Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio
Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio

Raffles City Hangzhou was designed by UNStudio for real estate company CapitaLand. It is a sustainable urban hub for living, working and leisure located in Hangzhou, one of China's most picturesque cities. Situated 180 kilometres south-west of Shanghai, Hangzhou is one of China's most prosperous cities, especially renowned for its scenic landscapes. Located in Qianjiang New Town near the Qiantang River, this mixed-use development forms a prominent landmark in Hangzhou's new central business district, with a total area of almost 400,000 square metres spread across the two 250-metre towers, the podium building and the surrounding plaza.

Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio
Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio

Raffles City Hangzhou was designed by UNStudio for real estate company CapitaLand. It is a sustainable urban hub for living, working and leisure located in Hangzhou, one of China's most picturesque cities. Situated 180 kilometres south-west of Shanghai, Hangzhou is one of China's most prosperous cities, especially renowned for its scenic landscapes. Located in Qianjiang New Town near the Qiantang River, this mixed-use development forms a prominent landmark in Hangzhou's new central business district, with a total area of almost 400,000 square metres spread across the two 250-metre towers, the podium building and the surrounding plaza.

M·CUBE / MVRDV
M·CUBE / MVRDV

The Beijing KWG·M·CUBE, a 40,000-square-metre shopping centre designed by MVRDV, has completed construction in Beijing. Asked by the client to make the building a visual statement, MVRDV created a multifaceted volume that responds to its surroundings with a pearlescent ceramic façade, which shimmers in a spectrum of colours under changing light conditions.

Located just within Beijing’s innermost ring road, the KWG·M·CUBE is prominently located next to the Beijing Railway Station and near to both the Temple of Heaven to the Southwest, and Tiananmen and the Forbidden City to the Northwest. Given this prime location and the consequent value of the land, the client wanted a building that would stand out from its mostly beige and grey neighbours, while also packing a large amount of space into a relatively small footprint. Contradicting this request were the desires of the city government, whose preference was for a building that would fit in with its muted surroundings on the busy street.

MVRDV was commissioned to design the building’s exterior and responded to these competing hopes with a 7-storey volume that rises to the maximum allowed height of 36 metres—an unusually tall building for this kind of mall. The shape of the building was generated by cutting the volume at various angles to orient the façades to face key locations, such as the railway station and an intersection on the other side of the street, generating a shape that is both contextual and recognizable in its visual presence. It also allowed MVRDV to include open-air terraces on each level, which are symbolically oriented towards landmarks such as the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven—some visible from the building, others more distant—to root the building in its location.

The building is wrapped in a pearlescent ceramic façade that at different times appears either grey or colourful, creating a subtle façade that does not need large LED screens to stand out and catch the attention of the passers-by. Hand-glazed in China, these tiles were made by applying three layers of glaze to the ceramic, and firing at a different temperature each time.

“We designed the KWG·M·CUBE so that the building continuously displays new patterns and colours. Depending on the weather and light conditions and where you stand, the façade might look subtly grey, or it might shine with all the colours of the rainbow,” says Jacob van Rijs, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. “In this part of Beijing, there are restrictions on architecture and many nearby buildings are completed in shades of grey and beige. Our solution allowed us to do exactly what the client and the city wanted: to create an attractive visual statement in which exuberance and modesty go hand in hand.”

The surface treatment of the façade also breaks up the mass of the building while responding to the light and view requirements of the interior program. While some areas of the surface were required to have blind facades to accommodate the stores behind, other stores are able to use diffuse light to their advantage, and here the ceramic tiles are used in a checkerboard pattern. In other places such as lobbies and cafes, fully glazed facades provide a visual connection between the inside of the shopping centre and the mall.

To accommodate the building’s 7-storey height, MVRDV proposed to split the KWG·M·CUBE shopping centre into two layers: on the lower 3 floors is the daytime shopping centre, which mostly hosts retail stores, while the upper levels feature more restaurants, bars, and cafés, and will truly come alive at night. In order to allow the upper floors to function while the lower floors are closed, an express elevator from the ground level takes visitors up to a second lobby on the fourth floor. To complete this layering effect, a landscaped roof terrace allows visitors to relax outside when the weather is pleasant.

MVRDV won the competition to design the KWG·M·CUBE for client KWG Group Holdings in February 2012 and have worked on the project alongside façade consultants Meinhardt Façade Technology, contractor Gartner Permasteelisa Group, tile manufacturers NBK and HDTC, and co-architect Xinjiyuan.

M·CUBE / MVRDV
M·CUBE / MVRDV

The Beijing KWG·M·CUBE, a 40,000-square-metre shopping centre designed by MVRDV, has completed construction in Beijing. Asked by the client to make the building a visual statement, MVRDV created a multifaceted volume that responds to its surroundings with a pearlescent ceramic façade, which shimmers in a spectrum of colours under changing light conditions.

Located just within Beijing’s innermost ring road, the KWG·M·CUBE is prominently located next to the Beijing Railway Station and near to both the Temple of Heaven to the Southwest, and Tiananmen and the Forbidden City to the Northwest. Given this prime location and the consequent value of the land, the client wanted a building that would stand out from its mostly beige and grey neighbours, while also packing a large amount of space into a relatively small footprint. Contradicting this request were the desires of the city government, whose preference was for a building that would fit in with its muted surroundings on the busy street.

MVRDV was commissioned to design the building’s exterior and responded to these competing hopes with a 7-storey volume that rises to the maximum allowed height of 36 metres—an unusually tall building for this kind of mall. The shape of the building was generated by cutting the volume at various angles to orient the façades to face key locations, such as the railway station and an intersection on the other side of the street, generating a shape that is both contextual and recognizable in its visual presence. It also allowed MVRDV to include open-air terraces on each level, which are symbolically oriented towards landmarks such as the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven—some visible from the building, others more distant—to root the building in its location.

The building is wrapped in a pearlescent ceramic façade that at different times appears either grey or colourful, creating a subtle façade that does not need large LED screens to stand out and catch the attention of the passers-by. Hand-glazed in China, these tiles were made by applying three layers of glaze to the ceramic, and firing at a different temperature each time.

“We designed the KWG·M·CUBE so that the building continuously displays new patterns and colours. Depending on the weather and light conditions and where you stand, the façade might look subtly grey, or it might shine with all the colours of the rainbow,” says Jacob van Rijs, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. “In this part of Beijing, there are restrictions on architecture and many nearby buildings are completed in shades of grey and beige. Our solution allowed us to do exactly what the client and the city wanted: to create an attractive visual statement in which exuberance and modesty go hand in hand.”

The surface treatment of the façade also breaks up the mass of the building while responding to the light and view requirements of the interior program. While some areas of the surface were required to have blind facades to accommodate the stores behind, other stores are able to use diffuse light to their advantage, and here the ceramic tiles are used in a checkerboard pattern. In other places such as lobbies and cafes, fully glazed facades provide a visual connection between the inside of the shopping centre and the mall.

To accommodate the building’s 7-storey height, MVRDV proposed to split the KWG·M·CUBE shopping centre into two layers: on the lower 3 floors is the daytime shopping centre, which mostly hosts retail stores, while the upper levels feature more restaurants, bars, and cafés, and will truly come alive at night. In order to allow the upper floors to function while the lower floors are closed, an express elevator from the ground level takes visitors up to a second lobby on the fourth floor. To complete this layering effect, a landscaped roof terrace allows visitors to relax outside when the weather is pleasant.

MVRDV won the competition to design the KWG·M·CUBE for client KWG Group Holdings in February 2012 and have worked on the project alongside façade consultants Meinhardt Façade Technology, contractor Gartner Permasteelisa Group, tile manufacturers NBK and HDTC, and co-architect Xinjiyuan.

The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

An adaptive reuse of a historical building in Shanghai China, The Living Room is built to create walkable, mixed-use alternatives to China’s rampant urbanization. The center is a hub for services including family therapy, art therapy, yoga, a health-oriented restaurant with food and beverage programs, and a small-scale urban farm. 

The interior was designed by noted New York architect and designer Calvin Tsao of TsAO & McKOWN. Shanghai-based architecture firm, Neri & Hu, designed the exterior of the building. 

From the venue: The Living Room by Octave is our flagship wellbeing center offering integrated and customized wellness programs delivered by a group of world-class practitioners. The exterior was designed by Neri & Hu and the interior was designed by noted architect and designer Calvin Tsao. It also houses a gourmet, organic, natural restaurant, Thought for Food, and a Children's Enhancement Center for kids ages 6 months to 3 years. Our facility is located on Jianguo Xi Lu in the heritage area of Shanghai, and is equipped with advanced air filtration which cleans up to 0.002 μm PM2.5. We also have running water reaching international quality standards. 

The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

An adaptive reuse of a historical building in Shanghai China, The Living Room is built to create walkable, mixed-use alternatives to China’s rampant urbanization. The center is a hub for services including family therapy, art therapy, yoga, a health-oriented restaurant with food and beverage programs, and a small-scale urban farm. 

The interior was designed by noted New York architect and designer Calvin Tsao of TsAO & McKOWN. Shanghai-based architecture firm, Neri & Hu, designed the exterior of the building. 

From the venue: The Living Room by Octave is our flagship wellbeing center offering integrated and customized wellness programs delivered by a group of world-class practitioners. The exterior was designed by Neri & Hu and the interior was designed by noted architect and designer Calvin Tsao. It also houses a gourmet, organic, natural restaurant, Thought for Food, and a Children's Enhancement Center for kids ages 6 months to 3 years. Our facility is located on Jianguo Xi Lu in the heritage area of Shanghai, and is equipped with advanced air filtration which cleans up to 0.002 μm PM2.5. We also have running water reaching international quality standards. 

Dai Forni at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios
Dai Forni at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios' newest projects with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts - the Dai Forni Italian located in the newly built Four Seasons Kuwait in the Burj Alshaya building.

Having previously worked together on the Brasserie at the Four Seasons Kyoto the Four Seasons team invited Kokaistudios to conceive an elegant F&B destination bringing the freshness and tastes of Italy to Kuwait.

The starting point of the design process was to canvas Italy and determine which part of its vast culinary heritage and geography to focus on and the designers quickly settled upon the tastes, smells and textures of the Mediterranean and in particular the island of Sicily; long the meeting point between the cultures of the Middle East and Europe. Dai Forni is part of the emerging global cultural culinary trend of regional rather than national cuisines; and the restaurant design and cuisine are a testament to this trend.

Kokaistudios envisioned the space as an oasis for all of the senses with the entrance characterized by an immense green wall; itself an innovative structure filled with local desert plant varietals; and large fire pillars that frame the entrance experience and bring the guests along a sandstone floored corridor into main dining areas centered by an expansive antipasti counter covered in a pink hued hand treated cooper from Italy.

To the left of the entrance corridor sits the front dining area featuring a stunning 12 meter high space with expansive views onto the city and the Persian Gulf beyond. The designers have enrobed the space in a custom designed metal mesh curtain illuminated by a diffused lighting system that creates a soft shimmering glow. The intense sunlight and temperatures during the day-time drove the creation of an elaborate system of laser cut curtains that help to maintain a cool and welcoming temperature.

Sintoho at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios
Sintoho at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios' newest projects with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts - the Sintoho Asian fine dining restaurant located on the top floor of the newly built Four Seasons Kuwait in the Burj Alshaya building.

Having previously worked together on the Brasserie at the Four Seasons Kyoto the Four Seasons team invited Kokaistudios to conceive an innovative F&B destination that could elevate the street foods of the cities of Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong into a fine dining destination and experience.

Intrigued by the concept and the location in a city with no established tradition of Asian fine dining we set about creating a temple to Asian cuisine and craftsmanship that eschewed kitschy and thematic styles and aimed for the creation of an essential and refreshing space in which the dining experience is influenced both by the architecture of the space and the food offering.

The restaurant design was conceived first and foremost around the idea of celebrating the diversity and excellence of Asian cuisine and creating spaces and opportunities for the guests to experience the sights, smells and tastes of these food cultures up close.

We searched for commonalities between the cultures in order to come up with a design language to unite them and we took our inspiration less from the current nature of the individual countries but rather from the historical role that Chinese culture has played over time throughout Asia and how those influences continue to be part of everyday life.

The entrance area of the restaurant features a long corridor flanked on one side by an expansive green wall filled primarily with local desert plant varietals and on the other by a series of custom designed water towers which combine to create a cooling and soothing experience. The corridor finishes in a tea wall fronted by an elaborate carved wood tea station where guests can select an expansive choice of fine teas.

To the right of the entrance corridor sits the main open dining area on the right that features expansive 12 meter high ceilings that offers expansive views of the city and the Persian Gulf beyond. The front dining area center features a series of custom designed furniture for which we cooperated with Kyoto based artisans and the area is hemmed by an extensive shousugi ban burnt wood sushi counter inlaid with hand hammered brass. The soft lighting in the area comes from the series of water drop glass pendants produced by the London based artisans DHLiberty Lux.

The rest of the public area seating is centered largely around the individual open live cooking stations where guests can experience up-close the preparation of robatta, teppanyaki, and dim sum and other delicacies from Hong Kong which have been clad by hand-hammered metal hoods and sculpted stone bases featuring images and motifs typical inspired by classical designs found in China.

The strong inter-play between the main materials of wood, stone, and hand-finished metals is thrown a curve by the insertion of a 3D feature wall made of exposed concrete forms that runs the length of the kitchen wall and has been designed using parametric principles and its undulating form appears as a dynamic wave while being in actuality a straight structure.

The private dining rooms are an ode to Chinese embroidery craftsmanship with bespoke chairs and walls featuring hand-printed linen fabric albeit with a wink to principal designer Filippo Gabbiani’s home town of Venice via the use of the Fortuny silk pendant lamps and red Murano glass inlays.

The bathrooms are an experience in and of themselves as we cooperated with a Shanghai based video production team Flatmind to create a series of Chinese shadow video installations that are projected on the grey hand hammered Chinese stone.

The outdoor seating areas that are shared with the neighboring Italian restaurant Dai Forni; also designed by Kokaistudios; feature a stunning glass sculpture from London based artisans Duffy.

The design of this project is a new step in Kokaistudios method of combining a strong architectural approach to the design of interiors with an original use of materials and light to create unexpected subtle emphatic feeling between the space and the people; handcrafted materials shaped and controlled up to the finest detail interact and interplay with the both the day and night light and reveal an incredibly expressive power.

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios
Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, designed by Kokaistudios.

The new Four Seasons hotel is located in the UNESCO protected area of the temples of Kyoto at the base of the mountains and faces a historical traditional Japanese pond surrounded by a magnificent heritage ikeniwa. Positioned between the arrival lobby and the garden, the restaurant is the core of the public space of the hotel. The architect conceived the space on with a strong architectural strategy by using the Kyoto traditional system to connect indoor to outdoor, creating a large architectural feature that frames the view of the garden.

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios
Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, designed by Kokaistudios.

The new Four Seasons hotel is located in the UNESCO protected area of the temples of Kyoto at the base of the mountains and faces a historical traditional Japanese pond surrounded by a magnificent heritage ikeniwa. Positioned between the arrival lobby and the garden, the restaurant is the core of the public space of the hotel. The architect conceived the space on with a strong architectural strategy by using the Kyoto traditional system to connect indoor to outdoor, creating a large architectural feature that frames the view of the garden.

Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios
Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios

Originally built in the 1930s by French real estate company Foncière et Immobilière de Chine, the Jian Ye Li “shikumen” complex; located in the heart of the former French concession had evolved and been altered over the years but was essentially intact in its historical configuration and represented an incredible development opportunity.  Originally these “shikumen” buildings were designed for middle class families in Shanghai and as they lacked modern plumbing facilities they were often seen as products with little value to preserve and were either demolished or just the “shell” was maintained and they were converted it into commercial use.

After extensive research and study, Kokaistudios developed an architectural renovation strategy that maintained the architectural features of the “shikumen” lane houses while tastefully altering the internal layout and transforming them into spaces suitable for modern luxurious living where each original lane house unit was transformed into one luxurious guest suite. Practicality is not a term that applies to this project as the shikumen architectural typology; characterized by their narrow and tall nature meaning that the minimum 110 sq.m suites are split over 2 floors via a step staircase with no elevator; does not lend itself naturally to conversion to hospitality use. However when the ultra-luxury Capella hotel brand entered into the project several years later minimal upgrades to the architecture of the buildings were required to meet their exacting standards and they created 55 luxury suites each occupying one of the lane-houses. Today the hotel occupies a unique position within Shanghai’s luxury hotel landscape and offer their guests a truly unique hospitality experience not available anywhere else in the world.

Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios
Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios

Originally built in the 1930s by French real estate company Foncière et Immobilière de Chine, the Jian Ye Li “shikumen” complex; located in the heart of the former French concession had evolved and been altered over the years but was essentially intact in its historical configuration and represented an incredible development opportunity.  Originally these “shikumen” buildings were designed for middle class families in Shanghai and as they lacked modern plumbing facilities they were often seen as products with little value to preserve and were either demolished or just the “shell” was maintained and they were converted it into commercial use.

After extensive research and study, Kokaistudios developed an architectural renovation strategy that maintained the architectural features of the “shikumen” lane houses while tastefully altering the internal layout and transforming them into spaces suitable for modern luxurious living where each original lane house unit was transformed into one luxurious guest suite. Practicality is not a term that applies to this project as the shikumen architectural typology; characterized by their narrow and tall nature meaning that the minimum 110 sq.m suites are split over 2 floors via a step staircase with no elevator; does not lend itself naturally to conversion to hospitality use. However when the ultra-luxury Capella hotel brand entered into the project several years later minimal upgrades to the architecture of the buildings were required to meet their exacting standards and they created 55 luxury suites each occupying one of the lane-houses. Today the hotel occupies a unique position within Shanghai’s luxury hotel landscape and offer their guests a truly unique hospitality experience not available anywhere else in the world.

Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio
Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio

The Financial Street (Jing An) Centre consists of two office buildings, one high-end residential buildings and a boutique SOHO apartment unit. The programme is distributed within four individual volumes. The residential and office towers - linked by a ground floor retail layer - are placed across the site to optimise sun orientation and reduce the casting of shadows on the plot, while simultaneously reducing impact on the surrounding buildings.
The facade design for Jing’An Plaza was developed around two principle elements. The horizontal ribbons that wrap around balconies and facade openings and the vertical shifts in the ribbons towards the main street which add a vertical articulation to the buildings and ground them on the site.
Large glass openings allow natural light into the buildings, creating optimal interior lighting conditions for the different functions and ensuring spectacular city views. On the lower levels the buildings connect to a park setting with greenery and water features. 

Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio
Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio

The Financial Street (Jing An) Centre consists of two office buildings, one high-end residential buildings and a boutique SOHO apartment unit. The programme is distributed within four individual volumes. The residential and office towers - linked by a ground floor retail layer - are placed across the site to optimise sun orientation and reduce the casting of shadows on the plot, while simultaneously reducing impact on the surrounding buildings.
The facade design for Jing’An Plaza was developed around two principle elements. The horizontal ribbons that wrap around balconies and facade openings and the vertical shifts in the ribbons towards the main street which add a vertical articulation to the buildings and ground them on the site.
Large glass openings allow natural light into the buildings, creating optimal interior lighting conditions for the different functions and ensuring spectacular city views. On the lower levels the buildings connect to a park setting with greenery and water features. 

18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli
18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli

Located in North Point, the eastern district of Hong Kong Island, 18 King Wah Road is a new 23-​story office building in Hong Kong and second commission for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. 18 King Wah Road commands a striking view of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay, and to the west, PCPA’s iconic International Financial Centre marks the skyline.

In contrast to the density of its urban neighbors, the design of PCPA’s building is airy and buoyant. The triple-​height Y-​shaped columns that support the base of the tower deliver an exciting visual on the street, announcing the building’s presence. While solid in breadth, they seem to lift the base effortlessly. Metal fins wrap around the crisp glass and steel curtain wall, creating a lively pattern the full height of the building’s compact vertical massing. Each office floor will have spectacular views of the waterfront, Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay.

The project meets Gold Well Building Standards, Platinum Asia Regional Intelligent Green Building, and LEED Platinum. Key environmental concerns such as dense urban congestion and extreme afternoon temperatures are addressed. The curved corners of the building allow air to flow continuously throughout the tightly built-​up neighborhood. High-​performance metal sunshades wrap the exterior of each floor to minimize the effect of the intense solar rays from overheating the interior spaces. The shades are designed to function specifically to the sun’s orientation. On the north-​west corner, they extend outwards and downward to mitigate the harsh afternoon sun. On the south-​west corner, a second shade extends out to block the higher angled mid-​day sun. Concurrently, this second feature acts as a light-​shelf that directs daylight deeper into office interiors, significantly reducing the need for artificial lighting.

18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli
18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli

Located in North Point, the eastern district of Hong Kong Island, 18 King Wah Road is a new 23-​story office building in Hong Kong and second commission for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. 18 King Wah Road commands a striking view of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay, and to the west, PCPA’s iconic International Financial Centre marks the skyline.

In contrast to the density of its urban neighbors, the design of PCPA’s building is airy and buoyant. The triple-​height Y-​shaped columns that support the base of the tower deliver an exciting visual on the street, announcing the building’s presence. While solid in breadth, they seem to lift the base effortlessly. Metal fins wrap around the crisp glass and steel curtain wall, creating a lively pattern the full height of the building’s compact vertical massing. Each office floor will have spectacular views of the waterfront, Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay.

The project meets Gold Well Building Standards, Platinum Asia Regional Intelligent Green Building, and LEED Platinum. Key environmental concerns such as dense urban congestion and extreme afternoon temperatures are addressed. The curved corners of the building allow air to flow continuously throughout the tightly built-​up neighborhood. High-​performance metal sunshades wrap the exterior of each floor to minimize the effect of the intense solar rays from overheating the interior spaces. The shades are designed to function specifically to the sun’s orientation. On the north-​west corner, they extend outwards and downward to mitigate the harsh afternoon sun. On the south-​west corner, a second shade extends out to block the higher angled mid-​day sun. Concurrently, this second feature acts as a light-​shelf that directs daylight deeper into office interiors, significantly reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office
Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office

MDO have completed the first two of four office towers in Xi’an’s Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.  The towers are the 2nd phase of a larger office campus masterplan.  At the centre of the new design is a landscaped park which acts as a green community focus for the entire campus.
A previous masterplan included all the office accommodation arranged in a single block, and MDO reorganized this area into 4 towers, creating more view corridors through the site and to the park, less overshadowing and better leasable office floor plates.
Facade
The 4 towers are designed as two pairs that are mirrored off an existing central axis.  The brief called for economic floor plates and a cost effective façade.  Recesses, obtrusions, all of these would add cost; instead we decided to treat the facades as a skin which could be enriched through careful composition, proportion, and detail.
The façade is vertically organized into bands, which increase in height as they rise, giving the towers a greater vertical emphasis.  The curtain walling is either full height glass or Apple silver aluminum panels. The proportion of glass increases the further you rise up the building.
Local codes require opening vents for smoke clearance, which usually result in awkward and unsightly windows. We wanted to maintain a clean unobstructed glass panel so decided to hide the vents behind louvered screens.  These allow the occupants to open the façade to receive fresh air without effecting the expression of the façade.
Lighting
At night we imagined the towers to create an abstract play of light, referring to arrangements of binary codes.  Aluminum panels were folded outwards to create light slots which can be seen only from certain angles. This means as you walk past, the 4 towers subtly change in appearance.
Entrances
At the base of the towers the façade is lifted up to create double-height entrance lobbies, connecting the towers directly to the landscape.  The module of the curtain wall increased so there are less visual obstructions to the view of the park.
The lobbies are treated as flexible spaces where people can work, meet and relax on specially designed furniture. To contrast against the metallic exterior, the interior spaces are lined at lower level with slatted bamboo walls, whilst above gentle folds of aluminum turn into the façade.

Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office
Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office

MDO have completed the first two of four office towers in Xi’an’s Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.  The towers are the 2nd phase of a larger office campus masterplan.  At the centre of the new design is a landscaped park which acts as a green community focus for the entire campus.
A previous masterplan included all the office accommodation arranged in a single block, and MDO reorganized this area into 4 towers, creating more view corridors through the site and to the park, less overshadowing and better leasable office floor plates.
Facade
The 4 towers are designed as two pairs that are mirrored off an existing central axis.  The brief called for economic floor plates and a cost effective façade.  Recesses, obtrusions, all of these would add cost; instead we decided to treat the facades as a skin which could be enriched through careful composition, proportion, and detail.
The façade is vertically organized into bands, which increase in height as they rise, giving the towers a greater vertical emphasis.  The curtain walling is either full height glass or Apple silver aluminum panels. The proportion of glass increases the further you rise up the building.
Local codes require opening vents for smoke clearance, which usually result in awkward and unsightly windows. We wanted to maintain a clean unobstructed glass panel so decided to hide the vents behind louvered screens.  These allow the occupants to open the façade to receive fresh air without effecting the expression of the façade.
Lighting
At night we imagined the towers to create an abstract play of light, referring to arrangements of binary codes.  Aluminum panels were folded outwards to create light slots which can be seen only from certain angles. This means as you walk past, the 4 towers subtly change in appearance.
Entrances
At the base of the towers the façade is lifted up to create double-height entrance lobbies, connecting the towers directly to the landscape.  The module of the curtain wall increased so there are less visual obstructions to the view of the park.
The lobbies are treated as flexible spaces where people can work, meet and relax on specially designed furniture. To contrast against the metallic exterior, the interior spaces are lined at lower level with slatted bamboo walls, whilst above gentle folds of aluminum turn into the façade.

Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser
Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser

Abbott Customer Experience Center (CEC) in Shanghai, designed by M Moser Associates, a global architecture and interior design firm who pioneered the integrated approach to deliver effective workplaces.

Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser
Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser
University of Chicago Hong Kong / Robarts Spaces
University of Chicago Hong Kong / Robarts Spaces

University of Chicago Booth School Interim Campus is located in the Cyberport area of Hong Kong Island. It is surrounded by lush green mountainscapes and beautiful ocean views. The design firm, Robarts Spaces, was inspired by the unique setting. Elements of bay, dock, ocean blue, and garden green were woven into the design and details of various areas.
 

Google Beijing Office
Google Beijing Office

After ten years in the previous office, Google Beijing moved to a new location in Zhongguangcun, China's Silicon Valley. On the very first day of business, Googlers were thrilled with the new space and eager to test out the new facilities. On top of standard office facilities, the office also has a Google Museum, a game room, a colored glass stairwell that goes up a few floors, and many more exciting features. 

Google Beijing Office
Google Beijing Office

After ten years in the previous office, Google Beijing moved to a new location in Zhongguangcun, China's Silicon Valley. On the very first day of business, Googlers were thrilled with the new space and eager to test out the new facilities. On top of standard office facilities, the office also has a Google Museum, a game room, a colored glass stairwell that goes up a few floors, and many more exciting features. 

House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios
House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios has completed the renovation of a historical villa, located in the heart of the city’s former French Concession. The villa was transformed into the home for a Shanghai-based Haute Couture brand, Grace Chen. The project encompasses the architectural renovation and interior design of the villa, as well as a new glass pavilion display and event space. 

Taking inspiration from Grace Chen’s beautiful and intricately crafted clothing, Kokaistudios developed a design strategy that is feminine and elegant, yet completes the classic design of the villa with a touch of modernity.

Kokaistudios embarked on an architectural restoration of the building that valorized the villa’s original features, including the French doors, the inlaid marble mosaic flooring on the upstairs terrace, as well as the beautiful facade brickwork. 

The entrance to the villa is marked by a large black and bronze weaved metal gate, the design of which was inspired by one of Grace Chen’s designs. It provides privacy, coupled with a strong sense of arrival. 

The villa overlooks a courtyard that was completely re-designed to meet the client's needs, functioning as an event space and an area for hosting small fashion shows.

The architect divided the villa into a series of areas, with a progression from the public areas on the ground floor to the most private areas on the third floor.

The ground floor hosts the main showroom and lounge area. The show-kitchen and dining area has direct access to the courtyard.

The fitting rooms and offices are located on the second floor. The architect settled on a palette of colors and a range of natural materials, together creating a comforting environment that acts as a supporting backdrop to the client's beautiful couture creations.

While much of the custom-made cabinetry and display mirrors were designed in a style to complement the historic nature of the villa, the architect chose to contrast them with features and finishes that were intentionally modern.

The interior space uses furniture and fixtures from noted domestic and international producers, such as pieces by Flos, and Murano glass lamps designed and produced in Italy by the family of Filippo Gabbiani, Chief Architect of the project.

The third floor is taken up by the intimate library as well as the VIP suite for out-of-town guests. Exposed bricks were finished in a simple dove grey paint, giving the space a more unfinished feeling.

This intimate and elegant space is an area for reflection and exchange, envisaged as a “salon” of old times.

House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios
House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios has completed the renovation of a historical villa, located in the heart of the city’s former French Concession. The villa was transformed into the home for a Shanghai-based Haute Couture brand, Grace Chen. The project encompasses the architectural renovation and interior design of the villa, as well as a new glass pavilion display and event space. 

Taking inspiration from Grace Chen’s beautiful and intricately crafted clothing, Kokaistudios developed a design strategy that is feminine and elegant, yet completes the classic design of the villa with a touch of modernity.

Kokaistudios embarked on an architectural restoration of the building that valorized the villa’s original features, including the French doors, the inlaid marble mosaic flooring on the upstairs terrace, as well as the beautiful facade brickwork. 

The entrance to the villa is marked by a large black and bronze weaved metal gate, the design of which was inspired by one of Grace Chen’s designs. It provides privacy, coupled with a strong sense of arrival. 

The villa overlooks a courtyard that was completely re-designed to meet the client's needs, functioning as an event space and an area for hosting small fashion shows.

The architect divided the villa into a series of areas, with a progression from the public areas on the ground floor to the most private areas on the third floor.

The ground floor hosts the main showroom and lounge area. The show-kitchen and dining area has direct access to the courtyard.

The fitting rooms and offices are located on the second floor. The architect settled on a palette of colors and a range of natural materials, together creating a comforting environment that acts as a supporting backdrop to the client's beautiful couture creations.

While much of the custom-made cabinetry and display mirrors were designed in a style to complement the historic nature of the villa, the architect chose to contrast them with features and finishes that were intentionally modern.

The interior space uses furniture and fixtures from noted domestic and international producers, such as pieces by Flos, and Murano glass lamps designed and produced in Italy by the family of Filippo Gabbiani, Chief Architect of the project.

The third floor is taken up by the intimate library as well as the VIP suite for out-of-town guests. Exposed bricks were finished in a simple dove grey paint, giving the space a more unfinished feeling.

This intimate and elegant space is an area for reflection and exchange, envisaged as a “salon” of old times.

ZUCZUG / AIM Architecture
ZUCZUG / AIM Architecture

ZUCZUG/ is a fashion brand that pursues individualism and equality with its original and comfortable clothing. 
AIM Architecture upholds these values with the clean, simple, and elegant design of the brand's new store in IFC Mall, Shanghai.
Natural wood patterns on custom-designed furniture compliment the simple clothing styles. White ceramic tiles provide a neat and unobtrusive backdrop.

Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.
 
With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. 

Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

Church in Sangha. 

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.
 
With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. 

Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects
Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects

Designed by Singapore architecture firm SCDA, Jinghope Villas are located in close proximity to the world-famous Humble Administrator's Garden in the city of Suzhou. The villa exteriors incorporate features of traditional architecture from this region. White walls together with dark grey accents present a simple and elegant Suzhou style. The interior decor of the villas exemplifies contemporary Asian design styles.

SCDA is a multi-disciplinary architectural practice established in 1995. Principal, Chan Soo Khian was the recipient of the inaugural President’s Design Award, Singapore Designer of the Year and is part of the Panel of Designers for Poliform in Milan.

SCDA’s designs strive for tranquility and calmness qualified by space, light and structural order. Architectural expressions are distilled to capture the spiritual essence of ‘place’. Its architecture and interiors are inspired by the cultural and climatic nuances of its context, integrating landscape, water features and blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. Spaces are often characterized by lush gardens, water courts and air wells, engendering a sensuous engagement with the elements. Projects display sensitivity to the inherent beauty of natural materials expressed through clarity in construction details and elemental architectural expression.

Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects
Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects

Designed by Singapore architecture firm SCDA, Jinghope Villas are located in close proximity to the world-famous Humble Administrator's Garden in the city of Suzhou. The villa exteriors incorporate features of traditional architecture from this region. White walls together with dark grey accents present a simple and elegant Suzhou style. The interior decor of the villas exemplifies contemporary Asian design styles. 

SCDA is a multi-disciplinary architectural practice established in 1995. Principal, Chan Soo Khian was the recipient of the inaugural President’s Design Award, Singapore Designer of the Year and is part of the Panel of Designers for Poliform in Milan. 

SCDA’s designs strive for tranquility and calmness qualified by space, light and structural order.  Architectural expressions are distilled to capture the spiritual essence of ‘place’. Its architecture and interiors are inspired by the cultural and climatic nuances of its context, integrating landscape, water features and blurring the distinction between interior and exterior.  Spaces are often characterized by lush gardens, water courts and air wells, engendering a sensuous engagement with the elements. Projects display sensitivity to the inherent beauty of natural materials expressed through clarity in construction details and elemental architectural expression.

Sangha Villa
Sangha Villa

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.

With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York based design firm TsAO & McKOWN.

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.

With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York-based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. The interior of the villa was designed by Shanghai-based design practice Neri & Hu.

Sangha Villa
Sangha Villa

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.

With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York-based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. The interior of the villa was designed by Shanghai-based design practice Neri & Hu.

Xintiandi Mirror Lane / UNStudio
Xintiandi Mirror Lane / UNStudio

Designed by Dutch architecture firm UNStudio, this mirror lane installation conceptually explores the symbiotic relationship of cultural reflections that occur between the city's occupants and urban landscape. It frames the entrance of the Xintiandi Style Retail Mall and twists through the space in one long architectural gesture. 

Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio
Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio
M·CUBE / MVRDV
M·CUBE / MVRDV
The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
Dai Forni at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios
Sintoho at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios
Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios
Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios
Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios
Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios
Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio
Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio
18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli
18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli
Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office
Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office
Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser
Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser
University of Chicago Hong Kong / Robarts Spaces
Google Beijing Office
Google Beijing Office
House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios
House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios
ZUCZUG / AIM Architecture
Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN
Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects
Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects
Sangha Villa
Sangha Villa
Xintiandi Mirror Lane / UNStudio
Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio

Raffles City Hangzhou was designed by UNStudio for real estate company CapitaLand. It is a sustainable urban hub for living, working and leisure located in Hangzhou, one of China's most picturesque cities. Situated 180 kilometres south-west of Shanghai, Hangzhou is one of China's most prosperous cities, especially renowned for its scenic landscapes. Located in Qianjiang New Town near the Qiantang River, this mixed-use development forms a prominent landmark in Hangzhou's new central business district, with a total area of almost 400,000 square metres spread across the two 250-metre towers, the podium building and the surrounding plaza.

Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio

Raffles City Hangzhou was designed by UNStudio for real estate company CapitaLand. It is a sustainable urban hub for living, working and leisure located in Hangzhou, one of China's most picturesque cities. Situated 180 kilometres south-west of Shanghai, Hangzhou is one of China's most prosperous cities, especially renowned for its scenic landscapes. Located in Qianjiang New Town near the Qiantang River, this mixed-use development forms a prominent landmark in Hangzhou's new central business district, with a total area of almost 400,000 square metres spread across the two 250-metre towers, the podium building and the surrounding plaza.

M·CUBE / MVRDV

The Beijing KWG·M·CUBE, a 40,000-square-metre shopping centre designed by MVRDV, has completed construction in Beijing. Asked by the client to make the building a visual statement, MVRDV created a multifaceted volume that responds to its surroundings with a pearlescent ceramic façade, which shimmers in a spectrum of colours under changing light conditions.

Located just within Beijing’s innermost ring road, the KWG·M·CUBE is prominently located next to the Beijing Railway Station and near to both the Temple of Heaven to the Southwest, and Tiananmen and the Forbidden City to the Northwest. Given this prime location and the consequent value of the land, the client wanted a building that would stand out from its mostly beige and grey neighbours, while also packing a large amount of space into a relatively small footprint. Contradicting this request were the desires of the city government, whose preference was for a building that would fit in with its muted surroundings on the busy street.

MVRDV was commissioned to design the building’s exterior and responded to these competing hopes with a 7-storey volume that rises to the maximum allowed height of 36 metres—an unusually tall building for this kind of mall. The shape of the building was generated by cutting the volume at various angles to orient the façades to face key locations, such as the railway station and an intersection on the other side of the street, generating a shape that is both contextual and recognizable in its visual presence. It also allowed MVRDV to include open-air terraces on each level, which are symbolically oriented towards landmarks such as the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven—some visible from the building, others more distant—to root the building in its location.

The building is wrapped in a pearlescent ceramic façade that at different times appears either grey or colourful, creating a subtle façade that does not need large LED screens to stand out and catch the attention of the passers-by. Hand-glazed in China, these tiles were made by applying three layers of glaze to the ceramic, and firing at a different temperature each time.

“We designed the KWG·M·CUBE so that the building continuously displays new patterns and colours. Depending on the weather and light conditions and where you stand, the façade might look subtly grey, or it might shine with all the colours of the rainbow,” says Jacob van Rijs, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. “In this part of Beijing, there are restrictions on architecture and many nearby buildings are completed in shades of grey and beige. Our solution allowed us to do exactly what the client and the city wanted: to create an attractive visual statement in which exuberance and modesty go hand in hand.”

The surface treatment of the façade also breaks up the mass of the building while responding to the light and view requirements of the interior program. While some areas of the surface were required to have blind facades to accommodate the stores behind, other stores are able to use diffuse light to their advantage, and here the ceramic tiles are used in a checkerboard pattern. In other places such as lobbies and cafes, fully glazed facades provide a visual connection between the inside of the shopping centre and the mall.

To accommodate the building’s 7-storey height, MVRDV proposed to split the KWG·M·CUBE shopping centre into two layers: on the lower 3 floors is the daytime shopping centre, which mostly hosts retail stores, while the upper levels feature more restaurants, bars, and cafés, and will truly come alive at night. In order to allow the upper floors to function while the lower floors are closed, an express elevator from the ground level takes visitors up to a second lobby on the fourth floor. To complete this layering effect, a landscaped roof terrace allows visitors to relax outside when the weather is pleasant.

MVRDV won the competition to design the KWG·M·CUBE for client KWG Group Holdings in February 2012 and have worked on the project alongside façade consultants Meinhardt Façade Technology, contractor Gartner Permasteelisa Group, tile manufacturers NBK and HDTC, and co-architect Xinjiyuan.

M·CUBE / MVRDV

The Beijing KWG·M·CUBE, a 40,000-square-metre shopping centre designed by MVRDV, has completed construction in Beijing. Asked by the client to make the building a visual statement, MVRDV created a multifaceted volume that responds to its surroundings with a pearlescent ceramic façade, which shimmers in a spectrum of colours under changing light conditions.

Located just within Beijing’s innermost ring road, the KWG·M·CUBE is prominently located next to the Beijing Railway Station and near to both the Temple of Heaven to the Southwest, and Tiananmen and the Forbidden City to the Northwest. Given this prime location and the consequent value of the land, the client wanted a building that would stand out from its mostly beige and grey neighbours, while also packing a large amount of space into a relatively small footprint. Contradicting this request were the desires of the city government, whose preference was for a building that would fit in with its muted surroundings on the busy street.

MVRDV was commissioned to design the building’s exterior and responded to these competing hopes with a 7-storey volume that rises to the maximum allowed height of 36 metres—an unusually tall building for this kind of mall. The shape of the building was generated by cutting the volume at various angles to orient the façades to face key locations, such as the railway station and an intersection on the other side of the street, generating a shape that is both contextual and recognizable in its visual presence. It also allowed MVRDV to include open-air terraces on each level, which are symbolically oriented towards landmarks such as the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven—some visible from the building, others more distant—to root the building in its location.

The building is wrapped in a pearlescent ceramic façade that at different times appears either grey or colourful, creating a subtle façade that does not need large LED screens to stand out and catch the attention of the passers-by. Hand-glazed in China, these tiles were made by applying three layers of glaze to the ceramic, and firing at a different temperature each time.

“We designed the KWG·M·CUBE so that the building continuously displays new patterns and colours. Depending on the weather and light conditions and where you stand, the façade might look subtly grey, or it might shine with all the colours of the rainbow,” says Jacob van Rijs, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. “In this part of Beijing, there are restrictions on architecture and many nearby buildings are completed in shades of grey and beige. Our solution allowed us to do exactly what the client and the city wanted: to create an attractive visual statement in which exuberance and modesty go hand in hand.”

The surface treatment of the façade also breaks up the mass of the building while responding to the light and view requirements of the interior program. While some areas of the surface were required to have blind facades to accommodate the stores behind, other stores are able to use diffuse light to their advantage, and here the ceramic tiles are used in a checkerboard pattern. In other places such as lobbies and cafes, fully glazed facades provide a visual connection between the inside of the shopping centre and the mall.

To accommodate the building’s 7-storey height, MVRDV proposed to split the KWG·M·CUBE shopping centre into two layers: on the lower 3 floors is the daytime shopping centre, which mostly hosts retail stores, while the upper levels feature more restaurants, bars, and cafés, and will truly come alive at night. In order to allow the upper floors to function while the lower floors are closed, an express elevator from the ground level takes visitors up to a second lobby on the fourth floor. To complete this layering effect, a landscaped roof terrace allows visitors to relax outside when the weather is pleasant.

MVRDV won the competition to design the KWG·M·CUBE for client KWG Group Holdings in February 2012 and have worked on the project alongside façade consultants Meinhardt Façade Technology, contractor Gartner Permasteelisa Group, tile manufacturers NBK and HDTC, and co-architect Xinjiyuan.

The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

An adaptive reuse of a historical building in Shanghai China, The Living Room is built to create walkable, mixed-use alternatives to China’s rampant urbanization. The center is a hub for services including family therapy, art therapy, yoga, a health-oriented restaurant with food and beverage programs, and a small-scale urban farm. 

The interior was designed by noted New York architect and designer Calvin Tsao of TsAO & McKOWN. Shanghai-based architecture firm, Neri & Hu, designed the exterior of the building. 

From the venue: The Living Room by Octave is our flagship wellbeing center offering integrated and customized wellness programs delivered by a group of world-class practitioners. The exterior was designed by Neri & Hu and the interior was designed by noted architect and designer Calvin Tsao. It also houses a gourmet, organic, natural restaurant, Thought for Food, and a Children's Enhancement Center for kids ages 6 months to 3 years. Our facility is located on Jianguo Xi Lu in the heritage area of Shanghai, and is equipped with advanced air filtration which cleans up to 0.002 μm PM2.5. We also have running water reaching international quality standards. 

The Living Room by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

An adaptive reuse of a historical building in Shanghai China, The Living Room is built to create walkable, mixed-use alternatives to China’s rampant urbanization. The center is a hub for services including family therapy, art therapy, yoga, a health-oriented restaurant with food and beverage programs, and a small-scale urban farm. 

The interior was designed by noted New York architect and designer Calvin Tsao of TsAO & McKOWN. Shanghai-based architecture firm, Neri & Hu, designed the exterior of the building. 

From the venue: The Living Room by Octave is our flagship wellbeing center offering integrated and customized wellness programs delivered by a group of world-class practitioners. The exterior was designed by Neri & Hu and the interior was designed by noted architect and designer Calvin Tsao. It also houses a gourmet, organic, natural restaurant, Thought for Food, and a Children's Enhancement Center for kids ages 6 months to 3 years. Our facility is located on Jianguo Xi Lu in the heritage area of Shanghai, and is equipped with advanced air filtration which cleans up to 0.002 μm PM2.5. We also have running water reaching international quality standards. 

Dai Forni at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios' newest projects with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts - the Dai Forni Italian located in the newly built Four Seasons Kuwait in the Burj Alshaya building.

Having previously worked together on the Brasserie at the Four Seasons Kyoto the Four Seasons team invited Kokaistudios to conceive an elegant F&B destination bringing the freshness and tastes of Italy to Kuwait.

The starting point of the design process was to canvas Italy and determine which part of its vast culinary heritage and geography to focus on and the designers quickly settled upon the tastes, smells and textures of the Mediterranean and in particular the island of Sicily; long the meeting point between the cultures of the Middle East and Europe. Dai Forni is part of the emerging global cultural culinary trend of regional rather than national cuisines; and the restaurant design and cuisine are a testament to this trend.

Kokaistudios envisioned the space as an oasis for all of the senses with the entrance characterized by an immense green wall; itself an innovative structure filled with local desert plant varietals; and large fire pillars that frame the entrance experience and bring the guests along a sandstone floored corridor into main dining areas centered by an expansive antipasti counter covered in a pink hued hand treated cooper from Italy.

To the left of the entrance corridor sits the front dining area featuring a stunning 12 meter high space with expansive views onto the city and the Persian Gulf beyond. The designers have enrobed the space in a custom designed metal mesh curtain illuminated by a diffused lighting system that creates a soft shimmering glow. The intense sunlight and temperatures during the day-time drove the creation of an elaborate system of laser cut curtains that help to maintain a cool and welcoming temperature.

Sintoho at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios' newest projects with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts - the Sintoho Asian fine dining restaurant located on the top floor of the newly built Four Seasons Kuwait in the Burj Alshaya building.

Having previously worked together on the Brasserie at the Four Seasons Kyoto the Four Seasons team invited Kokaistudios to conceive an innovative F&B destination that could elevate the street foods of the cities of Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong into a fine dining destination and experience.

Intrigued by the concept and the location in a city with no established tradition of Asian fine dining we set about creating a temple to Asian cuisine and craftsmanship that eschewed kitschy and thematic styles and aimed for the creation of an essential and refreshing space in which the dining experience is influenced both by the architecture of the space and the food offering.

The restaurant design was conceived first and foremost around the idea of celebrating the diversity and excellence of Asian cuisine and creating spaces and opportunities for the guests to experience the sights, smells and tastes of these food cultures up close.

We searched for commonalities between the cultures in order to come up with a design language to unite them and we took our inspiration less from the current nature of the individual countries but rather from the historical role that Chinese culture has played over time throughout Asia and how those influences continue to be part of everyday life.

The entrance area of the restaurant features a long corridor flanked on one side by an expansive green wall filled primarily with local desert plant varietals and on the other by a series of custom designed water towers which combine to create a cooling and soothing experience. The corridor finishes in a tea wall fronted by an elaborate carved wood tea station where guests can select an expansive choice of fine teas.

To the right of the entrance corridor sits the main open dining area on the right that features expansive 12 meter high ceilings that offers expansive views of the city and the Persian Gulf beyond. The front dining area center features a series of custom designed furniture for which we cooperated with Kyoto based artisans and the area is hemmed by an extensive shousugi ban burnt wood sushi counter inlaid with hand hammered brass. The soft lighting in the area comes from the series of water drop glass pendants produced by the London based artisans DHLiberty Lux.

The rest of the public area seating is centered largely around the individual open live cooking stations where guests can experience up-close the preparation of robatta, teppanyaki, and dim sum and other delicacies from Hong Kong which have been clad by hand-hammered metal hoods and sculpted stone bases featuring images and motifs typical inspired by classical designs found in China.

The strong inter-play between the main materials of wood, stone, and hand-finished metals is thrown a curve by the insertion of a 3D feature wall made of exposed concrete forms that runs the length of the kitchen wall and has been designed using parametric principles and its undulating form appears as a dynamic wave while being in actuality a straight structure.

The private dining rooms are an ode to Chinese embroidery craftsmanship with bespoke chairs and walls featuring hand-printed linen fabric albeit with a wink to principal designer Filippo Gabbiani’s home town of Venice via the use of the Fortuny silk pendant lamps and red Murano glass inlays.

The bathrooms are an experience in and of themselves as we cooperated with a Shanghai based video production team Flatmind to create a series of Chinese shadow video installations that are projected on the grey hand hammered Chinese stone.

The outdoor seating areas that are shared with the neighboring Italian restaurant Dai Forni; also designed by Kokaistudios; feature a stunning glass sculpture from London based artisans Duffy.

The design of this project is a new step in Kokaistudios method of combining a strong architectural approach to the design of interiors with an original use of materials and light to create unexpected subtle emphatic feeling between the space and the people; handcrafted materials shaped and controlled up to the finest detail interact and interplay with the both the day and night light and reveal an incredibly expressive power.

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, designed by Kokaistudios.

The new Four Seasons hotel is located in the UNESCO protected area of the temples of Kyoto at the base of the mountains and faces a historical traditional Japanese pond surrounded by a magnificent heritage ikeniwa. Positioned between the arrival lobby and the garden, the restaurant is the core of the public space of the hotel. The architect conceived the space on with a strong architectural strategy by using the Kyoto traditional system to connect indoor to outdoor, creating a large architectural feature that frames the view of the garden.

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Kyoto / Kokaistudios

Brasserie Restaurant & Lounge in Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, designed by Kokaistudios.

The new Four Seasons hotel is located in the UNESCO protected area of the temples of Kyoto at the base of the mountains and faces a historical traditional Japanese pond surrounded by a magnificent heritage ikeniwa. Positioned between the arrival lobby and the garden, the restaurant is the core of the public space of the hotel. The architect conceived the space on with a strong architectural strategy by using the Kyoto traditional system to connect indoor to outdoor, creating a large architectural feature that frames the view of the garden.

Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios

Originally built in the 1930s by French real estate company Foncière et Immobilière de Chine, the Jian Ye Li “shikumen” complex; located in the heart of the former French concession had evolved and been altered over the years but was essentially intact in its historical configuration and represented an incredible development opportunity.  Originally these “shikumen” buildings were designed for middle class families in Shanghai and as they lacked modern plumbing facilities they were often seen as products with little value to preserve and were either demolished or just the “shell” was maintained and they were converted it into commercial use.

After extensive research and study, Kokaistudios developed an architectural renovation strategy that maintained the architectural features of the “shikumen” lane houses while tastefully altering the internal layout and transforming them into spaces suitable for modern luxurious living where each original lane house unit was transformed into one luxurious guest suite. Practicality is not a term that applies to this project as the shikumen architectural typology; characterized by their narrow and tall nature meaning that the minimum 110 sq.m suites are split over 2 floors via a step staircase with no elevator; does not lend itself naturally to conversion to hospitality use. However when the ultra-luxury Capella hotel brand entered into the project several years later minimal upgrades to the architecture of the buildings were required to meet their exacting standards and they created 55 luxury suites each occupying one of the lane-houses. Today the hotel occupies a unique position within Shanghai’s luxury hotel landscape and offer their guests a truly unique hospitality experience not available anywhere else in the world.

Capella Jianyeli, Shanghai / Kokaistudios

Originally built in the 1930s by French real estate company Foncière et Immobilière de Chine, the Jian Ye Li “shikumen” complex; located in the heart of the former French concession had evolved and been altered over the years but was essentially intact in its historical configuration and represented an incredible development opportunity.  Originally these “shikumen” buildings were designed for middle class families in Shanghai and as they lacked modern plumbing facilities they were often seen as products with little value to preserve and were either demolished or just the “shell” was maintained and they were converted it into commercial use.

After extensive research and study, Kokaistudios developed an architectural renovation strategy that maintained the architectural features of the “shikumen” lane houses while tastefully altering the internal layout and transforming them into spaces suitable for modern luxurious living where each original lane house unit was transformed into one luxurious guest suite. Practicality is not a term that applies to this project as the shikumen architectural typology; characterized by their narrow and tall nature meaning that the minimum 110 sq.m suites are split over 2 floors via a step staircase with no elevator; does not lend itself naturally to conversion to hospitality use. However when the ultra-luxury Capella hotel brand entered into the project several years later minimal upgrades to the architecture of the buildings were required to meet their exacting standards and they created 55 luxury suites each occupying one of the lane-houses. Today the hotel occupies a unique position within Shanghai’s luxury hotel landscape and offer their guests a truly unique hospitality experience not available anywhere else in the world.

Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio

The Financial Street (Jing An) Centre consists of two office buildings, one high-end residential buildings and a boutique SOHO apartment unit. The programme is distributed within four individual volumes. The residential and office towers - linked by a ground floor retail layer - are placed across the site to optimise sun orientation and reduce the casting of shadows on the plot, while simultaneously reducing impact on the surrounding buildings.
The facade design for Jing’An Plaza was developed around two principle elements. The horizontal ribbons that wrap around balconies and facade openings and the vertical shifts in the ribbons towards the main street which add a vertical articulation to the buildings and ground them on the site.
Large glass openings allow natural light into the buildings, creating optimal interior lighting conditions for the different functions and ensuring spectacular city views. On the lower levels the buildings connect to a park setting with greenery and water features. 

Financial Street (Jing An) Centre / UNStudio

The Financial Street (Jing An) Centre consists of two office buildings, one high-end residential buildings and a boutique SOHO apartment unit. The programme is distributed within four individual volumes. The residential and office towers - linked by a ground floor retail layer - are placed across the site to optimise sun orientation and reduce the casting of shadows on the plot, while simultaneously reducing impact on the surrounding buildings.
The facade design for Jing’An Plaza was developed around two principle elements. The horizontal ribbons that wrap around balconies and facade openings and the vertical shifts in the ribbons towards the main street which add a vertical articulation to the buildings and ground them on the site.
Large glass openings allow natural light into the buildings, creating optimal interior lighting conditions for the different functions and ensuring spectacular city views. On the lower levels the buildings connect to a park setting with greenery and water features. 

18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli

Located in North Point, the eastern district of Hong Kong Island, 18 King Wah Road is a new 23-​story office building in Hong Kong and second commission for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. 18 King Wah Road commands a striking view of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay, and to the west, PCPA’s iconic International Financial Centre marks the skyline.

In contrast to the density of its urban neighbors, the design of PCPA’s building is airy and buoyant. The triple-​height Y-​shaped columns that support the base of the tower deliver an exciting visual on the street, announcing the building’s presence. While solid in breadth, they seem to lift the base effortlessly. Metal fins wrap around the crisp glass and steel curtain wall, creating a lively pattern the full height of the building’s compact vertical massing. Each office floor will have spectacular views of the waterfront, Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay.

The project meets Gold Well Building Standards, Platinum Asia Regional Intelligent Green Building, and LEED Platinum. Key environmental concerns such as dense urban congestion and extreme afternoon temperatures are addressed. The curved corners of the building allow air to flow continuously throughout the tightly built-​up neighborhood. High-​performance metal sunshades wrap the exterior of each floor to minimize the effect of the intense solar rays from overheating the interior spaces. The shades are designed to function specifically to the sun’s orientation. On the north-​west corner, they extend outwards and downward to mitigate the harsh afternoon sun. On the south-​west corner, a second shade extends out to block the higher angled mid-​day sun. Concurrently, this second feature acts as a light-​shelf that directs daylight deeper into office interiors, significantly reducing the need for artificial lighting.

18 King Wah Road / Pelli Clarke Pelli

Located in North Point, the eastern district of Hong Kong Island, 18 King Wah Road is a new 23-​story office building in Hong Kong and second commission for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. 18 King Wah Road commands a striking view of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay, and to the west, PCPA’s iconic International Financial Centre marks the skyline.

In contrast to the density of its urban neighbors, the design of PCPA’s building is airy and buoyant. The triple-​height Y-​shaped columns that support the base of the tower deliver an exciting visual on the street, announcing the building’s presence. While solid in breadth, they seem to lift the base effortlessly. Metal fins wrap around the crisp glass and steel curtain wall, creating a lively pattern the full height of the building’s compact vertical massing. Each office floor will have spectacular views of the waterfront, Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay.

The project meets Gold Well Building Standards, Platinum Asia Regional Intelligent Green Building, and LEED Platinum. Key environmental concerns such as dense urban congestion and extreme afternoon temperatures are addressed. The curved corners of the building allow air to flow continuously throughout the tightly built-​up neighborhood. High-​performance metal sunshades wrap the exterior of each floor to minimize the effect of the intense solar rays from overheating the interior spaces. The shades are designed to function specifically to the sun’s orientation. On the north-​west corner, they extend outwards and downward to mitigate the harsh afternoon sun. On the south-​west corner, a second shade extends out to block the higher angled mid-​day sun. Concurrently, this second feature acts as a light-​shelf that directs daylight deeper into office interiors, significantly reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office

MDO have completed the first two of four office towers in Xi’an’s Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.  The towers are the 2nd phase of a larger office campus masterplan.  At the centre of the new design is a landscaped park which acts as a green community focus for the entire campus.
A previous masterplan included all the office accommodation arranged in a single block, and MDO reorganized this area into 4 towers, creating more view corridors through the site and to the park, less overshadowing and better leasable office floor plates.
Facade
The 4 towers are designed as two pairs that are mirrored off an existing central axis.  The brief called for economic floor plates and a cost effective façade.  Recesses, obtrusions, all of these would add cost; instead we decided to treat the facades as a skin which could be enriched through careful composition, proportion, and detail.
The façade is vertically organized into bands, which increase in height as they rise, giving the towers a greater vertical emphasis.  The curtain walling is either full height glass or Apple silver aluminum panels. The proportion of glass increases the further you rise up the building.
Local codes require opening vents for smoke clearance, which usually result in awkward and unsightly windows. We wanted to maintain a clean unobstructed glass panel so decided to hide the vents behind louvered screens.  These allow the occupants to open the façade to receive fresh air without effecting the expression of the façade.
Lighting
At night we imagined the towers to create an abstract play of light, referring to arrangements of binary codes.  Aluminum panels were folded outwards to create light slots which can be seen only from certain angles. This means as you walk past, the 4 towers subtly change in appearance.
Entrances
At the base of the towers the façade is lifted up to create double-height entrance lobbies, connecting the towers directly to the landscape.  The module of the curtain wall increased so there are less visual obstructions to the view of the park.
The lobbies are treated as flexible spaces where people can work, meet and relax on specially designed furniture. To contrast against the metallic exterior, the interior spaces are lined at lower level with slatted bamboo walls, whilst above gentle folds of aluminum turn into the façade.

Xi'An GLP I-Park / More Design Office

MDO have completed the first two of four office towers in Xi’an’s Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.  The towers are the 2nd phase of a larger office campus masterplan.  At the centre of the new design is a landscaped park which acts as a green community focus for the entire campus.
A previous masterplan included all the office accommodation arranged in a single block, and MDO reorganized this area into 4 towers, creating more view corridors through the site and to the park, less overshadowing and better leasable office floor plates.
Facade
The 4 towers are designed as two pairs that are mirrored off an existing central axis.  The brief called for economic floor plates and a cost effective façade.  Recesses, obtrusions, all of these would add cost; instead we decided to treat the facades as a skin which could be enriched through careful composition, proportion, and detail.
The façade is vertically organized into bands, which increase in height as they rise, giving the towers a greater vertical emphasis.  The curtain walling is either full height glass or Apple silver aluminum panels. The proportion of glass increases the further you rise up the building.
Local codes require opening vents for smoke clearance, which usually result in awkward and unsightly windows. We wanted to maintain a clean unobstructed glass panel so decided to hide the vents behind louvered screens.  These allow the occupants to open the façade to receive fresh air without effecting the expression of the façade.
Lighting
At night we imagined the towers to create an abstract play of light, referring to arrangements of binary codes.  Aluminum panels were folded outwards to create light slots which can be seen only from certain angles. This means as you walk past, the 4 towers subtly change in appearance.
Entrances
At the base of the towers the façade is lifted up to create double-height entrance lobbies, connecting the towers directly to the landscape.  The module of the curtain wall increased so there are less visual obstructions to the view of the park.
The lobbies are treated as flexible spaces where people can work, meet and relax on specially designed furniture. To contrast against the metallic exterior, the interior spaces are lined at lower level with slatted bamboo walls, whilst above gentle folds of aluminum turn into the façade.

Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser

Abbott Customer Experience Center (CEC) in Shanghai, designed by M Moser Associates, a global architecture and interior design firm who pioneered the integrated approach to deliver effective workplaces.

Abbott Customer Experience Center / M Moser
University of Chicago Hong Kong / Robarts Spaces

University of Chicago Booth School Interim Campus is located in the Cyberport area of Hong Kong Island. It is surrounded by lush green mountainscapes and beautiful ocean views. The design firm, Robarts Spaces, was inspired by the unique setting. Elements of bay, dock, ocean blue, and garden green were woven into the design and details of various areas.
 

Google Beijing Office

After ten years in the previous office, Google Beijing moved to a new location in Zhongguangcun, China's Silicon Valley. On the very first day of business, Googlers were thrilled with the new space and eager to test out the new facilities. On top of standard office facilities, the office also has a Google Museum, a game room, a colored glass stairwell that goes up a few floors, and many more exciting features. 

Google Beijing Office

After ten years in the previous office, Google Beijing moved to a new location in Zhongguangcun, China's Silicon Valley. On the very first day of business, Googlers were thrilled with the new space and eager to test out the new facilities. On top of standard office facilities, the office also has a Google Museum, a game room, a colored glass stairwell that goes up a few floors, and many more exciting features. 

House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios has completed the renovation of a historical villa, located in the heart of the city’s former French Concession. The villa was transformed into the home for a Shanghai-based Haute Couture brand, Grace Chen. The project encompasses the architectural renovation and interior design of the villa, as well as a new glass pavilion display and event space. 

Taking inspiration from Grace Chen’s beautiful and intricately crafted clothing, Kokaistudios developed a design strategy that is feminine and elegant, yet completes the classic design of the villa with a touch of modernity.

Kokaistudios embarked on an architectural restoration of the building that valorized the villa’s original features, including the French doors, the inlaid marble mosaic flooring on the upstairs terrace, as well as the beautiful facade brickwork. 

The entrance to the villa is marked by a large black and bronze weaved metal gate, the design of which was inspired by one of Grace Chen’s designs. It provides privacy, coupled with a strong sense of arrival. 

The villa overlooks a courtyard that was completely re-designed to meet the client's needs, functioning as an event space and an area for hosting small fashion shows.

The architect divided the villa into a series of areas, with a progression from the public areas on the ground floor to the most private areas on the third floor.

The ground floor hosts the main showroom and lounge area. The show-kitchen and dining area has direct access to the courtyard.

The fitting rooms and offices are located on the second floor. The architect settled on a palette of colors and a range of natural materials, together creating a comforting environment that acts as a supporting backdrop to the client's beautiful couture creations.

While much of the custom-made cabinetry and display mirrors were designed in a style to complement the historic nature of the villa, the architect chose to contrast them with features and finishes that were intentionally modern.

The interior space uses furniture and fixtures from noted domestic and international producers, such as pieces by Flos, and Murano glass lamps designed and produced in Italy by the family of Filippo Gabbiani, Chief Architect of the project.

The third floor is taken up by the intimate library as well as the VIP suite for out-of-town guests. Exposed bricks were finished in a simple dove grey paint, giving the space a more unfinished feeling.

This intimate and elegant space is an area for reflection and exchange, envisaged as a “salon” of old times.

House of Grace Chen / Kokaistudios

Kokaistudios has completed the renovation of a historical villa, located in the heart of the city’s former French Concession. The villa was transformed into the home for a Shanghai-based Haute Couture brand, Grace Chen. The project encompasses the architectural renovation and interior design of the villa, as well as a new glass pavilion display and event space. 

Taking inspiration from Grace Chen’s beautiful and intricately crafted clothing, Kokaistudios developed a design strategy that is feminine and elegant, yet completes the classic design of the villa with a touch of modernity.

Kokaistudios embarked on an architectural restoration of the building that valorized the villa’s original features, including the French doors, the inlaid marble mosaic flooring on the upstairs terrace, as well as the beautiful facade brickwork. 

The entrance to the villa is marked by a large black and bronze weaved metal gate, the design of which was inspired by one of Grace Chen’s designs. It provides privacy, coupled with a strong sense of arrival. 

The villa overlooks a courtyard that was completely re-designed to meet the client's needs, functioning as an event space and an area for hosting small fashion shows.

The architect divided the villa into a series of areas, with a progression from the public areas on the ground floor to the most private areas on the third floor.

The ground floor hosts the main showroom and lounge area. The show-kitchen and dining area has direct access to the courtyard.

The fitting rooms and offices are located on the second floor. The architect settled on a palette of colors and a range of natural materials, together creating a comforting environment that acts as a supporting backdrop to the client's beautiful couture creations.

While much of the custom-made cabinetry and display mirrors were designed in a style to complement the historic nature of the villa, the architect chose to contrast them with features and finishes that were intentionally modern.

The interior space uses furniture and fixtures from noted domestic and international producers, such as pieces by Flos, and Murano glass lamps designed and produced in Italy by the family of Filippo Gabbiani, Chief Architect of the project.

The third floor is taken up by the intimate library as well as the VIP suite for out-of-town guests. Exposed bricks were finished in a simple dove grey paint, giving the space a more unfinished feeling.

This intimate and elegant space is an area for reflection and exchange, envisaged as a “salon” of old times.

ZUCZUG / AIM Architecture

ZUCZUG/ is a fashion brand that pursues individualism and equality with its original and comfortable clothing. 
AIM Architecture upholds these values with the clean, simple, and elegant design of the brand's new store in IFC Mall, Shanghai.
Natural wood patterns on custom-designed furniture compliment the simple clothing styles. White ceramic tiles provide a neat and unobtrusive backdrop.

Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.
 
With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. 

Sangha Retreat by Octave / TsAO & McKOWN

Church in Sangha. 

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.
 
With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. 

Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects

Designed by Singapore architecture firm SCDA, Jinghope Villas are located in close proximity to the world-famous Humble Administrator's Garden in the city of Suzhou. The villa exteriors incorporate features of traditional architecture from this region. White walls together with dark grey accents present a simple and elegant Suzhou style. The interior decor of the villas exemplifies contemporary Asian design styles.

SCDA is a multi-disciplinary architectural practice established in 1995. Principal, Chan Soo Khian was the recipient of the inaugural President’s Design Award, Singapore Designer of the Year and is part of the Panel of Designers for Poliform in Milan.

SCDA’s designs strive for tranquility and calmness qualified by space, light and structural order. Architectural expressions are distilled to capture the spiritual essence of ‘place’. Its architecture and interiors are inspired by the cultural and climatic nuances of its context, integrating landscape, water features and blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. Spaces are often characterized by lush gardens, water courts and air wells, engendering a sensuous engagement with the elements. Projects display sensitivity to the inherent beauty of natural materials expressed through clarity in construction details and elemental architectural expression.

Jinghope Villas / SCDA Architects

Designed by Singapore architecture firm SCDA, Jinghope Villas are located in close proximity to the world-famous Humble Administrator's Garden in the city of Suzhou. The villa exteriors incorporate features of traditional architecture from this region. White walls together with dark grey accents present a simple and elegant Suzhou style. The interior decor of the villas exemplifies contemporary Asian design styles. 

SCDA is a multi-disciplinary architectural practice established in 1995. Principal, Chan Soo Khian was the recipient of the inaugural President’s Design Award, Singapore Designer of the Year and is part of the Panel of Designers for Poliform in Milan. 

SCDA’s designs strive for tranquility and calmness qualified by space, light and structural order.  Architectural expressions are distilled to capture the spiritual essence of ‘place’. Its architecture and interiors are inspired by the cultural and climatic nuances of its context, integrating landscape, water features and blurring the distinction between interior and exterior.  Spaces are often characterized by lush gardens, water courts and air wells, engendering a sensuous engagement with the elements. Projects display sensitivity to the inherent beauty of natural materials expressed through clarity in construction details and elemental architectural expression.

Sangha Villa

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.

With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York based design firm TsAO & McKOWN.

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.

With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York-based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. The interior of the villa was designed by Shanghai-based design practice Neri & Hu.

Sangha Villa

Sangha Retreat by Octave is a life learning and wellness community on the shores of beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou. Sangha seeks to re-establish the connection and unity between people and the inner self, others, and nature. One of the best and largest of wellness centers in China, it offers an eclectic selection of premium lifelong learning and wellness programs, ranging from wellness spa packages to fully-serviced hotels and lakeside villas, with custom medical evaluation and services, body training, early education and a gourmet restaurant as part of the experience.

With lifelong learning standing at the center of the idea, Sangha exults in the serendipity and quietude it enjoys as an ex-urban resort, while enjoys convenient transportation to nearby cities – 15 minutes’ drive to Suzhou, 1 hour or so to Shanghai. Here, within a surrealistically beautiful surrounding, take a retreat from fully-packed schedule and enjoy a moment of calm and intimacy. Meet like-minded friends at Sangha and embark on a journey of body, mind and spirit discovery and bonding.

The design of the resort was overseen by New York-based design firm TsAO & McKOWN. The interior of the villa was designed by Shanghai-based design practice Neri & Hu.

Xintiandi Mirror Lane / UNStudio

Designed by Dutch architecture firm UNStudio, this mirror lane installation conceptually explores the symbiotic relationship of cultural reflections that occur between the city's occupants and urban landscape. It frames the entrance of the Xintiandi Style Retail Mall and twists through the space in one long architectural gesture. 

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