A quarter-century ago, with Oklahoma reeling from the oil bust and architects among the professionals fleeing the state for greener pastures, freshly minted architect Bruce Bockus instead decided to stand firm and face the wind.
“Growing up in Oklahoma City and graduating from the University of Oklahoma gave me a love and commitment to my city, so after much prayer and counsel, I came to a decision. Oklahoma City was my hometown and I was determined to give private practice a try,” said Bockus, president of what is now Bockus Payne Associates Architects in Oklahoma City.
Over time, three partners were added: David Payne, also an OU graduate; Bruce DeFriese, who graduated from Oklahoma State University; and Walt Henry, a graduate of the University of Arkansas. All three grew up in Oklahoma City. Several associates and employees fill out the team.
“Architecture, particularly designing, makes me come alive,” Bockus said. “The fun of creating and collaborating with clients and ultimately fulfilling their dreams is a blast. We are fortunate to enjoy a workload comprised almost entirely of repeat clients who value our design expertise and service.”
The firm works on projects ranging from commercial office buildings and complexes to religious and educational facilities, hospitality and retail, large custom homes — to exhibits at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Recent projects include the College of Architecture and School of Social Work at OU, the new Culinary School at Francis Tuttle, Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma, the new headquarters of Mustang Fuel Corp. and Covenant Global Investors.