RONALD LU & PARTNERS: DEFINE YOUR NEW LIFESTYLE EXPERIENCE
RONALD LU & PARTNERS A HUMAN TOUCH | HASSELL CENTURY OLD WHARF TRANSFORMED WITH SYDNEY’S HOTTEST NEW HOTEL SCHIAVELLO FEEL THE RHYTHM | BRAND VAN EGMOND BLING IT ON | ROLF BENZ STYLISH SHIFTS | NIRO GRANITE WONDER WOOD
JUN - SEP | 2016
SINGAPORE | HONG KONG | MALAYSIA | INDONESIA | THAILAND
CELEBRATING THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE Influenced by the heightened importance of quality, craftsmanship and well-being, we want luxury to work a lot harder than an expensive object that takes up space in the household.
uch has been said and written about luxury. Although conventionally associated with physical goods in the past, luxury, at this stage, has come to mean different things for different people. Moving beyond the notion of merely owning ‘nice stuff’, we are increasingly seeking out rare experiences that add something positive to our lives. Influenced by the heightened importance of quality, craftsmanship and wellbeing, we want luxury to work a lot harder than an expensive object that takes up space in the household. And while that doesn’t necessarily entail relinquishing the finer things in life altogether, it does mean that we do expect luxury to affect us and even transform our lives for the better. Armed with this awareness, designers are constantly working towards instigating quality experiences through their creations as opposed to statement-making objects and spaces that grant users short-term satisfaction. In this third issue of H+R, we celebrate the innovators and creative minds that lend their talents towards the ‘new luxury’. Featuring more stories on upmarket architecture and interiors than ever before, the magazine is fast becoming an acknowledged print platform for the most impressive premium projects in the region.
As we continue on our exciting journey, I look forward to showcasing more talented design agencies and personalities in future editions. Speaking of stellar firms, I’d personally like to thank Ronald Lu & Partners for contributing to this issue. Emphasising culture, community and style through their high-end projects, this exceptional Hong Kong-based firm epitomises what we seek to champion in the magazine’s pages. In addition, I’m equally grateful to the extraordinary brands that lent their presence to our editorials, thus adding a luxe touch to H+R. I hope these pages inspire our readers to rethink what it means to truly live an enriched life via design. Remember, you’re worth it. Kenneth Khu firstname.lastname@example.org
ROLF BENZ 384 by ROLF BENZ
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OFFICE CONCEPT V9N2 JUNE EDITION 2016
THE EVOLUTION OF WORKPLACE DESIGN
CULTURAL PARTNERSHIPS TELSTRA IMPLEMENTS FUTURE WAYS OF WORKING TO EMPOWER EMPLOYEES WITH FLEXIBILITY AND MOBILITY. SPACE TO THINK SAP DESIGNS INNOVATIVE SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR ENTERPRISE COMPANIES. FOR THEIR OFFICES IN SEOUL, KOREA, THEY WANTED TO TOTALLY RETHINK THE SPACE AND CREATE INTERIORS THAT WOULD FOSTER COLLABORATION AND GROUP WORKING – IT HAD TO BE A PLACE WHERE THEIR BEST MINDS COULD GET TOGETHER WITH CLIENTS AND CREATE. FIND OUT MORE AT ... ... WWW.OFFICECONCEPT.ASIA/DIGITAL-EDITION/
ZLIQ ISLAND Designed by Marcel Wanders MOOOI
ETTORE Designed by Antonio Citterio FLEXFORM
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SWAN SOFA Designed by Arne Jacobsen FRITZ HANSEN
ARTHUR Designed by William Brand BRAND VAN EGMOND
team & partner
editorial MANAGING EDITOR Kenneth Khu DEPUTY EDITOR Pang Yin Ying EDITOR Christine Lee design ART DIRECTOR Eric Phoon SENIOR DESIGNER Sandy Liew contributors WRITERS Adele Chong, Dorothy Lung ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN Ronald Lu & Partners
credits PHOTOS: Except otherwise noted, all photos and drawings are owned by Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Ltd. acknowledgement COVER: Constellation Club, Sirius ICC Chengdu, China.
sales & marketing SENIOR SALES MANAGER Edward Chen SALES EXECUTIVE Kelvin Ong publication PUBLISHER Kenneth Khu enquiries ADVERTISING email@example.com SUBMIT EDITORIAL firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTOR email@example.com SUBSCRIPTION firstname.lastname@example.org website www.hrdesign.asia | www.kennethmedia.asia contact KENNETH MEDIA SDN BHD 1002 Block D Tiara Kelana Jalan SS7/19 Kelana Jaya 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia. T: +603 7887 4525 printer PERCETAKAN IMPRINT (M) SDN BHD No.538, Jalan 20 Taman Perindustrian Ehsan Jaya, Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. permit number KDN PP18850/09/2015(034307) MCI(P) 116/01/2016 magazine H+R | HOSPITALITY+RESIDENTIAL is published three times a year and is circulated throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. copyright notice All rights, including copyright, in the content of this publication are owned by Kenneth Media Sdn Bhd, Malaysia. You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store in any medium, transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change any in any way the content of this publication for any other purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Kenneth Media Sdn Bhd, Malaysia.
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mélange | product
ROUND THE BEND
A PLUSHY AFFAIR
Embodying the ultimate repose, the Rolf Benz 384 is something of a personal oasis. Flaunting piped seams and a rounded shape that channels all kinds of fuzzy thoughts about cozying up with a book on your lonesome, this brilliantly designed armchair is all about catching up on me-time. Ideal in transitional spaces or open concept rooms, a matching footstool bumps up the 384’s comfort level a notch.
Designed by Antonio Citterio for Italian furnituremaker Flexform, the lavishly envisioned Ettore was made explicitly with a luxuriant sit-down in mind. A composite of the finest materials, everything about this sumptuous sectional sofa celebrates the art of lounging. Clad in leather or hide and fitted with down-filled cushions, the Ettore oozes old school elegance while giving users a taste of La Dolce Vita. Go on – you’re worth it.
Another recognisable classic by Fritz Hansen, the Swan sofa has curves in all the right places. Simultaneously graceful and robust, this elegant number is truly worthy of its feathered namesake. Its unforgettable silhouette owes much to the materials and design processes that give it shape. Perched on a satin polished aluminum shaker base, a leather or fabric cladding is instrumental to the Swan’s look and feel, as is the cold-cured foam upholstery that brings about its iconic contours.
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The enfant terrible of contemporary design does it again. Notorious for his irreverent use of materials, Dutch designer Marcel Wanders has concocted another brow-raising creation for his design house Moooi. Wanders’ delightful spin on two seemingly estranged elements – Delft porcelain and a cable knit jumper or sweater – the quirky Boutique Delft Blue Jumper sofa upsets the apple cart by turning the spotlight on this cozy yet unlikely pairing.
Launched in 2001 for the 7th Istanbul Biennal, the Flower bench continues to cause a stir for its simple yet indelibly fetching design. Created by award-winning Japanese firm SANAA for Vitra, this petal-shaped piece features a slender centre, allowing three people to be seated at one time. Whether you’re in the mood for intimate conversations or quiet downtime away from everybody else, this stylised blossom makes you look fantastic doing either.
While no man is an island, this winsome sofa arrangement certainly makes the idea an appealing one. Those with a penchant for seeking refuge within the cozy confines of their living space will surely be overjoyed with this sofa-cum-daybed. Comprising two Zliq sofas facing one another, this resplendent lounger calls to mind lazy afternoons in and playful pyjama parties. Change up the mood with removable coverings ranging from arredo leather to Jacquard textures.
mélange | product
LEAN ON IN
STYLISH BY NATURE
Like just about every other product from Flexform’s repertoire, the Helen was designed as a paean to everyday living. Procured from the drawing board of Italian design great Antonio Citterio and launched in 2013, this shapely lounger makes waves thanks to its utterly modern silhouette. Boasting striking lines and exquisite materiality, Citterio’s stunning take on casual ‘hanging out’ seating is given an upscale edge with the luxe inclusion of fine handwoven leather.
This sturdy dining table brings contemporary cool to domestic environments with its impressive tabletop and solid steel side pedestals. At once rustic and sleekly modern, the Rolf Benz 969 is a visually compelling number that celebrates the beauty of natural imperfections. Made from solid oak, the knot- and crack-rendered surface has been oiled and brushed prior to being sealed with synthetic resin, positively emanating Rolf Benz’s signature edge.
With a penchant for combining strong design with traditional Italian craftsmanship, Flexform’s gets the formula right with the pretty yet utilitarian Piuma range. Spotlighting understated aesthetics, this finely crafted night table by Antonio Citterio makes life a breeze with smooth, sliding drawers and a durable, robust make. A stark contrast to the Piuma’s warm wood finish, the aluminum feet or base comes in a wide range of elegant finishes.
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A FUN TWIST
If their smart-looking furniture pieces are any indication, British husband and wife designers Doshi Levien know a thing or two about gorgeous textures and innovative shapes. Boldly graphic, their Geometrics fabric range for Kettal draws on the duoâ€™s conjoined sense for fantastic forms. Designed to complement the materials, textures and colours that define Kettal collections, the black-and-white range features five thrilling patterns that work together in different combinations.
The Cala is a present-day take on the Emanuelle, an iconic rattan-wrought number that was once an emblem of glamorous 1970s style. The magic of this high-backed design lies in the open weave rope frame that provides a latticed window for visual privacy while an underlying connection to nature is also implied through the material. Perched on teak legs or an aluminum pedestal base, the Cala is an ideal fit for indoor or outdoor areas.
Characterised by its low height, plush leather upholstery and refined shape, the PK80 daybed from Fritz Hansen is a longtime classic from the Danish brand. Designed in 1957 by Poul Kjaerholm, this sophisticated piece calls to mind swanky offices and chic gallery settings at first glance. Endowed with a sculptural look and feel, the PK80 can be found in a multiplicity of high-end spaces, ranging from posh private homes to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
mélange | product
OH, GLOW ON
PUT A RING ON IT
The most eye-catching part of this pendant lamp from Copenhagen-based lighting manufacturer Louis Poulsen is undeniably its beautifully patterned shade. Made of spun aluminum and finished in pristine white or multicoloured foils, the honeycomb-like detailing of the LC Shutters lamp is all the more dramatised when illuminated. A highlight is the opal diffuser that surrounds the light source, ensuring for a glare-free glow and ample ambience in any given space.
A winning combination of prim and sass, the Bell lamp by Moooi hits the right pitch with fans of Marcel Wanders’ work. Taking inspiration from the decorative bow found in little girls’ locks, Wanders also pays tribute to the bell - a symbol of communication in earlier times - with this thoughtful light design. Like its namesake, the lamp was envisioned as a focal point for warm gatherings and fun-filled events.
Obsessed with the hemisphere – widely regarded as a pure geometric shape – Italian design great Vico Magistretti spent nearly thirty years deliberating over the possibilities of the form. What resulted was the Sonora, an iconic pendant lamp that notably made its debut in 1976. Over 25 years and several variants later, Magistretti’s new and improved light design continues to inspire awe by embodying grace, simplicity and cutting edge technology.
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GOOD WILL HUNTING
This on-trend pendant lamp is boldly whimsical. Merging hunting lodge miscellanea with posh contemporary design, the Superordinate Antler light has been described by designer Jason Miller as ‘nature made better’. Featuring a ceramic structure derived from deer antler molds, this unusual chandelier is a surefire conversation starter at any dinner party. The antlers also lend an additional decorative element by giving rise to playful shadows when the light is in use.
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but they can also be a light designer’s main source of inspiration, as proven by Dutch studio Brand van Egmond. Imbuing their stainless steel creation with the look of expensive jewelry, the designers also conceived the piece as a nod to Amsterdam’s illustrious reputation as the ‘city of diamonds’. Exuding romance and a minimalist sensibility, this arresting hanging light is every bit as glamorous as its namesake.
Designed by Raimond Puts for Dutch design house Moooi, the Zafu chandelier celebrates star-filled nights and complex mathematics in equal measure. Its intricate construction, featuring two stainless steel grid saucers - one inside the other separated at each junction by a transparent LED doubling as an isolator - took Puts years to perfect. Made for the thinking man, this dimmable light also makes a statement as radiant installation art.
mélange | product - lighting sculpture
IN GOOD FORM Brand Van Egmond’s flamboyant lighting works often appear in stark contrast to the Dutch studio’s minimalist output. The Fractal Cloud chandelier is no exception. A playful nod to organic cloud formations, this sculptural design boasts a free-form framework that gives rise to eye-catching asymmetrical shapes. Available in stainless steel, brass or bronze, this uniquely wrought piece beautifully underscores the analogy of a silver lining for every dark cloud.
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mélange | project highlight
CENTURY OLD WHARF TRANSFORMED WITH SYDNEY’S HOTTEST NEW HOTEL 24
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SYDNEY’S CENTURY OLD WHARF IN ICONIC WOOLLOOMOOLOO IS NOW HOME TO SYDNEY’S HOTTEST NEW HOTEL, OVOLO WOOLLOOMOOLOO, FOLLOWING A BOLD TRANSFORMATION DESIGNED TO APPEAL TO A NEW GENERATION OF GUESTS.
ABOVE: The central spine containing the Reception and Lo Lounge was transformed with pavilions and intimate zones enticing people to visit and linger.
“BUZZING BARS AND RESTAURANTS AND EMERGING RETAIL OPTIONS ARE GREAT FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS AND HOTEL GUESTS ALIKE, AND ANCHOR THE HOTEL WITHIN ITS SURROUNDS, WHILE INSIDE, THE WELCOMING PUBLIC SPACES AND FRESH COLOUR SCHEME CONTRAST WITH THE DELIBERATELY ATMOSPHERIC GUEST ROOMS, BUILDING DRAMA AND INTEREST”
fter the success of Ovolo Laneways hotel in Melbourne, international design practice HASSELL once again partnered with Ovolo’s Hong Kong-based operators to realise its vision and help bring the energetic lifestyle brand to life for its latest Australian venture. HASSELL Senior Associate Matthew Sheargold says the newly launched hotel brings the best of modern design to the stunning harbourside location. “With the Ovolo guest at the heart of the design process, Ovolo Woolloomooloo embodies everything the brand stands for – young, energetic, cheeky, accessible and effortless,” Matthew said. “This is evident at every touchpoint, from the employees’ uniforms through to the most pervasive design decisions.” Ovolo represents a collection of hotels that connect people with their locations, and combine their personality with the character of the immediate environment. In this case, it’s the century old Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo, close to Sydney’s city centre. Matthew says the brand new hotel capitalises on the brilliant light, harbour, and cosmopolitan setting, transforming the historic wharf into a place that people can inhabit and truly appreciate. “To inject vitality into the hotel, we first needed to transform an uninviting wind tunnel along the vast central spine of the existing hotel,” he said. “We broke the space into smaller zones and inserted pavilions, creating an environment that’s more intimate – more Ovolo – and celebrates the building’s heritage. Pockets of sunlight and tree-filled spaces within the pavilions encourage a variety of uses, which entices people to visit and linger.” Ovolo Woolloomooloo creates a missing link within its broader precinct giving people reasons to visit – and return. “Buzzing bars and restaurants and emerging retail options are great for local residents and hotel guests alike, and anchor the hotel within its surrounds, while
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LEFT: Natural light interplays with feature lighting throughout creating a warm and inviting environment.
TOP RIGHT: The interior design reflects the vibrancy, youth and energy associated with the Ovolo brand.
BOTTOM: The Lounge Pavilion provides open seating areas and quiet zones with furniture by designers Rafa Garcia, Poul M. Volther and Joergen Baekmark.
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THIS PICTURE: The character of the century old Finger Wharf provides the perfect backdrop for the welcoming public spaces and fresh, vibrant colour scheme.
“WITH THE OVOLO GUEST AT THE HEART OF THE DESIGN PROCESS, OVOLO WOOLLOOMOOLOO EMBODIES EVERYTHING THE BRAND STANDS FOR – YOUNG, ENERGETIC, CHEEKY, ACCESSIBLE AND EFFORTLESS”
inside, the welcoming public spaces and fresh colour scheme contrast with the deliberately atmospheric guest rooms, building drama and interest,” Matthew said. “The rooms are truly unique, boasting generous in-room inclusions, custom lighting and locally commissioned artworks.” Matthew says today’s hotel guests expect to seamlessly switch between work, rest and play – and Ovolo responds with the right mix of technology and amenities. “We’ve drawn on our expertise in workplace and hospitality design to make Ovolo the Australian benchmark in meeting the needs of a new generation of guests who want to work flexibly across a wide range of settings within the hotel,” Matthew said. “To give people the opportunity to switch off when they need, we’ve provided ample settings for them to gather and connect with each other. The revived space is very Sydney, and very Ovolo, and a welcome new international destination for travellers.” Ovolo Woolloomooloo is the latest in a string of hotels designed by HASSELL including The Club in Singapore, which opened in late 2015. The refurbishment of the iconic 1900s Colonial heritage building in one of Singapore’s busiest areas is sensitive to its history while embracing its neighbourhood’s current incarnation as a vibrant Club Street dining and nightlife precinct. The boutique hotel designed by Singapore design studio Distillery, now part of HASSELL, has been reimagined as a collection of five food and beverage venues and 20 guest rooms – each with their own unique style.
TOP RIGHT: The minimalist Ultra Loft Suite features hues of Moonlight, Hyacinth and Cantaloupe.
mélange | light and elegant table
FEEL THE RHYTHM DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE MULTIPLE LIVING FORMATS, SCHIAVELLO’S BRILLIANTLY VERSATILE TANGO TABLE GIVES USERS THE FREEDOM TO IMPROVISE TO THEIR HEARTS’ CONTENT.
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THIS PICTURE: Used as a standalone unit or layered to achieve larger surfaces, Tango is suited for virtually any space.
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THIS PICTURE: Make party-time a colourful affair with a nifty mix-and-match composition.
“TANGO’S GEOMETRIC AESTHETIC PROVIDES AN ELEGANT ARRANGEMENT AND CAN BE NESTED TOGETHER TO CREATE LAYERS AND IMPART VISUAL RHYTHM TO THE ENVIRONMENT IT RESIDES.” - IVAN WOODS
ustralian furniture-maker Schiavello is renowned for sensibly designed products that feature just the right blend of function and aesthetics. Proffering flexibility and good looks, the newly launched Tango side table adheres perfectly to the brand’s ‘Anything is possible’ ethos. Defined by coordinated movement and improvisation, the classic Tango dance style serves as the main inspiration for this elegant piece by long-time Schiavello collaborator Ivan Woods. Simple yet endlessly utilitarian, Tango is the ultimate godsend when it comes to effortlessly changing up one’s living space at a moment’s notice. Lightweight and compact, Tango’s portability is unrivalled. Its diminutive format makes it an absolute cinch to move around, and is available in two top sizes and heights. Its modern geometric framework flatters just about any space; pretty up your home, café, office or retail space with a standalone piece or achieve larger surfaces with an artful arrangement of multiple tables. The option of creating layers by nestling one unit over another gives rise to a feeling of visual rhythm, imbuing spaces with movement in addition to function. Made with 5 mm aluminum, Tango also hits all the right notes with a varied selection of tabletops - choose from metal powder coat, hand-stitched leather hide or American oak veneer finished in natural or walnut stain and an assortment of colourful washes dreamt up to appease every aesthetic preference. Slim and elegant, Tango’s distinctive appearance owes much to its angled wire base. At a mere 8 mm, the table’s support is remarkably sturdy, making it a must-have for indoor and outdoor social events. Whether you are chatting with guests on the porch or entertaining them poolside, Tango is the ideal party companion.
TOP RIGHT: Create your own multi-tiered coffee table by bringing together an assortment of varyingly sized units.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Designed for indoor and outdoor use, Tango can be used as a fetching support for portable gardens.
mélange | premium appliances
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THIS PICTURE: The Invisible Kitchen fascinated visitors to Milan with its vision of tomorrow’s kitchen.
KITCHEN OF THE FUTURE PULLED CROWDS
MIELE DELIGHTED WITH DOUBLE ACT IN MILAN
ore than 23,000 visitors to Milan witnessed Miele’s vision of the kitchen of the future; The Invisible Kitchen. The Miele event was considered one of the best productions during the Milan Design Week and met with a hugely positive reception on social media. Parallel to this event, Miele presented new products at the Eurocucina trade show site. The highlights: handleless built-in appliances from the ArtLine series and its new G 6000 EcoFlex dishwashers. The Invisible Kitchen represented Miele’s premiere in the Milan designer district of Zona Tortona: A ring-shaped installation with a diameter of 8 m weighing several tonnes. Two kitchen chefs prepared a 3-course menu, supported by a virtual cooking assistant. The latter compiled menus, weighed ingredients, supplied tips on preparation and on a sustainable approach to food. The assistant took into consideration the user’s level of cooking expertise and only intervened when things threatened to go wrong. Above all, the objective of the event was to fuel inspiration: ‘The Invisible Kitchen brings a new sense of creativity to the game. Cooking once again becomes exciting and is fun’, summarises Dr Axel Kniehl, Executive Director with the Miele Group, responsible for Marketing and Sales. This kitchen is invisible in the sense that no single appliance is given prominence of place; instead, the focus is squarely on the needs of users. The technology behind The
TOP: Miele ovens entirely without handles: The new ArtLine series of built-in kitchen appliances at the Miele booth at the Milan trade show
Invisible Kitchen stems from research scenarios and projects under the auspices of the Miele Design Centre. The response on the Internet and in social media was both positive and striking (theinvisiblekitchen. miele.com). On Facebook alone, The Invisible Kitchen attracted more than a million visitors. Parallel to the kitchen and furniture fair in Milan, the ‘Milan Design Week’, reflecting events at a distance to the trade show site, has established itself as a venue in its own right. In more than 1200 events at downtown locations, companies and designers presented the latest trends and visions. Of these, 16 were nominated for the ‘Milan Design Award’, including Miele. From its vision of tomorrow’s kitchen to new products and features on display at the trade show: The focus of Miele’s attention was the ArtLine series of built-in appliances. Ovens and combination units get by admirably without handles, allowing the even more aesthetic integration of appliances into cabinetry. These products, also available in Graphite Grey, are due to go on sale from this summer. The new dishwashers from the G 6000 EcoFlex series are available with immediate effect. They excel in terms of further improvements in energy efficiency, their 58-minute short programme producing top-class cleaning results, and a basket design offering even greater convenience.
mélange | timeless furniture
KETTAL 50 YEARS OF OUTDOOR FURNITURE 36
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TOP: Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milano 2016
n 1966, Manuel Alorda began Kettal and thus, has been designing and manufacturing outdoor furniture for the past 5 decades. While Kettal’s predominate material source is aluminum, it has not been without a combination of skilled engineering and creativity to manufacture the innovative pieces that contain a level of esthetics while serving functionally and durability. It wasn’t until 1994 when Kettal began working with well renowned product designers, such as Oscar Tusquets. In more recent days, the in-house design team known as Kettal Studio, has collaborated with designers such as Jasper Morrison, Patricia Urquiola, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Doshi Levien, Hella Jongerius, and Rodolfo Dordoni.
TOP & MIDDLE RIGHT: Kettal 50 Years and Kettal Cala designed by Doshi Levien
BOTTOM LEFT: Kettal Riva designed by Jasper Morrison
BOTTOM RIGHT: Terrain Fabrics designed by Doshi Levien and Roll club chair designed by Patricia Urquiola
meeting | carpets inter
DREAM WEAVER Founded in 1956 to preserve China’s centuries-old carpetmaking traditions, Tai Ping Carpets is a Hong Kong based luxury carpet manufacturer and global leader that operates on six continents with showrooms around the world, creating bespoke contemporary floor coverings for many of the most prestigious interior projects worldwide. In addition to making carpets to order, Tai Ping has a rich resource of designs dating back through the history of the company spanning from classical traditional styling to more contemporary collections and collaborations which are regularly updated. Tai Ping Carpets also launched 1956 by Tai Ping, a division created to service the hospitality and leisure industry. Today, 1956 by Tai Ping has built a reputation as a creator of high-quality, thoughtfully designed custom carpets, such as woven Axminster, hand tufted and broadloom tufted carpets, and carpet tiles. From the top down, Tai Ping Carpets is a company with a clear message: it’s about quality, it’s about design and service. H+R spoke with Sanjay Chauhan, Senior Design Manager at Tai Ping Carpets, who also provides support for the 1956 by Tai Ping brand, to find out about his work and inspiration, the art of carpet design, carpet trends in the hospitality sector as well as 1956 by Tai Ping’s strategic innovations. 38
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Sanjay Chauhan Senior Design Manager Tai Ping Carpets, Bangkok, Thailand.
“THE VAST DIVERSITY OF THE HOSPITALITY INTERIORS WE WORK WITH ACROSS THE GLOBE CHALLENGES ANY PERCEPTION OF WHAT IS A GOOD COLOUR TO USE. TO TAILOR OUR PRODUCTS TO THE ARCHITECT AND DESIGNERS VISION IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING.”
Why did you decide to pursue this specific field of design over others? On completion of a one-year Foundation course in Art and Design which focused on many disciplines and materials, I decided to follow a path focusing on surface pattern and textile design. An introduction to carpets during my university course gave me an interest in putting together my passion for drawing and the tactile nature of working with textiles and fibres to create works of art. As a university student, we had the opportunity to exhibit our artwork at the Domotex show in Hanover, Germany. I was offered a position with an independent design studio where I was able to finish the remainder of my degree course and step straight into employment within this design studio. This studio specialised in carpet for global hospitality in print, woven and tufted constructions. It was here where I saw my first design creations turn into commercial products, which was very rewarding. I was also given the opportunity to train as a junior designer alongside some incredibly talented and experienced people whom I really have to thank for a great start to my career in floorcoverings. Describe your earliest interest in design. Growing up, our family business was a letterpress print workshop where I was exposed to many types of paper, inks, layouts and typography — before computers came into play! We made business stationery and wedding invitations. It was a lot of manual work which taught me the art of creating something beautiful with minimal amount of materials. A school visit to the Tate Gallery in London gave me a love of Art, particularly in paintings. When I was young, I travelled south and re-visited the galleries and museums of London frequently and followed a path to study art and design and pretty much ignored all the other subjects! Describe a typical day for you at Tai Ping. I haven’t had one yet! Managing the studio throws different challenges at me every day, and from all corners of the world. One day we’re working on a complex convention centre design in the US, trying to fit a complex design into a more complex building shape. The next day I’m working on a new product to meet the challenges of an outdoor gaming hall in Australia, or helping to create a unique design for a historical renovation in Old Saigon. The global nature of our business means we have to communicate across the world through different time zones and cultures, which makes every day different.
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LEFT: The design is Botanical Flourish from 1956 by Tai Ping’s Revive Collection, customized for the venue.
“INSPIRATIONAL COLLECTIONS COUPLED WITH TOOLS LIKE OUR RE:SOURCE LIBRARY AND SOME OF THE NEW 3D VISUALISATION AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENTS WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON AIM TO MAKE US FASTER, STRONGER IN THE MARKET AND BETTER PLACED TO SERVE OUR CLIENTS.”
The 1956 Design studio handles the creative process of turning our client’s ideas into reality. We also undertake all technical aspects such as planning and shaping how the designer’s concept will be made and how it all fits together on site. We have a strong network of design support located in cities worldwide and a central support function here in Bangkok. My day involves many different activities from advising the design team on particular projects, how best to fit the design brief to the product and environment and helping to communicate and translate a design ‘brief’ to a team of designers. In addition, I review finished carpets at the factory as well as develop new products and finishing techniques. As the nature of our business is custom, which means that no two projects are the same, most of the time no two days are the same! What has been your greatest learning experience in the past ten years? I have been very lucky in my career in that I have worked with some of the most experienced and talented carpet designers in our industry. Working with market leading organisations means that there is a wealth of knowledge and experience to be gained from the people I have had the fortune to work alongside. In my early career I sat alongside designers who started their careers in the 1940’s and who had so much to share and great stories to tell about the good old days! I have also had the unique opportunity to work and learn in so many different locations across the world. From the small town of Ilkley in Yorkshire to Kidderminster, which is the carpet centre of the UK, to London, to India, to Los Angeles, to Washington DC, back to England and now in Bangkok, again working with and meeting so many great people along the way. There is always something new to learn.
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MIDDLE LEFT: Gain Exclusive Access to 1956 by Tai Ping’s Online Design Archive.
Tai Ping is a unique learning experience where one company physically produces so many different constructions of floorcoverings. Luckily for me, all of this is produced at the location where I am based, from artificial grass to car interior flooring. Tai Ping also creates broadloom tufted, woven Axminster, hand–tufted, machine–tufted, and Axminster carpet tile designs. I’m able to learn and design around the benefits of each type in an environment which allows us to experiment and merge technologies together to produce some very unique floorcovering solutions. Our ‘Accent Textures’ offering allows us to cross pollinate different techniques from each product offering to create new and interesting looks, which would not be possible without having the necessary skills and machinery in one location. A strong ethos of innovation within the R&D side of Tai Ping means we are able to play with the tools we have to bring something different to the table. Did you face any challenges in designing for textiles that you didn’t expect? If so, what were they? The greatest challenges are usually faced during the technical phases of a project, such as understanding how the whole jig-saw puzzle is going to be designed, manufactured, and installed or matching the designer’s vision to complex building shapes, curved corridors, complex angles and turns. These challenges interest and excite me. What makes our products truly unique is that the floor can be treated as a blank canvas and crafted to create a work of art. What colour, in your opinion, is unfailingly flattering on a carpet? The vast diversity of the hospitality interiors we work with across the globe challenges any perception of what is a good colour to use. To tailor our products to the architect and designers vision is where it gets interesting. Every interior has different challenges and needs with respect to aesthetics, ambience and performance, just as every designer has a different vision and idea for that specific property. From a personal point of view, one of the most difficult colours to use in carpet is neutral grey. But used with care it can have the greatest impact. The nature of grey tones in carpet and their ability to be ‘influenced’ by other colours that surround them make them both very challenging to use and rewarding when the right balance is hit. Colour selection is a fine art which needs to be handled with delicacy, subtlety and sensitivity. Refinement of colour selection is often more important than throwing in a huge array of colours and, in my opinion, less is definitely more. With Axminster and hand-made carpets, we have
the added ability to develop or match any custom colour outside of our regular colour boxes too. What trends are most prevalent in carpet design in the hospitality sector in Asia today? I’m always very sceptical about the word ‘trends’. In hospitality it covers such a wide gamut of ideas and visual references globally, it’s like trying to measure an emotion. We look at fashion which is very fast paced and art around the world, which is very diverse. At Tai Ping, we look outside of the interior arena to inspire our customer. We try to find ideas that they might not have come across and which we ourselves find inspiring and interesting. We’ve recently partnered up with a reverse graffiti artist, a creative director from an international fashion house and a niche fine art company in LA which specialises in artwork for wrapping paper. Hospitality interiors need to have a vision that lasts longer than most fashion trends, which can be very short lived. One change I’ve recently seen which is very welcome, is the move away from generic cookie cutter type brand identity of the ‘international class’ hotels. A move to more localised influence and cultural traditions to give a feel of the identity of the country, city or town that you’ve just travelled to is what makes a great experience to me. As in many aspects of life today, experiential elements are becoming more important than pure aesthetics, which is especially true for hospitality. What is 1956 by Tai Ping doing in terms of carpet innovation? Accent textures for one, which combines different techniques and materials from all the different products we specialise in to make unique textural hand- finished variations to traditional machinemade products. Having many different products made under the same roof gives us the unique opportunity to cross-pollinate skills, materials, expertise and ideas to create unique products. We can tailor our offering with a wide range of options for every space we work on. Then there is Re:Source, our newly launched online catalogue of designs. This is a tool to help our clients be more in control of the design process. It helps speed up the process and provides a more easily accessible source of design inspiration right at our client’s desktop, with the added backup and expertise of our network of global design and sales support. This allows us to highlight new design ideas and collaborations very effectively to a wider audience. It also includes functions to collaborate and share design ideas faster between our teams and with our customers across the globe.
Speed is everything in today’s market; anything we can do to streamline the process makes it easier for our clients. Carpet design is traditionally a very lengthy time consuming artistic process. Inspirational collections coupled with tools like our Re:Source library and some of the new 3D visualisation and software developments we have been working on aim to make us faster, stronger in the market and better placed to serve our clients. From your point of view, is carpet design an art or a science? It is most definitely an art. The basic principles of carpet manufacturing have not changed in many years. The aesthetics have the most impact. Of course the science of construction and materials is what makes an Axminster or hand-made carpet exceptionally luxurious to walk on and give it the long lasting looks and performance needed. The art of colour selection, texture and the traditional drawing skills of the artist are crucial to differentiate something from being just a mediocre composition to something truly beautiful. Since the floor is the largest patterned surface in most hospitality environments, it gives us the biggest canvas to work and walk on. The advantage of our product and the way it is manufactured and installed is that we can treat each space as a blank canvas to create a truly unique statement within any interior whether it be a quiet, subtle and relaxing environment of a spa to the extremely loud and energising features found in a casino or gaming space and everything in between. What is your favourite quote or personal mantra that you live by? ‘Some people feel the rain, others just get wet’ by Bob Marley. When I take something on both professionally and personally, I immerse myself into it head first to gain a full understanding and feel the enjoyment, whether it’s work or pleasure. If I’m not enjoying it, I’ll move on and do something else but while I’m enjoying what I do, I’ll always give it everything I’ve got.
“THE ART OF COLOUR SELECTION, TEXTURE AND THE TRADITIONAL DRAWING SKILLS OF THE ARTIST ARE CRUCIAL TO DIFFERENTIATE SOMETHING FROM BEING JUST A MEDIOCRE COMPOSITION TO SOMETHING TRULY BEAUTIFUL. SINCE THE FLOOR IS THE LARGEST PATTERNED SURFACE IN MOST HOSPITALITY ENVIRONMENTS, IT GIVES US THE BIGGEST CANVAS TO WORK AND WALK ON.” BOTTOM RIGHT: Accent Textures is a portfolio of innovative techniques that can be explored to elevate your unique carpet creations.
meeting | ronald lu & partners
AHEAD OF THE CURVE The apple may not have fallen far from the tree, but Bryant Lu has surely come into his own. Named as one of 40 young designers under 40 – “40 Under 40” – by the global magazine Perspective, he now serves as Vice Chairman of Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP), the company his father founded in 1976. Under his watch, the company has gone on to garner 130 local and international design awards and was selected as a Top 50 architectural firm by “bd” magazine in 2016. An avid triathloner, Bryant pursues his passion for the sport with the same perseverance, discipline and attention to detail required in running a successful creative enterprise. 46
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RLP has designed a wide range of projects over the past forty years. The company has openly embraced the challenge of targeting new and existing construction in the dense historic fabric of downtown Hong Kong and booming cities of mainland China. These include transit-oriented developments, private residences, commercial, retail, municipal buildings, as well as academic and performing arts projects. Bryant shares his insights with H+R magazine on architecture and the design process, the RLP brand and its philosophy — and his zest for the very demanding sport of triathlon.
Tell us a little about your background, and what originally led you to architecture? My father, Dr Ronald Lu, was the founder of Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP). He started the firm when I was two years old. One of my earliest childhood memories is of sitting next to him while he was drawing. He put me on his lap and explained his drawings to me. I was taught how to read these drawings at a young age and, naturally, I proceeded to fall in love with architecture. When I grew up, I realised that design is not just about creating a structure – design can positively impact an individual’s life and the community as a whole. This idea became further entrenched during my college days at Cornell University and at my first job, which I took with the renowned New York architectural firm Fox & Fowle Architects. After joining RLP 16 years ago, I tried to infuse this idea and philosophy into RLP projects while simultaneously growing the firm. Recently, the firm has encountered numerous opportunities in China to explore these design ideas; as a result we now have a strong presence in China with four offices located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. I am exceptionally pleased that RLP has gained such great recognition: we have received over 130 local and international design awards and were selected as a Top 50 architectural firm by “bd” magazine in 2016, one of the highest-profile magazines in the entire architecture industry. Where do you find inspiration, and how do you begin the design process? My father taught me about the importance of the relationship between buildings, spaces and people. This relationship – this dialogue – is even more critical today, as society seems ever-more polarised and the natural environment continues to deteriorate. As architects, our duty has expanded – these days, we are not just to provide designs, we need to remain
Bryant Lu Vice Chairman Ronald Lu & Partners
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“WE CARRIED TWO IMPORTANT DESIGN PRINCIPLES THROUGH THE PROJECT FROM START TO FINISH: UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY DESIGN.”
involved throughout the construction of a building and then be allowed to experience the completed building. Feedback on a project and compliments on how we have improved the lives of a project’s users are the greatest rewards to an architect. RLP’s design philosophy revolves around how we can create benefits for a building’s future users, the surrounding community, and of course, our clients. We always begin a project by considering the key issue in the architecture industry today: sustainable design. We love the fact that, in recent years, developers have begun to set higher sustainability requirements, while the government has also issued new codes to reduce the environment impact of buildings, such as ensuring air ventilation in a building’s neighbourhood. RLP has and will continue to expend great efforts to achieve a more sustainable community. We are extremely proud of being the architect for the Zero Carbon Building – the first building in Hong Kong with zero net energy consumption. We look forward to seeing more such projects. We also believe that creating a comfortable environment for a building’s users is of great importance. For example, the clubhouse at The Giverny, a luxury townhouse project in Hong Kong that we designed more than 10 years ago, boasts expansive glass façades and floor-to-ceiling windows which integrate
indoor and outdoor environments, connecting the development with the natural beauty of its surroundings.
LEFT: OPUS HONG KONG, Hong Kong (in collaboration with Frank Gehry).
TOP: King George V School, Hong Kong.
How have your aesthetic and perspective changed from your earliest work in the late 1990s to your most recent projects? My aesthetic and perspective have evolved from taking a modernist approach to design to one which is more community and people oriented; where design is meant to solve issues and problems, rather than being only about aesthetics. RLP believes that sustainability and community integration are critical issues which we must address throughout our design process. Which Residential project are you most proud of to date? We recently completed a residential project in Hong Kong called Harmony Place. The project takes a community approach to elderly housing – we provided units designed for elderly people on the lower floors while offering standard family units on higher floors. The idea is that the entire family will live in the same building – ensuring that close family ties are maintained, while at the same time providing units which allow elderly people to live comfortably and independently. We carried two important design principles
through the project from start to finish: universal accessibility and environmentally-friendly design. We incorporated many detailed features which will improve the daily lives of the elderly – not only physical facilities in the buildings and units, but in the design of the common areas which allow people to meet, chat and gather. Our sincere hope is that this project will help Hong Kong’s elderly population enjoy their lives after retirement. Can you give us a little insight into what a normal work day looks like for you? My normal work day is filled with meetings: key project design review meetings, general business strategy meetings, and after office hours, more meetings with NGOs, community representatives and institutions. I believe that communication is extremely important. Our company’s philosophy that buildings should improve the lives of their users is best transmitted through constant and consistent communication. For example, one of our Hong Kong projects – the Ko Shan Theatre New Wing – provides a performance venue amidst the greenery of a park. The Theatre promotes Cantonese Opera and other performing arts. When we began the project, we discovered that there were no “gold-standard” building specifications for Cantonese Opera houses. RLP organised a number
of public engagement exercises with various stakeholders including local artists, theatre operators, future maintenance operators, and stage technical teams to understand their needs and find appropriate ways in which we could collaborate to provide the best solutions. The resulting building has been highly appreciated by local artists, as it is the first theatre in Hong Kong to serve the specific needs of Cantonese Opera. The building has also been highly recognised in international award competitions. If we had not held those engagement exercises, I have no doubt that the building would not have been such a success. What is the value that Ronald Lu & Partners brings to its clients? We aim to bring insight and wisdom to our clients. Our designs are not limited to design solutions, we also seek to create a long-term legacy for communities. Our design solutions carefully consider a community’s needs, minimise environmental impacts, and also maximise benefits for our clients. What would you say are the defining philosophies of the Ronald Lu & Partners brand? It is essential to maintain an architecture firm’s sense of responsibility with regard to the community it serves. The design of a building should create extra value for the community. Like the Ko Shan Theatre New Wing – it successfully revitalised a park’s role as a major public amenity by transforming four former tennis courts into a public park and theatre for the public to enjoy. The design of the King George V School’s new Performing Arts Block ingeniously turned an existing neglected 18m-high Banyan tree at the rear of the school into the central theme of the
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new building, creating a new hub for the students to meet and gather. Lastly, what do you like to do with your downtime? Triathlons! This is a very challenging sport, involving swimming, biking and running performed in immediate succession over various distances. I train between five and seven hours per week, rain or shine. Triathlons place a lot of physical demands on an athlete’s body, but the mental conditioning involved is even tougher. You need to have a high tolerance for pain but at the same time be true to yourself and listen to your body. Perseverance and discipline are key in triathlons, and these traits are equally important in business. There is no doubt that being involved in triathlons has enhanced my skills in terms of running the business. During a competition, every second counts. I have to do a lot of preparation on my own: study the route, check the equipment, rehearse the transition between each sport step-by-step in my mind, and run other such checklists – because no one can help me at that moment except myself. If we apply this logic to the running of a business, we can provide our clients with the most effective and practical solutions. Why? Because we have comprehensively considered every issue and scrutinised the each project down to the finest detail. Triathlons have taught me about the significance of details. This is just like architectural design work – architecture it is not about scale, it is about detail. If the details bring benefit to the client, the future users and the community, then is the true definition of good design.
“WE ALWAYS BEGIN A PROJECT BY CONSIDERING THE KEY ISSUE IN THE ARCHITECTURE INDUSTRY TODAY: SUSTAINABLE DESIGN. WE LOVE THE FACT THAT, IN RECENT YEARS, DEVELOPERS HAVE BEGUN TO SET HIGHER SUSTAINABILITY REQUIREMENTS, WHILE THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO ISSUED NEW CODES TO REDUCE THE ENVIRONMENT IMPACT OF BUILDINGS, SUCH AS ENSURING AIR VENTILATION IN A BUILDING’S NEIGHBOURHOOD.”
THIS PICTURE: Ko Shan Theatre New Wing, Hong Kong.
meeting | ronald lu & partners
DESIGNS FROM WITHIN
Well before he understood the meaning of design, Alistair knew he possessed an uncanny ability to visualise light, sounds and even scents as imaginary images. A born-and-bred Hong Konger, he went to the US to study interior architecture, an unconventional career path then in a country famed for its reverence for professional disciplines such as medicine, law and engineering. Alistair, however, has not looked back. Now Director and Head of Interiors at Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP), Alistair has made his mark in Hong Kong and internationally with successful projects ranging from corporate headquarters and beachfront apartments to five-star hotels and branded retail outlets in over 12 countries worldwide, including Australia, Italy and USA, crediting his work ethic and inspiration to mentors past and his pure passion for design. His impressive design and management philosophy have been recognized by leading international design awards such as Grands Prix du Design, AIAHK Awards, IIDA The Best of Asia Pacific Design Awards, Perspective Awards, Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards, and Golden Pin Award, among others. H+R spoke with Alistair to find out how it all started for him, his design inspiration, upcoming hospitality design trends, and critical design elements in a hospitality environment.
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What inspired you to pursue a career in design and interior architecture? Self-realisation was the inspiration for my pursuit of design. Long before I understood anything about design, when I was still a kid, I could visualise my senses: this meant that lights, sounds and even scents would be transformed into imaginary images. This ability made me the leading art student back when I was at school. There were, of course, struggles during the early years of my career. I was a baby boomer and at the time the Hong Kong economy was heavily dependent on industrial development. Engineering and technical subjects were the prioritised professions, yet my passion was design and I insisted on pursuing it as my path. To me, design and interior architecture are inseparable. I was not satisfied by the design education available in Hong Kong at the time. I found it focused only on technical skill sets and I realised I need something more – like critical thinking, the ability to understand the intangible relationships which exist between things, and so on. These feelings led me to an interior architecture course in the US which allowed me to explore further and fill in these “loopholes”. Who was inspirational to you early on in your career, and why? I was very lucky to receive a lot of support from my high school – Art and Design was not a listed public exam subject at my school, however, my teachers were impressed by my passion and granted me exclusive permission to register for this public exam. I was actually the first Art student enrolled in a public exam at my school! Later, during my college studies, I got lucky again when I encountered a very good professor. He was not only a teacher but also a practitioner and a former Chairman of ASID (The American Society of Interior Designers). He taught me things far beyond my classroom studies and greatly expanded my vision. He inspired me, instilling in me the importance of critical thinking. This helped me adopt a multiperspective thinking process – i.e. “flow follows function”; a highly valuable asset in a designer.
Alistair Leung Director, Head of Interiors Ronald Lu & Partners
I SEE THE LUXURY HOSPITALITY SPHERE BEING SUBJECT TO FASTGROWING EXPECTATIONS IN THE MAINLAND, IN HONG KONG AND BASICALLY RIGHT ACROSS THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION. CUSTOMERS ARE LOOKING FOR FUNCTIONS THAT INTERACT WITH THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE SURROUNDING SPACE.
Talk us through your creative process. How do you approach each project? “Genius is not the key” is one motto I adhere to. I strongly believe in the “ten thousand hours” philosophy of becoming an expert, meaning essentially that “practice makes perfect”. Passion drives you to success, and when you are passionate enough to keep practicing something, you will eventually become a master in your field. There are no shortcuts in the creative process. Problem identification is the first step. Once you have identified the problem, you can move on to exploring potential solutions and expanding all possibilities. This is how you solve a problem: by turning a problem into a good solution. I apply the same approach to each of my designs. I am constantly considering two parallel precepts: “form follows function” and “flow follows form”. I feel that spatial quality must always come before personal taste, or mood and lifestyle considerations. Our firm’s design and creative processes establish design strategies and solutions that best cater to an individual project’s needs. We deliver much more than spaces that simply reflect the user’s personality and lifestyle; we create spaces that continuously educate and deepen the user’s search for quality and balance in their lives. What elements do you feel are most critical to designing for a hospitality environment? The sensation of “luxury within” is very important, especially in a hospitality environment where the entire experience is intangible. The desire for common areas is also often important to users, and by giving special consideration and attention to such areas, we can reinterpret details they might have forgotten in their daily lives. However, the overwhelming use of expensive materials and branded fixtures is no longer a viable solution; simply caring about the interior design details is often all that is required to make a difference. We always put the spatial experience first – a wellthought-out, good quality spatial plan blended with natural materials can also create the “moment of truth” that hospitality seeks to provide. What themes do you envisage becoming more important to the hospitality sector over the next decade? Over the past decade, I have seen a growing trend towards “understated luxury”. Customers are no longer satisfied with the visual impact created by expensive or vivid materials, nor are they impressed by dramatically-sized fixtures any longer. Their tastes have shifted to “less is lux”, internal intellectual fulfilment and the indulgence of ownership.
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TOP: Feast, Sheraton Guangzhou Huadu Resort, Guangzhou, China.
BOTTOM: Sheraton Guangzhou Huadu Resort, Guangzhou, China.
THIS PICTURE: Maximus Sales Office, Foshan, China.
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THIS PICTURE: Oriental Bund, Foshan, China.
THE SENSATION OF “LUXURY WITHIN” IS VERY IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY IN A HOSPITALITY ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE IS INTANGIBLE.
Above all, people long for a hospitality experience that allows them the freedom to choose to be left alone to enjoy a moment of serenity. What is unique about designing luxury hospitality interiors for mainland Chinese clients and their guests? What are their expectations, and how do they differ from luxury hospitality expectations in Hong Kong? For most clients in mainland China, luxury hospitality interiors used to be just “motor and brake”, when compared to most other Asian countries that provide a more mature hospitality experience. However, over the past decade, their desires have begun to change and grow; this is now making “luxury hospitality interiors” a boundary-less concept which is applicable across jurisdictions. I see the luxury hospitality sphere being subject to fast-growing expectations in the mainland, in Hong Kong and basically right across the Asia-Pacific region. Customers are looking for functions that interact with the environment and the surrounding space. Particularly in China, customers have evolved from favouring extravagant decorations to craving a more intellectual experience. More than minimalism, they are looking for a comprehensive total approach that delves down into every detail. For this reason, creativity is becoming more essential.
host of dining and social functions. All you need is a laptop and you can enjoy writing in your journal in your own time, or conduct a serious business meeting – all in the same space. I also want to talk about an interesting residential clubhouse project we recently worked on in Chengdu, China; one which brought us a few international design awards. Taking advantage of the surrounding environment, we created an indoor space that allowed the extensive penetration of daylight; when combined with a dramatic lighting installation and 3D marble feature walls, the end result was a dynamic and highly unique leisure environment for residents to enjoy. What would your advice be to interior architectural students? I would encourage them to firstly build up solid skill set and then, even more importantly, spend time exploring and expanding their critical thinking abilities, since it is only through critical thinking that one can become inspired to identify the “intangible space between”. The next step is to inject their imagination into shaping these intangible spaces to create different, and hence successful, spatial designs that interact with their users.
Talk about a recent hospitality or entertainment project you completed. What was the concept, solution, location, highlights? Our firm is currently engaged in a few projects with leading hospitality groups including the Mandarin Oriental and the Hyatt Group. The firm is also developing a number of luxurious residential clubhouses in key cities in China. One highlight is a recent renovation project for the Mandarin Oriental. This was an interesting project – we injected a new “anchoring bar” function into a traditional buffet-style all-day dining space, making the bar a focal point of the space and successfully creating an indoor-outdoor interaction. We are also developing a new brand for the Hyatt Group in China. The overall design concept reflects a new hospitality trend – that of providing interactive social lifestyle functions. For example, a hotel lobby is no longer just a space for meeting and greeting, it has become an interlinking space that provides a
TOP RIGHT: W Hotel, Guangzhou, China.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Club Axis, The Wing, Hong Kong.
showcase | ronald lu & partners
A HUMAN TOUCH
BEARING IN MIND THE IMPORTANCE OF PEOPLE, COMMUNITY AND CULTURE, RONALD LU & PARTNERS STRIVES TO IMPROVE DAILY LIVING THROUGH SOUND, THOUGHTFUL DESIGN.
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THIS PICTURE: Ronald Lu & Partners Hong Kong Head Office
onald Lu & Partners (RLP) is a multidisciplinary architecture and interior design firm, founded in Hong Kong and dedicated to the delivery of world-class projects across the globe. RLP is a design-led firm established in 1976 that creates robust, practical and sensitive built solutions in response to client needs. The ethos of RLP is focused upon providing the best responses to building design and urban design challenges from feasibility to delivery. RLP provides clients, users, local authorities and communities with better environments that create greater economic and social value.
The firm become a specialist in delivering design-led, super-high density mixed-use developments in response to Asiaâ€™s fast growing economies. RLP has grown to a firm of over 550 staff with offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing and now services a global client base in the public, commercial and institutional sectors. RLP also collaborates with other world-renowned designers to deliver highprofile challenging projects in the Asian region. This award-winning firm operates across with a studio structure, each led by a director. This structure offers flexible and innovative
approaches to design, with each studio strongly influenced by its internal culture of continuous improvement, respect, integrity, service quality and sustainable growth. The approach of RLP to architecture maintains the highest commitment to responsible and sustainable design. RLP is ISO:14001 certified and is a member of the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC),US Green Building Council (USGBC), and BEAM Society, with 50% of architectural professional staff as BEAM Professional and over 25% of architects and many of interior designers are LEEDÂŽ Accredited Professionals.
LIVING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE A MASTERPIECE WITH SYNERGY OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE, SOPHISTICATED INTERIORS AND REFINED LANDSCAPE
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THE FLORENTINE, LAKE DRAGON
THIS PICTURE: The overview of Florentine, showing stratified layers of space, different functions are visually linked.
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ake Dragon development is a luxury low density residential scheme of 245 villas and clubhouse, situated near to Nine Dragon Lake in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Guangzhou’s Huadu district. This first phase of development sits in a gently rolling landscape and sunken valley next to the Asian Games golf course at Dragon Lake. The design by Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) produced a contemporary village environment, combining modern European and Chinese vernacular architectural elements that works with the site’s natural environment and contoured topography. The architectural design implements one of the project’s most important guiding principles: creating the feeling of living in close proximity to nature by blending the indoor and outdoor environments in a distinctly modern style. The villa incorporates frame and portal features on different elevations which frame the different views and provide a uniquely naturalistic character throughout. The design concept of merging sequential experiences with the project’s functions and setting meant that the accommodation was planned in stratified layers. This layering of spaces allows each function to be visually linked, blurring the physical boundary between interior and exterior spaces. Double volume space was provided in the living space with a full-height glass wall, connecting inside and outside by drawing the surrounding natural environment indoors. Terraces and balconies extend from the bedrooms, further connecting inside spaces
PICTURES ABOVE: Sunken courtyard next to the entrance, allows natural light to illuminate the entrance foyer and internal spaces.
â€œTHE DESIGN BRINGS TO LIFE MULTIPLE HARMONIES WITHIN THIS LUXURIOUS CLUBHOUSE-STYLE RESIDENCE; THE INTERIOR SPACE, THE NATURAL LANDSCAPE, THE LUXURIOUS LIVING FUNCTIONS AND EXTRAORDINARY ENTERTAINMENT UTILITIES.â€?
with the natural environment outside, while stone and natural-profile tiles were used for the external walls, completing this union with nature. Aluminum fins and frames were used as highlights, giving a modern touch to the villa. A sunken courtyard next to the entrance allows natural light to illuminate the entrance foyer and internal spaces. In relation to the master plan, RLP architects respected the natural contours of the site when planning the development. The entrance to the development is formed from a sunken valley which has been landscaped to incorporate auspicious lake and stepping lagoons which extend along the main road within the development. These landscape features present dramatic views both on entering the development and for the inward facing villas built within the valley. Other villas are situated along the slopes that rise from the valley, thus affording panoramic views of the golf courses to the north and south for most villas, at the same time minimising the extent of site formation. Trees along the site boundary have been retained both as a screen for the development and to protect the privacy of villas situated at the fringe of the site. Another feature of the development is the use of recycled water for irrigation, flushing and decorative water features and the collection and reprocessing of rainwater for use onsite. The Florentine, Lake Dragon, is one of the 3-storeys villas located in the sunken valley. It is a masterpiece of modern architecture, sophisticated interior spatial arrangements and refined landscape design which subtly resonates with the surrounding environment. RLP Interior Designs embraced luxury, openness and the highest quality features in the overall design concept, created an idyllic residential
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TOP: Living space with full-height glass walls, connecting inside and outside by drawing the surrounding natural environment indoors.
MIDDLE: A fine dining area which can house up to 16 guests.
BOTTOM LEFT: Entertainment space at basement can be transformed into a dance floor of ownerâ€™s parties.
THIS PICTURE: A stunning flower-shaped chandelier hanging over the sitting room enclosed by a two-storey marble wall.
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THIS PICTURE: A modern bedroom maximising privacy and infused with luxury details and fixtures.
space for senior executives in the city. The design brings to life multiple harmonies within this luxurious clubhouse-style residence; the interior space and the natural landscape, the luxurious living functions and extraordinary entertainment utilities. The vibrant social personalities and upscale lifestyles of the potential owner were carefully considered. Speaking to these needs, an innovative luxury clubhouse-style interior spatial design was developed, giving equal consideration to providing a comfortable residential home and a dynamic weekend leisure space. RLP interior designers deliberately separated the top floor into an exclusive living zone, giving the owner personal and private access to different parts of the villa. The main “social area” on the ground floor provides a spectacular sitting room adjacent to a well-appointed fine dining area. Residents may sip cocktails at the white marble bar before enjoying five-star cuisine in the company of up to sixteen guests. As socialising and entertaining are two important thematic highlights of the villa, the entire basement was designed as a fully-equipped and furnished selfcontained clubhouse, holding an indoor swimming pool, snooker room, sauna, private fitness room, dance floor, wine tasting cabin and home theatre. Guests wanting to enjoy nature may bask in the infinity pool, commanding spectacular views of Nine Dragon Lake.
AWARDS RECEIVED: 2015 Kinpan Awards (Southern China and China-Wide) – The Best Villa and Showflat of the Year 2015 Kinpan Awards (Southern China) – Media’s Choice: The Best Villa of the Year 2015 Kinpan Awards (China-Wide) – Media’s Choice: The Best Showflat of the Year 2014 A&D Trophy Awards of Architecture & Design Awards Asia-Pacific 2014 A&D Trophy Awards of Architecture & Design Awards Asia-Pacific 2014 Meiju Award 2014 – The Most Beautiful Residential Property (1st Place) 2014 The 10 th International Interior Design Biennale of China – Bronze Award 2013/2014 Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards for Elite – Gold Award (Residential)
TOP: The floor plan of the basement of the Florentine.
MIDDLE: The concept diagram of Lake Dragon.
BOTTOM: A fully-equipped and furnished self-contained clubhouse with an indoor swimming pool.
IDYLLIC LUXURY THE INTERPLAY OF ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE AND SCENERY, MAKING THE ENTIRE DEVELOPMENT AN ICONIC RESIDENCE PURSUING MODERN LUXURY AND THE PERFECT LIFESTYLE.
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SHADOW CREEK VILLA
THIS PICTURE: The Villas with a contemporary classic, elegant and grand European style.
“THE CAREFUL SELECTION OF MATERIALS, INCLUDING EUROPEAN-STYLE STONE FOR THE FAÇADES, DARK METALLIC FRAMES FOR THE WINDOWS, AND FULL-HEIGHT 2-3 STOREY HIGH GLASS WALLS, FACILITATE THE CAPTURE OF NATURAL DAYLIGHT AND OPEN THE VILLAS TO THE SCENERY, LEADING TO A DISTINGUISHED, MAGNIFICENT ATMOSPHERE.”
hadow Creek Villa is located along the highway towards the international airport in Beijing’s Shunyi District, an area that well known for being a high-end, low-density residential district. The development is comprised of 200 detached villas of several types. The site’s total area is 31.22 ha, with the gross floor area of each detached villa ranging from 1,000 sq. m. to 1,500 sq. m. Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) is the lead architect for Phase 3 of this development and the interior designer for certain show houses, providing all-round project services from master planning, architectural design and interior design to construction and project administration. Due to the location of the site and its green groves and shrub-studded scenery, the development innately conveys a sense of tranquillity, relaxation and an
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exceptional lifestyle. RLP has further bolstered this peaceful ambience through unique architectural design, well-planned gardens, green terraces, leisure facilities and the introduction of a water system, creating an artificial river running alongside most of the villas which allows the residents to feast their eyes on the beauty of the natural and river landscapes from their windows. The overall architectural design embraces a contemporary classic, elegant and grand European style, which is clearly perceived from the façades of the villas. The careful selection of materials, including European-style stone for the façades, dark metallic frames for the windows, and full-height 2-3 storey high glass walls, facilitate the capture of natural daylight and open the villas to the scenery,
TOP: Terraces and lanes running through the development with greenery, as if an idyllic suburb of an European country.
THIS PICTURE: Villa 240: A French-styled high-ceilinged living room in light beige and white colour tones with embellishment in champagne gold , creating a bright and elegant space with sense of noble fashion.
“A UNIQUELY LUXURIOUS “ROYAL” STYLE WAS CREATED THROUGH THE SELECTION OF MATERIALS, FABRICS AND UPHOLSTERY, A LAYERED ARRANGEMENT OF SPACES AND LAYOUTS, AND A COLOUR PALETTE COMBINING OF LIGHT GREY AND EARTH TONES, AS WELL AS LIGHT BEIGE AND WHITE WITH FEATURED EMBELLISHMENTS, GIVING DEPTH TO THE INTRICATELY-LAYERED HIGH-CEILINGED SPACE.”
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TOP: Villa 236: The contemporary English-styled high-ceilinged living room with large streamlined crystal chandeliers, classic bookshelves with artistic decorations and wooden-framed windows, reinforcing the grand and luxurious sensation.
leading to a distinguished, magnificent atmosphere. With the interplay of architecture, landscape and scenery, the entire development becomes a series of iconic residences which pursue modern luxury and the perfect lifestyle. For the interiors, the design concept is consistent with English and French styles – these two styles were also chosen for the two show houses. A uniquely luxurious “royal” style was created through the selection of materials, fabrics and upholstery, a layered arrangement of spaces and layouts, and a colour palette combining of light grey and earth tones, as well as light beige and white with featured embellishments, giving depth to the intricately-layered high-ceilinged space. Large hanging streamlined chandeliers and bespoke spiral staircases in the living rooms further strengthen the ambience. The classic grid and checker patterned mirrors on the ceilings and exquisite craftsmanship further expand the volume of the space. The interiors were specially designed to provide a layered arrangement of spaces, replacing the usual layout favouring individual rooms and functionality. Using patterned screens to separate spaces, the interiors craft a progressive route through the villas – from the public living spaces to the more intimate quarters of the home. For the master bedroom, decorative laminate is used across the walls, giving rise to a rich visual effect. The patterned marble in the bathroom further reinforces the feeling of luxury and extravagance. This round-cornered room with its comfortable rugs, arouses a warm, homey feel on top of the sensation of perfect luxury.
TOP: The floor plan of Villa 236. Picture from left to right ground floor, first floor, second floor and third floor.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Villa 236: The entertainment space arranged in the basement of the villa, the classic grid and checker patterned mirrors on the ceilings and exquisite craftsmanship visually further expands the volume of the space.
BOTTOM: Villa 240: The colour palette in beige continues to the master bedroom, together with carpeting and featured glass walls, a warm and stylish space is created.
TODTOWN IS AIMED AT CREATING A NEW MICRO CITY CENTRE ATOP RAIL TRACKS. IT IS HUGE, COMPRISING HIGH-RISE AND MIDDLE-RISE RESIDENTIAL WITH TWO OUTDOOR PLAZAS, A CENTRAL GARDEN AND TWO INDOOR ATRIUMS, CONNECTED TO TWO PARALLEL SHOPPING STREETS LINKED TO THE STATION CONCOURSE. IT OFFERS AN IDEAL URBAN LIVING LIFESTYLE, WHEREBY ONE LIVES, WORKS OR LEARNS, SHOPS, DINES AND ENTERTAINS WITHIN THE DEVELOPMENTS. 74
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IDEAL URBAN LIVING LIFESTYLE
THIS PICTURE: TODTOWN built on top of the rail lines, join the north and south ends to become one attractive complex for multifarious events.
ODTOWN is a large, comprehensive development project located in Shanghaiâ€™s Xinzhuang area and built over existing railways and metro lines, with a total gross floor area of 405,000 sq. m. Providing a comprehensive-use development, public transport infrastructure and public amenity spaces, this large-scale project contains residences and serviced apartments, a hotel, offices, retail and public spaces, on top of the public transport infrastructure. RE-STITCHING THE URBAN FABRIC Built in the heart of the Xinzhuang area, the design of the development prioritises the efficient integration of the transport hub with all other aspects of the project. The original site, fragmented by existing railway and metro lines, had the connectivity between its northern and southern portions broken into discrete pieces, leading to congestion in the transportation network and drastically reducing the efficiency of the nearby interchange. An elongated retail mall forms the centrepiece of the TODTOWN design, reconnecting the disparate parts of the site. Conceived as two linking hands, the mall will span the site to re-join the residential districts to the north and south of the existing subway station. INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF TRANSPORTATION NETWORK The planned regional retail centre creates an entirely new spatial plane which completely encompasses the existing station. In addition to creating retail opportunities for the district, TODTOWN also serves as a 24-hour weather-proof pedestrian hub connecting the various transportation links. As numerous and diverse traffic types will pass through the project area, travellers will easily be able to change between development traffic at the ground level, public transportation at the first level, and rail traffic at the second and third levels; at the same time, people will be able to enter the malls and towers â€“ all in the comfort of a controlled internal environment. INTRODUCING AN URBAN OASIS Conceived as a mini-city containing a variety of commercial and residential complexes, TODTOWN includes low- and high-rise residences as well as two towers of serviced apartments, and commercial
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TOP: TODTOWN fosters social interaction and public activities - in other words, a vibrant hub created for people.
BOTTOM LEFT: TODTOWN creates a place for people, not a mere transit point for passage.
BOTTOM RIGHT: A total length of 655m retail area connects the residential development, five-start hotel and office.
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THIS PICTURE: TODTOWN offers an ideal urban living lifestyle, whereby one lives, works or learns, shops, dines and entertains within the developments.
Shopping Mall North Entrance
Medium-Rise Residential Towers Residential Foodcourt/ Towers Garden Sky Park Service Apartment Low-Rise Ice Rink ResidenThe tial Village Towers
Office Media Wall
Shopping Mall South Entrance
To Shuiqing Rd
To Dushi Rd Bus Platform
North PTI 2
North PTI 1 Train Platform
Xin Zhuang Concourse
“CONCEIVED AS A MINI-CITY CONTAINING A VARIETY OF COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL COMPLEXES, TODTOWN INCLUDES LOW- AND HIGH-RISE RESIDENCES AS WELL AS TWO TOWERS OF SERVICED APARTMENTS, AND COMMERCIAL BLOCKS, A 25-STOREY OFFICE TOWER, A FIVE-STAR HOTEL, AND A SHOPPING MALL WITH AN IMAX CINEMA AND AN ICE SKATING RINK.”
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TOP: Concentrate activities within TODTOWN reduces commuting needs and increase convenience to the residents.
BOTTOM: A ground level is re-established atop railways and roads, returning it as green space to the community.
blocks, a 25-storey office tower, a five-star hotel, and a shopping mall with an IMAX cinema and an ice skating rink. There also will be an assortment of public facilities including a sky garden, a museum, a leisure and recreation centre, a city management office, an identity card registration centre and a kindergarten. While the retail centre unifies the site as a whole, the north-south road now naturally divides the development into two parcels, each with distinctive characteristics. The western hemisphere will act as the “active hub”, where the current and future station will be situated, along with other retail, commercial and hospitality facilities. At this active hub, the mall containing six storeys of retail floors with a total length of 655m will be situated above the transport interchange and metro lines – there will be no alteration to or interference with the daily operation of the stations. Three civic squares will be situated inside the mall, at the north and south ends and the centre of the mall. The eastern hemisphere will be the “passive hub”, consisting mainly of residential towers in two themed parks. As the main transportation hub in Xinzhuang, TODTOWN will provide direct and seamless connections between the railways and the development, thereby slashing the commute times of users and residents alike. The design manages the flow of the high-density development’s traffic using intermodal transportation links, eases congestion in the surrounding areas and creates further efficiencies in one of Asia’s most sophisticated transport interchanges. The design also increases the “walk-ability” of neighbourhoods, with its dedicated podiums and green spaces, providing synergy between life, work and play for the development’s self-contained communities and creating a better quality of life for all. It acts as a forerunner for Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs) in China, and will pave the way and break new ground for similar projects in the future.
TOP: The three dimensionality of TODTOWN’s design helps re-stitch the urban fabric of Xinzhuang town with connectors and spaces such as roof gardens, atriums and outdoor courtyards.
BOTTOM: TODTOWN develops a place with character and vitality that simulates social and economic interactions.
FORM ICON TO COMMUNITY TIANJIN CHOW TAI FOOK FINANCE CENTRE ADDRESS A REAL URBANISATION PROBLEM: CREATING MORE BUILDING SPACE WITH LESS LAND. TIANJIN CTF FINANCE CENTRE HAS EVOLVED FROM BEING INDEPENDENT STRUCTURES INTO COMPLEX MINI-CITIES WITH INTEGRATED UNDERGROUND TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS AND PEDESTRIAN CONNECTIONS. ITS UNDERGROUND AND ABOVE-GRADE CONNECTIONS TO INFRASTRUCTURE ARE OFTEN MORE CHALLENGING TO DESIGN AND BUILD THAN THE TOWERS THEMSELVES. 82
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TOP: Exclusive entrances are designed to avoid people coming to the Centre of different programs meeting each other.
RIGHT: With the help of the latest BIM technology, Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) significantly reduced a total number of staggering 14,000 components originally of the geometric design of the facade structure.
TIANJIN CHOW TAI FOOK FINANCE CENTRE
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THIS PICTURE: In addition to green landscaping, high-performance envelope and optimised daylighting are designed to LEED (R) Gold standards.
ianjin CTF Finance Centre is a 530m tall skyscraper consisting 97-storey towers, 5-storey podium and 4-storey basement. The development comprises retail, office, hotel, and serviced apartment. The project is located in Tianjin Economic Development Area with total GFA of 389,980 sq. m. including aboveground GFA of 291,610 sq. m. and underground GFA of 98,370 sq. m. DESIGN FEATURES Aside from its tremendous height, the detail-designed and intricate building façade of Tianjin CTF Finance Centre is one of the most significant components contributing to the upcoming icon of the district. The overall façade consists a total of staggering 14,000 components originally, with the geometric design of the façade structure which greatly increased the difficulty during the construction. However, with the help of the latest BIM technology, the building process is now speeded up substantially. Furthermore, the surface geometry of façade is divided in 1/8 for repeated modelling, which rationalises the complexity of geometry and enhances buildability. The tower’s quadrate-shaped bottom makes intelligent use of space, with the shape of the tower becoming further and further narrow as it stretches to the upper levels, creating a uniquely beautiful irregular spiral appearance. In terms of functions, the retail podiums and offices are designed for the lower storeys running from the G/F to level 48, where the interior layout is more rectangular in shape which allow the tower to better facilitate the functions as shops and workplaces. Furthermore, materialising the spiral shape of this super high-rise Tower, the whole structural and layout is put into consideration. Specific structural loading based on accurate calculation is put into practice to enhance efficiency and avoid vibration of the building.
BOTTOM RIGHT: The mega tower has just reached the construction height of 200m.
“THE TOWER’S QUADRATE-SHAPED BOTTOM MAKES INTELLIGENT USE OF SPACE, WITH THE SHAPE OF THE TOWER BECOMING FURTHER AND FURTHER NARROW AS IT STRETCHES TO THE UPPER LEVELS, CREATING A UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL IRREGULAR SPIRAL APPEARANCE.”
Given the tower’s profile, the traditional scaffold and climbing formwork cannot be used during the construction stage, thus making the tower one of the most challenging skyscraper construction projects ever seen in China. TECHNICAL MAINTENANCE The geometric design of the façade structure is a significant complexity of the development. Careful layering and arrangement in the tower’s facade is designed to allow more efficient buildability. Furthermore, the tower are split to cater various functions including retail, office, serviced apartments, hotels and restaurants, adding diversity and multipurpose to the development. MEP floor is arranged to separate the building usage as well as security control. The subletting schedule is a tool for procurement management. It is prepared before the contract was awarded. This schedule comprises the trades of works to be subletted, and drawings to be ready by Consultants in corresponding with Master Programme. The schedule includes all NSCs, Direct Contractors and the Domestic Subcontractors, which will be reviewed regularly to avoid any late nomination. Since this is a cost plus contract, the procedures on award of subcontracts is closely monitored and participated by Client, Consultants and the Main Contractor. The dispatch of document, interviews, clarifications and assessment will be carried out under the team work approach. We believe with such close collaboration works among different parties no time delay will occur in this process. RLP is in collaboration with SOM on this project.
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THIS PICTURE: This 530m tall skyscraper’s façade lighting system will be perfectly assembled and concealed in the façade modules.
THIS PICTURE: Tianjin CTF Finance Centre houses office space, 300 luxury serviced apartments, and a 350-key 5-star hotel.
A SENSE OF URBAN EXCLUSIVITY LARVOTTO HAS SET A REMARKABLE DEMONSTRATION OF HOW ARCHITECTURE SENSIBLY ANSWERS TO THE SURROUNDING INBORN SCENIC NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE PLACE, IN BETWEEN SEASIDE AND HILLSIDE. THE DISPOSITION OF LARVOTTO ALLOWS VISUAL PENETRATION OF THE NATURAL GREENERY AT REAR SIDE TO THE FRONT AND ENHANCES BETTER NATURAL VENTILATION TO THE LOCAL CLIMATE OF THE PLACE.
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THIS PICTURE: Larvotto calls for the design of a new luxurious residential development in Hong Kong.
arvotto calls for the design of a new luxurious residential development; it takes advantage of the siteâ€™s unobstructed waterfront and creates a special sense of urban exclusivity. Larvotto provided an acute challenge of designing a premium residential project at the same time. Location of this residential development has long suffered from a low grade reputation, noise pollution from the adjacent boatyard and a sensitive green backdrop of green hills. The completed development of nine residential towers has already proved an outstanding success, rapidly improving perceptions of the location and also creating a new benchmark for high end residential development in Hong Kong. Working with the natural geography of the site, Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) designed nine towers from 25 to 29 storeys in a gently curving linear arrangement along the harbourfront, overlooking the typhoon shelter toward Ocean Park theme park. All nine towers enjoy waterfront views, however noise pollution from the boatyards drove RLP to produce an innovative approach to the facades, providing the main frontage with non-openable curtain wall glazing, more commonly used in commercial offices, whilst also giving the majority of apartments dual aspects through the main living space with balconies overlooking the green hills behind. Five storeys high sky garden in each cluster adds volumetric interest to the overall form as well as enhancing the visual permeability. The deposition accentuates the panoramic waterfront scene which also makes a distinguished architectural statement for the external elevation. The intended set back
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LEFT: Open space integrates perfectly the liveable spaces into the neighbouring hillside forest.
THIS PICTURE: Double headroom or high ceiling spaces are widely adopted in all common spaces including entrance lift lobbies, lounge, and banquet rooms in clubhouse, indoor swimming pool and also covered podium garden area.
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â€œFIVE STOREYS HIGH SKY GARDEN IN EACH CLUSTER ADDS VOLUMETRIC INTEREST TO THE OVERALL FORM AS WELL AS ENHANCING THE VISUAL PERMEABILITY. THE DEPOSITION ACCENTUATES THE PANORAMIC WATERFRONT SCENE WHICH ALSO MAKES A DISTINGUISHED ARCHITECTURAL STATEMENT FOR THE EXTERNAL ELEVATION.â€?
of podium creates a lifted avenue where tower entrances located. It is shaded by row of flourishing trees which renders a unique ambience that filters from the outside. Residents are welcomed by the shuttle lobby of doubled volume headroom flooded by natural light. Balconies enjoying the lush green mount view are designed to merge with the dining area right next to the kitchen. The close proximity of these in and out spaces creates a relaxing corner for breakfast/ dining delight, leading to a distinct modern life style. From full curtain wall on the major facade, to large sliding door/ windows at the rear side, extending to the sheltered balcony, the whole interior space of flat unit is flooded with natural light, which greatly enhance spatial quality of the living environment. Volumetric consideration was taken into the design of clubhouse. The doubled volume cafeteria and indoor swimming pool mark the unique ambience, such spatial elasticity filled with natural lighting and water reflection brings pleasure to the residents. The apartments increase in both size and quality from the northern towers to the prime south towers, ranging from 60 sq. m. studios to 250 sq. m. apartments and 390 sq. m. duplexes at the upper levels. The two southern towers are also angled toward the south to take in spectacular views out to Outlying Islands and the South China Sea. RLP also included additional design ideas into these two towers with an enlarged clubhouse at a dramatic scale, and a unique transfer plate. Whilst quality of accommodation was paramount, the impact on the surrounding environment was also a key factor, and all the towers have been clad in low reflective glass to minimise glare toward the typhoon shelter, and open sky gardens are punctured through the mid-storeys of the central and northern tower arrangements to maintain views through the development and provide a sense of lightness to the architectural design.
LEFT: With full curtain wall on the major facade, the whole interior space of apartment is flooded with natural light which greatly enhance spatial quality of the living environment.
TOP: The double volume cafeteria marks the unique ambience bringing pleasure to the residents.
BOTTOM: Landscaped gardens at different podium levels creating stepped terraces of enjoyable spaces for the residents.
BETTER LIFE TOGETHER
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CHINA RESOURCES BUILDING
RONALD LU & PARTNERS (RLP) SUCCESSFULLY UPGRADED QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE EXISTING CHINA RESOURCES BUILDING TO AN INTERNATIONAL GRADE A STANDARD AND 21ST CENTURY STANDARDS OF SUSTAINABLE DESIGN. THE REDEVELOPMENT OF HARBOUR ROAD GARDEN CREATES A MORE COMFORTABLE AND CONVENIENT ENVIRONMENT IN HARMONY WITH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMUNITY.
THIS PICTURE: The whole revistalisation of China Resources Building was integrated with the redevelopment of Harbour Road Garden, Causeway Centre podium and the public passage linking between buildings in the area.
hina Resources Building (CRB) was erected in 1983. To cope with the growth of commercial activities in the area and for the advancement of the Corporate identity, the Owner made decision for an evitable move. Demolishing such a contemporary icon would take away a vital part of the city’s skyline. Instead, Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) took the challenge and counter proposed the renovation of the Building. This renovation acts as a catalyst for urban improvements in the area and successfully showcases greening an existing office building is technically feasible and cost effective. CRB is the first pre-certified renovation project to achieve LEED Core & Shell Gold Rating in Hong Kong. Not only will the greener CRB reduce cost and energy consumption, the improved air quality provides a better interior environment for its users. Both the design and construction consideration play an essential role during the renovation process. In the renovation, the building’s original skin of white mosaic tiles is being dressed up by a new curtain which enables reduction of solar gain. Only 5% of solar energy is now transmitted into the interior and, hence, lead to a reduction of cooling load for improved energy efficiency. Materials of the new curtain wall are regionally manufactured thus minimising the carbon footprint resulting from their transportation. At the same time, the renovation project reused 95% of the building’s existing structural walls, floors and
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LEFT: LED lighting scheme transforms the building appearance and enhances the building presence at night while maintaining the simplicity of the architectural design during the day.
TOP LEFT: After the redevelopment, Harbour Road Garden is now a much more user friendly social venue for leisure and gathering function for the neighbourhood.
THIS PICTURE: The external paving pattern and materials at the public pavement and public passageway at podium are upgraded and unified.
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roofs effectively extending the life cycle of the building stock. The adopted construction waste management plan recycled at least 50% of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste from disposal. Shaded areas, solar reflective paving and a new podium garden reduce the buildingâ€™s contribution to the heat island effect. The dedicated public walkways within the building were very dark and uncomfortable before the renovation and has now been turned into bright and cheerful segments of the areaâ€™s pedestrian network. The original 4-storey podium on both side of the main building was removed to make way for 2 podium gardens franked by the dedicated public walkways on both sides. In removing the podium bulk, air ventilation for the vicinity is also improved. CRB was just one part of the neighbourhood community that the structures and facilities surrounding it were also considered for a genuine revitalization. CRB aimed to bring benefits not only the owner, talents and the building users, but also to create a
LEFT: Additional escalator is designed for better public circulation.
TOP: Covered public passageway at podium is glazed.
BOTTOM: China Resources Building, Harbour Road Garden, and Causeway Centre are interconnected.
“CRB IS THE FIRST PRE-CERTIFIED RENOVATION PROJECT TO ACHIEVE LEED CORE & SHELL GOLD RATING IN HONG KONG. NOT ONLY WILL THE GREENER CRB REDUCE COST AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION, THE IMPROVED AIR QUALITY PROVIDES A BETTER INTERIOR ENVIRONMENT FOR ITS USERS.”
desirable area for the community. Therefore, while choosing a glass facade to allow more natural lighting inside the building, glass of low reflective factor was required to reduce the possible light pollution to the neighbourhood. Furthermore, the renovation project included the improvement of the external paving of the entire building block, the upgrade of the public linkages between buildings and Causeway Centre podium, and the redevelopment of Harbour Road Garden. Apart from utilising in architectural aspect, all the facilities were also upgraded to bring a lot more comfort and convenience to the general public. The public passages at the skirt of CRB were enclosed within the building with controlled comfort environment while the connecting bridges to other buildings to be widened with wind shield. Landscape consultant was engaged to provide bring greenery area at the podium that the public would enjoy. By introducing elevated public landscaped plaza at the two wings on the podium level, the tenants, visitors and the neighbours have been provided with an environmental friendly space for leisure and rest. To upgrade CRB and the adjoining urban fabric Harbour Road Garden after refurbishment as a whole, the Garden is now turned up to be a more user friendly social venue for the neighbourhood.
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TOP RIGHT: Before and after renovation comparison
BOTTOM LEFT: Sustainable design approach was fully studied at beginning stage.
THIS PICTURE: CRB achieved LEED-CS Gold rating after the completion of building renovation.
EMBRACE OPENNESS TOP PLAZA, A SENSIBLY-ARTICULATED SPACE DEFINES NEW OFFICE CULTURE FOR GUANGZHOU, CHINA
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THIS PICTURE: Visitors are greeted by an artistic sculptural reception desk with a tunnel shaped guest-waiting deck behind.
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THIS PICTURE: An area for mingling as a social hub located in the heart of the office to promote interaction.
his boutique office interior was designed for a private equity funds company in a prime location in Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou’s newly-built Central Business District. The region symbolises the leading role of this office, both defining and intensifying its international image. The designers of Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) carefully addressed the client’s need to demonstrate the unique attributes of the office; tailor-making a total solution that addressed the users’ space requirements, company image and industry position. The overall design concept embraced an international outlook through openness and superior quality. It is methodical and meticulous embodied into one. The sensiblyarticulated space is a harmonious display of architecture and arts, rigidity and softness. RLP designers streamlined the office functions and created a crisp, clean space that is both dynamic and volumetric while remaining humane and versatile. Meticulous planning , the mix of vibrant colours and the open circulation flow ensures that every notable attribute of the 450 sq. m. office space is highlighted, making it a regional icon as well as a showcase of international office culture. The colour palette was a combination of orange and warm tones, giving depth to the intricately-layered threedimensional space and creating pleasant, delicate elements throughout. In order to demonstrate how transparency works within this normally reserved culture, the designers took down all interior walls to create a refreshingly open office. The outcome is revolutionary to the company culture – in this open office environment, everyone learns more about one another as well as the company.
TOP & MIDDLE: The ceilings of conference rooms are made up of multiple layers, generating an interesting volumetric echo to the embossed glass panels
The obstacle-free treatment of the space begins at the main entrance and expands down the corridor to the conference rooms and main office interior. Visual separations produced by tailored glass panels reinforce the importance of space integration over rigid separation. Visitors are greeted by an unconventional sculptural reception desk with a tunnel shaped guest-waiting deck behind. The reception space is wrapped around by custom-made glass panels with strips inlays creating a visual separation between public and office zones. In addition to all the statement-like features, the entire space is reflected subtly from the tinted dark glass up above ceiling creating a sensational welcome to all the visitors. These concepts are extended into the conference rooms where ceilings are made up of multiple layers generating an interesting volumetric echo to the embossed glass panels. Transited from the reception area is office zone where major conference rooms located. After a long meeting at the well decorated conference room filled with natural sun light; guests could socialise at the open mingle area separated by a transparent bi-folding doors. The Executive Office explains the excellence of modern simplicity. This office not only significantly influences Guangzhouâ€™s perspective of office space planning and operations culture, but evolves this culture into a new era.
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TOP LEFT: Glass panels with inlay stripes allow penetration of natural light.
“METICULOUS PLANNING , THE MIX OF VIBRANT COLOURS AND THE OPEN CIRCULATION FLOW ENSURES THAT EVERY NOTABLE ATTRIBUTE OF THE 450 SQ. M. OFFICE SPACE IS HIGHLIGHTED, MAKING IT A REGIONAL ICON AS WELL AS A SHOWCASE OF INTERNATIONAL OFFICE CULTURE.”
TOP & BOTTOM LEFT: Visual separations produced by tailored glass panels reinforce the importance of space integration over rigid separation.
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TOP & BOTTOM LEFT: The Executive Office explains the excellence of modern simplicity.
AWARDS RECEIVED: 2015 Grands Prix Du Design Du Design – Special Award (Montreal) 2014 IIDA The Best of Asia Pacific Design Awards – Best of Category (Corporate Space Small) 2014 International Space Design Award Idea-Tops – Best Design Award of Commercial Space 2014 The 10 th International Interior Design Biennale of China – Gold Award 2014 The American Institute of Architects Hong Kong Chapter Honors and Awards – Merit Award for Interiors 2013/2014 Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards for Elite – Gold Award (Office)
MIDDLE BOTTOM: All the walls were took down, creating a refreshing open office.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Floor plan of Top Plaza
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CONSTELLATION CLUB, SIRIUS ICC
CONSTELLATION REFLECTION A LUXURIOUS RESIDENTIAL CLUBHOUSE CHENGDU, CHINA DEFINES A WORLD-CLASS LIVING TASTE
THIS PICTURE: Clubhouse main entrance on the ground floor.
he Sirius residences are part of one of the city of Chengduâ€™s finest developments: ICC Chengdu. Embodying the overall concept of a world-class boutique hotel, the 1,650 sq. m. Constellation Club with its luxurious recreational facilities has been exclusively crafted to provide a superior leisure space to the Sirius community. The residential development comprises 10 towers, each oriented in a different direction and employing multi-dimensional landscapes. Situated between towers three and four, this two-storey clubhouse is located at the heart of the development. The designers of Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) have thoughtfully articulated the Clubhouse interiors, intending to create a stunning yet functional entertainment space for a resident which interacts with the surrounding landscape. The overall design concept for the Clubhouse emphasises openness, luxury and nature. RLP Designers strategically planned the ground floor entrance with major social and leisure opportunities in mind, specifically the main lobby, banquet hall, indoor swimming pool and gym. Full-height glass walls provide a natural touch to all the spaces, while embracing the childrenâ€™s playroom, reading room and other private rooms at the basement floor, with texture and colours employed to differentiate the spaces.
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TOP: The underground lobby and lounge zone with structured linear shelves running through the space and semi-spherical armchairs.
BOTTOM: A view from outside into this transparent lobby
THIS PICTURE: A full-height light sculpture connecting the lobby to the basement via bespoke marble staircases.
AWARDS RECEIVED: 2015 Jintang Prize – China Interior Design Awards – Good Design of the Year (Leisure & Entertainment Space) 2015 The 10 th China International Architectural Decoration and Design Art Fair – Influence Design of China – Top 10 Excellent Project Awards of the Year 2014-2015 2015 Golden Pin Design Awards – Design Mark 2014/2015 APDC Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards for Elite – Silver Award (Clubhouse)
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TOP: Banquet hall - ideal space of residence to enjoy social or family gatherings.
BOTTOM LEFT: Indoor swimming pool with infiltration of daylight from outside and starlight after sunset
Proceeding into the main lobby, guests are left awestruck by the stunning interior architecture, which expands on a constellation theme. The extremely high ceiling creates an open feel, while the full-height marble wall complements the hanging stainless steel sculpture and reception counter in perfect proportion. Running star-lights are the highlight of the Clubhouse, alongside a full-height light sculpture connecting the lobby to the basement via bespoke marble staircases. All of these are reflected in the mirror wall, further unfolding the space and creating a three-dimensional constellation within the lobby interior. When guests and visitors walk down the spiral marble staircases to the underground lobby and lounge zone, their eyes are caught by the structured linear shelf running through the space and the semispherical armchairs which create an interesting and surprising contrast in this elegantly enlightened space. The northern zone is home to the children’s playroom and reading room, which together create an amusing and welcoming atmosphere for children. RLP designers augmented this space by introducing poly-dimensional shapes and different colour essences – lampshade pillar wraps, honeycomb wall panels, speech bubble bookshelves and other fun features. Intending to maximise interaction with the exterior environment, RLP designers replaced concrete walls with glass panels, allowing natural sunlight to infiltrate the entire space during the day to save energy, and glowing starlight to shimmer on the pool at night. A similar treatment was extended to the indoor swimming pool and gym located in the north wing; creating a more relaxed and “green” environment for leisure and training sessions. Meanwhile, the south wing houses a banquet hall that can accommodate over 50 guests, an ideal private space where guests can enjoy family gatherings and celebration parties under an array of sparkling crystals, while also enjoying the evening breeze and a glass of wine on the attached patio. Texture, colours and modern art define this luxurious Clubhouse. Running lines of natural rock, shimmering starlight and crystals, and warm earth-toned wooden structures generate a tasteful atmosphere for residents and guests alike, while colourful upholstery, attention-grabbing shapes and wide-open areas create interesting and friendly leisure spaces for users from the younger generations.
TOP RIGHT: Different colour essences and poly-dimensional shapes adding fun to the Children’s Playroom.
BOTTOM: Floor plan of the ground floor and basement.
SIMPLICITY & LUXURY AN INTEGRATION OF SPACES AND VISIONS IN THE SERENADE DUPLEX OVERLOOKING THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS
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SERENADE DUPLEX SHOWFLAT
THIS PICTURE: All functions of the living room are well contained and defined yet without boundaries.
“ALL LIVING FUNCTIONS ARE WELL CONTAINED AND DEFINED YET WITHOUT BOUNDARIES. INTEGRATION OF SPACES AND VISIONS IS THE KEY OF THE INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE.”
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THIS PICTURE: A study room is designed along the passage to the master bedroom suite; natural light is introduced and cast over the internal staircase.
he Serenade Duplex defines a modern luxury living in Hong Kong offering the versatility of an upscale urban life style in a nutshell of space; taking advantage on its commanding high altitude panoramic view over the unique Victoria Harbour as well as the natural day light shining over the majority interior areas. Despite the small and unfavorable linear architectural floor plan, the space utilisation of the duplex has successfully created an upto-date modern luxurious living quarter. All living functions are well contained and defined yet without boundaries. Integration of spaces and visions is the key of the interior architecture. The stylish open kitchen that equipped with state of the art appliances provides a stunning visual feature once entered the duplex. It unlocks the exceptional panoramic harbour view that comes into the apartment. The open kitchen is doubled up as a bar serving the living and dining areas in front. The maidâ€™s room is hidden behind a concealed kitchen cabinet door. An entertainment room on the lower floor can be transformed into guest en-suite as needed by closing the corridor with a concealed door built-in at the wooden wall panels.
BOTTOM LEFT & RIGHT: An entertainment room on the lower floor, which can be transformed into guest en-suite by closing the corridor with a concealed door built-in at the wooden wall panels.
The living quarter is on the upper floor. The original secondary bathroom is relocated away from the window to allow space for a Study room along the passage to the master bedroom suite. It has freely introduced natural light casting over the marble internal staircase. The master bedroom and bathroom are re-layout to be more spacious in catering the modern living style. A breakfast/vanity area is created next to the closets and the entrance of the master bedroom allowing a space for some hearty/causal activities during the day of living. Natural light is being enjoyed at every corner of the duplex which reacts to the light warm colour palette of the interior. All interior surfaces are carefully finished and detailed in a sophisticated modern approach. Major architectural finishes are in a mixture of Omani Beige marble, light and dark tone figured Silk Tay wood, white leather panels to the ceiling of major areas, charcoal colour steel trimmings and accents, grey mirrors, bronze colour metallic curtain etc.
AWARDS RECEIVED: 2014 The 10 th International Interior Design Biennale of China â€“ Silver Award 2012 The Ring ic@ward International Design â€“Silver Award (Showflat Category)
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TOP LEFT: A breakfast/vanity area is created next to the closets and the entrance of the master bedroom, allowing space for some hearty or causal activities.
BOTTOM: Floor plans of the upper and lower floor.
TOP MIDDLE & THIS PICTURE: The master bedroom and bathroom are re-layout to be more spacious in catering the modern living style.
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GUANGZHOU HUADU SHERATON RESORT
LUXURIOUS URBAN RESORT AN INTEGRATION OF ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN, LANDSCAPING AND NATURE THAT REDEFINE LUXURIOUS HOSPITALITY
THIS PICTURE: A functional and relaxing lobby with a range of recessed lounge seating areas and a library.
he interior design of the new Sheraton Hotel required Ronald Lu & Partners (RLP) to develop a new and unique language to express its unconventional resort nature of low rise guest room blocks and bungalows. Sheraton Guangzhou Huadu Resort, the new 5-star international hotel, redefines the term of luxury. It was developed with a new and unique language to express its unconventional resort nature of low-rise guest room blocks and bungalows. The project is an integration of architecture, interior design, landscaping and nature. The interior design is modern, elegant and aesthetically inclined with a touch of oriental infusion, whereas it answers the needs of an urban retreat of understated luxury. The new 5-star international hotel is sited on a scenic hill side on the fringe of Guangzhou metropolitan. It offers 100 keys of accommodation all facing a scenic lake. One third of the guest rooms are individual villas in variety of sizes and layouts sprawl along the hilly landscape offering individual characteristics and identity for each different stay. The hotel has a strong sense of openness and with exploration. It emphasises spatial experience and forms. Functions are well-defined but also integrated creating sense of unity and variety. Elegantly designed screens are deployed inside guest rooms and public areas to divert movements, create privacy but allow levels of see-through visual interest. By staggering the route through a zigzag and including sliding screens between major spaces, it has developed a passage of discovery through the guest suites, creating layers of intimacy between the public and private rooms.
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BOTTOM LEFT: Floor plan of lobby.
TOP LEFT: Full-height glass windows allows penetration of natural light, giving rise to bright and open interiors.
THIS PICTURE: PA lounge expressing the harmony of the â€œcolonialâ€? Western style with Southern Chinese such as stitched leather, high gloss surfaces dark wood paneling and ceiling fan.
“TOGETHER WITH THE RESTAURANT FACILITIES, THE COMMON AREAS FOCUS ON EXPRESSING THE NATURAL WEIGHT AND COLOUR TONES OF MATERIALS SUCH AS HAMMERED COPPER AND THE GRAIN OF MID-TONED WALNUT WOODS.”
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TOP LEFT: The floor plan of the Chinese restaurant “Yue”.
The design language of the hotel’s common areas also came under a similar leadership. The lobby was designed to be functional and relaxing, include a range of recessed lounge seating areas and a library. Together with the restaurant facilities, the common areas focus on expressing the natural weight and colour tones of materials such as hammered copper and the grain of mid-toned walnut woods. Finished with Northern European inspired spa rooms, sited on the hillsides, and a range of tea house bungalows, the hotel achieves a unique feel of elegant suburban informality for the unconventional 5-star hotel. Light and air, advantageous elements in southern China environment, are well considered in the hotel.
TOP & BOTTOM LEFT: The Chinese restaurant named Yue, together with the other common areas, expressing the natural weight and colour tones of materials.
Guest rooms and public areas are designed with full integration of natural illumination during the day and well balanced interior lighting at night. Spaces and details are well proportioned adding a sense of elegancy. A palette of natural, tactile materials that marries ‘colonial’ Western style with Southern Chinese was developed such as stitched leather, high gloss surfaces, dark wood paneling and ceiling fan. Warm colours and sand palette with materials of natural beige stones, wood and leather are selected for their context and ability to age beautifully.
AWARDS RECEIVED: 2014 The 10 th International Interior Design Biennale of China – Gold Award 2012 Perspective Awards – Excellence (Interior Design (Professional) Hotel) 2012 The Ring ic@ward International Design – Honorable Mention (Hotel and Restaurant Category) 2012 Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards – Excellence (Hotel Space) 2012 IAI Awards – Honorable Mention
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TOP LEFT: The entrance of typical guest rooms, with the consistent use of natural colour tone
TOP RIGHT & BOTTOM: Elegantly designed screens are deployed inside guest rooms, creating privacy yet allowing levels of see-through visual interest.
“FINISHED WITH NORTHERN EUROPEAN INSPIRED SPA ROOMS, SITUATED ON THE HILLSIDES, AND A RANGE OF TEA HOUSE BUNGALOWS, THE HOTEL ACHIEVES A UNIQUE FEEL OF ELEGANT SUBURBAN INFORMALITY FOR THE UNCONVENTIONAL 5-STAR HOTEL.”
TOP: Spacious marble-walled bathroom with bathing and shower facilities.
BOTTOM RIGHT: The floor plan of a typical guest room.
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THIS PICTURE: Handleless Miele built-in appliances from the ArtLine series – seen here in graphite grey – blend in unobtrusively with the surrounding cabinetry.
> ARTLINE BY MIELE > ARTHUR BY BRAND VAN EGMOND > NUVOLA BY ROLF BENZ > SOFTWOOD BY NIRO GRANITE > PORTMANTEAU BY INTERFACE MIELE.COM
goods | miele
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THIS PICTURE: Touch2open mechanism: A light touch on the sensor on the fascia releases the door which then gently glides down to the fully open position, buffered on the last inches of its journey.
WITH THE NEW ARTLINE SERIES OF BUILT-IN APPLIANCES, CUSTOMERS ARE NOW ABLE TO DESIGN A KITCHEN ENTIRELY WITHOUT HANDLES – EVEN IN GRAPHITE GREY
here kitchens and living rooms merge, a clear design statement is needed: Preferably puristic, straight-laced and handleless as prominent individual elements would otherwise cloud the overall impression. Miele is catering for this trend with its new ArtLine series of built-in appliances. The entire collection dispenses with handles, blends in seamlessly with flush furniture fronts and interprets the concept of full appliance integration in a whole new way – optionally in Miele’s new graphite grey, in brilliant white or in obsidian black. Full, flush glass fronts and integrated appliance displays characterise ArtLine which encompasses a variety of products and therefore allows entire kitchens to be designed without a single handle. The portfolio includes ovens, combination steam ovens (for 45 cm and 60 cm recesses) as well as ovens with microwave. These key products are joined by a coffee machine, hob units, a warmer drawer, a vacuumsealing drawer, a wine conditioning unit, various refrigeration products as well as dishwashers with Knock2open technology – all handleless versions from the current Miele range. Various cooker hood models which disappear self-effacingly behind furniture fronts when switched off round off the line-up. ‘With ArtLine, kitchen cabinetry and machines enter a symbiotic relationship - retiring and elegant at one and the same time’, says Gernot Trettenbrein, Director of Domestic Appliances International at Miele. ‘If we also consider the familiar ContourLine, PureLine and
TOP: Handleless wall oven from the ArtLine design series in brilliant white. The photo shows the model version with DirectSensor controls.
Signature series with all their colour and feature options, Miele customers have ample opportunities to design their kitchens around their own personalpreferences. Miele always offers the perfect integration with every style of kitchen’, summarises Trettenbrein. Technically, ArtLine models are based on current built-in appliances from Miele’s Generation 6000 – with one significant difference. The function of the handle on a conventional model is assumed by a sensor integrated into the fascia (Touch2open). Gently touching this sensor opens the motor-assisted door, damping its action as it reaches the fully open position. An oven cannot be operated with any greater effect as these Miele appliances are – at least at first sight – the personification of understatement. Customers can choose between two ArtLine model versions: Price-entry models feature Miele’s DirectSensor controls whilst top-of-the-range models boast an M Touch display which is reminiscent of a smartphone in the way it interacts with its user and also offers a practical search function for automatic programmes. Both versions are entirely without knobs. Built-in appliances in ArtLine design are available from Miele in brilliant white, obsidian black and a new graphite grey tone. This new colour exudes a sense of purity and elegance and goes well with a variety of kitchen designs but is most at home in a dark and cool interior design. The market launch of ArtLine built-in appliances is planned for the summer of 2016.
goods | brand van egmond
BLING IT ON BRAND VAN EGMOND TURNS UP THE HEAT WITH AN AVANT-GARDE LIGHT DESIGN THAT PUTS THE SPOTLIGHT ON THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE.
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THIS PICTURE: Bold and otherworldly, the Arthur hanging lamp is evocative of celestial fires and armour-clad knights.
ndeniably one of the most important, yet often understated, aspects of interior design, lighting’s power to change up a room’s ambience is unequivocal. But while the placement of a light source carries a great deal of weight with respect to optimising a space’s potential, as does the look and make of the light in question. For Brand van Egmond, this notion goes without saying. Having established its reputation for cutting edge luxury fixtures in the Netherlands and beyond, the Naarden-headquartered Dutch design studio has been regarded as a major trendsetter in the lighting industry for decades. Notable pieces such as the Fractal Cloud, a free-form hanging lamp composed of organic and asymmetrical shapes, and Kelp, a whimsical mass rendered in stainless steel, red copper or brass showcase Brand van Egmond’s ongoing emphasis on opulence and play. Arthur, the latest offering
TOP: Arthur’s striking framework is wreathed in dripping nickel-finished strands that create ambience by dramatically reflecting light.
from the studio, pulls out all the stops with a stirring chandelier design that features drip-like strands finished in gleaming nickel. Light is emitted from multiple bulbs located strategically behind Arthur’s shimmering metal curtain, giving off a simply majestic effect that is sure to enliven even the drabbest space. Moving beyond a conventional means of illumination, the studio’s signature light sculptures are not for the faint of heart. Meticulously handmade and doubling as works of art, the boldly wrought pieces are often deemed ‘haute couture’ lighting by design aficionados. The comparison to the world of statement-making, high fashion is comprehensible looking at Brand van Egmond’s impressive portfolio. Sought after by luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chopard and Neuhaus, their unique light works visually elevate a brand’s retail identity as easily as they lend punch and exclusivity to domestic living areas.
goods | rolf benz
STYLISH SHIFTS ROLF BENZ’S SUMPTUOUS NUVOLA ACCOMMODATES CHANGING LIFESTYLES WITH A FLOURISH, STAYING TRUE TO ITS ‘MADE FOR YOUR LIFE’ PHILOSOPHY.
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THIS PICTURE: The highly adaptable NUVOLA scores major points for its emphasis on comfort and its user-friendly qualities.
he perfect all-in-one seating arrangement, the NUVOLA’s versatile structure bodes well for style mavens keen on ongoing customisation. Remarkably comfortable and pleasing to the eye, this cleverly devised sectional sofa by famed German furniture-maker Rolf Benz ticks all the right boxes with respect to form and function. Designed with and without armrests, and with backless ottomans, every individual component is at once freestanding and part of a greater whole. With the choice of three seat height options as well as foot designs available in polished cast aluminum, traffic black or umbra grey, one can give the NUVOLA’s snug, luxuriant qualities a boost by choosing between two upholstery comfort variants: Lounge Plus and Lounge Deluxe. Comprising three anatomically shaped foams encased in a generous cassette chamber configuration with additional viscose foam and topped with a mat fashioned with hi-tech fibres, the new Lounge Deluxe was created with casual elegance in mind. Its luxe cover, a meticulously crafted, three-layer fleece ticking composite, comes as the ideal complement, promising extended periods of repose. Meanwhile, the Lounge Plus features a more pared down surface while proffering manifold seating arrangements; conforming to virtually every seating preference, specially constructed padding - such as back cushions with a stitched-on neck roll - make this variant a lounge lizard’s dream. Finally, for the ultimate living-room set-up, round off your personalised arrangement with the classic Rolf Benz 987 side table and shelving unit.
TOP RIGHT: One can choose from a wide array of cover styles and fabrics, including the dashing grey option pictured here.
goods | niro granite
WONDER WOOD EMULATING THE ORGANIC LOOK AND FEEL OF REAL WOOD, THIS STUNNINGLY DEVISED PORCELAIN TILE RANGE BY NIRO GRANITE BRINGS THE SPLENDOUR OF NATURE INTO YOUR HOME.
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THIS PICTURE: Chicly subtle, Softwood by Ecoforesta porcelain tiles stay cool while exuding a feeling of warmth.
t’s safe to say that green is a colour that will never go out of vogue, owing to an increasingly heightened awareness of our natural environment. As our immediate surroundings become more urbanised, the effects of modern city living escalate a collective need to be attuned to the elements. While there might not always be an opportunity to settle into a peaceful green respite well away from the stresses of daily life, it is now easier than ever to create a personal eco sanctuary by bringing nature-inspired designs into one’s living space. Launched by the premium tile manufacturer Niro Granite, the Softwood by Ecoforesta range brings Mother Nature to the fore. Tapping into one’s inclination to connect with the great outdoors, these eye-catching glazed porcelain tiles exude the genuine look and feel of wood through state-of-the-art digital technology. Featuring four unique tile types rendered in a selection of elegant neutral shades and wood textures, Softwood by Ecoforesta puts the spotlight on Niro Granite’s 100% ultra-fine and high resolution printing technology. These superbly composed tiles take it a step beyond by brandishing startlingly sharp images that brim with true-to-life authenticity. Captivatingly real, a fully tiled surface inspires onlookers to do a studied double take. Suitable for just about any space, Softwood by Ecoforesta’s cooling porcelain materiality is wonderfully ideal for hot or tropical climates.
TOP: SoftWood by EcoForesta series from left to right GDW01 LegnaBianco 20x120, GDW02 LegnoBeigo 20x120, GDW03 MarroneLegno 20x120, GDW04 LegnaCastano 20x120
MIDDLE RIGHT: Available in four different tile types, the range gives rise to stylish spaces imbued with a rustic touch.
goods | interface
A DESIGN EVOLUTION WITH SO MANY OF THE NEW PRODUCTS FROM INTERFACE HOSPITALITY, YOU CAN’T EVEN TELL THAT THEY’RE TILE, UNLESS YOU LOOK REALLY CLOSELY.
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THIS PICTURE: Timeless floral patterns from the PortmanteauTM Collection create a cosy living area with subtle earth tones.
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THIS PICTURE: Classic patterns from the Portmanteau Collection pay tribute to vintage rugs while bringing artisanal value to the floor.
he stereotype of the business traveller— middle-aged, white, male—has given way to a new demographic that is young, diverse and grounded in a culture of work that intersects with all parts of life. In response to this shifting landscape, the hospitality industry is coming up with subtler, more sophisticated environments and a more judicious use of colour. “Where once we might have seen bold, vibrant colours throughout,” says Melissa Cranshaw, Interface Hospitality USA, “the trend is now for subtler, more timeless looks that emphasize pattern and texture.” With this shift, the floor has become less a feature element than an integral part of the overall aesthetic. Cranshaw cites developments at Interface Hospitality within the last years that are propelling this trend forward. The introduction of the elongated Skinny Planks™ allows for much more fluid transitions, as does Urban Retreat™, a collection of three products featuring a transition element along the edge of the tiles in one style that allows for gradual changes. The recent launch of the Portmanteau™ Collection expands greatly upon this concept, with patterns over a series of tiles that facilitate movement both horizontally and vertically and allow designers to choose which elements create this movement across a floor. This is the kind of versatility and creative license that is every designer’s dream. Heather Washington, Interface Hospitality Australia, has over 15 years of design experience in the region. “I’m seeing real changes in the way designers are beginning to use our system of squares and planks. At first many are sceptical, I guess even nervous, because what we offer is so different to traditional broadloom. But once they have had a chance to play with the product they really get it.”
Florence Sam, Interface Hospitality Asia agrees. “The designs and effects achievable with our carpet tiles are more exciting than anything else in the market and what we offer on top of that is a level of flexibility and functionality that is simply not possible with broadloom.” The latest success for Interface Hospitality has been the new Portmanteau Collection. Displayed at HI Design Asia amongst other expos, the eye-catching collection brings a lush and exiting vibe to the Interface Hospitality range.
TOP RIGHT: Portmanteau’s velvety textures coloured in luxurious purple, adding a sense of class.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Bright yellow hues used with the Portmanteau Collection provide visual contrast in a dining area.
INTRODUCING PORTMANTEAU: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL Travel with your eyes wide open and your senses turned on. Decoration and ornamentation are hardly trivial. They evoke memories, lift the spirits and, on occasion, take our breath away. How is it that the best of these are always reassuringly familiar, yet somehow surprisingly new? The notion of the portmanteau as something that brings together disparate qualities is artfully embodied in this new collection. At the centre of the Portmanteau Collection are six patterns in a shamefully luscious construction. To help you carry the theme throughout the entire hotel, two companions are available for each of the six patterns - incrementally diffusing the texture, so transitions can move slowly across the floor or abruptly for dramatic effect. And finally a texture, shared by all, like a loosely woven textile that beautifully offsets the graphic quality of the other patterns. And every bit of it is sink-yourtoes-in depth. Don’t mind if I do, Portmanteau.
event | goodrich global
SPRING UPDATES 2016
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
choice | ode to art
ORGANIC STILL STEEL FOREST L
ee Gil-Rae graduated from Kyunghee University after studying in the department of art education, later going on to gain his Masters in the discipline of Sculpture. For twenty years, Lee used nature as his muse and crafted sculptures from steel and copper pipes. With rapid deforestation, Lee Gil-Rae’s trees narrate the artificial nature that city dwellers so closely identify with. The man-made and constructed simulation of nature is apparent in all towns and cities. Nature is removed and confined to make room for the ever-expanding population. Lee Gil-Rae has participated in several exhibitions in Korea, America and Japan and features in numerous permanent collections. He constructs enormous forests of copper, capturing this rapidly depleting resource for eternity. In his persistent need to create organic forms Lee Gil-Rae takes it one step further in creating man-made nature. His works consist of surreal, leafless forests that one can meander into, with spiralling branches that are unnatural in structure but organic in aesthetic. These draw the viewer in to witness the intricate exteriors that mimic the curves and notches of aged tree bark. His sprawling branches fan out and are tipped with wisps of copper representing the needles of the pine trees, in true homage to Mother Nature.He recently introduced a new series of Artworks to his art lovers, which contributes to his wonderfully visualized imaginary world with sculptures made with Epoxy Resin, a unique technique that has been deeply studied in order to best realize the emotions and feelings of his characters. “My concept for the Tree Series is to depict trees at their strongest and fullest vitality. It can be said that the shape of trees as natural objects expands one’s vision of nature and an Oriental mise-en-scene is created through the laborious and intensive weaving process.”
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THIS PICTURE: Steel Wall Sculpture, 270 x 250 x 30 cm
Ronald Lu & Partners: Define Your New Lifestyle Experience