People, places and products in the local design scene that stood out in 2017
FABRICWOOD, HERMAN MILLER PAVILION V.2
We're not the only ones who are taken with the cavernous feel of the Herman Miller shop, inside furniture retail store XTRA.
Fabricwood, designed by local firm Produce, recently won the World Interior of the Year award, at this year's Inside Festival, The awards recognise the best interior design of the last 12 months.
Herman Miller is known for its plywood chairs, and also for its ergonomic work chairs that mould to the user's body. With this in mind, Produce created a lightweight plywood envelope that is moulded to its host – XTRA.
PS. CAFE RAFFLES CITY
If there were an award for the most Instagram-worthy restaurant interior, the new PS. Cafe Raffles City would be a natural winner.Occupying a space in the light-filled atrium, the restaurant is more than seven metres high, framed with large glass panels and industrial black arches and black and white awnings. Most stunning is the green wall that rises above the bar. Of course, only live plants and florals are used. We won't be surprised if a confused bird builds its nest here.
Singapore has no shortage of talent industrial designers but Olivia Lee who has a knack for giving a new spin to familiar items, owns 2017.
Ms Lee, 32, who runs her eponymous studio was named one of eight most promising designers at the renowned Salone del Mobile Milano furniture fair, where she presented The Athena Collection.
The 10-piece collection comprises a vanity set, tray accessories and a rug, designed to serve the quirky digital habits of the contemporary woman.
For example, the Media Sceptre is a smartphone holder that swivels 180 degrees for video calls, while the Selfie Sceptre is a smartphone holder that allows adjustments for the ideal camera angle to take self-portraits. The table accessories can be used on their own, or attached to the vanity table. "The response was overwhelming from the international press," reveals Ms Lee.
Her studio has also been commissioned by whisky house The Balvenie to create new drinking accessories and experiences.
She recently launched a series of unique leather home accessories with Bynd Artisan.
She was also commissioned by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to create a limited-edition set of industrial craft desk objects that were gifted to its International Advisory Council. "It's thrilling to think that these objects might be sitting on the desk of CEOs like Jack Ma of Alibaba and Unilever's Paul Polman," Ms Lee says.
She adds: "Design is borderless and we take references from all over the world. My ambition has always been to create work that is relevant wherever you are."
3. FURNITURE STORES
While stores close or downsize, W. Atelier scales up with two showrooms – a new three-storey site at Henderson, and its revamped Bukit Timah store.
No longer just the distributor of TOTO sanitary ware, the showrooms are elaborately decorated like an actual home, furnished with the top designer brands it now brings in: Fritz Hansen, SieMatic, Lasvit and Zanotta.
The key attraction here is that it's more than just a furniture store. It's a repository of home ideas, while its culinary studio in Henderson teaches you to be a domestic goddess.
W. Atelier is at 201 Henderson Road, and 75 Bukit Timah Road.
MOLTENI & C | DADA
While furniture stores find economic sense in multiple brands, retailer P5 goes solo with a new flagship store just for Molteni Group's flagship brands Molteni&C and Dada. With millions invested into the 8,600 sq ft space, it is one of the largest – and most stunning – showrooms in town.
Spread across two-levels, the showroom has kitchens, dining and living room sets, bedroom furniture and wardrobes. One of the most stunning objects is the two-storey high Graduate bookshelf, by Jean Nouvel, that appears to float in the air, thanks to its steel braces and invisible support mechanisms.
P5 is at 63 Mohamed Sultan Road.
VICTORIA & ALBERT MANDELLO 114
For anyone obsessed with #bathroomgoals. This Victoria & Albert Mandello 114 vanity with its two front legs appears to float. The Mandello 114 comes in anthracite and gloss black, but the coolest colour this season is gloss white. Priced from S$2,300 from Equip Bathrooms.
KARST STONE PAPER
If sales of over 10,000 notebooks in a month are anything to go by, scribbling on paper is still in demand.
But Karst Stone Paper notebooks are not ordinary. They are made using recycled crushed stone and a resin which binds the stone particles. No trees, water, bleach, acids or toxic chemicals are used to make stone paper.
Unlike traditional paper, stone paper is waterproof, smoother, brighter, and more durable. The collection include notebooks in two sizes, pocket journals and a 2018 planner. Priced from S$16.95, from www.karststonepaper.com
Looking like something that Hollywood created, this mixed-use building in the Marina Bay financial district is not fully completed yet, but already it looks like a stunner.
Designed by German firm Ingenhoven Architects, Marina One has two office towers, two residential towers and a retail podium. The outer face of the four towers has a grid-like structure, and they are not the best-looking skyscrapers. But it is a different story in the heart of the four towers. The Green Heart is a biodiversity garden that boasts a lush palette of over 250 plant species, sky terraces and a waterfall.
From this spot, the four towers take on a futuristic look, with the facades having a wavy appearance, and the steel trusses that connect the four towers resembling roller-coaster tracks.