Award-winning design stars join Ignite

Audrey de Filippis (left) and Céili Murphy (right)

Audrey de Filippis (left) and Céili Murphy (right)

"This phenomenal period of growth in the hospitality sector gives us an opportunity to create thoughtful, innovative accommodation that is world-class." - Audrey de Filippis

Ignite has recently welcomed Audrey de Filippis and Céili Murphy to its Auckland studio.

Architect and interior designer Audrey de Filippis has partnered directly with hotel groups across the US, Europe and New Zealand, including Hilton Worldwide, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Langham Hospitality Group, and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels. Drawn to the complexity of the parts involved in hotel design, and with over 10 years’ experience working in roles across architecture, interior design and brand strategy, Audrey is uniquely placed to work collaboratively with clients to achieve robust design solutions that represent the brand, captivate guests and create cohesive, loyalty-inspiring experiences.

“Guests are no longer loyal to brands based solely on physical amenity and star ratings. They are developing loyalties based on experiences and hotels are investing in design and service as a way of differentiating themselves,” explains Audrey.

French-born and USA-raised, Audrey has lived and worked across the US in cities including Detroit, Cincinnati, Washington DC, Chicago, and most recently Seattle, helping to boost the country’s soaring hospitality and tourism industry with her innovative brand prototypes. Her work has included a range of projects, from the creation of new global restaurant concepts and room refresh programmes, to the full architectural and interior design of new hotel brands. She has even been involved in guest focused initiatives such as reinventing the business centre and reimagining the breakfast buffet experience.

Her design for Seattle’s Coterie Worklounge, a new type of market offering to the region that blends the best of a business club, co-working space, restaurant and bar, was awarded Commercial Interior of the Year by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP).

Since arriving in New Zealand she has worked with developers and operators in varied capacities, including initial feasibility studies for new build and conversion projects, interior refurbishments and providing strategic guidance to hospitality operators. Most recently, she led the architectural design of the expansion to the Cordis hotel in Auckland, which when opened will be the largest hotel by room count in New Zealand.

“The quality and depth of Audrey’s portfolio speaks for itself, and we feel extremely fortunate to be welcoming her to the hospitality team at Ignite,” says Ignite director of hospitality, Grant Armstrong.

“Audrey is not just a designer and architect, she has a very strong business acumen that ensures every concept she creates is backed up with strategic understanding of how it will add value to her client’s operations and bottom line.”

Most recently hotel and hospitality lead at Jasmax, Audrey looks forward to opening a new chapter in her career.

“New Zealand has an exceptional landscape and this phenomenal period of growth in the hospitality sector gives us an opportunity to create thoughtful, innovative accommodation that is world-class. My designs are driven by the belief that a hotel is much more than a place to stay, it’s a place where memories are made.”

Céili Murphy joins Ignite’s Commercial design team as a senior interior designer.

A background in fine arts and advertising has given Céili the ability to not only create showstopping interiors but also conceptualise every detail of a project from furniture design to marketing materials. She began her

career as an art director in advertising before transitioning to interior design. Her experience and passion for all aspects and touch points of design, means she has holistic and strategic approach to integrating a client’s vision into commercial design outcomes.

Her portfolio includes design of the 2018 winner of the NZIA National Architecture Award for Interior Architecture, Māori Television’s workplace in East Auckland, a unique project rooted in powerful and collaborative storytelling, including the creation of new pattern languages, assisting the client to commission a new artwork and re-locating site specific art works such as a whakatauki (proverb) that is designed to be read as you progress through the space.

“Having originally studied Fine Arts at Elam, being able to guide the relocation of Māori Television’s art collection was an incredible opportunity to utilise my passion for integrating art works and understanding their site specificity,” says Céili.

Another career highlight includes leading the process of designing a new retail space for Bank of New Zealand’s flagship Christchurch store. The 2017 NZRIA Retail division winner, this space re-purposed half the site as a unique co-working space called Community 101, helping to future-proof and add energy into the branch. And, Céili was instrumental in creating many new initiatives informed by prototyping and strategic research, such as an innovative ATM layout that takes the form of a saw tooth or zig-zag and intuitively assists with way-finding, improving customers’ sense of security. Interactive play zones were also designed to engage customers in new ways, breaking through the traditional task driven approach to banking.

Richard Voss, Ignite director of commercial, says Céili’s unique skills will make her an invaluable member of the team, further strengthening Ignite’s capabilities as a full-service design firm.

“Céili has a wonderful ability to collaborate with clients and other agencies to create and integrate marketing and design material into spatial designs. We couldn’t be more delighted to have someone of her calibre come on board.”

“I’m looking forward to being part of a work family I can grow with, while working to enhance my skills as a market-leading designer,” Céili says.

“With its supportive culture and reputation as a growing company that pushes the envelope, Ignite is the ideal environment to do that.”