Identity - January 2022

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ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, INTERIORS + PROPERTY

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ISSUE 216 / JANUARY 2022

The New Culture Issue

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contents

Features 14

Into the sunset Feyza Kemahlioglu designs timeless pieces influenced by her Turkish origins

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Earthen simplicity A new ceramic studio in Kuwait City is making the craft accessible to all

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The extinction of modernity Balkrishna Doshi’s Royal Gold Medal shows we still need architects with social intent

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Design with roots Cristián Mohaded’s solo exhibition reveals a new reading of Argentine design

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The spaces in between Limbo Accra explores the potential of incomplete buildings across West Africa

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A sacred formula The AB-House in Dubai is a prototype for contemporary Emirati architecture

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Artful living YODEZEEN designs hip-hop star Timati’s art-filled family home in Moscow

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Photography by Mohammed Ashkanani

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Design Focus

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Products

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Library

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Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Managing Partner and Group Editor Ian Fairservice Group Director Andrew Wingrove Editor Aidan Imanova Designer Hannah Perez Sub-editor Max Tuttle Chief Commercial Officer Anthony Milne Group Sales Manager Manish Chopra Sales Consultant Michelaine Leon Sales Representative - Italy Daniela Prestinoni General Manager - Production Sunil Kumar Assistant Production Manager Binu Purandaran Production Supervisor Venita Pinto Contributors Anique Ahmed Cristiano Luchetti Karine Monié Nadine Kahil

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A new year is usually defined by new beginnings, new resolutions, a reset in perspectives – but how long do these really last? The global pandemic has prompted discourse around topics that, while they should already have been on our radar, had taken a back seat amid the chaos of our everyday lives. And as these discussions continue into the new year, there is hope yet that a new design culture is perhaps here to stay. The challenges of previous years and the unknown of what is still to come have given rise to a renewed sense of responsibility in the design community, creating a culture of well-being, belonging and care. Over the course of the 20 months that I’ve been in this role, never before have I spoken to so many designers, architects and entrepreneurs who are taking it upon themselves to push forward a new way of navigating the worlds of design and architecture and, in turn, encouragw social behaviours that are beneficial on a collective level. In our January ‘New Culture’ issue, we speak to some of these practices and individuals to understand the different approaches to this topic and what the outcomes could look like. In a fascinating interview with Ahmed Bukhash, we learn of the architect’s quest to define a new model for contemporary Emirati residential architecture that feels identifiable to a community whose urban landscape had become largely defined by a Western approach. Bukhash’s own home – featured in this issue, and which has taken 11 years to complete – aims to present just that. “Most of the residential architecture which we have designed [in the UAE] is based on a precedence that is not applicable to our culture or our identity,” Bukhash says. “When dealing with formulating an identity that is both timeless and paves the way for future residential developments, questions of culture and religion are inseparable [as they are] fused into the very fabric of [how] we live. We wanted to create our own type of architectural vocabulary that is based on sacred principles related to Islamic culture.” In other parts of the issue, we interview Argentine designer Cristian Mohaded, whose 15-year career in design has revolved around presenting a more inclusive and honest representation of the country’s design landscape. To Mohaded, real change in design and the world can only happen through collaboration and understanding – and that is what his first mega solo show, Territorio Híbrido, is really about. If you are lucky to be in Buenos Aires this year (the show is open until March 2022), be sure to stop by – and if not, you can still read all about in the coming pages. To me, the voices in this month’s issue are very special in their outlook – be it the work of Limbo Accra, who are activating abandoned spaces across West Africa, or AB+AC Architects, who are encouraging an emotional approach to building. There is always a lot we can learn from each other, so this year let’s continue to do that while building this new culture of value and care.

Aidan Imanova Editor

Photography by Sergey Krasyuk

Editor’s Note

On the cover: The home of Russian hip-hop star Timati, designed by YOZEDEEN



Contributors

Cristiano Luchetti is an architect, critic and educator. He is currently a Doctoral Researcher at the Universita’ Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona, Italy. Luchetti has more than 20 years of experience in both professional practice and academia. Since 2015, he has been the associate editor of Compasses Architecture & Design, regularly writing about architecture and urbanism from the Arabian Gulf. In 2018, Luchetti co-curated the Egyptian pavilion at the Architecture Venice Biennale, and in 2021 co-authored the book Desert:Space - Architecture for Emptiness. For this issue, he writes about Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi’s Royal Gold Medal 2022 prize. “[Doshi’s prize] is an opportunity to reflect on his contribution to the architectural discipline at a global scale, and the historical meaning of his work,” he says.

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Anique Ahmed is an architectural and interior photographer based in Dubai. With a degree in architectural design, Ahmed has the eye of an architect, which brings to his work an authoritative sense of space, form, texture and light. His photography has been widely awarded at several international photography competitions, as well as being exhibited at the likes of the FotoLoft Gallery in Moscow. In this issue, Ahmed photographs the home of Emirati architect Ahmed Bukhash. “As the sun moved, I could capture the contrast of the cold concrete and the warmth of the wood,” he describes of the experience. “The angular projections that cut into the interiors and exteriors gave me the opportunity to compose multiple images of the same spaces. It was a pleasure to photograph the AB-House, which has been one of the most unique projects I have shot so far.”

Based in California, Karine Monié is a content creator, writer and editorial consultant, and has contributed to a number of coveted design and fashion titles such as Interior Design, Elle Decoration and Architectural Digest, among many others. In one of her pieces for identity’s January issue, Monié interviews Turkish designer Feyza Kemahlioglu. “It was fascinating to delve into the creative process of Feyza, founder and principal of FEYZ Studio,” Monié says. “Understanding how her origins influence her work through a closer look at her new collections gave another perspective and dimension to Feyza’s timeless pieces.”

Nadine Kahil describes herself as a lifelong writer, editor and creative, and has worked across both digital and print media. Currently based in Beirut, Kahil writes about what she loves most: art, fashion, architecture and design. For this issue, one of Kahil’s pieces covers the story of Egypt’s first contemporary collectible design gallery, founded by collector Rasheed Kamel. “I loved the passion Rasheed has for art,” Kahil says. “It is interesting to understand the realm of art and design through its entire process. Understanding how the idea was conceived, the craftsmanship behind the piece, the story it carries and, of course, what the artist was thinking throughout. It allows us everyone get more involved and appreciate the creation.”


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interiors

Into the sunset Feyza Kemahlioglu, founder and principal of FEYZ Studio, designs timeless pieces influenced by her Turkish origins WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ

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e create thoughtful, beautiful and functional designs that will inspire you to engage with our story,” begins Feyza Kemahlioglu. Born and raised in Istanbul, the founder of FEYZ Studio – specialising in lighting, furniture and product design – had always wanted to create things with her hands. “I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I can remember. My grandmother was a painter, and she and my mum had an art gallery when I was younger,” she recalls. Kemahlioglu’s first memory of design goes back to when she painted a picture for her brother for an art competition. “He won first place with my drawing, and they asked him to be on live television, painting a new piece,” she smiles. “He drew a flower and a bee the size of a tree. It was hilarious.” Kemahlioglu then trained in architecture, art and glassblowing in the United States where

Feyza Kemahlioglu

she received her bachelor’s in architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, followed by a master’s in architecture and urban design from GSAPP at Columbia University in New York City, where she is now based. “It is a great place to be creative and passionate, and [it is] a fast and competitive city, which fits my mindset,” she says about the Big Apple. Fascinated by imperfection and how objects can evoke emotions, Kemahlioglu draws a lot of inspiration from her hometown, where she was surrounded by Ottoman, Byzantine and European history. Her other inspirations include architects and designers who have left their unmistakable mark on the profession. She admires Zaha Hadid for her innovative spirit, Peter Zumthor for his use of material and Kelly Wearstler for mastering colour, yet Kemahlioglu has shaped her own visual language throughout the years, resulting in sculptural and timeless pieces. “I usually start

Photography by Sinem Yazici

with a story and sketches,” she explains. “Then I take them to my glass assistant and together we make prototypes. If it is a lighting piece, I work with an engineer to create the technical details, which are just as important as the drawings.” Exhibited at Wexler Gallery during Design Miami 2021 last December, Kemahlioglu’s latest lighting design reflects all these influences. Juxtaposing tradition and modernity, the collection, Sunset Drive, is an ode to the architectural history and culture of Istanbul. “I wanted to create an interplay of light and shadow [through this] collection of pendant lights that are meant to be experienced from different angles and distances,” Kemahlioglu says. “I had this picture of driving during sunset, enjoying the cloud formations when cars pass by, and [seeing] moments of the bright headlights.” Comprising sunset-hued mirrored glass cylinders and Meerschaum, a solid clay mineral found mainly in Eskisehir, in central Turkey, the collection of pendants combines different shapes, forms, textures and colours. Delighted by what she constantly discovers in small ateliers and tiny shops in her country of origin, as well as by antique pieces found in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Kemahlioglu highlights these traditions that are slowly disappearing, such as with Meerschaum, a Turkish craft which involves hand-carving and perforations that diffuse light. “From afar, the whole piece seems solid, but upon closer examination the intricate hand-carved floral and graphic patterns become visible, with the glowing light shining through,” she says of Sunset Drive. “The sandblasted glass globes emit a soft romantic light, giving an impression of the haze before nightfall.” Using traditional materials and fabrication techniques in a contemporary way is something that Kemahlioglu explores in everything she does. “FEYZ Studio aims to become a positive catalyst, as it believes that design can change the world,” the founder says. Constantly pushing her creativity further, Kemahlioglu is currently working on a tableware collection, which includes linens, glassware and accessories featuring unique Turkish craftsmanship and techniques, to be launched in 2022.

THE NEW CULTURE ISSUE

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n the upscale neighbourhood of Buckhead in Atlanta, new café and market Le Bon Nosh (which roughly translates to ‘the good bite’) occupies the ground floor of a newly built mixed-use condominium building and reflects the personal story and heritage of its Iranian chef, Forough Vakili. “Forough had a very compelling vision for this place and how it would serve as a hub for her community,” explains Roman Alonso, co-founder of Commune Design, the design studio behind the interior design of the space. “She is a meticulous researcher and through her process she found us and reached out.” The designers had the chance to work on a blank canvas, as the space was originally a raw concrete shell with rough openings for windows. “We introduced the cypress storefront with arched doors, inlaid tile signage and painted brick to differentiate the volume of the restaurant from the rest of the building,” says Alonso. “These architectural elements set the tone for the narrative and materiality that unfolds on the interior. The blue paint on the brick is also a nod to regional history. It’s a shade known as ‘haint blue’ and is commonly used on the ceilings of covered porches and entryways of historic southern homes; it’s said to ward off bad spirits.” Spread across two levels and around 550 square metres, the café – which is Vakili’s first

entrepreneurial project – was inspired by the concept of community and gathering. “Food literally and symbolically anchors the space,” describes Alonso. “An open display kitchen with a custom La Cornue range is at the centre of it all, flanked by a market café on one side, with custom tamboured oak communal tables, and [a] more formal dining room and bar on the other.” A curved staircase leads to a mezzanine, which serves as a private dining space, adorned with hand-painted wallpaper by de Gournay and a constellation of lighting fixtures by Michael Anastassiades, with two stars hidden among them that refer to the chef ’s children. The naturally dyed velvet drapes and layered hand-woven rugs are an ode to Vakili’s Persian heritage, while the colour palette was also taken from the chef ’s life story. Among other elements that reference the chef ’s background, the textiles’ saffron and pomegranate tones pay homage to the family’s farm in Iran where she was raised; and the deep blues of Tyler Hayes’ painting in the dining room echoes the sea in Brittany, where Vakili lived and worked after culinary school. “Whatever we put into the space had to speak to Forough’s culinary ethos – each material had to be true

to its origins, thoughtful in its use and harnessed for the purpose of building community,” says Alonso, who used plaster walls, natural woods, honed marble and handmade tiles. “Forough appreciated the kind of casual elegance executed so well in Parisian and Viennese cafés,” he adds. “We filled the space with the same pieces made famous by these storied establishments.” Thonet chairs, custom tables inspired by Jean-Michel Frank, as well as Woka chandeliers and sconces are mixed with artisanal elements throughout. “The result is an incredibly personal space – a restaurant that looks more like a home, and a home that feels like a portrait of a uniquely multi-national life,” Alonso concludes.

A feast for the eyes For her first project as an entrepreneur, Iranian chef Forough Vakili sits at the heart of her café’s interiors, created by Commune Design WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANTHONY TAHLIER

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design

An exploration of design

Le Lab is Egypt’s first contemporary collectible design gallery. For its first solo show, the gallery exhibits the works of Georges Mohasseb with an exhibition titled ‘Intermission’, showcasing the designer’s creative process and clever use of materials WORDS BY NADINE KAHIL

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asheed Kamel has long loved art. Growing up surrounded by creative talents, over time the collector discovered his natural ability to identify promising artists and pieces of rare appeal. It was Kamel’s belief that the Middle East lacked a true appreciation for art and design, and the idea of a gallery, a place for “exploration and experimentation”, was born. “Le Lab’s ultimate mission is to support the Egyptian and regional art and design world,” says Kamel. “Firstly, Le Lab hopes to serve as a platform for unique talents of the Middle East. With our network of international counterparts, we hope to engage in synergistic collaborations that shed light on these talents and also expose us to new ideas and concepts that we can share with our community.” The second element to the mission is education, through which Kamel hopes to foster an appreciation for art among the wider population, believing that this will feed into a more vibrant artistic movement in the region. Created in collaboration with The Design Firm Plus, Kamel describes the gallery as “a raw space with a twist”. It comprises warm and natural textures, such as wood and stone, alongside architectural elements such as archways. The idea was to recreate the feeling of a treasure hunt, where the prize is the discovery of something wonderful. 18

Through Le Lab, Kamel also strives to break down the division between art and design, and what can be regarded as an ‘artwork’. For him, the appreciation of a design piece must always include the process as well as the craftsmanship, innovation and approach to material[ity], in addition to the narrative and drive. For this first solo show, Kamel chose to work with Lebanese architect and designer Georges Mohasseb. The connection between the two men started on a personal level, back when Kamel was on a hunt for “functional art pieces” for his home. “There is at once a diversity in the materials Georges uses, and a cohesiveness in his design aesthetic that makes for a very solid brand identity that I genuinely appreciate and admire,” Kamel says. ‘Intermission’ exlores Mohasseb’s process from start to finish. The designer’s pieces feature high-quality craftsmanship and a creative

merging of materials of differing colours, shapes, textures and appearances. Two such examples include the Galet bench, made from laminated American walnut and hand-carved marble, and the two-metre-long Marguerite coffee table, which features 1,500 stems that are meticulously carved using solid brass to form a remarkable bouquet of daisies. “I wanted to show a retrospective of my work in order to share new ideas in a new market such as Egypt,” says Mohasseb. “The pieces are very unique and different from one another, yet together they connect to the space and the idea of what Le Lab is about.” The future seems bright for both Mohasseb and Le Lab. Mohasseb’s work is entering a new market, and ‘Intermission’ is the perfect launch pad. Since opening in October, Le Lab has already worked with Egyptian artist and sculptor Khaled Zaki, chef Karim Abdelrahman of Privé Avec Karim, and Gypsum International Gallery on a multi-disciplinary, multi-sensorial experience to celebrate the work of revered Egyptian artist Ahmed Morsi. 2022 will see the works of Omar Chakil and Richard Yasmine on show. Whatever the future holds, this bold new creative space is well-placed to flourish in Egypt’s thriving market.


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Clockwise, from top: Galet bench. The Bee chairs. Marguerite coffee tables

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design

Heavenly style

Roham Shamekh reflects his personal experiences in a new line of furniture WORDS BY NADINE KAHIL

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orn in 1994 in Tehran, Roham Shamekh’s journey into design was gradual. Starting off as a photographer, he later began printing his photographs on canvas and finishing them off with paint. While travelling across Europe and Asia, Shamekh spent time working and immersing himself in the arts and creative industries as his ideas coalesced around his social and romantic relationships. Moving around the world while gaining exposure to a wide range of influences led him to create designs and spaces that were vibrant and eclectic in style, be they homes, commercial spaces or even objects. “As a designer, my work is influenced by the bohemian artists of Europe. Each of my projects, be it a private residence or a piece of furniture, carries in it elements that are modern yet familiar,” he says. One such example of Shamekh’s unique style is Papillon, an Italian cabaret housed in Dubai’s Westin Hotel and owned by singer Laila Kardan. “The design of Papillon was inspired by themes from the 1990s in France, merged with a contemporary layout that features dark colours and lace fabrics, all of which are reminiscent of the authenticity and radiant atmosphere of that era,” Shamekh describes. Over time, Shamekh began to design more furniture. “I saw furniture as a sort of canvas on which I could present my artistic signature,” he explains. Heaven, the collection which was on show at last year’s Downtown Design fair, is inspired by the designer’s personal life and experiences. The collection includes chairs, lighting and tables, all of which are illustrated

with flowers, fruit and intersecting colours, as well as snaking lines and various shapes. The entire collection is both hand-made and hand-painted. Perhaps a direct result of his shifting focus across a range of fields, Shamekh’s work makes use of a variety of different tools and approaches as he seeks a new space to uncover his creativity. “I aim to make use of art and the process of making art for practical purposes in my daily life. I want to focus on concepts and the meaning of life, inspired by the liveliness of colour that influences people’s mood and [lifts their] spirits,” he says. Across all his work, Shamekh’s style is by turns playful, alluring and chic. Often dramatic in its use of shapes and colours, his approach is contemporary and eye-catching – and certainly distinct. The designer’s latest collection is titled CBD and is inspired by nature, plants and geometric shapes. Whatever emerges is sure to be eye-catching. THE NEW CULTURE ISSUE

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Earthen simplicity A new ceramics studio in Kuwait City is making the traditional craft available to all who wish to learn of its therapeutic qualities and community spirit WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOHAMMED ASHKANANI

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itting on the first floor of a 1967 Modernist building in Kuwait City’s textile market is a new ceramics studio, From Mud, founded by ceramicist Aisha Al Saif, whose aim is to make design through clay more accessible to those living in Kuwait. The studio is part of an upsurge of creative spaces that are influencing a wave of regeneration in the Gulf city’s textile market, which is widely known as ‘blokat’. “The building that From Mud now calls home was once the largest shopping centre in the city. It defined a modern urban environment, functioning as a covered market,” explains Kuwaiti designer Rawan Muqaddas, whose eponymous practice – founded three years ago – is behind the pared-back interiors of the studio space. “Today, we see that the retail vendors have remained on street level; however, the upper floors [of the building] have fallen tired. Today, spaces such as From Mud are shifting the urban fabric and introducing young energy by bringing an audience into [what have now become] neglected spaces. The façade of the building is protected from Kuwait’s harsh sun by concrete

plates that one cannot help but imagine as a reflection of the fabric palettes sold downstairs. This was translated into the adjustable shelving in the interior as an ode to the exterior,” the designer adds. Based between Kuwait and London, Rawan Muqaddas already has a cluster of projects already under its belt, including a two-bedroom refurbishment in Brooklyn and a six-bedroom refurbishment project in London. The team consists of Muqaddas herself and two other female designers from Turkey and Lebanon. The relaxed atmosphere of the workspace draws inspiration from the simplicity of clay itself, conveyed through clean lines and a soothing colour palette. The idea of movement informed the design process, where Muqaddas observed the various motions taking place while creating with clay, making note of the fluid lines formed by the material itself. The warmth of the space is largely due to the encompassing use of wood, such as the solid and veneered maple wood that is juxtaposed by stainless steel and powder-coated metal in the adjustable shelving system and brackets.

One of the main requirements for the space was storage and shelving, which corresponds to the daily routine of the ceramicist. The studio also includes a kiln room, a semi-private office and a lounge area. One of the most inviting features within the interiors is the light distribution that mimics the building’s concrete façade and casts linear shadows across space. “The emphasis on light was key throughout the design, as the importance of natural and adequate light while crafting clay [is paramount],” Muqaddas says. “By reinterpreting the building’s façade into the rhythm of the perimeter shelving, you begin to see the interplay and juxtaposition of the façade’s shadows against the interior at different times of day. The fluted glass was then introduced to create translucency and allow for privacy where needed.” Muqaddas adds that the approach taken with interiors of the ceramics studio mirrors the ethos of her design practice, which honours the team’s love “for the rawness of simple things” through a culmination of minimal and timeless spaces that evoke emotion. id

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Balkrishna Doshi

and the extinction of modernity

Balkrishna Doshi’s Royal Gold Medal award shows that the world still needs architects with social intent WORDS BY CRISTIANO LUCHETTI

Photography by Pratik Gajjar


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architect’s projects in India. More than any other place, the Indian sub-continent managed to influence the work of Le Corbusier and modify, substantially, the spatial proposals and the architectural poetics of the modernist architect. With the Indian context in mind, Doshi has managed to express, across both his prolific professional and academic career, a personal reading of modern architecture. Using the materials and formal characteristics of rationalism common to many architects of the 20th century, he introduced the specificity of the context – in which he still operates – into his architectural expression. In fact, it is his response to local, social and climatic conditions that is most appreciated of his architectural research. Doshi’s proposals to solve the scourge of housing shortages in India, informed by the needs of various communities looking for a suitable housing model, furthers the idea that the architect is more than a sculptor. Doshi’s public buildings privileged spatial solutions that promote a high permeability of the architectural envelope, responding to climatic characteristics. In many works, one finds sectional solutions, providing an assortment of spaces that are configured as transitory between the inside and the outside. According to this approach, it is not easy to recognise Doshi’s style at first sight, which is a characteristic of some of the greatest architects: that of being indifferent to personal stylistic expressions but rather being a carrier and catalyst for programmatic, social and cultural needs. This way, the designer also alienates himself by proposing projects that, at first glance, seem to detour from a coherent design formula. However, upon closer inspection, Doshi’s buildings contain the true thoughts of their author. One such example is Amdavad ni Gufa; one of the architect’s most famous Photography by John Panicker © Vastushilpa Foundation projects.

he first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2018, Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi (b.1927) was recently awarded another prestigious award: The Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Gold Medal for 2022. A few years ago, when Doshi’s Pritzker win was announced, the news was unsurprising to most. His first major international recognition earned the Indian master attention from the most important architectural platforms and publications the world over. From being an architect with greater presence in history books than in trendy magazines and websites, Doshi had become a symbol of a generation of designers who have steered architecture from the 20th to the 21st century. At least for the insiders, his name has always been associated with some of the last century’s greatest architects, such as Louis Kahn, but above all, Le Corbusier. The latter has strongly influenced the architectural thinking of Doshi, who acted as Le Corbusier’s assistant in the design and implementation of the Swiss

Aranya low cost housing, Indore, India

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Amdavad ni Gufa in Ahmedabad, India

Amdavad ni Gufa is an underground art gallery in Ahmedabad which seems to escape modern thought in order to incorporate suggestions of the organic architecture of the late Sixties, when some designers – premonitors of what would later become known as the ‘environmental movement’ – began to reconsider the morphological laws of nature as generators of possible spatial solutions. Today, Doshi is finally known worldwide, and even beyond the restricted circle of architecture scholars. Nevertheless, choosing him as the recipient of the Royal Gold Medal for 2022 may suggest that another reading is warranted. I wonder if, in addition to his precious architectural contributions, the

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Photography by Vinay Panjwani © Vastushilpa Foundation

jury intended to reward the designer as one of the last remaining architectural initiators of design processes that seek to improve the social conditions of a population. This theme is prevalent in modern architecture, which set its focus on the social impact of the discipline to improve living conditions within society. While this approach is far less observed in today’s contemporary architecture, it is not rare either. For example, Alejandro Aravena’s curatorial approach to the Venice Biennale exemplifies how an architectural ‘front’ dedicated to social and environmental issues still exists today. However, it must be considered that, on a global scale, the detailed study of socio-environmental

contexts no longer seems to represent the driving force of the architectural discipline. There are other prevailing horizons, predominantly fuelled by capitalistic forces. Among them is technological research which reigns supreme, almost as the ultimate goal of an increasingly self-referential architecture. In this sense, the awarding of the Gold Medal to 94-year-old Doshi is not only a sacrosanct recognition of a career full of positive contributions and architectural masterpieces, but it also represents a nostalgic greeting to the world that promotes architects as advocates of social transformation. A world that, despite the existence of a few notable exceptions, is unfortunately disappearing. id


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

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design

Campo de Torres site-specific installation created 30 in collaboration with artisan Lorenzo Reyes


design

Design with roots Cristián Mohaded’s meticulous design career has reached an all-time high with the opening of his solo exhibition at the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Buenos Aires WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

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urator François Leblanc Di Cicilia describes Cristián Mohaded as “an activist committed to [a] contemporary form of design.” The Argentine artist and designer’s 15-year career has displayed an unwavering commitment towards presenting a broader, more inclusive representation of what constitutes Argentine design, exploring diverse local cultures and social processes within the Latin American country, both rural and urban; and both ancient and recent. His first solo exhibition, Territorio Híbrido (Hybrid Territory), at the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Buenos Aires – showcasing more than 20 original pieces – poses a critical dialogue between contemporary design and its historical legacy. With the involvement of international curators, critics and gallerists, the impact and success of Territorio Híbrido moves outside its local perimeter and goes out to affirm the importance of Mohaded’s work in the global arena. “My philosophy of design is strongly linked to context and culture and its relation to industry, economy, history, traditions, and obviously to its materials and processes. My work as an artist and designer is ‘marked’ by how a Latin American designer lives and explores design, which is very different (or so I think) to how a European designer does. My perspective of design is related to that world where design as a discipline has not yet been able to find a place of priority, as it [has already happened] in Europe or the USA,” Mohaded shares. Presenting a new reading of Argentine design with a focus on eight different regions of the country – many of which have been excluded from design narratives, including the likes of his own province of Catamarca – the exhibition goes beyond a stereotypical image of Argentina and reveals a diverse identity of local cultures,

techniques and materials that together constitute a national unit. In the 20 months spent working on Territorio Híbrido, Mohaded covered more than 32,000 kilometres travelling throughout the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Salta and Jujuy. Along his journey, Mohaded selected several techniques and materials to create new pieces: fabrics made by hand with loom, ropes made of raw cow skin and sown with fine colt pelt stitches, carpentry pieces made with native woods such as the missionary moor cedar or the fallen cardon cactus, basketwork made in Catamarca with simbol fibre, and minerals including mica, boreal granite and white onyx. Through these materials and craft techniques, the designer showcases traditional bodies of knowledge and geopolitical differences alongside personal imaginations, experimentation and innovative design thinking. “Each of the pieces [in the exhibition] tries to re-signify the manual process and the know-how of local artisans from small, almost anonymous towns, [who have until now remained] almost invisible, but [possess] [un]imaginable richness and stories, which I understand must be observed with great care. The design [world] must watch out for them. They cannot remain anonymous; I insist on this [in my work],” Mohaded tells identity. Occupying the entire level of the Errázuriz Palace inside the museum, the exhibition is divided into thematic modules, with each room featuring various site-specific works. Upon entering the building, one is faced with a monumental installation called Campo de Torres (Field of Towers) which rises up to 10 metres and is built using a traditional basketmaking technique from Mohaded’s home province of Catamarca, enhancing one’s senses of the arid valleys of the country’s northern region. THE NEW CULTURE ISSUE

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Traditional basket-weaving technique from Catamarca, in the north of Argentina

Artisan Lorenzo Reyes in his workshop in Catamarca

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First edition of the Raza collection

Lanza table

Atalays lamp

“Through his Campo de Torres [installation], Mohaded has defined a uniquely crafted design language that encourages us to reflect on notions of value, identity, community and locality,” says Sarah Myerscough, managing director of the Sarah Myerscough Gallery in London. “Within this visual lexicon, craft represents knowledge, tradition and technique, while design heralds innovation, ambition and development. This powerful combination underlines the author’s belief that the creation of synergistic links within design has the power to enact meaningful cultural and practical change within society.” The sculptural pieces were conceived and crafted by Argentine artisan Lorenzo Reyes, with whom Mohaded has collaborated for more than ten years, honing a shared vision while simultaneously supporting and preserving historic knitting skills from their native land by re-evaluating the techniques that have been passed down for generations. “We share the same motivations, the same concerns and we

are both extremely curious; I think that unites us,” Mohaded says of his relationship with Reyes. “I simply admire his work and I have grown a lot listening to his stories, his forms of artistic expression, and this is what motivates me and makes me think that I am on the right path; that design can be that connecting tool between two worlds.” In other parts of the exhibition, Mohaded reinterprets decoration through a vast collection of furniture, objects, fabrics and lamps in a hybrid of styles and forms, revealing the joint work of craftspeople and creators from different parts of the country. Territorio Híbrido also features works by other artists and designers who, under the direction of Mohaded, have reinvented mate gourds as a fundamental element of South American culture, including the likes of Fernando and Humberto Campana, Pablo Reinoso, Marina Molinelli Wells and Celina Saubidet, and Roberto Sironi. “They are people whose work, vision and perspective I admire,” Mohaded says. “This ‘encounter’ is the expression of a dialogue between them and the artisans, between art and craft, between different origins and stories. They are the voices that amplify the idea of a new way of doing and thinking about design.” id

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interiors

The

spaces

While the urban fabric of West African cities continues to develop, spatial design studio Limbo Accra is casting its gaze at the developments that are left incomplete

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Photography from Sierra Nallo, Ofoe Amegavie and Anthony Badu

WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

“T

he land here [in Accra] is developing at a rapid speed,” says Dominique Petit-Frère, co-founder of spatial design studio Limbo Accra. “We see our city change by the day – both for the good and the bad. My concern [lies in] what the city will be left behind with once all the land is bought, sold and developed. I don’t see any proof of a plan in how the city is [being developed]. It feels a bit like ‘The Wild West’, to give a visual analogy. It’s an interesting blend of the new, the old and the incomplete.” Founded in 2018 by Petit-Frère and Emil Grip as a response to the growing number of unfinished structures dotting Accra’s urban

landscape, Limbo Accra hopes to alter the collective perception around the regeneration of infrastructure across West African cities while highlighting the creative and social potential of abandoned buildings. “[Using] an academic term, we refer to it as ‘urban acupuncture’ – the idea that an intervention in one place could have an impact elsewhere,” Petit-Frère says. In an attempt to keep up with global urbanisation, many of the modernist buildings and developments across West Africa remain as abandoned and incomplete concrete skeletons, with no apparently clear plans for their future. “The blame for this is manyfold – but for us it’s all about intentionality: how do we build and develop with intention?” Petit-Frère

questions. “[To me, it doesn’t feel like] Accra is [being] developed for people to live and thrive in. So, within our practice, we [want to] make sure that whatever we design or build here in Accra is [done with] intention and completed with a level of care.” The studio’s first activation, Activation Adjiringanor, was an art intervention housed inside a decaying concrete structure which brought together nine different artists and a myriad of collaborators from different creative backgrounds and disciplines. “We wanted to highlight that these structures that are vastly scattered around Accra have potential to be utilised and repurposed,” Petit-Frère says. THE NEW CULTURE ISSUE

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Photography by Ofoe Amegavie

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Limbo Accra has also recently completed the first phase of its Freedom Skatepark project, with the second phase planned for completion by the end of March. Commissioned by Sandy Alibo, the founder of Surf Ghana, the project is a ‘a youth infrastructure centre’ which focuses on skateboarding and will eventually encompass a recreational park area, a skatepark and a modular space that could function as a café, gallery, sports hub and skate shop. “Our studio’s idea was to create a holistic space where recreation, skateboarding and creativity would become one,” Petit-Frère describes. The team is also approaching the project from a re-adaptive perspective, as the land provided to them by Surf Ghana already had an existing structure. “In line with our core ethos as a design studio, we wished to use the frame of the structure and re-develop the building from there,” she adds. Limbo Accra has also recently launched a competition alongside Lagos-based NMBello Studio called ‘Africa – A Designer’s Utopia’, for design students in Lagos and Accra. The competition encourages students to engage in more contextual design thinking and explore the intersections between urban planning and local manufacturing of contemporary design across major West African cities. Additionally, the studio just wrapped up the first in a series of activations focusing on significant architectural sites within tropical contexts, together with Manju Journal and Black Discourse. Under the tagline ‘Architecture is a Party’, the event was

Photography by Carlos Idun-Tawiah

held in Scott House located in the Cantonments neighbourhood of Accra. Collaboration is at the heart of what Limbo Accra has set out to accomplish, and is also the tool necessary to instigate real change, PetitFrère says. “Through my work I have experienced how we as young people have the opportunity to make the change we want to see in our cities. At Limbo Accra, we have a deeply rooted belief that collaboration and idea-sharing only uplifts and progresses the process of developing an idea. I think this is one of the main reasons that we have had the success that we have – because

there are no limits within our practice. “We deeply believe that having a diverse group of people working hard towards the same goal brings out the best process and final product. Nothing is ever by force [because] everyone understands the vision and wishes to contribute to creat[ing] and mak[ing] actual change,” she continues. “For us, architecture is interesting because it has such a direct impact on people’s lives. We hope to prove that it’s possible to build with intention and that we are a new generation of change-makers who are ready to speak up in order to have an impact on the status quo.” id

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interiors

A space for impact Les Benjamins’ new flagship store in Dubai, designed by Food New York, is a minimalist nod to Eastern culture WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA

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es Benjamins is more than just a streetwear brand. Founded in Istanbul by designer Bünyamin Aydin in 2011, the brand presents a coalescence of the founder’s interests in architecture, photography, art and – most importantly – in cultivating a space for youth culture across the East. “Istanbul, and the East in general, have always been watching and following what happens in Paris, London and New York in terms of music, art and fashion,” Aydin begins. “Most of the subculture movements from these cities [have been] a source of inspiration for many of us. However, what I see now is that Istanbul and the East are at an all-time high, creatively. I [am seeing] so many new designers, artists, sculptors, musicians and independent magazines popping up.” He continues: “Les Benjamins acts as a community brand that helps and supports the acceleration of the creative Eastern youth movement. It gives hope to others from our region that this can be done. Each [of our] collections is inspired by our stories from

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the East and I try to tell these stories by educating ourselves about our past and present. Bridging the gap between our heritage and today’s values is also a great juxtaposition that is [central to] the design philosophy of the brand. I want to see more creatives, artists and talents pop up globally from this [part of the world].” For Les Benjamins’ first store in Dubai, Aydin reconnected with long-time collaborator and designer Dong-Ping Wong, founder of Food New York, who also created the brand’s flagship store in Istanbul as well as projects such as the Yeezy Studio in Calabasas and Virgil Abloh’s first Off-White store in 2015. “I loved that Food New York’s retail stores never felt like stores,” Aydin says. Wong’s approach to Les Benjamins Dubai maintained the same attitude. “All my [design] training is in cultural and civic spaces: museums, performing arts theatres, public parks, student centres; places where culture gathers – so that’s how we approach stores [as well],” Wong explains.


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Spread across 213 square metres, the minimalist space features a convergence of East and West, with inspirations including Dubai’s Al Fahidi Historic District and the Basilica Cistern in Old Istanbul. Food New York used a local plastering technique that can be seen in the souks and older structures of Dubai as the foundational material for the entire store, overlaid on to forms from Old Istanbul such as arches that echo across the overall

space. Concrete and steel are used to contrast with the more traditional materials of the store. In the ‘main courtyard’ at the centre of the store is what Wong describes as a “Nickelodeon green slime table and bench from Max Lamb”, which is designed to offer young creatives space to work and connect. “I want the Les Benjamins Dubai store to become a flagship store that is also a community space,” Aydin

explains, adding that plans are currently underway to kickstart year-long activations in the store that are centred around the arts, fashion, sneaker culture and music. “If you are based in Dubai, feel free to stop me at the store and share your ideas,” he says. “We are very open to ideas from the community. Every store should feel like part of the city and the way to do that is to allow creatives to express themselves.” id


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Building through emotion AB+AC Architects designs an emotive cultural centre dedicated to healing through the arts

WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICARDO OLIVEIRA ALVES

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ocated on the ground floor of a 19th-century building in a narrow alley within Lisbon’s historic neighbourhood of Barrio Alto is an experiential cultural centre dedicated to promoting self-healing through the arts, as well as conscious gathering, holistic learning and co-creation. The project takes inspiration from the sacred concept of shala (a Sanskrit word meaning ‘home’), where people commonly gather to practice yoga, learn and focus on inner growth. The American non-profit organisation Open Hearts entrusted the young architectural practice AB+AC Architects to deliver a design that encapsulates the values of the space, and they couldn’t have made a better choice. The young studio is run by architects Arianna Bavuso and Andre Chedid – the latter of who, in addition to being involved in several renovation projects in Beirut, is also the co-founder of acclaimed rock band, Mashrou’Leila. The duo hold a strong belief in the emotive power of architecture. “Our intention is really to provoke a reaction through our architecture, and this is how we approached the design of each of the rooms in this cultural space; we tried to give it a soul and a unique character,” Bavuso says.

The main challenge was to turn the dark and commercial unit into an open space with light. “From a spatial point of view, our design had to work around two main constraints: the scarcity of natural light during certain hours of the day, and the need to preserve the existing street front elevation with its windows,” Bavuso explains. Eventually, the architects created a layout featuring a sequence of rooms that flows from a public experience with proximity to the street, including a multi-purpose salon, to a convivial zone where the open kitchen extends up to the stairs into an intimate patio with tropical plants and volcanic stone pebbles. In between the public and private areas is the lounge, which is a long and narrow space with a lighting system that offers a diffused glow – stretching over eight metres – and creates an ideal environment for art gatherings and exhibitions. To accentuate the open plan and continuous circulation of spaces, the architects emphasised the thresholds, maintaining the limestone arch of the historical building which is now in dialogue with a more contemporary and geometric portal clad in birch wood. Camouflaged among these panels is the access to a one-bedroom residency for any artist who wishes to produce and share their work with the community.

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The organisation of the entire centre revolves around the necessity for flexibility and adaptability, and so the architects proposed design solutions such as storage compartments hidden behind bronze mirror walls and continuous curtains in off-white vegan leather wrapping the main saloon, to enable the centre to transform into multiple configurations suited for a variety of activities. “Too often art galleries, exhibition spaces and cultural centres tend to be very generic, at times sterile, as if the only way to address adaptability is through non-specific design,” Bavuso states. “We love art, and we spend a great amount of our time visiting art spaces. We knew that creating a generic and neutral mood that could accommodate a variety of programmes would not be stimulating, so we decided that the space had to be able to evoke different emotions, based on the function occurring at that given moment.” From a wider perspective, the cultural centre aims to prompt discussions around more conscious ways of building the spaces we inhabit, which is directly in tune with the practice’s mission to employ architecture as a tool to stimulate an uncluttered and balanced way of living by offering smart design solutions that invite the user to reflect on what is truly essential for our well-being. “Cultural and artistic spaces should do more than just fulfil the requirements of the brief or be containers where art and culture is displayed,” Bavuso says. “These spaces should stimulate people and allow them to connect with the culture and art. The beauty of the space should not just be seen, it should also be felt.” id

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design focus

Light it up Browse identity’s edit of the latest lighting for the home, ranging from antique-inspired portable lamps and minimalist chandeliers to hand-crafted outdoor lights

Ambientec and Hiroto Yoshizoe Japanese lighting brand Ambientec has collaborated with designer Hiroto Yoshizoe to create Hymn, a contemporary interpretation of a traditional chamberstick. Ambientec’s CEO, Yoshinori Kuno first saw the prototype at the 2019 SaloneSatellite, where he became fascinated by the portable lamp’s ability to translate the hypnotic dynamism of a candle flame into a luminous modern design object. Hymn’s base and handle is made of anodised aluminium in gold and black finishing, while a small lens in a transparent acrylic material lies on a thin metal holder as a kind of luminous pendulum. All in all, Hymn’s greatest gift is bringing an antique charm to the world of modern lighting design. 48


lighting design

Jacques & Anna Father and daughter duo Jacques & Anna have revealed their latest collection, inspired by lighting devices from the nautical world including anchor lights, lighthouses, buoys and masthead lights. These four sculptural light fixtures showcase the studio’s fondness for textures by highlighting its two preferred materials, which are ceramic and Ductal concrete. The result of working with ceramicist Sarah-Jeanne Riberdy, the pieces are at times soft and matte, and other times glazed or textured. THE NEW CULTURE ISSUE

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design focus

Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades and Zanellato/Bortotto Zanellato/Bortotto’s latest Objets Nomades are Lanterns, which showcase a continuation of the duo’s experiments with leather weaving that originally began with the Mandala screen. Each lantern features a blown glass light dome and is covered in a geometric pattern inspired by beehives, creating a warm and romantic diffused light. Enclosed within the honeycomb-patterned cage of interwoven strips of Louis Vuitton leather are a rechargeable LED light and frosted glass bulb that cast delicate shadow patterns. Inspired by long summer nights spent dancing under garland lights, Lanterns are made in delicate tones of pistachio and red berries – and be used both indoors and outdoors. 50


lighting design

Anony Lighting and product design studio Anony, founded by Christian Lo in 2014, has unveiled a new innovative floating light called Wisp as part of its latest collection that also includes two non-lighting designs for the very first time. Wisp inverts the idea of a suspended chandelier, as its shade catches light instead of projecting it. A single cable runs from the light to the ceiling, suspending a captivating shape in mid-air. You can adjust the brightness of the light. Wisp is made using an artful combination of steel, aluminium and glass.

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design focus

Karman and Matteo Ugolini Matteo Ugolini’s Moonbloom pendant lamp for Karman is at once eclectic and elegant, combining a Baroque white plaster ceiling rosette with a floral pattern, from which hangs a thin, black cable that leads to one or two minimal black aluminium cones. The deliberate break in style – skilfully implemented – is what makes this light so striking yet visually harmonious. A simple gesture such as painting the rosette can result in an entirely different look, depending on the style and colour palette of your home. 52


lighting design

Studio d’Armes and Verre d’Onge From a fruitful collaboration between Studio d’Armes and Verre d’Onge emerge Gigi and Gigi Grand, a table and floor lamp that tell of the mastery of glass and light. The two objects rethink the classical glass lamp as we know it through Gigi Grand’s monumental dimensions, while allowing both to express their elegant geometry, refined details and material softness. The light itself emanates from bidirectional light engines and can be dimmed to a warmer shade. Both are available in alternating opacity and transparency, with the glassblower ensuring a variety of shades and tones throughout the material, rendering each lamp unique in its own right. id


architecture

A sacred formula

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architecture

Architect Ahmed Bukhash has worked for 11 years to create a villa that encapsulates a prototype for contemporary Emirati architecture WORDS BY AIDAN IMANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANIQUE AHMED

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hile it was once more commonplace to hear of architectural projects taking a decade to be completed, this has become less so the case today. And when the building in question is a private residence, then the chances are slimmer, especially in the Gulf, where even landmark structures are expected to be built in a timely fashion. However, for Emirati architect Ahmed Bukhash, who founded his practice Archidentity in 2009, the lengthy time frame it has taken to research, design and build his family home in Dubai has been a worthwhile endeavour. This is because for Bukhash, the AB-House is more than just his family residence but something far more collective and forward-thinking. Since its inception, the villa, which is located in Dubai’s Barsha South neighbourhood, has been conceptualised as a prototype for contemporary Emirati residences; ones that could be rooted in the country’s heritage, cultural identity and religious practices, while remaining timeless in their approach. “Most of the residential architecture which we have designed [in the UAE] is based on a precedence that is not applicable to our culture or our identity,” Bukhash explains, citing the country’s widespread Western residential model that is often disconnected from its cultural codes. As a result, many of its local inhabitants are forced to seek alternatives outside of commercial availability that better match their values and lifestyle, although no concrete housing prototype has yet been established. Bukhash aims to change that. “The AB-House project is a direct response to a question that has been plaguing residential architecture within our region since the 1980s,” he says. “Over the past decades there have been many deliberations about this topic, with no concrete prototype to respond to this critical subject. When dealing with formulating an identity that is both timeless and paves the way for future residential developments, questions of culture and religion are inseparable [as they are] fused into the very fabric of [how] we live. So, the realisation that came to us was that we have to go back to a traditional approach, which is based on an inverted [architectural] sequence – a total reverse.” While attempting to search for a regional modernist legacy to build upon, Bukhash began seeking inspiration in the heritage buildings of Dubai’s Al Fahidi Historic District, which are typically comprised of a wind tower and a courtyard with minimal openings to the outside and almost no visible external embellishments – all contributing to prioritising the privacy of the inhabitants.

“If you look at these traditional villas, none of them stand out from the outside because a lot of the opulence and decoration is on the inside,” Bukhash points out. The AB-House came to possess these design principles, while maintaining Archidentity’s modernist sensibility, paired with commonalities found across contemporary Japanese architecture. As a result, the layout of the villa is centred around a courtyard, housing a reflecting pool at its heart. From the outside, the pedestrian gate is hidden and skewed to prevent direct views into the household and protect its inner sanctity. The façade has a purposely fortress-like appearance on the exterior, complete with natural wooden louvres that can be opened and closed as necessary, as well as minimal openings. The villa itself is a cube in form, apart from the vertical two-storey structure that punctures into the façade’s exterior, providing the enclosed courtyard for the household and also highlighting the main formal entry for guest’s arrival. THE NEW CULTURE ISSUE

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architecture

On the inside, however, one will discover the complete opposite. The villa’s inner heart incorporates open ceilings that are 3.2 metres high, as well as white-washed marble floors and fully glazed openings, all facing the reflecting pool at the centre that doubles as a calming water feature and an agent for natural ventilation, harmonising the indoor and outdoor spaces. The absence of balconies and windows on the outside is counterbalanced on the inside, with large terraces and full-height windows opening up to the inner courtyard, including the master bedroom and the family quarters on the first floor. Because the villa is oriented on the north axis, it is perfectly aligned with the wind 58

flow, and as the ground floor is suspended on a podium, once the doors are open, the wind travels strategically and cools the internal spaces. Such passive design principles like cooling and shading have played a vital role in Middle Eastern architecture for centuries, and Bukhash wanted to make use of these principles today in order to be less reliant on technological solutions. “If you don’t give equal attention to the outdoor space as the indoor space, you will never use it flawlessly, and the intention is for it be a flawless connection so that you don’t always think that you need to open a window in order to have ventilation; it should always feel natural,” Bukhash says.


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architecture

The villa also incorporates floating bridges connecting different parts of the house, as well as a symbolic wind tower that houses the staircase, which also brings in natural light during the day, illuminating the main atrium, and serves as a radiating light in the evening, attracting people inside without revealing too much of the house. Another element that was vital in the forming of an Emirati housing model was the Qibla orientation, towards which all Muslims pray. “We wanted to create our own type of architectural vocabulary that is based on sacred principles related to Islamic culture,” Bukhash explains. “Because we believe that our daily lives are structured around prayer, it doesn’t make sense for something that dictates so much of your

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daily life to not be given importance and focus. At the end of the day, the function of every house is to be comfortable and convenient for the person living in it.” Therefore, while the ground floor is a perfect U-shape – which is very simple and modern in approach – it has been twisted along the Qibla axis on the first floor only, creating what appears to be a dichotomy between the ground and upper levels. Among its many inspirations, perhaps the most interesting is the villa’s parallels with the Dubai Municipality building, designed by Kazuyuki Matsushita in 1979. Both feature a raised platform, a reflecting pool at their heart and minimal openings on the outside. Additionally, while in the research phase for the AB-House, Bukhash

discovered that one of the columns of the Dubai Municipality building was off-grid as it was aligned perfectly with the prayer hall and the Qibla. “What we have done is identify an architectural precedence which has been timelessly successful, taken symbolic references of our local architecture and put them together in a new and innovative manner that is relevant to our modern age, while also remaining inspired by modernist principles. Once we reassemble everything together, it becomes something that is perfectly in balance,” Bukhash describes. He adds that, during the course of designing and building this villa, Archidentity has completed almost 15 villas. “This house is my life’s work,” Bukhash says. id


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interiors

This page: Kitchen island custom-made by YOZEDEEN. Bonaldo bar chairs and Valcucine kitchen. Wall art painting by Ruslan Magomedov. 10 works of art by Kaws. Next page: Stool and chair by Roche Bobois. Shelf stand by Mogg. Sculptures by Kaws

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Artful living Russian hip-hop star Timati has entrusted Ukraine-based YODEZEEN to design his art-filled family home in Moscow WORDS BY KARINE MONIÉ PHOTOGRAPHY BY SERGEY KRASYUK

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hen a high-profile personality from the music industry came to them for the design of his two-storey apartment, the members of architectural and design studio YODEZEEN (who have offices in Kyiv, Ukraine; Miami; and Los Angeles) knew that they had to get ultra-creative. With 17 million followers on Instagram, Russian hiphop performer, singer, music producer, actor and entrepreneur Timur Yunusov, better known as Timati, is also a passionate art collector, so it immediately became clear that his many colourful pieces would take centre stage in the home. Located in Moscow, in a new development of premium low-rise buildings using environmentally friendly natural materials, and surrounded by a park and a lake, the apartment spreads over 650 square metres and two floors. The lower floor of 210 square metres comprises a spacious living room, two children’s bedrooms, a guest bedroom, a kitchen-dining room, dressing room and technical rooms. The upper level of 440 square metres accommodates the master suite, another guest bedroom and a second living, kitchen and dining area. “The task set for us by the client was to create a home for the whole family, so that they can get away from the noise, reboot and be in an inspiring environment,” says Artur Sharf, co-founder and chief architect of YODEZEEN. “We organised the spaces based on this prompt.” Throughout the project, where functionality and modernity were both key, the main source of inspiration was the owner’s personality and lifestyle. Furniture and lighting fixtures by Baxter, Meridiani, Bonaldo, Henge, Moooi, Roche Bobois and Rimadesio, among other brands, are combined with custom-made pieces. THE NEW CULTURE ISSUE

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Coffee tables and shelf stand custom-made by YOZEDEEN. Sofa by Baxter. Painting by Harif Guzman.Sculptures by Bearbrick. Floor lamps by Henge



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Left page: Artworks by King Saladeen. Stool by Roche Bobois. This page, left image: Kaws sculptures. Juniper lamp. Right image: Bed by B&B Italia. Custommade flooring and nubuck wall. Bonaldo bedside-table. Sculpture by Medicom Toy. Lighting by Vibia

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Table and bench custom-made by YOZEDEEN.Chairs and lighting solutions by Henge. Artwork by Harif Guzman. Louis Vuitton bags with custom print by Takashi68 Murakami


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Table by Rimadesio. Chairs by B&B Italia. Poliform kitchen. Lighting solutions by DCW Editions. Artwork by Cope2

“This apartment has the largest number of items produced according to the sketches and drawings of our studio — from decorative lighting to pedestals for the art collection and even flooring,” says Sharf. Every detail was carefully considered to create a cohesive visual result despite the vast mix of elements. “There are areas where four types of materials are combined: stainless steel, concrete slabs, wood panelling and parquet – all delivered from different countries.” While the backdrop of most of the living areas is dark, pops of colour brighten and adorn many nooks. “At one of our meetings, Timur told me about Maarten De Ceulaer and the Mutation Club Chairs with their bubble shapes in electric blue,” remembers Sharf. “He had

spotted them at an Italian furniture exhibition and from then on, he had the idea of purchasing them. These armchairs were the starting point of the concept that includes touches of bright colour, emphasising Timur’s art collection and his temperament.” In the main bedroom, the hot-rolled podium bed, fully equipped with LED lighting, is the star of the show. “The idea was to interrupt the bright line of illumination on all four sides of the podium,” describes Sharf. “The main difficulty was to cut the metal so that there was a solid hole in it around the perimeter, [while maintaining] its functionality.” A luxurious bed from Italian brand Baxter with a bright blue finish complements the space, while the elegant

bathroom is adorned with marble and includes several shower rooms and a hammam. YODEZEEN paid significant attention to lighting throughout the apartment in order to make the extensive collection of Kaws paintings and sculptures, Bearbrick bears, Takashi Murakami and Alec Monopoly pieces, Mario sculptures, Supreme collectibles and other art objects stand out. “For example, if a painting is square [in form], we set the lens with such clarity that the [shape] is illuminated,” Sharf says. Always keeping in mind the necessity of giving life to a creative atmosphere without forgetting Yunusov’s family’s needs, YODEZEEN has created a one-of-a-kind home, which is a true feast for the eyes. id

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products

A clean slate This month, we are in an all-white mood to set the tone for a fresh start to 2022

Oriente a Macrame ceiling lamp Dimoremilano Available at dimoremilano.com

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products

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1. Wake vase by Ekaterina Bazhenova Yamasaki for Completedworks. Available at net-a-porter.com 2. Beoplay H95 in Nordic Ice by Bang & Olufsen. Available at bang-olufsen.com 3. Night Owl table lamp by Fritz Hansen. Available at designitch.com 4. Lato side table by Luca Nichetto for &tradition. Available at andtradition.com 5. Fresh Fig & Cassis Townhouse candle by Joe Malone London. Available at ssense.com 6. OBEX MC MIPS ski helmet by POC. Available at pocsports.com

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library

Monochrome masterpieces A new book explores the relationship between renowned architect Peter Marino and French couture house Chanel

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hanel is far from being the only luxury brand Peter Marino has worked with. Armani, Bulgari, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi and Louis Vuitton – among others – have trusted him several times to create the perfect retail experience for their discerning clientele. The French maison, however, has a long-lasting history with the star architect – who is at the helm of New York-based architecture firm Peter Marino Architect PLLC. Throughout the years, Marino has designed more than 200 stores for Chanel, and more is yet to come. Before revealing the new boutique that will open in 2022 on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, a book published by Phaidon invites us to take a closer look at 16 of the buildings created by the visionary architect, including the recently opened Chanel store located in the Miami Design District, which is adorned with artworks by Chris Succo, Peter Dayton, Jan-Ole Schiemann, Gregor Hildebrandt and Vera Lutter. Featuring more than 300 images, architectural plans and original sketches, The Architecture of Chanel celebrates the duo’s 25-year collaboration. While the architect is known for his black leather trousers and caps, Gabrielle Chanel gained her reputation via her sailor blouses, jersey ensembles, pearl necklaces and tailored skirt suites. Both individuals share the same innovative spirit and talent for combining classic and modern references, resulting in an irreverent yet respectful aesthetic.

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Marino’s passion for the arts is reflected throughout the pages of the book – which is also available as a luxury edition housed in an acrylic slipcase featuring a recreated architectural element from the Chanel boutique in Istanbul. So far, the architect has commissioned over 300 site-specific, original artworks from prominent contemporary artists such as JeanMichel Othoniel, Paola Pivi and Michal Rovner, among many others. With each chapter devoted to an individual project, The Architecture of Chanel helps to understand Marino’s influences and inspirations, and how he achieves to capture the soul of the maison through the design of each one of its stores. From New York and Chicago to Seoul and Tokyo – to name only a few – the Chanel retail spaces shaped by Marino feature a signature black and white palette and sculptural forms, aiming to reflect the vibrant and forward-looking yet elegant essence of the French fashion house.


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Clockwise from top: Chanel New York, 57th Street, 2018, featuring the 5th floor, VIP reception. Peter Marino in front of A Portrait of Coco Chanel by Y.Z. Kami, 1993. Chanel store, Istanbul, Bağdat Street, 2018.Image by Manolo Yllera

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id most wanted

Lebanese designer Thomas Trad’s Aila vases are delicate in their geometry, despite being meticulously carved out of blocks of solid marble. The Macuba batons are carefully sculpted around the Pentelic and Ross Anatolia marble bases, and it is perhaps these graceful vertical lines tracing the vessels that give the bold material its refined and svelte finish. The vases can be used as standalone decorative table centres pieces or paired with sculptural foliage.

Aila vases by Thomas Trad 74


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Pinnacle Interiors LLC Dubai Design District: Bld 2, Office 104 Head office: Matloob Bld, Office 134-137, Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: 04 346 6051 www.pinnacleinteriors.ae