GET TO KNOW: Nicholas Plewman, Director, Nicholas Plewman Architects
Nicholas Plewman is a South African Architect running a small practice that specializes in boutique hotels, commercial villas and lodges where contemporary and original design meets environmental and sustainability challenges. Nicholas Plewman Architects was founded and is directed by Nick Plewman. Nicholas Plewman Architects is based in Johannesburg and the Western Cape. He has welded a life time passion for the wilderness to two decades of design and project management experience in remote and sensitive environments. He has worked across East and Southern Africa and further afield in India. Rather than working in any defined style or idiom, he tries to peel beneath the vernacular surface in every new project to explore building forms that reveal something intrinsic about their environment. He eschews trends in favour of the timeless. His work has garnered a number of awards.
He is a panelist at The Hospitality Leadership Forum 2018, on Day 2, the afternoon session titled Design & Architecture: Why new hotels, resorts and restaurants will look so different. From bold colours, textures and quirky style to ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ and integrating with the surroundings, architects and designers which always offers something new. This session discovers the successes, takes a look at new build plans, how operators can get more involved in projects and why hotel lobbies are set to become the epicenter of the hotel.
H&R Magazine: What do you believe has been the key change in the hospitality sector over the past five years?
NP: TripAdvisor aside, – the awareness of environmental and social responsibility. There is growth, guest driven, requirement that the hospitality they are enjoying cannot be at the same expense of the social and ecological environment.
H&R Magazine: Where do you see the three key challenges in the industry over the next five years?
NP: Adapting to the demand for and requirements of, sustainability. The local literacy in hospitality standards brought about the internet challenges the industry to raise the standard bar while, counter intuitively, focusing and celebrating what is locally intrinsic and unique. In an age of internationalism how do you make a hotel interesting again? Arising from the search of authenticity, the wall between “front” and “back of house” is thinning. Guests don’t necessarily want to see dirty laundry but they do want to see how and where their food is prepared and know more about the origins and welfare of their service providers. The guest experience to needs to keep up.
H&R Magazine: You are a panelist at this year’s Hospitality Leadership Forum, what are you most looking forward to discussing?
NP: How building designs responds to the above challenges.
H&R Magazine: The hospitality sector is undergoing huge change. What are the three tips you would give for success in the coming five years.
NP: Do not see an artificial ceiling on sustainability. “Trim the hedge” between the hotel and its environment, whether that be urban or rural. Be authentic.
H&R Magazine: Are there any specific areas in the (sub-Saharan) African hospitality market that you believe are unique?
NP: Sub-Saharan Africa can really claim to have originated eco-tourism and to have practically invented high end, low volume, low impact tourism. The incredible success of that model is only now gaining traction in the rest of the world as the huge move to “boutique” hotels attests.
H&R Magazine: Which type of people do you believe would gain the most form attending your session this year?
NP: Leisure market and hotel developers, owners and operators.
The Hospitality Leadership Forum runs from June 24-26 2018 at The Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
13.00pm Day 2 Design & Architecture: Why new hotels, resorts and restaurants will look so different. This session discovers the successes, takes a look at new build plans, how operators can get more involved in projects and why hotel lobbies are set to become the epicenter of the hotel.