Category Archives: Design Award

Interviews from Design is…Award Market Winners

Stars Design | Post Plaza – 2016 Design Is…Award Global Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Worldclass. (according to the comments from guests)

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

The design plays a major role in the total concept to please and surprise the guests.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

In a small province town, we had to turn an old post office building – founded in 1904 – into an inspiring boutique hotel. The idea was to stimulate the guest so that they spend their time not in the hotel room, but in the grand café. We made small rooms, which are very intimate with the TV in the wardrobe. Within the big space of the grand café we created smaller “rooms” by using warm dividers like big curtains and the central bar. The result is an entertaining central space where guests can find a favorite place to do whatever they choose, at any moment of the day. Having breakfast, drinking a coffee, reading a newspaper, dancing, working, having an informal meeting, reading a book, having a laugh and a cold beer. It’s all possible in the same space.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

Dare to create an inspiring, outstanding project instead of taking the secured direction – it will pay off.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

This project incorporates a mix of styles and eclectic designs; old and new elements, raw and luxury, hard and soft.

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Mars Interieurarchitecten | School of Aeronautical Services – 2016 Design Is…Award Global Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Change.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

Education in The Netherlands is changing. Albeda College innovates by making the transition from education to working easier. The way things look is as important as how it works. In this case the impact is so successful that there is a student application stop.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

Every project is a journey. There are always new challenges which need to dealt with. The way teachers used to instruct students is totally different. We had to design a space that enabled students to get a new and inspiring education.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

Get inspired, get out of the office and create your own journey.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

Dialog is most important, email, youtube, facetime, texting are fantastic tools but there is no substitute for personal and face to face meetings.

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Paradigm Design Group | Portland Downtown Marriott – 2016 Design Is…Award Market Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Captivating.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

Embracing the energetic, hip spirit of the city and the natural elements around us, vibrant greens, bold navy and soft gray hues create the backdrop of the design while an artful tribute to the city’s passion for biking is uniquely incorporated into the artistic elements in the room. A bike wheel visually merges with the organic shape of a tree slice at the headboard mural, creating a one of a kind piece of art. Tire imprints were featured in the carpet pattern and additional nods towards the biking industry are playfully incorporated in other unique ways throughout the space.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

Every journey has a story. This is what sets the tone for that distinctive approach to our designs. The story unfolds to help explain the overall look and feel of the space and what regional or local characteristics will be highlighted in the design. Unique room layouts established the need for the built in casegood package that now provides structure to the unwieldy configurations, and helps the overall effect feel like the architecture we were originally challenged with as an asset instead of a hindrance.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

The property featured a challenging architectural footprint that created a set of perplexing guest room layouts. Given the modular nature of the custom casegoods and detailed mural design, almost all 500 rooms had to be individually studied to ensure that the pieces would fit correctly in each room type.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

Travelers today want to experience a unique, boutique look that captures the feel of the region. Every detail in this design is thoughtfully pulled together and incorporated to capture the look and feel of Portland today, while still offering the conveniences and amenities a guest expects.

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Paragon Interiors | Zenith Optimedia – 2016 Design Is…Market Award Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Innovative.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

The use of dramatic design elements instantly creates interest and draws in the viewer, client or passerby. By use of elements such as the oversized “ZO” lightbox in reception and the stretched canvas ceiling in the boardroom – both visible from the building atrium – curiosity is created before even entry. Once inside, the office space is filled with bold features and bright blue accents, the most striking of which is the round, blue pod at the heart of the interior, creating a memorable hub in the journey through the space for both visitors and employees.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

The Paragon Interiors team spent many hours collaborating with our client, ensuring a thorough and detailed understanding of the inner workings of the Zenith Optimedia/Newcast team. By taking into account the requirements, as well as a history of the company, we developed the idea of the “Tree of Opportunities”, based on the concept of African children sitting under a tree, learning from their elders, sharing knowledge. Cognizant of the international standard of their various branches worldwide, we maintained a strong African connection, and most importantly, creating a corporate yet playful office interior. Each design element relates to the big idea of the “Tree of Opportunities”, from the tree-like pod design, to the dappled shadow effects of the carpet pattern, the design works together harmoniously, telling a single story.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

As with all projects, it was important to design with budget in mind. This project required some highly creative thinking to achieve the desired outcome and to achieve the look and feel within the given budget. Another challenge was that the office space had very little access to natural light as the majority of the space was close to the core of the building. We dealt with this by allocating the staff café area to the space with exterior views – allowing equal access to all employees and creating a multi-functional space where employees are encouraged to collaborate, meet and work throughout the day. With the lack of external views, it was important to create visual cues internally, giving us the creative freedom to come up with various interesting and unexpected feature elements. The most important lesson learned was that nothing is impossible when the creative juices are flowing – budgets and space restrictions may set the boundaries, but the end result is up to your imagination.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

The layout and design of the space is based on the concept of collaboration, which has become a vital part in the trend of office space design in the last few years. Our design provides inviting spaces which are easily accessible and designed with the intention of prompting the sharing of ideas. The informal nature of the space sets clients as well as employees at ease, allowing the natural flow of conversation to take place.

Posted in Corporate, Design, Design Award | Leave a comment

Perkins + Will | Nixon & Peabody – 2016 Design Is…Award Global Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Transformative.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

Although corporate workspace design has been evolving for years, the basic principles of law firm design that have existed for decades are only recently being rethought. This project challenges many of the sacred law firm design characteristics such as the large corner office, solid walls and solid doors, liberal use of stone and mahogany, and the segregation of attorneys and support staff. We focused on crafting not only a visually-impactful design, but one that was reflective of the Nixon Peabody brand.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

Nixon Peabody is a global law firm and our journey began with a firmwide re-branding process aimed at differentiating Nixon Peabody from the competition. The Washington, DC office was the first to design new space after the re-branding process and the team was challenged to create the “law firm of the future.” Focusing on strategies impacting health and social equity helped create a paradigm shift in how they work together in the space, aligning office culture more closely with their firm values. The reduction in perimeter office sizes affords the opportunity to have public spaces along the window line that benefit all staff. Office fronts and doors are made of frameless clear glass and allow views to the outside for staff typically buried within interior space. Traditional corner offices are given up to shared team rooms. The Café, prominently located adjacent to Reception, serves as a hub for attorneys, staff and clients. The space promotes communication, collaboration, and cross-over between practice groups, which was a journey we had to work closely with our client on in order to navigate successfully.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

For the design to be successful, changes in cultural behavior typical of a law firm environment were required. Managing this change posed a challenge that needed to be addressed for a successful implementation of the many innovative strategies on the project. Additionally, the design team worked with the client to develop educational signage and operational guidelinesfor everything from lighting and automated shades in the typical offices, to care and maintenance for the living wall and irrigation system. Communication was also critical in order for staff to see the benefit of smaller universal office sizes as an opportunity to open up for more collaborative spaces. Informal post-occupancy surveys have revealed overwhelming approval for the variety and number of collaboration spaces.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

In a world that is increasingly connected with technology, there is still a desire to surround yourself with things that were made by human hands. This idea of craft is very reflective of current culture, whether it’s handcrafted communal dining tables or textures that look like they were created by an artisan rather than a computer. Similarly, we believe humans also have an intrinsic affinity for materials, patterns, and colors from nature. This project uses biophilic strategies such as the use of plants in the living wall and café, using wood in a natural state, allowing for distant views, and using colors most commonly found in nature.

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