CID Awards 2020 shortlist: Interior Design of the Year - bars and clubs

Published: 29 September 2020 - 1:23 p.m.
By: Jane O'Neill
Here's a space most of us haven't spent a lot of time in over 2020.

Four projects made the shortlist for the Best Interior Design - bars and clubs at the Commercial Interior Design Awards 2020. Winners will be announced at an eagerly-anticipated awards ceremony on November 25, in the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.

Before then, we'll be revealing shortlists from all 17 categories, which received 250 nominations from 76 companies.

St. Trop by LW

Photo credit: Natelee Cocks

St. Trop is a pool deck on the rooftop of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre. During the day, it’s a chilled deck that’s great for relaxation, and at night, it transforms into a fun party venue

In the brief, the client proposed that LW Design create an energetic poolside bar that’s inspired by St Tropez trends and the area’s aesthetic of enjoyment for locals and visitors alike. LW lead designers on this project; Pooja Shah-Mulani and Jenni Davies were inspired by the French Cote d’Azur’s unique vibe and exclusive luxury yacht ambience.

The concept behind the space was to develop a venue that was fun with contemporary elements. It needed to be fitted with unique décor that allowed a transformative effect in the transition from day to night.

To bring the concept to life, the LW Design team came up with the idea of a teak floor with geometric cuts and bold fabrics featuring monochrome stripes. Behind the bar, a mural of different faces made from greenery-based artwork is an ode to the people of St Tropez as it channels their spirit and charisma.

Bibe by Brewer Smith Brewer Group

Bibé is a rooftop bar destination, providing arguably the most breathtaking panoramic views across a natural environment available anywhere in the United Arab Emirates.

The rooftop bar acts as an extension, and a bookend, to the design language, made apparent throughout the experience of all that the 5-star JA Lake View Hotel has to offer; adding extra dimensions, while retaining a fluid connection to the overall theme of seamless transitions between design and the environment, complementary flow of spaces and embracing all that is authentic, natural and beautiful.

Repeated exposure to this motif throughout the journey culminates at the rooftop level and represents the final act, or chapter, of the design narrative. The design of Bibé focuses on maximising the impact of the views and surrounding nature – an uncomplicated, spacious and accomplished space where guests can relax at the end of the day within a comfortable, welcoming ambience.

Train La Mer by LS Design

The 'Industrial chic' Train Beach Club at La Mer a mixed-use facility that has been converted into four separate, distinctively related spaces with unique identities; a professional gym, restaurant, café-bar, and nightclub.

Following the existing architecture of the development, the challenge was to give the four spaces that typically do not mix both an individually unique identity and coherent experience.

Design elements and details take their cues from materials and modify accordingly. The industrial space is softened by the internal green wall to the left and olive trees taking centre stage in a circular banquette-seating planter, all washed with delicate yet robust lighting features both architectural and decorative.

Kimpo by Keane

Formerly Little Black Door in the Conrad Dubai Hotel, Keane were tasked with developing a new F&B concept based around KPOP music, Korean chicken and hops.

The concept brief from Hilton was that it should feel edgy, accessible and like an independent bar, rather than a more typical hotel bar. They had to give the space a completely new identity for a limited budget and the fit-out period was 45 days.

With a concept narrative of 'Seoul meets Brooklyn'- Authentic yet edgy. Refined yet industrial, Keane's team were pragmatic in their approach and decided to retain the majority of the existing bar architecture and hard finishes.

They invested in new furniture and lighting that felt urban in the overall look and feel but used authentic upholsteries to give depth and credibility. These were offset with some bespoke CNC work using authentic Korean patterns, bright colour pops and neon-style lighting installations, so the whole scheme came together as if it were a new build.

Nominations in the awards have closed, but there's still time to get involved.

Meet the panel of nine judges, and for sponsorship enquiries, contact Rebecca Lockwood on +971 4 444 3268 or

To book tables, speak to Anthony Chandran on +971 4 444 3685 or

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