In Pictures: The best-designed show apartments & property visualisations of the year

A showcase of finalists in the Visualisation & CGI and Show Flat & Development categories at this year’s Society of British Interior Designers Awards.

Computer-generated imagery and video presentations are an established component of luxury property developers’ sales arsenals – but the pandemic and its associated travel bans mean that digital marketing is now the mainstay of many campaigns, as well as being a fundamental part of the design process.

The Society of British Interior Designers has highlighted a few particularly spectacular CGI and visualisation examples for its forthcoming Awards, which are due to be held on 22nd October at London’s Nobu Hotel. There’s a mix of residential, hospitality and retail projects in the running for this year’s CGI & Visualisation category, including notable schemes in London, Birmingham, Yorkshire, Spain, Canada, China, and beyond.

Physical show apartments and marketing suites are, however, still the heart of the sales process for many luxury resi schemes around the world. And the SBID has also identified the best of the best this year, which we are also showcasing here – with a pleasing range of classic and elegant to bold, colourful and playful.

Best CGI & visualisation, 2021

Dorchester Hotel Mayfair (London, UK) SHH

SHH were invited by the Dorchester Collection to create potential new design strategies for The Bar at The Dorchester, alongside proposals for transforming an adjacent, under-utilized space to a usage that complimented the function of The Bar. Proposals needed to ensure that each of the spaces be versatile in that they could be used comfortably by guests, and that these guests needs could be functionally catered to, during mornings, afternoons and through into the evening, guaranteeing constant usage of the space throughout the day rather than the current limitations of late-afternoon and evening.

150 Bishopsgate (London, UK) MSMR Architects

Pan Pacific London appointed MSMR to create high quality visualisations as part of its marketing strategy for the launch of London’s first 5* Pan Pacific Hotel. This commission resulted from MSMR’s prior involvement in the interior design of the wider One Bishopsgate Plaza development – a mixed-use, 42-storey tower in the heart of the City of London, designed by PLP Architecture.

MSMR was also appointed as lead designer for the hotel’s corporate suite, as well as being lead designers for the interior fit out of 160 residential apartments. Additionally, working with concept designers Yabu Pushelberg, MSMR has provided executive architect services for the hotel’s interior fit-out.

All images have been created by extracting the 3D geometry from the project’s live Revit model. Further details and pro modes have been added in 3ds Max. Final views have been rendered in 3ds Max with V-ray, and further enhanced in Photoshop.

Antares (Barcelona, Spain) HBA

Antares is a unique synthesis of sensitive, design led architecture on the Barcelona skyline. A unique residential building setting a new bench mark in contemporary living. With miles of coastline unfurling under each terrace window and a sprawling city filled with contemporary art and Catalan heritage, Antares offers the enviable combination of city and seaside living. Hailed as the tallest residential tower in Barcelona, its dynamism reflects the nature of the city itself. Comprising of 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom apartments, duplexes and penthouses, Antares’ 89 residences range from 100 sqm to 386 sqm each with their own private terrace along with amenities that are unique to the site. All CGIs created by V1.

Ascend (Washington, United States) Greenpoint Technologies, Inc.

Greenpoint curated the Ascend interior for a distinguished executive client chasing a balanced lifestyle. Inspiration began with the client’s desire to adjust their priorities, focusing on the luxuries of time and presence. Designed to be the client’s digital concierge, Ascend proactively responds to requests, limits distractions, and facilitates ease of travel. Clients interact with technology concealed within bespoke cabinetry and natural materials through reliable gesture and voice controls. These intuitive features offer clients an elegant interface into the aircraft systems while maintaining a timeless interior aesthetic. Other notable design features include transparent OLED displays expanding across the windows, showcasing serene nature scenes to enhance the client’s wellbeing. Celestial-inspired valance panels with embedded lighting convey the desired atmosphere, illuminating as guests move throughout the cabin. Greenpoint’s Ascend interior effortlessly balances advanced technology and efficiency with an elegant, timeless interior design scheme – resulting in a refined, progressive, and harmonious interior.

Bubble Penthouse (Kyyiv, Ukraine) V.concept by Victoria Vitkovskaya

The apartment is on the top floor in the centre of Kyyiv and has 3 outdoor terraces. The client a young woman, with very elegant and unusual taste. She wanted to make it dark and simultaneously refined and cosy. The designers were required to leave the concrete ceiling; paint the walls dark and to make an extraordinary wall in the bedroom made of textured plaster on a special order. However, the interior was not supposed to look dark, so delicate colours in furniture were used. The client was heavily involved with the design process and had love at first sight when seeing it completed.

Children’s Clothing Showroom (Dubai, UAE) Charles Luxury Interiors Design LLC

The Children’s Clothing Showroom was designed to showcase the clothes of international brands, thus not as a regular shop but as a showroom. The design incorporates a combination of
luxury and childishness.

Visitors are navigated around the Showroom in a specific way. At first, visitors would see the glass shopfront and as you are unable to see the entire interior it creates a sense of enthusiasm and a desire to explore what is inside. The visitor enters and sees the showcases on their left, then finds what looks like an island in the middle of the showroom, enticing them around the room
and discover all the corners and facades of the project.

There are three main areas, two zones for discussion and completion of requests, and the central island. The central island is designed in a way to be a children’s play area, in addition to presenting products in an elegant and modern way. The colours and layout of the project is reminiscent of children’s toys and Lego – playing with geometric shapes. The colour selection of pink blush with green cactus are calm colours, added to it with gold metal and luxurious pink velvet, to reflect elegance and luxury, and modern materials such as terrazzo and tinted glass intertwine with it in a modern melting pot that combines the childish spirit and trendy luxury.

Elegant Palace of Stones (Taichung City, Taiwan) Jazz Space Design

This project is located in the villa in Shalu District, Taichung. The design focuses on a luxurious, magnificent space. With vivid texture and natural black marble as the base, a prosperous water flow is created. With gentle and elegant color selection, marble compartments, wooden materials and high-end leather furniture, create a peaceful atmosphere. The ceiling uses arc geometric ingenuity to create more interesting and natural indirect lighting. With gorgeous crystal chandeliers, the high-rise space is worth savoring from bottom to top.

Forest Green Shaker Family Kitchen (West Yorkshire, UK) Pikcells

Pikcells were asked to deliver a luxurious but attainable kitchen design for use in Wren Kitchens 2021 marketing materials. As this interior was purely an illustrative CGI concept, there was very little restriction on the size and layout of the design. The interior designers planned a functional family kitchen alongside a converted boot room which serves as a home office area, reflecting the recent growth in working from home. A modern classic style had been utilised with green Shaker cabinetry and open shelving to feature an eclectic range of lifestyle props.

Hong Kong Magistrate Courtroom Lounge Interior Refurbishment Lunas

The Hong Kong Magistrate Courtroom Lounge is the former British Police headquarters in Hong Kong. The brief was to transform the interior to a hint of artsy, a pinch of a classic country club vibe and a bit of roaring 20s hidden concerts. All mouldings, furniture, fixtures and decorative elements were fully modelled from scratch based on the photographs and actual overall dimensions of the Courtroom. There were no similar objects in any 3D model library, so all the items had to be recreated with thorough attention to detail as they were an integral part of the concept.

All intricately intertwined in one out-of-the-ordinary design by Jason Volenec and brought to life by Lunas studio. Tender atmospheric light, a slight bit of fog, subtle shadows – all contribute to a perfect picture, which leaves a lingering imprint on the viewer’s memory.

Prince of Wales Drive (London, UK) Angel O’Donnell

Angel O’Donnell was commissioned by St William to design elegant interiors for two apartments in the final phase of the Prince of Wales Drive development: Upper Park Central.

Given the long lead time before the development is due to complete, the client asked them to bring their design concepts to life as CGIs. They produced architectural drawings, detailed room layouts, cross sections, product nominations and fully worked up design boards.

It was then up to their wonderful partners at V1 to fully realise their vision in the most tangible way possible. V1 used industry standard software, 3D Studio Max and the Vray renderer to produce impactful photorealistic visuals. Deployed photographic techniques, such as depth of field, using ISO photographic exposure, to create a rich and immersive look. Each scene is illuminated for a true-to-life representation of light and shade.

Millhouse Residences (Shanghai, China) Harmony World Consultant & Design

Harmony World Consultant & Design sought emphasise the sense of modern light luxury and fashionable simplicity within the Millhouse Residences. The interior and landscape are designed in harmony to give visitors a new perspective and experience a variety of spatial changes.

The soft grey system and the light luxury texture of modern materials are skilfully integrated in the space, and the daily life situation and aesthetic spirit converge here. Marble and metal, leather and cotton and linen match each other. Beautiful lines of furniture, meticulous exquisite technology, and elegant space personality fusion perfectly collaborated.

O-West (al-Jizah, Egypt) Archiform London

Archiform designed CGI’s for O-West to complement the schematic drawings for the interior design. The brief was to design three residential apartments and penthouse with a contemporary style and luxurious finish. Archiform was the interior design consultant under the Misr who was the main consultant for the project.

PAPA Bar (Dubai, UAE) 4SPACE Design

An extremely trendy new venue and is going to bring eight dynamic concepts under one roof, creating a one-stop destination for drinking, dining, socializing and entertainment. PAPA Bar Village is the name of the thrilling new spot coming to Dubai. Spread across a remarkable 12,000 square feet, the place will take its guests on a gastronomic and mixology journey, each themed around a different concept.

Private Beach House in Jeddah (Jawf, Saudi Arabia) Jeffrey Beers International

Inspired by the surrounding luscious landscape and sea views, the design focuses on well-being through interpretation of natural elements such as water, sand and palm trees. The beach house becomes the ultimate retreat to relax and recharge.

The home is 20,000 sq ft and includes 7 bedrooms with walk-in closets and ensuite bathrooms; movie theatre; gym; spa; office; living room; dining room; elevator and terraces.

Purple Dragon (Central Province, Saudi Arabia) Bishop Design by Paul Bishop

Earning its reputation as the “Worlds Best Family Club,” Bishop Design by Paul Bishop were ecstatic when the opportunity arose to develop the London-born Purple Dragon for Saudi Arabia.

It was understood that Purple Dragon was all about creating an elite community for both children and parents, where education and fun could come together. A “home away from home,” that treats members as VIPs regardless of age.

The design gives way to maximum focus and engagement, all the whilst promoting exploration and enjoyment. This is a safe haven, where families can come together whilst indulging in the many opportunities that are on offer. A first for The Kingdom, one that will be welcome with open arms, where the Client is extremely satisfied with how Bishop Design by Paul Bishop have evolved the design, and have achieved a perfect response to the brief that is set to take the Saudi family community by storm!

SAH Private Villa (Dubai, UAE) Studio MWM DMCC

A unique Private Villa; the interior architecture designed by MWM Studio, set in the heart of Khawaneej in the Arabian desert. Sprawling across one level, the interior space equates to 2167 sq ft of pure luxury and contemporary living.

The brief was to work closely with the architects from off plan to completion, to achieve ultimate luxury living with the aim to keep the interior spaces spacious throughout with integrated architectural detailing.

The left side of the Villa houses a state-of-art wellness centre, formal powder rooms, formal dining room connected to a family kitchen, formal living room and playroom. The right side of the Villa is the Family Wing; two unique master suites and the entrance to the daughter’s duplex apartment.

A soft palette of tonal finishes run throughout, a collection of travertine; light and grey, with accent limestone walls and combed stone detailing creates a neutral and layered envelope.

Sanli Mansion (Beiging, China) David Chang Design Associates International

Sanli Mansion is positioned as a high-end private apartment for foreign investors and residents. It is located in the trendiest and most fashionable pioneer neighbourhood in Chaoyang District, Beijing. Adjacent to the embassy district and the four major brownstone districts of Beijing with a well developed international living atmosphere.

Design inspiration was taken from nature which can be seen in the lobby on the first floor which is decorated with a giant artistic lighting sculpture to express the theme of blooming petals. The design inspiration for the private dining room on the second floor comes from flame and forest, which fits the theme of Teppanyaki room and the private dining room. The whisky and cocktails bars on the 21st and 22nd floors have the theme of ocean and galaxy. The walls of the bar on the 22nd floor and its outdoor swimming pool area are built with free curves. The bar ceiling is made of wave-shaped transparent glass, which gives a feeling of sunlight piercing through the seafloor on a sunny day.

Sweet Life (Alberta, Canada) Lori Dundas Interior Design

Sweet Life is a newly constructed penthouse in the neighbourhood of Edmonton. The brief was to reflect the passions of the client and her husband and to also inspire a joyful way of living hence the project’s name ‘sweet life’.

The client’s extensive trips and travel inspired the desire to capture the feeling of being somewhere special and grand. While the husbands love of boating led to precision, clean lines in the design elements, oak wood features and embedded lights mimicking the night skies constellations.

The Carlton (Slaskie, Poland) Alex Kravetz Design

The Carlton is a major regeneration of the city centre’s pedestrian zone block of early 20th century buildings into a modern Grand Hotel and apartments. As a hip and progressive grand hotel in the heart of the city of music, it has re-joined the line up of great, grand hotels present in Katowice.

The Carlton Hotel is a celebration of its dynamic and avant-garde past and present. Due to its vast industrial heritage: transportation, music and movement and uncovered in the many stories represented within the artwork collection of the hotel, items of furniture and decoration accessories. The Carlton creates a timeless grandeur to a contemporary lifestyle, whilst paying tribute to modernism and unconventional thinking. The Carlton is conceived with the belief that the hotel is your own stage of experimentation. A destination where guests can be the creators of their own inspirations and aspirations, creating their own scenes, sets and routines within the playhouse of public spaces.

Carefully curated music events will be staged at the hotel and a wide variety of links will be forged with other music venues in the city to support Katowice’s status as the UNESCO City of Music. The styling of the hotel is distinctly contemporary but with heritage and tradition in mind.

The Grand Hotel (Birmingham, UK) Virtual Resolution

Built in 1879, The Grand Hotel in Birmingham was once the go-to place for the rich and famous but, by the 1990s, the Grade II* listed building had fallen into decline and it closed in 2002.

Virtual Resolution were part of a major £45m project to breathe new life into this most treasured building and worked closely with the design team to create a series of CGIs covering the design process.

The aim was to create imagery that really showcased the beauty, elegance and history of the refurbished building. Key to this was the recreation within the CGIs of the hotel’s existing features such as the stone façade, ornate ceilings, mosaic tiled floors, resplendent grand staircase and sumptuous Grosvenor Ballroom.

Additionally, the new interior styling, fixtures and fittings were designed to add a contemporary element complementing the luxury and opulence of the original features.

Westerly (Ontario, Canada) II BY IV DESIGN and Aareas Interactive Inc.

Vibrant, innovative and modern, Westerly, developed by Tridel and Hollyburn Properties, is located in the Etobicoke Centre community, as a 27-story residence with a luxury boutique hotel feel. Finishes are curated for a warm and neutral colour palette, minimalist in design with exquisite attention to detailing, juxtaposed by natural stone and wood materials.

Located on the 5th floor are communal indoor and outdoor amenities, which includes spacious dining, bar and lounges with an exclusive youth lounge dedicated for a children’s play area. The facilities include WiFi areas and flexibility in space for events or intimate gatherings and all overlooking the surrounding landscape. The amenities were designed to seamlessly connect the interior and exterior amenities as an extension of the home. On the 1st floor amenity spaces, the a fully-equipped fitness, yoga studio and pet spa which offer floor to ceiling windows and a warmth in materiality and visual textures.

Best show flats & developments, 2021

53 West 53, Residence 65 (New York, USA) Rebecca Robertson Interiors

Anchor & Sail (Kaohsiung City, Taiwan) HHNL Architecture & Interior Design

China Jinmao Ji Nan (Shandong, China) Serendipper Design

China Merchants Vanke Tranquil Mansion (Jiangsu. China) Puli Design

Clapham Place Show Home (London, UK) Katie Malik Interiors

East Wick & Sweetwater Marketing Suite (London, UK) Spot This Space

Essex Show House (Essex, UK) Nykke Jones Interiors

Ganzhou Sales Office (Jiangxi, China) Hirsch Bedner Associates

Jiaxing Yango Show Flat (Zhejiang, China) EVD Design

Kaisa Clouds by the River (Chongqing, China) Nine Dimension Design

LIV Residence Penthouse Apartment (Dubai, UAE) Studio MWM DMCC

LUMA (London, UK) Conran and Partners

Modern Forest Aesthetics (Hsinchu County, Taiwan) Chun Fu Development

Nanchang OCT Vanke Waterfront City-Hushan Villa (Jiangxi, China) LSD Interior Design

Prince of Wales Drive (London, UK) Angel O’Donnell

Project Arch (London, UK) Elicyon

Stone Studios (London, UK) Anita Rosato Interior Design

The Dime (New York, USA) Fogarty Finger

TreeHouse by Aria (Queensland, Australia) Aria Property Group

Wuhan ‘the Land of Peach Blossoms’ Showroom (Hubai, China) SWS Group

Wuhan International Smart-Eco City (Hub, China) LSD Interior Design

Xiangxin Fenghuaqijing (Zhejiang, China) EH Design Group

Vote for projects and book a table for October’s awards event at