Creating stories in buildings, with spaces as the characters

Heidar Sadeki founded Richardson Sadeki in 1999 with Clarissa Richardson, whom he met at Princeton University's Graduate School of Architecture. 
Ti Gong

Heidar Sadeki

Who is he?

Heidar Sadeki founded Richardson Sadeki in 1999 with Clarissa Richardson, whom he met at Princeton University’s Graduate School of Architecture. Their main office is in New York City and they have offices in Hong Kong and Los Angles.

Richardson Sadeki is an award winning design studio that provides interior design, graphic design, packaging, web design, uniform design and language for companies seeking integrated concept development and unique user experiences. 

In the hospitality sector, they have designed hotel interiors, spas, gyms as well as high-end condominiums in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi and China. The studio has won two Gold Key awards and one Hospitality award amongst other accolades for our designs.

Please share with us some of your works.

Some of our notable works include the Bathhouse in Las Vegas, the Viceroy Hotel spa, bar and roof deck in Abu Dhabi. Recently, we were glad to see the completion of our latest collaboration with Phoenix Property Investors in Hong Kong — The Morgan Sky Duplex, which is one of the most romantic spaces I have composed. In designing the duplex, I was inspired by the lush green expanse of Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak, visible from one side of the residence and the city skyline on the other. I created a dialogue between the serenity of the natural environment and the complexity of the urban fabric. The interior design takes on a cinematic narrative, where spaces evoking different emotions while creating contrasts and harmonies as one moves through the residence. 

What’s your design style?

Richardson Sadeki’s body of work is characterized by a cinematic approach to design. Our architectural work has stories and the spaces are characters. Our vocabulary is modern, but each project finds its own articulation that may not fit within a pure definition of modernism. 

We are most responsive to the culture of places we design for, but there is always a Richardson Sadeki DNA in our projects, regardless of geography.

Where are you most creative?

To me, designing projects in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai or New York does not differ in terms of my approach, but it differs significantly in my process.My creative approach is to dream, while my process is to connect my dreams to the context. I am not a ‘signature’ architect, but a ‘context’ architect. My work is different in different geographies, contexts and places.

What does your home mean to you?

My approach to homes in general, and also for The Morgan Sky Duplex, is creating a layered space that has a story of its own. The depth of the layers combined with the narration of space negotiate and juxtapose elements like privacy and connectivity and a tailored movement through the series of spaces that are each characterized very specifically. The different ‘auras’ that defines each space is the most significant aspect of a ‘home.’

What do you collect?

I collect art, mostly from younger artists that are just surfacing. I also love collecting books, including books on art, fashion and cinema, which is where most of my inspirations come from. My first approach to designing a project comes from looking at different books, almost aimlessly until abstract thoughts are formed.

I design spaces with the same approach that I had with making films, which was my first profession. It is never about proportion and function. To me, it is always about colors, materials and the story that is told by a space. Proportion and function appear later as a result of the space narration.

Where would you like to go most in Shanghai?

Shanghai has been a city I’ve been meaning to visit for some time. The city seems to exude this unique sense of dynamism and energy that blends the old and the new.

It has a thriving art and design scene, which I would love to see and experience for myself.

I’ve heard a lot about the M50 art district and the hotels properties that have opened up in the city in recent years. I also look forward to sampling local Shanghainese cuisine which every one keeps raving to me about.

What will be the next big design trend?

I see two trends surfacing: eclectic style and smart mini apartments. Both trends are deeply rooted in modernism. I believe the modernist architecture movement will still be around for years to come. The minimalist approach to modern architecture that was very dominant in 80s and 90s is being replaced by a more playful and eclectic approach that moves beyond just whites and greys.

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