Jonny Sin is the Associate Director at ReardonSmith Architects, with extensive experience in the delivery of luxury hotel developments. Since joining ReardonSmith, he has received an award at the European Hotel Design Awards, and has been nominated for Hotel Architect of the Year, 2019 (The Brit List). ReardonSmith Architects are among the designers working on this year's Guestroom Sets for Sleep & Eat 2020, alongside Perkins & Will, AD Associates and Chalk Architecture.
As the weeks indoors stretch on, the Sleep & Eat team are checking in with our community to discover how others in the hospitality world are dealing with lockdown.
Today, we’re exploring the ‘new normal’ of Jonny Sin, Associate Director at ReardonSmith Architects.
Thanks for letting us check in with you. It’s important to us to stay connected with our community, even if at a social distance.
Where are you self-isolating right now?
At home in Orpington, Greater London.
What’s the view from your new ‘work desk’?
Well I’ve now converted the old baby’s room into a small office upstairs, as I’m situated by a green belt, the view outside is pleasant.
What are you most enjoying having the time to do, that you can’t normally fit in?
DIY projects! Having been cooped up in the house Monday - Friday I have been looking forward to spending my time outdoors. Last weekend I built a vegetable planter box, which I found therapeutic and took my mind off lock-down – I doubt I would have done this under normal circumstances.
Have you developed a new daily routine?
I guess, naturally I get up early, so not having to commute, I generally start work earlier. Most evenings I’ll try to use up my 1 hour allowed exercise time by going for a run.
What’s your favourite part of the day in your ‘new normal’?
Lunch outside with my wife and kids.
What do you think will be the biggest change in how you do your job post-COVID-19?
Hotel architecture is a team-oriented profession and is heavily reliant on coordination and interaction. In the past, it was infrequent that I would work from home; but now, compulsory lock-down proves that remote working is not only possible, it can also be efficient. Therefore, post-COVID, we will see more flexibility to office working hours.
It’s a difficult time for the hospitality industry. What do you think will be the hospitality sectors biggest challenge post COVID?
As most within the hospitality industry are experiencing entire income streams being lost, the biggest challenge will be staying afloat financially once the government puts an end to furlough. There has already been talk about extended social distancing restrictions which will limit the hospitality sector's ability to operate their businesses effectively. Another big challenge will be restoring confidence to the general public, to socialise and travel as they once did.
What should those in the hospitality industry be doing now to help them prepare for the coming months?
Retaining valued staff to ensure a quick start-up once this all subsides. Find innovative ways to connect and interact with your customer base; consider adapting to different clientele if your market base is predominantly abroad. It has also been quite amazing to see hoteliers opening their doors to support the NHS and getting involved with various charities.
How is ReardonSmith Architect’s planning to ‘hit the ground running’ again in the coming months? Do you have any new project ideas in the pipeline?
As a business we have been fortunate enough to retain many of our hotel projects during this difficult time, so aside from working from home, it has generally been business as usual. As with many others we have had to adapt; and the commitment shown from all at ReardonSmith in this transition has been nothing but exceptional. A website revamp is on the cards, coupled with an excitement to return back to office normality!
And finally, what are you most looking forward to doing again when the lockdown is lifted?
Getting a babysitter, a pub lunch with good friends, and a few bottles of red wine.
Thanks for checking in with us, Jonny.
To hear about how other key figures in the hospitality design community are approaching life and work in the current climate, you can also check in with...