From Concept to Creation: Crafting a Client’s Design Vision into Reality

BOKA Powell
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

BOKA Powell is a design firm bringing spaces to life, with projects both inspired and inspiring. Their team takes architecture, interior design, and master-planning to the next level, creating experience-driven spaces that tell a story. From mixed-use and corporate workplaces to build-to-suit, BOKA Powell is not limited by the size or scope of any project, only by the program and budget of those who seek to make their design dreams a reality.

For 46 years, BOKA Powell has committed to designing spaces that exhibit exceptional design and function while satisfying the vision of their clients. BOKA Powell’s mission is, “To fulfill the dreams of our clients, employees, collaborators, and communities. We listen intently, design creatively, and celebrate life.” Their mission is directly reflected in their culture and each one of their projects.

Dream fulfillment
Listening is an essential element of the design process for BOKA Powell, as Senior Associate and Senior Interior Project Designer, Melanie Hanna, notes. “As an interior designer, listening and understanding our clients’ needs is the biggest driver for inspiring the stories we tell through design.” What she refers to as storytelling sets a tone for how each space in a building is carefully designed with purpose top of mind. Understanding the client’s brand, their why, how they work, where they work, who they work with, creates a space that tells a story of the client from not only a design, but an operational standpoint as well.

What do they hear their clients saying? “Since the pandemic, we’ve noticed a shift in the workplace to include an abundance of amenities, to not only entice the employee back to the workplace, but to give them a sense of being at home,” notes Principal R. Andrew Bennett. Understanding this shift in work-life balance has been pivotal in BOKA Powell’s continued success, which is why the company is dedicated to designing spaces where life and work can coexist and thrive.

Ability to pivot
It is no secret that the pandemic significantly impacted the corporate workplace, which has been one good reason for BOKA Powell to pivot. Empty buildings are not only impacting clients but also local economies across the United States. “The workplace is struggling in our market. It’s the same in San Francisco, New York, and Denver: really struggling. Empty buildings are affecting restaurants, street life, the energy of the city. It’s a bit better in Texas, but it’s still hard to get large new projects going in the workplace sector, so we’ve been pivoting,” says Bennett, who highlights opportunities in hospitality, multifamily, residential, and conversions.

“We’re seeing a lot of corporate high-rise capital improvement projects right now,” says Hanna. “Building Owners are renovating lobbies to provide end users a fresh first impression and to provide updated amenities. Hospitality has always been at the core of corporate workplace; however, now there is an emphasis on hospitality with the use of higher end finishes, layered materiality and lighting, and addition of private clubs and restaurants for tenants and the community. To better serve their clients, 8080, a BOKA Powell Studio, was formed to cater to luxury hospitality brands, full-service hotels, high-end restaurants, and other hospitality-focused interiors projects regionally and nationwide.

“As a full-service design firm, we provide architecture, interior design, graphics, and myriad creative services. 8080, a BOKA Powell Studio, is a collective of experience-driven curious creators,” says Hanna.

Jessica Rosales, Associate/8080 Hospitality Team Lead, states, “8080 is passionate about creating unique luxury and lifestyle spaces.”

Kaky Gown and Dan Doyle, Senior Associates/8080 Hospitality Team Leads, continue, “Our team’s process and drive set us apart from our competitors.”

Projects like the Bowie House Hotel – Auberge Resorts Collection in Fort Worth, Texas; Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, CA; and Waterloo Park Hotel – Hilton Curio Collection in Austin, Texas demonstrate that BOKA Powell and 8080 are leading the market on exquisite projects across Texas and beyond.

It’s all about relationships
Based in Texas with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Denver, Colorado and licensed in 36 states, BOKA Powell’s long-term relationships have taken them across the United States and even around the world. And, while these markets keep the team busy, the sky is the limit thanks to the technology and innovation they bring to every task.

Through the spaces they create, BOKA Powell crafts an unmatched experience for their clients as well as their own employees. Because relationships and partnerships are a core part of their identity, fostering these relationships is paramount. One of the best ways this is reflected is in BOKA Powell’s company culture. “Our best asset is our people,” says Hanna. “Our culture promotes a spirit of collaboration and innovation. If our people are happy and they know that they’re valued and having fun, that’s what it’s all about.” If you take care of your people, they’ll take care of your clients.”

Bennett agrees. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take our work very seriously. We have a lot of fun. The fun takes some of the edge off of doing some serious work and then clients become friends and become repeat clients.”

The best people, a vibrant culture, and an environment where technology, innovation, and creativity meet, have set the stage for projects that push the limits to bring clients’ stories to life and bring life to the spaces they call home. BOKA Powell is committed to being on the forefront of market trends, continuous learning, mentoring, and growth to guarantee they remain a leading player and a trusted partner for their clients—and always, a leader in the design space.

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