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AZ Awards 2021 • Interiors
The finalists
Interiors ◆ Commercial and Institutional
Are
Finalist
Project
Alchemy
Location
Toronto, Canada
Firm
Studio Paolo Ferrari, Canada
Summary
Rather than the trappings of old-school cannabis culture, Alchemy’s products conjure more sophisticated associations to nature, science and the arts. Its Toronto flagship draws upon all three of these for a design that is equal parts garden, lab and luxe boutique. Lush plants and natural materials like whitewashed ash and terracotta tiles pair with high-tech digital screens used to deliver on-the-fly background info as shoppers interact with the store’s sniff jars. Changes in lighting and colour demarcate zones dedicated to accessories and edibles, while sculptural displays twist and turn to lead customers on a truly stimulating retail trip.
Finalist
Project
Felix Meritis
Location
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Firm
i29 architects, the Netherlands
Summary
Ever since the Enlightenment, Amsterdam’s Felix Meritis building has acted as a meeting place for great thinkers from a broad range of intellectual backgrounds. Carrying on in that grand tradition, i29’s renovation refreshes the property by giving each of its rooms a distinct identity informed by a prior era of the venue’s history. Soft pink clouds on the walls of the restaurant hearken back to 18th-century Dutch landscape paintings, while an event space pays tribute to the avant-garde ’60s with furnishings in high-contrast shades of blue. A custom stacking chair — called the Felix, naturally — helps each area adapt to shifting crowd sizes.
Finalist
Project
Xi’an Fangsuo Commune
Location
Xi’an, China
Firm
LSD Interior Design, China
Summary
If China was once synonymous with the museum, the library has now usurped its position as the nation’s most prominent typology. However, the equally popular bookstore may be the ideal meeting ground between the two. Nowhere is this connection more evident than in LSD Interior Design’s Xi’an Fangsuo Commune: a veritable gallery devoted to books as objets d’art. And like any museum worth its salt, the 5,000-square-metre shop is an exercise in crafting entire interior worlds.
Finalist
Project
Cloud of Hometown Resort Hotel
Location
Tai’an, China
Firm
line+, China
Summary
Rubble stone houses provided the perfect starting point for this peaceful escape nestled into the forest of Shandong province. Preserved and integrated into a new steel-framed structure, the walls of the site’s original architecture now bring texture and history to an otherwise modern resort. Stonework also inspired the guest room decor, which favours calm grey finishes and furnishings accented by the occasional hit of warm walnut. This muted palette helps keep the focus on the main attraction: windows that deliver panoramic views of the surrounding rural landscape.
Finalist
Project
Lightspeed HQ Phase 3
Location
Montreal, Canada
Firm
ACDF Architecture, Canada
Summary
In 2015, software company Lightspeed began the radical process of reimagining Montreal’s historic Viger train station as its new global headquarters. The project’s latest phase carves out training rooms, meeting spaces and work zones in the attic. While the setting delivers plenty of moody charm, its limited light and narrow proportions also posed big challenges. To brighten up the cavernous work environment, ACDF inserted long white corridors lined with playful archways. This curved motif continues in the boardroom, anchored by a spectacular eight-metre-long oval quartzite table.
And
Interiors ◆ Commercial and Institutional
The Winner
+ The Peoples Choice
Is
Project
Xi’an Fangsuo Commune
Location
Xi’an, China
Firm
LSD Interior Design, China
Kot Ge: 2021 AZ Award Winner in Commercial & Institutional Interiors
Presented By: Caesarstone
Internal link iconCaesarstone

If China was once synonymous with the museum, the library has now usurped its position as the nation’s most prominent typology. However, the equally popular bookstore may be the ideal meeting ground between the two. Nowhere is this connection more evident than in LSD Interior Design’s Xi’an Fangsuo Commune: a veritable gallery devoted to books as objets d’art. And like any museum worth its salt, the 5,000-square-metre shop is an exercise in crafting entire interior worlds.

Within, the designers choreographed an immersive journey that begins with curated commercial exhibition spaces lit up by artificial light wells, continues to a family restaurant and children’s area and ends with a central “book tower.” This circular structure is composed of illuminated floor-to-ceiling shelves arranged in concentric rings.

“This is interior architecture with a graphic and tri-dimensional impact.”
Patricia Urquiola, AZ Awards 2021 Juror
(more…)
View the full project