From a small design firm in Nottinghamshire, UK, 71 years ago, Benoy’s footprint now spans the entire globe including an increasing number in Asia. Asian Property Review interviews Qin Pang, Director and Head of Benoy’s Shanghai Studio.
Benoy started in Nottinghamshire, UK some 71 years ago. It has now evolved into a global design specialist undertaking many inspiring and iconic projects. Please list out some recently completed iconic projects in Asia.
Terminal 4, Changi Airport, Singapore (2017), Suzhou Center, China (2017), Parc Central, Guangzhou, China (2016) and Starfield Hanam, Hanam, Gyeonggi, South Korea (2016).
What is Benoy’s design philosophy and how does that translate into your works?
At Benoy, we balance creative vision with commercial viability; we work with clients to create iconic destinations that enrich people’s lives, strengthen communities, enhance nature, and deliver lasting economic value. This is translated into our work in many ways, however our aim is also to deliver world-class solutions for the built environment.
Does Benoy have onboard or have joint ventures with starchitects especially in projects involving branded residences or mixed developments e.g. Prada, etc?
Benoy collaborates with a number of design firms, especially on larger projects which are overseen by a consortium. In Singapore, for example, we are working within the consortium led by Moshe Safdie (famed for his Habitat 67, in Montreal, Quebec) to deliver the high profile Jewel Changi Airport project. Benoy is the Interior Design and Retail and Aviation Facilities Planner on the development.
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Benoy has a strong reputation in regeneration projects with the firm’s portfolio including HARBOUR CITY’s Gala Avenue Westside in Shanghai, the David Jones Flagship Building in Sydney and TSUM Department Store in Kiev. With the upcoming Nanjing cold storage warehouse project, how will Benoy’s previous experience help with this project?
Knowledge sharing is always vital for any project. We are fortunate to be able to draw on the experience and expertise of many of our colleagues as we approach the Nanjing MCC World project. However, all projects are unique, it’s not about copying and pasting design solutions from other projects, but using that information to inform how we approach new design challenges.
What are the design challenges when it comes to regeneration projects?
Balancing the heritage aspects of the development with the new build components is always a challenge. We want to ensure we are respectful and sensitive to the history of the site whilst also celebrating a new, exciting prospect for the future.
How much green or sustainable practices are incorporated into Benoy’s works?
A key feature of the Benoy offer is sustainability. We work closely with our clients and providers of expert knowledge to deliver more sustainable design solutions, relevant to the unique context of each project. Responsible design practice and sustainability is promoted by building on experience, encouraging education, the recruitment of new and complementary skills and, where necessary, collaboration with external experts.
We are proud to have a portfolio which includes numerous sustainable design credentials including the first LEED Platinum Retail Development in Greater China, Hysan Place.