IIDA Italy International Design Award

Italy International Design Award 2024

Professional Award -- SILVER 

Design of Villa Mansion

Riverside Building Project – by Baptiste Bohu Interior


Project Name: Time flow since the future
The city of Shanghai has many masterpieces of architecture, including a house with smooth lines and beautiful curvature, which was once the largest apartment building in Asia. It is located on the North Bank of Suzhou. On the other side of the bank is the peace hotel, the most famous modern building on the Bund. From here, you can see the green roof of the peace hotel. On the east side of the building, the vision can cross the Huangpu River and see the skyscrapers of the Oriental Pearl and the Lujiazui financial district.
In this elegant apartment, you can have a panoramic view of the above scenery through the surrounding 10 windows. This is not an ordinary design project, but full of historical flavor and soul. When I was told to design the riverside building, I accepted it without hesitation. I don't know why, I always feel that one day, I will transform an apartment in a riverside building in some way, for myself or for my clients. I enjoyed visiting and discovering various apartments, and I was lucky to live in and renovate some of the top historical buildings in Shanghai. The riverside building was one of the things I missed in my collection before, and now I have the chance to build it.


When I met with the owner, we had different ideas on the design concept, but we soon reached a consensus because he told me that he wanted to respect and retain the old building structure as much as possible, so as to reproduce the beauty and brilliance of this apartment in the 1930s. I have witnessed too many old buildings destroyed by renovation in Shanghai, which I deeply regret. The client's deep understanding and respect for the building made me decide to accept the project, although I knew it would be a long process.
We started with desk work and found the original blueprint of the building. Even though it is a long time ago, the current conditions of the apartment are still good. Foreigners once lived here and built it into a loft apartment of New York style. However, the client wanted to restore the apartment to its old Shanghai appearance, so we demolished all the internal structures and rebuilt it from scratch.
Thanks to the fact that we found the blueprint, it helped us understand the original structure and restore it in the design as much as possible. Of course, the design of this apartment also needs to echo the current lifestyle, so we also need to make some compromises in the design, so that the air conditioning, floor heating and other machinery and equipment are in their proper place.
In short, we have created independent and hidden space, put down these machines and equipment, and we have kept the remaining space as simple as possible. Red arc excellently restored the original plan and elevation of the apartment, including all the beam, column and line details. I would like to present the original flavor of the apartment in the design, rather than deliberately "imitate" the retro look. So we spent a lot of time looking for the right material and the ideal supplier.
I have an ideal team, each supplier has completed the pure custom solution excellently and professionally. We started with a concrete shell, and almost all the items were customized. Even the door hardware was hand-made by Eric Morris. We replaced all the windows, because we didn't want to use aluminum windows, we replaced them with steel windows with old Shanghai flavor. Apple tree rilang brand is to use modern professional technology to create iron doors and windows, we naturally choose their products.
The spatial pattern of the whole apartment is open. It is not the main living space of the owner. The functional consideration is the second, so there is no need to create a lot of storage space, which also gives us more room to play. We have created an open pattern with a broad perspective from the living room to the main bathroom. The apartment has an open living space, connected with dining room, study, tea room, master bedroom and master bathroom.
The owner is a traveler and has a unique understanding of the design style. He has also lived in famous hotels all over the world. He hopes to make this apartment a weekend leisure residence. We should create a comfortable atmosphere and feel, like a suite in a five-star hotel.
In the main material, we choose cement, wood floor, terrazzo on the ground, and art paint on the wall, which are quite simple materials. The doors are decorated with mint green, which is very difficult to control, similar to the green houses in the Sri Lankan colony, and now it is the iconic hue of the apartment. Almost every visitor will enjoy talking about the green door.
The owner has a deep research on Chinese furniture. We have selected some furniture suitable for apartment from his collection. There are a few other adjustments we've made to make them look more modern. For example, we made a new soft bag for the dining chair with designer guild fabric, and we did the same for the Opium bed in the tea room. I also designed a very modern and neutral sofa for the living room to try to break the feeling of too many antiques, because I didn't want people to come here and feel like I was in an antique store. I chose some copper lamps from visual comfort, and the simple and modern chandelier above the bathtub is also from the brand. The three antique chandeliers above the dining table are the owner's own collection, purchased from Sri Lanka. Carpets play an important role in the space. Each room has a carpet from Iran or Afghanistan, from my favorite brand carpettan.
The basin cabinet in the bathroom is made of a whole piece of Italian marble, and the two copper basins are the industry

Baptiste BOHU

Baptiste Bohu is a French Interior and product designer. Baptiste Bohu runs a multi award design studio specialized in luxury residences, boutique resorts, and Hospitality projects. The studio has an unique approach to design with fully tailored interiors from structure to furnishing and decoration that serves an A-list clientele.
Baptiste Bohu created his own lifestyle collection of furniture, lighting, and home accessories.
Baptiste finds inspiration in various eras and his favorite are 18th century France, Art Deco.

The studio works on Project worldwide and has received from AD magazine the distinction of top 100 designers, and Best Residential interior by Residence Magazine. All the projects have been published in global top design and lifestyle media such as Elle Decor, AD, or the New York Times.

Scroll to Top