CLAD people

Rossana Hu, Founding partner Neri & Hu

Project - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, China


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

As architects, we’re often asked why we’d want to work on interior projects, and we sometimes find ourselves apologetic about doing so,” said Rossana Hu, co-founder of Neri and Hu, speaking at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, and then exclusively to CLAD.

“Nowadays, the specialisation of the profession has brought us to a point where the two disciplines are cut off from one another. There’s a very clear line between what the architect should do and what the interior designer should do. Because of that, we often think of the interior as just decoration.”

This, argued Hu, is a mistake.

“Interior projects treated by architects have a certain depth that is generally lacking today; the kind of intellectual discourse that’s very much needed,” she said.

“When an architect takes on an interior project, their training means they can conceptualise the space in a way that adds much more richness to the experience. They can take out a wall or puncture a ceiling to create that exceptional quality within the interior that an interior designer wouldn’t be equipped to do.”

Neri & Hu, which was founded in Shanghai in 2004, has an interior practice and architectural department, allowing the firm to take on both aspects of a project. This is something they fight hard for, said Hu.

“We’ve had many people asking us to do an interior for them, and we’ve refused unless they’ll also allow us to do the architecture. At Le Meridien in Zhengzhou, for example, they asked us to design the interiors for the hotel. It was a very ugly building. We said we didn’t want to do the interior of a building that looked like that, and would only get involved if we could also do the façade.”

Neri & Hu’s design for Le Meridien in Zhengzhou saw them create a series of frames around the façades of the tower, creating a distinctive exterior. They were also responsible for the hotel’s interiors, which include a dramatic, five storey atrium inspired by nearby caves.

TSINGPU YANGZHOU RETREAT
The practice recently completed a 20 bedroom boutique hotel in Yangzhou, China. The architects were responsible for both the architecture and the interiors for the Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat.

The site was a challenging one, according to the architects, as it was dotted with small lakes and a handful of existing structures. The design brief called for the reuse of several of the old buildings, while adding new buildings to accommodate the hotel facilities. The architects’ strategy to unify these scattered elements was to overlay a grid of walls and paths onto the site to tie the entire project together.

“We were able to bring the history back to this plot of land by creating these walls that used to be the sightlines of the original village,” said Hu.

“We did the interior as well as the architecture, and we customised a lot of the lighting and furniture for this project, which makes it so much richer. It’s a beautiful hotel, and the architecture is very interesting”

Upcoming projects for Neri and Hu include the Edition Shanghai, with Ian Schrager, and Sukothai hotel, also in Shanghai.

Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Blu Spas, Inc.
Blu is a full-service firm offering consulting, advisory and operating solutions.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Steve and Marie Nygren’s daughter Garnie is COO of the company and lives at Serenbe with her family
"Residents share stories with me of how Serenbe has changed their lives for the better and they are healthier and happier - Steve Nygren"

The original wellness community at Serenbe is expanding, with a new hamlet dedicated to health. Jane Kitchen paid a visit

Euphoria Retreat, Greece
"Come to Euphoria Retreat if you’re looking for a full health-boost, you’ll leave feeling completely rejuvenated"

Wellbeing Escapes and Well Home have partnered to bring you this special offer for the Euphoria Retreat in Greece

Mia Kyricos is senior vice president and global head of wellbeing for Hyatt Hotels Corporation
"We’re now smart enough to know that it’s the environments we choose to surround ourselves with that impact our health and wellness"

Home wellness is the future, says Hyatt’s global head of wellbeing

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Delos will help to transform 10 per cent of Wyndham’s hotel rooms into Stay Well Rooms
The Bacots moved to Serenbe in 2014, attracted by the sense of community
"We love being surrounded by people who teach us and make us better. Serenbe has also really enhanced our thinking about the value of nature and being outside on a daily basis"

Eliza Bacot and her husband Benton talk about living at Serenbe with their family

features
"The key to a happy and successful society is a philosophy that places wellness at the heart of everything"

Calvin Tsao and brother Frederick are reviving the Chinese culture of physical and mental wellbeing with their Octave Living development company, as Christopher DeWolf discovers

Water is placed in the home according to  Vastu principles
"Vastu can be dated back to at least the 6th century and is deeply rooted in the physical and spiritual fabric of Hindu society"

Chris Godfrey of global architecture practice Hirsch Bedner, on bringing a spiritual dimension to residential architecture in India

cladkit product news
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
cladkit product news
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...