A childcare and play area at a resort in Großarl, Austria that promotes autonomous, imaginative fun and learning shows new potentials for youth-oriented spatial design.

The ‘children’s farm’ at The Family Nature Resort Moar Gut impressed AEDS principal and founder Ammar Elloueni so much that he declared it ‘makes him want to be a kid again!’. Elloueni’s fellow jurors concurred, giving the 1,000-sq-m interior by Mattsee-based studio In Pretty Good Shape a final score of 7.76 (Learning Space) . The team sought to create an area intuitively accommodating to the needs of little holidaymakers, taking reference from the Montessori school pedagogy and the Pikler free-movement approach. Neil Sharman, design director of architecture at Burberry, noted that he particularly approves of the ‘self-driven brief to make each aspect sensory and full of play’. 

A sustainable play area for little holidaymakers’, the Children’s Farm is located at Großarl, Austria’s The Family Nature Resort Moar Gut.

Our first runner-up is, École Camondo Méditerranée, the design school of the Musée des Arts-Décoratifs of Paris in Toulon.

One of the main reasons the space scored so highly was the designers’ attention to sustainability. In fact, they avoided the use of plastic entirely, citing the overuse of synthetic materials in interiors for children. You won’t see digital toys scattering the centre, nor shiny, colourful surfaces. Instead, the environment was created using wood, sheep's wool, cork and linen, with special play features like a climbing net developed with hemp rope. ‘It’s sustainable design that aims to reference the natural world, atmospherically and in the sense of spatial freedom for our children – our future,’ says Philipp Kirnbauer, director of project and design at Eurest/Compass Group PLC. 

October’s first honourable mention is École Camondo Méditerranée, the design school of the Musée des Arts-Décoratifs of Paris in Toulon, France. The institution tapped Émilieu Studio to devise and build a modular, sustainable school site of 2,000 sq-m, which was awarded with a total score of 7.61 in the category Learning Space. Another educational interior, Mountain House in Mist, made the second spot. Developed by Shulin Architectural Design in Jinhua, China, the non-profit public welfare building gives local villagers a hub for communication and reading. The design – which minds traditional practices and techniques – achieved 7.55 overall. 

Jinhua's Mountain House in Mist is a public learning spot for local villagers.

Technology and materiality work together to create an immersive feel at boutique (So)What Chengdu.

Ancient craft techniques and contemporary fabrication technologies were equally important to The Peacock Cellar’s concept.

A fashion boutique by Various Associates in Chengdu earned the third honourable mention. (So)What Chengdu (7.29; Multi-Brand Store) blends technology and craftsmanship to give clients an immersive, experiential shopping journey. The final award was given to Shanghai bar The Peacock Cellar. Acknowledged for Light (6.16), the August Green project boasts an interior characterized by more than 1,000 individually handcrafted tiles that multi-task as light elements and bottle holders.

Watch the Live Judging Session here: