Suzhou, also known as “Heaven on Earth” in Chinese culture, is home to one of the most comfortable and high quality residential areas in the world - the Jinji Lake neighborhood. The Eslite Residence is conveniently located, in the city’s CBD and close to all arts and cultural events, and it’s a mere 200 meters away from the Jinji Lake. The project comes with the popular Eslite Bookstore and the Eslite Spectrum mall. It’s also minutes away from the Suzhou Science and Cultural Arts Center and the Suzhou Expo Center. Together, they have become a unique touch of color to the Suzhou Industrial Park.
The owner of our assignment in the Eslite Residence, Tony, is also a designer by profession. Born into a family of architects, Tony inherited the family’s excellent taste in art and design. Free yet meticulous, relaxed and comfortable, luxurious without being extravagant, Tony’s personal style is heavily influenced by his cross-cultural background and his obsession with living a high quality lifestyle. He drew inspirations from his adventurous personal life, which granted his design for the Eslite Residence apartment a tender resilience that can be found in Eastern philosophies as well as in Western expressions.
Upon entering the space, visitors are greeted by a magnificent view of the Jinji Lake. Sunlight comes rushing down from a full window wall. At each sunset, the waves of Jinji Lake reflect the brilliant sunlight into the room, creating a fluid view so breathtaking that it feels surreal. According to Tony, he would rather present the space, the materials, and the view in their natural state, than adding unnecessary and clumsy decorations and designs. He prefers to show the fluid nature of the space, its reserved disposition, and the finest craftsmanship that was used during its construction. Tony’s ideas fitted perfectly with OUI’s own design philosophy. The most challenging part of the assignment was to balance the indoor and outdoor lighting and, at the same time, accurately present Tony’s art collections in their true colors to the visitors.
While this is Tony’s personal space, it also, in some sense, belongs to his group of like-minded friends. Within the space, Tony has stored seasonal delicacies from all over the world and installed a wine cabinet and a cigar collection. On top of that, he uses the space for regular saloon parties where he and his friends can enjoy fine tea served in the most traditional way and exchange stories about their most recent art encounters. The library, also the owner’s safe haven, is on the second floor. He often spends time reading here alone or in the company of a couple of close friends. Because of the rarity of the objects, it’s all the more important to treat them with the utmost care, Tony said. In the versatile interior space, the light fixtures must be able to serve multiple functions as well. As a result, we installed the TUBE series in the tea room and living room. It can be put away in the top space when it’s not needed but also can be used as a spotlight when lighting up the walls is needed. In the gallery, the SKYLINE series is put in place to create the right kind of ambiance. The walls are equipped with the MASS, LEICA, and PRISM series as spotlights. The walls near the windows are decorated with the DA VINCI and the PRISM series for a layering effect. The combination of lighting design and the interior space is a perfect example of OUI’s mission: creating a lifestyle of light.
Pay attention to the use of space, be proficient in lighting to create an indoor atmosphere, and integrate modern techniques and fitting elements into each design space.