The merger of HKS architects with Hill glazier, becoming HKS Hill Glazier Studio has made the new firm arguably the largest hospitality design group in the world. Before the merger, both companies enjoyed wide acclaim and recognition, ranking in the top ten nationally and grossing almost $3 billion in anual work making them leaders in the hospitality design sector.
The merger, which occured in June of 2007 had me wondering how strong the new collaboration would be as many successful and strong willed architects have a hard time working symbiotically with each other, especially when it comes to? Yep, design concepts. I expected that there would also be some cut backs in the firm size in terms of staff and offices but that has not been the case. In the past year, HKS Hill Glazier has not only doubled its workload but also introduced 23 new offices around the world, hired over 100 hospitality design staff members and have more than $14 billion in construction underway in California alone.
One reason for this seamless transition is the fact that before the merger, the two firms had worked together for more than 10 years on projects such as the One&Only Palmila in Los Cabos, Mexico, the Ocean Club in Paradise Island, Bahamas and the Rosewood Resort in Telluride, Colorado. This helped foster a strong relationship of professional trust and familiarity and confidence in each of their respective design strengths.
I am happy to see that HKS Hill Grazier is a true partnership and I think that the firm is only going to get stronger in the coming years establishing themselves as the big fish in the small pond of the hospitality design industry but I think that they are beginning to set a precedent for large company monopolization in the field of architecture.