China is the focal point of art and culture in East Asia, considered by many to be the golden gem of the Orient’s own cradle of civilization. Thomas Dariel (Dariel Studio) designed one ground breaking apartment in Beijing, China, using a number of fantasy elements to binge dream the viewer into visual ecstasy.

Multi-award winning designer Thomas Dariel, owner of Dariel Studio, recently completed his latest residential project in the vibrant area of Sanlitun, Beijing, for a client’s 1500 sqm meter apartment, featuring a unique level of eccentricity much cater to the client’s personality.

The space consists of twelve different apartments spread over two floors to form a penthouse, creating a voluminous sense of spaciousness within the interior. The sheer size of this property can easily create a sense of openness, allowing designers to play with the lines, shapes, and

colors, hence exuding the home’s nonconventional nature. Coming to the living room, the area is supported by several spindle-shaped columns and mirror colored beams, so that the viewer does not know where the room ends or begins. The space makes use of optical illusions to increase the sense of spaciousness with the zone and also creating a mesmerizing effect on the various elements in and around the room itself. “While having a rather low ceiling, the entrance also uses an optical illusion that brings the same spatial feeling. When entering, a dark wooden path guides the visitor through the main hall, surrounded by spiraling black and white glossy reflective stripes. Ones have difficulty to position themselves in this psychedelic space,” said a press statement from the studio.

This spiral staircase is considered to be the centerpiece of this particular apartment which extends up from the living into a space which connect all the zones of the apartment being ‘the pith of the space structure’. Following the philosophy of any Feng Shui master, the first floor of the penthouse consisted of exclusively public zones, such as the living room or the dining room, whereas the second floor was set aside for private spaces, such as bedrooms.

Paying homage to a rich sense of postmodernism, the use of bright, strong colors as well as decorative surface patterns and asymmetric lines become a main feature in the design scheme of this particular space. Inspired by the Memphis postmodern movement led by Ettore Sottsass, the designer felt that it was all the more necessary to recapture this theme within the vast space that makes up this penthouse. “I was influenced a lot by the Memphis movement and the designs from that period, these are positive memories from my childhood which I wanted to bring them back into the design,” said Dariel.

Visual language within the residence is used to tell a story of rich tones and using the flowing surface patterns as well as color to evoke emotions so that the visitor can experience the interior and the narrative rather than simply look at it. Art work also plays an substantially important role in the reinforcing the narrative such as the “Lost Dogs” piece by Aurele as well as Claudio Colucci’s masterpiece “Squeezes” which evokes a graceful sense of mystery in the apartment.

“I was influenced a lot by the Memphis movement and the designs from that period, these are positive memories from my childhood which I wanted to bring them back into the design,”

Being the last project that Dariel completes in his 30s, he did his best to market it well as a masterpiece of postmodernism paying homage strongly to his identity as a designer. “This project is for me then ending chapter of my design before my 30s. I gathered all my design signatures, references and styles and expressed them through a design, referring to who I am.” Being optimistic, he hope to complete many more projects for the future.

Design Company: Dariel Studio Designer: Thomas Dariel Project Manager: Nathan Hou Area: 1500 m2 Images courtesy of Dariel Studio