Lawson Robb have been shortlisted for Luxury Residence – London in The International Design & Architecture Awards. Read more about Studio Director, Eva Leone, below.
Name: Eva Leone
Company: Lawson Robb
Position within company: Studio Director
Tell us a little about your background in design:
With a masters in both architecture and interior design, my 13 years in the design industry have been equally split between Milan and London with experience working for renowned practices as Antonio Citterio & Partners and LTW Design Works as well as being a professor at the European Institute of Design in Milan.
I re-joined Lawson Robb after a period in Asia Directing the Hospitality Interior Design Team of DWP. Since then I have been working closely with the team at Lawson Robb to deliver exceptional projects and nurturing client’s relationships.
How would you describe your personal design style?
The design language I use is stratified and eclectic and unites a poetic vision with a rigorous design using interesting materials, quirky shapes and organic textures paired with a neutral palette and bold accents colours.
Design for me means extracting the DNA of an idea and seeing what can be developed from it. Each project has its own story to tell. It is the project’s identity that sets the design style. My schemes are therefore not merged into the uniformity and trends of today. The success of my projects is attributed to the uniqueness of each design and bespoke approach to each project. Good interior design is more than the way things look, it is about how the space is to be used, the person who inhabits it and enhancing the environment.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My architectural background and Italian origins play an important role in the way I approach a project. My inspiration comes from a defined geometry and rigorous research of the Master of Architecture, fashion and art. Everything is combined with a subtle play on the impact of traditional forms and an artful approach to luxury interior design.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design is moving towards the creation of a multi-sensory experience. Clients are looking for an emotional and personal tone to the design scheme as a whole.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
In the future, homes will have to be built with the Coronavirus pandemic in mind, making access to outdoor spaces a major selling point on buyers’ checklists.
Functional Entrance Hall
Coronavirus has challenged the concept of open space redefining the home boundaries such as the need of a confined and properly equipped entrance hall. The entrance hall is now moving from being a “transitional space” into “the first room of the house”. A functional room where to “clean us” from the outside before embracing the domestic intimacy. The apartments we designed benefits both of very generous entrance halls that can be accessories to facilitate people to leave the virus outside. This space will have to allow the collection of the clothes used outside, shoes and masks and have possibly a direct access to a powder room where to wash our hands.
Working from Home
A big part of isolation has been that most have been forced to work from home and so increased need for flexible spaces. Where it will not be possible to dedicate a room to an office space, designers will have to explore how the same space can cover different functions without compromising the aesthetic of it. Clever fit out joinery solutions will play a huge role on the achievement of workspace area. Real estate developers may even be pressured to implement community workspaces within future residential projects, complete with enclosed workspaces conceived to protect residents from the spread of germs and future pandemics.
Redefinition of forms and materials
Surface treatments have come in for scrutiny during the pandemic. I forecast a desire to develop more hygienic spaces with the emphasis on light, air, simplicity of form and longevity and practicability of materials.
Our lives are becoming more informal, hybrid, nomadic and entertaining. People, especially millennials, either at home or at work, want to be entertained and express their personalities. These needs can be met with a more experimental, interactive and playful design through a curated selection of furniture and accessories.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Do not copy, crop and paste other interior designers’ projects but invest time into getting inspired from watching a movie, a fashion show or an art exhibition. Also, visit site at the very begging, perhaps a couple of time and feel the energy of the space, study how the natural light behaves during the day and how the outdoor influence the indoor. Brainstorm with your team and don’t be afraid to put on the table even the most bizarre ideas, they will develop with the project and refine themselves towards the right direction.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
The Awards are important on many different levels. For our design teams, and increasingly our clients, they are a recognition of the time and passion that has been invested in a project and they create a healthy level of creative competitiveness in the industry and set creative standards to aim for.
What projects are you currently working on?
Lawson Robb are working on two penthouses, one in Mayfair and one in St James. The completion of our 57.5 meter yacht is keeping us busy until 2021 and we are looking forwards to its launch at the Monaco Yacht Show. Oversea we are completing an exciting luxury residential complex in Palma De Mallorca consisting of 5 units and a penthouse with a gym, pool and cinema.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To push the expansion of Lawson Robb to the yacht and hospitality industry and to continue pushing the design boundaries towards the creation of unique spaces.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
The unique objects my partner and I hunt while travelling around the word and collected while living in Asia: a 100 years old Buddha from Sri Lanka, a Japanese sake set, dinner plates from Thailand and Greece, Teste di Moro ceramic vases from Sicily, big fans from Bali etc.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
– Casa Cook hotels for achieving the creation of an alternative hospitality space where the guest feels like living in a friend’s house, a relaxed atmosphere, where luxury services are offered carelessly and discreetly, abolishing the stereotype of the hotel. Minimalist architecture, simple materials, raw surfaces, off-white cubic plain forms and dry-stone walls are framed by the local nature.
– The Restaurant at Eco del Mare in Lerici. A natural chic environment in front of the sea that serves authentic flavours of typical Ligurian dishes.
– The Artisian at Langham Hotel when Simone Caporale and Alex Kratena were in charge, for its experimental cocktails.
Your favourite book, film & song?
– 1984 by George Orwell for its futuristic vision.
– Vanilla Sky by Cameron Crow because it has one of those plots that doubles back on itself like an Escher staircase and its soundtrack.
– I don’t really have a favourite song. My music selection depends on my state of mind and can span from artists like Radiohead to Nina Simone up to Solomun.
Your favourite food and drink?
Pizza and Scharzhofberger Kabinett Egon Muller any vintage.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
With my family, enjoying a good meal and a good bottle of wine. Possibly outdoor on the seaside.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I guess a lawyer. When I was 14 years old, I decided to read the Italian Constitution. Thankfully my dad DNA came out and I decided for another route.
Lawson Robb have been shortlisted for Luxury Residence – London Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards.
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