Arch Studio adds foldaway walls to Beijing art gallery

Walls based on traditional Chinese screens can be moved to create exhibition spaces within this Beijing art gallery by local firm Arch Studio (+ slideshow).

Arch Studio was asked to update the Rongbaozhai Western Art Gallery in city's Liulichang district. The area is one of Beijing's oldest quarters, and features a series of traditional two-storey stone dwellings that sell various craft pieces, artworks and antiques.

"The purpose of the design is to create a space full of the elements of orient, zen, nature and simplicity, as well as maximise the interior space under the limit of the existing grid," said the architects.

The architects added walls in the form of foldable screens to the ground and first floors, allowing the rooms to remain flexible and open.

"Folding screens have long been a part of traditional Chinese decoration," said the firm. "They deliver the beauty of serenity and harmony by separating and embellishing a room as a member of traditional Chinese furniture."

Related story: Sou Fujimoto uses seashells and thatching for village-inspired arts complex in rural ChinaOn the first storey, the screens create an exhibition hall that is secluded from the rest of the room. Wooden cupboards line the left-hand wall, while a glass-enclosed staircase is on the right.

"The first floor is designed to be an up-and-down transparent exhibition hall enclosed with fixed folding screens, which delivers an intense impression at the first sight," said the architects.
When the walls are folded back, the top floor of the building becomes a open-plan room that can be configured to create artwork displays.

While the upper levels are largely used as exhibition spaces, the basement houses a manager's office, store room and restroom.
Arch Studio previously installed curved glass walls that enclose bamboo-planted courtyards in a tea house situated in one of Beijing's ancient neighbourhoods.

Recently, Kengo Kuma created a sprawling village of folk-art galleries for China Academy of Arts and Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto used locally sourced materials to create a countryside arts venue at a former farm.
Photography is by Wang Ning.
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Inside Festival interior design awards 2015 day one winners announced

Inside Festival 2015: a converted stable home featuring a treehouse-like bedroom and a hotel featuring a sculptural timber entrance are among the first category winners at this year's Inside Festival awards (+ slideshow).
Revealed today as part of the Inside World Festival of Interiors in Singapore, the winners also include a Bangkok restaurant and a Singapore lifestyle store. Five more winners will be revealed tomorrow, and each category winner will be put forward for the title World Interior of the Year, which will be selected on Friday.
Dezeen is media partner for the Inside Festival 2015. The event continues at the Marina Bay Sands hotel and conference centre in Singapore until 6 November, coinciding with the World Architecture Festival.
Here are the details of today's four winning interior projects:
Hotels: Hotel Hotel Ground Floor Interior, Canberra, Australia, by March Studio

Australian office March Studio used thousands of pieces of recycled wood to create a sculptural entrance for Canberra's Hotel Hotel, which is part of a mixed-used development in the city's arts and culture precinct. Supported by steel rods that run from floor to ceiling, the timber creates irregular patterns through the space.
Bars and restaurants: Vivarium, Bangkok, Thailand, by Hypothesis

An converted warehouse is the setting for this Asian-fusion restaurant by Thai studio Hypothesis. The architects reused elements from around the site, including iron doors, steel pipes, and tree roots. They combined these with new red-painted elements, designed to reference the colouring of the masala spice, and hanging plants.
Residential: Tree House, Rome, Italy, by MdAA Architetti Associati

MdAA Architetti Associati transformed what was left of an old stable to create this home for a pair of fashion designers in Rome. To give the couple a private bedroom without compromising the open-plan nature of the space, the architects created a treehouse-like room floating above the ground floor, featuring a stained-glass window facing up to the sky.
Retail: KKi Sweets and the Little Drom Store, Singapore, by Produce Workshop

Located inside Singapore's School of the Arts, this project involved creating two shops – one selling art and design products, and one offering a mix of sweet treats and homeware. Produce Workshop's design involved creating a porous trellis, which integrates tables and shelves.
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Neri&Hu installs continuous clothing rail through Comme Moi flagship store

Chinese studio Neri&Hu has designed the interior of fashion brand Comme Moi's first flagship store, installing custom-made metal rails and cage-like cabinets (+ slideshow).

Located in Shanghai's Donghu Hotel, an Art Deco building completed in 1925, the store is laid out as a series of four sequential chambers, linked through continuous design elements.

"The retail space is integrated with a continuous rail that threads through the individual rooms while forming the armature for custom designed hanging cabinets," said the architects.

A grey-coloured terrazzo floor was also installed to unify the store's four sections, and occasionally extrudes upwards to form seating areas and a reception counter.

Since its completion in the early 20th century, the building has undergone multiple renovations and changes in use – something the architects wished to highlight.

Related story: Linehouse installs diagonal partitions and mirrored panels in a Shanghai boutiqueMirrors and metal-mesh cabinets hanging from gold-coloured railings were added to contrast with the existing architectural materials.

Custom-made display tables in the centre of the store are made from the same material as the storage cupboards, with wooden shelves.

"These showcase cabinets stand out within the historic architectural surroundings to present the fashion pieces in a striking new light," said the studio.

Fitting rooms are hidden away behind white linen curtains and scalloped-glass doors, and open out onto a runway-like corridor with a glass wall.

The terrazzo flooring continues outside the store, where the architects have added a glass display case to house a mannequin.

Earlier this year, Neri&Hu added bamboo-lined booths and green glass lampshades to a Shanghai bar and installed its vision for the home of the future at the imm Cologne trade fair.

The Chinese studio, founded by architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, also designed a wooden cabinet with seven objects to represent the seven deadly sins that was shown during Milan design week 2015.
Photography is by Dirk Weiblen.

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Jump Studios completes Google co-working space in former Madrid battery factory

London firm Jump Studios has renovated a 19th-century battery factory in Madrid to create the sixth Google Campus – a co-working space for entrepreneurs and start-up companies.
Jump Studios designed the first Google Campus London in 2012, and were asked to create a similar space in the Spanish capital city that would support 7,000 members and 50 resident start-up companies.

"The consideration Google has for its Campus members needed to be mirrored in an environment that enables and fosters effective communication with clients and co-workers in both physical and virtual formats," said Jump Studios associate Michelle Nicholls. "No two start-ups are the same and this is acknowledged in our design by the creation of a variety of formal and informal spaces."

The studio was asked to completely overhaul an industrial brick building, which originally served as a battery factory. The first commercially-viable batteries were invented and refined during the first half of the 19th century, and were the main source of electricity until the arrival of the electrical grid allowed for more efficient distribution of power.

The studio installed a new entrance on the south side of the five-storey building to increase circulation space and allow access to an outdoor public plaza.

Visitors enter the building through the campus café, where lounge seating and black-tiled booths are set over two floors. Lights encased within a red steel cage hang above a seven-metre-long meeting table.

Related story: Robots will be used to construct BIG and Heatherwick's Google HQA triple-height auditorium situated on the north side of the campus has the capacity to seat 200 people for large presentations. A curtain can be drawn across the length of the room to create a smaller space for more intimate meetings.

Large west-facing windows allow natural light to flood the space, and original steel ceiling beams have been left in place to give a nod to the building's previous industrial purpose.

"Our design delivers a juxtaposition between the old and the new," said Nicholls. "History merges with a contemporary style to present a unique environment for Google's members."

Meeting rooms across the the second and third floors of Campus Madrid have each been decorated in a colour palette inspired by famous Spanish painters including Picasso and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida.

Campus Madrid is the sixth addition to Google's community hubs initiative that aims to bring together startup companies and entrepreneurs.

Jump Studios previously worked with Google to design the interior of their Madrid offices, tucking colour-coded meeting rooms and private workspaces behind wooden arches.

Before merging with architecture and design practice Populous in June 2015, the London-based firm designed the interior for a Soho juice bar and created an office space for communications group Engine.
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It Met uses modular panels to create flexible workspace for Buenos Aires ad agency

Argentinian studio It Met used corrugated plastic and sheets of wood to partition the workspaces of this advertising agency in Buenos Aires.

Located within a three-storey building that has open-plan floors, the space is the headquarters of international design and advertising agency Circus, which also has offices in Madrid, Mexico and Los Angeles.

The It Met team wanted to adapt the building to better suit the nature of the company, and decided to create versatile spaces through the use of translucent, opaque and soundproof panels.

"We wanted to create a system that responds to different space needs," architect Maxi Ciovich told Dezeen. "We believe in the concept of modular architecture that takes shape through the union of different parts."

Related story: KAMP Arhitektid creates tree-filled office within former Soviet-era factoryTen types of panel in different materials and coatings were used to designate meeting rooms, desk spaces and recreational areas. Guatambu – a yellow-toned maple-like wood – was used to form the structural frame between each enclosure.

"There are 10 different kinds of panels, and all of them were designed under the same concept," said Ciovich. "There is a rack made from Guatambu wood that gives the panel its structural integrity, and different coatings define the panel's use."
The soundproof panels were arranged to form quiet meeting rooms, while the other areas are designed to be multi-functional.

The studio created pieces of self-assembly furniture to compliment the partitions through similar use of materials. These included laminate-topped desks with metal trestle legs and deckchair-like wooden seats.

"We are are an architecture and design studio, so the furniture pieces that we develop are always directed to solve or to complement our architecture spaces," said Ciovich. "In this case, we designed a set of furniture that relates to the architecture project by using the same materials and assembly concept. Every piece is a do-it-yourself assembly piece of furniture."

Architects are increasingly designing unconventional offices spaces, including KAMP Arhitektid's angular wooden volume within a former factory in Estonia, and a trio of boxy timber meeting spaces that can be exited down a pale blue slide inside a Parisian office block.

Other recently-completed projects in Buenos Aires include a cafe with wooden swings instead of seats, and a pair of houses with a robust concrete facade designed to protect them from noise.
Photography is by Javier Agustín Rojas.
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Olga Akulova installs glass walls and monolithic fireplace within Kiev penthouse

Ukrainian designer Olga Akulova added glazed partitions, metal-topped counters and a wooden bath to this apartment on the 30th level of a condominium in Kiev.

Akulova was asked to create a space using natural materials that would be suitable for her young client to entertain friends, and was influenced by "the new English style of design".

"I am inspired by the colours that [British] stylist Hanna Franklin uses," Akulova told Dezeen.
"The framework of the flat was amazing, but it was without any particular design."

As the client was keen to have natural materials throughout the Novopecherskie Lipki apartment, Akulova installed structural oak storage systems, with elm wood for the cabinet doors.

In the kitchen, an island was topped with sheet metal that matches the grey colour of the concrete ceiling and structural columns.

Related story: CO-AP creates rooftop oasis for residents of a Sydney penthouseCopper-coloured chairs match a pendant light that hangs above the wooden table.

A large sliding glass door connects the master bedroom to the bathroom, where the designer has installed a white metal structure fronted by plants, a black ceramic sink and a wooden bath.

Offset from the bedroom is a reading space, which can again be accessed via sliding glass doors. Floor-to-ceiling windows in this space offer panoramic views of the city and Dnieper River.

In the communal space, a monolithic white rectangle separates the living room and wardrobe area, and contains an open wooden fireplace and a hidden television.

The brief also included the installation of a "clever house" system that would automatically control the temperature, security, lighting and electrical equipment.

Recently, Belgian studio De Meester Vliegen Architecten installed a monolithic marble partition on top of a steel fireplace in an Antwerp penthouse, while Israeli studio Pitsou Kedem Architects has knocked four apartments into one to create a two-storey Tel Aviv property with a rooftop pool.
Photography is by Andrey Avdeenko.
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Design Scene

Members of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Washington Metro Chapter gathered at the Washington Design Center on September 24 for their annual awards celebration. ASID members from other chapters and Home & Design staff judged the competition; photos and complete listing of the award-winning projects appear here.
Commercial: Detail/Small Unique Space—Maria Causey, Allied ASID, Olamar Interiors. Reston Commercial.
Residential: Detail/Small Unique Space—Lorna Gross-Bryant, ASID, Lorna Gross Interior Design. Row House Refuge.
Residential: Kitchen/Bath—Cynthia L. McClure, ASID, MCR, CKD, GCP, and Jenna Randolph, Grossmueller’s Design Consultants, Inc. DH Master Bath.
Residential: Multiple Spaces—Therese Baron Gurney, ASID, Baron Gurney Interiors. bm Modular One.
Commercial: Hospitality Design—Kendall P. Wilson, ASID, FAIA, FIIDA, LEED Fellow, Perkins+Will. Kimball Office, Washington, DC Showroom.
Residential: Single Space—Andrea Houck, Associate ASID, A. Houck Designs, Inc. Esber Family Home.
Commercial: Government/Institutional—Gretchen Ginnerty, Allied ASID, and Tom Wheeler, cox graae + spack architects. The Field School.
Commercial: Corporate Office—Gavin W. Bowie, ASID, AIA; Gavin H. Daniels, AIA, IIDA; and Natalie J. Hnatiw, Wingate Hughes Architects. nclud.
Commercial: Healthcare—Barbara Huelat, FASID, and Amanda Logatto, ASID, Huelat Davis. Dermatology Suite.
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Cachet: ’Tis the season

A room festooned with lush greenery perfectly signals the holiday season. For example, the Donatella Amberly Manor Greenery Collection for Frontgate (part of a holiday line by restaurateur and TV personality Donatella Arpaia) adorns a home in style. More holiday-decoration ideas are on view above.

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Beauty Spot

Interior designer Jennifer Wagner Schmidt truly embraces the process of transformation—so remodeling a hopelessly dated condominium in Chevy Chase was a welcome challenge. “The condo was in its original 1970s form, with stained carpets, dirty walls and old Formica countertops,” Schmidt recalls. “My client wanted a complete redo.” Before Schmidt and the owner, a fashion professional, could tackle the fun parts like picking fresh finishes and furnishings, certain structural fixes were needed. First, one of the bedrooms in the three-bedroom/two-bath unit became a small office off the master bedroom with a coveted walk-in closet. Cutting back dead drywall space also created a more expansive foyer.
When they were ready to focus on furnishings, the owner asked Schmidt to infuse the apartment with glamour. “She loves white and gold, art and fashion, and she likes to travel,” says the designer, adding, “We had all that in common.”
Ebonized hardwood floors and white marble tile replaced dreary wall-to-wall carpet. The marble was laid on the diagonal for a fun twist. Throughout, an ugly popcorn ceiling was removed and the whole condo refreshed with paint.
“By opening up the space and using reflective elements and luxury finishes, we created a glam bachelorette pad,” says Schmidt. The designer stuck with gray shades of wall paint, except in the living room where she covered the walls with textured paper in a natural-pearl hue with a slight shimmer. By contrast, the room’s plain aluminum window casings were painted matte black to frame views of urban Friendship Heights and update the overall look of the space.
A focal point in the living room is a silk scarf the owner purchased in Brazil; Schmidt had it framed in a Lucite shadow box and hung between two bookshelves. Pulling from the scarf’s colors, Schmidt honed in on a soft palette reflected in blush-colored velvet pillows, a faux-fur rug and a tufted, leopard-print chenille bench and accent pillows.
“For lighting, my client wanted feminine gold statement pieces,” says Schmidt. “She also likes crystal.” Finding the right lighting for the living room, where ceilings are only eight feet high, was a challenge. Luckily, Schmidt discovered a pair of beautiful gold-and-crystal light fixtures to hang near the ceiling at either end of the space.
“In the dining room, which I’d painted a high-gloss charcoal gray, I wanted something that I could hang lower, so I got a high-contrast, white-lacquered chandelier,” the designer explains. The cobalt blue hue in the artwork finds its way into the velvet host chairs that flank the marble-topped table, while the other dining chairs sport chenille upholstery in pale gray.
“The existing kitchen, which we gutted, was rather small,” says Schmidt. She selected an antiqued-mirror backsplash to make it feel larger and dressed the room up with chocolate-brown cabinets and white quartzite countertops. A matching bar with the same cabinetry was installed in the adjacent dining room.
Finally, Schmidt imparted a touch of glam in the master bedroom. An accent wall is painted pale mint and overlaid with a gold trellis pattern. “We didn’t want the bedroom to be all white,” she explains. “The client had originally wanted a brighter turquoise, but I felt the subdued mint was more appropriate, yet still gave her color.”
And so it went between client and designer, while the dated, frumpy condo evolved into a sophisticated yet youthful home.
“It was a true collaboration,” Schmidt reports. “We started by having common interests, and ultimately ended up becoming friends through the creative design process.”
Writer and stylist Charlotte Safavi is based in Alexandria. Stacy Zarin Goldberg is a photographer in Olney, Maryland.

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Artistic Eye

Downsizing from a house to an apartment typically requires the shedding of possessions, from furnishings to books and artwork. But for Jackie Chalkley and her husband, C. Wayne Callaway, moving from their modern, architect-designed home in Woodley Park to a two-bedroom condominium in Wesley Heights meant renovating to accommodate all their favorite belongings without overwhelming the smaller space.
Chalkley, once a potter, is best known for her three eponymous fashion boutiques in Washington, DC, that pioneered the wearable art concept. She closed those businesses in 1999 and has recently turned her artistic eye to interior design. “I’ve always worked with design in terms of products and presentation, so it wasn’t new for me to think about it in terms of space and planning,” she says, noting a current project she has undertaken to update the public spaces of the 1970s building where she and Callaway live.
Chalkley oversaw the renovation of their two-level condo, transforming outdated interiors that had “wallpaper on every single surface,” she recalls, into clean-lined, open spaces. She and her husband purchased the apartment in 2013, drawn by elements similar to those in their previous home, including floor-to-ceiling windows, a generous outdoor terrace and balconies off the upper level.
Playing up those assets, Chalkley streamlined the main level to create a seamless living/dining suite that opens through expansive glass doors and windows to an outdoor room. “There wasn’t a rhythm or flow to the space, so that was the first thing I struggled with,” she says. “The terrace makes the interior space feel bigger and serves as another living area in warm weather.”
Chalkley also added built-in storage and shelving in nearly every room; the units eliminate clutter and leave plenty of space to display paintings, prints and sculpture. “I wanted the design to be very minimalist with specific places for our artwork,” she says.
On the living room wall next to the seating area, vertically slatted piers conceal a china closet and a heating/cooling unit. They also frame a niche that showcases a large painting by the late New York artist David Shapiro. The arrangement is repeated on the opposite wall of the dining area to set off a cluster of earth-daubed paintings by New York artist Alan Sonfist.
Sofas, chairs and lamps are by French designer Christian Liaigre, whose projects include the Mercer Hotel in New York. “His pieces are beautifully proportioned and unpretentious,” notes Chalkley. “They are contemporary in an understated, classic way.”
Although the ceiling height in the apartment is only eight feet, the owner installed tall ficus trees and a pair of wooden ladders from Mali in the living area. “They lend verticality to the space, almost in a way that defies the height limitation,” she explains.
To save costs, Chalkley overhauled the kitchen with IKEA cabinets but splurged on high-end appliances and marble countertops. A tiny breakfast nook with a table and a banquette is tucked in between the cabinets, and even this small space incorporates artwork: a print by Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies.
Next to the kitchen, the staircase leading to the upper level was remodeled with a simple enclosure and dark-stained wood treads that echo the flooring on the main level for visual continuity. A multi-piece sculpture by Washington, DC, artist Yuriko Yamaguchi serves to anchor the transitional space.
In the hallway leading to the two bedrooms on the upper floor, Chalkley moved a door to make room for another art wall, now filled by two Shapiro paintings. She created an office space within the guest room by mounting IKEA shelving to display books and objects from her boutiques, and installing the custom walnut desk created by Washington, DC, designer Thomas Pheasant for her previous residence. Facing the desk, photographs by Linda Connor hang in a grid pattern. In the adjacent master bedroom, IKEA cabinet doors were cut down to create a headboard, and twin portraits by Paris-based painter James Brown were mounted above the bed.
Renovating and repurposing the belongings from her previous home has been a valuable experience for Chalkley. As she reflects, “This downsizing project has given me insights that should be useful to my clients who are facing similar transitions going forward.”
Writer Deborah K. Dietsch is based in Washington, DC. Maxwell MacKenzie is a photographer in Washington, DC.
INTERIOR DESIGN: JACKIE CHALKLEY, Jackie Chalkley, Washington, DC.

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