Gamsei by Buero Wagner, emulates the ambience of a Bavarian beer hall through amphitheatre-style benches against opposing walls, thus eliminating the common separation of bartender and guest.
The latest design awards to be handed out have come from World Interior News, the digital resource for the latest interior design projects and innovative products from across the globe (and a very nice thing to find in your inbox). Their list of winners recognises the designs that made the greatest impact on the cultural landscape over the past year. As expected, they are pretty cool. (The down side of being aware of such innovations is it may have us scrutinising the spaces we occupy each day and longing for what they could be!)
Here are my favourite category winners:
Gamsei by Buero Wagner, Munich, Germany
Designed and executed by Fabian A. Wagner of Buero Wagner with Andreas Kreft, this bar interior of solid oak looks for new configurations whilst paying a tribute to the local Bavarian culture and craftsmanship. The result is a new kind of cocktail bar that provides something novel in terms of relationship between the bartender and drinkers. This bar is all about interaction, and I imagine its patrons don't have issues with physical proximity.
Wire LoungeChair by Overgaard and Dyrman, Copenhagen
One glance at the underside of this chair will reveal the influence of traditional saddlery. Its front in soft vegetable-tanned leather and back in full-grain leather combined with a metal work frame, transports traditional craftsmanship into the 21st century with impressive and refined detailing and an amazing shape. The Wire Lounge Chair is a part of a collection that also includes a Lounge Chair, Lounge Sofa, Coffee Table and a Dining Chair, and all come in a black coated steel frame or in a clear coated brushed steel frame.
Trick by iGuzzini, Italy
Trick is an LED, programmable light capable of generating spectacular geometrical effects including circles, concentrated lines, and decorative graphic elements in infinite combinations, as well as grazing light effects. This is iGuzzini's second consecutive win in the Lighting Products category.
Soe Cup series by Hanna Kruse, Offenbach, Germany
We're all familiar with trinket boxes, but what if we want to show what we store, in a minimalist fashion? That's the question designer Hanna Kruse answered with her Soe Cup series of ceramic compound cups that can be covered with different lid designs. The cups are created with a handmade casting and finishing process without burning, allowing for eco-friendly manufacturing while keeping every piece unique. The steel covers come in two different designs and are available in plated finishes, including powder, copper, silver and 24k gold, allowing for different combinations.
LEISURE OR ENTERTAINMENT VENUES
Nanchang Insun International Cinema, Nanchang, China
One Plus Partnership Limited
One Plus were inspired by connective elements in the mediums of film and book, using a striking black and white palette to inspire the imagination of those visiting this elegant cinema, telling a meaningful story through their design. The space is unconventional yet coherent, with a strong identity that stands out above and beyond that of traditional cinema design.
Al Khan Resort, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)
The aim of this project is to revive and showcase the charm of Al Khan, once a flourishing fishing village in one of the oldest areas in the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Inspired by the waves of the sea and the lifestyle of Emirati fisherman, the Al Khan interiors manifest this concept using a sleek and contemporary approach that also uses remnants of the existing building's fabric. The Al Khan prototype project was completed in February of 2014. In addtion to the private five star resort, the master plan includes public spaces including a Souq, museums, mosques and fortified towers.
Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
Licht Kunst Licht AG
195 circular skylights provide a multitude of functions for the Städel Museum, in a clever scheme that provides for diverse conservational or curatorial requirements. Highly engineered yet seemingly simple, the lighting is intelligent, attractive and perfectly refined.
Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum, Minneapolis, United States
HGA Architects and Engineers
While mausoleums historically have been dark, introverted spaces, Lakewood inverts this paradigm with light-filled rooms connected to its new garden. Daylight strengthens the relationship between the spiritual and the earth-bound while offering a serene and healing environment. Each crypt and columbarium room uniquely frames a view through a singular element, capturing the changing angles of sunlight through large windows or rotating, shifting skylights, comforting the eye with the presence of near or distant gardens, the tree canopy, or the sky.
Photos by Paul Crosby Photography
LOFT MM, Bilzen, Belgium
Although LOFT MM is specifically designed as an apartment for a wheelchair-bound inhabitant, there is nothing that even hints at a handicap. This remodelling of a small ground floor storage space cum garage into a micro-loft is arranged within a 3m wide by 25m long space and features the familiar succession of increasingly private spaces: living room, dining area, a narrow hallway with the kitchen on one side and the bathroom on the other, and at the end the bedroom/study. Almost all of the furniture and design solutions are custom-made, both for the occupant’s convenience but also in order to comply with Belgian disability codes. Careful attention was given to design solutions that encouraged the client’s direct personal involvement (such as he himself painting all furniture by hand), thus contributing to a sense of self-awareness and self-confidence after a serious car accident left him with diminished motor and memory skills.
Photos by Tim Vandevelde
Restaurant & Bar Nazdrowje, Stockholm, Sweden
If only I'd gone searching for Polish food while in Stockholm, I may have found this place. Nazdrowje, which means 'Cheers' in Polish, is a transformed concrete parking garage that took inspiration from a research trip of factories and other sites in Poland. To give the concrete interior warmth, copper accents were added as table tops, lighting, a fireplace, and basins in the bathroom. And those Tolix stools are not only not knock-offs, they are vintage originals that brought with them a patina that complements the raw interior atmosphere. The artwork was the idea of the photographer, Mattias Lindbäck, who got to know the staff and thought they'd make great portraits to hang in the restaurant.
Photos by Mattias Lindbäck
RETAIL INTERIORS LESS THAN 200 SQ.M
Relojeria Alemana Born, Palma de Mallorca
OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab
OHLAB have questioned the concept of luxury, using simple, orthogonal boxes to create a sculptural, abstract and unpredictable environment where things are not what they seem. Stephen Jones of Woods Bagot commented this is a 'truly innovative project, bringing customers a new perspective on retail and the luxury shopping experience, a one-of-a-kind design that not only reflects the brand but takes it to the next and newest level.' I'm thinking that this unique and surreal shopping experience will leave you too distracted to remember that pricey item you're walking out with. At least for a few minutes.
Photos by Josehevia D
Spun, London, United Kingdom
Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design
As a former diabetic (that's what the doctors tell me), this interior for Spun candy shop in Covent Garden appears to have been plucked out of a wish fulfillment dream I once had. Nick Leith Smith Architecture + Design were briefed with taking an established graphic identity and corporate colour scheme and bringing it to life in a strong retail environment. Spun’s vision is built around the process of sweet making, the skill of cutting candy, blending flavours and boiling and mixing ingredients. This is a sweets shop adults can enjoy as much as kids. Probably more.
Photos by Quintin Lake
WORKSPACE INTERIORS LESS THAN 10,000 SQ.M
T2 Headquarters, Melbourne, Australia
Warning: unless you work in a spectacularly designed and furnished office, looking at these photos (and reading the captions because that's what pushes the stinger in further), you may have difficulty going into work tomorrow. Respecting and celebrating the detailing of a former industrial warehouse, while creating a dramatic statement to represent the T2 company ethos, Landini Associates have created a space with fantastic blurring of boundaries; encompassing office, tea bar and tea tasting and workshop area. An amazing environment for employees and customers alike that maintains a strong expression of the T2 brand throughout. And surely all the delicious tea one could possibly consume in a work day.
A catwalk from the garage (the staff entrance) houses storage and divides the staff into left and right brained teams
"I'm here for Lemongrass and Ginger?" A brew bar and tea library replace the traditional reception desk.
A meeting room with an operable wall and sheep shearing buckets as lights
Tea library, meeting space and entrance collide.
Staff kitchen with an herb garden and a window view into an old boiler room
The tea making and tasting workshop features a white background to highlight the colour of the teas
Photos by Trevor Mein