Category Archives: Workspace Interiors

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.

Westin Palace

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Megan

Rockwell Group Europe have recently completed the interior design for the new event spaces at the historic Palace Hotel, Madrid. Originally designed by Catalan architect Ferrés i Puig, the internal event space within the 20th century building have been given a touch of modern elegance in a bid to revive the hotel’s longstanding role as a hub for Madrid civic life.

A total area of 1,185 sq m was transformed by Creative Director Diego Gronda and his team. Worthy of note within these designs are several custom lighting features, including an LED lighting system which allows users of the “Circulo Palace” to choose between more than 250 colours, to set the mood of the room at the touch of an I-pad.

The new venue, Espacio Palace, complements the hotel’s existing meeting rooms, providing a distinctive spatial and aesthetic alternative. “We developed a design language that is at once respectful of the 100-year history of this magnificent building, yet offers a contemporary interpretation and accommodates the technological needs of guests and customers of the 21st century,” says Gronda. “This project has been especially important to us because the hotel plays such a prominent role in the life of Madrid, and it’s our first commission in our home city.”

Rockwell Group Europe invented a sophisticated, multi-purpose space that is adaptable to amaximum of private functions, such as business presentations, cocktail parties, wedding celebrations, dinners, and ballroom dances. The design is intended to capture the essence of the glamorous “Palace Brasserie” that occupied this location in the early 20th century while imbuing the space with a modern sensibility and firmly anchoring it in our time. Inspired by the landmark Neptune Fountain in front of The Westin Palace, Rockwell Group Europe integrated subtle design references to water throughout the new venue, connecting the hotel’s interior to its urban context and adding a sense of movement to custom furniture, lighting, and carpeting. Neutral and metallic tones lend the spaces a fresh and contemporary feel.  

The project nearly doubles the hotel’s banqueting capacity, making The Westin Palace the largest luxury hotel supplier for special events in Madrid. It is the culmination of Rockwell Group Europe’s interior redesign of the hotel’s most significant public spaces, which began in 2012 with the renovation of the dramatic rotunda lobby and lounge, long known for its spectacular stained glass dome, as well as four of the hotel’s meeting rooms.

WAN Workspace Awards closing Sunday

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Megan

With only a few days left to enter the WAN Workspace Interiors Award this is the last chance to enter your project into this high calibre competition!

We spend half of our lives at work and so it’s no surprise that workspace interior design is big business in the corporate world and beyond. As designers strive to make workspaces more engaging and ergonomically sound, the office environment is changing. It could even be said that a revolution is occurring in the way we think and behave whilst at work. For a greater insight into this subject, take a look at our Workspace Special report on how attitudes are changing.

Back to the WAN Workspace Interiors Awards and the latest entry, submitted by Hassell for their George Patterson Y & R project, Melbourne, Australia. The brief called for a ‘studio’ office environment that would reflect the creative team at George Patterson Y&R (and its sub-brands) while still being a practical modern office.

George Patterson Y & R

Various working areas were required, from presentation spaces and informal lounges to collaboration areas and formal workstations. Stripping this building back to its early 1900s glory – when it was viewed by Melburnians as an iconic boutique department store – was at the core of Hassell’s approach to this project.

Retail and commercial spaces are located on the first two levels with the office space above. The building itself is characterised by large open spaces and heritage architectural features such as Victorian columns, a glazed atrium on level three and ceiling heights ranging from three to six metres.

The key challenges were spreading a modest budget over a large floor area and designing within a space that was not originally intended as a workplace. One of the challenges of the project were the high ceilings – beautiful from a design perspective but problematic for consistent heating, cooling and lighting. Overcoming these issues meant removing decades of additions that we felt impeded the building’s appeal and inserting elements that stood free of the building fabric or architecture. This approach minimised expensive building works while at the same time allowing the heritage character of the interior to stand proud on its own.

George Patterson Y & R

The ‘elements’ were delivered in the form of a furniture-based series of responses to the client’s needs. One such response was using bookcases and defined floor finishes instead of walls to define spaces.

The result is a functional yet creative design that allows daylight to permeate the space without being inhibited by walls or other divisions and the removable furniture systems allow long-term flexibility within the space, ensuring minimal lifecycle costs. In addition, the GPY&R team were able to use the space while the work was in progress.

The Workspace Interiors Awards will be judged by an impressive panel of industry experts including Alice Fung, co-founder of 00:/ (zero zero) and Neil Usher, Group Property at Rio Tinto.

The deadline for entries is 30 September 2012 so be sure to enter your project online now. For further details please follow this link or contact Sarah by the end of the week.
Best of luck!

Design Festival coming to London

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Megan

The London Design Festival (LDF) kicks off next week and we are gearing up for a jam packed week full of inspirational interior design events, seminars and parties!

World Interiors News will cover the event from our base at Design Junction, where we will host a booth showcasing products from the shortlisted designers of the WAN Interiors Furniture and Accessories Award 2012. We are thrilled to have products including Karim Rashid’s Sancal Float Sofa, Eric Parry Architect’s Vigilia Bench, Vitamin’s Knot Lamp and the winner Naomi Paul’s OMI pendants range, including her XL GLÜCK pendant which is being shown for the first time.

During the LDF we will also traverse the capital to bring you a roundup of the best exhibitions and products that the week has to offer, out in our next edition of INSIDE.

West London’s 100% Design show takes place at Earl’s Court from 19 – 22 September, highlights of which include the International Pavilions, which will feature over 200 designers from around the world.

The capital’s East End will be abuzz with open studios, pop-up exhibitions and shows all radiating out from the central hub of Brick Lane where, from 20 – 23 September, Tent London takes over The Old Truman Brewery. Tent will promote many young British designers, such as recent graduate Hugh Leader-Williams and his award winning Spun furniture range, and the latest contemporary interior products in ceramics, textiles, materials, lighting, furniture and accessories.

Central London will host Design Junction from 19 – 23 September at the former Royal Mail sorting office on New Oxford Street. The event will showcase over 100 lighting and furniture designers including Artek, Benchmark, Pinch and Thonet.

With so much to see and do this year at LDF it’s worth pencilling in the whole weekend to explore the festival, and make sure that you come along and meet us at booth F60 at the Design Junction, The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1BA.

The London Design Festival runs from 14 – 23 September at various venues across the city. See www.londondesignfestival.com for full listings and events.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The future of the Workspace

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Megan

We have had a busy week preparing for the forthcoming edition of INSIDE, our monthly round-up of interior design news.

This month we focus on workspace interiors to coincide with the WAN Workspace Interiors Award. We uncover the secret behind the collaborative workspace ethos in a discussion with innovative architect and entrepreneur, Alice Fung. We have also visited “The Developing City” exhibition at the Walbrook Club in London, an exciting vision of the capital in 2050, to join the debate on the future of the office. To make sure you don’t miss out on these and many other stories, simply follow this link and subscribe to the INSIDE newsletter.

The WAN Workspace Interiors Awards are now open and we have already received many interesting entries. They range from corporate headquarters to shared workspaces that encourage a sense of community. The Microsoft offices in Santa Fe, Mexico covers an area of 7500m2 and combines vibrant colours with a variety of textures and materials to create an engaging office environment. The penthouse seventh floor of the building contains the general reception, dining area, meeting rooms, auditorium and waiting area in a warm open plan space. The use of colour is at the heart of the interior design and has been used to evoke emotions, express personalities and stimulate the association of architecture with the brand.

The WAN Workspace Interior Awards will be judged by a panel of major industry players including Neil Usher of Rio Tinto, Alice Fung from  00:/ (zero zero) and Hub Westminster and many others. If you have a project that you would like to enter you can do so on our website and also check out the competition on our Commercial projects page.

INSIDE that will land in your inbox next week, and shortly thereafter you will receive our report on “The Developing City.” Let us know what you think!