Every week we highlight those submissions which have been frequented by our readers and jury, in the lead up to the reveal of Interiors of the Month winners and honourable mentions. Here are the five most-viewed spaces between 15 and 22 January 2021, shared with comments left by this month’s jury members.

Photos: Tan Xiao


HONG Designworks

Currently scored at 6.44 in the category of Small Office, the Xi’an workplace of an e-commerce company offers employees a bright, sculptural white-and-red interior generated to foster creative thinking. HONG Designworks embedded curvaceous lighting into the ceiling help differentiate the various spaces. ‘The general look and feel is soothing,’ mentions Elena Apiou, head of design at Adagio Aparthotels. ‘It must be pleasant to work in such a place. The different areas and a nice balance between public and private areas enhance its functionality.’

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Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners’ Apple store at Miami’s Aventura Mall (7.94; Single-Brand Store) is a nod to the city in many ways – from the influence it takes from the region’s Art Deco buildings to the undulating vaulted roof inspired by its nautical and architectural history. Natural light floods into the open space through the storefront’s glazed façade; the structure is protected from excessive Florida heat by the roof, which also harvests rainwater. Sunshine PR and Frame China director Sanxia Zhou celebrated the legibility of the project. ‘I suggest submitters describe their projects like this – very clear in the dimensions and the innovation, functionality, creativity and sustainability [aspects].’

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Photos: Nigel Young, Foster + Partners


Heli Design Office

Shenyang, China dining destination The Tree Restaurant (Restaurant; 6.81) is a green haven immersed in a cloud-like space by Heli Design Office. Interior landscaping fills all-white structures, mirrored by a mesmerizing custom ceiling emanating ethereal lighting. Trend researcher and freelance futurist Giulia Maria Moschen Bracho questions the elements. ‘My doubts about functionality are all around some areas’ lighting, which seems a bit overwhelming for tranquil eating out,’ she writes. ‘Also, I’d really like to know if the plants are real!’

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Photos: Cosmin Dragomir


Manea Kella

Design studio Manea Kella restored an early 20th-century single-family home with a rich past in Brăila, Romania, transforming it into a boutique hotel for today, Casa Popeea (Hotel; 7.5). Within the space – outfitted with bespoke furniture, stained solid oak flooring and fresh white surfaces – ‘new reflects the lost without imitating it,’ explains Kella. ‘The iconic building and history is very powerful and the designers knew that the interior had to complement it,’ says Valérie Boerma, founder at Barde + VanVoltt. ‘This project demonstrates that sustainability can be found in the cultural, social and economic sense.’

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Fumihiko Sano Studio

Working with a client who runs a restaurant nearby and hoped to give visitors an alternative to staying in a commercial hotel, Fumihiko Sano Studio revived an 80-year-old folk house, ‘making use of local materials, craftsmanship, and local culture’. The rooms at Hishiya (Hotel; 7.52) are each the work of local craftsmen with regional materials such as lacquer, stone, indigo dye and cypress wood. ‘It’s always a joy when travelling to experience a town through a local point of view,’ notes Boerma. ‘This is a smart way to create a place to stay where travellers can learn more through experiencing the actual craftsmanship of the local materials.’

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