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Uncovering the Grand Finalists of the Covet International AwardsTuesday 8 January 2019
Uncovering the Grand Finalists of the Covet International Awards ⇒ The Covet International Awards is a fierce design contest organised by Covet Group and the Brhands Foundation that seeks to promote the most outstanding interior design projects in the world. The international awards are divided into a series of categories, from residential to commercial. Today, CovetED unveils the grand finalists of this unique ceremonial distinction that seeks to revive the value and meaning of art, design and craftsmanship, so take a look.
For the house of Jim Thompson in Bangkok, which formalises, in the Thai megalopolis, a harbour of peace condensing the exuberance of a tropical landscape and the quiet intimacy of Thai culture coloured room, the Jim Thompson shops represent a juxtaposition of various realms. A vast central void symbolises the tropical garden, framed by a pleated green silk curtain background to which are attached ascending golden shelves supporting objects. Inserted in the curtain, thick doors open onto a series of alcoves. These are intimate rooms with dark wood tonalities, green recesses, golden sparks, which hold ranges of clothes or accessories, in a staging of oriental and occidental dialectic.
The shop of Siam Paragon Mall, on a surface of 550sqm, is the first command to the agency to formalize the ideas developed in the concept. Delivered in July 2017, the project gets organized around a vast central space on the ground of green marble livened up by gilded inserts, where groups of fractal furniture, sometimes support of tropical plants, are implanted.
Suspended on 5.50m of height, the curtain of green silk waved, in silk weaved by the mark, draws a landscape strewed with golden shelves. In the centre of the volume, a zenithal light feigns the diurnal light by a led lamp reproducing the circadian rhythm. Through wide openings, the space of the “garden” communicates with a series of dedicated alcoves: ready-to-wear clothing Women and Men, Accessories, Home Design, containing intimate rooms on the ground, walnut walls liven up the green background of the presentation recess and the tropical tapestries wallpaper. In every alcove, a golden niche stages Thai dancers’ hands, stuffed parrots or openwork Chinese lanterns, a wink to South-East Asia. Several golden tables, designed by thaï designer Rush Pleansuk, enhance the composition of the Home design section.
Located in Jakarta Indonesia, Asya is the family orientated and warm-hearted development which centres around the family ancestry as a concept. Using the family tree as a physical concept, various architectural elements trickles and flows through the space as lighting and partition features. The various spaces are structured with interconnecting components, warm lighting with soft textures throughout to echo the warmth and sentiment within the areas.
These physical details weave and envelop the visitor within a comfortable surround, reiterating the sense of familial protection and nurture, creating different functional areas of open and enclosed spaces without making the space too small. The Reception sculpture is an abstraction of a tree, simulating the concept of lineage.
The design team, led by Denis Montel, created an architectural project influenced by the main lines of the local architecture. The modern style of the building highlights the copper-coloured anodized aluminium façade that shows the rhythm and verticality of bamboo as a material. The interior decoration was based on materials like lacquered wood, leather, stucco, marble, and woven metal and on a palette of warm colours. The spaces are subdivided by some champagne-coloured woven metal pieces. On the floor, we have two different textures, mosaic on the ground floor and bamboo parquet on the rest of the places. However, you can still find some floor rugs, covered in the pattern of bamboo fibres, in certain spots of the shop.
To bring in even more light, the corner of the building has been hollowed out at both ground floor and mezzanine level (the first floor). This hollow space captures and diffuses the light. On the upper level, it gives way to a balcony from which the city, its skyscrapers and its double-decker tram can be admired. The extensive use of glass on both façades suffuses the store with golden light. Filtered by a forest of bamboo in the heart of the urban jungle, it allows a sophisticated nature to regain its rights and powers.
Donnie Hubbard had only two simple requests when he hired his friend Chris Goddard of Goddard Design Group to create the interiors of his Rogers men’s store: A place to hang clothes and lockers in the private lounge area. Known for his expertise in high-end and luxury design, Chris created a story that tells the tale of Hubbard Clothing Co. “When you walk in the door, you feel like you’ve been transported to Madison Avenue or a shop in Europe,” Chris says of the design that started with antique oil paintings, which can be seen in a number of applications throughout the space. Here’s how he designed three distinct areas that function together for the ultimate luxury shopping experience.
Hubbard Clothing Co. features men’s clothing selections from around the globe, so it was important the design of the shop reflected this cosmopolitan influence. Chris custom designed all of the display pieces, allowing him to carry his vision throughout even the smallest details. Solid black backgrounds allow the clothes to stand out, while the incorporation of plaids and leather lend what the designer calls an “English country house feel” to the overall look—thus adding to its worldliness.
In the private lounge area, which is accessed by walking through a custom-built armoire, the theme continues. “This is really like a gentleman’s speakeasy,” Chris says of the secluded space that occupies one-third of the store’s square footage. A series of wall lockers store liquor with watchful eyes peeking through each of the oversized keyholes. Similarly, oil paintings (and a 1950s mounted Dall sheep) look down from the wall space above a red Chesterfield sofa. Finally, a billiards table invites endless games and fosters the communal sense of camaraderie that seems to flow through the shop.
Hubbard’s bespoke barber shop, which is manned by Italian barber Gaetano Mariconi, is no different in feel than the rest of the store. Again, reflecting the inspirational oil portraits, a paper created from Polaroids that Andy Warhol took of himself with different haircuts and wigs cover the front of the washstand, giving the feel of eyes looking out at clients who are in the chair for a trim. The rich black walls lend a cosy, private feel that adds to the complete luxury experience of a shop and a shave.
The Fighters Club Hong Kong III (FCHK III) locates at the edge of Causeway Bay, the central commercial area in Hong Kong thrilled with fashionable youth, expatriates, sports clubs and bars. FCHK III was the latest addition to the series of FCHK – a luxury one-to-one tailored fitness club focusing on healthy lifestyle and mentality with a touch of zest. The design focuses on the spatial experience and sequence with a careful choice of materials that would balance practicality with elegance, and luxury with a budget.
With approx. 200 sq.m on the 18th floor of a building with 3-sided curtain wall, the rectangular space is accessed from the middle which poses a challenge to the circulation of how the changing room can be accessed with privacy in a small area during check-in. The design solution turns the challenge into a unique experience by creating a semi-circular entry zone that, on one side, minimises the circulation space (fast traffic zone) towards the training ground and on the other, opens up space for the reception. The entry zone is visually closed off by a feature wall. While the entry zone offers a sense of peace and cleanses the soul arriving from the hustle city, visitors can subtly hear the beat and sounds from the training area resonated from the carefully designed curve walls cladded with white Corian.
While the entry zone is cladded with white marble from Italy, another white wall is finished with Corian with a similar pattern for ease of maintenance. The feature wall is finished with black Corian with a subtle pattern as a reminiscence of black marble. The idea is to present the respect and self-confidence, so much as how design can transform spaces and materials. While the seating area across the reception provides a posh yet homely feeling, the bar behind the feature wall offers a panorama towards the city with exclusiveness. The seating area aims to convey comfort and a feeling of ‘being home again’, in contrast to the vigorous training area.
Located off Chicago’s Elston industrial corridor and towering above the new Midtown Athletic Club, the 3,300 sqm, 55-room Hotel at Midtown provides active travellers with an exclusive fitness experience and brings a high-end lifestyle centre to boutique hospitality. The Midtown Athletic Club and Hotel project is part of a 54,000 sqm development, transforming what was the largest indoor tennis club in the country to the largest lifestyle centre in the country.
Human interaction was the measure to design both the interiors and exteriors of the project. From the gradual height increases in section to the clear intuitive wayfinding, every detail is considered part of the human experience. Guestrooms are artfully detailed with custom finishes and furnishings for relaxation and ease. Each room has custom features beginning with etched cross-cut wood room signage, and moving inside to the walnut casework with ergonomic pulls, headboard with open storage, and a frame supporting the vanity that keeps toiletries and towels dry and within arms length. In addition, the floor to ceiling custom wallpaper defers to the urban context and appears like an abstract painting behind the bed. In a chance meeting with tennis icon Venus Williams, the client asked her firm, V Starr Interiors, to design the interior of one suite and new tennis lounge. At Midtown, connection to the human experience is felt in the impeccable design of everything.
Alveolus Mangwon by Alveolus Space LAB
Where fitness is an amenity to the typical hotel, the Hotel at Midtown serves as an amenity to the 19,000 sqm high-end Club. Hotel guests have all of the perks of Club members – from boutique studios such as Yoga, Pilates, group fitness, multimedia Spinning, Boxing and rooftop workout areas – to custom amenities such as a signature Restaurant, indoor and outdoor Pools, a Spa and a full-service Salon. Staying true to the project concept and requirements, relentless attention was paid to the over-all unification from master planning to the smallest detail.
Alveolus Mangwon, the first hotel in Korea to be operated as a single room suite and it was conceived by Kim Young Seok, the founder and head designer of the Alveolus Space LAB and the former worker of the Junglim Architecture firm. The Alveolus Space LAB is in charge of the design segment responsible not only for business models, branding, architectural design, interior design, furniture, and accessories, but also space styling and space management and marketing. Whether they focus on hotels, stores or houses, their design projects consist of the creation of a new space where exists a complex interaction that results in a unique experience.
Located in the residential area of Mangwon-dong, in Seoul, the entire process of branding, brand design, remodelling and space design of this interior decor project was created based on a consistent design concept. The area where the new single room suite hotel is located retains almost the conventional Morden house role model, first built in 1971. All of the exterior aesthetic of the design project was based on the value of “Milestone of history”, a small reminder of memories of the city.
Drawing in panoramic views of the city skyline, Ascott Marunouchi Tokyo is conceptualized as both a literal and figurative lens through which guests can contemplate the dynamic movement and vibrancy of Japan’s metropolitan capital. Inspired by the synergistic relationship between the rapid pace of modernization and the dignified charm of local culture, the design harmonizes vernacular minimalist principles with luxurious modern trappings. One observes a consonance between two different worlds.
Trees, blossoms, leaves, water and clouds, motifs that epitomize the Japanese philosophy of Zen, adorn the walls and ceilings, while linear elements resonate with the surrounding high‐rise architecture. Seemingly disparate elements are employed to achieve a quiet balance, an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of the thriving metropolis. The design experience begins as one crosses the threshold from the busy thoroughfare into a ground‐floor foyer enveloped in warm and welcoming hues of brown, bronze and soft gold. Entering the lift, panels of brown and bubble‐filled blue glass evoke a sense of fluid motion. As one travels upward, the lighting shifts subtly from blue to white, the only indication of movement in the silently ascending vessel, heralding guests’ arrival at the 22nd-floor sky lobby.
At the reception area, taking centre stage is an objet d’art that draws from the Japanese ensō. Designed by Korean artist Bahk Seong Ghi, the artwork combines Avant‐garde form with earthy charcoal. The ensō, traditionally a circle hand‐drawn in an uninhibited brushstroke to express spontaneous freedom of expression, is reinterpreted using suspended fragments of charcoal. Where an ensō circle is typically either closed, to represent perfection, or incomplete, to symbolize the never-ending quest for improvement, Bahk’s masterpiece allows for multiple perspectives.
This union of venerable philosophy and modern innovation characterises the design approach to Ascott Marunouchi Tokyo. In the lounge, Shinnosuke Tojo’s triptych of copper plates uses calming colours, fluid strokes and deliberate rusting of the metal plate to reflect the passage of time. The artwork’s constantly evolving patina is a perfect allegory for the Japanese concept of ‘Mono No Aware’, or the ephemerality of existence.
Hotel Alessandra is personified as the eldest of three European-born sisters—she is glamorous, refined and well-travelled with an unmistakable sensuality and sense of style. Her Houston incarnation thrives as a transplant in a city that welcomes newcomers from every conceivable background and offers charming contrasts of polish and carefree eccentricity at every turn. Alessandra is a contemporary reinterpretation of Old World elegance, grandeur and European charm.
A lean, contemporary jigsaw of planes and glass, the exterior creates an element of mystery for what lies within Hotel Alessandra’s modern shell. The interior architecture is devoid of any true old world details as it is a contemporary statement about the grandeur of arches, tall ceilings and architectural volumes. The experience begins in an intimate, soaring lobby anchored by a marble grand staircase surrounded by sepia mirrored walls, stone floors and floating groin vault ceilings. First introduced here, a colour scheme of white, graphite, gold and jade is repeated subtly throughout the property. Surrounding the entry vestibule are the second story public spaces including Bar Bardot, Lucienne Restaurant and reception area with niche seating, mirrored wall elements and back-lit knife edge ceiling which offers dramatic effects upon arrival.
Behind the reception desk is a captivating piece by Reinhard Görner which sets the tone for the guests’ stay—it is intimate, profound and mysterious, like Alessandra herself. The design approach was to create a modern space that referenced the past authentically without trying to deceive the guest. Classical architectural elements appear in new forms as if they are plaster castings of the historical structure. Groin and barrel vaults are seen floating throughout, free of visible structural mechanisms, as the forms were carefully dissolved and cut to define and organize the spaces of the hotel, magnified by light to ensure the truth is revealed and celebrated.
The city of Porto has always marched to the beat of its own drum. This alternative and independent spirit is something that is immediately felt when walking around its streets and when talking to the locals. In a city so rich in history and culture, we wanted to create something that properly celebrated that unique Porto essence. The House of Sandeman Hostel & Suites, the world’s very first Branded Hostel celebrates one of the greatest Port Wine brands in the world, right on top of the river Douro, in one of Porto’s most iconic buildings.
The Interior Design has transformed the spaces into new ones irreverent and comfortable, at the same time. The staterooms are unique spaces which recall the wine cellars and the Sandeman cellars that are on the lower floor. The “vindima” (the Portuguese word for the grape harvest) baskets serve as lighting for the rooms and many other details always connect us with the history of Port wine in a subtle way. In the large Hall of the staterooms, the arches, in ancient stone, merged with a typical “ramada” of grapes, with natural light and the mythical Don in the background. The whole atmosphere is relaxed, with sophisticated details in a mix of modern and old pieces.
Tand and Ip presented a project for modern residential development. “2Gether” is the name of the latest modern design project from the Ptang Studio Limited. This modern clubhouse is located along the south coast of Tuen Mun, China. The clubhouse has a panoramic sea view from five natural bays. This modern architecture house is inspired by the details from the natural environment. However, the interior design of the house captures the dynamic factor of the area’s active suburban lifestyle.
Throughout the multiple areas of the “2Gether” house, the designers’ team wanted to accentuate light through the structure and earthy neutral tones sprinkled with vibrant splashes of colour and introduction of geometric and abstract shapes. The goal is to enhance the concept of crisp natural living within a contemporary atmosphere.
The multi-functional living and dining area was based on an open space layout with no solid partitions since they have been designed specifically for looking to the common spaces as an extension of their own private homes. This detail allows its residents to embrace the social space for a range of social gatherings.
The apartment owner is an art lover that had a rock and roll vibe in his personality. The client is also passionate about boasts, so a few nautical elements were introduced throughout the apartment. Many of the pieces that decorate this home were entirely made out of the same style of wood that you can find in the structure of numerous boats.
The starting and focal point for this design project was to highlight the artwork that was placed around the house. However, the challenge relied on incorporating that rock and roll touch that the client wanted, without messing around or overshadowing the artwork. Rich colours shades, like maroons and deep blues, were incorporated in the modern style decor of the house. The interior designer wanted to capture the owner’s personality and transmit it to the house decor.
This is a unique sea facing apartment with a spectacular view of the famed Mumbai ‘Queens Necklace’ coast. Although the overall layout was a typical grid formed apartment layout there was a deliberate attempt to create something out of the ordinary both in terms of layout and then ultimately finishes. Free-flowing spaces and exploration of curved and sinuous forms create a new spatial typology for apartment design. Special efforts have been made by incorporating large oversize windows with minimum frames to make sure that the view is not obstructed by vertical members of the window frame. The challenge was to make this apartment feel more intimate. The low ceiling heights and structural beams were to be camouflaged so as to make the space feel seamless.
Intimate sofa arrangements ensure a sense of closeness and connect with the guests in the formal living room. A wall faced piano is neatly tucked into the corner of the space. The spectacular floor finished with a customized marble and glass colibiri pattern takes centre stage and works as a metaphorical rug to make the space more connected.
The Dining room windows have been redesigned to enjoy seamless glazing over-looking the view. Reflective surfaces on the ceiling and a brass dining table serve as an interesting backdrop for a bespoke chandelier which orients one in
the direction of the view. In the shape of an open capsule, the kitchen has peripheral curved counters and a mat glass island arc standing central. The finishes are in tones of white with a striped marble floor adding a visual context.
The view has been strategically considered while creating the luxurious master bedroom. Notice the defragmentation of the typical bathroom layout by positioning the shower cubicle as a cast glass finished enclosure almost in the middle of the space. The main master bed from ‘Roberto Cavalli’ takes centre stage and is aligned perfectly to reveal a stunning view of the sea and the skyline across. Every individual piece of activity is planned in the master bedroom suite keeping in mind experience and comfort-oriented point of view.
The owner of several car dealerships in Ramsey lake, Sudbury, a city north of Toronto and his wife, hired Atelier Cachet to design the interior of their 1300m2 estate for themselves and their three children. The modern gem which took 3 years to build has 7 baths, 4 powder rooms and 7 bedrooms including 140m2 of terraces, an infinity edge pool and spa. The design vision had to be modern, inspiring with clean lines, while creating impact and maximum comfort. Strong architectural elements throughout were implemented to create the ultimate in luxury living. A High level of craftsmanship and artisan skills were required for the project.
The home has multi-levels of stunning views from all floors facing the lake including a soaring double-height, glass window wall. From the foyer, guests are greeted with magnificent architectural metal screens raising 24 feet above the floor that lead into a double volume sunken lounge. The main floor has panoramic Lake views and a custom hotel-like 8-foot fireplace clad with marble. Polished Italian porcelain flooring, 7-inch wide, oak plank hardwood throughout and a beautifully appointed custom kitchen with Miele appliances and stone countertops. Large islands and a breakfast bar are adjacent to the dining space with a wine cellar enclosed in glass. The sumptuous master suite features a private deck, lounge area, his and hers walk-in closet and spa-like ensuite.
The River Oaks condominiums is a 250,000 square-foot luxury condominium offering exclusive high-rise living in the heart of Houston’s most prestigious neighbourhood. Originally designed in the early 1960s, the mid-century building became iconic for its exclusive address, expansive grounds, and Miesian-style architecture. The landmark building is being transformed to meet 21st-century expectations while retaining the integrity of the legacy building and evoking an elegant, contemporary and sophisticated lifestyle reflective of the neighbourhood.
The River Oaks has been carefully designed to exhibit a modernist point of view allowing the outside to flow seamlessly inside so that interior and exterior space are seen as one and acting as a minimal backdrop to the owner’s
own collection of objects. The architecture and design offer a welcome retreat from the hard edges of the urban landscape without sacrificing the benefits of in-town living. In a homage to the original mid-century design, the interiors feature slabs of limestone and book-matched wood walls, marble floors with metal inlay and antiques juxtaposed with fine modern art in the lobby. Lush landscaping and resort-style panache provide a private oasis of luxury that transitions seamlessly from outside to inside. The project celebrates and embraces the streamlined modern nature of the building, yet enhance it with the glory that it should have originally had.
The River Oaks epitomizes Houston’s refined taste in and love of both contemporary and vintage design. The approach to unit design features expansive floor plans and ample natural light, creating an added sense of relaxation in the heart of the city. The model, furnished with the finest handcrafted contemporary living, dining and bedroom furniture complimented with vintage lounge chairs, coffee tables and accessories, is intentionally minimal allowing the potential homeowner to fill in the blanks and envision their own style within the space.
Dio by Gareth Seah
Designing a couture interior space in Singapore for a penthouse covering 200sqm that focuses on the clean lines and shapes as a primary vector, layered with inimitable materials that reveal its story and history. It is a space unique from one another and priceless to the ones who desire. The design was influenced by modernist architects and designers such as Le Corbusier, Mies Van Der Rohe & Gio Ponti. With the use of holy grails such as marble (Lapicida), wood (TalaricoHardwood), metal and lights which are fused together to create a modern luxury space like no other.
The art of designing with marble, act as the heart fused with veins inside it that frames an intimate relation between the users and the space. Exotic materials such as specially figured woods and antique boiseries revive a long lost era and unparalleled beauty which is priceless to this day. The coloured lighting then reflects these materials rendering a wide spectrum of colours into the space allowing users to craft their bespoke mood. Last but not least are metals and tinted mirrors which ultimately create mass, volume and expressing the divine tones across these spaces.
Palais des Cristaux by MS Design
This project emphasises the importance of Arts and Crafts, along with hand craftsmanship all throughout the space. The furniture used is all handcrafted and made from the finest materials. Fabrics and finish materials within this space are of the best quality and vendors available and show the elegance of Paris and what it truly means to have a luxurious space.
As you may notice this space has a large feeling of symmetry. The entire club is mirrored on an axis that starts from the main entry straight through to the large curved glass wall. Although the setting of this club is in Paris there is a large presence of not only French creations but also Italian and German works of art.
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