09 January 2019

Benoy expanding Interior Design team in Hong Kong 

As we head into the new year, Interior Design Team Lead and Senior Associate Director Steve Barnes shares what’s next in the design world, whilst passionately growing the team in Hong Kong as the studio continues to take on exciting projects. 

You’ve worked on some important projects that have come out of the Hong Kong studio. Which has been the most memorable project to date? And what makes it so special?

Although the interiors were never built, the most memorable project without question was Yas Island which was quite a few years ago. This was a project with a visionary client who allowed Benoy as architects and designers to do what we do best. There was complete creative freedom and a partnership with the client that also gave us the opportunity to think outside the box.

Futureland Changzhou is another example of a great partnership with a client. For this project, we created a new vision and typology for the vertical mall.

What is your favorite part of beginning a new project?

My favourite part of a new project is the retail and interior architectural planning. When we have the opportunity to change spatial volume we can change experience and this is really exciting. We are able to create spatial volumes and experiences that weren’t there before. These underpin everything that follows in the interior design. We are place making and if we understand experience and the customer journey we can create something unique.

The Interior Design industry is constantly evolving, how do remain innovative in the competitive environment?

It’s all about constantly staying in touch with the market and looking at new work in the industry to understand our competitors but also to understand how people are pushing the boundaries. 

Strong research underpinning a great concept and narrative coupled with the aspiration to create something new each time helps us to remain innovative. As Benoy does not have a house style, the goal is always to create something unique each time. This is one of the things I love about Benoy.

What do you think will be the 2019 interior design trends?

In 2019, we anticipate seeing more and more experience based retail driven solutions and in time an increase in the ratio of public space to retail space. While the vertical mall will be a lasting typology in population dense markets, mall owners increasingly need to become curators of experience and entertainment, not just successful commercial retail lessors.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m always most looking forward to the next project and the next opportunity to create something no one has seen before. I’m also very proud of our passionate team which is expanding so I look forward to seeing us grow as we take on new projects.

I am also really looking forward to a project we are working on in the Philippines. It exemplifies a great team effort between Benoy architecture and interiors in an indoor – outdoor mall which preserves and celebrates the mimosa trees particular to this site. It also combines some new gritty interior finishes with interior landscaping and urban graphics to create a vibrant streetscape texture throughout the mall. Open terraces and a direct relationship with the landscape make this an inspiring and exciting place to shop, dine and spend time.

What inspires you?

So many things inspire me. What I love most in design is where I look at something and truly wish I’d thought of it first! That’s one of the best feelings; when another designer’s work takes your breath away.

To learn more about opportunities with the team in Hong Kong, get in touch with HR Director, Liz Furniss.

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