Each year, Hotel Designs unveils The Brit List, a publication that lists the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. Following the official unveiling of The List at this year’s virtual award ceremony, please meet The Brit List Architects of 2020…
For more than four years now, The Brit List Awards has shone the spotlight on the designers, architects and hoteliers who are proving to be trendsetters on the international hotel design scene. Earlier this year, Hotel Designs’ 2020 search began..
This year’s panel of judges– and of course our sponsors and partners – went above and beyond to support The Brit List Awards as the difficult yet responsible decision was made to organise the judging process and deliver the awards ceremony in virtual formats.
During the in-depth judging process, we all discovered a new meaning of hospitality as we read how designers, architects and hoteliers are continuing to push conventional boundaries.
Following on from unveiling this year’s designers who made The List, , please meet (in alphabetical order) The Brit List Architects of 2020…
Alex Holloway, Creative Director – Holloway Li
In tandem with his founding partner Na Li, Alex Holloway operates at the forefront of a new wave of designers and architects, blurring the boundaries between historicism, decoration and digital process.
With an eye for detail, Holloway looks to create intricate, engaged and impactful interiors that invoke fresh and contemporary forms of experience – his designs frequently center around a key moment that holds a filmic quality, working to unlock the space.
Placing sustainability at the core, this September Holloway revealed the design for apart-hotel brand Locke’s latest opening – an urban, eco oasis in the heart of Bermondsey in South East London. Looking to highlight how a circular material economy can generate an incredibly unique aesthetic and a new kind of living experience, the 143-key hotel design has been brought to life with repurposed construction materials. For example, concrete test cubes destined for landfill find new purpose, serving as plinths for six-metre-long terrazzo tables in the ground floor workspaces.
Ben Adams, Founding Director – Ben Adams Architects
Ben Adams, a regular name featured in The Brit List, used his more than 20 years’ experience of working on large-scale and complex urban projects to design the building that shelters Nobu Hotel Shoreditch. The first Nobu hotel in Europe, the property occupies in a tight urban plot. The building follows the street line and accents its strong linear form with horizontal steel and concrete fins at each floor level.
A playful, informal grid of board-marked concrete panels and generous full-height glazing expresses the range of activities contained within the hotel, dematerialising at its sloping southern end to give sculptural presence to a lush sunken pocket park.
Catarina Pina-Bartrum, Project Director – Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands Architects
Catarina Pina-Bartrum has been part of the team developing a mixed-use development on Hanover Square; a retail-led project on Oxford Street in central London.
As well as working on an indoor sports facility for the University of Birmingham, she was part of the design team responsible for Hoxton Southwark, a mixed-use hotel and office development, which has quickly become a new destination hotel in London.
Prior to joining Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in 2014, Pina-Bartrum worked with Daniel Gusmão in Rio de Janeiro on the design and development of the broadcasting centre for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Christopher Webb, Vice President (Architecture & Design) EMEA – Hilton Hotels
Making his debut on The Brit List, Christopher Webb leads Hilton’s architecture and design team across multiple offices, overseeing and guiding design projects across Hilton’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Webb has been designing and shaping international luxury, lifestyle, and full-service hotels for a wide range of owners, developers, hospitality companies, celebrities and brands for more than 20 years. Directing the design of all Hilton branded hotels in the region, he led the design of the first Waldorf Astoria, as well as most recently the ‘category defining’ Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre – Hilton’s first lifestyle hotel.
Webb is currently working on defining the design for the landmark Waldorf Astoria at Admiralty Arch in London.
Christos Passas, Project Director – Zaha Hadid Architects
Christos Passas was the Project Director for Zaha Hadid Architect’s latest hotel project in Dubai. Spanning 84,300 sqm, the Opus in Dubai was designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole – taking the form of a cube. The unique cube shape has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and are also connected by an asymmetric 38-metre-wide, three-storey bridge, which is 71 metres above the ground.
The structure’s double-glazed insulating façades incorporate a UV coating and a mirrored frit pattern to reduce solar gain. Applied around the entire building, this dotted frit patterning emphasises the clarity of the building’s orthogonal form, while at the same time, dissolving its volume through the continuous play of light varying between ever-changing reflections and transparency.
Simply put, the mesmerising building is an epic example of modern, iconic and timeless architecture.
Ciaran O’Brien, Founding Director – Red Deer
Graduating from the University of Edinburgh with First-Class Honours degree before completing his Masters, Ciarán O’Brien’s research in architecture has focused predominantly on how industry, craftsmanship and the handmade mediums can inform, stimulate and invigorate the design process in an ever-evolving digital age.
With a mix of interior designers and architects, O’Brian’s ‘herd’ as the firm refers itself as was responsible for the interior design scheme that is now sheltered inside Birch, a new sustainable hotel that has recently opened on the outskirts of London. Reusing and repairing the existing site’s materials, the team stripped back clutter and unnecessary furniture to create more thoughtful spaces.
Dan Hinch, Associate Vice President and Senior Planner – WATG
Capturing a 75-year legacy has driven Dan Hinch to inspire a better world through the power of holistic design. As the Associate Vice President and Senior Planner at the global multidisciplinary design firm WATG, Hinch is not only a design lover, but also a leader on how it is packaged and experienced through the end user.
Based in London, Hinch leads a team of master planners and landscape architects. He challenges his team to drive good design across all disciplines rather than breaking each practice out as its own entity. “People are evolving, and the way we travel has changed and will continue to change,” says Hinch. “We need to be flexible enough and approach design from a holistic point of view that incorporates architecture, interiors and landscape as one entity.”
Hinch’s recent projects include the Aqua Residences at the Regent Hotel in Porto Montenegro, a world-class marina destination; the Porto Elounda Resort in Crete, Greece; Al Bustan Palace Ritz-Carlton in Oman and Ferney Resort, Mauritius.
David O’Shea, Founder & Director – ODOS Architects
The Mayson is an exciting restoration project and a redevelopment of No.81 and No.82 North Wall Quay. Designed by ODOS Architects, which has studios in Dublin, London and New York, both buildings were in a dilapidated condition and had not been used in over two decades. The concept, with architecture led by David O’Shea, was to redevelop these strikingly unique buildings by drawing on their existing, inherent characters.
The ambition for No.81 was to retain a public house on the ground floor, resulting in minimal intervention to the existing structure and restoring the original features. No.82 is one of the few remaining warehouse structures on the north quays and presented a rare opportunity to establish this forgotten building as a new Dublin landmark.
The 4,180 sqm of the Mayson is home to 94 guestrooms and suites, bars, restaurants, event space and outdoor courtyard.
Geoff Hull, Director – EPR Architects
Last year’s Highly Commended candidate in the Architect of the Year category at The Brit List Awards 2019, Geoff Hull is a director with more than 30 years’ experience. He specialises in hotels and hospitality, including new builds, conversions, refurbishments, restorations and heritage schemes in listed buildings for budget, boutique and luxury brands.
Previously, Hull was responsible for the multi-award-winning Rosewood London, as voted for by the readers of Ultratravel as “The Best New Hotel in the World” at The Telegraph ULTRAS Awards in 2014.
Hull continues to oversee a number of high-profile hotel projects of varying scale and complexity, and his latest project exemplified this.
Located in the Trafalgar Square Conservation Area, the now Great Scotland Yard Hotel has breathed new life into a neglected Edwardian building. The sensitive conversion and extension maintained the principle elements of the original building, replaced the 1980s addition and added new attic storeys over the whole building with basements below.
As a result of EPR Architect’s sensitive approach, the design retained and complemented the style of the original building and, using traditional materials, sits comfortably in its surroundings.
Gordon Ferrier, Head of Hotels – 3DReid
As Head of Hotels at 3DReid, Gordon Ferrier brings more than 30 years’ hospitality design experience on a wide range of hotel projects, covering both new build and refurbishments and conversions.
Ferrier has worked with a number of prominent hotel brands including Goodwood, Gleneagles, Cameron House, Dakota, Malmaison, Principal and De Vere and has worked internationally on projects across Europe, UAE, the US and Africa.
Currently, 3DReid is working on Goodwood Hotel, Gleneagles Club in Edinburgh, Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Malmaison in Edinburgh and Cameron House Hotel at Loch Lomond.
Graham Barr, Associate – jmarchitects
Set behind a striking façade of Scottish stone at the point where Edinburgh’s historic Old Town meets the New Town, Market Street Hotel, designed by jmarchitects, emerges as a cultural gateway to both the city’s storied past and its pulse-quickening present.
The visual concept of the 98-key hotel pays homage to the capital’s character and historic narrative, while simultaneously exploring Scottish cosmopolitanism. Cracked, earthen walls are juxtaposed against the clean, minimalist lines of contemporary furnishings, and unexpected bursts of traditional tartans and heritage fabrics provide an experiential element to the hotel’s aesthetic.
A modern take on Baronial materiality and composition also provides the inspiration behind Market Street’s 98 guestrooms and suites. Organic, natural materials such as oak and locally sourced stone provide a tactile canvas for modern design classics from the likes of Fritz Hansen and Saint Luc, alongside custom-made furniture and handcrafted local pieces.
James Dilley, Director – Jestico + Whiles
James Dilley has amassed more than 20 years’ experience in this sector working under appointment as either architect or interior designer.
He is currently leading the architecture and design scheme of a retail-led development that will transform retailing and leisure within the Scottish capital and is due to complete in 2020. The soon-to-be W Edinburgh has been designed as a bundle of ‘coiled ribbons’, creating a free-flowing and bold building which will complement the development’s elegantly understated masterplan.
Imagined in conjunction with Allan Murray Architects, the 12-storey hotel will feature a striking exterior façade, evoking the festival spirit of Edinburgh and creating an outstanding landmark building at the heart of the city.
Jonny Sin, Associate Director – ReardonSmith Architects
Since joining the firm in 2011, Jonny Sin has led ReardonSmith Architects’ hospitality team into modern times. He was a key member of the award-winning team who transformed a Grade II listed art-deco style building into the luxury boutique hotel that we know of as The Beaumont Hotel.
Other projects include a 173-key hotel in Battersea, London; Adere Manor, Co. Limerick and he is working on a conversion of three buildings in London’s Soho into a 69-key urban lifestyle hotel.
Most recently, Sin led an in-house team to create a concept guestroom for a hotel group, which was revealed at Sleep & Eat 2020. The firm collaborated with students from Glion Institute of Higher Education and Hotelschool The Hague led by the directors of hotel creative consultancy, HoCoSo, and the project was branded by Delight Lifestyle Brand Agency.
Luke Fox, Head of Studio – Foster + Partners
Luke Fox leads a team of designers in London, Hong Kong and Beijing on a wide range of international projects at the firm. One of the most significant projects he is working on at the moment is Jabal Omar development, a new luxury hotel and serviced apartments complex in the heart of Makkah.
Inspired by traditional Arab architecture, its design reinterprets the traditional dense building clusters, creating a new contemporary vernacular that respects its sacred location. Following the mountainous terrain, its cascading vertical elements form a new topography. The new mixed-use development will create a gateway along the route to the Grand Mosque for pilgrims from the world over.
Most recently, earlier this year, Foster + Partners were announced as part of the design team responsible for bringing the Six Senses brand to London.
Mark Bruce, Main Board Director – EPR Architects
Mark Bruce is a Main Board Director and heads the hotels and hospitality team with extensive experience across the hotels and hospitality sector, and particular expertise with listed buildings, refurbishments and resort hotels.
Following the completion of the much-talked-about Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Bruce is now, in collaboration with Foster + Partners and AvroKO, working with Six Senses to sensitively inject the luxury brand’s distinctive personality and philosophy into its debut hotel in London.
Mark Kelly, Partner – PLP Architecture
PLP Architecture is an architecture firm behind some of the world’s smartest and most sustainable buildings, which will soon include Pan Pacific London.
Opening Spring 2021 – and already being described as an ‘architectural marvel’ – the project’s vision is to balance a design that is sensitive to the Asian heritage of the brand whilst creating an ultra-modern, timeless hotel and complex that challenges conventional architecture.
Mark Kelly, Partner at the studio, went on the record recently, telling Hotel Designs how the pandemic will impact the industry. “Architecture is an inherently flexible process – always evolving while constantly questioning and reinventing itself,” he said. “As such, it is well placed to respond to the current and seemingly ever-changing Covid crisis and, for that matter, other current and future global concerns such as the climate emergency.
Since you’re here, why not read The Brit List Awards 2020 winners’ story?
Mark Wood, Partner – Dexter Moren Associates
With more than two decades of professional experience and in-house knowledge, Dexter Moren Associates’ partner and architect Mark Wood possesses a broad and varied scope of expertise, particularly in hotel, office, mixed-use, residential and sport and leisure projects.
Fortunate to have had a career doing what he loves, Wood combines his devotion to architecture and urban design with a passion for travel; holding a firm belief that through travel one can gain a perception for what makes a place special, and translate that knowledge into designing buildings that are not only unique but also intrinsic to their location.
Examples of this careful consideration of a schemes wider importance include New Marlborough Yard in the London Borough of Southwark; a radical reinvention of the Premier Inn brand that features a soft landscaped public courtyard and new pedestrian route through the site, while decorative brickwork detailing draws inspiration from the ornate Victorian warehouses and pubs to be found among the surrounding streets.
Some of Wood’s other recent projects include the Guardsman in London, the Royal Hotel in Norwich and the Hilton Hotel, Ealing.
Matthew Salter, Associate Director – HGP Architects
Matthew Salter is the Associate Director at HGP Architects, and led the architectural project to design Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa. The yacht-inspired 85-key luxury hotel adjacent to Admirals Quay has become a sought-after destination for city-dwellers and visitors to Southampton.
The form of the building takes reference from its nautical setting, providing terraces around each level of the building. The concrete frame hotel is built off of the existing pier to the marina and provides conference facilities, a spa complex featuring a swimming pool and gymnasium as well as a restaurant and rooftop bar showcasing spectacular views of the harbour.
Metehan Apak, Senior Interior Architect – Dawson Design Associates
As a highly motivated and hard-working interior architect with almost 10 years’ professional experience, Metehan Apak has extensive experience working as part of a team, as an independent professional, as a manager and as a managing partner. Possessing specific interest and expertise in hospitality and leisure projects, he has worked on a variety of high-end and international hotel, spa and wellness centre, office, health centre and private residence projects with budgets ranging from £50K to £200M.
Based in Twickenham, the Dawson Design Associates London Studio works fluidly as an extension of its Seattle headquarters and design team in the US. The firm’s London team is a constantly growing group of international designers and architects and serves as the driving force behind emulating the US branch’s long-term record for success, while building DDA’s presence internationally and in the local London market.
Na Li, Managing Director – Holloway Li
Born in Nanjing/China, Na Li graduated from University College London (Bartlett School of Architecture), becoming a qualified architect with the Architects Registration Board and chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Li is now responsible for all business development and international projects at Interior Architect studio Holloway Li, having honed her varied and specialist experience prior with developer-led Architects Teatum & Teatum, Wilkinson Eyre, and later Michaelis Boyd where she worked across the Groucho member’s club, and Soho Farm House in Oxfordshire.
She was the first Chinese graduate awarded with Dean’s list of Distinction Award and her architectural illustrations were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art’s prestigious Summer Exhibition.
Placing sustainability at the core of her concepts, this September Li in tandem with Alex Holloway revealed the design for apart-hotel brand Locke’s latest opening – an urban, eco oasis in the heart of Bermondsey, South East London.
Nathalie Rozencwajg, Founder – NAME Architecture
Nathalie Rozencwajg is the founder of NAME Architecture, and an internationally-acclaimed award-winning architect.
Rozencwajg began her career working for a number of internationally renowned practices on projects in London, Beijing, Athens and Mecca. She went on to co-found RARE architecture, where she was a Director for 12 years, responsible for a portfolio of award-winning projects. Her clients have included Club Med, Accor and Unlisted Collection, British Airways, Land Securities and the Berkeley Group. She has gained a reputation for her collaborative approach and for creating iconic projects which breathe new life into historic buildings and in conservation areas.
Rozencwajg is a regular contributor to architecture and design journals, speaking and lecturing to a wide range of international audiences. This is Rozencwajg’s second appearance in The Brit List. In addition, she was shortlisted for Architect Journal’s Emerging Woman Architect of the Year and identified by The Guardian as one of its ‘10 Women Architects to watch’.
Richard Coutts, Director – BACA Architects
Designer of the UK’s first amphibious house, Richard Coutts recently featured on the Channel 5 documentary entitled “Sinking Cities – The Great Flood of London: Environmental Challenges, Food and Floating”, which referenced Aquatecture (architecture on water) and the need for consideration to be given to intelligent innovative ways of living by optimising water as a resource.
From concept right through to completion, BACA Architects, founded and led by the talented Richard Coutts, has been a key collaborator and an inspiration for Tyram Lakes.
Tyram is so much more than a hotel, spa and resort. It shelters uncompromised luxury within an eco-friendly and sustainable environment.
BACA’s holistic approach is helping to create an environmentally-centred paradise from woodland and quarry pits, fishing and watersport lakes and an abandoned pub named William de Lindholme.
Richard Holland, Director – Holland Harvey Architects
Richard Holland leads the hospitality team at Holland Harvey Architects – working on early concepts through to turnkey delivery of some of London’s most high-profile hotels, working primarily with the Inhabit brand, now part of the Design Hotels portfolio.
The first site having opened in late 2019 and a second, larger, property is due in late 2021. In addition, he is currently working on the re-imagining of the five-star Montcalm hotel in Marble Arch, and a complex planning consent for new boutique micro-hotel in St. John’s Wood. Beyond this, the firm is currently working on hospitality led projects in Mexico, Singapore, France and the Middle East.
Simon Whittaker, Associate Director – Orms
Simon Whittaker joined Orms in 2003 and became an Associate Director in 2019 – the same year he was crowned Architect of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019.
With a passion for retro architecture, Whittaker particularly enjoys transforming existing buildings to maximise their full potential, which in London is often on complicated and intricate sites.
He has worked on a wide range of projects in the commercial, education and leisure sectors and clients include Great Portland Estates, Crosstree Real Estate (The Standard Hotel London), British Land and Derwent London.
His most recent architecture challenge is to restore an iconic site in London’s Holborn, which will also unlock a new neighbourhood.
Terry McGinnity, Global Executive Design Director – G.A Design
Originally trained as an architect in Australia, Terry McGinnity moved to London to continue his career.
After assuming the role of Managing Director of G.A Design in 1998, he has turned it into one of the most dynamic and interesting design firms working out of the UK. He is now the Global Executive Design Director where he oversees the creative output for all G.A projects.
With his matched ability in both interior design and architecture, McGinnity is able to adopt a holistic approach to each project he works on – take Park Hyatt St Kitts for example. Sustainably designed with local materials and unique water features throughout, the hotel echoes the island’s rich heritage and culture, and seamlessly intertwines contemporary architecture and colonial design.
Timber-clad wall finishes and oversized glass hurricane lanterns remain true to the island’s history with the lattice-work detailing clearly referencing the Caribbean architecture which inspired the design.
The Brit List 2020 is Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers operating in Britain. This year’s campaign came to a close on November 13, when the virtual award ceremony unveiled The List as well as the individual winners.
To attend The Brit List Winners’ Party, which takes place on April 29, 2021 at Minotti London, please click here. Applications and nominations for The Brit List Awards 2020 will open Summer 2021.