Frame Honours Bisha & Akira Back

FRAME announces Spatial Award Long List: Bisha & Akira Back

The work has been done, the cut made. Out of nearly 1050 submissions from 34 countries, the Frame Awards 2019 longlist has been revealed – you can take a look at every selection, with a detailed set of information and photos, here.

These projects in three different categories – 22 spatial awards, five executional and three societal – cover the entire spectrum, from retail and hospitality to work, institutions and shows.

Compiling the longlist hasn’t been an easy task. It has taken Frame’s editorial team several days to have a close look at each and every submission. Fair and unbiased, we worked with three criteria to evaluate projects: innovation, creativity and functionality. We didn’t look at studio names nor their reputation: the longlist contains works created by famous names and newcomers alike. Neither have we been interested in geographic location: the longlist features projects from all over the globe. As Frame stands for newness, we have especially been looking for future-facing projects with never-before-seen ideas. We are very happy that we found several of those in each category.

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Stay tuned for the short list announcements in December! 


Bisha’s design reaches beyond the expected elements of hospitality. Evolving from the deep textures of the lobby, through the lavish guest rooms and into the distinct F&B destinations, the hotel experience transforms into an exploration of indulgence.

Contributing to the hotel’s sense of holistic diversity is the extensive custom form and premium materiality of each furniture piece perpetuates Bisha’s worldly persona. The motifs are not only found in local galleries, residential comforts or singular toned palettes, they are coveted indulgences from every corner of the world. The exhilarating and glamorous design offers a sense of personal luxury that both surprises and delights.

Through uniquely designed hotel suites, and a modern selection of dining destinations that both secure continued excitement for the returning guest and the high-volume crowds of fashion forward urbanites. From both a guest and operator perspective, these two elements contribute to the viability of this new build while raising the standard for boutique hotels. The decadent and culture rich property is the foundation of Toronto’s positioning as an impactful global destination.

SPATIAL AWARDS HOSPITALITY: Akira Back, Restaurant of the Year

Emerging triumphantly among Toronto’s saturated Southeast Asian dining options, Akira Back was designed to innovate and revitalize the city’s dining culture in a way that would position the restaurant as a global destination. The interiors set the stage for the Michelin Starred chef’s mastery with a soulful yet modern sensibility.

The creative material applications and artistic volumes of colour were critical in transforming the second-floor restaurant into a true world-class experience. The main dining room is surrounded by golden volumes; the contrasting sultry dark tones create a bold contrast between the dazzling entry and sushi bar.

Furthermore, custom details integrated within the design connect each guest with Akira Back’s cuisine and chef’s personal journey to success with an elevated sophistication. A traditional wood burning technique inspired the wood paneled walls, and a custom mobile showcasing his mother’s artwork energizes the coved ceiling with bursts of electric blue, yellow and white.

The design balances an understanding of excitement and intimacy while modernizing expectations of the Japanese restaurant.