Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects has designed the interior of the first Aesop shop in Aoyama, Tokyo. Mainly built from materials found in an abandoned house in nakano-ku due for demolition, the space is minimal and contemporary whilst possessing the warmth and richness of traditional Japanese design.

Aesop’s range of hair and skincare products sit on bundles of timber taken from the abandoned ‘murazawa’ house and wooden panels from the house are reincarnated as neatly stacked display shelves. The best thing about this project is the attention to detail, clearly fuelled by a deep appreciation of raw everyday materials and the glimpses of past uses they reveal. Blank surfaces are defined by small details of the shops skeleton. Much like a Rachel Whiteread sculptures, channels are dug around water pipes and manholes in the  floor and filled with epoxy resin and lighting cables are exposed and arranged in linear patterns, like delicate drawings.

via designboom images



New York based Z-A Studio have designed this shop entitled Delicatessen 2 in Tel Aviv. The shop interior is stripped down to the bare essentials with a lining of double height pegboard running from floor to ceiling, creating an adaptable and flexible product display.

Complimenting the blank canvases of the pegboards are splashes of vibrant yellow, highlighting pieces of found and recycled furniture. The designers refer to the pegboard display structure as a ‘dress’ with sections cut and pulled away to reveal a yellow ‘undergarment’.The concept was to create a retail space which is able to grow, mutate and adapt along with changing fashion seasons and an evolving brand.

Photographs by Assaf Pinchuk



Brooklyn based architects Snarkitecture and fashion designer Richard Chai have teamed up to transform a retail space into an urban glacier using a single material, white architectural foam. An existing structure was lined with foam and walls were sculpted by hand with hot wire cutters creating a landscape of light and shade perfect for housing Richard Chai’s latest fashion collection.

Designed as part of the Building Fashion series at HL23, a collaboration between architects and fashion designers, the space reveals a curatorial approach to architectural design and fashion. Niches and insertions into the cavernous foam walls become moments of display, telling the story of the collection piece by piece. There’s just something so satisfying about the perfectly straight slices and rocky surfaces of the foam, however I did wonder about the use of such an energy intensive material for a temporary installation.Thankfully, the architects have recognised this issue and the sculptural walls will be re-incarnated as rigid building insulation.


The Club Hotel by Ministry of Design

The Club is the latest sophisticated yet comfortable boutique hotel from Ministry of Design.

Targeted at the design savvy traveler, it combines traditional colonial design inspired elements with sleek modern detailing. The monochromatic interior is kept interesting with loads of little (or should I say large) playful details,  such as the over sized statue of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles (British statesman, founder of Singapore) with his head obscured by folds of fabric, a tongue-in-the-cheek reference to Singapore’s rich history.

Its 22 unique rooms are fitted out with tailored artwork, designed by MOD and installed by famed local artist Wynlyn Tan. It also has a panoramic rooftop Sky Bar with one of the best views of the Club Street conservation area and the Singapore CBD. It promises loads of sophistication, with every last detail being specially designed.

(via Dezeen)


Soho House Berlin

The largest Soho House yet and the first one to grace continental Europe opened in Mitte, Berlin. The 1928 Bauhaus structure housing it has an interesting history. It was originally a department store, but has since been used by the post-war government and the Communist Party. However after the reunification of Germany it has been slowly fading into dereliction. The Soho House Group stepped in and turned the distinctly symmetrical structure into a luxury 40 bedroom private members club that will have signature Soho Group features such as a Cecconi’s restaurant and a Cowshed Spa.

The rooms are a delightful mix of raw industrial spaces with exposed concrete and dark paneling contrasted with lush and prissy 1930s glamour. The typical upscale fare is on offer, from custom beds to rainforest showers. A retro feel is evoked with special touches like the vintage record players and old school telephones that can be found throughout.

(via Soho House Berlin)


Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel

There’s a new designer hotel on the block in Bethnal Green, in the familiar shell of its Old Town Hall. Behind the Grade II listed building’s Edwardian/Art Deco facade now sit some of the most stylish hotel rooms and luxury apartments in the city. Hip French architects, Rare, have worked with hotelier, Peng Loh, to give the giving the building a complete make over.

In keeping with the East End’s creative reputation, they worked together with Artsadmin to commission works by up and coming young, local artists. The spacious apartments are fitted out  with a mix of one of a kind vintage furniture and contemporary Scandinavian pieces, and each comes with their own designer kitchen. Not that guests would need a kitchen… The Hotel’s restaurant, Viajantes, headed by chef Nuno Mendes promises to be a culinary treat. The interior features bespoke, handcrafted furniture and has an intimate atmosphere to complete the dining experience.

This chic addition to Bethnal Green is  a design hotel with a difference, perfectly combining sleek city style with old world elegance.

(images via Design Hotels)



It was love at first sight when I saw images of the new Undercover shop in Kanazawa by fashion designer, Jun Takahashi, and interior designer, Kazuya Sasaki. The Japanese brand’s ninth boutique is based on the interior design of its flagship in Aoyama.

Both spaces are characterized by their beautiful light bulb infused ceilings, without a doubt the most striking feature. Even though they first did this in July 2009, it is still painfully fresh. They allowed the this ethereal looking installation to take center stage by keeping the rest of the interior minimal and muted. The Dieter Rams audio equipment and shelving, along with industrial detailing, perfectly compliment the overall look.

My only problem with this project is that I probably won’t get to see it firsthand any time soon.

(images courtesy of solediction)


Dock Kitchen, Pop-Up Restaurant

Dock Kitchen, a moveable Restaurant temporarily located along Ladbroke Grove, London. Creating the idea of the Pop-Up restaurant, Joseph Trivelli and Stevie Parle, who are both chefs, originally started working at The River Café and decided to join forces to create the Pop-Up Restaurant so that it can make its way around London.

The contemporary architecture of Dock Kitchen has a very Victorian industrial infrastructure, designed by Tom Dixon, keeping to the basics, this impressive interior has used brick, which has been left exposed along the walls, grey slate counters, large communal tables and wood along the slanted ceiling to create an underground appearance. Getting inspiration from the Grand Union Canal where Ladbroke Grove joins onto Harrow Road. Tom Dixon described the overall design of Dock Kitchen as an ‘Emporium of Creative Talent’.

Normally opened during the day for breakfast and lunch but it is sometimes opened on the rare chance in the evening, for special occasions. As this is a Pop-Up Restaurant, the idea is to move from one location to another but Dock Kitchen has really taken off and might be staying open longer than it was anticipated.

The lights in the interior are very much a feature and have been designed by Tom Dixon himself, called Bowl, made from cast glass, having various shapes, such as a Bowl, Lens and Tube, which are brought together to create the urban characteristic of the restaurant.

The urban, underground theme to Dock Kitchen along with the food that is served at Dock Kitchen is globally inspired, which works very well and has been designed so that it can work anywhere in London, suited for everyone.

Dock Kitchen


Vietnamese eatery, NAM, brings authentic experience to Soho


NAM, interior view

Taking its inspiration from Vietnamese street food, Soho eatery, NAM, offers a fast, healthy and cost effective option for the busy downtown diner.  Conveniently located on Dean St, NAM, is a collaboration between entrepreneur, Hai Nguyen, and architectural interior design company B3 Designers.

The Vietnamese eatery, which opened in October 2009, is distinctive in terms of both ambience and culinary experience.  Hai approached B3 in May 2009 wanting to open up a Vietnamese offer in the heart of Soho.  Inspired by the street food of her native Vietnam she wanted to translate this experience into something that could work in the busiest part of London. Consisting of fresh ingredients, street food offers healthy meals that can be served quickly: an ideal option for the busy and health conscious Soho customer.

NAM is an accessible eatery with ready-to-eat options for the busy Soho diner. Patrons are able to select from a variety of healthy options including summer rolls made from rice paper, ‘bun’ a freshly made noodle dish available with chicken, pork or tofu as well as a selection of rice dishes and Vietnamese baguettes.

The design for the petite eatery combines the urban and traditional aspects of Vietnamese culture with colonial French heritage. Long communal bamboo tables contrast with industrial Tolix stools, merging the delicacy of traditional organic objects with the sharp style of modern design engineering. Traditional, handmade Vietnamese lanterns hang from the ceiling, bringing a soft, romantic atmosphere to the restaurant design, particularly in the evening. Again these are contrasted against the stainless steel display counter, which is stamped with communist style graphics.  Colourful artwork depicting scenes of Vietnamese village life decorate the walls.  Patterns reminiscent of French colonial tiles are cost effectively sprayed onto the concrete screed.  All the little touches show the different facets of Vietnamese culture in an approachable and fun way. NAM offers a truly authentic experience, that won’t dig a big hole in your pocket.



London flagship showroom for Kvadrat

Kvadrat have just opened a new flagship showroom in London. It is a product of an unusual collaboration between the legendary graphic designer and art director Peter Saville and acclaimed architect David Adjaye. Housed in a former Victorian Factory, the showroom operates on two levels, with office spaces on the ground floor with the showroom located on the basement level.

A key element of David Adjaye’s solution, to what was a challenging space, was to remove a large part of the floor between the two stories, allowing for a dramatic staircase, which is a central feature of the building. Flexibility, and creating a context for showcasing colour, were two key considerations in the design of the space.

Colour is a central element to Kvadrat’s textiles. This is reflected in a key design element: a glass balustrade, featuring the colours of the spectrum, which lines the stairway.

Peter Saville was involved in choosing many of the colour accents, particularly focusing on the selection of fabrics. He chose to work with Kvadrat fabrics in kaleidoscopic colours, for the chair coverings in the office space. Each chair is a different colour, allowing staff flexibility and choice.

“Lots of projects don’t allow room for individuals to enter in,” Peter Saville explains. “We were concerned with the fact that people have to work there every day, so we needed a bit of everyday pragmatism. We were not trying to make an architectural statement but create something that is fit for the purpose, and a key element with this space was to allow room for interpretation.”

Pictures by Ed Reeve


Numen Light

From Theater to Product

This big box created five years ago with a massive set of lights and mirrors for the staging of Dante’s Divine Comedy at Teatro Maria Guerrero has been the inspiration of a light fixture, The Numen Light. Created by a trio of Vienna-based product designers.

Their research began some years before in an unfinished project for the Biennale Saint Etienne.

The box is made up from mirrors and fluorescent tubes fixed in the corner of the box, this helps define the edges and the infinite geometrical repeat pattern.

It is unusual that a theatrical show inspires to design an object. In fact, it tends to be the other way around, but however, that is exactly what happened in this case


Architectural Interior Designers: What is their role?

What is an Architectural Interior Designer?
Architectural Interior Design, also referred to as Interior Architecture or Interior Design, is a skilled profession that bridges the fields of architecture and interior design. Almost all degree honours standard designers within the field of interiors will have had a thorough training in the semiotics and aesthetics of architecture. Simply put, they apply knowledge from both of these fields to make sure that a client’s space meet the expect requirements from imaginative design to sustainability. The initial assumption is that interior designers only deal with doing up swanky houses and penthouse apartments, however the list of spaces they deal with is extensive: hotels, corporate spaces, offices, schools, hospitals, private residences, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, theaters, airport terminals and yachts. Architectural interior designers deal with the parts of the building you can touch.

Architectural Interior Designers specialise?
Architectural interior designers can specialize in a particular interior design discipline, such as residential and commercial design. Commercial design includes offices, hotels, schools, hospitals or other public buildings. Some interior designers develop expertise within a niche design area such as hospitality, health care and institutional design.

Architectural interior designers must meet broad qualifications and show competency in the entire scope of the profession, not only in a specialty. An architectural interior designer will often have to work closely with construction workers and should also know how to interact with these people properly. So having people management skills is certainly a great bonus.

At B3 Designers, an architectural Interior design practice we specialise in preparing designs for Restaurants, Bars, Retail environments, exhibitions spaces and residential properties. We have designed an extensive range of properties and we encourage our clients to test us with new areas. Most good architectural interior design consultancy will be able to apply their niche skill base to any type of designed environment.

What skills do Architectural Interior Designer have?
Architectural Interior Designers come with a host of skills, ranging from having a creative imaginative mind, good spatial awareness, an understanding of structure, ability to evaluate and problem solve.

Then there is the more pragmatic side, which involves being able to translate ideas onto paper so that a contractor can build from and see a space fitted out and completed to meet the initial vision. I’ve heard it said if a designer, architect, engineer can draw it then it can be made. The difficult process is enabling ideas to happen whilst dealing with budgets and feasibility issues.

Do architectural interior design account for sustainability within the environment?
An architectural interior designer will be familiar with construction techniques and the process of creating sustainable structures. Most architectural interior designers will concentrate on converting old building into new spaces, rather than demolishing a site or building something new straight out of the ground. For this reason alone their skill is more in tune with the sustainability argument.

Why choose an Architectural Interior Designer over an Architect?
Well this really depends on the size of the contract, if the build is to develop something straight out of the ground, a sky scraper, a block of flats the skills of an architect are very much needed. If however it is an existing building the skills of an architectural interior designer are sometimes far more suited. They will work with structural engineers to ensure that any structural works are properly calculated and approved by the local authorities. They will take the remodeling of the space right down to the intricate details of what all the internal fixtures and fittings are.

On average most Architects enter the field to do large scale projects and specialise on the detail of major structures and sometimes they will design down to the language of the form that dictates the interior. Architectural Interior Designers also like to work on large scale redevelopment projects, but will relish at the possibility to detail form the largest to the minutest scale within an interior space. They will start where the architects finish. That is not to say architects don’t do that, they can do and do but on average it is the skills of an architectural interior designer that will develop the interior brand of a space. An example would be an architect developing a new shopping center but the individual shop outlets will be left as empty boxes. This will be when an architectural interior designers will take over the space and convert it into a space that is relevant to the individual brands. Architectural interior designers turn spaces into places.