolved, and in its place, you have a new understanding of that space.  

Let’s look at this smaller space taken from Office Plan 2 as an example. Undoubtedly, you have plenty of contextual information from your past about chairs, tables, and monitors, but you don’t yet understand what this space, as a whole, is intended to afford you and your team.  

Imagine that your company (a knowledge work professional service organization) communicates that the intent of this space is to help speed up idea formation in high-pressure situations. This highly flexible environment is in a layout right now that functions best when approaching a deadline, and it provides a media center for projecting and sharing work with team members in other parts of the world. It is reservable for weeks at a time and has dedicated pinup spaces so that teams can take advantage of the benefits of spatial memories of artifacts related to a project for extended periods of time. 

If communicated effectively, you now have contextual information for the intended affordances of this space. In other words, you’re starting to form a new concept of that space. What’s more, if that concept is to become stickier in your brain, this space needs a name – we’ll call it the Rapid Ops room. 

So now, when you enter the office and you see this room, you no longer have experiential blindness – instead, you see the Rapid Ops room, and this concept will become stronger and more focused over time if you use the space with teams in high-pressure situations when deadlines are approaching.

Time as a Building Block

In the previous installment in this series, we argued that the open office workstation was a hangover from the industrial era, and that it has become the default building block of the modern open office. We proposed that an office design should instead focus first on people’s needs before physical solutions are proposed. 

When you viewed Office Plan 2 above, we asked you to consider where you’d go. This was difficult because you didn’t have context for the intent of each space. When you gain more context for what each of the different spaces afford you and your team, the question of where you’d go becomes more intentional because there is not a default workstation. 

But when you’re considering where to go, what you’re really asking yourself is where you need to go in that moment to meet the demands of a specific activity – this is an issue of designing your time

In other words, a key building block for office effectiveness is the time that individuals and teams plan for different activities, whether in advance or ad hoc. This is critical because time is the common denominator among known challenges in open office workstations. It is at the core of multi-tasking (i.e., performing more than one task at a time), and unwanted environmental distractions (i.e., performing an activity at odds with others’ activities in your vicinity at the same time).

By designing our time, we are both focusing on the tasks that need to be completed (the work itself) and deciding when to get that work done collectively. This moves the dimension of time from a problematic common denominator to an ally in the fight for a brain healthy workplace. Work that is best done as a team, for example, needs to be designed together.  

But we first must understand what the work itself is. Who needs to participate, what kinds of technology, resources, and infrastructure are needed? Then, when we match activities with available spaces designed with specific intent, we help utilize those spaces at their highest value toward the organization’s goals. In many ways this may sound obvious, but for most organizations, this method of designing time necessitates a new and more intentional way of thinking about space allocation.

Rethinking the ‘Me’ in Me / We / Us

Throughout the past several decades of workplace design, the Me / We / Us framework has been used more and more prevalently. Used to categorize space allocation and justify programming ratios in floor plans, Me / We / Us essentially describes three high-level, somewhat abstract categories to help users understand an office environment. 

‘Me’ space – historically the foundational building block of workstations and private offices – serves as the primary square footage allocation in most office designs. ‘We’ space typically includes group work settings, including open collaboration, conference rooms, and sometimes shared workstations and offices. ‘Us’ space is typically characterized by social gathering and other shared activities not necessarily dedicated to performing typical work tasks, such as café spaces, lounges, and lobbies. 

In our new paradigm shift, however, the definition of ‘Me’ space needs to be modified. If there is no longer a dedicated, default workstation where you go to drop your bag and park for the day, then what should ‘Me’ space be? Perhaps ‘Me’ space is no longer about allocation of space but the policy and agency to design your time for individual effectiveness within the work ecosystem at large – in Huddle or Focus rooms, shared ‘We’ spaces, public coffee shops, or home workspaces depending on individual effectiveness, preference, and the task at hand.  

One danger here is that employees may equate this loss of traditional ‘Me’ space with a loss of perceived ownership and presence of their office experience. This is why communication of the designed intent of all the different space concepts within the office is critical, as ‘Me’ spaces may imply that other spaces are not mine. 

But when employees can let go of ownership over just one tiny part of the office (their overstressed workstation) and shift their sense of agency toward the entire office complete with all its tailored ‘We’ and ‘Us’ spaces, the value proposition of the office itself becomes more evident. 

If designed well, the value of utilizing the office for those intended activities showcases how a space can help you and your team accomplish different work tasks better than you could anywhere else, including your home workspace, because it was designed with specific intent.

One of those value-driven intents for the office space in many organizations will undoubtedly be social connection (consistently cited as a top reason for why people want to come to the office post-pandemic). We know that the strength of social connections at work has shifted over the past few years, with second and third level connections suffering most. It is time for us to consider how a more intentionally designed office environment can bolster those in-person connections we’ve lost while keeping our newer virtual connections alive and well. 

Up Next

By designing our collective time in accordance with intentionally designed office spaces, we highlight the shortcomings of an oversimplified ratio for programming. There is not some magical ratio of workstations to conference rooms to focus pods that we’re all just oh-so close to nailing down for organizations to be most effective. 

By planning and aligning our time with our intent and our tailored workspaces, we can see that square footage is better considered as a design outcome, and not as a design driver. In this installment, we have shown a case study where overall square footage remained similar. But depending on the available work ecosystem of spaces (both physical and digital) and organizational goals, one organization’s intentionally aligned real estate investment may become much smaller (or even vanish), while another’s may need to grow substantially. 

Now that you’ve seen an example of how we can break the workstation and reinvent the office as an intentional part of the ecosystem of workplaces, next time we’ll show you how we can get to those solutions with you as a client.  

Here’s a hint: It’s not simple, it requires investment in the right people and resources, and it’s all about accountability in relationships. 

5th & John Life Science Building

Case Study

5th & John Life Science Building 5th & John Brings Delight to Seattle Uptown Neighborhood

Seattle, WA

The Challenge

Lincoln Property Company selected HKS and local Seattle firm Compton Design Office to design a core & shell building to house biological lab and office functions that would also provide a future hub of neighborhood activity and reflect the eclectic nature of its surrounding context. The project site is adjacent to the Seattle Center, home of the famed Space Needle and origin point for the city’s monorail, which runs parallel to the property. The building massing and façade design respond to both the kineticism of the train’s movement and are emblematic of the progressive optimism embodied by the Seattle Center.

The Design Solution

Observing the train’s elevated path as an implied boundary extending through the district, the concept of the “Datum of Delight” was developed to describe this virtual line between the space of the ground-level experience and space of the contextual built environment above. The Datum introduces elements of surprise, excitement, and inspiration to the site by differentiating the types of experiences that occur both above and below. Through the medium of the Datum, the project responds to the rich culture of spectacle and arts in Uptown and enhances the pedestrian experience along 5th Avenue and John Street.

From this, the project’s primary design focus is the creation of delight; the development of unique and memorable experiential conditions for both the pedestrian who engages with the site directly and the observer who interacts visually from a distance. At ground level, the design responds to the rich culture and eclectic nature of the Uptown neighborhood, providing active open space with opportunities for neighborhood residents and visitors to connect, enhancing the pedestrian experience along 5th Avenue and John Street and celebrating an exceptional site tree within an expansive public space. Above the datum, the façade responds to the context of the site through a distinct massing and curtain wall design that expresses the vibrancy of the neighborhood and responds to the activity and speed of the adjacent monorail line. The façade further illustrates an active response to the monorail’s presence through a kinetic light installation to create an enduring phenomenon in the district and a natural extension of the progressive spirit of the Seattle Center.

The façade design is also an integral part of the project’s strategy to reduce energy loads while maximizing user comfort and views relative to solar orientation through strategic shading, fenestration depth and density. This aids in minimizing the load on the existing power grid in concert with other choices such as using renewable energy sources, eliminating the use of natural gas fuel and specification of an energy-saving mechanical system.

The Design Impact

The decision to provide a 3,000 sf (278 sm) outdoor amenity space at grade allowed the design team to add an additional 0.5 FAR (13,500 sf, or 1,254 sm) to the building area while also providing the neighborhood with a new community focal point and space for engagement and activity.

The project is being submitted for LEED Gold certification and was designed as an all-electric powered facility to minimize its carbon footprint on day one, providing a solar-ready infrastructure at the roof to transition a portion of its energy supply to solar panels in the future. The inclusion of a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) mechanical system provides additional savings on energy use.

Project Features

Keck Medicine of USC Newport Beach Oncology Clinic and Infusion Center

Case Study

Keck Medicine of USC Newport Beach Oncology Clinic and Infusion Center Newport Beach Gets Enhanced Oncology Care with New USC Keck Medicine Center

Newport Beach, CA, USA

The Challenge

Keck Medicine of USC sought to expand access to its oncology services in Orange County. It leased a newly built two-story medical office building in the heart of Newport Beach, located on a narrow site backing up to a residential neighborhood. With a curved glass façade, the key driver was to design a quiet and restful environment with soothing ocean views for patients and their families during infusion treatment.

The building would be renovated into a comprehensive cancer treatment that specializes in a wide range of cancers and blood disorders and serves a one-stop-shop for infusion patients, with an on-site blood draw laboratory and infusion pharmacy where patients receive coordinated and personalized treatment plans. The challenge was to plan and design a robust cancer clinic program within an existing narrow building to deliver world-class treatment services.

The Design Solution

The Newport Beach location was designed to cater to both patients’ physical health and mental well-being. Recognizing the community’s desire for privacy and personalized care, the patient-centric facility features private patient suites, a concierge service, and individualized treatment plans.

The clinic and treatment spaces were carefully planned to maximize functional space and efficiencies. Level 1 contains the main check-in with exam rooms, physician offices, laboratory, and pharmacy. The pharmacy’s hood vents dictated its location, which drove the layout of the entire floor. Level 2 has spacious semi-private infusion bays offer ocean views with room for guests. Brace framing was used to help minimize the number of columns along the curved glass façade. Nurse stations were designed to provide optimal views to the infusion bays. Adjustable height worksurfaces were used throughout the workspace and physician offices to allow staff to work in a comfortable environment.

To put patients at ease, the space feels airy, bright and coastal with plenty of natural light, soothing artwork and clear sightlines for staff. The design has a nautical theme using rich woods, blues and neutral tones. Waiting areas on both levels feature oversized abstracted pieces that are reminiscent of reflections on the water. Wood planks on the  ceiling mimic a boardwalk in the harbor. Light wood tones and neutral finishes provide an excellent background to enhance the views and artwork.

The Design Impact

The Newport Beach location gives residents of Orange County access to the most effective and advanced cancer therapies available, in a comfortable and soothing environment. Patients can receive customized treatment at the same location, reducing stress and improving clinical outcomes.

With accessible screening services, a higher percentage of Newport Beach residents received timely diagnoses. A notable percentage of residents enrolled in clinical trials, contributing to advancements in oncology care. The convenience of local services combined with Keck’s premium care has led to high patient satisfaction rates.

A continuous educational outreach program helps local residents be more proactive about their health, leading to a more health-conscious community. Seminars, health fairs, and workshops on cancer prevention, early detection, and recent advancements in treatment are organized for residents.

 USC Keck Medicine’s initiative in Newport Beach underscores that community-specific health care approaches are pivotal. By understanding the unique needs of Newport Beach residents, Keck successfully brought top-tier oncology care to their doorstep, blending convenience with excellence.

Project Features

King’s College Hospital Jeddah

Case Study

King’s College Hospital Jeddah Offering High Quality Care with Local Aesthetics

Jeddah, Saudia Arabia

The Challenge

As part of the Government of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Healthcare Sector Transformation Programme, King’s College Hospital Jeddah is the first hospital in Saudi Arabia to be truly integrated with the world class physicians and research from King’s College Hospital (KCH) London. Established in 1840, KCH London is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK, with a long history of successfully caring for patients with complex conditions.

It is envisaged that King’s College Hospital will draw and retain the most talented healthcare staff and bring the highest quality of care, and subsequently positive patient outcomes, making King’s College Hospital the hospital of choice for Jeddah and its surrounds. Building on the success of the recently completed King’s College Hospital Dubai, KCH Jeddah was envisioned to be focused on clinical innovation with hospitality-like patient services.

The hospital is located along King Abdulaziz Road, a major artery in Jeddah, which is along the path of the Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The tight site in a congested area brought difficulties in creating access and circulation points during construction.

The Design Solution

Taking cues from the ageless quality and vibrant characteristics of Jeddah, the objective was to design a modern medical facility that provides the highest quality care and experience for patients, families, and staff. The grand main entrance was a vital element in creating a unique visitor experience. The heavily glazed exterior facades provide a hospitality-like ambiance consistent with the five-star treatment within.

The patient-centred care model is designed to address a range of complex and critical care requirements unique to the residents and communities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The hospital is fully integrated with KCH London, offering 24-hour primary care, a full range of outpatient care services and select inpatient services. In addition to locally based physicians, senior KCH physicians from London and Dubai will offer virtual consultations for complex cases. There is also a visiting physicians and surgeon programme with some of KCH’s top surgeons and physicians visiting KCH Jeddah.

Interior spaces are designed for an upscale user experience, creating patient comfort and safety with high-end quality environment with hospitality-like amenities. Using the interior branding established at KCH Dubai, the colour scheme emphasises the sense of community and culture. The warm tones in the palette compliment the wooden Rawashins dotting the city, with sea foam accents marking the entryways.

The Design Impact

King’s College Hospital Jeddah, with the support of King’s College Hospital London, has a world leading position in health care and therapeutic institutes. The London and Jeddah hospitals share knowledge from established research centres in the UK, which reduces the need for patients to travel to the UK for specialty treatment.

The sophisticated design and world-class healthcare services provided here draw and retain the most talented staff to provide the highest quality of care. The resulting positive patient outcomes will make it the hospital of choice for Jeddah and its surrounding communities.

KCH Jeddah is expected to be the first of many similar projects, providing King’s College Hospital the platform for further growth in KSA.

Project Features

“During the design process, HKS demonstrated their deep knowledge of healthcare planning and design, and worked effectively and collaboratively with all stakeholders, including our clinical teams from King’s College Hospital, London.”

Kevin L. Duffy, Chief Construction Officer
King’s College Hospital Jeddah