The LIV Hospitality Design Awards recognize the excellence in Hospitality Architecture, Interior Design enhancing exceptional Guest Experiences globally. The yearly catalog showcases the LIV Awards 2022 winners in the Architecture and Interior Design categories as well as the interviews of the professionals and students’ grand prize winners.

Winners can view and download the PDF version on our website or purchase it from your preferred Amazon online store:  and more …

Switzerland – Zurich: The LIV Hospitality Design Awards 2023 is now open for submissions, inviting the global design and architecture community to showcase their brilliance and creativity in the field of hospitality design. Recognizing excellence in architecture, interior design, and guest experiences, the awards celebrate the diverse perspectives and innovations that shape the industry.

Renowned as an independent endorsement and an outstanding indicator of success in the hospitality sector, last year’s record-breaking 450 professional and student applications from 53 countries demonstrated the fierce competition and quality of entries received. A panel of 41 experienced architects, designers, and developers in hospitality evaluated the submissions through a multi-round voting process to select the winners in each category.

In the upcoming fourth edition of the LIV Hospitality Design Awards, a grand jury panel composed of experienced architects, designers, and developers in hospitality will evaluate the submissions and select the winners in each category. The jury members include Kavitha Iyer, Head of Design, Americas at Intercontinental Hotel Group; Luis Galofre, Director of F&B Design & Development CALA at Marriott International; Monika Moser, Chief Operating Officer at Campbell House; Mao Hua, Founder of EK Design and PP Design Gallery and Design Director of YuQiang & Partners Interior Architects Studio from China; Najee Syriani, Corporate Vice President Projects at Rotana Hotels; Marc Ledesma, Director F&B Design & Development MEA at Marriott International; and more.

Founder Astrid Hébert is excited about the upcoming edition of the awards, stating, “Celebrating the exceptional work of designers and architects is at the heart of the LIV Hospitality Design Awards. As we embark on the fourth edition of the program, we remain committed to promoting design excellence and recognizing the diverse perspectives and innovations that shape the hospitality industry. We are thrilled to welcome this year’s submissions and look forward to seeing the highest level of ingenuity from the global design community.”

The LIV Hospitality Design Awards is a groundbreaking program that stands out in the design industry. With 41 categories in the LIVING section and 25 categories in the EATING section, it’s a comprehensive program dedicated to rewarding those whose work unites creativity, and innovation, and enhances guest experience. The benefits of winning extend beyond recognition and prestige, as awardees gain new opportunities for PR and promotion, attracting new talent, and boosting team morale. Winning a LIV Award inspires confidence in guests and attracts new clients, making it an excellent investment for design professionals.

This year’s competition promises to be another exciting edition, and early submissions before July 15th, 2023, will receive a 10% discount.

Marcus at Baha Mar by Will Meyer Gray Davis

Marcus at Baha Mar by Will Meyer Gray Davis


Tom Kundig, a renowned architect and a founding partner at Olson Kundig, has made a name for himself by creating buildings that respond to their surrounding context and encourage users to interact with the environment. Their project Comedor, a modern Mexican restaurant in downtown Austin, has been awarded the title of Architectural Design of the Year – Eating Space at the LIV Hospitality Design Awards 2022. In this interview, Kundig discusses his professional journey, design philosophy, and the inspiration behind the urban oasis that is Comedor. He also talks about the challenges he faced while working on the project and the joy of bringing the rich history of the place into an evolving future.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey? How did design come to have such an important role in your life?

To be honest, I didn’t plan on practicing architecture. My dad was an architect, so I felt like I had been immersed in that world and kind of knew what architecture was all about – and knew that it wasn’t for me. I was drawn to physics initially, and it wasn’t until I was at the University of Washington and taking all kinds of different courses – history, math, hard sciences, literature, art – that I realized the intersection of all those interests was architecture. I was raised in eastern Washington, in what we call “Big Sky” country. It’s a big, open landscape – if you grow up in that, you recognize that you are just a small part of something much bigger. So as an architect, I don’t set out to compete with that larger natural context – which is more beautiful that anything I could design – but to interpret it, to harmonize with it, in a small way.

Left: Casey Dunn / Right: Casey Dunn

Is there a philosophy, a vision, or a special process that influences how you approach design? Would you say that you apply it to your life as well?

A driving agenda of my work is to create buildings that respond to their surrounding context and encourage users to interact with that environment. I try to approach each project differently – because each context is different. Each client, program and landscape leads to something unique. I listen to the client and walk the site, thinking hard about it, absorbing impressions and letting ideas jell. I’m fascinated by the nature of nature. What makes a place uniquely itself, and how architecture can reveal something about that truth.

How did you come up with the vision for the project? Was the concept of an urban oasis something you’ve always wanted to bring to life?

The deepest inspiration was really the clients and listening to what they imagined for the site. They wanted to create a special place that felt private off of a very busy street in downtown Austin. Collectively, we distilled it down to one fundamental design concept: a hidden interior courtyard flanked by a glowing box of light. The driving idea for Comedor was a design that orchestrates between interior and exterior spaces. The protected inner courtyard allows the restaurant to open up completely during those great Austin nights, but also feel protected from the urban situation just outside.

What was the design brief to incorporate a century old brick wall into a modern restaurant design?

From the beginning, the goal was to celebrate the rich history that is symbolic of Comedor’s relationship to the neighboring McGarrah Jessee Building. William Ball, the restaurant’s managing partner/developer, has an intrinsic connection to the site as his father, a preservationist and developer, purchased the building in 2010 with the intention of celebrating its original glory. During construction, we uncovered multiple layers of brick at an exterior shared wall that dates back to the building’s inception, and then introduced two distinctive and modern brick typologies to the longstanding wall.

Aaron Leitz

What did you find most challenging while working on the project and what did you enjoy the most?

The most challenging part of the project was how to create a building that modulates between an interior sanctuary and exterior urban intersection – the yin and yang balance. I deeply enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the development of downtown Austin and helping to bring the rich history of this place into an evolving future.

What does winning the LIV Award mean to you in terms of validation and recognition of your work in the architecture industry?

It’s a special honor to be recognized for what is Olson Kundig’s first ground-up hospitality project in Texas. I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing client and partners we had the opportunity to collaborate with on this project and I’m proud to share this award with such a talented team.

Are you currently working on something new that you can tell us about?

I’m working all over the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore, South America, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and more, on private homes, remote mountain resorts, sports and innovation facilities, even a championship golf destination. I hope to continue taking familiar parts of each building and looking at them in a different way, turning them upside-down to create something new.

What advice would you offer to aspiring architects or designers who dream of establishing themselves in the industry?

Have patience. The practice of architecture is complicated… there is so much to learn.

Left: Aaron Leitz / Right: Casey Dunn

The LIV Hospitality Design Awards celebrated the winners of the 2020 – 2021 and 2022 editions at an exclusive ceremony held on the 14th of April 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. The event was a momentous occasion to recognize and honor the exceptional achievements of hospitality design professionals from all corners of the world. The stunning Four Seasons Gresham Palace, known for its rich cultural heritage and Art Nouveau architecture, provided the perfect backdrop with its luxurious blend of Hungarian and European design elements, opulent interiors, and breathtaking stained glass windows.

The ceremony was presided over by Astrid Hebert and Hossein Farmani, co-founders of the LIV Hospitality Design Awards. The winners were presented with their trophies to resounding applause from the guests, as they took the stage to bask in the recognition of their achievements. Adding to the prestige of the occasion were Monika Moser and Tarek Hegazy, distinguished jury members of the LIV Awards, who invited winners to the stage to receive their well-deserved recognition. Monika Moser, Chief Operating Office of Campbell House is a “hotelier at heart,” with over 25 years of operational hospitality industry experience, bringing a unique cultural perspective and a deep understanding of luxury hotel service to the event. Tarek Hegazy, with his long and illustrious career spanning over 33 years, and as the CEO and Creative Director of Living Design, one of the leading Interior Design studios in Europe and Scandinavia, brought a wealth of expertise to the panel.

Astrid Hebert commented on the significance of the awards: “The LIV Hospitality Design Awards ceremony was an extraordinary gathering of the most talented and creative designers in the industry. The atmosphere was electric, and it was inspiring to see such a high level of innovation and artistry on display. The event brought together an incredible mix of designers, architects, and industry professionals, and I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who attended and made it such a memorable occasion.”

The evening celebration featured presentations of the “Design of the Year” winning projects, followed by a cocktail reception, where attendees had the opportunity to meet the winners, jury members, press representatives, and the organizing team. It provided an ideal setting for guests to network and build new professional connections, cementing the awards’ status as a premier platform for the hospitality design industry. The event was attended by industry leaders, including Pure Design Studio, winners of the title of Architectural Design of the Year 2022, an Architecture Office firm centered around Hospitality Architecture – YOD Group from Kyiv, Ukraine, talented designers from COR London Studio, Scott Whittaker, Group Creative Director and chair of dwp’s design council, Mansoor Al Harbi, Emerging Architect of the Year 2022, and many more.

Bringing together over 120 talented architects and designers from around the globe, the LIV Hospitality Design Awards ceremony was a truly international affair, with participants hailing from 22 countries including the USA, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Laos, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Austria, and Vietnam, among others. The LIV Hospitality Design Awards ceremony was a resounding success, celebrating the exceptional achievements of the winners and showcasing the excellence of the hospitality industry. The event left attendees feeling inspired and excited about the future of design, and it was a testament to the power of creativity and innovation in shaping the world around us.



Mansoor Al Harbi, a student of architecture at the American University in Dubai, has recently been named the Emerging Architect of the Year at the LIV Hospitality Design Awards 2022. His winning project, the Areesh Retreat, was inspired by the nests of a local bird species found in the Al Qudra desert and incorporates Emirati traditional methods of construction using dried date palm branches and leaves. With a focus on sustainability, the retreat features a porous facade for passive cooling and ventilation, a mesh envelope for harvesting water, and a composting system for reuse of greywater and human waste. We had the pleasure of speaking with Al Harbi about his journey in architecture, his design philosophy, and the challenges and joys of working on the Areesh Retreat project.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey? How did design come to have such an important role in your life?

Reflecting on my childhood provides a deeper understanding of the journey to becoming a student of architecture. I recall memories of my younger self creating miniature cities out of stone bricks, bits and pieces of ceramic tiles I found in my backyard. Funnily enough, I also have memories of myself assembling all sorts of structures out of palm fronds — the very same material used for the facade of the Areesh Retreat project.

Is there a philosophy, a vision, or a special process that influences how you approach design? Would you say that you apply it to your life as well?

My approach to design is to find and bridge a connection with nature. The most uplifting and inspiring spaces are ones that are intimately integrated within nature and integrate nature within them in parallel. Cultural context is also an essential factor that influences my design process, during which I ask “How can my people relate to the space I am in the process of creating?”. As for how these values are applied to my life, I enjoy spending time in nature to replenish my body and mind.

Why did you choose birds’ nests as inspiration for your design?

The birds’ nest being an inspiration for the design came naturally as a result of understanding and appreciating the site selected. It is also important to touch on the process behind the site selection, Al Qudra Desert, which features clusters of man- made lakes. Just a 45 minute drive from Dubai’s central downtown district, the lakes of Al Qudra desert provide sanctuary for those wishing to disconnect from the bustle of the city and get to experience true stillness. Al Qudra lakes is home to various species of birds native to the area, which then influenced my choosing birds’ nests as the inspiration for my design.

Your design shows a care for sustainability and eco-friendly construction methods, is this something you want to keep up in the future?

Sustainability is a shared goal to aspire to on both an individual and global scale. It ensures the longevity of our own generation without compromising the needs of future generations. A sustainable solution does not necessarily mean incorporating the latest technologies into our designs, it can be as simple as borrowing and adopting the techniques and construction methods of our ancestors. Moreover, to be sustainable is an act of compassion towards all living beings who share our environment. So yes, sustainability is something I want to uphold in future projects.

What did you find most challenging while working on the project and what did you enjoy the most?

This project presented me with two challenges. Firstly, working with organic forms is very new to me; I had to ensure that the internal spaces are optimized for comfort yet remain functional within the structural envelope. The second challenge was to parametrically generate the form, structure, and facade system. This design method is new to me and presented its own set of challenges. The parametric design process, however, allowed me to explore various adaptations with ease, meaning any modifications to adapt to different spatial needs are easily generated. The challenges I faced granted me the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop my skillset — and that is where I found my enjoyment.

Is there a dream project you would like to see coming to life or a dream team you’d like to work with?

If granted the opportunity to see a project come to life, it would be the Areesh Retreat. A tremendous amount of effort, thought and detail are afforded to all my projects. However, the Areesh Retreat is the one project I hold dear. As for a dream team I’d like to work with, I would say X Architects. They have always been a vital source of inspiration to me — I admire their philosophy and work ethic. Most importantly, their sensitive approach to culture and the environment is something that resonates with me.

What does winning the LIV Award mean to you in terms of validation and recognition of your work in the architecture industry?

Winning the LIV Award has brought about a newly instilled confidence in my abilities and potential, coupled with a renewed sense of vigor. It is the first stepping stone in my career as an architect, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity and the possibilities it grants me.

In the future, would you like to repurpose the idea behind this project?

There is so much inspiration to take from nature and cultural qualities that inform and add richness to the spaces we create. This project was conceived from both a cultural (areesh) and a site-specific element (birds’ nest). Nevertheless, given its adaptive and contextual approach, the concept behind this project may be reimagined and reoriented to meet the needs of future projects.


Welcome to an exclusive interview with the winner of the prestigious Architectural Design of the Year award at the LIV Hospitality Design Awards 2022. PURE Design Studio Vietnam is known for its innovative and contemporary approach to hospitality design, and its award-winning project has set a new benchmark in the industry. In this interview, we will delve into their design philosophy, and creative process, and learn about the inspiration behind their winning project. Join us as we explore the world of PURE Design Studio and gain insight into what makes them one of the most sought-after firms in the industry.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey? How did the design come to have such an important role in your life?

As a passionate designer and entrepreneur, I was always driven by new design and architecture. Especially growing up in a family that had roots in the hospitality development industry in Vietnam, allowed me to embark on a life-changing journey 15 years ago when I decided to move to Vietnam to explore new opportunities and challenges.

Upon arriving in Vietnam, I quickly realized the immense potential of the country’s rapidly developing construction industry. I saw an opportunity to create special and unique projects and decided to start my architecture and development company. With the help of my brother Thomas Lennaerts, who shared my passion for design and business, we set up PURE Design Studio and began to build a team of skilled architects, engineers, and designers.

Over the years, our company has grown and evolved, taking on increasingly complex and ambitious projects. We have designed high-end resorts and hotels as well as large-scale residential developments.

Our company has become a respected and sought-after architecture firm in Vietnam, known for its innovative designs, attention to detail, and commitment to excellence. 

Reflecting on my journey, I am proud of what we have accomplished over the years and grateful for the support and dedication of our team. I believe that Vietnam’s vibrant and dynamic culture has played a key role in shaping the company’s success, and I remain committed to contributing to the country’s continued growth and development.

Looking to the future, I am excited to continue pushing the boundaries of architecture and design, exploring new approaches, and creating projects that inspire and delight people around the world.

Avana Retreat by Pure Design Studio

Is there a philosophy, a vision, or a special process that influences how you approach design? Would you say that you apply it to your life as well?

My design philosophy is deeply rooted in the idea of creating meaningful and sustainable spaces that enhance the human experience. I believe that architecture should be more than just a functional structure; it should be a space that tells a story and connects people to their surroundings.

One of the key elements of our approach is the integration of nature and the environment into the projects. I believe that buildings should be designed with a deep respect for the natural world, and that architecture should work in harmony with its surroundings. This approach is especially evident in our AVANA resort project, which incorporates green spaces, natural light, and natural materials.

We work closely with our clients and with our team of architects and designers, to ensure that everyone’s vision is represented in the final product.

We often draw inspiration from local culture, history, and traditions, and incorporate these elements into our designs, in a way that honors the past while looking to the future, which also applies to my life philosophy.

How did you incorporate key elements of ethnic identities, specifically those of the local Hmong tribes, into your design?

The Hmong tribes have a deep connection to their environment, and their architecture often reflects this. To create a sustainable, environmentally friendly building that reflects the local culture, local materials are used, such as wood, stone, and palm thatch roofs.

Many Hmong traditions are steeped in symbolism and meaning. Incorporating these elements into the design of a building added a layer of cultural significance and depth. For example, traditional motifs or patterns have been incorporated into the interior design of the building, and the use of specific colors can represent different aspects of the Hmong culture. We also designed the layout of AVANA Retreat to be similar to that of typical tribal villages, where stilted houses are spread across the site surrounding a main community center building—in this case, the main restaurant.

Sustainability is an important aspect of Hmong culture, and incorporating sustainable design principles into the architecture helps to preserve the environment and maintain the connection to nature that is central to the Hmong way of life. Meticulously hand-built earth walls reproduce the look and feel of Hmong houses. The earth wall helps the villa stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

In your opinion, how important is it to incorporate traditional and environmentally friendly architectural styles into modern designs?

Incorporating traditional and environmentally friendly architectural styles into modern designs is increasingly important as we face environmental challenges and a loss of cultural heritage. 

Traditional and environment-friendly architectural styles often prioritize the use of local materials, passive solar design, and other sustainable practices. By incorporating these elements into modern designs, we can create buildings that are more environmentally friendly, reduce energy consumption, and minimize waste.

Traditional architectural styles are often reflective of the local culture and history of a region. By applying these elements to modern designs, we can help preserve and celebrate cultural heritage, which is important for maintaining a sense of identity and connection to the past.

These styles often have a unique and timeless beauty that can enhance the overall aesthetics of modern designs. Incorporating traditional elements such as ornamental details, natural materials, and cultural symbols can add a layer of meaning and interest to the design.

In this project, more than 5000 trees have been replanted, to not only balance the impact of the building work but also reduce the carbon footprint of future operations and make the project blend into nature even more. 

What did you find most challenging while working on the project and what did you enjoy the most?

One of the most significant challenges we may have faced during the design process was the steep topography of the project site and the integration of the natural and cultural elements of the region into the resort. Finding a solution that satisfies everyone’s needs while ensuring that the design is functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing was a complex and challenging task.

We also faced the challenge of designing a resort that stands out in a crowded market. The hospitality industry is highly competitive in terms of design, and many resorts around the world offer unique experiences and services. Creating a design that captures the imagination of potential guests and distinguishes itself from competitors can be a daunting task.

Despite these challenges, we found designing the resort to be a rewarding and exciting experience. The project allowed us to apply our design philosophy, explore innovative design concepts, and create an unforgettable experience for guests. 

Designing the resort has provided me with an opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, explore new materials, and learn from local traditions and architectural styles. I have also enjoyed the creative freedom that comes with designing a resort, where I could explore new ideas and push the boundaries of what is possible in architecture, like with the special pool design, where we used the homogenous shapes of the rice fields as inspiration and implemented these on the pool shapes to seamlessly blend into the landscape. 

What does winning the LIV Awards mean to you in terms of validation and recognition of your work in the architecture industry?

Winning the LIV Awards is a significant achievement for PURE Design Studio. It is a validation of our talent, hard work, and dedication to creating exceptional designs that inspire and evoke emotions. The recognition from the LIV Awards is an acknowledgment of the impact our work has on the architecture industry and the communities it serves.

For us, winning the LIV Awards means that our work has been recognized by a prestigious organization in the architecture industry. It is a testament to our expertise and ability to deliver innovative and high-quality designs that meet the needs of our clients and communities.

Moreover, winning the LIV Awards can help us build up our reputation and credibility as a design firm. It can open up new opportunities, attract new clients, and help us gain more exposure in the architecture industry. It also boosts our confidence, inspires us to continue to innovate, and pushes boundaries in our work.

Are you currently working on something new that you can tell us about? 

We are currently working on a large-scale residential development in central Vietnam with 288 villas and an integrated resort/rental concept for second-home buyers. On this project, we are now facing the challenge of ensuring that the design is functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing but also feasible for our client. 

In the future, would you like to repurpose the idea behind this project? 

Generally yes, as sustainable design, which blends nicely into the given landscape, is our main goal for each project, but we certainly need to consider the goals and wishes of our clients, who might have other ideas in mind for their projects. Therefore, each project will have a unique design approach depending on the location and cultural elements of each region while still implementing our design philosophy. 

What advice would you offer to aspiring architects or designers who dream of establishing themselves in the industry?

Be creative, the architecture and design industry values creativity and innovation. Think outside the box and come up with unique ideas that differentiate you from others.

Stay up to date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry. Follow industry publications and keep learning to stay relevant.

Develop a strong portfolio, your portfolio is the showcase of your work. It should demonstrate your design style, showcase your best projects, and be tailored to your target audience.

Be passionate about design and don’t expect it to be easy, as architecture and design are challenging and often stressful professions that require commitment, hard work, and dedication. If you can do that and love what you do, it will show in your work, and you can be successful in this field.

Photo credit: Avana Retreat – more information.

In this interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Hyojung Cha, the Emerging Interior Designer of the Year at the LIV Hospitality Design Awards 2022. Hyojung shares her journey to becoming an interior designer and her design philosophy, which centers around understanding and meeting the needs of the user. She also discusses her award-winning project, the Mad for Garlic restaurant in South Korea, which combines Italian and Korean cultures through the use of garlic as the main ingredient.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey? How did design come to have such an important role in your life?

My space study started nine years ago when I went to college. Before I attended it, honestly, I had yet to learn interior architecture design. However, I realized that imagining a space is fantastic, and I feel happy when I do it. At that time, I noticed that everything surrounding us was three-dimensional and started looking at something from various angles. Time passed, and I got into interior design and decided to be an interior designer.

Is there a philosophy, a vision, or a special process that influences how you approach design? Would you say that you apply it to your life as well?

The most exciting part of the interior is that interior designers must consider specific user groups and make a space for them, because spaces are close to our lives. For this reason, we should understand and read users’ sensory aspects: what they need, why they need this space, when they need to use it, and how they will use it. Meanwhile, my design concept should be expressed in it. I think these are the differences between an artist and an interior designer. I believe interior designers should be thoughtful and have to catch other people’s minds.

How did you think of the concept for the design?

As I mentioned, I am always inspired by my user group. The fusion restaurant Mad for Garlic focused on the main ingredient in this project: garlic. Based on my research, Mad for Garlic is highly proud of its garlic dishes. And I have also tried to promote them through fusion restaurants between South Korea and Italy using garlic, Korea’s traditional main ingredient. For this reason, I also tried to think of ways I could represent garlic visually to send customers Mad for Garlic messages.

What did you learn from the fusion of South Korean and Italian cultures? Is fusion a concept that you wish to continue working on in the future?

I learned that there is no boundary between countries. I realized that space, where people gather and eat, makes them unified. Even though Korean and Italian people have different backgrounds, we can share our opinions and build a relationship based on dishes that will create something powerful. This point is similar to interior design. I hope to continue working on the concept of fusion. The meaning of fusion can be interpreted as getting along with people who have diverse backgrounds. That is why I am now living in New York City and figuring out how spaces make people mingle.

What did you find most challenging while working on the project and what did you enjoy the most?

I constantly challenge myself and try to keep a balance between my thoughts and the user group’s thoughts. Sometimes while drawing, I create a space that is impossible to build in reality. In other words, it would be a different creative idea if I handled it. This type of process always encourages me to do interior design.

Is there a dream project you would like to see coming to life, or a dream team you’d like to work with?

In South Korea, we have a few education issues to improve our identity and creativity for children. From an interior designer’s perspective, creativity is a crucial element in living our lives. Thus, I want to try an educational space where children can think about themselves while staying here.

Could you share with us which designer you take the most inspiration from and how their work influences your own creative process?

I am a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright. I find his architectural designs very simple but powerful. Whenever I appreciate his work, I feel he considered his client’s life type and interpreted it from his perspective.

What does winning the LIV Awards mean to you in terms of validation and recognition of your work in the interior design industry?

I am very honored to be the Emerging Interior Designer of the Year. Because I am still a student who is studying what space is. Therefore, “Emerging” is very powerful and meaningful to me.

What can we wish for you in the future?

I wish that the LIV Awards continued to look at other new rising interior designs. And also, I hope you guys keep introducing how they think of this idea and why they think it will develop not only the interior design industry but also our lives.


Tony Wu, the Emerging Architect of the Year at the LIV Hospitality Awards 2022, is a talented designer who is passionate about creating spaces that promote healthy communities. In this interview, we learn more about his journey and the philosophy that inspires his work. He also shares insights into the design process behind his award-winning project, Green Booster, and how it has helped him in his current position at Gensler.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey? How did design come to have such an important role in your life?

My name is Tony Wu, and I’m currently working as a designer at Gensler Houston. As a professional, I am eager to learn new things every day. Variety feeds my passion as I encounter the ups and downs of everyday projects. Design is my focus, and passion fuels my desire to create.

Is there a philosophy, a vision, or a special process that influences how you approach design? Would you say that you apply it to your life as well?

My philosophy is based on the belief that architecture or interior design can promote social interaction. It is a friend, mentor, or even family to us. Every design opportunity brings space alive and promotes healthy communities, whether in home life, education, or business settings.

How did you come up with the concept for the project?

The idea for this project originated when I was a TA for the capstone at SCAD. One of my students said he wanted to use the space to remind people that their way of thinking was not correct. My own mind exploded with the thought. I began to think of designing a space that would guide people toward forming healthy lifestyle habits. In other words, everything you do in this building will foster a new, healthier version of yourself.

What did you learn from designing Green Booster, which is currently helping you in your new position?

As for skills, my Rhino/Grasshopper skills are getting much better. Design has opened up my vision and changed my perspective. I have found that researching how a building can interact with people has opened the door to myriad possibilities. The possibility is now at the forefront of my future design projects.

What did you find most challenging while working on the project and what did you enjoy the most?

The most challenging part of this project was proving that interior design and architecture can create a healthy bubble, one that would motivate people to work harder on their goals. The most enjoyable part was teaming up with Wendy and Yue, both great designers and a pleasure to work with.

Is there a dream project you would like to see coming to life, or a dream team you’d like to work with?

I would love to design a project in real life that uses my concept of people interacting with buildings. Working with Gensler currently fulfills one part of that dream of working with a team that shares my life goals.

Could you share with us which designer you take the most inspiration from and how their work influences your own creative process?

My favorite designer is Zaha Hadid. She widened the perspective of all of us in design. Her projects are wildly innovative and yet comfortable, a feat very hard to achieve.

What does winning the LIV Awards mean to you in terms of validation and recognition of your work?

Receiving recognition from LIV is unbelievable. I am honored and truly grateful. I feel called to achieve more creative designs in my future work.

Are you currently working on something new that you can tell us about? 

I am not free to talk about my Gensler project. I am trying very hard to know all the codes, as well as the details, to foster my knowledge about architecture and interior design. I want to be a competent and creative designer who can plan, model, render, and most of all, learn how everything works toward achieving the final product.

In the future, would you like to repurpose the idea behind this project? 

I hope to have such an opportunity, but am willing to work at the present one and let the future unfold.


We talked to Sarah Choudhary, the Emerging Interior Designer of the Year at the LIV Hospitality Design Awards 2022 for her work on Hotel Cirque, a boutique hotel inspired by Cirque du Soleil. Sarah shared her design philosophy, her inspiration behind the project, and the challenges and joys of working on it. She also discussed how winning the LIV Award has impacted her and her plans for the future.


Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey? How did design come to have such an important role in your life?

A significant aspect of my identity has been shaped by my upbringing, which was heavily influenced by the world of art and design. My father is an architect, and my mother a fashion designer – and as a result, I spent a considerable amount of time immersed in the world of construction sites and fashion shows.

This dual exposure sparked my interest, and I decided to pursue my studies in both. I studied fashion in a foundation school and went on to study architecture in my undergraduate years. As my education progressed, I realized that interior design was the perfect amalgamation of both fields, allowing me to combine my passion for fashion and architecture into a single profession. Hence, I pursued a career in interior design, which seemed like a natural choice.

Is there a philosophy, a vision, or a special process that influences how you approach design? Would you say that you apply it to your life as well?

My design approach revolves around crafting a spatial narrative that draws in the occupants and leads them through a story conveyed by the design. I strive to meticulously curate all aspects of the space, ensuring that every detail works in harmony to convey the overall narrative, while also meeting the practical requirements of the space. This balance between storytelling and human function is a core idea that I strive for in every project.

Why did you choose Cirque du Soleil as an inspiration for the project?

I selected Cirque du Soleil as the inspiration for my project, because of their bold and innovative approach to celebrating the diversity of human expression through their immersive performances. I was particularly drawn to their emphasis on creating unique experiences that are distinct from one another, as it aligned with my vision of a boutique hotel that would offer guests a truly personalized experience. Drawing from Cirque du Soleil’s commitment to creativity and imagination, I infused my project with a sense of adventure and wonder that I believe will resonate deeply with guests and leave a lasting impression.

What did you learn from designing Hotel Cirque, which is currently helping you in your new position?

Cirque du Soleil has such a distinctive identity that I had to push myself outside my comfort zone. To capture the expressive spirit at the heart of Cirque, I explored the use of vibrant hues to create a series of immersive spaces. This experiment in using color to create a narrative, and the visceral impact that different hues can have on the experience of a space, greatly helped my design process.

What did you find most challenging while working on the project and what did you enjoy the most?

The desire to embrace the colorful eccentricities of Cirque and experiment with bold forms and colors is what I enjoyed most during the design process. It led me to treat each space with a vibrant palette and celebrate the confluence of colors and forms. However, balancing this vibrancy while designing a cohesive space with a clear narrative pushed me to my creative limits. I had to rework and redesign the spaces multiple times, as I strove to create a balance between the individual elements and the whole design.

Could you share with us which designer you take the most inspiration from and how their work influences your own creative process?

One of the designers I took inspiration from is Sabyasachi Mukherjee. What I find particularly inspiring about Sabyasachi’s work is his use of bold colors and luxurious textiles to create a sense of opulence and grandeur, while his attention to detail and craftsmanship ensures that each piece is of the highest quality. I believe that a good design should engage all the senses, and Sabyasachi’s work is a testament to this belief.

Another aspect of Sabyasachi’s work that I admire is his ability to create a sense of timelessness. His designs have a classic elegance that transcends trends, and I strive to create interiors that have the same enduring quality.

What does winning the LIV Award mean to you in terms of validation and recognition of your work in the interior design industry?

Winning the LIV Award has given me a sense of pride in my design skillset and confirmed my commitment to excellence in everything I do. Receiving this prestigious award has given me a tremendous confidence boost, inspiring me to continue pushing the boundaries of interior design and exploring new ideas in my future projects. I am excited to see where this achievement will take me in the future and look forward to continuing to create beautiful, innovative designs that inspire and delight.

In the future, would you like to repurpose the idea behind this project?

As a designer, I am constantly exploring new ideas and approaches, and I believe in adapting my design concepts to the needs of the project. Therefore, depending on the context and the project’s requirements, repurposing the idea behind this project is something that I am open to.


The world of hospitality design is constantly evolving, with designers and architects pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to create stunning spaces that provide unforgettable guest experiences. To celebrate the very best in this field, the LIV Hospitality Design Awards were launched in 2020. In this article, we’re excited to showcase 10 exceptional hotels that have been recognized by the LIV Awards for their outstanding design and guest experiences. From luxurious urban escapes to breathtaking coastal resorts, these properties are truly remarkable and set a new standard for hospitality design.

1. Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale by Kobi Karp Architecture

Lead Designer: Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design

Located on Fort Lauderdale Beach, the Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale is an inspiring approach to living. It is known to be the most luxurious and resilient project in the city’s history. Its nautical-inspired design has smooth curves aiming to join the elegance of the past and sustainability and innovative design. The design originates from its relationship with the sea. Its unique elements aspire to fuse comfort, space, and a sense of place with a big dose of character. Each residence includes outdoor terraces with views of the sea. Lush gardens and green spaces fill the ground floor and the third floor deck.

2. Hotel Zena by Dawson Design Associates

Construction Company: Ajax Consulting Svcs & Humphrey Rich Construction
Architect: Gene Weissman
Interior Designer: Andrea Sheehan
Hospitality: Viceroy Hotels and Resorts
Developer: Pebblebrooke Hotels

Hotel Zena is an experimental fusion between an interactive art gallery, neighborhood hub, and restaurant lounge. The 193 room-hotel, two bars, and meeting venues were entirely transformed and repositioned to celebrate female empowerment and accomplishments through architecture, provocative feminist art, and 3D art installations. Guestrooms had existing contemporary glass showers that were transformed into part of the art statement with a commissioned portrait of the Goddess Artemis.

3. Hotel Chadstone Melbourne, MGallery by Sofitel by dwp

Lead Designer: Scott Whittaker
Hospitality: Accor

Hotel Chadstone Melbourne, MGallery by Sofitel is inspired by the creative journey of fashion. It accommodates 250 rooms, suites, and penthouses, two leading restaurants, a rooftop pool and conservatory bar, and a wellness spa. The hotel will be the first five-star Australian hotel to receive a 5 Star Green Star Design. DWP embraced five key elements to create a uniquely high-drama/high-fashion “theatrical” experience and ‘memorable moment’.

4. La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris by Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel

Lead Designers: Marine Lafon & Sarah Delafosse – Interior Design
Other Designer(s): Kian Liew (Design Manager – The Ascott Limited)
Architect: ERTIM Architects
Hospitality: The Ascott Limited
Developer: Vinci

La Clef Champs-Élysées design theme envisions modern, luxurious amenities in a magnificent setting, as well as custom-tailored service. The design calls for the dressing of the building’s original details in a modern palette of marble, polished brass, and furnishings like the Lunar High back Chair by Stellar Works and pendant lights by Marzais Creations to include a touch of modernity. The project becomes a large private house where you can discover the Parisian Lifestyle of Art, French Gastronomy & Wine, Haute Couture, etc. bringing elegance and glamour to the property.

5. Smådalarö Gård by Koncept

Lead Designer: Marco Flamini
Other Designer(s): James Anstey, Miré Andersson, Oskar Persson, Filip Forsberg, Joana Oliveria, Ulf Maxe, Ivana Komatin
Photo Credit: Sabis AB

Smådalarö Gård is a new destination in the heart of Stockholm’s archipelago. The old manor house has been renovated and expanded with new hotel rooms, a large event hall, bar, and last but not least, a newly built conference building. The design concept blends the classic style of the manor house with the latest technology and a modern Nordic touch. It has created a warm and comfortable atmosphere, where guests can relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.

6. Patina Maldives by Studio MK27

Lead Designer: Marcio Kogan
Other Designer(s): the flaming beacon lighting design / vladimir djurovic landscape architects
Photo Credit: Fernando Guerra / George Roske / Jonas Poulsen
Architect: Marcio Kogan / Renata Furlanetto
Interior Designer: Diana Radomysler / Pedro Ribeiro

Patina hotel in the Maldives is designed to provide guests with an immersive experience of nature while still encouraging social interactions. The architecture is respectful of the surroundings, and the buildings are visually permeable, creating a dreamy atmosphere that celebrates life and nature. The hotel is designed to provide a kaleidoscope of atmospheres, starting from private spaces to public areas, from isolation to belonging, from simplicity to sophistication. The textures and emotions gradually increase from soft shadows to overwhelming light, creating a rhythm of contrast, pauses, and transparencies.

7. SOORI Bali by SCDA

Lead Designer: Soo Chan

This hotel in Bali is designed with sustainability and environmental consciousness in mind. The architecture is responsive to the local climate and community, with a minimal built footprint and minimal environmental impact. The villas are characterized by the interplay of materials, which flow seamlessly from interior to exterior spaces. The smooth terrazzo walls and floors are combined with handbrushed natural timber screens, soft silk upholstery, and custom-designed dark-stained timber furniture, creating a serene internal space. The use of timber flows into the external spaces, where timber screens wrap a private bale overlooking a private plunge pool lined with Sukabumi stone. The hotel design embraces the nostalgia of mid-century tropical design and combines it with a minimalist aesthetic, creating a retro-chic look.

8. SEEN Beach Club Samui by SOHO Hospitality, Thailand

Photo Credit: Minor Hotels

Located on the frontline of Chaweng beach, SEEN Beach Club Samui features a stylish restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating areas, three bars, private cabanas, a DJ booth, and two turquoise pools, both surrounded by large, cushioned daybeds. The mid-century architecture uses high-contrast geometric patterns and organic curves, creating a retro-1950s chic aesthetic. The bright color palette creates a carefree, cosmopolitan beach scene.


Other Designer(s): Monica Larena Cabrera, Leire Santos, Magdalena Merchán, Mireia Tarí, Juan Diego Lázaro
Photo Credit: GEORG ROSKE
Construction Company: HERMANOS PARROT S.A
Architect: Miguel Garcia Quetglas, Andres Garcia Castiella

Lifestyle luxury hotel located in Cala Gració and inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi focuses on earthy tones and natural materials, creating a harmonious relationship with the earth. The hotel comprises 184 guest rooms and suites, a 140m2 signature suite, a standalone four-bedroom villa with a private pool, ocean-view penthouses, two hotel pools (one of them the largest in Ibiza), a further semi-private pool serving the six swim-up rooms, two restaurants, a gym, and a spa. The majority of the rooms consist of wooden, mobile elements with the aim of offering privacy to the customers but simultaneously adding another design tone with the shadows.

10. Avani Victoria Falls Resort by Wilson & Associates

Lead Designer: Bruce Stafford
Construction Company: Grinaker Construction
Architect: Resort Architects International Limited & Stafford Associate Architects
Interior Designer: Wilson Associates
Hospitality: Minor Hotels

Located on the edge of Victoria Falls and based on a traditional African village, with the accommodation grouped around communal facilities, the resort has the feel of a centuries-old walled city, reflecting the richness and diversity of the land’s heritage. The earth-colored buildings feature turrets and chimneys, with a large lawn and swimming pool at the center. Well-polished smooth stone floors combine with colorful mosaic tiles, patterned fabrics, and vibrant African artwork to create a sense of place. The external color palette is inspired by the natural color of the earth around Victoria Falls, and a North African adobe narrative is woven into the architecture.

From the remote and serene Patina Maldives to the vibrant and stylish SEEN Beach Club Samui, each of these hotels represents the pinnacle of hospitality and design, and we are thrilled to recognize them for their dedication to excellence in every aspect of their operations. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or just seeking inspiration for your next trip, these hotels are sure to leave a lasting impression.