HBA, a global leader in hospitality design, is expanding with nine new global partners – doubling the number of partners and setting in place the next generation of leaders for the firm. These changes take place as HBA reports record revenue and staffing numbers, despite the global uncertainty.
The new partners are: Carlos Francisco, Los Angeles; Christiane Kaalund, Los Angeles; David T’Kint, Singapore; Federico Masin, Hong Kong; Jacques Coetzee, Singapore; Leo Ying Li, Shanghai; Naresh Chhabra, New Delhi; Simon Berry, Illuminate; and Nathan Hutchins, London.
Additionally, HBA is pleased to announce one new principal and three new associates: Sandra Cortner, principal Atlanta; Darrell Long, associate Los Angeles; Meghann Day, associate San Francisco, Nicole Smith, associate Atlanta.
HBA’s strategy of rolling out four new offices, in Bangkok, Beijing, Istanbul and Moscow, and a new architecture division in 2012 has kept HBA leading the trend in hospitality design.
In 2013, HBA’s strategy will continue to take the form of celebrating its employees and incubating talent amongst its global network of passionate designers. As an example, HBA has initiated its own internal awards, with the best projects and designers being awarded monetary and travel prizes, fostering healthy rivalry across the firm and the pursuit of excellence.
HBA co-ceo Ian Carr testifies that: “All nine new partners have proven dedication to HBA’s culture of creativity and quality, as well as providing impeccable personalised service to each individual client.”
Nathan Hutchins, the new design partner for London, comments: “I am, of course, delighted to become a partner of HBA, a firm I joined in 2006 and where I have so enjoyed the experience of helping the London-based studio forge its position as one of the most talented design teams creating luxury hotel and residential interiors today.
“I think our instinctive approach, which is to challenge ourselves each time and shape interiors that are unique and have a relevant story to tell, has resonated with the direction of the hospitality industry over the past couple of years. I am sure this journey will continue as travellers increasingly seek an ’emotional’ experience with which they can engage, and as both owners and operators realise that design is an important means to deliver this.
“Personally, I am also excited by the increasing convergence between hotel design and residential design at the luxury level – the new generation of hotels which, by virtue of their service and design, feel more like private residences, and apartments in international cities around the world that offer a timeless luxury which accords with lifestyle values today.
“I have headed the design teams on two projects over the last year or so that reflect this, one a hotel, the other residential. The hotel was The Alpina Gstaad (featured elsewhere in this issue) which opened in December. Here we wove an interior narrative that embraced the provenance and beauty of the location combined with the Swiss tradition of the finest craftsmanship into a guest experience that feels more akin to being in a very lovely private home that completely belongs in the Alpine mountains.
“The residential project is Omkar 1973 Worli, three new towers rising from the ground in a prestigious new district of Mumbai. Our vision for the concept apartment was inspired by the brief to create the refined ambience desired by India’s aspirational metropolitan connoisseurs. These are people who have travelled around the globe and are now returning to Mumbai with expectations honed by their experience of the world’s finest things.
“So, life at HBA London feels good. We work in a fabulous converted theatre where natural light pours in through a glazed roof and we are a closely-knit team of individuals who share similar judgements, enthusiasms and dedication and whose senses, I hope, are always open to the new and the never-changing values of human living.”