architecture . interior design . planning . arts


b. 1986, HK.


about us.

koka story

The inception of the koka studio was set at the end of the last millennium when Herman Kao and Joseph Kardum shared their first studio space in architecture school.  Our teamwork solidified while wandering and sketching along the culturally layered streets of Cairo and Athens, as part of our architectural studies in Egypt and Greece.  Following our formal educations, we spent years working with award-winning architectural firms, where we achieved numerous professional goals and began to develop shared interests that eventually led to the formation of koka architecture + design inc. (koka).  Today we are a young and energetic firm with highly experienced Architects that include collaborative teammates who have the energy, knowledge, and commitment to provide exceptional service in the area of sustainable residential and institutional architecture. 


joseph kardum

principal, architect

aibc, leed ap

university of british columbia: master of architecture   
university of windsor: fine arts
university of victoria: bachelor of arts  

koka architecture + design, 2009 - present: principal, architect
merrick architecture, 2002-2012: associate, architect
ubc university architect, 2001: development management intern
kardum’s construction services, 1985-2000: supervisor and carpenter

With his early interest in construction, health, and sustainability, the bulk of Joseph’s work has been focused in single family residential, institutional, and large scale multi-family mixed-use projects.

Prior to co-founding koka architecture + design inc. with an interest in promoting sustainable design principles and healthy living environments, Joseph was an Associate with Merrick Architecture in Victoria and Vancouver, BC.

His hands-on construction experience coupled with his architectural experience, provides Joseph with a perspective that considers a holistic approach to architecture, from programming and design inception, through construction, to the post-Occupancy discussion with the client to review the process.



herman kao

principal, architect

aibc, leed ap

university of british columbia: master of architecture (2002)    
simon fraser university: bachelor of fine arts (1998)    

koka architecture + design, 2009 - present: principal, architect
busby perkins + will, 2004-2010: architect
romses architects, 2002-2004: intern architect
o’donnell + tuomey architects, 2000: intern architect 

As a recipient of a RAIC Student Medal and an award-winning Master’s thesis that investigated the spatial implications of different systems and scales of organization that inform architectural design, Herman has developed a thoughtful ability to coordinate complex educational projects within the context of sustainable architecture principles.

Prior to co-founding koka architecture + design inc, Herman was an Architect with Busby Perkins + Will where he was involved in several sustainably designed institutional and residential projects.

Through a multidisciplinary Integrated Design Process involving the coordination of consultant teams and user groups, Herman has amassed an expertise in achieving building designs with complex user programs and building systems.  

His skills and experience are applied to and reflected in the work of koka architecture + design inc, all of which share a goal to achieve successful projects through effective team communication.