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HKS Founder Harwood K. Smith, FAIA, Dies

Harwood K. Smith, FAIA, who nurtured HKS Inc. from a one-person Dallas-based studio office into a national architecture and engineering firm, died from heart problems December 8 at 89. A Chicago native born in 1913, Smith opened his studio in 1939 and, over four decades, expanded it into a practice of more than 500 architects with locations nationwide and international outposts and partnerships.

Smith began his career by designing several residential communities and high-rise office buildings. By the late 1970s, the firm diversified to include market sectors with a steadier demand, such as education, industrial, banking, and health-care. Smith aggressively marketed his practice, even setting up models in office buildings, to court new business, according to the Dallas Morning News. HKS’ projects in Texas include One Main Place, St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the First International Building, Reunion Arena, the Hockaday School, Ursuline Academy, Moody Coliseum at SMU, the Plaza of the Americas, and Thanksgiving Tower. In 1972, former AIA President Ronald A. Skaggs, FAIA, joined HKS and began the firm’s specialized health-care practice. Today, HKS is one of the largest health-care architecture firms in the U.S.

Before his retirement in 1980, Smith was president of AIA Dallas in 1972; served on the Dallas Planning Commission, where he modernized the graphic methods used to brief the mayor and city council on zoning cases; and received an AIA Dallas Lifetime Achievement Award and a national AIA presidential citation. He became a Fellow in the Institute in 1984. He also endowed two scholarship programs at Texas A&M University, his alma mater.

Smith was an accomplished artist who first enrolled in painting courses at the Art Institute of Chicago at the age of 11. His paintings have received several awards and been exhibited nationwide. The paintings of the people of Guatemala and their culture have been recognized by the Guatemalan government and have been exhibited in the Ixchel Museum in Guatemala City.

Copyright 2002 The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.



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