Editor’s note: We caught up with Haute Design Network’s Sergio Mannino to discuss the designer’s inspiration behind the Shenzhen residential project — a project he refers to as the “anti-minimalism” infusion of design.
Not too long ago, we received an invitation from Area 17, an architectural firm with offices in China. We were invited to bid on a large residential development in the city of Shenzhen, 30 minutes from Hong Kong in China’s Guangdong province – and we succeeded.
The project is composed of three apartment showrooms, six lobbies and the common areas in between. One of our aims was that each of the three apartment designs accommodates a different family, income, and age group; while maintaining appeal to a new generation of cultured, well-traveled Chinese.
The lobby, being the one introduction to an entire building, is the most important room in any set of apartments. Our aim for these Shenzhen lobbies was to introduce the overall design and atmosphere of the apartments above, maintaining the elegance of the ideal lobby without resorting to something impersonal or generic.
We used locally-sourced white marble for the floors and inlaid in this a laser-cut red and green floral pattern using two other locally-sourced marbles. The pattern repeats on each floor of the building. These shapes, which originated as rough sketches, have an organic feel that contrasts with the clean lines of the rest of the design.
Adding to the organic balance of the space are the ‘green’ walls at the end of the corridor and behind the front desk, which are made up entirely of leafy green plants. The minimalist chandelier by Bocci again adds contrast, as well as echoing the floral marble design of the floor.
It was a challenge to fit together our European aesthetic with this unfamiliar Chinese design language, but after some research, we negotiated the two and achieved an elegant result. The marble design is a clear example of this, as is the overall layout of the space.
Our Shenzhen lobby design comes together through its multiple elements, both European and Chinese, favorably balancing luxury with refinement.