Design Middle East February 2019

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I N T E R I O R S A N D A R C H I T E C T U R E F R O M T H E G U L F, L E V A N T A N D B E Y O N D



CHALLENGES Kareem Farah, director of ECC Group, on how he is turning every challenge and obstacle into an opportunity leading to success


Highlighting the workspace trends, the need for a collaborative environment, and how technology is a game changer



MAS Paints & Chemical Industries T: +971 6531 1777



MAR C H 20 19 | D U BA I The Design Forum 2019 is an exciting platform to trigger design conversations, interact with industry leaders and network amongst peers. The forum will feature interactive panel discussions and presentations. Tapping into the region’s current trends, the forum will include industry experts with their opinions on the topics which matter today: *How millennials’ approach to design is different from the previous generation? *Are we aiming for human-centric designs? *How healthcare design is more than just aesthetics? *Striking a perfect balance between lighting and architecture To be part of this exciting event, contact us on the details listed below:




Delphene Fletcher


MOBILE: +971 50 440 2706 DIRECT: +971 4 420 0506 JO@BNCPUBLISHING.NET

MOBILE: +971 55 991 0706 DIRECT: +971 4 420 0506 DELPHENE@BNCPUBLISHING.NET

MOBILE: +971 50 250 4625 DIRECT: +971 4 420 0506 ROMA@BNCPUBLISHING.NET




Commercial Director




CEO Wissam Younane Director Rabih Najm Group publishing director Joaquim D’Costa +971 50 440 2706

Commercial director Delphene Fletcher +971 52 1193077

Business development director Rabih Naderi +966 50 328 9818

Editor Roma Arora roma@

Art director Ifteqar Ahmed Syed

Welcome We’re already one month down in 2019 and clearly, time flies when you’re having fun. This reason for excitement is that we’re gearing up for the second Design Forum next month in March. Last year, we received an incredible response from the design fraternity, with 220+ attendees and more than 20 speakers under one roof, the atmosphere was enthralling and overwhelmingly positive. This year, we want to surpass the previous figures and put together even more powerful, exciting, and gripping event. On the cover of our February edition is Kareem Farah, director of ECC Group, this young achiever and a dynamic challenge seeker shares his recipe of success. Design Middle East also hosted a knowledge enriching session of a roundtable with OFIS and invited the leading interior designers to discuss the future of offices and how an effective workspace design defines the success of a company. The Project of the Month features Al Bait Sharjah where contemporary settings are blending with the vintage charm and glamour. This ambitious restoration and conversion project of the historic manor houses was undertaken with the vision of providing an unparalleled hospitality and a sense of home, together. This month, I am drawn towards insanely beautiful pendant lights by San Souci, featured in the Pick of the Month section.

Roma Arora Happy reading!

Marketing executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer Ignacio Soto Conde

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/designmiddleeast PO Box 502511 Dubai, United Arab Emirates T +971 4 420 0506 | F +971 4 420 0196 For all commercial enquiries related to Design Middle East contact T +971 50 440 2706 All rights reserved © 2018. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Design Middle East and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Design Middle East. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Images used in Design Middle East are credited when necessary. Attributed use of copyrighted images with permission. Prices are quoted in US dollars.

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February 2019


Contents F E BRUA RY 2019




February 2019


Cover Story







Kareem Farah, director of ECC Group, talks about the challenges and importance of an effective team

Oliver Goettling discusses kitchen trends and how clients are looking for innovative products

Joe Tabet's take on the architecture that will shape the buildings of future

Industry experts came together and discussed how effective workspace designs can increase the productivity of the employees


Wish List

Contents F E BRUA RY 2019



46 38


REGULARS 5 Editor’s Note



16 Newsmakers


Show Report



Design that cares and supports patients and staff requirements

Pop artist Luca Valentini on what made him enter this vibrant field of colours

Design highlights of the Heimtexil event

Al Bait Sharjah is about the rich heritage and urban designs coming together

54 Wish List 58 Events 60 Pick of the Month February 2019


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Sebastian Herkner wins the Designer of the Year Award at MAISON&OBJET 2019

Sebastian Herkner

German designer Sebastian Herkner, 37, is named the designer of the year at MAISON&OBJET 2019. The event took place in Paris, France from January18-22, 2019. Trained at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, Herkner is embarking on an ever-growing number of collaborations with international design houses (no less than 21 projects in the pipeline during 2018 for Moroso, Dedon, Thonet, and Lintello to name but a few). Over the course of the past decade, he has received some thirty awards in recognition of his innovative yet traditional work. A pretty astonishing career path for the design scene’s rising star who, since first setting up his studio in Offenbach am Main back in 2006, has unremittingly focussed on creating designs that fuse tradition with creativity, new technology with long-established crafts. This is a man who boasts an unconditional love for traditional craftsmanship, a flair for colour, an eagerness to embrace everything global and to draw on other cultures, an appetite for traditional materials (ceramics, wood, marble, and leather), a desire to encompass sustainability, a keen eye for detail, a sense of respect for the time it takes to create a truly stunning piece.

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Medy Navani will also perform guest lectures and work with students to inspire them to achieve their goals

Medy Navani signs MoU with CUD to nurture the new generation of designers and architects Medy Navani, founder and creative director of Design Haus Medy (DHM), will be mentoring the students of Canadian University Dubai (CUD) and preparing them to succeed in the design industry. Navani signed an official MoU with Dr Mohammed Djeddi, vice president of academic affairs at CUD. The partnership resonates with and bolsters the values of both parties to ensure graduates are equipped with the future requirements of the employment market, breaking the boundaries between academics, and industry and allowing the university to act as an incubator. Navani said it was an honour to partner with the leading Dubai university and through the collaboration, offer CUD students access to real-world insights and experience within the world of architecture and interior design, whilst further supporting the future workforce with valuable industry knowledge as they prepared for their careers. “I feel privileged to be a part of shaping the next generation of interior designers and architects in partnership with Canadian University Dubai. Both myself and the DHM team is passionate about contributing to the future of our industry by pushing the current students within our field to

think outside the box and offer eye-opening new experiences that contribute towards their future success. We have our sights set on achieving great things together with CUD," Navani said. Prof. Karim Chelli, president and vice Chancellor, CUD, described the collaboration as "in line with the university’s ongoing mission to collaborate with UAE-based businesses of excellence", to ensure its students were best prepared to pursue opportunities in their chosen fields. Navani has also been appointed to the CUD Corporate Advisory Board for the Departments of Architecture and Interior Design, where he will consult as an industry expert to enhance the current curriculum syllabus for interior design and architecture.

The event will have various panel discussions

Meet the leaders in architecture! With $32bn worth of projects in GCC in the next four years alone, The Leaders in Architecture MENA Summit 2019, aims to highlight the region as a beacon of architectural wonders in the years to come. The event takes place in Dubai from March 27-28, 2019, and brings together the global architectural leaders from Aedas, AECOM, Stantec, Woods Bagot, Perkins+Will, Nikken Sekkei, and RSP Global along with the regional giants like Dewan, National Engineering Bureau, and Pace to discuss the future of architecture and Expo 2020 at length. Some of the key topics, which would be discussed during the summit, include merging cultures in architecture, real estate developer’s effort for creating architectural icons in the MENA region, harnessing technological innovation in architecture, and architects’ guide to risk management. For the first time, leading architects and creative minds behind the Expo 2020 pavilions from different countries will also participate and share their experiences, challenges, and the progress made in this respect so far. Elena Jassim, head of Leaders in Architecture MENA Summit, said: “Leaders in Architecture MENA Summit has grown over the years into what is now a highly regarded client event in the region, evidenced by the strong interest and participation of speakers, partners, and clients. In today’s business environment, it is vital to make informed

decisions based on data from the industry experts that have a strong global and local understanding of business and design dynamics. It is our pleasure to host the 8th edition of Leaders in Architecture (LIA) MENA Summit in Dubai where we will be bringing together clients and partners to have insightful conversations, exchange views on topical issues, emerging trends and forces shaping the local, regional and global architectural industry along with doing business with the movers and shakers from the MENA region.” Jamil Jadallah, CEO, National Engineering Bureau, and a patron of the event commented: “Every industry needs an event that would look at the issues and challenges that it is plagued by

and it is pertinent to brainstorm to find a solution to such questions. LIA MENA always manages to do that on an annual basis and I am glad to be part of the team”. Another highlight of the 2019 edition is that Steve Woodland, principal director, The Cox Group, would be joining the event for the first time. Woodland would share his thoughts on Expo 2020 Opportunity Pavilion. LIA MENA 2019 is endorsed by American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Middle East, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gulf Chapter, and United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Dubai Chapter. The format of the event will see the conferences, exhibition space, and one-on-one meeting sessions.

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NEWSMAKERS The full program will include on-site workshops at Art Dubai, the popular Discovery Tours for children and teenagers at the fair, as well as the Artists-in-Schools Initiative

Sally Curcio announced the lead artist for Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program Art Dubai and The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced ‘Creating New Worlds’ as the theme for the seventh edition of the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program. American artist Sally Curcio will be the lead artist for the upcoming iteration, taking place at Art Dubai from March 20-23, 2019. Curcio will invite children and teenagers to explore and create cityscapes and urban landscapes through the use of miniatures and

prototypes, allowing them to create their own imaginative utopia. Curcio’s goal with this project is to motivate an inventive spirit; co-operation as well as to encourage participants to explore how different materials can be composed to create new imagined environments. Materials such as coloured beads, balls, pipe cleaners, blocks, bottle caps, and other found and recycled material will be used to create the new worlds, and their use for representing cityscapes of varying scale and perspective enriches idea

Sally Curcio

development and creative processes that are of value in a range of artistic and work endeavours. Newly appointed lead artist Sally Curcio said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen as the lead artist for the seventh edition of this prestigious program. One of the key areas of focus in my work is engaging with children and teenagers, and I look forward to working with them on creating their own little utopias, while learning how to use their imagination, co-operate with each other and employ an inventive spirit.”

Khadija Al Bastaki joins d3, replaces Mohammad Saeed Al-Shehhi Mohammad Saeed Al-Shehhi is moving on from his role as CEO of Dubai Design District (d3) to pursue a new role that further advances the realisation of Dubai’s vision. He is replaced by Khadija Al Bastaki who will assume the role of executive director of d3. Commenting on Al-Shehhi’s departure, Malek Al Malek, CEO of TECOM Group, said: “We are grateful to Mohammad Saeed AlShehhi for his passion and dedication to our organisation. His exemplary leadership and

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countless contributions have made d3 the success it is today.” Al Bastaki will focus on business growth and continuing to build the profile of the community as a leading destination for design, art and culture. She brings with her more than 14 years of executive experience in business development, portfolio management, and international relations with a focus on building strategic partnerships

Khadija Al Bastaki

Extensive use of wood finishes lend a warm vibe to this place

Swiss Bureau designs a functional and elegant space for TECOM DIAC Centre Swiss Bureau Interior Design (SBID) firm has recently completed a project for the public sector, the conference centre at TECOM Dubai International Academic City. The Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) was built to be a base for schools, colleges and universities with more than 12,000 students studying in 13 international higher education institutes. Spread over 15,000sqft of the area, DIAC Centre was envisioned to be the central hub for the whole area with a state of the art conference centre and offices for the management team of DIAC. The client, TECOM Group wanted the design to be chic, contemporary and more importantly a design that would be timeless and still be on trend, years down the line. After several design workshops and brainstorming sessions with the client, SBID narrowed down on a mood that had a minimalist tone with a palette of natural materials like concrete and wood juxtaposing each other. Using few materials but using these materials in different forms was a design principle used throughout the space. Another design highlight is the extensive use of wood in the form of louvres and plain panelling. Concrete flooring was used in different tones with a border in a darker accent that also served as a wayfinding feature. One of the key materials introduced into space was tinted glass. Rather

than using clear glass for all the partitions and doors, tinted glass added a level of privacy into the spaces. Graphics and signage also serve as a design feature in the space. With a neutral palette, black was introduced in the signage to create a strong bold impact. The Signage was also integrated with the groove lines that add movement into the space. Keeping wellness principles in mind, plants were introduced and the only accent colour used is that green tone.

The main space of design is the conference centre. This is a configuration of three rooms which can be converted into a single large space through the use of foldable partitions that are also acoustically treated. All of these rooms spill out onto the one large pre-conference space. Buffet counters are cleverly integrated into the peripheral walls, giving the illusion of a wider space. A bench is also integrated into one of the peripheral walls adding an accent feature into the area.

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LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE: Kareem Farah is goal-oriented and has exciting plans for the company

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On the

lookoutfor new challenges Kareem Farah, director of ECC Group, on thriving by thinking outside the box, delivering uniquelydesigned, and challenging projects

By Roma Arora


hallenges are meant to be met and overcome. There are a very few who understand this and are lifted by the challenges and complexities of the industry and can create a success story out of it. One such fine example is young and dynamic Kareem Farah, director of ECC Group, who’s always on a lookout for challenging opportunities. With construction and design industry booming, and Expo 2020 drawing closer, Farah realised that there lies an opportunity in the renovations and the design sector. In 2015, ECC Renovations, an entity of ECC Group, was established in response to a gap foreseen in the growing small-to-medium enterprise (SME) sector, a sector that makes up

for 95% of the establishments in Dubai as of 2018. The firm offers renovation services, turnkey fitout solutions, interior design services, project management, MEP works, and more. Farah explains: “As of 2018, SME’s contribute to over 47% to Dubai’s GDP, and is proving to be one of the leading sectors in Dubai that is currently driving the market. ECC Renovations will continue to capitalise on this market by providing a wide range of services to our diverse clientele no matter what the challenges are. We offer a complete range of services from inception to completion that includes design, value engineering, and project management across the UAE and have built a diverse portfolio that consists of commercial, residential, industrial, and infrastructure projects.”

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Construction of kids playground at Zayed University by ECC Renovations

Some of the key milestone projects are the construction of the first H2 Fuel Station in the Middle East, Zayed University, LACASA office fit-out, installation of the skylight at the Dubai Airport among many others. The current pipeline of projects includes the Dusit Residence, Emaar Pumping Station, Makeen Skylight, a couple of office fit-outs, villa extensions, and several internal projects within the ECC Group. Farah takes great pride in his team and his true leadership qualities are adding to the success of ECC Renovations. Farah feels: “Behind every successful project, there is an excellent, diverse team of professionals that bring their international and local expertise while understanding the market, its needs and requirements. If we are

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able to deliver a tailored approach on time and ahead of a schedule that benefits our clients, it’s all because of the skilful team. We have built a reputation for our consistency in delivering promises and offering adaptability to all project requirements - regardless of technical and/or logistical complication, a bi-product of having an excellent team.” Farah believes in innovation and he keeps on updating himself with international and local market trends. With timely and relevant insights, he helps in bridging the gap between challenges and impactful solutions. Farah says: “It’s important to bring fresh and new ideas to the table and have a great knowledge about the market trends. Earthy, neutral tones for flooring, use of

Zamahn Sajjad, project manager at ECC Renovations

Green Community Villa project by ECC Renovations

Residential projects are often the most challenging ones, requiring bespoke services and customisation. – Kareem Farah

natural materials for interior decoration, wooden elements and rustic furniture, low-hanging lights as well as pastel-toned walls and drapes are some of the trending elements that we have noticed in some of our recent projects as well as in the food & beverage (F&B), residential, and commercial sectors. We are also noticing a peaked interest by clients to extend and renovate their homes, with a few of our ongoing projects pertaining to the scope of work.” Farah thinks that challenges give an opportunity to learn and grow as every project comes with its own set of unique challenges and requirements. In a short span of time, ECC Renovations has delivered over 60 projects pertaining to various sectors such as industrial, residential, commercial,

hospitality, and infrastructure. So, which projects are most challenging? Farah answers: “According to my opinion, residential projects are often the most challenging ones, requiring bespoke services, and the customisation that we are able to provide and deliver on-time due to our strategic partnerships with our suppliers. We also understand that renovation work to existing residential projects is extremely stressful to our clients and we ensure to be very transparent about the process upfront, in addition to supporting our clients at every stage of the process from authority approvals to completion.” Farah believes that technological innovation and advancement is unavoidable for a company to stay ahead of the curve and to maintain a

Raneesh Mundon, project manager at ECC Renovations

competitive edge in the market. At the start of 2018, ECC Group made the decision of implementing a full-fledged Business Information Modelling (BIM) department, anticipating new industry trends and to stay abreast of international industry standards. BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based platform that provides users with insights or tools for architecture, engineering, construction, and ensures all processes are adaptable, flexible, and carried out in the most efficient manner possible. BIM is a boon for the design and construction industry. The adoption of BIM ensures project clashes or inconsistencies in design, materials, and their quantities are realised in earlier stages of the project, making it invaluable in coordinating information across departments, as a collaboration

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ECC Renovations carried out the design and construction works for LACASA office

between entities is an integral aspect of any project. Farah shares: “The implementation of BIM has multiple advantages in the design, construction, and architecture industry ensuring increased cost efficiency and time saved on a project. We were able to see fruitful results of the implementation of BIM on ECC Group’s and ECC Renovations’ ongoing project—Rawda, located at Town Square, Dubai. Rawda currently is 3.2% ahead of schedule and 43% complete, is a great case study showcasing the added value and benefits of BIM.” Farah is always looking for something new to work on, be it a taller tower, more complex designs, bespoke contract arrangements, to accommodate special client requirements. Farah is excited about his latest project H2 Fuel Station and says: “We thrive by thinking outside the box, delivering uniquely-designed projects and have developed a solid reputation

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The implementation of BIM has multiple advantages in the design, construction, and architecture industry ensuring increased cost efficiency and time saved on a project. – Kareem Farah for the same. One of our recent milestones, the H2 Fuel Station, the first of its kind in the Middle East was an exciting experience for us. Undertaking such an interesting project, a new concept to the Middle East was a daunting task. Our scope of work included the complete construction and civil works – heavy equipment foundations, sheds, roads, equipment storage units along with MEP work. We were able to complete it successfully, on-time and ahead of schedule due

to the hard work and dedication of our invaluable skilled workforce and team members.” Farah is optimistic about Expo 2020 and strongly believes that the event will attract new investors and potential buyers to the market, boosting the economy, furthermore, post Expo as well. Farah feels: “The expos in the past like Shanghai in 2010 and Milan in 2015 have had a positive effect on the country’s economy, especially in the real estate sector, which I foresee

happening for Dubai as well. Dubai’s GDP for construction and real estate is set to record a growth of 4.2% and 3.8% respectively during the next five years.” Farah has extremely promising plans for the future and he wants to achieve more milestones and is further keen to expand the portfolio and work on projects in the F&B and the retail sector. Farah concludes: “We have tripled in numbers since our inception in 2015 and are definitely looking to expand in the future, systematically and organically, similar to the expansion of ECC Group. Having vast experience in office fit-out and residential projects, our aim is to continue working on more innovative projects in the same field. One of our long-term plans is to grow the business in the SME sector and become the most well-known and sought-after company for SME scale construction projects across the UAE.”

MOTIVATOR: Farah attributes his success to his team

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evolution of

kitchens Oliver Goettling, founder and MD of Goettling Interiors, talks about the kitchen trends that are here to stay for long

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he design industry and market of Dubai are emerging to a more mature and solid landscape especially over the past two decades. As of today, a rising number of buyers are having higher spending capacities and an even higher demand for avantgarde products. This is a trend wave that designers and manufacturers are surfing on. Not just them, the government too, is exceedingly keen on developing a section of the economy that is driven by creative offerings for the consumer market to get excited about. There is exponential progress in the UAE to achieve this design-driven economy. This is affirmed by the successful run of multiple notable design exhibitions that witness a rising influx of buyers from all over the world. The development of the design community indicates international brands opening doors, involving partnerships, and offering employment. At the end of the day, the idea is to enhance the lifestyle of clients. There is a need to mention the uncanny yet unavoidable trend of “Instagrammability” that makes us ponder whether spaces are designed for social media or for people to inhabit and experience. Especially for commercial spaces, this is a design checkbox that needs to be ticked. This reflects how the culture of social media affects the designing process. Sustainability has become rather a responsible and conscious expectation than just a catchword. People are carefully choosing the brands that uphold the virtue of certified environmentally friendly production line and end product. Natural authenticity is also making its way into the design enquiries, with more homeowners wanting the presence of natural materials like wood and exposed stone in their interior design. Kitchen Design and its effect on daily lifestyle: Expo 2020 motto of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, is an idea that the design industry has been actively involved in. Continuous innovation in industrial design and design solutions are making lifestyles increasingly efficient and convenient. The visual concept of privacy has truly broken down and has opened larger arenas for designing. Open floor plan layout is the vogue word and this includes clear vision lines and unobstructed views from within a space. Kitchen now has become more like the heart of the house rather than just a secluded corner. Ergonomics is one of the principles for our designs. From appliances placed at optimum heights to using the knee height for push-to-open or close drawers, it ensures ease of operations without pulling a muscle while doing so. Design

Kitchen now has become more like the heart of the house rather than just a secluded corner. Ergonomics is one of the principles for our designs. Oliver Goettling

meets function in the form of Cube system. The concept is simple for this breakthrough product - less space, more function. It makes storage and organising an easy action by having everything within arms reach. Healthy living needs a design that supports this lifestyle and Schüller Panel Garden is here for that. The panel garden with integrated lighting helps herbs to remain fresh for longer—this makes

a particular sense in darker parts of the kitchen. The lighting is controlled by a timer that leaves the light on for 14 hours and then switches it off for 10 hours. Thus, the freshness is well preserved without constant maintenance. After all, the design is in the details. When these details become lifestyle-conscious and functional-centric, we can have spaces that truly make the users’ life enabled, easy and enhanced.

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Joe Tabet, managing director at JT+Partners, talks about the architecture that inspires and will shape the future of buildings

How would you describe your architectural style? Architectural styles emerge from the history of a society and can be grouped into categorical types which are modified over time, manifesting the ever-changing fashion trends, political beliefs, religions, ideas, technologies, etc. of its period and region. Architecture should reflect its time and place, yet aim for timelessness. Our projects provide specific design solutions to suit each project’s locality, surroundings and urban fabric, respond to the functionality, quality, and requirements of each project’s end users as well as fulfil each of our client’s visions.

What building(s) do you turn to for inspiration nationally or internationally? Architects and designers have the esoteric inspirational skill that makes the creation of these wondrous structures

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a possibility. They possess the knowledge, vision, and resilience to make a mere idea a remarkable reality. Architects can be inspired by anything, anywhere. They are an inspirational engine who translates the ideas into reality. We look at architecture as the triumph of the human imagination and with each project; it is like life starting all over again. Therefore, we challenge ourselves with every creation to constantly deliver bespoke designs that reflect our multi-cultural backgrounds, diversity in beliefs, experience, and knowledge.

Is sustainability important to you? If so, how do you work it into your designs? Sustainable architecture emphasis not only style and design but also innovation. This has led to sustainable buildings becoming known for their impressive architecture and contribution in inspiring the community. In addition to


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cultural and aesthetic sensibilities, JT+Partners are committed to and deliver environmental and socially sustainable communities integrating rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in buildings, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. We focus on environmental and socially sustainable architecture design as well as sustainable and critical carbon design strategies.

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What are some of the design challenges when working on super tall buildings? Super tall buildings aim to integrate architecture and structure to create an iconic and futuristic landmark. These buildings are designed to be new sculptural icon within the surrounding. The trend towards taller, thinner buildings has presented new turns on

old engineering challenges. When a building is very slender and the ratio between the height and width of a building goes beyond 9:1, it becomes considerably more expensive to construct, since it requires thicker structure which will affect the efficiency of the building as well as more sophisticated technology to reduce the amount of swaying and shaking caused by the wind. Super tall buildings will

Super tall buildings will require innovative engineering solutions and the most exciting part of the technological advances is that they promote unique designs. Do you have any thoughts on the future of architecture?

require innovative engineering solutions and the most exciting part of the technological advances is that they promote unique designs. On another hand, the combination of site-specific environmental factors, and the desire to make each super tall a signature part of a city's skyline means towers will continue to evolve in different and creative ways.

Over the last two decades, the construction industry has been subject to dramatic changes, paving the way for a future in which traditional spatial concepts are no longer valid. The changes are quite impressive and it is not a secret that technology has accelerated at an incredible pace! Architecture is not an exception. The design is going to be in the fourth dimension. We’re building on an X and Y grid, but soon there will be a Z element. A vertical city is an entire human habitat that can thrive in a skyscraper. These cities we’re hearing about today will actually start emerging in the near future. Nothing is impossible with architecture; we might be building in the air in 10 years’ time. Tabet discusses one of his ambitious projects that the firm is working on in Zanzibar called The Black Coast Resort located in the Northern side of the island. Designed for the property developer, The Black Coast Resort forms part of a wider master plan, which will provide a leisure retreat over a 400ha site picturing a popular tourist destination

off the coast of East Africa south of the Somali Sea. The masterplan design is based on the vision of the developer reflecting the coastal fluidity idea, which takes its inspiration from breathtaking cliff retreat. It aims to help guests reconnect with the natural environment. The project is in the design phase and is spread over 10ha to mimic the site topography of the slates contours and the forms of the landscape looking over the Indian Ocean. The hotel floorplates decrease in scale towards the summit, tapering to create a peak-like formation to frame the hotel entrance. In addition to the hotel and villas, architecture’s complementing integration in the earth, nature plays a big role within the resort. The buildings carve out their own internal and external spaces and dynamic views to the external vistas for visual interest. The outdoor concept creates a series of different strata, each with its own garden. Landscaping is used extensively as an architectural surface treatment and forms a major part of the development. It allows generous outdoor areas for recreation and social interaction throughout the development. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.

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Impact of

workspace design on productivity

Photography by Ignacio Soto Conde Venue partner: OFIS 30 |

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Workplaces are evolving and pushing the boundaries of design towards more collaborative and flexible spaces. Design Middle East with OFIS hosted an exciting session of a roundtable at their new showroom located on Umm Hurair Road, Oud Metha in Dubai and invited the Industry experts to discuss trends, technology, and future of offices

Our esteemed panel

Left to right: Adil Amin; Joakim De Rham; Adriana Graur; Laila Al-Yousuf; Clementine Francois

Adil Amin, head of interior design, Bluehaus Group Adriana Graur, interior designer, Perkins+Will Laila Al-Yousuf, design director and partner at SAY Studio Marina Petrovic, divisional manager furniture division at OFIS Clementine Francois, interior designer and project manager, Zaro Architects Joakim De Rham, CEO and founder, Swiss Bureau Interior Design

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One of the projects by Perkins+Will where collaborative and flexible interior reflects the core of the business

you’re picking but it’s about the right temperature, bringing more natural light, the correct humidity level so that employees feel comfortable. LAILA: Putting employees first is what great offices like Google are focussing on. The idea is to make the employees happy by giving them nutritional food options, nap rooms, subsidised food plans, all this helps in increasing the productivity of the employees. They’ve been pivotal in taking these steps and it ultimately comes down to what best can we give our staff. I believe the traditional offices are dying out because of the way we are using the technology is amazing. We have internet, smartphones, and tablets, so practically we’re working all day long from anywhere. Adriana Graur, Perkins+Will

What client wants? ADIL: Clients are more aware of their aspirations in terms of office design. Employers do not understand terms like biophilia but they stress upon greenery and employee well-being. Clients are also looking for an office that gives more of a homey feeling. This includes open-plan setting, lounge furniture, eclectic décor, and relaxing hues, so the office feel warm and inviting, like your own living room. Companies are bringing home to their offices.

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JOAKIM: We deal with a lot of corporate clients and they have their own corporate guidelines. We try to introduce them to design elements like biophilia and home-like workspaces. There’s a definite movement in terms of creating a healthy environment for employees. ADRIANA: When you give your employees everything that they need in a day, and then they will be productive. They would spend more time and do quality work. Clients now understand that sustainability is not just about the materials that

MARINA: There’s awareness about sustainability and it’s great to see how WELL Building Standards is revolutionising and improving the happiness and wellness of employees. Even the clients are choosy and you cannot give them two catalogues to select the products from. There are various generations that are working together in the same office. So clients want a space which is comfortable and everyone enjoys the given space irrespective of the age. Tenure retention is important and in order to succeed in this area, the offices should be flexible in terms of furniture as well as timings. The working trends are changing and as long as you’re able to deliver, it doesn’t matter whether you show up in physical offices or not.

CLEMENTINE: Clients are asking for more greenery and open spaces that facilitate communication. The office should be functional so that improve the happiness and wellness of employees, because wellness impacts productivity. A collaborative work environment leads to more productivity, creativity, and innovation.

Space planning in office environments ADIL: If you don’t feel like sitting on the chair and working on the able, then technology has made it possible to work on a tablet while sitting in the lounge. We explain to the clients the importance of lounge seating to break the monotony and in future, it’s easy to convert a lounge into desking in case the need arises. JOAKIM: Clients want collaborative spaces but the problem is they want working stations, cubicles, pantry, and large conference rooms as well. All this requires a lot of space and proper planning, I suggest my clients to go outside the city and afford a bigger space. The layout of the workspace is very critical but we need space to design it systematically too. In an open-plan environment, workplace acoustics seems to be the concern but another important thing to understand here is that people don’t like to sit in an environment that’s too quiet and can be unproductive. People at least want some sound. So, everything starts with space planning. LAILA: I think it’s important to understand what type of company are you designing for, what is the function and how do people perform.

Property Finder office in Dubai by Swiss Bureau

Joakim De Rham, Swiss Bureau Interior Design

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New OFIS showroom highlighting collaborative spaces

The brainstorming workshop sessions at the beginning of the project are very crucial. For instance, if you have rows and rows of desk and it’s a sales office, you don’t actually need that kind of arrangement. Considering salespeople are in and out and you can use half of the space to introduce other valuable environments in the office. Principles like biophilia, ergonomics, and air quality fall under WELL Building Standards. Statistics say that 8-10% of the productivity increases because of the biophilic designs and well-being of the employees is increased by 40%. All these elements are part of effective space planning. ADRIANA: To make a successful office, it’s important to study the way to their working. Elements like natural light, temperature controls, and a layout, which doesn’t block the views, are things, which can’t be neglected. Three years back, it was difficult to explain all such things to clients but now they understand the core values of an effective office environment. Another important aspect to keep in mind is the completion of the project. For example, if a project will take two to three years to complete, the designer must incorporate flexible designs in such a situation. MARINA: Office space planning is the process of organising office furniture, technology, and other related elements to work effectively together while using space efficiently. Many surveys suggest that an average person spends as much time at work than they do anywhere else. Another thing to keep in mind is that consider the future, companies grow and they change, flexible spaces are what we need. It’s amazing to see how biophilic and sustainable designs are getting introduced

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Marina Petrovic, OFIS

in the workspace environment and are positively affecting the employees, so it’s a good return on investment than an extraadded cost for the companies.

CLEMENTINE: It is possible to persuade clients to understand that there’s a return on investment when designing collaborative spaces but I think it will take more time in the Middle East to absorb this idea.

IMKAN head office in Abu Dhabi by Bluehaus Group is an open collaborative workplace in a chic industrial style

Technology is enhancing the office experience ADIL: We worked on the Smart Dubai Office and they moved their office from the old part of Dubai to Dubai Design District. The interesting thing about this project is that only the CEO has an office, rest is an open plan setting. The feedback we received is that considering it’s a government office, the employees are enjoying this space, staying beyond their working hours, and the productivity has increased. JOAKIM: Modern offices are more collaborative than ever before and need to quickly adapt to changes especially in technology. Improvements in technology could be in various areas from furniture, lighting, air quality, to acoustics. The best design solution must consider all these aspects by involving technology that has a positive effect and increases the productivity and lifestyle of employees. ADRIANA: Technology is a factor that is forever changing, therefore, the companies need spaces and furniture that can adapt to new equipments. But there are certain things one cannot do without, even in a collaborative environment, one needs a proper desk and an ergonomic chair. LAILA: Nowadays, technology is becoming more and more affordable but it doesn’t mean that you would use everything even it is not even remotely related to your work. Many offices are putting huge

Adil Amin, Bluehaus Group

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SAY Studio is working on a project and designs are dedicated to the well-being of the staff

screens in the offices irrespective of whether they need it or not. So, that’s not how you should choose technology. Employees should benefit from the technology used in the office. MARINA: Technology is changing the way we work. You can send e-mails from your tablet or smartphone. In the modern workplace environment, people’s expectations of technology are high and it directly affects the way we plan space and buy furniture. CLEMENTINE: As companies strive to enhance workplace productivity, it's our responsibility as designers to provide the right work environment coupled with the best available tools and technology. Technology has allowed for greater mobility and flexibility in space design, introducing activity-based working spaces. This offers employees open, private and team spaces, empowering staff with the freedom to work where, when and how they want. Along the lines of fostering a dynamic space, technology provided a series of platforms of digital media and displays that can be curated and customised to match the flow and tempo of any physical space.

The future of offices

Laila Al-Yousuf, SAY Studio

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ADIL: I want to see biophilia becoming part of the design philosophy and not just a trend. It would be exciting to see more experience-driven spaces coming up in the future.

Clementine Francois, Zaro Architects

JOAKIM: The future is about interesting and collaborative areas. The idea is to make employees happy and more productive by increasing their focus. One such thing is QuitePod, these are mobile silent rooms for use in open-plan offices and public environments. These pods help you to refocus and they take the term flexibility to another level. The challenge is that we need retailers and suppliers to push for such products and create a demand. Clients need to understand its benefits so that more and more companies can include such things in their offices. LAILA: I love the principles of the co-working spaces and that will be popular. One meets so many other people and engaging with them and can lead to business development opportunities as well. Working from a different space, from a different environment, or from a different desk— co-working spaces give the freedom to choose a new office everytime and one saves a lot of money too. ADRIANA: Focus in the work environment is really important. I think it’s not just about the trends; it’s more about the evolution of design and how we

think about the future. If you’re making a space, make sure it’s flexible, that’s what millennials and the younger generation want. When you’re designing a space for them, you have to give them choices. There might be employees who are more creative and productive when they are working from home in their own familiar environment. So, there will be more work-from-home options available in the coming days. MARINA: In ORGATEC 2018, the focus was not on the usual chairs and tables for the offices. The event highlighted the trends and innovations for the work culture of tomorrow. The focus was on acoustics controls, meeting pods, lounges, and collaborative areas with exhibitors showcasing their exciting products. CLEMENTINE: Industry is pushing too much about acoustics and it’s becoming a trend. We should use the technology and other tools in communal nodes that will help create opportunities for interactions and engaging experiences that enhance the overall work environment. Automation, space sensors and artificial intelligence have been of great help to better understand space usage of workplaces

FunNations office by Zaro Architects

and catering for staff's needs and promote for better well-being in the work environment and attain peak productivity. I think we should focus more on personalising furniture according to the employee’s requirements.

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designimpacts wellness! The healthcare sector is revolutionising in the Middle East in terms of effective designs that improve the health of patients

dwp's objectives for Prime Hospital, Al Garhoud were to produce a consistent design language throughout the building that would promote the image and atmosphere of a premium healthcare environment

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Ron Bridgefoot, dwp


he healthcare market in the GCC region in the last few years has undergone a revolution. In the run up to Expo 2020, billions of dollars are being injected into building and nurturing healthcare facilities by both governments and the private sector. The GCC has smaller populations and higher levels of income meaning healthcare is one of the strongest sectors to leverage going forward, especially with the shift away from previous oilbased economies. In order to prevent patients seeking medical care elsewhere the standard of hospital treatment in the GCC is rising.

Focus on behavoural design The UAE is actively expanding its healthcare industry to meet international standards in terms of design, technology, and infrastructure. Across the globe there are trends that are focussing on a holistic approach to health services delivery in the public and private sector health facilities. One of the key trends that is shaping the healthcare design and facilities is the behavioural design. The alignment of human behaviour with advances in medicine is a crucial element in the ability to maximise resources within the healthcare environment. Global architectural and design firm, dwp has worked on various healthcare projects in the region as well as internationally. Ron Bridgefoot,

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health sector leader, dwp, elaborates on behavioural designs: “New models of care that integrate behavioural design into the healthcare services delivery and processes are assisting designers and clinicians. The creation of an environment that allows clients and clinicians to assimilate abundant information and build trust, orientation, and communication excellence is the key. The ability to provide the environment that enable the calming of clients and the effective services delivery via numerous people all working together is critical to successful services delivery. The development of integrated behaviour design teams embedded within healthcare environments and with architects and designers are helping to drive the new way forward and producing new strategies for improving health care delivery and outcomes across the health services networks.” When dwp worked on Prime Hospital project in Al Garhoud, the aim was to create a welcoming environment through the use of warm colour tones, natural materials, and soft lighting. Bridgefoot explains: “The idea was to ensure simple movement around the space for both staff and patients. It was designed to create a feeling of arriving in a luxury healthcare facility, where patients check-in at a reception that is more reminiscent of a hotel than a hospital. Sofa seating throughout the lobby promotes a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, whilst the use of

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Exceptional environments are used as selling points in an increasingly saturated and competitive market. – Michael Arnold

high-quality materials such as timber veneers, onyx stone, marble flooring and glass reinforce the impression of luxury. The patient rooms give an impression of a comforting hotel guestroom rather than a typical clinical hospital ward.”

Collaboration between fit-out and design From a fit-out perspective, it is important that we collaborate closely with the design team to enhance the key components of the facility. Marcos Bish, managing director at Summertown Interiors, says: “From a fit-out point of view, the key to delivering an efficient building is through strong collaboration with our team and the designers. For instance, the new Mediclinic Dialysis Department in Abu Dhabi that we completed at the end of last year allows for natural light creating a bright, open atmosphere while still maintaining the privacy of patients. The facility also caters to the functional needs of the medical procedures with generous space for both equipment and patients.”

Michael Arnold, Godwin Austen Johnson

Leo A Daly is the architect for the Mediclinic Dialysis Department project in such a way that there is apt room for both equipment and patients.

How is technology is a game changer! Sure, it is! Technology is playing a significant role and introducing a new era into any discipline. AGi Architects are part of some exciting healthcare projects in the region such as Hisham A. Alsager Cardiac Center, Ali Mohammed T AlGhanim Clinic, and Shaikha Jassim Al Marzouq Kidney Transplant Center. The principals and founding partners of AGi Architects—Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea and Nasser Abulhasan think that technology is producing desired results. They say: “New technologies research and new materials implementation are entering the architecture sector with encouraging results. New prefabrication procedures based on BIM design and 3D printing promise to be revolutionary.” Healthcare design evolution has moved from the 2D planning into 3D Planning and now into Virtual Reality. Architects and designers are now creating immersive environments that allow clients to walk through the facilities. Bridgefoot explains: “ The alignment of behavioural design with virtuality reality is a key to creating environments that enable the health services

delivery models to reflect optimisation of resources within a calming environment. The ability to include process mapping via virtual reality of the various clinical streams and care pathways is being integrated to provide healthcare environments that enable safe and effective care delivery.” Smart technology, phones, tablets, watches, and armbands are common tools within our society today. This smart technology is shaping hospital environments to have the infrastructure that will allow clients, staff, and visitors to access information on all aspects of healthcare. Access to a full range of information, records, and communications to all clients and staff will be the norm. Patients journeys begin at home with preadmissions completed on electronic devices, the route to the hospital and within the hospital will be displayed on their devices, the consultation timing and arrangements will be known and programmed. The patient journey within healthcare facilities will be defined, have a timetable and will be updated if delays are present. Electronic Kiosks, similar to ATM’s are common in hospitals and allow clients and visitors to program their time in hospitals and allow them to rest, shop or have a break.

Shaikha Jassim Al Marzouq Kidney Transplant Center project by AGi Architects

Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea and Nasser Abulhasan, AGi Architects

Design helps to sell in a competitive market! Healthcare is an increasingly competitive industry. With the explosive growth of healthcare in the Middle East and globally, new facilities are now erected to attract an increasingly sophisticated and demanding consumer base. Clients design facilities that offer exceptional customer experiences to attract patients and families as well as top physicians and healthcare professionals. Michael Arnold, consultant director healthcare planning and design, Godwin Austen Johnson, says: “Exceptional environments are used as selling points in an increasingly saturated and competitive market. From the patient’s perspective an exceptional facility is seamlessly accessible, welcoming, calming, and healing. An exceptional facility is designed to meet the exacting clinical requirements of tomorrow’s hospital. Its design supports efficient workflow and teamwork, and promotes a positive professional atmosphere respectful of the professionals.”

Why space flexibility is important? Space flexibility is a key driver of success for a facility. With the ever-evolving dynamics and environments, today’s programme requirements will change over time. Arnold stresses: “No longer will budgets accommodate expensive renovation. We must offer solutions such as universal beds and modular units so hospital teams can flex to the new needs of their populations. The capability of the facility design to operationally adapt to the significant future patient care programmes changes and medical technology advancements that will continue to evolve at an increasingly rapid rate. The design of healthcare facilities should be easily convertible and adaptive with a minimum

of disruption to existing operations for future changes.” Space flexibility is an important factor in hospitals to be able to respond to different situations and scenarios. The principals and founding partners of AGi Architects—Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea and Nasser Abulhasan share: “Versatile spaces are key in healthcare buildings, especially considering the huge amount of tasks a hospital must face, from the patients’ attention to the research and training and education activities, amongst others. Also, technology changes so quickly, that we cannot understand yet what is going to be achieved on the next decade. Will the big machinery be eliminated? Will we need more labs areas, where genetics and nano structures specialists will create personalised treatments?”

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Summertown Interiors has recently completed the new Mediclinic Dialysis Department at Airport Road Hospital in Abu Dhabi

Bish further adds: “Due to market volatility and changing demographics, flexibility and adaptability are very important design principles for healthcare providers and hospitals. Space flexibility allows hospitals to have the ability to react to a wider range of cases and changes in demand without the need for extensive disruptive renovations.”

Needs of the future We find that the Middle East region could be a land of opportunities. These countries have invested in the past to create the most advanced healthcare cities in the world. AGi Architects are part of some exciting healthcare projects in the region such as , Hisham A. Alsager Cardiac Center, Ali Mohammed T Al-Ghanim Clinic., and Shaikha Jassim Al Marzouq Kidney Transplant Center. Goicoechea and Abulhasan highlight their concerns: “The big issue is to determine what will be next decades’ necessities, and a good global strategy that focus on people, both workers and patients. What´s the demographic expectation for the region on the next 30 years? What are the needs of their communities? We are moving to a new way of understanding health, healthcare facilities will no longer be the last minute emergency resource. Healthcare Centres must be leading the community members through a healthy life, with good practices workshops and big data analysis implementation, so costs of healthcare system will be lower than today’s standards.” Sustainability is what clients are demanding these days and in coming days, it will be a given

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Marcos Bish, Summertown Interiors

Space flexibility allows hospitals to have the ability to react to a wider range of cases and changes in demand without the need for extensive disruptive renovations. – Marcos Bish

norm. “Sustainability is increasingly important and more and more our clients are demanding we design buildings that are sustainable. We are designing with the health of building occupants in mind with a focus on the indoor

environment, building materials selected for organic properties and air and waste handling systems that reduce toxicity. Sustainability is an emphasis in the region and healthcare is conforming to these trends and expectations,” says Arnold. Fitness wearables are common accessories that are being utilised for continuous monitoring of a person’s heartrate, body temperature, breathing, atrial fibrillation and is expanding to assist the people with impairment. “Access to real time data for clinicians is within the reach and will allow for great preventative health measures in the future. The healthcare environments are evolving to be totally integrated with the smart technology,” adds Bridgefoot.

Hospitals integrated into living communities The segregation of the hospitals within our communities is changing with master planning and strategic planning focusing on creating town centres integrating healthcare environments, wellness centres, aged care and residential accommodation, commercial and retail facilities with community and educational facilities. Activities including private and public healthcare facilities are being cluster together to form health knowledge precincts, living life better hubs and green living centres that allow clients to have communities that are connected and allow for improved life-styles. The simple colocation of public and private hospitals has been common planning strategy for decades, however their integration into community centres is being developed as a potential approach to normalising healthcare and linking lifestyles and healthcare. Research across the globe is highlighting the benefits of continued exercise and wellness as an integrated approach to healthcare delivery.


luxury with glass Creating

Luigi Lucchetta, general manager, Barovier&Toso, talks about glass trends and clientele What kinds of variety of glass are you dealing with? The offer includes a complete range of products available in different finishings and totally customisable. Barovier&Toso has a very complete catalogue reaching about 5000 products (if you combine models, dimensions, and colours) being able to satisfy the different needs and tastes of the clients. We offer not only largescale supplies listed in the Catalogue but also highly customised solutions that enhance the intrinsic characteristics of every interior. We sell our products in about 80 countries and the UAE is one of the regions where we are investing in promotion and communication. We have opened our showroom in Dubai Design District. This latest milestone confirms our commitment to a policy of internationalisation. Our collaboration with Archiade, our local partner with more than

eight years of experience on this market, is based on our shared desire to offer high-end products, which meet local furnishing requirements.

Who is your target audience? Our clients are architects and interior decorators on one side and the final consumer on the other side. Both of them are now more inclined to look for unique pieces and high-quality experiences. This is the reason why we have recently opened our Palazzo Barovier&Toso in Murano designed by Studio Calvi Brambilla. A 900sqm temple of luxury where customers can experience live our unique pieces. We worked with brands such as Dolce&Gabbana, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Bulgari and hotel chains like Four Season, Ritz Carlton and Marriot; we have decorated casinos in all the five continents from Las Vegas to Macao and

Luigi Lucchetta

we collaborate with the most famous architecture firms to furnish prestigious residences.

What about the competition? All our efforts are projected to surprise and delight our customers. In every single piece, there is quality, reliability, and creativity. It’s certified and guaranteed. Our customer service is legendary. And most of all we deliver emotions. We are the world’s oldest glassblower family businesses that trace its origins to the late 13th century. There are no other brands with this storytelling.

What are the future plans? We will continue focussing on the most important ingredients of its success: quality, innovation, research, emotion, glamour and colour, always being perceptive to trends and changes in taste. We will keep nurturing extraordinary collaborations with architects and designers so that the company's innovative and experimental talent finds its place in the bespoke design sector with new stunning projects carried out worldwide.

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pop! Make it

Pop artist Luca Valentini talks about his early influences and how art and design are deeply connected

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Tell us which artists influenced your work and how you started as an artist? Since I was a young boy, my father and grandmother encouraged my early passion for art. Growing up in Italy, I would watch them paint for hours and hours. I became fascinated by legendary international pop artists, such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Gerhard Richter. After studying their work closely, they ultimately became my pop art ‘heroes’. My inspiration is from a ‘synthesis’ of all these iconic artists. It was around 2004 that I really explored various local art courses, visited art galleries, and spent time with artists in Italy. I left my career in engineering and started practising and making my own paintings.

What is the most challenging part of your profession? The biggest challenge for me is to try and influence people through my artwork. Money and success do not drive me, what matters to me is the reaction and appreciation of people for my work. I want to create empathy with my art, so people cannot only ‘see but feel’ the message.

What’s on your art bucket list? I prefer to think about the ‘art in my heart’ without any bucket list because I want to continue to imagine my artwork as something that lives in the contemporary world. My only personal goal is to keep sharing my paintings to the biggest audience possible.

filled with an abundance of design options and there is a style for everyone. A utility can often be perceived as the first priority but art itself is a priority for a human being’s growth.

Art and design ride the same way, it’s impossible to imagine design without art, they work beautifully together and in my opinion, one is incomplete without the other. Our lives are

and it’s one of my favourite cities. For me, it’s fascinating how the city has grown to become a metropolis in the middle of the desert. Dubai is the bridge between the ‘occidental way of life’

What kind of response do you get in this region for What is the connection between your work? art and design? I have visited Dubai many times over the years

and a ‘new mood of orient’. Pop art is the perfect way to reflect the people of the Middle East. Pop art has changed the regional language in a universal way so that it’s no longer for the elite. I am working for my new exhibition in March 2019. I was inspired to explore a new modern concept and create a series of thought-provoking artworks. I feel so proud to unveil my latest work in Dubai for my local fans that really appreciate my work. Luca's artworks can be viewed and purchased at the Sconci Art Gallery in Dubai Design District

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The carnival



The first mega event of the year, Heimtextil focussed on designs, innovation, sustainability, and sleep

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eimtextil is one of the biggest international trade fairs for home and contract textiles. The challenging economic situation and uncertainty in the retail sector were countered by a positive and confident mood at the world’s leading trade fair. Heimtextil took place from January 8-11, 2019 in Germany and 3025 exhibitors from 65 countries participated in the show. Detlef Braun, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt, said: “Exhibitors and visitors accepted the new trade fair concept with great enthusiasm and confirmed the trade fair’s position as the world’s most important meeting place for the industry. The quality of the decision makers impressed the exhibitors, as did the number of new business contacts from 156 countries, especially international ones, thus enabling Heimtextil to set a new benchmark.” As part of the new concept, Heimtextil expanded its unique product range across the entire exhibition site and also included the new hall 12, which has been an additional architectural highlight on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds since September. Top international companies from the bed and bath fashion segment presented their wares here. For the company, Curt Bauer from Aue in Saxony, the première of the new hall was a successful one. “We were enthusiastic about the new hall 12. The product range there was very well received. We are very satisfied with the quality of visitors to our stand. In addition to a good frequency of German visitors, we are particularly pleased about growth from China and Russia,” explained Michael Bauer, managing director. Heimtextil set a standard in terms of sustainability. After the first global climate protection agreement for the textile industry signed by 40 leading fashion companies, organizations, and associations at the World Climate Conference in Katowice last December. The focus in Frankfurt was also on environmental progress in the textile industry. Numerous exhibitors presented progressive solutions, for example in the recycling of PET bottles and ocean plastic as well as in the use of certified natural materials. ‘Sustainability was the theme for us at this year’s Heimtextil. Major media players visited us and the 'Green Tour’ guided tour stopped by. We presented many things, including our first vegan duvet and fair silk products, all 100% produced in Austria,”

said Denise Hartmann, marketing manager at Hefel Textil. The topics of water consumption in the textile industry and microplastics also increasingly came to the fore. The exhibitor directory ‘Green Directory’ alone contained around 150 progressive companies listing sustainably produced textiles. Another important theme at the vent was that of sleep. Heimtextil also focussed on sleep as one of the upcoming lifestyle trends. While a balanced diet and sufficient exercise are now a natural part of a healthy lifestyle, restorative sleep is still neglected although it is one of the most important building blocks for long-term physical and mental well-being. At Heimtextil, a number of new products and aspects came to the fore that help people become sensitised to and analyse their sleep behaviour and promote healthy sleep. Around the redesigned hall 11.0 and in the adjoining lecture area ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’, representatives from the national and international bed industry enjoyed attractive product presentations and superb speeches on the topics of sustainability, hospitality, sport, and digital. In addition to the renowned trend show, the trade fair also focussed on contract business, particularly in the hotel and hospitality sector, as well as decorative and upholstery fabrics, digital printing solutions, and wallpapers.

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Modern meets vintage If you recall walking around the souqs of the UAE about two decades ago, a walk around Al Bait Sharjah is sure to give you the feeling of nostalgia, an ode to traditional Emirati culture and design

By Mahak Mannan Photographs by Farooq Salik 48 |

February 2019

Displaying splashes of modernity, the décor features traditional and handcarved timber furniture


museum, a library, traditional alleyways, luxurious baths, a gramophone to play your vinyl records inside the rooms, and a slightly tilted circular wind tower are just a few things that will catch your eye when you visit the recently opened Al Bait Sharjah. Al Bait, which translates to ‘The Home,’ is part of an Emirati conservation project in Sharjah spearheaded by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). Architectural and design firm, Godwin Austen Austen (GAJ) has worked on this project. “The inspiration for Al Bait stemmed from the desire to rekindle the urban character and social ambience of old Sharjah by recreating the historic footprint of the village and bringing in a new demographic,” shares Keith Galvin, design director at GAJ. “This intermingling of the traditional village resident and well-travelled hotel guest will create a unique social interaction and bring renewed vitality to the Heart of Sharjah,” Galvin adds. The hotel is part of the Emirate’s largest historical preservation and restoration project called Heart of Sharjah. The heritage project, planned over a 15-year period and targeted for completion by 2025 aims to revitalise the district and restore the culture and stories of the past.

The guestroom features areesh ceilings, made of palm leaf stems that are soaked and tied using palm fibre rope This is GHM’s first property in the UAE and is also listed as one of the Leading Hotels of The World. According to Patrick Moukarzel, general manager, Al Bait: “The unique architecture of the resort revives the heritage of the region whilst integrating with the historic fabric of the emirate of Sharjah. However, the most unique aspect of the resort has to be the museum and the library, located in Bait Ibrahim Al Midfa heritage building. Restored with a focus on preserving

the traditional significance, the spaces are interconnected. Home to antiquarian and literature dating back centuries, the museum and library allows our guests to immerse into the region’s history, art, and culture.” A key feature of the hotel is the slightly tilted circular wind tower, which has been restored with utmost care to ensure it is standing as close as possible to the original structure. Here’s the design tour of this extraordinary resort.

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From the coral walls to the trees, every element of the surrounding has a story attached to it

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The pool looks every bit chic and contemporary

The design team managed to restore the region’s only circular wind-tower to its former glory

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Surpassing the previous records, imm cologne and LivingKitchen had another successful edition 52 |

February 2019


he international furniture and interiors fair, imm cologne and LivingKitchen achieve an even greater international reach than ever before. The event received a total of 150,000 visitors from 145 countries. The event took place from January 14-20, 2019, in Germany. With 52% of trade visitors coming from abroad, the co-located events achieved an even greater global reach than ever before. Overall, more than one in two trade visitors travelled from abroad to attend the events. "These results underscore once again that Cologne is the place to be for the global world of interior design. The past

seven days have shown clearly that it is here in Cologne that the industry sets the direction for the coming year," said Gerald Böse, president and CEO of Koelnmesse. Specialist retailers and high-profile international visitors from the furnishings trade and interior design business were recorded as visitors, with many of them coming from the global top 30 chains. Growth here was especially strong from the United Kingdom, with visitors from DFS, Heal's, John Lewis, Hatfields and Kingfisher. The events also drew a strong audience from Scandinavia in the form of IDdesign, JYSK, Svenska Hem, the Indoor Group from Finland,

Bromölla Möbelaffär, and Sängjätten, whose entire purchasing teams attended several days of the trade fairs. The ,major industry players in online retail - including Amazon, the Otto Group and Wayfair - also used the event intensively for their business. LivingKitchen also proved that it could deliver on all fronts, despite challenging conditions. For seven days, 271 exhibitors from 28 countries showcased the industry's and the event's innovative drive, high design standards, and quality. Innovative presentations by manufacturers, world premieres of new kitchen furniture, electrical appliances, accessories and the

inspiring programme of events - the outstanding mix of everything connected to kitchens and cooking ensured steady levels of visitors on all days of the fair as well as satisfied exhibitors. Some 50,000 end-consumers, including large numbers from neighbouring Belgium and the Netherlands, took the opportunity to discover this year's trends on the public days. The atmosphere among trade visitors was characterised by business, networking, and the search for trends. LivingKitchen's rich and diverse blend of concepts and product innovations transformed tomorrow's kitchens into a tangible experience.

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Get the look Make a style statement with a touch of glamour

Blue and brilliant A luxurious setting for the modern homes Availability:

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February 2019

English poetry Crafted of fine porcelain, this stunning piece combines traditional luxury and poetry, making a statement in any interior Availability:

Bright and nice The gorgeous armchair is what dreams are made of Availability:

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WISH LIST Jaw-dropping luxury! TONDO PLUS basins are perfectly suited to both private residential and contract environments, characterised by compact spaces where the use of streamlined decor is crucial Availability:

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Pretty in pink The alluring Jolene armchair is upholstered in the finest quality straight aviator shearling, bespoke, and handcrafted by specialist English craftsmen Availability:

Super chic Up the style quotient with this beautiful Zurich barstool Availability: Marina Home Interiors, Mall of the Emirates

Raised backrest Arches dining chair recreates the design of its arches crossed on different levels. The chair profile shows details that seem to be drawn from large architectural structures Availability:

Style is my name! This sleek and shiny table in nickel-plated metal with a gold finish is supported by three tubular legs arranged in a triangle and soldered together Availability:

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Trade fair dates for your diary…

EVENT IN FOCUS Surface Design Show February 5-7, 2019 London, UK

This three-day event in London showcases materials for use in architecture and interiors. This year's edition includes 150 exhibitors, plus a talk series featuring 52 speakers. If you are an architect, designer, buyer, specifier or decision maker then Surface Design Show is a mustattend event to source products, meet suppliers, network, learn from industry professionals, gain new insights, and connect with innovative and exciting materials. Surface Design Show 2019 will provide the opportunity to engage face-to-face with a hard-to-reach and targeted audience. 72% of our audience came from the A+D sector with 37% visiting no other A+D event, providing the perfect platform to generate new business from the UK and Europe’s architectural, and design sectors.

Leaders in Architecture

March 27-28, 2019 Dubai, UAE The Leaders in Architecture MENA Summit 2019, aims to highlight the region as a beacon of architectural wonders in the years to come. The event brings together global architectural leaders to discuss the future of architecture and Expo 2020 at length. Leaders in Architecture Buyer’ Club is a unique, commercially driven platform created to introduce international, and regional suppliers to pre-qualified buyers and strategic partners to unlock sales opportunities, expand the business network, and increase market share. Leaders in Architecture Marketplace is a dedicated area that will showcase a very wide variety of products, services, and companies from across the global industry.

IHGF Delhi Fair (Spring) 2019 Malaysian International Furniture Fair

March 8-11, 2019 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia One of the leading furniture fairs in Southeast Asia, and consistently ranked amongst the top 10 worldwide, the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) has spearheaded the furniture trade scene for years. Every March, quality exhibitors and buyers from all over the world converge on this global stage. Since its inception in 1995, MIFF has created fantastic business and networking opportunities for hundreds of thousands of participants. MIFF welcomes over 6,000 quality buyers from over 140 countries. In recent years, the fair has drawn more and more influential buyers who purchase in bulk on the spot. To mark 25 years since its conception, MIFF 2019 will be a bumper edition of celebrations!

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February 18-22, 2019 Delhi, India IHGF is amongst Asia's largest gifts & handicrafts fair, held biannually (Spring & Autumn edition) and is organised by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). IHGF Spring Fair 2019 has been the hallmark for growth of the Indian handicrafts sector for over 25 years. The most significant and distinct sourcing platform in Asia –(IHGF Delhi Fair Spring 2019), now gets bigger and bolder, bringing you much more of everything – more space, more exhibitors, more sectors, more enhanced facilities, more days and of course, bringing you a thoughtfully re-conceptualised and renewed format with 14 clear product categories in enriched display spaces.


8th Annual International Architecture Summit DUBAI, UAE Leaders part of the 2019 edition:

Frank McGoldrik

Global Design Principal, AEDAS

Markus Rutschmann

Branch Director, O B E R M E Y E R PLANEN + BERATEN GmbH

Ignacio Gomez

Design Director Middle East, AEDAS

Jamil Jadallah

CEO, National Engineering Bureau

Marlon van Maastricht

Head of Urban Planning & Landscape Architecture, OBERMEYER PLANEN + BERATEN GmbH

Fadi Jabri

Executive OfďŹ cer, Principal CIS, MENA, India Nikken Sekkei


Jamal Salem

Steve Woodland

Jonathan French

Middle East Regional Director, DLR Group

Principal Director & Creative Director, The Cox Group

Principal Director & Regional Chair, Middle East, Woods Bagot

Roger Wilson

Sotiris Tsoulos

David Manfredi

Stephan Frantzen

Mustafa Chehabeddine

Managing Director, Perkins+Will

P&T Architects and Engineers Ltd (Dubai Branch), Group Director

Design Director, RMJM Dubai

Design Principal, KPF

Endorsed by:

Director, Design & Consultancy, Parsons Corporations

Richard Fenne

Principal & Studio Chair, Woods Bagot

Angus Robertson

Regional Director Buildings MENA, Stantec

Ian Purser

Director of Architecture, Pace

Joe Tabet

Founder, JT+Partners

Media Partners:

For more information, please visit or send an e-mail to


Pendants of light! Designed by Katerina Lenikusova, Flacons is a beautiful exquisite decorative from the house of Czech brand Sans Souci. This particular lighting arrangement is an imitation of luxurious perfume bottles. The designer Flacons are an indispensable decoration of bathrooms and wardrobes. The design is inspired by the traditional cut-glass baskets and replaced the octagons with cuts in the shapes of lenses. The hand-glass is used and brass pendants are beautifully created using nanocoating finish. These lights are custom-made and various other colours can be achieved by applying a lustre coating. Price: A total of 13 pendants will cost around AED45,000 Availability:

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Every question, met with a solution. Dedicated service managers. Our business is trust.

The design classic LS 990 in metal – aesthetics in their most elegant form.

Genuine. Gold.



JUNG Middle East DMCC Office 3001, Saba Tower 1. JLT, Cluster E. Dubai, United Arab Emirates. +971 4 368 7275.

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