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ABC ACHRAFIEH - TEL. 00961-1-212828 / 00961-3-665226

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Welcome 09 Architecture 10 to the first issue of 11 Le Cercle, Le Cercle Hitti’s 12 13 new quarterly magazine 14 15 that brings you the best 16 from the worlds of local 17 18 and international design. 19 20 With cutting edge creativity 21 as our focus, we’ve put 22 23 together an eclectic 24 25 serving of features on 26 architecture, art, fashion, 27 28 interior and industrial 29 30 design as well as the 31 innovative minds behind Interior Architecture 32 33 them. With this being 34 35 our ‘Discover’ issue, we 36 37 had plenty of inspiration 38 close to hand, thanks to 39 40 Lebanon’s strong creative 41 42 streak. In the following 43 pages you can meet some 44 45 of the local faces that are 46 47 helping put the country on Product design 48 the international map when 49 50 it comes to architecture 51 52 and design. Taking it 53 global, we also check 54 Publisher 55 out the hippest cultural 56 City News Privilege 57 destinations in Europe’s on behalf of Le Cercle Hitti 58 trendiest city Berlin, whisk 59 60 Editor in Chief you off to Milan and Bali for 61 62 Anastasia Cassandra Nysten an inside view of Bulgari 63 Fashion 64 hotels, and take a walk Managing Editor 65 through a symphony of 66 Helen Assaf 67 nature in Toronto’s Music 68 Graphic Design 69 Garden. Bringing it back 70 Genia Kodash home, you can peruse 71 72 the latest and greatest 73 Printer 74 iconic designs to fill your Raidy Printing Press 75 living space brought to 76 77 Contributors you by Le Cercle Hitti and 78 Karah Byrns 79 its impeccable list of the 80 Miriam Dunn cream of international 81 Art & Culture 82 Derek Issacs design. Wherever your 83 Gassia Jalekian Boustany 84 journey of discovery takes 85 Maha Majzoub 86 you, may it be one of Josiane Riachi 87 purely aesthetic pleasure. 88 Sara Sadik 89 John Winston 90 91 Travel & Events 92 Advertising 93 94 95 t: +961 3 852 899 96

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Architectural Intelligence:

Living on the

Edge Artist Studios 4371 W o r d s :

nternational Lebanese architect Bernard Khoury doesn’t mince words. Nor does he compromise on design. “We have never designed anything we are not convinced of. We are fortunate enough to work with intelligent developers.” A glimpse into his portfolio reveals that Khoury’s company is behind some of Beirut’s most progressive architectural designs: trendy nightclub B-018 and chic restaurant Yabani to name just two. However, the very latest project entitled Artist Studios 4371, a residential development in collaboration with

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Loft Investments, is by far a more radical project on many fronts not least in design and location. The saturation of traditional architectural designs and structures witnessed throughout the capital over the past 40 years is, according to Khoury, poor interpretations of modern architectural recipes that offer little more than limited spatial qualities, such as low ceilings and insufficient light distribution. Yet, a meeting with developers Loft Investments four years ago has helped turn the gloomy architectural tide that has been washing over the capital since the late 1960s to reveal a distinctive and unique perspective of light and space. “We were lucky enough to meet another breed of developer, pioneers in a sense. They realised there was a market for alternative projects and their agenda was fresh and innovative.” The first residential project commissioned and adjacent to Achrafieh’s Beydoun Mosque was all about space and broke the mold in terms of design. Revisiting

basic typologies found in the Mediterranean region, the loft style apartments were designed devoid of corridors and avoided seeping into the central depths of the building, which created elongated apartments. This strategy ensured that the relationship with the outside world was paramount and increased both circulation and light throughout the units. A huge success, the project sold out even before building permits were issued. Subsequently three more structures were designed in the theme of loft-style living. The latest residential project, Artist Studios 4371, has pushed design boundaries in Beirut to a new precedent, unlikely to be equaled any time soon. Situated in a less than orthodox location too, adjoining the old railway station and yard in the industrial quarter of Beirut’s Jisr El Wati, Khoury knew the developer, Loft Investments, had made a bold choice and he himself would need to design a structure that was completely out-of-the-box. Khoury rose to the challenge and reacted

by designing artist studios in the real sense of the term: a concrete structure whose glass and Cortens steel skin will house apartments almost devoid of partitions. Kitchens are partially openplan and residents have the option of a mezzanine bedroom. The floor to ceiling and wall to wall space is gigantic and offers an unobstructed outlook. Shaded by fins constituting the façade, the structure’s pièce de résistance is a platform from which huge objects such as a car or an enormous piece of sculpture are elevated from ground level directly to any apartment. Incorporating a mix of single and duplex units, floor space uniquely begins at 100m2. With a potential to house 25 apartments, each unit can be modeled to the client’s needs and wants and be expanded both vertically and horizontally, therefore on completion the structure may consist of even less apartments than originally anticipated. Constructed in an area of the capital which is less built-up than other areas, this in itself has had a bearing on the dynamics

of the structure and how it has been developed. “The project has not reacted to an existing fabric of structures. It has developed around its own logic like an apparatus performing certain functions,” says Khoury. The good intentions of Khoury speak for themselves. However, it is not just architects that play a role in rescuing cities from a skyline blighted with architectural catastrophes. “A good project is not just a good architect. It is also the good understanding and intentions of the developer. An architect is a tool that will make it happen good or bad. For a marriage between the two to be successful, there must be great synergy and understanding. Only then will these intentions convert to something that is worth the city and worth the people who use it,” concludes Khoury. For more information go to

a grand

vision Words:

H e l e n

A s s a f

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 Architecture 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Interior Architecture 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Product design 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 n 1899 the Dolder Grand Hotel & 57 Curhaus was the talk of Zurich 58 and beyond. The newly opened hotel 59 60 offered a luxurious retreat close to nature 61 in an area famed for its curative waters 62 63 and healthy air. Fast forward 110 years and Fashion 64 the Dolder Grand has once again become 65 66 the talk of society, but this time on a global 67 scale. After major reconstruction designed by 68 London architects Foster and Partners, the 69 70 hotel reopened its doors to worldwide acclaim 71 last year, scooping praise and awards from 72 73 numerous sources, including earning a Michelin 74 star for its restaurant. 75 76 It was after immersing himself 77 in the Dolder Grand archives that architect 78 Norman Foster decided to restore the hotel 79 Art & Culture 80 back to its original 1899 structure and facade. 81 Although this meant removing several additions 82 83 that had been built in the past 100 years, 84 it enabled the hotel’s main entrance to be 85 86 reinstated to the south side of the complex. The 87 result was that guests would be immediately 88 struck by the panoramic view, as they originally 89 Travel & Events 90 had been in those early days of 1899. Fusing 91 the history of the building with the best of 92 93 modern architecture, Foster also decided to 94 add two new wings – a Spa and a Golf wing – 95 96 to curve around the form of the main building.


Reopening as a luxuryclass city resort, the Dolder today offers 173 luxurious rooms and suites, two restaurants, banqueting and conference facilities and a 4000-square-metre spa area. The latter is a complete universe of wellness, created by American spa designer Sylvia Sepielli. The European and Japanese inspired zones comprise a pool with panoramic views, ladies’ and gentlemen’s spas, workout, movement and mind-body studios, as well as 19 treatment rooms and two spa suites for exclusive, private relaxation. Of course over the years the Dolder has had its fair share of illustrious guests. Four of these were selected as inspiration for the hotel’s top suites, each decorated extravagantly and uniquely in keeping with their individual themes. The Maestro Suite, inspired by conductor Herbert von Karajan, occupies the highest point in the Grand’s main building tower. The 400 square metres, two-tier living space with sweeping city, lake and mountain views takes its inspiration from classical music and architecture. The Carezza Suite, inspired by Swiss artist and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, is organic in shape with sculpturally inspired fittings and furnishings. The glamour of 1950s cinema is revisited in the Masina Suite, inspired by Giulietta Masina, actress and wife of Federico Fellini, while the rock and roll world of the Rolling Stones is paid homage in Suite 100 with its retro style furniture and swinging sixties ambience. Despite the renovation having doubled the hotel’s useful area from 20 000 to 40 000 square metres, clever use of a pioneering geothermic concept has cut its energy consumption by half. With 70 earth probes sunk 150 metres deep into the earth, the geothermal system manages to cool the indoor environment in summer while heating it in winter. Since its world-class reincarnation, it is clear that the Dolder merges the best of the past and the contemporary.

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orld famous architect Jean Nouvel has restarted work on The Landmark, a large USD 270 million mixeduse development in central Beirut. Landmark SAL and Millennium development recently asked Ateliers Jean Nouvel to work once again on the concept design; the project had been temporarily put on hold until this year, although Nouvel initially won the project through an international competition in 2004. His mission is none other than to design a structure that “will be aligned with the spirit of Beirut’s history, but also to create a new Beirut.”

S a r a

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Ateliers Jean Nouvel©2009

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 Architecture 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Interior Architecture 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Product design 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 The Landmark project 59 60 will consist of three buildings 61 forming a unique culmination 62 63 of commercial spaces. It Fashion 64 provides a hotel with serviced 65 66 apartments spanning over 67 24 levels, a retail shopping 68 center with a total area 69 70 spread over 20,400 m2, and 71 luxury apartments spread 72 73 across 15 floors with the 74 total building area coming 75 76 out to almost 149,000m2. 77 The mixed-use center 78 features a 42-storey tower 79 Art & Culture 80 containing a 5 star hotel 81 with 175 rooms and 82 83 15 suites, 39 serviced 84 apartments for sale, as 85 86 well as a health club spa 87 and business center. 88 According to Nouvel, 89 Travel & Events 90 “we want a hotel that 91 has the qualities of 92 93 great international 94 hotels but that is a 95 96 “someplace” and

not the eternal standard that tires frequent travelers.” In addition, to the features that come hand in hand with the function of these three buildings, Nouvel has also created access to ample underground parking facilities. “We want to create the desire to come here, to stay here, a place that is calm, comfortable, hedonistic,” said Nouvel. “We are in Beirut, a city with an exceptional climate. There is no reason to have here a building that could be in Montreal, Berlin or Tokyo,” he added. Nouvel is said to have drawn on the daily social life of the city in general for the inspiration of his design. According to him, the project is a “fragment of the city”. It is composed of two horizontal buildings forming an interior

street in continuity with the urban plan of the city center of Beirut. The focal point of Nouvel’s design will be a 164-meter tower flanked by two additional buildings connected to it by pedestrian bridges at various levels. It is for this reason, that he included the pedestrian walkways within the project. Nouvel’s purpose of these walkways is to “reflect the continuity of movement”. The 44-meter North Building will have nine floors, while the South Building will, at 55 meters, be 10 floors high. Already completed in his mind, Nouvel refers to it as being “like a little city” while the rest of us await anxiously for its completion.


walk in the

park How Julie Moir Messervy & Yo Yo Ma made Bach flourish once again Words:




t was on a “frigid morning” in February 1995, that Julie Moir Messervy received a small package from world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Inside was a CD of Bach's Suites for Unaccompanied Cello and a note asking Messervy, principal of Messervy Associates, a landscape design consultation firm, to listen to Suite #1 and #4 and to share her thoughts. “Imagine my surprise!” she recalls of the event. “I had no idea what kind of response he wanted, so I listened over and over to both Suites. The 4th Suite was lovely, but brought no immediate images to mind. The 1st Suite seemed like it was all about nature and gardens. So I wrote back to Yo-Yo about what I "saw" in the music I heard. Soon after that, we began the dialogue that led to the creation of the Toronto Music Garden.” In putting her plans for the garden together Messervy says she listened to the music “untold numbers of times”. She adds that not only did she listen to it but she played it for everyone she could who was involved in the project, including landscape architects, concrete installers, laborers, contractors, as well as potential funding sources. “That way, each person brought their own interpretation of the music, according to their art form,” she says. “The concrete installer, for instance, suggested that we broom in swirls along the edges of the Prelude pathway; the laborers




knew the difference between one "movement" of the garden--the Courante for instance, and another.” Since June 1999 the garden, located next to Toronto’s harbour, has been open to the public and enchanting visitors with its distinct landscaped sections, each corresponding to a dance movement within the Bach suite. “While they each feel like a separate garden room, they are also linked together by a continuous path across and around three distinct hills,” explains Messervy. “It's a very happy place, no matter what the season. Also, a performance series, called "Summer Music in the Garden" takes place there on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.” For Messervy, the space represents

01_____The Maypole and The CN Tower Photographer: Adrian Holmes (From the Courante movement of the Music Garden) 02_____View from the Courante movement of the Music Garden over Toronto Harbour Photographer: Virginia Weiler 03_____Russian sage, purple coneflower, and yellow yarrow Photographer: Adrian Holmes (From the Courante movement of the Music Garden)

a project that is “very near and dear to my heart”, while also forming part of a distinguished body of work that includes The Arnold Arboretum and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she helped design Tenshin-en, The Garden of Heart and Heaven. It was in the middle of her graduate work in architecture and city planning, that Messervy first found the inspiration for her career today. “I opened up a book on Japanese gardens and fell head over heels in love,” she recalls. “I loved the beauty and meaning of these landscapes and sought to learn more by working with a garden master in Kyoto. My dream came true through the Henry Luce Scholars program, through which I was able to work with Prof. Kinsaku Nakane. Under his tutelage, I saw scores of gardens, worked in them, and learned about design.” After her return, she finished graduate school and began teaching about and building gardens and has never looked back. Since then she

has written six books on landscape and garden design and continues to lecture across North America and Europe as well as building public, institutional, and private landscapes. “I love every minute of it!” says Messervy. Through the Toronto Music Garden, she has also managed to share that love with generations of visitors, creating a one-of-a-kind experience where music and nature combine in one inspiring symphony. The Toronto Music Garden is open year-round with no admission fee. For more information on Julie Moir Messervy, visit her website & blog site Julie Moir Messervy’s newly-published book The Toronto Music Garden: Inspired By Bach is available from &

A guide to the toronto music Garden Beginning with the Prelude section of the garden, visitors find a dry river scape of granite boulders from the Canadian Shield that meander through curves and bends. Low growing feldspar plants soften the rocklike river bed, while a line of Hackberry trees overlook the flowing ornamentation suggesting musical notation through their regular spacing.


Entering the Allemande part of the garden reveals a birch forest with narrow tendril-like trails populated by sitting areas to stop and contemplate nature. These stone resting places are placed at rising points up the hillside, finally leading to a rocky vantage point that overlooks Toronto harbour.

The Courante section of Bach’s suite inspired Messervy to design a swirling path that winds upwards through a meadow of grasses and perennials that attract birds and butterflies. Says Messervy: “I’d say that people most love the Courante movement of the garden, because it feels like a long curving maze that moves you up and down a hill filled with big bright flowers and grasses. At the top is a bronze Maypole that makes you feel as though the movement continues up into the sky. It’s an exuberant place with wonderful views out to the Harbour and beyond.”

A grove of evergreens and shrubs in the shape of an arc symbolizes the contemplative quality of the Sarabande section of Bach’s First Suite. The inward arcing circle takes a huge stone as its centrepiece, designed as a stage for literary readings. A pool of water nestled in the stone reflects the sky and enhances the tranquil aspect of this area of the garden.

In Bach’s time the Menuett was a popular dance known for its formal, grace-like moves. This is translated in the garden through the symmetry and geometry of the flower beds. An ornamental, wrought iron pavilion forms part of this section, providing a place for musical ensembles or dance groups to perform.

Gigue, or jig in English, is a jaunty dance brought to life in the garden through a series of oversized grass steps surrounded by arms of exuberant yellow plantings that lead down to the harbour. The curved arena of the steps creates a natural amphitheatre overlooking a weeping willow tree, where informal performances can take place.

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whirr of activity fills the spacious office: phones ring and the office door swings to and fro as staff, in a blur, appear and disappear after transmitting messages seemingly of the utmost urgency to the figure positioned behind a large desk awash in papers. The Japanese-styled office is obviously not just a show piece, though it has every right to be. It is in fact the very nerve centre of design studio Cercle Hitti Projects. Attending to numerous on-the-spot inquiries from his team and concurrently receiving and making phone calls - all in the midst of an interview – seemed par for the course for Hitti. His calm and collected demeanor reveals a mind that is as crisp and sharp as his very designs. “I am meticulous of mind,” says Hitti. “You see my office. It doesn’t look so organised. But my mind it is clear-cut and structured.” It soon transpires why his interior design projects have become

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 Architecture 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Interior Architecture 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 Product design 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 renowned for the opulent simplicity 64 Fashion they possess. Every question 65 66 put to him sends his gaze, and 67 subsequently his mind, on a 68 69 far-away journey. And then the 70 response materialises. “I hate 71 traditions.This is reflected in my 72 73 designs,” he says in measured 74 tones. “When I see a space, I 75 76 always clean it in order to create 77 a pureness. Then, I view it more 78 79 clearly. If I see something out 80 Art & Culture of sync, I repair it immediately 81 making it flush to create 82 83 pure, clean lines. If there is 84 an original fitting within the 85 86 space which I can work with, 87 I design around it.” 88 89 With a 90 Travel & Events burgeoning portfolio 91 comprising a wealth of 92 93 international and national 94 design projects that 95 96 cover a range of


35 Architecture & Interior Design: Le Cercle Projects Architect/designer: Dori Hitti Architect: Walid Asmar

commercial entities such as private and public spaces, malls, hotels, clubs and hair salons to name but a few, as well as residential projects from boats and chalets to private residences, Cercle Hitti Projects imbue the hallmark of a simple European style, to which one of his latest projects, Public restaurant, testifies. Unsurprisingly, Hitti aspires to the Italian way of doing things. After all, that was the country in which he decided to study. “The culture, the style and design,” he says, “pushes me forward.” Though projects are undertaken which involve traditional Lebanese or Arab symbols, such as Arabic sweets, the design of the space itself is as far removed from traditional design as possible and remains simplistic and very much a style of the 21st century as El-Doueihy in Jel al Dib, a design project of Cercle Hitti Projects reveals. The project ideas also springboard in many cases from the world’s very best designer brands in which Le Cercle Hitti trade, such as Roche Bobois, B&B Italia and Ligne Roset to name a few. However, when designing for personal residential spaces, as Hitti explains, it is of great importance that the client is in agreement of the same design lines in order for the project to be implemented successfully. “The brands in which we

deal match my own taste and style,” says Hitti. “However, when one is designing for a private home, a client must also offer me his or her trust. We must be able to speak the same design language. Otherwise it is better to end the project.” Once agreement is made, then a close relationship is forged through innumerous meetings, which Hitti describes as almost marriage-like. Completion of the project certainly does not translate as out of sight, out of mind for Dori Hitti. “What happens to the space post design worries me a lot,” he says. “After three years I pray that it has remained the same; further objects added by the client may unbalance the original design. And my name will be connected to the design, for better or worse. Yet, some projects remain as fresh as they were, even when designed ten years previously, such as many projects in Beirut. And that makes me extremely happy.” Reflecting on the clean and simple lines to which Cercle Hitti Projects adheres, the designs could quite easily be misconstrued as an ‘easy’ process, Hitti explains. “It is difficult to produce simplicity, for it is a difficult art that is simplicity itself.” For more information go to

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Do It Better Words:

D e r e k

I s s a c s


onsumers of fine cuisine are demanding more. It’s true. Cuisine aesthetics, or food design, has gained such momentum that it is only matched in importance by the flavours of the dishes themselves. So much so in fact, that rustling up a dish or two today has decidedly become more challenging and might best be left to those with simply oodles of talent, design talent that is. One such talent is Caffe Mondo’s Italian Junior Executive Sous-Chef Alfonso Montefusco, who, after cooking up a storm around the globe, transports a wealth of experience both in the creation of haute cuisine and in haute cuisine design. “Food design is an art that impresses and needs

to be thought out. It has to make sense,” he says. “It has to coordinate with the décor of the environment in which it is being served. And, of course, it is a fine balance between design and flavour.” Delivering seminars entitled Food Context at architectural schools and universities throughout Europe, Montefusco certainly knows a thing or two on food design. “If a Baroque dish is created, then one expects the restaurant’s décor to be of a similar style. One certainly would not expect Baroque style dishes in a Japanese restaurant. There they would be linear and minimalistic.” When creating new dishes, the environment is considered meticulously. The restaurant, the kitchen,

the country of origin from which the new dish hails and even the ceramics Montefusco works with all play a pivotal role in food design.“I start from the china; I see the colours then the size and shape of the plate that will host the dish. It is like architecture and designing a new building.” The flavours fashioned from the combination of worked ingredients are without a doubt paramount in any cuisine delivery. But as Montefusco says, “When excellent flavour is presented through equally as excellent food design, then the dish becomes more than just an excellent dish. It in fact, becomes a gift to be offered to guests.”

The bold &

the beautiful Words:

M i r i a m

D u n n

Italian designer Antonio Citterio brings his creative genius to Bulgari’s luxury hotel chain

he teaming up of the Italian designer Antonio Citterio and the luxury goods label Bulgari could very easily be described as a match made in heaven. Both have a well-earned reputation for pushing the boundaries of design with an emphasis on contemporary, but classy indulgence. So when Citterio was tasked with designing Bulgari’s first luxury hotel in Milan, it was no surprise to learn that the leading names in fashion and design awaited the results with huge anticipation. Many lovers of high-end, luxury goods and furnishings were already familiar with Citterio’s creative genius. The designer, who graduated in architecture from Milan Polytechnic before launching his own architectural and interior design business in 1972, has a track record of successful projects. Together with his partner, fellow designer Patricia Viel, he has developed a long list of achievements, from

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residential complexes to hotels, trade centres and planning workspace, as well as a long-running successful collaboration with luxury Italian furniture designers, B&B Italia. Citterio’s mission with the Milan resort was to bring Bulgari’s trademark contemporary luxury to the world of hospitality throughout the company’s first hotel. Although it was a huge challenge, the designer had much to work with for inspiration. Part of the building’s structure dated back to the 18th century, while lush gardens, which are a rarity in the bustling Italian city, graced the premises. The designer made the most of both, using the garden to create the perfect oasis for shoppers and city trippers wanting to unwind from the manic streets. Black stones are set against white



flowers amongst the greenery, giving a contemporary geometric, minimalist feel which is simultaneously relaxing. Precious woods, marble and granite continue the theme through the resort’s common areas, while the bedrooms and suites have Citterio’s trademark luxury. Indulgent Frette linen adorns the beds, while the enormous bathtubs are carved in to a

block of Turkish Bihara stone. The Turkish theme is evident again in Citterio’s piece de resistance - the subterranean Spa. The Spa is graced with gold and green mosaic tiles, while a frosted glass hammam, complete with candles, provides the perfect setting for guests to unwind and focus on their well-being.

Following the resoundingly successful opening of the Milan resort in 2004, Citterio pulled off an equally daunting challenge in Bali for Bulgari two years later. Many critics believe that the Bali resort benefited greatly from Citterio’s decision to take the exoticism and mysticism of the Far

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 Architecture 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Interior Architecture 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Product design 48 49 50 51 East as his inspiration, from the colors and culture 52 53 right through to the practical craftsmanship. 54 The resort was built and furnished using 55 56 traditional Balinese materials and craftsmanship, while 57 the furniture and decorations were designed and 58 produced in Bali by local craftsmen under Citterio’s 59 60 supervision. The hotel itself was built and furnished 61 using hand-cut volcanic stone, worked alongside 62 63 rich, exotic wood. Continuing the theme outside, the Fashion 64 garden is enclosed with walls made from natural lava, 65 66 while a calming green subakumi stone covers the 67 outdoor showers, plunge and swimming pools. The 68 look is completed with alang-alang thatch roofs and 69 70 elegant bronze lanterns which give the 59, ocean71 view villas a cosy yet luxurious look. 72 73 Citterio looked to the local art of 74 silk-weaving for his textiles, which were crafted 75 76 exclusively for Bvlgari to be used as bedspreads in 77 the villas. Gold and silver is threaded through the 78 weave, re-enforcing the contemporary, luxurious 79 Art & Culture 80 image which works so well with the magic of the 81 Indonesian island. 82 83 Of course, the resort’s stunning 84 setting on a cliff-side above the Indian Ocean 85 86 must have helped inspire Citterio. But perhaps 87 the designer’s genius is just that - his ability 88 to take the raw materials he is fortunate 89 Travel & Events 90 enough to find and, through his creative 91 flair, ensure those resources are used 92 93 to their best advantage. 94 95 96


Welcome to the city where east meets west, where the mosque meets the church, where French Belle Époque meets the touching greatness of Lebanese architecture. This is Beirut: a clash of pop culture rasping at Mid East traditions. Right in the heart of this paradoxical setting and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut is warmly welcoming you to relish a unique experience. Situated along the famous boardwalk, it is also a few minutes away from the airport, the city’s banking and shopping districts, as well as the vibrant Down Town. InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut is the ideal destination where you can savor Lebanon as a real Lebanese would do.

Call us on +961 1 369100 or visit

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Theseat that still causes a sensation

40 years on Words: Gassia Jalekian Boustany

armly dubbed “La Mamma”, when the Up5 chair was first launched in Milan in 1969, it immediately proved to be the Up collection’s most renowned piece. The armchair is a voluptuous female figure tied by a cord to the Up6, a ball-shaped foot rest “symbolizing the chains that keep women dominated even in these modern times,” according to its designer Gaetano Pesce. “They have always been against their own will, prisoners of themselves,” he once said. The Up5 armchair is one of many great examples of how Pesce’s views were clearly expressed in his designs, in this case personifying his controversial views on women. He once said that his designs: “touch values that have changed traditional behaviors.” It’s an emotion that well describes what he has been doing his entire career: changing concepts of the way buildings and products should be seen and produced. Born in La Spezia, Italy in 1939, Pesce studied architecture and industrial design in Venice from 1959-1965, and went on to produce


persistently vibrant and sweeping work in painting, sculpture, film, theater, design and architecture. He consistently challenges the establishment through his work, which is characterized by its figurative strength, its expressive tactility, interdisciplinary approach and its refusal to be constrained by technology or tradition. Since its debut, the UP set of armchairs has continued to receive acclaim as one of the most outstanding expressions of design. The exceptional visual impact of seven models of seats, in various sizes, each designed for different needs, such as seating an adult, a child, or more than one person, has made them unique in time. Beyond the appeal of the organic shape of the armchairs, the real innovation lay in the packaging. The chairs

were molded out of polyurethane foam then covered in colorful stretch fabric, compressed under a vacuum until they were flat and then packaged in PVC wrappers. When the wrappers were opened the chairs literally bounced into life to showcase their astonishing beauty in forms suggesting the roundness of the human body. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Up Series was relaunched in April this year at Salone del Mobile in Milan. Updated with high-performance material, new upholstery and personalized serial numbers, the limited edition Up5 and Up6 continue the tradition of innovation. They also demonstrate the energy and timelessness of Pesce’s design, proving it is as iconic today as it was all those decades ago.

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experience Marcel Wanders & Moooi have designs on your emotions Words:

K a r a h

B y r n s


oooi, the contemporary Dutch design brand with a reputation for boldly innovative and functional aesthetics, stole the show at the Milan Salone de Mobile this year and welcomed yet another new office in Belgium this September a series of events that

reflects just how much the popularity of the brand has skyrocketed since its birth in 2001 not only across Europe, but also across much of the world. As markets become flooded with choice, the desire to own something truly original only increases, and more and more people are looking for functional

Horse lamp by Front for Moooi 2006 Photographer: Maarten Van Houten copyrightŠMOOOI B.V.

Smoke chair by Maarten Baas for Moooi 2002. Photographer: Maarten Van Houten copyrightŠMOOOI B.V.


yet beautiful designs through which they can express a snippet of their own individuality. Moooi respects and strives to meet that desire, with a commitment to “always exceed expectations” at the end of their creative process, to produce functional objects whose design triggers emotional value. Owning a Moooi piece is not only about making a simple statement of individuality, but also about sharing in the broader life-emotion philosophy behind Moooi’s designs through something tangible, and about owning a piece of our times, in luxury form. Marcel Wanders, Art Director and co-founder of Moooi, pinpoints the allure of Moooi designs by defining luxury as a product of emotional fulfillment. In 2006 he was quoted by Beautiful Women magazine as saying that “luxury is to live an exciting, passionate life in comfort and commitment, to feel you are special and make a difference while achieving personal growth, to contribute to the greater good and feel you share love.” According to Wanders, whose designs are fueled by his own desire to create items of functional beauty with high emotional impact, “luxury starts where functionality ends and where the true value is personal and so has no price or reason.” In an interview with the UK’s Grand Designs in 2007 he insisted that “nowadays people don’t just have things because they need them, they have things because they love them. That’s my vision. I’m trying to do something that makes you feel like life is exploding. If that doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t make sense.” For Wanders, the essence of his design philosophy is about creating not just things that people will use, but things that people will use with passion, things that will make people feel emotionally stirred and reminded that they are alive. Moooi also reaches another level of combining a lust for

life with objects for daily use by increasing the scope of interactivity between the consumer and the product. One recent innovation that made a splash in the consumer goods market for the leading international design company is its “boutique sofa.” Consumers “dress-up” a “naked sofa” that they purchase from Moooi with a variety of 19 mixand-match cover options and four different leg styles. Fully customizable and assembled on-the-spot, the boutique sofa comes as a satisfying answer to consumers craving originality as a means of self-expression, by allowing them to actually become readily engaged in the process of designing the item’s final look. Having designed interiors for star-class spaces across the globe from Jakarta to Amsterdam to South Beach Miami, Wanders himself was tagged by the Washington Post in 2003 as “the design world’s favorite star.” In the Middle East, he recently unveiled the Villa Moda multi-label luxury fashion boutique founded by Sheik Majed in Bahrain, for which Wanders earned a nomination in the 2009 Conde Nast Traveller Innovation and Design Awards. With several of his design products on display in museums across the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, he is arguably a creative force to be reckoned with, and as he spins out new and breathtakingly original design objects for Moooi each year, he also continues his project work to fashion stunning private as well as public interiors. As the mastermind of Moooi design, his vision is one that clearly continues to evolve with the emotions and needs of a rapidly changing world, without ever losing its signature trademark appeal making owning one of his designs as infinitely classic as it is cutting edge. Raimond light by Raimond Puts in association with Ox-Id for Moooi, 2006 Photographer: Maarten Van Houten copyright©MOOOI B.V.

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outside of the [shoe]

box Alfredo HÄberli’s prototype for a different future of footwear Words:

H e l e n

A s s a f


ith the aim of reducing costs, in 1990 Bally, doyen of the quality Swiss footwear field, set about researching possible production alternatives. Eventually this led the company to Alfredo Häberli, the Zurich-based designer revered globally for his ability to “unite tradition with innovation, joy and energy” in his work. His resulting prototype for men’s shoes was unlike anything ever commercially produced before. In effect this was no longer footwear as the world had come to know it. Instead, the prototype featured a two-part shoe, in which the long tongue of the front section would snap into the rear part to create the finished product; to re-separate the pieces

required a mere click of a tab at the heel. With this groundbreaking concept, diverse combinations were made possible, bringing the mix and match concept to feet. According to Häberli, within this prototype Bally saw analogies to the Swatch movement, which is credited with rescuing and breathing new life into the vast heritage of the Swiss watchmaking industry at a time when it was in danger of falling behind. Thus, Eine Neue Art Shuh (A new art of shoe), as Häberli’s prototype was titled, would be Bally’s chance to revolutionise shoe production and save the company’s future. Yet the path to production proved elusive. As a study, the project was totally justified, says Häberli, but the turbulent economic time during which the

design was presented would prove to be its downfall. The company decided to bring new management in, which halted the project at the prototype stage. Further changes in management also brought the curtain down on other potential collaborations between Bally and Alfredo Häberli, including projects for a store concept with Zurich architect Heinz Müller, a line of bags, and new packaging for sporty shoes made from the same material that eggs are packed in. As for Ein Neue Art Schuh, the world is destined to never discover what it would have been like to take steps toward shoe shopping of the avant-garde kind. For more information go to

KrikorJabotian Words:

D e r e k

I s s a c s

Beirut’s very own Prince Charming comes to the rescue of the nation’s damsels in distress

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 Architecture 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 am often inspired by 24 fantasy, princesses and 25 26 fairy tales such as Snow 27 White,” says Lebanese-born, 28 Armenian fashion designer 29 30 Krikor Jabotian. On August 1st in 31 what seems very much like a fairy 32 Interior Architecture 33 tale come true, and at the tender 34 age of 23, Jabotian launched his first 35 36 showroom on Achrafieh’s chic Abdul 37 Wahab Al Inglizi Street showcasing 38 his very own nouvelle couture label 39 40 Krikor Jabotian. 41 Yet it is not fairy tales 42 43 that have led Jabotian on a journey 44 to success. It is in fact through a 45 46 serious of well orchestrated and 47 fortunate events that he has been 48 Product design able to contribute his very own flair 49 50 and vision to the rich fabric of the 51 Lebanese haute couture fashion 52 53 industry. Initially graduating with 54 distinction from Beirut’s ESMOD 55 56 - l'Ecole Supérieure des Arts et 57 techniques de la Mode, he was 58 quickly snapped up by international 59 60 fashion genius Elie Saab for a seven61 month period. Shortly after, Jabotian 62 63 travelled eastbound to showcase 64 Fashion at Dubai’s prominent fashion week 65 66 and upon returning to his native city, 67 Beirut, a rare opportunity presented 68 itself. Under the experienced wings of 69 70 Lebanese fashion icon Rabih Kayrouz, 71 Jabotian launched his inspirational 72 73 and à la mode collection at Starch 74 fashion boutique in Saifi Village. 75 76 Ultimately, this enabled him to hone 77 his supreme raw talent for nouvelle 78 couture from his very own and 79 80 Art & Culture unique perspective and presented 81 him with the exposure he required. 82 83 What would appear 84 to the untrained eye as a ‘look-no85 86 hands recklessness’ approach when 87 showcasing his final ESMOD project 88 ‘Deadly Marriage’, inspired by film 89 90 Travel & Events director Tim Burton’s The Corpse 91 Bride, in fact brought welcomed 92 93 attention. The bridal gown created 94 from draped bandage material was 95 96 such an under-the-radar concept


that it was instrumental in helping him gain stylism awards and the unique opportunity to be mentored by Rabih Kayrouz of fashion house, Maison Rabih Kayrouz, subsequently sending him on a whirlwind journey that culminated in the launching of his very own label and showroom set within Beirut and the Middle East’s buoyant fashion arena - certainly no mean feat for a 23 year old. Currently he has three collections under his belt with the winter 2009 collection in process and tightly under wraps. “It’s going to be a total surprise,” quips Jabotian. Off whites and creams make up the bulk of his designs. Coupled with the working of the fabric, the look accentuates a vintage air for which he successfully strives. Although the showroom displays a prêt-a-porter luxe section, including wedding gowns and greige - a mixed hue of grey and beige - jersey dresses, the focus now is very much centred on nouvelle couture and doing what he does best, instilling a new perception into couture in his own style. Most items could easily be worn to a wedding owing to the neutral tones. Presently, garments give way to a more architectural form achieved through expert cuts that create a stylized shape and effect. Layers and draping are utlised to add volume to which the short mille-feuille jacket stands testament with its eighteen layers cascading downwards. “It’s all about cuts and pleats: my signature,” says Jabotian. “I adore working with transparency too and work silk net and lace into my collections.” Being Armenian adds influences to his work, albeit indirectly as does his Oriental heritage too. “Fundamentally, I just let go and allow ideas to flow. I am creating something particular for particular people. I customise garments for each and every client.”

Krikor Jabotian Abdul Wahab Al Inglizi Street Dargham Building, 3rd Floor Beirut. Tel: 70 803 090 For more information go to

ŠPhoto Peter Stitger

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Dares You to Get Fashionable &

Turn Your frown Upside

Down W o r d s :

S a r a

oined “the Dutch king of fashion with a wink” by many, Antoine Peters started Fashion Week in Amsterdam with an array of clown noses in an elegant way. His playful new collection titled 'Turn your frown upside down' was presented to a full house in an off-schedule show inside the Moooi Gallery during Amsterdam International Fashion Week. Peters was quick to explain: “I felt an immediate connection with Moooi and Marcel Wanders (Designer & Moooi Art Director) as we share a similar philosophy; we both believe in the added value of design, have a positive attitude and a fascination with silhouettes.” It comes as no surprise that Antoine Peters


has clearly always felt connected to the values of Moooi, including “the search for added value in design, strong communication, not being afraid of telling a story, love for silhouettes, tongue in cheek and international ambitions.” Taking inspiration from its title, his latest collection exudes a ‘glass half full’ type of philosophy with its sequins, extraordinary shapes, explosion of color and the ubiquitous frown turned upside down (or smile) present in cut-outs, shapes of the draping, prints and also in Antoine's own logo and label – itself an abstract smile. “For me fashion is about optimism and a little smile by wearing or watching the clothes,” he explains simply. Despite being notorious for his playful and humorous take on fashion, Antoine Peters is the farthest thing


©Photo Peter Stitger

©Photo Peter Stitger

from a joke in fashion by any means. His accolades include being cited by online fashion forecasters WGSN as one of the world’s 100 most innovative designers and Holland’s most promising. In his own words: “I am an optimist and think of fashion as a party. It should make you feel good about yourself. I do so with humor.” Inevitably, when his models walked down the Moooi catwalk wearing peachy sequined clown’s noses, photographers, socialites and journalists alike couldn’t help but smile. Inspired by everything including design, Peters prefers fashion over any other creative outlet as it is the “closest connection to the body as possible,” with furniture being a good second. A true creative being, he clearly has


©Photo Peter Stitger

©Photo Peter Stitger

innovative ideas about all facets of creativity, from fashion to graphics to music, and lives by the mantra as many creative geniuses before him, “so many ideas so little time”. Peters aspires to reach an international market with his work, and with each collection surpasses even the highest expectations. Hoping to continue to “kick negativism’s ass” with positive energy, colorful designs and optimism, he is without a doubt someone to keep an eye and a smile on in the future. As the new fashionable king of optimism, he is predicted to make it to the top of the ladder of success, smiling the whole way. For more information go to

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J o h n

W i n s t o n

he sun really began to shine on Scandinavian artist Olafur Eliasson’s career after his creation of The Weather Project at the Tate Modern in London. The installation of hundreds of light bulbs at the top of a wall in the galleries’ vast Turbine Hall drew an estimated two million visitors during the six months of 2003 that they were lit up. The bulbs brought a degree of sun to London that the British capital often lacks. They were coupled with a mirrored ceiling and a mist machine (not that there is a local shortage of that phenomenon). The now 42-year-old was as shrewd in his choice of location as he was imaginative in inventing the display. Brits are notoriously obsessed with the weather and reports at the time, the summer of 2003, said many of the sunshine-deprived visitors lay on the floor to admire Eliasson’s creation. When the artist switched to the other side of the Atlantic five years

later, having made several works and exhibitions in the meantime in both Europe and the United States, it was to create four waterfalls in Manhattan’s East River. Eliasson designed the water to cascade from up to 40 metres above the river’s surface. “I was interested in bringing life to a space that constitutes a non-space in New York, a space that simply doesn’t count,” the DanishIcelandic artist told the German magazine Der Spiegel. “Wall Street is traditionally more important there than the water.” The four contraptions were fashioned from construction scaffolding and giant pumps were set to suck 35,000 gallons of water from the river every minute for 15 hours a day for 15 weeks in the summer of 2008. On the numbers front, it also cost $15.5 million to set up and required the efforts of around 200 people, including engineers, scientists, divers, riggers and environmentalists. Although wholly backed by the New York City administration, the money came from private sector donations and various foundations, The benefit to New York? Around $55 million worth of increased economic activity, not to mention a place in the history books. The four sites were at Pier 35, north of Manhattan Bridge,

the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, near Brooklyn Heights Promenade and on the north shore of Governors Island. The scaffolding was clearly visible – “not an unfamiliar structure in New York,” said Eliasson – and the noise from the pumps and the water blended in with the cacophonous vibrancy that is New York. Despite the part played by environmentalists, there were a few unexpected and unwelcome side-effects. Outside the River Café, a restaurant on Water Street in Brooklyn only a few yards away from the bridge waterfall, trees were stripped of their leaves by the saltwater spray and the restaurant owner needed to replace the ferns, begonias and other plants on its deck. Cars in the vicinity were covered with a thin film of salt and “with the exception of the evergreen holly bushes, everything within range of the waterfall turned brown and lost leaves”, according to Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association. For the last few weeks, the operating hours of the falls were cut in half and staff from the city’s parks department hosed down local trees with fresh water. Despite the snags, an inestimable number of people were drawn to the spectacular and hundreds

Olafur Eliasson The weather project, 2003 Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London (The Unilever Series) Monofrequency lights, projection foil, haze machines, mirror foil, aluminium, and scaffolding 26,7 m x 22,3 m x 155,4 m Photo: Jens Ziehe Courtesy the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York ©Olafur Eliasson 2003




of tributes were paid in that most unlikely source of artistic appreciation, YouTube. Eliasson splits his time between Berlin, where he maintains a staff of 30 engineers, architects, craftspeople and assistants, and Copenhagen, which he insists provides a better environment for his two children. And it’s the personal experiences that inspire many of his creations. “Physical experiences make a much deeper impression than a purely intellectual encounter,” he says. “I can explain to you what it’s like to feel cold but I can also have you feel the cold yourself through my art.” That desire to impart physical experience has been deeply embedded in Eliasson’s other works over the years, smaller perhaps than New York City Waterfalls or The Weather Project, but still spectacular. Reindeer moss was draped over one wall at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago – in a work called Moss Wall – and thousands of geometric quasi brick shape tiles of compressed earth covered one wall at another display. In Room For One Colour, lights emitted a yellow hue that reduced the viewers' spectral range to yellow and black. In reaction to the yellow environment, they momentarily perceived a blue


01_____Olafur Eliasson The New York City Waterfalls  (Brooklyn Bridge at night), 2008 Commissioned by Public Art Fund © Olafur Eliasson, 2008 Photo: Julienne Schaer

02_____Olafur Eliasson The New York City Waterfalls (Governors Island), 2008 Commissioned by Public Art Fund

after-image after leaving the space. The slightly less prosaic title of Beauty was given to a creation of mist spot-lit at an oblique angle, which depending on the height and position of a viewer, created a unique visible rainbow. Through his diverse body of work, Eliasson has taken the art world by storm. Now there’s an idea for the person nicknamed The Weather Man.

© Olafur Eliasson, 2008 Photo: © Bernstein Associates, Photographers, courtesy of Public Art Fund

For more information go to


life art in a

Material World Words:

S a r a

S a d i k

Often times classified as the most important art movement to this day, pop art is something you either love or hate. People are rarely on the fence about it.



op art essential was born by a group of British intellectuals, including Curator Lawrence Alloway of the Guggenheim Museum, who coined the term pop art back in 1956 to describe how certain serious artists were incorporating images from TV, movies and other forms of popular art into their work. It challenged tradition and was largely characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as

01_____Jeff Koons Rabbit 1986 © the artist Stainless steel 104.1 x 48.3 x 30.5 cm

02_____ Tracey Emin & Sarah Lucas The Shop White Cube © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2009. Photo: Carl Freedman c-type prints 6 c-type prints, each 76.1 x 91.5 cm

advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects. Opening at Tate Modern on 1 October 2009, Pop Life: Art in a Material world proposes a re-reading of one of the major legacies of Pop Art. The exhibition will take Andy Warhol’s notorious provocation that ‘good business is the best art’ as a starting point in reconsidering the legacy of Pop Art and the influence of the movement’s chief protagonist. Warhol is known for his literal renditions of soup cans, his rows of Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor and Troy Donahue. The exhibition looks ahead to the various ways that artists since the 1980s have engaged with mass media and cultivated artistic personas creating their own signature 'brands'. Among the artists represented will be Tracey Emin, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince. Pop Life: Art in a Material World argues that Warhol’s most radical lesson is reflected in the work of artists of subsequent generations who, rather than simply representing or commenting upon our mass media culture, have infiltrated the publicity machine and the marketplace as a deliberate strategy. The show begins with a focused look at Warhol’s late work, examining his related initiatives as a television personality, paparazzo, and publishing impresario. Highlights include a number of works from his initially controversial series known as the Retrospectives or Reversals. The exhibition includes reconstructions of both Keith Haring’s Pop Shop and Jeff Koons's seldom reunited Made in Heaven. Haring opened the Pop Shop in 1986 on New York's Lafayette St. to merchandise his branded artistic signature

as objects such as t-shirts, toys and magnets aimed at as wide an audience as possible. Jeff Koons’s Made in Heaven, which debuted at the Venice Bienniale in 1990, immortalized his marital union with the Italian porn star and politician known as La Cicciolina. “We are the contemporary Adam and Eve," stated Jeff Koons about his Made in Heaven series, a body of work that features the artist with his then wife, the Italian porn star Cicciolina in moments of sexual foreplay. Koons hit a sensitive spot in the world of art lovers with this series, in part because it was shocking subject matter that tested the limits of late twentieth century censorship. A gallery dedicated to the so-called ‘Young British Artists’ will focus on work from Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas’s shop in Bethnal Green. Renowned pieces such as Gavin Turk’s


Pop 1993 will 02 03 also be shown 04 as will selected 05 06 works representing 07 Damien Hirst’s recent 08 09 Sotheby’s auction, 10 Architecture Beautiful Inside My 11 Head Forever. Tate 12 13 Modern will also restage 14 Hirst’s performance 15 16 originally shown at 17 Cologne’s ‘Unfair’ art 18 19 fair in 1992. Identical 20 twins will sit beneath two 21 identical spot paintings for 22 23 the duration of Pop Life: Art 24 in a Material World. Edgy 25 26 and daring the exhibition 27 displays exactly what it is to 28 29 be expected in every piece, 30 something unconventionally 31 unforgettable. 32 Interior Architecture


Pop Life: Art in a Material World will be showing at the Tate Modern until January 17, 2010. The exhibition is organized by Tate Modern and is co-curated by Jack Bankowsky, Artforum’s Editor at Large, Alison M. Gingeras, Chief Curator of the François Pinault Collection and Catherine Wood, Tate Modern Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance, assisted by Nicholas Cullinan, Curator, International Modern Art, Tate Modern. Pop Life: Art in a Material World will travel to the National Gallery of Canada and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

For more information visit

03_____Keith Haring Pop Shop © Keith Haring artwork © Estate of Keith Haring. Photo: Charles Dolfi-Michels

04_____ Damien Hirst Aurothioglucose 2008 © the artist. Photo: Sotheby's Household gloss and enamel paint on canvas 68 x 108in

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J o s i a n e

R i a c h i

The unified heart of a modern Germany, Berlin is a city full of excitement and heavy with contrasts where marks of a tumultuous past coexist along with the most avant-garde architectures. Appointed a UNESCO creative city in 2006 as well as City Of Design, today Berlin is the most fashionable and trendiest of its European peers.



Lux11 Just steps away from the television tower that has come to symbolize eastern Berlin, a sparkling white facade adorns a sprawling building. This jewel is Lux 11, a place aimed at global individualists. Set in what was originally a late 19th-century residential building, the landmark structure has been refurbished to reflect Berlin’s new dynamism. The entrance reflects the vibrancy of the trendy streets nearby: a storefront spa and Italian-Asian fusion restaurant are situated on the ground floor, where a cafe invites guests and locals into the German capital’s coffee culture. Lux 11’s unique flavor also emerges in its unusual materials and aesthetic contrast.



The Mandala In an urban center built anew by international star architects, The Mandala Hotel is one of three projects on Berlin’s sparkling Potsdamer Platz by Ulrike Lauber and Wolfram Wohr. With an unassuming entrance and small lobby, the all-suites residence is meant to provide longterm guests discreet relief from the area’s hustle and bustle: Most rooms face the inner courtyard. Interiors pare luxury down to its modern essence of serenity and subtle harmonies, but spare no expense with furnishing by Donghia and Chinese antiques handpicked by Lutz Hesse, who runs the hotel.


artinberlin Contemporary art museum Hamburger Banhof Housed in an old railway station, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin Tiergarten harbours a peerless contemporary art collection. The echoing halls display works from modern masters like Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Donald Judd. An undisputed highlight is Warhol’s grinning Chairman Mao. The museum of contemporary art is dedicated to plastic arts, design, music and video. 10,000m2 of exhibition space allows for an optimal deployment of artistic works.

Internationaldesignfestival(DMY) Jan 2010 The Berlin Design Festival is an ideal forum which allows creative professionals and visitors to meet and discover the latest trends while in direct contact with the source of international design.

Designrestaurants Cookies Cream With exposed stone walls and austere furnishing the architects succeeded in recreating the typical subversive character of “squatters’ charm”. Guests sit below gentle lighting on a rostrum on chic, white cushions and listen to lounge-style house music, while dining mostly on vegetarian food.

Engelbrecht The architects have created an integrated room structure out of two shops and a bar with the furniture as the unifying element. The material was selected so that it developed a patina: stained wood, leather and brown-colored steel for the furniture, solid, waxed boards for the floor.

Tressette Due to the deep proportions of the room, the guest space is organized along the central table and flanked by a shelf that reaches to the ceiling. If required, the 5m long table where guests stand can be lowered and extended sideways. Alternating use of colour and material selection creates interlocking zones and spatial peripheries that are unclearly defined.



The Reichstag building The seat of the German parliament is a historical must see. It is close to the Brandenburger Tor and before unification, was right next to the wall.

TheBrandenburgGate Potsdamer Platz One of the main symbols of Berlin and German contemporary history. Located in the Mitte district of old Berlin, one block to the south of the Reichstag.

The Museum island This island houses five prestigious museums including the must see Pergomonmuseum renowned for its antique collection.

Designed by Renzo Piano and Helmut Jahn, the former no man’s land bounded by the wall has become a center for business and ultra modern leisure. It houses three buildings of ambitious architecture: The Deutsche Bank tower, The Daimler Benz Kolihoff tower and the Sony Center.

The Kulturforum Regroups magnificent buildings such as the Berliner Philarmonie and the Neue Nationalgalerie.

The Schloss Charlottenburg A beautiful restored baroque style castle.

Make the ordinary extraordinary.



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