Episode 27: Sustainability in materials (Richard Holland)

Meet Richard Holland, Co-Founder and Director of Holland Harvey Architects, who is pioneering a new era in socially and environmentally designed buildings. Some of the studio’s recent projects, explored in this episode of DESIGN POD, are, put simply, changing the game in this new chapter of meaningful hospitality, design and architecture.

DESIGN POD ep 27 main image

In episode 27 of DESIGN POD (the first episode in series four), sponsored by Geberit and produced by Mel Yates, Editor Hamish Kilburn welcomes Richard Holland, Co-Founder and Director of Holland Harvey Architects, on the podcast to explore the significance of materials when having a sustainable approach to hotel design. To contextualise this, Kilburn starts the episode by asking Holland about how his ‘free architecture’ concept led to the creation of the socially and environmentally driven architecture studio, before exploring some of the projects that, put simply, change the game in the conscious hotel and hospitality arena.

Listen to the full episode here:

InHabit Hotels, is a fine example of this, which is a cluster of socially connected, environmentally responsible hotels. Holland Harvey Architects together with the interior designers at Caitlin Henderson Design were on the design team from when the brand launched its first hotel in 2019, in Paddington, London. The confident mindset from the client allowed the design team at the studio to, well, design deeper by applying research and finding unconventional ways to retain materials existing buildings, while not taking anything away from the contemporary Scandinavian-meets-British design aesthetic.


In addition to discussing how the story of Inhabit Hotels developed through conscious approaches in both design and architects, and understanding how this developed further in Inhabit Hotels’ second property, Holland and Kilburn discuss greenwashing, materials and putting emphasis on the social aspect of ESG in hotel design.

Inhabit London Queens Garden

Image credit: Inhabit Hotels

Outside the hotel arena, the studio recently completed a project for Shelter From The Storm (SFTS), a London-based homeless shelter that provides 42 beds, fresh food and holistic support to its guests. “Every single space had to be considered with a particular mindset, which myself and my colleagues did not understand at first,” Holland says on the podcast. “We very much leant on the founder to help us understand what the experience meant, what the challenges were and how design could soften the impact of finding yourself in this situation, arriving at the shelter and finding the space and time to rehabilitate yourself to leave the shelter, which is the ultimate goal.”

Main image credit: DESIGN POD