Kohn Pedersen Fox

Last updated
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Practice information
Firm type Architecture, Interior Design, Sustainable Design, Urban Design, Planning
PartnersJames von Klemperer (President), A. Eugene Kohn, William Pedersen, William C. Louie, Forth Bagley, James Brogan, John Bushell, Josh Chaiken, Bernard Chang, Mustafa Chehabeddine, Rebecca Cheng, Shawn Duffy, Dominic Dunn, Brian Girard, Michael Greene, Peter Gross, Douglas Hocking, Charles Ippolito, Philip Jacobs, Hana Kassem, Jeffrey A. Kenoff, Jill N. Lerner, Ko Makabe, Inkai Mu, Richard Nemeth, Lloyd Sigal, Trent Tesch, Jochen Tombers, Hugh Trumbull, Robert C. Whitlock
Founded New York City, New York, U.S.
1976;44 years ago (1976)
No. of employees750+
Location 11 West 42nd Street, New York City , New York, U.S.
(Additional offices in London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, San Francisco, Singapore, Berlin)

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is an American architecture firm which provides architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients in both the public and private sectors. KPF is one of the largest architecture firms in New York City, [1] where it is headquartered.


Recent work

KPF's projects include civic and cultural spaces, commercial office buildings, transportation facilities, residential and hospitality developments, educational and institutional facilities, and mixed-use commercial developments. [2]

KPF’s projects over the last 10 years include the CUNY Advanced Science Research Centers in New York City (2015), 52 Lime Street in London (2018), the China Resources Tower in Shenzhen (2018), Floral Court and Covent Garden in London (2018), Robinson Tower in Singapore (2018), Hudson Yards in New York City (2019), Rosewood Bangkok in Bangkok (2019), Victoria Dockside in Hong Kong (2019), and One Vanderbilt in New York City (2020).

Hudson Yards, New York, NY, USA Hudson Yards from Hudson Commons (95131p).jpg
Hudson Yards, New York, NY, USA
Tour First, Paris, France Tour First (41214726900).jpg
Tour First, Paris, France

In Boston, KPF is currently designing two waterfront projects: Channelside, three buildings with housing, office, labs, and retail on the Fort Point Waterfront [3] and The Pinnacle at Central Wharf, a 600-foot residential, office, and retail tower downtown. [4] KPF is also designing the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center for Innovation, [5] 601 West Pender in Vancouver, [6] 81 Newgate Street in London, [7] and The Bermondsey Project in south London, which will create around 1,548 homes on the site. [8] KPF is also planning and designing the new Hong Kong University of Science and Technology "sustainable, smart campus" in Guangzhou. [9]

Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan Roppongi Hills from Tokyo Tower Day.jpg
Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan
333 West Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, USA 333 West Wacker Drive (3671127166).jpg
333 West Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA Ross School Exterior.jpg
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK Rothermere American Institute.jpg
Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China Shanghai World Financial Center Far.jpg
Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China


KPF has completed six of the world’s 11 tallest towers. These are the Ping-An Financial Centre in Shenzhen, China at 600 m / 1,969 ft.; the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea at 555 m / 1,820 ft.; the CTF Finance Center in Guangzhou, China at 530 m / 1,739 ft.; the CITIC Tower in Beijing, China at 528 m / 1,732 ft; and Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai, China at 492 m / 1,614 ft. [10]

KPF takes on a large number of restoration and renovation projects. Examples of this work include The World Bank Headquarters, Unilever House, and The Landmark in Hong Kong. KPF has been recognized for workplace collaboration. KPF’s intranet “Architectural Forum” has been described in Architectural Record as an example of “a resource that contributes to a learning environment through mentoring supporting teams and individuals with new ideas, and sharing best practices”. [11]


Beginnings in the United States (1976–1980s)

KPF was founded in 1976 by A. Eugene Kohn, William Pedersen, and Sheldon Fox. Shortly thereafter, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) chose KPF to redevelop a former armory building on Manhattan’s West Side to house TV studios and offices. This led to 14 more projects for ABC over the next 11 years, as well as commissions from major corporations across the country, including AT&T and Hercules Incorporated. By the mid-1980s, KPF had nearly 250 architects working on projects in cities throughout the United States. In 1985, John Burgee (of rival architecture firm John Burgee Architects) called KPF “The best commercial firm now practicing in the U.S.” [12] KPF's design for 333 Wacker Drive in Chicago (1983), which was awarded the AIA National Honor Award in 1984, made the firm nationally famous. It remains a Chicago landmark, and was voted “Favorite Building” by the readers of the Chicago Tribune in both 1995 and 1997. [13] In 1986, KPF’s Procter & Gamble Headquarters in Cincinnati, which included an open plan interior design by Patricia Conway, was recognized for its innovative design with the AIA National Honor Award. [13] After its success with these projects, KPF was selected to design the IBM World Headquarters in Armonk, NY (1997), the Chicago Title and Trust Building in Chicago (1992), and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (1993).

In the 1990s, KPF also took on a larger number of government and civic projects, including the Foley Square U.S. Courthouse in New York (1995), the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, OR (1996), the U.S. Courthouse of Minneapolis (1996), the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (1993) and the multiple award-winning redevelopment of The World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (1996).

KPF’s winning entry in the international competition for the World Bank Headquarters, which drew 76 entrants from 26 countries, was the only entry that included the retention of existing structures. [14]

Expansion to Europe (1980s–1990s)

In the 1980s and 1990s, KPF transformed from an American firm known for its corporate designs into an international firm with institutional, government, and transportation commissions in addition to corporate work.

KPF completed the design for two blocks of the large-scale Canary Wharf redevelopment (1987) and the Goldman Sachs Headquarters on Fleet Street (1987–1991). [15] KPF has been selected for projects in the Canary Wharf area through the present day, including the Clifford Chance Tower (2002) to the KPMG's European Headquarters (2009). KPF’s subsequent work in the U.K. includes Thames Court in London (1998), the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University (2001) and the master plan for the London School of Economics (2002). KPF’s design for the award-winning Westendstraße 1 in Frankfurt (1992), an early example of mixed-use design, further increased the firm's international prominence and solidified the firm's reputation as a progressive global practice. KPF was chosen for subsequent projects throughout Europe, including Provinciehuis in The Hague (1998), Danube House in River City, Prague (2003), the expansion and renovation of the World Trade Center in Amsterdam (2004) and the Endesa Headquarters in Madrid (2003).

Work in Asia and internationally (1990s–2009)

KPF's introduction to the Asian market began with the 4,500,000-square-foot (420,000 m2) Japan Railways Central Towers project in Nagoya (1999). Within 10 years, KPF had projects in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. Completed KPF projects in Asia include Plaza 66 on Shanghai’s Nanjing Xi Lu (2001), Roppongi Hills in Tokyo (2003), the Rodin Pavilion in Seoul (2003), the Merrill Lynch Japan Head Office in Tokyo (2004) and the Shanghai World Financial Center (2008), which was named the “Best Tall Building Overall” by the Council on Tall Buildings and the Urban Habitat in 2008. [16] KPF worked with renowned structural engineers, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, to maximize the tower’s floor plate and material efficiency by perfecting its tapered form. [16] In addition to this work in Asia, KPF has completed projects in: the Middle East, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Headquarters (2007) and the Marina Towers (2008); South America including Ventura Corporate Towers in Rio de Janeiro (2008) and Infinity Tower in São Paulo (2012); Australia, including Chifley Tower in Sydney (1992); and has also worked on several projects in Africa.

Expanded National and Global Presence (2010 – Present)

Four decades after its founding, KPF has refined particular expertise in the area of office design, supertall structures, and large-scale, urban, mixed use developments. [17]

In November 2018, the firm announced the opening of new offices in San Francisco, Berlin, and Singapore to support current projects, new commissions, and imminent endeavors in those regions. [18]

The firm’s high-profile projects include One Vanderbilt, a new supertall office tower in Midtown Manhattan located next to Grand Central Terminal and providing direct access to the station; [19] and the master plan for Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in U.S. history, which mixes residences with offices, hotels and retail, and street life. KPF also designed buildings 10 Hudson Yards, 20 Hudson Yards, [20] 30 Hudson Yards, and 55 Hudson Yards, which together offer office, retail, and hospitality space within the development. [21]

Also in New York, KPF is leading the redevelopment of New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Red Hook Houses, which suffered severe flooding and wind damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. [22] The largest public housing development in Brooklyn, Red Hook Houses accommodates over 6,000 people across 28 buildings. [23]

Outside of the United States, KPF has been contributing to the regeneration and conservation of the Covent Garden Estate in the roles of both master planner and architect for a collection of buildings. [24] Also in London, the firm designed 52 Lime Street, known as The Scalpel, which joins a number of tall towers in the city’s financial area. [25]



KPF Urban Interface, abbreviated KPFui, is an interdisciplinary urban data analytics research initiative within KPF. [26] Founded in 2012 by designer and educator Luc Wilson, KPFui experiments with enriching KPF's signature design process with objective, measurable data sourced from within the complex urban contexts that the firm works. Their unique computational tools enable designers and developers to assess building performance metrics early in a project's conception, analyzing such parameters as daylight, views, and wind, among others. [27] Research is heavily focused on experimenting with data visualization, displaying such metrics "to be accessible and understandable," [28] and consequently "fostering a dialogue that is thorough and inclusive" [28] amongst architects, developers, and the public alike. KPFui implements its analytical studies across all scales, from KPF's design of the supertall tower to the expansive urban masterplan, located in cities around the globe. [27] The KPFui team works out of the firm's New York office, at which KPF is headquartered. [29] Since its initial founding, KPFui has applied its custom data-analytics tools to over 250 of the firm's projects, having become an integral part of the firm's design methodology. [27]

Selected projects

Hoftoren, The Hague, Netherlands Hoftoren - Den Haag - 2010 - panoramio.jpg
Hoftoren, The Hague, Netherlands
Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA Petersen Automotive Museum.jpg
Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA
China Resources Headquarters, Shenzhen, China China Resources Headquarters 03-10-2018.jpg
China Resources Headquarters, Shenzhen, China

Awards and honors

AIA National Chapter Awards

Source: [30]

See also

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