by Rob Backhouse
Inside Interior Review (Australia)
No. 70, 2012
HASSELL Managing Director Rob Backhouse recently reported on his experience as one of the jury members for the inaugural Inside World Festival of Interiors that took place in November last year in Barcelona.
The Festival is a celebration of some of the best interior design work from around the globe and the key point of difference about this event is that the designers themselves present their shortlisted entries to the juries.
Alongside Frank Duffy from DEGW and Laura Maggi from Elle Décor Italia, Rob judged in the Culture and Civic and Residential categories. The winning entry in the Culture and Civic category was a football centre in Soweto by Canadian practice RUF Project, while Sydneysider Ian Moore's Strelein Warehouse was the winner in the Residential category.
As part of the 'super jury' for the Festival, Rob joined Ilse Crawford (chairperson), Jaime Hayon and Andre Fu to select the Waterhouse at South Bund hotel in Shanghai by Neri and Hu as the ultimate winner.
Rob noted in his report that, "Neri's explanation of the conceptual ideas, referencing the dynamics and density of the original Shanghainese lane houses revealed a depth to the scheme that could be easily overlooked. The moral position Neri and Hu pursued in saving the 1930s building in a city so rapidly demolishing and building new generic 'international architecture' was inspiring. The influence was enough, as a benchmark, to set it apart from all the other projects, engaging as they all were."—