With designers ever conscious of how their projects will appear on Instagram, a host of jaw-dropping interiors that push the design boundaries define the twelfth edition of INSIDE, the World Festival of Interiors. Whether it’s a novelty cat café in Guangzhou, China, or a global heritage brand such as Fortnum and Mason inside London’s Royal Exchange, across the board we’re seeing design with a capital D.
INSIDE is the sister festival of the World Architecture Festival and celebrates the world’s finest examples of interior design.
In this year’s ‘Bars & Restaurants’ category are the interior concepts for new restaurants by some of the world’s most innovative chefs. Bjarke Ingels Group are behind the design of the second incarnation of renowned Copenhagen restaurant, Noma. The unconventional layout, including greenhouses and outhouses, is imagined as an intimate culinary garden village, designed to give diners glimpses into the natural ingredients and fermentation processes behind the restaurant’s New Nordic cuisine. Over in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, Buro Ole Scheeren’s fast food concept for Dean & DeLuca’s chef-led eatery, ‘Stage’, uses a sculpted high-tech white Corian and steel centre-piece, to celebrate the artistry of food, and to create a stage for those who make and those who consume it. And in the City of London, Universal Design Studio are behind Fortnum & Mason’s new 360-degree bar, shop and restaurant in the Grade I Listed Royal Exchange courtyard, complete with a bespoke curved metal canopy.
These big hitters go up against novel projects, such as the cat-themed café, Meow Restaurant in Guangzhou, China, that embraces cats’ love of heights in its interior design. And Karavanstop Café, a lifestyle café by One Bite Design Studio at Hong Kong International Airport, that puts social media at the heart of its design, with an iconic green ceiling, abstracting the city’s topography, and an ‘instagrammable’ logo wall, both designed to capture the spirit of the area’s outdoor leisure activities.
Meow Restaurant is joined by another pet-themed project in China, this time a private home interior in Shanghai, designed to accommodate a family’s high pet ratio, giving freedom for both pet and owner to enjoy the living space freely.
In the Civic, Culture & Transport category, entries range from a cloud shaped, glass wedding chapel in Japan, to a library with an ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’-themed section in Singapore, and highlights from the Health & Education category include a multi-sensory room in Thailand for pre-school children with visual impairments.
Embracing a more organic approach to interior design is the National Museum of Qatar Gift shop by Koichi Takada Architects, which features curved timber ceilings and walls, inspired by the natural Qatari desert-scape, and engineered from 40,000 3D-modelled parts. St Andrews Beach Villa by Woods Bagot takes the organic approach to interior design to an even greater level, using a mixture of newer elements and old, worn materials from the villa’s previous iterations, to create a deliberate juxtaposition of eroded and resilient surfaces, and mundane and exquisite materials.
Major world architects and designers shortlisted include BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, Woods Bagot, Universal Design Studio, Buro Ole Scheeren; alongside others such as E Studio, KTX archiLAB, ONG&ONG, Snuper Design, Koichi Takada Architects and more.
INSIDE will reconvene in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 4-6 December this year. This is the second time the event has been hosted in the Dutch capital, following previous editions in Barcelona, Singapore and Berlin.
All nominees will present their projects to distinguished international juries that include Johan Carlsson of Jac Studios, Annabel Kassar of AKK, James Grose of BVN and Weng Shanwei of AN Design during the Festival to compete for one of the nine INSIDE category awards. Open to all festival attendees, the presentations are followed by a live exchange between the designers and jurors. The overall winner of the ‘World Interior of the Year’ will be announced at an exclusive gala dinner on Friday 6th December at Beurs van Berlage.
WAF programme director Paul Finch commented: ‘INSIDE has been a growing part of the overall World Architecture Festival programme since 2012 and continues to grow in terms of quantity and quality. We are delighted with the intriguing designs and geographical spread of this year’s entries and look forward to the live judging in Amsterdam.’
INSIDE World Festival of Interiors and its co-located event, WAF, will welcome more than 2,000 of the world’s leading architects and designers to Amsterdam for three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events from 4-6 December.
The full shortlist for this year’s INSDIE awards can be viewed here