Multifaceted, talented, innovative and creative to the core, the Chinese architect-designer Lyndon Neri is renowned for his works in the world of architecture and design. Based in Shanghai, Neri & Hu Design and Research Office is a multidisciplinary architectural design practice, established in 2004 by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu.
The Grand Reception Lobby
Maison & Objet named Lyndon Neri and his partner Rosanna Hu the Asian Designers for the Year 2015. In 2014, the talented duo was honoured with the Wallpaper Designer of the Year title. The U.S Interior Design Hall of Fame inducted Hu and Neri for their exemplary design creations. The list of their achievements is prestigiously endless.
First Floor Plan
Lyndon also teaches to architectural students and takes great interest in research work. He is a well-known visiting professor and critic in prestigious institutions of the world. Prominent among them are the Department of Architecture in the University of Hong Kong Graduate School, Princeton University, University of California, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Syracuse University.
Le Meridien Zhengzhou
Design Republic, a Shanghai-based retail concept store was established by Neri and Hu, which offers unique products designed by world’s best designers and talents. They also happen to be the Creative Directors of Stellar Works.European brands like Driade, Classicon, Gandia Blasco, LEMA, Fritz Hansen and many more sell Neri and Hu’s industrial designer products. Monicker is Neri&Hu’s own product line brand.
Second Floor Plan
Johnny D talks to Lyndon Neri, the talented architect-designer about Le Meridien Zhengzhou Project.
Johnny D: Please tell our esteemed readers about Neri & Hu and Design Republic.
Lyndon Neri: Interdisciplinary research is part of our design process. It is intrinsically intertwined with every project, from the start. Architecture is still the foundation, from which we do everything, so it is the most important for us. We see design as a holistic discipline, taking it from the renaissance notion of seeing design as a multidisciplinary approach.
Recurring Architectural Feature
JD: What are the current projects, the firm is busy in various cities and countries?
LN: Currently, we are busy with the following projects worldwide:
- The Bow Street Magistrates Court. It is going to be a first class boutique hotel of 100 guestrooms and police museum in London’s Covent Garden District. This was the first courthouse in London and the first police station in the world, some of the cells dated back to the 1700’s;
- Designing the SENTUL Contemporary Art Museum;
- A new 7-storey building containing hotel and retail for LVMH and Dacra in the Miami Design District, US;
- In Cologne, we are designing a new headquarter for a creative agency Miere & Miere;
- A house for an acclaimed film director, Vinicius Coimbra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
- In Lisbon, we have a small interior project working with other designers like Jasper Morrison, the Bourellec brothers and Aires Mateus;
- Renovation of Bloomberg Office in Tokyo;
Third Floor Plan
- A historic site in Hangzhou to build a resort hotel for Alila, it will combine new structures with historic houses on a hillside overlooking the West Lake;
- A high-end architectural project comprising a residential complex in the French Concession area of Shanghai;
- 3 Edition hotels for Ian Schrager in Shanghai, Xiamen and Wuhan;
- An architectural project comprising 3 residential typologies and a clubhouse in Xinjiangwan in Shanghai;
- An interior residential project in collaboration with Richard Rogers in Shanghai, including a clubhouse
- A church in Suzhou
- Shanghai Metropolitan Theatre
An Exterior View
- A candle holder for Swarovski;
- A vanity table, bed and cabinets for LEMA;
- Barstools and lights for Classicon;
- Scented candle and diffuser for Sulwhasoo;
- Sofa system and rugs for Gan
- Outdoor lights collection for Parachilna
- Bath tubs for Agape
- Dining se for Driade
- A new collection for Stellar Works
- A new collection for De La Espada
Fourth Floor Plan
JD: What was the brief for Le Meridien Zhengzhou Project?
LN: The brief was to create a new hospitality destination, with an understanding of the Zhengzhou context.
JD: How much time was taken by Neri & Hu to complete the project from the designing stage?
LN: Almost four years.
Japanese Design Element
JD: What was going through your mind, while designing the master plan for the hotel?
LN: It needs to be spatial interesting for it to be a destination!
JD: What were the major challenges you had anticipated before starting the project?
LN: We had to completely redesign the old architecture design.
Fifth Floor Plan
JD: How did you overcome them creatively through your design and team efforts?
LN: By convincing the client to stop with the building, which was already on its 4th floor and wait for our revised architecture design.
Typical Guest Room Floor Plan
JD: How would you describe the ‘elegance of design’?
LN: Meaning and Purpose of a project defines the elegance of design.
Elegance in Simplicity
JD: Construction Engineers are breaking frontiers to give shape to Architects’ Designs’ Vision. As an architect, how much credit is attributed to their conscientious efforts?
LN: It is very much a collaborative effort.
JD: How would you describe Neri & Hu’s Signature Style?
LN: We rarely think of the labeling of style, when we design. If anything, we like to see ourselves as “critical thinking architects”, where we probe into problems in a deep way and come up with resolutions to respond to the problem(s).
North West Elevation
JD: What was the total area of the project?
LN: 43,000 sq m
JD: What was the total cost of the project?
LN: It is confidential.
An Illuminated Passage
JD: Winning prestigious awards has become a norm with your firm’s design creations. Please describe the feelings of winning an award after all the hard work.
LN: I think all awards, no matter where it is coming from, are definitely an honour. They are definitely humbling experiences. We do not expect them. To be honest with you, Rossana and I never really look into all the award categories and say, “This year, I think we are going to win this or not”. I think we spend a lot of time focusing on our projects. So awards are a pleasant surprise, but more importantly, definitely a humbling experience for the two of us (smiles)!
I am also constantly reminded that everything we do today is not us. There are a lot more people more talented than we are. There are a lot more people more connected than we are. There are a lot more people more educated than we are. Yet, Rosanna and I have been given a platform. We constantly remind ourselves that this platform is a responsibility given to us by God. I think it is easy for us, in the height of adulation and when we are given a certain award to start to credit our success to our hard work, talent, education or strategy. Seriously, at the end they all came from above. And if we do not acknowledge Him while these blessings are being poured to us, then we have really missed the point.
Interiors of a Restaurant
JD: How would you describe your partner Rossana Hu’s overall contribution to the firm?
LN: Rossana’s intellectual ability to think clearly guides the conceptual framework of our projects. She is one of the cleverest thinkers, I have encountered.
JD: How would you describe Lyndon Neri as a Professional, Professor and a Person?
LN: According to Rossana, “Lyndon is an extremely talented and charismatic architect, with a loyal and earnest heart for his family. He shows a fear for God in everything he does, a rare breed of righteousness and creativity in this day and age”.
View of a Guest Room
JD: Please state the 5 recent awards won by your firm.
LN: They are as follows:
- 2016 WINNER ARCHITIZER A+ AWARDS, NEW YORK, USA
- 2015 DESIGNERS OF THE YEAR MAISON&OBJET ASIA, SINGAPORE
- 2014 DESIGNERS OF THE YEAR WALLPAPER* MAGAZINE, LONDON, UK
- HALL OF FAME 2013 INTERIOR DESIGN MAGAZINE, NEW YORK, USA
- BEST OF YEAR AWARDS 2013 INTERIOR DESIGN MAGAZINE, NEW YORK, USA
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