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Have social spaces gone to the dark side?

This year’s INDE.Awards shortlisted entries for The Social Space fall into two different “genres” of design: dark, evocative spaces, or light, biophilic expanses.

BYRDI. Photography: Haydn Cattach, Jana Langhorst

As humans being, we all need to connect, and what better place to do this than in those spaces that promote and enhance interaction. As such, restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels, along with spaces designed for public gathering, are the best way to both enjoy the company of other people but also to experience exciting and creative design.

The Social Space category in the 2021 INDE.Awards showcases the very best social and hospitality spaces created within the Indo-Pacific region over the past 18 months and presents innovative and cutting-edge design at its best. With the sharing of food at the heart of social interaction the latest restaurants and cafés provide a place in which to meet but also surroundings that enhance the experience and the entries in The Social Space category this year are no exception.

Esteban Restaurant & Bar. Photography: Steven Woodburn

This year, the category shortlist seems to fall into two different “genres” of designs: dark, evocative and intimate spaces, or light, biophilic expanses. At BYRDI (DesignOffice) and Esteban Restaurant & Bar (H&E Architects), dark, textural browns create a bunker like space, enveloping guests as leave the outside world behind. After 12 months that set cosy dinner parties and smaller gatherings as the norm, these venues offer that experience elevated, drawing on design finesse to offer private zones and hidden nooks, where guests can feel like they have the place to themselves.

HERO ACMI (Chris Connell Design) takes this transitional experience to another level, where a material palette of concrete and stainless steel plays on visually allegories of futurism for a hyper modernist take on pop culture.

HERO ACMI. Photography: Rory Gardiner

On the flip side of these spaces are shortlisters Nature Discovery Park (LAAB Architects with PLandscape & Speirs Major) and Ten Minutes by Tractor (COX Architecture). A nature conservatory and cellar door respectively, these spaces are less about escapism and more about immersion, where connection to land and environment underpins the entire design brief. Set against a backdrop of Hong Kong’s bustling city centre, Nature Discovery Park is a rooftop garden that provides a roadmap to how humans, nature and the urban environment can co-exist. Here, hospitality is combined with conservation, with rooftop farming, a greenhouse and butterfly garden all on show.

Indesign Media is proud to announce the full Social Space Shortlist, in association with Category Partner Stormtech.

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The Social Space

Proudly partnered by Stormtech

Ten Minutes by Tractor. Photography: Rory Gardiner

Atomic Beer Project
YSG
Australia

BYRDI
DesignOffice
Australia

Esteban Restaurant & Bar
H&E Architects
Australia

Fish Lane Town Square
Richards & Spence with RPS Landscape Architects
Australia

Four Pillars Laboratory – Eileens Bar
YSG Australia
Australia

HERO ACMI
Chris Connell Design
Australia

Heyington Gardens
Studiobird
Australia

Nature Discovery Park
LAAB Architects with PLandscape & Speirs Major
Hong Kong

Sôl Bar & Restaurant
Genesin Studio with Walter Brooke
Australia

Ten Minutes by Tractor
COX Architecture
Australia

The Next Hotel, Melbourne
Woods Bagot
Australia

There in the middleness
Nathan Yong Design
Singapore

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Be there as the INDE.Award winners are announced. Register for your 2021 digital ticket.

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