Designer of top 5-star hotels Bradford 'Brad' McNamee dead at 64

  • People
  • Friday, 24 Jul 2020

Bradford J. McNamee, 1956–2020. Photos: WATG

Bradford “Brad” McNamee, global hospitality architect, died July 17 at his home in San Juan Capistrano, California after a six-year battle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Though diagnosed in 2014, McNamee was still designing in the hours leading up to his death. He was 64.

Born in Seattle, Washington, McNamee graduated with honours and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in 1982.

Also read: IM Pei, the architect who designed the Lourve Pyramid, dies at 102

He joined California-based design firm WATG in 1987 and through the course of his 33-year tenure, designed 38 built projects in 10 countries. At the time of his death, he was the senior vice president of WATG.

McNamee left an indelible mark on the global hospitality industry, designing hotels and resorts for big names like Four Seasons, Hyatt, Oberoi and Raffles.

McNamee designed the first Ritz-Carlton in India (Bangalore) which opened in 2013, and the first Ritz-Carlton resort in China in Sanya in 2008.

He also designed W Singapore Sentosa, St Regis, St Regis Residences, Oceanfront and Quayside Retail at Sentosa and Sophia Condominiums.

St Regis Singapore, designed by McNamee, won FIABCI's Hotel Prix d’Excellence Award in 2009.St Regis Singapore, designed by McNamee, won FIABCI's Hotel Prix d’Excellence Award in 2009.

Monica Cuervo, regional managing director, The Americas, commented, “Brad’s love of travel and exploration made him an even more brilliant designer. He had immense respect for every culture and, at the start of each project, would immerse himself to understand the people and the place. He designed with the guest in mind and it gives us great solace that thousands of guests around the world will continue to have incredible experiences in the spaces and places that Brad created.”

McNamee’s designs received the American Institute of Architects Honorable Mention and PCBC Gold Nugget Awards for the House of Blues in Hollywood, California; Broken Top Club in Bend, Oregon and The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California.

CNBC Asia Pacific bestowed its Best Development Award on Oceanfront at Sentosa in 2008 and the St Regis Residences in Singapore in 2009.

The Fédération Internationale des Administrateurs de Bien-Conselis Immobiliers (FIABCI) awarded the St Regis Singapore its Hotel Prix d’Excellence Award in 2009.

McNamee designed the Viceroy Anguilla (now Four Seasons Anguilla), the brand’s first property outside the United States. The resort has won nearly 50 international travel and design awards, including Hospitality Design Magazine’s ‘Creative Achievement Award’ for Luxury/Upscale Public Spaces in 2011.

McNamee is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart, Mari, their daughter, Marisa, sisters Laura McNamee and Paula McCann, and his mother Esther McNamee.

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