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ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, INTERIORS + PROPERTY

identity

identity.ae DHS 25.00 OR 2.70 BD 2.60 SR 25.00 KD 2.10

A MOTIVATE PUBLICATION

ISSUE 210 / JUNE 2021

A New Era of Design

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contents

Features 16

Contemporary heritage Don Tanani revives the past through objects that are at the crossroads of design and art

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Labour of love House of Today continues its efforts in supporting emerging design talent in Lebanon

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Terracotta dreams Meshary AlNassar’s homely studio is a reflection of his ambitions for design in Kuwait City

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The future is now A new era of designers, architects and artists are redefining the future of design in the UAE

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Weekend lifestyle This Sydney home achieves harmony through the perfect balance of proportions, materials and colours

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Tropical modernism

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Photography by Tommaso Sartori-

Looking into a São Paulo home that hosts a grand display of Latin American art and vintage furniture

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A contemporary legacy Enter the newly opened Bourse de Commerce – Collection Pinault by Tadao Ando and design by the Bouroullec Brothers

Regulars 46

38

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Newswire

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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 Senior Sales Manager Neha Kannoth Sales Representative - Italy Daniela Prestinoni General Manager - Production S Sunil Kumar Assistant Production Manager Binu Purandaran Production Supervisor Venita Pinto Contributors Cyril Zammit Karine Monié

identity magazine is printed by Emirates Printing Press. Member of:

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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Photo by Young Habibti

Welcome to the ‘New Era’ – identity’s latest issue, highlighting emerging talents from the Middle East as well as fresh approaches to design, novel perspectives and renewed hopes for our industry in light of the many challenges facing the region and the rest of the world. There is no doubt that we are seeing the emergence of a new energy that is also prevalent in the way designers are beginning to approach their work and the built environment. We are seeing greater empathy and understanding of different needs – but also a greater appreciation for the importance of beauty and art and how they can transform our spaces while still remaining conscious of environmental impact. Our cover story this month highlights a new generation of designers, architects and artists who are paving the way for the regional design industry – whether by utilising new technologies, reinterpreting cultural heritage or developing sustainable materials for architectural use. “Architecture in the region and the UAE [specifically] has seen a positive shift towards design that responds to its context in terms of its environment and culture,” said Nuhayr Zein, one of the Dubai-based architects gracing this month’s cover. “I feel that [this has], in turn, raised awareness about the importance of context-specific architecture, causing a shift towards designers and non-designers wanting to build more responsibly. “In the future, I hope to see and contribute to more action-oriented material research that would reduce industrial waste in the region. I believe that our world is constantly evolving and so should our materials,” she adds. “The GCC region – particularly the UAE and, most recently, Saudi Arabia – has witnessed a remarkable evolution within the design and architectural realms. As a whole, the region carries a mature and sophisticated design approach as well as a fearlessness towards doing things differently,” Hasan and Husain Roomi from H2R Design add. “As a home-grown design firm, we are extremely proud to be part of this journey [and] we hope that the region continues to champion smaller firms that bring a fresh perspective and skills to the fold.” Our cover story was photographed at the newly opened Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre (which I advise everyone to visit!). I would like to give special thanks to their team as well as to Peter Jackson and the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority. Elsewhere in the issue, we interview Cherine Magrabi Tayeb, the founder and chairwoman of non-profit design platform House of Today, which is committed to nurturing young Lebanese designers and students and widening their opportunities and career growth within the field. With the huge number of challenges facing Lebanese designers today, and in the aftermath of the tragic Beirut Blast last year, Tayeb believes now is the time for us to step up to propel each other forward. She further notes that now, more than ever, design has found its prominence in the world. “I think that designers have finally found that they have a place in the cultural sphere, and I think playing a role in that makes it super important. They are part of something that the world is looking at, and all of that makes a difference.”

Aidan Imanova Editor

Photography by Joachim Guay

Editor’s Note

On the cover: From left: Riyad Joucka, Lina Ghalib, Hasan Roomi, Zeinab Al Hashemi, Husain Roomi, Nuhayr Zein


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Modulor wall paneling system, Self bold cabinet.

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Design Giuseppe Bavuso


newswire

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he voices of 4000 Lebanese citizens have travelled to the Venice Architecture Biennale as part of Beirut-based architecture and design duo T SAKHI’s installation, ‘Letters from Beirut’. With the hope of fostering dialogue and honouring the Lebanese community, the installation shares narratives in the wake of the city’s ongoing reconstruction following the explosion in Beirut on 4 August last year. T SAKHI’s founders, Tessa and Tara Sakhi, collaborated with Sharjah-based Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council – a platform that preserves indigenous craft heritage by engaging women artisans through vocational training and upskilling programmes – to create a ‘handcrafted poetic project’. “[The project] immortalises the thoughts of Lebanese citizens during these tough and constructive times, and underlines the power of words through letter writing,” the designers explain. Comprising a six-metre linear wall that acts as a surface for contact and exchange, the project aims to engage pedestrians, who are encouraged to select one of the 4000 letters (which they are encouraged to respond back to), set inside handcrafted pouches that also contain a seed – a universal symbol of hope. As more people pick up a pouch, the walls of the

Distant voices

installation begin to disappear, a metaphor that plays on the idea of barriers and barricades which can be overcome by human connection and interaction. The pouches – which were donated by Irthi – have been handcrafted by 37 Emirati craftswomen from the Bidwa Social Development Programme in Sharjah, and are made from felt, stitched in silver Zari thread and lined with linen. The process incorporates a weaving technique inspired by one of the traditional hand-weaving patterns used in Safeefah, a traditional Emirati palm frond-weaving craft that uses techniques similar to basket-making. In this project, the artisans created a contemporary pattern for the felt pouches, inspired by the Sayr Yaay technique, replacing palm fronds with recycled felt. The handmade paper was created by university students Mariam Abdulkarim, Amal Al Hammadi and Zainab Adel as part of their graduation project, using recycled paper. The seeds included in each pouch are either coriander, courgette (zucchini) or green beans, which are all edible plants used in Lebanese cuisine. Each pouch is scented with a natural fragrance evocative of Lebanon’s flora: cedar, pine, genet, thyme or jasmine. The project is also intended to raise charitable funds to support various sectors in the aftermath of the Beirut Blast, donating to NGOs including: the Bank to School Initiative by Arcenciel, which supports children’s education; the Beirut Heritage Initiative, which strives to restore and preserve Beirut’s architectural and cultural heritage; Beb w’ Shebbek, which has been rebuilding doors and windows of more than 80,000 destroyed homes after the explosion; and the Salam Beirut initiative by The Big Heart Foundation. “We aim to continue the dialogue on the reconstruction of Lebanon’s future and the restoration of our collective memory,” conclude Tara and Tessa.

10 Photography by Clemente Ciarrocca.


Clinique Valmont, Glion, Lake Geneva Region, © NIco Schärer

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With its stunning scenery and high level of safety, Switzerland is a favourite with travellers. But first-rate hospitals and clinics also make it a an exclusive health destination offering excellent medical expertise in luxurious surroundings. MySwitzerland.com/health


newswire

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identity.ae

An Italian affair

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n exclusive collection by online retail platform Artemest has been curated by Dubai-based interior designer and founder of Styled Habitat, Rabah Saeid, and combines Italian handcrafted pieces inspired by cosy nights in. Gathering Nights explores design from a wide range of cultural influences and styles, which come together to form an intimate atmosphere centred on warm hues, opulent details and striking colour accents. Saeid’s curation of Artemest’s online trove of 50,000 products by skilled makers showcasing the ‘Made in Italy’ stamp includes works by heritage glass masters, furniture makers and ceramicists, following Styled Habitat’s own ethos of showcasing the works of artisans. “Our Gathering Nights concept is about cultivating a unique collection that channels our experiences, memories, travel, nature, architecture, fashion, graphic design and art. [It] allows us to explore interiors from a wide panel of cultural influences and styles that come together in an atmosphere that is both relaxed and sophisticated,” says Saeid. Artemest – which recently announced its launch in the Middle East – is working with a regional designer for the first time; with Gathering Nights coming forward as its first collection rooted in the region. Artemest is run by duo Ippolita Rostagno and Marco Credendino, who launched the brand in 2015.

“This is the first time we've collaborated in this way with a designer based in the Gulf region and we're thrilled with the result,” the duo says. “In her signature style of low-key luxe, warm earthy colour palettes and hyper-tactile aesthetic, Rabah has reimagined Artemest's beautifully crafted designs into the Gathering Nights collection. “Artemest's mission is to celebrate Italian craftsmanship and support small luxury brands, artisans, designers and artists [in order to] to gain international visibility: Rabah's Gathering Nights is a curated selection of atmospheric pieces that aims to meet the taste and design needs of the market.”

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design

Breaking the

mould

A collision of forces has given birth to a new project called The Great Design Disaster. Led by a passionate duo – interior architect Gregory Gatserelia and design enthusiast Joy Herro – its aim is nothing short of shaking up the traditional boundaries of the contemporary design market. identity catches up with Herro to learn more.

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hat is the concept behind The Great Design Disaster? We give collectors the chance to step out of the commercial role and, instead, slip into the role of the initiator. In a figurative sense, we transform them into designers or artists. The Great Design Disaster (TGDD) challenges individuals with one question: “You, who can buy great design, can you create one?” How did the idea come about and what is it created in response to? It began with the simple consideration of the collectible design experience: instead of the voyeuristic act in which artists and artisans show off their creations and collectors passively buy, we are introducing a market based on desires, dreams and creativity. [We are] matching collectors with artisans to create completely original custom design pieces. The pieces created from this process have an individual soul and are the result of the visions and actions of all three players - the collector, TGDD agents and the artisan. How do yourself and Gregory Gatserelia balance your roles? The sensibility of Gregory toward his clients’ wishes and visions, as well as his ability to build trustworthy relationships with collectors as an art and design consultant, is an essential asset to The Great Design Disaster. My numerous connections with talented artisans and deep insights into all things related to tailor-made production, as well as business-related skills, were the route to TGDD’s approach. To sum up, he is the creative arm and I am the executive one. How will TGDD contribute to the contemporary design

market? Our world is full of objects that give us ephemeral satisfaction, but modern consumption habits leave us hungry. TGDD introduces a market based on individual desires instead of the traditional structure of supply and demand. And how will you respond to demand? Why create a million copies of a great design when we can foster the creation of a million great designs, each one a singular vision for the collector who commissions it? Why was it important for you to go back to an artisanal approach and manner of creating design? The craftsman makes the collector's dream come true! The collector will be more aware of the value of the hand-made, by literally seeing his creature grow and take shape. It is a very engaging and exciting experience for both [parties]. How does TGDD respond to areas such as luxury and sustainability? TGDD is sustainable. We don’t sell products and we don’t have warehouses; instead, we are agents of creation. The market is saturated, and waste and pollution have reached alarming proportions, so our mission is to invite people to re-evaluate who they are and what they really need. The result will be an expression of themselves. TGDD is also luxury. Our collectors are like the pharaohs and emperors who commissioned unique works to artists and artisans throughout history. How important is experimentation? I would rather say it is an emotional experience. A TGDD collector waits for his or her piece as a mother waits for her child to be born after all the efforts and the imagination.

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Contemporary heritage WORDS: KARINE MONIÉ IMAGES COURTESY OF DON TANANI


design

Launched just a few months ago, new brand and gallery Don Tanani revives the past with a contemporary eye, through objects that are at the crossroads of design and art

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econciling ancient and contemporary savoir-faire and aesthetics is something that lies behind new brand and gallery Don Tanani, which focuses on creating luxury products made in Egypt. “Imagery of ancient Egypt is universally recognised but defining modern Egypt is a struggle,” the team says. “Don Tanani takes inspiration from the past to create a new future and identity.” After two years of work, family-owned business Living In Interiors – established in 1992 by Ashraf and Alia El Tanani in Cairo – and sister company Ar-Co Wood Factory, also based in Egypt, brought to life their first collection, Duality, which was conceived by Egyptian product designer Lina El Orabi. The wooden tables, consoles and benches that are part of this inaugural series were inspired by Egypt’s pharaonic legacy. “They are by no means static objects,” says the Don Tanani team about these creations. “They are timeless functional art pieces created to withstand the test of time.” The idea of delving into ancient Egyptian design and culture while adding a contemporary twist was key for this collection. “In ancient Egypt, objects and art were considered a living image of their subject, preserving their likeness and existing for the afterlife and future generations,” explains the team. “Carving gave static materials warmth, movement and life – encapsulating a moment in time. Skin [made] of stone or wood is serene and tender. Complex wigs, jewellery, fabric and animal skins are represented with elegant carving and inlay. Material and skill are combined to express opulence, texture and life, creating objects that marry function and art.” The founders of the brand have high ambitions and a clear vision of

what they want to achieve through this project: manufacturing the pieces in Egypt and elevating design pieces made in the region; creating products that can be collected as art; and fostering a system that allows designers from the country to express themselves. This is why, following its El Orabi collaboration, Don Tanani has already planned to collaborate with other Egyptian designers. “Modern woodworking techniques have not changed much since the ancient Egyptians first developed them (we still use the same basic joints and techniques) but our needs have changed,” the team says. “If we emulated this ancient vision and juxtaposed it with our modern times, could we create a new Egyptian point of view? Just as in our past, each object is imbued with life. Materials and form are sensory experiences that also belong in a modern functional context. They capture and create their own time by being both still and yet full of movement. And so here, in each object, our past and present are united.” Proud of their uniqueness, the creative minds and collaborators behind Don Tanani are reviving their heritage in a new way to showcase their individuality to the world. “As Egyptians, this is a moment to reclaim our narrative; [for] a civilisation that represents art and design mastery cannot fade into the background,” the team says. “We have everything we need here in Egypt; after all, this is where it all began.”

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All photography on this page by Carl Halal

WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

A labour of love

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interiors design

The House of Today platform has supported emerging design talent and students in Lebanon for nearly a decade. Today, in the face of ongoing challenges, their efforts remain as solid as ever.

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t the beginning of everyone’s career, there is always a wish for someone who would hold your hand and guide you, and I think I am that person for [up-and-coming designers in Lebanon],” begins Cherine Magrabi Tayeb, founder and chairwoman of non-profit design platform House of Today. Since 2012, House of Today has been dedicated to the enrichment of Lebanon’s design culture and, more prominently, in nurturing and growing emerging Lebanese designers – as well as alleviating potential difficulties faced by design students in the country. “A big part of what we do is mentoring designers, so, no matter where they are in their career path or academic path, we guide them and work very closely with them to develop their talents, seek funds for them or introduce them to the [local] design community as well as galleries and collectors,” Tayeb continues. “When I first started, there were a lot of designers who, when you spoke to them, were either dropping out of design, couldn’t see where their career was going or were uncertain whether Lebanon or the world at the time was ready to acknowledge their work. Since then, a lot has changed. We are now seeing [increasingly] more students entering the design field, and we just want to try to grow these communities and their talents and shed light on them.” “We had the chance to work closely with Cherine and have fruitful discussions together on how to improve the local design scene and how it could have a larger international reach,” say David/ Nicolas, the Lebanese duo, who are today represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery. “What is great with House of Today is that it pushes you out of your comfort zone and stimulates your mind.” Tayeb recounts her earliest encounters with the Lebanese duo, who met her during their early design careers. “I gave them their very first commission,” she recalls, moving to another room in her apartment to indicate a gorgeous cabinet that is unmistakably a David/Nicolas piece. “This was in 2014 and it says ‘one of one’,” she laughs. “You can see all their details. Their aesthetic is still intact. They are now shining among the top designers of the world.”

Gaining wider global recognition has always been at the forefront of Tayeb’s ambitions for designers in Lebanon. Her goal is for them to expand their reach, widen the opportunities for their work, showcase their work with international design galleries and hold space in the homes of collectors worldwide. “I also think that when a designer starts travelling with his or her work, there are different influences that begin to affect their work, there are specific standards that they have to meet, sitting alongside other global designers – so everything starts to become more elevated,” she explains. House of Today offers a variety of activities and programmes, including scholarships for students, pop-up exhibitions and lectures, as well as its prominent design biennales that host open calls, featuring emerging talent alongside the revered names of Lebanese design. “When I include prominent designers [in our exhibitions], it is a way of thanking them and acknowledging that they have influenced and set a path for the younger designers [in Lebanon]. They have, in their own way – and maybe not directly – mentored these upand-coming designers,” Tayeb says. With some designers, House of Today is additionally involved in the design and production stages, with the aim of pushing them out of their comfort zone. “This does not mean that the designers [we work with] cannot take on projects on their own. They can and they absolutely do that,” she notes. “Our relationship with House of Today is like one of family. We share our thoughts, our ideas and we trust them with the decisions they take,” share Stephanie Sayar and Charbel Garibeh of design duo Sayar & Garibeh, who have been present across most of House of Today’s exhibitions, including those in Beirut, Miami, New York City and Aspen. “We have worked with them on commissioned pieces and projects and this has helped us evolve, push our boundaries, and enlarge our clients and manufacturers circle.” Today, the duo produce their own pieces and are now keen to explore and learn from the world of artisanal craft. THE NEW ERA

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design

Photography by Roshni Gorur

Previous page: From top: Chair-ry chair by Carlo & Mary-Lynn Massoud. Script Desk by Stephanie Moussallem. Willowy chair by Sayar & Garibeh. Shapes and Shades by Hala Matta. This page: Sayar&Garibeh at Anderson Ranch Art Residency.

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interiors

Before the spread of the global pandemic, the duo began exploring terracotta with the intention of learning from one of the last remaining terracotta artisans in Lebanon, who lived in a village in the mountains. Having spent a week with the artisan in his workshop, the designers had planned a twomonth residency to learn more of the craft under his mentorship. However, with the global lockdowns set into place, the duo learnt of the artisan’s passing. Come 4 August, the dreadful Beirut Blast greatly affected the designers, destroying their studio, which was located near the port. “We were devastated; we lost a huge chunk of our dreams,” say Sayar and Garibeh. “Then, after few months, we got a call from House of Today asking us if we were interested in continuing what we had started.” The design platform, with the support of R & Company in New York, organised a residency for them at Anderson Ranch in order to continue their mission. “[The blast] had a lot of psychological impacts on designers – as well as everyone else,” Tayeb says. Cherine Magrabi Tayeb “With that kind of shock, I think it took a long time for most designers to get back on their feet, and we started to see what else we can do, so we started looking at of financial support, which will help [with] reorganising residency programmes.” House of Today is currently also this chaos [we are in], what we need mostly is motivational working with residencies in Los Angeles and Naples, as well and professional support from experts in the field, so we can break this static situation and plan for a better future. as exploring opportunities in Mexico. “We have worked hard in the past years to reach a certain It was one of the first organisations to respond in the aftermath of the blast, which Tayeb relates to her having stability and we need to gain it back. With the support of not been in Lebanon during the tragic event, allowing House of Today and the international community, new her to react faster and obtain a generous amount of opportunities and collaborations are being created to international support. The platform aided designers and promote the work of Lebanese designers,” they add. “I like to say that I always see the light at the end of the creatives in Lebanon in renovating their studios, replacing lost materials and catering to other immediate needs in tunnel – but this is the weakest light I’ve seen since I’ve moved to Lebanon,” Tayeb admits. “Which is very sad, so I can only order to help the creative sector get back on its feet. “Young Lebanese designers are struggling today due to imagine what it is like for the designers. But we are here to the financial crisis and the effect of the pandemic on world change that, and we are here to tell them that we are working economics, which all led to the slowing down of the design on making things happen for them. There’s never been a more wave,” say Sayar and Garibeh. “Along with the importance important time to be there [for the design community].” id

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Terracotta dreams

Meshary AlNassar’s homey studio is a reflection of his mission to spearhead a new interior design revolution in his home country of Kuwait WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

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et inside an abandoned nursery on the coast of Kuwait City, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, is designer Meshary AlNassar’s studio, which he renovated to feel more like a relaxing home than a traditional working space – a direction which AlNassar feels is becoming more prominent (“I think office designs are dramatically breaking away from the corporate structure and more into open collaborative plans that are zoned using furniture instead of walls and barriers,” he says). Spread across the top floor of the former nursery, the open-plan studio is inspired by the hues and textures of terracotta clay and mud and dressed with ornaments from the Arab world, while staying true to AlNassar’s signature minimal approach to design that is present across all his projects – be that interiors or furniture and products. “I wanted to create a very welcoming space for my clients to enjoy,” AlNassar shares. “[By breaking] the rigidity of what a design or architecture studio in Kuwait looks like, we [created] a home-like plan where a chain of rooms are interconnected through hallways and entryways.” Spatially, the office space is divided into two parts: one part that resembles a more traditional working space and another – previously a glasshouse with an abundance of lush greenery – that has been transformed into the waiting area and a large workroom. AlNassar insulated the glass ceiling and added HVAC ducts to transform the space into one of functionality but also of tasteful cosy respite, maintaining the essence of the former glasshouse with large planters of lush green palms. The meeting room is also tucked away at the back, in order to allow for clients to walk through and experience the space in a way that has been specifically curated by the team.


interiors

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interiors

The studio’s conspicuous colour palette is an ode to its brand identities over the years, first featuring varying hues of cream and sandy tones, inspired by limestone and other natural stones. It later evolved into the bold terracotta tone, which is a staple hue used across the space, from the entrance of the studio to the waiting room, among others. The tone is a nod to AlNassar’s family farm where, one day, he unearthed a patch of terracotta clay. Reflecting on the launch of his studio in 2018 in Kuwait City, AlNassar says that the entire endeavour was completely unplanned. “I was freelancing one summer in Kuwait and found myself working on a few projects that led to wanting to hire a team to help me out, then [needing] a space for us to host our client presentations,” he shares. AlNassar says that while the design scene in Kuwait is “very small, there are some spectacular designers and architects in Kuwait that do such amazing work, allowing me to challenge myself daily. “I am hoping to contribute to a different approach to design within the Kuwaiti market, stepping away from the commercial, fast-paced design we see today to focus more on high-quality spaces and highend services. I am certain that in the past two and a half years in Kuwait we have succeeded in contributing something of value to the market – and we will continue to do so.” Having first appeared on everyone’s radar with his trio of marble lighting sculptures launched during Dubai Design Week – and which

one can glimpse in his Kuwait office – AlNassar now has a number of high-end residential villa projects under his belt, many of which reflect his warm blend of minimalism and palette of natural materials and textures. “I am trying to introduce design[here] that is welcoming, tailored and timeless – staying away from trends and seasonal decisions. I aim to design spaces that can authentically reflect the personality of the homeowner. Continuing to derive inspiration from the region and its surroundings, I want to showcase our culture and history with its current rhythmic contemporary twist,” he explains. The studio is also currently working on a commercial project in Doha, Qatar, as well as continuing to deliver high-end residential projects in Kuwait. AlNassar is also on the path to launching a new product design collection which is set to be revealed later this year. Perhaps his biggest news, however, is the expansion of his studio into Dubai, which is set to happen this summer. “While still focusing on approaching design from a different perspective that allows us to enhance our clients’ interior spaces both aesthetically and functionally, we are now working on launching a new online project across object and product design, hopefully by the end of the year,” he also reveals. It is safe to say that for AlNassar, everything is only just beginning. id

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THE FUTURE IS NOW A NEW ERA OF DESIGNERS, ARCHITECTS AND ARTISTS IN THE UAE IS REDEFINING WHAT IT MEANS TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF OUR ENVIRONMENTS AND CITIES, FROM THE MIDDLE EAST TO THE REST OF THE WORLD WORDS AND CREATIVE DIRECTION BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOACHIM GUAY


cover story

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HASAN AND HUSAIN ROOMI

H2R Design Interior Designers

Brothers Hasan and Husain Roomi, the managing partners of boutique practice H2R Design, are conscious of creating projects that are future-facing by adopting a sustainable approach to their projects, not only through their choice of materiality but also in the ways they tackle the ageing of spaces. With a focus on the hospitality, F&B and retail sectors, the brothers have carved a niche for themselves within the regional and international design scene, with offices in Dubai and London. “As tactical as it may seem to have two brothers follow a similar trajectory and work within the same field, we actually took an organic approach to the growth of our careers, as well as our business,” they explain. “A passion to create and innovate drove us to open our own studio in 2012 – something we found essential, being young and full of ideas to push the envelope… While we have grown in both size and capability, we have stuck to our guiding belief that organic growth is better than forced growth – from both a creative and a reputation perspective. Having

a young, dynamic team that can tackle whatever project piques our interest is at the heart of who we are and how we operate.” Context is at the core of H2R’s designs, and the duo has completed some of Dubai’s most visited cafés and dining concepts, as well as being at the helm of projects such as the renovation of the iconic Al Alamein Hotel in Egypt and the luxury retail space HOB in Abu Dhabi that honours the local influences of the region. “At our core, we have always believed that context is the key anchor to any design of a space or brand. We have not deviated from this since the very beginning; however, what has evolved is the region’s environment and appetite for innovation, which happens to work beautifully with our ethos, in our opinion,” the brothers say. “Moving toward [the future], we look forward to more hotels, more public spaces and more retail [projects]. These projects spark excitement for us as they have the potential to impact the region on a larger scale.”

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RIYAD JOUCKA

Middle East Architecture Network (MEAN*) Architect

Working at the nexus of design, emerging technologies and local culture, Middle East Architecture Network (MEAN*), led by architect Riyad Joucka, is on the path to redefining a new architectural language for the Middle East by juxtaposing a contemporary approach to design with local materials, using cultural heritage as reference. Having previously worked in cities such as Hong Kong and New York, Joucka is keen to apply his experience and knowledge within the Middle East context. “The Middle East, and the UAE in particular, has the most potential and opportunities in terms of growth, and a forward-thinking vision for a future of innovation and collaboration. With a young median age population, there is a wealth of talent and potential to tap into,” he says. MEAN* is currently working on integrating new ideas and methodologies of design into emerging spaces, buildings and products. “Our portfolio features an array of projects that vary in scale and complexity. The overall theme of the work is to take indigenous culture, materials and building methods as a starting point for responding to the client's brief through meaningful, innovative design. We are currently

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working on a few commercial interiors that reflect this method,” Joucka says. MEAN* has already collaborated with a number of high-profile partners, such as Audi (designing the ‘Audi Innovation Hub’, a pavilion that embodies the brand’s ethos of ‘Advancement through Technology’ while reflecting on the theme of ‘connections’), Spanish brand Nagami (creating a 3D-printed chair featuring undulating patterns that investigates the possibilities of robotic 3D printing for the design and production of bespoke furniture), as well as the Roads and Transport Authority (creating a 3D-printed bus stop scheme that reflects on the strong influence emergent technology will have on the future of our cities). Joucka has recently also revealed a concept for living in isolation – an architectural response to a post-COVID-19 world. House 00 sits on the soaring peaks of Jebel Jais, northeast of Ras Al Khaimah, and references traditional elements of local residential architecture. “The modern design landscape in the region has been overpowered by ideas that are imported from the west,” Joucka shares. “I believe that it is our responsibility as a new generation of architects and designers to change that, harness local talent and focus on build[ing] a better future for our cities.”


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LINA GHALIB Designer

Interior and product designer Lina Ghalib traces her design inspiration back to her Egyptian roots, and the ancient civilisation that has granted the world many of its inventions, from paper and ink to surgical instruments and foldable beds, among many others. “A very [well] known phrase in Arab culture is ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’,” says Ghalib. “Although it’s challenging to invent things in 2021, I do believe paying homage to history and studying ancient societies’ methods of living can give us a better understanding of simplicity and originality.” Currently working as a product designer at Aljoud Lootah’s studio, Ghalib was part of the Tanween programme for Tashkeel in 2020, with a project that focused on developing and testing a new material made from upcycled palm tree mid-ribs, known as ‘PlyPalm’. While the project aims to make a new sustainable material available to the design market, it also emphasises the importance of preserving the craft of furniture-making in Egypt and marrying it with the symbolic heritage and abundant resource of palm trees in the Emirates. “I recently submitted a research paper on the ‘Sustainability of Design in Culture’,” Ghalib describes, “and it was heavy with technical information about the future of reclaimed palm tree mid-ribs as a material. I believe research is the number one method in being honest as a designer, and by doing so I look forward to manufacturing PlyPalm in a feasible way and making it affordable for use across different design industries.” “[As a designer], my responsibility is to be honest: honest to [my] clients, honest to the design, and honest with the materials and methods I use,” she adds.


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ZEINAB AL HASHEMI Artist and designer

Zeinab Al Hashemi’s works possesses a strong synergy between design, art and craftsmanship – she is known for her large-scale site-specific installations. Examining the contrasts and interdependence of nature and industrial production, she often creates works that reference the urban and natural landscapes of the UAE, while focusing on experimentation with familiar and traditional elements and future-forward technologies, in order to create an alternative perspective that is relevant to the modern context of the country and the world globally. These juxtapositions have included experiments with materials that blur the boundaries of what is natural and what is artificial – and what is local in terms of resources and cultural heritage. This results in works that utilise traditional colours, textures and materials – such as camel leather – which are then offset with industrial materials such as metal mesh and rods found across industrial workshops, where Al Hashemi works with local craftsmen, and with whom she aims to push the boundaries of craft-making in the UAE “to think

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outside the box”. Al Hashemi has worked with the likes of Swarovski, Tiffany & Co. and Hermès, as well as exhibiting at the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah Biennial 11, with future commissions including the Expo 2020 Dubai. She is now focused on creating more longterm works that will serve the city at large, particularly with public art. “I like to study the public [for whom I create] and how that piece would change over time,” she explains. “With public art, as much as a lot of people think it is a way of beautifying the city, in my opinion, that is not the main purpose. I think public art is a way to create a legacy and a way to create long-term landmarks around the city, which become a very important part of the city.” “There is so much that is happening today globally, but I guess my work doesn’t really tackle the issues – rather, it tries to give a different meaning to what you are looking at,” she continues. “I am always keen to bring in harmony rather than disruption. I am into shifting and transformation through design.”


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NUHAYR ZEIN Architect

“As an architect, I have a responsibility towards our planet and its inhabitants, as their health is directly related to their harmonious co-existence. To me, culture and ecology are two important aspects [of] that work,” says architect and designer Nuhayr Zein. “To re-create harmony in today's digital world, I would say that the integration of nature, culture, science and technology is imperative to a sustainable and healthier future.” Describing herself as someone with “an experimental mindset”, Zein has worked across various architecture studios as well as independently on installations, architecture competitions and furniture design. Inherently inspired by nature, she reflects this across the totality of her work, hoping to make a mark on creating design in the region that is “inspired by process or natural behaviours rather than by style”. A concern for the earth’s natural resources also drives Zein’s overall ethos in design: “I respond to cultural, social or environmental issues to achieve designs [that are] coherent with their context, without affecting the natural environment or depleting its resources,” she says. Much of her efforts are now set on developing an alternative to animal leather, called ‘Leukeather’, which uses discarded plant resources. “On the global scale, the animal and exotic leather industries are large contributors to climate change, and also threaten wildlife and biodiversity. Although this is known among designers, animal leather is still being used in furniture, fashion and product design and it is about time we start looking for other sustainable and ethical alternatives,” Zein explains. She is also working with material scientists to develop a replacement for wood veneer. “These materials are not yet available at an architectural scale, but I hope this can initiate more radical research into sustainable construction materials,” she adds. Zein explains that while there have been positive shifts within the regional design industry in relation to culture and the environment that are urging more designers to build responsibly, she argues that more can still be done. “In the future, I hope to see and contribute to more action-oriented material research that would reduce industrial waste in the region. I believe that our world is constantly evolving, and so should our materials,” she says. id

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cover story

Shot on location at the Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre designed by Hopkins Architects. THE NEW ERA

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interiors

Burgundy Utrecht chair by Cassina from SPACE. Wool and art silk rug, custom designed by YSG, fabricated by Tappetti. The fireplace is custom designed by YSG, built by Promena Projects and hemp-rendered by Fernando de Oliveira from Uprising Cement Renderers. Terracotta pavers from Bisanna Tiles (colour: 845 Maroc).

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interiors

WEEKEND LIFESTYLE

This Sydney home achieves harmony through the perfect balance of proportions, materials and colours WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY PRUE RUSCOE STYLING BY FELICITY NG

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interiors

Vintage leather and chrome chairs from The Vault with custom powder-coated eggplant frames by YSG. Terracotta pavers from Bisanna Tiles.

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interiors

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orth of Bondi, in the suburb of Dover Heights and overlooking the ocean, is this 825-square metre, two-level house that has everything anyone could ever dream of: peaceful outdoor areas on the ground floor (including a patio and garden with a swimming pool); exceptional views of the ocean from the balconies on the upper level; a sense of openness in all the main living spaces; and a balance between the different colours and materials throughout. Creating the perfect atmosphere with every element at the right place was, however, no easy feat. The brilliant mind

behind this elegant and warm Sydney home designed for couple Portia and Jason (and their children) is Egyptian-Australian designer Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem, who leads YSG Studio. To start, some structural changes were necessary as the project originally was “a rabbit warren of tiny dark rooms and hallways”, according to Saleh Ghoniem. Several internal walls were removed, and the ceiling was raised in the kitchen/living area and the formal lounge room by the fireplace to enhance an airy flow. This area opens up to the terrace through folding doors, not only allowing for cross-ventilation but also inviting natural light inside.

O’Branch II natural brass wall sconce with dusted white shades by Ruduxr Lighting. Tulash linen copper bedhead custom-designed by YSG and fabricated by Rematerialised Artwork: Radha Deva Awakening , 2019.

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In this 825-square-meter home, upstairs balconies offer ocean views, enhancing the connection between interior and exterior.


Custom designed vanity by YSG - ‘Juperana Bahia’ surface from EuroMarble, 2pac finish tubular leg with surface recess for loose items, custom bronze-finished brown cattle horn cabinet handles from Spark and Burnish. Diiva lounge chair by Grazia & Co. (powder-coated finish with leather backrest and natural sheepskin seat pad).

Outside, important transformations also took place. “The pool was reduced in size and re-surfaced (as its edge practically abutted the original connecting door to the house), enabling the entertaining area to sit within its deepened threshold, while the existing gazebo was transformed to include a dining setting plus outdoor kitchen,” Saleh Ghoniem describes. “The pool’s cabana and a side courtyard incorporating a seating alcove and concrete awning (an extension of the dining area’s blushing aubergine ceiling) converted under-utilised spaces into all-seasons rooms.” One of the main objectives of this project was to highlight the connection between inside and outside – something that was reinforced through the use of the same terracotta tiles in both the interior and exterior spaces of the ground floor. Meanwhile, the original travertine floor was preserved in several other parts of the house. The wall and ceiling lighting fixtures underline the deep hues in the public areas, where an arched opening, a curved wall and the fireplace with a space to sit down give a feeling of perfectly balanced proportions. “Settings are embellished by tonal and tactile variations that delineate the neutral zones via swathes of colour and surface patinas,” says Saleh Ghoniem, who chose the smooth sage and toffee Marmorino polished plaster walls, the blushing aubergine ceilings in the formal lounge and dining areas, and the nubby carpets found throughout the home. “This home is an immersive dreamscape that envelops you the moment you enter, and instantly quietens your mind.” Hovering within the entrance of the home, the painting by FrenchAustralian artist Stanislas Piechaczek featuring dusty pastel shades, patchy brushstrokes and experimentation with conceptual depth informed much of the interior. “It was the first artwork the couple purchased together during a break in Byron Bay,” remembers Saleh Ghoniem. “Stanislas was doing a residency at Raes on Wategos, where they were staying. Jason had just proposed to Portia on the headland, so it’s very sentimental.” The interplay between polished and raw finishes is highlighted in the kitchen, where the marble island combines with brass, while the flooring features rustic tiles. Many pieces were made-to-measure and all of them were carefully selected for every corner, such as the Utrecht armchair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina, the sculpture by Sanné Mestrom and the Mantis floor lamp by Bernard Schottlander for DCW Éditions in the living room. Dedicated mostly to private areas, the upper floor is home to four of the property’s five bedrooms, including the two main bedrooms. One of them was designed for him and has deep eucalypt green decorative elements in the bedroom and black marble in the bathroom; the other was created for her, with powdery plum tones in the bedroom and roseshaded marble with black veining in the bathroom. “Given the seaside location, natural aging is celebrated, providing the home with a ‘lived-in’ ambience that complements the family’s relaxed lifestyle and preference for casual daytime entertaining,” Saleh Ghoniem says. “Every day feels like the weekend.” In this home, every detail plays a part, with a special ode to materiality thanks to the rich colour palette, sculptural forms and textures that give life to a fresh and refined aesthetic, making this Australian coastal house a tactile paradise. id

Custom wall finish by Creative Finishes.


interiors

Tropical modernism

Brazilian architect Carolina Maluhy transformed this São Paulo home into a blank canvas to display the owner’s wide collection of Latin American art and vintage furniture WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY RUY TEIXEIRA

Artwork by Fernanda Gomes. Console by Carolina Maluhy.

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Andorinha side table by Jorge Zalszupin from ETEL. Dinamarquesa armchairs by Jorge Zalszupin from ETEL.

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tranquil silence engulfs the visitor as they enter the expansive white space of the São Paulo apartment, surrounded by glass windows that overlook an urbanised horizon preceded by a green carpet of tropical forest – a most spectacular panorama of the Jardim Europa neighbourhood. The surrounding views are like having one’s own tropical garden in the middle of Latin America’s largest metropolis. The apartment of collectors Stefania and Francisco Cestero and their two children is a duplex set on the 12th and final floor of the building located in Cerqueira César, a central neighbourhood in São Paulo. Given their love for art, design and architecture, they were looking for a simple, noiseless and bright space to enhance their collection of works of art and vintage furniture, with no unnecessary distractions. “The personality of the couple, who are both passionate about art, design, music and philanthropy, was key to understanding how to design the perfect set [on which] to display their art and design collection, as well as accommodate an intimate venue for jam sessions with musicians and friends around the grand piano, one of the owner's main hobbies,” explains Brazilian architect

Carolina Maluhy, the founder of her eponymous design and architecture studio. “The style needed to be minimalistic and neutral, predominantly white, with plenty of natural light and simple lines, providing a silent stage where the exquisite collection and the musical soirées could stand out.” Intensifying the panorama of the city was another vital consideration, which contributed to the architect’s decision to enclose the apartment with glass. “The apartment building where the residence is located is higher than most residences in the neighbourhood, thus providing a privileged view over the surrounding area. While the lower ground benefits from a wide glass façade connecting the interior to the vista, the upper floor used to be an open terrace, which was closed in order to give way to a new living space, also surrounded by glass walls, so that the green view could be let in. In the project, it was important to keep the elements as transparent as possible – such as the staircase sided by glass guardrails. Natural light invades the property all day long, while the plants arranged along the transparent walls establish a dialogue with the outdoor environment,” says Maluhy. THE NEW ERA

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interiors

Pendant by Marepe. White linen armchairs by Joaquim Tenrerio. Petalas side-table by Jorge Zalszupin from ETEL.

The architecture of the building itself lends inspiration to the design language inside, following the same minimalistic, straight and pure lines – typical of the 1970s classical style of São Paulo’s architecture, which was also characterised by regular angles and a strong use of glass. “The project follows the same language, which draws from a Modernist origin, thus respecting the design of the building itself,” Maluhy adds. The social gatherings around the grand piano dictated that it remain the focal point of the lower floor, from which other areas of the space are arranged. An opening to the 48

upper mezzanine allows daylight to enter, which also finds a way in through the glass walls of the living room overlooking the city. A large table, in the same material as the floors – travertine marble – connects the living room to the dining room and kitchen. At the other end of the lower floor are two suites for the children and an extra suite for guests, as well as two work studios. A glass and wood staircase – made of Cumaru wood, typical of the North Region of Brazil – takes one up to the second floor of the residence, which was rebuilt from scratch, having previously housed an open-air rooftop, and later closed to create a second living space.


interiors

Artwork by Alfredo Jaar. Console by Carolina Maluhy. Leather armchair and ottoman by Sergio Rodrigues. THE NEW ERA

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interiors

Covered by a light ceiling, the upper living room is lit in the middle through a glass dome with a set of automatic Brise soleils in wood, regulating the natural illumination. The starting point was to respect the minimalist architecture and to expand the living space to the second floor, which now houses an extra living room and the couple's master bedroom – the only room in the house with wooden floors and an airy closet. The rest of the floor is a wide open space providing 180° views of the city. In the middle of the second living room of the residence is a fireplace surrounded by an impressive collection of vintage furniture. Glass doors sliding through iron frames subtly divide, or rather connect, the interior space and the outdoor area, the latter kept green not only by the view but also by the plants distributed along the perimeter of the veranda. “We decided to keep the spaces open to guarantee ventilation and light,” Maluhy Art by Fernanda Gomes. Ceramics by Shoki Suzuki. Coffee table by Jorge Zalszupin. continues. “The window frames allow the breeze in – essential in the warm tropical days The art collection is mainly contemporary, featuring – as well as the clarity that invades the house from end to end. These are the main benefits of an open-plan project a strong selection of female artists, notably: Fernanda such as this one. Additionally, the family enjoys spending Gomes, whose sculptures compose a music sheet above the time together and with friends, so this absence of divisions sideboard designed for the project; Ana Maria Maiolino, an Italian artist who found a second home in Brazil; as allows for a more enjoyable space of communion.” Additionally, the neutral tones of the space allow the well as Brazilian artists Adriana Varejão, Renata Lucas and furniture and artworks to become the main protagonists Rivane Neuenschwander. The careful selection of works of the residence. Brazilian vintage design stands out for its is completed by other important Latin American artists, handicraft and the use of hardwood. Such is the case with including: Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, whose silophone the rare tables and the Dinamarquesa armchairs by Jorge sculptures are made with guns from a local disarmament Zalszupin, as well as the iconic Jangada chair by Jean Gillon. campaign; Brazilian conceptual artist Cildo Meireles, with “The design collection encompasses other key names his iconic Coca-Cola bottles; and Chilean artist Alfredo [essential] for understanding the prolific production of Jaar, who pays tribute to Italy through poet Giuseppe Brazilian modernism, among them Giuseppe Scapinelli, Ungaretti's verse M'illumino d'immenso. For Maluhy, however, one of the most vital and Geraldo de Barros, Joaquim Tenreiro, Percival Lafer and Lina Bo Bardi. Designers Pedro Petry and Hugo França encompassing features of the residence is ‘unity’. “I think take the conversation between wood and furniture to that unity, together with natural light and ventilation, present days through various pieces placed around the brings a feeling of calmness and serenity, which I deeply value,” she says. house,” Maluhy says. id

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Landscape design by Renata Tilli. Table by Hugo Franca. Chairs by Geraldo de Barros.

Arwork by Ornagui and Prestinare. Dinamarquesa armchairs by Jorge Zalszupin from ETEL.

Artwork by Jonathan de Andrade. Chair by Hugo Franca.

Artwork by Ana Mazzei. Capri benches by Jorge Zalszupin from ETEL.


design focus

DESIGN FOCUS

A FEAST FOR THE EYES

As a place for everything from cooking and eating to entertaining and gathering with family and friends, the kitchen is the heart of any home. It can be a space that invites creativity as well, not only with food but also with design. Contemporary or traditional, urban-inspired or with a countryside feel, adorned with neutral colours or noble materials, bespoke or modular: there are many options to reflect your own style. WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ V2 kitchen by VIPP.

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kitchen design

Image: Courtesy of Vipp

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design focus

Open kitchen Eliminating walls between the kitchen, dining room and living area has become the norm in contemporary homes. Why? Because it creates an inviting and bright atmosphere and in addition allows the host to be part of the conversation with guests when preparing food. In her most recent project in Sydney, Australia, architect Carla Middleton achieved exactly that. “I wanted the whole rear extension of the house to be open, to create a sense of space filled with natural light,” she says. “The kitchen was designed to fit appropriately within the [living] space without looking too large or small.” For Sashya Thind, founder of ID8 Design Studio, the extremely challenging floor plan of a Boston home by ID8 Design Studio.

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Boston home she worked on for clients led her to create an open concept kitchen. “It was the only way to make the space feel airy,” Thind explains. “The house also has amazing water views of the harbour, which is visible from the kitchen.” In this sophisticated and contemporary kitchen, the play between materials became the focal point. “The stone is a quartzite, which is strong and easy to maintain while being extremely expressive,” she adds. “The wood paired well with it while warming up the palette… I hid all the appliances by panelling them, and created a pantry under the stairs for additional storage.” The result is balanced and elegant, combining aesthetic appeal and functionality. Image: Joyelle West


kitchen design

Bespoke by Samsung.

Creating a made-to-measure kitchen is a dream come true thanks to innovative solutions such as the new V2 system by Vipp, a new iteration of the V1. It’s now wrapped in dark oak and Jura marble – a fine grained limestone – reflecting a design language that refers both to the Danish roots of the brand and a Japanese aesthetic. Modularity is what gives these Vipp kitchens their uniqueness. The four types of modules – island, island with seating, wall and tall – offer different possibilities through a building-block approach that helps customers craft a kitchen of their own. Other solutions such as Bespoke by Samsung also put personalisation at the forefront. Versatile configurations, two finishes and eight colours (matte

black steel, champagne rose steel, navy steel, white glass, rose pink glass, navy glass, grey glass and sky blue glass) are available to customise the 4-Door Flex refrigerators and Flex Column and Bottom Freezer models, fitting any space. Launched a few weeks ago, a limited-edition 4-Door Flex panel design was created by Samsung in collaboration with artist Andy Rementer, bringing colour to the kitchen through a visual celebration of the diversity and individuality of people around the world. By transforming boring appliances into fun design elements that are accessible, these options provide more options for personalising products that are part of our daily life.

Image: Courtesy of Bespoke

A personal touch THE NEW ERA

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design focus

Al fresco dining When summer is coming, or for the lucky people who live under the sun all year round, there is nothing like having an outdoor kitchen. To make the most of this true privilege, designers and specialised brands pay particular attention to materials, which have to be specially made for exterior dining experiences to ensure their durability. For Spanish architecture studio ÁBATON, embracing the warm and sunny weather of the Balearic Islands through the design of this Menorca holiday home, owned by a family that lives in Madrid, came naturally. “We wanted to bring to life a pleasant and comfortable environment where the owners’ friends could feel at home,” says co-founder Camino Alonso. “We tried to recreate the beach vibe of the area through neutral tones, the cement finish – which has the colour of sand – and natural fibres for the pergola.” Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni, Norma is the new outdoor kitchen from Roda that has a contemporary look with pure lines. It comprises a freestanding island in the Roda Smoke tone, an AISI 304 stainless steel sink unit with doors available in Rust or Milk, and a cooking module available with fixed feet or wheels. “Norma was designed with a truly Italian essence, exalting our passion for cooking and combining it with the practicality and quality of good design,” says Dordoni. Norma outdoor kitchen designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Roda.

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kitchen design

Image: Joyelle West

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design focus

All about marble “This is aesthetically pleasing but also calm; a space you can happily be in at any time of day,” describes Edo Mapelli Mozzi, founder of Banda. Every element in this London home’s kitchen has been carefully considered, and the use of natural materials and texture – such as wood, bronze and stone – was extremely important. “The sheer length of the bespoke cantilevered Calacatta Oro marble island is incredibly rare and stands out as a piece of statement artwork in its own right,” says Mapelli Mozzi. “This in itself was an engineering London by Banda feat and required incorporating a significant steel structure to support the weight of the marble, [which is] situated at a perfect height to allow low-level One clever thing I like to do is to use a gorgeous slab of seating for more casual breakfasts.” marble for the splash and a basic quartz or granite for the Interior designer Crystal Sinclair, at the helm of countertop. This way you get the best of both worlds – a Crystal Sinclair Designs, also chose marble – Macchia durable work surface with an eye-catching splash.” Vecchia – for the New York City apartment she created Coming in different colours and textures, this noble for a couple who live in the Upper West Side. “I love material is always a hit. Elegant and timeless, marble marble in a kitchen,” Sinclair says. “Honed is definitely transcends trends. the way to go as it won't show water marks and rings. id

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Image: Taran Wilkhu


sponsored feature

Living in the kitchen Nolte Küchen embodies the standard for sleek, ergonomic and high-quality design of a truly 'Made in Germany' brand

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ong gone are the days when kitchens were pushed to the back of our homes and used solely for cooking time-consuming meals. Today, there isn’t a more celebrated part of the home than the kitchen, which – alongside preparing meals - we also socialise, relax and even work. For this reason, our kitchens have become stand-out spaces, catering to a variety of tastes and design solutions. Kitchen trends are as diverse as ever, yet one trend in particular is dominating the market: modular design. Aware of wide-ranging consumer tastes and preferences, German brand Nolte Küchen has been at the forefront of providing a broad range of kitchen solutions – all of which are designed and manufactured in Germany – that take into account materiality, storage solutions, lighting, décor and most importantly, customization and modularity. Regarded as one of the most revered German-made kitchen brands, Nolte Küchen was founded in 1958, eventually establishing its presence in Dubai in 2011 and subsequently delivering more than 40,000 project kitchens across the Middle East. Today, Nolte has more than 75 exclusive showrooms in the region catering to retail customers. Whether one is looking for a contemporary-style kitchen or a more classic composition, Nolte Küchen’s range of products ensures that there is something for everyone.

Nolte’s exclusive MATRIX 150 grid system achieves a flexible design using a 150mm grid in width, height and depth to turn your kitchen into a truly living space. Nolte also offers the largest ranges of finishes including real wood veneer, concrete, metal, lacquer and glass. It also provides high-end imitation ranges to cater to various prices and markets. Sustainability is also at the heart of Nolte Küchen, whose figures for the emissions of harmful substances are significantly lower than legal requirements. As a confirmation of Nolte’s environmental commitment, the brand has been awarded with both FSC and PEFC certification. “When the time comes to deliver your kitchen, we only use environmentallyfriendly packaging that can be recycled. By doing so, we are able to provide the best conditions for a healthy life with your kitchen,” the brand says.

UAE: Universal Trading Company, +971 2 633 5331 - utc@ugc.ae /Kuwait: Ali AbdulWahab Sons & Co., +965 2 2261700 Ext.1900 - ahd@aaw.com / KSA: BedQuarter, +966 55 131 7471 - sultan.k@bedquarter.com Oman: Ahmed Mohsin Trading Company LLC, +968 9922 4311- sarfaraz@amtoman.com / Bahrain: Khalaifat Company, + 973 3968 9495 - hesham@khalaifat.com / Corporate Office: info@noltefze.com - www.noltefze.com

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sponsored feature

At the nexus of design and function Casamia is home to truly contemporary kitchens for lovers of elegance and understated style 60


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or Casamia, the kitchen is the centre of creativity, regardless of who is at the helm. Its minimal yet resoundingly innovative kitchen series appeal to homeowners as much as to expert chefs. Boasting spacious units and versatile designs that are inherently contemporary, kitchens at Casamia are defined by their linear structure and understated finesse. Their effortlessness in balancing design and function is at the heart of what differentiates kitchens conceptualised by Casamia from other brands. Optimisation of space, in addition to iconic designs, offer a refined elegance to any space or theme. Choosing to remain bespoke, the look of every individual kitchen by Casamia can be reinterpreted by interplaying the many units of its many series. So what goes into putting together that perfect kitchen that will last through time and generations? Kitchen countertops are at the heart of a culinary workspace - functioning as a kneading counter, chopping board, and even a rest-top for pots brimming with piping hot meals. For kitchens curated by Casamia, countertops have to be as beautiful in form as they are durable in function, making Laminam a preferred countertop placement. Laminam slabs are renowned for their lasting qualities, making them an obvious choice for countertops that will withstand the blade, the burns and the spills we so often encounter in the kitchen. Similarly, lighting is an important choice for the kitchen space. Providing the perfect lighting for the cooking process and even the exciting culinary photoshoot after, kitchen lights do more than just illuminate - they speak an aura, one that brings to light more than just food.

info@casamiauae.com / casamiauae.com +971 50 227 2642 7 Street 2A - Dubai, Shaikh Zayed Road

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sponsored feature

A taste for luxury Häcker Kitchens is on a mission to 'disrupt the kitchen industry' in the Middle East

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sponsored feature

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erman kitchens have long remained synonymous with high-quality manufacturing and materials, precision, ergonomics and clean design. Established in 1898, German luxury kitchen manufacturer Häcker Kitchens prides itself in these defining qualities. Being a family-owned German company, it embodies the national qualities for excellence, integrity and love for craft, as well as high-quality materials and processes, resulting in longlasting and well-designed products. Its 100% tropicalised cabinets means that the Häcker kitchen is fully sealed using the latest adhesive and sealing technology, with the highest resistance to heat and humidity – robust enough to stand the test of time in the toughest of climates across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In the Middle East, Häcker Kitchens specialises in consulting, design, supply and installation for the luxury residential sector, with a kitchen studio located on Sheikh Zayed Road. Being a carbon-neutral company, Häcker Kitchens has a strong commitment to sustainability, having been awarded multiple certifications for its ‘healthy furniture’ and plant flowering meadows and trees, as well as its support for social institutions globally. In the UAE, Häcker has made a strong commitment to ‘disrupt the kitchen industry’.

“By educating and enlightening our clients to make informed decisions when it comes to buying their luxury kitchens, we want them to look beyond the brand names and the emotive stories that deliberately distract the customer from important details,” says Samir Ranavaya, CEO and cofounder of Häcker Kitchens UAE. “We want to lift the veil of fancy luxury marketing gimmicks and help clients make informed decisions so that they can get the maximum value for money for functional, elegant and long-lasting kitchen spaces. That is what we call real luxury.” One of Häcker's best-selling collections is Systemat 3.0 - Hi Gloss Lacquer. The timeless design, finished in white, continues to be the industry benchmark, providing designers with ultimate flexibility when it comes to shapes, sizes and proportions. Its minimal OneLine product line keeps the kitchen space pure and pared back to its essentials, while maintaining ultimate functionality. What Häcker regards as its ‘iconic’ line, the Black Star kitchen is finished with natural granite doors. The statement piece brings natural stone elements into the kitchen, following the rising demand for bringing nature indoors.

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design

Photography by Tommaso Sartori. Courtesy of FLOS.

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A contemporary legacy The opening of the Bourse de Commerce – Collection Pinault, under the guidance of Tadao Ando and the Bourellac Brothers, marks a new era for contemporary art in Paris WORDS BY CYRIL ZAMMIT


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Photography by Tommaso Sartori

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new gem has been added to the cultural crown of Paris and it is none other than the Bourse de Commerce – Collection Pinault. Set in a historical building in the heart of the city, this new destination has been carefully planned over the course of three years to preserve the stunning legacy of its 400-year history. Now, it is projected into the world of contemporary art. And because all good things come to those who wait, the postponed opening, which finally happened last month, coincided with the reopening of all cultural venues across France. “For years, I have longed to be able to show my collection in Paris, the city I love. This is why the inauguration of the Bourse de Commerce – Collection Pinault is of such special and symbolic importance for me. Paris is not only the city of passion; first and foremost, it is the natural home of artists, of their creative genius and their beliefs.” With these words, art collector François Pinault expresses his vision. The man behind the driving success of luxury brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Boucheron and others is also the patron who gifted the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana to art-lovers in Venice. Having been on a quest for the perfect Paris location since 2006, he was refused a former Renault car production plant on an island on the river Seine before being contacted by the Mayor of Paris to evaluate the possibility of taking over the city's former Bourse de Commerce, the Parisian home of an incredible collection of over 10,000 works by 380 artists, from 1960 until today. It took more than three years to reimagine its interior and immediate surroundings, which have been realised through the combined talents of Japanese architect Tadao Ando, and Lucie Niney and Thibaut Marca of the NeM agency and Pierre-Antoine Gatier. The immediate surroundings of the building were designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, who have developed the forecourt of the building opposite its entrance portico, which opens onto the Rue du Louvre. Within this perimeter, the designers had to signpost, both elegantly and effectively, the presence of a new venue, while allowing walkers to stroll freely and rest for a moment. Their goal was to create a signal that a new venue was open.


Photography by Patrick Tourneboeuf

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design

Photography by Patrick Tourneboeuf

Photography by Marc Domage

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design

It was also necessary to make the space comfortable by protecting it from the flow of the street; this was done by creating seating using simple forms and materials that are both robust and elegant, while leaving room for circulation and the feeling of being present in the space. As a response, the Bouroullec brothers created a system based on tubular benches made of aluminium bronze – a corrosion and wear-resistant copper-aluminium alloy that possesses the same appearance as bronze and copper. They assembled horizontal and vertical lines by means of ‘ball-and-socket’ forms and legs. The tubes are laid in a curve, horizontally, becoming benches that outline the circularity of the street around the Bourse de Commerce; they then rise to become poles carrying banners and signals. Benches and masts are connected by reclining boulders, which can be climbed, leaned on or used as seating. The brothers wanted a delicate presence to glorify this building; there isn’t much that is needed, except for a few elements of great quality. Once you push the doors inside, you are suddenly hypnotised by the proportions of the building and its circular shape. In 2015, during a first visit to Paris after a gap of nine years, Ando met with Pinault. “He suddenly asked me whether I could design a project for him that he was planning in Paris. That project was the redesign of the Bourse de Commerce. Before I knew it, the key members of his project team had assembled in the room. I was stunned by his unexpected request, but I accepted it on the spot.” It became Ando’s largest project in France. On site, the architect has inserted a 29-metre-wide cylindrical

space, bound by a nine-metre-high concrete wall, into the circular building’s central rotunda. The cylinder will house an exhibition space on the ground floor, with an auditorium beneath it. Additionally, on the outside, a circulation space has been created in the gap between the concrete wall and the internal façade that was designed by Henri Blondel at the end of the 19th century. Staircases provide access to the top of the cylinder, where a circular walkway is located. The frescoes (140 metres long by 10 metres high) overhead act as the culmination of this sequence of spaces. A team of 24 restorers worked for six months to return it to its former splendour. Other architectural treasures include a glass cupola from the 19th century, a hidden former engine room and a brand-new restaurant by Michelin-acclaimed chefs Michel and Sébastien Bras on the 2nd floor, overlooking Les Halles and the Pompidou Centre. Walking around the building, the discreet but beautiful furnishings are signed by the Bouroullec brothers as well as the zenithal light from the cupola, where the French designers added new features. In the entrance hall, the horizontal light welcomes visitors, its interlocking structure composed of tubular elements of Murano glass and aluminium (each measuring six metres), which are parallelly positioned. This installation is suspended from the ceiling above the entrance, in a group of five tubes, and developed in collaboration with Flos Bespoke. Close to this, a striking chandelier follows in a straight line the curves of the staircase, like a point of gravitation where light dialogues with the architecture. id

Photo Courtesy Studio69 Bouroullec THE NEW ERA


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Heart of glass We turn our gaze to all things glass, transparent, luminiscent and gauzy, from the square glass slabs of Oriano Favaretto's Ribbon light for Masiero to the cast-glass Cinema bookends by Schönbuch.

Ribbon light Oriano Favaretto for Masiero Available at masierogroup.com 70


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THE NEW ERA

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library

An urban legacy A new book chronicling Sharjah’s modern urban landscape offers a wide-ranging view of the UAE’s third-largest city

Photography by Naira Nigrelli

The Central Souk, designed by British firm Michael Lyell Associates and completed in 1978. Courtesy of Prem Ratnam.

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he United Arab Emirate’s third-largest city has been gaining global recognition for its efforts across education, environmental preservation and, particularly, the arts and the built environment, with many new and upcoming architectural projects by regional and international firms placing the city on the map as one to watch. While its contemporary projects are gaining traction in the architectural world, Sharjah’s early modernist buildings have been either largely demolished or – albeit recently – renovated for preservation. Co-edited by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi and Todd Reisz and published by Birkhäuser, Building Sharjah is a new book that preserves the memories of the city’s urban landscape, “including the parts once imagined, and those no longer to be found.” “Building Sharjah tells the tale of how modern architecture unfurled across the UAE’s third-largest city,” says the team. “As much of the city’s early modern architecture has been demolished or drastically renovated, a vivid collection of unpublished photographs and a broad range of voices preserve a disappearing landscape. Together, images and words reveal an ongoing search for an identity. [It is] a primary source for visitors, residents, researchers, students and scholars who are keen to understand how modern ambitions came together to engineer a global city.” The book features nearly 600 images

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from dozens of sources – most unpublished until now – covering 60 projects in Sharjah, as well as commissioned contributions from 17 writers whose work ranges from literary fiction to neighbourhood memoir and heartfelt historical analysis. It also includes a curated timeline of the city between 1700 and 1995, highlighting significant political, economic, social and cultural events that have influenced the architectural and urban fabric of the city. “Sharjah has been shaped in the past century by a number of historically consequential moments or phases,” the team explains. “One phase was initiated during the British presence in the emirates in the 1930s when the UK government built an air station in Sharjah, resulting in the 1932 Sharjah airport known as Al Mahatta – the region’s first airport. A subsequent development phase started in the 1960s and left a number of impressions on the city, including the first master plan, which was produced in 1963. “Upon oil production commencing in July 1974, most of the city’s modernist architecture began to appear. The following phase, which continues to contribute a visible aspect on Sharjah’s urban landscape to the present day, is when the city took a conscious decision to adopt a more Islamic-inspired architectural identity.” Based on five years of research, some of the projects and landmarks highlighted in the title include: Al-Shaab Cultural & Sports Club, designed by British architecture firm Brewerton; Al Arouba Street in the late 1960s; and the Buhaira Corniche.

In front of Sharjah’s landmark hillocks inscribed with ‘Smile, You Are in Sharjah’, stands Sharjah Tower, designed by Halcrow Group Architectural Practice in 1986. Courtesy of Prem Ratnam.


Exclusive paintings, sculptures and photography from award-winning international artists.

Sculpture by Freeman Lau

Photography by Baber Afzal

Painting by Almudena Angoso


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When Layer was challenged by Danish brand Bang & Olufsen to create the slimmest-possible speaker, studio founder Benjamin Hubert readily took on took on the task – and delivered. The Beosound Emerge is a home speaker with a slim silhouette, its sculptural form doubling up as an interior object which allows it to seamlessly integrate with any environment. It is available in an oak wood cover that wraps around the woven Kvadrat textile on the spine, as well as in luxurious gold tones and an aluminium Black Anthracite finish.

Beosound Emerge by Layer for Bang & Olufsen 74


Berlin apartment by Dimorestudio Photography by Beppe Brancanto

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Identity June 2021  

A New Era of Design

Identity June 2021  

A New Era of Design

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