Best Hotel: Aman, Tokyo

Wallpaper* Design Awards 2016

Every year, the guys over at Wallpaper* get together all the major design work of the past twelve months and pick the best of the best. There are numerous categories that the award is divided up in, however, we’ve picked our favourites from the a few of the categories nearest to our hearts! Check out some of the entries from the Wallpaper Design Awards 2016 that rocked our socks off!

Best new restaurant

In order of appearance in slider above.

Usine, Stockholm

Housed in a former sausage factory stripped bare to leave a framework of iron beams, Usine combines three gastronomic concepts over 2,000 sq m under one strikingly high roof. Stark concrete floors are juxtaposed with an eclectic mix of interior accents, such as oyster baskets from France, lighting from China and custom carpentry from Lithuania.Meanwhile, a spacious corridor connecting the various dining areas houses a photography gallery curated by Dennis Blomberg of local agency Noll Images.

Spring, London

Skye Gyngell, the Australian chef who put glasshouse restaurant Petersham Nurseries on the map, has returned to the London dining scene. Spring, her new three-level perch in the refurbished 19th-century west wing of Somerset House, is a calm space, awash with light oak flooring and classic furnishings from Mario Bellini’s ‘412 Cab’ chair to Arne Jacobsen’s ‘Mayor’ sofa. In the kitchen, Gyngell harnesses her trademark love for uncomplicated cooking to gently treated seasonal produce.

Alancha, Istanbul

Former Turkish windsurfing champion Kemal Demirasal opened his first restaurant in 2007 in Çeşme, on the Aegean coast, and has now brought his culinary vision to Istanbul with Alancha, a two-floor dining room designed by Cacti. Tactile woods, leathers and greenery bring life to a largely concrete space, while low-hanging pendants soften the effects of the lofty ceiling. Using fresh ingredients from Demirasal’s farm, the menu celebrates the origins of Anatolian cuisine with a nod to Istanbul’s street food traditions.

Winner not in slideshow above (Juana La Loca, Bogotá) see it here!

Best new hotel

In order of appearance in slider above.

Aman, Tokyo – WINNER

Located in the capital’s business district, occupying six floors of the newly built Otemachi Tower, Aman’s Tokyo property marked the brand’s entry into Japan and is also its sole city hotel. The interiors, designed by international firm Kerry Hill Architects, pay homage to the local setting with the use of a serene, natural palette of camphor wood, washi paper and stone, complemented by contemporary Japanese textiles. Highlights include the hotel’s signature sake, a library specialising in Japanese art and culture, authentic ofuro baths, the basalt-lined, 34th-floor swimming pool and the Aman spa, offering treatments based on traditional Kampo medicine.

Blossom Hill Inn, Hangzhou

A collection of low-slung villas in the Xixi Wetland area, Blossom Hill Inn was designed by Marcelo Joulia, of international practice Naço, with extraordinary sensitivity to the region’s lush landscape. Joulia paired bamboo and antique brick with local woods and contemporary concrete to create an air of serene simplicity. The guest rooms, featuring cavernous tubs and soft lighting, each face the misty marshes, while equally peaceful is the pool, obscured by reeds, and a sunken library surrounded by louvred bamboo shutters.

Les Bains, Paris

Originally established as thermal baths in 1885, Paris’ Bains Douches were patronised by everyone from Marcel Proust to the fruit sellers of Les Halles. In the 1970s, the venue became a club where the likes of Andy Warhol, David Bowie and Yves Saint Laurent partied the night away. After a few years in the doldrums, Les Bains has been reborn as a hotel, with interiors by RDAI and Tristan Auer, and a restaurant headed up by Philippe Labbé and Michaël Riss. The famous baths have been turned into a pool and spa for hotel guests.

Best new private house

In order of appearance in slider above.

Grigio, Japan

This ode to concrete, in Setagaya, Tokyo, was created as a simple box with parts carved out to create the entrance and garage, windows and terraces. The commission came from a couple that enjoys cars and collects contemporary art, so special attention was paid to windows and light. Wrapping around an internal courtyard are two levels above ground and a sunken basement floor. Decorative elements were kept to a minimum, and the colour palette features a simple grey scheme, creating a sophisticated, gallery-like feel.

Lattice House, India – WINNER

Resembling a stack of wooden boxes, the Lattice House, on the outskirts of Jammu in north India, features horizontal bands of vertical timber lattice screens, which are used to create balconies and storage, as well as offering shade and privacy. The distinctive facade is offset by its clean, white interiors. The more private functions, such as bedrooms and bathrooms, are located at the rear of the house, while the front is open-plan, incorporating the living, dining and kitchen areas, flanked by a courtyard garden.

Concrete House, Australia

Aiming to create a strong relationship between indoor and outdoor living, the Concrete House, in Melbourne, is laid out as a sequence of spaces that balance efficiency and comfort. The client wanted a home, built from concrete and stone, that could act both as a place to entertain and a sanctuary; architect Matt Gibson responded by drawing inspiration from Brazilian modernism, keeping communal areas clean, and using rich woods and concrete. The structure spans three levels, with a car park on the basement level.

Best new public building

In order of appearance in slider above.

The Broad, USA

The newly opened Broad, a 120,000 sq ft art museum in downtown LA, contains almost 2,000 pieces from philanthropist Eli Broad’s collection. The Vault forms the heart of the museum and contains art storage and conservation facilities, while The Veil is a 3D structure made up of hundreds of honeycomb-shaped openings that cover the roof and flow over the glass facade to the pavement. The 35,000 sq ft third floor galleries feature no columns, with the roof instead held up by five 190ft-long steel girders, invisible to the viewer.

Fondazione Prada, Italy – WINNER

The long-awaited Fondazione Prada, located on a former industrial site in Milan, has been in the works for more than a decade. OMA’s intention was to make old and new work seamlessly, and the ambitious project is an intriguing assortment of different styles, spatial sizes, creative themes and time periods. Shiny mirrored surfaces battle against raw concrete interiors, while tiny, intimate rooms contrast with warehouse-sized hangars. There is also a cinema, and a café designed by film director Wes Anderson.

Folk Art Museum for China Academy of Arts, China

Located on the site of an old tea plantation, this museum, conceived as a space that would propose new relationships between visitors, art and their environment, features a set of unique exhibition spaces. The structure’s distinct low outline, created by a series of ramps and pitched roofs, cascades down the sloped site, and features local materials, such as cedar and reclaimed roof tiles. A stainless steel wire mesh holds the tiles together and creates a screen that filters light, casts patterns and controls views.

Best city

In order of appearance in slider above.


Today, Miami is a halfway house for wealthy Latinos, Russians and Europeans fleeing troubled economies, who have helped revive the property market. This cash, coupled with the Art Basel effect, which has injected some gravitas and self-worth, has led to a raft of cultural additions, from high-profile museums to edgy galleries. It has also turned Miami into an emerging architectural wonderland, tempting Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels and Richard Meier to spend time in the sun.

Copenhagen – WINNER

Copenhagen is growing increasingly extrovert and adventurous. In Vesterbro, the meatpacking district of Kødbyen is now an art hub; in Nørrebro, gourmet destinations share the same streets as alehouses; and in Christianshavn, Papirøen is a fertile enclave of creativity. The influence of the midcentury greats had previously eclipsed contemporary talent, but the latest wave of creatives, architects and chefs has fuelled a renaissance, and New Nordic is the cuisine and design movement of the moment.


Construction in Taipei has intensified in recent years – the Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park, home to Toyo Ito’s New Horizon, is one of the most ambitious urban-renewal programmes of the last decade, while OMA’s Performing Arts Centre is nearing completion. Meanwhile, fine-dining restaurants serving light-touch cooking have revolutionised the cuisine. Taipei’s title of World Design Capital 2016 might be a little premature, but what is happening creatively here right now is more exciting than at any other time in history.

Project descriptions and photography courtesy of Wallpaper*, head over there now for some more detailed info on the full list of 2016 contenders as well as the illustrious panel of judges. Soooo much love that Konstantin Grcic AS WELL AS Patricia Urquiola are judges this year!!! <3

What are your thoughts on the winners and shortlisters this year? Love or hate, let us know below!

Katerina Przita

Kat specialises in branding, corporate identity and web design with a special love for illustration and infographic design.

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