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The Future of Resort Design

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Innovating Solutions Today to Redefine Hospitality Tomorrow

Written by Tim Peck, OBMI Chairman

Navigating New & Evolving Systems

Recent months have forced a global pause, which has caused us to re-evaluate our approach to architecture. Entire industries have quieted as the world adapts its methods of corporate and social structure, inviting us to reimagine the ways we interact on a daily basis. The future unravels before us with a great sense of unknown—as such, we are required to transform in order to navigate these immense currents of change without feeling swept away.

Fortunately, OBMI’s extensive history, over the course of eight decades has exposed us to numerous challenges—obstacles that forced us to evolve in order to survive and prosper. Our company’s founding architect, Wil Onions, established OBMI by transforming architecture in Bermuda, deeply rooting our company values in innovative solutions and interesting ideas.

A Road Paved by Change

Since our beginning, OBMI has been committed to navigating currents of change and has advanced the evolution of four generations of resort design thus far. The first generation saw a standard hotel, situated on a beach, which—through gradual growth over multiple generations—led to our current fourth generation resort that features expansive avenues of amenities and immersive opportunities: golf courses, marinas, wellness facilities, arts and entertainment, all situated on site. Looking back, I feel humbled by our ability to remain agile and open-minded, and to continuously transform as we broach a new challenge in reinterpreting further to accommodate the fifth generation of resorts that shines before us.

The 5th Generation of Hospitality is Here

We are recognizing the natural evolution while also seeking ways to innovate and accelerate positive aspects of new trends. And while our more recent work displays a key focus on an innovative approach to design, such as our work at the Royal Mansour, we continue to equip ourselves to adapt alongside the evolution of resorts, driven to illuminate exciting possibilities for the next generation of hospitality.

At OBMI, we're expanding our idea of what is in order to explore a new realm of what could be.

Crafting our Future

Since the world is constantly changing in so many ways, it would be limiting (and ludicrous!) to think we might go on offering our clients the same approach to design and destination travel as we previously have. We are in the business of creating change, and now—more than ever—we must rise to the current challenges by reinventing resort destinations. In the wake of the global pandemic, we feel compelled to envision spaces that prioritize sustainable solutions and guest well-being—ensuring safety and comfort when they venture into the world—all the while encouraging experiential exploration and immersive luxury, as we always have.

As a company, we have been gathering (at a safe distance) to collectively dream and craft the future we seek to share with our guests and clients. Our brainstorms have revealed numerous options to disrupt existing business models and has reinforced that we must deliberately transform ourselves and our practice. In order to do so, we have newly solidified a designated internal team that is focused on adaptability initiatives, innovative exploration and inventive solutions—OBMI

Our Innovative Team of Dream Weavers

In the past months, this team has been accelerating their creativity and pushing beyond their comfort zones to collectively redefine OBMI's approach to architecture and design by presenting revolutionary solutions to suit the rapidly changing world. OBMI NU has been an evolving effort within the organization, which has recently been actualized; the team is propelled by the thought that the engine for changing our tomorrow is through devoted, self-initiated transformation that does not wait for a client or job to lead or ask. They are driven by the prospect of delivering solutions to questions not yet asked, ever anticipating, and armed with persistent adaptability and bold inventions.

Some of OBMI NU’s recent initiatives seek to meet the stakeholders where the world is at—prioritizing:

  • exploratory urban travel

  • inventive staycations

  • socially distanced design

  • immersive luxury that is light on the land

  • adaptable spaces to accommodate wellness, work, and travel

The team is committed to broaching the challenge of how we might imagine and transform tomorrow, and in doing so, present our business partners, peers and expert consultants with new tools to approach our changing world.

Some of OBMI NU's innovative developments include:

  • The Vertical Resort: reframing the idea of resort destinations through providing a distinct offering that is vertically integrated into a city's urban center

  • The Nomadic Resort: a revolutionary offering that is designed for remote locations, constructed using ultra-lightweight and sustainable materials for an easy installation that is light on the land

  • The Transformable Room: a hotel environment that shifts to suit guests' changing needs, allowing hotel rooms to adapt and become spaces for wellness, work, exercise and rest

A New Dawn

These initiatives feel like a bright promise for tomorrow, assuring us that discomfort of tremendous, unknown change often inspires movement to grow beyond spaces and constructs that no longer serve us. I for one am eagerly awaiting the progress of these exciting, new offerings and look forward to OBMI NU sharing further details with our valued clients and colleagues soon. As we continue to press on, innovation will continue to be a guiding light—illuminating and transforming dark spaces of unknown into shining possibilities. With this in mind, I'd say that future looks bright.