Design Icons

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design ICONS


his year’s edition on architecture and design in the Beyond Black series is titled Design Icons.

Rather than focusing on landmark buildings around the world, we have invited participants from different continents to offer their own definition of “iconic” and to identify their project or projects that best fit that definition. Some of those featured are globally recognized and celebrated household names; others are trailblazing their way to creating the iconic designs of tomorrow. We hope their work provides the reader with as much joy and inspiration as it has the editors of the book.

First published in 2018 by BB PUBLICATIONS

© B.B. Publications 2018 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book. ISBN 978-1-905904-73-0 Designed by 2 design ICONS


Contents ARCHITECTURE The World Jean Nouvel 6 Harcourt Developments 12 A-MDM 22 CAZA 28 Nicholas Plewman 34 GM Architects 42

Alter Urban Architecture 92 Carney Logan Burke Architects 98 KZ Architecture 106 Lilian H Weinreich Architects 112 VLAC 118 Asia

Blakstad 48

Apollo Architects & Associates 130

Sean Cassar 54

Aamer Architects 136

The Americas Lawrence Chisholm & Associates 60 Dean Larkin 66

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INTERIOR DESIGN Van Bruchem Staircases 148 Jason Mizrahi 156 LOCO Design 160 Olga Hanono 164 Kezia Karin Studio 170 Purvi Padia 176 Juan Poggi 182 Mar Silver 188 Alexandra de Garidel 194 Sig Bergamin 202


Dori Hitti 210

Liza Borzaya 142

Interiors by Design, Inc 216

Hundred Mile House 74

Atelier Wilda 220

Phil Kean 80

Renata Pfuner 224

Mark Macco 86

BSPK Design 230 5



Close-up view of the interlocking disks of the upcoming National Museum of Qatar designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel Photograph by Iwan Baan

The National Museum of Qatar An identity takes form Qatar is a young nation in the Persian Gulf, a peninsula, a tongue surrounded by water where the desert reaches into the sea. The Qatari descend from a nomadic Arabian people who settled in this maritime desert. Some became fishermen, others hunted for pearls. Some looked to the nation’s hidden treasures, the resources that lay beneath the sand or under the sea. Others, inspired by their country’s central location in the Gulf, began to talk, to communicate, to reach out. The impulse for this metamorphosis came from Doha. A glance at photographs of Doha in the 1950s and 1960s, compared with today, is sufficient to understand how much this part of the world has changed.

View from Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani's Old Palace into the courtyard of the upcoming National Museum of Qatar designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel Photograph by Iwan Baan

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From a little village, it has become a capital. What could be more natural, then, than the desire to testify, to talk about identification, about the evolving identity of this country as it reveals itself on the sensitive paper of history? And what could be more logical than to give concrete expression to this identification process in a National Museum of Qatar that will relate the physical, human and economic

geography of the country, together with its history? One place was symbolically destined to fulfill this role: the cradle of the Al Thani family in Doha; a modest, noble, simple palace from where this twentieth-century adventure began. It stands at the city’s southern entrance, the busiest urban gateway as it also welcomes visitors arriving from the airport. The architectural study which initially was coupled with the programmatic study, brought to light the underlying paradox of this project: to show what is hidden, to reveal a fading image, to anchor the ephemeral, to put the unspoken into words, to reveal a history which has not had the time to leave a mental imprint; a history that is a present in flight, an energy in action. The National Museum of Qatar is proof patent of how intense this energy is. Of course it will be home to the traditional geological and archaeological artifacts; of course tents, saddles and the dishes will bear witness to nomadic life; of course there will be fishermen’s utensils, boats and nets. Most importantly, though, it will spark an awareness that could only

otherwise be encountered, experienced, after months spent in the desert, in pursuit of the particularities that elude our grasp except when the whims of Time and Nature allow. Or by taking an helicopter or 4WD to discover the contrasts and stretches of beach of the Qatari peninsula. Everything in this museum works to make the visitor feel the desert and the sea. The museum’s architecture and structure symbolize the mysteries of the desert’s concretions and crystallizations, suggesting the interlocking pattern of the bladelike petals of the desert rose. A nomadic people builds its capital city and talks about it through this emblematic monument built with the most contemporary construction tools (steel, glass and fiber concrete), and will communicate through high-definition cinema, incorporating visitors’ movements into its museography : this museum is a modern-day caravanserai. From there you leave for the desert and you return from it bringing back treasures: images that remain forever engraved on your memory. Definition of “iconic”: “One word: Unforgettable.” Jean Nouvel


Arial view of the upcoming National Museum of Qatar designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel Photograph by Iwan Baan

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Titanic Belfast Museum The proud winner of World's Leading Tourist Attraction, Titanic Belfast Museum is the cultural nucleus to a massive waterfront regeneration project: the Titanic Quarter. In late 2003, the Northern Ireland Tourism Board identified a "Titanic / Maritime attraction" as a signature project for the country's tourism. The concept was translated into detailed plans and implemented by Harcourt. They enlisted the help of CHL, Event Communications, and Kay Elliot - as well as hundreds of historians, set designers, and AV/lighting specialists.

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Harcourt broke ground in May 2009, and the building opened to critical acclaim in March 2012, the Titanic centenary. The proximity of the historic slipways, the Harland & Wolff Offices, and Hamilton Graving Dock were central considerations during the design, planning and construction. These heritage elements are not just protected monuments; they are cornerstones of Belfast's collective memory and cultural identity. The museum stands at the head of those historic slipways, where Titanic and Olympic were built and launched.

Inlaid into the white stone walkway is a life size plan of the liners' promenade decks, including the positions of lifeboats and funnels. The wooden benches are also configured as they would have been on board. The lamp posts, on the other hand, represent the stanchions of Arrol Gantry – once one of the world’s largest cranes. The names of Titanic's dead are permanently set in vertical glass panels along the slipways.


Next, the outdoor plaza represents a map of Titanic’s story, with light and dark tiles representing sea and land. A track follows the liner's voyage, from Belfast to New York – at night it is illuminated by LEDs. The wooden benches encircling the museum are spaced in a Morse code sequence: moving clockwise around the plaza, they read out Titanic's distress message.

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Seen from above, the star-shaped building itself resembles the logo of White Star Line. American 'starchitect' Eric Kuhne, with Todd Architects, designed the remarkable exterior, which articulates many maritime metaphors including water crystals and ships' bows.

these panels, two thousand are completely unique, while none of the ‘typical’ ones repeat more than twenty times. The effect is startlingly random, always managing to catch the light - like a cut diamond, perhaps – and is enhanced by reflective pools of water surrounding the building's base.

The outward-leaning façade is clad in three thousand silver-anodized aluminium sheets, folded into complicated, asymmetrical geometries. Of

Inside the central atrium, a series of glass escalators stretch up through a jagged central void. The museum's unique structure contains

nine interactive galleries including a dark ride, underwater exploration centre and recreations of Titanic’s cabins. Titanic Belfast Museum is now one of the most popular attractions in the world, and a fitting tribute to that vessel's tragic history.


and plaster techniques. Where it could not be salvaged, existing ornamental mouldings were studied and facsimiles made. A fourth floor was added, replicating the original mansard roof, and new pavilions were re-instated between the Drawing Offices. The restoration was completed in September 2017; and the building has become a shining symbol of Belfast’s golden age.

Titanic Hotel Belfast

The Harland & Wolff Headquarters was once 'The Heart of The Yard' at the largest shipyard in the world. For more than a century, hundreds of ships were designed there and constructed on the adjoining slipways - including the legendary White Star liners Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, and the warship HMS Belfast. The company contributed to the creation of the ‘Floating Hotel’ with its Grand Staircase, and their innovations influence the design of cruise ships to this day. The splendid Victorian Drawing Offices, with their three-storey high, barrel-vaulted ceilings, are the only surviving example of this architecture in the world. Harland & Wolff vacated the building in 1989, and it was abandoned for nearly thirty years. In 2016, a partnership between Titanic Foundation, Heritage

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Lottery Fund and Harcourt Developments began the transformation of a derelict landmark into a unique boutique hotel. The Grade B+ listed building was sensitively restored, within architectural heritage protection guidelines. The project received input from Harland & Wolff ship designers, and in many areas authentic materials were used for construction. The original fabric of the building was retained, with decorative features and artefacts reused wherever possible. Steel was sourced from the same Scottish supplier as for the late-1880s Majestic and Teutonic; and the mild steel beams were riveted with the same type used in Titanic-era construction. Even the ground floor's tiles are identical to those in Titanic’s first class smoking room. Working closely with conservation architects, the walls were redone using traditional lath

Throughout the hotel, guests can enjoy over 500 artworks, artefacts and photographs. This museum-grade collection was created in collaboration with institutions, historians, private collectors and local artists. Notably, the main bar is decorated with 342 octagonal, 378 diamond Villeroy and Boch tiles. Discovered prior to refurbishment, they are identical to those used for the swimming pools and First Class bathrooms on Titanic and Olympic. Both public spaces and accommodation are a blend of historic and contemporary, inspired by the 'Golden Age of Ocean Liners'. Each bedroom has Art Deco furnishings, alongside nautical touches such as ship's lanterns, riveted panels and unique maritime artworks. Guided by the area's shipbuilding history and culture, Titanic Hotel Belfast has remained true to the story of Harland & Wolff. Now, the hotel is proud to welcome the public into this architecturally spectacular, historically important building.


Stanley Dock Stanley Dock, Liverpool, sits at the heart of the largest and most complete system of historic docks anywhere in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a key heritage asset for Liverpool city. Harcourt is currently transforming Stanley Dock into amenity-rich, mixed-use spaces that preserve the charm of the original architecture. Millions of bricks, thousands of panes of glass, and hundreds of steel girders constitute what was once part of the life blood of the thriving Port of Liverpool – the warehouses. Rum and tobacco imported from exotic locations were stored in these great brick buildings, the size of which the world had never seen before. The docks at the mouth of the Mersey River pioneered modern dock technology, transport and port management. Liverpool quickly became the second-most important city of the empire; and the trade that flowed through its waterfront and canals was at the core of this success. Designed by the renowned architect Jesse Hartley of Albert Dock fame, Stanley Dock comprises three architecturally and historically important buildings - the North, South & Tobacco Warehouses - all of which are Grade II and II* Listed.

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The principal of these is the iconic Tobacco Warehouse. Standing 38 m high, the 14-storey building was at the time of its construction in 1901 reported to be the world's largest brick building, with a floor-area of 150,000 square metres. This required 27 million bricks, 30,000 panes of glass and 8,000 tons of steel. The warehouse could accommodate 70,000 hogsheads of tobacco, each weighing 453 kg, which were stored for up to 15 years before being traded on. All the architectural details of the building have been retained to remind residents of its rich history. Every apartment is a juxtaposition of exposed brickwork, ceilings and carefully restored windows, and stunning contemporary finishes. Duplex apartments offer views of Stanley Dock and magnificent Titanic Hotel to the north and a new internal courtyard to the south. Those on the upper levels also enjoy views southwards to Pier Head and Liverpool's world heritage waterfront skyline. At the top of the building are exclusive 2-bedroom penthouses, newly built above the roof level with extra high ceilings and private access from the thirteenth floor. ď Ž



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Mikhail and Nadi Povstaniuk

–MDM is an international design and .manufacturing firm involved in the architecture and construction industries. The company values innovation, uncompromising quality and individual approach to its clients, providing the full gamut of services, from project management and feasibility study, to urban design & master planning, to architecture & interior design, to engineering & structural design.

Structurally, this technology is similar to high rise steel buildings (extremely strong, light weight and with fast installation). The finishing and decoration are similar to high-end brand shops (high-end in the sense of quality of materials, lighting and furniture).

The A-MDM Pre-Crafted concept is an onfactory production of all the component parts of a building and its interior, as well as shipping and fast installation in any location by skilled workers.

An A-MDM Pre-Crafted building can be installed in any climate zone and seismic condition suitable for human habitation.

It is not prefab/stamped technology, but rather, each building/interior is produced individually by craftsmen, with the only possible copies being done for a single development/location.

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The façade material is fiber-cement, itself highly durable, water and freeze-resistant. Shipping is in 20-40 ft containers.

Featured Projects The architecture of Villas A and C2 represent a solid solution with the environmental design, architecture, landscaping, interior design and production round up to a holistic Pre-Craft Product.

The unique character of the Villas is based on a spiritual connection with the environment and the inner harmony of the human being. It plays the inaudible music of a calm river and freedom of space, creating an atmosphere of calmness leading the mind and heart into serenity. Villas A This iconic villa will inspire and astound you with its fluid lines, dynamic sculptural poise and imaginative spatial experience. Sitting atop the highest points of the Anamaya estate, it provides spectacular panoramic sea views. Taking the lead from the surrounding terrain, a series of terraces usher the landscape into the heart of the building, affording an intimate interaction between garden, sea view and internal space.

Each villa features two infinity pools, offering both sunrise and sunset vistas, an ocean view gymnasium, personal digital cinema and recreation rooms. All suites have uninterrupted ocean views and the 108m² master suite has panoramic views to the east, west and north. Extensive dining and relaxation areas are supported by full staff facilities, two fully equipped kitchens and entertaining space for up to 120 people, making it the perfect location for large family gatherings, groups and special occasions.


Villas C2 The villas share the same dramatic views, continuing the seamless relationship between architecture and nature with aesthetic curves and balanced lines. The villas combine the natural beauty of the landscape with a stylish, contemporary architectural design. At the heart of each is the spacious living and entertaining area which can be opened up entirely to the outdoor terrace, garden and private infinity pool. Shaded and open to sea breezes, the dramatic panoramic views make this the perfect place to relax. Indoors, a

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contemporary island kitchen with stunning views over the dining area, terrace and pool provides a special place for entertaining. The interior design is integrated in the architectural and landscape designs. The highly aesthetic specially designed lights are integrated in ceiling and walls, providing a special atmosphere adapted to any mood, weather or day/night time and controlled by a smartphone. White Fibre-Cement walls create the perfect harmony between shape and space, aesthetically curved and balanced lines naturally harmonized with environment. Wood and glass add warmth and

brightness. The light interior decorating colour palette and round shapes create soft and pleasant architectural interiors and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. Villa C2 has 2 car parking spaces under cover and a charging station for electric cars. The charging station is part of the smart house technology - optionally it can be part of the generating system for hydrogen engine cars. The villas can be supplied with an independent power supply and solar panels on the roof capable of providing 20kw per hour. ď Ž



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AZA (Carlos Arnaiz Architects) is a Brooklynbased design studio with branch offices in Manila, Bogotá and Lima and a team of design professionals who espouse an innovative architectural thinking. This is a collaborative team committed to the construction of buildings informed by inspirational ideas. Whether designing a bespoke residence, creating a master plan for a vibrant urban center, or rethinking an office building, CAZA’s approach is based on the belief that “design breakthroughs transform material culture into new modes of social expression”. “Our work represents an engagement with the history of buildings – through reinventing traditional cultural spaces in the context of fashion, craft, art and architecture, these new creative projects can communicate the digital complexity and environmental interconnectivity of the 21st century.” Definition of “iconic” “An icon can communicate on its own and yet the iconic is powerful because it speaks

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without words. The iconic is timeless because the message it imparts is not fixed in time. We encounter an icon and are immediately affected. We want to say something about the experience precisely because the iconic makes wonder tangible. The iconic in architecture has a consciousness about things in the world and as a result, iconic projects have the power of renewing our relationship with our environment.”

Ocean Center Coastal Architecture in the age of climate change has become an increasingly precarious proposition. The Ocean Center project is designed to anticipate massive change: both ground and structure modulate natural systems enabling them to flow through in a measured and calculated way. The effect is that these natural forces activate architectural space at varying material intensities replacing the usual modernist paradigm of autonomous occupation with a feedback model relating human activity to environmental conditions. Markets, local shops, an oceanographic museum, apartments, a convention center and playfields are held together as disparate parts with multiple orientations that create the feeling of being within a micro-village with no outside but instead with a profusion of fractional insides that connect us to other places extending the loop of nature’s deep connectivity.

Frame House The Frame House is located on a steep slope overlooking the South China Sea. The design consists of a compact arrangement of equally sized concrete cubes with one outward-facing aperture. Each cube defines a different room in the house, and frames a specific view of ocean, sky, or garden. The effect is a home that is calculated yet whimsical, with a series of distinct yet interconnected rooms. The architecture enables a playfulness to emerge from a self-similar system. The first-level clusters center around a sunken garden, the second level focuses attention around the pool, and the third orients the viewer out towards the waterfront.


“The iconic in architecture has a consciousness about things in the world... iconic projects have the power of renewing our relationship with our environment.”

BCDA Iconic Building The 21st century is the age of Nature and the new BCDA building is designed as an icon for this emerging eco-consciousness. The building is a multi-level landscape beginning from an expansive public park on grade to a vertically-hanging arboretum along the circulation cores, and up towards a health-themed urban roof farm. The new BCDA building is both an ecological machine and environmental museum: the vertical arboretum harvests water to display plant species that live in different parts of the Philippines, the urban farm reduces the building’s heat load while supplying local produce to the public, and the wellness center turns a fitness hub into a net-zero energy display. The building reinforces the BCDA’s critical role in infrastructural development and imparts the vision of an ecological future that is at once positively inspiring and exhilarating to experience.

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New Supreme Court CAZA’s new Supreme Court for the Philippines is a symbol of judicial transparency for Asia’s oldest democracy. The building is a 3-dimensional hyperbolic loop hanging over a botanical garden whose form represents the complex functional interconnections required by contemporary court houses. Composed of six rectangular volumes engineered to create one integrated seamless work environment for the delivery of judicial

services, the open architectural form created also enables the building to sustain a collection of locally-themed gardens through rainwaterharvesting terraces. The building stands as a monument to multiplicity – a totem of connectivity that connects with the tradition of tribal architecture in the Philippines, while employing new technologies that envision a more optimistic way of living on our planet. 



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Nicholas Plewman, the founder of the eponymous South Africa firm, has carved a 20 year reputation as THE safari lodge/bush villa architect in the region. The practice has completed over 35 projects across Southern and East Africa for high profile clients and stands out among other competitors for the originality of its designs and the credibility it has built over the years. “We have been lucky to have been able to explore some really exciting building forms. ​ here in the past many operators have played W lip service to environmental consequences and sustainability, today there is strong emphasis in the industry to be as sustainable as possible. This is based on genuine concern but is also market-driven by visitors to the continent who are increasingly environmentally aware and expect accountability. Sustainability involves three principal factors: The primary imperative in Africa is that the impact on the immediate environment is contained and the long term stability of that environment secured by the sustainability of its benefit to the communities in and around it. The second imperative is a global one, namely the requirement to minimize the embedded carbon footprint of development. The third is more subtle: it is to contextualize and demonstrate local sustainability within a global environmental consciousness.” Competing against an existing landscape of imaginative and creative projects on one hand and some of the most spectacular natural landscape on earth on the other is not a challenge that can be underestimated.

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Plewman explains: “While architecture can respond to the first two imperatives more or less mechanically, the third rests entirely in design and in an appropriate aesthetic. This is what makes our practice tick: we incorporate appropriate mechanical responses automatically, but teasing out an aesthetic that speaks uniquely to and for a particular environment so that the hotel or lodge distils the essence of that environment and symbolizes​it to the wider world is the challenge. ​ e hope that doing it well is what distinguishes our W work from others.” Definition of “iconic” in the context of architecture in general and in the context of African architecture “‘Iconic’ is a much misused word, especially in architecture, where it speaks more to trend and egotism than it does to sustainability or “greatness” in the way the latter word might be applied to works of architectural significance in the past. But in the sense that I believe you are using it here in the context of African architecture, it is work that eschews cliché and can be recognised to have taken the next step in the architectural discourse of its particular milieu. In the context of the safari industry, the buildings that first departed from the prevalent colonial narrative to explore an intrinsically African aesthetic were ‘iconic’ in their day but today, being much copied, have themselves become a cliché. Truly iconic buildings should speak to their own time but also transcend it. If we can look back at them a quarter of a century later and say “wow”, then perhaps they are iconic.” Sandibe​ Designed and executed in partnership with Michaelis Boyd Associates, Architects. I built the original lodge on the site 18 years ago. Modestly successful in its own way, the old lodge corresponded more to client requirements than to my own instinctive responses. I lived on site for over a year (much of it alone in the wilderness) and formed a very intimate bond with, and knowledge


of it. Two decades later, freed by years of trust built up over many projects between myself and the client, I was extraordinarily lucky to be allowed to unleash 18 years of conscious and inchoate re-design upon an environment to which I had a deep emotional attachment. In this I was more than ably supported and abetted by Alex Michaelis of Michaelis Boyd. The two firms worked very closely to tease out the design from these inchoate responses. The execution of a building that threw conventional structure out of the window required considerable lateral thinking. Furthermore it had to be constructible in a remote wilderness, far from the conventional support bases of industry and supply. Gigantic laminated portals were manufactured far away in transportable sections. Everything else was, cut, carved or nailed together by a huge team of artisans living and working between a plethora of wild animals for many months.

Bisate I think Bisate is iconic because​, again the design sought to turn the conventional narrative of latter day Rwanda upside down. In post genocide Rwanda there is an enormous and mostly laudable effort to “normalize” the country by suppressing ethnic identity in favour of collectivizing the whole country into a deliberately unremarkable middle class aesthetic. In the context of the country’s recent history this is understandable, but it comes at the huge price of losing all that was unique to this remarkable corner of central Africa and intrinsic to its volcanic landscape. We tried to find that again with reference to its ethnic architectural heritage, but more profoundly (hopefully), to the very origins of the great apes, of which we ourselves are number and our earliest instinct to make shelter.

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“Truly iconic buildings should speak to their own time, but also transcend it.”

Wilderness has been all but eliminated from Rwanda - the last being high in the Virunga mountains. So even our site, within spitting distance of that tenuous vestige into which the world’s last mountain gorillas have retreated had long been subdued to the plough. Beautiful in its own fertility, I nevertheless thought that the buildings on the site needed to yearn for the forest beyond, as if they might pick themselves up one day and follow the apes that inspired them into the forest or, more hopefully, might inspire the community into which they are embedded to bring the forest back to them. They are both the gorillas’ nest and the beautiful baskets that their human

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cousins weave from the same bamboo to make granaries, shelter, carry bag and sleeping mat. We clustered them into a hillside village rather than arraying them in conventional lodge style, again in reference to the hominid instinct which predicated a better future in community than apart. The site was also a perilously steep and less than stable mountainside. Both forming and fixing our basket nests to the landscape was something of an engineering feat. We worked with the same wonderful Cape based engineers, Garry Sheard and Case Bakker of DEVS Pr. Eng. that had helped us think out the box on Sandibe. 



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Private Residence In Mykonos With his great affection for Greece in general and the island of Mykonos in particular, Galal Mahmoud and his team focused on the exteriors and the interiors of the residence, turning the terraces into places to live out life to the full, whilst offering protection from the Mykonos wind, which can be very strong during the summertime. GM Architects devised this transformation in close partnership with the villa’s owner, to create a space that would whisk the individual off on a dream-like, contemplative journey through their imagination, all in an outstanding natural setting. GM Architects sought to preserve the local character of the location and the building’s traditional Greek architecture whilst injecting it with a more modern, simple and elegant feel. The three key materials used to this end were white cement, light-coloured stone – for both interiors and exteriors and wooden decking for the terraces. To further reinforce the contemporary look of the design, the architect opted for a colour scheme dominated by white and light grey, with subtle touches of royal blue. The continuity between interiors and exteriors makes it seem as if the building is almost floating, suspended between water, sea and sky. Every effort has been made to direct the gaze outwards towards one of the finest views in the whole Cyclades.


ebanese architect Galal Mahmoud graduated in 1986 from l’Ecole d’Architecture in Versailles and in 1987 made his first steps in the world of professional architecture, in the capital that blends character with style and classical art with contemporary influence, Paris. Broadening his horizons, he teamed up with highly skilled Lebanese architects: Randa Chahine, Anwar El Hajj and Elie Waked to establish GM Architects Beirut in 1997 and GM Architects Abu Dhabi in 2006. Today, GM Architects has successfully left a mark on a wide array of countries, of the Mena Region as well as Europe. The firm, increasingly solicited for large-scale developments, ensures effective global design management and constantly develops its international proficiency.

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Due to his diverse background, Galal Mahmoud naturally adopts a multicultural approach in all of his undertakings. His ability to seize the spirit of a place and to capture the diversity of its influences, allows him to cast a global and authentically contextual vision on each project. During his many travels to Asia, Galal Mahmoud experienced wellbeing and the indoor-outdoor lifestyle typical of Asian culture. He now expertly and harmoniously marries this concept with the architecture of "Good Living,” characteristic of the Mediterranean basin. “I deeply believe in the power of architecture on the quality of our lifestyles. I experience and visualize the spaces in continuous search of harmony and wellbeing.” Galal Mahmoud


The Sofitel Tamuda Bay A New Resort By GM The Sofitel Tamuda Bay is a five-star hotel located on the northern coast of Morocco about 20 miles east of Tangier. It offers 104 bedrooms and suites, eight bungalows and five villas spanning a total floor surface area of 38,128 square meters. Located on one of the most beautiful Moroccan beaches of the Mediterranean, and set against the stunning backdrop of the Rif Mountains, the Sofitel Tamuda Bay stands proudly in one of the most idyllic settings in the entire kingdom. GM Architects, under the leadership of Galal Mahmoud, were commissioned as architects and interior designers for the resort. The prize for “Best New Hotel” at the 2011 International Hotel Awards and for best ‘Luxury Beach Resort’ in Northern Morocco and the ‘World Luxury Hotel Awards 2016’ went to GM Architects for their work on this project. In addition, at the same ceremony in 2016 Sofitel Tamuda Bay won the ‘Great Prize’ of the year.

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Tamuda Bay designs offers a genuine experience in French art de vivre combined with the refinement of an authentic Moroccan style. Galal Mahmoud makes a preliminary study of the site and the surrounding landscape, including local history, culture in order to integrate contextual references to ensure a true sense of place. This approach drove the architect’s work for the Sofitel Tamuda Bay. He took the cultural references of northern Morocco and reinterpreted them in a contemporary language, and then integrated them into the final design. GM Architects designed the Sofitel Tamuda Bay’s architecture and interiors in such a way as to blur the boundaries of indoors and outdoors, with a view to creating a genuine experience of wellbeing for all guests to enjoy. Sky and sea blend into a beautiful palette of blues to offer a once-in-a-lifetime Mediterranean experience.

The very essence of the project is the fusion of the opposing shores of the Mediterranean: on one side the French Riviera’s world of contemporary art and glamour and on the other, Morocco’s charming traditional crafts and authentic lifestyle. Resolutely contemporary in his approach, Galal Mahmoud drew inspiration from twentieth century artists whose paintings were highly influenced by their stay in Morocco. The hotel’s internal spaces pay tribute to the influence of these artists in the choice of pigments, the rounded shapes reminiscent of Moroccan crafted objects, and even the blue birds of the Mediterranean Sea. In the hotel’s various spaces vivid colours contrast sharply with the bright white used in the marble chosen. The very essence of the project is based on a subtle mix of modern French art de vivre and traditional Moroccan culture. 



Photography by Conrad White/Loli San-Vargas

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lakstad is a multi-generational design and architecture firm established in Ibiza since the 1950s.

“The architecture of Ibiza is only a part of an organic, living relationship between man and nature” - Rolph Blakstad Senior

Theirs is as real a love affair with the island as they come and described chronologically in poetic terms:

Vernacular Ibizan architecture is Mediterranean architecture was introduced to the island by the Phoenicians in 650 B.C., the tradition dates to the Neolithic settlements of the Near East, such as Jerico or Catal Hoynk Catal Hoyuk in Southern Anatolia.

“And so the Blakstad settled on Ibiza, an island inhabited over the centuries by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Moors and Catalans. Rolph began his extensive study of the island and its culture, its building and its architecture – professions still practiced by his two sons, Nial and Rolf.” The description sets the scene, but also gives more than a hint into the Blakstads’ reverence for history and culture, and for the ingenuity of vernacular architecture on the island.

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The design and building methods remained virtually unaltered for over two millennia, surviving multiple invasions until the midtwentieth century. Two distinct designs and building methods developed from these first settlements, a pitched roof and timber frame in wet climates, and a flat roof adobe or stone buildings in dry climates.


“Our needs have not changed as much as we believe... I believe that we are attracted to these houses after nine thousand years, and subconsciously identify them as “home”.

Ibiza architecture evolved from the latter. Houses were perfectly adapted to the climate and material resolves resources and also, perfectly sustainable - once abandoned, buildings would collapse and leave almost no trace after a few generations. "Our needs have not changed as much as we believe, and other than updating building methods, our major introduction has been plate glass. I believe that we are attracted to these houses after nine thousand years, and subconsciously identify them as “HOME”. We continue to use the knowledge of lessons learned over thousands of years in an effort to keep a millennial tradition alive. There is something very special about the old farmhouses and we must always respect that."

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The new generation of Blakstads use this centuries-old knowledge to create a modern take on the traditional Ibizan farmhouse, giving the newly built projects a more open layout and creating a more comfortable inside/outside living space, all the while retaining the timeless feel. The vast majority of projects are developed for private owners and only a very limited number are undertaken at any one time. Blakstad's definition of “iconic” as a universal concept - "The sacred buildings of the ancient civilisations that originated in the Middle East have evolved from these first humble houses in their most primitive and basic form. We recognise these designs as universal and iconic." 



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ean Cassar is a UK-educated, Malta-based designer specialising in commercial, residential and yacht design. Design Hub offers a holistic and highly personalised service, and unique creative solutions that subtly define the client’s brand. In the case of residential projects, the client IS the brand and it is his or her lifestyle that informs the concept Cassar’s interiors focus on delivering an experience like no other through the use of unusual materials that often flow seamlessly from floor to wall to ceiling and through incorporating certain whimsical features. His passion for yachting has translated into designing an equally inspired superyacht interior that’s underpinned by a great deal of thought and a rationale for every minute detail. When asked to define “iconic” in terms of design, he names a number of key components. “Iconic” is firstly a creative process: putting pen to paper and sketching your vision. Equally important is functionality, the kind that enhances a client’s lifestyle, with detail that’s built-in yet invisible. Creativity and detail need to work together. “Iconic” is also holistic: it is not about sumptuousness of materials but about how they mesh together.

Residential Villa Madeleina This very substantial project was commissioned with “carte blanche”, by a hands-on client. Countless sketches were made for every detail and craftsmen were motivated to go beyond the boundaries of their every day creativity. The villa is remarkable for the ingenious yet utterly coherent mix of materials: onyx, marble, walnut, polished concrete... The rare marble of the washbasins was cut and sculpted to reveal the very “heart” of the slab which in this case is the ice-cool blue of Antarctica. It filters and reflects the light, turning the humble basin into a veritable work of art. The massive state of the art kitchen boasts a floating table which flows seamlessly within the space, while the 5X2m onyx splash back is a statement piece in its own right.

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Superyacht This project is remarkable for its entertaining space which features, once again, an inspired mix of materials. The fixed, solid brass dining table has a top made of back-lit onyx slab. The swivel chairs are olive wood. The Cassar feature of timbered walls flowing into the floors is ever-present, as is the specially cut marble reflecting the light. Brass and onyx are reprised in the fireplace while the ceiling is crafted of polished brass and buttoned blue velvet. The deep colour of the velvet mirrors the night sky outside, creating an optical illusion of greater height. The separation between living and dining room is a large jellyfish aquarium that acts as a distraction and a fluid partition. ď Ž

Gastro-Bar This spectacular and unusual project bears the classic Cassar hallmark of mixing often unusual materials to great effect: from copper to velvet, to polished concrete, to zebrano timber in different finishings. The VC system is reminiscent of a jet turbine engine that sucks the outside air in, diffusing it constantly and creating a welcoming breeze, as well as looking hugely impressive. The herring bone parquet made of hand-cut Zebrano timber by ultraskilled carpenters flows between floor and walls in another Cassar style stamp. Blocks of seemingly solid copper separate the different areas. Bathrooms get another special Cassar treatment here: washbasins are old whisky barrels, cut in half and lined with brass, floating within the space and co-existing stylishly with lose, floating metal tubes and Italian mosaic back splash panels. The overall impression is that of ultracohesive, tightly fitting contemporary aesthetic that is defined by uncompromising quality.

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awrence Chisholm & Associates (LCA) is a leading, full service architectural and planning firm claiming credit for some of the most remarkable landmarks in Nassau. LCA is 100% Bahamian-owned and uniquely positioned to develop from private to corporate, to government projects in the region and beyond. Since its inception in 1973, the firm has maintained a divergent professional practice covering a wide range of design. LCA has been operating at its current location for over 30 years, with a second office in Freeport, and an international office in Santiago, Chile.

The firm continues to adhere to, and adopt new ideas and global philosophies, and is to this day a catalyst for change. Its wide range of experience, both in the Bahamas and in South America, consists of synergetic affiliations with some of the leading international consulting firms, enabling it to leverage these collaborations to achieve the best solution for its clients. ​ The first rule of thumb when entering the real estate market in any country is to invest in an architectural firm of solid reputation. An established practice with a varied portfolio, a wellhoned knowledge of local building regulations, and

“Designing an iconic building in the Bahamas requires the ability to incorporate the client’s ideas, yet respond to the aesthetical elements of the unique Bahamian architectural vernacular.”

an existing relationship with planning departments is an investment of immeasurable import.

Building in the Bahamas is subject to climate and lifestyle-specific challenges and regulations. The vernacular clapboard structures that one still sees today are simple homes elevated on masonry pilings, whereas government and commercial buildings have a commanding entrance, flanked by columns and a portico of some sort, and high pitched roofs with dormers thereby providing an additional floor for a usable attic space.

The Bahamas has a tropical climate, with the natural trade winds providing a natural breeze and average temperatures between 70-90 degrees. But it does, however, lie in a hurricaneprone region within the Caribbean. Historically, habitable structures in the Bahamas were built with consideration for the rain, climatic winds and flooding due to tidal surges resulting from these weather conditions produced by tropical cyclones. Flooding and wind as a result of these hurricanes, can have a damaging effect on the integrity of the local structures. When designing buildings in general, it is important to maximize natural airflow in order to reduce the heating effect of the tropical summer. A residential building in particular, can maintain a comfortable temperature without air conditioning just by properly positioning windows and creating high ceilings, and reducing sun exposure through roof overhangs and shutters that redirect the natural breezes. Improved technology has allowed us to do away with shutters that historically were also used primarily for battening down during major hurricanes; using instead, high impact resistant windows manufactured to withstand high winds and double glazing to minimize heat gain. Today, modular buildings can also be constructed in every fashion on a small and large scale. However, as with all construction in the Bahamas, buildings must adhere to the rigid regulations set forth by the Bahamas Building Code.

Exterior facades are heavily ornamented, a throwback to British colonial influence. The same can be seen in high-end residential buildings, which is still evident in today’s traditional Bahamian designs.

“Iconic” architecture Designing an iconic building in the Bahamas requires the ability to incorporate the client’s ideas, yet respond to the aesthetical elements of the unique Bahamian architectural vernacular.

The Bahamas’ appeal to investors is perennial due to a number of factors, including the beauty of the islands and the kudos associated with owning property there due the Government’s commitment to an investor-friendly environment. Additionally, the close proximity to the USA and the Greater Caribbean provide a stable flow of tourists which contributes to more than half of the Gross Domestic Product GDP obtained from tourism. “Ours is a tourism market that boasts over 5 million visitors annually from all over the world. We further enjoy the plethora of foreign investment that gives our firm great flexibility in working for a wide range of clients. We can speak on this topic with authority because we have a very sizable number of foreign clients with considerable investment portfolios in The Bahamas.”

Project Name: Mixed-use Sports Complex/Community Centre Type of Project: Sports/Cultural Location: Windsor Field Year completed: On the boards Project Value: Est. USD $450,000,000

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Project Name: Addington Commercial Complex & Parking Garage Type of Project: Commercial - “Class A” Commercial Office Building Location: City of Nassau Year completed: Construction to begin in 2019 Project Value: Est. USD $100,000,000

Project Name: Maitencillo Development Type of Project: Mixed-use Location: Maitencillo, Chile Year completed: On the boards Project Value: Est. USD $6Billion

The Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Island currently operates out of the historic Addington House - Built in the 1800s and once the residence of the Anglican Bishop. The house sits atop a hill with breathtaking views overlooking the Nassau Harbour to the North. A vision was realized by a local conglomerate in conjunction with the Diocese, to create a development that would transform the existing site and its surroundings into a vibrant and economically-profitable mixed use project. The

project consists of a mixed-use commercial development on approximately 3.2 acres of the historic Addington Property situated in the City of Nassau. It comprises two “Class A” commercial office buildings; one with two levels of underground parking and the second building with a five level underground parking garage facility, with a capacity to accommodate 601 parking stalls; and, additional on-site parking collectively for approximately 635 cars. The site is located in the City of Nassau and is bound by two major thoroughfares that run east and west at its frontage and rear, and north and south by an artery where the nation’s largest Hospital Complex is located. Additionally, the site is adjacent to the site currently owned by the United States Embassy, who purchased approximately 5 acres of land in 2016 for its proposed construction of a $200 million compound to relocate its current operations. 

LAWRENCE G. CHISHOLM, IBA, Intl. Assoc., AIA Chairman & CEO Mr. Chisholm is a registered Bahamian Architect with over 50 years of experience in Architecture and Planning, having designed and developed several major projects throughout his career. He has served clients locally, including the Caribbean as well as internationally. He has held the position of Registrar of the Bahamas Professional Architect's Board from 2002-2006, and has served on the College of The Bahamas, now University of The Bahamas Job Placement Advisory Committee. He is also an Executive Member of the Institute of Bahamian Architects and an International Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects.

Project Name: Proposed 150-room Airport Hotel Type of Project: Mixed use Hotel/ Commercial Complex Year completed: On the boards Location: Airport Project - Lynden Pindling International Airport Project Value: Est. USD $70,000,000

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VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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ean Larkin is the quintessential Southern California architect whose state-of-the-art contemporary projects are highly individual, yet bound by a certain Larkin DNA that is both distinctive and subtle enough not to encroach on their uniqueness. Larkin does not come from a family of architects – rather, architecture chose him, he says, in the sense that it was both a passion and a vocation from a very early age. “Cut me open”, he says, “and I am an architect through and through – incapable of doing anything else”.

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The range and variety of his portfolio is seriously impressive, with a focus on spectacular private residences in California’s best and most famous/ affluent neighbourhoods. He eschews the simple geometrical uniformity of modern architecture and goes for multi-layered complexity that looks effortless and elegant. His approach is informed by a rather unique background – he was trained in traditional architecture that required historical accuracy and getting the detail precisely right – something that gives him an edge over his peers and affects his approach to layout.


Swallow Dr. Project


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The Larkin designs are highly customized, functional and beautiful, with an emphasis on light and the outdoors. “I cannot design the inside without designing the outside”, says Larkin. He is totally immersed in the Californian outdoor lifestyle, not least because he is a born and bred Californian himself. His definition of “iconic” is just as distinctive: “Having had a background in traditional architecture, I have seen a lot of projects age very poorly. Timelessness is not about a particular period or about using preconceived materials – iconic is the best architecture we can create of the moment.” 


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undred Mile House is a residential architectural design practice founded by Duane Smith, an award-winning industrial designer with a passion for innovative, beautiful environments. Duane knew he wanted to be an architect at the age of nine. He took a somewhat circuitous route via industrial design before fully committing to architecture, having “missed the scale and longevity of buildings”. He studied sustainable architecture at the prestigious Bauhaus in Dessau in the 90’s, well before “sustainable” became a byword of aspirational lifestyle. “When I was at the Bauhaus in 1993, sustainability was not a mainstream topic. In post-Cold War Eastern Germany coal mining was devastating local eco-systems and a construction boom was rapidly changing the landscape. My approach to sustainability, particularly within an architectural context, was largely informed by my experience there, as well as by Dieter Rams’ “Principles of Good Design”: conserving resources, being accountable for the physical and visual impact of design decisions, and leaving the world in a better state than when starting.” Duane Smith named his architectural practice, rather whimsically, the Hundred Mile House (HMH). His first major project was his own beach house in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. At exactly 100 miles from his family’s city home, this was the perfect distance for a weekend escape. “We named it Hundred Mile House. It provided a much-needed retreat from the stresses of being an entrepreneur. When I began my practice in California, many of my projects were second homes and similarly, within 100 miles of the clients’ primary homes. So the name stuck.” The name is also reflective of his belief that a home should have a haven quality about it – “somewhere you’re willing to drive a hundred miles to get to”. “I believe that architecture, like any design profession, is primarily a problem-solving activity; the needs of the client form the foundation of the design process. I don’t have a signature style and try not to let aesthetics, trends or press-worthiness drive the design. I create spaces that are functional and comfortable, and fit the client like a well-tailored suit. A unique beauty


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results from this approach, and yes, the spaces are undeniably ‘havens’ to my clients and their friends. If these happen to appeal to a broad audience and are noteworthy then I am of course pleased, but this is not my primary goal.” What makes a building “iconic”? “When a building addresses the programmatic needs, while also being innovative in form (i.e. massing, materials) or function (i.e. space plan, structural details), it adds value to the world and has the potential to be iconic. I believe icons are valuable as inspiration to others, particularly if they feature innovative ideas that could benefit other projects. Icons are also very contextual: a specific building could be iconic in one location or point in time but not in another.” The Hundred Mile House “Hundred Mile House has a number of iconic elements. It’s a very contemporary structure inspired by various case study houses and the experimental summer homes designed by Gropius, Breuer and many others in Cape Cod in the 50s and 60s. The two-level home is flipped, with an open living space on the second level and private sleeping areas below. A solid concrete wall surrounds the lower level and creates a sense of security, as well as a hidden courtyard that captures the sun and fills that level with natural light. This concrete wall

“I believe that architecture, like any design profession, is primarily a problem-solving activity; the needs of the client form the foundation of the design process. I don’t have a signature style and try not to let aesthetics, trends or pressworthiness drive the design.”

is iconic within this context as it’s a common material used in local sea walls but not common in residential architecture. The house is known locally as ‘the concrete bunker’. Definition of spaces and circulation in the house are also paradigmatic. There are no standard doors; most spaces are defined with sliding walls or interior volumes and there’s only one interior wall that touches the exterior, making every room seem larger. The utility core creates a circular pathway around the upper level that leads to an elongated staircase to the lower level. One is forced to move slowly between public and private spaces. I like that architecture can encourage someone to change their behavior: slow down, relax, notice their surroundings, and maybe even change their outlook.” Duane Smith’s dream project would be one that incorporates all aspects of his experience: architecture, product, furniture, branding and even retail. “I love the concept of an innovative, planned community where residential, commercial and hospitality are intertwined, where adaptive reuse or restoration is blended with experimental new construction, where transportation is rethought, and where creative professionals can thrive in an inspiring, dynamic environment. I’d love to work on the planning and design direction for this type of community.” 

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Photograph: James F. Wilson, courtesy BUILDER magazine


VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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hil Kean, Founder and President of the eponymous architecture and design practice, has form when it comes to construction: the son of a builder, he wanted to be an architect since 3rd grade. Now an internationally recognized architect, Kean’s definition of an “iconic project” is one that is innovative, memorable and presenting exceptional quality all at the same time. In addition to being a licensed architect, Kean built on his previous training at a famous interior design studio to deliver the kind of comprehensive and seamless design experience that’s highly prized by high-end home owners and those with multiple residences. He established Phil Kean Design Group in 2002 and has grown the firm into a full service, go-to firm for national and international clients. The firm provides architectural and interior design services internationally and also builds in the central Florida area. Its driving principle is to keep tight control over all the parts in order to deliver a better, more cohesive product. Inspired by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Neutra, Schindler and Le Corbusier, Kean’s architecture is characterised as modern with nuances of mid-century and California modernism. His designs are individualized by his particular sense of aesthetic that comes from a life-long appreciation of contemporary art. Kean is a prodigious collector, with homes in Florida, New York City and Maine, and “more art works than walls”. Kean conceptualized, built and designed the interior of his first project, a modern take on a Spanish style villa, on spec and sold it to a client in Florida.

Jeffrey A. Davis Photography

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Photograph: Jeffrey A. Davis Photography, courtesy Timberlake Cabinetry

“People will always want to build near water, and architects are able to mitigate the challenges by using specially adapted building techniques and materials.”

Photograph: Uneek Image

Commission projects followed, with some gamechangers for the practice: A 2007 house, NeMo, won a pinnacle award for the use of natural stone throughout. The project was featured in a number of publications and its internal stairway became one of the most viewed images on Another ground-breaking project was a home in Ghana, West Africa, commissioned by an international oil executive. 2012 was a milestone for the practice, when it was commissioned to build The New American Home by the National Association of Home Builders. The architect designed and built this distinctive home in Winter Park, Florida where more than 10,000 visitors toured the home. Kean was similarly commissioned five years later, designing and building a Palm Springs-inspired

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international show home with its own art gallery in Orlando, Florida. Today, Phil Kean Design Group also operates a real estate agency in central Florida through which it sells its own distinctive modern homes and specializes in local luxury resell residences as well. Climate change and rising sea levels notwithstanding, Phil remains a strong proponent of coastal architecture. “People will always want to build near water”, he says, “and architects are able to mitigate the challenges by using specially adapted building techniques and materials.” Also a Certified Green Professional, Kean is steadfast in his commitment to sustainability, healthy homes and reducing our impact on the environment. 

Photograph: Uneek Image

Photograph: James F. Wilson, courtesy BUILDER magazine

Architecture by Phil Kean, LLC AA26002050; Phil Kean Designs, Inc. CRC1327855; PKD Studio, LLC ID6290



VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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ark Macco, AIA, an innovative architect based in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, has more than two decades of experience designing high-end residential and commercial projects. Mark is best known for his passion for perfection, his eye for detail, and his penchant for collaborating with his clients to create memorable and purposeful works of architecture. Mark's expansive portfolio demonstrates his ability to develop varied, custom design solutions. He is equally comfortable creating an oceanfront residential masterpiece, a veterinary hospital and boarding facility, a series of multi-family luxury townhomes, or aviation projects. Our practice is located in North East Florida. This area is known for it’s diverse styles of coastal architecture. Mark takes a holistic approach to design, and he places great emphasis on a purposeful procession through space.

“Iconic Architecture should include all of these elements: Thoughtful repetition of design elements, Intentional points of interest, and the power of precise sight lines, giving the eye a beautiful place to rest at every turn.” He uses his design skills to evoke an emotional response, creating spaces that are warm, inviting, and serene. "I make sure all the elements - space, lighting, design, and materials - work in harmony to create a total experience" Mark says. "I believe good design should be cohesive, consistent, and coherent." What activities do you pursue outside of the workplace that expand your design thinking and refresh your creativity? And why? Immersing myself in brilliant music inspires the creativity that is essential for me to create spaces that are pleasing for clients. The rhythmic and mathematical nature of Vivaldi, wide leaps from one register to

another, impacts my thought processes, inspires my design work to a greater level of efficiency refreshing my creativity. As a professional singer as well as architect, I am greatly influenced by the connection between the thought process of creating architecture, and music.

“Iconic Architecture should include: Thoughtful repetition of design elements, Intentional points of interest, and the power of precise sight lines, giving the eye a beautiful place to rest at every turn.”

There is a lot of noise in the world. Out of stillness comes creativity. To create this vehicle for creativity I also turn to meditation and yoga. I use meditation to develop heightened awareness; trusting my instincts, making it possible to be spontaneous, which is deeply attached to the creative freedom I seek. Ocean Front Single Family Residence This iconic contemporary beach home possesses clean lines and purposeful design that frames serene vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. The elegant simplicity of the building, nestled in the dunes, celebrates the coastal environment and works harmoniously with nature. The placement of the glazing blurs the lines of interior and exterior creating a sense of expansiveness. Natural materials of wood and stone and soft colors offset the geometry of this contemporary home making it warm and inviting.

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Riverfront Private Estate (completion date: 2019) Mark Macco Architects was fortunate enough to be chosen to design this one of a kind 20,000ft 2 single family residence. Florida topography is typically level, however this unique lot on the St. John’s river had a fairly large bluff at the river banks, which inspired this terraced, prairie like design. The project engages the site from front to back and flows with the environment. The interior of the home is bookended by two stair towers connected by an atrium space. One of the main features of this home is it’s master closet, which is a large 2 story rotunda with a central staircase. Designed for entertaining, this project seeks to bridge the design ideas between luxury resort, and single-family estate. Having the client feel like they are on vacation was a key factor in the design concept of this home. 

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VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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stablished in 2003, Alter Urban is a design partnership dedicated to tailoring environments to their contexts and the people they serve, seeking architectural compositions that embody the character of their clients. The firm’s founders believe in conceptually based work: in order to create things of lasting power, they must be rooted in ideas more universal and flexible than the expedient solution. Great design also understands that beauty often performs a function and functionality often inspires beautiful things. Great design can create brands and environments that look beautiful and function intuitively. Alter - meaningful transformation; tailored to fit.

Definition of “iconic”: "We believe in icons and we believe in architecture’s ability to represent ideals greater than the materials and methods with which it is built. The spaces we inhabit and the places we create are representations of our communal values and individual aspirations. They are our best chance to imagine a better future and establish a legacy for the generations to come." FANN Finding a New Normal (FANN) was a process through which family tragedy inspired a new perspective on life, building, and how the two support each other. The immediate goal was to create a home that not only accommodated the family, but also to become a tool for rehabilitation of the body; increasing independence often taken from those presented with barriers in their everyday life. The bigger goal however, was to begin to develop an accessible framework for homes that could explore possibilities beyond just grab bars and to find the beauty of those forms through their necessary functions. In this way, the FANN project continues to increase the available accessible housing stock even after its completion.

FANN Photographs by Rachel Sale, RAS Photography

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Accessible, sustainable, and made in America: these three principles create a building and landscape that mediates a sloping site, shields itself from winter winds, and opens toward vistas of the surrounding countryside. The tripartite goals are also reflected in three increasingly visible masses: a green-roofed bedroom wing inset into the hillside; a gableroofed living area facing the street; and a skylit tower commanding views of the stream valley below. Universal design is vital in the design to allow users of all capabilities to navigate the home and site. Design features include a fully accessible kitchen, meditation tower with custom designed chairlift, and radiant-heated concrete with inset rugs for flat transitions. Sustainable design is achieved by integrating the building into the site, using a cedar wrap, protective “skinâ€? on the exterior of the building, a green roof for landscape continuity, and south facing clerestory windows. ď Ž




VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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stablished in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 1992, Carney Logan Burke Architects (CLB) have been spearheading an important aesthetic movement in the American West: Infusing vernacular architecture with contemporary design and sensibilities, such as seamless continuum between indoor and outdoor, the use of sustainable materials and strategies, and placing nature at the heart of every living space. With offices in Wyoming and Bozeman Montana, being “Inspired by Place” (CLB’s tag), is inescapable. The Rocky Mountains is, after all, an area of such outstanding natural beauty that conceiving any building out of context would be nothing short of sacrilege.

“We are opening whole walls or spaces in an effort to connect people to the beautiful sites on which they live.”

Crescent H photographed by Gibeon Photography

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CLB’s projects are accomplished and arresting, creating a seemingly effortless mix between the authentic and the spectacular. The fluidity between architectural and interior design is part of the firm’s philosophy: the objects inhabit the spaces that CLB create and the process of making things, whether a building or a door grip, reflects a deep-rooted understanding of the importance of personal interaction with design. Interior environments become a natural extension of the architecture. CLB definition of “iconic”: "Working with the mindset of legacy, thinking in terms of 100 years rather than how fast we can get it built."

The featured projects share the same guiding principle of responsibility to land and conservation, material-powered systems and timeless design. Our clients share our long-term generational goals. Crescent H | Wilson, WY Located on a 40-acre site at the base of the Teton Range in northwest Wyoming, this 6,500-sq.-foot house is situated atop a gently sloping knoll inhabited by a mature aspen grove. The house is situated to take advantage of panoramic views of the mountain range and a framed view of the Grand Teton is visible through an opening in the trees. A deliberate arrival sequence begins far below the building site. The entry drive ascends through the aspen grove and emerges in an open meadow where the house is revealed on the knoll. A two-story library "lantern" within a stone building form announces entry from the arrival court. The home is organized to capitalize on view, light and sequence opportunities offered by this extraordinary site. Movement through the house is choreographed to contrast the characteristics of solid and void, alternately creating shelter, intimacy and connections to outdoor spaces. A carefully chosen, yet reductive, palate creates simplicity and timelessness while enhancing the connection to its mountain environment.


RCR Compound | Missoula, Montana What sets this project apart is the massive art collection in the house. The clients relocated to this rural setting where they desired a house that capitalized on the characteristics of the extraordinary site and created an appropriate setting for the display and enjoyment of their collection. The 9,000-square-foot house and 2,100-squarefoot guest quarters occupy a sloping transition zone between a forested butte and a grassy meadow located on an eight-acre valley site in western Montana. The house was sited to access views of the meadow and distant peaks situated at each end of the valley. This house is organized as a series of connected building forms that surround an elevated courtyard. Carefully detailed wood buildings sit gracefully atop stone walls that extend into the landscape. Roof forms taper and tilt to visually knit the complex into the site topography. Secluded views into an aspen grove canopy are prominent from the sleeping quarters that project over a private pool and deck. The walnut flooring of the upper level cascades down a stairway to the meadow level that accommodates a den, exercise room and art storage. A reductive materials palate was applied to both the interior and exterior. Wood and plaster surfaces are used throughout the project to engender warmth but not to complete with the art. Ledger cut Montana Sandstone, clear cedar, and oxidized steel roof and wall paneling speak to the regional vernacular.

RCR Compound photographed by Matthew Millman

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Boulder Retreat | WY The Boulder Retreat is located adjacent to a ski resort in Wyoming. The owners’ program called for a modest but expandable residential program to be interpreted in an architectural language that is abstract rather than literal in referencing the ubiquitous “western log cabin”. The site’s limited buildable area and the clients’ desire for minimal impact on the landscape

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required a small footprint for the building. This constraint, together with specifications of the owners’ program, pushed the living areas of the house onto an upper floor and into the canopy of trees, creating an upside-down version of a traditional house diagram. Steep slopes, dense tree cover, and an enormous boulder are all site influences central to the design solution. The primal, geologic character of the boulder had a profound impact on the building form. 

Boulder Retreat photographed by Matthew Millman



Woodcrest residence


Photography by Robin Hill


lorida architect Jaya Kader’s portfolio consists primarily of distinctive private residences, built with a strong emphasis on sustainability but also with a certain artistry that is particular to Kader herself – a sense of aesthetics that goes beyond the pillars of modern architecture: light, light and more light, bringing “the outside in”. With the word sustainability fast becoming an easy handle cliché, Kader was asked to define it from her own perspective. “Sustainability is a mind-set, and architecture is a great vehicle through which to express it. The built environment is one of the major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions which affords us the opportunity to be an essential solution to the climate crisis. Architects everywhere are recognizing that responsible and sustainable design practices are a prerequisite to good design. Sustainable aspects of design, such as building orientation, natural light, natural ventilation, the use of healthy and renewable materials, all contribute to an

overall sense of wellbeing deriving directly from the quality of our environment. Sustainable design is no longer a choice but rather, a way to live in harmony with nature and in some small measure, reciprocate for all its blessings. Most of KZA's projects are sited along the South Florida waterways. I have always been humbled by the peace and beauty of the local water landscapes; they provide endless inspiration during the design process. The awe of, and respect for this natural beauty provide a framework that seeks to enhance what is already an extraordinary context.” Rising water levels in South Florida have prompted the passing of strict local building codes in the state. Along the coast line, homes have to be raised a whole storey above the ground elevation. New design criteria for resilience architecture means that buildings are impervious to high waters, preserving the living portions intact. Kader sees this as a creative challenge: the required level difference between the building and the context affords the

◁ ▽ Woodcrest

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◁ △ Ballantrae Court

“The art of architecture is powerful and seductive, so much so, that often architects confuse it with life itself.”

▷ ▽ Lakewood

△ Lakewood

opportunity to create terraced outdoor living spaces that flow from indoors to outdoors and ultimately towards the water. Kader equates architecture with art, something that sets her creations apart. “The art of architecture is powerful and seductive, so much so, that often architects confuse it with life itself. I like to see my studio as a laboratory to explore ways in which architecture can be a means to enhance the human experience, to inspire well-being and happiness. Through the process of design, our clients are guided towards the understanding that the value of architecture should not be measured only in brick and mortar or other real estate development doctrines, but through its ability to sustain us physically and emotionally. We strive to create buildings that are respectful of their purpose and reflective

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of the stories and values of those who live in them.” Kader’s definition of “iconic” “The question is challenging, not least because I avoid using the word iconic to describe my work. This is because to me, an icon usually implies a grand gesture, one that calls attention to itself through contrast or a unique exterior appearance. If I had to come up with my own definition of iconic in architectural context, that would be the way a building and its space makes us feel, how it offers shelter yet allows us to feel connected to natural light, to nature, to the sky. How it inspires us to live better lives, to be more loving, caring and empathetic; to feel peaceful and secure; to appreciate the gifts of nature and beauty, and to enhance our overall human experience. That to me would be considered the best architectural icon.”

Featured projects “All my projects are based on the same principles, however among my favorites are the Lakewood art studio, Ballantrae Court and the Woodcrest residence. Art is an integral part of all my projects, but especially so with these three. The Lakewood project involved an intervention to add an artist studio and re-design the extensive outdoor spaces and gardens to an already existing home. The results highlighted the power of design to transform. In Woodcrest, the metal screens are applied artwork to the architecture. They serve to provide privacy from the street, as well as shield the living spaces from the western sun. Both projects are good examples of integrating art, architecture and landscape for inspired living.” 



VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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ilian H Weinreich Architects is a boutique architectural and interior design firm based in New York City with roots in Australia. Led by renowned architect Lilian Weinreich, the firm is known for its creative signature design, resulting in completed projects that are transformative, original, creative, and functional. Definition of “iconic” “Louis Kahn stated, “Architecture is the reaching out for the truth.” For me, iconic design needs to be timeless in its pursuit of the truth. Although obviously intended for living, residential interior spaces are essentially private spaces that often remain out of reach and are inaccessible to most but their inhabitants. My work is designed to embody a purity of form with high artistic expression, while still meeting the brief of each client pragmatically, programmatically, and practically. Architecture becomes iconic when it breaks from the current mode and challenges viewers and inhabitants to approach living with a new consciousness. The modern movement, which I uphold, introduced a new way to live with open floor plans and clean designs free of unnecessary

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ornament. The successful iconic residential designs are those that induce life and spontaneous participation. These icons must be timeless and superior and after meeting these criteria, an icon’s place, to me, need not be in the books of history but rather in the hearts of its owners.” Central Park South Kitchen, New York, New York The renovation of this Central Park South kitchen—a 308 ft 2 space with an adjacent 65 ft 2 butler’s pantry—serves a 6,000 ft 2 apartment directly overlooking Central Park in Manhattan. The owner undertook the alteration to accommodate his long-time, in-house chef’s wishes for a modernized kitchen. The renovation integrated a commercialquality kitchen into a residential setting, enabling catering for over a thousand guests per year. The kitchen facilitates

both intimate family gatherings, as well as formal sit-down banquets for heads of state, dignitaries, and royalty. The kitchen alteration is built on a clean formal language that incorporates principles of ergonomics, functionality, and sustainability. The finishes are elegant and luxurious, yet well-suited for a commercial-level food preparation environment—including white solid surface material on counters and wall paneling, marmoleum flooring, treated bamboo doors, high pressure striated laminate cabinets, and stainless steel. New full height upper cabinets, floorto-ceiling pantry closets, and utilization of under the counter island spaces, increased the storage capacity of the kitchen by 20% within the same footprint.


NoHo Duplex, New York, New York The 1,500ft 2 NoHo Duplex project reconfigured and redesigned a first home for a young couple’s casual lifestyle and expanding family. With thoughtful planning, the existing one-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex was converted into a three-bedroom, two and a half bath family residence with large den/family room and open, flowing interior—greatly enhancing real estate value without sacrificing design, function, or space. A folded glass and metal privacy screen at the street level entry cleverly shields the apartment from view. At the rear of the upper level, a series of eleven foot high, fully retractable, glass and steel-framed door panels separate the new guest powder room and compact master bedroom and bathroom suite.

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The new staircase’s co-planar, clear-tempered glass rails and childproof open slots elegantly comply with both code and child safety requirements. A fumed rubio-monocoat finish on the red oak wood flooring on the floating stair treads and throughout both levels lends warmth to a graphically neutral and steel interior. Metalworkers forged all of the project’s metalwork, including the stair supports and door panels, on site. Our opportunity as architects is to learn how to handle the complexity, and realize that the art of (iconic) design is to make complex things simple. These are the opportunities my clients have entrusted me with.  © Francis Dzikowski Photography




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LAC is an architectural and interior design & build firm based in the Dominican Republic, led by head designer Paola Liranzo. VLAC builds the projects it designs. It also designs and fabricates furniture and objects exclusively for its own projects. Clients are corporate and residential, as well as in the retail and hospitality industries. VLAC creates unique designs that seek to challenge the test of time. The firm’s ethos is based on the belief that every project deserves to be unique, which is why VLAC undertakes to create original furniture and objects for each client if time and brief allow it. In every case, there would always be at least one original piece created by VLAC. Paola Liranzo's definition of “iconic” “Iconic is for me a project that is very representative of, or unique to its area, or within the designer’s portfolio – whether it is noteworthy on its own merit or for its historical context, or for the originality of its design/specific elements.”

Featured projects

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Casa Barista & Co’’ (Coffee and Light Fare Kitchen, Gluten Free Restaurant) This project consists of a coffee-type restaurant located in the center of the city of Santo Domingo. This place serves specialty coffee and healthy food 100% gluten free and until today, is the only restaurant in the country that roasts coffee in front of its customers. The design of Casa Barista responds to the owner's wish that his clients feel as if they are at home, so we created a living room in front of a bookshelf where people can have a cup of coffee while reading a book or talking with a friend and also the decoration responds to objects typical of a house, old coffee cups, coffee pots, small vintage paintings, a touch of small plants, etc. As for its style, the place presents a mixture of styles that harmoniously coexist with each other. On the one hand we see a wall that simulates reinforced concrete frames, on other walls we see rustic cement and polished cement, pipes seen from the brutalist and industrial style, floor that simulates concrete, a roof with rustic cement and colonialstyle wooden beams, this combined with mid-century furniture, decorations and portraits vintage style. The coppercolored metal book shelf responds to the contemporary style and is full of sets of

cups and real antique items related to the world of coffee. The paintings and the wood work that we see in the restaurant were all handmade. The main bar has a modern and rustic style at the same time, as does the bar of the toaster that shares a modern and industrial style. In the place we use copper as the favorite metal and for the great contrast and harmony that we made with the cement we decided to use it also in the furniture, selecting one of the limited editions of the ''Real Good Chair'' of the company BLU DOT in color copper. The items designed and made to order for this project are: wooden doors, tables, wooden central bar with curved legs, lining of the main bar, the coffee roaster bar, bookshelf, coffee roaster cooling tray imitation as a sink in the bathroom, and copper showcase modules in the Main bar area. In conclusion, this project is representative and iconic for us first because the concept of the restaurant itself is unique in the country and second because the design itself is also unique and novel because of the large number of elements made to measure and the warmth of which is made by hand.


Photography by Ricardo Piantini Hazoury

San Isidro Golf & Country Club Main Offices This project is located in East Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Is about the main office for a Golf Country Club to be built in that area. Its very representative or iconic for us for 2 reasons. 1. This project had in itself a lot of design and construction work. It is located in an old house with an extensive land and it was completely remodeled to house all the areas required for the main office. We wanted the whole house to be surrounded by nature to provide that feeling of relaxation that should be felt in the club when it was built, so it was very important for us that the interior spaces were also surrounded by nature. The house had 2 interior patios that had cement floors but were strategically located so that practically all areas had access to them. Then we decided to take advantage of them and we removed the existing concrete and converted them into 2 interior gardens. We took advantage of trees over 20 years old that existed in the land and we extracted and planted them in the new interior gardens. So now we had all the areas surrounded by nature. The old main hall became the main

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lobby that is now centralized between the exterior garden of the house and one of the new interior gardens. The old dining room became a living room for customers and is now in the middle of the 2 new interior gardens. The conference room that is adjacent to that living room overlooks the outside garden and one of the new interior gardens. To access the general bathrooms, it must be done through one of the interior gardens. The offices are located on the 2nd level of the house in what were previously the rooms and all of them have a view of the exterior and interior gardens of the place. 2. All the furniture except for the chairs of the conference room, was designed and made by us. We use Brazilian oak for all the woodwork of the entire project including the furniture and we wanted the whole style to represent the topicality of the Dominican Republic. We also use a touch of marble in some areas and furniture. The original design of the furniture and other elements of the place, as well as the total integration of all areas with nature, make this a very representative and exclusive project. ď Ž



atia Marten is the founder and President of the Architecture/ Design firm KMA Design Group. KMA Design Group is an awardwinning architectural Firm with over 30 years of experience. It has offices both in Costa Rica and Toronto.

Our firm specializes in residential, commercial, hospitality and interior design services. The company designs with a deep respect for the planet and adheres to the belief that architecture should respond to the needs of human beings and the delicate relationships between the physical structure and the environment. We Design

We believe

We design for the client; whose needs are our priority. Our ample experience combined with our design knowledge allows us to create an exclusive, unique, and innovative type of architecture. We are currently involved in various types of projects, ranging from luxury residences to touristic developments, hotels, and spas.

At KMA, people and nature are the two main ingredients of all our designs. We believe that designs that are beautiful must be practical, pleasing and enhance people’s lives. At KMA Design, “every person counts�- including the clients, suppliers, partners, the community, and the design team-, and ethical family values are at the core of our company and our work. Our team prides itself on putting as much thought and heart into each project in order to achieve the most cohesive design possible. Nature is one of our main inspirations; we are inspired by the proportions found in nature to create efficient, strong designs, that are balanced, and beautiful. We firmly believe architecture should be designed with the environment in mind; in minimizing the environmental impact of buildings by creating more efficient structures as well as moderating the use of materials and energy. 124 design ICONS


Casa Magenta A stunning Guanacaste tree became the central element and main organizing axis for the house. Together with the elements of water and stone, the tree leads the user through a truly welcoming entrance. Textures such as travertine, wood, concrete, and glass evoke the outdoors within the interior of Casa Magenta. The more private areas of the residence are distributed on various levels around the main living space, maximizing the morphological and scenic qualities of the site. In architecture, physical spaces are extensions of people’s psychological spaces, it is for this reason that pure lines were used throughout this project. A non-saturated, visually clean character allows the users and their experiences to fill this home.

Casa Cajun The concept of Casa Cajun was to build a house around an existing tree. As the tree was planted by the client’s grandmother and had great sentimental value, we decided to situate it at the center of the courtyard and have the structure symbolically “hug the tree”. The courtyard became the heart of the house and articulated the different parts of the surrounding building. Another striking feature of the house is its perforated Cajun Red wall, that creates a connection from the courtyard to the more private areas of the residence. We chose the color red because it emits the feeling of energy, and we wanted to create a space that was lively in essence.

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VMG We intervened in the design of the VMG building during the construction process of the original design. A main requirement for the client was to create the feeling of a house surrounded by a garden for the penthouse office. Internal gardens are integrated throughout every level, and a central vertical chamber is used to inject natural light into most of the spaces. The building is crowned by a volume that invites the landscape to be an important protagonist where, through water ponds and lush vegetation, a great “urban greenhouse “is born. Vegetation coupled with a beautiful water feature set amongst a backdrop of the gorgeous Costa Rican Sky wow the users, and so too do the amazing reflections of all this beauty on the tall glass windows of the building. Showroom Always striving for innovation, this showroom was conceived as a glass box that blurs the boundary between exterior and interior space. The transparent quality of the building allows for a harmonious dialogue with the surrounding urban environment. Our 25 years of experience designing car dealerships have allowed us to effectively consider color and light in order to create comfortable and welcoming work conditions in all sectors. 

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VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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atoshi Kurosaki is the creative director of APOLLO Architects & Associates, a Tokyo firm with a second office in Seoul. The firm’s name is a nod to the Greco-Roman mythology God of sun and light, Apollo, and reflecting its pursuit of architecture based on the simplicity of concepts such as "light" and "shadow", while at the same time striving to create projects with a luminous presence within the city and society at large.

“Architecture needs to be safe and functional, but it also needs to go beyond that.”

“What we aim to do in addition to those basic requirements is to induce a rich spirituality within the space. Daily life represents an accumulation of simple and trivial events and requires an enduring continuity. Architectural spaces therefore need to provide a certain “leeway” for enjoying the mundane flow of time in order to encompass moments of comfort as well as thrilling emotion. Moreover, architecture always exists within a particular site with its own surroundings. Thus, it is destined to be significantly affected by the relationship between human beings, nature and all man-made objects.

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The surrounding environment that is deeply connected with the social and environmental milieu alters according to the seasons and the times, causing the residents themselves to undergo repeated changes. Such "fluctuations" in every day life are in fact what leads to simple answers regarding the movement of people within space, the use of light, wind passage and choice of materials. A space that can embrace the necessary "leeway" and everyday "fluctuations" requires the “graciousness” of a white canvas that accepts polarities such as bold and delicate, as well as the “tranquility” that welcomes change induced by the environment and the circumstances. The spirituality that a space needs more than anything else resides in the "graciousness" and "tranquility" that are unaffected by the flow of time, and this is what architects should strive to achieve. We hope that the spaces we create will allow people to surrender their bodies and free their minds in order to enjoy these spaces to their heart’s content.” 


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VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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AMER ARCHITECTS is a boutique Singapore architectural firm that views design as finding an ideal solution to the combination of factors that include site, culture and climate, structure and services with an economy of means to arrive at an aesthetic whole.

An intangible dialog between Architecture and Nature. On a steep odd-shaped hill with existing large trees, this seven bedroom multi-generational house meanders fluidly upwards over five floors diverting around the very mature trees.

Archisculpture architecture, landscape and interior installations, each project is seen as a work of art, conceived through a thorough appreciation of site, context and brief, and carefully sculptured to congenially fit into the site while keeping client’s brief intact.

Respecting the existing landform and landscape, the fluid spaces and organic form create a nebulous inside-outside boundary experience. Folding walls and deep overhangs are constructed in a mix of off-form concrete and steel, and painted white to achieve a lightness of structure while natural materials like timber and stone are used to blend well with the hill and trees.

One of Aamer’s clients describes the practice and its work as “haute architecture” in the sense of tailor-made to the individual… and so all uniquely different from each other. Aamer's definition of “iconic” “Iconic design in Architecture has to respond to all aspects of the location and user, and yet is truly original in its artistic nature to become ultimately memorable.” 19 Swettenham Road, Singapore FLUIDITY ON THE HILL “The Swettenham Road house manages to navigate a difficult site, manages to conserve large trees, manages to optimize its location potential and manages to be elegantly unique in its “futuristic-tropical” style, a term not yet heard of.”

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Broken down into parts, the massing reduces as it goes higher. The house is intended to stand out whilst not overpowering the context. The private spaces are individual and separated yet easily connected to the common areas of the whole. Voids are strategically carved out to ensure natural light and ventilation to all rooms.

Swettenham Road photographed by Sanjay Kewlani (Skewedeye Pte Ltd), Jerry Ah Chin Kow (Space Scope Pte Ltd)

“Iconic design in Architecture has to respond to all aspects of the location and user, and yet is truly original in its artistic nature to become ultimately memorable.”

The main void, a sunburst waterfall courtyard, is a surprise welcome upon a deep entry from the foot of the hill. Landscaping is carefully integrated to further enhance the natural setting, still allowing the building form to stand out.


Dalvey Estate photographed by Mr Amir Sultan

18 Dalvey Estate, Singapore THE LONGHOUSE Bold in form and fluid in function, the Longhouse @ Dalvey Estate is conceived from merging the tropical language with contemporary lines and structure. The design reinterprets the traditional Malay Iban Longhouse, with family communal areas outside the bedrooms to foster family integration. With the inward-looking orientation of the house, its façade and presence from the main road is kept subtle and non-descript, giving only little hints of what lies beyond. A ‘paper-thin’ concrete box, delicately lined with rich timber, greets visitors upon entry. It aptly frames the entrance, with its

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sheer form and structural gymnastics, appearing almost floating off a void. Old railway timber sleepers ‘float’ off the front reflective pool, flanked by a cascading water feature as well as series of meticulously-cut granite and teak louver-wall that playfully reveals what lies beyond at sporadic intervals. Only upon entry into the double volume living space that one can see the expanse of the whole abode – its landscape, courtyards, verandahs and architectonic forms. And perhaps the most arresting

view would be that of the bedroom wing, with its folded timber louvers and steel sections. Inspired by the traditional longhouse, the bedroom wing is designed with rooms arranged in a linear fashion, opening out to the lawn and pool. When fully opened, each ‘cabana’ styled room shares common play/interaction area, with decks and verandahs transforming the common corridor into more than just a passageway. The whole bedroom wing is wrapped by the folded timber louver mounted onto bent steel frames, forming an elliptical-

profiled skin that breathes. Rooms and spaces are designed to maximize crossventilation. When fully opened, the double- volume living room becomes a central breezeway. This central volume connects downwards to the basement courtyard. Cross-ventilation in bedrooms is also maximized with collapsible bedroom walls and generous windows. Notwithstanding all these openings, heat built up and glare is minimized by the louver skin that wraps the bedrooms. These features make the rooms cool and breezy even in hot days. 



VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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“Vandom and Palm Sixxy”


“A Game of Swallows”


iza Borzaya is the brand name of ultra high end jewellery creator Elizaveta Borzunova. As the name suggests, the founder is Russian and has offices in Moscow and New York. Borzunova has considerable industry knowledge and business acumen but that aside, she simply loves “jewellery, gemstones and the look on people’s faces when I bring their dreams to life. That’s the best part of bringing my own brand into this vibrant and quickly-changing market”. She considers beauty to be the most important characteristic of a gemstone. “Professional gemologists can try to express beauty by grading colour, purity, cut and other characteristics, but the certificate cannot tell you everything about the stone. It is no secret that identical characteristics do not necessarily equal identical beauty. Until you see a stone cut and polished, you will not be able to appreciate this most important factor.” Thus, she outsources from multiple channels, using a trusted number of suppliers from all over the world.

“Baubles and Tinsel”

“When it comes to cutting stones, there are several options. We often buy the stones when they have already been cut, but there are also occasions when we need to arrange our own cutting to complement the individual design. Luckily, I have several excellent cutters globally with whom I have great long-standing working relationships. My regular clients know my views on preserving the natural beauty of gemstones and creating the best settings for them to reveal their true beauty. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful gems. One particularly memorable piece that I prepared was a necklace with a 36 carat Colombian emerald: it had the typical vivid green color that is often found in Colombian emeralds, but was also extremely pure with no oil required.” The brand has primarily worked on bespoke items but has recently started releasing regular collections inspired by some of its most interesting creations. High jewellery is highly collectible for the value of the gems and the design, but also the designer’s name. Borzunova reflects on what makes a piece iconic: “Undoubtedly, as they have done throughout history, rare and beautiful stones immediately transform jewellery into highly collectible pieces. Some precious stones carry such a strong energy that it dictates the design and inspires entire collections. This happened, for example, with our Sixxy sautoir, the central stone of which was one the clearest six-sided Colombian emeralds in existence. It was an obvious decision for me to add our signature product, the palm bracelet, to the Sixxy collection. “To become an iconic designer, one must impress both clients and professionals. Don’t forget that those existing houses of high jewellery art, whose products are highly desirable, have become household names because of the talent of their founders. The latter’s impulses and directions were so strong that the pieces made under their names remain highly collectable well beyond their creators’ natural lifespan.

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“For me, an iconic piece is first and foremost a high quality art work with a very strong energy that entices the customer into wearing it as often as possible. It should be worth of admiration but equally practical enough to wear comfortably in a range of situations.” There is also a very strong practical element to high jewellery, which allows a person to demonstrate his or her individuality. Traditional works of art, such as the paintings and sculptures that are found in the best museums in the world, were initially commissioned by monarchs, aristocrats and collectors of that time to decorate their palaces and homes. The outstanding art of that era has migrated to museums and we, at this time, can now admire and understand them. I believe that high jewellery will also be viewed in this way in the future.

Featured Pieces “Baubles and Tinsel” Inspired by Christmas and New Year celebrations, Baubles and Tinsel is a pair of earrings comprised of two teardrop diamonds totaling approximately nine carats, supported by another nine carats of teardrop and marquise diamonds. Two carats of round diamonds act as the ‘baubles,’ but the pièce de résistance is the ‘tinsel,’ a distinctive baguette style achieved by cutting oversize diamonds at very acute angles – a real challenge for the cutters, requiring delicacy and skill to protect the diamonds and the integrity of the design. The result is a true celebratory piece that allows the wearer to both stand out and blend in to any party atmosphere. “Swallows in the Spring” Seeing the graceful movements of the swallows around me, I knew that they were the perfect conduit between people and nature. They are able to join perfectly the precious stones – in this case,

the rose-cut diamonds of the flowers with the hand of an elegant lady. This sparked my journey into the world of palm bracelets and exploring the complex technique of using hot enamel. “A Game of Swallows” The lifelike appearance of the swallows was achieved by pairing hot enamel with 6.4 carats of diamonds, adding natural lustre to the birds. Two swallows playfully decorate the back of the hand, while one more mischievous bird is escaping around the wrist with a beak-full of treasure. The grace of the birds offered our master jewellers the opportunity to explore the full potential of these exciting hot enamel techniques. “Vandom” Inspired by Place Vendome in Paris, this beautiful necklace marries the classic emerald shape with the exclusive gemstones only found in high jewellery. The wonderfully clear, vivid green oilfree 36.56 carat Colombian emerald required a classy setting to complement it, which is why we used a 62 carat combination of round and pearshaped diamonds as a great supporting cast, without detracting from the main jewel in any way. “Sixxy Sautoir” The classic hexagonal emerald provides the main feature in this transformative piece. As either a sautoir or a classic necklace, the simple but elegant design provides the ideal backdrop for the oil-free, vivid green 12.05 carat emerald to take centre stage. “Birds of Paradise” This bespoke order demanded a strong design in diamonds, so we sourced around 40 carats of DEF/ VVS diamonds, some of which we had specially made in a marquise cut to create the perfect olive leaves. By combining these intricate details with enough space for them to be appreciated, we created the airy feel that the client wanted, and allowed the Birds of Paradise to dance among the olive branches.

“Sixxy Sautoir”

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What does wearing one of these iconic pieces say about the individual who wears it? “Borzaya customers are quite sophisticated in terms of design. They already have good jewellery collections, understand gemstones, and are searching for something very bold, new and unique. They are confident and can demonstrate

“Birds of Paradise”

their status in a number of ways, from choosing large, quality gemstones to expressing their individuality with a more subtle taste in their choice of jewellery. “Satisfying the demands of clients with exciting, bespoke pieces of art is an inspiration. The creative energy that this brings really allows designers to create truly iconic pieces of jewellery.” 




◁ ▽ Nine Stairs in total for a newly built Villa


our “Nine Stairs” design is absolutely breathtaking. What was the design process like for that particular job? It was every designer’s dream scenario. The commission was for a newly built villa and the architect kept us involved from a very early stage - well before the construction phase. In addition, the size of the project had yet to be determined, so there was nothing to hold us back. The villa’s owner had always dreamt of having a large, stylish staircase. His taste, however, was vastly different to his wife’s: she loved contemporary design whereas he preferred a classic style. For the final design, we managed to merge both of their tastes by combining round, modern shapes with a classic, wrought iron bannister. The couple were enthusiastic as soon as they received the first sketch and we were given total freedom to be creative. We didn’t stop with just the staircase either: everything in the hallway of the villa was designed and produced by us. The majority of your clients are based in the Netherlands, but you’ve also worked on projects further afield. What are the difficulties of working with international clients and how do you overcome those particular challenges? We strongly believe in face-to-face contact. Of course we understand that that’s easier for clients in our home country. That said, because we visualize our designs, we can, in a sense, make that distance smaller. Sending an email including a 3D visualisation to a client in Amsterdam is just as fast as sending one to Tokyo. Every year we receive various requests from international clients. Architects are always looking for new challenges and innovation - and so are we.


Clients often have very specific wishes. We are flexible enough to fly anywhere in the world for a meeting. How did you come to focus on the LID method? Was there a particularly complex project that pushed you to do things differently? It was a concept that we’d had in our minds for a long time. It had become clear to us that the industry was crying out for more freedom of form but, in the early stages, we didn’t know exactly how to deliver it. But a good idea is like a mosquito: it keeps bugging you until you really pinpoint it. That point came when we received a request from a client (- Van der Linden). The staircase that they had in mind – one made solely out of concrete was too heavy and cost-ineffective to produce. But one of the properties of concrete – its fluidity was exactly what the customer wanted. That was when the LID method really came to life. We built a life-size mock-up to show how it would work and what it would look like.


◁ A round shaped staircase that curls all the way up

to the second floor. Stucco with wooden steps.

LID - Limitless In Design - combines three basic materials: a steel structure, a special filling and a hard top layer (with any finish possible). Using this innovation, we can offer infinitely more possibilities in terms of staircase customization. Any shape can be created seamlessly, without interruptions or visible connections. In this instance, we combined the client’s preference for a concrete-based design with our LID approach. We have successfully completed five staircases using the LID method since then.

A significant part of what you do is to find the balance between being economical with space and creative with design. What approach do you take to ensure you get that balance right? We are convinced that in every situation there exists the possibility to create something extraordinary. The smaller the space, the more difficult it is to realise a design. That’s always a challenge – but it’s one that makes our job beautiful. We like to dazzle our customers when it comes to creativity and design, no matter how big or small the space. From the narrow canal houses in Amsterdam to the busy streets of Paris, we only see possibilities. Creativity can also be found in the combination of materials - we work with leather, glass and all kinds of metal - that can be used irrespective of the available space. At the moment, we’re working on a staircase that will feature a thin layer of brass applied to the bottom of each step. The effect will be evocative of grandeur!

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You’ve spoken about the staircase being more than just “a functional object that brings us from one floor to the other”. From a design and, in particular, from an architectural perspective, that’s a crucial distinction: staircases can forge a link between different types of public and private spaces. Do you think individual clients appreciate that in the same way as corporate/industry clients? Architecture is starting to challenge itself more. It’s become more open – more progressive. Some

architectural drawings that we see nowadays feature staircases in very non-traditional places. The staircase is often placed right in the middle of the living room, for instance, or in another public area where it can and must be seen.

△ Unique staircase design

created with our LID Method. A seamless, concrete look with steel steps placed in between.

The LID staircases with a concrete finish that we created for George Marina, a new harbour restaurant in Amsterdam, are purposefully shaped like a big, strong rope to resemble the connection between a ship and the harbour. Functionality and design are beautifully balanced.


◁ △ Bolted steel construction that is placed in the middle of the livingroom

Right now, we are in the final production stage of a new staircase for a client facing multiple challenges. We have to be economical with space, but also create a modern look and feel. To achieve that, we chose to incorporate semiclosed steps to create the illusion of more space. We mounted thin steel plates below the steps, and included shelves in between some of the steps for storage. There are four drawers concealed at the bottom. The first drawer is also the first step of the staircase. These kinds of functional fusions are becoming increasingly more sought-after in residential houses. Stairs have become a cool design statement and people want them to be seen. 

△ Everything is made of wood; the steps, shelves and drawers. We used thin steel plates to support the shelves.

VB Staircases Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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Symphony chair


Clockwise from below: Venus Table, Denali, Belcanto, Loop, Avolare


ason Mizrahi is a Los Angeles born and bred furniture designer who has won a spade of awards for his innovative creations that blur the line between furniture and sculptural art. After earning a degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute in New York, he founded his own furniture design studio, based in Los Angeles (all his designs are fabricated in Southern California to promote and support the American manufacturing industry). Mizrahi’s architectural background is very much in evidence in, and underpins his designs that are frequently featured at dedicated trade fairs. “I push the limits of materials to create furniture with unexpected shapes where elements of minimalist design and contemporary art are unified to create one- of- a-kind statement pieces. Each design is a personal pursuit to balance elements heavily rooted in minimalist

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design and architecture to create an aesthetic vision of contemporary lines with a classic feel.” Mizrahi’s definition of “iconic”: “Iconic design attains the perfect mastery of elements from the past, present and future to create something new, powerful and exciting. It sets the standard, creating a movement that inspires one to become more.” The evolution of “The Limited” collection represents a movement for those who think differently and who are not afraid to defy convention. Each piece comes from a desire to breathe life into design, thus becoming more about the expression of the material and discovering its potential unrestrained by convention. Each piece symbolizes a unification between minimalist design and contemporary art that alters the perception of furniture. To see things not for what they are, but rather what they can become. 

“Iconic design attains the perfect mastery of elements from the past, present and future to create something new, powerful and exciting. It sets the standard, creating a movement that inspires one to become more.”



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Alber cabinet and detail.

Clockwise from left: Rialto Valet, Irving, Rixa, Jacob


OCO is an India-based design house founded by Parminder Pal Singh whose 20 yearstrong experience of, and background in the luxury lifestyle industry has equipped him well to establish a distinctive vision: bringing refined Indian craftsmanship and first-world technology together to create the finest products. The design house core values of innovation, integrity and opportunity ensure that its approach is rigorous, inquisitive and informed by an in-depth relationship with creativity and craftsmanship, and the use of technology to enhance them. LOCO ‘s creative solutions are driven by its inhouse brands, Madheke, Pintark and Taamaa, operating through design spheres of Luxury Goods, Accents and Architectural Solutions. While each brand is distinct and different, they inspire one another. Definition of “iconic” “Iconic for us is about leaving an everlasting impression; evoking an emotion of acquiring; a sense of achievement. For a product this translates as a piece that is seen and desired as

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an heirloom, with a story to tell. The story could be about its origin, the manner in which it is crafted and why it is unique.” Featured Designs The selected designs all communicate aesthetic, an idea and inspire curiosity.


The Rialto Valet is an example of a story being communicated. The valet is a traditional piece with a contemporary relevance; it curates and organizes the start and the end of a day. Rialto is a gesture to this - its personality and blend of technical materials and traditional craftsmanship speak about the contemporary man and about a nuanced sense of self. Alber is a traditional cabinet that equally blends materials and craftsmanship. Alber evokes a sense of tradition yet in its essence, the piece is contemporary. It is generally important to achieve aesthetic harmony, a blend of the traditional and the contemporary, with each remaining authentic to themselves, all the while creating a sense of curiosity about the crafting or the design. 



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lga Hanono is a Mexican-born designer with a traditional cultural upbringing and a deep passion for aesthetics, beautiful objects, and space. Her charismatic and playful personality comes through her original designs that are not subject to rules or limitations. She transforms every space into an unusual adventure.

Hanono has her own brand textiles and wallpaper collection. She loves exploring new materials and novel/alternative solutions for creating a space: mixing patterns, colours, textures and following her intuition to create interiors of the highest standard and taste, incorporating carefully curated objets d’art.

Her design projects are strongly influenced and inspired by her travels to exotic destinations around the world. She loves encouraging her clients to LIVE AND ENJOY THEIR HOMES EVERYDAY and puts a great deal of detail into enhancing the human senses, by creating an ambiance of beauty, balance and wellness.

Hanono’s definition of “iconic”: “That brave concept that transcends all existing paradigms to achieve uniqueness - highly imitated and very difficult to decode.”

HAPPINESS is her major motto and she embraces it with creative solutions aimed at a luxury lifestyle. Hanono has a natural affinity with art and her projects are a combination of uniqueness and glamour, setting trends in the design world and attracting numerous awards (she has been referred to as the IT Designer, the rock star of design and the 2017 designer revelation).

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Project P14 This project was conceived and executed from architectural drawings to final detail. The brief was to create an enigmatic yet cosmopolitan residence. The ceiling and walls are finished with a custom made cement based material and a specially designed pattern continuing from side to side. The entire wood floor was crafted in situm to create a timeless piece. There were many design challenges in order to maintain an all open 600m2 space, yet achieve a series of different moods.


Hanono has a natural affinity with art and her projects are a combination of uniqueness and glamour, setting trends in the design world and attracting numerous awards.

“I decided to build a cube within a cube with this copper mesh curtain to define the TV room.” Another important element is the moving panels made of lapis lázuli and perforated bronze. The open plan kitchen is the focal point of the apartment. Another super cool detail is the Thai door that weights more than 250 kg and makes for a spectacular entrance. The whole project is full of surprises and intricate details every step of the way. Casa Valle This was designed as a weekend home by the lake. The whole ambiance is geared to relaxation and represents an extension of the natural habitat with some spectacular mountain views across the lake. The informal dining and TV rooms are divided by shelves with old and rare books, and a round bone table created by Indian craftsmen. The materials used are a mixed palette that conveys both cosiness and luxury, with leather, cowhide, rugs, art, and every other detail harnessed to provide comfort, as well as this amazing space where one can disconnect from the urban stress. This villa’s design represents an effortless blend with the architecture and is an excellent example of modern style and laid back ambiance. Every room invites to enjoy a glass of wine, a nice conversation by the fireplace or a great meal looking at the lake. The other special detail that makes this house unique is the professionally installed and ultra advanced audio and lightning systems. 

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Photography by Sefval Mogalana


EZIA KARIN Studio is revered as one of the leading interior design house in Indonesia, with projects spanning an entire frame of bespoke, high end work form residential, to luxury offices, leading hospitality, and premium restaurants. Uniquely positioned as a luxury atelier, KEZIA KARIN Studio’s work is underpinned by the core fundamentals of design precision and customised approach to interior details. “We believe that no project can attain brilliance without a great conception phase. At our studio, projects are astutely brought to life through a rigorous and highly creative approach, realised into reality through consistent application. We amplify our design to a different level by consistently pushing the envelope with distinct, unique and cutting edge work for each project and enrich the result by collaborating only with those who specialised in their fields. Combining imagination, creativity, and technical approach, we aim to develop the experience while stepping deep in the values of functionality and client’s needs to create an integrated space.”

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Definition of “iconic” “I believe that iconic design is the ability to captivate and create wonderment at first sight, to inspire others in self-belief and to create a deep impression and ultimately to last over time, enduring seasons and trends while holding the audience in love over a long period of time and each time like it’s first.”

VASA HOTEL, Surabaya Nested in the city of Surabaya, Vasa Hotel is an exemplary new concept with a slant as an urban resort that has received considerable attention from the media for good reason. Since Vasa means water, the hotel was created in mind as an oasis in the city, differentiated largely where a plethora of hotels serve with standard themes. A fresh combination of soft pastel colors greet visitors when they walk in. The interior is carefully laid out and every part of the detail is done thoughtfully to bring out the elegance, while still maintaining a sense of casual comfort.


“Combining imagination, creativity, and technical approach, we aim to develop the experience while stepping deep in the values of functionality and client’s needs to create an integrated space.”

CORPUS GROUP Office, Jakarta CORPUS’ mandate was to break free from the stereotypical stiff, cold and heavy finance office. The translation of the intangible nature of finance work including trust, reliability, power and resourcefulness exemplifies itself from the reception to the depths of the office.

Right from the word go, visitors are welcomed with a fiery marble backdrop that speaks of power and dynamism. Cushioned with bespoke furniture, the reception sits clients and business partners comfortably. The walk down does not miss a beat as the meeting room is enhanced by views of the city and a lighting feature from vibia which surprisingly is not just pretty in the eyes but also functional. The office boasts cutting edge technology where lights and even sound are controlled from the touch on the phone. The best area is of course the Commissioner’s office with a view of the Business District perched high. The office is enhanced by fabulous bespoke furniture. This generous space bathed with sunlight creates a taste of sophistication and provides a unique sense of contemporary tranquillity in the midst of the concrete jungle. 

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URVI PADIA is the quintessential Manhattan/East Coast designer, specializing in very high end residential spaces.

Her design philosophy is grounded in the idea of “combining elements from different genres of design to create unexpected yet cohesive spaces that are the perfect backdrop for both family afternoons and weekend gatherings of friends”. What distinguishes the Padia interiors from the multitude of stylish Manhattan homes is a certain signature look and feel, even though they are as distinctly different, as are her clients. “We take a lot of pride in our process which results in spaces which are reflective of the client’s style in its most beautiful interpretation. I think the best interior designers really get to know their clients and create homes that take their clients aesthetic preferences into account and then

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Tribeca, New York

push the boundaries a bit with a heavy influence of knowing what works best from a design standpoint.” Definition of “iconic” “Undeniably, “iconic” means well known and highly regarded. I wouldn’t argue with that, but I would also add another dimension. Certain pieces and spaces stand out in an unforgettable way because of the unexpected, exclusive feel they lend and are the truest reflections of a particular designer’s philosophy. To me, that too is iconic.” Two of our most iconic projects are our Tribeca Flat and our West Village Duplex. For the Tribeca Flat, the clients wanted a bright, airy, predominantly white home and had a real aversion to color. With that in mind, the largest challenge was making sure the space still exuded warmth and comfort to be appropriate for their young family (three children under the age of 6!).


West Village, New York

By utilizing different shades of whites, creams and grays, layering textured fabrics, laying wide plank white oak floors, accenting with additional woods and blackened bronze, and finishing with interesting accessories, we were able to create a main living space that feels quite light and airy but is still grounded and warm. For the West Village duplex, our client had just moved from a highly modern space and while they weren’t completely ready to abandon their modern aesthetic, they really wanted something that felt a bit more classic. We used rich fabrics like deep navy velvet and silk drapes, interesting silhouettes and classic design details such as tufting to elevate the space, but kept the layout and color palette a bit more understated to achieve a look that bridged their classic and modern expectations. 

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Florida-based but internationally sought designer of great style and distinction, Juan Poggi is remarkably versatile. His interiors, dotted around the globe, run the full gamut - from the classic opulence to the streamlined contemporary, to the whimsical – and mirror the diversity of his client base. Each interior represents the rich tapestry of a client’s personal story, embedded in the design of their home. "The client decides to entrust me the design of their home, so their voice is the most important tool at my disposal. There is no formula. Each client is an individual evolution to a personal style." If there is a common thread between Poggi’s projects that subtly identifies them as his, it is the carefully calibrated sense of open space and comfort. "Good upholstery, chairs and surfaces are a non-negotiable part of my design.

I want the client to be able to use every space because that is what homes are for. Only museums are for contemplation alone. Another common aspect of my interiors is placing the correct amount of furnishings, so that each piece shines individually and all work together as a group." Poggi’s approach is informed by his constant evolution as a designer. "I grow with every project because the detail invested in it is very personal. Each client’s lifestyle is different and that is the most fascinating aspect of my work. As a designer, you must “read” the client in order to understand their story and their personality." Poggi puts his soul in every interior he creates, but “paints with the colours that the client gives him” – the fuller the pallet, the better the result. His definition of an “iconic” design: "A space that, through design, becomes a reference of style and creativity." 

Paris photographed by Carlos Domenech

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Jade Beach photographed by Carlos Domenech

La Gorce Island photographed by Carlos Domenech

“There is no formula. Each client is an individual evolution to a personal style.�

Coral Gables photographed by Carlos Domenech

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ar Silver is an international interior designer whose work connects the essence of a space – its past – to a relevant, contemporary narrative – its future. By their very nature, her designs are transformational: at once both deeply rooted in her project’s history and reinvigorated by a new sense of vibrancy and modernity. It is that transformation, she says, that imbues a space with its soul. “What I look to do is respect and embrace the history of a space. That, for me, is critical to any project. It’s what gives any new design relevance. More than that: it means that it keeps its soul. My aim is always to use that reverence for history to forge a connection to the present. My designs are transformational in that they connect the past to a current state all the time. You take what’s emotive, personal and soulful from the initial space and then use all of those elements to modernise it. That’s what I do and it’s what I call honest design. That connectivity to the past, the familiarity... It’s very deep and very personal. An alchemy of past and present.”

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Mar describes interior design as “experiential”. How a person experiences the space they live in is fundamental to her process.

Southport, Connecticut

“Interior design done well is not just choosing objects from a catalogue – it’s about how you want to live. What have you selected to make this place your home - your experience? Do you want to feel that history or do you want to see everything completely new? It’s all about answering those questions. From the point that a client first starts thinking about the answers, everything that we do is very much experience-based. We’re constantly considering how our choices mesh with how you, as a client, will experience them. Think about your floors, for example. You want to be comfortable in your own space so your carpets and rugs should be tailor-made for that purpose. To that end, we produce custom-made handwoven textiles for our clients. That’s just the start: everything we do from that point onwards is customised for your experience.”


Definition of “iconic” “Firstly, making something relevant is very important, It has to feel relevant and contemporary right now - in the present. That’s always the first step towards great design, in my view. Beyond that, what makes something iconic is that it actually transcends ‘the now’. Iconic design can be anywhere at any time – and the only way that can happen is if it has that inherent history and soul. Look at something like Angkor Wat. It defies context because it’s rooted so deeply in its own history. Sometimes, when you go somewhere, you discover a reverence for the history of that place. In those circumstances, not only do you go there and have that inspiration yourself, first of all, but you’re also very aware that other people will come and visit it, take their own inspiration from it and share it with others.” “There are a couple: one in Tribeca and one in Southport, Connecticut. Both speak of the same thing – the theme of being transformational. A lot of my projects start from something – they’re not just

tear-downs. It’s more a question of what we save to keep it relevant, rooted and in keeping with its history.

a lot of different architectural elements at play, which left it feeling really ‘noisy’ from a design perspective.

We had to transform the New York property completely because there was no soul in the space. It was a a very large, two storey penthouse apartment in beautiful Tribeca, one of the most sought-after addresses in the city. The developers had just created it out of the box, and it was really very poor quality. There were very thin doors – almost like plastic – dangling throughout the space. It just wasn’t something you’d expect from what is an extremely high end apartment. The before and after shots really reflect how we transformed it: we gave it a soul, turned it into a home and started some history there.

To address that, we ended up tearing down most of the superfluous architectural elements while keeping the relevant parts of the space. We respected where it was in nature - right by the ocean - and connected it to its environment again by opening up all the walls and letting it breathe. Lastly, we modernised it and added a few individual, iconic pieces – museum quality antiques and vintage objects from all over the world - to transform it into a seamless, harmonious design.

Southport, the location of the other property, is a very beautiful coastal town on what we call the Gold Coast of Eastern New England. The space itself was a real mish-mash of so many different architectural and design errors. In effect, it had been overcomplicated by the accumulation of history there. There were

I believe that the best design is based on what you start with. You have to have a certain reverence for the initial architecture. With both of those properties, we had to make sure that what we were starting with was solid and then almost go back to that again. Good design is about time and space – we connected those spaces to their past, first of all, and then modernised them to bring them into the present – and the future.” 

“Firstly, making something relevant is very important, It has to feel relevant and contemporary right now - in the present. That’s always the first step towards great design, in my view. Beyond that, what makes something iconic is that it actually transcends ‘the now’.” Tribeca, New York

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lexandra de Garidel, a FrancoSwiss designer, is known for the boldness of her interiors, and for creating unique spaces that are underpinned by stories, rather than by conventional formulaic styles. Ultimately, says de Garidel, “a house is successful if it’s pleasant to live in”. Her approach represents the perfect fusion of Swiss precision, modernity and attention to detail, with a more traditional emphasis on comfort and luxury, giving her creations the often elusive sense of a retreat. Definition of “iconic”: “Iconic Design is that which stands out from the multitude to set a new standard, a new benchmark, and that is truly representative of a period, a movement, a brand.”

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Klein Constantia is a vineyard domain in South Africa. The property is one of few under heritage conservation protection. Its history, rooted in the 16th century, also relates to the history of Cape Town

The mandate was to renovate the house in the Cape Dutch style. This house has become an iconic property post-renovation, by virtue of redefining the Cap Dutch style as evolutionary, rather than limited to a period in history or even limited to the classic national style. One can detect a mix of Asian, African and European influences that inform and inspire the South African creative spirit and the country’s architecture. Alexandra de Garidel’s interior design incorporates here the works of contemporary local artists, harmoniously and ingeniously interspersed with antiques and traditional pieces. The house is a living expression of 400 years of history – its own, as well as that of Cape Town, and the history of South Africa. It is thus deserving of an iconic status both because of its architectural pedigree and its interior design. The Cape Dutch style is given an ongoing definition, it is a style, an history that keeps being written! 


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ig Bergamin is a Brazilian designer of exceptional merit and credentials whose interiors are at once vibrant, elegant and layered, suggesting a multidimensional narrative. A great designer doesn’t simply interpret a client’s brief, he says, but challenges them beyond the limits of their own imagination. “I am not afraid to push people to think outside of their original concept. Interior design should not simply focus on the client’s lifestyle, but include real emotions and their personality as well. I demonstrate these things through shapes and colours, and through assembling furnishings, art works and fabrics that reflect my own personal experiences too.” The Sig Bergamin interiors are quite unique and literally brimming with character. Getting the balance right in a “busy” interior is crucial and Bergamin is a past master at this. “My work consists of gathering things and making a garimpo, a collection, rather than a simple exercise in decoration. I like to mix and match different pieces in varied styles and from various origins. I am not afraid to pull everything together and I love to take a risk. It is like placing

everything in a mixer and creating harmony. I have been training my whole life to be eclectic. I have never chosen the right way, always taken “the road less travelled” and eventually found the balance. I think about everything, from the wall to the trimmings. That is what makes for a unique design. My inspiration comes from my dreams and from books. Dreams provide me inspiration which I store in my mind as if in a box from which I pick this idea or that on demand. I love spending weekends reading books and looking up references - books, films, magazines, fashion and lifestyles further feed my imagination. I want my clients to have a relationship with the furnishings - the way they move around the rooms and live in them must have a strong connection with the design. The furniture and art works must match the lifestyle of the clients. A designer needs to imagine the people and their routine in the space. The interiors need to mirror the inhabitants’ life.” Definition of “iconic” “To be iconic is to be a reference, an example to be followed. It is to be contemporaneous, classic, modern, or whatever you need or want to be. It means to be resilient. It is about delivering what people expect with a little bit more energy and glamour.”

“Dreams provide me inspiration which I store in my mind... as if in a box from which I pick this idea or that on demand.”

Photography by Rômulo Fialdini

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Featured Project “This project is a summer house located in Punta del Este. Inspired by “less is more”, I decided on a contemporary style. The sheer size of the property pushed me to search for the right furniture proportions one space at a time - antiques from New York, Montevideo e Punta create a colorful atmosphere and give the space that Sig Bergamin DNA. The large living cum dining room area has light color furnishings and off-white hues that contrast with the vibrant art works, sea views and fabulous landscape. Given that it is a summer house, I looked for a relaxed and peaceful feel, evoked by the colours of the sea. The interiors here couldn’t be “busy” but rather, unencumbered and uncomplicated. The building is by Rafael Vinoli, therefore very contemporary, so my interiors should not fight/be at odds with the building itself. The inner spaces reflect the landscape and incorporate natural materials such as wood and stone. The richness of the fabrics is toned down by the same peaceful colour pallet.” 

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create and forge collaborations with distinguished architects and notable artists from the world over.

He works with some of the most prestigious furniture brands to curate interiors that are at once lavish and sleek, underpinned by contemporary and minimalist chic.

No less inspirational were his voyages through Kathmandu, Nepal and then Miami, US, albeit in different ways. While Nepal made a lasting impression with its underlying sense of serenity and harmony, Miami was bursting at the time with pop art and graffiti creativity.

The clientele of DORI HITTI ARCHITECTS | Le Cercle company which has offices in both Beirut and Dubai reads like the Who’s Who in the region.

"The art scene there is really amazing and is an integral part of life in the city, from architecture to street art, to nightlife."

DORI HITTI ARCHITECTS | Le Cercle is an uncontested pioneer in ultra-high end fitouts delivering turnkey projects to architects, consultants, contractors and investors all over the world.

Dori Hitti’s passion for art began in his childhood. Attracted by all things visual, with a gift for drawing and a fascination for art and furniture design history, he could well have become an artist himself. Instead, architecture and interior design offered him an alternative platform of expression.

ORI HITTI is a Lebanese interior designer and architect whose distinctive work can be seen throughout Europe and the Middle East at private residences, villas, hospitality and commercial projects, and luxury yachts.

Dori Hitti studied interior design at the Florence Academy of Art and was heavily influenced by his life in Italy and his extensive travels. He credits his time in Florence with finding a focus and “reaching his inner self”. It was there that he was first inspired to

Having discovered Minimalism’s radical treatment of perspective, Dori adopted it as the concept that underpins his work today – as does a rigorous approach to all of his projects.

“The physical experience of the space, materials and light should be geared towards the individual occupier.”

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Art, on the other hand, continues to nurture his soul and creativity, carrying him far beyond the mundane. Hitti describes his style as a fusion between traditional and modern minimalism with a hint of the Levant. "My projects are primarily linear, clean and simple, using natural high end material and products, well-known furniture brands and notable works of art that define the space. I create a complete architectural product, mostly residential, where the subtle transition between architecture and interior design is combined with a spatial design attitude that always captures the essence." Hitti’s definition of “iconic”? "Minimalistic design, the use of pure and tactile materials and an approach that respects both context and tradition. The physical experience of the space, materials and light should be geared towards the individual occupier." "Functionality, durability and comfort are the prime components of my works. It’s an architectural language that is grounded in aesthetics, yet resists fashion and trends. Simple ideas that translate into workable and successful projects; high quality design and products with a unique twist of individualism are the basis of our iconic designs." 

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ecognized for designing an extraordinary living experience with a timeless signature look, internationally renowned interior designer Karen Mills creates interiors that nurture the soul and reduce stress. Breaking through the boundaries of traditional design, Mills and her team fearlessly mix styles, color, texture, and innovative technology concepts to translate their client's unique style into an universally appealing interior that transcend time and space, while reflecting their personality and lifestyle. Although Mill's design aesthetic has been influenced by her well heeled European heritage, international travel, art, and a television background, initial encounters with Mills are often described as "meeting an old friend for the first time". Definition of “iconic” design: “An Excellent, distinct, enduring, harmonious, and often groundbreaking interior design that's recognized for its innovation, beautiful simplicity, and even historic merit."

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For this project the clients requested a blend of traditional and contemporary style that would enhance their stately Georgian architecture while also expressing their love of world travel and bespoke furnishings. To make a distinct personal statement original artwork, custom furnishings/ finishes, innovative lighting ideas, and dramatic design concepts were woven throughout the fabric of this home including a third floor guest suite entrance, fondly nicknamed the "Flat" after the client's London flat that cheerfully welcomes visitors up to the landing where they're greeted by a sun drenched window seat and playfully decorated shelving. The library, designed to reflect the homeowner's love of books and world history, needed more light and contrast. To solve this dilemma we designed custom furnishings in champagne - a leather and wood desk, pebbled wingback, upholstered chair and stunning area rug crafted with a luxurious blend of wool and silk to give

the room a lighter distinctive look. To further enhance the room, we lit custom shelving on each end of the library while also weaving in key elements from the clients' personal collection. Master suite walls, wrapped in tranquil blue green wall coverings create a serene sleeping space while beautifully reupholstered furnishings, a custom wool rug and drapes complete the look. In the dining room, clients wanted to reuse their traditional dining room furnishings while designing a more contemporary feel. To achieve this goal we created an innovative simplistic design, layering in a dramatic curved crystal chandelier, oversized abstract painting and an unique wall covering with the existing furniture. The cozy wool rug, custom chair seat fabrics, and eye catching accessories add the finishing touches to this simple but timeless room. 



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telier Wilda is a boutique architecture practice that operates in Brittany and the West of France. Founder Willy Durieu is selective in choosing projects, which enables the firm to provide a bespoke service to discerning commercial and residential clients. After originally studying sociology before becoming accredited as an architect, Durieu’s rigorously academic approach sees him consult closely with his clients to come up with innovative design solutions. “Atelier Wilda works on many diverse projects in terms of type and scale. There are two major things that we do differently to most other architecture firms. Firstly, we’re very selective in choosing only a few projects to work on at any given time. That allows us to devote enough time and resources to each project’s needs and consult regularly with our clients – who are key to any project’s success – without compromising either on time-frame or on quality. Secondly, curiosity/questioning is a big part of Atelier Wilda’s DNA. Before qualifying as an architect, I studied sociology. That taught me to dispel a lot of my preconceptions about things

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and, instead, to approach them with an almost child-like inquisitiveness. The construction industry is very conservative, so the ability to deconstruct accepted norms and approach them from a new perspective is a very effective tool. It allows me to be original with my design solutions without being overly demonstrative or expository.” Wilda’s flagship project to date is the renovation of ‘70s painter Pierre Lemaire’s workshop in Paris into a residential space for rent. “The two biggest challenges for this project were: 1) The client’s desire for two bedrooms/ private spaces in a property that featured a totally open-plan layout as its main quality. 2) The need to keep the sense of space in the property while also adding partitioned living areas - all without extending the surface area (which was not possible due to planning regulations). To address them, we made the following design decisions: 1) By removing the existing ceiling and extending it upwards, we increased the overall volume of the space. That allowed

us to add a cabin room on a mezzanine level above the master bedroom and bathroom. The cabin area now provides an additional private space with room for a double bed and a small, semipartitioned office area. The mezzanine solution also helped to keep the open-plan feel of the property: the cabin space is private because it’s raised up, but it doesn’t block off the light like a fixed partition would. We even installed large internal windows on the partition in between the second ‘bedroom’ and the office area in order to maintain that fluid, open feeling. 2) Together with the client, we decided to keep the living room as large as possible. Generally speaking, none of us spend too much time in the bedroom or bathroom throughout the day, so we decided to make those areas as compact as possible. To balance that out, we gave both of those spaces a lot of natural light from large windows and relatively high ceilings to increase their volume without sacrificing surface area from the living room. We also installed custom-made, fully integrated furniture and storage spaces throughout the property. Everything is

Photography by David Foessel

designed meticulously to appear simple and well-ordered: keeping a space neat and tidy plays a huge role in giving it a sense of space.” Before eventually agreeing on the cabin/ mezzanine as the optimal solution for the space, Durieu considered creating a mobile partition in the property: “That was our first idea, but it only allowed us to create a 6m2 room. It would have been a technically complicated solution to implement for limited practical use - all while taking up too much space. A lot of time and money spent for little-tono benefit. The cabin, on the other hand, allowed us to exploit some space that wasn’t being utilised at all. The tenant now uses it as

their main room because they like the cosy, almost playful atmosphere. That playful element is always something I look for in my designs. I try not to force it but I do look for opportunities to achieve it wherever possible by identifying and questioning the client’s habits and living arrangements.” Durieu insists that Atelier Wilda will never be limited by a perceived ‘specialisation’, and will continue to select a wide range of projects. “That diversity is an important part of what Atelier Wilda is all about. Despite the relative youth of the firm, I’ve managed to work on a range of different projects – and that is exactly what I want to keep doing. Working on large-scale projects enriches one’s comprehension

of smaller-scale projects - and vice versa. Will I work again on small projects like Christine’s? Yes, for sure – it’s the kind of project that allows me to be very creative and design every detail (which is something I’m passionate about). Will I specialise in them and ignore larger scale projects? I doubt it.” Definition of “iconic” “Time. Time changes the way we look at things. It gives context to buildings through the way they change, age, become worn or reinvigorated. Time allows us to judge the quality of the link between a building’s visual appearance and its context – it reveals how relevant (or otherwise) the construction was in the wider context of its use. Put simply: it tells you if it was the right construction in the right place.” 



VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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enata Pfuner is a South Florida-based interior designer whose approach is informed by her personal philosophy and holistic lifestyle, as well as an academic interest in colour and light. Long before interiors became her trade, they were her passion. Space, she says, is more than an interior – it is, or should be, a source of positive energy: welcoming, surprising, dramatic even. Having studied sustainable design before “sustainable” became a cliché, she is LEEDcertified and speaks of “enriching clients’ lives through their environment”. Health-conscious and fascinated by the flow of energy through space, colour and materials, she incorporates nature and elements from feng shui in her interiors but is not solely defined by it. Her trademark is not so much an easily identifiable style but rather, a combination of classical lines, the quintessence of architecture and timeless elegance. At the same time, her interiors are cutting-edge in terms of technology and innovative materials, and integrated into an environment that expresses understated beauty and harmony. The mix of materials and shapes and their ability to influence space is a recurrent theme of her narrative, as is colour. Pfuner holds an international diploma from the Iris international school of color & holistic interior design in London and is especially well-versed in her subject. We perceive colour not just through the eyes, she points out, but also subliminally. Nature walks are calming because they are associated with green, and by incorporating the color green in the interior, we experience

the same effect as we do when we spend time in nature. Colours, in a Renata Pfuner design, are used to enhance a state of mind or even aspects and goals in a client’s life.

“Colors can relax and balance our emotions, but at the same time they can excite, energize and make us more focused, whatever the intension of the space is.” “What is important to me is to create chromatic synergy and visual fluidity between the elements in a space. When there is a balance - and it can be achieved through the use of pattern and color, arrangement of furniture and decoration, lighting or architectural features everything just feels right. A subtle sense of order occurs. I help my clients to create a home that allows them to live a more fulfilled lifestyle, rather than creating an interior that is merely a fashion statement.” Pfuner’s interiors are layered, balanced and harmonious, with all elements working together to create an ultimate sense of cohesion and empowerment. What makes an “iconic” interior? “Iconic is timeless and understated. Iconic beauty appeals to our hardwired sense of harmony, balance and symmetry. That is why classical lines never go out of fashion; never die.” 

△ Office design

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▷ Office design ▽ Serene comfort

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◁ △ Zen residence



VB STAIRCASES Skoon 80 F, 1511 HV - Oostzaan, Netherlands Tel: +31(0) 7561 51 798

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ased in Venice California, bspk design is shorthand for “bespoke”, i.e. tailor-made, and an apt acronym for this company that focuses on single and multi-family residences, interiors, and hardscape designs. It was founded by Chris Faulhammer and Roman Reiterer, whose diverse training and multifaceted experiences, as well as contrasting and complimentary backgrounds, enable them to create a unique approach and experience for each client, regardless of program, aesthetic and budgetary preferences. Definition of “iconic” “Iconic design is that which withstands the boundaries of time and place by bridging cultural and aesthetic barriers. Driven by the forces of sociopolitical movements and inventions that change the fabric of aesthetics and values, iconic design has the ability to remain timeless, and limitless adapting to an ever-changing world.” Hollywood Based in an up and coming neighborhood, just south of Hollywood, California, the brief was to remodel an apartment building that was in dire straits. The goal was to create an identifiable building in the most economical way possible within the otherwise benign urban fabric of its surroundings. The financial constraints of the project meant that the existing 3600 ft2 structure had to be maintained, even though it had undergone multiple remodelling works and additions over its 70 years of existence, leaving the building without any architectural identity and an interior program that mimicked an eight-room hotel rather than traditional apartments. Saving the existing structure meant that bspk design needed to re-imagine the building, keeping the existing roof, but re-sculpting it and finding a way to convert the existing space into four spacious 2-bedroom units.

Santa Monica

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Santa Monica


Embracing a “less is more” approach, the solution was creating a simplistic architectural language throughout. The Principals used a white elevation that is only broken up by window openings of different sizes that create a rhythm harmonized with the interiors.

Designed for and around a family of five who travel the world, the home creates a calm sanctuary for them to recharge the batteries and bond as a family and at the same time enjoy the expansive spaces and countless amenities.

To give the building added definition, all openings are framed with metal boxes of different depths, creating changing shadow lines as the sun moves along. Splashes of colour on the inside of these frames create a beautiful yet whimsical elevation that smiles at you both when looking out the window or back at the building.

The home finds its strength in a delicate balance of materials and form, transcending the simple meaning of “form follows function”. From large upbeat parties to intimate quiet evenings, the flow of the house was designed to complement all types of gatherings.

Santa Monica Located in a highly desirable area of Santa Monica, California, this home projects timeless elegance with its clean architectural lines.

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“Iconic design has the ability to remain timeless, and limitless adapting to an ever-changing world.”

Taking full advantage of the Southern Californian climate, the indoor and outdoor living spaces flow seamlessly together, creating a sense of tranquillity, as the subtle infusion of water elements balance out the bustle of their everyday lives. 


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