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Getting to know IDEA 2023 Hospitality winner Genesin Studio

Getting to know IDEA 2023 Hospitality winner Genesin Studio


Genesin Studio director Ryan Genesin discusses the practice’s win at the 2023 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in the Hospitality category for Dolly, a modern wine bar in Adelaide.

Dolly by Ryan Genesin
Dolly by Genesin Studio

Hospitality is a design category that seems to evolve in more exciting and eye-catching directions each year. 

Interstate design practice Genesin Studio’s execution of Dolly in Unley stood out to the IDEA 2023 jury because of its edge details, which disrupt expectations of linearity. The existing glazed frontage, along with a mirror chrome acoustic ceiling, provide a futuristic feel that is contrasted by the warmth and texture of tapestry art and ceramics.

Jury member Elvin Tan praised Genesin Studio for emphasising the creation of an urban oasis at Dolly. 

Dolyl by Genesin Studio

“The play of unconventional finishes and delightful design detail paired with warm, earthy artisan elements evokes a sense of escape and blissfulness,” he says. 

“It is somehow familiar yet unexpected.”

Australian Design Review (ADR) speaks to the studio’s director, Ryan Genesin, about the winning project, the state of the design industry and the growth of the studio.

Ryan Genesin
ADR: What did it mean for you to win your category?

Ryan Genesin: Considering the amazing project calibre Australia is producing at the moment, it was an honour just to be shortlisted. Winning the best hospitality design category at IDEA 2023 is truly amazing for us. It is great to have recognition for all the hard work we have put into the project from a planning and material detailing perspective. Having a gun jury panel makes the win really special as they have given their time and attention to reach an always-challenging conclusion.  

Genesin Studio
Tell us about your winning project. What was its inspiration and how did you achieve the outcome that you did?

RG: The project was informed by the cold shell site. Sometimes you get great bones in an old building, this was not the case. It was the complete opposite— a new façade and rough-as-guts cold shell with columns in a clumsy location on the plan. The client brief was to make something for the residents of the area. It was important for us to create something that was to be institutional, familiar yet new, but interesting enough to come back for another visit. 

Acoustics were very important to maintain for a comfortable experience and critical to the project’s DNA. We prioritised using local materials and trades to maintain the program, along with a great builder.  

The exploration of the concrete and other key material detailing was critical to get right. The project began to take shape once the concrete formwork came down and everyone onsite was eager for the opening.

Adelaide wine bar
How would you describe 2023?

RG: 2023 felt like things were getting back to normal for the industry, moving away from the `C`-word years.

Trades are still in demand but there is a degree of flow now. Clients across the board are recognising the value of good design in their projects, in terms of planning, workflow and durability – not just aesthetics. When clients come back to us with great feedback on our designed spaces for both living quality or business turnover, it’s rewarding.  

wine bar
What’s next for you? Can you share any upcoming or current projects you’re working on?

RG: Our office is growing at the moment, which is exciting. We have some great projects coming up residentially, with new builds, renovations and extensions, and a mix of  repeat clients, which is fun. We have a day spa, a glamping lodge in the Monarto Safari Park, a new venue for the team at The Currant Shed in McLaren Vale (amazing food and service), a few other restaurants and a hair salon. Our recent project, Chianti, opened this month and we are looking forward to getting it photographed. 

Green velvet
How did you wrap up 2023?

RG: Wrapping up never happens! It’s more like a ‘press pause’ situation. Holidays were well overdue last year, so rest, family, eating, drinking and fun has been on repeat until hitting play on 2024.


Lead image supplied. Project photography by Jonathan VDK.

Get to know Studio Tate, winner of the IDEA 2023 Workplace Over 1000sqm category.


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