Hospitality Design (HD) magazine hosted its 26th Annual Platinum Circle Awards Gala in New York at the Conrad hotel on November 11th with more than 430 people in attendance. Each year, the renowned design industry resource honors a select group of industry experts for their lifetime of achievements in hospitality. This year’s award honorees were M. Arthur Gensler Jr. of Gensler; Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group; Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio; Adrian Zecha of Amanresorts; and Rockwell Group.
The black-tie evening was emceed by HD‘s editorial director, Michael Adams, setting the stage in celebrating some of the industry’s most innovative, creative, and successful minds, who were each personally introduced by industry colleagues and collaborators. “The ambiance and mood of the gala was driven by the talent and stories of inspiration from this incredible group of hospitality industry virtuoso’s,” says Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, editor in chief. “This is such a special event and it is an honor to be given the opportunity to watch each of these recipients inducted into the Platinum Circle portfolio of A-list honorees.”
An additional highlight of this year’s Platinum Circle Awards is a series of videos hosted on HD’s YouTube channel, featuring one-on-one interviews with award recipients. The videos provide an insider’s glimpse for design enthusiasts worldwide into the honorees’ stories of personal and professional inspiration, triumph, struggle, and growth.
Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group, the restaurateur responsible for restaurants including Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, and Union Square Cafe, discovered his calling in hospitality at a young age while traveling through France with his family. He speaks to the importance of design, stating “good design is as important as any other component in the entire restaurant experience.” M. Arthur Gensler Jr. of Gensler, who “always wanted to be an architect,” was a well-deserved award recipient as the founder of the largest architectural firm in the world. Gensler is committed to the idea of teamwork and operating as a unit to achieve success, stating “one of the keys to our success is the amazing people I’ve worked with they’re the best people to learn from.”
Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio, responsible for award-winning design in hotels throughout the U.S., started her career path as an unsure college student and ultimately found architecture as the guiding light that led her to hospitality design. Rottet finds design inspiration in all aspects of life, advising to “walk away from what you’re doing, relax your mind and almost everything you see is an inspiration.” In similar form,Adrian Zecha of Amanresorts also discovered the roots of his business by a sheer “twist of fate.” His prominent collection of upscale resorts “really wasn’t meant to be a business,” says Zecha. “I was simply looking for a vacation home.”
Perhaps one of the most exciting honorees of the evening was Rockwell Group, the recipient of Platinum Circle’s HD Visionary Award. Firm founder David Rockwell recalls a key element of success throughout his professional journey, having started in 1984 at age 28: “Dialogue has always been essential to what we do,” he says. “The TED theater, Jet Blue terminal, and Nobu restaurants and hotels have all been based on abstracting a language and narrative from the client.”
For more information on Platinum Circle, this year’s honorees and past recipients, visitwww.hdplatinumcircle.com.
The Hospitality Design Group, part of Emerald Expositions, produces the foremost influential hospitality design events each year, including HD Expo, www.hdexpo.com, held May 13-15, 2015 and Design Americas, www.designamericas.com, September 16-17, 2015. The tradeshows, presented by Hospitality Design magazine, the premier hospitality design magazine, join the publications’ other events including HD Summit, HD Platinum Circle Awards Gala, HD CitySCENE, and others. The group works together with leading associations: American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); International Interior Design Association (IIDA); International Society of Hospitality Purchasers (ISHP), Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) and NEWH, Inc.-The Hospitality Industry Network. Connect with Hospitality Design on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HospitalityDesignMagazine, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hdmag, and on Instagram atwww.instagram.com/hospitalitydesign.