We have received more than 400 submissions across 18 categories from 120 companies – the highest number to date – throughout the region. Over the coming week, we will be releasing the names of the finalists in all the categories.
Here is the full shortlist for Interior Design of the Year: Public Sector
Akin by the Beach by Anarchitect
Occupying a minimal area of 38m2 and drenched in natural daylight from its full-height windows, Akin by the Beach is connected to the wider wellness programme of the Warehouse Gym, the barbershop establishes a sense of craftsmanship through a refined palette of materials, from solid ash, metal finishes, to custom resin sinks. Featuring a highly functional layout with four barber stations, the solid architectural American Ash hardwood structure custom-designed by the firm, is the backbone of the project, and has become a signature of the Akin brand in terms of defining its interior architecture. The wooden framework is a visual feature, but also integrates with the functionality. The composition of the structure is designed to be adaptive to respond to each new location and performs as an insertion to visually frame the peripheral context in which it is sited.
Al Mamsha Sales Centre by Sosa
The unit will be used as a sales centre by Alef Group for residential development company, Al Mamsha and features a clean and minimalistic design. The project provides two show apartments to provide potential buyers an experience of the living quality and possibilities of interior furniture arrangement. The space is divided into a sales centre and a café. The sales centre mall entrance features a minimal reception desk, finished with the same concrete tiles used in show apartments to unify the design. An open industrial ceiling is maintained all over the unit space. The café area includes wooden fixtures, leather seating, green features and distinct floor tiles.
Al Huzaifa Furniture by Studio IDA
The 24,000 sqft retail showroom is balanced between open spaces and semi-enclosed mockups. The space features timber ceiling ribs, timber ceiling rafters, feature walls, a staggered ceiling, custom sculptural metal screens that are independent from the displayed items. The branding inside the showroom was kept at a minimum to further showcase the furniture pieces. The main six metre-long reception/cashier was placed on the right-hand side, leaving the main furniture display at centre stage.
Local by Shell+Core
Local is a three-part concept offering a speciality coffee shop, a bespoke barbershop and an exclusive consignment sneaker store. The cafe features an unadorned glass facade that allows in natural light and attracts passersby. It also includes flexible seating types and primarily modest materials including wood and concrete, with only a few essential display items. The barbershop, on the other hand, has a richer material palette of deep walnut wood, grey leather for upholstery, and carrara marble laid out in a chevron pattern, distinguishing the working area from the remainder floor space. The corridor transitioning into the sub-spaces was inspired by that of a street alley-way. Finished with brick painted in black, the dark passage receives minimal lighting from three built-in steel glass display boxes with mirrored backing on the opposing wall, granting one’s undivided attention. As the first consignment store of it’s kind in Abu Dhabi, the sneaker room had to embody a modern streetwear culture; a hidden, ‘speakeasy’ back room for the ‘sneakerhead’ minority, hence only accessed by invite and sudden shoe ‘drops’. Concealed behind a sliding door, the room appears more dim and grungy, with strong textures in muted tones.
Images d'Orient by Rabih Geha Architects
Inspired by Mediterranean architecture and Images d'Orient's aesthetic, the space echoes the brand's alliance of modern and ancient elements. Located in Ashrafieh, one of Beirut’s oldest quarters, the space has a dual use: it mainly acts as a shop but also as a studio. It opens to a façade of successive arched windows that puncture the boutique, revealing the continuity of arched doorways and displays once inside. Traditional references evolve into contemporary forms through the use of modular lights with aluminum glossy reflectors, displays in brushed stainless steel and brass details, and white undulating and perforated steel mesh. Hues reminiscent of Mediterranean archetypes dominate the space: grey Aggloceppo terrazzo flooring, bright white walls, blue arched openings and a vibrant red ceiling. The main shop area is a large rectangular space with four different types of displays: the first is the central Statuario counter top, the second is the L shaped stainless steel shelves fixed to the wall, the third is a series of linear shelves embedded inside the blue painted arches and the last display is the almost flat elements fixed on hidden storage cabinet doors. Through the stainless steel shelves fixed inside the arched openings, one can glimpse the narrow passage behind. The display gallery acts as a backdrop curtain to the shop with white perforated undulating metal sheets for cabinet doors creating a sense of translucency.
1004 Gourmet by Studio EM
Studio EM has transformed an old Asian super market into a 7,000 square foot modern and clean gourmet food market that paid homage to the modern gourmet markets of South Korea and Japan. The allusion to Japan and South Korean gourmet stores was to consider a simple and clean design using only a handful of materials which Studio EM streamlined to three core materials including wood, concrete and ceramics.
Warehouse Gym D3 by VSHD Design
Inspired by brutalism in architecture and underground fight clubs, VSHD wanted to refrain from using the common materials found in most health clubs, instead opting for materials such as concrete bricks combined with gold copper alloy. Specifically customised LED suspended lighting was used to conceal all the ceiling services while maintaining an overall vibrant lighting mood that can be controlled by the different exercise zones. The reception and juice bar area was designed as a communal space with a 17m-long glass façade on the main street creating a meeting point for the design community where they can meet after their daily workout or for non-members to stop by and grab a healthy smoothie or salad while experiencing the ambience of the gym. The semi-transparent cube in the centre of the space can be combined with the gym floor to provide a large studio accommodating a larger number of users depending on the function.
WOW Sales Centre by Bishop Design
World of Wonders (WOW) required a sales centre to market the latest hotel and residence complex for the SLS brand in Downtown Dubai. The space was required to incorporate a multitude of diverse visual displays, refreshment corner and dedicated sale zones. Undulated acrylic formed panels incorporate subtle light detailing, where control panels set the overall day and evening time tones. Sacred geometry forms throughout reflect the hotels building infrastructure. The visual interpretation of the SLS tower, which will stand at 75 floors, is elevated as a visual attraction visible from the roadside, alluring people to come and discover.