Design Finds

Each week we compile a list of our favourite design achievements – from architecture to decor – that blow us away. Be inspired by a colourfully reimagined historical castle, an elevated ‘tree house’ to encourage people to explore the outdoors, not to mention a redesigned hotel in Edinburgh that honours its Georgian roots.

Artist Okuda San Miguel canvasses a 19th-century castle with multi-coloured mirrored skulls

Photography: Chopem Down Films

In the Loire Valley — a historic region in central France — Okuda San Miguel has painted the façade of a late 19th-century castle with colourful geometries and vibrant motifs. Okuda’s signature markings canvas the exterior of Château de la Valette, wrapping around its window frames and arched doorways. A dramatic tableau of bright pink, yellow, blue and red hues come together to form the mirrored image of two skulls, giving the landmark site a vivid and kaleidoscopic new ‘face’.

While staying true to its Georgian history, Eden Locke Hotel in Edinburgh is given new life

Photography: Nicholas Worley

Although well over 250 years old, Edinburgh’s New Town – a UNESCO Heritage Site – is a beautiful, if austere, collection of sturdy and uniform ranks of Georgian buildings. Rows of terraces and mansions clad in local grey sandstone are a physical embodiment of the Scottish Reformation. Refurbished by NYC-based architecture firm Grzywinski+Pons, Eden Locke is a new 72-room hotel with a café and bar that received a complete renovation and comprehensive fit out of its existing structure. Celebrating its heritage details, the 18th-century Georgian mansion and its 20th-century extension was whittled down to its respective bones – the chic new hotel created from there.

Studio Weave installs hikers’ shelter on stilts beside a Bordeaux river

Photography: Dezeen

Hikers can stay overnight for free at this elevated shelter on the outskirts of Bordeaux, designed by London-based Studio Weave. It references the form and materials of traditional water towers. Studio Weave was commissioned to design the shelter by arts and architecture collective Bruit du Frigo, which has established a series of shelters around the periphery of the French city.

The Refuges Périurbains project, developed in collaboration with visual arts organisation Zebra 3, aims to encourage residents and visitors to explore the under-utilised spaces surrounding the city. Hikers are able to walk along a network of pedestrianised routes around the fringes of Bordeaux and can stay overnight in one of 12 unique shelters each designed to accommodate up to nine people.

FR-EE’s Museo Soumaya features in a photo-essay by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Photography: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The Museo Soumaya, which opened to the public in 2011, is one of the more striking cultural landmarks on the skyline of Mexico City. Designed by FR-EE / Fernando Romero Enterprise, the space accommodates and displays a private art collection of nearly 70 000 works spanning the 15th to the mid-20th centuries, including the world’s largest private collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures. In this photo-essay, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to its most triking feature – a rotated rhomboid clad in a skin of 16 000 hexagonal mirrored-steel panels.

Ken Fulk designs Henry Hall, his latest New York residence

Photography: Douglas Friedman

‘When I was a kid, I wanted to be like Eloise and live in a hotel,’ says avant-garde and multi-disciplinary creative Ken Fulk. Henry Hall, his latest New York City project, is making that dream come true. The 225-unit apartment building on the northern border of Hudson Yards in midtown Manhattan, is more like a boutique hotel than a residence, and the Fulk-designed interiors and model units are far more posh and playful than your standard rental. Public amenities like a double-height lobby whose design is ‘a dose of midcentury meets the ’70s,’; a bar run by the restaurateurs behind New York’s Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones; a drawing room; and a wine lounge encourage visitors and residents to mingle in common spaces. Private amenities like a residents’ club, rooftop lounge, and back garden make it feel like a destination.