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: DJW
DJW offer a way to interpret your story through the use of technology. We can provide Audio Visual consultancy to assist in the planning stage, follow up with AV system design, supply and installation, and provide a bespoke control system to suit your operational needs.
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
Shafts of light illuminate the house during the day through openings which align with the stars in the night sky
"It’s important for people to be rooted in place. This is a very special house, with powerful connections to nature"

Jennifier Beningfield has built her dream home in South Africa, using ancient building methods

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

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Steve Nygren
"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

Children who study at the Green School in Bali follow both conventional and environmental curricula and learn about nature in a hands on way
"We want people to feel there’s hope and possibility and magic in the world"

John and Elora Hardy live a wildlife in the jungles of Bali. Magali Robathan finds out more about their work

The Healthy New Towns have bike trails, bike lockers and cycle to school routes
"The Healthy New Towns initiative aims to design out ‘obesogenic environments’ and design in health and wellbeing"

The UK government is building 10 new towns based on health, with wellbeing incorporated from the ground up. Stu Robarts investigates

features
Ben Channon
"I hope architects gain a genuine understanding of how buildings and spaces affect our mental wellbeing and how their design can be tailored towards making people happier and healthier"

Ben Channon has written Happy by Design, a new book about how architecture affects our mental health. He explains how we can all be happier at home

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

Marc Gerritsen: “Resilient Design acknowledges we have finite resources, but also recognises we’re infinitely adaptable.”
"We’re not built for constant comfort. When we live in spaces that connect us to our surroundings, we feel better, stronger and happier – and that is the very definition of being well"

Early-onset MS inspired Adria Lake to explore resilience as both a healing modality and an approach to design in the creation of her new home and company headquarters in Colorado

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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...