Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 102
Dan Menchions and Keith Rushbrook
II BY IV Design Associates, Toronto
Above, from left: Dan Menchions and Keith Rushbrook. From far left: The Chairman’s Suites located inside the Air Canada Centre; a guestroom at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto.
it is Rushbrook who more often than not guides projects from inception to completion. “We divide and conquer,” Menchions points out. Throughout the company’s ﬁrst nine years, Menchions says he and Rushbrook would regularly work 80 or 90 hours a week. Now they’ve found a balance that allows them to spend the weekends relaxing on the chalet-like rooftop of their One of Keith Rushbrook’s friends, a sales rep, suggested he meet fellow designer Dan Menchions; that same sales rep recommended Menchions get in touch with Rushbrook. The two ﬁnally connected when Menchions snagged a freelance position at Rushbrook’s then design company. Soon, says Rushbrook, it became apparent the two “thought with a very similar aesthetic.” This synergy not only propelled the two to become partners in life, but also in work. In 1990 they launched their own Torontobased design ﬁrm, II BY IV Design Associates. What started out as a small-scale operation led from a small home ofﬁce has grown to a 32-person company that has lent its expertise to spaces like the new Yankee Stadium. “We learned early on what our strengths and weaknesses are,” notes Menchions. While he typically leads the more creative efforts, downtown loft. “Design is what we eat, sleep, and breathe. We needed to learn to delegate and bring on like-minded staff,” Menchions says. The approach is clearly working. The duo recently renovated 540 cabins for Crystal Cruises in Hamburg. Currently, they are bringing their signature modern style to McDonald’s outlets across North America and are working on their most massive project to-date: the new Trump International Hotel & Tower opening in Toronto later this year. For four and a half years the team has been “doing everything for the property—every guestroom, restaurant, and public space down to the carpets and wallcoverings,” explains Menchions. “I couldn’t do this alone; I need a partner to bounce things off of,” shares Rushbrook. “We learned we’re much better together than apart.” hd