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KPF Looks Back on 2023

Following an especially impactful year for sustainability commitments, conferences, and project openings, KPF celebrates the accomplishments of the firm in 2023 by reflecting on a few of the brightest highlights.

Starting out the year, Atlantis The Royal opened in Dubai with a three-day celebration for the grand reveal that included performances by Beyoncé, Firdaus, and The Mayyas, as well as “Feast of Dreams” dining experiences hosted by the six world-renowned chefs with restaurants at the resort. The project was named one of the world’s best hotels in a ranking that also featured the Rosewood Hong Kong and Aman Tokyo. Another major project opening was Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport, an expansion that doubles the airport’s capacity, capable of accommodating up to 45 million passengers per year. The project was featured in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One, with scenes inside the terminal as well as Tom Cruise traversing the sand dune-inspired roof. Additional projects we checked in on are One North Quay, Europe’s largest lab building, North Bund (Lot 91), Shanghai’s first and the world’s tallest all-electric building, and the opening of Grand Central Madison, directly accessible via One Vanderbilt.

KPF announced it will cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, prioritizing sustainability across offices, operations, as well as building designs. To accompany this, multiple projects received sustainability credentials including LEED and BREEAM, and the spring edition of KPF Review focused on the firm’s approach to adaptive reuse, highlighting four strategies and projects that showcase these approaches. One such project, which was also included in Architectural Record, is Meta Farley, an office transformation inside the historic James A. Farley building.

Another central theme of the year was craft, kicking off with the publishing of Design in Detail, an in-depth look at 14 of the firm’s most iconic buildings around the world. The book won the SMPS Excellence in Marketing Communications Awards in the Print Edition category and was included in Wallpaper*’s list of their favorite architecture books. A project in progress that showcases a special attention to craft is 64 University Place, which topped out in the spring and includes hand-laid brick masonry.

In between a busy schedule of project milestones and meetings, the firm made time for celebrations of Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Pride Month, an office opening in Shenzhen, promotions, and dozens of conference presentations and panels around the world.

As we look to 2024 and beyond, we reflect on the firm’s growth with attention to the people who play a central role in its success, a community-first philosophy prioritized by the firm’s co-founder A. Eugene Kohn, who passed away at 92 on March 9.