Mark swenson, FAIA, LEED AP

Founding Principal
Phone:  612-373-4625

As one of ESG’s founding principals, Mark has grown a regional practice into a firm of national leadership and prominence in residential, hotel and mixed-use development. His expertise is in hospitality, specifically the  space programming and schematic design of hotels. One of the leading hotel planners in the country, Mark has been principal-in-charge on more than 70 completed hotel projects. He is principal-in-charge on 14 hotels currently in design or construction located in 10 states across the U.S.

Mark’s experience encompasses 3-, 4- and 5-star business, resort, lifestyle, extended-stay and select-service hotels. He specializes in extremely complex, mixed-use projects and hotels on tight urban sites that require his expertise in the vertical integration of diverse systems and functions.

Mark’s practice includes developing and implementing national prototypes for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Marriott Corporation, Carlson Companies, and Hilton Worldwide. He’s often called upon to resolve unique functional and aesthetic objectives for such brands as aloft, Le Meridien, The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, W Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts; AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Autograph Collection by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Renaissance Hotels; Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Country Inn & Suites; Conrad Hotels & Resorts; DoubleTree by Hilton; Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Home2 Suites by Hilton; Hyatt Regency Hotels, Kohler and Four Seasons.

In the last decade, Mark has expanded his practice to include the sensitive insertion of hotels and other hospitality amenities into empty or under-utilized buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. For his national leadership in the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures—which include the Foshay Tower, Farmers and Mechanics Bank, and Milwaukee Road Depot in Minneapolis—Mark was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2008. He also won the Career Achievement Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in 2009. He recently completed the adaptive reuse of the Plymouth Building in Minneapolis and the Jackson Building (the Hewing Hotel), and has also renovated a historic bank in Phoenix, AZ.

Mark’s demonstrated knowledge of hospitality—along with his design savvy, collaborative skills, financial acumen and unfailingly positive can-do approach—have driven ESG’s innovation and design leadership in this highly competitive industry. A leader within his own industry, Mark was the North Central Regional Director on the AIA National Board of Directors from 2010-2013, President of AIA Minnesota in 2006 and served for nine years on the AIA Minnesota Board of Directors. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Board of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and on the Advisory Board of the Design Futures Council in Atlanta.

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