With ‘renew, repurpose and replenish’ at the heart of her work, award-winning interior design consultant and SBID Accredited Designer, Rachel McLane has just completed the Bike & Boot – Scarborough’s newest hotel. As well as the design and fit-out of the 65 bedrooms, Rachel’s Yorkshire-based designers have created eye-catching common areas including the bar, residents’ lounge, film club and restaurant.
“We were fortunate with the Bike & Boot as the building was once a row of Georgian terrace houses and retains much of the original architecture. Even now, the envelope of the building remains true to its heritage,” said Rachel, who heads up a close-knit team of specialist designers experienced in concept design, design detailing and space planning for the hotel, residential, retail and leisure industries.
“It made no commercial sense to strip back and re-plaster the walls. Rather than hiding the faded grandeur of the original building, we have worked with it and given it a new lease of life.”
“My attitude is not to be overly precious; interior design is not about me forcing my ideas onto a client and their customers. Instead, it is about creating something that works for them and enhances their business. It is about producing the best solution we can, for the budget – but that does not mean holding back on quality or design. And good design does not have to cost the earth.”
Striving to be local as far as possible, Rachel employed craftsmen and suppliers from the area who were passionate about harnessing their skills to revitalise this once grand feature of the Scarborough seafront. This work has included bespoke case goods, re-upholstering furniture, sourcing local photographs for bedroom doors, creating graphic blinds using original railway poster designs and producing wall mounts featuring bicycle seats and handlebars instead of the traditional taxidermy heads. Other bespoke items in the hotel on Cliff Bridge Terrace include clocks made of brightly coloured bicycle bells and flip flops. Bespoke lighting was created from old bike wheels and crates, and a bespoke handle for the residents’ lounge is based on the ampersand between the ‘Bike’ and ‘Boot’.
A Georgian inspired colour palette was used to paint over the old anaglypta wallpaper giving the rooms a new identity and feel, and the team also designed and commissioned wallpaper based on activity maps of the area and recreated posters of original postcards of Scarborough from its heyday as a fashionable spa resort.
The design and installation of the Bike & Boot’s new hotel bar shows all of the company’s green, recycling values coming through by giving a second life to the metal back-bar of an old venue in Leeds at the same time as commissioning a Harrogate based company to produce the joinery elements to Rachel McLane’s designs.
“If you have been walking or cycling all day, you want to be able to relax and feel at home,” said Rachel. “The team sourced the bar furniture with that in mind – some of it was new and some of it was pre-loved and repurposed. An old chair can be upholstered by a skilled tradesman, and by choosing fabric of the right quality and design, the result looks great and provides the luxury of comfort.
“Renew, repurpose and replenish is an ethos at the heart of our work. I believe in avoiding sending things to landfill or bonfires whenever possible, and I am glad to say we have done our little bit with some of the bar and restaurant furniture at The Bike & Boot. This has also helped to reduce our carbon footprint in shipping in new products,” added Rachel, who worked on the concept of the Bike & Boot for two years with its directors Simon Kershaw and Simon Rhatigan, and for the last nine months with the local refurbishment contractor Infiniti Roofing & Construction.
About the Author
Rachel McLane developed a wealth of experience designing for the retail sector for eight years in London and York before setting up her practice, Rachel McLane Ltd specialising in the design of interiors for professional clients with commercial interests.
If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more.
SpeakEasy with Patrick Folkes
In this episode of the SpeakEasy podcast, host Grant Pierrus talks business and sustainability in interior design with entrepreneur and founder of The Graphene Company, trading an innovative and ground breaking line of natural paint.
Patrick explains the origins of the Graphene Company and how the process of combining Graphene and minerals developed to create this new healthy and high-tech range of ecological paints.
As a globally certified sustainable paints company with credentials in environmental performance, cradle to cradle practices and social responsibility, Patrick shares his approach to achieving genuine sustainability throughout the entire product lifecycle.
Shedding light into the concept of what “eco paint” really is – he talks green washing in the industry, how levels of VOC impact biophilic design and the integral role of lime in air purification. Discussing the future of the paint sector for interior design, he explores the importance of health considerations, ecological characteristics and indoor air quality in the industry.
Tune in to the whole conversation to discover more.
Patrick Folkes has focused his career on a range of financial and entrepreneurial activities. He began in 1980 when he was involved in derivatives broking and gold and silver bullion market-making in London and New York. In 1990, he founded his own fund marketing and advisory firm, Folkes Asset Management. Later, in 2016, he founded The Graphene Company, trading Graphenstone Paint UK with its innovative range of sustainable, healthy and high-tech ecological coatings that are air-purifying and free of plastic and VOC.
Stay up to date with the latest episodes and click here to find out more.
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the beautifully bespoke, authentic and consciously curated interiors for the re-design of Miramonti; a luxury boutique hotel in Brescia, Italy. Located just over two hours away from Milan, the hotel is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and is popular for seasonal activities including: skiing, ice climbing, hiking, fly fishing, porcini mushroom picking and wine-tasting at the vineyards nearby.
The London-based, proactive and purposeful design studio, Boxx Creative completed a timeless design for the hotel’s new minimalist contemporary interiors. Inspired by the scenic Italian mountains, the interior design provides a tranquil place where guests can experience total relaxation, reconnect with nature and re-balance.
Defining a new standard of boutique hotel design for the local area and beyond, Miramonti celebrates the achievements of conscious design, showcasing the spectacular results that can be achieved when design is fully considered from all aspects; aesthetics, functionality, innovation, social and environment impact.
Practice: Boxx Creative
Location: Brescia, Italy
Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen
What was the client’s brief?
Originally built in 1958, Miramonti is a family-owned hotel that had recently passed onto the third-generation. The hotel’s new owners had a clear vision for what they wished to achieve, great design style and taste, an appreciation for quality, timelessness and longevity, as well as a desire to support the local community and minimise the environmental impact of the project.
The hotel was to be totally transformed, with space maximised to increase bedroom numbers, flexibility of room use and defined room types created for couples and spacious suites with connecting bunk-bed rooms for families with children. The existing bedrooms provided for self-catering with kitchenettes and dining tables, which were to be removed. In the ensuites, small shower cubicles and bidets were to be replaced with walk-in showers.
The hotel was to be fully modernised, offering guests something completely different in terms of room layout, furnishings, lighting and materials. The design had to be a real game changer and ensure that Miramonti could continue its proud legacy and be enjoyed by future generations of guests and locals.
What inspired the interior design of the project?
Miramonti, meaning mountain view, draws its name from nature. Its holistic design was also inspired by the beauty of its surroundings and every design detail was thoughtfully considered to reflect this connection, including the colour palette, hard finishes, bespoke furniture, textiles, artwork and accessories.
The deep terracotta facade evokes the changing seasons and rich natural Italian colour palette. In the twenty-one guest bedrooms, the complementary green and blue colour schemes are both balanced and calming.
The design concept draws on the natural elements of earth, fire, air, water, wood and metal. Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment and feature in the natural stone wash basins, solid trunk coffee tables, round metal bedsides and soft natural fabrics of the sheer linen blinds and cotton bed throws.
Consideration was also given to all elements of the hotel’s design to ensure quality, longevity and minimising environmental impact. Everything was designed and built-to-last. Locally sourced, sustainable materials were used wherever possible and carpet made from recycled fibres line the corridors.
The majority of the furnishings were made completely bespoke by the contractor and his team of talented artisans in his local Tirano-based workshop. The bedrooms feature headboard panelling and wooden beds, metal framed open cabinetry storage and sturdy desks, wooden flooring, panelled doors and shuttered windows, each thoughtfully hand-crafted.
The build contractor was chosen for his energy saving principles and employment of workers within the area. All the wood chips left-over from his workshop were burnt in a furnace to heat houses in the village.
Lighting was a key part of the project where the clients wished to make an impressive statement. Layers of lighting with iconic FLOS feature pendants and Scandi-inspired statement wall lights make strong visual impact and create focal points in the guest bedrooms and ensuites. For the light switches, electrical sockets and ironmongery, Buster+Punch’s architectural hardware was the perfect companion with its strong design edge.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
We experienced three main challenges with the project – time, distance and language barrier.
Time: The project had a quick turnaround, once the project got the go ahead, we had just over one month to do all the design work and produce all the technical drawings. The build work had to be completed within a 3-month time frame during the low season and finish on time for the start of the busy December ski season. We flew out in the final week to snag the build, install the furniture and artwork, then dress and style all the rooms for the professional photoshoot, before the hotel opened its doors to welcome guests. It was an extremely tight schedule, however the project was successfully completed and delivered on time.
Distance and Language Barrier: Unlike all our other projects where do regular site visits during the build phase, for Miramonti we worked remotely from London. Unfortunately, we can’t speak Italian and the Italian contractor couldn’t speak English, so we developed different ways of working and communicating. We setup a WhatsApp group, which was great for quick questions and sending pictures and used GoogleTranslate to translate each other’s messages. These smart phone apps were invaluable to us working together on the projects.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
In the guest bedrooms, one of the highlights for us is the intricate details of the wooden furniture and joinery hand-crafted from our bespoke designs by the contractor and his team of skilled local artisans. Two of our favourite design details are the elegant curves of the wooden bed frames and the rippled effect of the under-sink cabinets, which are replicated in the ensuite pocket doors with reeded glass panes. These small, thoughtfully considered and beautifully made details may easily go unnoticed, however for us these are a great delight to see and experience.
Questions answered by Nicola Keenan, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Boxx Creative
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a memorable hotel public space with playful and immersive design, click here to see more.
To commemorate 100 years of Bentley motor cars, SBID Accredited Industry Partner, Alexander Joseph in collaboration with DMark Concepts produced a one of a kind cordless lamp, named Mulliner. The design of this exclusive premium lamp not only pays homage to the luxurious specification of Bentley’s prestigious interiors and their brand-new convertible model, but does so sustainably.
Made completely by hand in their UK workshops, the Nickel lamp body has been cushioned, replicating the decadent seating synonymous with the Mulliner specification. In collaboration with Bentley, the lampshade has been crafted in Vegan leather, then hand stitched in the iconic quilted diamond shape. The piece took 5 months to complete and represents approximately 600 hours of meticulous labour! The lamp also benefits from cutting edge, patent-pending battery technology and software, which delivers 3-4 weeks of use on a single charge. After the briefest of visits to the Geneva Motor Show, Mulliner will be offered for sale privately via a small number of Interior Designers with an appropriate client profile.
Sharing his insight to the key factors driving industry change and how makers should respond, we interviewed Mark Robinson, Managing Director of Alexander Joseph to find out more about what went in to produce this Bentley-inspired, vegan lamp!
What social trends are driving change and how do your designs respond to them?
Consumer desire for ethically made and sustainable products forces makers to think hard about their products, often this means using new techniques or materials where traditional methods are now considered morally redundant. This in turn can affect the way a designer must think about a piece to ensure whatever the item happens to be can be made cost effectively.
Manufacturers ignore customer demands for ethical and sustainable products at their peril. It’s no longer good enough to “carry on as normal”, customers have started to vote with their feet, or wallets! Brands should see this as an opportunity to inspire new design and perhaps techniques, rather than a begrudging obligation.
A great example of a brand adapting to what the market wants is one of our most iconic British brands, Bentley. The company recently introduced a range of vegan leathers for their vehicles.
Can you talk us through the manufacturing process. How did you take the initial design concept to achieve the final end product?
Alexander Joseph partnered with DMark Concepts to make this piece. The two businesses have worked together on other projects and discussed how to produce something unique. DMark who are also based in Dorset are best known for handmaking body parts for vintage cars you simply can’t buy.
The concept for the Mulliner lamp came following a meeting between the two companies for an unrelated piece destined for a luxury yacht. During a conversation about Bentley, Mark Robinson mentioned their drive to become more environmentally aware, this in turn led to a conversation about new Bentley models including the upcoming Mulliner. Within 10 minutes the group at the meeting had sketched out the initial concept.
In rudimentary terms, the piece can be broken down into three parts. The body, the shade and the technology. We decided to make the body from copper, primarily because it is an easier material to roll than most. It also lends itself to being highly polished as well as being the perfect plating surface.
A single sheet of copper was hand rolled, then using a laser light, the sheet was painstakingly worked over a wheel to create the pillowing synonymous with Bentley Mulliner models. This section of the lamp took almost 300 hours to create.
The technology for this piece also had to be reworked onto a new platform as the internal space wouldn’t allow for our existing electronics layout. This in turn meant we had to redesign the charging system for the lamp!
How was the choice of materials important? Why did you choose to use Vegan leather?
Our initial idea was to make our first carbon neutral product, just to see if it could be done. Using Vegan leather for the lampshade was an obvious and easy choice. We approached Bentley about the project, and they were able to give us all the information we needed to see the piece to conclusion.
The black vegan leather we eventually selected was then sent to a car upholstery specialist who formerly worked for another car brand, Aston Martin. He was able to hand stitch the material, replicating the Mulliner specification in Bentley cars.
Your products are manufactured by hand in the UK. How do you see ‘Made in Britain’ trend evolving after Brexit?
We don’t fear what Brexit means to ‘Made in Britain’. In fact, we see it as another opportunity. As a country we may struggle to compete with other regions for lower priced high-volume products, but nobody does quality engineered and hand-made products better than Britain. We see no reason why this wouldn’t continue. If anything, it could be argued that an overt independence only enhances the cache of Made in Britain.
How do you go about sourcing your materials locally? Why do you do this?
We ensure every component used in our lamps come from UK suppliers. When we launched our business one of our proud claims was that our lamps were 100% British – and this is still the case today. We audit all our suppliers to ensure everything they supply to us has been sourced and made in the UK. Wherever possible we buy from local suppliers with around 80% of our raw material coming from firms within a 20-mile radius of our workshops.
Sourcing specialist components and materials from UK suppliers is challenging, the research is time consuming, as is the administration of controlling the supply chain, but we think it is worth it.
All our pieces have a serial number. We record every component that goes into a customer lamp, so in the future if the piece is damaged, we can replace a part without the cost of replacing the whole lamp. As a result, we also know what date we received every component and which batch it came from. We even record ancillary information such as the depth of plating, or the colour density of glass.
Questions answered by Mark Robinson, Managing Director of Alexander Joseph
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the timeless explorer’s lodge which beats with the pulse of wild Africa. Lying on the edge of Botswana’s mysterious Savute Channel and within Chobe National Park – where the big five roam, the skies are large and the land is washed with the muted colours of the Savute – the Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge has undergone a full redesign and has since become a tented retreat infused with the romance of a bush camp. This is the result of a robust collaboration among Belmond (owner/operator), Luxury Frontiers (project manager and architectural, infrastructure and back of house design), and Inge Moore of Muza Lab (interior design). Together, the team designed entirely new public areas including an arrival lobby, dining room, lounge and bar, library, pool, spa and game-viewing hide – while also refurbishing the guest accommodation suites. The resulting design is a contemporary tribute to the golden age of exploration. And while the design rightfully evokes a sense of adventure and discovery, guests are also drawn to connect with the natural world and slow down to the rhythm of the land that surrounds them.
SBID Awards: Hotel Public Space finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon
Practice: Luxury Frontiers
Project: Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge
Location: Chobe, Botswana
The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge has long enjoyed a beautiful location within Chobe National Park, Botswana’s most biologically diverse park with one of Africa’s largest concentrations of game. However, the lodge had become tired, it was not engaged with its location as an experience and it did not reflect Belmond’s commitment to sustainable development and practices.
In addition to design responsibilities, as Lead Consultant and Project Manager for the project, Luxury Frontiers was responsible for the full coordination and contracting of the professional team, bringing on board the local expertise of general contractor Lodge Builders of Botswana and the hotel interiors talent of international designer Inge Moore. With the lodge’s state of affairs, Muza Lab and Luxury Frontiers were tasked with reinvigorating the resort not only to reflect Belmond’s principles, but to also engage guests through curated spaces and to showcase the natural beauty of the locale.
The goal was to create spaces which both reflect the greatest sense of place and are where people can embrace their surroundings, all while paying the highest respect to the environment through sustainable design. Materials are simple and natural, including limed and white painted saligna wood floors, rattan furniture and fabrics combining bright geometric prints with earthy tones. The tented public areas which include an arrival lobby, dining room, lounge and bar, and library are a collection of tented rooms which flow outdoors onto large terraces with magnificent views. The public areas have been designed to lend a comfortable, lived-in feeling with layers of collected artefacts, yet bring in plenty of local context with clusters of carved poles recalling the sticks used by the indigenous people, traditional decorative screening details and locally crafted lights inspired by the region’s clay pots.
Befitting to Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge’s location within an unadulterated wilderness area, all structures were designed to celebrate the great African bush, frame spectacular views and have a truly experiential function. Take for instance the game-viewing hide which allows guests to inconspicuously watch the area’s beloved herds of elephants and other exotic animals which gather around the lodge’s watering hole. Added to that are the hide’s beautifully simple design and its composite bamboo walls, which cast striking, spindly shadows throughout the space.
A real point of pride for the team was the fact that the project was devoted to minimising environmental impact to the lodge’s stunning site and to supporting local businesses and organisations. All of the lodge’s structures were constructed on suspended, timber-based platforms and made of composite boarding and canvas. The previous lodge’s timber was recycled and reused, and the lodge’s decks were rebuilt using composite bamboo – one of today’s highest green timber alternative products. In the guestrooms, local thatching grass purchased from communities in Northern Botswana was chosen to cover the roofs. In fact, all the furniture, fixings and equipment at the lodge was sourced locally in Southern Africa, including gorgeously crafted pieces produced by The Blind Society of South Africa.
A design challenge – but one which was embraced – was the team’s commitment to making the lodge completely self-sufficient. As a specialist in infrastructure and back of house design in off-the-grid locales, Luxury Frontiers was excited to think outside the box and come up with efficient, cutting-edge solutions. Previously, the whole lodge was run on generators, which could consume up to 300 liters of diesel daily. This was replaced with a state-of-the-art solar farm of 665 panels and a Tesla battery system (one of the first in Botswana), and this has cut fossil fuel consumption by approximately 90%. Luxury Frontiers had installed a new anaerobic Sewage Treatment Plant, replaced the gas-fired hot water heaters with power-efficient thermodynamic geysers for each of the guestrooms, and put in an automated biodigester (the first of its kind in Botswana). The machine processes five tons of kitchen food waste monthly and turns this into compost, which is then bagged and used in local community-based farming initiatives.
Why did you enter the SBID Awards?
The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge project team was excited to enter the SBID Awards to give credit to the complexity of the project, which was further heightened by the sensitivity of the project’s site (an unadulterated wilderness site within a national park). As projects are judged by SBID on both aesthetic creativity and technical merit, we knew the work done at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge needed to be highlighted and heralded in the design community as world-class interior design was thoughtfully married to the utmost sustainable design considerations. Through our work here, we hope the design community (and the hospitality world) witness and strive to further the push the boundaries in sustainable design.
Questions answered by Graeme Labe, Principal & Managing Director at Luxury Frontiers with support from Inge Moore, Principal at Muza Lab
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring Art Déco inspired interiors for a luxury residence, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s sustainable Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
SBID Awards 2019 | Hotel Public Space finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the SBID Award winning project for Retail Design with leading fit-out specialist, Portview, after completing the retail design for the biggest Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics store in the world. Situated in the heart of Liverpool, Lush Liverpool opened its doors after a nine-month transformation into the biggest Lush in the world. Five times bigger than the previous store and spread over three customer-facing floors, the new Lush Liverpool boasts 1,380 sq m of retail space that’s big enough to fit over 9 million of its famous bath bombs. The characterful scheme created by Lush’s in-house Design team with international architecture firm, Hyphen, was executed by Portview with an emphasis on enhancing the building’s original features to achieve a look inspired by the character of traditional departments stores and be both sustainable and synonymous with the cosmetic brand.
SBID Awards: Retail Design winner sponsored by BloomsArt
Company: Portview Fit-Out
Project: Lush Liverpool
Project Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
The brief was to marry the old with the new by creating a space that was reminiscent of a traditional department store, whilst incorporating new materials and services that have never been seen before in a retail setting.
There was a huge focus on using sustainable materials such as reclaimed FSC certified timbers, brick, and cradle to cradle silver tiles to keep our carbon footprint down to a minimum. We also introduced cherry wood style panelling to give the space a sense of warmth and sophistication, with the fresh, citrus colours of the 300 new products on display giving it a modern twist. The carefully crafted, contrasting textures of new and old furnishings help to add visual weight to the space and create an overall feeling of wholesomeness.
The goal was to create a destination store that brings more innovation and creative personal experiences than ever before to the high street.
What inspired the interior design of the project?
The design was inspired by a photograph of an old section of a department store, similar to that of Lush’s building in Church Alley.
We worked closely with Lush’s in-house design team and international architecture firm, Hyphen, to execute a characterful scheme that enhanced the building’s original features by playing on the character and charm of traditional department stores, whilst staying true to Lush’s strong environmental ethos.
Paradoxically, when working with old, historic buildings you will always be faced with new challenges. In this case, we had to install two new lifts, refurbish the existing 1920s-style staircase and replace the whole of the ground floor level façade – all within a tight programme. The central stairway was added late in the project and was our most challenging task, involving an oak over-clad of the existing old stone, with relining of the open string and soffit, along with a new steel balustrade complete with curved cherry timber handrails. The stairwell also required secondary fire glazing of the existing windows, with bespoke moulded architrave details scribed from original profiles on site. The whole stairwell needed to be lined and fitted with period doors and cherry wall panelling to the lower level.
Overall, there was a huge amount of construction before the fit-out could even commence, including the manufacturing of columns clad in Portland stone to enhance the 60m long, anodised bronze shopfront. This required very detailed surveys of the existing stripped façade to allow us to draw and schedule with complete accuracy the Portland stone, granite, structural steel and shopfront glazing system, so all could be produced in parallel and fit together without a hitch.
Another challenge was executing the design of all the individual service areas – such as the spa, hair lab, florist, perfumery and shop floor – under the one roof, without it looking disjointed or disturbing the natural flow of the overall space. The design was continuously evolving with various teams working on each area, so a holistic approach to communication and client engagement was absolutely key in ensuring everything came together in a cohesive and collaborative way.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
We worked in close collaboration with both the client team and Hyphen to ensure that Lush’s high environmental standards were upheld at each stage of the process, from the sustainable design choices through to the responsible sourcing, restoring and repurposing of recycled materials to help reduce our environmental impact and this has been both hugely rewarding and enlightening.
This has been one of our most iconic retail projects to date and it’s a proud moment for us to see it come to life.
Questions answered by Simon Campbell, Managing Director of Portview Fit-Out
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring the SBID Award winners for KBB Design with a fusion of Oriental and commercial modernity for a contemporary New Zealand home, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Retail design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
SBID Awards 2019 | Retail Design Winner sponsored by BloomsArt
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a nature-inspired property in Quintana Roo, Mexico which claimed the SBID Award for Overall Winner 2019. Centric to this award-winning design was the drive to redefine life in the jungle, promoting a non-invasive dialogue between architecture and its natural surroundings. Roth Architecture crafted this unique residence to harmoniously blend in with the environment, respecting and honouring the natural habitat that hosts it.
The use of ferro-cement was specifically chosen to avoid the introduction of heavy machinery into the jungle, thus preventing the felling of 250 trees. The finish, carefully crafted with local materials, makes this a unique space of purely organic forms.
SBID Awards: Overall Winner
Sector: Residential Design
Company: Roth Architecture
Project: Uh May Residence
Location: Quintana Roo, Mexico
The client’s request was to achieve a harmonious way of cohabiting with the idiosyncratic ecosystem. The main instruction was to have the least possible interference with nature by not cutting any trees and leaving the surface of the soil intact. The fundamental precept to preserve the curvature of the earth and not to cut any trees in the 10 hectares guided every step of the project. Our intention is to show that we can build by learning from nature and integrating and building on its teachings.
The project was inspired by the shape of the Fibonacci spiral. The house unfolds akin to the shell of a snail, respecting the golden cut while effortlessly meandering through the network of trees.
The purpose that guided the construction of the project was the integration of the intelligence of nature’s networking, specifically the information contained in the shape of the surface of the earth and conveyed through the network of trees. The intelligence of Earth’s ecosystem has evolved over millions of years, gradually becoming more accurate. Connected through mycelium, a complex fungus network that is still being researched, trees communicate, help and protect each other.
The toughest hurdle was, precisely, to not sacrifice any trees. We had to develop new construction techniques to preserve the natural fabric of the surroundings. Everything had to be done manually and in an artisanal manner, which resulted in fostering the collaborative spirit and consolidating our tribe akin to the experience Mayans would have had at the time the pyramids were built.
For this project I worked for the first time with trained architects which was a new experience, especially since I never followed a formal curriculum myself. When I would trace the outline of the construction in the air with my hand, and the architects would first transpose it into drawings on paper.
Whereas the Mayan members of the team would immediately process the outline, almost like through a photographic process, and start building without previously translating the vision into a concept.
In the course of the project we could observe a cross pollination between the two approaches which was a highly rewarding experience.
We are at a point in human evolution where it is necessary to redefine man’s place in the world through projects activating three fundamental pillars: art, nature and ancestral wisdom.
These three pillars inform not only each and every of our projects but also our organisational structure and the way we connect as a tribe.
Our architecture shows how human creation can harmoniously coexist with the natural world, a concept which was well understood by the original cultures who lived under these precepts and expressed them in a plastic way, with art and architecture operating as a bridge to the source.
Questions answered by Roth, Founder of Roth Architecture
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring the first photography exhibit for famed Toronto photographer, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Residential design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
SBID Awards 2019 | Overall Winner
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the bold architectural statement that is Discovery’s new head office which now stands as a prominent landmark located on the highest point of Sandton in Sandhurst, South Africa. Internally, the building is divided into three carefully designed spaces, namely a central atrium, and one each on the left and right side. Each area is designed to foster an environment of creativity, innovation and collaboration. The main entrance is open and welcoming, to reflect the mores of discovery. The central atrium allowed Paragon Interface to explore the concept of a concourse, driven by Discovery’s requirement for the building to be active. This was not only translated effectively into a dynamic design aesthetic, but also into an active public street populated with seating areas, cafés, streetlights and tree canopies. It served not only as the main thoroughfare of the building, but also constituted a welcoming space for visitors and clients. The development has also scored a 5-Star Green Rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). According to the GBCSA’s report, Discovery’s new home is a clear reflection of the company’s core values, ambition and purpose with emphasis on its rigorous environmental and waste management processes during construction, the building’s “green roof” (partially covered in vegetation), CO2 based demand control of fresh air, and the harvesting of grey and rain water for irrigation and flushing of water closets and urinals.
Sector: Office Design
Company: Paragon Interface
Project: Discovery Place
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
The decision to consolidate all of Discovery’s different premises into 1 Discovery Place was based on their commitment to bringing their people together, within a dynamic and collaborative lifestyle driven facility that reflects Discovery’s core values. The swooping, curving patterns and shapes that define the architectural identity of the building not only influenced the interior design, but has resulted in it becoming one of the most progressive workspaces in South Africa.
A proud history. A bright future. The start of a new journey, not the culmination of a dream Simple beauty. Iconic, yet simple and beautifully elegant Tangible energy. A hive of activity created by people moving through spaces that encourage unplanned interactions. Instilling a culture of collaboration. Activity-based workspaces that nurture optimum conditions for innovation, balance and personal rejuvenation. Embodying wellbeing and movement. Encourage and enable a people-led culture of wellbeing and engagement. A global player, proudly South African. Our vision is global, while we stay true to our South African roots. Environmentally responsible.
A 5-Star Green building that is energy-efficient, resource-efficient, and environmentally responsible.
This doesn’t make for good media coverage, but the building was so big, with so many variations that the entire team worked tirelessly to complete the project on time, on budget. Taking a base building and evolving it from just a base building that was tailored in a bespoke manner, that became so much more than was originally expected.
I think one of the most memorable highlights from completing this project was winning the SBID Award 2018 for Best Office Design! It really underpinned all the hard work our team had put into this project and showcased our work to a global audience.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
We were very proud of the project and with the support of the client, we thought that it offered a world class solution to a South African scenario in office design.
Questions answered by Claire D’Adorante, Project Leader at Paragon Interface
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a historic high-rise which was transformed into office space with striking elegance, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s office design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
Paragon Interface | SBID International Design Awards
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a contemporary and sustainable design for a family home in Mexico City. The project employed the concept of re-architecture; a concept that defines the re-use of buildings, through a contemporary and often environmentally-friendly design, to rescue architectural objects that otherwise would be obsolete. The ALD2 House project consisted of stripping an existing house, respecting a large part of the exterior due to rules of the complex where it is located, and from that skeleton rethinking the use of the materials and finishes in the design of the new version of this house.
The client, a lover of cars, art and literature, wanted a contemporary style but cosy, that would showcase his taste and those of his three children. A house where he and his children can enjoy themselves and grow. The project was planned with a variety of “monotone” materials and colours with a masculine emphasis in the use of colour and exploiting the use of iconic pieces of furniture like Barcelona chairs or Eames lounge chair.
Company: SpAce Arquitectura
Project: ALD2 House
Project Location: Mexico City, Mexico
It was important to the client that the house would strike a balance between modern architecture and a cosy home. With 3 small children, the owner wanted to achieve ‘transparency’ throughout the design so they would be able to see the kids all the times. The client also wanted a sustainable house, with emphasis on water and energy consumption. The design of the house therefore needed to be carbon neutral, with solar panels and work off the grid. It’s one of the first off the grid houses in the country that follow LEED standards. Part of the brief was also to factor in enough car garage space for the owner to store the classic cars they collect.
The inspiration came from the intersection of two volumes; one made of glass and the other one made of wood. Cuernavaca, the city where the house is located, benefits from amazing weather so we wanted to give the house the ability to be opened up, blending the interior and the exterior. As the owner has a love for cars and art, these two elements needed to be integrated into the interior design scheme. All design aspects, from the main elements to the smallest detail use the golden ratio as a guide, almost like there is an invisible grid connecting everything that is important in the house. In the same lines we decided to incorporate a mixture of finishes and materials. With all of this considered, the overarching concept of the house was to implement self-sufficient and sustainable initiatives. All architectural inspirations therefore had to merge with its concept of sustainability, from figuring out the correct angle to position the solar panels to designing a system to concentrate the rain water to be treated and used within the property.
The toughest hurdles we faced stemmed from the balancing of two differing ideals; designing very modern house without creating an environment which feels too cold as well as achieving transparency, whilst also maintaining a level privacy – all of which needed to be realised with a relatively tight budget. To design and build an off the grid house in a country where sustainability is not integrated as a standard on residential projects was also a real challenge. To combat this, a group of interdisciplinary experts were part of the team, to analyse the land, the sustainable solutions and the design. Fortunately, a positive aspect of this challenge became the client’s understanding in giving us enough time to the design which enabled us to spend time conceptualising and researching to ensure the right design and sustainable solutions could be achieved.
There are a few. One of them has to be achieving the successful integration of sustainable solutions which is a factor that much of the time, people don’t even see or notice. Another highlight to this, is that the house doesn’t necessarily scream that is ‘green’ meaning we were able to incorporate these solutions subtly and seamlessly.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
We think that the project has exceed the client’s expectations in creating a cosy environment with a clear contemporary feeling; the house could act as a good example of how design can accomplish aesthetics and sustainable design with a relatively tight budget and in a country with an emerging sustainable design culture. Hopefully this project will be a source of inspiration for other designers wanting to achieve a similar outcome.
Questions answered by Juan Carlos Baumgartner, Founder and CEO at SpAce Arquitectura
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring the BBQ-themed restaurant design for a new dining destination in Dubai, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s residential design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
SpAce Arquitectura | SBID International Design Awards
Creating spaces and buildings that are as eco-conscious as they are design-forward is becoming a pressing requirement for the interiors industry. Russell Owens from Zip Water UK explains why the future lies in making sustainable design beautiful. ‘Sustainable design’ aims to reduce or eliminate negative environmental impact through thoughtful design. This means working to create buildings and products that are more energy-efficient, reduce waste and use limited resources throughout their life-cycle. Further to this, specifiers and designers can give preference to materials that will contribute to people’s health and wellbeing – another important element of sustainability that is often overlooked. . .
Not a member? Join now.
If you’re already a member, sign in to continue reading.
Find out more about our flexible membership structure.
SBID will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected] We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
By subscribing, you agree to be added to SBID’s mailing list. As an industry’s standard bearer organisation, we strive to bring you the most up to date news and access to exclusive industry content through our various newsletters.