Unveiled: The Brit List Architects of 2021

    The Brit List Architects of 2021
    730 565 Pauline Brettell
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    Unveiled: The Brit List Architects of 2021

    Following hot on the heels of this year’s designers who made the list, it’s now time to shine the spotlight on the 25 architects who were profiled in The Brit List 2021, which was unveiled in style at The Brit List Awards 2021…

    The Brit List Architects of 2021

    After a year full of rethinking and recalibration in the hotel industry, architects have been faced with increased demands on their innovation and creativity as the industry moves forward with determination.

    The Brit List Awards 2021 was the perfect platform that amplified the leading British-based architects, with Mark Bruce, Director at EPR Architects winning Architect of the Year following the unveil of NoMad London, which takes shelter inside the former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court.

    In addition to the individual winners, though, the awards campaign also gave nod to the top 25 architects who are proving themselves to be influential figures in the hotel design arena. Following our unveiling of The Brit List designers of 2021, here is our list (in alphabetical order), of the architects in Britain who continue to contribute to the dynamism of British hospitality design, who have all been profiled in the published version of The Brit List 2021.

    Alastair Shepherd, Director, Falconer Chester Hall Architects

    Following his arrival at Falconer Chester Hall Architects in 1999, Alastair Shepherd was appointed as a Director in 2007. Since then, he has been instrumental in delivering award-winning residential and commercial schemes across the country. Most recently, his focus has been on delivering large scale regeneration projects with a particular expertise in the private rental sector.

    Cue the launch of The Other House, a new revolutionary hospitality concept that will have the body of a hotel, the heart of serviced apartments and the soul of a private members’ club. Shepherd is currently working on the conversion of the brand’s first property, Harrington Hall in South Kensington. He and his team have been tasked to transform the heritage building into a luxury hotel that will open in 2022 while also designing the brand’s second hotel, which will sit majestically in Covent Garden.

    Central to these projects, the studio has carved out club flats – all of which vary in size and layout. The two new hotels will also shelter welcoming, luxurious and distinctly British public areas as well as a destination spa.

     Amrit Naru, Studio Director, ADP Architecture

    Amrit Naru is a Studio Director at ADP Architecture and leads the Newcastle studio.

    ADP Architecture has been designing exceptional buildings since 1965, and the architecture and interior design teams are working on an ever-growing portfolio of exciting hotel and leisure projects. The studio works with international brands, and it is currently delivering high quality buildings and interiors for clients across the globe.

    With an extensive knowledge in the healthcare sector, Naru has worked on a range of primary health care, specialist care, mental health and acute hospitals. His interest in healthcare design is further strengthened by his outside academic interests in medical health planning and elderly care in Europe and America.

    Naru also has extensive experience in the hospitality sector, delivering architectural and interior-led hotel projects. In addition, he has also contributed to a number of thought-provoking articles on Hotel Designs on topics such as public spaces, green hospitality and community-driven hotel design.

    Ben Adams, Founding Director, Ben Adams Architects

    The work at Ben Adams Architects is underpinned by a rigorous process that balances context, constraints, and concepts. Once the team have fully understood the constraints and potential inherent in a project, they begin to develop a concept – a visionary response to what the building needs to be, and a creative point of departure from which a design can spring.

    The Founding Director of the studio, Ben Adams, is a regular name featured in The Brit List. His previous work demonstrates architectural flair, fresh thinking and commercial acumen, with projects that are individually distinctive and the result of bespoke ideas rather than formulaic solutions. Within his portfolio is Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, the first Nobu hotel that arrived in Europe. The property occupies a tight urban plot and the building follows the street line, accenting its strong linear form with horizontal steel and concrete fins at each floor level.

    His most recent hospitality project is sheltered inside Page8 Hotel, a thoroughly contemporary boutique hotel, which is “all about the lifestyle”. The studio was part of the design team that created Bisushima Restaurant, the amalgamation of two key elements: Bisu represents the Egyptian God of hedonism and party and Shima, the Japanese word for island and sanctuary. Born from these two elements, the concept conveys the transformative journey that guests can relish in from Shima (Day) to Bisu (Night).

    Catarina Pina-Bartrum, Project Director, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands Architects

    Catarina Pina-Bartrum, again no stranger to The Brit List, was part of the team developing a mixed-use development on Hanover Square; a retail-led project on Oxford Street in central London and Hoxton Southwark, a mixed-use hotel and office development, which has quickly become a new destination hotel in London.

    In addition, the studio’s portfolio also includes The Moorgate, Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge, The AEG Greenwich Hotel and the London 2012 Athletes village            Plot No. 2.

    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.

    Christos Passas, Director, Zaha Hadid Architects

    Christos Passas, the winner of Architect of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2020, was the Project Director for Zaha Hadid Architect’s latest hotel project in Dubai. Spanning 84,300 sqm, the Opus 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.

    Doug Pearson, Senior Associate, 3DReid

    Doug Pearson has extensive hospitality experience working with a number of prestigious hotel brands, covering both new build and refurbishments and conversions throughout the UK.

    Pearson is a versatile architect and experienced job runner, working predominantly on hospitality, commercial and cultural projects. He is responsible for the design and delivery of high profile and complex projects. Notably, he has led design teams on the refurbishment and extension of Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Goodwood Hotel in Chichester and Malmaison in Edinburgh.

    Most recently, Pearson has been an integral member of the creation of Gleneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh, and is currently working on The Bull at Burford Hotel in Oxfordshire, The Lucullan Hotel in Inchmarlo and Erskine Church Development in Falkirk.

    Ed Murray, Associate Architect, Dexter Moren Associates

    Ed Murray is an accomplished Associate and architect who has led a wide range of projects for independent owners and international brands across the entire hospitality spectrum, including luxury hotels, banqueting and conference venues, resorts and spas. Murray has meticulous attention to detail, a good sense of perspective and a proven track record in delivering projects from conception to completion. He has a strong value set based on honesty, integrity and respect for the individual.

    For the last two and a half years he has been leading the delivery of the Westin London City, the brand’s debut hotel in the UK. The 222-key, new build hotel opened in September, 2021 and also shelters nine residential apartments and an 8,000 sq ft spa.

    Murray’s ability to coordinate and manage large teams, his rapport with colleagues, clients, design teams and contractors alike makes him an indispensable interface between projects and their stakeholders.

    His role goes well beyond a purely architectural as he is also involved in the practice’s inclusivity forum group as well mentoring other team members.

    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.

    Most recently, Ferrier and his team have been putting the final touches on Gleneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh, a highly anticipated opening for the Gleneagles brand. Hi addition, he is currently working on The Bull at Burford Hotel in Oxfordshire, The Lucullan Hotel in Inchmarlo and Erskine Church Development in Falkirk.

    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, emerged 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 alongside 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.

    Herbert Lui, Partner, Dexter Moren Associates

    Originally from Singapore, Herbert Lui has led numerous large scale mixed-used projects at Dexter Moren Associates, ranging from residential to hospitality-led schemes both in the UK and internationally, and has pursued and won a number of international architectural design competitions. He is a popular mentor to the younger architects and assistants at the practice, and is keen to encourage hand sketching during the creative and problem-solving process among junior colleagues, as he constantly laments the disappearance of pencil and paper in current architectural education.

    In the last year, despite battling through adversity, Lui has continued working on several notable international projects in Africa. Following the completion of two hotels in Benin, Lui won a commission to design a new hotel in Lagos. Responding to the client’s brief, the 20-storey tower hotel will create an iconic and exciting hospitality destination for the city, and will feature a mid-level spa and sky terrace, and rooftop pool and bar. Located on a challenging and narrow site, Lui’s architectural composition and his sculptural expression of the building’s rooftop – inspired by the sleek lines of luxury yachts – has generated much excitement with the client, his investors and the hotel brand.

    James Dilley, Director, Jestico + Whiles

    James Dilley, Director, Jestico + Whiles, is more than an exceptional British designer and architect. In a career that has spanned more than 27 years, Dilley has become an accomplished and charismatic leader who has helped to steer luxury and lifestyle hospitality into several new eras. Some of his masterpieces include W London, Zuri Zanzibar and Villa Honegg.

    His most recent work includes W Edinburgh, a new mixed-use development known as Island Quarter in Nottingham, a spectacular atrium onboard P&O Cruises’ Iona vessel and Kempinski Palace Engelberg, which opened earlier this year.

    In addition to reshaping the hospitality landscape, Dilley is also an authentic and honest speaker on the international hotel design scene. Most recently, he has supported a campaign with Hotel Designs, supported by NEWH, to give young, and hungry designers and architects a voice by being the subject of an interview that they themselves lead.

    Jen Samuel, Associate Director, 3DReid

    Jen Samuel manages all aspects of a project at 3DReid, from feasibility and concept design to the production and co-ordination of construction information, liaising closely with clients and contractors at all stages of the process. Her experience spans a variety of sectors, including education, offices and residential and working primarily in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

    Most recently, Samuel led the project team working on the reinstatement and extension of Scottish five-star resort, Cameron House, on Loch Lomond. Reopened in summer 2021, the hotel offers unrivalled five-star luxury. Renowned for its timeless style and refined Scottish culture, the property features 140 guestrooms, including 24 exquisite suites complemented by elegant function rooms and inspiring event spaces, with spectacular unspoiled views of Loch Lomond.

    Ensuring the newly restored hotel offers an unrivalled guest experience, the restoration has required meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, which will be seen throughout the beautiful reinstated suites, reception areas and event spaces.

    Jonny Sin, Associate Director, ReardonSmith Architects

    Since joining the firm in 2011, Jonny Sin has led ReardonSmith Architects’ hospitality team modestly into present time. 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, which was one of the first projects he worked on from concept through to completion.

    Other projects include a 173-key hotel in Battersea, Adere Manor, Co. Limerick as well as a conversion of three buildings in London’s Soho into a 69-key urban lifestyle hotel.

    Most recently, although many of the projects the studio is working on are guarded by NDAs, ReardonSmith Architects was named as one of the architecture firms that will be working on creating The Chancery Rosewood, which is expected to make its arrival in 2024.

     Julie Humphryes, Co-Founder, Archer Humphryes Architects

    Julie Humphryes is an architect and innovator. One of the first two women in 700 years to be invited to read Architecture at Cambridge University’s prestigious Peterhouse college, today she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), member of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and is directly responsible for many of the most beautiful and iconic spaces across the United Kingdom and overseas.
    Her company, Archer Humphryes Architects, has won a multitude of international awards and accolades, and is championed throughout the global sector for its inimitable style of architecture and interiors, as well as its diverse range of projects.

    With a portfolio worth £400 million, £3 million in turnover and a 30-strong team that is ever-increasing, the firm is revered for its approach to research and development (R&D) – embracing technological advances like no one else. This is exemplified, in the past three years, by the awards by the UK governments HMRC for unrivalled innovation, and showcased in such pioneering projects as the 95ft racing yacht Archer Humphryes is creating for Finnish sailing company, Nautor’s Swan, and the groundbreaking hospitality complex at the hotel, Peninsula London; and The Eggli Club, Gstaad; all of which boast technological advances that are a world first. Significant completed projects in her practice include Chiltern Firehouse, The Standard Hotel, The Great Northern Hotel and Lalit London.

    Luke Fox, Head of Studio – Foster + Partners

    Luke Fox is a head of studio at the practice and part of the Design Board and the Partnership Board. He leads a team of designers in London, Hong Kong and Beijing on a wide range of international projects. He is originally from Sydney, Australia and studied architecture at the University of Sydney. After graduating he worked in New York and joined Foster + Partners in 1998.

    Fox has worked on many significant projects varying from infrastructure and offices to hospitality and residential. His recent schemes include new offices for Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, in Shanghai; Jeddah Metro, where the practice was appointed to develop the architectural vision for Jeddah’s city-wide public transport plan; Lusail Stadium in Qatar, the iconic venue for the 2022 World Cup; Murray Hotel, a new luxury hotel in Central Hong Kong and a new Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of Makkah for Jabal Omar.

    Mark Bruce, Main Board Director, EPR Architects

    Mark Bruce is a Main Board Director and heads up the hotels and hospitality team with extensive experience across the sector, with particular expertise on listed buildings, refurbishments and resort hotels.

    Previous projects include The Ned, Rosewood London, Sea Containers and LaLit London. Following the completion of London’s new popular place to be, NoMad London – which is sheltered inside what used to be Bow Street Magistrates Court – 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.

    In addition, EPR Architects is also working on what will become Raffles’ first hotel in the UK, which will be contained inside the storied walls of the Old War Office building in Westminster.

    Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture

    Following much anticipation – and a year of unpredictable variables – Mark Kelly and his team at PLP Architecture have recently completed their work on creating Pan Pacific London. Arriving with the aim to take London’s luxury and wellness scene up to new heights, the project’s vision was 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.

    In an interview with Kelly, Hotel Designs’ readers learned the need for flexibility in today’s era of design and hospitality. “Architecture is an inherently flexible process – always evolving while constantly questioning and reinventing itself,” he said when discussing architecture’s role post-pandemic. “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.”

    Metehan Apak, Senior Interior Architect, Dawson Design Associates

    Metehan Apak brings more than 10 years’ professional experience working on projects for luxury hotel and spas in the US, Europe & Asia to the Dawson Design Associates (DDA) as Senior Interior Architect and Project Manager. Six years of work at DDA has led to his involvement in projects for renowned brands such as Z Collection Hotels, Mondrian, W Hotels and Rosewood Hotels.

    Apak applies a holistic methodology during the design process from concept creation to the project completion with a tough-minded attitude and efficient communication within the team as well as with the clients. His dedication and work ethic continue to be recognised by his former and current clients.

    DDA recently completed groundbreaking Hotel Zena which was designed as a new cultural hub celebrating the accomplishments of women and recognizing their enduring struggle for gender equality.

    Currently, the studio is working on numerous multi-million-pound hotel projects which includes resorts and uniquely positioned city hotels.

     Nicholas de Klerk, Co-Founder, Translation Architecture

    Following 13 years at Aukett Swanke, Nicholas de Klerk recently made the bold leap, together with Co-Founder Sze Wei Lee, to set up a new design and architecture studio. Translation Architecture is on a mission to transform innovate ideas into extraordinary spaces on tomorrow’s hospitality scene. Two of Klerk and Lee’s first projects are situated in the UK – and are both for a new brand. The Relais Retreats is a waterside hospitality concept developed by Grace Leo and Tim Hartnoll.

    One of these projects completed its first phase in Q3 of 2021. Both are complete refurbishments of existing buildings, one of which is Grade II Listed. The heritage and urban context of each building is fundamental to the hotel concepts that they are developing. Both also embrace changing attitudes to work by creating beautifully designed and well serviced, generous lounges with great F&B, which nonetheless create a comfortable environment with a domestic feel to it – a work from home environment that doesn’t necessarily need to be at home.

    Richard Coutts, Director, BACA Architects

    Designer of the UK’s first amphibious house, Richard Coutts, who founded BACA in 2003, 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 has been a key collaborator and an inspiration for Tyram Lakes. Described as “so much more than a hotel, spa and resort,” the property shelters uncompromised luxury within an eco-friendly and sustainable environment.

    BACA’s holistic approach has developed a pragmatic method to a long-term vision of a sustainable hospitality landscape. The team find practical solutions for inhabiting and building with water. This ultimate aim for the architecture studio is to make built communities safe – keeping people dry whilst enjoying the benefits of living near water, which humans are so attracted towards.

    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.

    His recent work includes establishing and designing architecture solutions for Inhabit, a hotel brand with a heart for community, a head for life-enhancing hospitality and wellness wisdom. Holland and his team were fundamental in the development of the brand’s first hotel, which launched in 2019. The architecture studio returned to help the brand grow its mission to create restorative, environmentally and socially conscious places to stay in the city, with a second London hotel that opened recently.

    Sarah Murphy, Architect, Jestico + Whiles

    Following being listed in Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, which was published in 2018, Sarah Murphy has emerged as a rising figure on the British architecture scene. Not only is Murphy an emerging example of women leading the way in hotel design, her portfolio of past and present work as a senior member of the Jestico + Whiles team, is impressive as well as inspiring. This includes W Edinburgh, a new mixed-use development known as Island Quarter in Nottingham, a spectacular atrium onboard P&O Cruises’ Iona vessel and Kempinski Palace Engelberg, which opened earlier this year.

    Murphy works among a strong and tight-knit team at Jestico + Whiles, which is led modestly by Director James Dilley, who is regarded by those who know him best as a strong, forward-thinking and kind mentor – everything the industry needs as it recovers and evolves.

    Simon Whittaker, Associate Director, Orms

    Simon Whittaker, architect and Associate Director at Orms was deservingly crowned Architect of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019, following the spectacular completion of The Standard London. Since then, Whittaker, fuelled by his love for retro-buildings has started to work on a new development, which will see the transformation of the Central St Martins Building in Holborn – a property that shelters many memories for the UK’s leading designers, architects and creatives alike.

    Nearly a decade after University of Arts London moved out of the site, Orms is currently working with a world-renowned team to sensitively restore the building and give it a new lease of life as a mixed-used development, which will include a new lifestyle hotel.

    Orms were approached in 2019 to, through the power of architecture, secure consent for a hotel on the iconic site. The plot within the Holborn area includes the Grade II listed building, formerly Central St Martins building that fronts Southampton Row, as well as a collection of ‘60s buildings behind.

    In addition to a new hotel, the ‘new neighbourhood’ as Whittaker described it in an exclusive interview with Hotel Designs, will include exhibition spaces, a refurbished lecture theatre, a screening room, various F&B outlets, a library, a series of function rooms and co-working spaces.

    Tom Lindblom, Principal, Gensler

    Tom Lindblom is a Hospitality Leader and a Studio Director in Gensler’s London office (despite taking a few years out to travel and work from various Gensler offices around the world). He has more than 25 years of experience on a variety of projects, with a special focus on hotels, resorts, and museums.

    Working with diverse clients in Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the United States has broadened his understanding and appreciation for unique opportunities in a variety of markets. Lindblom is active with clients in the Mediterranean and Adriatic to develop sustainable resorts that operate efficiently from an economic, social and environmental position. His experience also includes design and planning for several museums and galleries in the United States and Europe. He teaches and lectures on architecture, lighting design, and museum design at universities in the US and London.

    Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Founder, Yasmine Mahmoudieh Studio

    Completing The Brit List alumni of 2021 is Yasmine Mahmoudieh, an architect, designer and product developer who is pioneering real change in hospitality arena globally through social and sustainable hospitality initiatives.

    Mahmoudieh’s unique and holistic approach to design and architecture, which merges human psychology and cutting-edge technology, has resulted in an acclaimed international showcase of award-winning, one-of-a-kind projects. Her achievements include Strandhotel Atlantic and Villa Meeresstrand as well as Four Seasons Hotel in Hamburg, among others.

    > Since you’re here, why not read The Brit List 2021

    The application process (free of charge) for The Brit List Awards 2022 will open in Q2 of 2022.

    Main image credit: The Brit List Awards 2021

    Pauline Brettell / 20.12.2021


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