Cape Town – Interior designer Tristan du Plessis recently trumped more than 500 of the world’s best designers to claim this year’s International Restaurant and Bar (IRB) design award in the UK.
Du Plessis’s masterpiece, Sandton club Alice and Fifth, was announced as the best overall restaurant at the IRB design awards
This is the first time the award has been presented to a South African design studio.
“As a South African designer, to be in the same room as my international design icons is an honour in itself but to be recognised on a global level in front of peers that I’ve looked up to since the beginning of my career is almost unbelievable,” said Du Plessis, 30.
More than 70 countries competed at this year’s IRB. Entries covered restaurants from ships to airports, museums and burger vans to pop-ups. For each category, there were two shortlists and two winners, one for UK entries and one for international entries.
When asked how he had become such an established designer, Du Plessis said he had always been curious about how things worked and why they were the way they were.
“I have always loved hospitality spaces for as long as I can remember. I have loved exploration throughout my career, creating spaces that allow for escape and I feel lucky that I get to be an integral part of the process.”
Du Plessis’ projects include Hell’s Kitchen, which was his first project, but he said that MESH in Rosebank, FYN in Cape Town and Alice and Fifth are all career highlights.
“Gorgeous George Hotel in Cape Town and Chapter Roma in Italy were momentous as they were my first hotel projects and opened at the same time to great response globally.
“Walking away with IRB award has set the standard and raised the expectation of my work moving forward, which is both exciting and humbling,” said the designer.