Archive / October 2017
Tuesday 31 October 2017
MAO Mall is the first physical mall for Alibaba

The first bricks and mortar mall for online tech giant Alibaba is coming out of the ground in Hangzhou, in an exciting move for this global leader in retail innovation. 

With the retail strategy and interiors designed by HASSELL, the MAO Mall is part of Alibaba Group’s ‘new retail’ strategy, which aims to blend online, offline, logistics and data units across a single value chain.

The project featured recently on industry website Inside Retail Asia, which reports: “Alibaba is moving into offline spaces as it remodels traditional retailing. It has already launched unmanned convenience stores and introduced big-data technology to a million small retailers.”

Speaking about the project, HASSELL Principal Carrie Ho said: ”Our design creates an integrated journey between the online experience of shopping with Alibaba and their offline space. It’s an internalised environment and physical display of the online platform. 

“Convenience, connection and experience have been our key drivers while designing MAO Mall with Alibaba. Our brand experience and connection strategy includes the first ever Alibaba concept store and concept museum,” she said. 

HASSELL has a long-term relationship with Alibaba after designing the company's first workplace campus in Hangzhou, where MAO Mall is also located.

Alibaba engaged HASSELL to work on its first bricks and mortar retail mall and provide a physical link for people to connect to the retail brand. The mall is expected to be completed and open by April 2018. 

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Friday 27 October 2017
Introducing Natalie Louey

Natalie Louey has joined HASSELL as Principal to be based in the Singapore studio before moving to Melbourne later in the year.

Natalie joins HASSELL with more than 20 years’ experience working in both Australia and Singapore. As an interior designer with a strong focus on hospitality projects, her work has enabled her to complete projects in SE Asia, Japan, Middle East, India, Africa and Australia.

‘Natalie’s hospitality experience and contribution is broad both throughout Asia and globally. Her expertise, passion and commitment to quality outcomes will bolster the depth of our already strong global team,’ said HASSELL Principal and Hospitality sector leader Paul Semple.

In the ten years Natalie has been in Singapore she has been working with diverse brands such as Hyatt, Hilton, IHG, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore Airlines and Cathay, and has also been invited to provide concepts for projects such as the QE2 ocean liner and the heritage classic Galle Face Hotel in Colombo.

“It has become so important to be able to understand the insights that are driving the trends in lifestyle destinations. We have to be future thinking and confidently steer design towards the new ways we live, work and travel,” said Natalie.

Most recently Natalie has worked on projects including a Hotel Indigo and a Jumeriah Hotel in Bali, a Citigold Retail Banking flagship and the implementation of a Cathay Lounge in Changi Airport. The diversity of projects has provided an opportunity to see how sectors cross over and essentially how important it is to understand the underlying aspirations of the businesses.

“The most engaging part of any project is listening to the vision of stakeholders, staff and end users. Creating lifestyle destinations with touchpoints that can change the way people use and remember the space is the most exciting part of the process,” said Natalie.

Natalie Louey - ONG+ONG
Hilton Mauritius Beach Bar and Dining, Mauritius - ONG+ONG
Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge, Sydney - ONG+ONG

Natalie Louey news
Tuesday 17 October 2017
Exploring density in Sao Paulo

Earlier this month, HASSELL Principal Tony Grist attended the fall meeting of the Van Alen Institute’s International Council in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

It was the first meeting held in the southern hemisphere, following previous meetings in Copenhagen, Munich and Chicago.

The trip included an architectural tour of a range of urban spaces and buildings designed for large populations, including post-WWII and contemporary examples and an unplanned favela.

There was also a multilingual panel discussion with Instituto Lina Bo Bardi (‘Concrete + Conjured: Lessons on Density’), studio visits to local practices and a final day design charrette on density and civic participation involving International Council members and guests.

Tony says it was an opportunity to explore challenges for densification in one of the world’s densest cities.

“Sao Paulo has developed many strategies for high density living, such as the utilisation of vacant multistorey buildings close to the city centre with ‘organised’ occupations," he said.

"But one lesson learnt is that adequate housing for lower-paid populations needs to be provided in city centres, so as to reduce long commutes from distant suburbs and ensure that essential workers can contribute to core service provision."

The result of inadequate densification in city centres is urban sprawl, a familiar issue faced in Australian cities, Tony says.

"But given the scale of Sao Paulo there are also opportunities to create satellite centres that are well serviced by infrastructure and economic opportunity and offer shorter travel distances for portions of the urban population." 

"In Sydney, Parramatta is a good example, as are the planned areas around the new Western Sydney Aiport."

The not-for-profit Van Alen Institute is based in New York and works with architects, academics, policymakers and communities on cross-disciplinary research, public programs and design competitions.

Members of its International Council meet twice annually to investigate issues facing cities around the world, convene with local policymakers, developers, researchers, and designers and identify topics with potential for deeper exploration with Van Alen’s international audience.

The International Council is led by Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Kim Herforth Nielsen, 3XN.

Tony Grist and Mark Loughnan – joint Heads of Design for Architecture at HASSELL – were appointed as members in 2016.

The next Council meeting will be held in early 2018 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Tony Grist drawing with Van Alen International Council members (Credit: Jose Pelegrini)
Van Alen Institute International Council on tour in Sao Paulo
Ibirapuera Park Buildings by Oscar Niemeyer
Oito Building by Isay Weinfeld
Edificio Copan by Oscar Niemeyer

Monday 9 October 2017
Sky Central Named Best of the Best in UK

Sky Central has been named ‘Best of the Best’ at the British Council of Offices (BCO) National Awards in London this week.

In selecting Sky Central for the top spot, the jury said: “Sky has created a genuinely unique and hugely dynamic working environment for its team.”

HASSELL was responsible for the workplace design of Sky Central, which also won the Corporate Workplace award, following success in the same category for the regional awards earlier this year.

The BCO awards are the latest in a growing list of accolades for Sky Central, which has won six major UK awards since its completion in 2016, including the New London Architecture Award in the Workplace category, Creative Spaces at the Estates Gazette Awards 2017, and Commercial Interior Project of the Year in the Mixology17 Awards.

The project is also in the running for the 2017 FX International Interior Design Awards and Blueprint Awards, due to be announced later this year.

HASSELL worked closely with concept architect, AL_A, interior and executive architect, PLP, Arup and Mace to design and deliver the 45,000sqm workplace in West London.

Sky central news
Tuesday 3 October 2017
Mark Loughnan presents at Berlin’s The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory

HASSELL Principal and Board Director Mark Loughnan recently presented in Berlin as part of ‘Museum as Activator: Strategies for public space and access’, invited by ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

The two-day conference consisted of public lectures and panel discussions at ANCB that sparked broader dialogue between cultural experts, institutions, architects, curators and government, focusing on the different strategies required to increase museums’ impact on both a national and global scale.

Mark was part of the panel discussing the topic of ‘The Museum of the 21st Century as Activation Strategy for Public Space’, alongside Dolla Merrillees (The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney), Lisa Havila (Carriage Works, Sydney), and Alex Bowen (Creative Sydney).

The panel discussed evolving museum design strategies across Australia and Germany. Specifically, the conference looked at how to create and enhance public spaces and how cultural institutions today serve as a motor for redevelopment of urban spaces and inclusion within diverse, international, and multi-layered society.

Using a variety of projects as case studies, including the New Museum Western Australia by HASSELL+OMA, the discussion also explored how - apart from their purpose of cultural education -  these spaces are increasingly understood as powerful instruments and activators of urban development.

Mark said that cultural institutions are capable of activating city precincts and infusing even the most neglected areas with new life.

“At HASSELL our goal is to unlock the cultural, social, and economic value of cities and places, and museums and galleries play an important role in this. They are places where people come together and if done right can be transformational.” Mark said.

  • How Can Data Help us Future-proof the Workplace?

    The commercial sphere is shifting under our feet. So how can workplaces be designed for long-term relevance? HASSELL developed the RAW framework to address exactly that.


  • Buildings need to be curated; collaboration with other fields is vital to an era of experience

    As architects and designers, we have to move away from building and creating ‘things’ and instead create places people love - experiences, writes HASSELL Principal Julian Gitsham in Archinect's 'Practice Diary'.


  • Q&A: Matthew Shang, HASSELL

    Matthew Shang has amassed a prestigious portfolio over the 20 years he has been active in the interior design industry, most notably as co-founder of Singapore practice, Distillery, and as a principal at HASSELL, with which Distillery merged in 2015.

    Hospitality Interiors

  • Universities Of Tomorrow Are Becoming High Performing Urban Villages, 7 Reasons Why

    Today’s modern university campus continues to evolve in response to a high degree of disruption. Technological, pedagogical and societal changes and challenges are altering the way we use and appreciate our university campuses. These are the views of Adam Davies who is a leading urban planner, designer and Principal at Hassell.

    The Urban Developer

  • Hive of activity – agile working design

    Agile workplaces that allow staff to choose where they work are making inroads in offices. Liza Young finds out how such spaces will work alongside wellbeing principles.

    CIBSE Journal

  • Creating an Active Waterfront

    The North Bund is a historic area in Shanghai with proximity to the Huangpu River, and it is now undergoing transformation into a lifestyle hub. Andrew Wilkinson, principal at Hassell, talks about the importance of creating a continuous and active waterfront for the area.



    In hectic hospital emergency rooms communication is critical but often difficult. Part of the answer is cleverly designed spaces for staff to talk in that can help reduce mistakes and stress loads.


  • Medibank In Melbourne Champions Green Architecture And Workplace Wellness

    An Australian workplace demonstrates how its championing of green architecture and design provides a comfortable and healthy environment for its workers while enhancing their sense of well-being.


  • State Library of NSW to undergo $15m revamp

    The State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) will be redeveloped with new gallery spaces and a children’s learning centre, following a $15-million private donation from benefactors.


  • Hotel design needs to accommodate the ‘blurred lines’ across our lives

    HASSELL Principal, Matthew Shang gives his take on the changing face of hospitality design ...
    Hospitality Interiors 

  • 5 Mins With HASSELL’s Glenn Scott

    The new ICC is a jewel in the redesigned face of modern Sydney. We sat down Glenn Scott, Principal at international design practice HASSELL and Joint ICC Architecture Director, to understand more about the project and what makes him tick.

  • Reclaiming the wild in our public spaces

    It’s part of our DNA to be drawn towards wild and tactile nature. And globally, there is a growing shift to let it creep back in to our cities, to resist the over-programmed, sanitised and manicured public spaces to which we have become accustomed.
    The Urban Developer

  • Galleries need to move away from the traditional white box

    The Louvre doesn’t do it, and neither does the Guggenheim. The Tate Modern’s new galleries make a good job of it, and the Hepworth Wakefield contemporary art gallery in Yorkshire gets close.
    Adelaide Review

  • Reinventing unused spaces and turning them into parks

    A major exhibition series titled Parks Changing Australia, spearheaded by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), will tell the stories of Sydney’s most progressive new parks and their interstate counterparts.

  • Robb Society - Carrie Ho

    Space, or a design of a space, is a subtle art. It can shock and awe. It can beguile and bewitch. 
    Robb Report

  • Sports venues must be iconic yet functional

    Well-designed and accessible sports venues can prolong the buildings' life, says architect John Pauline. 
    The Straits Times

  • Finger paintings

    HASSELL creates intimate spaces with a huge former warehouse to enable guests and visitors to 'gather and connect'. 
    FX Magazine

  • Dennis Ho on Monocle Radio

    Hong Kong’s booming infrastructure projects pull in architects from all over the world. Dennis Ho moved back to Hong Kong earlier this year after spending more than 20 years working for London-based architecture firm Rogers Stirk Harvour + Partners. We visit him at his new digs in North Point.
    Monocle 24.

  • Esperence Waterfront has its future solidified by HASSELL

    Esperance, located 720 kilometres South-East of Perth, may not be the biggest city in Western Australia, but it is blessed with the country’s favourite asset – clean beaches and clear waters.
    Architecture and Design

  • The Art of Business Travel

    Aviation expert and principal at Hassell design studio Mark Wolfe talks with Nick Walton about terminal design, changing the traveller’s experience, sustainability, and the airports of the future.
    The Art of Business Travel

  • The Great Room features in Wallpaper*

    Wallpaper* visits SIngapore's newest flexible workplace designed by HASSELL, The Great Room. 

Featured Projects