HOK will acquire Kansas City-based 360 Architecture

360 Architecture designed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets.
360 Architecture designed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

HOK, an architecture, engineering and design company with offices in 23 cities around the world, on Tuesday announced it will have a Kansas City footprint again with its acquisition of 360 Architecture.

The Kansas City-based 360 Architecture, a leading designer of stadiums, ballparks, arenas, recreation centers and entertainment districts, will re-energize HOK’s sports-facility business, a practice it spun off in 2008.

The purchase price was not announced. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of October.

“We were looking for ways to get back into the sport architecture profession,” said Bill Hellmuth, HOK president. “We’re also really interested in their general architecture practice in Kansas City.”

360 Architecture has more than 180 employees in Kansas City, San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio. HOK has more than 1,600 employees worldwide.

HOK’s previous Kansas City office was spun off in 2008, resulting in the independent office’s renaming a year later as Populous. Populous has about 240 employees here among about 500 globally, Populous senior principal Earl Santee said Tuesday.

A reintegration with HOK “was nothing we’d considered,” Santee said of Populous, which is a world-leading sports architecture firm with such projects as the 2012 Summer Olympics stadium in London and the stadium for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as well as 20 Major League Baseball stadiums.

Brad Schrock, senior principal at 360 Architecture, said the acquisition by HOK was considered and agreed to within a matter of days, starting about two months ago.

Schrock said 360 Architecture received a call on a Wednesday from HOK, leaders had a private lunch in San Francisco on a Friday, brought the two companies’ senior leadership together in Napa Valley on a Monday, “and within 15 minutes we knew we were aligned culturally.”

The 360 Architecture name will “go away,” to be replaced by HOK, Schrock said.

Hellmuth, who leads HOK out of its Washington office, forecast “a great deal of hiring … just the opposite of staff cuts” because of the acquisition.

“We also have a health care group with no equal,” Hellmuth said, expecting that industry to contribute to growth opportunity in Kansas City.

Tom Waggoner, another senior principal at 360 Architecture, said he, too, sees “cross pollination” with HOK’s commercial, corporate and hospitality markets.

360 Architecture was founded in Kansas City in 2004 through a merger of CDFM2 Architecture and Heinlein Schrock Stearns.

HOK, founded in 1955, started its HOK Sport division in 1983 but exited that business in 2008. Some former HOK associates work in Kansas City at both 360 Architecture and Populous.

Schrock said 360 Architecture expects to stay put in its current Kansas City offices at 300 W. 22nd St., where it has a long-term lease on the building.

Populous, on the other hand, will be moving from its current River Market building to renovated space in the former Board of Trade building near the Country Club Plaza.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to

HOK adds sports muscle with 360 Architecture


Founded: 1955

Employees: 1,600 in 23 cities worldwide

Local landmarks: The Sprint Campus.

In the works: Papworth Hospital in the U.K.; William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center, an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Jackson Health Center master plan, Miami; Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. headquarters, United Arab Emirates.

360 Architecture

Founded: 2004

Employees: 180 in Kansas City, San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio.

Local landmarks: H&R Block World Headquarters; Kansas City Power & Light District; Polsinelli headquarters; AMC Theatre Support Center.

In the works: Sun Life Stadium for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins; Rogers Place arena for NHL’s Edmonton Oilers; AT&T Center renovation for NBA’s San Antonio Spurs; Cisco Field proposal for baseball’s Oakland Athletics; soccer stadium for MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes, as well as several university campus projects.