David Kohn Architects’ Carrer Avinyo apartment in Barcelona has tonight been crowned the best interior design of 2013 at the INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors award ceremony at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. The winning design was announced after beating 55 other nominations to the prize.
The refurbishment of the apartment in Barcelona’s gothic quarter features an open plan living room, bathroom and three bedrooms – two-stacked one above the other with the third joined by an elevated mezzanine level. Kohn has remodelled the space, removing partition walls and harmonising the apartment with the medieval streets beyond, to create a pied-à-terre for his clients, two brothers, who had lived there for some time.
David Kohn Architects has maximised the tight, acute floor plan, consequently evoking a sense of theatrical delight. Scales have been cleverly manipulated. The specially made tiled floor references a triangular public square nearby with a tessellated pattern progressively graduating with 25 colours, while the furniture elements – including the library and elevated bedrooms – create an architecture inside the room.
Now in its second year, the three-day INSIDE Festival attracted some of the best names in design from around the world with nominations coming from 25 different countries. Nominees pitched against each other to a panel of international judges including Nigel Coates and Lyndon Neri, the latter being INSIDE’s inaugural winner in 2011.
Head Judge, Nigel Coates, expanded on the reasoning behind the panel’s final decision: “The project has a quality we set out to find today, that is the quality of magic. Spanning extremes of scale, it has become a suitcase you can sleep in but also a place for celebration and entertainment. The newly achieved large central room combines simplicity with a sense of space that stimulates curiosity. The jury debated extensively where architecture ends and interiors begin. We thoroughly support the potential for these two worlds to cross into one another’s professional territory, but some of the entries seemed not to capitalise on the special skills that are evident in tonight’s prize-winning scheme.”
David Kohn Architects triumphed over tough competition from world-renowned designers such as Zaha Hadid Architects, HASSELL and KPF. David Kohn will now join the previous winners as a judge at the festival next year. David Kohn commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the award. The project demonstrates how an interior can be about the city in which it is situated. An homage to Barcelona.”
Of the nominees, it was noted that two projects – Education category winner Khosla Associates and Shops category winner charged voids – originated from Indian practices. In building Tashya, charged voids continue Chandigarh’s internationally recognised position as a centre for architecture and urban design. It was additionally acknowledged that refurbishment projects are playing an important role in the urban environment. In addition to Alatas Architecture & Consulting’s Creative Re-use category winning Dardanel Administration Building, five of the winning projects are renovations including Hong Kong based-WANG Bars & Restaurant winner Ammo Bar + Restaurant. Many of the winning projects displayed future-proofing capabilities, anticipating users’ ever-changing requirements.
Project name: Carrer Avinyó