6 Light-filled Interiors by Neri&Hu
The art of contrast is at the core of Neri&Hu’s practice. While the world of Chinese design is famous for its ostentatious display of colour and bling, the Shanghai-based husband-and-wife team favour a more rigorous, pared-down approach. Their distinct interiors, products and architectural projects have made Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu one of the most sought after design duos in the world. We were pleased to commission them to design Parachilna’s BAI collection, an elevated take on the traditional Chinese lantern.
The secret to their success is rooted in their unique dichotomy. While Hu is extremely rational, Neri describes himself as emotional with a “Spanish-like vibrancy”. Moreover, he tends to conceptualize by drawing, whereas Hu prefers to process ideas through writing. Their juxtaposing qualities are often reflected in their sophisticated spaces that feature a strategic use of light and noble materials. Hot off being named Elle Deco’s Designers of the Year 2017, we highlight a few of our favourite Neri&Hu interiors.
Comme Moi Flagship
Leave it to Neri&Hu to convert a raw concrete shell into a hipster boutique outfitted with fixtures in brass and metal mesh. Their work is self-described as a celebration of the mundane and it definitely shows in this industrial-style space. Housed in the art deco Donghu Hotel in Shanghai, the flagship store for Chinese fashion brand Comme Moi is understated yet incredibly elegant. The focus is on the quality of the materials including smooth grey terrazzo and oak flooring, BAI lights from Parachilna and select furnishings by Jean Prouvé and ClassiCon.
For lovers of light, dining under a canopy of luminaires is a heavenly experience. This is likely what Neri&Hu had in mind when they transformed the under-used atrium of Shanghai’s Chi-Q restaurant into a brilliant atrium. The central space of the Korean restaurant is filled with a long communal table surrounded by wooden dining chairs. The most notable feature is the series of large glass bulbs suspended at intervals from the ceiling, adding airiness to an eatery otherwise dominated by wood and metal.
Das Haus Installation
(IMM Cologne Trade Show)
Every year, IMM Cologne in Germany invites a designer to simulate a 240-square-metre residence for its main installation, Das Haus. For the 2015 edition of the annual furniture fair, Neri&Hu unveiled ‘Memory Lane’, a space filled with nostalgic references to Shanghai’s 1930s lane houses. The multi-room space featured lighting from Parachilna, Gandia Blasco’s Jian aluminum sofa and custom pieces designed by Neri&Hu.
Logan’s Punch Bar
A night on the town in Shanghai isn’t complete without a visit to Logan’s Punch in the Jing’an district. As its name might suggest, the bar exclusively serves punch, but the real treat is soaking up its cool interiors. For the project, Neri&Hu drew inspiration from the city’s alleyways, traditional timber houses and bamboo cladding. The wood-filled space is livened up with pops of colour including glass lampshades in bottle green that hang from the ceilings.
New Shanghai Theatre
When Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu were tasked with revamping a 1930 theatre, one word came to mind: drama. Taking a cue from the performing arts, they conceptualized the space as a series of theatrical acts. As visitors enter, they’re greeted by a cavernous lightwell carved out of the stone overhead. Inside, the space features several skylights and supplemental evening lamps that dynamically cast light and shadows on the bronze and stone-clad surfaces.
Bloomberg’s Hong Kong Office
In most offices, a staircase is strictly practical. But Bloomberg Hong Kong isn’t most offices. Neri&Hu used the project as an opportunity to elevate everyday elements – this time, with a “Stair of Encounters”. The client’s brief was to design a single staircase to encourage employee interaction between floors. The result was a sculptural stairway enclosed in light ashwood and complemented by recessed lighting to mimic ceiling skylights. Meanwhile, conference rooms and workspaces illuminated by Parachilna BAI lights, surround the centrepiece.
Learn more about Neri&Hu’s lighting collections for Parachilna.