High-rise, mixed-use, and urban design capabilities elevated with four standout hires


Irvine, May 2015

Global architectural and design firm WATG has announced the addition of four senior level designers with specialized experience in key design disciplines, underscoring the firm’s commitment to providing seasoned expertise and leadership in High-Rise, Mixed Use, and Urban architectural design. Joining WATG in the role of Vice President is Dennis Rehill, while Chris Hurst joins as Associate Vice President. In addition, Erik Heironimus and Miguel Alvarez have been tapped as Senior Designers. The move is part of an ongoing strategy by WATG to further expand their hospitality and guest experience design to new project types, and enhance complementary-services to the company’s existing design expertise.

The four designers will work as a virtual team with Rehill and Heironimus based in the WATG Seattle studio, and Hurst and Alvarez based in Chicago. The new team members will work closely with WATG’s talented architectural design teams in Southern California, London, Honolulu and Singapore to provide innovation, expertise and leadership in delivering large scale High-rise, mixed-use, and urban design opportunities to the firm’s growing portfolio of outstanding buildings and places. According to WATG chief executive officer and president Mike Seyle, this new group of accomplished designers offers the firm and its clients a unique blend of fresh insight and creativity in an important design segment. “We are delighted to welcome these talented individuals to the WATG family,” says Seyle, “Their track record of visionary design and leadership in high-rise and mixed-use projects around the globe is very impressive, and they are also wonderful people to work with. They fit very well with our design-focused employee-centric culture, and we are confident they will make significant contributions to the future of innovative building design.”

Dennis Rehill joins WATG after working with Gensler as that firm’s Northwest Region tall buildings practice area leader, where he also served as the company’s commercial office building practice area leader. Prior to Gensler, Dennis honed his high-rise design expertise at AS+GG on a series of large scale, mixed use projects, including the firm’s Seattle’s Tallest Tower project, and supertall structures for SOM, such as the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Rehill holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Urban Design from Ball State University. Dennis is also the current director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in the organization has newly formed Seattle chapter.

Chris Hurst comes to WATG from Opus Architects and Engineers, where he was a senior architect and manager of the firm’s Chicago office. His background includes positions of project architect and lead designer for renowned firms such as SOM, AS+GG and Lohan Anderson. While at AS+GG, Hurst was involved in the design development of the new Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, which will be the world’s tallest building when completed. He brings an extensive expertise on large-scale commercial and residential projects, and holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design from Ball State University.

Erik Heironimus has a strong background in high-rise office design. Prior to joining WATG, he was an architectural designer and associate at Gensler, where he focused on high-rise office building design, high-rise residential building design, and hospitality + restaurant design. He earned his Masters of Architecture from the University of Kansas and is the recipient of several industry awards, including the AIA Seattle Honor Award in 2011.

Miguel Alvarez brings several years of broad based, supertall design experience to WATG. Before joining WATG, he was a senior designer at AS+GG, where he was responsible for design aspects on several high-rise projects, including the new Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, currently under construction. Alvarez holds a Master’s of Architecture from UCLA and a Bachelor’s of Science in Architecture from Ohio State, where he graduated Cum Laude.

About WATG

WATG is one of the world’s leading integrated design firms and ranked as 2nd in the world among hotel architectural firms. WATG’s interior design firm, Wimberly, was ranked 11th by Interior Design Magazine in their 2015 Hospitality Giants survey.

With over 70 years of design excellence, WATG and Wimberly, have become the world’s leading design consultants in the industry since starting in Hawaii in 1945. With offices in Irvine, Beverly Hills, Seattle, Chicago, New York, London, Miami, Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and Honolulu, the multi-disciplinary design firm is best known for creating internationally acclaimed destinations in 160 countries across six continents. WATG offers integrated design solutions comprising strategy, planning, architecture, landscape, and interiors for urban, tourism and resort destinations. WATG’s projects are renowned not only for their design and sense of place but also for their bottom-line success.

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Ashley Fauguel
+44 (0)20 7906 6600

Krystal Solorzano
+65 6227 2618