The Designers Institute’s Best Awards showcase excellence in graphic, spatial, product, interactive and motion design. Check out some of the fine finalists, then find the winners in our December/January issue, out on November 20.
Residential interior finalist: BSK Penthouse by Huset
A contemporary refurbishment, similar to that of a New York loft, was given to the interior of this spacious inner-city penthouse for clients who needed a space to use both as a private sanctuary and a space in which to entertain 10 or more guests on a frequent basis.
The large open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas are cleverly zoned visually by bespoke ceiling panels that define each space. The framework was complemented by the use of brass detailing, dark furnishings and luxurious floor coverings to accentuate each space.
The kitchen in particular was positioned to reflect the cityscape and skyline, so that all diners have the benefit of the view. An unused dining room was disguised behind the main kitchen and reconfigured into a spacious scullery and laundry, fully equipped as a second working kitchen. Natural elements such as smoked oak floors, elegant fusion marble and black glass add to the sense of theatre in the apartment.
Residential interior finalist: Cliff House by Bespoke Interior Design
The brief for this home was to redesign two existing apartments set on a cliff face and merge them seamlessly into one glorious home. Bespoke’s design response was to marry the home with the location, both in colour and form, enforcing the feeling of camouflage but keeping the view as the hero.
A concept of repeated tones of light, mid and dark warm greys, oysters and charcoals was used to create the atmosphere, and an artwork that spans an entire wall was commissioned to incorporate all the colours of the scheme.
Planning the space involved working around the challenge of using angled spaces to their best advantage. Bespoke created custom pieces such as the Giorgetti curved sofa, which along with the Walter Knoll swivel chairs coped with the corners and softened the appearance of the space.
The master ensuite bath had to be lifted in with a specialist crane, which meant the glass had to come off the front of the house. The result is nothing short of stunning.
Residential interior finalist: No 35 Residence by Detail by Davinia Sutton
Studio Davinia Sutton was charged with detailing the kitchen and master ensuite of this family unit. The concept for the kitchen is a front and rear space created around a central box shaped by two-toned, dark-stained, veneered joinery. The front zone takes care of the day-to-day needs, servicing the outdoor barbecue area and adjacent dining rooms. The rear provides overflow space along with additional prep zones, appliances and storage. A monochromatic palate was chosen to accentuate the strong architectural form.
For the master ensuite, the clients requested a design with simple, clean lines and natural surfaces. The layout creates a practical space featuring a double walk-in shower, a skylight and generous storage. Enhancing the sense of spaciousness, twin vanities are divided by the inset of a ‘thin’ window. The tiling detail has been kept simple and restrained, with the emphasis on the natural veins of the marble.
Residential interior finalist: No 10 Residence by Detail by Davinia Sutton
For this project, the clients requested a kitchen design that paid homage to their background in butchery. A bold design that sits centre stage in the living zone is again formed around the concept of a front and rear kitchen. Linking the two zones is a stainless steel bench and white brick-bond wall tiles.
Stained veneer, stainless steel, cladded appliances, American white oak and white brick bond tiles all reflect the ‘butchery’ element of the brief. In fact, the kitchen island is styled after a large wooden butcher’s block.
Meanwhile, in the bedroom, the ensuite features a custom-made vanity formed from stone and engineered veneer, which is placed between walls and grounded as a piece of furniture. The expanse of matte white wall tiles that line the majority of the room provides a sense of contemporary serenity and luxury. The tiled feature wall in the shower adds a punch.
Residential architecture finalist: The Sandcastle by Ponting Fitzgerald
The brief for this home in Auckland’s Pt Chevalier had two core considerations. One: the design needed to express the family’s strong relationship with the sea. And two: it needed to stretch the limits of what’s possible with concrete construction – the family business.
Ponting Fitzgerald responded to the challenge with a design using in-situ concrete shaped to express rough-sawn vertical boards and band-sawn cedar, referencing the sandy beach and tree-lined site. They considered how exposed edges would interact with forces of erosion and play an organic role in sculpting the structure, giving the house its nickname: the Sandcastle.
The triangulation of the layout creates shelter and alludes to yacht sails draped over booms. Large glazed openings amplify the interior’s connection to the coastal location.
The result is a textural, sculptural response to an exposed site. The concrete makes a powerful statement, standing up to the forces of nature while offering a sensual series of dynamic living zones.
Residential architecture finalist: Point Wells Gable House by Paterson Architecture Collective and Steven Lloyd Architecture, in association with Glamuzina Architects
This beautifully crafted timber dwelling sits alongside an estuary of the Omaha River and comprises three main elements: two distinct wings connected by a boardwalk that also features a gabled guest wing. The elongated boardwalk is a key organising device, also providing an outdoor space that takes advantage of the sun.
The house demonstrates a love of timber in all its textures, tones and colours, the outer form drawing inspiration from a gabled barn. The architects celebrated the aesthetic and weathering possibilities of raw timber by using it for all of the exterior cladding and interior linings. All joints and grains are exposed. New Zealand beech has been mitred and spliced to form a seamless linear surface lining the interior. Tonka posts, transom beams and truss frames are joined by exposed galvanised bolts, creating an agricultural tone.