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Scene stealers: an insight into i Saloni – Milan 2011 Full steam ahead: bathrooms with clean green appeal Turkey’s new delight: the flavour of new architecture Spanish conquest: Jaime Hayon’s design rhythms

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APRIL 2011




Cover photography: Armadillo lamp by Lzf

52 28



22 Forza Italia!

52 Master of all he surveys

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chic, fabulous and 50 this year? A sneak preview of i Saloni Milan.

Jaime Hayon is a new kind of conquistador, who is taking his brand of design all over the world.

26 Tile them high

75 Plan of action

Bamboo tiles, winning designs and more from the Cevisama show in Spain.

The multi-award winning Tabanlioglu Architects is showing the world what the future of good design looks like.

April 2011










Gina Johnson | GROUP EDITOR

Catherine Belbin | DEPUTY EDITOR

Shalaka Paradkar | CHIEF SUB-EDITOR

Iain Smith |



Take the plunge From water-saving technology and high-end electronics to spa-inspired fixtures and precious metals, find out the latest trends in bathroom design.

Belinda Igaya | DESIGNER



C Sudhakar |








Darryl Wiley | CONTRIBUTORS:

Karen Evans | Steve Hill | Samia Qaiyum Ruby Rogers | Richard Warren


id Property + Luck of the Irish + Big is beautiful + Antennae

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+ Techno-living: where entertainment meets design + Interior inspirations direct from the source + From kitchen to museum, Alessi’s first 90 years + Design’s grand dame, Andrée Putman, in black+white + much, much more… All prices quoted in identity are correct at the time of going to press.

April 2011




Clockwise from top left: Mustafa Khamash, Matteo Alessi, Chocolates marking Alessi’s 90th birthday.


Many candles have been blown out and glasses raised recently to the future of design. The biggest birthday party is set to take place in Milan mid-month as the annual Italian Furniture Fair, i Saloni, celebrates its big five-o. Designers, architects and journalists from all corners of the globe are excitedly getting ready to present the future direction of contemporary furniture at the year’s most anticipated design event. Alessi, the Italian family-owned company synonymous with quirky yet functional creations, dominates the list of birthday celebrants following 90 years of designing and manufacturing high quality products. Matteo Alessi was in Dubai to attend the inauguration of the two-week Alessi Museum collection exhibition at Bloomingdale’s Home, as well as the opening of the Alessi flagship store in Tavola, Mall of the Emirates (MoE). Guests at the latter, co-hosted by identity, were privy to a preview of prototypes of the new spring/summer 2011 Alessi collection. At the other wing of the mall, Harvey Nichols was given a new façade of cut glass and turquoise, and furnished with limited edition collections for its fifth anniversary in Dubai. American chains Crate&Barrel and Pottery Barn also joined in the festivities, celebrating their first anniversaries in the city with colourful parties while showing off their new season collections. Still in MoE, Louis Vuitton launched its first in-store family room, with the unveiling of a children’s art collaboration with artist Nadim Karam for the benefit of the START charity. This follows in the trend of private rooms started by Bottega Veneta which allow groups of shoppers to indulge in closed-door retail parties in the comfort of plush private shopping spaces. Mustafa Khamash of Kart Design, best known for running the Kartell store, continues to host launch parties for the new Loui’s restaurant he designed in Downtown Dubai, further enhancing the city’s culinary scene. Mega store IKEA was also part of the celebratory melee as a traditional log, flown in especially from Sweden, was cut to declare open the 33,000 square metre ‘Blue box’ on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile across the Gulf, the growing design fraternity in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, welcomed the opening of the multi-brand interiors showroom Gallery Design with open arms. With two floors and over 4,500 square metres of retail space, the custom-designed, stand-alone store represents some of the best global brands, including Bulthaup, Moroso, Poliform Minotti, Poltrona Frau and many more. See you at i Saloni...

Group Editor Catherine Belbin.

April 2011



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A Z R FO LIA! ITA Posters for the International Furnishing Exhibition â&#x20AC;&#x201C; i Saloni 1961-2010.

a hes ay c a i re birthd lon n I Sa stone bratio n. e e ig l l i s R e m a c gs de RADKA h t i A n P w ll thi KA of a : SHAL A TEX


April 2011



This month, one of the world’s must-attend design events turns 50. Milan’s I Saloni – the Salone Internazionale del Mobile – will celebrate the milestone with a raft of events planned at the Rho fairgrounds and in the city. A lot has changed since 1961. The once strictly functional Modernist classics are now iconic objects of desire. Visitor numbers have gone up from 12,100 in 1961 to 297,460 in 2010. The initial 328 exhibitors over what was then 11,000 sqm of exhibition space are now over 2,500 spread over 200,000 sqm. And Italian design is now one of the world’s most exported products. The Rho exhibition complex will host the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the biennial Euroluce and SaloneUfficio. The essence of the show remains the same however: a smorgasbord of art, contemporary culture and design, with some of the brightest and biggest talents and firms in attendance from all over the globe.


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Armadillo is a design by Studio Luis Eslava for Spanish lighting company LZF Lamps. Inspired by the South American mammal, the lampshade is woven in a coat of superposing scales, creating a unique play of light and shadow. The textured material of the armour opens a whole universe of decorative ideas. It’s sifted light creates a genuine warmth, perfect for public or private interiors.


Is it a coffee table? Is it a modular bookcase? Is it a toy out of scale? Looking like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland is “À la Carte”, the new project by BBMDS for Seletti, on view next April during the Milano Design Week. Combining irony and flexibility, it comprises modular elements that can be assembled into tables, coffee tables, bookcases and partition walls. Each composition, realised with the same rules of a house of cards, is really stable and strong thanks to a precious hardware. The basic module is made of five silk screen printed MDF boards that look like huge playing cards. Released, disassembled and packed like a traditional deck, the packaging optimises shipping, (reducing space, costs and packaging materials and thus making it environment friendly), makes storage easier and gives everyone the opportunity to build their own house (of cards).


The pieces from Italian brand Serralunga that debut at Milan this year are about restful repose. Together with French designer Philippe Nigro, Serralunga has developed Canisse: designed to feel like an open-air shelter, a protected place with large cushions inside that invites relaxation. The sofa and armchair are ideal for use in outdoor areas but can also be used indoors, with a very decorative design feature on the back. Nigro was inspired by the rushes that grow along Mediterranean shores; wild plants with long, flexible stems that sway in the wind. These thin plants are gathered and bound to create lattices used to protect them from the sun and the wind. “Like a fence built from a bunch of stems, joined together, this structure is developed in a line of stackable sofas and armchairs,” Nigro writes in his design note.



This year marks the150th anniversary of Italian Unification. To commemorate this historic event, Edra has issued a singular version of the Flap sofa, designed by Francesco Binfarè over a decade ago. The tricolour sofa is specially upholstered in the colours of the Italian flag for Esperienza Italia: an exhibition and programme of events dedicated to Italian history, art, fashion and design.


Reminiscent of spring and flowers, Bigbaboll from Altamoda Italia is a two-seater sofa designed just for couples. Upholstered in one of the most popular fabrics by Ken Scott, Bigbaboll is designed to be a complete seating experience. It comes with a light that illuminates from the top and a side table that can be moved to the side of the seat or the middle, becoming a shared shelf.


Alessandro Mendini is a man of many parts: architect, designer, theoretician, painter and past editor of Domus; he also celebrates his 80th birthday this year. He has been a long time collaborator of Bisazza, who have dedicated a retrospective at La Triennale di Milano, focusing on Mendini’s sculptures covered in mosaic. Curated and designed by Mendini, the exhibition will gather some of the most important installations and works conceived by the designer for Bisazza over the past 30 years. A new equestrian sculpture, entitled “Il Cavaliere di Dürer” (The Knight of Dürer), will be premiered; this is an imposing statue of horse and rider, covered in blue and white gold mosaic. The Mendini retrospective will be a unique opportunity to see the cathedral housing another major contribution of the maestro: the sculpture “Visage archaïque” (2002), in Bisazza gold mosaic tiles, recalling the Moai, the monolithic statues of Easter Island. ID

April 2011


Tile them high Innovation and sustainability were the key themes at the Spanish ceramic tiles expo. TEXT: KAREN EVANS

If the tiles on display at Cevisama are any indication, the future of the Spanish tile industry is exciting indeed. More than 776 local and international companies filled 120,000sqm of display space at the 29th edition of the fair that took place in Valencia, Spain, between February 8 and 11. Cevisama (whose name translates as International Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Equipment Fair) showcases Spain’s position as the third-largest exporter of ceramic tiles in the world, just behind China and Italy. The show lived up to its tagline: “Come and see the future”, showcasing several advances made in the Spanish tile industry, particularly in the realm of sustainability. With manufacturers continually thinking outside of the traditional uses of ceramic tile in the kitchen and bathroom, innovations in ceramic tile are expanding rapidly into other fields, including dry installation systems, worktops in the kitchen and bathroom, ventilated facades and for street paving. Tile of


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Spain is opening up new vistas in research, including solutions that combine technology and ceramic materials; think photovoltaic panels, pre-bent tiles, digital printing and translucent ceramics. Ceramic tiles offer a great range of possibilities in home décor aside from the bathroom, including focal wall features and headboards in the bedroom. The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER) is working with Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design to further the use of ceramic tile. When asked what features differentiate ceramic tiles from other materials used in architecture, professor Martin Bechtold said: “Compared to other materials, the base material ceramic has very few inherent shape limitations, this offers interesting opportunities for design. An increasingly diverse set of glazes allows for many different surface effects and colours.” Advances in technology are allowing easier installation methods and technical and functional benefits of tiles are becoming an increasingly common feature of the various rooms in the home. According to Ceraspaña, ASCER’s newsletter, “ceramic tiles are powerful tools at the service of creativity and design. Aside from their technical aspects – being easy to clean and maintain, durable, resistant to chemicals scratching, traffic and so on – their other notable feature is that they come in a multiplicity of shapes, colours, textures, finishes and weights.” This out-of-the box thinking was clear in the winners of the ninth annual Tile of Spain Awards, celebrated at the show. The awards are divided into three


From left: CEIP 2L Martinet by Mestura Arquitectes, distinction winner in the Architecture category; a panel from the proposed San Sebastian Thermal Sea Baths project by Alba Balmaseda Domínguez, which won in the Degree category; winner in the Interior Design category – Manuel Clavel Rojo’s “Avenida Libertad Car Park”; winner of the architecture category – Bach Architects’ Casp 74 Housing Block.

categories: Architecture, Interior Design and Degree projects. The winner of the architecture category was Bach Architects for their Casp 74 Housing Block. The building was notable, said the judges, for “not just the high quality of the architecture but also for the exemplary way in which ceramic tiles have been used on its façade”. The ceramics on the outside had a protective function, but also maintained cultural continuity. Manuel Clavel Rojo’s “Avenida Libertad Car Park” was the winner in the Interior Design category. The project used light and ceramics in a public space. Ceramic was chosen for its ability to be user friendly, durable and easy to maintain. In the Degree project category, Alba Balmaseda Domínguez, studying at the Advanced Technical School of Madrid, won for her San Sebastian Thermal Sea Baths, in which ceramics were used in conjunction with concrete to create warmth for the human body. In addition to innovation, sustainability was a big topic at the show. Spain’s wall and floor tile industry are increasing their commitment to sustainable development, which it demonstrates as it devises solutions that are environmentally friendly. Strides include returning all non-hazardous solid waste to the production chain and reducing water consumption, which is also brought back into the process after use, saving energy and reducing firing times. In future years it will be exciting to see what new innovations ceramic will bring to both exterior and interior projects. ID

April 2011



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City planning Plans for Green Tech City, an innovative 145-hectare development in Hanoi, renewable energy moves by the Empire State Building and Nissanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unveiling of the ESFLOW electric concept sports car are among the stories making eco headlines this month. TEXT: STEVE HILL


Vietnam is set to become home to Green Tech City, a 145-hectare development in Hanoi which will showcase sustainable design principles to reduce the demand for non-renewable resources and typical civil infrastructure. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is to master plan the urban district which will integrate two existing villages and eventually become home to more than 20,000 people. The plan was informed by a rigorous process designed to optimise its environmental sustainability. Wind and solar analyses were used to determine the optimal orientation of streets and buildings in order to create comfortable urban micro-climates. These ensure the plan will harness natural environmental conditions in order to maximise comfort and minimise infrastructure requirements as well as operational energy costs. Sustainable district-wide technologies like canal water cooling, tri-generation plants, waste recycling and rainwater harvesting are integral components of the plan, which also promotes low-tech passive design strategies for environmentally-friendly architecture that is appropriate for the local economy and Vietnamese climate and culture. One of the key architectural features at the heart of the plan is a new Cultural Forum building, which will accommodate an auditorium, TV studio, art gallery, mediateque and cafĂŠs.

April 2009 2011 March



Sterren college



Sterren College, in the Dutch city of Haarlem, is achieving energy savings through a wide range of sustainable measures. Designed by Mecanoo as a green village imbedded in the surrounding landscape, it features underground thermal storage, the use of low maintenance and durable materials while special attention has been paid to the interior climate. Air is changed more often than building standards dictate. In-floor heating and cooling, operable building components, solid acoustics and lots of natural light create an academic building where students can concentrate and function at their best. The college, which accommodates 1,000 students, also features moss-sedum roofs, which give the school a green presence, while providing insulation, storage areas for bikes and water run-off. Two green facades with climbing plants enhance this green environment.

E.ON, one of the UK’s largest power and gas companies, recently received approval to build a 230MW wind farm which will feature up to 77 turbines and be located eight kilometres off the Yorkshire coast. Humber Gate is scheduled to be completed in 2014. The company was also behind the country’s first offshore farm off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland, and also operates Scroby Sands, off Great Yarmouth. Last year, the company developed 40 per cent of all offshore wind turbines in England. Its Robin Rigg farm in the Solway Firth helping the UK reach one gigawatt of offshore wind capacity for the first time when it went on stream in 2010. The new wind farm will help E.ON in its goals of reducing its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2020. The company also has plans to invest more than Dhs14.7bn over the next three years to promote renewable energy and prevent climate change.


Environmentally-friendly bamboo paper pulp has been used to create a new range of three-dimensional wall panels. Designed by Dutch company 3DWalldecor, this natural and sustainable product also features a fire retardant, water repellent and starch. It is available in four modular designs to bring a modern look to any room. The panels have a natural appearance, can be painted or varnished, are as sturdy as hard board and easily mountable. VERY REVEALING

Reveal’s Ivy Quilted Wallet, available through Feelgoodhandbags, is contemporary, chic, stylish… and features recycled polyester fabric made from plastic bottles which are melted down and spun into yarn. Reveal is a socially responsible company that designs products with the environment and animal welfare in mind while Feelgoodhandbags, established three years ago, is an animal-friendly firm based in the north-west of England that aims to provide elegant alternatives to leather. 3DWalldecor


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Deira City Centre 04 2952092 Jumeirah Beach Residence 04 4380650 Mall of the Emirates 04 3414184 Palm Strip 04 3460020 Dubai Mall 04 3399105



Clockwise from top left: New York Palace Hotel; the Empire State Building; Nissan ESFLOW electric concept sports car.



The New York Palace Hotel has become the largest hotel in Manhattan to operate on 100 per cent green energy. The famous 899-room property offsets its overall electricity usage through the purchase of renewable energy certificates from Hess Corporation – a move which will specifically offset some 22 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This is the equivalent of taking more than 4,100 passenger cars off the road or saving over 7,200 tonnes of waste from landfills. A renewable energy certificate is a tradable commodity representing the fact that 1,000kWh of electricity were generated from a renewable energy resource such as solar, wind or geothermal technology. It also became the first hotel in New York to partner with Clean the World, donating up to 225kg of gently used soap and guest-room amenities per month to the global relief organisation. The contributed items are shipped from The New York Palace to the Clean the World Recycling Operations Centre in Orlando, where they are sanitised and provided to homeless shelters and impoverished individuals in 30 countries around the world. In the process, the hotel will divert several tonnes of landfill waste and recycle more than a tonne of plastic per year.

The Empire State Building has become New York’s largest commercial purchaser of 100 per cent renewable energy. The 264,000sq/m office building has signed a two-year agreement with Green Mountain Energy Company to purchase 55 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually, which is equivalent to planting almost 150,000 trees or nearly every house in New York State turning off their lights for a week. Anthony E Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings, which supervises the Empire State Building, said: “It was a natural fit for us to combine 100 per cent clean energy with our nearly completed, ground breaking energy efficiency retrofit work. “Clean energy and our nearly 40 per cent reduced consumption of watts and BTUs gives us a competitive advantage in attracting the best credit tenants at the best rents. Our programme of innovation at the Empire State Building shows simple, replicable, non-proprietary steps for other landlords to follow to be more energy efficient, cleaner and greener.” The renewable energy to supply the Empire State Building will be purchased in the form of wind Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from NRG Energy, Green Mountain’s parent company. Purchasing these RECs is a widely accepted way to address the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity consumption.


Nissan recently took the wraps off its ESFLOW electric concept sports car, which aims to demonstrate that it is possible to remain environmentally sympathetic without compromising on the joy of driving. The ESFLOW, a rear-wheel drive two-seater, uses technology pioneered in the award-winning Nissan LEAF and features two electric motors, each driving a rear wheel. Laminated lithium-ion batteries have been mounted along the axis of the front and rear wheels, centralising the mass of the car and enabling it to travel more than 240km on one charge. Designed from the start as a zero emission vehicle, it also boasts dramatic styling with a wraparound windscreen for unobstructed visibility and a head turning composite body that covers an aluminium chassis, incorporating its own roll cage. Capable of 0-100km/h in under five seconds, the ESFLOW’s seats – typically the heaviest component in a modern car’s interior – have been sculpted into the rear bulkhead of the car, negating the need for a heavy frame. ID


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March 2009



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Take the plunge Sensual shapes, rich textures, spa-inspired fixtures and water-saving features are the signature for bathrooms in 2011 and beyond. TEXT: RUBY ROGERS


CONTENTS: 38 Design direction 45 Simple elegance 46 Design notes from ISH

The Hotech Bauhaus radiator, finished in gold leaf and designed by Federico Guastaroba.

April 2011



From top: Inspired by a leaf – Antonio Pascale’s bath for Galassia; a new rubber surface makes Omvivo’s basins colourful and touchable.

“No other room offers more design potential,” claims Kai Steffan, creative director of international lifestyle brand Villeroy & Boch. He is, of course, referring to the bathroom, where fixtures and fittings have long ceased to be merely functional and trends are influencing everything from choice of material to the look and feel of final designs. “Trends are like rivers,” Steffan says somewhat poetically. “They float through the world, picking up objects and ideas from one location and depositing them somewhere else. Today, this takes place at an enormous speed as a result of instruments such as social networks. Ideally, a company positions itself along the banks of just such a river – the way we are – and after taking a close look at what has washed up, makes its selections and implements trends in the form of products.” The bathroom is no longer secondary to other significant areas of the home. “It is finally coming into its own and being perceived as a genuine habitat,” Steffan says. “This is accompanied by the emotionalisation of the bathroom, previously seen in purely functional terms.” But can a space equipped with ceramics and tiles really be emotional? “Absolutely,” he maintains. “In fact it has to be. The bathroom is the most intimate place in the entire home, a place for all the senses. Ceramics are indispensible given the functional and hygienic demands of the bathroom, but they are also emotional thanks to the introduction of more sensual forms.” One such sensual collection is Villeroy & Boch’s Pure Stone series, whose shapes are inspired by pebbles smoothed by the flow of river water. Another is Galassia’s new bathtub by architect Antonio Pascale, a nod to the smooth, flowing lines of a leaf and easily adapted to either contemporary or classic settings. Sensual shapes are not solely responsible for the ‘emotionalisation’ of the bathroom. Take Villeroy & Boch’s Memento collection for instance, a stunning series of coordinated ceramics available with a decorative finish on fronts, bodies and trims. “Bathroom ceramics and tiles are no longer sterile surfaces but have had life breathed into them,” Steffan says. “All of a sudden you want to reach out and touch them.” Forward-thinking Australian manufacturer Omvivo agrees. It has recently developed a playful technique in order to inject colour into the bathroom. Created using a rubber compound, Softskin is applied to the exterior of a number of Omvivo solid surface basins to create a tactile surface that is soft, warm and demands to be touched. Softskin’s colour can be tailored to the taste of its user, and is available in a standard colour palette of charcoal, yellow, lavender and sky, but can also be custom coloured if required.


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Dornbracht’s new Gentle collection by Matteo Thun is available in a chrome surface finish.

“Colour is such an imperative element in interior design,” says Suzie Dyson of Omvivo. “Architects, designers and consumers with a passion and awareness of design will appreciate the playful and elegant contrast that Softskin offers. These discerning clients will employ Softskin as the foundation to create stunning contemporary environments in a broad range of applications.” At Cersaie 2010, Cielo previewed a collection of six decorative shower trays by the master of ultra-modern design, Karim Rashid. Isla and Fly are subject to abstract soft curves; Rimmel and Kaos are clean-cut geometric designs; while Rain and Quart experiment with three-dimensional patterns to great effect. “In this collection, Rashid has set out to crystallise his own personal vision of the design concept, as an integral part of the contemporary universe,” Cielo says. “In today’s world, the task of design goes beyond the creation of beautiful and functional objects: design must enhance the aesthetic experience in all directions, by transforming our life story into a poetic and sensorial trail.” The trouble with trends is that they come and go and the average consumer is looking for longer-term solutions. “It is a high art,” Steffan says of the balancing act between a design that reflects the current trend and one that will still look beautiful 15 years from now. “Fortunately we have mastered this art at Villeroy & Boch. We interpret bathroom trends in such a way that our products subtly reflect these trends yet still retain a timeless validity.” Is he concerned about the globalisation of contemporary design? “You can view globalisation in a positive or negative light,” Steffan responds. “In terms of design, too often it has served to disseminate mere similarity. An example


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would be the hotel rooms that look the same all over the world – a kind of ‘international’ style in home decor. Often, rather than inspiring people, it simply exhausts or bores them. But at some point something great happens – a countermovement is born.” This countermovement, according to Villeroy & Boch, is the need for individualisation and personalization, a demand for new colours and unexpected decorations that capture attention and express individuality. Its new O.novo collection is designed to do just that, giving customers an opportunity to use a selection of décors to express their own personal taste. DESIGN DIRECTION

Family business Dornbracht has been at the forefront of high-quality bathroom fittings and accessories for several decades. With a reputation for excellent design and a clutch of innovations to its name, who better to ask about the key trends shaping bathrooms in 2011 and beyond? “The spa has finally reached the private bathroom,” says managing director Andreas Dornbracht in an exclusive interview. “It has been a feature of the hospitality industry for quite some years and now the premium customer wants to enjoy the same experience at home. As a result we have developed a wide selection of products that imitate the natural state of water.” These include a series of luxurious showerheads that emulate natural rain and stunning waterfall-style taps.


Carlo Colombo designed the Solidea bath and Pipa wash basin for Antoniolupi; both are in timeless Carrara marble.


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April 2011



Vola’s aptly named Round collection, designed for luxury residences and hotels.

Driving the spa trend is a growing concern for the wellbeing of our bodies and minds. “The bathroom is going to become central to preserving our health,” Dornbracht predicts. “Water has been used as a means of curing illnesses as well as preventing them for more than a couple of thousand years. Dornbracht has several products in the pipeline designed to harness the healing power of water. We have already launched with WaterTube, a design-oriented water hose that can be used as a cold and warm water treatment to improve blood circulation as in Kneipp hydrotherapy. ” Electronics are essential to shaping 21st-century bathrooms, improving comfort by tailoring water temperature and pressure to the users’ exact needs. “Electronics support sustainability, helping to improve the efficiency of water usage,” Dornbracht says. “They also help us to create more offerings for the consumer. Take our new Ambiance Tuning Technique for example, three pre-programmed water choreographies activated at the touch of a button – balancing, de-stressing and energising.” Although detractors might argue that these offerings are merely gimmicks, Dornbracht disagrees. “Of course there is a danger of introducing electronics into the bathroom, but we believe that we have found the right solution that offers the consumer real value rather than just gimmicks.” It goes without saying that water efficiency will continue to influence bathroom design. We should expect to see a wealth of products that use less water but do not compromise on comfort in the future.


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“Sustainability in the bathroom is not limited to water-saving solutions,” Dornbracht stresses. “It is also about using environmentally friendly materials. We have certainly seen a return to more natural materials like stone and wood.” Cue the new Concrete collection by Glass Idromassaggio, developed in collaboration with Il Cantiere, a specialist Italian concrete manufacturer with the expertise and technical ability to transform this humble material into a stunning series of bathroom pieces. Central to the creation of the Concrete collection is the use of Ductal concrete, an extremely hi-tech and ecological material made of organic fibre that is recyclable at the end of its lifecycle. A highlight of the collection is Concrete Soft, which bears the signature style of its designer Gigi Rossi: a soft, flowing shape and generous wide back supported by a base in antique brass or stainless steel. Looking forward, Dornbracht stresses the importance of greywater systems (whereby waste water is collected from basins, baths and showers, treated, and then reused in the house and garden). “We have to develop the understanding that in the long run greywater is an investment. It will not only save us money but it will also protect the environment,” he says. “In my opinion architects play a leading role. They need to learn more about the benefits of greywater recycling and convince the homeowner to invest in it.” Another driving force of development is demographics. “In most industrialised countries we have a very low birth rate and a lot of medical progress which means society is ageing,” Dornbracht says. “People might not feel old in their


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Clockwise from left: Laufen has given its Palomba collection a facelift with fresh white matt surfaces; Daniele Bedini’s Shiro showerhead, designed for Rubinetterie Zazzeri and the freestanding Monolith washbasin in wood from Galassia, available at Bagno Design.

mind at 65 or 70 but they might have the need of certain systems in the bathroom. Our challenge is to create high quality functional designs that do not sacrifice on aesthetics.” In recent years the focus of Dornbracht’s product development is not only to design taps but also to shape water flow. An excellent example is its new Deque design, reduced to a flat, wide spout that sits close to the basin, thereby drawing attention to the essential purpose behind it, namely the form in which water is presented. “Deque represents a continuation of the range of shapes offered by the Dornbracht brand in an avant-garde design,” Andreas Dornbracht says. “What is special about the jet type that we selected for this fitting is that we work with single jets that present a special, gentle stroking sensation when washing your hands.” Also strengthening Dornbracht’s product portfolio in 2011 is Gentle, a new entry-level collection by Italian designer Matteo Thun that proposes everyday elegance. “The name Gentle denotes a pleasant character. At the same time it implies softness, but also class – it evokes the idea of the ‘gentleman’,” Dornbracht explains. “The tactile, feminine shape of the fittings series thus acquires a note of sophisticated masculinity.” The Gentle range includes fittings for the washstand, bidet, shower and bathtub, and is available in a chrome surface finish. SIMPLE ELEGANCE

Over the past 12 months there has been a shift away from extravagant luxury and opulence towards understated glamour. “Design in 2011 will be much more about these glamorous details but it will also be darker than we have seen before, reflecting our personal desires rather than overarching trends,” says Vanessa Allen of British brassware manufacturer Samuel Heath. “As the bathroom has always been a personal space, this trend will resonate particularly well here, with glamorous details and a dark colour palette featuring blacks and greys.” For more contemporary interiors consumers will want darker finishes that offer the same longevity as chrome (see Samuel Heath’s Xenon Black collection featuring a matt chrome finish). Allen also expects to see more texture in the bathroom, with the introduction of blackened or tarnished metals and finishes that have an element of personality such as nickel, which develops a patina of its own over time. “We can also expect metallic products in the home to become more fluid in their design, as though they have been teased from molten metal,” Allen continues. “This is most definitely a reflection of the developments in design technology, as advanced computer software and production processes enable manufacturers to explore designs that have never been possible. Complex designs and meticulous detail can now be produced with relative ease and now is an exciting time for manufacturers as we continue to push at the boundaries of possibility. In 2011 and beyond, we can certainly expect to see much more playful use of design as this technology evolves.” Simplicity will continue to be a leading trend in 2011 with consumers looking to invest in high quality products that become part of their home for a good many years to come. “With this in mind, faddish trends and designs have been

April 2011



Jaime Hayon channels Art Deco for his collection for Bisazza.

replaced by simple and classic ideas. Inspired by a more human approach, natural colours will feature heavily with organic, curvaceous and more feminine shapes,” says Allen – Samuel Heath’s Fairfield collection’s sweeping curves and soft lines illustrate this point perfectly. “Ornate design and cluttered homes will be stripped back and reduced to a bare minimum as functionality becomes the driving force in interiors,” Allen predicts. “Increased importance will be placed on practical products like storage, as we look to find more order in our lives.” Certainly demand for effective storage is growing rapidly. Furniture-based bathrooms look destined to become more popular as a result, with hidden storage under basins and baths creating a minimalist look and feel to available space. “Looking towards the latter part of 2011 and following on from the trend for darker glamour, we will see a new role for luxury begin to develop,” Allen says. “Functionality, comfort and personal indulgence will supersede the ostentatious role that glamour once brandished, and attention to detail will become much more important.” Finishing touches, such as high-quality hardware and accessories, will provide a way in which we can renovate our homes, enjoying these smaller details on a day-to-day basis without making a big design statement. “Over the past few years, we have seen a lack of consumer trust which is now reflected in a harkening back to the past for inspiration, both in terms of colours and design. Rather than being retrospective, this design is a new, modern take on past styles, with old ideas evolving into something new and unique,” Allen concludes. “Earthy browns, dark greens and smoky blues help to develop this sense of nostalgia, whilst classic styles adopt a more modern interpretation. Popular finishes such as gold will return, but with a burnished, darker finish rather than the once popular yellow gold.”


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March was a busy month for the bathroom industry. ISH – the world’s largest platform for innovative bathroom design – flung opened its doors, bringing together more than 2,000 companies across 250,000sq/m of exhibition space in Frankfurt. The big news was that Bisazza announced the birth of its new division dedicated to the production and distribution of bathroom collections. Christened Bisazza Bagno, Spanish designer Jaime Hayon was entrusted to design its debut collection and set the standard for future collaborations. “The collection recalls the glamour of the 1930s with a Scandinavian touch and feminine shapes,” Hayon says. “Elegance is the main trait of this innovative collection. The bathroom is the most important room in the home and it should not be hidden. With this collection, it becomes an area you want to show, a place you can keep open. The bathroom becomes a stylish room, full of charm and style, with a strong identity.” To channel his Art Deco aesthetic, Hayon cherry-picked a classic colour palette of white, black, gold and platinum together with a choice of luxury materials including marble, ceramic, chrome steel or glossy copper-finished aluminum. To give consumers ample choice he designed a series of bathroom furniture as well as basins, baths, brassware, shower screens, mirrors, lighting and an assortment of accessories and decorative items. Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen extended its successful Palomba collection with an impressive 1,600mm wide countertop with two asymmetrical basins and optional towel rail. The Palomba furniture range was also given a facelift to feature new vanity units and a surface finish in fresh matt white. And thanks to a newly-developed Siphon, the drawers on the vanity units require no disruptive siphon cutouts.

From left: The Esplanade range from Duravit features oak panelling; the Morphing collection from Kos plays on classic bathroom aesthetics.

Kaldewei extended its floor-level Conoflat shower tray range with 12 new sizes. Designed to lend a seamless look to bathrooms, Conoflat’s central waste features a square, enamelled cover available in the same colour as the shower tray (white, black or in Kaldewei’s new Co-ordinated Colours collection designed to match the latest tile and wood flooring colours). Fellow German manufacturer Duravit made a splash with an opulent bathroom collection in collaboration with German-Russian architect Sergei Tchoban. In the skilled hands of Tchoban, “opulence” does not translate to mean ostentatious or excessive. Instead he sought out a more modern approach that is compatible with the demand for durable bathrooms. In his own words: “Contemporary opulence is about allowing that little bit more yet keeping one’s feet firmly on the ground!” Tchoban’s new series consists of ceramic, furniture and a complete range of bathtubs. Winning features include the feet of the vanity unit that hark back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when bathroom furnishings and even toilets were still regarded as furniture. The characteristic pedestal is also featured in other


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elements from the range and is particularly striking on the floor-mounted toilet, which is reminiscent of an antique chair. The historical association is further endorsed by the use of the same material for the body of the toilet and bidet as for the furniture, all of which are panelled accordingly. The bathtub is designed to resemble a chaise longue and bathroom furniture features dark brown loops as handles made of genuine, hand-sewn leather in high-quality chrome surrounds. The range expresses Tchoban’s view that the bathroom has become a recreation room and an important element in the layout of the house that demands space in its own right. “Today, if I make the bathroom too small, my client doesn’t want to know,” he says. Consequently the bathroom is on its way to becoming a high-quality living area that rivals the generous dimensions of the living room in every respect. Luxury was the buzzword at Vola with the launch of its new Round series for prestigious houses and apartments, as well as five-star hotels. The cylinder is a key shape in Vola design which would explain why it has been used to create new designs in the Round series, finished in either high-polished chrome


or brushed stainless steel combined with fronts in white, black or any colour for larger projects. True to Vola tradition, designs are unobtrusive, with less aesthetically pleasing elements built into the wall. Morphing is the most recent offering from Kos. “A collection with a difference,” say designers Ludovica & Roberto Palomba, who experimented with classic bathroom aesthetics to create innovative and design-oriented shapes. The upshot is a contemporary collection with subtle traditional undertones crafted from Cristalplant. “We believe that good projects already exist in a sort of collective imagery and that our mission consists of identifying these unconscious needs, giving them form and introducing them to the world,’” explain the design duo. “A product, which will be chosen by an infinite number of people we don’t know, will therefore feel surprisingly familiar right from the first glance. A real crush – like love at first sight!” Italian designer Carlo Colombo lent his considerable design skills to new launches by antoniolupi. Typical of Colombo’s simple but elegant signature style is the stunning Pipa washbasin that bears resemblance to an inverted “L” and is

designed to stand in the centre of the bathroom serviced by freestanding taps and fittings. His new Solidea bath is equally impressive, again freestanding and featuring a rectangular base supporting gently sloped sides that allows for its oval rim. Colombo’s use of timelessly beautiful Carrara marble unites the two pieces and establishes a strong connection with nature. And finally, Hansgrohe showed off its collaborative collection with French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, first premiered in Paris last year and officially launched at ISH. Designed to “radiate calm and thus create a warm balance within the space”, the collection is easy on the eye and comfortable to use thanks to soft, free flowing lines and no corners or edges. The position of the mixer is not pre-determined so the user can decide where to locate the spout and handles, either on the basin itself, around the sides or on the wall. Integrated shelves permit flexible positioning of the mixer and also provide personal tiered storage space. There are more than 70 products in the collection, giving the user freedom to create a bathroom that ideally suits their everyday needs. ID

April 2011



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Master of all he surveys Jaime Hayón has been high on the “It-list” ever since he burst onto the design scene. His use of bold, whimsical work which blurs the lines between art, decoration and design continues to garner accolades and he’s now turning his fanciful eye to interiors TEXT: LISA VINCENTI

Jaime Hayón didn’t cut his teeth in a fancy fine arts school or a top European university, instead, he began his early education on the streets of Madrid, submerging himself in skateboard culture and the graffiti art scene. Born in 1974, his formative years clearly weren’t wasted youth – they serve as the backdrop to his current oeuvre. The design world has been held spellbound by the detailed, bold-yetwhimsical world he creates ever since he emerged back in 2003 when London’s David Gill Gallery held Hayón’s first major exhibition Mediterranean Digital Baroque, followed by Mon Cirque.


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He continues to garner attention and last year was named designer of the year by one of Europe’s most prestigious furniture fairs, Maison et Objet in Paris, for which he created a Scenes d’Interieur show called Moving Ideas. “The [Maison] award was given for achievement in interior design – which is an area I’ve been working in increasingly for the past few years – and it’s an area I’m taking more and more pleasure from,” notes Hayón, who has signed his name to everything from shoes and toys to furniture and lighting. “Normally I am contacted by companies whose guidelines are similar to mine: a passion for quality, use of exquisite materials and a sense of risk and wanting to try out new things.”

Sketches from Hayon’s diaries.

His work is infused with a sort of unexpected quality and surprise, and – quite often – humour; it ranges from expressive and witty to highly sophisticated and elegant, but always with a twist: traditional heritage wrapped in modern aesthetics. His talent seems to have no bounds, yet the full range of his genius is, perhaps, best appreciated by the interior design commissions he has been receiving of late. Hayón considers these projects like large-scale art installations, where most of the elements are custom-made, he considers himself a craftsman after all, and comfort, personality and quality are the leitmotif of his efforts.

After studying industrial design in Madrid and Paris, Hayón joined Fabrica in 1997, the Benetton-funded design and communication academy, where he worked closely with legendary photographer Oliverio Toscani, who is bestknown for the controversial advertising campaigns for the Italian brand from 1982 to 2000. It didn’t take Hayón long to climb his way to the top and soon he headed Fabrica’s design department, where he oversaw projects ranging from shop, restaurant and exhibition conception and design to graphics. However, by 2005 Hayón was ready for a change and he broke out on his own founding Hayón Studio in Madrid. One of his earliest commissions came

April 2011



Left to right: Lounger for Barcelona Design; Groninger Museum; the restaurant La Terraza del Casino

from famed porcelain-maker Lladró and both Mediterranean Digital Baroque, a series of surreal, baroque spindly creatures, and Mon Cirque, a line of fantastic household objects, were crafted from ceramics. At around the same time he debuted his fanciful bathroom range for Barcelona’s ArtQuitect and the design world swooned. His unexpected combination of porcelain with precious metals, of baroque sensibility infused with contemporary dynamism cemented his reputation and kept the commissions streaming in. Throughout his career Hayón’s work has placed him amid the wave of creators that continue to blur the lines between art, decoration and design, and also set him among a new generation that place finely crafted, intricate objects in a contemporary context. His first major commercial design project (for Madrid’s La Terraza del Casino restaurant) allowed him to broaden his reach. After meeting with the chef, Paco Roncero, and sampling his cuisine, Hayón received the commission in early 2007 to revamp La Terraza. “The location was both fantastic and complicated,” Hayón recalls. “El Casino de Madrid, where the Terraza is located, is right in the centre of Madrid. The atmosphere is very chic and glamorous. This was both interesting and


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very complicated as we needed to create a project that would respect the characteristics of the building but at the same time be fresh and new.” All the elements of the new restaurant, cast in pale bluish hues, are made up of geometric forms. Rhombus-shaped mirrors to reflect the light; a chequered floor; geometric columns; and even the chairs, each of which is different from the next. From above, Hayón-designed lamps dangle from the ceiling like large white spiders. The result is an aesthetic link between past and future using the Spaniard’s meticulously crafted, imaginative style, which blends art and design. In fact, when haute jeweller Fabergé was preparing to open its first boutique, it turned to Hayón for creating a narrative that fused the past, present and future, tradition and modernity. In the Geneva townhouse Hayón developed an expression of modern luxury through simplicity and sensuality. Superlative craftsmanship, sumptuous minimal shapes and forms, and exquisite materials (including silk wall drapes, rare woods and Carrara marble) lend an organic and dynamic feel to the space, which balances energy and serenity, historic grandeur and freshness. “Choosing materials carefully is very important,” Hayón says of his design projects. “I believe in long lasting and quality materials that withstand the test of use and time. I have realised that a project can be iconic and eternal only if the materials used are durable. I am a great lover of marble, brass, wood, glass... elements that breathe quality. The way these are used and combined can be very innovative and we have technology to help us find new ways of approaching old materials.” When Kuwaiti couple Fahad Al Hajiri and Sheikha Alanood M Al Sabah decided to launch their own version of the contemporary jewellery store in 2009, they were seeking a salon that would tell their story. They hoped the


Clockwise from top left : Hayon presented at Rossana Orlandi Gallery in Milan; Hayon with Armchair TwentyTwo; Jaime Hayon for Bisazza Home; Green Chicken rocking chair; Se Collection by Jaime Hayon.

Octium boutique would set a new contemporary standard in the field of luxury bijoux. Hayón was commissioned to create a space that evokes a retro-opulence and stock it with pieces sourced from the couple’s worldwide travels. The concept he dreamt up was sophisticated, feminine, with just enough eccentricity to give it Hayón’s customary twist. After passing through a very masculine façade in St Laurent dark marble and an impressive brass door, Octium guests enter a contrasting interior that is organic and soft. The use of feminine shapes is a constant throughout and there are no corners inside the shop, an idea inspired by traditional Mediterranean construction, where lime was used for finishes to give an organic feel to interiors, Hayón explains. He divided the boutique into several distinct areas with each offering a different approach to experiencing the collection and creating a sense of movement and journey. Almost every element was custom-designed and made for the project; from a theatrical large piece of furniture where ceramic lamps fall inside the display elements, to a seven-metre centipede-like display composed of natural walnut and brass crutch-like legs (a nod to surrealist Salvador Dali). In the store’s central area, a complex, quirky multi-legged round table with spring cylinders exhibits jewellery above which hangs a light installation composed of varioussized cylinders. Hayón selected contrasting finishes like glossy lacquered woods, natural walnut, shiny ceramics and luxurious fabrics to evoke a sense of tradition, yet in a thoroughly modern way. “Funnily enough, many times, the approach I use can be the same for an interior and for a shoe,” Hayón says. “In my case, there is a strong passion for craftsmanship, quality and the combination of tradition with imagination. These are constant co-ordinates in my journeys.” ID


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CONTENTS: 60 Luck of the Irish 66 Big is beautiful 72 Antennae

April 2011


Luck of the Irish Ireland’s property slump began way back in June 2006 and it is only when the “vulture funds” finally arrive that things might start to turn around on the Emerald Isle. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN


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Ardbrugh House, County Dublin, five bedroom house through Sherry Fitzgerald

April 2011


The statistics are horrible. Numbers can reveal a truth more starkly than words and, in the case of the Irish housing market, do so with cruel precision. Stat number one: Irish property prices have halved over the past four years. Stat number two: 30,000 buy-to-let investors bought Irish homes in 2006, but only 250 did so in 2010, a contraction of 99 per cent. And there’s more, University College Dublin reports 170,000 homes are empty – nine per cent of Ireland’s housing stock. Too many flats were built in the boom years of the mid-noughties, especially on Dublin’s fringes, and the Irish are leaving their country to find work overseas now – the demand for Canadian work visas from Irish nationals doubled last year and thousands more are moving to other Anglophone countries. Rich or poor, the slump does not discriminate and Dublin’s trophy homes sector is among Ireland’s worst affected property markets. “Shrewsbury Road was the best address,” says Brian O’Driscoll, head of residential research Ireland at estate agency Savills. “It was not unusual for these homes to sell for Dhs126 million, but now the market is non-existent these homes would go for Dhs15 million there are so few transactions.” The extent of the housing market’s collapse is unprecedented, but eventually, what goes down will go up. The question is when. Sadly, before anything gets better, things will get worse. Like many strong medicines, the international bailout of Ireland’s public finances in November 2010 may cure the patient, but its strong side effects will increase levels of pain and discomfort in the short term. Loans totalling Dhs337 billion from Britain, the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came with demands for austerity measures and a “punitive” 5.8 per cent interest rate on repayments. Ireland’s government responded by raiding Dhs88 billion from the country’s pension fund, and making Dhs29 billion of spending cuts and tax rises in its budget last December, reducing the amount of money Irish citizens have available to spend on home buying.


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However, the budget did include a surprise measure that will help house sales – stamp duty was slashed from nine per cent to one per cent for homes valued below Dhs5 million, and cut to two per cent for homes valued above Dhs5 million. “This will have a beneficial impact on the market here, stamp duty rates were punitive before,” O’Driscoll says. “From that point of view this is good news for the property market in the short term. It will assist the market.” But stamp duty cuts won’t be enough to counteract the effects of wage freezes and job losses brought about by austerity measures. What’s more, the banks are unwilling to lend, so even if Irishmen and women can raise a deposit and feel inclined to buy a home, they may not get a mortgage. “In 2007, there were 15 mortgage lenders, now there are three and they are nationalised or being nationalised,” O’Driscoll says. “You won’t get a loan unless you work in government or have rock solid employment. Lots of categories of business are deemed to be unacceptable. Without a fluid mortgage system it is hard to have a fluent property market.” There is a rare positive statistic – figures show GDP growing 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, buoyed by the resilience of the country’s export driven manufacturers. However, this small expansion in the economy will have minimal impact on the housing market, O’Driscoll considers. “Nobody really believes that [GDP growth figure],” he says. “From a technical point of view there has been very modest growth and growth is projected for 2011, but it certainly does not feel like that. Everybody feels that this year will be a terrible year. There will be less money in people’s pockets and less willingness to invest. Property values are continuing to go down. With the very, very tight mortgage market, you could say this was a perfect storm.” Ireland’s political turmoil has not helped, adding to the sense of chaos and frustration that undermines sentiment in the whole economy, not just the housing market. What’s more, there is little Ireland’s new Government, a coalition of conservative Fine Gael and socialist Labour, can do to improve matters.


Clockwise from top left: Kilteelagh House, Nenagh, County Tipperary Ireland, has 10 hectares of land through Sherry Fitzgerald; 33 Brittas Bay, County Wicklow; K Club, golf and spa resort, County Kildare, 1/16th fractional ownership of four bedroom house; Raithmichael Brook, Raithmichael, County Dublin, seven bedroom house, 3/5 hectare of land from Savills.

Urged on by angry Irish voters, these parties want to re-negotiate the bailout package agreed by the outgoing coalition government of conservative Fianna Fail and environmentalist Greens. They want those interest rate payments cut. Economists at US bank Citi say Ireland may default on loan repayments if interest rates are not halved to at least three per cent. Yet, even if interest rates are cut, the Dhs336.6 billion principal remains a huge sum for 4.5 million Irish to repay. If Ireland defaulted on debt repayments this would infuriate the EU, which has stumped up most of the bailout cash, and would make Ireland a pariah on international bond markets, so such a scenario is unlikely. But not impossible, especially if anti-EU, ultra-nationalist, far-left Sinn Fein can get a grip on the balance of power in the Irish Parliament. Although damaging initially, debt default may make little difference to the housing market in the longer term, O’Driscoll says. “There would be a couple of years of complete and absolute instability in the market, and then it would stabilise,” he says. “It would not be an absolute disaster.” O’Driscoll believes that the biggest problem for Ireland’s housing market is the huge number of empty homes. He expects Hong Kong, Chinese and other foreign investors to buy swathes of empty, new build developments on the outskirts of Dublin, known as “ghost estates”, later this year from cash-strapped developers and NAMA, the government institution that took control of assets from stricken Irish banks during the height of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. “The oversupply thing is probably the big story, the ‘ghost estates’, how long will they take to sell,” O’Driscoll says. “Asians may buy 100 units at a time

from NAMA. Vulture funds will arrive and take 100 units in new build developments outside Dublin from developers in receivership and rent them out, because yields are very good. We will probably see that happening in 2011.” If these funds arrive, they may bring salvation to the Irish housing market. The turning point for Britain’s housing market during its downturn in the early 1990s came when investment funds ploughed millions of pounds into property, giving confidence to others to follow suit. However, that took several years to achieve and it would be little different for Ireland now. O’Driscoll says consensus opinion among forecasters is for property prices to fall 10 per cent to 15 per cent by the end of 2012, and the prices of some new build homes outside Dublin may drop by as much as 40 per cent this year. Prices will keep falling until the economy and mortgage lending expand substantially, and the supply of excess housing is soaked up, he says. Remedying the housing oversupply problem may be delayed by investors not entering the market in numbers until late 2011. “Irish property is being watched closely by investors keen to identify opportunities before the market turns,” says Liam Bailey, head of research at Knight Frank. “It seems unlikely, however, that this opportunistic investment will really take off until the second half of 2011 rather than the first half.” Like pouring a pint of Guinness, it seems that good things come to those who wait. Irish homeowners will need plenty more patience before their marathon wait comes to an auspicious end. ID

April 2011



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The trademark Missoni colours rule the lobby.

PORTFOLIO | idProperty

Big is beautiful From gold hands that hold up the ceiling to giant urns at Kuwait’s latest design hotel, bigger is definitely better. TEXT: SHALAKA PARADKAR

DESTINATION FASHION Opulent accents of gold and turquoise at Cucina restaurant.

Mirrors in the bathroom convert into televisions screens.

Fashion, design and luxury come together at Kuwait City’s newest property: the Hotel Missoni Kuwait. With interiors by Missoni’s creative director, Rosita Missoni, naturally there is plenty of the signature look: vibrant patterns, bold colour, with strong accents of turquoise, green and gold, inspired by the property’s Arabian context. She has even integrated select pieces of furniture from her Italian home, including the iconic Wishbone Chair by Hans J Wegner. The lobby features giant urns in mosaic, a design element that will be continued across other Hotel Missoni properties. The property offers 169 sea-facing rooms with breakfast, laundry, high-speed wireless internet, free local calls, movies on demand, and the entire contents of the minibar, inclusive in the cost of the room. State-of-the-art technological design elements ensure that every guest’s stay is seamless: using iPads for check-ins, the latest Bang & Olufsen TVs in guest rooms, and mirrors in the suite bathrooms that convert into televisions. The hotel also has a 1500 sqm luxury Six Senses Spa, which opens later this year. Built to appeal to a well-travelled clientele – particularly those with a strong interest in design, an understanding of food, and a craving for an authentic experience – Hotel Missoni Kuwait will be staffed by over 17 nationalities, speaking more than 14 languages. Kuwait is the second property after Edinburgh to launch Hotel Missoni, with additional locations in Oman, Brazil and Turkey scheduled to open within the next few years.

April 2011


idProperty | PORTFOLIO


Riyadh is rapidly growing into a regional hotspot for design and proof came in the form of the opening of its latest interiors showroom that showcases a clutch of haute design brands. Gallery Design, a cavernous 4,500-square metre building located in Riyadh’s upscale Takhasusi district, houses an edited selection of furniture from Minotti, Walter Knoll, Poliform, Poltrona Frau, Bulthaup, Porada, Donghia and Moroso, perked up with interior accessories and accents from Tai Ping, Foscarini and others. This is the first time that many of these brands have made their debut in the kingdom and even the region. Gallery Design hopes to capitalise on Saudi Arabia’s young population who have adapted to modern living, embrace international design standards and tend to mix contemporary furniture with classic pieces. Like a true gallery space, the offerings will change and adapt to customers’ tastes and current trends. The entrance of the silver-grey granite building, designed by Delta Engineering along with inhouse designer from The Gallery, features an oversized door, fabricated by Strassaker, in solid cast aluminium with a stainless steel frame. Bespoke silver lighting fixtures by Lebanese lighting design firm PS Lab float on a pool of water along the front. The interior spans two floors, with marble flooring, wood panelling and white walls that feature furniture accents and art. On the ground floor, furniture and products are displayed along each side of the central corridor with additional furniture and fabric offerings extending upstairs. The store also hopes to service the growing number of design offices who are now in business in Riyadh. Tastefully designed and artfully laid out to showcase different products, Gallery Design has ushered in a new age of design in the kingdom.


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idProperty | PORTFOLIO


A restaurant’s ambience is usually defined by its furniture, with accessories playing a silent supporting role. At Loui’s, located in Downtown Dubai, that way of thinking is turned on its head. The restaurant serves multiethnic cuisine for a multiethnic clientele, with a side helping of art. Overscaled accessories take centre stage in a setting that gives new meaning to the term ‘dinner theatre’. Two oversized, pillar-like hands seem to hold up the ceiling, creating an art installation in a commercial environment. Done in gold, they are a witty comment on Dubai’s taste and appetite for art and food.


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The designer, architect Mustafa Khamash, says Loui’s is a reflection of Dubai’s identity: “extremes, multicultural, multilingual and over-dimensional”. He makes a reference to this with a cacophony of sentences scrawled on the ceiling. Food and furniture are drawn from the different regions of Asia, Italy and Lebanon. As Khamash explains: “With Loui’s, I wanted to start my long-term design project: ‘Art over function and space’. It’s a concept vision that puts design in pole position and turns the space into an art space, whether it’s a private or commercial environment. I wanted to capture Dubai’s style, mixing and matching influences from different nations in one space.” ID

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idProperty | ANTENNAE

Prices are falling to new lows in the United States and being cut in Cape Verde. The global property market recovery looks shaky. Istanbul and Bordeaux are exceptions. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN





The global housing market recovery has stalled. The Global Property Guide says prices rose in 15 countries and fell in 21 others in 2010. Prices fell further in the United States in 2010 than the previous year, while Ireland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Greece and Ukraine continue to suffer badly, though prices leapt 20 per cent in table topping Latvia. Elsewhere in eastern Europe prices are still falling and the Scandinavian property boom is petering out. Price falls in Greece and Turkey were more severe in 2010 than 2009. Price rises in Asia were “robust” despite market cooling measures by governments. Singapore property prices jumped 13 per cent, putting it second in the table of 36 states. Bottom was Ireland where values plunged 11 per cent, compounding an 18 per cent collapse in 2009. In the Philippines, prices rose for the first time following two years of decline.

The United States housing market has reached a new low. Economic research shows a second half of a double dip downturn can be worse than the first. So it is now in the US housing market’s double dip. Prices are now 0.7 per cent below the previous cycle low. Indeed, they are back to 2002 levels and still falling. Cities once considered safe from slump are suffering most as the pain of negative equity and foreclosure spreads from the sub-prime mortgage market to prime. After initially resisting the downturn, prices in Seattle are down 31 per cent from their 2007 peak, and falling faster than in Las Vegas, one of the first cities to be hit. Ironically, in some parts of Florida where the sub-prime crisis was most acute, a situation made worse by massive over-building of homes, prices are starting to recover. Not Miami, however, where prices continue to fall. Nationally, prices are expected to fall five per cent in 2011.

Homes in the Atlantic archipelago Cape Verde are being offered for sale at half price. One bedroom apartments at the Santa Monica Beach Resort and Spa are on sale for prices starting at Dhs274,000. However, you must be a cash buyer. Free furniture and a “guaranteed” seven per cent rental yield for five years are available too. Is this expansive offer evidence of the new, “leaner” market that sales agents Assetz says has emerged from the ruins of the global property market collapse? The company insists “12 months of summer sun guaranteeing minimal void periods” makes the islands irresistible to investors. Buyers who want to see a property before signing on the dotted line will need to make a trip out there. The sales agents offer “free” inspection trips, but here’s the catch, they are free provided you buy. It costs Euro1,500 per couple if you don’t.

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Turkey’s fan club keeps growing. Accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), says Istanbul is the best place for property investment in Europe. It ranks Turkey’s largest city top of 27 European locations. Athens and Dublin are bottom, reflecting concerns about Irish and Greek debt problems. Istanbul was considered to have the “best development prospects” by PwC. New developments under construction in the city include yooistanbul, a block of 100 apartments with interior designs inspired by Philippe Starck. PwC considers Turkey’s rapidly growing economy and record low interest rates will boost property prices. GDP growth has averaged 7.5 per cent over the past five years. Holiday home lettings in Istanbul have been given a boost by a 28 per cent rise in tourist arrivals in January. PwC’s survey is the latest to give Turkey the big thumbs up – the Global Property Guide considers it Europe’s investment hotspot.

Home sellers and buyers in London’s most des res areas have been rushing to complete deals ahead of this month’s (April) rise in stamp duty on millionaire homes. Stamp duty will rise from four per cent to five per cent on homes valued at Dhs5.9 million (GBP1 million) or more on April 6. Activity has been frenetic in London and South East England where 85 per cent of stamp duty revenue on sales of Dhs5.9 million-plus homes originates. After the storm will come the calm when few properties will be traded. Noel Flint, partner at Knight Frank’s Knightsbridge office, says: “The increase in stamp duty will add to the cost of moving and past experience shows that as stamp duty rises, so supply falls.” The same pattern occurred after the last Labour government introduced a 50 per cent tax rate on earnings of Dhs890,000 or more in 2009.


Foreign home buyers are returning to Cyprus.... slowly. Overseas nationals bought 2,030 homes in 2010, a 15 per cent increase on 2009, targeting destinations like Limassol where a new marina is under construction. However, sales remain well below the 11,281 made during the 2007 market peak. Britons, traditionally the biggest group of buyers, remain conspicuous by their absence, but Middle Eastern, Russian, Scandinavian and Chinese investors are arriving. Prices are as much as 30 per cent below 2007 levels and many developers offer price reductions, so now may seem like a good time to buy, but there is cause for concern – Cypriot banks have done 40 per cent of their lending in Greece, so Cyprus could get sucked into their neighbour’s financial crisis if it worsens. The Cypriot state would have to bail out its banks and mortgage lending could dry up – all bad news for the property market.


Bordeaux vineyards are in vogue. Demand for grape-growing estates in this south west corner of France has leapt 30 per cent over the past year, much of it from overseas, especially Britain, US, Russia and Scandinavia. Estates on offer include this 170 hectare vineyard and chateau marketed by Savills, pictured above. Tim Swannie, director of French buyers agency Home Hunts says, “Prices have dropped a little over the past two to three years – perhaps by 10 to 15 per cent – which has helped. Plus, some people are looking for a change of direction following the recession. The thought of living in France and making a living from your land is quite inviting to many. Aside from that, French wine seems to have had a real revival in the past 18 to 24 months. It has become quite fashionable for the international jet set to have a vineyard.”

Political instability triggers property market jitters. Overseas buyer enquiries for Egyptian holiday homes nosedived after Cairo’s citizens took to the streets in February, but there’s plenty of money flowing in the opposite direction. Wealthy Egyptians are suddenly more prevalent in luxury home markets abroad. A London estate agent says businessmen with a “loose association” to the former Mubarak regime are keen to invest. Wealthy individuals from other turbulent Middle Eastern states want London property brochures too. Demand focuses on properties in the Dhs24 million to Dhs59 million range, but some want super-prime Dhs118 million residences. And these buyers are not hanging around. One individual has bought a home through London estate agents Kay&Co without even visiting it. Meanwhile, back in Egypt, observers consider property fortunes may be made and lost in the coming months as investors either bag a bargain or lose their shirt buying into chaos.

April 2011



Plan of action By incorporating environmentally sound building techniques; copious green spaces, both indoors and out; and natural light, the multi-award winning Tabanlioglu Architects is showing the world what the future of good design looks like. TEXT: DOROTHY WALDMAN

The 54-floor Sapphire in Istanbul, Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tallest residential building.

April 2011



Top: The award-winning Congress Center in Tripoli, Libya. Left: Murat Tabanlioglu and Melkan Gürsel Tabanlioglu.

“After a while it was too much,” laughs Melkan Tabanlioglu about the travel involved in accepting the deluge of awards bestowed upon the Congress Center in Tripoli, Libya. The lengthy list of 2010 accolades earned by Tabanlioglu Architects of Istanbul, Turkey, for this project includes the Dubai Cityscape Award for Architecture in the Emerging Market Best: Community Built Category and the Public Sector Award; and the Institutional and Cultural Project of the Year at the MEA-Middle East Architects Awards, where Murat Tabanlioglu and his wife Melkan, who in 2008 was selected as one of Europe’s top 40 architects under 40, were named Architects of the Year. The crowning glory was being named the winner of the Best Public Building in the World at the International Property Awards in London. The two-storey, 350sqm cube is enveloped in a bronze mesh shield etched with patterns inspired by the trees surrounding the site that permit diffused natural light into the interior spaces. Water elements provide a soothing cooling effect in the corridor between the shield and the glass interior walls, and with no horizontal or vertical obstructions, the transparency of the centre and communal spaces is a metaphor symbolising directness and openness, as well as transparency in communications. Tabanlioglu Architects is known for its environmentally conscious designs, which include the use of green areas, open spaces, natural light and access from public transportation. Local materials, low energy construction techniques and energy-efficient technology are also used whenever possible to reduce the carbon footprint of their projects. One of their newest energy-efficient projects is the Sapphire, which was launched in Istanbul in early March. Conceived as an experiment in public and private spaces, it is an innovative approach to city living. The mixed-use residential, leisure and shopping project rises 54 floors above ground with an additional 10 levels below street level. Yet, in spite of its size, it conveys the warmth of a traditional neighbourhood. From the outside, the building swoops downwards from its peak at 261m – making it the tallest building in Turkey as well as the tallest residential building in Europe – to a soft horizontal curve that resembles a gigantic shimmering glass ski slope. Natural light permeates the sweeping curve to flood the cafés, cinemas and upscale retail establishments that are an integral component of the inviting public and social spaces that comprise the first four levels.


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The transparent building facade that rises above these public areas is actually the first of two independent shells. The area between the outer and inner facades creates a buffer zone between the outside and the inside, protecting the interior from adverse weather and noise, while also providing significant energy savings. Louvres allow fresh air to circulate throughout the buffer zone, while an automatically controlled curtain system adjusts to absorb sunlight and ultraviolet beams, making this one of the most ecologically sound buildings in Turkey. The 187 residences of various sizes are configured in three-storey sections, creating the feel of living in a low-rise community rather than in a towering, impersonal skyscraper. On the first floor of each section, residences open onto landscaped gardens with trees, flowers and grass that span the distance from the inner and outer facades. Residents have immediate access to soothing natural surroundings and fresh air. Looking beyond the garden through the glass outer facade, residents see the stunning views of the city and the Bosphorous, and those living on the second and third levels have balconies that overlook the lush gardens as well as the incredible cityscape. Inside, the spacious four-metre-high residences feature such revered names as DuPont Corian, Villeroy & Boch, Gaggenau, Margaritelli,

Local materials and plenty of natural light abound at Sapphire.

April 2011



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Left to right: The environment-friendly Marmara Forum, a commercial and retail complex, and the multi-use Zorlu Center opening later this year, both are in Istanbul.

SCIC and Jado to provide the superior quality expected in luxury living. Locally quarried Turkish marble is also used, adding elegant touches. Every ninth floor is either a mechanical floor or a specialised floor with gardens and recreation areas reserved for the exclusive use of the residents. One level offers social areas for conversation and television and private rooms for business meetings, while the swimming pool at 60m up overlooks forested areas outside. Golfers can practise their game on an indoor driving range and mini golf course at 187m, and fitness facilities include workout equipment by Technogym and a pilates studio. Located above the Sapphire residences at the apex of the structure and accessed by designated elevators, the observation desk and private events centre offer the public the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular 360-degree views from the highest point in Istanbul. Opening at the end of March was the Marmara Forum, an environmentally friendly commercial and retail complex that, like the Sapphire, is also accessible by the city’s metro. Located in a large, densely populated middle-class area of Istanbul, it incorporates natural light, interior gardens and many other green features. The open-air car park between the office tower and the shopping mall will be completely shaded by a living green canopy growing from planters at each post in about two years’ time when the vines have matured. Landscaped public areas and an elevated roof terrace above the shopping mall, which has panoramic views of the Sea of Marmara and the city, encourage social interaction by providing inviting surroundings for people to congregate within. The largest of the more than 250 projects Tabanlioglu Architects is involved in is the Dhs9.16bn Zorlu Center. Developed in co-operation with EAA Architects, the landmark complex is the first five-in-one project in Istanbul. The shopping mall will open in the first quarter of next year while the 2,500seat performance centre, five-star hotel, office building and residences will open in the last quarter. Preserving the tradition of pedestrian-friendly public spaces, a vast landscaped green roof above the shopping and recreation facilities provides an open park with dramatic views of the city and sea. Natural daylight floods the semi-

covered recreation, shopping and public areas sheltered by the green shell, providing sky views and fresh air. The green roof also functions as the floor of the centre’s towers, each one sited in such a way that it does not block the spectacular views of the others. In an innovative approach to business life, the office spaces are situated horizontally on a single level, rather than being stacked vertically in a conventional tower, resulting in a more relaxed green working environment. The three luxury residential towers also present new concepts in city living with apartments ranging in size from 100sqm to 700sqm, some featuring private gardens. Special provisions are being included to incorporate elderly housing in the complex, thus allowing ageing parents to enjoy the advantages of city living while remaining in close proximity to their children; an important issue for Turkish families. Like the other projects by the Tabanlioglus, the Zorlu Center integrates the concerns for ecology and sustainability. It has also won its share of awards, including a special jury prize for Master Planning at the 2008 Cityscape Dubai Architectural Awards competition; the Commercial Architectural Award in the Europe and Africa Property Awards competition; and the Green Good Design award last year. Murat Tabanlioglu’s description of the Zorlu Center is one that relates to all of his firm’s projects: “[The] Zorlu Center is not only a centre of attraction, it also unfolds as an environmentally sensitive human settlement.” The multitude of awards the architectural team continuously wins reflects its sensitivity to both the environment and the quality of life of those who use their buildings. ID

April 2011


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Thinking green Fresh, cool and sophisticated teal, combined with this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nostalgia for bold seventies-style graphics and the gentle appeal of organics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; these are a few of our favourite things this spring. TEXT: SHALAKA PARADKAR


Kollektion & Co is now selling Design House Stockholm products at their store in DIFC Dubai. Design House Stockholm specialises in contemporary Scandinavian design, with products ranging from furniture to fashion, lighting, tabletop and limited studio editions designed by an extensive network of more than 60 independent designers from all over the world.

April 2011




The new Cassis Collection from @home is a lively assortment of homeware in a rich berry-toned theme: red, purple, blue and cranberry set the scene, with accents in silver. The fabrics are glossy, with detailed embroidery; scatter cushions are highlighted with jewel brooches. The collection is rounded off with opaque vases in classic shapes in this season’s favourite: tints of purple and teal. The new @home collection is available in stores in Dubai’s Mercato mall, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Ibn Battuta, Mall of the Emirates, Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Hamra Mall.


Fabrics specialist Sahco has introduced two new exclusive lines with a totally different focus: New Standard features high-quality plain fabrics and premium-basics, which can be used as background or to set accents. The core line Creating Interiors comprises exclusive fabrics, wall-coverings and rugs in unique styles. The company has also founded Sahco Signature Works, a new institution that looks to the future; a platform for contemporary artists and designers who work with and interpret Sahco fabrics.


Renowned American designer Karim Rashid has designed his second limited edition silver-plated accessories and furniture for Christofle, the French manufacturer of fine silver flatware and home accessories since 1830. The spectacular new range for the Haute Orfèvrerie collection consists of decorative objects that embody Rashid’s own likeness – atypical, brimming with personality and blurring the lines between art, architecture and sculpture. Although the prolific designer is known more for his colourful and vibrant creations, the pieces reinforce Christofle’s reputation of what it does best – astonish, question and innovate.

April 2011





Ikea UAE, part of the Al-Futtaim group, opened its biggest store in the Middle East on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island last month. The Swedish retail chain expects nearly 1.3 million visitors in the first year of operations. The sprawling 33,000-square metre store is designed to be a family destination store, adding a retail dimension to Yas Island’s leisure and entertainment options. Visitors can access 1,450 parking bays and 35 cash tills, that include Ikea food and beverage counters. Alongside the market hall and showroom furniture areas is a 450-seat restaurant serving popular Swedish delicacies.


Luxury Italian brand Cornelio Cappellini, known for its fine craftsmanship and custom-designed pieces, will be showing its wares at interiors showrooms throughout the UAE. Known for their expert use of contemporary lacquered and pearlescent finishes, the brand uses materials such as Murano glass, leather and steel. Strong historical techniques are mixed with modern materials to create contemporary and striking furniture.


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A handpicked selection of organic, natural and eco-friendly products is now in store at Bloomingdale’s Home. Bloomingdale’s Home Laundress’ 100 per cent biodegradable detergents use plant-based ingredients, with essential oil blends to keep clothes smelling clean and fresh. Calvin Klein Home’s collection of organic cotton bed linen is stronger yet gentler on the skin, being free of pesticide residues, chemicals and bleaches. An environment-friendly range of fine home furnishings from Sferra, Abyss & Habidecor, as well as anti-allergenic duvets from Brinkhaus, are also available. For organic fragrances, choose from the Neom, Voluspa and Esteban ranges. Sustainable development and visual appeal go hand-inhand with Périgot’s collection of sturdy, foldable mini-bags shaped like teddy bears. Other Perigot favourites include cedar and bamboo tie-organisers. Cedar has a wonderful aroma and is a natural insect repellant.

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With its cool pearlised colour palette of distilled vapour blue, celadon green, ivory, parchment with silvery layers and the palest amber, Indigo Livingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spring collection is fresh and cool, yet overlaid with whiffs of the past in the antiqued finishes. Think nubbly rugs in washed-out nautical hues, hand-blown candle holders painted in luminous mossy pearl-greens and malachite, and a range of bamboo decor pieces in translucent pearlescent finishes. The porcelain Cube Stool is a striking piece for the season. Accessorise with the nickel-plated photo frames with full grain leather and cow hide accents, to add a touch of contrasting colours and textures.

Design agenda Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2011, Rho Milano, Italy, April 12-17 DesignEx 2011, Sydney, Australia, April 13-15 Ideal Home 2011, Dublin, Ireland, April 15-17 BIG+BIH April 2011, Bangkok, Thailand, April 19-24 Inter Office 2011, Cairo, Egypt, April 19-22 GULFBID 2011, Manama, Bahrain, April 26-28 Foire de Paris - Maison & Environnement 2011, Paris, France, April 28-May 8


Crate and Barrelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new spring/summer collection includes a range of furniture that showcases clean, simple designs, using tonal-white fabrics, textured linens and cottons. Shades of orange, purple, lavender and red perk up the collection, mixed with camel, grey and soft earth tones. Also new is an outdoor furniture range that includes an assortment of frames, cushions, pillows and umbrellas. The two main themes driving the collection are timeless/comfortable and clean/vibrant. The former is inspired by the romantic appeal of earthy, washed, vintage and soft florals. The clean and vibrant collection is a throwback to 70s style, with easy care materials, synthetics and bold graphics.

Decorex Cape 2011, Capetown, South Africa, April 29-May 2 Interior Home 2011, Madrid, Spain, May 3-7 Proposte 2011, Cernobbio, Italy, May 4-6 Furnidex 2011, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 8-11 MOW 2011, Bad Salzuflen, Germany, May 8-12 INTERIORS UAE + Decorex 2011, Abu Dhabi, UAE, May 9-11


With a special window display featuring a distinctive blue colour and comprising thousands of mirrored tiles and special edition pieces from the likes of Fendi Casa and Zanotti, Harvey Nichols Dubai pulled out all the stops for its fifth birthday celebration. More than 80 luxury brands created a special piece of fashion history for the anniversary campaign. This included a couture dress by Alexander McQueen, and special edition pieces by the likes of Stella McCartney, Diane von Furstenberg, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Moschino, Matthew Williamson, Zagliani, Dolce&Gabbana, Jimmy Choo and Stephen Webster.


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Backed by four generations of kitchen expertise, the made-to-measure kitchens from the German family-run firm Eggersmann are a studied play on materials, forms and finishes. Case in point being the company’s Unique collection. It features smooth surfaces, worktops, cabinet fronts and edges in a single material, integrated handles – while minimalism is the preferred aesthetic, it’s also more hygienic and easier to maintain. B5 The Art of Living is the exclusive retailer for Eggersmann in the Middle East. “We try to keep design and finishes are timeless as possible as a kitchen’s lifespan should be 10 years or more in the interest of sustainability,” says Michael Wunram, chief executive at Eggersmann. Wunram predicts that trends in kitchen design are moving towards surface-treated materials that are tactile and precious: deep grain veneers, stainless steel alloys, sandblasted stones, distressed and high-gloss finishes and special stone-glass composites. Phyllite is the newest stone to be added to the Unique collection. This is a black, lustrous metamorphic rock with a beautiful veining and a texture similar to slate with the sparkle of mica scattered throughout. “Our typical customer is anyone who appreciates good design and can afford it,” says Wunram.


Induction ranges have been described as the iPad of the kitchen. Rapidly moving out of large-scale industrial kitchens into the domestic realm, induction cooking is quick, precise, saves on energy consumption and is very safe. There is no live flame as the pots heat up only on contact with the induction ring; the rest of the worktop remains cool making it easy to clean and safe as well. And aesthetes will be swayed by the sleek hob, often inserted flush with the countertops. De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances hosted a live cooking show onboard the Gulf 95 yatch at the Dubai International Boat Show. While induction cooking takes some practise as pots can heat and cool down very rapidly, patissier Sebastien Vauxion from Michelin-star restaurant Reflets by Pierre Gagnaire made it look as easy as pie, producing exquisite desserts for the party. De Dietrich has installed induction ranges not just on super yachts but also at At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa – where safety and sleekness bagged them the order.


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Different – even seemingly contradictory – stylistic directions come together in Siematic’s Beaux Arts 0.2 collection. With the option to truly customise and individualise the kitchens, heirloom cabinetry can be combined with high gloss finishes, modern can be mixed with classic, for a one-of-a-kind kitchen. Mick De Giulio, who designed the first BeauxArts collection, has created new elements, materials, colours, door-styles, and proportions for the new edition. Dark ebonised walnut door fronts, in contrast to the sterling-grey drawers, provide immediate visual appeal with the asymmetrical accent of the polished metal vertical recessed handles. A surprising detail is a mirrored toe-kick which gives the impression that the base cabinets float above the floor. The cooking area in the middle of the kitchen has a backsplash in Maljat Brown limestone, while the signature BeauxArts ventilation hood remains understated with its lacquered glass cover. Siematic’s BeauxArts 02 is now in BetterLife stores in the UAE. BetterLife also has kitchen and kitchen equipment from the likes of Siemens, Fisher & Paykel, Smeg, Electrolux, Terim, Wolf Power, Vestfrost, Forbes, Zanussi, Gigaset and Grundig. ID

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La dolce vita Dubai’s design aficionados came together for the unveiling of the Alessi spring/summer 2011 collection at Tavola, the Alessi flagship store in Mall of the Emirates. Co-hosted by identity, the design event was attended by Matteo Alessi, fourth generation scion of the family-owned business. The event also marked the company’s 90th anniversary. Matteo presented prototypes of the new collection, mingled with guests and held court on Italian design. Pride of place in the collection goes to prolific Dutch design star Marcel Wanders’ Dressed dinnerware – a range of plates and cultery sure to make every meal feel like a celebration. This is nicely balanced out with the more functional appeal of Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa’s Shiba pans (named after one of Japan’s most popular breed of dogs and designed to last for years) and the poetic, painted quality of David Chipperfield’s Tonale tableware, inspired by Korean, Japanese and Chinese ceramics and the work of the painter Giorgio Morandi. ID


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Plans for the largest mall in China, a recyclable arena for next year’s London Olympic Games and a new National Gallery for Greenland make this month’s architectural headlines. TEXT: STEVE HILL

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Due to open in the spring of 2012 is Michigan State University’s 4,270sq/m Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the three-level building will be longitudinal in form and orientated on an east-west axis with a unique footprint ranging from 24m-30m wide and from 61m-97m long. It will be constructed of steel and concrete with a pleated stainless steel and glass exterior. Sustainable features include maximising the use of day lighting to save energy, occupancy sensors to control lighting, energy efficient heating, recycling stations, and a pedestrian friendly site planted with mature trees and shrubs.


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The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, designed by Arkis, houses research facilities and offices for 50 scientists and other employees as well as research specimen collections and a scientific library. It is one of the first buildings to rise as part of the Urridaholt master plan and will mark the entry to the development’s business avenue. Sustainable features include permeable surfaces for parking and swales for filtering and slowing down the flow of surface water. The building’s green roof, which is laid with local turf and moss, serves as a filtering mechanism for rainwater, as added insulation and as habitat for birds and native insects.


The basketball arena for next year’s London Olympics will be one of the largest-ever temporary venues built for any Games. The 12,000-seat facility, located north of the Olympic Park and close to the Velodrome, will also stage the handball competition and wheelchair rugby during the Paralympic Games. The 35m-tall arena has been wrapped in 20,000sq/m of recyclable white PVC membrane, which has been stretched over three different types of arched panels. This skin will act as a canvas for artistic lighting designs during the event. Post Olympics, the venue will be dismantled with the potential option of various elements being used again.



Maison Glissade is a chalet in Town of the Blue Mountains, a popular resort destination in southern Ontario. Designed by Toronto architects Atelier Kastelic Buffey, it references regional agricultural architecture, rather than romanticised notions of the ski chalet. The barn-like structure has its own dynamism through an iconic form that lunges towards the mountain slope. Simple and functional bedrooms, bathrooms and a large mudroom on the ground floor encourage congregation upstairs in an open, light-filled space that comprises the living room, dining room and kitchen. A natural material palette of cedar, concrete and pre-finished grey aluminium with white interior walls helps maintain the simplicity and clarity of the form.

Development Design Group, the Baltimorebased planning, architecture, graphics and design firm, is the planner and design architect for the retail centrepiece of the landmark Tianjin City Culture Centre Development that will soon become the largest mall in China. Located 20 minutes from Beijing’s central business district, the 372,000sq/m retail component will be part of an 836,000sq/m commercial and cultural destination. The development also features a Grand Theatre and Opera House, Art Museum, Grand Library, Youth Education Museum and a Natural History Museum. A connection to four city subway lines runs beneath the site, ensuring convenient access for Beijing’s 22 million residents.







Due to open in November is 111 Eagle Street, a 45-storey tower on Brisbane’s Central Business District riverfront which hopes to attract tenants because of its aesthetic, environmental and workplace benefits. Its unusual organic structure was devised by architects Cox Rayner with ARUP to simultaneously resolve horizontal and vertical stresses. Weight is transferred diagonally down the tower, to allow the continued operation of a loading dock below. The ground plane is designed as a public thoroughfare space linking the city to its main ferry terminal, and overall the tower is currently measured to be above six star rating under the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Design Rating System.

A design project by Professor Antony Wood, Seth Ellsworth and Ja Young Kim, of the Illinois Institute of Technology, and sponsored by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, addresses Mumbai’s increasing congestion, parking problems and pollution by imagining an Urban Vertical Parking Development. TATA Tower is seen as a development for the company’s offices and employees who would, in 2030, be driving alternative energy Nano cars. The power demands of the structure would be met by photovoltaic louvres, building-integrated wind turbines and an algae farm which produces biodiesel. Vertical parking would maximise parking density and free up space inside the structure for pedestrian-orientated areas.

The team of BIG + TNT Nuuk + Ramboll Nuuk + Arkitekti has been selected to design the new National Gallery of Greenland. Located in the country’s capital and overlooking fjords, the 3,000sq/m structure will combine historical and contemporary art in one dynamic institution to serve as a cultural and architectural icon. It has been conceived as a courtyard building that combines a pure geometrical layout with a sensitive adaption to the landscape. The three dimensional imprint of the landscape creates a protective ring around the museum’s focal point, the sculpture garden where visitors, personnel and exhibitions merge with culture and nature, inside and out.


April 2011


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On identity’s reading list this month: a look at projects from Alberto Pinto, interior design done the French way, a peek into bohemian homes all over the world and small gardens from the west coast of the USA.














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DHS 175

French taste lies is in “the way the women put on their hats and the upholsterers drape their curtains,” commented Edith Wharton. Modelled on Wharton’s seminal text, The Decoration of Houses, this book attempts to dissect what lies behind the legendary French sense of style. De Dampierre’s writing is lucid and informative, and packed with nifty ideas and tips on how to achieve that elusive je na sais quoi in design – from how to frame pictures and decorate a salon to creating chic menus and table settings for company. The author serves up the French history behind individual architectural elements, which adds a rich and satisfying dimension to the text. Her own home has been beautifully photographed and presented to take the reader on a guided tour of a space that epitomises French chic.

This is a delightful package of portraits and studies in the use of space in edgy, avant garde ways by “creative types”. The accompanying text includes interviews with the homeowners, with insights into how creative people gather their ideas and inspirations. For instance, there is creative director Grace Cobb’s London home that is both white and sparse, and black and cluttered; artist Julie Verhoeven’s colourful patterned walls with the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, illustrator and café-owner Ludivine Billaud’s Ikeahacked kitchen; Maharishi founder Hardy Blechmann’s home filled with toys and tiger rugs… Delighting in their messy exuberance, these homes are a bricolage of vintage clothing, flea market finds, art and books – most of them of the DIY genre, hence roughly finished but rich in ideas.

Colour, design and imagination abound in the works of Paris-based interior designer Alberto Pinto. Over the course of his long and prolific career Pinto has created memorable spaces all over the world. This sumptuously produced volume takes a peek into Pinto’s portfolio of diverse project typologies from homes and villas, to yachts and jets. The projects featured here include the new Club Méditerranée, the renovation of the La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech (which has since been redecorated in 2006 by Jacques Garcia), the Balmain boutique in Paris, a private Boeing 737 and a five-masted private yacht, a vacation house in Marbella, and an apartment in Paris. The text is meagre and keener editing would have greatly improved the readability of this book; particularly in places where it is obvious that it has been translated from French to English.

This book offers ideas for those grappling with the constraints of a small garden – where the devil is in the details. While most of the featured gardens are in the mild and cloudy San Francisco Bay area, there are oodles of ideas for those in Dubai; for instance, the surprisingly colourful garden inspired by California’s desert region, and the drought-resistant garden that incorporates hundreds of species of desert plants. Amateur gardeners can also learn how to visually enlarge and open up small gardens: from plantation and potted plant displays to accessories and paving patterns. Levick’s photography brilliantly captures the nuances in shade and texture in these diminutive spaces, complemented by Dardick’s fine writing that inspires and educates.

identity [interior/design/property]


HANDWOVEN OUTDOOR FURNITURE CREATED WITH WEATHER-RESISTANT DEDON FIBER Nakkash Gallery · Al Garhoud Street · P.O. Box 26767 · Dubai-UAE Tel. 00971 4 2826767 · Fax 00971 4 2827567 ·


Kikkoman soy sauce TEXT: STEVE HILL


Think of soy sauce and the chances are that Kikkoman’s elegant glass container, complete with trademark non-drip plastic top, will come to mind. Kenji Ekuan’s minimalist design this year celebrates its 50th anniversary and has become so synonymous with the Kikkoman brand that it is virtually impossible to imagine this “black gold” being delivered to the plate in any other way. Ekuan’s deceptively simple creation is ingenious on many levels. A timeless look means it is equally at home in the kitchen as it is on a dining table at home or in a restaurant, while it is also extremely practical thanks to the doubleopening pourer that ensures even the smallest amount of soy sauce can be dispensed without fear of any drips. More than 100 prototypes were tested before Ekuan achieved perfection, which, allied with his curved glass container complete with subtle lettering, totally identifies the brand. It is a formula for marketing success that has been much copied but rarely bettered. And Ekuan proved to be years ahead of the green movement as his dispenser is dishwater-safe and can easily be refilled and reused hundreds of times. The design has been widely appreciated. In 2003, he received the Lucky Strike Designer Award while recognition from New York’s Museum of Modern Art followed. And although Ekuan, now aged 82, also designed the Akita high-speed Shinkansen train and became influential as a founding member of the GK Design Group, a soy sauce bottle that combines aesthetics with functionality proved to be the defining point of his career. ID


identity [interior/design/property]

more than bedding... fully living.

As experienced in luxury hotels and private residences worldwideâ&#x20AC;Ś

luxury down pillows






B5 The Art of Living


Identity | April 2011  

Identity | April 2011

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