Design Middle East July-August 2022

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Interiors and architecture from the Gulf, Levant and beyond

Ignacio Gomez

discussing the importance of research-based architecture and the future of smart cities.

the light factor

THE IMPORTANCE OF LIGHT IN PROJECT SUCCESS CANNOT BE OVERSTATED.

Design Middle East presents the Lighting Powerlist 2022 and honours the leading suppliers, distributors, designers, manufacturers, and experts for providing the perfect harmony and composition of lights, layers, direction, and flow.

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JULY / AUGUST 2022 DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Tristan Du Plessis

Collaborating with global creatives leads to the fusion of art and design.


Surface Solutions, Surface Solutions, Designed By Nature Surface Solutions, Designed By Nature Designed By Nature

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LI HTING owerlist 2 Design Middle East presents the Lighting Powerlist 2022 and honours the leading suppliers, distributors, designers, manufacturers, and experts for providing the perfect harmony and composition of lights, layers, direction, and flow.

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OP-ED Creating synergy between art & design Tristan Du Plessis, an awardwinning interior architect, discusses how collaborating with global creatives leads to the fusion of art and design. 16

INTERVIEW Workspace inspiration Stacy Stewart, regional director, MillerKnoll - Middle East & Africa, talks about workplace trends, their competitive advantage in the market, and how technology drives massive innovation. 18

INTERVIEW Looking forward Ignacio Gomez, global design principal at Aedas Middle East, discusses the importance of research-based architecture, how the field is evolving, and the future of smart cities. 38

DÉCOR REVIEW History meets contemporary Fabio Marigliano, general manager of The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah,

discusses how the property illustrates the Emirate's rich culture, the culinary experiences it offers, and the story behind each unique design element.

F&B outlets, how RAK is attracting more and more tourists, and the challenges of the ever-changing hospitality industry. 52

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NEW SHOWROOM Know all about Kohler's new signature showroom in Dubai!

BATHROOM Dream Bathrooms

Kohler has opened a new showroom in the Middle East in June 2022. This is Kohler's first signature showroom in Dubai.

Azhar Sajan, director of Casa Milano, examines industry trends, customisation of sanitary fittings, and how the brand will soon enter e-commerce so customers can shop online from the comfort of their own homes.

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RETAIL Driven by passion

INDOOR AIR QUALITY Why should the Daikin MC55VB air purifier be your first choice?

In conversation with Rasool Taj, Head of Buying and Merchandising at DWELL/Liwa Trading Enterprises LLC, about the brands she works for, retail challenges, and trends she is most excited about.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

IMAGE COURTESY © PHILLIP HANDFORTH ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY

AL FAY PARK, Abu Dhabi, Recessed Light Up Balisage and Earth luminaires were used to light the trunks and foliage of the trees from underneath and from above they create a pattern of bright dots across the green spaces.

Indoor air quality is a major concern, and air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular as a result. 56

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TÊTE-À-TÊTE Experience the luxury island retreat! Fabien Chesnais, general manager, Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan, discusses the property's design highlights and exciting

PROJECT Class apart One Wall Street, the most extensive residential renovation in New York City history, sets the bar for world-class design and unrivalled amenities to create a bespoke luxury lifestyle.

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Editor's note

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very time I walk down Dubai's famous streets, I see a stunning new cafe, a stylish gym, a retail shop that draws me in, and a monument that appears to be an architectural marvel. All of this, and more..... but the biggest draw to all of these places is the brightness, shine, and glamour provided by the wonderful lighting used. Lighting completely redefines any location or project. As a result, Design Middle East contributes our latest powerlist to the lighting experts, who are the silent reason for a project's success. There's no denying that a hotel lobby chandelier, task lights in your room, or an eye-catching installation never go unnoticed. We thank the designers, manufacturers, dealers, suppliers, distributors, and other lighting experts for illuminating us with their work. Moving on, we have some great reads in our double issue, including some exciting news from KOHLER, who has opened a new showroom in Dubai. Kohler's signature showroom established the company as a global design hub with distinct style and innovation. We also spoke with Ignacio Gomez, global design principal at Aedas, about the future of smart cities and his support for research-based architecture. Tristan Du Plessis, an award-winning interior architect, also shared his thoughts on

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News

Brand Creative’s Bellacure Beauty Lounge project has a 70s California vibe mixed with Portofino chic

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ellacure Beauty Lounge is a well-known brand in the UAE that is rapidly expanding, with a new salon recently opening in Sheikha Fatima Park, Abu Dhabi. Brand Creative’s new inclusive beauty space encapsulates a positive escape that is a sophisticated and feminine rendition of a retro beachside terrace space, drawing inspiration from cheerful colours, layered reflective finishes that capture light, and a biophilic approach that significantly enhances each area. Wrapped in sweet sorbet colours and luxe velvet textures, the design’s palette of finishes is inspired by a 1970’s California vibe meets Portofino. The brief was to embrace the brand’s current feminine identity within the new location’s space whilst introducing new ideas and materials to create moments of delight. A café within the salon space brings an unexpected retreat for women, offering the chance to indulge the sweet tooth and coffee aficiando. With metropolitan style neon lights, soft-rounded edges, warm yellows and light pinks used

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to celebrate the highlights of the 70s, the space is carefully designed to be warm and welcoming without having to sacrifice the sense of tranquility you seek from a pampering experience. Entering the beauty lounge is similar to entering a boutique hotel, with mirrored displays of products and clothing complemented by uplifting and adorning words displayed in neon lights. Inspirational moments are sprinkled throughout the space as important elements in conveying a positive, laid-back atmosphere. The curved reception counter welcomes you with biophillic drapes overhead, next to an iconic pink fringe ceiling feature above the cosy waiting area’s velvet-red and light blue diner-style seating. The beauty lounge evokes memories of summer vacations past by incorporating warmer colour gradients derived from the landscape of the Amalfi coast. With modernity in mind, abstract archways are formed over the staircase leading to the cafe with various shades of tinted glass, inspired by the regal archways and ancient staircases of Italy, a

foreshadowing of the ultimate wellness and beauty experience that awaits upstairs. The focus on layered materials throughout the space brings an added value of depth to the overall design experience. This effect is also incorporated between the hair stations, maximising the space without having to sacrifice the open flow of the area. Accompanied by luxurious treatment rooms designed with lightly toned walls and accentuated with gold flakes, bespoke lighting features and styling stations using layered tinted coloured glass offers a fresh and youthful rendition to what one considers feminine elegance. To truly capture the nature of the feminine throughout the space, a bold harnessed ceiling feature, is tastefully showcased as a vision in pink, of which all components of the ceiling are painted in the brand’s focal colour.

The distinctive café is accentuated with soft curves, biophilic drapes and retro inspired bar stools, designed to create a space for social interaction with aromatic coffee and treats whilst waiting in between treatments.


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H2R Design uses natural light and nuanced wall details in the interiors of its latest F&B project

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2R Design reveals the interiors of its latest F&B project— Slider Code, a modern cuisine and slider hangout in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Having previously worked on Slider Code’s pop-up and branding in 2019, H2R Design was re-tasked to design the restaurant’s new interior space, with a brief focus on Slider Codes’ authentic, rich, delicate cuisine and to spark ‘joy’ adding character and experience to the space. Inspired by the aesthetic of contrasting textures, patterns, and shapes, and using plating presentation as a focal point, H2R Design ensured that the surrounding interior design went hand in hand to provide an elevated dining experience. The linear grid patterns provide a sophisticated backdrop and highlight an individual experience to each table. The result is a design that is elegant, inviting, detailed, innovative, and drawn together with a play of natural light and nuanced wall details. Keeping a sense of neutrality was important for the brand. H2R Design used a soft gender-neutral palette, with splashes of coral to add a dynamic touch to the experience, with the colour chosen for its vibrant aesthetic and ability to stick out and encourage social and physical activity.

Key design principles were implemented to achieve an elevated presence of seating experiences, including the continuation of the reconstituted floor slabs to the base of the entire banquette seating and the sophisticated usage of stainless steel to the open bar. The grid design of the custom acoustic ceiling panel reflects linearity of the space, as well as being functional with MEP services, lighting, and air conditioning. Acoustics and a well-coordinated ceiling was especially important in this concept due to its 11m- high space. The custom acoustic ceiling is made from ‘wood-wool’, which performs exceptionally for acoustics and is bio- degradable. Sustainability furthermore played a role in the space in elements such as the outdoor furniture and signage that were used from the pop-up store and adapted into the current design. Hasan Roomi co-founder of H2R Design said: “With Slider Code visited by a range of customers, we focussed on ensuring that the dining experience met the needs of all guests, be that for larger families with banquet seating, or smaller private parties with corner cosier seating. By focussing on human-scale, we ensured that we designed a space that was not only visually stunning, but also created a memorable experience that worked for its operations. Just like Slider Code’s cuisine, we are proud to have a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that appeals to all tastes”.

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The reconstituted stone flooring, terrazzo utilises mixed marble scraps, recycled glass chips, and cement, reducing the impact on environment and wastage during construction.

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Image courtesy of: Gaelle Le Boulicaut

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10 News

Check out the newly-renovated Cartier boutique in Geneva by Atelier Lison de Caunes

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artier’s Geneva boutique was recently renovated. Atelier Lison de Caunes was commissioned to create decorative panels in straw marquetry to refresh the interiors of the boutique. The first panel, an alcove in one of the lounges, is covered in a warm play of patterns featuring a panther – a symbol of the Cartier brand – adding to the cosy and intimate atmosphere of the room. The walls and sliding doors of the boutique have been woven with light-coloured natural straw forming a ray of sunlight creating an elegant, harmonious, and open feel to the space. A true meeting point between tradition and modernity, the details of the Atelier de Lison de Caunes’ work provide a sensorial and emotional atmosphere, reflecting the spirit of the Cartier Geneva boutique.

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The presence of artistic crafts throughout the space embodies Cartier's refined spirit, displaying a diverse portfolio of mosaic, mother-of-pearl, tapestry, straw marquetry, glasswork, lacquer, gold leaf, and metal working.


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Immerse yourself in design at Herman Miller’s newly re-designed showroom in Dubai’s Marina Plaza

erman Miller announces the reopening of its showroom in Dubai’s prestigious Marina Plaza. It has been completely re-designed from the ground up to showcase the company’s iconic and innovative design solutions for commercial, healthcare, and hospitality spaces in a real-life workplace. The 750sqm space will be a living, breathing example of a workspace in motion. With clear pathways and delineated zones for individual and collaborative work, the showroom offers a variety of workplace settings. A lounge-style reception acts as a welcoming space and entrypoint for customers. Meanwhile readily accessible work points support work between meetings, while the flexible meeting spaces foster group discussions and presentations. Flexible solutions from Herman Miller’s new OE1 collection allow staff to rapidly adjust the workplace to suit their needs at any given moment. In addition, the showroom features other products from Herman Miller, Maharam, HAY, DWR, Geiger, naughtone, and CBS. Thanks to the framework, visitors have the opportunity to see these products at work, and to interact with them via an immersive experience. An innovative seating experience enhances the customer journey by demonstrating the spectrum and scope of Herman Miller’s high-performance task seating collection. A new-and-improved Healthcare space featuring Maars

Living Walls, allows customers to interact with Herman Miller’s healthcare solutions in a holistic and intuitive way. In the new showroom, Herman Miller dealers, customers, and the design community can come together to network and immerse themselves in design. The space also provides a vehicle for learning about current and future issues that affect the working environment. "Our beautiful new showroom demonstrates our commitment to delivering elevated solutions tailored to the needs of the MEA region.” said Stacy Stewart, Herman Miller’s Regional Director for the Middle East, and Africa region. “It is positioned in an ideal location, with spectacular views and facilities. Our new showroom offers visitors a chance to learn firsthand how Herman Miller is spearheading the future of work through spatial planning and design right through to the product itself. They can discover for themselves how we roadtest everything we research and study.” For Chris Morley, Herman Miller’s Head of Design for the

Middle East and Africa region, the redesign was an opportunity to provide customers with “a complete Herman Miller Collective experience”. There are different settings to promote community and socialiSation, individual focus, and team collaboration. Each space features our latest designs and creative use of technology. The new showroom is an inspiring, functional, and engaging space that reflects the warmth, innovation, design, and expertise of our teams.”

The new showroom also enables colleagues and dealers to experiment with emerging ways of working.


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CREATING SYNERGY between ART & DESIGN BELOW TRISTAN enjoys collaborating with global creatives in areas where art and design collide; he uses his projects as a platform for emerging African designers, such as SAN Beach Club, where he incorporated art pieces by South African designers.

TRISTAN DU PLESSIS,

AN AWARD-WINNING INTERIOR ARCHITECT, DISCUSSES HOW COLLABORATING WITH GLOBAL CREATIVES LEADS TO THE FUSION OF ART AND DESIGN.

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s a self-taught interior architect from Johannesburg, affectionately known as 'Jozi,' one of the first things I learned was the power of connection. A few pivotal collaborations and relationships have fundamentally shaped my career, instilling in me a deep respect for the creative community and cross-disciplinary thinking. Many designers will agree that they gravitate toward a specific type of project; hospitality is what I keep coming back to - not only because of the sheer scale of the projects, but also because of the opportunity to collaborate with fellow South Africans in a global context. design-middleeast.com


13 TRISTAN DU PLESSIS, an international award winning interior architect based out of Johannesburg, South Africa. His firm of seven full time designers focusses strongly on signature projects as a specialist company that deals with hospitality and luxury residential projects on a turnkey basis, from design to completion.

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ollaboration plays a central role in how I’d like to be seen as a designer; bringing people into a project and engaging a team, not making it solely about me. As a designer based in South Africa, you’re far removed from the ‘design capitals’ of the world, but this separateness also creates a level of freedom – to incubate new ideas and introduce them to the international market. It also forces us (as creatives in the greater sense) to think über innovatively to pull off a world-class product. I think what’s happening in this era of design is reflective of the deep curiosity that drives creatives. Hospitality design requires a level of pure functionality that other disciplines let you be more flexible with, which creates a challenge in terms of incorporating beauty without making it altogether overwhelming. Collaborating with fellow creatives who have a deep understanding of your overarching >>>

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Dubai's landscape is constantly changing, bringing with it an exciting wave of new talent such as Tristan. While he has made a name for himself with his recent projects, it is clear that this is only the beginning of an exciting journey to cement his position as a leading designer in the GCC region.

Globalism may be the catalyst that brings today's designers and artists together, but their synergistic relationship will live on in perpetuity.

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vision while bringing their own wholly unique perspectives enables spaces to have varying degrees of impact and to resonate with a much larger audience. This satisfies a fundamental interest I've always had in how spaces affect people emotionally. As designers, there is always the challenge of pushing the boundaries of your abilities while creating a distinctive signature that makes each of your projects interconnected to truly stand out. Entering the design space, I was aware of the monolithic perception of what South African design should look like and I actively seek to bring an entirely new perspective to the world. But, I knew early on that this is simply not possible alone, hence I cultivated relationships with a range of artists from Jana + Koos, David Brits, Jake Singer to Jade Paton which brings South Africa to the world. Each designer has projects that are close to their heart but Gorgeous George, a Design Hotel in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa is a project that for me epitomizes the modern relationship between art and design. A creatively collaborative model that stepped away from considering art as a finishing touch, it rather incorporated artistic flair at each

touchpoint from an entryway centerpiece crafted out of Lucie De Moyencourt tiles to the hand-muralled swimming pool by David Brits. Even if the building were to be stripped back to its bones, it is now defined by the collaboration of all the artisans that came together to complete it. In the same vein, SAN Beach club, in the heart of Dubai, truly celebrates African design from the materials to the architecture and inclusion of contemporary South African artists. The approach to the project was understanding the incredibly luxurious and beautiful setting of the landscape and bringing in South African artists to highlight the space itself rather than detract, which is how we ended up with an incredible statement-making beach sculpture made by the artist Jake Singer, ceramic outdoor tables handmade in Cape Town, Lamps by Jan Ernst, sculptural pots by Jade Paton and a sculptural bench from David Krynauw. Globalism may be the catalyst that brings today's designers and artists together, but their synergistic relationship will live on in perpetuity. These creatives share a fundamental desire to capture a mood and moment, whether physically or visually, and it is this desire that shapes our neighbourhoods, cities, and the world.



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16 Interview

WORKSPACE STACY STEWART, regional director, MillerKnoll - Middle East & Africa, talks about workplace trends, their competitive advantage in the market, and how technology drives massive innovation.

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INSPIRATION


STACY'S extensive strategic experience and expertise have been critical to the success of numerous global and regional collaborations.

How has your product design education helped you in your current career?

For starters, it’s given me an understanding of the technical side of product design, and the design process too. When it comes to strategising with our regional and global partners, having a clear sense of how our products work and what it takes to make them has been key. It also means I can be a conduit between our product designers and the clients we work with – because I can speak both ‘languages.’ Product designers learn to constantly reference the user, going back to the user experience and how it has to inform the design for every product. At MillerKnoll, human-centered design is at the heart of what we do and why we do it – it applies to our own people as well as our customers. Having this well-honed sense of what people want and why they want it has come in handy, whether we’re considering whether a product will meet the needs of regional users, or making sure our own people are fulfilled and engaged at work. Furthermore, product design is all about problem solving. Being solution-oriented, rather than getting caught up in the problems themselves, has been critical to MillerKnoll's adaptability.

How do you keep people connected when they’re working anywhere and everywhere? Technology is key, and we’re increasingly seeing meeting rooms with video conferencing facilities built in, so that teams – and their clients – can meet up, no matter whether they’re in the office or elsewhere. Spaces that enable in-person connection are vital in the modern office. The restrictions of the last two years really highlighted the human need for connection – and that’s something the workplace can offer that working from home can’t. What we’re seeing is a move towards spaces that foster that connection, and collaboration; from more informal lounge areas to larger spaces that can work for team collaborations, meetings, presentations, networking events. This is exactly what we have done within our new space. Our new space serves multiple purposes. If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that workplaces have to be adaptable, so that you can activate social distancing measures if you need to, or change configurations if you take on more staff or have to reduce the number of people on the office floor. So there’s a big shift in offices towards spaces that can be divided via screens and sliding doors, or opened up if you’re hosting a large event. We’re seeing growing demand for mobile, modular furniture that can be reconfigured quickly to adapt to constantly changing office needs. And that need is only going to keep growing.

What distinguishes Herman Miller from others in your industry?

As part of MillerKnoll, Herman Miller has a design heritage that spans more than a century. That design legacy was really enforced when we acquired Knoll last year. The combined legacies of these two pillars of the design industry make MillerKnoll a unique >>>

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How would you describe today's workplace, and what has changed since the rollout of COVID-19 restrictions?

At MillerKnoll, we’ve been predicting a shift towards hybrid work since long before the pandemic, and that’s really what we’re seeing now. The most successful organisations are those that are adopting a workplace model that meets the needs of workers, wherever they are – whether that’s in the office, moving between home and office, or working remotely full-time. design-middleeast.com


18 Interview

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OE1 is a collection of optimised, essential pieces for a new era in the workplace. It is designed to help people experiment with space, discover what works in the moment, and change rapidly for the future.

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player in the industry. We now have a broad range of dynamic brands in our portfolio, unparalleled know-how, and global reach.

Could you please take us on a tour of the newly redesigned Herman Miller showroom in Marina Plaza? What are the highlights of this space? Our new Dubai showroom is a living example of our outlook on the work environment and where it’s going. It’s a showroom and office in one, with space for employees, dealers, customers and the design community to come together, and to explore different ways of working and interacting – with each other, and with products from across the whole MillerKnoll family. The showroom is zoned into different settings, starting with the reception when you first come in, which is the dynamic ‘heart’ of the office. It features a variety of lounge seating options, encouraging everything from informal conversations and meetings to individual and group work. There are also focus work zones – the Agile Workshop for example, is located right next to the reception, so people can move easily between conversations and individual work. We’ve also incorporated

a variety of work points throughout the showroom, all using different Herman Miller products to create a unique experience for the user. Another area that stands out is the OE1 workspace collection, OE1 is a collection of optimised, essential pieces for a new era in the workplace. It is designed to help people experiment with space, discover what works in the moment, and change rapidly for the future. The idea is to create a space that people can use however they want and need to in that moment. In the larger meeting spaces – our event space, which is primed for presentations and collaborations – we’ve included a range of different products to support different postures. In the healthcare space, visitors can actually experience our healthcare products in situ, touching them, sitting on them. We’ve also incorporated a new seating experience where visitors can come and try our chairs for themselves. The whole space is welcoming, vibrant and light, and the flow from one space to another feels intuitive and natural. I love coming to the office as a result, and I’ve noticed that my team does too. We genuinely want to spend time here.


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BOTTOM Ergonomic seating solutions combine human factors and ergonomics expertise with researchdriven products to assist you in creating a work environment where everyone can thrive.

How vital is technology to the overall success of your innovative products and brand?

Technology is extremely relevant to how we work, and the products we create. We walk our talk – and that means that our teams follow a hybrid working model, working both in the office and remotely. They have to be able to connect both in person and digitally via video conferencing software. Technology is also vital to our product design process. We use digitally derived data to help us problem-solve, and we use technology in the prototyping process. We use it to build 3D models,

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RIGHT Atlas Office Landscape, desking that combines height adjustability and collaboration.

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TOP OE1 enables agility—for organisations, teams, and individuals—by creating flexible, fluid environments that adapt to evolving goals and personal preferences.

As I said above, the pandemic has really shown us how quickly change can happen. Offices need to be ready to pivot quickly – and this is where flexible furniture makes all the difference. We designed our OE1 Workspace Collection with this in mind, and that’s why it’s top of my list. It consists of a range of essential pieces – trolleys, storage units, tables, easels, agile walls – all of which are mobile and designed to adapt to organisational needs. To support wellness in the workplace, I’d also recommend sit-to-stand desks like Atlas Office Landscape and Ratio. The research really shows how important it is to move throughout the workday and to change postures, and also how bad sitting for long periods of time is for our health. These products make it easy to shift between sitting and standing, and they’re also primed for change. Atlas works in a whole host of configurations, so you can change the set-up as team sizes shrink or grow. A good sit is also really important, not only in the office, but also when working from home. Using an ergonomic chair like Cosm, Aeron or Sayl will support postural health. If people are more comfortable when they work, they are more likely to do their best work, and to feel good while they’re doing it.

and to build our prototypes using 3D printers, and we keep prototyping until we get our products exactly right. That said, technology goes hand in hand with human emotion, and the human experience. It requires a human hand and a human mind to solve human problems, and to create products people will truly engage with.

How significant will ergonomics become in the future?

At Herman Miller, it’s our view that ergonomic furniture will be commonplace in every office in the next five to 10 years. Organisations are waking up to the fact that the health of their people is paramount. If people are physically healthy – not to mention mentally and emotionally healthy – they’re more likely to be happy and engaged in what they do. That feeds through to healthy overall company performance, and healthy profit margins. There’s a global talent struggle underway, too; especially postpandemic, with so many people choosing to change how they work and who they work for. The organisations that last the distance will be those that attract and retain the right talent by giving them everything they need to work at their best. And that includes ergonomic furniture that makes them feel comfortable, and that supports their health.

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What are the standout Herman Miller products that you highly recommend in light of the pandemic and wellness being more important than ever?

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20 Interview

IGNACIO GOMEZ from Aedas was awarded the Architect of the Year trophy. As a global design principal, and for more than 14 years in Dubai, Gomez has been leading projects that have transformed the places and people where implemented, believing that virtual and fictional narratives have and will always be incredibly powerful sources of inspiration.

Forward

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Looking Ignacio Gomez, global design principal at AEDAS MIDDLE EAST, discusses the importance of research-based architecture, how the field is evolving, and the future of smart cities.

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Can you provide a brief overview of your background, expertise, and unique architectural perspective? As global design principal at Aedas Middle East, I am committed to the practice's core principles. I strive to provide unique and individual solutions for each project and take pride in the fact that we never take the formulaic design route. My designs are the result of extensive research and understanding of the region's people, culture, history, present, and future. Research rooted in the past allows for the creation of a unique story for each project. I am committed to the belief that virtual and fictional narratives have and will always be incredibly powerful sources of inspiration,

and with the economy and world heading into unknown territory, architects can and should play a part in the role of imaginary landscapes and stories. The architect must be able to create non-fiction from fiction. Then the work becomes an active entity in society’s imagination—a type of fable or myth. The source becomes less important, even obliterated, and what counts more is the way the story or the building or the city lives on in collective memory. I have been responsible for a number of key projects and established the overall design direction of the practice in the Middle East. Designing many projects in the region including master planning, hotel and leisure, residential, transport, and cultural developments.


How is the role of architecture evolving in terms of designing for the end-user? The other trend that somehow also reinforces that feeling is the change of perception of the physical environment and space. Society as a whole is rapidly modifying our understanding and relationship with our physicality. In the past we used to be where we used to be, the space that we occupied with our body and our presence. Since the development of the smartphone and social media, we are no longer stationary and are instead constantly evolving. The number of square metres in our beds is less significant than the Wi-Fi speed and data coverage. Physical space is now flexible, unrestricted, and limitless. Thus, as architects, we must begin to consider and respond to this situation in which the significance of the physical space is diminishing. Why would one shop at a mall? Why visit a movie theatre? Why do people meet? All of these notions about how we live and interact are being challenged by COVID-19. Why should I go to work at the office? I can wear flip flops here, therefore isn't that a better place than the outside? Why should I make the hour-long journey to work? Perhaps more architects and designers should consider this issue rather than leaving it in the hands of social media platforms?

and allowing enough room for people in both public and private settings, will be simple to put into practise. The major changes will, however, be in the uses and typologies of the existing places. Many existing types of meeting, commercial, and recreational spaces will be significantly altered or, in the worst-case scenario, rendered obsolete. Compare the current state of an office to how it was one year ago. We can speculate on how the workplace will evolve in the future. Architects should think about the impact on project typologies and new uses that will be borne out of the social transformation that occurs as a result of this crisis. Perhaps we are not very far away from having to rethink alternative uses for empty shopping malls and commercial buildings. We will need to offer even better spaces and experiences to encourage people to leave their homes, Netflix and their social platforms. Competition is tough. >>>

The new tower is an extension of the current W Hotel which is inspired by the city’s love of the sea. A natural-inspired way of production, could redefine the notion of making in a tourist area that includes the heritage and luxury future in an architectural manifestation.

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How are designers coping with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis? What effects will technology and the digital revolution have on design? We do not take into account the significant effects that this crisis will have on how we live and interact with the natural world. Many factors, such as maintaining social distance

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22 Interview ENOC FUTURE STATION is a Petrol Station of the Future located at the Dubai Expo 2020 site. With sustainability as its primary goal, the project employed principles from biomimicry, designing and producing materials that are modelled on biological entities.

Architects have had a monopoly on the design of physical spaces for many centuries, but today there are many alternatives, including the digital space, which is mostly powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) and offers constantly changing content that adapts to your needs and wants while architecture and the physical environment are static and monolithic.

Future cities will be similar to cities of the past in some ways while also being very different. When we consider the evolution of the city over millennia, the reality is that the physical aspects of it have not changed fundamen-

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What will the design of cities look like in the future?

THE SLS DUBAI is a magnificent and eye-catching landmark in Downtown created by the renowned architects Aedas.

tally - housing groups, social interaction spaces, trading, and so on. As a result, the hardware will essentially already exist and will not be replaced at the rate at which technology evolves. Software, Big Data, and AI are here to stay and are evolving at a rate that the city and its physical environment cannot keep up with. What is also surprising is that big transformations in city design are not and will not involve urban planners and architects. The changes are made by a concentrated number of IT companies that are developing applications and platforms that will redefine the way we interact with others and move around.

What do you think will be the most significant trends and developments in architecture over the next five years? One of the current trends in architecture and the overall construction market is the commoditisation of design projects to some extent. Design solutions appear to be evolving into products that can be transplanted across multiple locations and

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contexts almost without typological variation. This is a by-product of the concentration and creation of the mega engineering firms. In the last few years, we have seen how engineering firms have been joining and merging together, creating huge conglomerates never seen before in the construction market. The size of these engineering firms cannot be compared with the size of architectural practices, and therefore the product (the design of buildings) is somehow becoming commoditised and generic, losing its particularity and specificity. Clients frequently mistakenly think that architectural firms can be replaced by mega multinational engineering firms that also offer architectural services. The role of architects must be redefined if we are to continue to demonstrate to our clients and society that we perform a valid and necessary role; otherwise, we will face the same fate as many other trades that have disappeared in the XX and XXI centuries. I would like to claim that we might already be a vanishing trade, but we haven’t realised it yet as a collective.


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We are simply captivated by a space's luminosity and brightness, which is critical for the success of any home interiors, commercial, public, monuments, or any building. Good lighting makes your space more comfortable and functional, as well as directing us to our destination. Proper lighting is critical to the success of any architectural marvel. Design Middle East presents the Lighting Powerlist 2022 and honours the leading suppliers, distributors, designers, manufacturers, and experts for providing the perfect harmony and composition of lights, layers, direction, and flow.

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We have not ranked this list because everyone is doing an outstanding job of brightening our lives and deserves a standing ovation.

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\ iGUZZINI \ RICHARD HOLMES, Regional Director -Middle East & English Speaking Africa at iGuzzini Middle East

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Guzzini illuminazione was founded in 1959, and is an international leading group in the architectural lighting industry, with 1,243 employees concentrated on researching, designing, and producing internal and external lighting systems. It is headquartered in Recanati, Italy, and has operations

in more than 20 countries across five continents. iGuzzini uses light to improve the relationship between humans and the environment through research, industry, technology, and awareness in cultural, work, retail, cities, infrastructures, hospitality, and living environments. The culture of light as a social innovation aspect is iGuzzini's

\ LINEALUCE evolves with a new, miniaturised, high performance version that offers the ultimate level of integration in architecture and space. A slash of threedimensional light, just 2,7 cm deep, Linealuce mini 27R can be inserted in any thickness of architecture, blending with it and disappearing from view.

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distinguishing feature. It has been working with the best architects, lighting designers and engineering firms for over seventy years to create innovative, high-performance lighting projects capable of enhancing architecture and spaces. For iGuzzini, light allows for the creation of safe, aggregate and comfortable places, and defines a person's mood, the colours and shapes of nature and works of art. This is why its vision is Social Innovation Through Lighting developed along four guidelines: light culture, design, connectivity and sustainability. In 2021, iGuzzini's turnover was €203.4 million, selling 82% of its own production abroad and 18% in Italy, proof of its leading position on the domestic market and primary position in Europe and the most dynamic international markets. iGuzzini illuminazione S.p.A. is operational in Italy and abroad with 41 functioning offices on all five continents. The parent company, iGuzzini

illuminazione S.p.A. performs staff and management duties, has a capillary presence worldwide and devises internationally renowned projects. Over the years, iGuzzini has expanded and consolidated its production capacity to meet the constantly growing demands from the market, establishing iGuzzini Lighting China Ltd, in 2006 and the subsidiary company, Shanghai iGuzzini Trading China respectively for production and sales work on the Asia Pacific markets. In 2018, iGuzzini bought over the company under Canadian law, Sistemalux Inc. with its production plant in Montreal, further strengthening its presence on the North American market and completing its range of products. The production plants in Recanati, Shanghai and Montreal integrate perfectly into a global, logistics network capable of optimising overheads and production capacity usage.


IMAGE COURTESY © PHILLIP HANDFORTH ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY

\ At EXPO 2020, iGuzzini illuminazione and its lighting solutions were present in a number of exhibition pavilions and open spaces.

Rome, iGuzzini launched a programme to support and enhance cultural heritage in Italy and around the world. A few years later, the programme would adopt the name of Light is Back. During 2000-2010, iGuzzini launched the "Partners for Better Light" campaign to promote the role of light in an architectural project with the collaboration of professionals. With the opening of the Russian branch in 2003, iGuzzini continued its international expansion. In 2006, it was one of the first companies to adopt LED technology. In order to build a corporate ecosystem capable of fostering well-being and providing a serene, stimulating work environment, iGuzzini created World Class Manufacturing in 2014. The program's goal was to have zero faults, breakages, and stockpiles. The first IoT-based intelligent lighting apps were created in 2015 by iGuzzini. In 2018, iGuzzini acquired Sistemalux, a Canadian company. The results of the three-year research project (20142017) Social Lightscapes Workshops were presented the same year. Some of their most notable honours are the Compasso d'Oro ADI (Nuvola, 1998; Shuttle, 1989); Compasso d'Oro ADI award to the Group's enterprises (1991); National Innovation Prize Prize of all Prizes 2018 (Palco LV); Top Employers Italy (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021); and EcoVadis silver medal (2021), among others. Additionally, the company has received recognition for its creative products from iF Design, Red Dot Design, ADI Design Index, German Design Award, Lighting Design Awards, and Lux Awards.

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In 1990, the official presentation of the experimental prototype of SIVRA (Sistema di Illuminazione Variabile a Regolazione Automatica) - Automatically Controlled Variable Lighting System - the first bio-dynamic light luminaire, was held at the Science and Technology Museum in Milan. In 1994, iGuzzini was the first company to support the fight against light pollution: with its campaign "con iGuzzini contro l’inquinamento luminoso" (Combating lighting pollution with iGuzzini), the topic of energy-saving and protecting a star-studded sky was introduced. In 1998, with the inauguration of the new lighting at the Borghese Gallery in

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AL FAY PARK, Abu Dhabi, Recessed Light Up Balisage and Earth luminaires were used to light the trunks and foliage of the trees from underneath and from above they create a pattern of bright dots across the green spaces.

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IGuzzini has an interesting history. In a room in 1959, Giovanni Guzzini's home, in the centre of Recanati, Harvey Creazioni was founded, later to become iGuzzini illuminazione. The name Harvey comes from a film starring James Stewart. At the end of the 1970s, iGuzzini brought lighting to Italy. It promoted a series of institutional campaigns and launched an intense training programme for specialists, acting as pioneer in the expansion of light culture around the world. The shift from the decorative to technical sector was marked by a range of innovative luminaires. In 1980s, the company consolidated its identity with the “Industria Illuminotecnica” payoff. Simultaneously, it launched the "Illuminare gli italiani" (Enlightening the Italians) institutional communication campaign that continued until 1992. In addition to this, iGuzzini further innovated the international business model, by transforming its foreign branches into key hubs capable of generating cultural and professional relationships in the respective countries. Near the end of the 1980s, the company conducted the first tests in the field of bio-dynamic light in collaboration with the Lighting Research Center of Troy in New York, which became international guidelines thirty years later (current day Human Centric Lighting).

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\ AFSAL MOHAMED, Founder of Light & Lives

\ LIGHT & LIVES

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ight & Lives is a Dubai-based ambience consultant and distributor specialising in lighting, furniture, acoustics, and decorative objects. Since its founding in 2019, the company has completed over 250 design-centric projects in the region, spanning multiple disciplines such as residential, hospitality, and commercial spaces. With over 90 globally renowned brands, including 60+ specialist lighting manufacturers, the product range provides a well-balanced solution between quality, design, functionality, and budget. As a homegrown company established during the COVID-19 era, challenging the norm has always been at the heart of everything they do. The firm's primary approach to collection curation is to have a product line that is aligned with every

\ DUBAI HILLS LUXURY VILLA

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design philosophy. It is one thing to fill a room with beautiful furniture and finishes, but it takes a special skill to create the right atmosphere. The Light & Lives offer strives to bring forth products and services that hit every note with the expert knowledge brought to the table with a diverse portfolio and technical insight. “We always advise our clients to opt for authenticity,” says Light & Lives founder Afsal Mohamed. He further explains: “The current business environment of ‘value engineering’ is restricting design. Prioritising an original thought process doesn’t have to mean it’s expensive especially when new manufacturers are popping up across the world with unique designs, and competitive price tags. With the right kind of specialist advice, there is always a possibility of not compromising the integrity of the project as a result of opting for sub-standard products. The design has always taken precedence in everything we do at Light & Lives, and as such; the company’s focus this year has been to bring forth products by designers from diverse backgrounds. This, along with strategic partnerships with high-quality architectural lighting manufacturers, helped the company to develop a more holistic portfolio which works as the perfect tool for its lighting design team to tackle any design and budget brief without compromising on aesthetics or performance. Our constant effort is to work with manufacturers that share the same ethos, to provide ‘affordable authenticity’, as we truly believe the magic lies in being able to elevate any design story with the right products and service.” “Some of our recently completed projects include Izil Spa, a private villa in Dubai Hills, a high-end private office in Downtown Dubai, and Next 50 office in Etihad Towers among others and we’re actively involved in some exciting large-scale F&B and commercial projects. Being able to work across multiple sectors has provided us with a more holistic approach - to be able to address any lighting scenario with the right selections. It’s been a good year in terms of the projects and designers we’ve gotten to work with and we’re quite excited for what lies ahead,” adds Mohamed. Guided by a passion for design, performance and service excellence,

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\NEXT 50 OFFICE, A modern biophilic office design with timeless industrial elements, acoustic panels, and lighting that connects the spaces.

\ IZIL SPA The well-known Izil retail experience in Dubai Mall has grown into a tranquil haven that transports visitors to an exclusive Moroccan escape.

Light & Lives collaborated with brands such as Flos, Marset, Masiero, Lodes etc, covering a wide spectrum of decorative and architectural lighting design philosophies who have been manufacturing products with ingenuity and originality for almost half a century. The Light & Lives portfolio insists on a strict diet of authentic aesthetics, quintessential qualities, high-quality materials, perfect workmanship and exceptional organization. Every piece of design element, whether it’s a lamp, furniture or decorative object is a product of constant dialogue with designers all over the world. “By working together with brands such as UnoNovesette, Brokis, Olivelab, Slamp,

Karman Italia etc we are constantly expanding our collection to ensure we stay much ahead of the curve,” says Afsal. With the need of the hour being ever-changing, the firm's offbeat and design-driven approach has a lot to offer the region in terms of quality and aesthetics. Its online presence has been designed with an e-commerce store featuring a mood board tool to aid any designer with putting together selections based on their design story making it a seamless experience. With a one-of-a-kind physical platform in the works to showcase their design collection, Light & Lives are here to be unapologetically unconventional.

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LI HTING owerlist 2 \ JASPAL BAL, managing director and founder, Light Link

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ight Link was founded in 2019 by Jaspal Bal on the values summed up in the acronym LINK - Listen, Integrity, Network, and Knowledge. Jaspal's vision was to establish a company that goes the extra mile for its customers and become the best lighting design and supply firm in the UAE and wider region, using everything he learned from a 13-year career in the GCC. Light Link strikes the ideal balance between art and engineering, with a strong emphasis on design. Jaspal leveraged his trusted relationships and extensive market networks to achieve continued rapid growth over the last three years, more than doubling turnover year on year. The team expanded in tandem with its high-profile clientele. Nathan Delaney joined as Operations Director in 2020, followed by Jonathan Brown as Commercial

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Director in 2021, forming a well-rounded senior management team with expertise in lighting, commercial, project management, and construction. Light Link now employs 19 people across departments. Light Link was named 'Lighting Company of the Year 2021' by Design Middle East as it entered its second full year of operation. The team has completed projects in all sectors and have been involved in some of the region's largest office fit-outs, including PWC, the multi-award-winning Early Childhood Authority, and the new home of TwoFour54, and Yas Creative Hub. Working on the iconic Museum of the Future with Al Tayer Stocks, Atelier Bruckner, and Belzner Holmes was a definite highlight for the company. The team has also had great success supporting and delivering projects alongside design powerhouses such as Say Studio, Roar, Gensler, 2106, Ochre, and Broadway, and looks to expand these relationships as it continues to be known for increasingly innovative lighting projects across the region. Light Link has developed strong synergies with well-known brands such as Future Designs, iGuzzini, Lamp, Marset, and Vibia as the company has grown. Furthermore, it is in the process of signing a premium partner agreement with acoustic brand

\ PWC Designer: Ochre, Contractor: Al Tayer Stocks


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LEFT \ MUSEUM OF THE FUTURE: LEVEL 5, OSS HOPE, Designer: Atelier Bruckner + Belzner Holmes, Contractor: Al Tayer Stocks

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Impact Acoustic as part of a strategy to generate new revenue streams. Building on its initial success, Light Link has recently expanded into other regions, delivering projects in Qatar and now Saudi Arabia, where it has already secured two large-scale projects for blue-chip clients. Going forward, the company plans to capitalise on the opportunities in this market by replicating its setup and delivery model from the UAE and establishing a permanent team in the Kingdom. Future growth will also include Light Link's new experience centre and academy, a dedicated multi-use space with unique ways of showcasing new products and technologies to its clients, as well as a platform for educating customers. Light Link has always demonstrated a commitment to wellbeing and sustainability, creating a reputation for handling multiple LEED and WELL certified and accredited projects. The team collaborates closely with designers and consultants to ensure that these criteria are met in accordance with the strict guidelines, all while keeping end-user needs in mind. True to its expertise, Light Link's offices are designed in accordance with WELL and LEED standards. Light Link aimed to be a force for good by supporting a variety of causes in which it believes. It was a key sponsor of Surge for Water's "Design, Dine, Make a Difference" event in Dubai in 2021. The goal is to continue working with Surge while also becoming involved in a broader range of charitable initiatives.

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BOTTOM \ NICHE, ICD BROOKFIELD PLACE: Interior designer Roar, Contractor ISG

Jaspal Bal, managing director and founder of Light Link, comments: The immediate future of the lighting industry will be challenging for everyone. Supply chain issues are likely to continue throughout 2022, and unfortunately, we expect some further inflation prompting more price increases. In this context, it is crucial to stick with trusted manufacturers and companies to maintain quality, and who have a solid strategy in place to support their customers. It’s also important to educate and encourage clients to appreciate the long-term value of lighting over short-term cost-cutting.” Jaspal elaborates the lighting trends: “One of the biggest trends for the design industry as a whole will be about people and efficiency. In the area of lighting, this means much

more than changing lamps to LEDs. Lighting can be the driving force at the forefront of efficiency, going beyond simply conserving energy with lighting control being a tool to create inspirational and atmospheric environments, not just to reduce energy costs. With expert lighting solutions, we can live smarter, happier and healthier lives, all while having less impact on the planet. Tuneable lighting, which mimics daylight rhythms and simulates nature, is proven to improve employees’ wellbeing, motivation and productivity significantly. Testament to its belief in the value of this technology, Light Link’s own office incorporates adjustable human-centric lighting and embodies the same sustainable, eco-friendly credentials it advises for clients.”

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\ NO GREY AREA

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\ ELLIOT BARRON, partner, No Grey Area

\ DUBAI DIAMOND EXCHANGE, Almas Tower

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o Grey Area are quickly becoming known in the design market for their hybrid approach. They specialise in lighting and have developed a onestop-shop approach to meet the needs and desires of architects, designers, and contractors. No Grey Area has become a go-to resource for designers in the area, expanding their portfolio from lighting to stretch ceilings, acoustics, and metal works. “Our initial idea was to adopt a more direct component procurement approach, reducing the number of middlemen and providing better value to our clients,” explains partner Elliot Barron at No Grey Area. “Our goal is to provide designers in the market with all they need to complete their project with ease and optimal quality. We assemble as many of our products in-country and try to deal as directly as possible with the end user. We think our approach is one the market needs.”

So far, he has been proven correct. Barron moved to the UAE in 2009, and was one of the founding partners of No Grey Area, the fledgling Middle Eastern arm of a small UK lighting company, in 2016. Over the last six years, the firm has quickly progressed through the gears, expanding globally to nearly 60 employees, pushing the boundaries of design quality and value, and working on some of the region's most high-profile projects. “There’s a real buzz around the whole of the Middle East,” Barron says. “In the UAE, but especially for us in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where the markets are growing at an exponential rate.” To cope with this new demand, No Grey

Area has opened an office in Egypt and will shortly open a production facility in Saudi Arabia, where they will be able to produce and assemble light fixtures, acoustic products and stretch fabric ceilings. "The next few years are going to be an exciting time,” Barron adds. One of the firm’s strengths is its versatility. Recent projects include the Google office in Dubai, and the covid-delayed Dubai Expo 2020, for which NGA delivered designs for 11 Best of The Best restaurants, and two food courts, including the African Food Court, which had another ten restaurants concepts inside. “The challenges there were that we had an unusually short turnaround, and we were dealing with many different


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when a competitor might have to seek outside expertise. “We have people with backgrounds in stretch fabrics, people from lighting backgrounds, guys who came from construction, guys with a metalwork background,” Barron says. “We have a turnkey approach, which lets us do things other companies would shy away from.” This approach has led to repeat work with some of the biggest names in design, including The Bluehaus Group and Gensler. “We work with interior designers from the start of the project,” Barron says. “We enjoy the challenges they set for us, and they enjoy the way we deliver.” They work with lighting design firms, such as Studio N, as well as main contractors. “There is no denying that the last few years have been far from the norm,” Barron says. “But as life gets back to normal, construction and design are moving ahead at full speed, bigger and better than ever. Pre-covid, lighting would often fall to the bottom of priorities in

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stakeholders,” Barron says. The hospitality sector is a real driving force for our business and thanks to our loyal supplier base, we were able to complete the project efficiently. The Grand Egyptian Museum, which will open in October, presented a different set of hurdles, namely more than 20,000 metres of LED on the facade. Next on the list is the VOV e-sports venue in Saudi Arabia, as well as the new Saudi branch of the Sushi Samba restaurant, which will feature more than 1,000 units of custom-made decorative light fixtures. “A real passion of mine is that each of our projects is different,” says Barron. “I love custom-made projects, delivering a designer’s vision, taking something on paper and making it a reality. One of our USPs is that we’ll take on the challenge of something unique and tricky to make and deliver it on time.” No Grey Area’s broad range of work means their staff includes many different specialisms, allowing them to do everything in-house

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\ AVIV CLINIC, JLT At NGA, there is no substitute for quality, which is highlighted by the company’s ISO 9001 2015 certification. As members of the Lighting Industry Association since 2015, NGA are committed to ensuring the quality, safety and performance of our products are delivered to UK/European standards. With an ongoing commitment to protecting the planet, NGA are continuously investing in sustainable production processes and materials, in line with the latest building standards from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) and WELL.

\ SEGA ORBI, Dubai

the design. That perception is changing. Clients are understanding the value of lighting and developing exceptional bespoke pieces that become the centrepiece of their designs.” No Grey Area’s focus is to bring these concepts to reality while maintaining the firm’s reputation for superior quality at the right price. “For us, ultimately, it’s about delivery, delivery, delivery,” he says. “We test everything in real-world situations, not just in a lab, so the customer gets the design they had in mind.

Our turnover has increased year on year because people are seeing the value in what we do. We’re a family-like business that delivers on our promises. It has been a real pleasure seeing the business and our staff grow over the years. Our ambition is to become a household name: not just locally and in the UK, but internationally. “We are looking to redefine notions of the lighting industry,” he adds. “To raise awareness that lighting is not a product of functionality, but an art form in its own right.”.

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\ SoMA LIGHTING

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\ The incredible team at SoMA LIGHTING

\ LA MAISON ANI boasts elegance whilst still radiating a warm and inviting atmosphere that not only provides an extravagant dining area but is home to a boulangerie and patisserie inspired by the culture of France.

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oMA Lighting is a boutique, multi-faceted brand agency and lighting solutions supplier based in Dubai. The company was formed in 2019, by Rich Semple, drawing inspiration from independent record labels and innovative lighting design studios. As a proud advocate for diversity and equal opportunities, SoMA has a multicultural workforce with a majority female-led management team. SoMA has curated a portfolio of innovative and cutting-edge lighting brands for the region, including British brands Orluna, Buster and Punch, and Tala, as well as Scandinavian brands Zero Lighting, Nuura, Pholc, Northern, and Rakumba. Each brand was carefully selected for its unique offering, and through SoMA's extensive network of designers and specifiers, can showcase its products throughout the growing Middle East Design industry. SoMA has become the region's most trusted turnkey lighting supplier over the last three years. SoMA's creative flair, meticulous attention to detail, and

professional approach to on-site project management are responsible for this. Collaborations with Bishop Design, Mitchell and Eades, Bluehaus, Sagrada, and INC Solutions have resulted in several flagship commercial and F&B projects completed to critical acclaim throughout the UAE. These include a façade lighting scheme for the new Dubai Harbour, a new office for NewBridge Pharmaceuticals in Healthcare City, and two very special custom chandeliers for The Burj Al Arab. SoMA have also become the lighting partner for some of the region's top hospitality companies. For Bulldozer Group, they recently completed the design and supply of lighting for local Dubai celebrity Chef Izu Ani's new concept, La Maison Ani, located in Dubai Mall’s fashion avenue. SoMA is also collaborating with EAT X, the new hospitality group of local restauranteur Tom Arnell, on several exciting new F&B venues across the city, all due to open in 2022; Byron Bathers Club, Encounter Coffee, Splendour Fields, Frankie’s of Florence, Common Grounds, and The Guild. Speaking on the future of the lighting industry, founder Rich Semple is passionate about sustainability and helping create a circular economy within the lighting industry. He says: “The Lighting Industry currently operates in a linear, single-use, throwaway environment. We all need to move beyond the philosophy of single-use. Lighting products should be sourced and designed to be repairable and renewable. Manufacturers such as Orluna are paving the way by creating sustainable, circular lighting products that come with a 20-year repair and reuse guarantee, meaning no longer will light simply be thrown in landfills when they reach the end of their life. New publications such as TM66 will help bring more structure and rigour to this process and encourage designers to select products not only based on their aesthetics and performance but on their manufacturing process and commitment to creating a more circular economy.”.


\ KUSH SUNEJA, design manager at Murano Lighting

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\ MURANO

LIGHTING

\ SYMPHONY OF FIREFLIES Installation at Brasserie Boulud, Sofitel the Obelisk.

and technicians in close collaboration with Khansaheb Interior Division. The parametric flow design of the 21m-long spiral-shaped chandelier with 550 glass elements captures the imagination of all restaurant guests, making its presence felt in the room. The detailing, right down to the fixing of the glass elements to the antique mirror ceiling, is what makes this piece unique. Khansaheb and Murano worked together to ensure the suspension went as smoothly as possible. This one-of-a-kind chandelier received compliments from all corners of the design industry, much to our delight.” Murano Lighting's team is constantly striving to improve, learning everything it takes to go above and beyond stipulated design. They have also implemented a cuttingedge design validation system that uses mathematical scatter plots to visualise parametric designs and understand where there is room for improvement to take the idea to the next level of wow and intrigue. "This unique opportunity to work at the crossroads of technology and art inspires us to create deeply inspired craftmanship work. We are improving our product design skills through online learning in order to provide more value and design versatility to our valued clients,” Suneja adds. Moving forward, Suneja's sights are set on the entire region to provide quality service to spaces that want to stand out. They are currently looking to deliver 5-star hotel lighting projects in the MENA region with the assistance of their industry partners in order to keep the new roaring twenties decade on track.

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ollowing the completion of a few exciting projects in the country, such as Sofitel the Obelisk, St. Regis the Palm, and W hotel Mena Seyahi, all during the difficult COVID period that Dubai and the rest of the world has experienced in the last two years, the team at Murano Lighting is energised to scale up and provide our services to a broader hotel industry clientele in the region. Kush Suneja, design manager at Murano Lighting says: "Over the years, our Murano Lighting team has honed its skills to take on the most difficult design and execution challenges in the world's most ambitious city. We take the approach of shifting from a know-it-all to a learn-itall mindset, drawing inspiration from Satya Nadella, the amazing transformation Guru. Working closely with interior designers such as HBA, WA International, and MMAC, we help weave the final layers of space by being as involved in every step of the job as possible, ensuring the required intensity and depth of final touches that the market expects in their beloved spaces.” Suneja further explains: “For example, if you look closely, you will notice that the award-winning Brasserie Boulud Specialty Restaurant at Sofitel the Obelisk, which will open in November 2020, was prepared structurally and electrically by our dedicated team of designers, engineers,

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LI HTING owerlist 2

\ ACOULITE

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\ TERRY WOODLEY, managing director, Acoulite

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coulite is the Middle East's leading distributor of lighting and acoustic solutions. Since its humble beginnings in 2005, its unique approach to understanding exactly what its clients want has established it as the "go-to" authority on lighting and acoustic products. Acoulite began with commercial offices and has since expanded to supply multinational corporations such as Visa, LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook, as well as well-known local companies such as Aldar HQ and DU. The next sector which started to use Acoulite's services was F&B and hospitality which led to some iconic landmarks such as Zuma, LPM, Mint Leaf and even hotels like the Fairmont, Premier Inn, and Holiday Inn. Since then, Acoulite has increased its presence in almost every Gulf nation and the majority of the fit-out business, whether it be for commercial projects like Bloomingdales in Kuwait or educational ones like the Mohammed bin Rashid Library or Herriot Watt University in DIFC. Acoulite opened offices in Qatar, Riyadh, and Kuwait in their first 10 years and supplied their biggest project to date in 2015 - The

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Doha Festival City. Acoulite has continued to expand and have now 60 employees and a turnover of AED50mn per year with a real focus on expanding its KSA business, which has done well in procuring PIF HQ recently. The brand attributes its success to its partners, who assisted us in developing their offering. Acoulite collaborates with interior designers such as Bluehaus, Gensler, AAID,

\ Acoulite achieved an exhilarating lighting scheme that grabs attention through a subtle, stylish, and nuanced approach for the NAZOMI PROJECT IN KSA.


\ The fine balance achieved between creating show-stopping but also discrete lighting for NAZOMI Would have been impossible to achieve, but it was delivered with aplomb by the Acoulite & Forsite creative team.

\ NULTY \ Nulty designs a lighting scheme for BURJ AL ARAB Jumeirah’s newest boutique

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ulty is an award-winning lighting design consultancy working with some of the world’s foremost architects and interior designers. Collaboration and teamwork are at the heart of the practice. Improving life through light, no matter what the scale, is the goal.

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Woodley further adds: “I would like to create a group of like-minded professionals from different areas within the fit-out industry, such as partitioning, MEP, flooring, designers lighting, acoustics, furniture, etc. to develop best practices in the design of human-centric facilities.".

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SAY Studio, JLL, and DWP. Light Touch, Umaya, and Studio Nulty are examples of lighting designers. They work with ATS, KPS, BW, INC, Summertown, and Khansaheb as well as FLOS, XAL, LED Linear, Intra, NEKO, and many other manufacturers. They still have some very distinctive products, such as Coelux, which simulates the sun and the sky. Managing director, Terry Woodley believes: “We need to be focussed on lighting that supports human-centric spaces and that means the people in the areas have control of the lighting they use. There need to be daylight sensors, so that the light levels change with light that comes from the outside, also lighting temperature shifts with people's moods throughout the day and finally different types of lights for different areas even in the facility, i.e. break out spaces, quiet spaces, innovation, and collaboration rooms. Also, we need to take account of the environment, so we need to support companies that are environmentally friendly and have a real focus on products that are sustainable and energy conservative. The manufacturing process should be looked at to reduce co2 emissions, use materials that are biodegradable and low energy manufacturing processes.”

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Nulty, the region's leading independent lighting design practice, is dedicated to using light to transform architecture and spaces in a sustainable and aesthetic manner. As a result, the team is constantly striving to redefine how lighting is used, and each design is scrutinised in terms of sustainability, buildability, maintainability, longevity, and affordability. Nulty has expanded its project portfolio across MENA in recent years, and is now involved in several of the region's most prominent giga projects. Working on projects with ambitious scope and vision has allowed the team to deliver lighting design innovation and creativity on a significantly larger scale than ever before.

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38 Décor review

History Meets

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Contemporary Fabio Marigliano,

general manager of The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah, discusses how the property illustrates the Emirate's rich culture, the culinary experiences it offers, and the story behind each unique design element.

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hy did you choose Sharjah for this property, especially given how popular waterfront properties are in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? How does Sharjah vary from other emirates in terms of location, culture, and modernism for the hotel industry? Sharjah lies in the midst of an exciting cultural renaissance, with the Emirate’s

largest and most ambitious historical preservation project at its nexus. Located within the Heart of Sharjah, where Islamic heritage meets an inspiring contemporary scene, we’ve converted a collection of historic manor houses into what is now The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah, a 53-key Emirati luxury five-star hotel that delivers bespoke services where beauty, unparalleled hospitality and a sense of home become inseparable. The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah sophisticatedly incorporates its contemporary Asian-inspired interpretations with the hotel’s

Arabic influences in ways that preserve Sharjah’s indigenous culture and charming history, offering guests the opportunity to indulge in traditional Emirati graciousness in leading luxury accommodation at the heart of Sharjah. What impact do specific designs have on the guest experience? The Chedi Al Bait has successfully preserved its original historic structures whilst developing new buildings to complement the heritage while catering to the modern traveller. What makes the property unique is that there is no standardised look; everywhere you turn, it’s different. This makes for the ideal vacation, perfect for travellers seeking relaxation, exploration and adventure, or just spending quality time with family and loved ones. Is there a storytelling element to the design creation of this property? The unique collection of five heritage houses at The Chedi Al Bait was once occupied by local families in their distinct cultural settings. These preserved historic structures paired with newer building compounds are a testament to Sharjah’s

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39 TOP FABIO has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including three years in the Middle East. His career has taken him all over the world, from Qatar to Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, and China, as well as his own hometown of Napoli.

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EMIRATI HOSPITALITY BEGINS WITH SATISFYING THE PALATES OF GUESTS. AT THE CHEDI AL BAIT, SHARJAH, VISITORS CAN RELISH IN RICH ARABESQUE FLAIR AND SAVOUR THE FLAVOURS OF SHARJAH THROUGH ITS CULINARY MASTERY.

rich culture, from its carpentry and woodwork to its classic Emirati hospitality. Throughout the property are elements of design which highlight its uniqueness. For example, the Elephant Door is original to the home of Ibrahim Al Midfa and dates back to 1944. Today, these beautifully wrought doors open up into the Bait Ibrahim Al Midfa, where the hotel’s majestic library and museum are located. Deeper into The Chedi Al Bait lies the Maijilis Al Midfa. The striking architecture itself is a point of inter-

est as it is the only remaining circular tower of its type in the UAE. But if the walls could speak, the ones here would doubtless tell some lavish tales of the life and times of the legendary Ibrahim Bin Mohammed al Midfa. Through his love for entertaining, his sense of hospitality has trickled down from the early 1900s, and his legacy of hosting friends and family within its beautiful walls remains. What are the challenges you face? Our location could not be residents' or travellers’ first choice when think-

Tell us something about the restaurants at the hotel and their designs? Emirati hospitality begins with satisfying the palates of guests. At The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah, visitors can relish in rich Arabesque flair and savour the flavours of Sharjah through its culinary mastery. We offer our guests a variety of culinary experiences where the East meets the Middle East and the best of the West at The Restaurant. Tables are set indoors and out, in the charming open-air courtyard, perfect for sampling the finest selection of contemporary, oriental, and far east breakfast dishes, freshly made to your order and served >>>

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ing of a luxury retreat, especially with such an abundance of hotels and resorts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Following the pandemic, travellers were eager for secluded escapes to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and this is exactly what we offer. We collectively made an effort to continue enhancing our guest experience while re-establishing our connection with new and existing guests, as well as our partners. LEFT AL BAIT, which translates to 'The Home,' welcomes guests to embark on a spectacular journey, highlighted by the warm and friendly staff who ensure that each individual is treated like family, by customising their visit for a memorable and truly extraordinary experience.

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Built on the original foundations of houses once owned by the country's most prestigious families, the resort's architecture reflects a traditional Arabian aesthetic with finer touches of luxury.

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alongside homemade baked pastries. Guests can indulge in a veritable world of flavours including Arabic and Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner. Our unique dining experience extends to the wonders of the world in The Café, the heritage house of Bait Majlis Ibrahim Al Midfa. Guests will discover the only remaining circular wind tower in the UAE while sipping Turkish coffee and indulging in our pastries or homemade dessert creations. Guests can also enjoy a unique gastronomical experience at Al Bareed, located at the heart of Sharjah’s very first Post Office within The Chedi Al Bait, serving artisan coffee, various desserts and pastries guaranteed to satisfy every sweet craving. Guests are also invited to revel in authentic cuisine and delightful concoctions with our seasonal dining offer in one of the best restaurants in Sharjah and will dine graciously amid classic Emirati interiors.


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WE HAVE VERY EXCITING PLANS COMING UP LATER THIS YEAR TO FURTHER EXPAND AND ENHANCE OUR PROPERTY, AND WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKING THAT ANNOUNCEMENT VERY SOON.

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ourselves and our offering to guarantee nothing less of a perfect guest experience. We have very exciting plans coming up later this year to further expand and enhance our property, and we are looking forward to making that announcement very soon.

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What does the future hold for “The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah”? Do you intend to grow into other locations? The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah has definitely become a fan favourite, as it tells a very unique story of the heritage and culture of the Emirates, and we are proud to have built a strong relationship with our guests in order to ensure that we are constantly challenging

THE CHEDI AL BAIT Sharjah is a welcoming haven of Arabian elegance located just 30 minutes from Dubai, combining traditional luxury with modern functionality

to create a truly authentic and engaging experience for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

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How, according to you, is the hospitality industry evolving? What is your vision for the hospitality segment in the Middle East? Following two years of uncertainty and constant turbulence and fluctuations in the state of the world, we have begun to see a significant increase in demand from travellers seeking escapes from their ordinary schedules and routines. We anticipate that this will only continue to increase, and I believe that many hotel groups will begin to enhance and expand their offerings to cater to the varying needs of travellers.

SHARJAH, an urban metropolis surrounded by a breathtaking natural landscape ranging from pristine seawaters to mangrove forests, sweeping sand deserts, and rocky, soaring mountains, is located within a city that boasts glorious year-round sunshine.

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Artist collection

IN DUBAI

NEW SIGNATURE SHOWROOM

Kohler intends to open its doors to the heritage of the Middle East's architecture and style, as well as to showcase Kohler's diverse collection from around the world, with this launch. The signature showroom launched Kohler as a global design hub with distinct style and innovation. Kohler intends to revitalise every house in the Middle East with its global designs and collections through the showroom. Kohler collaborated with Kitchen & Bath Gallery, a longterm dealer partner in Dubai, UAE, to create this wonderful space.

KOHLER'S

KOHLER has opened a new showroom in the Middle East in June 2022. This is Kohler's first signature showroom in Dubai.

K NOW ALL A BOU T

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42 New showroom


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Founded in 1873, Kohler Co. has more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of kitchen and bath products; luxury cabinetry, tile and lighting; engines, generators, and clean energy solutions; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland.

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Larry Yuen, global president, Kohler

he opening was inaugurated by His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Hajj, Director General of Dubai Development and Chief of Dubai Health Authority, and was attended by Global President of Kohler Larry Yuen, along with regional president Salil Sadanandan. The evening showcased live activations around Kohler’s latest Kitchen & Bath designs. The design of the showroom is to honour the architecture, innovation, and diversity of the Middle East, as well as Kohler's 148-year heritage and global presence. The interiors are inspired by the summoning rain from the desert - water feature in the showroom's centre; Islamic gardens that lead us to the desert oasis; life-size arches and a screen pattern. This space also has a studio-like atmosphere that encourages designers and architects to use the space as an extension of their own offices. "We look forward to the opening of this showroom and presenting to the Middle East the wholesome experience of Kohler’s products," says Alan Orchard, Commercial Director Kohler ME & SSA. Kohler and its products have been there for a long time in the Middle East, but with the development of this region and a solid representation of the brand, Kohler is launching its first signature showroom. The showroom will have its brand-new collections featuring bold, classic colors and finishes with upgraded functionality. "The purpose is to help people build a space or home of their dreams in consultation with experts who understand this space really well. Signature store will have project consultants to guide people on every step of their shopping journey". >>>.

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Alan Orchard, commercial director, Kohler ME & SSA

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44 New showroom

Artist collection

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The collections are curated by drawing inspiration from the world's diversity. In solitude and in one of the most intimate settings, a vivid imagination emerges.

The new showroom reflects Kohler's future plans in the Middle East. The brand provides great innovative products in a variety of contemporary styles. Kohler is a leading choice for the hospitality industry, and it takes great pride in having a thorough understanding of the needs and experiences that are required/ provided in various parts of the world. Kohler wants to help people create intimate spaces by providing the best designs, colours,

fixtures, and faucets. The collections are curated by drawing inspiration from the world's diversity. In solitude and in one of the most intimate settings, a vivid imagination emerges. Kohler creates a space for people to connect with themselves, reflect on their thoughts and ideas, and design the home of their dreams. In the meantime, Kohler is launching a Your Art, Your Space activation to tap into people's feelings of intimacy, solitude, and creativity. The showroom be managed and operated by Kohler’s long-time dealer partner in Dubai, UAE – Kitchen & Bath Gallery.

TOP Iconic collection

LEFT Brazn offers a refined, classic take on the bathroom suite while creating a striking centrepiece that is beautiful and functional. The freestanding bath is designed to support the curves of the body for a relaxing soak while the vessel basin is designed with an asymmetric front for both form and function.

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6-8 SEPTEMBER 2022 –––––––––––––

RIYADH INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTER

The Kingdom’s premier interior design, furniture and fit-out exhibition INDEX Saudi Arabia connects interior designers, retailers, distributors and fit-out contractors with global and regional brands. Visit the show to discover innovative brands, source from a wide variety of interior products and meet creative minds in the industry.

REGISTER TO ATTEND: index-saudi.com/register

CO - LOCATED WITH

ORGANISED BY


46 Retail

Driven by

PASSION

IN CONVERSATION WITH RASOOL TAJ, HEAD OF BUYING AND MERCHANDISING AT DWELL/LIWA TRADING ENTERPRISES LLC, ABOUT THE BRANDS SHE WORKS FOR, RETAIL CHALLENGES, AND TRENDS SHE IS MOST EXCITED ABOUT.

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DWELL provides inspirational interior design solutions from an assortment of designer brands to suit a wide variety of tastes.

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hat are your responsibilities as Head of Buying and Merchandising? As the Head of Buying and Merchandising for Liwa’s home brands Dwell and Simply Kitchen, I work with a team that designs, sources, develops products for our brands and then gets it to market and ensures we trade the product in the most commercial way. Between both brands - Dwell and Simply Kitchen - we cover everything for every room and my main responsibility is to ensure that our brands deliver the budgets, strategy set, and most importantly meet the needs of our customers. I oversee the whole business, but I am very much involved in the detail of everything from colours on bedding to the brands we will be launching in our stores.

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Dwell and Simply Kitchen are extremely different brands; how do you manage the sourcing of both? They are completely different brands with different customer profiles and very different ranges, but that is the challenge we love to tackle everyday. I feel like both brands together create the whole home and there is so much opportunity to try different styles and designs as we aim to have something that suits everyone’s tastes. For me I love products regardless of what it is, from a lemon squeezer to a plush sofa. I love the whole process of bringing a concept to life regardless of what the product is. Personally, I love home products and I love retail so for me it is just the opportunity to have a variety of different products that we can develop and source from different parts of the world and bring to the market here in the UAE. >>>


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We all want something that is special, different, and unique, but we also have budget constraints, responsibilities and a cap on what we can spend on items. We consider this in everything we do; we want to give our customers something that is desirable but also of great quality and a fair price. We are very aware of the market that we are in and that there are many players that do a great job.

What’s the most challenging part of your job? I like to think that I put everything into what we do and when things don’t go to plan or we have ranges that don’t perform, I take it quite hard. This is part and parcel of the retail business but is something I find hard to deal with. On the face of it and to the teams I will still be positive and move forward but cannot help feeling the niggle inside that it wasn’t quite right.

What interior design trends are you most excited about? I love the sustainability angle of products and products that have a story of how they came about. We have just launched a range of candles exclusively at Dwell and the candle vessels are made from construction waste in the UAE, so low carbon footprint, with soy wax. Once you are done burning them, they can be brought back to us so

There is no denying the convenience and the ability to buy “when you want, where you want” is a huge draw to e-commerce. We want to be able to offer that to our customers and are constantly trying to create a seamless experience from store to online and vice-versa. However, it is hard to replicate the ability to touch and feel our product and we have a product that needs to be sat on, picked up, and touched to communicate its quality and design. I love to see the reaction of our customers when they feel our 100% Italian made 300 thread count sheets (they really are amazingly soft and luxurious) and you can actually see when they get the ‘ahhh’ moment, that ‘I just have to have these’ moment and that for me is a huge buzz.

Is there anything exciting in the pipeline you would like to share? We are going through a huge growth and will have just shy of 30 stores by the end of the year. These stores will have products

we have never had before and products you can buy exclusively from us. The store at City Centre Mirdif that just opened has our full range across bed, bath, home décor and furniture and is our biggest store to date. As well as showcasing all our ranges across categories, it also has brand new destination spaces for rugs, lighting and is the only place in the UAE where you can pick your wallpapers and walk out with them, exclusively with us from the UK. We are doing exciting things with customisation, and you can create bespoke furniture, where you can pick everything from the size, fabric, feet to have it personalised with your name should you wish! That is just the beginning.

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You have a strong business acumen. How crucial is affordability to the success of any brand?

Do you prefer the brick-andmortar idea or e-commerce for your brands?

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The thought of the product we have created and developed being in people’s homes and knowing that we have been part of designing a beautiful space is an honor and a privilege. Every person will create their look differently and will project one’s tastes into their home and knowing that we are part of that process is awesome. I can’t help but be passionate about the whole process.

we can refill, or you can use them as a décor item within your home.

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What makes you so passionate about interiors?

DWELL'S ethos remains the same to become the region’s top-of-mind store for quality bedding and bath linens, which are perfectly coordinated to create a luxurious home sanctuary.

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48 Tête-à-tête

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FABIEN CHESNAIS is definitely no stranger to the Mövenpick family as he has been raised in the business as a key member throughout his 14 years with the brand. His success is built on trust, collaboration, and hard work, in addition to his dynamic personality and fluency in Arabic.

Experience

the Luxury Island Retreat!

Fabien CHESNAIS THE GENERAL MANAGER, MÖVENPICK RESORT AL MARJAN, DISCUSSES THE PROPERTY'S DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS AND EXCITING F&B OUTLETS, HOW RAK IS ATTRACTING MORE AND MORE TOURISTS, AND THE CHALLENGES OF THE EVERCHANGING HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY.

In 2011, you became the Movenpick Group's youngest general manager. What is your success recipe? The recipe for success is a consistent mix of hard work, commitment, passion, reliability, and trustworthiness. What is the highlight of your career in hospitality? I enjoy a good challenge, the everevolving nature of the industry and the urge to understand guest behaviour and needs, while keeping up with trends, is what builds up my passion away from the routine of any other field. I look forward to waking up every morning with a different day to tackle. Ras Al Khaimah is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination. What distinguishes it from Dubai and what makes it appealing to people of all ages? The authenticity of the destination makes it more and more attractive. With a diverse landscape ranging from mountains, sea, and deserts, there is no end to the immersive experiences to be found. While Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island offers a wealth of activities, relaxation, and culinary offerings without leaving the resort, adventures around Al Marjan Island

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The magnificent resort features 418 elegantly designed rooms with unobstructed sea views, suites, and chalets set against the picturesque Arabian Peninsula backdrop. With six exceptional restaurants and bars, dining at Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan offers a wide range of cuisines to suit all tastes.

and the wider emirate of Ras al Khaimah are endless. It’s an escape to nature in the UAE. Guests can discover the thrill and beauty of the desert by visiting Bedouin camps, historic forts or even bouncing through the dunes, while adrenaline experiences are second nature at Jebel Jais to satisfy all adventure seekers. Do you think that the tourism potential of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is utilised to the maximum? What do you think of the present situation and what is the going forward direction for tourism in Ras Al Khaimah? The mindset of the destination as well as the initiatives and the support from RAKTDA will take the destination to continuous development. As part of our launching plan at Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island, we understand that travellers are seeking more and more authenticity and we are committed to immersing them in all the local activities of the destination while also offering a relaxed and fun experience at the resort. This is reflected through

our modern accommodations, our six diverse food and beverage concepts, leisure facilities and ongoing live entertainment options. How would you describe your management style? I believe in hands-on practice, it’s one of the best ways to improve performance. I am more solution-oriented, rather than focussed on the challenge, I am also data-driven and I like to get creative, positive, and fun. What are the main challenges you face in hotel management? To always be out there, in front of the guests, for them to see you, follow you, and take an interest, you need to keep up to date with the trends. And these, just like technology, keep changing very fast. Today’s guest preferences might become tomorrow’s old news and therefore it is vital to stay up-to-date as it helps with connecting more with guests. >>> design-middleeast.com


How does a hotel remain a part of the local community while also attracting guests from further afield? The prime differentiator to any resort is the ability to extend authentic experiences showcasing the true highlights of the destination while offering value-added benefits. Involving the local community in our actions, and making them feel welcomed and at home always, regardless of where they are is at the core of what we do. Giving back to the community is also a key factor, paintings and artworks around the resort have been developed by local talents, sustainable practices such as eliminating the single use of plastic planned excursions to nearby farms as part of our Starfish Kids’ Club programme and locally sourced Oysters from Dibba Bay on our buffets and menus are few ways to say we care.

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50 Tête-à-tête

How much do you depend on word of mouth and social media? We are heavily invested in this as it is extremely vital. Social media with planned creative content has become a base for our marketing activities, we are experimenting and evolving, and we are learning by the day. This is a powerful medium as it is emotionally engaging and more memorable than the traditional ways. The audience is becoming more educated, content creators are offering a targeted reach and we are promoting our brand offerings and inspiring our followers while also entertaining them. Word of mouth has always been one of the most efficient advertising channels, even more so in the Middle East. You always tend to trust a piece of advice or recommendation if it’s coming from a person you know. Tell us something about the restaurants at the resort and their designs? We are home to six exceptional restaurants and bars, with a variety of cuisines each designed with a

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twist to reflect the identity of the outlet. Möca Lobby Lounge, at the heart of the resort, offers a refreshing spot with sundrenched indoor and outdoor modern spaces, the vibrancy and interaction of a fresh food marketplace with live cooking stations can be found at The Market - All Day Eatery, feet in the sand seating and a poolside atmosphere create the casual California Coast vibe at Beach House while Ula Restaurant and Bar, the adults-only venue, features a private pool and is the ultimate state of relaxation and vibes, from day to night. Boons Brasserie and bar is the newest neighbourhood hotspot with its lush interior, comforting meals and


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Have you implemented any sustainable initiatives at your hotel? Yes, and this is an ongoing process as it takes time to fully convert to a no plastic, no waste ‘lifestyle’. We are limiting plastic use as much as possible, opting

What are your targets and expectations for next year? We want to increase brand awareness as much as possible and introduce more and more guests to our beachfront resort and the blissful life of leisure, both locally as well as international.

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How do you see the hospitality industry evolving? Technology and digitalised guest experiences play an important part in making the overall travel experience more personalised. Alongside more destinations and more niche markets, travelling will become sooner a lifestyle, rather than a simple vacation.

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In your opinion, what is the most impressive part of the resort? I think one of the best words to describe the resort is tranquillity, the space itself extends a relaxed, island vibe for all guests and visitors. Here guests can detach and forget the fast-paced daily life and feel like they are on endless summer vacation from the moment they step into our sun-drenched modern space. To complement the design, the F&B options cater to many tastes and preferences. They can have traditional Arabic for breakfast, fresh Mexican for lunch and end the day with French favourites. Healthy options and power bites kid menus are on the list to ensure the needs of all ages are met.

for wooden key cards, for example, and limiting the use of paper with most of the materials being digital.

RIGHT Guests can unwind with access to a 300m pristine private beach and wellness hub, which includes four treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym, while thrill seekers, young and old, can frolic in the glistening beach, which offers extreme motorised and nonmotorized water sports.

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live entertainment. Neo Sky Bar (opening September 2022) will be the island’s only rooftop lounge, where diners can spend a stylish yet classic evening under the stars, enjoying flowing cocktails and sweeping views of Ras Al Khaimah’s twinkling skyline.

The upscale accommodation also includes stylish beachfront chalets with their own private swimming pools or terraces, giving guests the full island experience.

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52 Bathroom

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CASA MILANO is the UAE’s premier luxury sanitary ware and tiles retailer. It offers exclusive products manufactured by over 40 of the world’s top-notch brands including Tonino Lamborghini, Versace and Roberto Cavalli.

Dream bathrooms Azhar Sajan DIRECTOR OF CASA MILANO, EXAMINES INDUSTRY TRENDS, CUSTOMISATION OF SANITARY FITTINGS, AND HOW THE BRAND WILL SOON ENTER E-COMMERCE SO CUSTOMERS CAN SHOP ONLINE FROM THE COMFORT OF THEIR OWN HOMES.

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What is trending in bathroom fittings? The bathroom trends for 2022 are about new shapes, new materials, and new ideas. The focus is on serenity and luxe texture. Colours are rich or calm, and light is comfortingly traditional or architecturally modern. The unifying theme, though, is one of excitement to create a space you love to be in. People want to be different and bespoke touches like reclaimed pieces, statement mirrors, and coloured ceramics help them do that. Some of the key looks are sculptural taps, arches, curved showers, raw and natural textures, and fluted finishes. Tell us about the latest technology for bathroom fittings. With the help of ever-evolving technology, the world is on its way to building a better and more sustainable future. We have recently introduced smart toilets by VOVO, which have features like a water-saving automatic flushing system that distinguishes between larger and smaller flushes by detecting how long the user has been seated, UV LED sterilisation and a hybrid water heater that warms the water while hot air is circulated through the air dryer. >>>


How important are touchless, water-saving and energy-saving products for the brand? Scarcity of water is a worldwide problem. I feel it is critical to utilise touchless sanitary equipment not just as a company, but also as a person because they are not only hygienic, but they also save water and energy. Your brand is leading in customised sanitary fittings. What gives you a competitive advantage in this segment? Our basket of products includes options from all the price ranges, which gives the customers an option to customise their sanitary fittings as per their preferences. There are hardly any players in the luxury sanitary space. Another advantage

is that we are the official distributors of Corian surfaces in the region/ country. As you might be aware, Corian solid surfaces are fully customisable and can be moulded into any shape or size. One can also have a backlit Corian wall customised for their bathroom. We also offer customisation of marble for walls as well as countertops for vanity. What are the latest vanity trends? I personally believe that trends vary from person-to-person, some may opt for giving an aesthetic touch with just the vanity of a different colour like a red vanity in a white bathroom. While some may opt for a minimalistic look for their bathrooms and some may look for extra storage spaces.

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RIGHT MEZZA HOUSE Beyond the framework of gold pipes the ceiling is exposed to maximise the low, existing height. Sprayed with acoustic foam and painted black, however, there is no loss to the dining experience.

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We are still seeing a lot of colour and textures used in bathrooms to create a calming, tranquil, and luxurious atmosphere. What are your most recent offerings in this area? Our environments affect our experience of life. Although each space in the home is important, from the foyer to the kitchen, many of our most personal practices happen in the bathroom. It’s where we wash and assemble ourselves to present to the outside world, and it’s where we should feel the most relaxed, and most comfortable in our skin. We offer a wide variety of sanitary fittings from our Spain series in colours such as chrome, matt black, matt gold, matt grey and bronze brass that complement the Calcutta Green and Amazonite Slabs from Italgraniti.

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What excites you the most in the industry today and why? In recent times, especially after the pandemic, homeowners have taken a greater interest in the finer details of home improvement rather than relying on their architects or interior designers. It has become important to include an element of luxury. We at Casa Milano, are happy to fulfil these luxury dreams since we have home improvement options across a wide range of categories based on the budgets and tastes of our clients. I believe, if there is one room that deserves a little extra luxury, it’s the bathroom.

Where do you see the future taking you, especially with regard to expansion plans and the direction of your company? Our primary goal for the year is to go digital, i.e. to enter e-commerce and allow customers to shop for luxury home improvement solutions online. In terms of growth, we intend to open showrooms in other emirates and other parts of the Middle East

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Why should the Daikin MC55VB air purifier be your first choice?

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54 Indoor air quality

Flash Streamer Using electrons to trigger chemical reactions with air borne particles, the Flash Streamer breaks down allergens such as pollen and fungal allergens and removes bothersome odours providing a better, cleaner air

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ndoor air quality is a major concern, and air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular as a result. Daikin air purifiers keep their promise to provide cleaner and healthier indoor environments in homes, offices, and commercial spaces all over the world. The Daikin MC55VB air purifier is a high-quality air purifier. With indoor air quality having a significant impact on people’s performance and well-being, Daikin’s air purifier

aids in the purification of indoor air by circulating it through the unit and allowing the air to pass through a variety of filters and purifying technologies. The units are commonly found in residential settings, small offices, retail stores, classrooms, medical waiting rooms, and doctor cabinets. (1,785 AED). It’s a great addition for any space because of its compact size and sleek looks. It catches fine dust particles and has a powerful suction system. The streamer unit, which uses high-powered plasma discharge technology, decomposes harmful substances* within the unit. These contaminants are either trapped on the HEPA filter or adsorb to the deodorising filter element. 2. The Active Plasma Ion generation unit purifies the space further by adding purifying elements to the cleaned air. These could help to deodorise odorous curtains and carpets, for example. The purifier is equipped with a high-sensitivity dust sensor that distinguishes between small particles like PM2.5 and larger dust particles and reacts accordingly. There is triple detection of dust, PM2.5, and odour. Furthermore, according to tests conducted at the Institut Pasteur de Lille, Daikin’s air purifier eliminates 99.98 percent of the human coronavirus HCoV-229E in 2.5 minutes. This virus is related to SARS-CoV-2, the Coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic.


® ® A product designed byCosentino Cosentino A product designed by

A product designed by Cosentino® A product designed by Cosentino®

TOPS ON TOP TOPS ON TOP

TOPSON ONTOP TOP TOPS Cindy Crawford on Silestone Seaport

Cindy Crawford on Silestone Seaport

Cindy Crawford on Silestone Seaport Cindy Crawford on Silestone Seaport

Find inspiration at cosentino.com | Follow Us F CosentinoMiddleEast COSENTINO CITY DUBAI Dubai Design District (D3) Building 4-A, Unit 401 042428131 - infomiddleeast@cosentino.com The Silestone LOFT series have been registered by Cosentino S.A.U. Find inspiration at cosentino.com | ®Follow Usdesigns F CosentinoMiddleEast

COSENTINO CITY DUBAI Dubai Design District (D3) Building 4-A, Unit 401 042428131 - infomiddleeast@cosentino.com

Find inspiration at cosentino.com | Follow Us F CosentinoMiddleEast Find inspiration at cosentino.com | Follow Us F CosentinoMiddleEast The Silestone® LOFT series designs have been registered by Cosentino S.A.U.

COSENTINO CITY DUBAI Dubai Design District (D3) Building 4-A, Unit 401 COSENTINO CITY DUBAI Dubai Design District (D3) Building 4-A, Unit 401 042428131 - infomiddleeast@cosentino.com 042428131 - infomiddleeast@cosentino.com The Silestone® LOFT®series designs have been registered by Cosentino S.A.U. The Silestone LOFT series designs have been registered by Cosentino S.A.U.


56 Project

Class Apart

YELLOW HOUSE ARCHITECTS METICULOUSLY CURATED A SPACE THAT PLAYS WITH THE JUXTAPOSITION OF CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY PIECES.

One Wall Street, the most extensive residential renovation

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in New York City history, sets the bar for world-class design and unrivalled amenities to create a bespoke luxury lifestyle.

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acklowe Properties, located in the iconic Downtown Manhattan, opens its doors for the first look into the Art-Deco masterpiece, One Wall Street, showcasing world-renowned designer interiors and

world-class amenities. The building's inaugural model apartments and first-of-its-kind residential co-working space, One Works, were designed by AD100 designer Elizabeth Graziolo of Yellow House Architects, French architect and designer Cyril Vergniol, and award-winning architect Deborah Berke. With an infusion of top names in architecture and design, the building establishes a new standard for

luxury living in Downtown Manhattan. Taking stylistic cues from the iconic Art Deco period, Elizabeth Graziolo was brought on to lead the design of the Model Unit 2501, paying homage to the grand 1930s structure while creating a luxurious and comfortable space. The Yellow House Architects took inspiration from the organic shapes of the building's exterior stone, softening the rigid material to design an elevated living space that exudes luxury and comfort while paying attention to the overall grandeur of One Wall Street's stature. The Yellow House team meticulously curated a space that plays with juxtapositions of classic and contemporary pieces, evoking a sense of vintage glamour that honours the building's timeless architecture by making careful selections of modern and traditional pieces throughout the apartment.

RIGHT: CYRIL VERGNIOL, a French architect and designer, exhibits bolder and more eclectic design choices. His vision for the space was to provide an elegant, cultural apartment with an eclectic mix of antique and contemporary artworks and furniture, rather than to fall into the Art Deco pastiche.

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"The opportunity to work on One Wall Street was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, particularly as the Art Deco period has always been one of my favourite architectural styles," commented Elizabeth. "It has been a pleasure working closely with Harry Macklowe throughout the design process and understanding his vision for the property. We have learned from each other's experiences and challenged each other's artistic beliefs to develop a stunning unit". Conversely, acclaimed French architect and designer Cyril Vergniol showcases bolder and more eclectic design choices. Cyril's vision for the space was not to fall into the Art Deco pastiche but rather to provide an elegant, cultural apartment with an eclectic mix of antique and contemporary artworks and furniture, inspired by the dramatic spirit of One Wall Street’s architecture. To emphasise the unconventional style of exhibiting contemporary designers alongside period pieces, Cyril collaborated with a local gallery, Maison Gérard, to incorporate a mix of French, European and American furniture, lighting, and objects d'art to create a space that is timeless and contemporary with an understated luxury and sense of balance. To emphasize the eclectic storytelling of the project, Cyril carefully selected all the arts, paintings, and sculptures from the Leila Heller Gallery, well-known pioneers of the artistic landscape, promoting creative dialogue between Western, Middle Eastern, Central, and Southeast Asian artists. "For me, as a Frenchman, a building such as One Wall Street represents the idea of New York that I had as a child, only knowing the city through images - a stone skyscraper in pure art deco style". He continued, "New York City has long been a hotbed for artistic >>>

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Images courtesy of: Tamara Hamad / Omrania

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Project

DEBORAH BERKE, awardwinning architect, brings to life the transformative co-working space, One Works, which is part of the 100,000sqft of resort-hotel-level amenities available to all residents and known as One Club.

Deborah Berke, along with her team, worked closely with Harry Macklowe to bring to life a space that reveals the architecture of the building while simultaneously creating an effortless, multifunctional space before the pandemic.

expression, supported by its vibrant arts community and local independent galleries. With this in mind, we felt it was important to honour the heritage of One Wall Street through our work with local artists and galleries". Award-winning architect Deborah Berke brings to life the transformative co-working space, One Works, part of the 100,000 square feet of resort-hotel-level amenities offered to all residents and known as One Club. Exclusive to residents, the One Club provides a wide range of high-end amenities, including a glass-enclosed pool, priority membership to Life Time, a state-of-the-art wellness and fitness centre, private and informal dining alongside the bar in the One Club Dining Room, a full-time concierge, and a world-class co-working

space, One Works by the One Club. Deborah Berke, along with her team, worked closely with Harry Macklowe to bring to life a space that reveals the architecture of the building while simultaneously creating an effortless, multifunctional space before the pandemic. One Works provides two large conference rooms for meetings and presentations, two soundproof phone rooms for privacy when taking calls or virtual meetings, and two state-of-the-art podcast rooms with equipment supplied upon request. "Our vision was to contrast the old with the new, building a modern, adaptive, and reusable framework which can be layered over time while still acknowledging the historic Art Deco accents throughout," commen ed Deborah Berke.


Linealuce mini 27R High Performance Linear System Design Jean-Michel Wilmotte / 2022 Linealuce evolves with a new, miniaturised, high performance version: a slash of threedimensional light, just 2,7 cm deep. Linealuce mini 27R is a masterpiece of technological precision, offering patented triple optic technology that shapes light to meet any requirement.


60 Pick of the month

Gingko THE

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COLOUR

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Andreea Braescu reinvented her Gingko Collection by adding a delicate touch of colour, inspired by the leaves of the Gingko Biloba, an ancient tree revered throughout history as a potent symbol of vitality and longevity. Individually handcrafted from fine bone china, each petal and leaf emit a warm, enveloping light that reflects nature's dynamic harmony. “My intention is to create the feeling of harmony and freedom, as one has when surrounded by nature, says Andreea Braescu, a Romanian interior artist who works with porcelain to create bespoke light sculptures. Her handcrafted lighting focusses on bringing life to interior spaces, with the goal of providing the client with both a functional and emotional experience. Each chandelier and custom-made installation is made of phosphatic porcelain, the finest ceramic that is both durable and delicate. www.andreeabraescu.com



Inspiring Solutions For Tomorrow

IDEAL STANDARD MENA T + 97148042400 | E idealstandardgulf@idealstandard.com IDEAL STANDARD DESIGN & SPECIFICATION CENTRE Building 7, Happiness Street, City Walk, Dubai, UAE | T + 97143096000 www.idealstandardgulf.com