IIDA Awards Gabellini Sheppard Associates
The 1436 brand is known for the gossamer quality of its cashmere. This lightness is what Interior Design Hall of Fame member Michael Gabellini and his partner Kimberly Sheppard sought to breathe into the two-story, 4,300- square-foot interior of the company’s Beijing flagship. With minimal materials but myriad details, Gabellini Sheppard Associates created “an ethereal environment, as if suspended between the earth and the sky,” Gabellini recalls. If the white-oak flooring and paneling represent the earth, the suspended ceilings’ meringue-white folds of cast gypsum are the sky. Downstairs, the folds are restrained. On
the second floor, they appear to billow like clouds. “It is a bit like origami,” Gabellini notes of the switchback staircase, its handrail folding over to house LEDs.
“I was particularly in-
spired by the natural light of the region,” Sheppard says of Inner Mongolia, where the baby goats providing the wool are raised. That inspiration is witnessed in the 24-foot-wide expanse of wall comprising 16,000 translucent acrylic rods. Aside from the symbolism of representing the spindles used to spin yarn, the rods serve a functional role. Pull a group of them out, and they can form shelves for displaying folded sweaters.
Project Team: Daniel Garbowit; Silvia Maffei; Kentaro Ishihara; Bobby Young; Yang Xin.