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World Interior of the Year 2017: A Floating Bar, a Jade Green Spa, and a Futuristic Mathematics Gallery Among Shortlist

Nicole Lee

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Paul Finch, Programme Director of INSIDE World Festival of Interiors commented on this year’s shortlist: ‘Entry numbers exceeded 200 for the first time, and the increase in numbers was accompanied by an increase in overall quality. Many of the shortlisted designs concern the way that interiors help us to live, work and play more efficiently and more enjoyably. This is appropriate in a year when our conference theme is ‘Performance’, which will examine how elements like colour, acoustics and volume contribute to the success of new and refurbished interior projects. All the shortlisted designs will be presented live, so Festival delegates will enjoy a series of mini-performances by designers, as well as conference speakers.’


Shortlisted designers reflect the global reach of the awards and include Eight (USA), Tomoro Aida and Aida Atelier (Japan), Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (Australia) Carlo Berarducci Architecture (Italy), 3deluxe architecture (Germany), Arquitiectura en Movimiento Workshop (Mexico) and KSM Architecture (India). Australian practice SJB celebrates being the practice with the most shortlisted projects, four in total, while fellow Australian practice BVN and Chinese practice Neri&Hu Design and Research Office achieve three shortlisted projects apiece.


All nominees will present their projects to distinguished international juries during the Festival to compete for one of the nine, coveted 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 17 November.


Additional highlights on this year’s shortlist include:


Chinese practice Maos Design have been shortlisted in the Hotel category for their Nimman Spa in the basement of a shopping mall in Shanghai. The project was inspired by the lush tropical greens of contemporary Thai urbanscape. The designers adopted a white tone for the neutral and transition spaces, and various shades of green for the different spa spaces.


In the hotel category, WOW Architects Vommuli Island Maldives project is evident of a fresh approach to island resort design that complements and protects its surrounding environment. The architecture and interior design of the resort are treated as extensions of nature itself and thus, each experiential zone of the resort speaks of the habitat it is in. The resort’s striking Sunset Bar which is reminiscent of a Whale Shark has also been shortlisted in the Bars and Restaurant category for INSIDE 2017.


In the Civic, Culture & Transport category Zaha Hadid Architects have been shortlisted for their Mathematics: The Winton Gallery at London’s Science Museum. Using computational fluid dynamics, the design responds to the curatorial ambition to present mathematics not as an academic concept, but as a practice that influences technology and enables the environment around us to be transformed.


German practice 3deluxe architecture have been shortlisted in the display category for their Butterfly Pavilion in Sharjah, U.A.E. The project, which is home to over 500 exotic butterflies, illustrates 3deluxe’s design principle of ‘Multilayered Atmospheres’. The crystalline glass structure houses, an undulating landscape made of thermoformed mineral material Krion, which adds intrigue for the visitor experience.


Amsterdam-based UXUS is commended in the Retail category for its store in the Tate Modern gallery extension in London, by architects Herzog & DeMeuron. A ‘permanently temporary’ retail experience that is designed to combine culture and commerce, the interior includes brightly-coloured cubbyholes for children and generous picture windows that ensure high visibility to both the gallery and the street.