Chinese architect MAD is to design the futuristic headquarters of electric car manufacturers Faraday Future in the United States. The development, covering an area of about 130,000 sq-m on the site of an abandoned naval base on Mare Island, in Northern California, will house the research, development and manufacturing bases of the company, which makes the world’s fastest accelerating electric car. The highlight of the headquarters is the user experience centre, a space-age-looking sculptural tower from where customers can observe cars before they buy them and watch as the vehicles are transported along an elevated light rail link from the warehouse to the exhibition hall. Prioritising the project’s “zero-emission, low energy” ambition, the structures utilises large roof overhangs, internal courtyards, and operable glass façade systems to passively reduce solar gains and allow for natural ventilation and climate modification. The transparency allows the office spaces to become directly related to day-to-day employee and visitor experiences, and a working demonstration of broader social agenda. Roofs are entirely surfaced with modulated solar power panels, with enough production capacity to support the entire campus’ daily operational demands. The Experience tower is also equipped with wind power generators to further meet campus’s daily energy needs.
Wilson Associates, a global architectural design company based in Singapore, has unveiled two new exciting luxury Asian hotel projects – the Hilton Jinan South Hotel & Residences in Jinan, China, and the Skye Niseko in Hirafu, Japan The Hilton Jinan South Hotel & Residences is situated in Shandong province’s capital city, which is known for its many natural springs. The development comprises 420 rooms – 104 two- and three-bedroom suites in the residence tower and 316 guest rooms in the hotel. It is located near the city centre, and offers panoramic views of the nearby mountains, springs and lush scenery. [caption id="attachment_18511" align="alignnone" width="770"] Hilton Jinan South Hotel & Residences incorporates original art and modern architecture into the design[/caption] The hotel incorporates original art, modern architecture, distinctive dining experiences, and seamless technology into the design and guest experience. Most of the furniture, fixtures and equipment are modern, bespoke pieces that exude luxury with fresh, neutral warm materials. The design of the hotel pays tribute to the renowned local springs, with impressions of watery strokes throughout the hotel, evidenced in art installations and richly coloured plush carpets that emulate slow romantic drifts of fallen flowers in the spring. [caption id="attachment_18512" align="alignnone" width="769"] Hilton Jinan South Hotel & Residences[/caption] The Skye Niseko condominium and hotel is located within Hokkaido National Park. Scheduled for completion in October 2018, it features 105 apartments and penthouses. The condominium-hotel model means that all the units can be let out to guests when the owners are not in residency, which means that there will be little cost associated with ownership. [caption id="attachment_18810" align="alignnone" width="960"] The Skye Niseko condominium and hotel is located within Hokkaido National Park[/caption] Wilson Associates has teamed up with Summit Properties to design the common areas and penthouse interiors, with Pike Withers of Sydney handling the other accommodation units. “Less is more” has inspired the interior space designs. Guests will be able to enjoy luxurious yet clean Japanese designs including minimal architectural finishes. [caption id="attachment_18818" align="alignnone" width="700"] The Sky Niseko adopts the aesthetics of “less is more” in overall designs[/caption]
As China’s architectural profession matures, many of its firms continue to redefine the design landscape with bold, imaginative and culturally sensitive creations that seek to improve the lives of end users. Perspective looks at seven leading Chinese designers in the field and discovers what lessons can be learned for the rest of Asia and the wider world [caption id="attachment_18757" align="alignnone" width="960"] Meng Yan, Liu Xiaodu, Wang Hui, Urbanus Architecture and Design[/caption] Meng Yan, Liu Xiaodu, Wang Hui Urbanus Architecture and Design Since its inception 18 years ago, Urbanus Architecture and Design has been redefining China’s architectural scene and raising the profile of the nation’s designers abroad. Its founders, Meng Yan, Liu Xiaodu and Wang Hui (above, left to right) — who met while studying at Miami University — have been lauded for their architectural ingenuity and consideration of the social impact of their designs. Their critically acclaimed works are many, including the Oct-Loft urban regeneration project that has transformed a cluster of industrial warehouses in Shenzhen into a bustling arts centre. Another is the Tulou Collective Housing project in Nanhai, Guangdong, where the firm reinterpreted communal Hakka-style houses as a refreshing new take on low-income residential projects. Currently, the company is working on initiatives such as the Nanshan Yuehai Neighborhood Sport and Cultural Center in Shenzhen, a structure akin to a block of irregularly stacked boxes. There’s also the ambitious Shum Yip UpperHills Loft project, where the firm is tasked with constructing a 100,000 sq-m loft of apartments and offices. [caption id="attachment_18758" align="alignnone" width="960"] Nanshan Yuehai Neighborhood Sport and Cultural Center in Shenzhen[/caption] [caption id="attachment_18760" align="alignnone" width="682"] Chu Chih-Kang, Chu Chih-Kang Space Design[/caption] Chu Chih-Kang Chu Chih-Kang Space Design There’s a generally held belief that all architects have a precise method when embarking on a project. “I have no particular process in design…I see the potential of the space and figure out what the client wants,” says Taiwanese designer Chu Chih-Kang of Chu Chih-Kang Space Design, a firm with offices in Taiwan and Mainland China. Chu says he delivers clients’ dreams, fashioned into the spaces. Career-changing works include the cavelike Fangsuo bookstore in Chengdu that opened in 2015. The 5,508 sq-m venue of concrete, terrazzo, copper and black steel resembles China’s sutra scripture libraries housed in Buddhist temples. The idea for the space came to him from the surroundings. “I saw the Daci Temple near the site; I saw the condition and potential of the site — which is in the basement — and the sutra depository inspiration came naturally [to me],” he recalls. Utilising the structure symbolising knowledge was part of his goal to establish a hub of wisdom and exploration. [caption id="attachment_18761" align="alignnone" width="960"] The cavernous interior of the Fangsuo bookstore[/caption] Since the bookshop opened, numerous accolades and honours have rolled in for Chu, chief among them an invitation to exhibit at the 2016 Venice Biennale; he participated at the event again this year. Amid China’s rapid urban evolution, this architect has certainly found a niche, but the flip-side of this is heightened competition in the field. In fast-evolving China, big and bold new ideas quickly get stale. “We have to update ourselves all the time, we have to come out with new ideas in a much shorter time than before; that’s why we are in a tough position,” says Chu. [caption id="attachment_18762" align="alignnone" width="960"] Han Wenqiang, Arch Studio[/caption] Han Wenqiang Arch Studio When Tea House in Hutong opened in Beijing in 2015, it became something of a poster boy for seamlessly uniting the old and new, thanks to Arch Studio’s careful renovation of this historic 450 sq-m complex in Beijing’s hutong neighbourhood. Such sensibilities from the firm stood out at a time when many age-old buildings in China were being subjected to extreme make-overs. [caption id="attachment_18763" align="alignnone" width="960"] Waterside Buddhist shrine, Tangshan, Hebei[/caption] Han Wenqiang, one of this year’s Perspective 40 Under 40 winners, recalls the processes involved in this project: the design took four months, but bringing it to reality took two-and-a-half years, not least due to the careful restoration work required. The result: a bright and modern space that retains the site’s architectural DNA. “Whether a design is good or bad doesn’t only depend on how many awards it has received or how beautiful the surroundings; what’s more important is the value of use the site generates steadily, meaning whether it attracts more people,” says Han. Given these criteria, the site is a success: today, it’s more than a teahouse, it’s an active venue for dining, culture, fashion events and more. Han’s balancing act of meeting cultural, historical and environmental requirements is a recurring theme in his projects, one of which is the Tangshan Organic Farm. The architect, who studied architecture at China Central Academy of Fine Arts, believes different elements can generate a strong sense of atmosphere to stimulate one’s experience and perception, and that designs based on such qualities make for a comfortable space for inhabitants. [caption id="attachment_18764" align="alignnone" width="960"] From left: He Zhe, James Shen and Zang Feng from PAO[/caption] He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng People’s Architecture Office The imaginative egalitarian designs of Beijing-based People’s Architecture Office (PAO) have had a profound impact on their users, its speciality being creative solutions to urban problems in China and, potentially, elsewhere. Of note is the Tricycle House, essentially a low-cost home on a bike designed for migrant labourers, a shape-shifting design that can turn a dining table into a bed at the whim of its owner. [caption id="attachment_18765" align="alignnone" width="960"] Plugin Tower in Shenzhen[/caption] Another example garnering many accolades is PAO’s prefabricated home systems, designed to upgrade an old building through the addition of modern amenities. Its ‘Courtyard House Plugins’ can be slotted into the existing foundations of a hutong in Beijing and can be easily connected to services such as plumbing and electricity. These urban renewals are quick to assemble and have won many plaudits, including a World Architecture Festival Award and a Red Dot Award. [caption id="attachment_18766" align="alignnone" width="682"] Li Xiang, X + Living[/caption] Li Xiang X + Living In 2013, two years after establishing her practice X + Living, Li Xiang won Perspective’s A&D Trophy Awards in the Commercial category. She’s known for producing arguably the most whimsical and mind-bending havens for Chinese bibliophiles: the bookshops in the Zhongshuge chain. Li says: “We believe readers are willing to read and buy at a physical store if the bookstore is good; along with the owner’s determination to [revive] China’s physical bookstores, it prompted us to co-operate and build China’s most beautiful bookstores.” [caption id="attachment_18767" align="alignnone" width="960"] The Yangzhou bookstore’s kaleidoscopic space[/caption] Li’s project is part futuristic literary hub, part surrealistic art and part culture destination. When her project for this book retailer’s Hangzhou branch opened in 2016, the 1,000 sq-m space drew more than 20,000 people, a new record for the market. Another standout project is the Yangzhou branch, opened in 2016, its centrepiece being a tunnel-like kaleidoscopic space with mirrored floors. The site’s surroundings also influence each project, says Li. For her sixth Zhongshuge bookstore, in Chengdu, she took inspiration from the poet Du Fu, who wrote about rural life amid the bamboo forests of Sichuan — motifs eimagined at this outpost, including bamboo-style bookshelves and depictions of pandas in the children’s area. “We don’t design for [the sake of] design,” she says. “We design to create good work to bring positive energy to society.” [caption id="attachment_18768" align="alignnone" width="576"] Ziyu Zhuang, RSAA/Büro Ziyu Zhuang[/caption] Ziyu Zhuang RSAA/Büro Ziyu Zhuang Ziyu Zhuang, principal architect of Beijing-based Büro Ziyu Zhuang (and a partner of Colognebased RSAA) wears many hats. He’s currently working on the home make-over show Beautiful Homes, featuring Hong Kong actor and architecture buff Daniel Wu. Zhuang, along with Wu, were tasked with breathing new life into the bare bones of a 140 sq-m village house atop a mountain in Anhui Province. The show will air in China in October and will feature the revamped residence that will retain core elements of the original house. “It’s delivering the new typology while embracing the local context and culture,” says Zhuang of the makeover. His mentors at Columbia University in New York have greatly influenced his work; they include Kenneth Frampton who taught him about “techtonic” architecture, where the craftsmanship of a building and its context are ingrained in the construction. This idea was central to the project in Anhui, where the materials and arrangement of the bricks of the walls varies from village to village, reflecting different neighbourhood styles. Wu and Zhuang retained the distinctive local bricks used for the walls, but rearranged them in different ways to bring fresh perspective to the space. [caption id="attachment_18770" align="alignnone" width="960"] Beijing Liubaiben Mall[/caption] The architect and his team are currently working on the Beijing Liubaiben Mall. The old commercialspace will be transformed into a thoroughly modern shopping venue. Zhuang believes the struggling mall industry must evolve from department stores into spaces that reflect today’s retail experience, one that is no longer solely about purchasing. “All the old shopping typology needs to be renovated towards an experience-based typology and that’s all about merging the spaces together with the urban architecture,” he explains. The space will span some 500m, featuring clusters of eye-catching box-style units that will be interconnected. Zhuang has noted seismic shifts on China’s architectural scene. Local design institutes are relaxing rules to allow more independent architectural response to projects, he says. On the micro level, he thinks a greater exchange of ideas from different educational and cultural backgrounds is having a huge impact in the field, as demonstrated by what’s going on at his firm’s offices in China and Germany. “I think the whole world will also be like our office, where ideas will merge gradually; the architectural society is gradually merging, and eventually China and the world will be working much more closely together,” he says. Wei Na Elevation Workshop, aka Wei Architects Elevation Workshop was established by Yale graduate Wei Na and American academic Christopher Mahoney, and has offices in New York and Beijing. The firm has developed a knack for fusing Eastern and Western aesthetics, fashioning various award-winning environment- and community-orientated projects. Notable ventures include the design-centric hot-springs lodge in Beijing, WHY Hotel, a boutique property that opened in 2015 featuring accommodation units set among bamboo groves, with slanted roofs that do not align with each other, resulting in an unusual but visually fascinating skyline. The firm is now working on the Heritage Villages Rehabilitation for Hanglai village in Western Hunan, a community-orientated renovation project for the minority villages in the region, all in collaboration with Serve for China, an initiative launched by Chinese alumni of Yale. Many of the inhabitants in these villages are struggling with poverty, their livelihoods affected by unchecked development. To preserve these heritage sites and improve conditions for village occupants, the firm has drafted a financially sustainable plan and design for renovation that focuses on using local resources and construction methods. “We promoted our programme to the government, developers and organisations for funding and support; our aim is to really help this place and these people,” says the firm, adding that it hopes the project will become a model solution for helping other villages in the region grappling with similar issues.
This is an excerpt from the "On the cutting edge” article from the Jul/Aug 2017 double issue of Perspective magazine.
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Rathbone Square, a mixed-use development in the heart of the UK capital, is playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the eastern end of Oxford Street — and will also house Facebook’s new London headquarters Anyone who has travelled along London’s Oxford Street from Marble Arch eastwards in the direction of Tottenham Court Road tube station and beyond will have noticed that once you get past Oxford Circus into Fitzrovia, everything starts to look, well, a little bit grimy. Thanks to large-scale development in the area, this is quickly changing. [caption id="attachment_18636" align="alignnone" width="800"] Make has designed the interiors of the residential offering, which includes studios as well as one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, in addition to a number of duplex and triplex apartments[/caption] Along with the boom in surrounding construction following the route of the city’s new Crossrail link, there is now Rathbone Square W1, a mixed-use development owned by central London property investment and development specialist, Great Portland Estates. This landmark project totals 416,000 sq-ft and includes 142 private residences and 242,800 sq-ft of offices — which have been let to social network giant Facebook as its new London headquarters. As well as the new offices at One Rathbone Square, there will be 25,000 sq-ft of retail space set around a courtyard garden and a communal square, all designed by award-winning architects Make. “At Rathbone Square, we saw an opportunity to create an exciting new space for residents and the public, while contributing to the wider enhancement of this part of the West End,” says Toby Courtauld, chief executive, Great Portland Estates. “Through our collaboration with Make, our development will do exactly that, while respecting Fitzrovia’s unique feel.” The Rathbone Square project is one of the largest sites to be developed in the West End in recent years and, with the arrival of Crossrail in 2018, will play a major role in enhancing this part of central London. Make’s design will carefully stitch Rathbone Square into the surrounding fabric of Fitzrovia’s streets through the use of cornice lines, framed windows and parapets. [caption id="attachment_18638" align="alignnone" width="800"] Rathbone Square’s design will carefully incorporate it into the surrounding fabric of Fitzrovia through the use of cornice lines, framed windows and parapets[/caption] A new square, designed by award-winning international landscape architecture practice Gustafson Porter & Bowman will be located at the centre of the development, with a garden that will be open to the public during the day. This space will be accessed via new covered pathways linking Rathbone Place and Newman Street.
This is an excerpt from the "Fitzrovia Reboot” article from the Jul/Aug 2017 double issue of Perspective magazine.
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Phuket’s Indigo Pearl is now The Slate. Hotelier Prakaikaew Na-Ranong, heir to Thailand’s tin-mining pioneers, reveals her vision for its design Perspective first travelled to Indigo Pearl, Phuket, in 2012 and found a delightful resort cleverly crafted by architect Bill Bensley. Its beautiful industrial chic interiors had been inspired by the history of the property’s owners, the Na-Ranong family, noted as pioneers of the island’s tin-mining industry. Five years on, the family plays a pivotal role in Phuket’s all-important tourism business and has plans for further growth. [caption id="attachment_18664" align="alignnone" width="800"] Black Ginger, the resort’s Thai cuisine restaurant, is set to become a standalone sub-brand[/caption] The privately owned beach resort was recently renamed The Slate, after the stone often found alongside Phuket’s tin deposits. According to Prakaikaew Na-Ranong, who co-owns the hotel with her father Wichit Na-Ranong, Phuket’s Father of Tourism, the name is a nod to the past. “We decided to evolve and connect the brand name directly to the design and tin mining history of Phuket,” she says. “The new name goes deep into the root and soul of the island, while hospitality today is about creating unique guest experiences where design and business are moulded together as one element.” [caption id="attachment_18665" align="alignnone" width="800"] Hotelier Prakaikaew Na-Ranong worked with architect Bill Bensley in curating the property’s decor, including the Coqoon Spa[/caption] In the shift from mass-market to upmarket, Phuket’s hoteliers have been reinventing the island as a lifestyle destination, with beachside hideaways, private villas and the like. In keeping with the new direction, the Na-Ranong family sought a designer to whom they could give carte blanche for the entire property — from the landscape to the architecture, interiors and more. Bill Bensley, a close friend of the family was the man for the job. “To me, good design is what strikes you at the first impression and lasts in your memory. A good designer is someone who always thinks out of the box and pushes boundaries. But of course, we have to get along,” Prakaikaew says practically. [caption id="attachment_18666" align="alignnone" width="800"] The family enlisted the skills of architect and close friend Bill Bensley, and named the featured suite after the designer[/caption] Bensley’s design for the renovated hotel is one-of-a-kind. It incorporates elements of Phuket’s tinmining past, as well as the local way of life, not only through its design but also staff uniforms, the food and drinks, and other elements. Bensley adopted the industrial-chic concept with applied Thai elements, using mainly raw cement, blackened stainless steel and dark wood. Black Ginger, the property’s stunning Thai restaurant, is set in the surroundings of a traditional garden and accessed by a raft ride. Customised Ayutthaya houses built with charred wood are accented with cobalt-blue tiles on the ceiling and stainless-steel accessories to give the decor a modern twist.
This is an excerpt from the "Set in stone” article from the Jul/Aug 2017 double issue of Perspective magazine.
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With its elegant water features, winding paths and soaring bamboo gallery, the new Guilin Wanda Cultural Tourism Exhibition Center in Guangxi Province provides visitors with a multi-layered experience The scenery of Guilin has been called the finest under heaven. Here, the karst topography typical of the region has created a landscape in which mountains appear to rise abruptly from the ground, jostling against each other for a piece of the sky. Below, the Lijiang river winds at their feet, its twisting waters clean and bright. The craggy mountains are riddled with caverns, among them the vast Reed Flute Cave, complete with multicoloured lighting and guided tours to show off its stalagmites and stalactites. [caption id="attachment_18657" align="alignnone" width="960"] The centre takes the wonderfully diverse and celebrated landscape around Guilin as its inspiration[/caption] Mountains, stone, river and caves; all elements come together to collectively form the ‘Four Wonders of Guilin’. The landscape has inspired artists, writers, poets and musicians for centuries — and similarly inspires architects of the 21st century. This is amply demonstrated at the new Guilin Wanda Cultural Tourism Exhibition Center, designed by Peng Wei, Guangjun Zhao, Zhenming Wang, Bo Zhang and Wei Wang from the Teng Yuan Design Institute (TYDI)'s WAT Studio. The results of drawing inspiration from the district’s topography are largely representational rather than literal. “We tried to exclude ‘patterning’ from this aesthetical landscape to some extent, and instead express it using a kind of abstract line structure,” explains TYDI chief executive Zhao. “The architecture in the plan is that of a very simple cube without any change to its shape or style, which in turn creates a ‘landscape cube’ thanks to the curtainwall structure. We envisaged the project could be derived from the scenery through to form, via a pure glass box, evoking people’s inner feelings about nature and the landscape.” [caption id="attachment_18658" align="alignnone" width="960"] Wood and water: the bamboo gallery is reflected on the pool, mimicking the play of the two elements in the natural landscape[/caption] The connotative relationship between architecture and nature, and that between architecture and culture, are generally key focal points for any architect. In this project, Zhao says the aim was to establish a simple, easily understood link between all those disparate elements: “In just the same way you create sketches in art and literature, this project is a ‘construction sketch’ to some extent,” he says. This is not to say that the sketch for the centre lacks technical difficulty or displays no depth of thought; Zhao points out the design team has painstakingly given “mature consideration to all aspects of the question”. In fact, the origin of the design has its roots in the traditional Chinese concept of shan shui, which refers to a style of painting scenery or natural landscapes using brush and ink — the name translates to ‘mountain-water-picture’. “Dating back to the Wei and Jin dynasties, landscape paintings entered a period of great prosperity in the Tang and Song dynasties, integrating the universe, nature, humanity and art in an abstract and enjoyable manner, thus sparking unfailing interest,” Zhao says.
This is an excerpt from the "Mountain high, river deep” article from the Jul/Aug 2017 double issue of Perspective magazine.
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Nelson Chow’s designs for WeWork Hong Kong frame the city’s cultural cues in a distinctly modern creative space Given so many of us spend some 50 hours or more each week in an office, it’s a little surprising that workplace design is not given the degree of thought it deserves. This shouldn’t simply be a matter of open-plan versus boxed-in, how high the cubicles are, or just how many go-get-’em slogans adorn the partitions. A joined-up thinking approach should focus on the individual and collective needs of all users, resulting in a space they feel happy to be in, not somewhere that fills them with a sense of dread as Sunday evening approaches. And of course, happy people are far more productive than their miserable counterparts. [caption id="attachment_18644" align="alignnone" width="960"] Above and opposite: The entrance to WeWork’s office space is typically bold, with a few quirky items thrown in for good measure[/caption] Water cooler conversations are studded with stories of dysfunctional work spaces, which in the extreme may become fully fledged sick buildings. Somehow everything is wrong in these offices. Furniture is precisely in the wrong place. The colour scheme induces nausea. The kitchen, through the misguided but wellmeaning attempts of management, ends up looking like something from a 1970s Polish Ikea catalogue. The road to hell’s office is often paved with good intentions. Anyone who’s walked into a WeWork office in one of 48 cities around the world will be struck immediately by just how un-office-like they are. Gone are the cheerless cubicles reminiscent of the mazes used to test the behavioural responses of rodents. Instead, there’s bench seating, cubbyholes, sofas, murals and staff areas that take inspiration from an eclectic range of sources. Kitchens are more akin to upmarket diners than dark and dingy corner spaces. [caption id="attachment_18645" align="alignnone" width="682"] Conference room with a view — the building makes the most of its location and uninterrupted sea views[/caption] All this is borne out by the interiors of WeWork Tower 535 in Hong Kong, where Nelson Chow of NC Design & Architecture has partnered with WeWork’s team to craft the interior of a 60,000 sq-ft space in Causeway Bay. Chow will be familiar to readers of this magazine. A 2016 Perspective 40 Under 40 winner, his work spans many areas of design — retail, residential, media, product, and bars and restaurants — the latter including the Krug Room at the Mandarin Oriental and Foxglove bar and lounge on Duddell Street, featured on the cover of last year’s May issue. [caption id="attachment_18646" align="alignnone" width="960"] Booth seating with wallpaper inspired by Hong Kong’s tram system[/caption] WeWork specialises in providing co-working spaces that lend themselves to interaction and creativity. Rather than letting offices to just one company, it provides flexible working solutions, whether it’s a one-person hot-desk space in a communal area, to private desks and team rooms. No two of its offices look the same, and most reflect cultural aspects taken from the world cities in which they are based. As one would expect, its in-house design team has very strong ideas about what these spaces should look like. So why bring Chow on board? “WeWork saw our designs for Foxglove and Mrs Pound [a burlesque-inspired bar],” says Chow. “They liked what was done by our studio, and they felt a subtle reference to local cultural context is what’s needed, carrying a global identity whilerespecting the local community. Our team worked very closely with their in-house design team to make sure the design carries their brand identity, while we infused it with local elements.” [caption id="attachment_18647" align="alignnone" width="960"] Large conference room with wallpaper themed on local advertising[/caption] While this all sounds highly laudable, it could be viewed as a tall order. But translating lofty ideals into reality is exactly what Chow and his team excel at, having had ample experience of that through the company’s many projects in so many areas ofeveryday living.
This is an excerpt from the "A new way to work” article from the Jul/Aug 2017 double issue of Perspective magazine.
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Architectural agency Benoy takes over the major redevelopment of David Jones’ iconic Elizabeth Street flagship store in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. “We are pleased to be collaborating with Benoy, award-winning retail development architectural bureau. Our vision is to reach a new height for both Australian and international retail, embracing the heritage of this remarkable building,” said David Thomas, David Jones' Chief Operating Officer. The redevelopment will cover a GFA of 39,000m2 across 12 levels and will bring together a combination of food and dining, fashion, beauty, accessories, and homeware. All the building will be entirely refurbished, for more light and space to be created. [caption id="attachment_18089" align="alignnone" width="770"] David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store[/caption] “This is an incredibly exciting win for Benoy and one which highlights the relevance of our international experience in new markets such as Australia. The David Jones Elizabeth Street store is a truly opulent building with a long history and we look forward to celebrating the heritage of this beautiful, grand building while innovating the retail experience for the people of Sydney,” said Terence Seah, Director at Benoy. All the planning for the redevelopment is ready to start with, and the redevelopment itself is expected to be completed in late 2019. The reason for such a long renovation period is that the works will occur across several phases, minimally interrogating into David Jones daily trade - shops in both the Elizabeth Street and adjacent Market Street will be welcoming clients. Australian architectural firm Crone has been appointed to work with Benoy. Benoy entered the Australian market in 2015, also at the redevelopment projects in Western Australia including ‘The Galleria’ in Perth, and ‘Mandurah Forum’ in Mandurah. Internationally, Benoy’s portfolio includes such retail developments such as Westfield London, iAPM in Shanghai and Parc Central in Guangzhou. Apart from the retail facilities, Benoy mainly focuses on the environmental-friendly cityscapes, such as business-centres. bridges and outdoor buildings.