HKS Miami’s office began to feel crowded and disconnected after 11 years of growth. For our new workspace that opened in 2018, we took inspiration from our clients and projects to create a space that is both fresh and familiar. HKS Miami’s new office reflects our collaborative spirit and connection to HKS’ global brand while respecting our local culture.
We began the design process by diagnosing the problems with our existing space and defining what an ideal office would look like. The biggest issue we faced was the physical barrier that divided our people. Because we had grown too large for a single suite, some of our staffers were forced into a neighboring suite.
At our new Salzedo Street location, we have a floor to ourselves with clear sightlines from one end to the other. But our plans went beyond the physical design. To encourage cross-sector collaboration, our designers are intentionally seated next to members of different teams and sectors to encourage an exchange of perspectives and ideas. An abundance of shared space and conference rooms ensures that the seating plan doesn’t dictate workstyles, but instead encourages movement around the office.
HKS was selected as AIA Florida’s 2016 Firm of the Year and we’re always looking at how we can make our designs show more awareness of their impact. Our ability to shape our previous space’s sustainability and well-being aspects was restricted by our lease, but our Salzedo office incorporates several design statements that demonstrate our commitment to responsible design. We are pursuing both LEED Gold and WELL Gold certifications in our new location.
Noise and thermal comfort are two of the biggest factors impacting employee satisfaction and productivity. To curb these issues, a chilled beam system keeps our office at a constant temperature and consumes less energy than an HVAC system while running quieter. Design choices like this aren’t just about getting a plaque on our wall. We recognize the benefits to our employees and the environment and chose to prioritize them.
Location is another prime factor in the selection of an office. When our search began, we did a ZIP code analysis to understand how our staffers’ commutes would be affected. It was also important for us to be close to Miami International Airport (MIA) for our many international clients. Our Coral Gables location is both centrally located for our team and easily accessible from the airport.
Like our city, the people who work in our office have diverse backgrounds and cultures. Approximately one-third of our 33-member staff are immigrants.
We attribute much of our success to our community for how it has influenced us, and vice versa. Tiling appears as palm leaves or seashells depending on the viewer’s perspective. And a mural painted by renowned local artist Johnny Robles is the first thing visitors see when the elevator doors open. It’s a representation of the city’s color, energy and inclusivity. In addition, splashes of color are sprinkled throughout the office, giving the space an unmistakable Miami look and feel.
But HKS Miami is more than just a building. A year after the deadly 2016 mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, an HKS team that included members of our office created a design for a memorial that was selected for an honor award by AIA Florida. During the past three years, we’ve worked with Lotus House, Surfrider Foundation, Feeding South Florida and other notable Miami-area charities.
Encapsulating the culture of a city, a team and an international firm can be a daunting task, but we feel that we’ve accomplished that with our new home. The achievements within our space are already paying dividends and we look forward to applying the lessons we’ve learned to help our clients.