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HKS Hill Glazier Studio announced it has added a fourth hospitality studio to its global architectural practice, strategically located in Miami to serve South Florida, the South Atlantic and Northeastern U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. Sergio Saenz, Arq., Intl. Assoc. AIA, HKS associate principal and senior vice president, has been named the new studio’s director.
Saenz, a 13-year HKS veteran, was previously based at HKS headquarters in Dallas prior to taking the helm of the Miami hospitality studio.
HKS Hill Glazier Studio locations include Dallas, San Francisco and London. Nunzio DeSantis, FAIA, LEED AP, executive vice president and director of hospitality for HKS, has long eyed South Florida as an ideal market for studio expansion. “Miami is the threshold to Latin America, the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. It is a signature leisure location and the hottest business traveler destination in the nation, with hotel occupancy topping 82 percent,” said DeSantis.
“HKS does $500 million in construction each year in Florida across various building types, and we have some outstanding hotel projects currently in operation, under construction and in design, including the Four Seasons at Walt Disney World Orlando and Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach. It makes sense to have a studio here to serve our current clients and earn the business of new ones. Sergio is the complete package and the right leader for this diverse and dynamic market,” added DeSantis.
In collaboration with his HKS Hill Glazier Studio colleagues, several of Saenz’s project credits include Four Seasons Resort and Residences, São Paulo, Brazil; W Hollywood Hotel and Residences, Hollywood, Calif.; One&Only Palmilla Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and the 500-acre Marquis Estate master plan in St. Lucia. Saenz is the recipient of multiple industry honors, including the Design Futures Council’s 40 Under 40 and Luis Barragan Design Media Award.
"Miami is a market that appreciates a high design aesthetic,” said Saenz. “It is a lifestyle market, with vibrant architecture that takes its cues from cultural influences – art, music, fashion, health and fitness. There’s an ethos of evolving vitality here and I’m excited by the prospect of being part of it,” Saenz said.
For nearly 30 years, HKS has worked with many of the world’s most respected, name-brand hospitality developers and operators, including Four Seasons, Omni, Marriott, Montage Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt, Disney and many others. HKS Hill Glazier Studio-designed projects in the region include Rosewood Tucker’s Point Bermuda; Bahia Beach Resort and Golf Club in Puerto Rico; One&Only Ocean Club Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas; Disney Yacht Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Omni Amelia Island; Disney Pop Century Resort; and the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios, Orlando. The Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Orlando, now under construction, is scheduled to open later this year.
This month, Saenz joined the 35 professional staff members at HKS’ 201 Alhambra Circle office space in historic Coral Gables, located in metropolitan Miami. David M. Harper, FAIA, LEED AP, is managing director of the HKS Miami office. Harper, an HKS principal, serves as director of higher education for HKS nationally.
Harper and Saenz will be pursuing projects in which their cross-sector expertise in education and hospitality design can meld, including upscale residential, university conference centers and student housing.“ There are a lot of common threads in our design approach and how people interact in and experience these spaces,” said Harper. “Collaborating with Sergio and sharing his knowledge of the hotel guest experience brings another layer to our client offering. Sergio is an outstanding asset to our practice in South Florida.”
HKS Miami focuses on providing local, full-service planning and design for healthcare, educational facilities, hospitality, aviation, justice, sports, commercial, interiors, residential, and mixed-use projects. The HKS Florida practice has doubled in the last five years, with four offices located in Coral Gables, Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers, and a staff of more than 100 in the Sunshine State. HKS is ranked a top-five architecture firm in Florida, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
HKS Hill Glazier Studio specializes in the design of hotels and resorts including sophisticated urban hotels, unique destination resorts, world-class golf clubhouses and luxurious spas. With construction underway on five continents, HKS’s hospitality practice is ranked as one of the top in the nation and the world, according to BD World Architecture, Hotel Business and Hospitality Design. Over the past two decades, the firm – operating from 27 offices worldwide – has designed projects in 45 countries garnering numerous awards and coverage in national and international publications.