The senior living market is poised for tremendous innovation and growth, and global design firm HKS is taking note.
The Dallas-based firm announced Thursday that it was expanding its senior living practice with several industry specialists, David Dillard, Grant Warner, Siobhan Farvardin Winfrey, and Keith Wilson—all formerly of D2 Architecture. While HKS has purchased D2’s talent portfolio, it will continue to operate to complete existing projects already in progress. There is no timeline for when those will be completed.
“David and his team have a deep knowledge of the senior living practice area as well as excellent client relationships and an enviable portfolio of completed projects that run the gamut from intimate residential communities to high-rise towers,” said HKS Global Director Kirk Teske. The firm has designed several leading senior living facilities, including the luxury Ventana by Buckner, a $136 million senior living development near NorthPark Center.
Dilliard founded D2 Architecture in 2009. He has been lauded for his creative approach to leading in the senior living space, such as having his architects move into a facility before proposing design changes.
HKS, he said, was the perfect place for him and his team at this stage in their careers.
“We built a practice around senior living because we love it,” he said. “Over the years, we have crafted solutions for more than 300 senior living communities around the country. We look forward to taking everything we have learned working hand-in-hand with HKS teams across multiple practice areas and applying that knowledge to projects across the globe.”
And while he has been courted plenty by other firms over his career, Dilliard said he was particularly attracted to HKS because the firm, which is well known for its hospitality and healthcare work, did not have a large senior housing portfolio.
Being innovative in that space, especially during a “silver tsunami” (a massive influx of Baby Boomers entering the 10-year investment cycle for senior living), was a major draw for both parties.
Teske said HKS identified the need to get established in the senior living world through its 2018 strategic plan. With D2’s work with Edgemere and the new Ventana project, Teske said he thought they “were the perfect group to merge with.”
In North Texas, the two said they see a lot of opportunity across the spectrum—from very luxury to a strong need for affordable senior living.
“I just think the neatest thing is being able to get David’s group to collaborate with our healthcare and hospitality group to innovate a high-quality experience for seniors,” Teske said. “It is needed in the industry. No one wants to live in a hospital. They want to live in a beautiful, engaging community. I think we will be able to achieve that.”