Category Archives: Latest News

Meet The 2016 Winners: Smartvoll

Posted on July 21, 2017 by Gemma Norris

The next in our ‘Meet The 2016 Winners’ blog series features Austrian-based firm Smartvoll. Their project, Loft Panzerhalle, blew the judges away in the Residential Interiors category and here we speak with founding partner Christian Kircher to find out a little bit more about the team and their spectacular winning project…

The Smartvoll team

How did Philipp and yourself come together to form Smartvoll?

We got to know each other at the technical university in Vienna. Having been grouped together for an intense 6 month design workshop, we bonded playing an old school computer game called SkiJumpDeluxe during our breaks. After that we started collaborating on both university and real-life projects, we wrote our master thesis together and founded the predecessor of Smartvoll the day we stepped out of university.

Loft Panzerhalle – Winner – 2016 WIN Awards Residential Interiors category

Loft Panzerhalle has received international acclaim. What is it about the project that you think has been so well-received?

I think that people have realized and acknowledged that design is not just about aesthetics and a project can achieve very deliberate goals if you program it in a way that follows a distinct vision. It’s also become clear that people are generally fed up with designers & architects giving the same well known answers to even better known challenges. Furthermore we’re now approached by people who actually see taking a risk not only as a danger but as a chance, who are bold and willing to really go with us where no man has gone before!

What was the greatest challenge when embarking on the project?

Definitely getting the project built. We perfectly modelled the whole staircase in 3D and thought that the formwork for the concrete would be 3D milled out of polystyrene or similar (in a very modern way of working with 5 axial robots who cut away from the polystyrene). After the first bids were brought in the whole team saw that it was basically not feasible, since all company’s who bid, were afraid of the complexity and adjusted their prices accordingly. This continued for a couple of weeks and suddenly voices arose suggesting that we do it in wood or steel – which would have been a horror. The client then said: ok, having watched 3 carpenters on the ongoing construction site, I reckon they are efficient enough to complete the work in 3 weeks in a direct labour contract (so without a bid or indication of how much it will cost). The carpenters pulled it off and completed it in 3 weeks, which for us was a brilliant example of what you can achieve as an architect if you have a great client who shares your vision and is proactive. In the end it was not an uber-modern robot who did the work but an old fashioned handcraft, paired with a lot of engagement and experience by the carpenters.

What are you working on at the moment that you’re particularly excited about?

It has been a great year so far for us, since we have been designing one project after the other and that’s really what we like most. In an old Warehouse we are building one of the longest swimming lanes in Austria that is surrounded by moveable crane-like platforms that can adapt the space to fit an array of sporting activities. In south Austria we are planning a Community Center which takes a radically new approach to rebuilding a community and counters the donut effect that many villages currently experience in Austria. Right now we are working on a water-based fitness contraption which has the potential to change the mechanical way we train. Diversity excites us!

You’re based in Vienna, a city renowned for its stunning architecture both old and new. Is
there a particular space or building in the city that inspires you?

We love to live in Vienna but we tend to look abroad for inspiration. For example, we were stunned by how informal old buildings sit side by side with brutalist and British high-tech architecture in London. It’s a complete contrast to the way Vienna literally embalms its architectural heritage and we firmly believe that you can only evolve by exposing yourself to the unknown.

What would you say to anyone considering entering the WIN Awards now?

Just do it. We have started way too late entering the awards circus and for a long time we did not realize what a door opener this really is. Especially with all the international platforms and awards around, there is no need to limit yourself to the boundaries of your immediate neighborhood! Apart from that Steven and the WIN gang are a great bunch to hang out with!

Meet The 2016 Winners: Joanne Motee

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Annalisa

This week our blog comes from Melbourne, Australia where we catch up with Joanne Motee, interior designer, stylist and winner of last year’s WIN Awards Cafés category, with her beautiful design for the Mister Hoffman Café.

Named after the street it’s located on, Mister Hoffman won many plaudits from our jury, who concluded: ‘The compositions are thorough and composed. There are some quirky items in there as well – altogether a very optimistic project’. Here’s what Joanne had to say to us….

Joanne Motee collecting the WIN Awards 2016 Cafés trophy

You grew up with creative parents who would regularly redecorate your home. Now you have a home of your own, do you do the same?

I spend a lot of time creating inspirational and functional spaces for amazing clients – turning job sites into homes, and spaces into beautiful places where people enjoy and congregate. So the focus when I am home is to feel clear and inspired at all times, along with all the things I love; regular bed linen, floral arrangements, scatter cushions…changes are made almost every week.

Mister Hoffman – Winner – 2016 Cafés category

You have worked on many beautiful projects including Mister Hoffman, a café in Melbourne and winner of the WIN Awards Café category 2016. Do you work on international projects as well, or do you prefer to work locally?

I am very honoured and humbled to have been recognised for great design for Mister Hoffman by WIN, and enjoyed attending the ceremony and meeting amazing creatives.

I love a variety of works and curating different styles, so working overseas allows me to extend myself and collaborate with local designers, clients and suppliers. I have executed many successful projects in the US and UK and am currently working on some exciting future retail spaces in Asia. Thankfully the WIN Awards allowed me to connect with many inspiring people and I am looking forward to designing for a Maltese architectural firm I have been following for some time. The prospect of working on a project in Malta excites me, as it is both my heritage and source of inspiration.

Mister Hoffman – Winner – 2016 Cafés category

How does living and working in Melbourne influence your design?

Design in Melbourne is highly valued by the public, which means as a community of designers we are constantly pushing the boundaries. I find the multicultural diversity in Melbourne quite influential with strong blends of classic and contemporary meetings, allowing me to create fearless and soulful interiors.

Lost in Seasons

This year you have entered the WIN Awards with Lost in Seasons, a retail space in Melbourne. Tell us about this project.

Yes! Fingers crossed as Lost in Seasons is a compelling brand based on trend clothing for any season. Executing the brand’s identity for Lost in Seasons was both rewarding and challenging. Working with clients who have total trust in your design and understanding of their brand allows for an amazing outcome. Adjacent to the tourist-attracting South Melbourne Market, Lost in Seasons is a crisp, artistic and clever design in a limited space.

What next for Joanne Motee?

I want to create cohesive and immersive experiences through thoughtful curation of spaces. I feel blessed to have such creativity, so next is an amazing café project, retail stores in Hong Kong, a boutique hotel in Bali and clever residential designs.

Lost in Seasons

Do you ever switch off from designing, and if so, what might a typical diversion be?

Strangely enough, I am at my most creative when I am free of mind, I find it both relaxing and uplifting to be in these moments. A typical diversion for me would be family and travel.

What is your biggest extravagance?

My continuously growing collection of dresses.

Thank you!

Meet The 2016 Winners: Nicemakers

Posted on June 9, 2017 by Annalisa

Amsterdam-based studio, Nicemakers, founded by partners Joyce Urbanus and Dax Roll, was joint winner of the WIN AWARDS 2017 Hotels category with their stunning project: The Hoxton, Amsterdam.

Made up of five 17th century canal houses, the building was once home to the Mayor. It is now a stunning hotel with 111 rooms across five floors.

Described by the jury as having a ‘measurable sense of space, of place and flair’, The Hoxton is just one of many projects undertaken by this dynamic duo to win international acclaim.

We interrupt Joyce’s travels to discover what Nicemakers is up to now…

Joyce Urbanus & Dax Roll

What projects are you currently working on?

A great hotel project in the centre of Paris. It is privately owned and will have around 80 rooms with a lovely inner garden which all the rooms are facing. The design is ready; we are currently building the Mock-up Room.

We are also working on a jewellery store in New York, a new-to-build hotel in Amsterdam, and a couple of great residential projects; from an 1800 Century farmhouse in the East of Holland to a Brutalist – style penthouse of 550m2 in Maastricht.

The Hoxton – Joint Winner – 2016 Hotels category. Image Credit: Alan Jenssen

Nicemakers works on a wide range of projects across all sectors, is there any sector that you haven’t tackled yet that you would like to?

Dax is still waiting for a boudoir to do the design for!

Will you be looking at product design in the future?

Yeah, that is definitely on our agenda. For almost every project we do we design a lot of custom -made items, so it is definitely not something new for us.

The Hoxton – Joint Winner – 2016 Hotels category. Image Credit: Alan Jenssen

What advice would you give to young architects and designers thinking of starting their own practice?

Make sure that besides design, you also develop your skills in listening and understanding your client and their brief. Go and visit buildings, try to understand the energy of a space and make sure whatever you design is aligned and well thought of.

Research! Know about the history, or the future, or just the area. There are great products, suppliers and developers in every country that you work.

And…be ready to give everything you have; it will take a great amount of energy, it’s 24/7 full-on. But always feel the confidence that you’ve ‘got it’…. it will go with a lot of up’s and downs.

Amsterdam City Apartment. Photo Credit: Alan Jenssen

What does a typical day look like?

There is no typical day, one is always different from another.

What’s next for Nicemakers?

Being consistent in keeping up the quality of work, with the love that we feel for our projects and clients, as we do now.

Amsterdam City Apartment. Photo Credit: Alan Jenssen

Would you say that working in Amsterdam inspires you?

Yes, it’s a dream city. Cosy and international. Our HQ is on one of the Canals, we have an amazing big garden in the back, what else could you wish for?

Can you name a few of your favourite places in Amsterdam?

Toscanini and Café de Klepel are our all-time favourites. That’s where we celebrate the good things in life with the best service and amazing food and vino.

Restaurant Jacobz

I’ve read that you love to travel. What places would you love to visit that you haven’t already?

We’ve seen quite a lot that we wanted to. There are quite a few places that will take a longer trip than just one week, like Peru, Argentina, and all the rest of Brazil we haven’t seen yet. But for now we also would love to discover more of Europe. It’s all next door…

Where are you happiest?

Every few weeks we try to go to a little house we always rent on Ibiza.  It’s a place just surrounded by nature and where the sun goes down every evening right in front of you. We cook meals, we read, we go for long walks, just be together and sometimes speak about new ideas. But most of the time we just empty our minds to maintain a strong focus and clear vision… and just feel really happy.

Thank you Joyce!

Meet The 2016 Winners: Dan Schofield

Posted on June 2, 2017 by Annalisa

This week we meet successful designer and WIN Award winner, Daniel Schofield. Born in 1986 in Royal Leamington Spa in the UK, Dan studied graphic design at college, going on to work as an apprentice at a local carpentry firm. He later left to take a degree in furniture and product design at Sheffield Hallam University in South Yorkshire, and graduated with honours.

Dan established his own studio in Sheffield in 2012, which then moved to London’s fashionable Greenwich district in 2013. Dan’s aesthetic combines simple, functional works with strong narratives, or as he puts it: “If an object can connect to its space, material, surroundings, function, and user, then it will gain personality and longevity.” We find out more about what makes this talented young designer tick…


You were one of the youngest designers to win our WIN Awards Furniture Category. What did winning the Award mean to you?

It’s great to be awarded from a panel of designers you really respect and admire so it was very humbling, and also very unexpected.

The judges said of Joist Table, ‘A really clever, simple and scalable design that unusually adds something fresh to the world of tables’. How far into the design process did you realise that you were creating something special that was both practical and beautiful?

I came to the design after my carpentry apprenticeship, it’s a similar construction method we used to build houses so scaled down architecture really so the practical side of it has always been there. I think when an object works well it’s always intriguing so I didn’t try to force the aesthetics in that sense, I just let the materials and construction do the talking.

You have designed a wide range of beautiful products, from a glass carafe with silver coins, a spherical light which splits into two halves, a pocket mirror designed to store small belongings, to tables made from marble offcuts. Where does your inspiration come from, and is there a product that you would like to tackle next?

My inspiration usually comes from trying to solve a problem, whether that be from a material or functional perspective, or just trying out new processes or materials to me. There are too many things I want to design and am working on lots at the minute so it depends what gets released next!

Your background is graphics, construction and design including restoring historic houses. How has this experience influenced your approach to product design today?

I think the time spent studying graphics has helped me give a more refined view, whilst being in construction allowed me to study and play with materials and how things go together, especially on an architectural scale, I think this also helps with race and proportion. It was never planned but I think the two complement each other quite well.

Moving on to you…How do you like to unwind after a hectic week, and where might we find you out of hours?

After a busy week it’s nice just to sort my life out! Do some exercise, have a nice meal, catch up with friends etc. Out of hours I’m usually in bed, at a gallery or playing football.

What would you like to own that you don’t already possess?

Tough one, there is quite a lot I don’t already possess. Furniture-wise maybe a Poul Kjaerholm PK22 chair.

Ballet Pendant Lamp

Posted on April 1, 2016 by Annalisa

Founded 20 years ago in Galicia, Spain, lighting company Arturo Álvarez specialises in handmade lamps for hospitality projects including lighting solutions for hotel chains including Hilton, Sheraton and Melia.

‘Ballet’ is a new design from the studio created in collaboration with product designer Héctor Serrano who together with Arturo Álvarez has produced this pretty light using SIMETECH®, a steel mesh covered with silicone.

SIMETECH®, gives the designer the flexibility to create graceful forms which bring the lamps to life, ‘its asymmetry makes its forms change depending on the point of view. … a constant dance of light and shadows”.

Ballet comes in white, grey, beige, yellow or orange.

www.arturo-alvarez.com

The WIN Awards 2015

Posted on December 11, 2015 by Annalisa

“Thank you so much for a fabulous night last night, great venue, and brilliant atmosphere. The whole experience from judging to the ceremony was exceptional!”
-Tracey Wiles, Partner at Make Architects

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street played host to the sixth annual World Interiors News Awards. A collaboration between the WIN Team and our headline sponsor, MOROSO, the main task was filling the space with enough stylish touches to match the show stopping, 360 degree views of the London skyline. Using a selection of MOROSO’s latest collections we added just the right amount of intimacy and Italian style to the venue, including a fabulous, cosy nook area set right in the midst of the verdant gardens.

We were thrilled to welcome our 250 guests; architects, designers, clients and developers flew in from all corners of the world to mingle, network and find out first-hand the winners. With bubbly, wine and delicious canapes from award winning caterers, Rhubarb, plus music ranging from Eartha Kitt to M83, the party atmosphere was soon in full swing. In what seemed like mere moments it was time for the awards presentation. The lovely Libby Potter, host of BBC2’s ‘The Money Programme’, was the face of this year’s awards bringing style, humour and an infectious energy to the proceedings. 16 categories and 24 Awards later, we reached the end of the WIN Awards 2015.

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

World Interiors News would like to thank our headline sponsor, Italian furniture design company, MOROSO; sponsor of the Residential Development category – CBRE Residential London; sponsor of the Residential Interiors category – GIRA; sponsors of the Hotels category – Alger-Triton and our partners for the Interior Practice awards – Aesop, who provided fabulous gift bags – an early festive treat for our attendees.

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

The event drew to a close at 11.30 but our guests continued partying into the night at the Sky Pod Bar. A perfect end to an inspiring and enriching year for interior design.

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

Photo Credit: Matt Chung


The Herbarium: Crabtree & Evelyn

Posted on October 15, 2015 by Annalisa

The Herbarium display for the Crabtree & Evelyn store at Regent Street was part of the RIBA Regent Street Window project collaboratively designed by the architects London Atelier and lighting designers Michael Grubb Studio. The display captures the memory of English Still rooms. A delicate combination of colourful and fascinating plants and flowers, tracing papers, copper and brass utensils, wooden surfaces of country kitchens and remedies, potions and cosmetic products were the inspiration for the project.

The display is a choreographed ensemble of herbs, plants and flowers preserved in panes of soap within a brass grid lit by an LED matrix.

A grid of 96 boxes or pigeon holes was made into 4 separate modules. 77 of these modules were caped with panes of soap with botanical compositions made from around 200 different species of plants common to English gardens cast into them. The piece is constructed from lightly stained plywood, frosted glass and brass angles that hold the soap panes in place and it rests on a plinth of 10mm steel. It is lit using 77 linear runs of LED lights which are connected to a computer to create a subtle, organically animated and surprising lighting effect.  The lighting matrix responds to the movements of the passers-by and translates them into disturbances and ripples into general pattern.

 

PATTERNITY x Paperless Post

Posted on October 8, 2015 by Annalisa

Innovative invitations company Paperless Post and London-based pattern pioneers PATTERNITY, the world’s only dedicated digital pattern archive, have collaborated on a graphic collection of ten modern invitations to help people celebrate life’s most memorable moments. The bold geometric patterns designed exclusively for this collection reflect the connections we experience as we relate to and bond with one another at occasions like dinner parties, birthdays, cocktail hours, and housewarmings.

To celebrate the collaboration’s launch, Paperless Post and PATTERNITY created an interactive installation called ‘Connected by Pattern’ as part of Somerset House’s ‘10 Designers in the West Wing’ exhibition during the London Design Festival. The immersive experience was comprised of a single room that is filled from floor to ceiling with the patterns designed for the collection to create a space that invites guests to explore, play, and connect with one another in the real world.

Paperless Post’s distinctive, customizable designs can be sent online, on paper, or with the free app for iOS. Previous Paperless Post collaborations include Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Kelly Wearstler, and Vera Wang.

Photo Credit: Luke Hayes

designjunction – Seminar Highlights

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Annalisa

The fifth edition of the critically-acclaimed designjunction is set to raise the bar this September by taking over two new central London venues; The College, formerly home to Central Saint Martins and the striking event space Victoria House B1, both located on Southampton Row (http://thedesignjunction.co.uk/london/vistor-information/)

Expect to encounter live workshops and flash-factories, one-off collaborations, hundreds of new product launches, inspiring installations, delectable food offerings and much more (http://thedesignjunction.co.uk/london/whats-on/)

This week, see highlights of the designjunction2015 seminar programme, which celebrates, explores and explains design’s new sense of mission. designjunction asks the question: do we really need another chair (or table or camera or shoe or phone)? The ‘Design for a Reason’ programme argues that yes we do, as long as it’s a beautiful solution to a real problem.

Sponsored by collaborative design studio molo, the Cochrane Theatre at the former Central Saint Martins building will be transformed with ‘Softwall’ backdrops and a canapy of ‘Cloud’ lighting.

SEE THE FULL SEMINAR PROGRAMME HERE

Keep up-to-date with the show on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

One show, two venues: The College, 12-42 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AP Victoria House, 37 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4DA

19.00: Keynote: Yves Behar and Tylko

Pioneering ‘design entrepreneur’ Yves Béhar, creator of fuseproject, joins forces with Polish ‘parametric design’ specialists Tylko, whose innovative app gives users power to customise their chosen domestic product. Could this be the future of design?

11.00 Transports of Delight

In association with Blueprint, Paul Priestman delivers the very latest thinking on stations and infrastructure.

14.00 Design Futures Come in Layers

Benjamin Hubert on his new direction, which has huge implications for design at large.

16.00 Technology, Tables and Lamps

Follow the journey of royal designer Terence Woodgate.

17.00 Life after Graduation

BIIDpresident Dan Hopwood and design education experts on the next step.

12.00 Working Beautifully

San Francisco’s Studio O+A joins Brooklyn’s Uhuru to discuss spaces that release endorphins.

14.30 Global Colour Trends

Carolina Calzada presents the shades and hues for the upcoming seasons.

16.00 Joined + Jointed

Samuel Chan explains the ethos behind his latest venture – Joined + Jointed.

 18.30 Fairphone 2

Bas van Abel, creator of Fairphone, on his latest sustainable, modular launch.

13.00 Interiors for Unicorns

Christian Hawley, founder of Nest.co.uk and Russell and Jordan of 2 Lovely Gays.

14.30 Remote Controlled Smoke and Colour

Hosted by luxury product designer Tiipoi.

Gyrecraft by Studio Swine

Posted on July 24, 2015 by Annalisa

‘Gyrecraft’ is a new project by radical design practice, Studio Swine, in which they have transformed plastic pollution found at sea into a collection of luxury objects.

The title derives from a combination of the word ‘Gyre’ (circular currents in an ocean basin where plastic pollution concentrates) and two distinct meanings of the word ‘Craft’: skill, dexterity and art – and also a vessel in which you sail.

The South Pacific and North Pacific

‘Gyrecraft’ was the focus of an expedition across the North Atlantic Ocean, undertaken by Studio Swine co-founders, Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami in the autumn of 2014. They embarked on a journey of 1000 nautical miles, collecting plastic on the way from Azores to the Canaries through the North Atlantic Gyre. In order to transform this plastic flotsam and jetsam into luxury, desirable objects, they invented and built their own Solar Extruder, which melts and extrudes sea plastic using the sun.

North Atlantic and Indian Ocean

In the swirling gyre, most of the plastics break down into tiny fragments that are spread over massive stretches of the ocean. In the Gyrecraft collection, Studio Swine uses sea plastic as a valuable and desirable material reminiscent of turtle shell and corals. The five objects represent the five major ocean gyres. The aim is to use plastic in a more artisan, innovative way, which adds value to an undesirable material while drawing attention to the prevalence of a largely invisible problem throughout the world’s oceans.

The project was also an exploration into maritime crafts, which utilize what the sea provides in every coastal or island culture around the world, each with its own unique identity. Traditionally, many of these crafts took place on board during long voyages as a way of making vital repairs or simply passing the time at sea. For example, inspired by ‘Scrimshaw’ a traditional maritime craft of the Azores islands -the art of etching drawings onto whale’s teeth – Sudio Swine has created a whale’s tooth made of plastic collected from the sea using the machine.

South Atlantic and a close up of Indian Ocean

Gyrecraft is the intersection of the dwindling and under-valued heritage of local maritime crafts and the rapid rise of sea plastic pollution. The project is currently on show at Selfridges & Co in its Ultra lounge gallery as part of the store’s Project Ocean campaign, which is focused on entirely removing plastic bags and single-use plastic water bottles from its store. The show is on until the end of August.