IDPA Japan Design Award


by Baptiste Bohu

Project Description

The city of Shanghai has many architectural masterpieces, including a house with smooth lines and beautiful curves, which was once the largest apartment building in Asia. It is located on the north bank of Suzhou, opposite the most famous modern building on the Bund - the Peace Hotel. From here, you can see the iconic green roof of the Peace Hotel from afar. To the east of the building, you can look across the Huangpu River to see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the skyscrapers in Lujiazui Financial District.
In this elegant apartment, the above scenery can be seen through the surrounding 10 windows. This is not an ordinary design project, but is full of historical atmosphere and soul. The client told me that they hope to respect and preserve the ancient architectural structure as much as possible, reproducing the beauty and glory of this apartment in the 1930s. The RED ARC architecture has excellently restored the original plan and facade of the apartment, including all the beam, column, and line details. I really want to present the original flavor of the apartment in the design, rather than deliberately "imitating" the retro appearance. Therefore, we spent a lot of time searching for suitable materials and ideal suppliers.
We started with a cement shell, almost all items were customized, and even the hardware for the door was handmade by Eric Morris with a heaven and earth axis handle. We have also replaced all the windows because we do not want to use aluminum windows, but instead replace them with steel windows with a more traditional Shanghai style. Apple Tree Rilang brand is to use modern professional technology to create iron doors and windows, and we natural selection chose their products.
The spatial layout of the entire apartment is open, and it is not the main living space for the owner. Functional considerations are secondary, so there is no need to create a large amount of storage space, which also gives us more room to play. We have created an open layout with a broad perspective from the living room to the main bathroom. The apartment has an open living space, connected to a restaurant, study, tea room, master bedroom, and master bathroom.
The owner is a traveler with a unique understanding of design style. He has also lived in famous hotels around the world and hopes to make this apartment a place for weekend leisure. We need to create a comfortable atmosphere and feel, like a suite in a five-star hotel.
In terms of main materials, we have chosen cement, wooden flooring, terrazzo for the ground, and artistic paint for the walls, all of which are quite simple materials. The color of mint green was used on the door, which is very difficult to control, similar to the green houses in the Sri Lankan colonies, and now it has become the iconic color of this apartment. Almost every visiting guest is fond of talking about the green door.
The owner has a deep understanding of Chinese furniture, and we have jointly selected some furniture suitable for apartments from their collection. There are also a few adjustments we have made to make them look more modern. For example, we have remade the dining chair into a soft bag using Designer Guild fabric, and we have also done the same treatment for the opium bed in the tea room. I also designed a very modern and neutral tone sofa for the living room to try to break the feeling of too many antiques, because I don't want people coming here to feel like they are in an antique store. I selected some copper lamps from Visual Comfort, and the simple and modern chandeliers above the bathtub are also products from this brand. The three antique chandeliers above the dining table are the owner's own collection, purchased from Sri Lanka. And the carpet plays an important role in the space, with an Iranian or Afghan carpet placed in each room, from my beloved brand CARPETSTAN.
The basin cabinet in the bathroom is made of whole Italian marble, while the two copper basins are designed by the owner themselves. We have carefully selected British brands among numerous bathroom brands, which best represent the style of the 1930s. The mirror of the basin cleverly blocks the air conditioning vents, and the vents are also cleverly designed with exquisite flower patterns made of stainless steel. The main bathroom has a large space, which is equally important as the bedroom. A freestanding bathtub is placed in the center of the bathroom, with a beautiful wooden fireplace in the background. This is the fireplace I found from Xiao Ke, who is also skilled in customizing various wooden doors.
The kitchen space is small, but it is powerful. We chose a combination of gray toned wood and metal handles from the KIC brand. The kitchen floor is made of terrazzo, and the same material is used in the restaurant floor. The kitchen equipment is from SMEG, which is my favorite brand with a 1950s style and a very textured product.
The entire project has been meticulously crafted for two years, and I am very happy to be personally involved in the redesign of such a project in Shanghai, which was once one of my "must do" lists in Shanghai. I am also deeply moved by the wholehearted cooperation and professional responsibility of each supplier. This is a very outstanding team project.

Baptiste Bohu

Baptiste Bohu is a French Interior and product designer. Baptiste Bohu runs a multi award design studio specialized in luxury residences, boutique resorts, and Hospitality projects. The studio has an unique approach to design with fully tailored interiors from structure to furnishing and decoration that serves an A-list clientele.
Baptiste Bohu created his own lifestyle collection of furniture, lighting, and home accessories.
Baptiste finds inspiration in various eras and his favorite are 18th century France, Art Deco, and the colonial era.
The studio works on Project worldwide and has received from AD magazine the distinction of top 100 designers, and Best Residential interior by Residence Magazine. All the projects have been published in global top design and lifestyle media such as Elle Decor, AD, or the New York Times.

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