Identity - March 2022

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ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, INTERIORS + PROPERTY

identity

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A MOTIVATE PUBLICATION

ISSUE 218 / MARCH 2022

The Art Issue

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contents

Features 16

Desert monuments Desert X AlUla invites discovery of works exploring the concepts of mirage and oasis

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Community living Hive Coliv’s first Dubai property fills the gap for contemporary community living

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Expressions of Jeddah A new contemporary art centre in the Saudi port city supports emerging creatives

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Symbol of a city Istanbul’s Atatürk Cultural Center reflects a century of political and cultural development

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Island flair Mango House Seychelles pays homage to legendary photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri

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Reinventing tradition A villa in Jeddah offers the opportunity to redefine a traditional lifestyle

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Alicja Kwade, ‘In Blur’, installation view, Desert X AlUla 2022, courtesy the artist and Desert X AlUla 2022. Photography by Lance Gerber

An artful refuge Monica Fried has transformed an historic NYC apartment into a perfect sanctuary

Regulars 52

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Design Focus

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Products

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Library

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#idmostwanted



contents

identity

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Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Managing Partner and Group Editor Ian Fairservice Group Director Andrew Wingrove Editor Aidan Imanova Designer Hannah Perez Sub-editor Max Tuttle Chief Commercial Officer Anthony Milne Group Sales Manager Manish Chopra Sales Manager Jules Acciarresi Sales Representative - Italy Daniela Prestinoni General Manager - Production Sunil Kumar Assistant Production Manager Binu Purandaran Production Supervisor Venita Pinto Contributors Abdulla Albedwawi Alice Finney Jumana Abdel-Razzaq Karine Monie Rima Alsammarae Pavan Premaney

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Head Office: Media One Tower, PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE; Tel: +971 4 427 3000, Fax: +971 4 428 2260; E-mail: motivate@ motivate.ae Dubai Media City: SD 2-94, 2nd Floor, Building 2, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 390 3550 Fax: +971 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: +971 2 677 2005; Fax: +971 2 677 0124; E-mail: motivate-adh@motivate.ae London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK; E-mail: motivateuk@motivate.ae

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Photography by Nicole Franzen Styling by Katja Greeff



Contributors

(From left)

Abdullah Albedwawi is an Emirati filmmaker and photographer who has been working in the field for over a decade. He began his career as a freelance photographer at the age of 18, and has since taken up roles as a director, hyper-lapse cinematographer and editor, producing films, documentaries and commercial videos alongside photographic works. For this month’s issue, Albedwawi captures the highly anticipated Museum of the Future in Dubai, which opened to the public last month.

Alice Finney is a London-based writer who specialises in art and design. She graduated from the Central School of Ballet and holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Sussex University. She has written for international titles including British Journal of Photography, iGNANT, Mixmag, gal-dem and SLEEK, and is currently a design reporter at Dezeen. This month, she writes about Art Dubai’s new digital art exhibition and explores digital art’s future as a collectible medium.

Rima Alsammarae is an architecture and culture journalist based in Barcelona, Spain. She is the co-founder of online publication Round City, as well as an MSc student in urban resilience, and has become a regular contributor to identity. This month, she writes about Hayy Jameel, a new arts complex in Jeddah, as well as the reconstruction of the Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul – led by Tabanlıoğlu Architects – which was formerly transformed in the 1960s by Hayati Tabanlıoğlu, the late father of the firm’s lead architect, Murat Tabanlıoğlu.

Jumana Abdul-Razzaq is a Dubai-based journalist who has worked across several global and local publications including Architectural Digest, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and Vogue Arabia. She covers a range of topics including architecture, interior design, art and culture, and has led the content management and digital content strategies at some of the largest media companies in the Middle East. For this month’s issue, she writes about the opening of Dubai’s Museum of the Future and highlights some of the latest designs within contemporary surfaces, from upholstery to wallpapers.

Karine Monié graduated with a master’s degree from La Sorbonne University and is a trilingual content creator and editorial consultant currently based in California. She has contributed to international design, architecture and fashion publications including Architectural Digest and Interior Design, among many others. Now also a regular contributor for identity, in this issue she writes about the Desert X exhibition in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla as well as a new residential villa in its capital of Riyadh, among others.


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Editor’s Note

Photo by Young Habibti

March is probably my favourite month to be in Dubai: the vibrant energy in the city is infectious with the kick-off of the art season, many galleries unveiling their latest exhibitions, regional and international designers flocking to showcase new works and, of course, the return of Art Dubai where we look forward to discovering new artists and galleries the world over. So naturally, every March issue of identity is dedicated to our love for art, which seeps through the pages of the magazine. In preparation for the March issue, I traveled to two extremely interesting destinations to discover the arts and design scenes that are flourishing there. Discovering Hilton LXR’s newest island retreat Mango House Seychelles was of course a treat on its own, but what was even more interesting was the evident relationship between the property and the island’s artists. Any discerning hotel can understand the importance of curating the right kind of artworks for its spaces – but when art becomes a tool for storytelling, the impact is twice as strong. While exploring the many galleries on the main island of Mahé, a healthy network for the arts became evident, fuelled by pride in the culture and heritage of the island but also by a strong community fabric formed by artists and patrons. Closer to home, the launch of an exhibition titled ‘OUTLOUD’ by carpet marker KAHHAL 1871 drew us to heart of the Egyptian capital, which is currently experiencing a cultural revival of its own, honing young talents and broadening its creative prowess. The excitement for a hopeful and innovative future is surging through the cultural sector, which we are very grateful to have been a part of. You can read more about the exhibition in the following pages of the issue. This month we also celebrate the openings of a number of cultural buildings across the region, such as the long-anticipated Museum of the Future in Dubai, Saudi’s Hayy Jameel by wai wai and the Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul, all of which are driving the strength of their respective cultural sectors even further forward. It is an exciting time to be in the region and we are looking forward to many more positive occasions to come.

Aidan Imanova Editor

On the cover: Naïf wallpaper by Eva Germani for Wall&decò


House in Tulum, designed by CO-LAB Photography by César Béjar

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architecture

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architecture

Future focused Marking a pivotal moment for the city’s expanding urban landscape, the Museum of the Future opens in Dubai to reveal more than just architectural prowess and innovation WORDS BY JUMANA ABDEL-RAZZAQ PHOTOGRAPHY BY ABDULLAH ALBEDWAWI

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ine years in the making, the Museum of the Future has opened its doors in Dubai to unveil one of the most striking architectural landmarks in the world, casting a glimpse into what the next 50 years could look like for the UAE and beyond. Set in the heart of the city, the 23.5-metre modern structure – designed by Dubai-based architecture firm Killa Design – boasts an intricate façade adorned in Arabic calligraphy that displays, in arresting form, three quotes from poems written by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai. Inside, the expansive space reveals a series of interactive exhibitions exploring technologies and trends that will shape the future of humanity. “The museum’s exhibitions will fuel the passion of present and future generations, and spark their intellectual curiosity for science, technology and the knowledge that will help humanity to thrive and prosper in the decades ahead,” says His Excellency Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, the UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Museum of the Future. Spanning an area of 30,000 square metres, the pillar-less structure reveals an avant-garde façade made of stainless steel and glass, consisting of 1,024 separate panels, each specially

created using robots and algorithms. The Arabic script windows cast light into the interior by day and illuminate the city’s iconic skyline by night through 14 kilometres of energy-saving, resource-efficient LED lights. “The Arabic calligraphy is an art that links our history with our future,” says Mattar Bin Lahej, the Emirati artist behind the calligraphy that

weaves across the museum’s rolling façade. “It is a message of hope, optimism and positivity for a better future for humanity.” As the first museum of its kind, the Museum of the Future also presents a novel global centre for intellectuality, or a ‘living’ laboratory, designed with the aim of fostering a spirit of collaborative innovation among the Arab world’s leading scientists, inspiring new out-of-the-box solutions for challenges to come while spurring a new era of scientific discovery, both regionally and globally. “The museum will create a global platform for pioneers, innovators and critical thinkers to exchange ideas, concepts and visions to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development and shape a fair future that works for everyone,” Al Gergawi says. Visitors can explore a myriad of experiences through different sections dotted across the building’s vast interior, from wandering galactic encounters as part of an exhibit that explores the future of humanity in outer space and the wonders of ecology, to a dedicated section designed to encourage children to interact and forge the building blocks of their own future. “It is a great honour to be a part of this architectural miracle, which will constitute a beacon to explore new horizons for humanity in the coming years and decades,” Bin Lahej says. THE ART ISSUE

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interiors

Elegantly eclectic The Arts Club Dubai’s newest floor features a 1970s-inspired lounge and an intimate rooftop terrace WORDS BY PAVAN PREMANEY

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he opening of The Arts Club Dubai last year was a widely anticipated event, it being the first international outpost of the historic private members-only club from London. Designed by Milanese design duo Dimorestudio, the interiors are characteristic of the studio’s signature design language, featuring an eclectic assortment of materials, hues and furniture pieces. The Arts Club Dubai has now opened its fifth floor, offering a 2,100-square metre rooftop terrace, a 1970s-inspired late-night lounge bar and a cigar lounge. The eclectic design from the rest of the club lends its style to the rooftop area, which is designed as an extension of the club and features a vivid colour palette, plush seating and lush greenery. 14

Oscuro – the new cigar lounge from London – has also been readapted for The Arts Club Dubai. The large indoor lounge boasts a humidor and a range of fine cigars chosen by the Arts Club’s Master of Habanos, Alberto Lucchelli. The newly opened fifth floor also houses Vega, a late-night music lounge. Taking its inspiration and cultural cues from the 1970s, Vega is styled with plush fabrics, wooden flooring, polished brass and strong geometric patterns. Here, the texture, colours and lighting have been carefully

curated to combine a high-low mix of retro glamour and modern design. It has also been retro-engineered to provide a highly sonic soundscape experience, allowing the space to open up for the showcasing of regional and international talent. This new space is the final glorious piece of our Club opening, “says CEO of The Arts Club, Ajaz Sheikh. “A destination in its own right, the fifth floor offers yet another layer of experience for our members, complementing the plethora of lounges, restaurants and terraces we already have.”


partner content

Collection Bambou Lalique Crystal, Royal Suite, Four Seasons Hotel Jumeirah

Crystal clear THG Paris’ 20-year collaboration with Lalique brings elegant luminescence into every space

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rench manufacturer of bathroom fittings and accessories THG Paris is not new to collaboration. In fact, the French maison has long-established creative partnerships with like-minded brands to conceive collections that place creativity, luxury and elegance at the forefront. This year, THG is celebrating 20 years of partnership with the famous French crystal maker Lalique, which has given rise to some of the maison’s most delicate collections throughout its 60-year history. Since 1921 the Lalique factory in Alsace, a French region with a glassmaking tradition, has been perpetuating a genuine craftsmanship. Inspired by femininity and nature, the Lalique style is nourished by strong Art Nouveau and Art Deco influences. Lalique pieces are created through the gentle gestures of sketching, later transformed into reality through the hands of its artisans. Thus, through these artistic gestures, the raw material is metamorphosed into unique objects that often claim masterpiece status. Comparable to sculpting, the

modelling of crystal blends excellence with poetry. And it is exactly this that makes this partnership so fruitful and long-standing. The distinct collections born out of this collaboration – such as Métropolis, Ange, Naïade, Venice and Océania – all beautifully combine metal and crystal through a fresh approach while remaining respectful of both brands’ ethos and craft. The crystal can be clear, black or amber depending on the series, and can incorporate LED lights inside the cross handles of certain collections to provide a sense of luminesce. Crystal, by virtue of its clearness and brightness, allows the light to pass through. In this instance, its purity is emphasised by the subtle LED lighting inside the cross handles, comparable to a candle flame. This is how the magic of the THG Paris x Lalique partnership works: the subtle light that emerges from the crystal taps gives contrast and intensity to the room and the materials. Needless to say, the union of Lalique and THG Paris is one that brings originality, light and elegance to every bathroom space. THE ART ISSUE

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Desert monuments Desert X AlUla invites visitors to discover the works of 15 Saudi and international artists who explore the concepts of mirage and oasis

WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY LANCE GERBER

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fter its first edition in California’s Coachella Valley in 2017, Desert X became a phenomenon. The recurring exhibition is back this year, until 30 March, and this time is taking place in none other than AlUla. Located 1,100 kilometres from Riyadh, in northwest Saudi Arabia, this place of extraordinary natural and human heritage is particularly well known for Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. “AlUla has always been at the crossroads of trade and culture,” says Neville Wakefield, one of the three curators of Desert X AlUla. “Its landscape and history have and continue to draw people from across the globe. In captivating the imagination of artists and travellers alike, AlUla presents itself as the perfect site for an exhibition that explores the idea of the desert as a place of cultural interaction, dialogue and exchange.” A collaboration between not-for-profit charitable organisation Desert X (founded in California) and the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), and established to advance new cultural dialogue through art, Desert X AlUla is the first site-responsive exhibition of its kind in Saudi Arabia. The theme for this year’s edition, ‘Sarab’, offers the opportunity to explore ideas of mirage and oasis through pieces of monumental scale that exist in dialogue with nature.

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Zeinab Alashemi, ‘Camoulflage 2.0’, installation view, Desert X AlUla 2022, courtesy the artist and Desert X AlUla 2022 THE SLOW LIVING ISSUE

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Claudia Comte, ‘Dark Suns, Bright Waves’, installation view, Desert X AlUla 2022, courtesy the artist and Desert X AlUla 2022

“[These] desert concepts […] have long been tied to ideas of survival, perseverance, desire and wealth,” says co-curator Reem Fadda. “The oasis pertains to ideas of finding prosperity or heaven, while the mirage is a universal symbol of the mysteries of imagination and reality. They also connote the incomprehensible beauty and abundance of nature in its most bereft state – the desert – and humans’ obsessive desire to capture and control it.” Among the 15 participants from different parts of the world are: Serge Attukwei Clottey from Ghana; Claudia Comte from Switzerland; Shezad Dawood from the UK; Jim Denevan from the US; Stephanie Deumer from Canada; Alicja Kwade and Monika Sosnowska from Poland; Khalil Rabah from Palestine; and Shaikha Al Mazrou and Zeinab Alhashemi from the UAE. 18

Five of the artists are originally from Saudi Arabia: Shadia Alem adapted the art of origami to create an installation that refers to the Arabian’s desert’s literature, mathematics and mythology; Dana Awartani shaped a concave geometric sculpture that mimics the surrounding landscape; Sultan bin Fahad imagined a mud structure that looks like a desert kite; Abdullah AlOthman chose to evoke theories of light refraction rooting back to the early days of desert civilisation and culture; while Ayman Zedani brought a fascinating soundscape installation to life. “As a form of self-expression, art has the power to transform societies, cities and perspectives,” notes co-curator Raneem Farsi. “Everyone is hungry for the best in contemporary art – and Desert X AlUla is feeding that appetite in an

unprecedented way. […] Desert X AlUla plays a very important part in a vast wave of art and culture initiatives shaping the ecosystem for creativity in Saudi Arabia.” Even if this unique exhibition is worth a visit in itself, it is part of a bigger picture. Firstly, it takes place as a highlight of AlUla Arts Festival, which also includes the show ‘What Lies Within: Works from the Basma AlSulaiman Collection’ (11 February – 20 March) with pieces by contemporary Saudi artists, curated by Lulwah AlHomoud, at Maraya. Secondly, it is a prelude of a master plan that will comprise 15 new landmark destinations for culture, heritage and creativity, including five districts and five key heritage sites, in AlUla by 2035. Needless to say, the future in the Arabian desert looks bright. id


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Dana Awartani, ‘Where The Dwellers Lay’, installation view, Desert X AlUla 2022, courtesy the artist and Desert X AlUla 2022

THE SLOW LIVING ISSUE

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A homecoming Efie Gallery carves out a new home in Dubai to spotlight African artists

WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

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here is an African proverb that states: “The wise traveller leaves his heart at home.” For Efie Gallery, the concept of home is vital to its position in the art world, where it hopes to shed light on a wide spectrum of African artists from the continent and its diaspora, collating works by the region’s most prominent figures alongside up-and-coming contemporary voices. In fact, the word ‘Efie’ means ‘home’ in Akan, the native language of the Akan people of Ghana, where the founders’ heritage lies. Co-founded by Valentina Mintah, a Ghanaian-British technology executive who sits on the executive board of the International Chamber of Commerce, and her two sons, photographer and filmmaker Kobi Mintah and art collector and university student Kwame Mintah, Efie Gallery is set to open its permanent space in Al Khayat Art Avenue in Dubai’s Al Quoz Creative Zone on 8 March, following a temporary exhibition last year as part of the All Africa Festival programme. The exhibition space, which was designed by Ghanaian architect Alice Asafu-Adjaye and co-curated by Afia Owusu-Afriyie, showcased works by Africa’s most celebrated artists such as Ghanaian artist El Anatsui and photographer James Barnor, together with contemporary artists such as Yaw Owusu, Isshaq Ismail and Kojo Dwimoh. In the same spirit, and now with a permanent gallery, Efie hopes to hold space for African voices within the arts, fostering dialogue and exchange between the continent and the Middle East, and to broaden the notions of African art in the region. While galleries such as Mesteria Gallery and The Mojo Gallery have showcased works by African artists in the past, there has not, however, been a dedicated space to interact with African art in the city. Efie Gallery aims to change that. “Today, we see Efie Gallery as being the bridge between high-value African art – that is inclusive of its diaspora – and the Middle East, seeking to create a unique platform for collaboration and exchange between the two regions,” co-founders Kwame and Kobi state. “Selecting Dubai as the first location of Efie Gallery is in recognition of the

burgeoning contemporary art scene, which offers the perfect terrain for further expansion and an added opportunity of innovation,” they add. The gallery’s opening will also mark contemporary artist El Anatsui’s first solo show in Dubai, titled ‘Shard Song’, which is curated by Mae-ling Lokko and creatively directed by Aïda Muluneh. Born in Ghana and based between his two studios in Ghana and Nigeria, Anatsui is globally regarded for his metal works made of used aluminium bottle caps, tin cans and other metallic objects that are connected with copper wire, although his original works were, in fact, made using wood. The artist challenged the traditional views of the material, transforming it through a poetic fluidity that is signature to his vision of creation that sits outside of conventions and rules. Anatsui’s art has always come from his immediate environment and spoke of his African heritage. His show at Efie Gallery will revisit the origins of his oeuvre. The exhibition will present a series of new wooden sculptures that recalls his earlier practice in the medium and its continued evolution, complemented by a range of signature bottle cap works. “Lokko refers to this exhibition as a ‘reunion’,” the co-founders explain, “insofar that following almost 24 years of global reverence for El Anatsui’s metallic hanging sculptures, this exhibition will be an ode to the original work that was at the forefront of the Anatsuian catalogue: the woodworks.”

THE ART ISSUE

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design

Creating with clay Born in Bulgaria, raised in Turkey and currently based in France, Mesut Öztürk creates sculptural ceramics that reflect his architectural background and personal experiences WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ IMAGES COURTESY OF MESUT ÖZTÜRK

Arch stools

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e were living in a small town in Turkey when I was a kid,” remembers Mesut Öztürk. “My parents were very socially active, and I was getting bored when we were visiting their friends. As an introverted kid, I was always asking them for some papers and paints to silently draw cartoon figures. I totally forgot what I drew but they were my very first artworks.” As a young adult, Öztürk decided to study architecture in Istanbul. The discipline had (and still has) a big impact on him, especially when it comes to his references. Among them are Ettore Sottsass, Isamu Noguchi, Constantin Brâncuşi, Ricardo Bofill, Aldo Rossi, Bauhaus, Tadao Ando and Peter Zumthor. “I am inspired by their ability to make poetic forms composed of simple geometric elements,” he says.

Halka vases

At some point, Öztürk started to feel unsatisfied with his career as an architect and began looking for something to fulfil his desire to create individually. “I found ceramic as the true medium with[in] my skills and needs,” he explains. “It’s one of the oldest materials but it still has room to [be] explored, and one thing that I love is experimenting and [pushing] the limits of a material.” Having been based in Paris since 2021, Öztürk has taken to expressing himself as a self-taught artist in recent years. Launched in 2019, his playful first collection, ‘Halka Vases’, reimagines traditional Anatolian and Mediterranean artifacts in a colourful and contemporary way through 150 original pieces featuring different shapes. Launched two years later, the line ‘Revak’ features arch-like structures honouring the beauty of Byzantine churches

Mesut Öztürk

and Ottoman mosques, while the derived collectable design series ‘Arch Stools’ explores similar themes with handmade pieces that can be used as stools, side tables or pedestals. ‘Sticks’ demonstrates another experimentation with architectural forms through ceramics, while the ‘Splash’ collection of tables focuses on the idea of contradictions. Last year, Öztürk created 54 ceramic sculptures for a collection called ‘Deformed’, while his next installation, ‘Monument of the Unknown Cappadocian’, will be presented in Turkey and will honour poetic natural formations of the landscape. For every project, Öztürk has a different creative process: “It depends on a lot of factors,” he says. “Sometimes I feel manic, and I work in my studio for hours until my body can’t do anything. Sometimes I feel a deep melancholy, and forcing

myself to produce something doesn’t work. When I’m on the bright side, the ideas just flow to creations through my hands.” While on a quest for inspiration, Öztürk seeks ways to enlarge his perspective, “like visiting a city for the first time, having a deep conversation with someone or reading a novel,” for example. “My dream is making a huge land art project in a poetic place in [a] rural [area],” he shares. “It should be in harmony with its environment, but it should surprise the visitors. It can be in the mountains or on a small island.” Before transforming this ambition into reality, Öztürk is continuing to bring sculptural pieces to life that visually capture the artist’s past and experiences with a fresh eye. In June 2022, his work will be showcased at the Liste Art Fair in Basel by the Istanbul-based Öktem Aykut art gallery. THE ART ISSUE

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Through the looking glass Lebanese photographer Dia Mrad finds hidden beauty in Beirut’s architectural heritage with his first solo exhibition at Art Dubai WORDS BY JUMANA ABDEL-RAZZAQ

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hree years ago, Lebanese architect and photographer Dia Mrad embarked on an ambitious project to explore the hidden treasures and complexities of Beirut through the lens of his camera, documenting its built heritage as a way of conserving the many intricacies of the city. A trip to Europe in 2019 directed Mrad’s attention towards architectural projects that were being preserved in various cities across the continent, stirring his interest in personally understanding his own city of Beirut through its urban landscape. Following the blast on 4 August 2020, Mrad began to take a deeper approach to his work. “When I initially started my documentation project, I was invested in showing Beirut to the outside world. But quickly, my target became to show its residents instead, who had no idea they were living in a treasure,” he explains. “The urgency to save Beirut’s heritage was always there for me, but with the destruction that happened after the explosion in 2020, things changed, as the fear of losing this architecture became a reality.” Now presenting his own retrospective and first solo exhibition in Dubai with Zawyeh Gallery at Art Dubai, being staged between 11-13 March, Mrad is set to showcase a series of photographs titled ‘Reframing Beirut’, which celebrates and documents the physical history of the city by looking back at abandoned landmarks and neglected structures that once shaped its culture. Divided into two parts, the project is celebratory, focusing on the multi-layered history of the city latent in architecture, while also reflecting on the devastation and negligence that has threatened it. Mrad, who comes from an architectural background, celebrates the city’s architecture from the Ottoman and French Mandate eras to modern times, referencing a

boom in the 1950s and 1970s and on to the cusp of the civil war. He also documents the city’s historical buildings and the multi-layered cultural fabric, reflecting his understanding that architecture is a physical tool for transmitting cultural identity from one generation to the next. “I felt the best method to understand the city and make sense of its composition and densities was through photography, as it provided a way to observe its design in detail, and over a longer period,” Mrad says. “The architecture of Beirut, and especially its traditional, heritage architecture, can be completely symmetric – floor plans, façades and even sections often showcase perfect symmetry in dimensions and also interior functions. This type of architecture has been a big influence on my framing.” His series of works studies some of the architectural styles produced in Beirut under the French Mandate and beyond. On the one hand, this stood as a social

phenomenon attached to the expansion of the bourgeoisie in the colonial era, while on the other, it was a quest for a national style in architecture by the newly developing state. “The images reveal the complexity and the rich intricate urban fabric that’s been formed over centuries in this old city,” Mrad adds. “They reveal our personal attachment to it and identify the elements that make it so impactful to its residents.”

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Art in the meta age The launch of a new gallery section on digital art at Art Dubai this year is a chance to explore how art is moving from the metaverse to the gallery WORDS BY ALICE FINNEY

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hough the COVID-19 pandemic may have had few silver linings, the growing digital art movement is undeniably one that can’t be ignored. Multiple national lockdowns meant that many artists were challenged with reaching audiences who were stuck behind screens. At the same time, many traditional art fairs, including Art Dubai, were postponed or completely cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions. This proved to be fertile ground for exploring new digital art technologies, and played a pivotal role in the sharp rise of the metaverse – a digital version of our real world. It was also in this climate that demand for non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) really went mainstream, with artists such as Damien Hirst selling digital artworks for large sums of money. As Chris Fussner, digital curator at Art Dubai explains, “We have been watching NFTs for a long time, but in 2020 we noticed a shift, and a small subset of digital collectors from the crypto spaces started purchasing NFTs.” Curious about how the industry is changing for those on the inside, we spoke to two artists exhibiting at this year’s Art Dubai who work within the digital universe. “For me, digital art – in the augmented reality and virtual reality formats in particular – offers new opportunities for self-expression by complementing artworks with an interactive experience,” says Russian figurative artist and painter Marina Fedorova. ‘Digital art’ is a term used to 26

describe art that is created or presented using digital technology. “It is a sphere that fascinates me, and I always want to create something new that reinvents traditional art forms,” she adds. In the newly launched digital section at the upcoming Art Dubai, Fedorova will present an interactive installation called ‘Cosmodreams’ in which she believes “the line between real life and augmented reality will virtually disappear, allowing everyone to step into a fascinating new realm.” Visitors will experience a blend of traditional painting and sculpting techniques combined with virtual reality (VR) technologies and film. According to Fussner, 2022 is the right time to launch such a section and exhibit this kind of work. “As we navigate our way out of the pandemic, and as the world starts to move again, it’s the perfect moment to dedicate an entire section to this topic,” he says. “Artists are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible and exploring the latest technologies: new mediums bring with them new generations of art enthusiasts and collectors, and this is incredibly exciting.” Filipino-American light and media artist James Clar is similarly excited by the potential of digital technologies to disrupt traditional modes of art. His video installation ‘Cloud Seed’, commissioned by private Swiss banking group Julius Baer, investigates the relationship between people, nature and technology, and is part of a growing number of works employing


design

Clockwise from top: Sunset, Cosmodreams, Marina Fedorova; CarpETHereum, Mazyar Kamkar & Reza Vojdani, NFT animation, 2021 / image courtesy Emergeast; Cloud Seed, still frame / image courtesy James Clar and Silverlens; Striple B.R.O, Ruba Salamah / image courtesy MORROW collective

cutting-edge technology to better understand humanity’s eternal questions. “I’m interested in art that speaks about the human experience and human perception,” Clar explains. “I see nature and digital technology as two separate systems – the natural or analogue world and the digital world – but their overlap and influence of each other is constantly increasing,” he continues. The installation will immerse visitors in a large-scale real-time simulation of raindrops and fog, using custom technology to create a slowly morphing visual that reflects how we control the environment. This year, as more art fairs and galleries make room for digital-only exhibitions, and the sale of art as NFTs continues to rise, a paradigmatic shift is taking place in the way we consume and circulate contemporary art. Fussner predicts that such change will only gather pace as time moves on. “This way of consuming art will continue to attract a new, younger, tech-savvy generation, which is exciting, and I’m interested to see how that plays out,” he concludes. THE ART ISSUE

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Cultural revival

design

Mohammed Kahhal, managing director at KAHHAL 1871

Egyptian rug maker KAHHAL 1871 has commissioned 14 designers to shape its future-forward vision. The result is a show of the country’s diverse talents WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA IMAGES COURTESY OF SCOOP EMPIRE

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n the heart of Egypt’s capital, Cairo – a city once revered for its thriving cultural sector, from the musical arts to cinema and literature – a new bourgeoning arts and design scene is brewing. Following a period of profound political, economic and societal change, propelled by the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, it appears that the country is finally ready to move into a new future – and the growing appetite for cultural initiatives in Cairo is suggestive of just that. Enter Egyptian rug company KAHHAL 1871, led by its fifth-generation managing director, Mohammed Kahhal, whose very aim is to support the age-old carpet-making industry in the country and reinforce the value of locally made luxury carpets, while also remaining sensitive to the changes brought by technology, globalisation, growing regional and international competition and shifts in client demographics. For Kahhal, the challenge now is to uphold the heritage of the brand while simultaneously grooming it for the future. Finding himself at the crossroads of legacy and innovation, Kahhal launched ‘OUTLOUD’ – a collaborative event that merges contemporary design with ancient craft. First launched in 2021 under the title ‘Designers Edition’, the second iteration of the event took place last month in Downtown Cairo, where 14 designers were invited to create a series of rugs that push the boundaries of design and the craft itself, resulting in a truly diverse collection of hand-knotted rugs and kilims. What remained vital to the initiative was breathing innovative solutions for the sustainability of the trade while respecting the legacy of the artisanal process. “[We are in an] era of collaboration and nobody gets to the place they want to get to alone,” begins Kahhal, who in 2015, having completed his finance degree in the United States, returned to Egypt to take the helm of the family business. While last year saw four of the country’s most revered designers create collections for the show, Kahhal’s newest vision was slightly different – and more inclusive. The most recent ‘OUTLOUD’ event saw myriad creatives – from interior designers to product and fashion designers, ranging from those who have set the benchmark for design in Egypt to young up-and-coming talents – each bring a new perspective to the potential of the craft and its design language. The designers involved in the project included: architect Ahmed Fayyad; architect and designer Cherif Morsi; founders of fashion brand Okhtein, Mounaz and

Aya Abdel Raouf; founder and creative director of Form Design, Engi Jaouda; managing partners at Design Avenue, Karen Fadel and Mohamed Talaia; architect and founder of Alchemy Design firm, Karim Mekhtigian; Parson’s graduate and Maram Paris fashion label founder, Maram Aboul Enein; architect and chief designer at Alchemy Design, Mohamed Fares; founder of Mahally, Mona Hussein; Design Point co-founders Nehal Leheta and Karim El Hayawan; and interior designer and founder of her eponymous firm, Yasmina Makram. “I left the brief very open for the designers. I told them ‘Just express yourself’ [in] using the rug, which is a completely difficult task because each designer wanted to do something crazier than the other, and that is why we called the exhibition ‘OUTLOUD’ – because when I first got the initial designs I thought ‘oh my God, this is going to be hell’,” Kahhal laughs.

Pop Art rug by Mohammed Fares, architect and chief designer at Alchemy Design, aims to break perceptions of what a typical rug is

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design

From top, clockwise: Ahmad Fayyad with his NOT rug collection inspired by nature; fashion designer Maram Aboul Enein's three rugs titled Pray for Humanity, Sundance and Moonrise are inspired by her latest ready-to-wear collection; Karim Mekhtigian’s Requiem of a Lost City is inspired by Cairo and its multi-layered culture; Engie Jouda's Reform collection features a reconfiguration of organic forms

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“We shortlisted 30 designers and we followed them and observed their work until we chose the ones we felt most connected to and ones we resonated with. Each designer had something in them that I thought, ‘yes, I really want to work with this person’. This is not only from a design point of view, but from a purely human aspect as well. I felt truly comfortable working with them. They would come and visit the factory and were all very involved in pushing the process, which I really appreciated,” Kahhal says. This is not to say that the project did not come without challenges. Kahhal explains how he came face to face with a lot of resistance from the weavers who are all fourth- or fifth-generation artisans within the company. “What I am trying to do is revive the handicraft industry in Egypt, and in doing that we had to come up with new designs that push the limits of the craft itself, so for the weavers it was extremely difficult because they have this 28-year-old guy coming up to them and saying: ‘these are the designs that you have to make’, and that we need to do this to move forward. These are people who have been in the industry for more than 60 years. Naturally in the beginning there was a lot of pushing and a lot of resistance. But when they finally accomplished the tasks, they were extremely proud of the pieces. And for me to see them happy with the pieces, made me even happier.” Most recently, Kahhal’s vision and leadership extended to a seminal partnership with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s development initiative ‘Spun in Silk’, reviving the centuries-old craft with KAHHAL’s modern strategy, pivoting to millennial customers with sartorial flair and a keen appreciation for design. “As a whole, I see us hopefully being able to revive the carpet industry and help educate the general population about the craft. I also want to be able to hire more weavers because the more weavers we employ, the more people have jobs and the more people we can feed and make sure their children go to schools. The more sustainable our business is as a whole, the more our country can prosper – it is a joint effort,” Kahhal concludes. id


design

Shoghi collection by Design Avenue features playful patterns and a contrast of colours and shapes based on the elements of a checkboard

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property

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property

Community living

Hive Coliv opens its first property in Dubai, filling a gap in the market for contemporary community living WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATELEE COCKS

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he concept for Hive Coliv was born out of a personal frustration with the lack of contemporary housing options available for younger generations in Dubai,” begins Bass Ackermann, the real estate entrepreneur behind the city’s new urban living concept that aims to remove the typical stresses of setting up a space in a new city. Having personally experienced a gap in the market for professionals seeking a flexible and community-driven home, Ackermann set out to develop a different kind of model “specifically tailored towards modern consumers who desire a more flexible, convenient and socially connected way of living”. Focused on the development and management of ‘co-living’ communities, Hive Coliv teamed up with private multi-sector investment firm A.R.M Holding, who backed Ackermann’s ambitions which fall in line with its own aim of

supporting pioneering projects both locally and regionally as well as globally. The UAE-born investment firm is also equally committed to supporting a community-led residential sector in the country. “The birth of Hive Coliv is an exciting step toward the next era of residential living for the myriad of young professionals who call the UAE home,” says Mohammad Al Shehhi, CEO of A.R.M Holding. The first property to open under Hive Coliv is Hive JVC, located in Jumeirah Village Circle, and designed in its entirety – from the architecture and interior design to furniture and custom solutions – by Lebanese designer Fadi Sarieddine. “The entire project, in its architecture, interior and furniture, played a balanced role to respond to the brief which we had formulated with Hive Coliv; which was to create a place that is elegant yet simple, rich yet unintimidating,” Sarieddine comments.

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property

Following extensive research on the targeted tenants and their behaviours, and the exploration of existing co-living properties across the UK and The Netherlands, Hive JVC was designed through a human-centric design process, mapping the behaviours of a number of typical ‘personas’ that represent the potential Hive Coliv tenants. “These maps generated the communal facilities and their inter-relationships,” Sarieddine continues. “The aim was to provide a place where the community will be able to use the spaces smoothly and enjoy its functions in a natural manner, where the different clusters become symbiotic with their end-users. The private spaces on the other hand play a similar role on a smaller scale: the furnished residential units are perfectly sized and designed to be elegant and timeless, while allowing room

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for personalisation. The building, with its balance between the private and the public, achieves the goal of inviting the residents to interact and mingle, thus creating a communal bond.” The building’s façade is made using wood-textured fairfaced concrete that contributes to the range of “honest materials” used across the property, adding a sense of rich tactility. In contrast, the various communal functions and indoor volumes use colourful elements to allow for a brighter spatial and visual experience. Two floors of the building are dedicated to communal facilities, while a naturally lit openplan ‘third space’ features a lounge, library and shared working facility. Other facilities include a gamers’ room, a 15-seat outdoor cinema, a tree-lined rooftop terrace with a 20-metre pool and DJ area, and a courtyard space complete

with barbequing stations and a basketball court. For residents with creative careers or simply a passion for creative expression, a fabrication lab offers dedicated workstations equipped with tools and equipment. Networking and collaborative events can be organised and attended just a few metres from home in the outdoor amphitheatre. Hive JVC is also sustainability-conscious, and is a green-accredited building, providing dedicated recycling facilities and electric vehicle chargers, and is the region’s first residence to incorporate an on-site composting facility in partnership with The Waste Lab. “At the heart of Hive Coliv lies the notion of creating a living solution which is more connected and collaborative,” says Ackermann. “A place for like-minds to connect, network, inspire and grow.” id


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architecture

Expressions of Jeddah A new contemporary art centre in the Saudi port city lends a supportive hand to emerging creatives WORDS BY RIMA ALSAMMARAE

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architecture

“W

Photography by Laurian Ghinițoiu

hat is a contemporary art centre today?” asks Wael Al Awar, half of the dynamic duo that runs waiwai, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Dubai and Tokyo. “A contemporary art centre can no longer be defined by a fixed programme – we know what it needs to be right now, but we don’t know what it will need to be three or four years down the line. Therefore, the building must be flexible in order to react to fast-paced changes.” Awar and partner Kazuma Yamao recently completed Hayy Jameel, a mixed-use art centre in Jeddah. Spanning nearly 17,000 square metres of built-up area, the three-storey building contains gallery spaces, offices, artist studios, a cinema and theatre, a restaurant and more, including a spacious courtyard landscaped with local vegetation. Offering a variety of areas that can cater to different forms of art and performance (including Jeddah’s long-standing comedy club), as well as room for production and commercial activities, Hayy Jameel is the extended version of its predecessor in Dubai, Jameel Arts Centre. And while differences between the two buildings abound, so do similarities, which include a strong visual resemblance marked by a pearlescent steel structure, fragmented sectioning and barren concrete interiors ideal for displaying artwork. “The Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai is an exhibition space, not a space for production,” says Awar. “Hayy Jameel, though, has spaces where artists can create and people can work. So, its architecture could not be so refined and delicate because you don’t want to limit the capabilities of those using it. That’s why we approached it as a kind of factory space.” However, due to the project’s location, creating a factory-like space took some sensitive manoeuvring. Located in Jeddah’s northern residential area, Al Mohammadiyyah, Hayy Jameel is surrounded by villa complexes, as well as three empty sites that are earmarked for further residential development. In response to brief requirements and a local culture that treasures privacy, waiwai opted for an ‘inward looking building’ that features no openings towards the streets and surrounding areas, but instead opens towards a large central courtyard. THE ART ISSUE

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architecture

Nasser Almulhim and Tamara Kalo, ‘Contours on Collective Consciousness’, 2021-22, Hayy Jameel 38 Façade Commission


architecture

Photography by Laurian Ghinițoiu

Oriented towards the south, the courtyard is perhaps the project’s most standout element – it enjoys direct sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon and evening, allowing users to be comfortable for the majority of day. Featuring a timber platform that stretches across the centre of the space, and decorated with local vegetation that requires little irrigation, Hayy Jameel’s courtyard draws inspiration from the ancient Greek agora, which is reflected in the stepped access points. “For us, architecture is about creating environments for humans to inhabit and for activity to flourish. So, what would be better than a semi-outdoor space protected from the harsh environment?” asks Awar. “We thought about having three or four courtyards, but then that could lead to segregating the arts, and contemporary architecture is about flexibility and inclusivity rather than clear zoning. So, in the end, we designed one courtyard and made it three-dimensional, meaning that it appears upward.” Surrounding the courtyard are shaded terraces that extend outward from each level, allowing onlookers to observe from different points. Its placement also lets sunlight flood each storey, keeping the inaugural art exhibitions brightly lit. According to Awar, once the matter of the courtyard was settled, the form of the rest of the building quickly took shape. Appearing fragmented, the centre makes use of ready-made

steel sections, sustainably sourced from the Saudi market, that could be reassembled or recycled to respond to changing demands. waiwai was not particular with the programming of each space, says Awar. Although certain spaces needed to be anchored, such as the cinema, which was placed on the ground floor in order to contain large audiences, the other spaces – like the studios and exhibition areas – more or less flow into one another. Throughout, the idea of supporting artists and creatives is evident. waiwai’s intention of creating a space that aids creation itself is intrinsic to the overall project, starting with the façade, which is open to artists as part of the Hayy Jameel Façade Commission, an annual programme that offers creatives the opportunity to develop public work. At the moment, a colourful piece by Saudi artist Nasser Almulhim, in collaboration with Tamara Kalo, stretches across the 25-metre surface, but in the future, artwork will be selected through open calls. “Jeddah, and Saudi Arabia in general, just opened up,” says Awar. “So there’s this hunger for platforms where people can go and experiment, be that through music, art or cooking. Hayy Jameel is that platform where people of different backgrounds can come and express themselves, and that’s made possible through the sensibility of the design. Rather than imposing a certain form on the activities, we let the activities themselves take their own shapes.” id

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architecture

Symbol of a city In Istanbul, a building’s design and construction reflects nearly a century of political and cultural development WORDS BY RIMA ALSAMMARAE PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMRE DORTER

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lthough recently reconstructed, the Ataturk Cultural Center in Istanbul has a long history that dates back to the late 1930s, when French urban planner and architect Henri Prost proposed a masterplan for the Turkish capital. In addition to suggesting the transformation of the city’s military barracks and surrounding cemetery into a park, the plan proposed the construction of an opera house in the historic Taksim Square. Prost also recommended Auguste Perret, the famous French architect behind Paris’ ChampsElysees Theatre, to design it. However, as World War II ravaged the continent, Perret was unable to finish the opera house, and his colleague Rükneddin Güney was commissioned to complete the project. Güney, along with partner Feridun Kip, laid the building foundation on 29 May 1946, during the reign of Istanbul governor and mayor Lütfi Kırdar. Yet, once again, the construction of the opera house was halted, and the project was handed over to the Ministry of Finance in July 1953, after which German architect Paul Bonatz took over and prepared sketches for the main stage and front façade. With its reinforced colonnade using existing column axes, and its plinth with entrance steps in the middle, Bonatz’s design for the front-facing façade had a classical monumental expression, comparable to Perret’s Art Deco architecture. However, despite the updated architectural designs, the building remained unbuilt for decades, even as Istanbul witnessed periods of rapid construction. By the late 1950s, though, Turkish architect Hayati Tabanlıoğlu returned from his studies in Hanover, Germany, and was appointed to oversee the development and construction of the opera house by the Ministry of Public Works. The building was reidentified as a cultural centre, and benefited from the cooperation of installation systems, stage techniques and acoustic experts. Hayati also applied the language and materials of modern architecture, including steel,

concrete and glass. And though the construction of the building was again delayed due to lack of funds and a coup in 1960, it was finally completed in 1969, serving as one of the largest buildings of its kind in Turkey. Inaugurated as the ‘Istanbul Cultural Palace’, the reinforced concrete structure featured a large foyer with a grand staircase, a main performance hall, and a large glass façade that faced the street. Throughout its first year, multiple artists took to the stage, such as French pianist Jean Fonda, British violinist Manoug Parikian and Turkish pianist Hülya Saydam, and the building quickly became an integral part of Istanbul life. But in November 1970, during the performance of The Crucible, a devastating fire broke out due to a faulty projector. The fire damaged the entire stage as well as large sections of the auditorium. Reconstruction took seven years, and the building reopened in 1977 as the ‘Ataturk Cultural Center’. Throughout its years, the Ataturk Cultural Center served as a symbol of Istanbul’s social, cultural and technological development. It reflected the city’s history in its narrative, construction and ultimate architectural language. It was a space for the Turkish people to enjoy the progressive expressions of their society, as well as observe Western artistic productions. However, over the course of more than 50 years, the Ataturk Cultural Center slowly aged and weakened. And come the early 2000s, the building was handed over to award-winning Turkish architecture firm Tabanlıoğlu Architects, run by Hayati’s son Murat, and Melkan Tabanlıoğlu. The office was asked to consider restoration, as preserving the original structure was the favoured strategy. However, after conducting several studies, the office determined that the existing structure didn’t have the infrastructure required to meet the present-day demands of a modern opera house and cultural centre. THE ART ISSUE

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According to Melkan, the project needed to be reconstructed so it could integrate the complex stage systems and interspace relations required to ensure seamless acoustics and comfortable viewing angles, as well as to respond to the requirements of the newly added spaces. Simultaneously, the architects updated the ventilation, circulation and air conditioning systems of the building, as well as the lighting, electromechanics and auditorium layout. Today, the Ataturk Cultural Center features an opera house (contained within a large red sphere in the centre of the main hall), a gallery, music platform, library, children’s art centre, a multipurpose hall, cinema, restaurants and much more. And although many spaces have been added, throughout, the architecture draws a lot of inspiration from its former life, which is most evident in the façade, foyer and spiral staircase at the entrance. According to Melkan, the design of the original glass façade, with its aluminium grid skin, was recreated for the new centre, as was the architectural form and mass of the building. The new structure also retains the transparent character of the old, which allows the outside and inside to blend together. Just beyond the entrance, too, a large, open and layered foyer welcomes visitors and allows panning views of the red dome in the centre, as well as of the large wooden stairway. Both the dome and the staircase bear references to Hayati’s design via materiality – the dome through the use of red ceramic tiles and the stairs through the use of wooden balustrades. Elsewhere, a contemporary architectural language was applied, such as in the auditorium, offices and commercial spaces, where curved surfaces mix with clean lines and minimal ornamentation. By maintaining the familiarity of the original building while integrating a modern interpretation of the space, the Ataturk Cultural Center continues to serve as a legacy of the city’s creative, social and political development. “The most important thing for us when creating this new centre – while using references to what was there before – was to design a contemporary continuation of Hayati’s work,” says Melkan. “We needed a balance. The building had to reflect today’s architectural approach while providing the same feeling to those visiting.” id

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travel

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travel

Island flair

The recently opened Mango House Seychelles pays homage to legendary Italian fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

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travel

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n Seychelles, you cannot build a structure taller than a coconut tree,” says Seychellois artist Nigel Henri as he leisurely drives across the curving two-lane roads of Mahé, the main island in Seychelles – an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, just off East Africa. Low-rise colonial mansions and Creole architecture (characterised by large double doors and windows, high-pitched roofs for natural light and ventilation, and large verandas with wooden balustrades) dominate the island – and both are being rehabilitated by the State to become civic buildings, restaurants, luxury stores and boutique hotels. Mango House Seychelles, on the other hand, is a different story. Located on the south-west of Mahé, the newest island retreat by LXR Hotels & Resorts – Hilton’s collection of independent luxury properties – is an intimate and exclusive resort built on the site of the former home of renowned fashion photographer

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Gian Paolo Barbieri, who throughout his illustrious career worked with celebrities like Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn and fashion houses such as Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and Armani. The original Mango House was built as a family dwelling; and its name is inspired by the 150-year-old white mango tree that bore fruit in Barbieri’s kitchen’s garden, one of the oldest on the island. The tree was preserved and remains a prominent feature of the hotel, set at the centre of the property which opens out onto the blue sea of the Anse aux Poules Bleues. Celebrating Seychellois style and culture is at the heart of the property, from the interiors to its culinary and wellness offerings. All 41 guest rooms, suites and villas of Mango House also provide serene ocean views bound by lush greenery, and are adorned with natural décor echoing the rugged beauty of Seychelles – which became the main source of

inspiration for the hotel’s architectural design. The structure of the resort was constructed to mirror the curvature of the coast, whereby the distribution of rooms, suites and villas along the bay’s edge offers each residence an expansive view of the ocean. From the initial stages of the design, JT+ Partners – who were commissioned to design the property – set a goal to preserve the existing nature by building around it. Despite efforts to preserve the original home of the artist – “a beautiful orange house with no windows and only a few openings and a shower that opened up the sky” – the architects quicky realised that the existing structure was, in fact, damaged by rising sea levels, which led to its eventual demolition. In its place is what the hotel dubs the ‘main house’ – a newly built structure facing the bay which recreates many of the elements and experiences that existed in the original building.


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“In Seychelles, if you have an existing structure on your plot which is very old, you have the right to demolish it, and build on top of it,” explains founder and lead architect, Joe Tabet. For this reason, the hotel’s main building is positioned in precisely the same location as the former residence, situated directly on the edge of a cliff. “The owner of the house used to have a specific view from his window, and we managed to keep the same experience in the lobby,” Tabet continues. “Sometimes you are not able to keep the same structure, but what is more important is what will remain forever – the experience of the place.” In addition to the local granite which has been locally sourced, other materials from the island include Nalau wood used for structural elements, the off-white stucco wall texture finish on the façade and the grano wash used for the pathways, all highlighting local textures commonly found across the island. Prized furniture pieces dating from the original resort, which are visible in some of the archive 50

photographs of the original interior, have been interspersed within the public areas of the hotel such as the drawing room and Muse restaurant. The front doors of the original house have also been preserved and transformed into sculptural artwork reminiscent of the island’s rich heritage and culture. The artwork throughout the property also tells the story of Mango House, a natural showcase of Barbieri’s creative spirit and the scenic surroundings of the property. The interiors, designed by dsgnTM, have been conceptualised to provide guests a sense of home and use tactile, natural and earthy materials such as light-coloured timber and beige parquet flooring in the guest rooms, and lightly hued stone from Lebanon in the bathrooms. In the arrival pavilion, guests can look up to find Bwason natural wood sticks that recreate the ceilings of the original house. Preserved handmade furniture with sleek wooden finishing is coupled with muted beige tones, creating a contemporary but comfortable feel that is deeply connected

to the local culture and colours of Seychelles. “One of the things we’re passionate about at Mango House is supporting local artisans, especially those who make sustainability a priority,” says Andre Borg, area general manager, Seychelles at Hilton. Collaborations with local artists are part of the hotel’s branding experience, seeping into the stylish uniforms of the staff and making appearances in the smallest of details such as the silkscreens on the bathroom robes and scarves that are tied around the chic wicker hats offered to guests. These were designed by Seychelles-born artist Alyssa Adams in her signature watercolours. “[At Mango House], culture, art and nature mirror the location and traditions of the Southern lifestyle [of Seychelles] and [its] folklore stories, paying homage to its rich history,” Borg shares. “We are adamant about working with artists who have grown up on the island, who are passionate about its culture and traditions, and who can emulate it in all forms of their artistic expression.” id


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design focus

On the surface Browse identity’s edit of the latest surfaces in design, from innovative textiles and geometric upholstery to handcrafted flooring and contemporary wallpapers

WORDS BY JUMANA ABDEL-RAZZAQ

Timeless geometry Italian textile manufacturer Dedar has released a collection of furnishing fabric, which combines graphic art and textiles. The Geometric patterns collection features abstract lines and colourful symmetrical shapes on fabrics that is suitable for upholstery and curtains, showcasing a range of products that includes an assortment of vibrant textiles. These include the double-faced Andirivieni, which uses contrasting colours to create an abstract representation of maps, as well as Erbaluce, a fabric poised between camouflage and artisanal flare; and Regimential, which has a striped pattern that references British school uniforms. The Zai Saman fabric features linear forms embroidered on linen and is available in a range of desert-coloured tones. Characterised by rich colour palettes and unexpected patterns, Dedar’s fabrics combine precious yarns with research into fibre technology to offer various curtains, upholstery and wall coverings of timeless elegance. 52


walls, f loors, and surfaces

Living colour Three new inspirational moodboards have been introduced as part of Wall&decò’s Contemporary Wallpaper Collection 2022, adding 72 new graphics to the company’s rich portfolio of designers, and creating a distinct geography of styles and colours. With Deep Nature, organic forms combine with surfaces and construction materials, creating authentic settings of

calm and balance. Red Heart, defined by a colour rather than a stylistic feature, forms a tribute to red, with subtle leitmotifs of design over the decades reinterpreted to create sophisticated settings. Heritage brings a stratification of materials, geometries and humanity, a skilful mix of past and present, to accentuate the collection’s artful and vibrant aesthetic. THE ART ISSUE

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design focus

Ethereal glow Cosentino has unveiled its second Silestone series of hybrid mineral surfaces with the Ethereal Collection, a chic, marble-inspired concept consisting of four colours, each offering a deep, fine veining inspired by one of the most sought-after natural stones in the world. Each colour within the collection has been designed to recreate the dream-like beauty of the sky: Ethereal Dusk showcases an urban look in bluish tones through its veining to bring a 54

modern and avant-garde touch to any space, while Ethereal Haze includes a dynamic range of grey tones for a sophisticated feel. Ethereal Glow features golden and grey veining which merges with a tinged white foundation, a nod to the igneous colours of the sunset. In contrast, the tones of Ethereal Noctis are inspired by darkness after daylight, combining short grey and black veins to provide depth and simplicity for a modern appeal.


surfaces

Natural selection Rubelli is putting nature at the centre of its 2022 collection with the introduction of wovens, prints and embroideries that interpret the flower in its most organic form. Highlighting woven textures that are suitable for upholstering furniture or – in larger widths – for dressing windows, the products in Rubelli’s latest collection reference the natural world both aesthetically and as part of the manufacturing process, putting significant emphasis on environmentally friendly practices. Depth is achieved through the use of linen, fantasy yarns and special weaves, referencing whimsical flowers in fabrics such as Eliodoro, Tea Cat, Derbyshire Spring and Camilla that are accentuated through palettes of rock, ivory, ice and wood, each expressing a style where nature is at the core. THE ART ISSUE

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design focus

Art forms Inspired by organic forms in nature, as well as shadows and spectral visions, Sahco’s 2022 collection looks to murals by Jean Cocteau, the sculptures of Constantin Brâncuşi and abstract art to bring a truly distinct collection of upholstery and draperies that is layered and artisanal, with characteristics that explore light and volume. The Evoke collection has a creative tension derived from perceived imperfections and seemingly incongruous yet harmonious combinations of colour and texture. Aligned with Sahco’s heritage, Evoke is rich with classic references, presenting seven drapery and four upholstery fabrics to demonstrate high levels of craftsmanship as a result of applying new techniques to create lively tactile surfaces, powdery dry or glossy chintz finishes, and artistic printed or embroidered abstracted outlines. The overall colour palette is elevated by adding fresh hues like lemon grass, pistachio green and Sakura pink with earthy base notes such as golden olive, moss green and rust red to bring a sophisticated yet traditional touch.

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surfaces

Organic touch Italian brand Ceramiche Refin has introduced Cortina, a nature-inspired collection of decorative surfaces exquisitely reworked by skilled craftsmen to produce an exclusive product with an organic feel. Defined by its quality of stoneware, Cortina includes a raw colour palette of almond, honey and tobacco, among others, inspired by the natural power of wood recovered from traditional mountain huts. The refined balance of the collection means it is able to adapt to the most varied environments, even those subject to heavy wear-and-tear or foot traffic. Working closely with the craftsmen of one of the most prestigious carpentries in the Belluno area, Ceramiche Refin aims to tell a story of the stages of ageing through exciting colour combinations and a variety of shades, creating unprecedented visual and tactile emotions, and giving rise to a cathartic experience with an ancient flavour. id

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architecture

Reinventing tradition

MESURA designs a villa in Jeddah that offers the opportunity to redefine a traditional lifestyle WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARINA DENISOVA

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interiors

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arcelona-based architecture and design studio “Its character is rooted in the past, while [its vision] is set MESURA doesn’t follow the rules – and neither can towards the future.” This spirit of balance dictated the whole project from the the studio’s work be confined to a particular style. Instead, what these passionate creative minds aim to do is start. While Jeddah today epitomises the modernisation of “design for the unknown.” So, it comes as no surprise that, Saudi Arabia, it is also where vernacular architecture has its despite the distance and the different culture, the team didn’t roots – with the desert and the sea at the heart of the local hesitate to take on a new project in Jeddah, dubbed Villa AM. culture, lifestyle and surroundings. “To design [with]in Jeddah’s complexity, it’s vital to underWhile following their usual process – which involves listening to people, communities and environments – the stand its traditions, values and beliefs,” the architects explain. members of MESURA worked closely and had ongoing “Traditionally, the Arabian home functions both as a private conversations with their client for five years leading up to sanctuary and a social, semi-public space, which constitutes bringing this unique family home to life. “Giving shape to an interesting paradox still defining most of the local architoday’s Jeddah is a complex endeavour,” the architects say. tecture today.” 60


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Villa AM honours this concept by offering privacy thanks to the placement and sizes of doors, windows and openings, as well as the building heights and balconies, which all help to protect the inhabitants from the exterior world. At the same time, the L-shaped layout – different from the traditional U-shaped form – allows a better connection between family and guests through the garden. “The house thus becomes a fluid entity – an initial step toward a new kind of domestic architecture in Jeddah,” the MESURA team says.

In every corner, the architecture plays with light and shadow, creating different moods depending on the time of day. The colour palette changes between sunrise and dusk, helping to evoke a variety of experiences. “The house is a continuous ‘game’ of walls setting shade on the right space at the right time,” the architects say. “Windows face all four directions, allowing the interiors to receive multiple types of lighting during the day, while exterior passageways are determined by high walls that create shadowed

paths, enabling convenient use of these spaces even in the heat.” Taking into account the specific climate of Jeddah (characterised by hot temperatures and wind) for the design was also central to the project. In traditional buildings across the Arab world, the exterior areas of a house not only have a social function but are also tools for passive architecture, and Villa AM is no exception. “Since its foundation, the vernacular architecture in Jeddah has used its materials, courtyards and openings in a [sustainable way], creating cool and comfortable indoor home environments,” notes the MESURA team, who has additionally shaped an outside passageway downstairs and a second patio on Villa AM’s upper floor. “Taking local culture and climate as a tool to seek new spatial relationships, the house aims to answer the will of a changing today,” they add. Poetic yet liveable, this home embodies a synthesis of knowledge from several eras, dating from ancient times to the contemporary period, offering a vision of how the architecture in the region is evolving. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe, the architects of MESURA pay tribute to his words with this project: “Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space; living, changing, new. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, only today can be given form.” id


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interiors

An artful refuge Based in Miami, Michelle and Jason Rubell trusted interior designer Monica Fried to transform this historic apartment into their perfect sanctuary in New York City WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE FRANZEN STYLING BY KATJA GREEFF

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Custom mid-century style tufted sofas sit on a Stark wool custom rug. The artwork above the fireplace is by Purvis Young. THE ART ISSUE

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interiors

M

ichelle and Jason Rubell – from the family who owned the Rubell Museum in Miami – are used to life surrounded by art, and their New York City piedà-terre is no exception. The couple, who live in a contemporary home in Miami, fell in love with a building that dates back to 1927 and is situated on the Upper East Side, ideally located only a few steps from Central Park and the Frick Collection. For several months, the apartment was renovated by Edward Dew Architect while interior designer Monica Fried – at the helm of Monica Fried Design – took care of the typical large and free-flowing pre-war interior spaces, making them the ideal backdrop for the owners’ impressive art collection.

Blue artwork by Sayre Gomez combines with a vintage Jens Risom bench and an Eric Schmitt pendant light in the entry

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“Our aesthetic was really in sync,” remembers Fried, who worked on preserving the charm and old character of the home but also introduced contemporary touches and a relaxed atmosphere to the spaces. “Our inspiration was Parisian chic – those French apartments that look effortlessly modern and classic at the same time,” says Fried. After stripping and refinishing the core of the space, the original oak parquet was preserved and brought back to life, now with a lighter tone. Most of the walls were painted in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace – a bright white that gives the feeling of being in a gallery – in order to highlight the artworks in every room. Still featuring a pre-war feel, the bathrooms were completely gutted and

modernised, and the kitchen – adorned with an Apparatus pendant light and a Thomas Struth photograph, and furnished with Brazilian cane chairs and Thomas Hayes stools in mustard leather from Holland & Sherry – was opened up to connect with the rest of the spaces. From the entrance, colourful pieces by Rudolf Stingel, Rashid Johnson and Sayre Gomez stand out and combine with Eric Schmitt pendant lights and a Jens Risom vintage bench. In the dining room, the Kai Kristiansen dining chairs upholstered in Maharam pumpkin wool, the Lindsey Adelman chandelier, India Mahdavi stools, curtains with Pierre Frey fabric and artworks by Kim Dingle and Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl create both a sophisticated and casual ambience.


interiors

The teal blue lacquer desk is from The Invisible Collection and the colorful artwork is by Richard Hawkins THE ART ISSUE

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interiors

The powder room features plaster paint from Ressource Paints. The sconces and mirror are vintage and the Cipollino Fantastico marble is from BAS Stone

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This spirit also pervades the living room, where the fireplace was remodelled. The mid-century sofas and the Saarinen chair and ottoman covered in charcoal mohair from Romo are placed on a Stark rug, while the teal blue lacquer desk from The Invisible Collection and the Richard Hawkins painting above it add more visual contrast. For her bedroom, the couple’s daughter wanted a decoration based on London’s pink Sketch restaurant designed by India Mahdavi, which then became the starting point for Fried. “Each room has a base of neutrals with pops of bold ’70s-like mustard, citrus green and pumpkin,” The result doesn’t disappoint. According to describes Fried, who used materials such as brass for the doors, plaster for the walls and wood for Fried, “It is clean and classic, but also edgy and cool.” For Michelle and Jason Rubell, their pied-à-terre the floors. The cosy and refined aesthetic is also reflected throughout the curated selection of fur- in the Big Apple has all the ingredients they wanted, including a timeless allure that will age gracefully. nishing from different eras. “Since my clients don’t live in New York City “The apartment has a great mix of vintage pieces from Scandinavian and other European designers full-time, they wanted a home base that was mixed with modern American pieces. The inter- comfortable and inviting,” concludes Fried. “The esting thing about this project is that we started look is elevated and relaxed. Not every piece is with the furniture, and after the installation, the precious but there are some gems in each room. clients pulled pieces from their collection to curate This home is chic but not stuffy – the perfect base for a cool, contemporary art collection.” the space.”

Above: In the dining room, vintage Kai Kristiansen dining chairs upholstered in Maharam pumpkin wool surround a custom lacquer and bronze table adorned with a yellow artwork by Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl titled 'Spatial Drawing #53'. The chandelier is by Lindsey Adelman and the painting on the wall is by Kim Dingle

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products

Avantgarde moments As we enter the arts season, why not use this time to upgrade your home with a pop of colour or funky side table?

Como &Tradition Available at superstudio.me

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products

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1. Murano tumblers by Stevie Michaels. Available at steviemichaels.com 2. Crossover by Massimo Castagna for Tonelli Design. Available at tonellidesign.com 3. Arch tufted rug by Ferm Living. Available at amara.com 4. Dot coupes by Maison Balzac. Available at comingsoonnewyork.com 5. Pillar candle by HAY. Available at thebowerycompany.com 6. Aaron, designed by Pio and Tito Toso for La Palma. Available at superstudio.me

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library

Lessons from the past By celebrating Dubai’s historical architecture, Windtower also offers the opportunity to explore solutions to climate change WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF PETER JACKSON & ANNE COLES

“T

he project began during my looking after [the] John R. Harris Architects office in Dubai in February 1974, and visiting the house of Mohammad Sharif Bukhash, to measure and draw a windtower for the newly established Dubai Museum,” remembers architect Peter Jackson. “This was at the request of Dr Anne Coles, a social geographer, who knew the house from her time in Dubai [between] 1968 and ‘71, and who had been involved with setting up a local women’s society,” he says. Jackson and Coles then joined forces to write a book that explores Dubai’s storied past and heritage. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation of the United Arab Emirates, the new and extended edition of Windtower comprises exclusive archival photography, custom maps and original architectural plans and diagrams. “Windtower begins with a historical study of Dubai in its context as a trading centre, and with the immigration of merchants from the Iranian towns of Bastak and Lingeh a century and more ago,” Jackson describes. Examining the history and daily life of some key trading families and their central role in Dubai’s early growth and pre-oil economy and social life, the book compares the vernacular architecture of seven houses, delving 72

into how they were constructed and used. It also includes an extensive chapter on the windtowers and, as Jackson describes, studies “the old quarter within the larger context of Al Fahidi district and the Creek over the past 40 years, its restoration as a cultural focus in the city, and the lessons it might offer for contemporary architecture and urban design”. Along with Coles, he hopes that Windtower might provide a holistic understanding of daily life, and the values and mores of a traditional Islamic community prior to the impact of the modern era and globalisation, and how these were subtly reflected in its very distinctive architecture. While this book offers a unique insight into lessons to be learned from the past, it is also – and above all – an invitation to look to the future and find ways to address current challenges. “[We would like the readers] to discover

how functional and effective traditional windtowers actually were, in order to better consider and appreciate the benefits of passive cooling in a world facing potentially deadly climate change,” Jackson says, reminding us that some solutions to age-old problems already exist, if we know where to look.


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Opposite page: Windtower house drawing. This page, clockwise from top: The windtower or barjeel in Arabic is an architectural element used for cross ventilation. The exterior of the windtower feature wooden elements. Boys playing football in Al Fahidi Historical District in Dubai

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id most wanted

Intersecting speaker design theory and scent to evoke the meditative effects of ritualistic practice while enhancing a listening space, Byredo’s Olfactive Stéréophonique is a limited-edition piece designed by Devon Turnbull, founder of OJAS, and Ben Gorham, Byredo’s founder and creative director. Drawing inspiration from incense used in Hindu and Buddhist temples and the evocative smell of ancient wooden structures, the device seamlessly integrates smell and a sound system.

Olfactive Stéréophonique by Devon Turnbull for Byredo 74


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