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 Designers 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.
To kickstart our editorial celebration of this year’s winners, please meet (in alphabetical order) The Brit List Designers of 2020…
Albin Berglund, Managing Director – Bergman Interiors
Albin Berglund is the co-founder of Bergman Interiors. He leads a team of designers with Marie Soliman that is unquestionably making ripples in London’s – and now the world’s – luxury interior and architectural design arena. With more than 25 years’ combined experience, Berglund and Soliman have built up an enviable portfolio of projects, spanning London to St. Petersburg, Qatar to New York.
The studio’s dynamic approach is to clearly define where design can have the maximum benefit and impact on our guests’ wellbeing and focus on these key wellness elements.
Currently, the firm is working on a seven-star spa hotel in Norway. It contains guest villas, a luxurious spa and common areas such as restaurants and bars. Berglund’s answer to the project has been to coherently formulate the spaces so that guests can read a continuous language throughout, drawing on nature to tell the story of both the hotel and its setting.
Carolynne Shenton, Founding Director – Studio Mica
Carolynne Shenton is the creative force at the core of the interior design team at Studio Mica, and has been the principal designer behind some of the most prestigious interior projects including the award-winning Nobu Hotel Shoreditch.
Her most recently completed project is a new build, two-storey hospitality villa in Ibiza. The studio was responsible for the interior design and furniture specification. The floor area of the villa is 1,000 sqm and the design features master and guest suites, internal and external bathrooms, dual-family and catering kitchens, bars, open-plan living with panoramic sea views, studio cinema, a gym, a spa with an infinity-edge lap pool, landscaped gardens, al fresco dining and roof terraces.
As well as this, Shenton is also currently working on the interiors and furniture fixtures and equipment for a new 85-key boutique hotel with a restaurant, members club, gym and spa in East London.
Charlie North, Design Director – Ennismore
The multifaceted approach to Charlie North’s design style has allowed him and his team to create award-winning interior schemes for Ennismore-owned brands such as Gleneagles and Hoxton Hotels.
Most recently, North led the team to complete Hoxton Southwark, a 192-key hotel, which features restaurants, bars, function rooms and 4,000 sqm of flexible co-working office space – all of which are stacked within and sheltered inside a slender 17-storey building.
The Hoxton Southwark places an emphasis on British-led design with antique and bespoke fixtures dotted throughout the hotel. The design scheme of the urban hotel, where possible, also brings the outdoors in, which gives each area a new depth entirely.
Clinton Freeman, Design Director – IHG
Former Design Director of David Collins Studio and former Senior Design Director of EU at Hilton, Clinton Freeman was appointment Design Director of IHG in September of 2019. The hotel group has been included in The Brit List for a number of years, with Henry Reeve being named highly commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category last year, and Emma King being shortlisted the year before.
The IHG Group is expanding at a rapid rate, with an emphasis on lifestyle hotels in new destinations, and is rapidly influencing a new breed of boutique hotels. Hotel Indigo, for example, currently has 104 hotel openings in the pipeline in the next three to five years*.
[*this was accurate at the time The Brit List 2020 went to print]
Dale Atkinson, Founding Director – Rosendale Design
Dale Atkinson has dedicated his life to his passion and takes pride in the design aesthetic he creates. Rich in tradition, and yet creatively contemporary, Atkinson utilises research as the bedrock of all projects, allowing each space to evoke a unique environment.
Next year will see the opening of the newly refurbished restaurant at the renowned Santa Marina Resort, Mykonos. The studio was commissioned to create spaces both internally and externally that celebrated Greek culture. Due to Covid-19, the project’s completion has been delayed until May 2021.
Damien Follone, Senior Associate & Senior Designer (F&B) – Wimberly Interiors
Damien Follone brings more than ten years of architectural and interiors knowledge to the Wimberly Interiors’ team as a Senior Associate and Senior Designer of Restaurants + Bars at the firm’s London studio.
His design approach and critical thinking ensure that each project is strategically positioned from inception through to delivery with emphasis on hotel food and beverage experiences. Follone is at the forefront of experiential design, exploring how F&B concepts and brands come together with products and personalities to create enjoyable and authentic guest experiences.
Having worked in architecture in Australia, he brings both high-level resort planning and humanscale design skills from a number of projects in Oceania and Asia.
More recently, his hotel experience in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia has allowed him to work with renowned luxury brands to analyse, position and design their F&B offerings to be successful and relevant in the local market.
David Mason, Director of Hospitality – Scott Brownrigg
Following four years as a Project Director in Interior Design for Scott Brownrigg, in 2019 David Mason was promoted to become Director of Hospitality at the firm, and made his debut in The Brit List as a result.
Mason has worked steadily to authentically grow Scott Brownrigg’s profile within the market place. As a global design leader, ranked 11 in the UK and within the global top 100 architectural practices, the firm’s interior design team have worked on projects for brands including Hilton, Hard Rock Hotels, Radisson Blu, Hyatt Regency & Assembly.
In the past four years, Mason’s team has created a budget hotel, Assembly London, behind the Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square. The project was praised by British GQ as one of its top 10 places to visit in London.
Last year, the studio completed its work on Hard Rock Hotel London in Marble Arch, which became the city’s new destination venue. Mason led a team, designing all the public spaces for the hotel.
Most recently, Mason and his team have been working on the re-development and re-branding of two existing hotels in East London, with its launch this year delayed due to Covid-19. The team are fortunately now heading back to site with the first phase launch anticipated for January 2021.
David T’Kint, Partner – Hirsch-Bedner Associates
As a Partner at Hirsch-Bedner Associates EMEA, David T’Kint is responsible for overseeing a team of designers and creatives. Driven by creativity and in response to the evolution of luxury design, his regional team brings together the talents and specialties of his global team to enhance the firm’s 360-degree service, creating a one-stop-shop for inspired hospitality design.
In December 2019, the studio completed on the interiors for Great Scotland Yard Hotel; a landmark development in London’s City of Westminster. Once the London’s Metropolitan Police headquarters, the listed building’s latest chapter is a 152-key luxury boutique hotel, in which the stories of the building’s past unfold through exquisitely sculpted interiors and eclectic decorative elements.
Transforming this historical space into a welcoming place for discerning travellers, T’Kint expressed the individuality of Great Scotland Yard through an unexpected play of Edwardian-inspired hues and patterns, conventional Whitehall, and colours that relive the timeless elegance and sophistication of the era with a flair of contemporary details.
Dennis Irvine, Founder / Creative Director – Dennis Irvine Studio
Dennis Irvine has consistently designed for world-renowned operators and high-end luxury private residences. As a voice and presence within the hospitality industry he remains respected for his ‘sense of place’ design aesthetic and relevant project design narration. Irvine continues to champion attention to detail and craftsmanship with local and international artisans, which often result in unique interiors both in the UK and globally.
A regular speaker, Irvine attends industry events and offers views on topics such as hospitality design evolution, advice to those starting their careers in the industry and sensitive historic restorations.
Irvine continues to be recognized in many publications including the Robb report, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar and Architectural Digest amongst other well-known hospitality publications to ensure British design is recognised and respected globally.
Edward Davies, Managing Director & Principal – G.A Design London
With more than 17 years’ experience working in the super luxury hospitality arena, Edward Davies has a meticulous eye for detail, and understands the high expectations of high-net worth individuals. Whether that is in the craftsmanship and detailed design of a hotel suite, or the personal service provided by the G.A Group.
Always pushing the boundaries of design and encouraging clients to take the leap into the unexplored, Davies isn’t afraid of dreaming big. An inspiring leader, Davies enables his team to take creative control and ownership of the luxury hospitality projects he oversees, whilst providing intuitive and inspiring direction. He manages to distil the client brief in a succinct way, with clarity. This combination of trust and creativity makes him a wonderful visionary of designers.
Working as the London Managing Director at G.A Group, Davies runs the day-to-day management of the 90-strong London-based studio, whilst also acting as Principal across a number of high-profile interior design and architecture projects worldwide.
Current projects overseen by Davies include a new luxury hotel brand in Southeast Asia, the latest new offerings from Corinthia Hotels in Rome and Moscow, and the 184-key 1 Hotel in Mayfair, London. Each a unique brief and challenge, Davies approaches them equally with the same verve and vigor.
Ed Warner, Founder & CEO – Motionspot
Hotel Brooklyn is regarded as the UK’s most accessible design-led hotel. Bringing New York flare to Manchester, the hotel provides 189 rooms that are set across 10 storeys with conference rooms, a restaurant and bar on the ground floor and mini cinema in the lobby.
But what really makes this hotel special is its commitment to design-led accessibility. Ed Warner is the founder of Motionspot, the design studio responsible for creating Hotel Brooklyn’s accessible solutions. This was central to the design and build of the hotel, which shelters nine wheelchair accessible bedrooms – including the first hotel in Manchester with ceiling track hoists – and nine ambulant accessible bedrooms.
Accessibility isn’t just limited to the bedrooms, as attention was paid to the communal spaces too, to ensure that guests with a range of physical, visual and cognitive access needs could enjoy all the hotel has to offer.
Elizabeth Lane, Partner – RPW Design
Highly accomplished designer Elizabeth Lane has been essential in many of RPW Design’s projects with her abundance of design expertise acquired from her work around the globe. A Partner at RPW Design, Lane is renowned for ensuring beautiful interiors and operational functionality work in complete harmony.
The designer’s 16-year tenure at the company has included welcoming current Managing Director Ariane Steinbeck and supporting a smooth transition as RPW founder Jan Wilson took a step back from the helm of RPW Design in late 2015 whereupon she became a Director and Partner in the firm.
One of her recent projects was spearheading the renovation of Four Seasons Hampshire. As well as being responsible for designing the guestrooms inside the hotel, Lane excelled in ensuring elegance and functionality throughout the renovation of the hotel’s conference and banqueting space and continually provides steady leadership in a complex project team of owners, operators and consultants. It was a project that Lane describes held true to their convictions as a firm. The results, she says, are a testament to RPW Design’s ability to deliver projects that will stand the test of time.
Emma Farren, Senior Designer – DesignLSM
Emma Farren is a strong, creative leader at DesignLSM and professionally manages her own projects, consistently working hard to push new ideas and active design solutions for clients. Farren’s conceptual approach and technical ability, combined with her passion for all things design related, provides her designs with a strong sense of refinement and flexibility. Since joining the team back in 2016, she has built up a vast portfolio of award-winning work that most recently includes the design evolution of Gaucho restaurants.
Farren worked in close collaboration with Gaucho CEO, Martin Williams, and his team helping them to evolve the Gaucho brand through a new creative direction that moves away from the cowhide of old and on to a more refined aesthetic that celebrates the modern-day Gaucho. Immersing herself into the brand story, she drew her inspiration from the visual narrative of Argentina and the Gaucho way of life, considering its spirit and stunning landscapes – from the dramatic mountain landscapes to the Pampas region through to the high-altitude vineyards.
The design results for the first site in Charlotte St London reflect the raw, majestic nature and cultural energy of Argentina through an elegant and sophisticated aesthetic that captivates guests as soon as they step through the door.
Geraldine Dohogne, Founder – Beyond Design
Geraldine Dohogne does not fit the traditional mold of a designer since she, in her own admission, stumbled into this profession driven by passion. As a result, perhaps, there’s no such thing as copy and paste in Dohogne’s work. On the contrary, every project she touches offers a new story. The same core values are always respected, but each and every new project is thought through individually. This is the process that enables the former Head of Design a Zannier Hotels to grow personally as well as professionally.
Beyond Design is Dohogne’s recently launched studio. Much more than solely concentrating on the interior design, the designer prides herself to handpick every single object and source local craftspeople whom themselves form an integral part of the place in question. As a result, every project represents a marathon across flea markets and meeting with local artisans and artists in order for the result to tell a genuine narrative that makes people reflect and appreciate a place even more.
Hamish Brown, Partner – 1508 London
Having been involved since 1508 London’s inception, Hamish Brown has been pivotal to the growth of the company and has championed the studio’s expansion from private residential into multi-unit developments and hospitality. As a result, Brown has helped 1508 London become one the world’s most revered architecture and interior design studios.
As an interior architect, Brown’s ability to understand every facet of the design process ensures he is perfectly positioned to help support clients throughout their journey. His profound commitment to clients’ experiences has installed a dedication to the creation of timeless, elegant spaces of the highest quality, all of which are informed by a unique narrative, grounded in functionality with no one set style.
The studio was responsible for the interior design scheme that is sheltered in The Lanesborough Club & Spa, which is referred to as the world’s best hotel spa because of its innovative design.
Projects that are currently heading towards completion include The Carlton Tower Jumeirah and Rosewood Doha.
Henry Reeve, Director of Interior Design – IHG
Henry Reeve, last year’s Highly Commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category in The Brit List Awards 2020, continues to drive the boutique and lifestyle sector forward in what has been an incredibly difficult year for the industry.
Opening the luxury Kimpton ViviDora in early Q1 was a real highlight for the group in 2020, creating a hotel that felt both special and luxurious whilst fully integrating itself into the youthful, urban, raw and authentic Gothic quarter of Barcelona.
What’s more, during lockdown Reeve innovatively utilised his skills and craftsmanship to launch Made by Henry, designing handcrafted homewares and accessories for all. With the mantra, “Measure twice, cut once,” Reeve continues to lead a new wave of designers.
Lindsey Bean-Pierce, Partner, Head of Interiors – Dexter Moren Associates
Lindsey Bean-Pearce, Partner, is responsible for running the interior design team at Dexter Moren Associates, managing a talented group of ten designers across a diverse and varied portfolio of headline projects and ensuring a high level of design consistency throughout.
Currently she is working on the Autograph Abastumani Hotel & Spa in Georgia, the Westin Verdelago Resort Hotel & Village Club in Portugal, the conversion and refurbishment of the Malmaison York, Accor’s first Movenpick Hotel in Italy, the Pamphili Rome, as well as the refurbishment of a Victorian hotel in London’s Paddington and a new-build boutique hotel in Dubai.
Prior to this she most recently led the completion of the International Hotel & Property Award winning boutique Vintry & Mercer Hotel and the Clayton Hotel New Drum Street, London.
Boasting more than 15 years’ experience running projects in the UK and Europe, she brings considerable creative flair and strong conceptual and technical abilities to a role in which no two days are the same.
As head of a team of talented creatives from all sectors of expertise and experience, Bean-Pierce takes great pride in mentoring her more junior colleagues, watching them flourish into stand out designers, and ensuring that each is constantly growing and expanding their design knowledge.
Mark Bithrey, Founder & Creative Director – B3 Designers
Since founding B3 Designers in 2002, Mark Bithrey has worked on the interior design for iconic hospitality brands across the UK and Europe. B3 Designers has, under Bithrey’s creative direction, developed an impressive, diverse and award-winning portfolio. The most recently completed hotel project is The Prince Akatoki, London.
The hotel, part of the APAC hotel management group StayWell, launched in September 2019. The brief was to refurbish the 82-key former Arch Hotel in the heart of the West End, with a focus on bringing Japanese design and hospitality ideals to the West. The scope included the bedrooms, reception, sanctuary, communal workspace, corridors, lift lobby, TOKii (restaurant), and The Malt Lounge and Bar.
Marie Soliman, Co-Founder – Bergman Interiors
Marie Soliman is the co-founder of Bergman Interiors, and leads a team with Albin Berglund that is making ripples in London’s – and now the world’s – luxury interior and architectural design world. With more than 25 years’ combined experience, Soliman and Berglund have built up an enviable portfolio of projects, spanning London to St. Petersburg, to Qatar to New York.
The studio’s dynamic approach is to clearly define where design can have the maximum benefit and impact on our guests’ wellbeing and focus on these key wellness elements.
Currently the firm is working on a seven-star spa hotel in Norway, which contains guest villas, a luxurious spa and common areas such as restaurants and bars. Soliman’s approach has been to coherently formulate the spaces so that guests can read a continuous language throughout, drawing on nature to tell the story of both the hotel and its setting.
Martin Brudnizki, Founder – Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS)
Martin Brudnizki’s love for design started from a young age. His mother was a stylist and his father a mechanical engineer; the combination of these elements embedded a deep understanding of aesthetics alongside a grounding in functionality.
Following a number of successful positions at renowned interior design firms, Brudnizki established his eponymous Studio in London in 2000 and a New York Studio in 2012.
The designer has become a symbol – no, an icon – in F&B design because of his ability to sensitively uplift public areas and transform into becoming destinations within their own right for both travellers and locals alike. Statement examples include The Ivy, London; The Beekman in New York and Scarfes Bar inside The Rosewood London – he is currently working to complete new F&B spaces inside long-awaited Four Seasons Madrid.
Since winning Interior Designer of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2018, MBDS (a team of more than 70 talented members) has proven time and time again, through the projects it has completed, that the firm is leading the way in hospitality design on an international scale.
Martin Goddard, Co-Founder – Goddard Littlefair
As a designer, Martin Goddard is not afraid – in fact it’s one of his favourite parts of a project – to roll up his sleeves and relate directly with contractors on site. He overcomes the challenge of being perceived as the interior designer when contractors hear him slip seamlessly into their language and demonstrates that he understands the technicalities of their craft.
Most recently, Goddard and his team completed the interiors inside The Mayfair Townhouse, London. Curious, engaging and witty, the hotel is said to deliver the unexpected and redefines what it means to be a London hotel – think Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland.
Other projects that Goddard and his team have completed include Villa Copenhagen, Hilton Vienna, Chelsea Barracks, Belvedere Gardens and Spa, The Biltmore Mayfair, Sheraton Grand Warsaw, The Imperial Dubrovnik Restaurant, South Bank Place Spa and Corinthia Malta Spa.
Michael Bories, Design Director & Project Management – Marriott International
Michael Bories became Director Design & Project Management for Marriott International in 2017, following previous roles at Emaar Hospitality Group and Foster + Partners.
Matching last year’s ambitious growth strategy, Marriott International aimed to open 30 new luxury hotels in 2020. The global company currently encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,400 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 135 countries and territories.
Recent projects that have emerged this year from Marriott International include W Ibiza, Abu Dhabi’s debut The Luxury Collection, The Ritz Cartlon Nikko in Japan, Aloft Bali, Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel and Aloft Tokyo.
Oliver Redfern, Interior Designer – Squid.Inc
Squid.inc is a leading interior design firm, which specialises in hotels, restaurants and clubs. Interior designer Oliver Redfern led the interior design project of Brooklyn Hotel in Manchester.
Strategically located for both convenience and luxury, right in the heart of Manchester, the hotel provides ample opportunity to experience the vibrant city in whichever direction you choose. Brooklyn’s public areas offer an atmosphere of irresistible familiarity. It’s the unplaceable yet undeniable sense of belonging, where outsiders become insiders, that defines Brooklyn as a destination of true Mancunian hospitality; everyone welcomed exactly as they are.
It’s a sanctuary of the urban explorers; a living room away from home, a workplace away from the office, a place where inspiration waits to be discovered and interpreted into an adventure of guests’ own making.
Simon Rawlings, Creative Director – David Collins Studio
As Creative Director of David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings has overseen the realisation of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces. In the course of two decades at The Studio, he has collaborated with clients such as Harrods, Alexander McQueen and Mandarin Oriental, both in reinventing prominent buildings and establishing important new landmarks.
His most recent headline-grabbing project is Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, which applies a contemporary approach to both aesthetics and hospitality, and has just opened. The hotel’s design takes cues from Japanese architectural disciplines and minimalist design, whilst utilising a refined colour palette influenced by heritage Japanese colour combinations.
Located in the heart of central London’s vibrant Marylebone area, the new luxury hotel features 249 guestrooms and suites, Nobu’s world-class restaurant, a ballroom and meeting spaces – all beautifully conceptualised by David Collins Studio with Make Architects.
Tina Norden, Partner – Conran and Partners
Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners, led the interior design refurb of a building that was known locally as Prague’s most established boutique. Redesigning the 71-key Maximilian Hotel called upon experienced designers to sensitively reimagine and redesign the hotel’s interiors.
Norden’s design approach reflects the cultural and architectural heritage of its urban context, referencing Czech modernism and the progressive art movement influenced by famous avant-garde artist and architectural writer, Karel Teige.
The design team wanted to retain a strong element of Teige’s poetic modernism while creating a sense of place rooted in the city and the neighbourhood. This involved drawing upon the iconic pastel colour palette of Prague’s architecture and local crafts – including weaving and glass-making – for the materiality of 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.