WHR Architects’ Studios for Education & The Arts and Education & Science Move to New Offices

07/18/2014 | WHR Architects

The new offices for WHR Architects’ Studios for Education & The Arts and Education & Science at 1201 Louisiana, Suite 3300, Houston, may be just across the street from the firm’s main office yet the move clearly signals the growth and vibrancy that the Studios have experienced under the leadership of Marie Hoke, AIA and Mary Le Johnson AIA, ASID, LEED AP. Since assuming direction of the Studios three years ago, Hoke and Johnson have strengthened WHR’s profile with higher education institutions throughout Texas even as they extended the reach of the practice to new building types and new geographies.

“We have developed a talented team with a strong philosophy and approach,” said Hoke, who heads the Education & The Arts Studio. “Linking our designs to a cost model that maximizes value has given us real credibility with our institutional clients; it has also allowed us to raise the bar architecturally by leveraging our design time to best effect. We have been able to evolve the practice organically from general academic spaces into more specialized spaces such as performing arts facilities and other large-scale assembly spaces including convention and conference centers.

“The Studio for Education and Science is busy with projects large and small for science, health science and research clients,” said Mary Le Johnson, who leads the Studio. “It’s exciting to be involved in a number of ‘firsts’ for the firm including a new facility for the HISD’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions and a new lab and logistics building in Copenhagen as part of the WHR Europe team. At the same time we continue to deepen our expertise in multiple lab types: forensic, tissue engineering, microbiology, testing, chemical and petrochemical.”

Among the current and recent projects in the Studios:

  • University of Houston — University Center Transformation
  • University of Houston Downtown — Welcome Center and Girard Street Parking Garage
  • George R. Brown Convention Center — Renovation, Office Building, Parking Garage and Convention Center District Improvement Plan
  • University of St. Thomas — Center for Science and Health Professions
  • Texas Heart Institute — Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and Biorepository Core
  • DeBakey High School for Health Professions
  • Lee High School
  • Sam Houston State University Woodlands Center
  • Texas A&M University — Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility
  • Bispebjerg New Hospital and New Psychiatric Laboratory and Logistics Building

“The Education & The Arts and Education & Science Studios have stepped up to every challenge whether it’s a new client, a new building typology or a whole new culture or country,” said David Watkins, FAIA, Chairman and Founding Principal of WHR. “Marie Hoke and Mary Le Johnson have nurtured strong, creative teams whose work is having significant, positive impact on the campuses and communities where they work. Their capabilities and can do attitude are a tremendous asset to the whole firm.” 

WHR Architects is a full service architecture and interior design firm. The firm’s commitment to critical thinking is balanced by an ingrained empathy that results in both improved project outcomes and positive working experiences for their clients. With over 150 people in Houston and Dallas, Texas, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Copenhagen, Denmark, the 35-year-old firm is working on projects worldwide for top–tier public and private education and medical institutions. Learn more online at www.whrarchitects.com or follow @whrarchitects on Twitter.