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The Top Interior Projects of 2016

A raw fashion boutique with geometric shapes was crowned the World Interior of the Year at the INSIDE Festival of Interiors 2016. Other category winners include a 1950s-inspired diner, a welcoming healthcare facility, an artisanal co-working space and more.

  • World Interior of the Year: Black Cant System by An Design Studio

  • World Interior of the Year: Black Cant System by An Design Studio

  • World Interior of the Year: Black Cant System by An Design Studio

  • Best of Bars and Restaurants: Rachel's Burger by Neri&Hu. Photo: Dirk Weiblen

  • Best of Health and Education: Emardental Clinic by OHLAB

  • Best of Residential: Indigo Slam by Smart Design Studio

  • Best of Civic, Culture and Transport: York Theatre Royal by De Matos Ryan



BY Stephanie Peh

November 24th, 2016


Beating over 100 nominees across nine categories, Black Cant System by Shanwei Weng and Jiadie Yuan of Hangzhou-based An Design Studio emerged the top interior project of 2016 at the recently concluded INSIDE World Festival of Interiors.

Located on the outskirts of Shanghai, China, the boutique for fashion label Heike sits on the second storey of a furniture store, hidden from plain sight. Featuring bold, moody and all-grey interiors, the space won for “challenging conventional ideas about a retail fashion store”.

“The store brand and architectural image work in harmony, with a sensitivity to surface and details,” commented the jury, which consists of Clive Wilkinson, Jurgen Mayer, Seyhan Ozdemir and Philip Handford.

The material palette is informed by mesh-clad windows, backlit glass panelling, brutalist black steel, dark timber and touches of silver, calling to mind a dystopian and raw aesthetic that complements the fashion label.

Besides housing essential retail components such as a fitting room, storage, point of sale and clothing display, a small bar was also integrated within the boutique to create a socialising area.

“Faced with a divided space, the designers inserted a black canted cube over the existing central staircase, and effectively absorbed the programmatic elements into a poetic and sculptural whole,” the jury added.

Shanghai-based Neri&Hu Design and Research Office picked up two awards. One of which being its work for Rachel’s Burger, awarded in the Bars and Restaurants category for a skilful integration of internal and external spaces in response to a narrow site.

The Cut, Neri&Hu’s exhibition stand design for Kvadrat’s participation at the Salone del Mobile, emerged top in the Display category for its transformation of a standard furniture fair stand into an experiential space that connects with visitors in unexpected manners.

Mallorca-based practice OHLAB/ Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab also received two accolades. Its irregularly configured Puro Hotel (Hotels), as well as its warm and comforting take on the Emardental Clinic (Health and Education) won the jury over.

Two projects from Sydney, Australia made it to the list. They are Woods Bagot‘s humanistic co-working project, Paramount by The Office Space (Office) and Smart Design Studio‘s work for cultural neighbourhood hub Indigo Slam (Residential).

The other winners of the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 2016 are Studio Lotus for a contemporary reinterpretation of the Baradari City Palace (Creative Re-Use) and De Matos Ryan for its imaginative and sensitively executed York Theatre Royal (Civic, Culture and Transport).

Click here to read our coverage on the World Architecture Festival 2016.