Name: Mark Bithrey
Company: B3 Designers
Position within company: Founder
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Following my studies in Architectural Interior Design, I worked in commercial interiors for 10 years and grew an absolute passion for working in hospitality. From this passion I decided to set out on my own and B3 Designers was created.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
I’m drawn to natural and honest materials so I love design that lets the qualities of the materials used speak for themselves. Alongside this I love character-filled spaces and features that offset against the more raw materials. I like things that feel timeless, even if they’re brand new.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I get inspired by other great hospitality spaces. It’s fascinating to see a space being used in a way where you may have realised something different and to see what other designers are creating from their observations of the space.
A lot of my inspiration comes from my travel overseas; seeing everything you’re used to, but done in a different way is compelling. Great art and films are also mediums I turn to for further inspiration.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design expands in lots of different directions all the time, which is what’s so fun about it. What I am also seeing is that people are beginning to look for something more classic whilst still keeping a sense of modernity.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2018 and beyond.
1. The offering
2. The big idea behind the concept
3. The location
4. The architectural space of the building
5. The people who will be using and enjoying the space
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Don’t ever be frightened to speculate and throw ideas into the ring; brainstorming over and over again when looking at the initial brief. All and any suggestions can lead to end results that you wouldn’t have thought would be the direction you would take and it all helps to add new, fresh and innovative elements to the brief and end result.
How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
It’s integral to bringing further awareness and recognition to the industry about the hard work by individuals and teams who are working to achieve original, beautiful and innovative design.
It’s brilliant to even be shortlisted for such a prestigious award – let alone shortlisted twice. We are incredibly proud of such an achievement.
What projects are you currently working on?
Of course all of our projects are top secret and will be revealed in due course, but what I can say is that we are working on some very exciting projects. One of which is an embryonic restaurant with 2 top chefs in a Central London converted electrical station which is such an exciting project in an incredible space.
We’re also working on the rejuvenation of an iconic European Sports Bar which will set a new tone for sports bars and how we currently perceive them. We’re aligning some of the classic ‘sports bar’ themes and elements that you know alongside a modern, chic dining space opening the appeal to all and not just your typical sport fans or sports bar goers.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We’re beginning to work more with hoteliers looking at the whole space alongside the restaurant and bar offerings which is an exciting prospect. We’ll be looking at the ethos of the whole hotel spaces, bringing something unique to the tried and tested designs of successful hotels.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Italy – particularly the West Coast and Umbria.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Hotel: Hotel Lacarno is a timeless hotel in the heart of Rome, perfectly complementing the timeless beauty of the city. You can also use their free branded bikes to enjoy the city which is a great branding touch.
Restaurant: Our recently completed project, Fiskebar in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix on the edge of Lake Geneva is a place I’m particularly fond of; offering a Nordic-fusion not seen in Switzerland before.
Bar: The Monkey Bar on the 10th floor of Berlin’s 25hours Hotel is such a clever design that allows for a perfect view of the sunset; facing west, you’re perfectly placed to enjoy the most beautiful settings from the steps at the back of the bar whilst sipping on a cocktail.
Your favourite book, film & song?
Book: The Bible
Film: Plein Soleil
Song: I’ve just learnt how to play Crazy by Gnarls Barkley on the guitar, so it’s a current favourite.
Your favourite food and drink?
Food: If I’m in, it’s a big bowl of pasta, and if I’m out it has to be ceviche.
Drink: A large glass of barolo always goes down well.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Building a camp out of branches with my children in the sunshine.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?