HKS Opens Hospitality Studio in Miami

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

HKS Hill Glazier Studio 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.

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