Since 2017, Insider Media has been naming innovative and creative people as ‘property disruptors’, individuals who shake up the property industry with their fresh outlook and compelling business cases for doing things differently. This year, Kasia Borkowska and Chris Long had the honour of being among a small group of hand-picked individuals leading the charge in revolutionising the sector.
As new co-owners and directors of KKA, the studio has a fresh approach with a 70-year story. Having both been with KKA for more than ten years,
Borkowska and Long each acquired 50 per cent of the company’s shareholdings becoming co-owners of this historic Liverpool architecture practice.
Currently, the partnership is moving the company into a new chapter with new, exciting projects such as the Robins High Performance Centre—a-state-of-the-art training facility for Bristol City FC—and a new multistorey car park and energy centre within Paddington Village of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.
“A growing philosophy … is ‘lifestyle hospitality’,
meaning places and spaces
people want to inhabit whilst
combining with work, health and leisure …”
With the practice specialising in architecture and interior design for hotels, hospitality and leisure sectors, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the sector. However, Borkowska and Long see this as an opportunity to challenge the status quo. Chris Long told Insider: “We are increasingly involved in public/private sector hotel developments with our clients. We have switched some of our expertise to enquiries and development in the leisure market – at La Grande Mare in Guernsey for example we have developed bespoke lodges and discarded a traditional hotel as part of the brief.”
He adds: “A growing philosophy in our approach to projects is ‘lifestyle hospitality’, meaning places and spaces people want to inhabit whilst combining with work, health and leisure – ultimately a more sustainable and less segmented approach.”
In the year ahead, KKA will be working on the Ashton Gate Sporting Quarter, a Bristol development valued at over £100m. “That is focused around a 4,000 capacity sports and convention centre and a 230-bed hotel,” says Long. “More broadly, the next year will see us utilising our expertise and selling our services across diversified typology such as serviced residential or apart-hotel and more bespoke projects.