Bespoke Access Awards draw global interest from sponsors and entrants alike

Since its launch on 14 April 2016, the Bespoke Access Awards has attracted entrants from across the globe, with designs received from as far afield as Russia, Hong Kong, Germany and Canada, as well as within the UK. The awards, administered by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in association with Bespoke Hotels, aim to draw attention to the importance of good design when addressing the need to improve access to hotels worldwide for disabled people, including those with learning disabilities.

With the competition now closed for entries, over 20 submissions have been shortlisted and will be assessed when the judging panel reconvene on 27 September 2016 to determine their favourites across three categories: Architecture, Product Design, and Service Design. Amongst the prestigious judging panel will be Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Stirling Prize-winning architect Alan Stanton, Baroness Celia Thomas, as well as Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels.

Alongside this, the Bespoke Access Awards are delighted to announce a partnership with Travelclick, award-winning providers of cloud-based solutions for hotels around the globe to grow their revenue, reduce costs and improve performance. Travelclick are joined in their generous support of the initiative by OnGallery, patrons of the Service Design category, who will supply custom made prints, mounted and delivered to winners’ homes.  

“We are thrilled to be supporting such an exciting and innovative initiative”, commented Mark Haywood, Regional Vice President for TravelClick Northern Europe. “We are committed to improving the performances of our client hotels, and delighted to assist the Access Awards in their efforts to both rethink and enhance the customer experience for disabled guests.”  

Following the conclusion of the judging process, winners will be announced at the House of Lords on 1 December 2016, ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on 3 December 3 2016. Entrants will be competing for the Celia Thomas Prize, worth £20,000 and believed to be the largest cash prize in the UK for a design concept, as well as with total prize funds for the Access Awards will stand at over £30,000.

“We have been delighted both with the quality of entries and diversity of their origin”, said Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “We are pleased to see the competition has proven inspirational and sparked the creativity of budding designers and architects across the world. The panel is looking forward to pouring over the fruits of the labour as we search for our inaugural selection of winning ideas.”

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