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design-middleeast.com

JANUARY 2021

Interiors and Architecture from the Gulf, Levant and Beyond

AWARDS 2020 Celebrating the leading architects and designers in the Middle East

RMJM's


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Surface Solutions, Designed By Nature

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JANUARY 2021

Contents

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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST AWARDS 2020

Winners revealed: Meet the leading architects and designers in the Middle East

14 PROJECT REVIEW SHOWCASING EXCELLENCE From hospitality to commercial, Design infinity has a list of exemplary projects in its portfolio in varied sectors for 2020. We list three commissions by the company that are worth all attention.

54 OP-ED 2021 COMMERCIAL FIT-OUT TRENDS This year is all about the disruption of traditional economic models, building sustainable environments, using efficient technology and implementing wellness measures.

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Michael Magill, Architect of the Year

58 SUSTAINABILITY HI-TECH DESIGN Barcelona-based architecture and design firm External Reference delivers the new sneaker store– Presentedby at Dubai Mall is a mix of technology, fashion, urban culture, and design

20 COMPANY PROFILE PUSHING BOUNDARIES Aedas is one of the world's leading architecture design practices operating collectively with a simple purpose: To create inspiring designs that make positive contributions to the quality of the built -environment and to create places that enrich people's lives.

Zayed University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre by Design Infinity

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Your business continuity is our top priority.

Our initiatives and remote solutions have got you covered in all situations. du.ae/wegotyourb


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Editor's note A New Year, a new start, and miles to go. Wishing you all good things in this New Year. Our first issue of 2021 is apt to kick-start this New Year, as it gives the glimpses of the Design Middle Awards 2020. It was a starry starry night, where the industry came together, celebrated, and recognised the achievers of the industry. There were very special moments and we've tried our best to capture them through the pictures. Do check out this amazing issue, once again we would like to thank each one of you who came, supported, and rejoiced with us. This issue, we have an interesting and different project, the Barcelona-based architecture and design firm External Reference delivers the new sneaker store– Presentedby at Dubai Mall. The new store is conceived more as an experiential space rather than a shop, being unique in the world of retail and featuring the latest 3D printing fabrication and audiovisual technologies. Moving on, leading fit-out firm Design Infinity lists

CEO WISSAM YOUNANE wissam@bncpublishing.net DIRECTOR RABIH NAJM rabih@bncpublishing.net GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR JOAQUIM D’COSTA jo@bncpublishing.net +971 50 440 2706

its three most favourite commissions from the last year and narrates how despite a tough year, it managed to bring out the best at all levels. Plus, other exciting reads-interviews, company profile, opinion column, and much more! Happy Reading!

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR RABIH NADERI rabih.naderi@bncpublishing.net +966 50 328 9818 EDITOR ROMA ARORA roma@bncpublishing.net CREATIVE LEAD ODETTE KAHWAGI design@bncpublishing.net MARKETING EXECUTIVE AARON JOSHUA aj@bncpublishing.net

Roma Arora Editor

DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER ALEXANDER BUNGAS Alexandar@bncpublishing.net

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For all commercial enquiries related to Design Middle East, contact our Group Publishing Director JOAQUIM D’COSTA

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All rights reserved © 2021. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Design Middle East and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Design Middle East. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Images used in Design Middle East are credited when necessary. Attributed use of copyrighted images with permission. Printed by UPP


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News

Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) has recently completed the new Sports & Performing Arts Centre of Excellence (The SPACE) for the Dubai College. The allnew SPACE is the most ambitious project of the planned upgrade of the school to date. It is located on a condensed part of the site at the back of the campus and required the demolition of the existing swimming pool and sports hall to free up valuable land for the new 5,500sqm development. From the outset the 900sqm multi-purpose gym with indoor running track was designed to be a central hub

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GAJ HANDS OVER THE SPACE AT DUBAI COLLEGE

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within the SPACE and it occupies most of the ground floor. It is supplemented by a number of flexible student spaces to foster a relationship between the physical movement and the science behind it allowing teachers to combine the practical with the theory. Also on the ground floor is a new swimming facility which can be directly accessed from the outside without the need to go through the sports hall. It includes a 300 seat spectator viewing area, electronic touch timing system making it ideal for galas and other water sports events.

On the first floor, the 1,100sqm sports hall is designed for two basketball and two netball courts with retractable bleacher-style seating for around 500 spectators. The performing arts was also a key consideration for SPACE with the creation of a black box drama performance space with seating for 140, drama rooms, music classrooms as well as music practice areas. A rooftop MUGA court and student cafĂŠ have also been incorporated as well as a unique hall of fame showcasing the achievements of the school.


prospects for development with some entrepreneurs. The Director General stressed that this visit falls in line with the Authority’s keenness to follow up with Dubai’s cultural scene and the creativity instilled within it. She said: “Dubai Culture is committed to exercising its role of supporting, encouraging, directing and organising cultural work in the emirate as part of the Authority’s vision to maintaining its proximity to the artists and creators who constitute the pulse of the creative community to motivate and encourage them. Dubai Design District is a home for design entrepreneurs who empower the local design industry and push forward the innovation process that shapes the cultural movement in the emirate.

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ubai Culture and Arts Authority is proceeding with its efforts to engage with the local creative community and motivate its pioneers to enrich Dubai’s cultural scene with their contributions. In this context, Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, toured some of the retail stores and showrooms in the creative complex at Dubai Design District, which is considered an ideal platform for design talent in the emirate. Hala Badri was accompanied by Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Dubai Design District, and viewed the exhibits created by Emiratis and UAE residents, whereby she discussed work conditions and

Badri added: “Dubai Culture is keen to nurture and embrace the distinguished local design talents as well as to provide an environment that would support their growth and promote their businesses on their path towards broader horizons; this contributes to the advancement of this vital sector that is supportive of the national economy. As such, the Authority is strengthening its cooperation with its partners who are active in the

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HALA BADRI FOLLOWS UP WITH CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS AT DUBAI DESIGN DISTRICT

creative sector, such as Dubai Design District with whom we have been associated with since its establishment. We will continue our joint cooperation through which we seek to consolidate Dubai’s position as a promising global destination in the field of design as well as its cultural footprint on the global stage.” The tour included a visit to the Fatima Bin Mohammed Bin Zayed Initiative, Hessa Al Falasi (shop), Dubai Institute of Design, Styled Habitat (interior design studio), Noor The Label (fashion store), Consentino, Michael Cinco (fashion store), AlBAL (design studio), Maison Yeya (fashion store), Nafs (fashion store), N.Sefi Jewellery & Piercings, and The Cap Project (women fashion). This visit came as part of the vital role played by Dubai Culture as the custodian of the cultural sector in the emirate. It also forms part of the priorities of the Authority’s updated strategy that is aimed at empowering creativity and innovators and enhancing the creative economy in the emirate as well as at consolidating Dubai’s position as a global centre for art and culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

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News The Extra washbasin brings additional variety to the Ideal Standard range

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IDEAL STANDARD INTRODUCES EXTRA BASINS AS A PART OF THE ATELIER COLLECTION Ideal Standard introduces the new range of EXTRA basins to the market, adding the finesse and class to bathroom interiors. Extra Basins is a part of the Atelier collections designed by world-renowned Italian Design studio Palomba Serafini Associati. Architect and designer Roberto Palomba, is the creative brain behind the Extra basins range, combining geometric shapes with ceramic to create an elegant synergy between design and form. The square, hollow inside volume is defined by the ceramic material that allows light and shadow to refract their charm on the object. Extra basins have extremely thin profiles to minimise their presence, to allow the expressive force of the geometry that designs them to be appreciated. Conceived as a sculpture, the washbasins of the Extra collection resemble boxes to be placed on a shelf or hung on the wall and have variable sizes to create different solutions and engage in a dialogue with the space that hosts them. The EXTRA collection, with its architectural and timeless vision, satisfies the needs of the most demanding designers, allowing to conceive the bathroom with a total look approach. The thin edges and the lightness of the EXTRA design are also perfect to fit even in very small bathrooms. Frederick Trzcinski, Marketing and In-

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novation Director, MENA, Ideal Standard Gulf, said: “Modern, contemporary living inspires our designs. Bathrooms, being an essential living space, have to be both functional and pleasing to the senses. With the elegant and

subtle designs and superior quality, the EXTRA collection is designed to enable sophisticated exchange between space and form, full and empty, a suggestion to create dynamism even in the bathroom.�


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with state-of-the-art facilities and excellent infrastructure. Colors inspired by the Dubai desert add a local touch where light sand and orange hues connect with biophilic elements. A naturally lit reception sports a focal wall inspired by the UAE sand dunes, sweeping from the point of entry across to the glazing facade. The Julius Baer Art collection featuring artworks of contemporary Swiss artists adorn the walls across the two floors, realizing an elegant space able to withstand the test of time. Besides work desks allowing for healthy alternation between seated and standing activities, provision of quiet rooms (i.e. ‘phone booths’) are placed enabling colleagues to quietly talk to clients while enjoying the facilities of an open office. A large pantry also serves as the heart of social interaction for employees. With a solid history of 130 years, Julius Baer is a premium brand in this global sector, focusing on servicing and advising sophisticated private clients. In the last 16 years, in addition to Dubai, the bank has strategically grown in the Middle East and Africa with additional offices in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Johannesburg, and Manama, offering its clients proximity and access to a well-established range of advisory and wealth management services.

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Swiss Bureau Interior Design collaborated with leading Swiss wealth management group, Julius Baer, to design its new corporate office in Dubai. As the firm enters a new chapter in the UAE with its move to ICD Brookfield in DIFC, Swiss Bureau worked with the Julius Baer’s global architecture concept as its framework to help maintain uniformity across locations. The new premises intend to provide greater interaction space and promote employee well-being while offering unrivalled views of the DIFC and Downtown Dubai. The contemporary corporate workspace designed with sustainability in mind has an expansive client reception area with seven meeting rooms and three boardrooms

JANUARY 2021

SWISS BUREAU CREATES AN INTERACTIVE WORKSPACE FOR JULIUS BAER WITH A FOCUS ON EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING

The contemporary corporate workspace by Swiss Bureau

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News

OK Design creates an office in Israel inspired by a ski resort PHOTO CREDIT AMIT GERON

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magine entering an office in the Middle East and feeling like you’re in a European ski resort. SkiDeal is a prominent Israeli tourism company specialising in full-package ski vacations in prime European resorts. The company’s offices are located in the heart of Israel, in the “Ir Yamim” towers in Netanya, Israel. OK Design took the inspiration for the 350sqm office design is derived entirely from the world of skiing, including materials, colors, ambiance, and experiential elements. The objective was to design a ski environment within the office space that sits in complete contrast to the dry desert climate of its Israeli surroundings, presenting an alternative reality to the outside world. The primary focus of the project was to create an environment where employees and customers would genuinely feel as if they were entering a ski resort. While many design projects incorporate surrounding landscapes as a complement, the SkiDeal office’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea presented views that stood in contrast to the theme of the space. The design’s authenticity was key to achieving the client’s goal of motivating employees, given that they are skiing afficionados. Skiing is a significant aspect of their lives, and the

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goal was to provide them with a work environment that, while functional and departmental, would also echo their passion. “In addition to the main concept of creating a ski environment, we were very cognoscente of the fact that this is a functional office, so our approach also focused on noise reduction that facilitates the transition,” says designer Keren Offner. “In terms of ambiance, our choice of materials and colors serve to transition people to the skiing world.”


snow, and green pine trees. All of the office furniture is white, and the lighting design accentuates the architecture to emphasize divisions of space and create focal points. Warm lighting throughout the space creates a cozy environment, while a combined lighting/acoustic solution implemented in the sales area conjures up hints of mountain views upon approach.

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pinewood, used to create separator walls, to frame the office’s display cases, and to line the ceiling in the form of plates. Abundant use of the wood draws its inspiration from the pine tree surroundings of ski resorts, as well as construction materials used to build ski chalets. The space’s light gray walls and smooth concrete floors frame a colorful ski world of blue skies, white

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

One of the challenges to the overall design was balancing the intimacy of the environment with the concept of an open office space. The solution came in the form of glass walls with pinewood frames, and office divisions that pass through drywall openings. Upon entering the office’s main glass door, visitors are greeted by a wide reception desk and seating area. Behind the reception desk, a wall cupboard rotates into the space, transforming into an après ski open bar, complete with a large iron library. A pinewood harmonica window separates the bar from a large adjacent conference room. When opened, the window connects the bar with the conference room to create a larger open space. The conference room also serves as a sort of courtyard area, where conference calls are held with various ski resorts and big screen TVs broadcast skiing events from around the world. The secret to creating the core transition was the abundant use of three-ply

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Project review

Showcasing excellence

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Design challenges, 2020 was a year of iconic projects for Design Infinity

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ast year was a challenging one due to the COVID-19 crises, it forced people to accept to the new realities of life, and it was amazing to see how the world adapted so well to the new norms and came out stronger. One of the leading fit-out companies in the region, Design Infinity, took this opportunity to introspect and a multi-level reflection on values, beliefs, and leadership that is needed in the future. This assessment along with stringent safety measures and focus on digitisation led to a year full of iconic projects for Design Infinity. From hospitality to commercial, the company has a list of exemplary projects in its portfolio in varied sectors for 2020. Here are three commissions by Design Infinity that are worth all attention:

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Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) Design Infinity recently completed fit-out works for Sharjah Research Technology & Innovation Park (SRTIP). The Project spanning nine months covers a 130,000sqft four-storey building. The project comprises RTI office, common areas, auditorium, seminar halls, dedicated exhibition space, multi-purpose hall, gymnasium, and 32 offices including 18 meeting rooms. One of the unique elements in the fit-out works for this project is the cloud installation, which is one of the biggest installations of stretch ceilings/ fabric in the UAE. Aligning the support cables was a big challenge as the final elements were to be fixed nearly 2030m below the support structure. The total weight of the 'cloud' is 1,182kg. The LED lights used in the project stretch up to 375m in length and 520sqm of stretched fabric was used in the installation. The second unique element is the atriums' 3D bench. The domes within the atriums have been designed with gypsum, acoustic ceiling, and metal works at a height of 30m while maintaining health and safety standard with no lost-time injury (LTIs). All the metal meshworks within the dome were carried out in the company’s in-house metal and glass factory in Dubai.


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Project review

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flooring. There is an indoor climbing wall scaling up from the 1st floor to the 3rd floor to encourage fitness at work. There is also a modern, sleek design complete with LED lights that lend the office a futuristic, avant-garde look. There is an array of places to work, including tiered seating, acoustic booths and lounge area. The entrance has a ‘wow’ factor reception, with an artificial biophilic wall and branding. The main challenge of this project was the strict timeline; the project had to be completed in 90 days. Design Infinity’s track record for on-time completions was maintained, despite several structural major approvals that could have hastened the pace of the project. Another challenge was the use of different materials to create an exceptional co-working space. Design Infinity custom made all the metal and woodworks, acoustic elements and other materials in their joinery factory in DIP.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

DTEC is another magnificent project completed on time by Design Infinity. The total size of the project is 67,039sqft. The office is spread across four floors at Dubai Digital Park, Dubai Silicon Oasis. The project is a co-working space with flexible desks, multi-purpose discussion rooms and collaborative areas to foster creativity for entrepreneurs. The recreational aspects, including an indoor slide from 3rd floor to 2nd floor, the climbing wall and a 100m indoor jogging track on the 2nd floor, are engaging, and playful elements like the indoor slide are incorporated to promote positivity, productivity, and emotional well-being. The olive trees, plants and greenery at various coworking zones bring nature indoors and the overall fit-out encompasses the colours from the DTEC logo. The whole working environment in the DTEC Project is energised with the use of vibrant colours in the furniture, ceiling, and

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Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (DTEC)

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Project review

Zayed University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre Another iconic project recently completed by Design Infinity is Zayed University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre. The total size of the project is 47,361sqft. The project has very interesting interior elements. There were lot of interior elements that Design Infinity amended with the design, to achieve best results. The main challenge of the project was working at a 16m height with scaffolding throughout the project to complete all the MEP services and structural works, without interrupting other activities. Some

of the striking elements include metal and woodworks which were all undertaken in the company’s joinery factory in Dubai. The entire project uses acoustic elements in its fit-out works- acoustic ceiling, acoustic interlay carpets, acoustic lights, sound-absorbing panels, 3D mesh etc. Design Infinity earlier announced the achievement of 100,000 safe man-hours without any LTI (lost time injury) in the Zayed University Project. The company exceeded the safety standards with the completion of this reputed project.

Design Infinity is a fast-growing, interior fit-out company based in Dubai, UAE. Established in 2012, the company provides a complete range of high-end interior services and turnkey solutions for commercial offices, spanning diverse sectors. With its corporate headquarters in Dubai and the regional offices in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the company is owned and operated by a highly experienced team of interiors specialists. Co-founded by Pratap Mendonca and Geetha Nayak, the firm has completed a total of 450+ projects till date. Design Infinity was the winner of this year’s Design Middle East’s Best Retail Project category for the project Shurooq. The company also received the world’s fourth-highest Platinum LEED Certification for their project Provis and Khidmah HQ in Abu Dhabi. Design Infinity has a separate division for Metal & Glass along with a joinery of 30,000sqft area. They also have an in-house showroom for office furniture which represents global manufacturing brands.

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Company profile

How Aedas’ wealth of experience and passion for design allows them to be at the forefront of today's creative industries

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PUSHING BOUNDARIES

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edas is one of the world's leading architecture design practices operating collectively with a simple purpose: To create inspiring designs that make positive contributions to the quality of the built -environment and to create places that enrich people's lives. With an impressive record of credentials and awards, Aedas operates from its three principal design centres in London, New York and Hong Kong, and a network of 39 offices spanning four continents. This offers our clients the benefits of a locallybased, personal service, backed by a global network of skills and resources.

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They operate across a broad range of sectors including civic and cultural, sports and leisure, commercial and residential, education, healthcare, retail, and transportation. With a core value of design excellence, the practice offers expertise in architecture, master planning, urban design and landscape, interior design, product design, building consultancy, imaging. Aedas’ principle offices also house the practice’s Research and Development groups, which offers specialist services in computational design, sustainability, and advanced modelling. Aedas is celebrating 15 years of creativity in the Middle East.

"ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT HAS BECOME MORE EVIDENT IS THE COMPLEX RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE WITH THE PAST, WHILE TRYING TO CREATE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FUTURE. WE BELIEVE IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH REALITY WE CANNOT DEAL WITH JUST ONE TIME PERIOD. OUR GOAL IS TO CREATE A SYNTHESIS BETWEEN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE THROUGH DESIGN." -AEDAS


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Mixed-used master plan. Retail, F&B, leisure and hospitality waterfront development with a mixture of contemporary and khaleeji heritage-style architecture.

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Client: Modon Involvement: Master planner Size: 34,000sqm (GFA)

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

FISHERMAN’S WHARF ABU DHABI

HABITAS AL ULA SAUDI ARABIA Client: RCU (Royal commission of Al Ula) Involvement: Master planning

HABITAS Al Ula will be located in Ashar Valley, which lies within the AlUla region. The rock and sandstone formations make this site one of the most stunning landscapes inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The HABITAS mission is to change people’s lives in a positive and lasting way by creating deeper human connections. AlUla will be a worldwide destination for those seeking a unique experience of the full meaning and context of landscape – an experience that integrates the natural and cultural heritage as one living environment.

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Company profile

CITY GATEWAYS ABU DHABI Client: Modon Involvement: Master planner Size: 30,000sqm (GFA)

The City Gateways site is located on the Eastern edge of Abu Dhabi Island with Zayed Bridge to the North, Maqta Bridge to the South, the connecting road between the E10 and E20 to the West, and 400m long coast edge to the East. The site is largely flat with a significant number of mature trees concentrated to the East. A small circular marina is located behind the coastal edge.

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BATELCO ICT PARK Client: Batelco Involvement: Master planning Size: 355,300sqm (GFA)

Aligned with Batelco’s digitisation and connectivity goals and in line with those of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Trilogy Park will transform how businesses operate as well as transform the lives of residents , enabling everyone to connect, work and live better through the state of art urban identity and infrastructure. The park is a top-notch eco system comprising of a mix of offices, educational institutions, leisure, F&B, hospitality and serviced apartment facilities, and residential (apartment and villas).

SLS DUBAI HOTEL & RESIDENCES DUBAI Client: Wow Investments Limited Involvement: Design architect Size: 83,000sqm (GFA) 378 rooms

Proposed 70-storey hospitality and residential tower comprising a branded WOW hotel and hotel apartments with up to 4 levels of underground parking, ground floor and four podium levels which will incorporate additional parking areas and include for retail and commercial spaces in accordance with the client’s requirements, applicable development guidelines and authority requirement. design-middleeast.com


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D3 OFFICE PHASE 2 DUBAI

The intention is to encourage people not only within the D3 community to make use of the facilities but to encourage people from outside the development also. Recreational opportunities in the landscape zones are envisioned to motivate an active lifestyle.

Learning from the PAST

Finding solutions to the PRESENT

Aedas feels that it’s designers' responsibility to help the society not only to construct, but to reconnect with history. Designers should not be afraid to do projects that evoke these feelings without being pastiche, rather trying to really understand the DNA of a place and time. The masterplan project for Makkah is an example of how we believe architectural practices should deal with the history of a place. With very little documentation of the site we did an extensive research to better understand the built environment through studying the written descriptions, graphic representations of the city, and the experience seen through old photographs.

Aedas aims to create pioneering architectural solutions that work aesthetically, economically, and practically. It is important for our designs to encompass both the social and environmental aspects. The proposal for D3 Office Phase 2 intends to challenge the traditional corporate development and instead integrates office space, retail, a network of gardens/follies creating an urban neighborhood. Aedas seeks to create an architecture that is adaptive and reflects the history and culture of the place.

Envisioning possibilities of the FUTURE

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Client: Meraas Involvement: Master planning

The Phase 2, D3 plot underwent a previous design and partial construction process, which included the construction of shoring and piles for the foundations. The project is intended to enhance the D3 experience, including the provision of vibrant retail and F&B outlets.

Industrial City KSA

While taking into consideration the past, culture, and people, Aedas aims to push the boundaries of urban planning even further. Through the use of technology, Aedas is able to explore the potential of algorithms and artificial intelligence as agents of design and city making. Aedas focus shifts from designing buildings to designing algorithms. Their designs not only take inspiration but also learn from, nature, science, biology, biomimicry and so on.

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AWARDS 2020

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presented by


27 AND THE WINNER IS..

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Wissam Younane, CEO, BNC Publishing

JANUARY 2021

Design Middle East Awards 2020 presented by du was about the celebration of the creative best and foremost from the region’s design industry. The awards honoured the best of designers, architects, projects, and designoriented companies. The award ceremony with various categories strived to recognise individual excellence, company strengths, and project success. The awards ceremony was held at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Dubai on December 10, 2020.

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AWARDS 2020

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ARCHITECTURAL FIRM OF THE YEAR

JT+Partners bagged the prestigious Architectural Firm of the Year award at the 3rd edition of the Design Middle East Awards 2020. Founded by Joe Tabet, JT+Partners has an energetic, collaborative, creative team of 53 multi-skilled innovative individuals of multicultural nationalities providing bespoke designs that reflect cultural diversity, experience, and knowledge of their team. JT+Partners is recognised as a world-renown consultant with impressive projects located in international destinations, from Morocco to Seychelles, HIGHLY COMMENDED AEDAS

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JT+Partners

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Lebanon, India, Sri Lanka, North Africa, KSA and UAE, spanning residential, hospitality, commercial, mixed-use and masterplan developments, from conception to completion. Tabet is fully committed to and adheres to Corporate Social Responsibility and made it as one of his primary focus. He is a strong advocate of sustainable development, gives his team good health and financial benefits, conducts business ethically and fairly, and supports worthy causes.


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INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM OF THE YEAR

LW

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HIGHLY COMMENDED SWISS BUREAU INTERIOR DESIGN

Since their inception by the hands of a group of friends, Lars Waldenstroem, Morten Hansen, and Jesper Godsk, LW has always been about innovation and breaking through creative barriers. COVID-19 has brought about its own set of challenges, but the LW team feels closer than ever before. With no more face-to-face contact, they were able to strengthen communication skills and teamwork.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

The past year has been very exciting for LW as they delivered some of the most-walked about projects in the region like Bull and Bear lounge, Mr. Taco, St. Trop Waldorf Astoria DIFC, and Asha’s in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They also managed to complete projects at Le Royal Meridian Dubai. The team at LW refurbished the 36th, 37th, and 11th levels of the Le meridian Club Tower, along with its executive lounge.

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AWARDS 2020

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FIT-OUT FIRM OF THE YEAR

The last 12 months for ALEC FITOUT has seen its most successful year since establishing as part of the ALEC Group in 2009. In a very challenging market, the team has delivered a wide variety of luxury fit-out, refurbishment and new build solutions for our valued clientele whilst also ensuring record turnover and profit for the business. ALEC FITOUT completed three large-scale luxury fit-out projects in Dubai in the last 12 months —Marina Gate, Dubai Marina; Skyviews Luxury Development, Downtown; and Waldorf Astoria, DIFC. ALEC HIGHLY COMMENDED AL SHAFAR INTERIORS (ASI)

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ALEC FITOUT

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FITOUT integrates an HSE culture in the business, and they are committed to continuously improving the HSE performance standards both within our company as well as the industry. Varying methods are used to educate staff on HSE. The teams continue to develop and build strong collaborative and professional working relationships with leading local and global interior design consultants – working closely together to ensure beautiful designs are released to a high-quality and within budget for clients and developers.


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BOUTIQUE FIRM OF THE YEAR

Studio Bruno Guélaff

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HIGHLY COMMENDED ROAR

culminate into a complete fluid personalised project. The studio has a myriad of spirited projects on its hands ranging from exclusive hospitality to unique residential work sited in a multitude of international locals. The studio strives to surpass a client's vision by committing only senior and experienced designers to undertake the work. This process ensures to add value to the project.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Studio Bruno Guélaff was awarded the Boutique Firm of the Year at Design Middle East Awards 2020. The design studio is involved in all aspects of a singular design project; from architecture, interiors, landscape, initial concepts, branding, lighting, and furniture design to the execution of the project which truly sets the studio apart. Bruno Guélaff is the design director and he ensures all design elements

design-middleeast.com


AWARDS 2020

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INGENUITY IN DESIGN & ENTERTAINMENT

M2L Concepts is a Dubai leading interactive entertainment and technology company. They provide the organisation’s access to new technologies that propel them to greater levels of engagement and higher performance. Through innovative technology, agile development and creative consultation, they are able to create concepts that enhance and engage your client’s experience and give your business a competitive and distinctive advantage.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JANUARY 2021

M2L Concepts

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From ideation and content development all the way through to implementation, M2L Concepts work with the clients, while providing ongoing support and aftercare. M2L Concepts' specialities include virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, retailtainment, immersive experiences, family entertainment, entertainment, education, indoor theme parks, activation, outdoor entertainment, and theming.


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DESIGN EDUCATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Regent International School

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making process by expressing their needs and favoured use of the space as well as their preferences in furniture, material, and colour choices. As the refit of the entrance hall took place during the school holidays, the design concept was tailored to a solution, which could be implemented during the construction time. All enhancements are achieved in a tight budget of slightly over AED1mn and furniture was to be entirely locally sourced. The newly fitted entrance hall is a great example of how an amenity and circulation area can be transformed into an inspiring and empowering space for students to study and relax.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

DZ Design was commissioned by Fortes Education to redesign the administration area of Regent International School centrally located in Emaar’s Greens in the Emirates Living community. The brief was to turn the administration area into an exciting collaborative and open space that reflects the ethos of bold innovation in STEAM and Positive Education that Regent is famous for. The new design forms a fresh and individual space that reflects Regent’s culture and values and gives their staff, and students a strong sense of belonging. During the planning stage, the board of directors along with the staff were greatly involved in the decision-

JANUARY 2021

DZ DESIGN

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AWARDS 2020

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SUSTAINABLE PROJECT OF THE YEAR

ENOC Future Mobility Station AEDAS developed a futuristic retail fuel station in the Dubai Expo 2020 area. The ENOC site is situated outside the secured gated area and Pavilions site on the Western periphery of the Expo site. The project places considerable emphasis on sustainability and is required to showcase the environmental commitment of ENOC. For a project to be sustainable, it must incorporate elements related not only to

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AEDAS

design-middleeast.com

environmental protection but also be socially and economically sustainable. AEDAS design includes or allows for the incorporation of high-tech features and latest technologies, showcasing the technological advancement of ENOC and reflecting the future of mobility. The station design allows for numerous digital linkages and apps allowing for app-enabled on-demand fuelling and payment etc.


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RETAIL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Sharjah Investors Services Center DESIGN INFINITY

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HIGHLY COMMENDED EUROART, DESIGN SMITH

facility entailed its entrance area. Design Infinity went an extra mile by installing spectacular customised lights mounted on pillars to elevate the design of the entrance. All eco-friendly elements have been used in the fit-out works such as carpets, LED lights, and porcelain tiles. Design Infinity completed this project in a much smaller budget.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Sharjah Investors Services Center (SAEED) is a dynamic entity created by Design Infinity specifically to help investors and entrepreneurs set up their businesses in Sharjah. SAEED’s mission is to provide valuable support for Emiratis, Arabs, and foreign investors to enable them to complete the formalities of a business with unheard speed and efficiency. The main feature of SAEED ’s

design-middleeast.com


AWARDS 2020

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COMMERCIAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Stanton & Partners Aviation Stanton & Partners Aviation is a private company built on a heritage of peerless trust and industry expertise, offering exemplary standards in ethical and professional services in the private jets market for clients seeking excellence. Inner Space created the spatial experience that had to be rooted in organisational values and principles. Inner HIGHLY COMMENDED ATI DUBAI OFFICE, ATI

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INNER SPACE

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Space painstakingly audited each and every brand element to gauge its role in the visual language and how it aesthetically reflects Stanton & Partners' values of trust, authority and refinement, while incorporating the sense of intelligent innovation. Their design found the right balance between these two unique spatial qualities – luxury and corporate.


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RESIDENTIAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

BG Villa

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HIGHLY COMMENDED VIDA RESIDENCE, NORR

calacatta tiles accented with matte black fixtures featuring electric privacy glass giving a bit of personal space at the click of a button. The roof area features a personal office area along with powder room with dramatic views to the ocean and downtown skyline. A massive exterior roof terrace with the family of Talenti furniture comprises the outdoor seating, dining, and sun bed with shower areas along with an outdoor cooking area to enjoy the evening with family and friends.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

BG Villa by Studio Bruno Guélaff won the Residential Project of the Year Award. Studio Bruno Guélaff was commissioned to provide full Interior Design services for a 21,000sqft residential villa located on the plot on Pearl Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. Upon arriving BG Villa, one is greeted by a sleek bridge which hovers over the below courtyard to the basement entertainment areas. The first floor features three suites comprising two bedrooms for childrenand one master suite with a serene master bathroom lined in high gloss

JANUARY 2021

STUDIO BRUNO GUÉLAFF

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AWARDS 2020

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INNOVATION IN DESIGN AWARD

ENOC Future Mobility Station

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AEDAS The ENOC station facilities include fossil fuels filling station, a Zoom branded convenience store, a multi-service facility comprising car wash, quick lube, and tyre shop, drive through FSUs (Fast Food Service Units), staff restroom, plant room for water tanks and pumps for domestic water supply and fire-fighting, sub-station & LV room building, a dedicated standalone electric charging station with canopy/shading, etc. The design incorporates LCD screens which could provide information on the petrol stations sustainability successes and could also be used alongside number plate or Salik readers to provide personalised data to customers on their journey and car efficiencies. Also, these screens could provide personalised on-site marketing promotions such as advising customers how long they have been driving and that they require a break in the cafe, to continue their journey safely. The event plot area is 5,800sqm and the legacy plot area will expand to 7,100sqm.

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HOSPITALITY PROJECT OF THE YEAR

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(RESTAURANTS/BARS/CLUBS)

Bull & Bear | LW Whether people are looking for a place to unwind after a long day of work or are on a business lunch, Bull & Bear caters to all. With the original Bull & Bear being at the infamous Wall Street, LW thought of giving the restaurant an “evolved banker” look that was more in line with its roots. Since it’s located in the Dubai International Financial District, a redefined concept made all the more sense. Moreover, designers at LW wanted to bring something unique to the district – something sophisticated yet inviting. So, to develop a curated space like that, LW settled on a mixture of raw and refined material to strike that perfect balance. Throughout the project, on-site coordination was essential since a bulk of the material was coming in from across the globe. Material like furniture, fabrics, lighting, and finishes was imported, whereas joinery came courtesy of local contractors. HIGHLY COMMENDED ONE BOWL, DESIGN SMITH design-middleeast.com


AWARDS 2020

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HIGHLY COMMENDED WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL DIFC, ALEC FITOUT

HOSPITALITY PROJECT OF THE YEAR (HOTELS)

Tawila Island Resort | Red Sea Egypt

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JANUARY 2021

JT+PARTNERS Tawila Island Resort, Red Sea Egypt by JT+Partners bagged the Hospitality Project Design Award of the Year (Hotels). The project aim was to create a five-star resort at the Northern Islands of Hurghada region known as Tawila Island, setting a benchmark project in the region. The resort provides 120 keys with a mix of inland and overwater bungalows, all-dining, one signature speciality restaurant, pools (adults, kids), kids club, gym, spa, private beaches, pool bar, retail and event spaces. The main arrival building features a 35mhigh structure partially covered by a locally sourced thatch material, marking the guest’s arrival. A building that intends to be a contemporary reassemble of the Egyptian pyramids in a non-literal approach.

design-middleeast.com


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LIGHTING PROJECT OF THE YEAR

The Loop | Oasis Mall Dubai

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Lighting Project of the Year was The loop, Oasis Mall Dubai by DZ Design. The Loop was conceived as an idea that can interconnect the volume at the atrium of the oasis mall and distribute light at the otherwise dull escalator. The loop is inspired by the infinity symbol. The infinity symbol holds a deep meaning for spirituality, love, beauty, and power. In a world filled with distraction and complications, the infinity symbol represents a sense of simplicity and balance.

JANUARY 2021

DZ DESIGN

design-middleeast.com


AWARDS 2020

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BREAKTHROUGH PROJECT OF THE YEAR

BSA Law Firm office by DNAWORKSHOP wins the Breakthrough Project of the Year title at Design Middle East Awards 2020. The office design is an open space where all areas are connected and visible to one other, offering endless networking possibilities. At the same time, a simple fold of uniquely designed revolving and collapsible glass frames ensure that each

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BSA office | DNAWORKSHOP

design-middleeast.com

section can have its privacy whenever required. BSA’s new flagship headquarters perfectly positions them on par with their goals in the new business sector. The implementation of a meticulously crafted space concept and design flow has successfully achieved this purpose, helping our client realize projected growth and improve their own market positioning.


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INTERIOR FIT-OUT PROJECT OF THE YEAR

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market, in general, has come to expect from the designers’ contractor-of-choice for specialized food and beverage fit-out projects. The total area is spread over 12,900sqft and the project was delivered within five months, from July to November 2019. Items such as handmade ceramics and other specialized furnishings were imported from Spain, whilst all other finishes were custom made by BW Interiors using all authentic materials and design true to the original concept.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Situated in the heart of DIFC, the rain forest-inspired Amazonico has quickly become one of the most popular restaurants in the lively Dubai food and beverage scene. The venue is spread out over three floors and consists of outdoor terracing, an indoor bar and lounge area, and an indoor restaurant with an exceptional rooftop lounge. The full fit-out works were done by BW Interiors to the highest standards of quality and detail execution, which the

HIGHLY COMMENDED CÉ LA VIE DUBAI, A&T GROUP INTERIORS

JANUARY 2021

Amazonico | BW INTERIORS

design-middleeast.com


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AWARDS 2020

ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR

MICHAEL MAGILL

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RSP

design-middleeast.com

Michael Magill trained in the UK and prior to joining RSP, was employed in a number of high profile international architectural practices and led design teams which have won numerous international architectural competitions. He opened RSP Dubai branch in 2009, and has since then expanded an initial design team of 9 to over 70 professional staff today. Magill leads his diverse team with his extensive experience, critical thinking and analyzation, to deliver highly complex and iconic projects. With his profound understanding of lifestyles translating into exemplary designs, he continues to succeed in the competitive landscape of MENA and win an array of exciting projects. Since then, the team led by Magill have won and completed the iconic Al Rajhi Bank Headquarters in Riyadh, Khalifa University Campus in Abu Dhabi, Nakheel Mall and Palm Tower in Dubai and megamall Deira Mall in Dubai. As a creative director, Magill looks after a skilled team of juniors and seniors who are trained to go beyond traditional methods of designing. He encourages experiential design.


INTERIOR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

HIGHLY COMMENDED EMMA STINSON, STUDIO EM

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PAUL BISHOP Bishop Design Paul Bishop was crowned as the Interior Designer of the Year at Design Middle East Awards 2020. Bishop became fascinated by fashion and theatre during his academic years, only having discovered interiors when attending Kingston University. Interior design was just making its break-through with not many dabbling in the sector at the time. Bishop became infatuated with the process and as such begun his love affair with interiors and design. Within the following academic years, Bishop was fortunate enough to achieve his master’s degree in Interior Architecture from Manchester University,

United Kingdom and two bachelors; one in Interior Design from Kingston University, United Kingdom and the other in Furniture and Product Design from Brighton School of Art, United Kingdom. An opportunity arose for Paul to move to Dubai in 1996. After honing his skills as a designer for eight years, Bishop Design LLC was born. Since 2004, the firm has been fortunate enough to build a reputation as one of the most reputable design agencies across the Middle East with over ninety regional and international awards.

design-middleeast.com


AWARDS 2020

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YOUNG TALENT OF THE YEAR

Sima Hammami

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JANUARY 2021

Dewan Architects & Engineers

design-middleeast.com

The Young Talent of the Year Award was won by Sima Hammami from Dewan Architects & Engineers. Hammami accepts design challenges with remarkable pleasure, enthusiasm and displays serious ownership of the projects. She is a believer of continued improvement in the design and will not be satisfied until the objectives of the project are either achieved through the design or exceeded. She is working on some of the prestigious projects.


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CEO OF THE YEAR

Dimitri Papakonstantinou

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member of Plafond Fit Out LLC in 2008, where he served as managing director since 2013. He has been involved in numerous successful projects and has a proven track record of increasing corporate revenues and profitability while managing teams of more than 1,700 employees. He has a BSc. Civil Engineering and MBA and is an active member of the YPO Dubai Downtown Chapter.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Dimitri Papakonstantinou joined ASI a subsidiary of ASGC construction in September 2018, headquartered in the UAE, ASI delivers turnkey fit-out solutions across the UAE and has a manufacturing facility as well as a complete in-house project. Papakonstantinou started his career with Murray and Roberts Construction in South Africa four years later 2004, shifted his base in UAE. Amongst his previous roles, he was a founding

JANUARY 2021

Al Shafar Interiors (ASI)

design-middleeast.com


AWARDS 2020

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VISIONARY LEADER OF THE YEAR

Hamid Kerayechian Hamid Kerayechian is the CEO & founding partner of Ayana Holding, a prominent international organisation headquartered in the United Arab Emirates which encompasses a diverse range of businesses across real estate investment and development, design, construction, marketing, strategy, technology, IT and infrastructure, asset management, procurement, hospitality advisory, and general trading.

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JANUARY 2021

Ayana Holding

design-middleeast.com

Kerayechian has full responsibility for executing the strategic direction and ongoing operations for Ayana Holding’s impressive wide-ranging portfolio of companies which include Alt Technology, Aquila Hospitality, Ayana Properties, Brand Capital, Detay Homes, Detay Living, M2L Concepts, Manya DÊcor, Mount Kelvin, Nioum, Opaal Interiors, Performaa, Retail Boutique, Siren Global, VX Studio, and WrkBay.


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LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Boran Agoston

Studio International Engineering Consultants (SIEC)

Boran Agoston is an award-winning architect, with almost 40 years of extensive experience in worldwide architecture and master planning, who has led and delivered numerous high-end projects across several continents. He specialises in large-scale, complex multi-use projects and master plans with a unique design approach. Having received his M.Arch, Agoston worked In Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. He was relocated to Dubai in 2007, to lead the design and be part of the team delivering the Dubai Metro Project.

In 2014, he joined SIEC as design director, where his global exposure brought skills required to lead the design and delivery of significant, high-quality designs and developments ranging across all major sectors of the industry. Agoston’s design approach is based on an architecture that has a modern sense of both tranquillity and spatial continuity taking inspiration from the culture, nature, history, climate and local architecture. He holds Master in Architecture, is an Affiliate Member of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Society of Engineers in the UAE.

design-middleeast.com


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design-middleeast.com

AWARDS 2020


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Trends

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Workspace built with recycled and sustainable material

COMMERCIAL FIT-OUT TRENDS TO WATCH OUT IN 2021

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THE EXPERTS AT GDM INTERIORS ARE DECODING THE TRENDS THAT WILL BE BIG IN 2021 ife as we know it has changed. The way we work, eat and shop has seen a massive transformation. The changing nature of work is the catalyst for commercial office fit out trends. As we start a new year in this COVID era, we believe the key to forecasting trends in commercial fit out is an understanding of how the world of work is changing around

design-middleeast.com

us. In a more multi-faceted and digitally connected world, companies are being forced to develop and compete in a rapidly changing environment. Agility and flexibility are critical components of growth. Technology is altering the tasks and duties of employees. Companies are increasingly automating many routine tasks, leaving humans to take care of more valuable "knowledge work". At the same time, employee needs and wants from their job have changed. People want to be engaged in meaningful tasks, in a hospitable and healthy environment that

provides flexibility and a better work/life balance. Overarching all these developments is an increasing concern with the health and safety, sustainability, and resource preservation. Companies are already being asked to account not only for their bottom line but for these factors. Commercial fit out trends develop from year to year but there is rarely a fundamental disjuncture, rather change is cumulative. This year is all about the disruption of traditional economic models, building sustainable environments, using efficient technology and implementing wellness measures.


From having furniture that is spaced apart from each other to the installation of screened cubicles, the theme for commercial fit out this year will move from collaboration to silo creation. We also see the emergence of dedicated zones for web conferencing as the workforce is now dispersed geographically or working remotely. This necessitates the presence of better IT infrastructure as well as workspace flexibility to adapt to these unique working conditions.

can control lighting and A/C and provide information on water and energy usage. This data help reduce costs while saving energy.

Sustainability in design and materials

As a global citizens, we’re becoming increasingly aware of our impact on the

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Health and safety will be paramount

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Energy-saving LED lighting used in the office

environment. Businesses need to do even more to reduce our carbon footprint and build a more sustainable future. So, it’s no surprise that sustainable design practices and materials are a huge commercial fit out trend of 2021. Sustainable fit out for us encapsulates three main areas - using green building materials, managing resource consumption and safe disposal of wastes. Moreover, sustainability was at the forefront of our minds while planning all our projects. We focus on using raw, clean materials and worked closely with the existing building to limit the need for virgin materials. In addition, we also recommend energy saving lights and fixture for our projects. As we move into a new year, after one that has been tumultuous to say the least, we can say without a doubt that safety, sustainability and technological advancement will be the key trends that will shape the fit out field this year. Being one of the leading fit out contractors in the United Arab Emirates, we are dedicated to provide only the best service to our clients. Get in touch today to discuss how to integrate the latest fit out trends into your project in a sustainable way.

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Socially distanced workplace design

Technological innovations will thrive

Every aspect of our lives has been touched by digitisation. But technology does not simply mean to be connected anytime and anywhere. In commercial spaces such as offices, co-working zones and malls there are many ways that technological innovations can simplify work and improve wellness and well-being. The future of fit out includes remote monitoring, 3D visualisation and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). Some of the latest tech tools include wireless access points, network login data, phone apps, and sensors. For example, automatic sensors

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Project

Hi-tech design

Since opening its London store back in 2017, Presentedby has become one of the go-to locations for some of the most soughtafter collaborations. Now, in partnership with Level Shoes and the Chalhoub Group, the store has opened its most striking and eye-catching space to-date.

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JANUARY 2021

Barcelona-based architecture and design firm External Reference delivers the new sneaker store– Presentedby at Dubai Mall is a mix of technology, fashion, urban culture, and design

"WE CREATE EXPERIENTIAL SPACES breaking the boundaries between architecture, art, and digital tools"

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ward-winning architecture practice, External Reference, founded by Carmelo Zappulla, designs the new store in Dubai of the premium sneaker and streetwear consignment boutique Presentedby at Level Shoes in The Dubai Mall. “The world of retail needs a revolution and with Presentedby we had the chance to boost a new creative vision all around the world. When we designed the Dubai store, we knew that we weren’t just designing another store. We were creating a concept without precedents: a concentrate of innovation where art and design produce the next destiny of the sneaker community,” said the architect, Carmelo Zappulla. The new store is conceived more as an experiential space rather than a shop, being unique in the world of retail and featuring the latest 3D printing fabrication and audiovisual technologies. It is conceived as an interactive exhibition space where digital dimension informs the physical and vice-versa. Aboe: Carmelo Zappulla, founder, Photos: Courtesy of Presentedby External Reference design-middleeast.com


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Project

The new store is conceived more as an experiential space rather than a shop, being unique in the world of retail and featuring the latest 3D printing fabrication and audiovisual technologies. It is conceived as an interactive exhibition space where digital dimension informs the physical and vice-versa. Even before going in, the customer is captured by a double funnel-shaped entrance covered with screens that use outstanding projections images starting right away the fully immersive experience. The 3D printed lattice walls, with their sinuous shapes, are inspired by the technologies and 3D parameters used by all fashion brands to produce sneakers nowadays. A recurring feature of the Presentedby stores is to display the sneakers diagonally, thus

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design-middleeast.com

having a complete view of the collections from multiple points of view. These wall also features impressive projections that can be programmed to be on and off when needed. The shop, conceived as one space, has three different areas: the cashdesk area, with the counter and illuminated lockers behind; the semi-circular apparel area, with the streetwear, accessories, fitting rooms and a claw machine; the experience room. At the center of the space the ultimate experience capsule displays, in the first part, a collection of the most exclusive trainers, a sort of mini sneakers museum. The second part of the experience room performs a spectacular holographic and projections show giving the room an idea of infinite space. Talking about sneakers, this future cannot be better addressed by the latest 3D technol-

ogies applied to design and manufacturing. De facto, both mainstream and emergent sneakers’ brands are experimenting with 3D printing by producing midsole, textile or customising components Clean the air with the design External Reference used cutting-edge computational tools, to design a space wrapped in a lattice structure that integrates the sneakers exhibition. This lattice is 3D printed using an advanced polymer integrating wearepure, a 100% natural mineral compound, with the property to mineralize primary greenhouse gases (CO2 and NOx) and reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The use of this material permits the new space to reduce the contaminated air behaving like a small forest. The Dubai store absorbs 38kg’s of CO2 per year.


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The experiential space will also feature a 3D printed lattice structure and impressive interactive projections on the floor and the walls.

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These walls also feature impressive projections that can be programmed to be on and off when needed.

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Talking point

Designing a safer future

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JANUARY 2021

BRINGING TECH TO THE TABLE How food & beverage and hygiene technologies can help accelerate change while retaining a positive customer dining experience

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t’s evident that COVID-19 has an enormous impact on the food & beverage industry. F&B investors and operators around the world were forced to close down for weeks - if not months - only to be faced with long lists of precautionary measures to implement when they were ready to reopen as lockdown restrictions eased, to safeguard the health and safety of their diners. These new precautions touched every aspect of their operations, from seating arrangements to enable social distancing, mandatory temperature checks and increased cleaning and sanitisation protocols, to digital menus, contact tracing capabilities and employee PPE equipment, and PCR testing. Operating a restaurant in this new normal is unfortunately far from normal, at least for now, but even when a vaccine becomes available one thing

design-middleeast.com

is clear; the F&B sector will need to evolve quickly and effectively to ensure its long-term growth and sustainability. Over the past few months, we have come together as a collective of consultants in the UAE to look at learnings from this global pandemic to develop ‘future proof’ recommendations and solutions that address not only the current backto-business requirements, but also the changes needed in the design and best practices for future F&B developments to be prepared for other health crises that may test the F&B industry. In doing so, we looked at critical areas such as design and material specifications, front-of-house flows and spacing, back-of-house design and functionality, as well as hygiene and cleaning protocols. One element that’s at the core of effective redesign and enhanced F&B operations is technology.


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order and pay directly from their phone. Moreover, a recent study showed that the average spend per head is 10-30% higher with mobile ordering, allowing restaurants to boost their revenues.

TECH IN THE WORKPLACE

These are all examples of visible, front-of-house technologies, but the use of tech also plays an important role in back-of-house operations to ensure kitchens are equipped to plan, manage and monitor the stringent requirements they need to comply with. Incorporating technology to control hygiene and food safety inside kitchens is a big step forward towards a safer F&B environment. Monitoring is often the most challenging aspect of this in F&B as it demands trained and dedicated personnel available in all areas of a facility at all times, but companies like Jolt, I-Auditor and MeazureUp offer a wide range of digital solutions in this space. It can also be made easier by using technology that identifies malpractices around the workplace. Artificial Intelligence is now being introduced in software to identify individuals that are not following hygiene guidelines, to measure physical distancing and to calculate how often staff members wash their hands-on a given day. This data can be used to rectify problems and retrain personnel to optimise food safety. With technology advancing at an exponential rate, it can play a much larger functional role in F&B, and as the demand for innovation grows, companies will invest in R&D hence new solutions will emerge. It will neither be easy or quick though and the development of effective solutions will demand hard work, careful thought, substantial investment, sufficient time and rewriting of the rule book in many cases. It will require the collaboration of owners, consultants, contractors, suppliers and even customers, to chart a path that meets the needs of all. Over time, confidence in the market will be restored, customers will return, and the sector will rebound. As with everything in hospitality, however, it is important to strike a balance between the maximum utilisation of technology and retaining the benefits of human interaction.

JANUARY 2021

Contactless technology has become a top priority in hospitality as a way to regain consumer confidence. If we look at a diner’s journey, technology can be used at most touchpoints; from thermal imaging cameras, bio sensors to detect airborne pathogens and digital wayfinding, menus and cashless payments, to automated handwashing stations and sanitization tunnels, restaurants can bring tech to the table to take an important leap forward in providing a healthy and safe environment while retaining a positive customer dining experience. As COVID-19 appeared, so did many technology companies with new software that can help manage a business safely and efficiently according to local guidelines. Some of this technology has been around for years, like cashless payment systems, but their importance has come to the forefront during the pandemic. More and more restaurants are now deploying cashless payments, which are typically available in three formats: RFID technology, mobile payments and credit cards. Digital ordering systems using QR codes are also becoming increasingly common in both casual and upmarket dining outlets. Admittedly, this may not be suitable for every type of restaurant, but we see it becoming the norm even in the finer dining establishments. What’s interesting here is that the dining experience can be enhanced, even with less human interaction, with the advantage of cutting down on order taking time as guests can place their kitchen

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These walls also feature impressive projections that can be programmed to be on and off when needed.

CONTACTLESS ALL THE WAY?

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

The experiential space will also feature a 3D printed lattice structure and impressive interactive projections on the floor and the walls.

This article is based on the Industry white paper on the topic: ‘Designing a Safer Future - How the Food & Beverage industry can be better prepared for another pandemic’ by development consultants RBnH Solutions , boutique strategy & design agency Limelight, and project development and MEP consultants CSQ. design-middleeast.com


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Pick of the month

SUSTAINABLY CHIC

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JANUARY 2021

HempFlax, Europe’s largest independent hemp grower and processor, is delighted to have contributed to the production of a fully recyclable, carbon-negative range of ‘Hemp’ office and home chairs, manufactured by VepaDrentea, a furniture manufacturer based in Drenthe, the Netherlands. In a world-first, VepaDrentea’s range of ‘Hemp’ chairs were developed by combining HempFlax’s high-quality1, natural industrial hemp fibres with a biological resin, both of which are plant-based and fully biodegradable and recyclable. Hemp fibre is the strongest natural fibre in the world and, when pressed into non-woven fabric mats and combined with binding agents, can be used to produce extremely strong, durable ‘shells’ suitable for a range of industrial applications. VepaDrentea recognised these qualities and chose HempFlax non-woven fabrics as a raw material to make the seat shell for its ‘Hemp’ chair collection. The hemp is treated with a biological resin, made from plant-based materials including sugar-beet residues, which acts as a binding agent, organically glueing the materials together. The resulting novel biomaterial, which is moulded into a seat shell, has been expertly developed by Plantics, an innovative bioplastics developer, and is patented worldwide. Availability: www.hempflax.com

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Profile for Design Middle East

Design Middle East January 2021  

This is our super issue to kick-start the New Year. Catch the glimpses of the Design Middle East Awards, all the celebration and winners rev...

Design Middle East January 2021  

This is our super issue to kick-start the New Year. Catch the glimpses of the Design Middle East Awards, all the celebration and winners rev...

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