Bradford “Brad” McNamee, global hospitality architect, Senior Vice President and former Board member of WATG, the Irvine, California-based design firm, died Friday July 17th at his home in San Juan Capistrano, California after a six-year battle with ALS. Though diagnosed in 2014, McNamee continued in his role with WATG and was still “in the saddle” designing in the hours leading up to his death. He was 64.
Born in Seattle, Washington, McNamee graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in 1982 after growing up in Corona del Mar. He joined WATG in 1987 and through the course of his 33-year tenure designed 38 built projects in 10 countries.
McNamee left an indelible mark on the global hospitality industry, designing hotels and resorts for Conrad, Four Seasons, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, ITC, Le Meridien, Loews, MGM, Montage, Oberoi, Raffles, Regent, Renaissance, Ritz-Carlton, Sofitel, St. Regis, Viceroy, Westin and W Hotels. McNamee designed the first Ritz-Carlton in India (Bangalore) which opened in 2013, and the first Ritz-Carlton resort in China in Sanya in 2008. He designed W Singapore Sentosa, St. Regis, St. Regis Residences, Oceanfront and Quayside Retail at Sentosa and Sophia Condominiums. Brad loved Singapore, spent much time and given his portfolio, and his family plan to travel out here as soon as they can to honour his work.
WATG President + CEO Anthony Mallows commented, “Brad leaves a legacy of exceptional design. His dedication to his craft and to our WATG family is nothing short of heroic. He instilled a passion for, and commitment to, creative excellence amongst his team. His spirit, fortitude and fearlessness will be deeply missed. Brad leaves behind a portfolio of built work around the world that will forever reflect his extraordinary talent and his love of design and travel.”
WATG Regional Managing Director, The Americas, Monica Cuervo commented, “Brad’s love of travel and exploration made him an even more brilliant designer. He had immense respect for every culture and, at the start of each project, would immerse himself to understand the people and the place. He designed with the guest in mind and it gives us great solace that thousands of guests around the world will continue to have incredible experiences in the spaces and places that Brad created.”
McNamee served as senior project designer for many of the firm’s award-winning projects. McNamee’s designs received AIA Honorable Mention and PCBC Gold Nugget Awards for the House of Blues in Hollywood, California; Broken Top Club in Bend, Oregon and The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California. CNBC Asia Pacific bestowed its ‘Best Development Award’ on Oceanfront at Sentosa in 2008 and the St. Regis Residences in Singapore in 2009. The Fédération Internationale des Administrateurs de Bien-Conselis Immobiliers (FIABCI) awarded the St. Regis Singapore its Hotel Prix d’Excellence Award in 2009. McNamee designed the Viceroy Anguilla (now Four Seasons Anguilla), the brand’s first property outside the USA. The resort has won nearly 50 international travel and design awards, including Hospitality Design Magazine’s ‘Creative Achievement Award’ for Luxury/Upscale Public Spaces in 2011. McNamee’s other notable projects include the Ritz-Carlton Xi’an, China and Hollywood & Highland in California.
McNamee’s full list of built projects can be found here on the firm’s website watg.com.
McNamee is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart, Mari, their daughter, Marisa, sisters Laura McNamee and Paula McCann and his mother Esther McNamee.
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About WATG Founded in 1945 and celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, WATG is one of the world’s leading design firms specializing in hospitality, entertainment + gaming, urban + mixed-use and high-end residential design. WATG’s interior design firm, Wimberly Interiors, launched in 2008, and is consistently ranked in the Top 20 by Interior Design Magazine in its Hospitality Giants survey.
Since George “Pete” Wimberly founded the firm in Honolulu in 1945, WATG has grown to offer integrated design services including Strategy, Master Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interiors for urban, tourism and resort destinations. WATG and Wimberly Interiors have offices in Honolulu, Irvine (California), Los Angeles, New York, London, Dubai, Singapore and Shanghai and are best known for creating internationally acclaimed destinations in more than 170 countries across six continents. WATG’s projects are renowned not only for their timeless design and sense of place but also for their bottom-line success.
Throughout the decades, WATG and Wimberly Interiors have designed over 500 built projects on behalf of distinguished clients and brands such as Accor, Belmond, Blackstone Group, China Jinmao Group, China Merchant, Chimelong, Dune Real Estate Partners, Emaar, Four Seasons, Highgate, Hilton Worldwide, Host Hotels & Resorts, Huafa Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, intu Properties, Kempinski, Keppel Land, KSL Capital, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marassi, Marriott International, MGM Resorts International, Minor Hotels, Mont Choisy Group, MSD Capital, New Century Tourism Group, R.D. Olson Development, The Red Sea Development Company, Rosewood Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Suning, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, Yotel and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. www.watg.com