Game Changers


Samantha Drummond, design strategist and Founder of Habitus Design Group, has made it her career signature to design and deliver projects that offer unique experiences for everyone who visits or lives in the property she has brought into being.

From Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and Solaire Hotel and Resort in Manila to residences and restaurants in Northern Europe, Samantha has achieved an extraordinary portfolio of firsts. “I believe that it’s not what you design, it’s how you design it,” she says. “My starting point is the client and their objective. At this point, my mind is a clean slate waiting to be written on. Then I hone, make additions, tweak and polish until every detail is to my satisfaction.”

On Marina Bay Sands, Samantha’s role was to oversee and manage all design aspects of the build. She worked with celebrity chefs, world-famous artists and luxury fashion brands, as well as with numerous teams of international designers, and collaborated with the lead architect, Moshe Safdie.

“I worked with some of the best consultants and greatest artists in the world. It was my job to provide the design direction, ensuring that the client’s expectations were surpassed, that there was the right balance of creativity and commercial sensibility and that everything guests would encounter was of the highest quality.”

Solaire Resort & Casino was also a game changer in its location – a five-star integrated resort in Manila. Samantha realised that a key to unlocking its potential was to persuade international luxury goods houses to come to the city for the first time and take-up residency in the resort’s retail mall. It was a mission in which she succeeded, convincing such names as Prada, Bvlgari and Louis Vuitton of the business case for doing so.

In 2016, she established Habitus Design Group. Together, they are designing the new Solaire North in Quezon City. A 32-metre high atrium sits at the heart of the main building and Samantha commissioned US artist Nikolas Weinstein to translate her idea for a semi-transparent sculpture transitioning through the space into a monumental glass artwork. The resulting creation will comprise some 100,000 pieces and will be the tallest sculpture in the world.

Nikolas sums up their shared philosophy: “A lot of what we do puts the idea before the solution…but what we already know how to do is rarely a limitation on how we try to do it.”

Habitus is working on several European projects. In Denmark, the team is busy on residential commissions, including a family home in the countryside and a summer house on the beach. They are also designing a new restaurant and supper club for X Factor judge, Remee Jackman, and entrepreneur, Tai Lopez, which will be helmed by Chef Kav and will offer a dining experience unlike any other in Copenhagen. Last May, residents in the small city Danish city of Odense discovered that they had been treated to “a piece of Milan” when the Ulrik Storm menswear store opened, and now Samantha has plans to bring a flavour of Paris to the city in her next project.

“My experience of working closely with UHNWIs taught me how to listen to the individual, respond creatively and provide a level of service that aligns with the highest expectations. This is as relevant to a residential project as a large-scale commercial development,” she says.


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