With projects spanning boutique hostels to glamorous bars, the judges worked hard to discover the shortlisted projects of the coveted awards. Addressing presentations from Italy to Iran, the judges were overwhelmed with the high quality of the projects and the implications the shortlist have for the future of interior design.
Our World Interiors News expert judges were: Susie Atkinson, Interior Designer; Nico Yannikou, Creative Director at Y2DC; Rabih Hage, Architect and Interior Designer; Lee Hallman, Head of Interiors at Foster & Partners.
The Social Kitchen 2012 by Alt Group in collaboration with Fisher Pykel showed the social aspects behind of restaurant design to re-evaluate the kitchen as the social hub in our everyday lives. Rabih Hage said, "This project shows other directions to design" with its interaction with customers and the ability to analyse the way people use the kitchen for future appliance, kitchen and restaurant design.
Kinaguwa by Gilles Bossier entered the shortlist for its strong mix of colours and the meaning behind the texture to create an atmosphere. Rabih Hage explains the project is "Ground-breaking and beautifully built. The mixture of walls and ceilings plus contrast of furniture makes the space special. When the people and the food are in there the space starts living."
Code Black Coffee by Zwei Interiors Architects instantly appealed to the judges with its personality and balance throughout, with a good use of materials such as timber juxtaposed with polished floors. Lee Hallman said the project was "very strong" and particularly admired "the grinder element and the industrial tone. Having the roasting process on display adds another dimension to the project". Susie Atkinson found the project emotive, "You can smell the coffee!"
Christopher's Restaurant by De Matos Raya represents an edge of glamour in the shortlist with its classical and sophisticated restaurant design. The "fabulous soft tone of lighting" was particularly commended by Nico Yannikou which suits the opera house setting and meets the brief well.
Gourmet Tea by Alan Chu was another social restaurant design shortlisted for the award and praised for its clever and intelligent functionality and aesthetic. Susie Atkinson described the project as a "great concept with an amazing design and function", noting the well-proportioned colourful interactive pull-out sections. "This is ground-breaking and a great example of functionality all designers should consider", summarised Rabih Hage.
Jones the Grocer by Landini Associates "bridges the gap between the industrial style and the higher-end glossy projects" for Rabih Hage. The grocer is a casual, take-away and private dining restaurant, with soft lighting used to distinguish sections of the 490 sq m space with glamour and a celebration of food.
The final project to be shortlisted for the Restaurant interiors category was The Movement Café by Studio Myerscough, which was commended by the panel for the interesting use of a brownfield site and the recycling of materials. This sustainable project "should be recognised for its refurbished and low technology design within a social context", explained Lee Hallman. Susie Atkinson noted, "I love the amphitheatre inside and the unused containers used for a base with holes cut in".
A special mention of Gerano Italian Restaurant by Hooba Design must be given for an impressive project within budget constraints. Advocate of the project Rabih Hage said:
"This is an accomplished project, a space that has been thought of from the environment to the construction detail. This is a very interesting project with irregular shapes which
are unique and special, particularly within the geographical context of Iran. It would be an experience to dine here."
Hammam Jazz Café by 4m Group initially dazzled the judges with its ceiling and clever use of materials. Lee Hallman explained the use of materials - such as mud - "is very rich with a strong texture and sets off the well-chosen furniture selection". The judges appreciated the thought that went into the project which made the Jazz café a firm choice in the shortlist.
Wasbar by Pinkeye charmed the judges with its unusual
upcycled multi-purpose bar and laundry format. Susie
Atkinson appreciated the concept and said, "I like this, it's
mad! I think this is so cool".
Erlkönig by ATP Sphere GmbH was chosen by the
judges for its use of the existing historical building to create
a warm and inviting bar within constraints. The graphics and
furniture selection used juxtaposed against arches and vaults
led the judges to shortlisting the project.
Electric by SINCE 1974 appealed to the judges for its
function as a penthouse bar, club and music venue in Paris.
Rabih Hage called the project his favourite in the shortlist
whilst Nico Yannikou said, "I love the textures in this and
how it functions as a restaurant in the day and a club in the
Northern Lights Bar by Minarc instantly wowed the
judges with its spectacular location within a natural
landscape. The judges unanimously deemed the project as
"amazing" with interesting interior design to balance with
the architecture and landscape.
The Sleepbox Hotel by Arch Group charmed the judges
with its clever concept and ability to impact the future of
hotel design for the commuter and traveller. Susie Atkinson
said, "this is very different and the clever concept fits all the
criteria we are looking for".
Natural Retreats by No Chintz entered the shortlist for
its product-driven and graphic design detailing. Susie
Atkinson explained, "It's simple, it is all about the natural
elements appropriate for the brief".
Generator Hostel by Ester Bruzkus Architekten was
described as "A slick, durable and practical hostel. There are
lots of clever details; the seats, the storage, the materials,
which will all sustain a large turnover of people" by Susie
Atkinson. The judges found the project consistent and
appreciated the refinement of the design within budget
South Place Hotel by Conran and Partners entered
the shortlist with art-focussed interiors. Rabih Hage said the
project "shows originality and there is a great connection
throughout with the fabrics". With unique artwork in every
room and sleek furniture choices, the project presented a
high-end entry into the shortlist.
The Alpina Gstaad by HBA showed an interesting use of
contemporary furniture against an old wooden Swiss chalet.
"The designers inherited a great building and the design
decision with the heritage background the forms the new
layer", said Rabih Hage.
Lijiang Pullman Hotel by Chen Chung Design (CCD)
took a spot in the shortlist for its comprehensive, consistent
and thorough design with an interesting variety of materials
and textures. Nico Yannikou said, "I like the textures, the
screens, the furniture. This is contemporary Asian design
made with classic Asian furniture."
The winners of the Restaurant, Bar and Hotel interiors
categories will be announced at the World Interiors News
Annual Awards ceremony at the Saatchi Gallery, London on