Local design leaders Chi Lee and Brad Wilkins join the firm to solidify HKS’s position in the market

HKS leaders: Chi Lee , Brad Wilkins 

AUSTIN, TX – APRIL 28, 2022 – HKS, a global design firm designated as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Architecture Firms in 2022, is expanding its presence in its home state with the opening of its 25th office in Austin. A leader among international architecture and design firms, HKS is recognized for its unique ability to create and deliver environments of distinction through award-winning architectural, planning, interior design, research, and commitment to ESG (environmental, social, and governance). Since 1981, HKS has been a part of designing more than 200 Austin-based projects including Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, JW Marriott Convention Center Hotel, The Bowie, and The Aloft.

“HKS has long been an active member of the Austin community witnessing the city’s evolution from a lively college town and state capital to one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States,” said Dan Noble, CEO of HKS. “While our firm has a rich history of prominent work here spanning more than four decades, we felt it was critical to solidify our presence in the city. We look forward to putting down roots in Austin.”

The Austin office will be led by noted local designers
Chi Lee and Brad Wilkins alongside a growing staff of 25, instantly making the new office one of the most formidable design studios in the state. The Austin team’s reputation as an intellectual force, coupled with projects spanning 27 million square feet across the great city of Austin and a world-class portfolio means they’ll be statement-makers on day one.

“The chance to open and lead the Austin studio for the largest Texas-based architecture firm is a tremendous opportunity,” said Chi Lee, principal, and office director for HKS in Austin.

 “HKS is a dominant player on the global stage in its commitment to ESG with some fantastic examples in the portfolio. Thoughtful and sustainable urban planning is what Brad Wilkins and I have dedicated our careers to. Joining HKS to further this track will be professionally rewarding and with an aim to create places that offer a sense of creativity and belonging for the Austin community.”

Currently, HKS has more than 50 projects in design or under construction in the Austin market, including Domain 9, the Dell Children’s Medical Center expansion and key projects in the Rainey Street District including the River Street Residences and 98 Red River.

Chi Lee earned his architecture degree in New York before putting down roots in Austin in 2004. He has spent the past 18 years growing the urban development of the Austin community with numerous projects such as student housing, public transit, commercial infrastructure and his leadership roles have made an impressive mark on the community.

Brad Wilkins will serve as the studio design leader for the Austin office and brings an extensive portfolio of more than 100 projects that span 20 countries. While skyscraper design - specifically Supertall and mixed-use skyscrapers - are a specialty of his, Wilkins' passion for urban planning, energy efficiency, resiliency master planning, clean technology, and transit-oriented design are all key factors in harnessing the energy of the new office.

About HKS
HKS is a global firm of architects, designers, advisors, and makers driven by curiosity and devoted to creating places that combine beauty with performance. Our 1,400 people in 25 offices are united by our shared culture and sense of purpose. We value honesty, diversity, and inclusion and we celebrate creative thinking across our firm. In partnership with each other, our clients, and our partners, we craft powerful ideas and solutions. Together we create places that stand apart.
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Recent Accolades

• 2022 Fast Company Most Innovative Architecture Companies
• 2021 Fast Company Best Workplace for Innovators (top design firm)
• 2021 CoreNet Global Award for Professional Excellence
• 2021 Prix Versailles World Prize for Architecture, Sports
• 2021 Healthcare Design Magazine HCD 10: Outstanding Organization
• 2020 Sports Business Journal Facility of the Decade (AT&T Stadium)



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