Darjeeling Express, by A-nrd Studio
Working from hundreds of photographs of chef and restauranteur Asma Khan’s ancestral home and her travels through India, A-nrd Studio created an interior space for the Darjeeling Express restaurant in Soho, London. The warm, earthy primary colour palette was chosen to resonate with hues of “the golden hour of India, as well referencing key ingredients in Khan’s recipes, according to the studio. Accents of light lapis blue also appear across the space, paying homage to the blue wall of the original Darjeeling Express restaurant.
In line with the A-nrd’s sustainable efforts, repurposed furniture was used were possible, from the reception desk – formerly an old refuse cover, to the waiter station made from an old sideboard. The communal sharing table is made from pigmented concrete, which is widely used in India, and features striped terracotta and an ink blue tabletop framed by metal. Mismatched textiles with colour block shapes and stitched detailing were also chosen to represent patterns found in India.
A-nrd also crafted bespoke dark oak benches for the restaurant, with a slatted construction and curving back designed. The benches, along with the bespoke Burly wood tables, are inspired by old photographs of Khan travelling on the namesake Darjeeling Express train.
Indo-Islamic Mughal architectural shapes inform the restaurant’s curved, vintage-effect cocktail bar with solid dark oak features a scalloped front counter was designed to be a star feature of the space. Walls, shelves and counters are adorned with stacks of handmade clay chai cups by ceramist Maham Anjum and photographs by Khan’s close friend by Ming Tang-Evans are framed in small groups, depicting moments from their trip to India.
Collage City, by F.O.G Architecture
Fashion brand Skypeople tasked Chinese studio F.O.G Architecture with bringing the concept of urban city regeneration to its new store in Sanlitun Taikoo Li North, Beijing. By randomly placing geometric-shaped mirror at different heights around the space, the studio sought to add layered visual depth. The visual effect of the mirrors also nods to the re-organisation and reconfiguration of the city.
The inverted trapezoid structure suspended in the centre of the space has a cushioned outer surface, designed to look similar to the stitching on a down jacket. The structure – intended as a fitting room – is connected only to the ceiling and has a 20cm gap between its base and the floor. F.O.G Architecture installed blue and purple lighting in the white-walled fitting room, with the aim of evoking a futuristic atmosphere comparable to outer space or polar regions. The positioning of the fitting room seeks to challenge the traditional layout of a fashion boutique, making to a focal point rather than hiding it in the back.
The overall goal is to soften people’s view of the city. The floating fitting room is an abstract interpretation of a skyscraper, while the installation at the entrance – comprised of 90 columns made of foam and stainless steel – serves as a conceptual “winter park”. Even the sofas have been made in the shape of park benches but cladded with soft materials.
Faern Arosa Altein Hotel, by Run for the Hills
For its first full hotel commission, London-based studio Run for the Hills has designed the interiors for Faern Arosa Altein, a ski hotel in the Swiss Alps. Opting for a warm, relaxed look and feel, the studio incorporated tactile upholstery, sheepskins and woollen armchairs and timber and joinery, complimented by the colour palette, which combines alpine neutrals, forest greens, burnt rust hues and golden ochres.
Run for the Hills sought to add an “urban twist” to the hotel through tailor-made mesh panelling, ribbed glass column lights and antique brass fittings. The Wes Anderson-inspired wooden reception desk was designed to complement the architectural ceiling arches and reference the hotel’s heritage.
Boutique-inspired guest rooms feature curved custom headboards and alpine zig-zag textiles on furniture in the bedroom space, with black-framed showers and brassware and terrazzo floors in the bathrooms.
Similar themes carry through into Faern Arosa Altein’s dining and drinking spaces. A softly lit arched timber and mesh wine cabinet adorns the wall of the Grand Dining Room Zus Brasserie, while the Alpensand Panoramic Restaurant and Social Club, designed with 1970s style décor in mind, is filled with cushioned velvet sofas and deep armchairs.
Neko Health Centre, by Note
Health tech company Neko Health worked with Stockholm-based design studio Note to design its futuristic health centre which will house its new medical scanning technology. The technology took four years to develop and utilises the latest advancements in sensors and AI to facilitate a non-invasive health data collection experience.
Note opted for colours and finished not typically use din medical environments. The surfaces are high gloss and painted in pale yellow and dark green, with a brushed metal drawer unit and diffused reeded glass.
While the aim was to make the setting appear futuristic, Neko Health also wanted the space to focus on human aspects, so that patients can feel intrigued but also secure.
Luxury Canvas Lodge, by Kate Guinness Design and The Safari Canvas Co.
The Safari Canvas Co. – known for its safari canvas architecture in Africa – and Kate Guinness Design collaborated on designing a luxury canvas lodge in Wiltshire. Intended to be used by country house hotels, the open-plan safari-style tents are permanent structures built to last.
Although the tents can be permanent, they are classified as semi-permanent by the planning authorities, making them a good option for listed country house hotels and residential houses that cannot be extended due to planning restrictions. The space features everything from a wood-burning stove and super king-size bed to a dressing room and minibar.
Where possible, materials are sustainably sourced, such as the decks, which are made from upcycled scaffold boards, and the poles made from eucalyptus.
Separates from the living space by a screen, the bathroom is fitted with a free-standing bath and separate toilet from South African bathroom brand Vaniti House. Kate Guinness Design is responsible for the interior finishes, chosen for their rustic but functional properties and their interesting design details.
The display tents in Wiltshire follow the design of the Meru tents in Africa with minor tweaks to ensure they fit in with the English countryside and can deal with unpredictable weather.