We unveil the winners of the Tatler Design Awards 2020
Design Project of the Year: Jewel Changi Airport
Moshe Safdie’s design of Marina Bay Sands made him a household name, and he took it a step further with Jewel Changi Airport. Led by his namesake firm Safdie Architects, the project was realised in collaboration with firms that included RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, Benoy, PWP Landscape Architecture and ICN Design International.
Pop culture and myth served as the muses for the indoor waterfall and rainforest—think Avatar and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon—as Safdie wanted a large green space that people would want to return to. The dome required careful design to accommodate existing skytrain tracks and stay below the air traffic control tower’s radar. The entire attraction doesn’t just add a stunning dimension to Changi Airport’s existing architecture; it also plays into Singapore’s global status as a Garden City.
Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, co-founders of AB Concept and members of the Tatler Design Awards (TDA) jury, were wowed by the mixed-use complex. “It's a stunning idea that turns the hardship of travelling into a destination. Never had we wanted to spend time in an airport until we've experienced this,” say the designers.
Best Architectural Concept: Formwerkz
This bungalow across the Causeway impressed readers when it appeared as the cover story of the June 2019 edition of Singapore Tatler Homes. Alan Tay and Seetoh Kum Loon, partners of Formwerkz, were given free rein with the design concept—the owners’ only request was that the space is conducive for entertaining and family bonding while maintaining plenty of privacy. Lush surroundings, wooden furniture and a colourful array of art complete the residence’s tropical look and feel.
The home was also feted by the jury for its dynamic timber ceiling, the unifying element and the most distinctive part of the abode’s overall design. “The timbered ceiling reminds me of an era where wood panelling was used often, which brings character and warmth to the property,” says Mark Wee, Executive director of DesignSingapore Council and a jury member of the Tatler Design Awards.
Best Bespoke Concept: Design Intervention
This penthouse boasts a creative assembly of elegant furnishings selected to complement the family’s treasured collection of paintings and objets d’art. The home of a well-travelled family, the apartment celebrates their personal passions through a variety of custom-made cabinetry and bespoke fittings. The mezzanine was converted into a piano area for the wife, while custom-made and climate-controlled glass displays showcase the husband’s extensive array of knives and vintage wines.
The curation of artworks was based on the personal significance of each piece—the MF Husain painting that was a wedding anniversary gift from the husband to the wife sits proudly in the living room, while paintings by their artistic daughter decorate the siblings’ bedrooms.
“This project has been curated with intent to present the owners’ style, taste and personality in ways that are meaningful and representational,” says Sabrina Long, Dean of School of Design at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) and TDA jury member.
Best Living Room: Upstairs_
Led by creative director Dennis Cheok, the Upstairs_ team was tasked to redesign the apartment as a modern ryokan with Scandinavian accents. The firm stayed true to the brief by drawing multiple elements from a traditional Japanese inn, which can be seen in the residence’s sunken floorplates, elevated platforms, patterned screens and timber panelling.
Oversized sofas add to cosiness of the living area while an open-concept kitchen serves as a communal space for the family to dine together. The minimalist furnishings pay homage to both the home’s Japanese and Nordic influences, altogether creating capacious yet intimate rooms.
This project impressed readers and the jury alike with its visual unity and was among the projects that won praise from Talenia Phua Gajardo, Founder of The Artling and TDA Jury Member. “This has to be one of the loveliest local interior projects I’ve seen in a while! I really like the linear repetition, material palette, and the choice of soft furnishings,” she says.
Best Luxury Concept: Spacedge Designs
This Neoclassical-style bungalow recently underwent an ambitious makeover, led by William Chan of Spacedge Designs. His challenge: to create a multi-generational home that would offer utmost luxury while bearing personalised elements for each member of the family. First, the house’s dark, old-fashioned interiors were upgraded with Calacatta marble flooring, shimmering surfaces, and gilded geometric frames. Integrated backlights and metallic detailing add a sense of height to the low ceilings within, and recurring Roman motifs tie the common spaces together. Each bedroom features a variety of exotic materials and bespoke fittings, which include gold-leaf detailing, yellow onyx marble and a wide variety of custom-made furniture.
Its lavish application of materials and textures impressed William Harris, founding partner of AvroKO and jury member, who described it as the embodiment of “opulent, Roman Holiday glamour with a sleek, tailored edge.”
Best Penthouse Project: Designworx Interior Consultant
This penthouse is the work of Designworx Interior Consultant, a local firm led by design director Terri Tan. Inspired by the owners’ love for art, wall space was a top priority in order to showcase as many of the family’s art pieces as possible. In fact, the corridor that leads to the bedrooms mimics a gallery wall, and is lined with paintings and tinted mirror panels. As a holiday home, easy-to-maintain furnishings were selected. Marble, stained timber veneers as well as taupe and grey palettes were chosen for a luxurious and contemporary look. A penthouse is nothing without its skyline views—a detail that the firm utilises by placing counter seats at the bay areas in the bedroom, which look out to phenomenal views of the city.
Its elegant interiors were lauded by the jury. “Consistent quality overall, showing a good sense of proportion and details essential for a home,” say Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, co-founders of AB Concept.
Best Tropical Concept: Al+
A home is a private sanctuary, which is why the owners of this abode sought out architect Luther Seet of Al+ to reinvent their living space. Featured in the October 2019 issue, the house sits on the site of the husband’s childhood home.
The couple decided to demolish the old building to replace it with a house designed around the practical needs of their children and visiting grandparents. Screens on each of its three floors block out the sun while the inner courtyards bring light into the house.
The family wanted a tropical vibe, which was achieved with textured materials like teak, rough cement finishes, and coarse-veined stone; the couple also commissioned custom-made furniture and decorative pieces from Balinese craft shops.
Best Use of Art: Prestige Global Designs
Asian artworks are paired beautifully with Italian furniture in this artistic apartment, first seen in the June 2019 issue. The family wanted their home to contain two simple features: spatial design that catered to their penchant for gatherings and ample storage.
The team at Prestige Global Designs—helmed by Michael Ong and Jeremy Tay—covered every detail, whether it was matching hardware on each door or the ample storage spaces hidden behind full-length wood and glass panels. The entire home is also designed to be bright and airy, and incorporates built-in lighting and wood veneer walls that enhance and showcase the family’s growing art collection.
“Its tailored and elegant integration of art and architecture evokes quiet strength without becoming self-conscious or overwhelming,” says William Harris, founding partner of AvroKO.
Best Use of Colour: Design Intervention
For Nikki Hunt, principal of Design Intervention, more is always better. It’s a belief that she has infused into her home’s maximalist aesthetic, which garnered plenty of attention in the cover story of the October 2019 issue. Now that her children are studying overseas, she grasped the perfect opportunity to renovate the family home in order to fully utilise each space in the expansive house.
In addition to creating a new reading nook and installing a saltwater pool, she also reworked the reception room to cater to both business luncheons and intimate soirees. Jewel tones are lavishly juxtaposed with a bold array of patterns, and this mix works within the sizeable home—the vibrant blend of motifs and shades effortlessly connects each room.
“A project that uses very strong and bold colours,” says Mike Lim, director of DP Design and jury member. Derek Lo, Course chair of School of Design at Temasek Polytechnic and Jury Member agrees: “It's bright, cheerful and memorable, while bringing the exteriors indoors through colour.”
Readers' Choice - Best Showroom: Florim Flagship Store Singapore
This popular showroom garnered the most votes from our readers online. The Italian porcelain tile purveyor Florim’s first flagship in Asia, its experiential venue demonstrates myriad ways to utilise ceramic and porcelain tile collections throughout your home, be they on countertops or walls, or as flooring. It’s also thoughtfully furnished with a tasteful array of pieces in room settings inspired by luxury residences and hotel suites.
An area of note is the Cedit Corner, a creative space that displays artworks crafted with ceramic tiles by Italian designers, including Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Studio Formafantasma, Cristina Celestino and Federico Pepe.