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d+a is a Singapore-based title established in 2001. We began as a bi-monthly print magazine and have since developed a digital presence too. Advocates of good design and architecture in Asia and Southeast Asia, we also champion Asian designers who are either trailblazing or up-and-coming. Our excellent relationship with the design and architecture community means we are among the first to publish newly-completed projects, and find out how they are done. These we curate to ensure that they are designed with purpose and intention to have a positive imprint on the built environment. Through in-depth features, we analyse the trends, technologies and ideas sweeping across the industry and their implications on the ecosystem.
A meet-up with Piero Lissoni in his Milan office last March revealed his emphatic belief that architects must always be respectful and responsible when designing a project by not making others “victims” of their work. One application of this is to the importance of context – something that the projects featured in this issue are mindful of. For example, Raya Heritage is a new hotel in Chiangmai, Thailand by Boon Design. Faced with a brief from the client to have the property connect to traditional northern Thai culture, the firm created a building with tiered roofs and a structural integrity inspired by vernacular architecture. From Spain comes a villa, Stgilat Aiguablava, by architect Enric Ruiz-Geli and Cloud 9. It establishes a dialogue with the landscape, culture and materials of the Costa Brava region where the house is located. A second house, featured on the cover of this issue, is named Surprising Seclusion by HYLA Architects. Designed more as a response to the context of a dense, noisy urban environment, it turns inward with spacious inner courtyards layered with interlocking voids, and an abundance of internal landscaping and natural light. Even interior projects can and should be aware of context. The Penthouse Suites of the Ascott Orchard Singapore – and the entire property, for that matter – take their cue from its location along the shopping belt and have interiors inspired by fashion. Designed by Ascott's in-house team led by Kian Liew, they are fitted out with pieces from the home collection of Fendi.