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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

World Festival of Interiors announces winners DAY 3

October 15th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors

From 60 nominations worldwide, the best interior of 2014 has been named at an international awards competition and festival in Singapore: Mott 32 by Joyce Wang Studio. Announced at a ceremony at the world famous Marina Bay Sands hotel as part of the INSIDE – World Festival of Interiors, the project was recognised by the judges for its dramatic and successful transformation from a basement in Hong Kong into one of the city’s best and most beautiful eating destinations.

Located in a former storage facility, which once housed expensive family heirlooms for wealthy Chinese immigrants, Mott 32 is now an atmospheric underworld dining experience. Taking inspiration from the heritage of the site, the restaurant is littered with forgotten heirlooms, Chinese propaganda and industrial materials doubling as furniture and light fittings. Joyce Wang Studio took a decaying space and combined traditional Chinese décor with industrial design elements, already popular in New York and London. Located underground, with no natural light, the designer embraced the constraints of the venue and used them to create a theatrical and exclusive experience as guests are guided downstairs through a long, snaking corridor.

Inside the restaurant, bricks twist and turn and form shapes inspired by wind patterns. Light fittings are housed in metal mesh cages and former vaults become exclusive booths. Delicate detailing combines with raw materials, such as concrete and metals, to create a bold design that sees Western and Eastern influences combine.

When receiving the award, Joyce Wang explained:
‘Winning the World Interior of the Year will mean so much to the team. We are a practice of ten people and the project was very personal to the entire team. It was a Hong Kong project, it explored Hong Kong culture both past and present, which makes the project such a special one and winning this award even better’.

The judges came to a unanimous decision to select Mott 32 as the winner from nine category winners.

David Kohn, winner of last year’s World Interior of the Year award and judge for this year, said:
‘Joyce Wang Studio took a constraining location and maximised what was possible, using the existing structure to create a sophisticated and detailed project’.

Pernilla Ohrstedt, the designer behind the Coca-Cola Beatbox – the interactive pavilion on the London Olympic Park – and judge of the award added:
‘A wonderful series of rooms with a rich texture and narrative, creating a movie-like and theatrical environment for the diners. From small details to the complete design, everything has been thoughtfully considered and was a stand-out candidate for this important award’.

INSIDE – World Festival of Interiors 2015 will take place 4-6 November next year and Joyce Wang will become part of the distinguished judging panel who will decide the next winner of the World Interior of the Year award.

Press requests:

Caro Communications, 0207 713 9388, @carocomms
Rob Fiehn and Jordan Lewis will be based in Singapore throughout the festival

Requests from press based in Europe please email

World Interior of the Year 2014:

Category: Bars & Restaurants
Architect/Designer: JOYCE WANG STUDIO
Project: Mott 32
Location: Hong Kong

Image Courtesy ©  JOYCE WANG STUDIO

Image Courtesy © JOYCE WANG STUDIO

Image Courtesy ©  JOYCE WANG STUDIO

Image Courtesy © JOYCE WANG STUDIO

Originally a storage facility for family heirlooms forgotten by wealthy Chinese immigrants, Joyce Wang Studio combined this history into their contemporary design. MOTT32 creates a blend of industrial New York design and classical Chinese décor, complemented with an inspired collection of forgotten heirlooms, Colonial-style furnishings and antique Chinese propaganda. Accessibility to the site for diners was also a difficult issue to tackle for the practice due to a long snaking route but this meandering path now creates a more hidden and exclusive arrival experience.

Category winners:

Category: Civic, Culture and Transport
Architect/Designer: One Plus Partnership Limited
Location: Hong Kong
The design of Cine Times traces back to the roots of filmmaking, in an age where movies are rapidly changing with new technologies One Plus Partnership set out to subtly remind visitors of the original black and white pictures of the 19th century. Free flowing walls symbolise the rolls of film with thin breaks reminiscent of the breaking and reunifying the rolls of film. Lights fill every void and hang in multiple directions from the ceiling, allowing visitors to imagine themselves as the star of the movie they are about to see.

Category: Creative Re-use
Architect/Designer: MPH Architects
Project: Sustainable Industries Education Centre – Tonsley Tafe
Location: Adelaide, Australia
The Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC) – Tonsley Tafe project is an initiative of the South Australian government to reduce operating costs of the TafeSA’s Building and Construction Trade Training programs. The scheme sets out to consolidate five aging campuses into a single contemporary site. The new facility is an example of adaptive re-use on a major scale, as 90 per cent of the existing steel structure has been retained and a new flexible and adaptable education facility have been created to provides opportunities for innovation and displays of students’ work. The internal layout successfully provides a variety of spaces for student learning and glazed partitioning is used throughout to maximise the showcasing of work. The internal design surrounds two intersecting streets that separate the public areas and the teaching and learning spaces.

Category: Display
Architect/Designer: Singapore University of Technology and Design
Project: IDC Space: research and display space for the International Design Centre
Location: Singapore
Situated at the heart of the Dover Campus of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, IDC Space is a showcase space for the International Design Centre. The 13m x 16m space hosts an office, a small prototyping lab as well as an exhibition gallery for showcasing some of the most exciting on-going IDC design research work. The space features a ceiling installation comprised of 6000 custom-designed lighting and display components; the light fixtures are based on a patent-pending SUTD/IDC design. Partitions, posters, and exhibition panels are suspended from the ceiling so the space can quickly be reconfigured for multiple uses.

Category: Education and Health
Architect/Designer: CRAB studio
Project: Abedian School of Architecture, Bond University
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
The Abedian School of Architecture is located on the Bond University campus designed in the 1980s by Arata Isozaki. The building is a long, airy structure split over three levels articulated by a series of rooms that can be used for casual

Category: Hotels
Architect/Designer: FHAMS Ltd.
Project: Tama Hotel Phnom Penh Tower
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Located in the Phnom Penh Tower building, the Tama Hotel has been designed for oversees business visitors. Workspace and comfortable settings suited for both long and short stay guests’ help to create a homely environment. The restaurant has been designed to be a working lunch space for entertaining clients and desk space for laptops.

Category: Offices
Architect/Designer: Clive Wilkinson Architects
Project: The Barbarian Group
Location: New York, USA
This radically simplified office concept imagines an endless table that physically connects everyone in the office to each other. With a highly constrained budget, the architects adapted an existing office space for a flexible community of 125 to 175 people, recycling perimeter rooms and services for acoustically controlled spaces and clearing the central zone. The endless table’s plywood structure rises from the existing oak floor with pony walls supporting the table, which is lifted to fly over the pathways in the office. By maintaining surface continuity, this results in arches with grotto-like spaces underneath which can accommodate a variety of amenities, meeting spaces, private focused workspace, or bookshelves and other storage. The top surface of the table is an ethereal pearlescent white, with a clear epoxy coating, emphasising its fluid nature.  After being initially drawn by hand and then molded in a physical model, the plywood supporting structure was thereafter entirely shaped by computer-aided design. In its final form, the table is made up of 870 unique plywood panels equating to a 4,400 square foot surface.

Category: Residential
Architect/Designer: JOYCE WANG STUDIO
Location: Shanghai, China
A three-storey penthouse set in the heart of Shanghai’s Xintiandi district, this private residence boasts some of the best lake and skyline views in the city. A cantilever staircase winds around the double-height atrium and as one ascends the stairs the stunning view unfolds. The dinning area sits within a nest-like environment so the family can enjoy the intimacies of their home. Wood-grain etched concrete, Corten steel and walnut timber line the walls, floors and ceiling in reference to the warehouses of old Shanghai. Geometric graphic patterns are created on the flooring as one material joins another in order to zone various areas in the home.

Category: Retail
Architect/Designer: studio mk27
Project: Cultura Bookstore
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Cultura bookstore has been designed to be a bookstore for the 21st century, a store where socialising, relaxing and purchasing are all combined. The top floor provides the main area of the store, a large area encased with bookshelves provides an open plan space with lounge chairs where customers can read and discuss. The space also features large tables and can be used for lectures and other events.

Alongside the category winners the following were awarded Highly Commended:

Category: Bars & Restaurants
Project: Auriga
Location: Mumbai, India
Transformed from a disused warehouse, Auriga is a nightclub and restaurant that creates the feeling of being within a sculpture rather than looking at one. The nightclub on the ground floor is made up of a series of angular aluminium fins that fold to create the roof, the walls, bar and staircase. On the second floor the restaurant is a more fluid design to contrast to the angular shapes downstairs, thin wooden strips flow freely from the ceiling and walls to the bar and kitchen counters. Auriga has been designed and delivered on a small budget and in a sustainable manner, the lower floor is made from the waste metal left over from the manufacturing of air conditioning units and the upper level is leftover wood from other projects.

Category: Creative Re-use
Architect/Designer: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office
Project: Design Republic Design Commune
Location: Shanghai, China
Located in the center of Shanghai, the Design Commune houses the new flagship store for Design Republic, a modern furniture retailer. The Commune features a design gallery, an event space, a café, a restaurant by Michelin-Starred Chef Jason Atherton, and a one-bedroom Design Republic apartment. Situated within the historic relic of the Police Headquarters built by the British in the 1910s, Neri&Hu introduced a modern glass insertion onto the brick façade creating a direct contrast with the interior, where modern white rooms are juxtaposed with untouched remnants of brick walls.

Category: Education and Health
Architect/Designer: CIT
Project: Architecture Factory
Location: Cork, Ireland
Created from an existing warehouse, this cost effective education and learning facility uses shipping containers to create lecture offices and studios. An open boulevard creates both easy circulation around the site and acts as an interactive and co-learning area. Prior to designing this project CIT tested the learning outcomes of using shared studio spaces and the results showed that learning improved dramatically when students were directly exposed to their peers work and learning techniques. This outcome saw the design focus on open space and student interaction at the core of the site. Architecture Factory holds 13 workspaces delivered for just €60,000 and accommodates 332 people.

Category: Hotels
Architect/Designer: a21studio
Project: The Tent
Location: Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam
The Tent is a small spa perched in the folds of a rock face terrace, inside an operating hot spring and mineral resort looking over the main river of Nha Trang city, Vietnam.  One of the biggest constraints of the site is the intense heat from the West, which is constant throughout the year but the Tent’s steep roof with thick thatch helps not only to deflect the sunlight but also blends the project with the surrounding landscape. The roof props lend a distinctive look to the Tent, shields the interior against the elements and also makes up the main structure of the building. The main beams that span the Tent are connected using indigenous building techniques, mortise and tenon joints, together with local materials, dry-stacked stones and coconut leaves, with rocks quarried on site and reinforced steel and tiles. Inside the Tent, the space is divided into two levels, on the lower space there is an infinity mineral pool with traditional wooden furniture. On the upper floor, there is a private bedroom covered by a wood frame and coloured glass with a net installed in the void between the structure and rock, allowing guests to look down to the river below.

Category: Residential
Architect/Designer: Manor Studio Pte Ltd
Project: Chu Lin Road Apartment
Location: Singapore
Chu Lin Road Apartment is an intervention within an apartment built in the 1960s post war period, nestled in the quaint neighbourhood of Chu Lin Road. The original footprint of the apartment was both deep and long but suffered from a lack of natural light and ventilation. The impetus of the new design was to retain the spaciousness of the original layout whilst encouraging maximum cross ventilation and natural light. The false ceiling that ran across the space was removed and the original walls were demolished in favour of an open plan space, following the structural beams. These beams, which once used to cap off the full height brick walls, now support a floating solid pine cabinetry in the middle of the apartment. Designed with different heights and porosity, and extending in various directions, this central cabinet piece is conceived as a sculpture that not only forms the focal point of the apartment but also delineates the spaces while maintaining spatial continuity, ventilation and natural lighting throughout the apartment.

Category: Retail
Architect/Designer: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office
Project: Camper Showroom/Office
Location: Shanghai, China
Inspired by the surrounding urban environment, this Camper Showroom reassembles the Shanghai ‘nong-tang’ alleyways. An exterior lane extends into the showroom creating a sectional cut in the structure and a skylight heightens the experience by casting long linear shadows across the walls throughout the day. Neri&Hu designed the store as their interpretation of a two-storey house slotted in an old warehouse. The project sees grey brick combined with wood salvaged from demolished lane houses. The salvaged wood reveals a history from the paint, newspaper and wallpaper still attached to the planks.
Notes to Editors:

i2i Events Group delivers world-class exhibitions and large scale events in key sectors including architecture, interior design, home and gift, fashion, retail, healthcare, energy, environment, education, technology and media. Its portfolio of world-wide events includes World Retail Congress, RWM, Spring Fair, Naidex, BVE, Bett and Pure London. i2i Events Group prides itself on opening up possibilities for its customers and each year brings more than 250,000 decision makers together to network, source, test, buy and sell brilliant products, services, ideas and solutions.

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Category: Interiors

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