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Pushing the limits of contemporary building technology

Interiors and architecture from the Gulf, Levant and beyond

THE WINNING FORMULA ALL-WOMEN DESIGN, ENGINEERING, AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT COLLABORATION CREATES NEW RULES IN THE INDUSTRY

NIKKI BISIKER NIKKI BISIKER INTERIOR DESIGN

ANKITA RAO FREELINE ENGINEERING

NATASHA ABBAS NORTH 51 CONSULTING

design-middleeast .com

JUNE 2021 | DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

KAFD GRAND MOSQUE


StaturioMarble Marble Staturio MARBLE MARBLE GRANITE GRANITE QUARTZITE QUARTZITE ONYX ONYX TRAVERTINE TRAVERTINE QUARTZ QUARTZ PRECIOUS PRECIOUSSTONE STONE

Surface Solutions, Surface Solutions, Designed By Nature

Designed By Nature

www.glaze.ae/

www.glaze.ae/


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THE WINNING FORMULA This all-women collaboration is ready to take the industry in its stride and offer services like design, project management, and engineering under one roof

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INTERVIEW Let there be light

SUSTAINABILITY Thinking Long-Term

WORKPLACE DESIGN Minimal yet detailed

Ajay Awtaney, managing director, Nakashi Superlative Luminaries, speaks about the importance of having the right lights and the project with Sharjah Central Mall

Why sustainability is essential for long-term development in the Middle Easy

Omar Abdelghafour, owner at L.S.Design, on how space planning and innovation were critical to the success of designing BW Interiors office project

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How to grow smarter using technology and innovative softwares in the design and architecture industry

SUPPLIERS Carpets for a cosy & inviting space Carpets give a warm and cosy feel to a room while adding a decorative touch. Bookmark these suppliers for trendy and high-quality carpets in the region.

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FEATURE The solution is here

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SUSTAINABILITY Nature pods

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JUNE 2021

Left to right: Nikki Bisiker, owner of Nikki Bisiker Interior Design Ankita Rao, director and architect at Freeline Engineering Consultants Natasha Abbas, director of projects at North 51 Consulting,

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EVENT The Highlights INDEX 2021 was about dramatic installations, insightful discussions, art, and unique designs

Wildlife habitat design merges architecture and surroundings

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PARAMETRICS Desert bloom

OPED The silent threat

KAFD Grand Mosque provides a spiritual centre of worldclass development in Riyadh

Blueair's Kevin Luo reflects on how unclean air is a silent and pressing threat

Nespresso premieres new boutique concept in Dubai Mall to immerse visitors in the ultimate coffee experience and commitment to sustainability

PROJECT Immersive experiences

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Editor's note

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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had such a great time putting together our June edition as I interacted with some powerful and confident women for the cover story. Meet Ankita Rao of Freeline Engineering, project and construction manager Natasha Abbas of North 51 Consulting, and interior designer Nikki Bisiker of Nikki Bisiker Interior Design who are ready to take this industry by storm. These three fantastic women have come together for collaboration to provide a trustworthy and unbiased framework for clients. The women entrepreneurs will offer this consultancy in the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain. Their joint and expansive client base includes luxury hospitality operators, restaurants, luxury retail space, prime and super-prime residential, including both new builds and renovations. Do check out this inspiring story of these amazing women as they are thrilled to create more successful commissions for this collaboration under one roof. Moving on, this issue is exploring how COVID-19 has changed the way of working and designing for designers and architects, they are relying more than ever on the power of technology and softwares to get things done effectively and efficiently. We spoke to the leading solutions providers and designers and architects on how adapting to these technologies are critical and crucial for the process of the companies and industry. The team attended the INDEX event last month and we were glad to witness a great lineup of programmes, not to forget the dramatic

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 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR RABIH NADERI

rabih.naderi@bncpublishing.net +966 50 328 9818 EDITOR ROMA ARORA roma@bncpublishing.net CREATIVE LEAD ODETTE KAHWAGI

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installations by Kristina Zanic Design Consultants and Brand Creative. Plus, for our supplier section, we have covered the leading carpet companies in the region. My latest design crush this month is Cymbidium chandelier by Jeremy Cole featured in the 'Pick of the Month' section.

ART DIRECTOR SIMONA EL KHOURY MARKETING EXECUTIVE AARON JOSHUA

aj@bncpublishing.net DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER ALEXANDER BUNGAS

Alexandar@bncpublishing.net

Roma Arora Editor roma@bncpublishing.net

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For all commercial enquiries related to Design Middle East, contact our Group Publishing Director JOAQUIM D’COSTA jo@bncpublishing.net | T +971 504402706 All rights reserved © 2021. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Design Middle East is exclusively licensed to BNC Publishing. 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.

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News

Lawndale Navy Velvet Daybed With Brass Base

An innovative online platform for all your decor needs

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nown for its culture of creativity and self-expression, CB2 (a part of Crate and Barrel Holdings) has launched via an online webstore – CB2.ae. This will be the brand’s first presence outside of North America, offering greater convenience for design enthusiasts in the UAE in line with Majid Al Futtaim’s mission to expand its home category whilst delivering a seamless, omnichannel experience across its brand portfolio. “CB2’s new platform introduces distinctive, design-forward thinking and a signature creative edge to the region for the very first time. It transcends the world of traditional

retail by offering young adults sleek, functional and comfortable modern furniture through an accessible and immersive, digital experience,” explained Fahed Ghanim, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle. “By introducing international brands from across the world and implementing more unique e-commerce offerings in the home décor category, we are elevating the variety and shopping experience for our customers. This also underscores our positive relationship with our partners at Crate and Barrel Holdings as we continue to support their international growth strategy.” With free delivery across the UAE, styling a home has never been so easy.

Images courtesy of CB2.ae

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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Shoppers can expect elevated classics, bold statement pieces and sleek, modern finishes in a collection that has been specifically curated to resonate with a Middle Eastern audience

Terrazzo Coffee Table

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Marriott Bonvoy launches two vibrant properties in Dubai

JUNE 2021

Element Al Mina, Dubai Element Al Mina, Dubai presents a longer stay concept inspired by nature, for guests seeking to maintain a balanced lifestyle while travelling. Filled with natural light and a bright aesthetic, Element Al Mina, Dubai offers a homeaway-from-home experience with a relaxed and enriching atmosphere. Element Al Mina, Dubai consists of a collection of 96 thoughtfully designed studios, one and two-bedroom apartments making the property an ideal proposition for holidaymakers, business travellers and longer staying guests. Each spacious apartment features a signature Heavenly bed, a spa-inspired bathroom, oversized closets and a fully equipped kitchen. “We are delighted to open the doors of Aloft Al Mina, Dubai and Element Al Mina, Dubai and invite guests to experience each of the brand’s signature experiences,” said Tolga S Lacin, Area General Manager, Marriott International. “Whether seeking a flexible, longer stay with all the comforts of home or to enjoy Aloft’s vibrant programming, these two new properties offer the best of both worlds in one of the city’s most buzzing locations.”

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Aloft Al Mina, Dubai Designed with the brand’s philosophy to create bold, open and vibrant environments, Aloft Al Mina, Dubai is artful and innovative featuring nine-foot-ceilings. Each room is complete with complimentary Wi-Fi, 55-inch flatscreen televisions, and Aloft’s ultra-comfortable beds. The modern bathrooms feature walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads and custom toiletries. For guests looking to stay active while travelling, the hotel has a 24/7 Re:charge fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment. The outdoor infinity pool overlooks the iconic

Dubai skyline, for guests looking to cool off with a view. The hotel also features fully equipped meeting spaces, catering to guests looking to mix business and leisure travel.

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arriott Bonvoy opens Aloft Al Mina, Dubai and Element Al Mina, Dubai. Situated on Sheikh Rashid Road in the Al Raffa neighbourhood and close to the city’s famed attractions, the hotels offer choice and flexibility for today’s global traveller. “Dubai is a thriving destination for leisure and business travellers who seek original experiences. Aloft Hotels and Element Hotels are two distinctive brands that deliver a fresh approach to design, streamlined and warm service, all at an attractive price point. Aloft Hotels’ eclectic spaces thrive off a bold design and live music programming, while Element’s ergonomic design and eco-conscious ethos speaks to today’s healthy, active traveller,” said Sandeep Walia, Area Vice President – UAE, Marriott International.

Aloft, Al Mina, Dubai

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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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Dwell launches Coach house furniture and decor collection

omeware brand Dwell recently celebrated the launch of the Coach house furniture and decor collection online and in select UAE store locations. The elegant and stylish Coach house furniture and decor collection feature diverse pieces spanning from traditional to contemporary furniture, lighting, design-led accessories, artificial floral, Indian antiques, and festive products. From upholstered and printstyle furniture, comfortable sofas, contemporary cabinets, opulent occasional chairs and stylish sideboards, the new collection at Dwell is eye-catching.

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Exclusive to Dwell stores, the Porters Chairs in leather and black velvet are a testament to the collections design and quality. Other stand out themes include the Imperial and Silver Mink collections, offering specially

crafted pieces that flow perfectly to create a contemporary feel. Additionally, the white Kensington Slide Door Display Cabinet and the black chrome Kensington Shelves are the perfect storage pieces for any living room or study.


12 Interview

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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"Lighting plays an integral role in delivering an exclusive retail experience. It is designed to set the right ambience for customers to feel comfortable, stay longer and experience the different products and services the mall has to offer. "

Let there be

AJAY AWTANEY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR AT NAKASHI SUPERLATIVE LUMINARIES SPEAKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING THE RIGHT LIGHTS AND THE PROJECT WITH SHARJAH CENTRAL MALL

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Tell us about the Sharjah Central Mall (SCM) and you win? Sharjah Central, a 42,000sqm retail and leisure destination, in the heart of Sharjah, is a large-scale project by Line Investments & Property, a shopping mall development and management division of Lulu Group. Once completed the mall will include a 10,000 sqm hypermarket, a 5,700sqm department store, a 3,600sqm cinema, a 3,300sqm family entertainment centre and 1,800 parking spaces. The project is expected to be completed in the next three months. We, at Nakashi, are proud to be associated with the Sharjah Central Mall project. Our expertise lies in large-scale commercial, industrial, and residential

projects and winning this project is a testament to our company’s capabilities and commitment to quality. The developer’s project team was in search of lighting suppliers who have the experience and capability to provide high-quality products that can be customised to blend with the aesthetics of the unique boat shape concept of the mall. Nakashi in the last 10 years has delivered projects that met the above criteria. This opportunity was unique as many design companies in the region were not able to supply the design and technical specifications, giving Nakashi the edge to prove its capability as an end-to-end LED lighting solution provider.


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What lighting did Nakashi provide to the project and why? We provided a variety of LED products for Sharjah Central such as customised programmable lighting fixtures with colour adjustment features to create the dramatic effects, lighting

What were some of the challenges faced on this project? The designers had specific lighting requirements for the distinctive design of the custom structure in the mall. Achieving that was a challenge for Nakashi. The project expected accurate light intensity for the feature so that it is not too bright to hurt the eye, neither too little to make it look uninteresting. To meet this exclusive design specification, we created a unique mould to get the shape of the lighting fixture and engineered it in a manner to ensure quality and a long life span. Once this was achieved, the next challenge was programming the lighting because the length of the feature was exceptionally long to control the programming from the unit in the base. We installed chips in each fixture along with the structure which made it possible to achieve the desired result. >>>

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with DMX programming, and flexible strips for the ceiling coves, for columns in the mall, railings along the sides, and outdoor façade.

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What is unique about SCM’s lighting project? The mall architecture and design concept have traditional wooden boats and a grandiose entrance. The impressive design needs accentuated lighting effects. Nakashi invested a lot of time and design consultations to provide the best-LED products to create a unique effect. We are waiting with bated breath to experience its magnificence.

Nakashi LED Neon Flex

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

What makes lighting a particularly important factor in malls and shopping centres? Lighting plays an integral role in delivering an exclusive retail experience. It is designed to set the right ambience for customers to feel comfortable, stay longer and experience the different products and services the mall has to offer. The right amount of illumination can affect moods, when customers are relaxed and enjoying, they will spend more time in the mall. From the façade to radiant public spaces, parking areas, internal domes and arches, retail outlets and restaurants all create an impact and the synergy of all give the full impact. To create this high-quality experience, malls and shopping centres need to ensure lighting solutions are of high-quality, no sub-standard materials are used, environment-friendly products are installed, and most importantly all this is provided at competitive pricing. Lighting is a long-term investment.

Sharjah Central Mall LED Flexible Strips, Aluminium Profiles, Power Supplies, Custom fixtures

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14 Interview

Nakashi LED Spot Downlight

Nakashi LED Flexible Strips

Tell us what the key lighting feature in SCM is. Besides the lighting of the custom structure, we provided LED flexible strips of various power and protection ratings, uniquely suitable for different areas of the mall while making sure the colour consistency was maintained throughout. What is Nakashi’s advance LED technology about? Nakashi’s uniqueness lies in incorporating the latest LED lighting technologies and design elements and bring the best of international standards to the UAE market. All lighting fixtures provided by Nakashi have the best build quality and finishing. The raw materials are sourced from manufacturdesign-middleeast.com

ers who are leaders in their industry. For example, LEDs used in flexible strips have phosphor sourced from the US and uses 99.9% pure gold wire for encapsulation. These LEDs can emit numerous colours (a technology solution that is simply not available with other suppliers in the region). This can integrate into interior design ideas and maintain strong colour consistency along with providing a long lifespan. Similarly, the LED Spot Downlights use a dense aluminium body with Citizen LED, having an excellent anti-glare feature and offer a seven-year-long warranty, whereas, LED Neon Flex, being the best outdoor

linear lighting solution, can withstand harsh weather conditions and strong direct sunlight, a one-of-its-kind product with a 10-year warranty.

replacements, while maintaining the design aesthetics. This makes the process of lighting very sustainable in today’s challenging times.

With sustainability being a very crucial element in the UAE and around the globe today, how is Nakashi contributing to sustainable lighting? LED technology itself is known to save energy compared to conventional lamps and fixtures. By using the best quality raw materials, Nakashi ensures to provide its customers with a durable product with a life span of 10-15 years, thus eliminating costs of repeated

What are some of the upcoming projects Nakashi is involved in? We have several projects in the pipeline including hospitals, hotels, private villas, and an amusement park. Some of the prestigious projects Nakashi has been associated with are IMG World, Jumeirah Hotels, AW Rostamani, and MAC cosmetics. Our satisfied customers and their kind referrals help us to do better and keep going.


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16 Suppliers

CARPETS CARPETS GIVE A WARM AND COSY FEEL TO A ROOM WHILE ADDING A DECORATIVE TOUCH. BOOKMARK THESE SUPPLIERS FOR TRENDY AND HIGH-QUALITY CARPETS IN THE REGION.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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CARPETS CC

FOR A COSY & INVITING SPACE

Carpets CC by Cecilia Setterdahl helps you create individual and distinct spaces through her unique designs. Bold colours and geometric forms are created and then applied to carpets, which are then produced as part of either the limited-edition range or as a special one-off for the exclusive CS range. All carpets are hand-crafted using high-quality wools and are available in a wide range of finishes and sizes.

How do carpets add personality to spaces? It is the easiest way to transform the space. A carpet should give a cosy and “lived-in home” feeling, but it should also represent the owner and help bring the room to life. I feel they can be stand-alone pieces of art. The carpet can make a space funky, elegant, romantic or calm- conveying the mood and feel of the owner. Tell us about your latest collection? My latest collection is The Uncle Collection. It was inspired by a carpet project working with lines and personality. The design consists of three personalities: Uncle Theodore, Uncle Fred and Uncle Richie.

"Uncle Theodore" from The Uncle Collection The Uncle collection was inspired from a carpet project working with lines and personality.

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Name some of your noteworthy projects. We work with well-known interior design firms and individual clients in the region, United States, and the UK. Our

recent project collaborations are with Nikki Bisiker Interior Design and Grounded Design. What is your competitive advantage? We are proud to say that we complete our product on time. Our design is oneof-a-kind and we can make very personalised carpets. We are a small firm and can focus on each of our client’s requirements. What are your future plans? We still love working with interior designers and at the same time focus on our growing digital marketplace platforms.

Inputs by CECILIA SETTERDAHL FOUNDER, CARPETS CC

Suite 1810, Gold Crest Executive Tower, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, UAE


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RIGHT SARANG CHOCOLATE RUG Velvet geometric check floor rug, hand tufted in fine alternating bands of wool and viscose in colour blocked ribs of colour with a subtle sheen.

Designers Guild offers a huge selection of fabric, wallpaper, paint, furniture and home accessories. Founded in 1970 by Tricia Guild OBE, the international brand has introduced individualism to the interiors industry through our innovative and contemporary living environments, which offer a unique and total lifestyle.

Tell us about your latest collection? We have a myriad of modern rugs in statement textures and shapes. From contemporary patterns, elegant ombres, evocative florals and perfectly shades plains. We recently introduced a fabulous new

shape and size to add to our rug portfolio – our new runner size works beautifully in hallways and landings or bedrooms and adds a perfect slice of style wherever you need it.

Inputs by ARIJ JANDALI MANAGING DIRECTOR, MAISON D’ART

DDEESSI IGGNN MMI IDDDDLLEE EEAASSTT

DESIGNERS GUILD

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BOTTOM PAHARI ROSEWOOD ROUND RUG A divine statement rug featuring wonderful large-scale roses, peonies and camelias painted with exquisite detail in soft powdery tones, set against an elegant damask in rich chocolate. Digitally printed onto a hardwearing dense short polyamide pile.

Designers Guild is distributed through maison d’art, Villa 1106 Al Wasl Road Umm Sequeim 2, Dubai, UAE

What is your competitive advantage? Designers Guild offers more than 12,000 fabrics and 3,000 wallpapers and produces everything from sofas, paint, tableware and bed linen, to rugs, stationery and room fragrance. Our British homegrown brand is distributed in 60 countries and has showrooms and stores in London, Paris, Munich and New York - where the company's innovative and contemporary lifestyle come to life.

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18 Suppliers

How do carpets add personality to spaces? A carpet is infinitely versatile where it can be used as a means of self-expression, to infuse character into your chosen space. With unique design themes, abstract patterns and cohesive colour, the carpets from Hands add sophistication and timelessness to your décor. Designs that speak to you, while understanding the language of the space they occupy. Textures that add depth and mystery to the mood and ambience. There are infinite ways in which a Hands carpet can lend character to space.

HANDS CARPET

COLLECTION ONE LOVE Above: Mexico Multi Tulum wave | Designer Karla Celorio hand tufted, wool and bamboo silk

Below: One Love Word Designers Padmini Pandey, Katia Santillán S., Sheena Poerwantoro, and Regina Davila hand Tufted, 100% bamboo silk

Established 140 years ago, Hands is renowned for its fine hand-knotted and hand-tufted carpets. Each carpet is crafted using some of the finest qualities of silk, wool and other man-made fibres sourced from around the world. Today, the brand is housed in some of the world’s most prestigious palaces, luxury hotels, and residences.

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Tell us about your latest collection? Our latest range- One Love is a special collection of ten handmade carpets, an exclusive collaboration of 9 designers from 9 countries in 5 continents curated by Arch. Padmini Pandey. It’s a story of all the designers coming together, inspired by humanity’s unified stand against the sweeping impact of the worldwide pandemic. A celebration of our diverse world, these designs are brought to life by Hands. Name some of your noteworthy projects. We have worked with Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab, Dubai; The Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai; Four Seasons Hotel, Dubai; Dar Al Masyaf, Dubai; The Ritz Carlton Sharq, Doha; FIVE, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; Al Naseem, Jumeirah; Istana Palace, Kuala Lumpur; Adagio Deira Waterfront, Dubai; The Oberoi, Ajman; Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi; and many more.

What is your competitive advantage? A vertically integrated business model, where all the three qualities of hand-knotted, hand-tufted and handloom rugs and wall to wall carpets are produced in-house. The originality of designs, craftsmanship, transparency, a desire to achieve impeccable quality, and an understanding that every carpet is an expression of individuality. What are your future plans? After receiving an overwhelming response for the One Love Collection, Hands is planning to extend the idea of collaboration with artists and designers from across the globe. We intend to expand our wings and design capabilities through these collaborations as it will also give us a chance to channel our artistic potential which will foster the creativity of our carpets. Inputs by PRANAY PATODIA DIRECTOR, HANDS CARPET

#3, Ground Floor, Building 9, Dubai Design District, Dubai, UAE


Tell us about your latest collection? Our Nada Debs designer prayer rugs and Mamlook collection is full of exciting designs and rich colours.

What are your future plans? We aim to extend the Initiative through other enterprises to keep enriching the lives of disenfranchised people.

Inputs by MAYWAND JABARKHYL OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, FBMI

Showroom 1, Building 2, Dubai Design District, Dubai, UAE

Mamlook hand knotted carpet, Timeless collection

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How do carpets add personality to spaces? By adding a unique design and character to any room. They can either complement the existing furniture or style or bring their own, from eye-catching patterns to a touch of discreet subtle elegance. With unlimited styles, designs and materials, there is always a carpet for every space and every taste.

and empowering the weavers and their families above everything else. The brand’s designs are unique, made with 100% wool or silk. We use only natural dye, and no chemicals or artificial colours. We have factories in Afghanistan, India, and Thailand and the carpets are made exclusively under the Fatima Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Initiative.

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Zuleya is a retail brand in the UAE that sells products made by the FBMI initiative in Afghanistan, with all profits being reinvested into FBMI. Zuleya is an FBMI Enterprise with showrooms in Dubai Design District (D3) and Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi. The profit from Zuleya’s sales is invested back into the carpet making an initiative to preserve this ancient craft for generations to come.

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Name some of your noteworthy projects. Some of our successful projects include Level Shoes, Dubai Mall, Galeries Lafayette and Cipriani Restaurant in Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, we have done projects with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rotana, Saadiyat Island, amongst others. What is your competitive advantage? We are the only carpet manufacturer/producer in the region who is prioritising

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20 Cover story

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| Natasha Abbas | Director of Projects at North 51 Consulting | Ankita Rao | Director and Architect at Freeline Engineering Consultants | Nikki Bisiker | Owner of Nikki Bisiker Interior Design

Here’s how this all-women collaboration is ready to take the industry in its stride and offer services like design, project management, and engineering under one roof BY ROMA ARORA

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ollaborations are creating a more competitive and creative world. As people’s skill-set is becoming increasingly specialised, collaboration as a practice is on the rise. Collaboration is when a group of people come together and contribute their expertise towards the achievement of a common goal or mission. One such collaboration worth talking about is by three Dubai-based experts in interior design and architecture, engineering, and project manage-

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Winning Formula

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ment who have launched a new service that offers a one-stop-shop solution to those seeking a professional and customer-centric approach to Design and Build. Meet architect and engineer Ankita Rao of Freeline Engineering, project and construction manager Natasha Abbas of North 51 Consulting, and interior designer/interior architect Nikki Bisiker of Nikki Bisiker Interior Design who are bringing experience and diverse cultures to customers who value a range of talents accessible under one roof. Design Middle East spoke to the three fantastic ladies who have come together with this modern approach to consultancy to provides a positive, trustworthy, and unbiased framework for clients. >>>

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DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS NORTH 51 CONSULTING

atasha Abbas specialises in project and construction management and has an experience of 18 years in front-end construction, quality control and fit-out of prime and super-prime residential, retail, and F&B Projects in the UK and UAE. MSc in International Construction Management from the University of Leeds, UK, Abbas is also an Incorporated Member of the Chartered Institute of Builders UK, UAE (CIOB). A client-centric project management lead and self-proclaimed perfectionist by nature, Abbas has invariably always multi-tasked across the board to deliver successful project outcomes for her clients. She is thrilled to bring this and more to this all-female collaboration. Abbas reveals what brought all of them together: “True to Plato’s theory of creativity and necessity loosely translated as ‘Necessity is the Mother of all Invention’ applies to this exciting all-women collaboration. We have worked with each other on several projects before and as Project Management Lead on Cipriani Dolci, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Nikki and Ankita, harnessing our expertise of management, design creativity, and engineering to deliver a successful outcome for the client. This was the catalyst to this niche collaboration.” Abbas’ industry experience ranges from highways engineering to land reclamation and development, industrial to high-end residential, hotels and F&B hospitality which has a wide spectrum of seasoned experience which is a niche value add-on for this exciting unique collaboration. Talking about her role in this collaboration, Abbas comments: “My role in this collaboration involves project management services. We offer cost and commercial management, contracts and contract administration as a bolt on service to this one-of-a kind all-female collaboration.” Nothing comes easy in life. A key challenge in setting up this collaboration was maintaining North 51 Consulting, Nikki Bisiker Interior Design and Freeline Engi-

NATASHA ABBAS

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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neering Consultants individual identities and service offerings. Abbas tells: “This collaboration whilst cohesive and niche, is a strategic response to UAE’s post-pandemic construction and fit-out industry for international and local clients who need an all-encompassing service for timely project delivery and a seamless project journey. Our strengths lie in converting international standards to be in line with local Design and Build mandatory and statutory requirements whilst considering our expert local market knowledge and cultural needs. Our collaborative philosophy and ethos benefit international hospitality, F&B concepts, and brands launching in the UAE.” The fast-paced construction industry requires bi-lateral strategic analytical thinking which is not taught in textbooks but comes with years of experience in People and Projects. “Undoubtedly, multi-tasking is something entrepreneurs would agree with worldwide,” states Abbas as that is the essence of this collaboration.

“MY ROLE IN THIS COLLABORATION INVOLVES PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES. WE OFFER COST AND COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT, CONTRACTS AND CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION AS A BOLT ON SERVICE TO THIS ONEOF-A KIND ALL-FEMALE COLLABORATION.” Further explaining the way of working between these three different companies, Abbas states: “The collaborative approach between North 51 Consulting, Nikki Bisiker Interior Design, and Freeline Engineering Consultants is on a project needs basis and upon opportunities presenting itself. We are able to provide best in class project management, design and engineering Services with stringent risk management and value management to developers, clients, occupiers making the journey an adventure. This philosophy and ethos benefit international concepts and brands launching in the UAE given our expertise and local knowledge of construction and fit-out.” >>>


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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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Covering 1,100 sqft in Dubai Mall, with a capacity to hold 115 guests, it’s the latest outlet from the Cipriani brand which remains in family hands 90 years after Giuseppe Cipriani first opened Harry’s Bar in Piazza San Marco, Venice in 1931.

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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

OWNER NIKKI BISIKER INTERIOR DESIGN

NIKKI BISIKER

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ith an experience of over 30 years, Nikki Bisiker’s past and present projects are scattered across France, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, Russia, Austria, Africa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the UK. Bisiker creates homes that are personal and design-middleeast.com

unique to the owner. Bisiker is a selftaught designer. From a very young age of 13, she decided to restyle and design her small bedroom near Bristol using some money that was left to her by a Jamaican Great Uncle. It became a white and purple design haven. Her inspiration at this tender age came from both Mary Quant’s dynamic colours and patterns and her own mother’s Jamaican heritage, floral dresses, and love for vibrant colours. This was the right foundation for Bisker and the rest is history. She has delivered villas in Emirates Hill, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Arabian Ranches, as well as restaurants in Dubai. Right now, Bisiker is very excited about this new all-women collaboration. She

"MY ROLE REVOLVES AROUND INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN, CONCEPT, DESIGN DEVELOPMENT, AS WELL AS TECHNICAL DRAWINGS FOR CONTRACTORS AND AUTHORITY SUBMISSIONS." states: “As woman, we tend to have multifaceted thinking at one time so times x 3 and the collaboration becomes extra powerful. My experience of over 30 years with all different project types from hotels, restaurants, residential in different countries, provides a level of experience that just university education and a few years in the industry just can’t equal. Combined with the multifaceted experience of Ankita and Natasha on exclusive projects as well, again it is a triple force that we are providing and ultimately able to deliver with skill and panache.” It’s amazing to see how these ladies from different cultures and history form a rich kaleidoscope of talent, foresight, understanding and a productive and driven team. Bisiker’s role is a crucial one and she takes pride in her work. She elaborates: “My role revolves around interior architecture and interior design, concept, design development, as well as technical drawings for contractors and authority submissions. If the project comes through me and it’s residential, then client liaison, meetings, briefs, and communication are the key areas for me Bisiker also feels that the ongoing pandemic has changed the mindsets of people and they’re heavily investing in their homes now. “Clients are looking to invest more in their homes as they see the pleasure of being in them and want to see the changes, want to upgrade their surroundings, and change the environment they have been in,” says Bisiker. Bisiker is a people’s person and she is a firm follower of transformational management style as it increases innovation and creativity. “It’s very important to nurture and encourage your team You have to push your team members so that they can explore avenues and new formats of design, this helps in their skillset and makes them a diverse designer. We have to raise the bar so that they can think out-of-the-box and outside their comfort zone.”


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or more than two decades, Freeline Engineering Consultants has delivered numerous prestigious projects. Their biggest business strength is their experience dealing with a diverse portfolio of end-to-end design projects ranging from luxury villas, schools, residential buildings, commercial facilities, factories, warehouses, and low-income housing. Anita Rao manages the technical and project management part of the business. She is ecstatic about this collaboration and knows that the firm’s experience would

come into great use. Rao says: “As a firm, we are 23 years into business in Dubai alone and have a varied and an enviable portfolio of over 1000 completed projects of various scales and sizes. Our vast and diverse experience individually and jointly coupled with complementary skills-set would be an invaluable asset to any design and build project.” Freeline Engineering Consultants’ role is a crucial one for this collaboration. “All our services are in-house so it’s quite a handful task managing

the operations including engineer coordination on projects, government liaisoning, managing deadlines, client liaisoning, and other building completion formalities,” says Rao. Rao is a true entrepreneur and she considers ‘compassion and empathy’ as non-negotiable behavioural skills an entrepreneur needs to cultivate or have. “In terms of business skills, I would say effective communication, non-judgmental listening, constructive time management, a penchant to stay out of comfort zones and

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successful networking are top skills to have. I would describe our management style as ‘Democratic’ with a strong focus on the spirit of effective collaboration and valued inclusiveness of each member of our team.” Rao is confident about this new collaboration. When asked if pandemic has dampened her spirits, she replies: “Construction has always been a volatile industry and has seen many such ebbs and tides in the last two odd decades of existence.” She further explains how this pandemic has shifted the behaviour of people towards the residential sector, resulting in more opportunities for them. Rao notes: “Specific to the pandemic, we have seen a huge shift in the residential sector. A lot of our inquiries are steered towards either design of empty residential parcels or the demolition of existing villas and then rebuilding them. In terms of industrial developments, we are seeing a huge leap in the food manufacturing sector. A big chunk of our lead generation efforts are steered towards these two segments currently.”

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

ANKITA RAO

DIRECTOR AND ARCHITECT FREELINE ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS

"OUR VAST AND DIVERSE EXPERIENCE INDIVIDUALLY AND JOINTLY COUPLED WITH COMPLEMENTARY SKILLS-SET WOULD BE AN INVALUABLE ASSET TO ANY DESIGN AND BUILD PROJECT.”

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Timeless Elegance

Timeless Elegance

Where modern French art de vivre meets ancient Egyptian charm.

Book your stay at sofitel-dubai-theobelisk.com Where modern French art de vivre meets ancient Egyptian charm. PARIS - LONDON - ROME - DUBAI - SYDNEY - MEXICO CITY

Book your stay at sofitel-dubai-theobelisk.com


D

esert bloom

KAFD Grand Mosque provides a spiritual centre of world-class development in Riyadh

DESIGNED BY RIYADH-BASED ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING FIRM OMRANIA, THE GRAND MOSQUE OF THE KING ABDULLAH FINANCIAL DISTRICT (KAFD) REFLECTS ITS FUTURE-ORIENTED CONTEXT, THE DESERT ENVIRONMENT OF SAUDI ARABIA, AND THE TRADITIONS OF ISLAM

As the Jum’ah (Friday) mosque of the district, the KAFD Grand Mosque accommodates 1466 prayer spaces on two levels. The site area of the mosque and plaza together measure 10,760 square meters, while the mosque alone occupies 6,103 square meters. The mosque architecture is inspired by the form of the desert rose and has been nominated for a variety of design awards.

Since the foundation of Islam in the seventh century, mosque architecture has evolved to reflect various civic and sacred roles as well as cultural, technological, and environmental characteristics. Although contemporary mosques mostly borrow from traditional forms, the KAFD Grand Mosque designed by Omrania looks to the tradition of innovation instead, pushing the limits of contemporary building technology. An architectural centerpiece of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the 65,668-square-foot landmark stands at the nexus of world class business, government, cultural, and residential facilities that reflect the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 sustainable development priorities. >>> design-middleeast.com

Image courtesy of: Tamara Hamad / Omrania

28 Parametrics


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The inspiration and basis for the unique geometry of the mosque is the crystalline intersecting plates of a desert rose. Right: A desert rose is an intricate rose-like formation of crystal clusters of gypsum or baryte which include abundant sand grains. The 'petals' are crystals flattened on the c axis, fanning open in radiating clusters.

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30 Parametrics

The development of the design involved a series of complex parametric arrays to ultimately create a simplified and dynamic massing which represents an abstraction of the desert rose. This form and movement in stone extends to the 5th elevation completing an exciting profile, viewed from all angles.

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The mosque’s distinctive geometric form is inspired by the naturally occurring sand crystal known as the “desert rose,” a striking feature common to the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Omrania developed the form through a series of complex parametric arrays to create a single, unified architectural experience from exterior to interior. The angular form also controls the sunlight in very deliberate ways, both to minimize energy expenditures and heighten the aesthetic effect inside the prayer hall. The desert rose inspiration is particularly clear from above, where the mosque resembles an architectural blossom emerging from the urban desert of the wadi. Viewed from the ground level, however, the mosque reveals its form only gradually, as one approaches and ascends the plaza adjacent to the mosque. The building’s dynamic profile, animated by the play of light and shadow, changes with the position of the sun. To maintain the building’s parametric sculptural form, all mechanical and structural systems are completely integrated into the 280-cm-deep structural enclosure of reinforced concrete, creating a large, column-free unadorned interior space. The niche windows cast a soft light that permeates the prayer hall space from above. All mechanical vents and ductwork are concealed between the faceted acoustic wall panels, and additional lighting and acoustic performance is provided by suspended ceiling panels that are inspired by the traditional decorative corbels often seen in historic mosques. >>>

Image courtesy of: Hani Al-Sayed / Omrania

Surrounded by high-rise structures, the mosque and its public plaza mark the intersection of three pedestrian “wadi” or sunken landscaped walkways lined with shops and cafes. With such a prominent location, Omrania wanted the mosque to have a dynamic, sculptural quality that offered a different experience from every perspective, including the view from the towers above. The skin of the building appears to rise up from the earth as an emerging crystal mass, bursting from the earth.

Image courtesy of: Mohammad Ballool / Omrania

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CONNECTED

MOSQUES HAVE LONG SERVED NOT ONLY AS RELIGIOUS GATHERING SPACES, BUT ALSO AS INGREDIENTS OF SUCCESSFUL URBAN DESIGN


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Some of the unique features include the triangulated side windows which contain multilayered abstracted Arabic scripts (an abstraction of one of the Islamic hadiths) to filter light into the main hall during the day and to provide a glowing Islamic pattern to the wadi’s of KAFD at night. Triangulated ‘floating’ ceiling sound and light baffles hover above the devoted adding to the ‘lightness’ and spirituality of the space.

2017 World Architecture Festival Awards (Finalist)

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2020 International Architecture Awards presented by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press, Ltd.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Images courtesy of: Tamara Hamad / Omrania

The KAFD Grand Mosque has received several design awards including:

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Project Awards

design-middleeast.com


Image courtesy of: Faisal Bin Zarah / Omrania

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32 Parametrics

The skin is a tessellated stone, which enhances the notion of crystals in keeping with the design principles for KAFD as whole, and in so doing complementing the Henning Larsen Masterplan. The advanced, climate-responsive building envelope also allows the mosque to achieve a high level of environmental performance with comparatively low energy use. Internally, the dynamic movement is reflected in an exciting faceted lining which stays true to the external form. This delicate yet powerful form represents our visualized interpretation of a crystal cavern in reference to the desert rose.

Energy efficiency

The project was able to achieve a 15% energy reduction from the baseline through lighting savings and greater central plant cooling efficiency. The project also purchased Renewable Energy Credits as part of the owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Water efficiency

Saving water was of primary concern for this project. One of the cultural design-middleeast.com

differences that needed to be explained to the USGBC review teams, was the different gender mix of the project with a 60% male and 40% female ratio (LEED requires the use of 50:50). As the project had no urinals the team was able to express that the difference in gender ratio didn’t affect the water calculations, and a 32% water use reduction was achieved. The project also reduced irrigation water by 78%, and the water that was used for irrigation was from 100% recycled greywater.

Sustainable materials

Diversion from landfill and recycled materials were the focus for this project. On the project, 60% of the waste taken off site was diverted from landfills. The project team also managed to use 21% of the materials by cost from recycled sources.


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The interior volume of the mosque rises to 16m and is brought to life by filtered light through crystalline window slots of varied composition. Triangular slotted windows on the vertical sides of the mosque roof structure illuminate the ceiling and create the sense of flotation and lightness to the planes of the ceiling. This is further complemented with shard like features such as the triangulated colored glass muqarnas, an abstraction of a traditional decorative corbel, that is used ubiquitously in traditional Islamic architecture.

Just as the great mosques of previous centuries featured innovative domes, half-domes, muqarnas, and intricate patterns, the KAFD Grand Mosque pushes the limits of contemporary building technology—and reaffirms the important role of mosques in the urban fabric of great cities.

Image courtesy of: Hani Al-Sayed / Omrania

Client Al Ra'idah Investment Company (RIC) Location King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), Riyadh, KSA Total Area Site 10,760 sqm - BUA 6,103 sqm Year Completed 2019 Architecture, Interiors and Landscape Omrania Structural Engineering and Contractor Al Bawani Co MEP Engineering Omrania

design-middleeast.com


34 Sustainability

Thinking

long-term

WHY SUSTAINABILITY IS ESSENTIAL FOR LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST BY PRASOON DESIGN

W

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ith rising energy demand and increased urbanisation, developers are also focussing on sustainability from a strategic perspective. The region has historically focussed on introducing new measures and guidelines to implement eco-friendlier design and construction. Using indigenous materials, new technologies, and recycled components, the Middle East’s architects are redefining the limits of sustainability. They are innovating not only on the aesthetics front but also in the longevity and ecological balance sphere as well.

Prasoon Shrivastava of Prasoon Design

Sustainability is an essential design philosophy that influences the construction sphere within the Middle East. The implementation of green energy, eco-friendly strategies, and sustainable rating measures have significantly affected the way that the region drives development long-term. In fact, sustainability and green strategies have the power to unlock close to US$3 trillion in economic development by 2030, which is why cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi are leading the way.

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Impacting policymaking in the region In terms of policymaking, sustainability is a key driver of the region’s long-term goals and vision. Saudi Arabia and UAE’s Vision 2030 includes plans to enhance renewable supply by 30%, with Dubai focusing on 75% clean energy by 2050. Sustainability also shapes many of the policies around energy consumption, the use of new technologies, innovative materials, and novel construction practices. Sustainability is helping drive the industry forward by aiding in the formation of longevity-focussed guidelines. The Pearl rating system is the ideal example of this, giving developers points for specific objectives that can be analysed and approved during development. Promoting the use of eco-friendly measures The construction industry is one of the few ecosystems worldwide that can radically transform the scope of sustainability within a region. With the industry accounting for 38% of carbon emissions, it is important to leverage the right construction methodologies and waste management strategies to ensure long-term sustainability. In fact, the construction industry has the potential to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 if it follows the right practices and guidelines for sustainable development.

Improving adaptability to new challenges Many of the key challenges of the next few decades are going to be around sustainability and energy consumption. With the summer months accounting for 50-60% of energy use within buildings, it is important to design all future iterations of residential and construction projects to be self-sustaining. Whether through solar, wind, or an eco-friendly hybrid model, energy generation, and utilisation would have to be optimised long-term. The circular nature of construction means that developers need to focus on the entire lifecycle of the project. To implement truly impactful initiatives, such as zero waste, recycling, ecological balance, natural landscaping, zero emissions, and resource efficiency, developers need to be adaptable to new challenges Innovative materials use within the region The construction industry is a highly innovative sphere within the Middle East, focusing on using the best materials that are sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and durable. High-performance concrete, nanoparticles, cross-laminated timber, 3D graphene, and other innovative materials are shaping the way for the future of development. The region’s focus on leveraging these new materials is unmatched, with many new projects being designed keeping these high-insulating and low-maintenance materials in mind. Influencing design aesthetics through sustainability Some of the most architecturally complex and aesthetically advanced projects are being designed in the Middle East owing to the region’s focus on sustainability. New geometries, shapes, layouts, and styles are being innovated to ensure that projects capture as much natural energy as possible. The balance between ecology and construction is also being promoted through sustainable architecture in the region as well. From the exterior façade to the interior finishes, the use of innovative strategies is the key to sustainable development in the region. Both active and passive strategies are being leveraged to accomplish the goals of the construction project, with developers focusing on the right techniques to optimise energy management. Through key initiatives, such as rainwater harvesting, recycled materials, re-using of resources, solar, and water management, buildings are emerging both aesthetically superior and eco-friendlier.


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discover

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

>>>

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At Arada, we build high quality communities. Diverse neighbourhoods that come to life when people share, exchange and celebrate.

arada.com

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36 Feature

THE

SOLUTION

HERE IS

How to grow faster, smarter, and better using technology and innovative softwares in the design and architecture industry amid COVID-19

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BY ROMA ARORA

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he role of design and architecture will be huge in the postCOVID-world. The building structures and space setting will get a different meaning altogether now. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the mindsets of the industry people and places won’t look and feel the same. But all of this won’t be easy to achieve, the industry is relying on technology and sofware solutions more than ever. With the increased activities in the design and construction sector, there is a greater need for efficient ways of working and that’s what dig and softwares play a major role. It helps the professionals to speed up the ability to plan, design, and manage the design and building projects more efficiently.

We spoke to leading solution providers and designers and architects on how to scale-up with the right tools and technologies

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Ahmed Balawi, BIM Operation Manager at Dewan

BELOW, LEFT Address Fountain Views, Dewan Address Fountain Views is the “centerpiece of a distinctive trio of architecturally striking skyscrapers” and offers views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain. It has 193 rooms and is perched above a multi-storey podium.

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BELOW, RIGHT Port de La Mer, Dewan Port de La Mer offers more than just a unique marina promenade and easygoing seafront lifestyle. With panoramic views of the open ocean and Dubai skyline, it is truly a one-of-a-kind island retreat within the city. The community consists of a spectacular collection of apartments on the tip of the northern peninsula at La Mer.

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Naji Atallah, Head of AEC & Manufacturing at Autodesk

SOFTWARES AND DIGITISATION SOLUTIONS The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything and to survive businesses must adapt the way they work. Naji Atallah, Head of AEC & Manufacturing at Autodesk, feels that the pandemic has become a catalyst that accelerated the adoption of technologies and processes such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to cloud work sharing, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality. “UAE has always

been on the forefront of technology adoption on flagship projects such as Al-Maktoum International Airport, Museum of the Future, Expo 2020 and many others. Dubai-based Al Gurg Consultants, for example, prepared a holistic approach to digital transformation. One of the desired outcomes was to accommodate remote working for most of its staff. A key change was to move away from paper-based processes to digitisation around a central DIM model. Moving the company to an integrated digital workflow improved both the speed and quality of work while encouraging greater collaboration and the ability to resolve potential issues early. Another example is of Architectural firm RSP that rapidly moved towards a work from the home model at the start of the pandemic last year and used the BIM 360 software to make the transition smoothly and with little disruption to workflows,” says Atallah. >>> design-middleeast.com


38 Feature

IRENA buidling

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“Different kinds of software can help architects and designers be more successful at various points throughout a project’s lifecycle. Balawi further adds, for instance, in the concept and feasibility studies phases of development, AEC professionals can use parametric design tools such as Rhino, SketchUp, and 3DS Max to explore different forms and materials."

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Mohamed Essam, chief technology officer at RMJM Mixed-Use Development, New Cairo Hospitality Project, Mecca M10B Masdar Office, Abu Dhabi Luxury apartments, Abu Dhabi

New, innovative software is critical to the rise of parametric design, which is expanding the boundaries of the aesthetics and function of architecture. Internationally renowned architects like Zaha Hadid have made parametric design famous around the globe. Ahmed Balawi, BIM Operation Manager at Dewan, says: “Different kinds of software can help architects and designers be more successful at various points throughout a project’s lifecycle. For instance, in the concept and feasibility studies phases of development, AEC professionals can use parametric design tools such as Rhino, SketchUp, and 3DS Max to explore different forms and materials. When approaching technical design, tools such as Autodesk Revit, Bentley, and Archicad are design-middleeast.com

tremendous programs for mapping out architectural details. Finally, to enhance collaboration, especially as people work remotely, Dewan uses Navisworks and BIM 360.” Balawi further adds: “We are even seeing the introduction of programs that layer new functionalities onto existing tools in use, which is opening up even further possibilities for the industry.” Another exciting example to quote here is of architectural firm RMJM. In 2020, RMJM was able to complete a variety of projects despite remote working conditions. These included projects such as the M10B Office for Masdar in Abu Dhabi, Cairo Festival City, Mixed-Use Developments in New Cairo and Baghdad, a luxury apartment compound in Abu Dhabi, and a hospitality project in Mecca.


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Anton Balchin RIBA PMP, Associate, U+A

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Balchin also explains that their team frequently present the designs through ‘live’ Virtual Reality and walkthroughs, often powered by Enscape which reduces the need for rendering time. “The ability to be immersed in the 3D environment from anywhere in the world is an essential tool for design review and approval. We anticipate software developers will focus on streaming this 3D data to remote VR headsets, allowing for a shared global experience and more informed discussions.” In the production process, after adopting BIM for every project at U+A, U+A has now embraced BIM 360 and cloud technologies to enable faster model sharing and more accurate coordination. >>>

The Durrës Yachts & Marina U+A The Durrës Yachts & Marina development would offer one of the world’s most unique and memorable places to live and visit. Based only 45 minutes from the capital city of Tirana, Durrës provide residents and visitors a unique opportunity to experience unparalleled amenities, a vibrant marina and exclusive residential communities.

The main buildings are highly insulated and energy efficient, including the SIEMENS building (below), the Middle-East headquarters of the technology giant.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Softwares for remote collaboration have played a vital role in executing these projects. Mohamed Essam, chief technology officer at RMJM, explains: “Existing project workflows were sustained through cloud service providers, like Google workspace. Google mail allowed full access to all other included apps in the package. All teams in the office, from architecture to marketing to commercial, use Google docs, or Sheets, to streamline their processes. Essam further lists the critical softwares that help in turning around things, “On the BIM front, the Autodesk Suite played a vital role in ensuring projects were delivered to a high standard. Autodesk Revit is our main project delivery tool, where project milestones deliverables are authorized and extracted. This achieves a clean design package as expected by our clients. Users could share their BIM models on the Cloud platform for our PMOs and QA/QC to track performance and ensure quality on a timely basis. Autodesk Naviswork then tested all the BIM work generated by Revit to detect model clashes. These results were also shared through the Autodesk Cloud platform and reported to our clients.” The influence of the pandemic not only accelerated the adoption and integration of these technologies, but has also changed the way we work. Anton Balchin associate at U+A, comments: “In design, hand-sketching will always be an integral part of our creative process. The felt-tip pen has been replaced with the Apple Pencil and the scanner with an iPhone camera. Combined with apps like Procreate and MS Teams, we can share our sketching and thought process live with each other, and our clients. The future will see more reliance upon Online Whiteboards with real-time brainstorming through platforms such as Inko and Scribble.”

The community is home to over 12,000+ residential units with more than 80,000sqm of parks and open spaces as well as leisure, retail and restaurant outlets.

design-middleeast.com


40 Feature

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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“Reduced exposure through augmented reality training and digital inspection software have provided a safer working environment for our site teams across the country." says Balchin For U+A, their site teams were the worst hit by the pandemic due to the very nature of the current construction process, which requires larger numbers of labourers and resources on any given site. “Reduced exposure through augmented reality training and digital inspection software such as E-snag and Onsite) have provided a safer working environment for our site teams across the country. Crane cameras and drones will be used not only for site surveys and 2D visual documentation but also for 3D mapping and monitoring of as-built progress using advanced photogrammetry.” For construction, U+A used Rhino and Grasshopper to turn their vision for the Emaar 3D Printed Home into reality. These software packages facilitated early conformity testing with the technological limitations of 3D printing as well as parametric design that allowed our designers to observe, manipulate, and evaluate geometries on the fly.

3D printed house, U+A The architectural language is of a contemporary image, scale and character. it promotes creative and efficient design and aims to pave the way for a journey towards an architecture and building industry that is not only a pleasurable experience but also one thar is on the verge of a paradigm shift in the field of 3D printing and additive manufacturing

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DIGITAL PRODUCTS FOR A HYBRID MODEL OF WORKING

CHALLENGES TO CONQUER Despite how quickly technology has revolutionised other industries, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has been slow to adapt because of how deeply rooted cultures are in architectural design. Balawi stresses: “Even still, the AEC industry accumulates significant data during a project’s lifecycle, crucial to understanding its impact on the environment and monitoring workers’ safety. It is often the case that a building may still collect data about its occupancy rates and usage after completion, which has always been a challenge of the design industry to address and benefit from.”

A recent FMI study found a significant disconnect between the technology being implemented and the people using it. Although 52% of those polled believe the needs of staff is a top priority for investing in technology, only 28% ever receive feedback from their staff before investing in new technology. It is no surprise that when technology fails, 36% say it was because it was a poor fit with existing processes and procedures. “The post-pandemic world requires digitisation as a standard but companies will only be successful if their workforces are fully trained and operational processes complement new technologies,” signs off Atallah.

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Sayjel Patel, CTO, Digital Blue Foam

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Balchin outlines few other few challenges, “We will continue to benefit from these technological developments, however, the biggest tech-related challenges we will face ahead are available bandwidth, reliability, and higher monthly subscription costs.” A successful digital transformation strategy has five components – hardware, software, data, process and people. it is widely accepted now that the technology aspect is the simplest part of the transformation while the human aspect is the most difficult and most impactful. Atallah says: “The true benefits of using technologies will only be realised if employees have been enabled with the required skills, adequate processes, and the mindset to do things differently. At present many companies adopt state-ofthe-art technology without fully understanding how it can improve their operations or it can effectively fit into the existing technology they use. Successful digital transformation requires a close assessment of existing process and evolving the processes according to the desired outcomes rather than trying to integrate a new piece of technology into a non-digital process.”

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

While we are optimistic that soon we will be able to return to our offices, it is clear that many of the benefits of working from home are here to stay. A recent Accenture report found that 83% of workers surveyed preferred a hybrid model, where they can work remotely at least 25% of the time. Digital Blue Foam is launching DBF-XD; a new product that offers features to further support homebased working. DBF-XD allows up to 100 users to simultaneously upload, edit, and view 3D files in a single 3D web environment. Sayjel Patel, CTO, Digital Blue Foam, comments: “We are unveiling this product at the DigitalFUTURES architectural festival, where it will be used to help imagine a net-zero urban future. As we start to emerge from the pandemic, designers, and architects are gaining a new perspective on hybrid work; geography is less likely to limit where and when we can work, and who we can work with. To address the change in design practice, there is a need to not only redefine our relationship with technology, but also, reconsider on a more human level, how we connect, share, and collaborate to design a better future.”

DBF-XD; A new product that offers features to further support home-based working. DBF-XD allows up to 100 users to simultaneously upload, edit, and view 3D files in a single 3D web environment.

design-middleeast.com


Nature Pods

Wildlife habitat design merges architecture and surroundings BY CHANTAL SACRE

Hopkins Architects creates an ecological sanctuary for rehabilitating turtles and nurturing endangered bird species on one of the most biodiverse nature reserves in the UAE

design-middleeast.com

Image courtesy of Mark Goodwin

42 Sustainability


K

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\ PROJECT CREDITS \

hor Kalba Turtle and Wildlife Sanctuary is the application of human ingenuity to the construction, reshaping, and enhancement of wildlife sanctuaries. Commissioned by Sharjah’s Environmental Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), this wildlife sanctuary is an addition to Sharjah’s growing architectural landscape and its commitment to environmental responsibilities and ecotourism, with several protected areas such as Al Qurm, Lehhfaiiah mountains and Wadilhelo. Situated 15 km south of Fujairah City on the Oman border, the Sharjah enclave of Kalba is famous for its creek, Khor Kalba, a mangrove swamp with tidal creeks and sandy beaches, where Hopkins Architects integrated the design of seven interconnected pods into the local environment. Built with the intention to merge architecture with nature and to impose a natural landscape with minimal disturbance to the environment, the oblate pods were designed as prefabricated concrete structures and only lightly touch the ground on in-situ reinforced concrete foundation discs, similar to the Buhais Geology Museum. The pods are enveloped with precast concrete, shaped like Urchin shells, providing a sense of belonging to the area, a sense of strength inspired by an unbreakable nature, protecting it from its coastal conditions. A palette of light coastal tones softens the interior of the modular buildings which is illuminated by skylight oculi. >>>

ARCHITECT Hopkins Architects STRUCTURAL ENGINEER E.Construct MEP ENGINEER Godwin Austen Johnson ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING Lux Populi ACOUSTICS Gillieron Scott Acoustics Design LANDSCAPE Spencer MAIN CONTRACTOR Hardco Building Contracting PRE-CAST CONCRETE SPECIALIST SUBCONTRACTOR Dubai Precast MEP SUBCONTRACTOR Al Muhanad Electro-Mechanical Contracting

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44 Sustainability

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The design is inspired by urchin exoskeletons, commonly found in kelp beds, rocky shores, and coral reefs. Urchins have a roughly spherical body covered by a rigid exoskeleton consisting of numerous calcium carbonate plates. The body is covered by spines, which are long and sharp in some species and are used to protect the animals from predators.

SITUATED ON ONE OF THE MOST SENSITIVE AND BIODIVERSE NATURE RESERVES IN THE GULF, THE KHOR KALBA TURTLE AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY COMPRISES A CLUSTER OF ROUNDED BUILDING FORMS THAT CREATES A SANCTUARY FOR REHABILITATING TURTLES AND NURTURING ENDANGERED BIRDS, CONNECTING WITH LOCAL INITIATIVES AND EXPERTISE.

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he nature reserve is an invitation for visitors to better understand the importance of its rich biodiversity- from the mangrove forests to the species it supports including turtles, stingreys, gazelles and the rare Arabian Collared Kingfisher. The complex also aims at growing awareness around conservation and preservation of natural habitats, and the Khor Kalba Turtle and Wildlife Sanctuary will support researching, studying and monitoring of the natural resources in the area and those of the wider east coast of the UAE. “Environmental protection is everyone's responsibility, and is a religious duty and moral responsibility” said EPAA based on the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi the Ruler of Sharjah on preserving the ecosystems and saving the environment. Visitors can profit from a range of facilities, from exhibition areas and veterinary facilities, to classrooms, a gift shop and a café. The terrace at Khor Kalba Turtle and Wildlife Sanctuary overlooks a breathtaking panoramic view of the famous kalba mangrove forests embraced by distant mountains.

The Khor Kalba Turtle and Wildlife Sanctuary is an architectural and design inspiration in preserving natural habitats for present and future generations.

The geometry of the pods purposefully echoes those of the Buhais Geology Museum, with which the sanctuary is paired. The pods have been designed as prefabricated concrete structures to minimise disruption to the existing terrain, with concrete foundations which are simple robust discs, elevated to protect them on this tidal location.

The Buhais Geology Park lies 30 miles south-east of Sharjah, in a region of exceptional prehistoric and geological significance.The site features an abundance of marine fossils and ancient burial sites. Seeking to create a series of exhibition spaces which vividly present the region’s significant geological phenomena, Hopkin Architects designed five interconnected steel panels pods of varying sizes to accommodate exhibition areas, an immersive theatre, a café, a gift shop and other visitor facilities.

design-middleeast.com


46 Op-ed

The silent threat

UNCLEAN AIR

Filters the air at a rate of approx. 5x an hour (or about every 12 minutes) in a 674 ft² room to effectively lower particle levels and help maintain a comfortable environment in your oversized family room, basement, or open concept area.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

Kevin Luo, Senior Air Filtration officer at Blueair, reflects on how unclean air is a silent and pressing threat

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Kevin Luo, Senior Air Filtration officer at Blueair

t is no secret that people in the Middle East spend plenty of time indoors, shielding from the warm climate outdoors. What the vast majority might not be aware of, is the fact that the indoor air we expose ourselves to for most of the day is up to a staggering five times more unclean than outdoor air (1). Now, you might wonder why this is the case, but there are endless unseen contributors that affect the air around us on a daily basis. Besides the likes of dust and bacteria, indoor pollution is caused by cooking, cleaning, use of perfume or hair spray, smoking and even candles. Giving your indoor space some ‘fresh air’ from time to time won’t necessarily help with this either, as it can help the polluted outdoor air making its way into our homes through already contaminated air conditioners that are active throughout the day and night. From a health perspective, this is concerning, especially as communities are generally uneducated about the conse-

quences of their unclean indoor surroundings, which is linked to fatal health issues, including respiratory diseases, allergies or even cancer (2), infections and asthma. It can also cause less serious side effects such as headaches, nasal congestion, nausea, fatigue and dry eyes. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 4.3 million people a year die from exposure to household air pollution worldwide, and in the UAE alone more than 290 deaths and more than 89,000 health care visits per year in the UAE may be related to exposure to poor indoor air quality (3). While this is a significant threat to the general population, air quality is especially important for children because they breathe higher volumes of air in proportion to their size compared to adults, and their lungs are more sensitive. Even while developing in the womb, air quality can have a detrimental effect on their respiratory system before they come to life in the ‘real world’. So, what changes can you make? Your best defence against indoor air pollution is to try to avoid having pollutants enter your home. Creating a well-ventilated space that allows fresh, clean air to flow in is a great start for keeping your indoor air free of outdoor pollutants. Everyday household tasks can also help to reduce air pollution and keep the air cleaner at home, such as vacuuming and dusting. However, using air purifiers to filter pollutants is a very efficient tool to keep the air indoor clean. A high-performing air purifier will efficiently remove bacteria, virus, dust, pollen and toxic chemicals all-in-one. Using air purifiers is also an absolute game-changer in reducing exposure to common household pollutants like cooking odours and chemicals from cleaning agents. Finding an air purifier that does the

job isn’t a given, a tip is to look for an air purifier with high CADR (clean air delivery rate), The HEPASilent technology used in Blueair products combines two filtration technologies that trap even the smallest particles and has a high CADR rate, and also clean the air efficiently in the by AHAM recommended 5 air changes per hour, every 12 minutes. It can even remove virus from the air, a factor that is more relevant than ever before. We knew from consumer insights that even prior to the current pandemic, viruses and bacteria are one of the main causes of concern to public health worldwide - this is when the idea of our latest product came to life. After three years of development, we invented our most advanced air purifier to date: HealthProtect. Blueair can confirm that the HealthProtect is proven effective at removing the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus in independent third-party tests under laboratory conditions. Blueair air purifiers have not proven to kill SARS-CoV-2 or reduce or prevent COVID-19 transmission. Ultimately, we spend 90% of our time in an indoor space, whether as adults it be at home, at work, or our children in schools. Unclean air is a silent threat but one that we can all take measures to protect against, for the sake of our health and our family’s.

1. https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality 2. https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/top-10-worst-toxic-pollution-problems.php 3. Funk, W.E., Pleil, J.D., Pedit, J.A., Boundy, M.G., Yeatts, K.B., Nash, D.G., Trent, C.B., El Sadig, M., Davidson, C.A. and Leith, D. (2014) Indoor Air Quality in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 709-722. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jep.2014.58072

design-middleeast.com


48 Workplace design

Minimal yet

DETAILED OMAR

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

Abdelghafour,

owner at L.S.Design, on how space planning and innovation were critical to the success of designing BW Interiors office project

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here is so much happening in the workspace design now than ever. An office must adapt to evolving technology, the new work norms, flexibility, work from home, and all the other environmental uncertainties. So, when When L.S.Design was working on the designs of BW Interiors head office in Dubai, Omar Abdelghafour knew that in the changing scenarios, space planning would play a crucial role in the success of this project, as he believes that ‘the office is an exercise in detail and space planning.’ BW Interiors’ office needed to reflect the skill-set and design direction that the fit-out contractor stands for. The flow was divided into three main areas, executive, front of the house (client-facing) and back of the house for staff. There was no aspect of this space that could not showcase or impress potential clients; everything was designed from the built-in joinery to the workstations to the desks and even the sinks.

design-middleeast.com


49

On this premise, the level of detail and selection of material was paramount from metal, marble, wood, joinery, and steel the office needed to incorporate all divisions of skilled work. The executive corridor houses two main offices in a tunnel of wood-panelled walls with steel-framed full height glass partitions, with minimal light to intentionally wash the corridor with shadows

from the natural light. The reception area has a tree in the corridor as well as a dedicated sample room as well as a waiting area. The staircase was left as a rough concrete base finished with perfect wood panelling and lighting accents. Keeping to the industrial feel of the space. The open-plan office space is broken with trees to elevate the monotony of rows of desking. >>>

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

Omar Abdelghafour founder of award-winning multi-discipline design and architecture practice L.S.Design (Light Space Design)

BW Interiors office by L.S. Design

design-middleeast.com


DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

50 Workplace design

Partitioning an office space is a great solution for maximising the available space. Abdelghafour explains: “The change in partitions from the executive full height glass to the back of house steel framed segmented partitions was again intentional. Showing the different skill-sets of the contractor. Space is minimal yet detailed space. There was no need to shout the excellence of this contractor’s skill-set but to impress in the subtle details. Shadow groves, seamless material integration, and superior MEP. The office is a stamen to what this contractor is capable of achieving. Less is more.” Though the current pandemic has changed our mindset and the way we approach design, Abdelghafour firmly believes that workspace design was already ever-evolving and it changes according to the pace, style, and the way we work. He explains: “Office design has evolved and changed not just from COVID-19 but from how we work today as a whole, from cubical and closed offices spaces to open plan and interactive workspace, due to COVID-19 we have had to adapt spacing and become innovative with space plans. This new distancing was implemented within this design and undoubtedly will become the new norm.” Flexibility is another keyword in designing workplaces. “We used flexi desking to help maintain the workflow and the flexibility of this space,” shares Abdelghafour. Though the world is currently taking part in the biggest remote working experiment. Abdelghafour firmly believes that the physical workspaces will not lose their relevance in the future, “We feel the workspace is integral and to lose this interaction will, in the long run, be detrimental to productivity.”

A touch of greenery brighten ups the workspace and brings positivity. Plants have shown to increase the creativity and productivity of employees. Here, the openplan office space is broken with trees to elevate the monotony of rows of desking.

design-middleeast.com

Office design has evolved and changed not just from COVID-19 but from how we work today as a whole, from cubical and closed offices spaces to open plan and interactive workspace, due to COVID-19 we have had to adapt spacing and become innovative with space plans.

Following the theme of modern industrial for the BW Interiors office, the staircase was left as a rough concrete base finished with perfect wood panelling and and clever use of lighting accents.


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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

52 Store launch

aura Living

A striking new store at The Dubai Mall

Saudi home furnishing brand, aura Living, opened its newest store at The Dubai Mall on June 1, 2021. Upholding aura’s commitment to offer international designs redefined to suit the unique wants and needs of Middle Eastern customers, aura continues to expand its presence in the region.

design-middleeast.com

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ocated on the lower ground floor of the mall near the Fountain exit, the new store was opened in celebration of the brand’s 10th anniversary, designed with the traditional brand colours blended with dark grey hues and metal accents that visually represent what Aura Living has emanated for the past decade. Upon entry, visitors are immersed on a journey of the senses, with illuminated LED lights and a captivating digital screen at the entrance showcasing an array of striking visuals. The newly launched Spring Summer21 collection is on full display at the store which highlights curated designs inspired by the 1970s with a modern twist. From warm cinnamon rust and classic silver to trendy seafoam hues, aura brings forward a sense of airiness, serenity, and intrigue into the home for the season. The Sahara collection of dining tables and chairs with its crossed legs in metallic gold offer a grand yet homey feeling. The Nesna coffee table makes for a great welcome in the lounge or living room. Commenting on the new store opening, Miles Young, managing director of aura Living said: “We are immensely proud to be opening aura’s newest store at The Dubai Mall, giving our customers the chance to shop in the heart of the city. We stand by our promise to provide the best of international trends especially curated to suit the taste of our audience and we look forward to further expansions in the region.” Staying true to its brand philosophy ‘a way of living’, aura Living continues to expand in the region and offer quality and affordable home furniture designs that are the epitome of warmth and hospitality, and now in the heart of Downtown Dubai.


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The brand provides a synergistic contemporary touch to its unique take on international designs, it continues to focus on its offer of quality and affordable home furniture designs that are the epitome of warmth and hospitality.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

The Sahara dining table is one of the highlights of the new collection. The crossed legs in gold bring a unique modern or industrial look to any dining or formal space.

design-middleeast.com


54 Event

THE

Highlights

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

INDEX 2021 was about dramatic installations, insightful discussions, art, and unique designs

design-middleeast.com

Organised by DMG World Media Dubai, INDEX offers a simple but powerful proposition: connecting interior designers, architects, buyers and contractors to interiors brands, products and services from across the globe including furniture, furnishings, lighting, textiles, accessories, surfaces, and technology.


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that was true and unique to the melange of cultures and traditions that constitute the UAE. At this year’s INDEX edition, there zero waste exhibit as well by The University of Sharjah for Fine Art and Design Arts, they presented furniture pieces created out of recycled materials collected by students, in collaboration with Bee'ah Waste Management. Dina Khataan known as the “Queen of Resin” launched her new brand MOOG, an artistic design house that reflects her approach to bespoke artistic life: one that celebrates the ideology of living around masterpieces that communicate. One of the most exciting pavilions at INDEX was of Peru. This is the fifth time that Peru participated in INDEX, with Peru the only Latin American country with a presence at the show in 2021. Design pieces made with Llama and the unique paintings were something very eye-catching at Peru stands. >>>

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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second entrance is another thoughtprovoking and visually impactful installation designed by Brand Creative, and built in collaboration with Design Infinity. Titled “Off The Grid”, the concept reflects the inner workings of human thought over three periods: prepandemic period, our current covid-19 world and a positive outlook on the future. The show’s conferences kicked off with The Work Design Summit followed by INDEX Design Talks with leading industry experts sharing their valuable insights. There was a great line-up of other exciting programmes, like Tanween by Taksheel presented an exhibition, from dhow builders that hail from South Asia to khoos artisans living on the border with Oman, camel leather tanneries in Al Ain to Al Sadu weavers based in Abu Dhabi,

JUNE 2021

The recently concluded INDEX and Workspace show at the Dubai World Trade Center from May 31- June 2, 2021, was a big hit. Guests were welcomed to explore over a global variety of exhibits and experiences through a dramatic archway installation designed by Kristina Zanic Design Consultants and built by Bond Interiors, titled “The Bottleneck. Inspired by the Covid case ‘curve’, the installation provides visitors with a glimpse of life before and after the pandemic.

Dina khataan, dubbed as the "Queen of Resin" launched her new brand @moog. ae , an artistic design house, that reflects her approach to bespoke artistic life

design-middleeast.com


56 Event

"Our ancient culture and diverse history lead to the creation of wonderful decorative items, and the success of our home décor exports is a sector that we are keen to amplify in the UAE.”

The INDEX Design Talks has become a cornerstone of the regional design calendar in recent years, hosting a series of open and lively discussions amongst many of the leading figures in the community

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JUNE 2021

Alvaro Silva Santisteban, Director of the Trade, Tourism & Investment Office Peru in the UAE

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Trays from Peru in reverse painted glass, Berrocal

Alvaro Silva Santisteban, Director of the Trade, Tourism & Investment Office Peru in the UAE, said: “Some of the textiles used to make décor items and stuff toys are unique and indigenous to Peru and these items grabbed everyone’s eyeballs. It’s important to share that UAE has become one of the leading export markets for our painted glass items. I am thrilled with the kind of response we are receiving.” He further shared: “In pre-pandemic times, there were a few companies that wanted to launch their stores in the UAE. Hopefully, things would get better. Our ancient culture and diverse history lead to the creation of wonderful decorative items, and the success of our home décor exports is a sector that we are keen to amplify in the UAE.” design-middleeast.com

Zero-waste Furniture inspired by sand dunes


57 Furniture brand Sahzade Sedir will bring back the tradition of a very specific form and style of majlis. All furniture is handmade and tailor-made.

The appeal of Peruvian designed items lies in the vast diversity of Peru, the variety of shapes and colours of its geography, the ancient Incan heritage, and the multiple expressions of its culture. Additionally, many artists rely on ancient techniques and hand-made production that yields limited edition, bespoke pieces. Therefore, Peruvian designers are able to strike a balance between tradition and innovation that appeals to a range of tastes and interior trends with consumers around the world, including those in the Middle East. Moving on, Funun Arts, the largest art community in the UAE showcased an immersive experience featuring global artistic demonstrations, they invited visitors to meet its creative geniuses and to explore abstract modern art, photographs, wall art, paintings, sculptures, and live paintings. The majlis has been embodied in the Middle Eastern history and culture for decades and to celebrate the 30th edition of Index, Sahzade Sedir brought back the tradition of a very specific form and style of majlis. Commonly referred to

as “Sark Köşesi”, this majlis featured local and natural motifs and a combination of modern and traditional designs, in a setting adaptable for homes, workspaces, and public facilities.


DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

58 Project

Immersive experiences

Nespresso premieres new boutique concept in Dubai Mall to immerse visitors in the ultimate coffee experience and commitment to sustainability

design-middleeast.com

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espresso announced the opening of an innovative new Boutique concept in Dubai Mall. The new Nespresso retail environment surrounds guests in an immersive coffee experience allowing for deeper learning and coffee exploration. This unique and brand-expansive concept first launched in Cannes, France in 2017 and is now being rolled out around the world. Throughout the Boutique, visitors will experience elements that reflect Nespresso’s deep commitment to sustainability and adherence to a circular economy – one that is restorative by nature and works to minimise waste through careful design.


Learning in the Lab Kitchen Guests who want to expand their knowledge even further can experiment with coffee recipes and personalise their coffee experience through the different Nespresso machines. From lattes with the perfect milk foam to unique coffee creations, guests will learn how to expertly elevate their usual coffee moments at home to the extraordinary. Masterclass in the Lab Kitchen Also taking place in the Lab Kitchen are a series of Masterclasses – special sessions for those who want to become true coffee connoisseurs. Guests can make an appointment with the

Coffee Bard, a team member who is dedicated to coffee storytelling and will guide them through an interactive class to develop their coffee expertise and knowledge – from the bean right through to the finished product in the cup. Classes follow a specially crafted curriculum focused on different elements of the coffee process, everything from tasting Pure Origin coffees to mastering the art of coffee with milk. The new Nespresso Boutique concept and open format was designed by award winning architecture and interior design practice, Universal Design Studio which was founded by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

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in Switzerland, wood that has been 100% sourced from reforestation programs, technological systems to reduce energy and water consumption and a recycling collection point. The new Boutiques are a true celebration of coffee and its origins and guests can discover tributes to this throughout the space. Everything from the muted color palette of rich coffee browns and crema inspired golds to the floor tiles and lamps that echo those used on the coffee farms have been carefully designed to link to coffee. The Boutiques even feature lush greenery spaces embedded with coffee plants, bushes and shade trees to mimic the coffee plantations that are part of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. The contemporary and luminous space spans 1125 square feet over 1 level and invites guests to explore new coffee tasting rituals. The new experiences include:

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

Julien Mario, Nespresso MEA business development manager explained: “The new Nespresso Boutique concept centers around five key principles: a simplified and holistic customer journey through carefully sequenced areas, a celebration of coffee moments with bespoke coffee rituals, new architectural codes for a warm and cozy yet premium atmosphere, a sustainability statement to nourish the Nespresso ambition to become the highest quality and the most sustainable coffee brand in the world and finally, a seamless physical-to-digital ecosystem to connect mobile sales with retail destination, delivering an effortless purchase experience, including a smart virtual queuing system and digital coffee selectors. By combining all of these elements, the retail experience becomes fully immersive with consumers all over the world able to discover the Nespresso coffee world in a new enhanced way. This concept has also been the opportunity to transform our employees into highly empowered brand ambassadors thanks to the combination of people skills, expertise, new roles and processes and cutting-edge operational technology.” Nespresso has announced in September of 2020 their intention to become carbon neutral by the end of 2022. This will be possible thanks to a certified protocol which measures carbon foot print reduction for each new boutique opening. The new concept demonstrates this commitment with elements such as table-tops made from used coffee grounds from the Nespresso factory

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A Sensorial Welcome Upon entering the Boutique, Coffee Specialists introduce guests to the vast range of coffees in which guests can get hands-on with the coffee grounds inside a capsule, discovering the aromas and then finishing with a tasting experience. Discovery at the Bar As guests continue their journey through the Boutique, perusing the smart and easy-to-use machines and accompanying accessories, a Coffee Specialist will assist them in exploring the coffee range further. They can taste two coffees side-by-side in order to better understand their taste preferences. design-middleeast.com


60 Pick of the month

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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JUNE 2021

Eclectic Lighting up the flowers! Jeremy Cole is an award-winning ceramist, designing and creating collections of lighting inspired by nature. All his pieces are works of art, each handmade with intricate details. Every crafted ceramic plant is an expression of Cole’s native New Zealand, known for its natural scenery and flora. As part of his ongoing experimentation around orchids, Cole has designed this breathtaking cymbidium chandelier. The light is made from completely hand mastered porcelain flowers individually created by Cole. The flowers are lit via an internal lamp gear. Cole says: "I constantly experiment with the mediums of ceramics and light by exploring the relationship between flora and art."

Available in Matt White / Matt Black; jeremycole.net

design-middleeast.com

Jeremy Cole


Profile for Design Middle East

Design Middle East June 2021  

Our June cover is graced by Ankita Rao of Freeline Engineering, project and construction manager Natasha Abbas of North 51 Consulting, and i...

Design Middle East June 2021  

Our June cover is graced by Ankita Rao of Freeline Engineering, project and construction manager Natasha Abbas of North 51 Consulting, and i...

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