Identity - June 2022

Page 1

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 221 / JUNE 2022

The Style Issue

®




contents

Features 12

A family affair Two sisters’ mission to bring people together around the table in a surrealist atmosphere

24

Future heritage SoShiro combines design, craft and art to showcase diverse talent from across the globe

30

Imperfect beauty Design brand Kameh makes its mysterious debut in Dubai

34

A tale of two cities A contemporary art museum in Tehran brings adaptive re-use to the city’s industrial district C

40

Decolonising heritage

M

Architect Sumayya Vally on Islamic arts, ahead of co-curating the Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah

Y

CM

MY

50

Paris is calling Wissam Yafawi helps a couple realise their dream of a pied-à-terre in the French capital

58

CY

50

CMY

K

A dialogue of opposites In this Brooklyn home, traditional and modern elements meet in perfect balance

Regulars 12

24

44

Design Focus

70

Products

72

Library

74

#idmostwanted



contents

identity

®

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 Production Manager Binu Purandaran Production Supervisor Venita Pinto Contributors Karine Monié Lemma Shehadi Sean Davidson Toufic Dagher

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

44


MONTAIGNE THG PARIS - MIDDLE EAST Dubai Design District - Building 1, Office A404 - Dubai, UAE Phone +971 50 845 6003 - contact.me@thg-paris.com

WWW.THG-PARIS.COM

© THG PARIS 2022

CO L L EC T I O N


Photo by Young Habibti

For a long time when we thought of style, it was common to think solely in fashion terms. However, it can be argued that in recent years style has walked right off the runways and straight into our homes. It has become so much bigger than just one’s wardrobe and is now more a reflection of one’s lifestyle – where one eats, how one spends their day, the places one visits and how one travels. As the home continues to play an increasingly important role in how one expresses oneself, style then also becomes very much about the home. This issue hopes to reflect just that, revealing new worlds of design and objects that focus on bringing a fresh sense of style to any space, such as with the Egyptian sister duo behind Gohar World, taking the dining and design world by storm. Revealing a surrealist universe of tableware and accessories, Gohar World turns every meal into a painting from the likes of Salvador Dali’s Les Diners de Gala. For the Gohar sisters, every gesture and item that is used is part of a wider ritual and isn’t something to be taken lightly, but instead celebrated as a work of art – and I honestly couldn’t agree more. At a time where quick desk lunches are the norm, a slow, beautiful and purposeful way to dine and share moments with others is a wonderful way to reconnect with one’s surroundings in the midst of beautiful objects and great company. Additionally, with the weight of the pandemic slowly easing, it is clear how much our increased time spent at home has realigned our values on what we want in our spaces: less clutter and more meaningful objects. Collectible design – be it large expensive pieces or smaller, unique ones – has become more in demand than ever before, with many young collectors reassigning the value of what is or should be considered a ‘collectible’. In this way, the style of many homes, which once cherished more traditional pieces and décor elements, is to opt for a more eclectic arrangement, mixing antique and contemporary, minimal and maximalist pieces. All of this is an evolution of style and a reflection of we want for our homes and our lives in general. And of course, while everyone’s style is different – be it through their wardrobe or their homes – the most important thing to remember is to always have fun with it.

Aidan Imanova Editor

Photography by Sean Davidson

Editor’s Note

On the cover: Study area in a Brooklyn home designed by Selma Akkari and Rawan Muqqadas


OUTDOOR LIVING


design

East meets West

Richard Yasmine is showcasing a collection of poetic, nomadic furniture during Milan Design Week WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY BIZARREBEIRUT

10


design

L

ebanese designer Richard Yasmine’s playful yet socially conscious designs have graced many of Milan’s design weeks, and this year is no different. ‘Woven Whispers’ pays homage to artisanship, with the intent of preserving vanishing cultural heritage while exploring the relationship between east and west. The collection is a series of ‘nomadic’ furniture pieces that takes inspiration from bold modernist architecture and basic geometric volumes, as well as the ‘Arts and Crafts’ movement. Choosing rattan as the hero material, Yasmine muses on wicker, one of the oldest furniture-making methods in history, whose influence and prominence travelled as far as Ancient Egypt, Persia and Ancient Rome before becoming a staple piece of furniture from modern times until today. The result of a collaboration between several craftsmen, the pieces display intricate techniques and dynamic skill, which have been used to weave and braid the contemporary lines and rows of the collection, using natural fibres such as organically dyed rope, rattan and wood. ‘Woven Whispers’ will be displayed as a ‘mini city’, composed of a series of levels of stackable tables of various sizes and heights that together create a monolithic installation mimicking rising edifices from history, such as the Tower of Babel – marking its grandeur but also its fragility. As with all of Yasmine’s pieces, the collection is a play on metaphors, highlighting the importance of solidarity and harmony between people and nations.

Richard Yasmine

Photography by Lara Zankoul

THE STYLE ISSUE

11


design

A family With their tableware universe, Gohar World, two sisters want to bring people together around the table in a surrealist atmosphere

WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ

affair

This collection comprises linens, candles, table accessories, wearables and dinnerwares

12

Photography by Roe Ethridge


design

New tableware universe created by artists and sisters Laila and Nadia Gohar

“I

n Gohar World, everybody has the ability to be a great host – one who gives themselves to their guests. Giving oneself means giving the most valuable of possessions: time,” say Egyptian sisters Laila and Nadia Gohar. “The time it takes to invite guests; the time it takes to shop for food; the time it takes to cook; the time it takes to set the table; the time it takes to arrange the flowers; the time it takes to select the music,” the duo continues. “And finally, the time to sit and enjoy those we love.” This is quite a statement in today’s fast-paced world where screens (from smartphones to computers) are omnipresent and take almost all our

Image courtesy of Gohar World

attention; yet the Gohar sisters followed this idea to create their collection of linens, candles, table accessories, wearables and dinnerware. Based in New York City, Laila usually expresses herself through the design of multi-sensory eating experiences and events across the world, using food as both an artistic expression and a tool for communication. She collaborates with fashion and luxury brands such as Chanel, Comme des Garçons and Hermès. Based in Toronto, Nadia explores the importance of material histories and the urgency of craft as a visual dialogue through her paintings and sculptures, which are exhibited across museums and galleries in different countries. THE STYLE ISSUE

13


14

Egg chandelier

Patrician wine Glass

Bird citrus squeezer

Lace bonnet for bonbons

Images courtesy of Gohar World

design


design

Gohar World surprises with its surrealist touch

Photography by Roe Ethridge

Going one step further, the sisters decided to join their unlimited creativity in the service of a common project that celebrates craft and disappearing traditions such as mouth-blown glass, various types of needlework and hand-dipped candles, to name but a few. They reflect a sense of humour through surrealist pieces, which aim to bring people together around the table after what has been an isolating couple of years. Among them are silk satin bags with bows for baguettes, pearl hats for wine glasses, aprons with lace hands, bonnets for vegetables, as well as egg chandeliers and candles in the shapes of sausages and cauliflower. Designed in New York City, the Gohar World pieces are produced by family-owned artisans in different countries – including Austria, Spain, Italy and Vietnam – while the fine cottons and linens are sourced in Egypt, where Laila and Nadia’s grandmother, Nabila, hand stitches every satin bow. “No object or piece of furniture has been as meaningful to family and community as the dining table, where simple acts of hospitality – laying out a tablecloth, opening a bottle of wine, cutting a cake – become rituals,” say Laila and Nadia. Setting the table with the same consideration as dressing oneself is the sisters’ motto for Gohar World. The result is unexpected and fun – and exactly what we need. id

Laila Gohar

Photography by Corey Tenold

THE STYLE ISSUE

15


design

Natural order Nicole Farrelly and Olivia Granberg have created ceramics brand Cole & Cinder to offer homeowners a taste of nostalgia CONVERSATION WITH AIDAN IMANOVA

The Fossil collection Fossil vase, extra large

16


design

H

ow did Cole & Cinder begin? Nicole Farrelly: The brand started in such a bizarre and serendipitous way. My father has always encouraged us to find a way to work for ourselves, so I was constantly starting mini-home businesses and coming up with ideas, but nothing ever stuck. I was in a phase where I wanted to make everything myself, whether food or clothes or art. It was a time where I was obsessed with hard-boiled eggs, and I wanted to make my own egg cup. So, my mother-in-law (who has been a ceramicist for over 10 years) said she would teach me the coiling technique used in hand-building to [enable me to] create what I wanted. Unfortunately, halfway through making my egg cup I got distracted by something and the clay dried – and I was unable to blend the coiled egg cup out. I decided that instead of throwing it [away] and starting it again, I’d just fire it and see how it came out. I really loved how it looked and so I made a couple of other pieces similarly, without blending them, including a small straight vase. A couple of weeks passed, and I forgot to collect the pieces from the studio, and they were just sitting on the shelf. I received a call from my mother-inlaw to say that someone was obsessed with the pieces and

wanted to buy them, even after being told they weren’t for sale, and so she decided to sell them for me. I’m not sure how I felt at the time, but I think it was a combination of confusion as to why they wanted to buy them so desperately, and being upset that I had lost the pieces I had worked so hard on. After that I just never stopped. I just knew I had created something unique that people connected with. What is the vision behind the brand? My vision is to build a sustainable brand – not only one that is sustainable for the environment but also sustainable for myself; a brand that evolves and grows with me. We are branching into other elements of design this year, which I’m very excited about, maintaining the same unique form in our future products and keeping the coil detail as our signature. I was explaining to someone the other day that because I hand-build all the vases, I can really see the mood or energy that went into them when they were being built, based on their form. Each piece is completely unique, and I love that for each individual [piece] there is [only] ‘the one’. When people come to the studio you see them fall in love with specific pieces, and it’s so interesting to me as to why they choose the ones they do.

From top left: Silk collection fruit bowl, medium size. Candle holders from the Fossil collection

THE STYLE ISSUE

17


design

A Silk collection vase in process

18


design

Can you tell us more about the materials you use and your production process? The Fossil vases, Mysig candle and Fossil candle holders are made from a white stoneware clay that holds a high content of grog, meaning it has a rough texture. The Silk vases, bowl and candleholders are made from porcelain. I love working with porcelain. As we all know, the line between love and hate is very fine, but the fluidity, movement and finish are so worth the agony. When I am creating the Silk pieces it’s more about working meditatively with the clay and working with managing weight distribution and hydration. Creating the Fossil pieces allows for a lot more risks and daring structures, due to the fact they are left raw and there is no concern about assuring watertightness. Also, the texture of the grog when wet is easier to manipulate. The cups and mugs are now made by slip casting with porcelain. I created moulds using two slightly different hand-built cups so that they feel subtly mismatched. I just love the organic form and I didn’t want to lose it too much [by] using a mould. What is the main inspiration behind the objects? The inspiration is mostly nature in general, whether it’s the ripples in a body of water or a sunlit rock face. I’m constantly inspired by things that are layered or repetitive. There is so much beauty in repetition. Creating in neutral colours allows the focus to be on the form alone and for you to fully appreciate the repetition. You’ll see from time to time on my Instagram some of these things, whether it’s a mushroom or architecture. Can you share an anecdote about one of the pieces? For the Mysig candle, we spent over six months developing the scent. We wanted it to smell like home, to give the instant feeling of comfort and being cosy. The aim was for the scent to take me back to nostalgic moments, like Christmas Eve, Easter and autumnal rainy weekends at home in England, hence the pine and wood notes. The importance of

frankincense came from spending time at church. I always filled up my weekends when I was younger, as I think most teenagers do, and it was just one hour on an occasional Saturday evening that I would put aside to go to church with my father. Having moved from England when I was 17, I never really went to church again but the smell of frankincense reminds me of that quality time, spent mostly in silence with family. I want everything I do to have sentimental value and meaning to me; the thought that someone will grow up in a house that has one of my candles, and that smell then becoming nostalgic for them, is a dream. Memories can be unlocked with a familiar smell or taste and that is a powerful concept to tap into.

The Fossil collection - left to right: extra large Fossil vase; custom-sized Fossil vases

id

THE STYLE ISSUE

19


craft

Building bridges Involved in celebrating West African cultural heritage, Maison Intègre has revealed a new sculptural collection by French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance in collaboration with craftspeople from Burkina Faso

WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEXIS RAIMBAULT

20


craft

Previous page: Maison Intègre specialises in bronzes pieces made in Burkina Faso. This page: Composed of two simple intersecting wooden shapes, the Palabre chair (here made of bronze) is an ode to an iconic African object. The Kassena table was inspired by the vernacular architecture of an ethnic group from southern Burkina Faso

O

riginally from France, Ambre Jarno, founder of Maison Intègre, has had a long love story with Africa, having spent her childhood on the continent. So, when she got an opportunity to work in Burkina Faso for a French company in 2012, Jarno jumped at the chance to return. Since then, she has left her TV career for a more personal and meaningful project called Maison Intègre, which she describes as a way “to build bridges between African craft and design”. Collaborating with 15 craftspeople who work with bronze in Ouagadougou, where the brand’s first workshop opened at the beginning of 2022, Maison Intègre celebrates the ancestral lost wax technique through pieces that are hand-crafted with recycled metal. Every step of the manufacturing process is managed in-house, from creating the moulds, extracting the wax and pouring the molten bronze to cleaning, welding and

finishing. “Our pieces are inspired by customary and traditional objects that celebrate the West African cultural heritage,” says Jarno. Presented in May at Les Ateliers Courbet in New York, the new collection comprises seven sculptural pieces designed by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. In the early 2000s, the French designer visited the Bandiagara cliffs in Mali where he came across a common object in West Africa: ladders made of a single piece of wood. This experience remained stamped on his memory until he revived it through this recent collaboration with Maison Intègre. “The idea of using only one material really spoke to me,” says Duchaufour-Lawrance. “I was impressed by the purity of the Y-shape. It’s a special shape mostly because of its fragility: there’s only one leg, but the two arms facing upward and leaning against a surface make it extremely stable.” THE STYLE ISSUE

21


craft

Cour Royale de Tiébélé

The Retro lamp is a nod to the city of Ouagadougou and its frenetic traffic

22

Photo by Nathalie Jacquault

Masks sconces are a tribute to the richness of the forms of ritual African masks


craft

To create his new series, influenced by the forms found in the traditional Kassena village of Tiebélé, Duchaufour-Lawrance took an immersive trip to Burkina Faso, where Jarno introduced him to Denis Kabre, one of the three bronzesmiths of Maison Intègre. He learned about the techniques of lost wax and added to them his creative vision to bring to life the Y lamp (which refers to the traditional lobi ladder), the Kassena low table, side table and table (which echo the Gurunsi architecture of the Kassena villages in southern Burkina Faso), the Mask sconces (that evoke ritual African masks), the Retro lamp (that visually represents the frenetic traffic of Ouagadougou) and the

The lobi ladder (a traditional everyday object) is used to access the roof of Kassena’s houses where cereals are dried. Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance translated its archetypal form into the sculptural Y floor lamp

Palabre chair (an iconic African object, though here bronze replaces wood). “This is the first time that Maison Intègre has presented a complete collection of pieces where you can see a link between [each object],” says Jarno. Interacting with each other, these objects fashion a new dialogue between several eras and between creative minds with very distinct backgrounds, resulting in something completely distinctive and new. “The power of this project comes from how we can all speak different languages through all these shapes,” says Duchaufour-Lawrance. id

Photo by Sophie Garcia

THE STYLE ISSUE

23


craft

Future heritage 24


craft

London gallery SoShiro brings new design voices to the fore by bridging international talent with globally skilled artisans WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

Townhaus Green collection: For SoShiro, by Interni THE STYLE ISSUE

25


craft

S

et inside a charming Georgian townhouse in London’s Marylebone neighbourhood is gallery SoShiro, whose five floors are dedicated to housing a diverse selection of art, design and craft. Designed and manufactured by talented artists and makers hailing from across the globe, SoShiro’s collections celebrate cultural narratives that are underrepresented in the design world – yet now elevated to share the stories of diverse communities through expert craftsmanship, rich materials and a strong design language. This cultural hub is the brainchild of Kenyan-born and Italian-trained interior architect, designer and curator Shiro Muchiri, who oversees the curation of the gallery’s exclusive collectible artefacts and furniture pieces, and works with designers, artisans and private collectors to realise its special pieces. She also designs her own collections for the gallery. Having worked for many years in a Euro-centric design industry, and faced with a lack of options when specifying products, Muchiri wants to bring something different.

Bento from the Ainu collection designed as a collaboration between award-winning artist and sculptor Toru Kaizawa and SoShiro that celebrates the natural beauty of a special Ainu craft

26

“The whole point is to try and bring new creative voices and have their artforms and creativity transposed into objects that are competing with high-end Italianmanufactured items, both in terms of price and quality level… and they now become part of the economy of high-end design,” Muchiri tells identity. With the demographic of international design and art collectors becoming younger and more diverse, it is only natural that the works of design and art – and those behind these works – reflect these shifts. “I don’t think young collectors reminisce [about] the 19th and 20th century masters. They didn’t all grow up studying European art history. That is not their dream or aspiration. There is a whole new [kind] of art collector now,” she adds. “The design lover today is becoming more explorative, curious and confident – and we are giving them alternative choices to express themselves within their homes, much like what fashion allows us to do, or jewellery, or art. They are now able to express themselves through the items that they put on their table.”


craft

All Aid medicine storage cabinet from the Ainu collection THE STYLE ISSUE

27


craft

The Pok side table and Pok stool from the Pok Collection designed by Shiro Muchiri

28


craft

SoShiro is positioned as a ‘place of discoveries’, with items that are not afraid to be playful and break a rule or two (or more). For example, a matcha tea set can also be used to drink miso soup or to put a candle in. A borosilicate glass can hold both hot or cold water, or tea. A wine glass does not have to include the traditional stem. “The rules for the stems were made for a certain time but we can change those rules as long as it works and it looks good,” Muchiri laughs. For Muchiri, it is important to maintain this level of dynamism and playfulness, while still being able to tell important stories or raise global issues that speak to and are relatable to various international communities. “Underlying every collection and collaboration Shiro Muchiri is the commitment to breathing new life into artisanal communities and sustaining historic craft,” Muchiri says. “In addition to giving designers and artists a platform to exhibit their own London in 2002. The gallery has also recently colwork, we like to bring craftsmanship from very laborated with Cuban multimedia artist Alexandre different regions together. For instance, for our Arrechea, who explores the relationship between debut exhibit there are beautifully executed med- the human body, architecture and colour. Muchiri is also keen on demystifying barriers, icine/wellness cabinets that incorporate wooden handles, intricately carved by the Ainu people of be it between an artist and a collector, a commisNorthern Japan. It’s incredibly exciting to bring sioner and a maker, or even between artists and these two very different practices together and see designers themselves. The casual nature of the gallery – which is more comparable to a private what happens when they merge.” In addition to the Ainu collection, featuring residence than a traditional art space – helps woodwork by sculptor Toru Kaizawa, Muchiri ease the intimidation of such spaces and allows herself worked with North Kenyan craftspeople for a more honest and transparent relationship on the gallery’s first collection, titled Pok, cele- between the various bodies. “I think that the ‘free-spirited’ nature of things is brating the artistry of beading within the Pokot community, as well as other pieces through her what we were lacking, and we wanted to change design studio Interni, which she launched in that,” Muchiri concludes.

Photography by Gerardo Jaconelli

id

THE STYLE ISSUE

29


design

Imperfect beauty

The Kameh Table 0.1 and the Kameh Bench 0.1

30


design design

Design brand Kameh makes its mysterious debut in Dubai WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATELEE COCKS

THE STYLE ISSUE

31


design

The Kameh Mirror 0.1

F

ew things arouse intrigue like anonym- table of raw stone could pose. A quick diversion ity – and in the case of newly launched led the designer to seek alternatives that could design brand Kameh, it is anything but mimic the look of a stone object, while utilising lacking. Positioning itself as a Dubai-born collect- other, more practical materials. Eventually – and in collaboration with a local ible design brand with a signature collection of monthly drops, Kameh puts its bold and sculptur- factory – the Kameh Table 0.1 was built entirely al pieces centre-stage while its designer remains by hand, featuring a steel frame, a Styrofoam behind the scenes. “An important aspect of not interior covered in cement and a protective layer using my name or my face is that I want people to that lends the design piece its semi-glossy finish. “For me, it was very important that the table was love what I do for what it is,” says Kameh. The brand’s first eponymous collection, which usable. Yes, it is a piece of art, but it is also a funclaunched this year, features a table (the first piece tional piece that can be used at parties or family in the series), a bench and a mirror that appear gatherings with kids – whether someone spills as if carved from a huge block of stone. Kameh’s coffee or wine, it can be easily removed and will desire to create a table that was both a functional not stain,” Kameh shares. Kameh’s pieces combine craftsmanship and a object and sculptural art piece led the designer to look towards stone as the main material, visiting contemporary sensibility, where functionality and factories across Sharjah in pursuit, without much art are synonymous – with the latter being a vital luck and later accepting the many challenges a source of inspiration for the designer, alongside

32

nature and “the human self”. The table and bench – which were created in sync to complement one another – display a smoothed upper surface, while the inside reveals a rough terrain, giving the pieces their sculptural form. Playing with the metaphor of the human figure, the metal construction of the frame represents the bones of the physical body, while the soft foam of the interior represents one’s emotions that are protected by a hard shell, evoking “a protective instinct guard we create to shield from the harshness of the world.” “For me a table is something that is very personal because I remember when we would sit at the table with my parents discussing the day. I want the table to be able to be passed down from parents to their kids. For me it was never just a ‘table’ with four legs and a wooden or marble top – I wanted it to be a piece which will move with generations,” Kameh shares. Due to their handmade nature, no two Kameh pieces can be the same, the designer says. “When I first started to look at [design] objects I realised that I do not want to invest in something that is produced by the thousands. I want something unique and different. And with the Kameh collection, everything is handmade, so you can never replicate it 100 per cent – and in that way, each one is a unique object.” Going forward, Kameh is setting sights on recreating its signature forms, dubbed ‘icons’, in a series of different materials, such as wood or glass and even 3D printing technology. “At the moment I am also thinking about engaging different artists because I think these objects are a great canvas – and those collaborations will become limited editions, but for now, my main focus is building our ‘icons’,” Kameh says. The brand is already deep in the process of its more playful second collection, Kameh reveals. “The first collection is very deep and personal, so with the second collection it was more about having fun.” id


design

The Kameh Bench 0.1 THE STYLE ISSUE

33


architecture

A tale of two cities A new contemporary art museum in Tehran brings adaptive re-use to the city’s industrial district WORDS BY LEMMA SHEHADI

L

overs of Tehran often talk about two parts of the city. Downtown Tehran is known for its markets, university, modernist train station and crowded quarters. Northwards is the more residential uptown with its villas, galleries and boutique hotels, stretching towards the foothills of the Alborz mountains. But a new contemporary art museum in downtown Tehran hopes to blur this divide. Opened in 2020 by the non-profit Pejman Foundation, which supports art and design in Iran, the Argo Contemporary Art Museum and Cultural Centre is set in an abandoned brewery in the city’s old industrial quarter. It is the first private contemporary art museum to have opened in Tehran since the Revolution in 1979. “In the past 40 years the general trend of the city was to move uptown to the foothills. Most of the city’s cultural activity followed that same trend,” says architect Ahmadreza Schricker, founder of architecture practice Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture North in New York, who designed the museum’s modern extension and restoration. The US-based practice Hobgood Architects was also involved in the initial concept phase. Today, the museum is surrounded by a cluster of galleries and creative studios. “The museum has been cited as a catalyst for the renovation of neighbouring structures, spurring revitalisation in

34

downtown Tehran by attracting artists and galleries,” adds Schricker. It houses the Pejman Foundation’s permanent art collection and includes six gallery spaces, a library, private studio apartments, offices and event spaces. The Argo factory was originally built in 1921 and was converted into a brewery in 1930. “It was not the most remarkable of buildings, with many industrial architectural twins around the world,” says Schricker of the brick and steel building, “but from a nostalgic point of view, it [has] had a significant place in the local community’s heart and remains the only industrial factory in the city centre.” After the brewery shut down in 1970, the building was abandoned for over 50 years. “The factory was roofless and in an untamed state,” Schricker shares. “The roof material was stripped away by neighbours and its metal beams carried-off by others.” Today, thanks to Schricker’s design intervention, five concrete prism-like structures serve as a floating roof above the building. Schricker likens it to the roofs of the historic Tehran Bazaar. “The new floating concrete roof plays multiple roles: as a deep skylight it keeps the heat out while filtering the light in for the galleries. It also dances with the neighbouring halabi roofs of downtown Tehran,” he says. Inside, natural daylight pours in from the ceiling onto the gallery spaces and a large concrete stairwell. The spacious interiors and high ceilings of up to 11 metres give artists more opportunities to play with space. An observation deck for VIPs gives panoramic views over Tehran. A public courtyard serving non-alcoholic beer allows for the museum’s cultural programme to spill into the city’s streets. “Artists, normal people from the street, art aficionados, city officials, ambassadors from nearby embassies, antique sellers from Manouchehri Street, extras from Arbab Jamshid Street film studios and local tailors all come in to enjoy a pint of re-issued Argo draught beer,” Schricker shares. Among the areas that required extensive restoration, the new brickwork features a recessed mortar that distinguishes it from the original walls. “The subtle difference between the old and the new mortar [is that it] casts a slightly deeper shadow on the restored areas, distinguishing and showcasing generations of brickwork,” Schricker explains.


architecture

Photography by Ahmadreza Schricker

THE STYLE ISSUE

35


architecture

36


architecture

Photography by Mona Janghorban

THE STYLE ISSUE

37


architecture

Photography by Ahmadreza Schricker

This approach contrasts with the other museum building projects in neighbouring countries, such as Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi or Zaha Hadid’s design for the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan. “We live in a time where the architecture of contemporary art museums is spectacular, so it was interesting for us to convert a modest industrial beer factory in the heart of the capital,” says Schricker. “The architectural response to the history of Argo maintains a restrained conversation between the old and the new.” This example of adaptive re-use is marked 38

by the economic and political challenges facing regional resources, local materials and native Iran. “During this time, the project was influ- craftsmen, and made on-site decisions.” In addition, the architect had not lived in Iran enced by many of Iran’s economic and political realities: an inhospitable socio-political climate, for 25 years. “I had never worked in Iran [so] I brutal sanctions, a travel ban, a plummeting rial had to re-learn the local cultural nuances and and the isolating experience of the pandemic,” basic architectural codes. For this I moved to Tehran and lived on-site,” he says. Schricker comments. Yet it is these same constraints that have conTo bypass this, the architect made of use of locally available skills and resources. “Everything tributed to the building’s elegance and sustainable in Argo was made by hand in Iran, and mostly design. For Schricker, it is as if these challenges in Tehran, typically on-site. It was the only way were embedded into the design. “Reality makes to realise the project,” adds Schricker. “We used design better,” he says. id


architecture

Artisanal sunscreen from La Scroutinerie. The zellige table is made by Art et Sud in Marseille.

Photography by Ahmadreza Schricker

THE STYLE ISSUE

39


architecture

Decolonising heritage 40

Sunday Rice Ritual, 2021


architecture

The architect working at the intersections of building, research and activism reflects on Islamic arts heritage ahead of her cocuration of the Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah WORDS BY LEMMA SHEHADI

THE STYLE ISSUE

41


architecture

F

or architect Sumayya Vally, co-curator of the upcoming Islamic Arts Biennale in Saudi Arabia, architecture is not just about buildings. “Architecture is stuck in this tradition of monumentalising, without thinking about the life of the public that it serves,” she tells identity. Rather, she says, the field should engage more with the practices and life of a community. As such, her studio Counterspace does not only design and build, it also engages research, curatorial work and community engagement. “These are really important forms [about] which [architects] should be learning, growing and developing the discourse.” In 2021, Vally became the youngest architect to design the annual Serpentine Pavilion in London. This incorporated fragments of buildings from across the city that reflected its cross-cultural and diasporic communities. For this, she was named in the 2021 issue of the Time100 Next, an annual list of people deemed likely to shape history. Her approach stems partly from her upbringing in Johannesburg, a city still reeling from the legacy of apartheid. “In South Africa, architecture had such a big role in segregating people and perpetuating the politics of apartheid. We still live with those legacies because architecture is not easily undone,” she says. “[Architects] shy away from shaping and expressing politics, yet they are so implicated in it.” Vally grew up in a township for the city’s Indian community. “I had a small community upbringing. It was isolating but it also gave me a strong sense of communal activity, of organising charity events and initiatives, as well as protests in solidarity,” she recalled. She was born in the final years of apartheid, days after Nelson Mandela was released from prison. “When I was growing up there was this sense that anything was possible. But because democracy was so young, so much hadn’t changed.” Indeed, her university years were marked by the beginning of the Rhodes Must Fall movement in Cape Town, which saw students campaigning to decolonise education. To this day, though living the peripatetic life of an artist, she is still inspired by her home city. “We have the inherited architecture of colonialism and apartheid, but we also have the actual life of the city. People made the city a home, found ways to practice their rituals and earn a livelihood, despite being so excluded from it,” she says. “That resilience and that way of making space beyond and despite the limitations of formal infrastructure is hugely inspiring.” 42

Vally hopes to bring this focus on community engagement to the Islamic Arts Biennale, and shape understandings of the field. “Islamic Arts has been defined by the Western gaze. From the outside in, rather than a space of embodied experience,” she says. As such, she argues, the term Islamic arts is used to describe an ornamental style, rather than a movement tied to faith. Her contemporary arts programme for the Biennale will aim to highlight aspects of Islamic life. “Some works will be

Sumayya Vally

Photography by Mikhael Subotzky


architecture

Fragment of Serpentine Pavilion 2021, designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace for The Tabernacle

tied to rituals of the faith, and the experience, the philosophy and meaning behind them,” she said. “Others to the human spiritual experiences and cultural life of the Islamic world. These are related to food, to sound, to tradition, to the customs of generosity and hospitality, to sharing, and to the infrastructures of gathering.” Vally has visited the Kingdom for pilgrimages since the age of 14. “The Kingdom is the custodian of these holy sites, but they really have a sense of presence for Muslims from all around the world,” she says. Today, she is witnessing the growth of the country’s burgeoning

© Counterspace Photo: George Darrell

arts scene as a result of the recent reforms. “It’s amazing to be part of such an incredible transformation, to see and feel that so much is changing for women’s rights in the country, and to experience the cultural shifts that are happening in the art scene.” Vally hopes to convey Islam’s diversity at the biennial. “The philosophies of the Islamic faith offer the potential to think about the future differently,” she says. “I am thinking beyond the stylistic traditions that have been called Islamic arts, and to show how the philosophies of Islam and how the life of being a Muslim can inspire creativity and creative thinking.” id

Folded Skies

THE STYLE ISSUE

43


design focus

Pop your colour

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the design world returns to Milan this month for the long-anticipated Salone del Mobile to discover the latest collections and objects of desire. This summer season we have selected some of the most vibrant and playful pieces on show WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

Revisiting the classics While last year saw the return of many design classics, with brands focusing on reissuing their more iconic pieces from the past, it seems the energy for this has not waned this year either. Tacchini brings back the Le Mura sofa from 1972; designed by Mario Bellini, it became ‘a symbol of an era’ and now transcends it. The modular seating can be arranged in a thousand different ways to suit different spaces and decors. Now, for its 50th anniversary, Tacchini has reinterpreted the design icon by amping up its durability and comfort, and offering new materials and upholstery, while remaining true to the sculpted beauty of the original design. 44


salone del mobile

A stroke of paint London-based designer Bethan Gray’s ‘Inky Dhow’ installation shows a wide array of home objects: from furniture, textiles and rugs to hand-blown glass and ceramics, all finished with a drawing the designer first made while on a trip to Oman. This was then translated into an intricate marquetry pattern by Muscatbased master craftsman Mohammad Reza Shamsian

and his team of artisans, using 16th-century marquetry techniques combined with cutting-edge technology. The pattern – inspired by the billowing movement of the striped sails on the dhow boats sailing in the Gulf of Oman– now graces Gray’s many designs, including the new Ripple sofa that will be shown for the first time in Milan. THE STYLE ISSUE

45


design focus

A new icon To celebrate the anniversary of its iconic Isy collection, Zucchetti presents Isy22, a new tap collection designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez that is enhanced with novel contemporary finishes, and features a new, innovative system. The latest collection has grown in size and character to meet contemporary needs but remains true to the inspiration of the original design and to the shape that follows the natural flow of water – exactly what made the original one of the icons of the bathroom world. 46


salone del mobile

Collaborative spirit For cc-tapis, a rug becomes more than just an object: it is a meeting of ideas and experimentation, which is why its selection of collaborators is so vital to each collection. This year, the brand has worked with Dutch studio Odd Matter for its Car Park collection, which is inspired by the ephemeral nature of sand, where transient movement and marks are permanently engrained on the surface of the hand-knotted rug. “The collection tries to capture a fragment of the moments that no one came to see, but for a short period was a part of,” describe Els Woldhek and Giorgi Manassiev from Odd Matter. The carpet brand’s new series expands its artistic universe through various colour interpretations of the craftsmanship that it is hailed for the world over. Other designers involved in its 2022 collection are Bethan Laura Wood, Patricia Urquiola, Mae Engelgeer and Duccio Maria Mambi.

THE STYLE ISSUE

47


design focus

Freedom of function For Agape’s first foray into using (recycled) cork, the brand introduces a new kind of bathroom collection that is both whimsical yet conscious of the circular economy. Water resistant, the Vis-à-vis stool and Rendez-vous daybed benches are celebrated for their versatility and freedom of use: they would be suitable across any living space, be it the bathroom, outdoors or the sitting room. Designed by Marco Carini, both pieces honour artisanal work that is visible, for example in the sparser and denser woven areas of the benches that feature a striking decorative effect, highlighting the human contribution to the design.

48


salone del mobile

Seeped in myth Part of its 2022 Icon Catalogue, outdoor brand Talenti introduces the Argo Alu collection, the sister of the previously launched Argo Wood, now rendered in aluminium. Characterised by its contemporary aesthetic, the family consists of 12 combinable pieces, including dining tables, coffee tables, seats, sofas, poufs and deckchairs, with a strong versatility of material play and finishes alternating between white, graphite and stoneware. The generous size of the upholstered cushions offsets the austerity of the aluminium structure while the frame, covered by elastic belts, emphasises the deep and cosy shapes of the collection id

THE STYLE ISSUE

49


interiors

Paris is calling A couple with three daughters realised their dream of having a pied-à-terre in the French capital, with the help of Beirut-based interior designer Wissam Yafawi WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOUFIC DAGHER

50


interiors

This nook features a rug from Limited Edition, a Poltrona Frau sofa and a coffee table by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek made from scraps of wood. The painting is from Tom Young and represents an iconic Lebanese house. The curtains are made with a Loro Piana linen fabric THE STYLE ISSUE

51


interiors

L This page: The iconic Vitra Eames chair was sourced from a flea market and reupholstered with an old Kilim fabric. The pendant light was custom-made in Beirut with Atelier 33. Next page: The chairs are vintage, sourced in Italy, and surround the Saarinen table from Knoll. The pendant light is by Tom Dixon

52

ocated in one of the chicest neighbourhoods of Paris – the 7th arrondissement – this apartment is nestled in a typical Haussmann building that’s characterised by its beautiful stone façade. The owners dreamed of having a pied-à-terre in the French capital where they could meet with their three daughters, who are studying abroad. The characteristics that made them fall in love immediately with the 260-square metre, two-floor apartment were the original architectural features, The high ceilings, cornices and ornaments give character to the space. The layout, however, needed to be transformed. “There were initially three bedrooms – one of which had an entrance from another room – a very tiny, dark kitchen at the end of the apartment and only one

bathroom,” remembers Wissam Yafawi, who heads up his design studio based in Beirut, Lebanon. Some of the biggest challenges consisted of satisfying the homeowners’ desire to have the main suite (with its own bathroom and dressing room) far from the rest of the spaces, and to find a way to include the new bathrooms while preserving the old building. “We had to knock down a wall between the two salons to create a bigger reception area and to recreate the intricate mouldings that existed in one of the living rooms to make the whole space look as one,” says Yafawi. Finally, the kitchen needed to become the core of the home for the family, who spend most of their time there. In total, the project took nine months to complete.


architecture interiors

THE STYLE ISSUE

53


interiors

The main living area features a rug from Limited edition, Eko sofas from Christophe Delcourt and a fluted solid oak wood coffee table by Yaffawi, with a mirrored glass top. The sculpture is by LebaneseFrench sculptor Chaouki Choukine, while the painting is by Adam Handler. The African solid black wood54 table was sourced from an antique store


interiors

THE STYLE ISSUE

55


interiors

The lamp is from Serge Mouille, the painting is by Lebanese artist Hussein Madi, while the Ballroom blue wall paint is by Farrow & Ball. The sofa is custom-made, and the folding table came from a flee market in Stockholm and made in solid French oak wood

For this both timeless and functional apartment, Yafawi made sure to keep the Parisian vibe and charm. “These homes have a lot of history,” he says. “For decades, people lived in [them] with their secrets and stories, so it was important to preserve this, but we also needed to introduce more comfort and use the newest technology in terms of cooling and lighting.” Adorning the different spaces with pieces such as a pair of iconic Eko sofas by Christophe Delcourt, a round coffee table designed by Yafawi, a painting by Tom Young and a sculpture by French-Lebanese artist Chaouki Choukini – among others – was also quite an adventure for 56

the designer. “When we ordered the furniture, we didn’t realise how tight the staircase was,” confesses Yafawi. “The two main sofas couldn’t go through the stairs, so we had to dismantle one of the main windows to get them in. The whole manoeuvre took at least three days of hard work.” For the palette, Yafawi opted for a neutral backdrop complemented by colourful objects and paintings. “The prime choice was to use travertine in the entrance hall and blend it with bleached oak wood doors and an off-white wall paint,” he describes. “In the living space, we kept the old parquet and treated it while enhancing the mouldings and cornices with a bright white

paint to provide a crisp look.” In the bathrooms, Carrara marble prevails for a luxe effect. In every project he takes on, Yafawi draws inspiration heavily from his clients, making sure no two interiors are alike because, as he says, “No two people are alike. I don’t like to reflect my own identity in the projects I design. When I deliver a project that resembles the clients, then I know that I have succeeded.” Proof of that is how the couple feels in their Parisian apartment, Yafawi says. “It was meant to be a pied-à-terre, but the owners ended up staying there last year and immediately called it home.” id


interiors

The kitchen cabinets are custom Artisanal sunscreen from La Scroutinerie. The zellige made in Farrow and Ball's Duck table iswith made Art et Sud in Marseille. Green an by Italian Travertine top THE STYLE ISSUE

57


A dialogue of opposites

The living space is adorned with vintage modern furniture by the likes of the furred bouclé couch hugging the bay window with an Alvar Alto room divider in the 58 background; styled by the Somerset House

interiors


interiors

In this Brooklyn home, traditional and modern elements meet in perfect balance WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY SEAN DAVIDSON

THE STYLE ISSUE

59


interiors architecture

60


interiors

Previous page: Custom basalt fireplace with the custom inset dark oak cabinetry. Right: Kitchen seen behind the central arches, clad in Reform panels and topped with purple-green veined marble. The custom inset dark oak cabinetry can be seen in the background as an extension of the kitchen

I

t was love at first sight for these homeowners, who made the building façade, the dining and living areas take over the an offer straight after visiting this apartment that hadn’t 14-metre frontage of the apartment while the more private, been touched since the 1960s. When long-time friends cosy rooms occupy the back. “Defining the layout played a and Pratt Architecture classmates Selma Akkari (based in big role in identifying the atmosphere created,” say Akkari New York) and Rawan Muqaddas (based in London) discov- and Muqaddas. Interested in contrasting colours and textures, the designered the 130-square metre space nestled on the fourth floor of a historic building in Brooklyn that they were tasked to ers used a combination of a brushed metal counter and purtransform, it was also a no-brainer. “Although in very bad ple-green veined marble counter in the open aluminium-clad condition, the space had a lot of potential, beautiful light and kitchen, which is the heart of the home. “Handmade ceramic very unique bones,” they remember. This is what convinced tiles and dark stained built-ins were some of the other materials used, again accentuating the understated yet rich theme,” the duo to embark on a two-year adventure. Softly divided by two big arches that evoke the curves of the duo says. THE STYLE ISSUE

61


interiors

This page, left: A moment of serenity in the main bathroom in Arabescato marble. Right: A more casual take in the second bathroom, with the use of handmade Italian ceramic tiles. Next page: The reading corner in the main bedroom is flooded with early afternoon light coming in through three framed windows, creating a soothing atmosphere

62


interiors

THE STYLE ISSUE

63


interiors architecture

Two arches divide the living space from the dining and kitchen area, and are outlined by neo-traditional details

In the serene bedrooms, a subtle and warm palette prevails through the oak flooring. Among the changes, Akkari and Muqaddas also introduced an operable skylight in the second bedroom and added a third bedroom. Throughout the home that already featured a decorative cornice and bold skirting, the pair strove to preserve the essence of the building, which was originally built in 1910. “We began by looking into the past, then reintroduced tradition-inspired details such as mouldings and warm hues to encourage dialogue between the interior and exterior,” they say. Delicately mixing elements and references from different eras, the project reflects Akkari and Muqaddas’ belief that “in architecture and design, a

64

space embodies the idea of building beautiful designs that are made to last and ensures that integrity and aesthetics take centre stage.” To create perfect harmony, the duo collaborated with Somerset House for the selection of furniture and decorative accessories that combine modern Italian and Danish references with touches of Baroque and primitive influences. “Nothing was meant to shock or provoke a strong reaction,” Akkari and Muqaddas say. “The main aim was to create a soothing space through [a] carefully curated pairing of warm and timeless materials.” Minimal yet inviting, this home exudes a sensitive character that is true to its old soul while revealing its new identity. id


interiors

Study area, showcasing a Jean Prouvé-style vintage desk, facing the living room. A pendant hangs over the desk adding a curated moment to the space THE STYLE ISSUE

65


lifestyle

A modern revival

identity visits one of London’s famed establishments that has been converted into a five-star hotel by David Chipperfield Architects

I

t is no wonder that the Hotel Café Royal is listed as one of the Leading Hotels of the World. The iconic London landmark has been on the radar of the city’s social scene for a century and a half, having opened its doors in 1865 as a restaurant and bar, attracting writers and artists such as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, and later the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Mick Jagger. Today, following a three-year restoration by David Chipperfield Architects in collaboration with historic building architects Donald Insall Associates, the famed establishment stands as a 66

luxurious hotel with 160 guestrooms and signature suites, restaurants, and bars, as well as Akasha – an urban retreat-cum-spa with signature treatment rooms and a large lap pool. Chipperfield’s masterful hand is visible in the restoration of the building, which has retained the grand historic public rooms of the 1860s and 1920s, with contemporary interventions that offer a more severe and refined balance to the overall design. The guestrooms and suites are pared-back where necessary, with a keen attention to scale and material, and feature low leather sofas, minimal

lighting and partitions that divide the various spaces which are designed to feel more like private apartments that you never want to leave. The hotel’s seven signature suites are, on the other hand, reminiscent of the property’s glorious past, inspired by the original features found within the Grade II listed building – be it the rich classical gilding of the grand Empire Suite or the original 16th-century wooden panels, beams and fireplace of the intimate Tudor Suite. Whichever suite one may choose, it is no accident that the architects have struck the perfect balance between old and new.


design

THE STYLE ISSUE

67


lifestyle

Dine in style

The MAINE Mayfair blends old-world British elegance with New England extravagance and a touch of subterranean decadence

F

ollowing the revitalisation of one of the only remaining Georgian buildings in London’s Hanover Square, The MAINE Mayfair is now one of the city’s most exciting dining venues, as well as the first international outpost of the Dubai-born brand spearheaded by Canadian restaurateur Joey Ghazal. Designed in collaboration with Brady Williams, the New England-inspired brasserie is set in an 18th-century townhouse that can be accessed through the Medici Courtyard (formerly the stables of the townhouse). The striking project features five rooms over three floors, with a

68

year-round hidden terrace that is enveloped by foliage, offering a modern take on a traditional British garden. Inside, the original drawing room of the Duke of Montrose has been carefully reimagined to include a space for dining alongside a mirrored cocktail bar and fused with a mid-century aesthetic that offers the sense of being in a laid-back living room while still featuring sumptuous details with nods to the East Coast, such as the giant Capiz shell chandelier and abstract artworks, blending retro and contemporary details. Tucked inside the original brick vaulted

cellars of the house are the former servants’ quarters which have now been transformed into a speakeasy tavern, showcasing a collision of the quintessential British pub and New England architecture, featuring timber perforated banquettes reminiscent of Shaker church pews that have been designed to cocoon the front room, while the long zinc bar crowns the space. An additional homage to the restaurant’s New England extravagance is the neo-speakeasy style cabaret, complete with grandiose chandeliers, Hollywood Regency sofas, bentwood chairs and distressed brick.


sponsored partner content content

Present-day classics

Iconic Italian brand Stilnovo is shining the spotlight on the classics for its Milan Design Week installation

H

aving tapped some of the most coveted brand’s recent relaunch displays an even livelier Italian architects to design its lights since personality through its Original for the Originals the early 1950s – from Piero Castiglioni campaign that celebrates a people-orientated and Donato D’Urbino to Joe Colombo – Stilnovo brand which is proud of its legacy and of its remains one of the pioneering brands that has dynamic and inclusive approach. The brand’s presence during Milan Design made its mark on the ever-present DNA of Italian design. Its acquisition by Linea Light Group in Week will be marked by the Stilnovo Original 2019 has only strengthened its legacy, propelling Lounge which will shine a spotlight on its most the historic Milanese brand further into the con- famous lamps – many of which are true icons of Italian design – through an enchanting exhibition temporary homes of today. Although Stilnovo has always been known that takes one back to the origins of the brand. for its playful and unconventional character, the Some of the pieces on show will include the

Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni-designed Saliscendi lamp from 1957; its Campana light from 1969; and the whimsical Fante, designed by Jonathan De Pas, Donato D’Urbino and Paolo Lomazzi in 1978; among many others. The exhibition, while highlighting the long and iconic legacy of Stilnovo, also aims to highlight that design icons can be attainable objects for all. Furthermore, Stilnovo believes design should entertain, arouse positive ideas and associations in people’s minds, and produce fun companions for everyday life. THE STYLE ISSUE

69


products

Coastal chic Summon the vibes of a coastal holiday home with these staple pieces: from Vitra''s iconic Panton chair in flamingo pink to a canvas Loewe bucket hat for those long days under the sun

Silk twill cushion in Blu Mediterraneo Dolce & Gabbana Casa Available at mytheresa.com

70


products

1 2

3

6

5

4

1. Nera bowl by Monica Förster for Zanat. Available at mytheresa.com 2. Cotton-canvas bucket hat for Paula's Ibiza collection by Loewe. Available at matchesfashion.com 3. Bubbles and Bottles by Pols Potten. Available at thatconceptstore.com 4. Striped straw vase by Sensi Studio. Available at matchesfashion.com 5. Totem striped candle by Missoni Home. Available at farfetch.com 6. Panton chair by Verner Panton for Vitra. Available at mytheresa.com

THE STYLE ISSUE

71


library

The soul of a city Take a tour of Milan’s secret treasures in the month when the design world converges at its gates WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

“D

esign and fashion are a sort of religion in Milan,” writes Massimo Nava in Milan Chic, a soon-to-be-released book about the Northern Italian city, published by Assouline. Milan – although perhaps not the most touristic city among the country’s plethora of stunning locations – offers a distinct skyline where the aesthetics of history and tradition meet with the innovations of modernity, revealing itself through lesser-known treasures such as Stefano Boeri’s Vertical Forest or Rem Koolhaas’s Fondazione Prada. Fewer people also know that Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper,

Milan Cathedral, located in Piazza del Duomo

72

lives in this city, housed inside the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Among its other landmarks such as the Duomo di Milano and the iron-and-glass domed Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II, the true essence of the city lies behind the hidden façades both of its historic and contemporary buildings, where design takes centre stage. “Design, fashion and industry do not exist in separate worlds here,” Nava writes. “They are part of an incredible network of businesses, jobs and start-ups. Discovering the spirit of the city

© Oberto Gili

means understanding a complicated combination of a new social class, new work opportunities and a new lifestyle rooted in a remarkable historical and human heritage. “Design here is a physical presence, perceived in all workplaces, whether studios or factories, which produce objects born from individual creativity or from meetings at the event where everything comes together: the Salone del Mobile, the renowned furniture and design fair.” In Milan Chic, it is apparent that the magnificence of Milan is in fact a reflection of its creative inhabitants: the designers, architects, artists and restauranteurs who lend their sense of style to the city. “The style here is simple and elegant, without ostentation,” Nava describes. “‘Chic’ in Milan means smartly dressed, embodied by certain formal essentials, like an Armani coat. The fashion master himself said: ‘You can sum up the style of Milan with three D’s: discipline, duty, discretion’.” In this vibrant volume, Nava, alongside photographer Oberto Gili, takes readers on an intimate journey, making stops at the homes of sought-after designers, the studios of the city’s artists and the headquarters of some of the most prominent architects, illustrating the allure of this elegant industrial and cultural centre.


library

Clockwise from top: No Signal Zone, an installation by Sara Ricciardi, produced by 5VIE as part of 5VIE D’N’A - Milan Design City 2020. Fashion editor Pina Gandolfi walks on the limestone floor, among the pillars, at Viale Vittorio Veneto 22, designed by Achille Luigi Ferraresi. Entrance of Casa Manzoni, located in Piazza Belgioioso

Photography by Amir Farzad Courtesy of 5VIE Network

© J. Atti Gili

© Oberto Gili

THE STYLE ISSUE

73


id most wanted

Italian architect Michele De Lucchi first rose to fame during the Memphis movement. Now, for Stay – his second collaboration with design brand Stellar Works – his earlier inspiration carries forward into new designs constructed using a range of the brand’s wood finishes. The dining table is made from four pieces of wood that seamlessly join in the centre for a refined edge bevel design, while the chair’s playful and organic structure eliminates the superfluous and references natural forms with its four-leaf clover seat.

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

Stay by Michele De Lucchi for Stellar Works 74




Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.