Kwan Henmi Joins DLR Group … and More

News for the week of May 22, 2017

Boutique Design

HEADLINE ITEM
DLR Group has acquired San Francisco design firm Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning. Founded by Sylvia Kwan and Denis Henmi, the firm adds 27 employees to its new parent’s roster and will operate as DLR Group|Kwan Henmi. The unit marks DLR’s fourth office in California, joining those in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Riverside. Kwan and Henmi will continue to lead operations in San Francisco.

“Kwan Henmi’s design expertise will be of immediate benefit to our clients in Silicon Valley, such as Google and Marriott, as well as our established public and private sector clients in Sacramento,” says DLR Group ceo Griff Davenport. “For Kwan Henmi, this adds full-service, in-house engineering to the design services it can provide existing clients. As we fully integrate operations in the coming months, this also provides Kwan Henmi with access to a depth of global design expertise in education, hospitality, justice, retail and workplace to establish new practice areas in San Francisco and throughout Northern California.”

Kwan comments, “When Denis and I started practicing in 1980, our desire was to create spaces that inspired people and to provide professional opportunity for people who shared our passion for design. We have accomplished that, and by joining DLR Group we will ensure the continuity and design legacy of Kwan Henmi.” Henmi adds, “The opportunities available to our design professionals for personal and professional growth within DLR Group are virtually limitless. I’m very excited to provide our staff the value of employee-ownership and access to design and career opportunities in markets around the world.”

HIRINGS/PROMOTIONS/EXECUTIVE CHANGES
The Gettys Group has promoted Dan Welborn to principal, strategy & design. The firm says the new position will unite the 14-year Gettys veteran’s architecture and design background with his business acumen. Welborn most recently held the title of principal.

HOK Product Design has hired Yorgo Lykouria as its creative director in Europe. Now based at the unit’s new studio in London, Lykouria previously spent 10 years in Chicago as a designer in Helmut Jahn’s practice before establishing his eponymous London studio in 2002. He’s worked with such manufacturers as Scavolini, Glen Raven/Trivantage and Koleksiyon, as well as Ferrari, Alape, Dornbracht, Classicon Akaba and Vitra.

Rowland+Broughton Architecture/Urban Design/Interior Design has added five team members to its Aspen studio: Alison Foto Agley and Jordan Borkovec, project architects; Maslin Mellick, architectural designer; Lorena Vargas, studio manager/executive assistant; and Christian Storch, summer intern.

Robert Bagley has joined fabric producer LebaTex Inc. as vice president of sales. His career includes stints with flooring manufacturers such as Shaw Industries Group Inc. and Mohawk Group, most recently serving as senior vice president of sales at Beaulieu of America.

OPENINGS/RENOVATIONS/BRAND NEWS
AccorHotels has converted the former Sofitel Copacabana in Brazil into South America’s first Fairmont hotel. Architect Patricia Anastassiadis plans to start renovations on the hotel this month, and the work is expected to take 14 months to complete. The property’s 400 rooms and 800-seat convention hall will undergo a top-to-bottom revamp. A new pool area with private lounges that overlook Copacabana Beach and a new luxury spa with a private VIP suite are also in the plans.

Work has started on the Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen and Watters Creek Convention Center in Texas. The 90,000-sq.-ft. project is scheduled to take 18 months to complete. The hotel will include 300 guest rooms, a fitness center, a pool and indoor/outdoor dining options.

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Speakman has announced an exclusive design partnership with high-profile designer Clodagh. The New Castle, Delaware-based plumbing and emergency equipment manufacturer is teaming with Williams Sonoma’s Rejuvenation subsidiary to serve as the distributor of the new product line. The first design collaboration will debut in November, preceding Boutique Design New York (BDNY), at an invitation-only event at Clodagh's New York studio. The collection will be available to consumers through Speakman and Rejuvenation starting Jan. 1.

AWARDS
Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design won first prize in the Creative Spark competition at the TOPHOTELPROJECTS World Tour 2017 for its renovation design of the 100-year-old Hotel Paso Del Norte, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel, in El Paso, Texas. Located in the city’s downtown, the hotel’s renovation plans include all 356 hotel rooms and suites, as well the second-floor grand ballroom and conference rooms. The redesign will highlight local materials such as copper, brass and burnished leathers. Designers say the use of natural materials, such as worn rough wood finishes, will be used to offset the burnished metals set alongside charcoal gray and deep dark brown colors of the red Ochre colors surrounding the Franklin Mountains.