2014 Icon Awards shortlist: Interior of the Year 26.11.14

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  • Bonhôte townhouse, London, by AOC

  • Markthal, Rotterdam, by MVRDV

  • Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London, by Allies and Morrison

  • Tate Britain, London, by Caruso St John

  • Victoria Beckham store, London, by Farshid Moussavi

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum by Cruz y Ortiz was last year's Interior of the Year. Find out this year's nominees. The category is sponsored by Modus

by AOC

This four-storey townhouse in Stoke Newington, north London, was redesigned by AOC for a young family as a "big and intimate, beautiful and cosy, sophisticated and playful, luxurious and useful home". The floor above the front room was removed to create a double-height space through which a stylish brass-balustrade staircase descends. Personal touches aren't just visible – vintage bikes and other collectables are prominently displayed – but have been made a physical part of the architecture too; each family member's facial profile has been turned into bespoke timber mouldings for skirting boards and wall linings. 

Bonhote 400

by MVRDV, Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam

Brushing aside maxims of tasteful minimalism, MVRDV's Markthal launched itself on Rotterdam this year with impressive gusto. Apart from the building's unusual shape and combination of function – housing and food market – much of its impact is down to its colourful, larger-than-life interior printed with a painting by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam. Adorned with supersized fruit, vegetables and flowers, this contemporary cornucopia is a reminder that architecture doesn't always have to take itself so seriously.

Read our interview with MVRDV founder Winy Maas

Markthal 400

by Allies and Morrison

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe is a faithful reproduction of a Jacobean indoor theatre. Allies and Morrison, along with the reconstruction architect Jon Greenfield, based the design on two drawings from the archives of Worcester College, Oxford, with both frame and detailing in green oak and a ceiling decorated with heavenly clouds in paint and gold leaf. What could all too easily have become pastiche or kitsch is instead a triumph of research that lets us convincingly experience theatre as staged during the 17th century. The 340-seat space is lit only by candlelight.

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse 400

by Caruso St John

Tate Britain has always been a patchwork of architecture from different eras. Caruso St John's recent interior work at the museum is more seamless and creative than several past efforts. The architect has reopened the upper floor to public use and upgraded various gallery spaces. It has also remodelling the central atrium to create a connection between the different wings and levels of the building – and a space that can now be looked upon from the upper level. The resulting design is a subtle, but rich, example of postmodern architecture.

tate 400

by Farshid Moussavi

For Victoria Beckham's first London store, on Mayfair's Dover Street, Farshid Moussavi Architecture created a three-storey space defined by dramatic angles, dark mirrors and polished concrete. A shrine to the no-nonsense style of the former Spice Girl turned fashion maven herself, the 6,000sq ft showroom has no mannequins or tills to clutter it: clothes hang on gold chains that disappear up into a diagonal ceiling grid and customers pay using iPads. Sculpted benches in American walnut are the only touch of warmth in a space that's meant to feel more like an industrial art gallery than a cosy boutique.

victoria beckham 400





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