Category Archives: Retail & Leisure Interiors

Meet The 2016 Winners: Chu Chih Kang Space Design

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Gemma Norris

For this week’s ‘Meet The Winners’ blog post we speak with Yu Shan Su of design practice Chu Chih Kang Space Design, winners in the WIN Awards 2016 Retail Interiors Greater Than 200 SQ.M category.

The concept behind your project Fangsuo Bookstore was so beautiful – can you tell us more about the story?

I always aspired to design a bookstore when I was young. Taikoo Lu Chengdu were building a new shopping area which surrounded the historic Daci Temple. The very well-known Buddhist, Xuanzang, practiced in the temple before he started his journey to India which inspired the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. The location of Fangsuo Bookstore is in the basement just beside the temple. The story immediately fired my imagination; Xuanzang stored precious scriptures in a secret cellar under the Daci Temple. In ancient China scriptures symbolized knowledge and wisdom and this became the overarching theme for the project.

Fangsuo Bookstore in Chengdu

The judges were awe-inspired by the sheer scale of Fangsuo Bookstore, what challenges do you face when tackling a project of this size?

It was indeed a big challenge. For such a huge space in a basement a floor-in-floor structure was forbidden and many stairs were required for fire safety. There was the additional difficulty of how to make customers aware that there was a bookstore in the basement. Lastly, a great challenge was to make customers ‘visible’ in such an expansive space so the store did not feel empty.

The aim was to keep visitors in the store for as long as possible. Firstly, to achieve this we included 2 coffee shops; secondly, the staircases were given multiple functions for people to sit on and relax. Lastly, an iconic landmark was placed by the entrance encouraging visitors to take photo’s and share on social media.

I solved the problem for my client whilst still keeping the legendary story: a cave hiding precious knowledge. But I think the most decisive was the story, a story of our culture and of our history. There were no cliché elements to make it “Chinese”, but people could get the story and the atmosphere while entering the store. I think it is the most successful part of the design.

Fangsuo Bookstore in Chengdu

Your work ranges from Exhibition to Retail to Residential projects, is there a particular sector that you enjoy working on most and why?

Not at all! My friends all know that I am a curious person; I love a challenge and have no patience for immutable things. Therefore so long as the concept is interesting, no matter what type of space it is, I will do it.

After the success of Fangsuo Bookstore in Chengdu, to be honest, many people came to me for bookstore design. Some even requested “do something that looks like Fangsuo Bookstore in Chengdu.” Of course I rejected them. Regardless of the sector I want to be producing something different each time, otherwise it’s simply no fun!

Fangsuo Bookstore in Chengdu

What’s the next project you’re working on?

My next project is a public space on the first floor of the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan tower located in Taipei, Taiwan and designed by the architect Vincent Callebaut. I was invited by the GAA Foundation to exhibit the concept model for the project during Venice Biennale. It’s perhaps unusual to exhibit an architecture project at an art show, but to me, the space itself is a huge art piece. Rather than creating a modish design I’m approaching this project more as an art piece with the concept of the circle of life at it’s centre.

Chu Chih-Kang exhibiting at Venice Biennale

Our 2017 categories will soon be coming to a close. What would you say to anyone considering entering the WIN Awards?

Practically, it has been a fantastic way to publicize my own project. In particular I was really happy to hear the judges’ feedback. The concept of Fangsuo Bookstore in Chengdu is related to Chinese history and legend and I am thrilled that the jury panel understood and appreciated the concept from their point of view.

Don’t hesitate, enter the WIN Awards now!

Celebrating at Saatchi

Posted on December 10, 2013 by Megan

Ten days on from the inaugural World Interiors News Annual Awards ceremony and dinner the winning designers are still basking in the glory of their successes. London’s Saatchi Gallery played host to the most distinguished figures in architecture and interior design, treating the attendees to an opportunity to view the latest exhibition entitled “Body Language” which explores the physicalities of human beings through photography, sculpture and painting.

Escaping the cold November night outside, over 300 guests from across the globe retreated into the gallery’s warmth for a cocktail reception, a 3-course meal and some all-important networking opportunities. Amongst the many well-known faces was judge and interior design guru Sir Terence Conran, who has been a keen supporter of the awards programme.

As petit-fours and coffee were served, the awards ceremony began with a speech from Annalisa Hammond, Editor of World Interiors News, welcoming the guests and introducing Art historian and BBC Culture Show host Andrew Graham-Dixon who proceeded to present the awards for the winning designs.

Whilst the shortlisted entries from each category were announced and the winners collected their trophies on stage, guests from all areas of architecture and interior design were reminded of the designs which have helped shape the material and cultural landscape over the past year.

When the ceremony came to a close, the elated winners and shortlisted designers were photographed with their trophies and certificates, and the champagne flowed as celebrations began.

After overwhelmingly positive feedback about the event, Annalisa Hammond reflects that “the intimacy and originality of the venue appealed to our sponsors and guests, many of whom have already enquired about next year’s event!”

With the 2014 Awards due to open in early January, it promises to be another exciting year ahead for World Interiors News.

Retail Interiors make a splash

Posted on November 27, 2012 by Megan

The WAN Retail & Leisure Interiors Awards are well under way and submissions have included many innovative designs. The variety of projects have been impressive as this year the award stretches across four distinct categories: Bars & Restaurants, Hotels & Service outlets (such as spas), Arts and Leisure (including museums, cultural centres and exhibitions), and Retail Outlets.

With such a wide range of projects included, this year’s award is set to be a design extravaganza that will showcase many different and unusual designs. An eye-catching entry this week comes from Orbit Design Studio (Bangkok, Thailand) for their project, Allure. The design for restraunteur Cipriani’s new yacht club in Abu Dhabi is modern and refined. Using texture and form, Orbit creates an adaptable interior that lends itself to the luxury nature of the brand. Lighting and the division of space, through modular furniture and screens, add to the contemporary environment.

Allure by Cipriani, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. By Orbit Design

Closer to home, Leicestershire based design studio officeTwelve were invited by Speedo to design and build an event space in the prestigious Harrods department store. The ‘Swimming Pool’ installation would attract over 5,000 customers over a 4 week period and would present female fashion swimwear, male and female training swimwear and the new Hero Collection range.

The ‘Swimming Pool’ concept displayed diving mannequins entering from the ceiling into a pool of water which coincided with water effect lighting. Bubble walls encasing running water provided an added sensory experience with pool ladders also entering from the ceiling all complete the underwater experience that attracted huge interest from tourists all over the world.

“The Harrods team was really impressed with the result,” said the Speedo Trade Marketing Manager.

“The head of retail for Sports said it was the best execution in that area he had ever seen!”

Speedo at Harrods by officeTwelve

The Retail and Leisure Interiors Award closes at the end of the year so there is still plenty of time to enter your project. We are looking for all types of interior design across the four categories listed above from small independent shops to large superstores, pop-up exhibitions and hotel suites.

For all the information you need on submission guidelines and how to enter your projects, just visit our website. We are looking forward to seeing the full spectrum of projects, from the luxury to the obscure, the aesthetically indulgent to the down right practical!

To check out the competition and view all the latest entries just visit our project page.

We look forward to reading your comments!

Sarah