John is head of hotels and leisure projects, describing his work as the opportunity to entice and excite the communities he is building for.
Having led the design and delivery of two shipping container hotels and contributed to various modular construction projects, he is an expert in Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA).
John, tell us the about the current big trend in the world of hotels and leisure
Convergence, or sector overlap. Because we work across many different sectors, we work with clients who do everything from student accommodation to hotels and restaurants, and of late they tend to follow a similar fashion or taste for certain interior designs and layouts.
The hotel lobby is also becoming a home away from home and overlaps significantly with the office and workplace sector. WiFi and informal meeting places encourage people to work remotely, as part of an overarching corporate emphasis on employee wellness.
This is particularly evident in lifestyle hotels that are design and community focused, catering very much to the millennial generation.
And what is your favourite building?
We were recently part of a team bidding for the Mineral Hospital project in Bath. It’s a phenomenal building because it spans so many historical periods: Roman mosaics, a medieval city wall, Georgian design and it even survived bomb damage in World War II.
The story behind it adds a huge depth and richness to the design potential, as well as having some fantastic spaces inside that really lend themselves to a luxury hotel. I love working with hotels within heritage buildings.
What is your proudest moment?
Our interior design team winning a Sleeper Ahead Award for the Rove Hotel projects. Winning an internationally recognised award for designing and developing a new international hotel brand is no mean feat – I think our teams in Bristol and Dubai did a fantastic job!
Interesting fact that nobody knows about you?
I used to draw caricatures for money at markets and events. Over the past few years I have done them as farewell gifts for colleagues.
Do you have a favourite book?
One of them would have to be Memories of a Game Ranger by Harry Wolhuter. It’s the story of a person who survived a lion attack on horseback in the Kruger National Park. Having grown up in South Africa, it reminds me of my own trips into the wild; it’s a real adventure story.
- Recently set up a Hospitality Networking Group that meets in London, called ‘Hospitable’
- Bristol Airport Hotel, Stride Treglown were ‘highly commended’ in the commercial project category.