CLAD people

Rossana Hu, Founding partner Neri & Hu

Project - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, China


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: Art of Cryo
Art of Cryo is a new division of a renowned family business with 30 years’ experience in ultra-low temperature equipment. A 28-year old legacy of building the best quality solutions for whole-body cryotherapy is the foundation to offer our high performance cryo chambers - The Art of Cryo Vaultz®.
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
Kuma’s wooden lattice Tokyo Olympic Stadium design was chosen by the Japanese government in December 2015
kengo Kuma
"It’s not easy for foreign architects to work in Japan. Zaha was very frustrated with the miscommunication"

The Tokyo Olympic Stadium designer shares his philosophies

Professor Phillip Tabb created Serenbe’s masterplan
"If you look at the amount of money we spend on healthcare in the US, and the amount of disease, we have you’ll understand why a lot of folks are starting to look for alternatives - Steve Nygren, Founder, Serenbe"

The US wellness communities providing a new model for living

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Kengo Kuma’s Ginzan Onsen Fujiya features a striking atrium surrounded by a delicate screen made from bamboo
"The difference between a hotel and a ryokan is that a hotel is more public and a ryokan is less intense and more intimate"

Across Japan, architects are giving traditional ryokans a modern makeover with surprising results. We take a look

The top section of Y-40 has a range of features such as caves and overhangs and a viewing tunnel for spectators
Architect, resort owner and pool designer Emanuele Boaretto
"We’re now consulting all over the world with architects and developers on other dive pool projects "

Kath Hudson talks to Italian architect Emanuele Boaretto about building the world’s deepest diving pool to regenerate both his own spa resort and the region

features
"Infrastructure is the manifestation of our collective investment in the functioning of our urban places"

FromLA'sRiver Projectto thetransformationof NewYork’s Erie CanalBuro Happold'sAliceShay explores some of the world's mostinnovativeadaptivereuseprojects

The eighth floor Suite Terrace is inspired by ‘Californian cool’
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

The design features three 
open concourses surrounding the stadium, which has a semi transparent roof
"Whatever your allegiances, you have to admit that no football club has a brand quite like FC Barcelona. "

FC Barcelona is taking on its rivals with its ambitious €600m expansion project Kim Megson speaks to the architects involved

cladkit product news
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...