It was a tough choice but here they are: the ultimate in global design, architecture and style, as selected by this year's elite panel of international judges, designer Naota Fukasawa, hotelier Ian Schrager, architect Ron Arad, fashion designers Viktor and Rolf, actress Jane Birkin, and MD of Charme Matteo do Montezemolo.
Best new hotel
Home, Buenos Aires
Located in Buenos Aires’s hip Palermo Viejo neighbourhood, Home was designed by architects Rodrigo Cunill and Juana Grichener. The exterior may be austere, but the rest of the hotel is warm, light and airy thanks to a 300 sq m garden and heated swimming pool. All 17 rooms have their own distinct style with a retro theme, mixing vintage European wallpapers, Chilean wool rugs and custom-made native watambu wood beds with CD and book libraries, MP3 players and Wi-Fi. Room rate: from $115
Best new public building
Morgan Library & Museum extension, by Renzo Piano
Working in collaboration with New York architect firm Beyer Blinder Belle, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop masterfully inserted contemporary structures into a historic context. The expansion, which includes a new underground space and three glass-and-steel pavilions set around a central court, also adds an auditorium, a striking new entrance and an exquisite reading room, doubling the library’s floor space.
Best new fashion collection
While Miuccia Prada might seem an obvious choice, being a fashionista favourite and having a keen interest in art and architecture, her autumn/winter collections were especially strong. Shown against a Rem Koolhaas backdrop, the theme was urban guerrilla. These were tough, sensible yet flattering clothes, ideal for the boardroom dweller, streetwise reveller and permanent traveller. A tempting mix of glamorous sophistication and urban grit.
Best new grooming product
Serge Lutens cosmetics
Serge Lutens is a master when it comes to giving make-up a timeless elegance. He defined Shiseido’s image in the 1980s and 1990s, and he has now launched his own line of cosmetics, combining old-fashioned glamour with contemporary design and hi-tech formulas. The weighty black lacquer cases are a nod to old Hollywood movie star chic, but, for a modern twist, Lutens has replaced traditional curves with clean, linear contours.
Best new private house
Baron House by John Pawson
John Pawson’s design for creative guru Fabien Baron’s house draws on the local Swedish vernacular, but uses cement blocks and timber detailing to create a contemporary sense of abstraction. This country home is in total harmony with its surroundings, its visible lines synchronised with the landscape. The house is divided into two lofty, light-bathed volumes, separated by a courtyard with views in every direction.
Best domestic appliance
Ceramic speakers, by Broberg Ridderstråle
Mats Broberg and Johan Ridderstråle, graduates of Stockholm’s Konstfack University, moved away from the traditional black, box-shaped speaker and created a set of white ceramic speakers, using the symbol of sound as their inspiration. ‘It’s the universal icon of noise,’ says Ridderstråle of
the truncated cone shape, which sits at the perfect angle to produce optimum sound.
Best furniture designer of the year
Dutch designer Hella Jongerius and Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra may seem like an odd pairing; one is known for a naive, idiosyncratic approach, the other for slick, hi-tech furniture. But the collaboration speaks volumes about Jongerius’s talent and Vitra’s commercial nous because everyone wants design with a quirky, homespun feel, and Jongerius provides it in spades with pieces such as this ‘Worker’ chair. From vases for Ikea to a solo exhibition at Galerie Kreo in Paris, her design covers a wide spectrum.
Having carved out a niche as an art city, with its new modern art gallery and Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul’s latest incarnation is as a shopping paradise and chic nightspot. A host of new stores and bars have opened in Nisantasi, not to mention design specialist Addresistanbul. But perhaps most impressive has been the emergence of a daring design scene. Derin Design and Gaia & Gino are already stars, while Autoban points to Istanbul’s exciting design future. The city is rapidly turning into an elegant party capital.
Best new restaurant
Müzede Changa, Istanbul
Six years after opening the ever-popular Changa, restaurateurs Tarik Bayazit and Savas Ertunc have opened an equally slick sequel, Müzede Changa. Architect Aysen Savas dreamt up the ‘glass cube’ that houses the restaurant; the 1960s- and 1970s-inspired interiors were designed by the award-winning Autoban design team; and chef Peter Gordon has given traditional Turkish fare a modern twist.
Most life-enhancing item
The earth is getting smaller. And so there is something so perfectly right about Google Earth, the rapid zoom from space to your own back yard and off again, sweeping across oceans and continents to land wherever you wish (security concerns allowing), to see streets and beaches and the places where other people live, work and play. Thrilling and disquieting in equal measure, there is an idealistic charge to the Google Earth project.
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