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Light squared: Kikoski’s LED path revealed Contemporary fusion: the hob of the home All or nothing: the rise of designer Ora-Ïto Operation elevation: on a high with Adrian Smith

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JUNE 2011

52 28

Cover photography: ReveaLED chandelier by André Kikoski









18 Art-to-art

52 A simplex man

Discover the inspiration behind some of the highlights at SCOPE New York.

Meet Ora-Ïto, the man who will lend his design talent to just about any challenge.

24 Out of the woods

76 The heights of success

Timber, latex and luxury electric cars pave the way to a sustainable future.

Adrian Smith discusses green architecture and his passion for skyscrapers.

30 It's hip to be square The creative energies behind Swarovski's debut lighting collection.

June 2011



B5 The Art of Living










Gina Johnson | GROUP EDITOR

Catherine Belbin |




Iain Smith |

What's cooking? See what innovations are flavouring the future of the kitchen.












Darryl Wiley | CONTRIBUTORS:

Nusrat Ali | Steve Hill | Shalaka Paradkar Ruby Rogers | Richard Warren



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+ Dynamic contemporary workspaces + Working out with Antonio Citterio + Winning green building technology + Designs for the new era of diplomacy + much, much more… All prices quoted in identity are correct at the time of going to press.

June 2011



Design expos

Clockwise from top left: Marco Mangili; Isabel Pintado; Louise Bradley; Marcel Opstal.


When it comes to interiors or design shows, Dubai’s position as the region’s exhibition capital is secure. Ask any one who sped up the highway to check out Interiors UAE in Abu Dhabi last month – only to be disappointed. The stands were refined, there were some interesting people, concepts and products… but there was just something missing. Isabel Pintado of Gaj – who is busy with the new FNC building in Abu Dhabi – was there, as was Gianni Sharrouf of Purity, Hans Bruinsma from Caspaiou and a number of other high profile design figures from Dubai. Meanwhile, Firas Alsalih and the Polttona Frau team hosted its own stand and the team from Andrew Martin made its presence felt. British interior designer Louise Bradley had an elegant stand and oozed with enthusiasm about her growing Gulf portfolio. The Islamic prayer clocks created by Smith of Derby – a family run British company that has been making luxury timepieces for over 150 years – drew much attention. The company has also created specially commissioned clocks for prestigious projects in Mecca and Dammam in the past. Fast forward to the Hotel Show in Dubai, abuzz with activity, where many of the city’s leading architects and designers were to be found. Regional buyers and designers flew in, and order books rapidly filled up. Parking spaces were sparse and the coffee shops busy. While not quite the frantic flurry of the boom years, the event was nevertheless worth participating in whether you were an exhibitor or visitor. The Office Show, in the halls nextdoor, also generated enough interest and offered some new concepts worth mulling over. INDEX may not be the best show in the world, but despite all the efforts made by the Interiors team, it holds its own. The next INDEX show is slated for November 22-25. However, it should take a leaf from the Hotel Show’s credit book and make an attempt at having a more select visitor profile and better quality exhibitors. The Arabian Travel Market, held earlier in the month, also generated much interest, including some new hotel design concepts worthy of note – particularly the new luxury Sol Melia ’urban resort’ hotel that is scheduled to open in Bur Dubai later this year. Designed by Italian architect Marco Mangili, the contemporary property is expected to act as a catalyst in the rejuvenation of Dubai’s Port Rashid area. Meanwhile, Dubai’s designer kitchens have been on fast boil. The new Armani/Dada Checkers collection was launched at the Finasi showroom in Deira, while BEKA opted to make its seasonal launch at the Armani Hotel. Al Ghandi Electronics held an elegant soirée at the Meydan Hotel, where the high-tech KitchenAid collection was unveiled. Here, sous vide cuisine – the latest fad in cooking techniques – was also demonstrated. Indigo Living also hit the radar with the opening of its first UAE outlet, while Zen Interiors hosted a reception for the launch of Galeri – the newest brand in the Zen stable that is available at the Home Design Store in Mall of the Emirates. Islands may be out of fashion these days and the ambitious Fashion Island launched by the visit of Karl Lagerfeld a few years ago may have been put on the back burner, but fashionistas need not despair for a Fashion Hotel is now making news. The agreement for the joint venture between Dubai’s Al Habtoor Group and Fashion Television was sealed on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival. Apparently the exterior of the 30-storey hotel – the first for Fashion Television – will display a projection using the world’s largest 100-metre LED screen, broadcasting the latest Fashion TV highlights around the clock.

Group Editor Catherine Belbin.

June 2011


Art-to-art Dreams, railways, art books and Jane Fonda’s identity... all inspired works exhibited in New York this spring. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN Sixty-one galleries exhibited artists’ work from around the world at SCOPE New York, the international contemporary art show, with galleries coming from as far away as China for the four-day event held between March 2 and 6. New York is the flagship event of five SCOPE art fairs held each year, with the others held in Miami, the Hamptons, London and Basel. More than 400,000 people have visited over 40 of these fairs since they started 10 years ago and sales of artworks have topped Dhs550m.


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Artist Karim Hamid painted GGW 33, shown here, in oils. “GGW refers specifically to an underground, cultural phenomenon in the US called ‘Girls Gone Wild’,” Hamid says. “I’m mostly interested in the concept of ‘information mashing’ – there is so much info these days, so much visual information, that we are often overloaded and confused. So, in a sort of homage to both painting, and also in a roundabout way to Pop Art, I want to play with imagery colliding. “I focus on mixing high and low art forms. In this case, with the GGW paintings, I play with this obscure and ‘throwaway’ cultural phenomenon and try to paint it in a high art manner.” Exhibitor: Aureus Contemporary Gallery




This detail comes from Hurdles, a 1.2m by 2.6m silk screen printing hand pulled by artist Rocky Grimes. “It is a piece about obstacles in life and the ability to overcome those obstacles,” Grimes says. “Some hurdles in our lives are small, some large. The piece is made of small pieces put together to form one larger piece, because life obstacles can be similar. Furthermore, the imagery used is more about ways in which we respond to hurdles in our lives. Sometimes we respond irrationally and reactionary, at other times we overcome our personal obstacles through thought and transcendence.” Exhibitor: C Emerson Fine Arts Gallery from St Petersburg, Florida

Spanning 2.9m by 4.8m, No Rain No Rainbow is one a series of rugs made by this artist Agustina Woodgate. Working with a wide range of media, including video and sculpture, her work investigates the encounter between childhood dreams and adult socialisation, and how innocence, magic and the fantastical influence our relationships with objects, stories and ourselves. “No Rain No Rainbows is the largest rug in the collection,” Woodgate says. “The monumental textile floor covering is inspired by nature and its cycle. The grey and purple centre references the water, the storm. The whites, the light, and the reds, oranges and browns, the growth — life.” Exhibitor: Miami’s Spinello Gallery


This is Francesca Pastine’s sculpture, Erosion. “I began using ARTFORUM magazines as a medium for my work in 2008,” she says. “I noticed that there were familiar fixtures in my friends’ homes. Apparently, because of their glossy nature, nobody wanted to throw them away. I was intrigued by their square format, particularly when the bloated art market was reflected in their one-inch thickness, and I began asking my friends for their unwanted magazines. “Starting with the covers, I cut, bend, manipulate, pull and dig my way through them, revealing a visceral topography of art trends. The finished worked becomes an unsolicited collaboration with the magazine and cover artist.” Exhibitor: San Francisco’s Eleanour Harwood Gallery

June 2011





Scott Conarroe took this photograph, Trailer Park, Wendover, UT, for his series By Rail, which will be published in 2011. In this project, started in 2005, the Canadian drove across North America to photograph the remains of a system of railways that once connected communities large and small. “Made mostly at dawn, the images offer a graceful nostalgia for a mythical pioneer past that long ago gave way to the lure of the automobile,” say Conarroe’s publicists at Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto. The Trailer Park photograph was produced in a limited edition of 50. Exhibitor: Light Work Gallery


This pencil drawing Jane+Fonda: Images 1 is by Northern Irish artist Allan Hughes. “The drawings are a part of an ongoing series that aim to explore the construction of identity,” Hughes says. “In this context, Fonda functions as an avatar in that she refers to herself as a chameleon-like character taking on the ideas and identities of others, not just in her role as an actress but in her own personal life; her own ‘true’ sense of self somehow remaining incomplete. I think the process of self-identification for Fonda must be a difficult navigation in that one is surrounded by a culture that is replete with images of an ‘always former’ self.” Exhibitor: Belfast’s Golden Thread Gallery


Artist Erick Jackson painted Paradise Garage with a mixture of gouache, acrylic and matte medium. “The images in the painting are a product of my analysis of a dream in which orphan children make camp in the abandoned makeshift locations, marking walls with images,” he says. “The garage was an actual place where a teenage friend of mine lived for a summer, when his mother kicked him out of the house. The faceless camper is myself. I have many memories of sleeping in makeshift locations, while I was on tour with my band. The touring life can be very close to a dream like state of a wandering nomad in perpetual adolescence.” Exhibitor: Civilian Art Projects Gallery


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Panorama # 9, shown here, is from the third Panorama triptych, part of The Feast of Trimalchio. This video and photography project by four Russian artists, AES+F Group, was inspired by Roman poet Gaius Petronius. “Thanks to Petronius´s fantasy, Trimalchio´s name became synonymous with wealth and luxury, with gluttony and with unbridled pleasure in contrast to the brevity of human existence,” say the artists. “In the third millennium, Trimalchio, the former slave, the nouveau riche host of feasts, appeared to us not so much as an individual as a collective image of a luxurious hotel, a temporary paradise which one has to pay to enter.” Exhibitor: Venezuela’s Juan Ruiz Galeria



Sara Carter painted Transport 10 in acrylic on canvas. Layering geometric forms, the San Francisco-based painter presents a new formation of landscape that she says belongs in the subconscious world. “The Transport series refers specifically to the ethereal realm I believe to be an inimitable aspect of the human psyche,” Carter says. “The drive to harness or express the omnipotence intrinsic to an altered state of consciousness seems to be embedded with in the fold of our nature. The conceptual idea of a mysticism, expressed through the enigmatic perspective of a contemporary mystic, distils this series to a fine point.” Exhibitor: Aureus Contemporary Gallery


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This image of a shattering porcelain figurine, Untitled (Kung Fu Man), is part of a series made by German photographer Martin Klimas. The photographer drops figurines from a set height and the photo is taken automatically through a high-speed lens immediately after the moment of impact. Backgrounds are always neutral and figurines brightly lit. Describing himself as a sculptor, Klimas says his images depict transformation, not destruction, and that the hardest part of his work is having to smash large numbers of figurines to get a shot that shows something new. He also photographs birds flying and objects falling. Exhibitor: New York’s Foley Gallery ID

Creating Interiors of Distinction

Tel +971 2 6679588 A Mubadala Development Company & Poltrona Frau Group Joint Venture

Out of the woods A prototype wooden construction system in Finland which aims to showcase the sustainable use of timber, stylish poufs made from rolls of latex otherwise bound for the rubbish tip and an experimental electric Rolls-Royce make this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s green headlines. TEXT: STEVE HILL


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A prototype wooden construction system for a pilot project in the Finnish city of Kouvola is to serve as a showcase for the sustainable use of timber construction worldwide. The E2 Ecology & Economy timber development competition was staged to find a conceptual design solution for large-scale production of wooden multi-storey buildings to meet the increasingly stringent environmental requirements of Finnish industrialised construction. The team of BIG (DK) + Pirmin Jung Engineers for Wood Constructions (CH) + AOA Anttinen Oiva Architects Ltd (FI) + Vahanen Engineers (FI) + Stora Enso (FI) emerged as victors. And their 15,000sq/m prefabricated wooden development in Kouvola will highlight replicable and locally adaptable cost and energy-efficient housing. Wood as construction material brings a double benefit: remarkably reduced emissions in its production and fabrication, and improved energy efficiency of the buildings where it is used. BIGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PUU-BO is a comprehensive prefab solution designed to be both extremely flexible and materially efficient. It can easily be adapted to a variety of building typologies and uses, while it also opens up new possibilities for prefabricated wood systems beyond the residential market as the same elements in the residential pilot project could be used in an office building or even a wooden skyscraper with no loss in material efficiency.

June 2009 2011 March



From left: The Passive House building in Melbourne, Australia; 102EX by Rolls-Royce


Grocon is to develop plans for a carbon neutral “Passive House” apartment building constructed entirely from timber in Melbourne. The company has already constructed Pixel, the greenest building in Australia. And it wants the new project, known as Delta, to inspire home owners to take advantage of available technology and achieve the most sustainable houses possible. The pre-fabricated building will be 10 storeys high and feature 50 apartments, and will be based on the “Passive House” Standard, well known throughout Europe. Sustainably sourced and processed FSC certified wood products will be utilised. The concept behind the project is to achieve the best indoor standard of heating and cooling possible – but captured in the way the house is designed and manufactured, rather than through the use of gas or electricity. It features an airtight building envelope, high levels of insulation and timber window frames complete with triple glazing, reducing energy bills and using renewable power sources. ON A ROLLS

Rolls-Royce has launched an experimental first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment. The 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), will serve as a working test bed, giving owners, VIPs, the media and enthusiasts the chance to experience an established alternative drive-train technology and to feed back their experiences, thoughts and concerns directly. The Phantom’s naturally aspirated 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine and six-speed gearbox have been replaced by a lithium ion battery pack and two electric motors mounted on the rear sub-frame. These motors are connected to a single speed transmission with integrated differential.


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Pre-launch tests suggest the Phantom EE should run to a range of up to 200km. Delivered on an effortless wave of torque, 0-60mph will be achieved in under eight seconds (it takes 5.7 seconds in the standard Phantom), with a top speed limited to 160km/h. Recharging is undertaken with a plug and five-pin socket, which replaces the normal fuel filling mechanism. The standard fuel filler cap has been replaced by a design featuring a clear window, displaying the RR logo and 102EX motif. The window frames rear-mounted, tricolour LEDs which present the car’s charging status. Three separate charger units (3kW each) are fitted to the battery, which allow both single-phase (20 hours) or three-phase charging (eight hours); for a passenger car this is unique. A fourth induction charger is also fitted to enable wireless charging, a technology being trialled in the Phantom EE. PHOTO FINISH

The largest photovoltaic solar plant in the United States has recently been opened. Sempra Generation’s Copper Mountain Solar is a 48MW project located adjacent to the company’s 10-MW El Dorado Solar installation in Boulder City, Nevada, about 64km southeast of Las Vegas. Construction on Copper Mountain Solar began in January last year at the 153-hectare desert site. Nearly 775,000 thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, were installed. The award-winning solar facility is now generating enough emission-free electricity to power about 14,000 average homes. Sempra Generation operates and maintains a fleet of clean, efficient natural gas-fuelled power plants and is a leading developer of solar and wind facilities that serve American markets.


Original lighting designs handcrafted in America and specified worldwide since 1940.

FOUR SEASONS RAMESH GALLERY Al Zomorrodah Building, Zabeel Road, Dubai, T: +971 4 334 9090 - Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, T: +971 4 341 3334



As petrol prices continue to increase, perhaps it’s no surprise to discover that the E-tropolis range of emission-free and eco-friendly scooters are growing in popularity. The scooters emit no petrol, oil or exhaust fumes. And this is also a silent revolution as the E-troplis accelerates to maximum speed in only a few seconds without having to shift gears because the powerful torque of the wheel hub motor is directly transferred to the rear wheel. Advertising brochures for this range of scooters claims that “for cheaper mobility you would have to walk” as it costs less than Dhs2 to charge up batteries per 100km travelled. Depending on model selected, the E-tropolis boasts a maximum speed of 45km/h. Only powerful maintenance-free and leak-proof silicon batteries are used, and they are capable of up to 450 charges/discharge cycles before having to be replaced. These scooters come with disc brakes and a cockpit dial which shows speed, kilometres covered and, most importantly, the battery charge display. E-tropolis is a Germany company based in Bremen with production facilities in China where more than 40 million e-scooters have been manufactured as a result of a ban 20 years ago on gas-engine scooters in city centres. And with officials envisaging a day when solar-connected charging stations are featured on all garage forecourts as well as the car parks of large companies, it is predicting big growth in Europe. STEP ON IT

Rolls of latex that were bound for the rubbish tip after being cut to produce insoles for the Italian shoe industry are now being upcycled by design trio 13 Ricrea into pieces of furniture. Designers Angela Mensi, Cristina Merlo and Ingrid Taro have taken what used to be considered a factory floor waste product and used their imagination to create soft, comfortable and ergonomic poufs that are available only through


identity [interior/design/property]


From left: A model from the E-Tropolis scooter range; insoles recycled to produce latex rolls


PepsiCo has extended its Dream Machine recycling campaign to Washington DC in its continuing bid to increase beverage recycling rates in the United States from 34 per cent to 50 per cent by 2018. More than 360 recycling bins are being placed throughout the downtown area of the city under an initiative launched last year to make thousands of such receptacles available in popular public venues such as petrol stations, stadiums and public parks. Dream Machine kiosks are computerised receptacles that include a personal reward system that allows consumers to collect and redeem points for each bottle or can they recycle. The Dream Machines are provided by WM GreenOps and operated by Greenopolis, the first interactive recycling system that brings together online and on-street technologies. People who recycle their beverage containers in kiosks can redeem points they collect and receive awards when they visit Around 1,500 Dream Machines have now been sited in more than 20 states. ID

March 2009


ST.TROP STEAM SHOWER. WELLNESS IN TOP FORM. Sanitaryware, bathroom furniture, bathtubs, shower trays, wellness products and accessories: Duravit has everything you need to make life in the bathroom a little more beautiful. More info at Duravit Middle East S.A.L., P.O. Box 13-6055, Chouran-Beirut, Lebanon, Phone +961 1 397329, Fax +961 1 397330, Duravit Middle East (Branch), P.O. Box: 293622 – Dubai, Dubai Airport Free Zone - United Arab Emirates, Phone +971 4 7017117, Fax +971 4 7017121, Duravit Saudi Arabia LLC, Al Hamra district, Aarafat street, Shahwan commercial center, 3rd floor – Office number 4, P.O. Box 9135, 21413 Jeddah, Phone +966 2 66 580 54 / +966 2 66 176 94, Fax +966 2 66 410 38,

It’s hip to be square Swarovski and chandeliers go hand in hand, yet it has taken the company over 100 years to make its own glittering debut on the design stage aided by four of today’s most sought-after American designers. TEXT: CATHERINE BELBIN

A group of America’s leading contemporary designers – André Kikoski, S.Russell Groves, Todd Bracher and Stephen Burks – was handpicked to create distinctive chandeliers for the launch of the Austrian company’s debut lighting collection. Since1895, Swarovski has been manufacturing precision cut crystals for chandeliers, clothing, bags and jewellery… but the family owned company, now run by fourth and fifth generation members, waited until the 50th anniversary of iSalone (the Italian Furniture Fair) to launch its Swarovski Lighting Centrepieces during Euroluce under the world’s spotlight. The family’s first foray into its own lighting collection – which is designed and manufactured by Swarovski – follows on from the acquisition of Schonbek Worldwide Lighting, a leading player in traditional chandelier and lighting fixtures. The move was engineered by Daniel Cohen, a fifth


identity [interior/design/property]

generation Swarovski and executive board member, who is also the creative mind behind this venture into the design arena. It also follows in the footsteps of Nadja Swarovski’s highly successful Crystal Palace Collection which was – on the whole – massive crystal art installations designed by some of the world’s greatest architects including Zaha Hadid, Fredrikson Stallard and Lenny Kravitz. Some of these chandeliers, such as Stallanrd’s Pandora, are now being produced as limited edition series. Cohen is the artistic ringleader who brought together Groves, Burks, Bracher and Kikoski, challenging each to create more commercially viable, contemporary chandeliers. For the past few years, the chosen four have been working towards their Euroluce presentation which highlighted Swarovski’s entry into the world of lighting design with much acclaim. The company’s in-house design team also contributed to the collection, comprising of six basic lighting fixtures.


Top: Kikoski pictured in the James Beard award-winning Wright restaurant in New York. Bottom: the Guggen chair for Ligne Roset 2011

Multiple award-winning architect Kikoski took time out of the spotlight to speak to identity about this latest development in his already bright career. “This is an extremely exciting time for me. It’s my first visit to the iSalone and I have two products on show – the ReveaLED chandelier and a chair for Ligne Roset,” explains the Manhattan-based architect. “Creating the chandelier was a great challenge for me as it opened a new avenue into product design. This ultra pared-down square design was in fact my initial idea, and then I toyed with others before going back to it. We wanted to create a traditional chandelier in a modern way – something that would be iconic, textural and distinctive. The square has pure qualities – it’s simple and calls for perfection.” “We wanted to turn the traditional chandelier inside out and make the focal point the inside, rather than the outside, so that the light emanated from within.” He adds, “It’s also inspired by the look and feel of pure, freshly fallen snow – imagine cool and crisp scenes from the Dr. Zhivago movie.” “What’s interesting is that the crystals we used are actually job lot crystals, or rather the by-products from the crystals, so we are using a recycled product in a sense and making it green.” “The beauty of the design is that it can be hung any way – it can be modular and made in any size or colour, and using any material. As architects, we also wanted to create something pure, something that stands out on its own – for its understated simplicity and uniqueness. It took two one-week sessions to come up with idea and then we spent a good part of a year working on it. As a designer, your first idea is usually the best, but making it functional and practical is always the time consuming part of the process.” Kikoski’s Syrian roots and long childhood holidays spent in and around Aleppo are experiences that tantalised his curiosity with regards to the Middle Eastern influence on contemporary architecture. In 1993, while still at graduate school, he received a grant from the Aga Khan Foundation to study the mixture of European and Islamic techniques adopted by Aleppo craftsmen on his grandfather’s home. The Harvard trained architect, who worked with I.M Pei and Richard Meier before establishing his own practice, is himself a product of his education and experience adhering to the strict principles of contemporary architecture. He is highly influenced by the Bahaus school. “There is no need for excess – function is of the essence and without unnecessary decoration,” he stresses. His portfolio is impressive and in addition to numerous residential projects, especially a number of prestigious loft conversions, he has put his design stamp on various restaurants and hotels in America. Kikoski is also the design team leader of the Guggenheim Museum’s Wright Restaurant in New York, which won the 2010 James Beard Award for the Best Restaurant Design in North America. His studio created everything for the interior right down to the Guggen chair, which Ligne Roset has put into production this year. “This is a completely new venture for our practice. We hope to create more industrial products and also look forward to working in the Middle East.” Kikoski remains tight-lipped, however, about ongoing talks with a UAE client but we could see his trademark style on a project here in the not too distant future. The New Yorker was selected as one of The New Garde of Ten Designers to Watch by New York Magazine. “It’s an exciting time that we live in, one with new opportunities as people look to diversify, find new creative solutions and experiment with new designers.”

June 2011



“This is out first product launch – we’ve been working on Crystaline Icicles for the past year,” says S.Russell Groves, whose Manhattan-based firm has recently been voted as being among the Top Ten International Firms by Architectural Digest. “For the Swarovski project, we sought to focus on the chandelier in a new way. Our challenge was how to light dramatically while still minimalising the presence of the hardware. We wanted to concentrate all the focus on the beauty of the crystal. The result, I believe, is both architectural and elegant,” says the graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. Groves has earned a reputation for his holistic approach to design, which blends sumptuousness and an air of tranquillity with a deep sensitivity towards the fragility of the environment. “I can see it in a very minimalist environment and also in a more decorative one which was our aim – to create a chandelier that can be used in multiple environments with the focus being on the lighting effects. It’s very tactile while being opulent as well.” Originally from Nova Scotia, Groves has leant his design expertise to the interiors of numerous prestigious luxury fashion houses and his client lists includes Tiffany&Co, Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, Coach and Ralph Lauren. He specialises in a lot of zero emission projects and has recently finished Lucida – Manhattan’s first LEED certified residential building. He is currently working on the design of a five-star, zero carbon resort in the Caribbean.


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Dubbed as America’s Next Great Designer, Todd Bracher – a multi-disciplinary designer who wears many hats including that of Creative Director for Scandinavia’s Georg Jensen – designed the minimalistic Strandelier for Swarovski’s debut lighting collection. Bracher was also named Designer of the Year in 2008 and 2009. He collaborates with many top design brands all over the world, and is an Acting Professor of Design at l’ESAD in France. Having lived in Copenhagen, Milan, Paris, London and now back in his native New York, he enjoys a unique multi-cultural approach to interior, architecture and product design that continues to attract the attention of the industry.

Considered to be one of the most recognisable in the new generation of US-based industrial designers, Stephen Burks was among the chosen few selected to be part of the Swarovski chandelier launch team for which he created Inside/Out. His client list reads like a who’s who of prestigious design brands including Audi, B&B Italia, Capellini, Calvin Klein, Missoni, Artecnica and Estée Lauder. A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Burks has earned many awards including the Brooklyn Museum Young Modernist Award, the Architektur&Wohnen Audi Mentor Prize and the 2008 United States Artists Architecture & Design Target Fellowship Grant for outstanding work in product design. While much of his time is occupied with creating images and products for luxury brands, Burks dedicates a share of his time towards the less fortunate as part of his commitment to sustainable design. He works with numerous non-profit organisations including Aid to Artisans, the Nature Conservancy and the Clinton Foundation. ID

June 2011


ŠNef Kitchens Manufacturers Limited



Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cooking? It remains the heart of the home, with a series of innovations adding to its appeal. identity reveals the trends shaping the contemporary kitchen in 2011. TEXT: RUBY ROGERS

CONTENTS: 36 Who is doing what? 40 Come together 43 User friendly 44 Flexible appliances 44 Under construction 46 Work it 47 Out of space? 48 Water source 48 Colour and texture

The D39M55 is a new 90cm wide stainless steel canopy hood from Neff with a black glass fascia.

June 2011



Set, the new project for Dada by Rodolfo Dordoni proposes the atmosphere of a traditional kitchen: large hood-chimneys surrounded by pantry units and shelving, boiserie panels, natural materials and lacquered finishes from the 70s, all the while integrating advanced technological solutions.

The kitchen is the beating heart of the modern home. Much happens here: family meals are eaten, dinner parties with friends are enjoyed, homework assignments are hastily written, stories are told and problems are shared. Hence, the contemporary kitchen has to be flexible enough to fulfil a variety of practical functions, but also comfortable enough to spend time in. Highlighting the importance of the kitchen, Cologne’s LivingKitchen exhibition debuted earlier this year. For seven days trade visitors and consumers from all over the world flocked to the bustling stands of Koelnmesse to bear witness to the very latest innovations in cabinetry, appliances and fixtures. “The kitchen has returned to Cologne with a first-rate performance,” says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. “After this spectacular premiere, I’m already looking forward to the sequel in 2013.” His words are more than mere PR patter. identity braved the chill of Cologne in January to confirm that it was indeed a success, pulling together plenty of big market players complemented by a supporting programme of famous chefs and live shows. Perhaps most significant were the trends on show, in particular the fusion of the kitchen and living space – a trend that has been emerging for some years and which has now fully asserted itself. In its post-show report, LivingKitchen says of this trend: “These days furnishing a home means breaking down the old, traditional boundaries; putting the television in the kitchen, turning the dining table into a communication centre, and putting the bathtub in the bedroom. Rooms are increasingly merging with one another. The kitchen-dining-living areas are becoming one, and the bedroom and bathroom areas are gradually converging.” The kitchen community has coined the phrase “disappearing boundaries” to aptly describe what is happening in the home. “In the past, people used to ask


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themselves, what belongs in a living room? These days the question is: what do I want to put in my living room? What do I want it to say about me? Those are the boundaries we will be dealing with in the future,” concludes the report. “The live-in kitchen is the most conclusive proof of all that the various areas of the home are merging and people’s expectations of their interiors are changing.” Social megatrends – such as a desire for individualism, a growing interest in health, changing family structures, demographic development and globalisation – are driving the changing face of the kitchen. However, a renewed interest in home cooking is also relevant. More of us are entertaining at home, keen to show off our cooking prowess, and what better way to do this than with the ever-popular “TV chef kitchen layout” whereby the practical elements, such as the sink and fridge, are located behind the chef, who works at an island unit that looks out onto a living area. The upshot is an open-plan, sociable space that places the cook at the heart of the action. WHO’S DOING WHAT?

Among the manufacturers working the kitchen-living look is Poggenpohl, which claims to have kick-started the trend with award-winning concepts such as +Segmento and +Integration, developed in 2000 and 2004 respectively to transform the functional kitchen into a “centre of communication” for the home. In an interview, Kathryn Pratley, of Kitchens & Beyond, Dubai, told identity: “Poggenpohl doesn’t follow just any new fashions or trends. We see ourselves as a driver of innovation by reflecting social developments in our products that we perfect for the market in cooperation with designers and architects. We don’t put kitchen units on the wall; we create spaces. That’s an elementary difference.”


Magika is the newest model from Pedini aimed at the budget conscious consumer. It comprises smooth lacquered fronts, aluminium handles in two finishes, quartzite worktops and plenty of storage. 38

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June 2011



Top: Architect Hadi Teherani’s +Artesio kitchen for Poggenpohl is a ‘room-in-room’ solution comprising cabinetry walls, floors, dining furniture and an independent ceiling with built-in ventilation, lighting and sound. Bottom: Natural materials is a key component of the Aprile kitchen by Piero Lissoni for Boffi. Think natural wood finishes, stone and stainless steel.

Taking the kitchen-living concept one step further is its latest innovation, +Artesio, launched at last year’s Eurocucina and available for purchase from early this year. Designed in collaboration with eminent architect Hadi Teherani, +Artesio unites kitchen design and room architecture by including not only cabinetry but also walls, floors, dining furniture and an independent ceiling with built-in ventilation, lighting and sound, delivering what Elmar Duffner, Poggenpohl’s chief executive, calls a “room-in-room solution”. The system is also customisable and comes with a wide range of material choices including laminate, wood, glass and even leather. “The trend towards individualised living, free from set structures and specific functions, will continue,” Terherani predicts. “So whether you’re sleeping, working, cooking, receiving guests, exercising or taking a shower, the focus will remain on the vision of a home liberated from constraints.” Also significant is that Poggenpohl’s all-embracing concept allows architects to take account of the kitchen’s design as early as the room planning stage. “This is the future,” Pratley says. “Attention will not only turn to the kitchen once the home or apartment has been completed. Instead architects, designers, owners and planners will get together from the very beginning and draw up an overall concept with the kitchen as the heart of the home.” COME TOGETHER

An effective kitchen design is the sum of many parts brought together to create a harmonious whole. Consequently, manufacturers and designers are working hard to eliminate the visual divide between appliances and furniture. An excellent example is Boffi’s new Aprile kitchen, the brainchild of Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni, who uses natural materials as the key component (think treated wood finishes and stone combined with natural materials such as stainless steel). A standout feature is Lissoni’s worktops in four different materials – stainless steel, Serrena stone, Carrara marble and solid black granite. A solid wood breakfast bar on stainless-steel legs complements these.


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To complete the kitchen, Lissoni has designed a range of appliances using similar materials. His integrated hob, for instance, is made with an inset in either stainless steel, Serena stone, Carrara marble or solid black granite. It’s an effortlessly seamless look that visually links his cabinetry and appliances. Hans Strohmeier, senior design manager at AEG, agrees that appliances should be designed according to the way modern kitchens function. “As the kitchen is becoming an open space, the design of the appliances should be aligned to integrate seamlessly into an overall living space,” he says. “Products should be outstanding, but should not disrupt the harmony of the kitchen.” AEG’s solution is its recently launched Neue Kollektion, a line-up of slick appliances defined by simplicity to create a collection with an integrated look. Simplicity is not, of course, the easiest thing to achieve. For Strohmeier, it is the result of considering a great number of small details. “For example, our blackand-white appliances are now purely black or white, rather than a mix of black or white and stainless steel,” he says, “but to achieve an even finish, the paint must be applied to the outside of every part, rather than to a mix of surface and under-glass. It is more demanding in the production process, but for a perfect result we must do nothing less.” Rapid advances in extractor technology have also made it possible to reduce the visibility of hoods so that they no longer need to interrupt the clean lines of open-plan kitchen designs. In the quest to create an understated product that also ticks the box for maximum illumination and optimum air filtration, Bulthaup has stripped away the unnecessary elements of extractor design and created a horizontal, aerodynamic shape suspended from the ceiling by two steel cables that can be positioned effortlessly over cooktops, dining tables or kitchen islands. Similarly blessed with a sleek, aerodynamic figure is Neff’s new 90cm-wide stainless-steel canopy hood with a black glass fascia. Intended for wall-mounted installation, this new hood boasts an angled design that allows easier access to the hob below. Lighting is also well thought out, with a seven-segment LED display and three low-energy halogen lamps to provide illumination for the hob. Thanks to its good looks and high-capacity fan for optimum extraction, the D39M55 has recently scooped a prestigious “Best of the Best” award in the 2011 Reddot Design Competition. USER FRIENDLY

The new Linea range from the Schüller C collection showcased in white matt lacquer with walnut wall and end panels and worktops.

As appliances become increasingly smarter, there is a danger that they will become overly complicated. With this in mind manufacturers are driving the trend for interfaces that are information-rich and powerful in terms of what they enable us to do, yet remain simple to use. Design teams across the sector are working hard to create a smooth connection between the appliance and the person using it through touch screens, minimalist graphics and large displays. The number of different materials is also being kept to a minimum. Gorenje, the Slovenian manufacturer, has launched its new Simplicity line, which was developed after extensive research to reveal the features most regularly used by consumers. The appliances in the Simplicity range are uncluttered and free from complicated, unnecessary programs. Use is managed through a simple, logical control dial, saving time and prioritising ergonomics. Its streamlined functionality is complemented by a beautiful black design, which is carried across all the appliances in the range. Ruth Ferguson, marketing manager at Gorenje, says: “The Gorenje Simplicity range has been specifically developed with the consumer in mind, and offers the functions and programs that our research has shown people use regularly. The collection features a unique combination of freestanding and built-in appliances with a continuous aesthetic, allowing the consumer to build up their Simplicity kitchen over time. As with all Gorenje products, the Simplicity design is highly creative and aspirational, and will make a real impact in any kitchen.”

June 2011



The entire surface of Gaggenau’s new induction hob is one large cooking area. The CX 480 automatically detects cookware and heats it wherever it is positioned. It also recognises when cookware is moved to another position.


Intelligent appliances are responsible for added flexibility in the contemporary kitchen. An excellent example is Gaggenau’s new full-surface induction cooktop, CX 480, which allows up to four pieces of cookware of any size and shape to be placed anywhere on its surface. The cooktop recognises the presence of a pot or pan automatically and heat is only generated where the cookware is detected. Should the pot be moved the cooktop registers its new position and carries on heating at the same temperature. “Under the glass ceramic surface of the new full-surface induction cooktop CX 480 there is a closely spaced, staggered configuration of 48 micro-inductors,” explains Stefan Köhl, director of product management at Gaggenau. “Unlike conventional large induction coils, this structure transforms the entire cooktop into one large cooking area.” The significance of flexibility should not be underestimated, according to a global trends report by GfK Roper Consulting conducted on behalf of Electrolux. “If one looks at the trends that will affect how we organise our home in the coming years, the red line connecting all of these trends is flexibility,” reads the report. “We do not want time and space to limit their expectations and aspirations in life. Their products should not tell them what is and isn’t possible. We want to spend quality time in the kitchen cooking and socialising, but also be able to do quick, easy and time-saving cooking.”


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According to GfK Roper, there are a handful of trends that have particular relevance to flexibility in the home. “First is the professionalism of the home. We want to do it ourselves – professionally. There is a huge growth of in-home solutions: home spa, gym, cinema, photo printers, massage seat. Luxury has become part of the home,” GfK affirms. In the kitchen, amateur food enthusiasts are demanding more professional equipment. This means coffee machines that produce brews to rival your favourite café or professional-looking cooktops (think oversized handles and stainless-steel cladding) featuring professional kitchen-inspired features such as wok burners, hotplates and griddles. Another “flexible trend” concerns premium products and services becoming more available to the masses. “We seek to create quality experiences by using appliances that create premium results from minimum consumer effort,” GfK adds. “Whether it’s basic or gourmet, everyday cooking must be quick and easy, and kitchen equipment must solve this. We also want to control the whole process; we seek the authentic rather than the processed. This demand for quality requires knowledge, technical help or simple standards that are recognised by the consumer.” UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Lightweight construction is another trend strongly influencing the design direction of contemporary kitchens. High-tech lightweight panels are used throughout the cabinetry of Poggenpohl’s much-talked-about Porsche Design kitchen P’7340.

Clockwise from top: Stainless steel SolidEdge worktops by Blanco SteelArt are lightweight but durable; Hansgrohe’s PuraVida kitchen tap enables the user to control the water volume and temperature. The LED ring on the circumference changes colour from blue to red to give a visual indication of the temperature set; colourful whisks from Normann Copenhagen

“They consist of thin wooden facings of just a few millimetres that are attached to a reinforcing kraft paper honeycomb core,” Kathryn Pratley explains. “This not only reduces weight but at the same time requires 40 per cent less material. Sustainability is central to everything Poggenpohl makes and does.” The latest step in the development of the P’7340 kitchen was unveiled during LivingKitchen in the shape of lightweight glass-carbon cabinet fronts. “This ultra-light yet extremely strong and temperature-resistant carbon-fibre composite is widely used in aerospace but also in automotive engineering,” Pratley says. “Produced in a complex process, carbon is an extremely high-quality material. For the carbon front of our Porsche Design kitchen, the material is laminated and applied to a glass front.” WORK IT

Lightweight construction not only applies to cabinet fronts but also worktops. “With the open living space situation in mind, worktops that are only 1cm thick are used ever-more frequently in order to create a modern, purist look,” says Roy Oldfield, export director of German manufacturer SieMatic.


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Bang on trend is Blanco, which launched its stainless-steel SolidEdge worktop in Cologne – a light and elegant solution that is nonetheless hard wearing. The beauty of SolidEdge is that it can be used in two different ways depending on the desired effect: either flush-fitted to the carcase or sat on a slightly inset platform to look as though it is hovering gracefully above the kitchen cabinetry. Our quest for thin worktops is coupled with the increasing popularity of manmade composites – practical, hard-working surfaces that are virtually impervious to water, heat resistant as well as stain and scratch resistant. Another benefit of composite is that it can be made to echo the aesthetics of natural materials, supporting the enduring trend of bringing a slice of the great outdoors, indoors. Toughened glass has garnered a good reputation owing to its resistance to heat and acid as well as being impermeable and therefore extremely hygienic. With sustainability now a big issue, there is also the option of recycled glass worktops, which are equally hard wearing and aesthetically pleasing. Alternatively, concrete is perfect for adding a touch of industrial chic and is very durable, assuming it is correctly sealed.


Clockwise from top: Schiffini’s multifunctional Key System designed by Alfonso Arosio and Elia Mangia houses shelving, sliding elements, removable containers, worktops and drawers as well as plenty of space for appliances; ceramic hob by Ora Ïto; a new interpretation of SieMatic’s BeauxArts collection by Chicago designer Mick Du Giulio.


Regardless of its size, you will need effective storage space to create a kitchen that works well and looks clutter free. Internal fittings have improved dramatically in recent years, making the most of every square inch, even tricky corner units. Manufacturers have also taken the effort out of accessing items thanks to savvy solutions such as power-assisted drawers that open and close with a gentle push. Nolte has even gone so far as to introduce GlassLine, a new side extension made from glass, which enables you to see the contents of drawers and pull-outs. Once again Poggenpohl has come up trumps with a newly designed drawer and pull-out system developed in-house. “The internal side panels are of equal thickness from top to bottom and meet the base at right angles,” Pratley says. “The special part about this new pull-out design is the side profile made of lightweight yet sturdy aluminum in a thickness of just 8mm. With this, every Poggenpohl kitchen has an average 15 per cent more loading capacity. All versions also feature power-assisted opening and the pull-outs are additionally available with integrated LED lighting that is automatically activated on opening.”

An extension of this trend is the popularity for replacing base cabinet doors with capacious drawers, offering more in terms of capacity and accessibility. It’s a trend acknowledged by Schiffini with its Space system, a series of deep drawers up to 210cm wide. “Schiffini has always been renowned for following a product policy that is not influenced by short-lived trends but are generally concerned with the formal aspects of the product, such as its design or finish,” Enrico Schiffini tells identity of his company’s attitude towards trends. “Another thing to consider is the evolution of the product caused by the emergence of new technologies or new materials. If these innovations are actually a step forward in the product’s functionality or quality, they are dutifully taken into account.” Before signing off about storage, it is important to mention the developing trend towards wall shelving, in contrast to the recent fashion for hiding everything behind closed doors. More people are going to want to showcase their favourite glassware or heirloom china, rather than it collecting dust at the back of a cupboard.

June 2011



Top: Varenna’s Twelve kitchen by architect and designer Carlo Colombo with embossed lacquered white doors and frosted glass countertop, back panel and wall paneling together with stainless steel suspended shelves.


The tap is a small but, nevertheless, essential element of the modern-day kitchen, used countless times every day. It can also add to the overall look of the kitchen, particularly if you opt for a contemporary design that makes a strong style statement. Hansgrohe argues that because kitchens nowadays double as central everyday locations that serve as meetings point for family and friends there is also a call for kitchen equipment with a certain degree of sophistication. “In this context, digital-operating convenience has become absolutely indispensable in the field of modern kitchen design,” Philippe Grohe says. The new electronic kitchen sink mixer, part of Hansgrohe’s successful PuraVida line, combines eye-catching design with convenient, easy operation. A sensuously shaped mixer body in brushed stainless steel is coupled with a generously proportioned surface area fashioned in polished stainless steel to create an exciting contrast. The raised pivoting spout makes kitchen work easy, as does the ergonomic electronic control unit, which can be positioned to suit individual preferences. The user can control the water volume and temperature by clicking or twisting, while the LED ring on the circumference changes colour from blue to red to give a visual indication of the temperature set. The ability to control water volume touches on a wider trend concerning products that protect the environment. “A growing number of consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to save both energy and water – partly because it is easy on the wallet, but also because it is easy on the environment,” concludes the report by LivingKitchen. “Efficiency will be tomorrow’s norm.”


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Enduring in its appeal, white was certainly the colour of choice for exhibitors at LivingKitchen. Earthy shades also had a part to play, described as “discreet and classy” by Roy Oldfield, export director at SieMatic. Just one example is Nolte’s new Sahara, a beautiful beige hue added to its Nova Lack range. In Cologne, Sahara was showcased together with various wood décors including Oak Smoky Silver and Limed Moor Oak – a nod to the trend for wood grains (also popular are bleached, stained or whitewashed options). With this growth towards wood grains there has been a further move away from sleek high gloss to textured, matt surfaces. The future points to a simple design style with lasting appeal. ID


Design sources; tel: (04) 343 1888; tel: (04) 334 9943; tel: (04) 443 2615; tel: (04) 297 1777; tel: (04) 330 9295; tel: (04) 348 8140; tel: (04) 334 9943; tel: (04) 886 0858; tel: (04) 332 6565; tel: (04) 231 0400; tel: (04) 283 1332; tel: (04) 266 5544; tel: (04) 338 8540; tel: (04) 283 1331; tel: (04) 394 8161; tel: (04) 338 8276; tel: (04) 268 1288; tel: (04) 330 9295

The new state-of-the-art KitchenAid domestic appliances including the exclusive Chef Touch â&#x20AC;&#x201C; specifically designed for vacuum sealed, sous vide cooking â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that recently won the Red Dot Design Award 2011, were recently launched in the UAE (See page 84). The KitchenAid range is available through Al Ghandi Electronics.


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A simplex man identity meets Ora-Ïto, the darling of the design world who can seemingly turn his talents to anything. TEXT: RUBY ROGERS

Stepevi rug


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Ora-Ïto yawns loudly. Late night? Bored? “No, I had an operation yesterday.” Should he be working today? “Yes,” he says with a slight shrug, “of course”. Above all Ora-Ïto is a pragmatist. We meet on the opening day of the Parisian trade fair Maison&Objet. He is here to launch his new collection for Turkish brand Stepevi. His timetable of interviews is tightly scheduled; three PR girls are on-hand to call time on one journalist while ushering through the next (“No more than 20 minutes,” I’m told). And then there are the high expectations of Stepevi heaped on his shoulders. The bottom line is that they have a new product to promote and his presence is required. Ora-Ïto remains cool under pressure. “It is to be expected. A company just wants a product they can sell,” he says, subscribing to the Arne Jacobsen school of thought: “People buy a chair and they don’t really care who designed it.” Similarly, Ora-Ïto’s feet remain firmly on the ground: “Designers think that they are important, but we are very small in the world. Sure we are famous at Maison&Objet, but outside of Maison&Objet we are not.”


Clockwise from top left: Christofle candelabra; Monroe table lamp; Ecco ecological bookshelf; One Line LED table lamp

However, it is much more than pragmatism that got Ora-Ïto out of bed this morning. He waxes lyrical about how much he loves his work and, considering the number of projects he juggles at any one time, it is impossible not to believe him. What is in the pipeline at the moment? “Hotel, plane, car, spaceship...” he rattles off. Plane? He laughs: “Oui! I’ve never designed a plane before. Don’t be afraid, I am just designing the interior. We have engineers working with us.” A spaceship? “It’s for the Milan furniture show. I cannot say anything else.” For a man who claims to be “an expert in nothing” very little phases Ora-Ïto, “Did I mention that I am also designing a train?” Ultimately he is an expert in design who can turn his hand to almost anything, be it a collection for French brand Steiner, a perfume bottle for Pucci or a kitchen appliance range for Gorenje. “My process is always the same,” he explains. “I ask a lot of questions and I try to answer them through a series of drawings. I try to understand the function of the product. I try to understand the typology.”

And context? “Yes context is very important,” he agrees. “I always work with the surrounding elements. If I am designing a hotel in Turkey it is not the same as a hotel in Corchevel.” A healthy dose of good old fashioned self-confidence also goes a long way. Ora-Ïto’s motto? “Just do it, but do it well”. There must be something that challenges him? He pauses, seemingly struggling to answer. “Every day is a challenge,” he says eventually. “It’s exciting but challenging. Even a product that looks very simple is a challenge.” It was this “just do it” attitude that kick-started Ora-Ïto’s flourishing career. At 21 he designed a series of unsolicited products for big-name brands such as Louis Vuitton, Apple and Nike, and launched them on the internet. It was a defining moment. His virtual designs attracted attention from consumers worldwide who attempted to buy them. Was he worried about backlash from the brands? “Non, they liked it,” he says dismissively. In fact they loved it, so much so that Ora-Ïto was catapulted into the limelight and has been basking in its glow ever since.

June 2011



Clockwise from top left: Furtivo knife; Ora-Ïto; Evolution Armchair; Miss Pucci perfume bottle

“It was ego gratification to be honest with you,” he remembers with a smile. “I didn’t have access to those brands because I was very young but I wanted to work for them. I was the first person in the whole world to be discovered on the internet. Today we hear about people being discovered every week, every day. Me, I did it 12 years ago.” He credits the web for smoothing the way for today’s young designers. “It is not tough,” he says, shaking his head when I suggest that the career trajectory for design graduates is fraught with obstacles. “It is very easy today, much easier than when I started. Well, very easy if you have talent. If you don’t have talent then don’t do this job. But if you have talent and a good product, you can use the internet to send it to different manufacturers.” By 2000 Ora-Ïto’s Parisian studio was up-and-running. Soon some of the industry’s most prestigious names were knocking on his door: Zanotta, Cappellini, B&B Italia and Artemide, for whom he designed the One Line lamp which was handed a prestigious reddot award. “How do I pick who I work with? I collaborate with brands that have history and longevity,” he explains. “I also work with brands that stay focused. I never focus so I need to work with people who do.” On cue he jumps up to greet an old friend, eager to show-off his new collection for Stepevi (back slapping, enthusiastic nodding and what I presume to be a flurry of compliments in French ensues). He likes it? I ask unnecessarily when Ora-Ïto is hustled back to his seat by his harassed looking PR. He smiles, then shrugs: “He’s my friend. We support each other.”


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Clockwise from top left: Modular sideboard; Ora-Gami armchair; Beffet sideboard; Double Skin coffee table

I suspect it is more than friendship that has prompted such enthusiasm. Preshow PR talk promised Ora-Ïto’s new collection would be a cutting-edge, unique vision for flooring. It delivers on both counts. It is a series of five rugs made from carpet offcuts of differing lengths and widths that have been pieced together to create an interesting effect. “I went through the garbage and took one piece then another piece, and I put them together. I thought it looked fantastic,” Ora-Ïto recalls. “Stepevi and I plan to do a big collection but we wanted to introduce our collaboration here at Maison&Objet so we did not have the time to do exactly what I had in mind.” I wonder what that is, but he politely tells me to be patient: “I can’t talk about things you cannot see.” This is the first time Ora-Ïto has lent his design skills to flooring. “I wanted something that looks very poor but rich at the same time,” he says of his collection. “Poor because of the way it is made, but rich because of the way it looks.” Creating contrasts is typical of Ora-Ïto’s design style. He calls it “simplexity”, simple but complex at the same time. “Yes, I invented my own word,” he says with a smile. “I had to. I wanted to find a way to easily explain my work in one word. It was not possible, so I had to combine two.” With time rapidly running out, I ask Ora-Ïto the secret to his success. He shakes his head. “The day I think I am successful it would be the end of my life. At the moment I’m just trying to stay focused and to do my best to be original and innovative. That’s all.” ID


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CONTENTS: 60 Luscious St Lucia 66 Urban innovation 72 Antennae

June 2011



Luscious St Lucia It may be small, but the Caribbean island of St Lucia is perfectly formed, and new holiday home developments are attracting both buyers and awards. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN


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Glenconner Beach residential community, house in foreground.

Every December, the east Caribbean island of St Lucia welcomes the arrival of more than 200 boats from Europe – this giant flotilla, the world’s largest according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, aka the ARC. Yachts have gathered at the Canary Islands to make this three-week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean every November since 1986. The event has become so popular that the number of boats taking part is now restricted to 225 for safety reasons. Its success inspired World Arc, an annual event started in 2008 that involves dozens of yachts circumnavigating the globe together – a 15-month, 23,000-nautical-mile journey that starts and finishes in St Lucia. Note how the event starts and finishes at this Caribbean island. Yachties just can’t get enough of the place.

Honeymooners are equally besotted – it was voted the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination for the fifth year running at the World Travel Awards in London in 2010. Not a bad achievement for an island that is only 616sq/km in size, about one-sixth that of Dubai. Warm seas, tropical vistas, steady, year-round 28C to 31C temperatures, and friendly, easy-going locals help give it an edge. In the northwest corner of the island, sandwiched between a couples-friendly Sandals resort and a stretch of beach-side grassland that will become another Sandals, is The Landings, a partly-completed, eight-hectare residential community for St Lucia’s sailing fans. When fully completed in 2014 the estate’s 228 apartments will overlook either its beach or lagoon-style marina, where residents can moor their boats.

June 2011



From top: The idyllic beach at The Residences at Sugar Beach; the Landings marina and apartments and the view from the penthouse balcony.

The Landings is in Rodney Bay, the heart of the island’s sailing community. At any one time 600 boats are moored or anchored in the bay, including at Rodney Bay Marina, where a stretch of waterside shops, banks, bars, restaurants and cafes cater for the needs of sailors and curious land-lubbers. One-hundred-and-forty-three units have been sold at The Landings since marketing started, with 60 per cent of buyers coming from Britain, and most of the rest from Canada, United States and neighbouring Caribbean islands. One buyer and a number of holidaying apartment renters have come from Dubai. Most buyers are in late middle-age and retired. “Mainly they are entrepreneurs who have sold their business, made money and are now enjoying the good life,” says Oliver Gobat, The Landings sales director. Buyers are attracted to the “first class finishes, from one-and-three-quarterinch solid wood doors throughout the world class condos, to sound proof hurricane resistant glass”, he says. “All the homes are on the water, the amenities on offer are more extensive than any other development, including bars, pools, restaurants, tennis courts, a top class gym, spa, concierge, water sports and more.” Another residency perk includes playing on St Lucia’s only 18-hole golf course at reduced rates. Unlike other resort schemes, The Landings offers freehold ownership of apartments to buyers, because it is built on reclaimed land. Other coastal schemes offer leasehold, because waterfront land is owned by the Crown. The Landings sales prices range from Dhs2m for a one-bedroom apartment to Dhs12.8mfor a three-bedroom penthouse. Furniture packages are available and owners can put properties into a rental pool run by management company RockResorts. Service charges start at Dhs2,200 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and Gobat says the developer will offer buyers fractional ownership options on apartments later this year. The development won the Best Apartment in the Americas award at the Bloomberg International Property Awards in 2010. Another St Lucian triumph at those awards was The Residences at Sugar Beach, which won Best International Property. Sited within a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island’s south coast between two cone-shaped, dormant volcanoes known as the Pitons, the Dhs367m Sugar Beach scheme will comprise 64 villas and 42 apartments when completed in December. The villas will be rented out as hotel accommodation, and the apartments sold as “residences” at prices starting from Dhs8.8m for two-bedders. Resort facilities include three restaurants, four bars, a scuba diving centre, rainforest walkway and spa.


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Clockwise from top: The Landings as seen from Rodney Bay; the view from an apartment balcony and the front entrance of the community.

Five minutes walk from Sugar Beach is the Glenconner Beach resort development, which is named after its founder Lord Glenconner, the rakish, property tycoon famous for turning the empty island of Mustique into a haven for the rich and decadent during the Sixties. Glenconner died in August 2010, but work on his St Lucian project continues – covering four acres, it will have only five houses when completed in 2012 and the five to six-bedroom residences range in price from Dhs26m to Dhs33m. The British aristocrat’s death raised concerns about his resort’s future, but Roger Myers, owner of Sugar Beach, took over its financing. This arrangement benefits Glenconner Beach homeowners, because they will be allowed to use Sugar Beach facilities in addition to those available at their own resort, which includes having private dinner parties catered for by award-winning chefs. In common with much of the rest of the world, St Lucia’s property market was shaken by the financial crisis at the end of the Noughties, but it is now recovering. Prices for multi-million dollar homes fell 10 to 15 per cent following the credit crunch, but a growing number of buyers chasing a limited number of properties for sale means the market is stabilising, says Chris Owen, general manager of St Lucia Sotheby’s International Realty. He expects prices to rise marginally for some homes this year. “A villa in the north was sold for $4.5m [Dhs16.5m] one month ago,” Owen says. “Due to limited product offering in St Lucia we expect some values to hold or, depending on location, may appreciate five per cent. It’s the perfect island in the sun and is considered a boutique destination.”

St Lucia’s new resort schemes are appearing at a time of intense and growing competition between the world’s tropical island paradises for the custom of second home buyers. In the Indian Ocean, Mauritius and the Seychelles are offering financial and residency incentives, pitting themselves directly against Caribbean tax havens. In South-east Asia, luxurious holiday homes are appearing in new locations like Cambodia. Within the Caribbean, tax incentives and residency deals offered by different countries are becoming more generous, and rumours are circulating that St Lucia may launch a residency scheme later this year that will allow foreigners to call this low-tax island “home” if they spend Dhs1.8m on property there. For now, potential property buyers must content themselves with appreciating St Lucia’s natural attractions. “The Caribbean has a certain charm that cannot be replicated elsewhere,” Gobat says. “St Lucia is regarded as the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, with lush tropical rainforests, stunning bays, warm and friendly people, and a relaxed atmosphere. The cuisine is also special here.” However, there are some man-made issues that home-buyers must confront, such as buying and selling costs. According to the Global Property Guide’s website, the total round-trip costs of buying and selling a property in St Lucia equates to 22 per cent of its value. These include payment of a Dhs6,800 “Alien’s Landholding Licence”, stamp duty, conveyance fees, estate agent’s fees and vendors tax. Even so, costs can be reduced by purchasing through a St Lucian registered company and the island has no VAT, estate duties or capital gains tax. ID

June 2011



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PORTFOLIO | idProperty

Urban innovation In a blurring of cultures and boundaries, Italian architect and interior designer Marco Mangili was commissioned by an Emirati owner to design Spanish hotel operator Sol Melia’s first foray into the Middle East. TEXT: SHALAKA PARADKAR

While catering to increasingly jaded travellers who have seen it all, hotels today have to try even harder to adapt and please an ever-evolving consumer. Nowhere is this aspect most keenly felt than in the way they are being planned and designed. It has been said that hospitality design trends parallel those seen in fashion. Yet while colour blocks and eye-popping acid brights may be the flavour of the month on fashion runways, hotel interiors need to stay timeless while being stylish, incorporate complex technology that must be concealed and interpret local contexts while catering to an international clientele. They must also maximise the return on investments for the owner and operator while connecting with guests at a visceral level. No wonder hotel rooms tend to look and feel the same in cities around the world – it becomes a matter of solving the design dilemma and then prototyping it across countries. When he was commissioned to design The Melia Dubai, Marco Mangili eschewed what’s trendy for what’s timeless. Taking the quieter route for Spanish hotel chain Sol Meliá’s first Middle East property, his design approach speaks of an austere, post-recession aesthetic, that is chic yet subtly luxurious. A mock up of a guest suite was on display at Sol Melia’s stand at the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Dubai. “I wanted to create an urban resort,” Mangili says. “The client, in this case the local owner of the hotel, contacted me to create something that would appeal to the taste of an Arabian clientele yet reflect European style. I chose to use a warm palette of colour and design.” A 167-key luxury hotel, The Meliá Dubai will open on October 12, to coincide with Spanish National Day. The newly built, five-star property in Al Raffa, Bur Dubai, is situated opposite Port Rashid, close to the financial and cultural heart of Dubai. The hotel also has a haute cuisine restaurant, 24-hour Clockwise from top: a mock-up guest suite; artist renderings of the bar, restaurant and main entrance at The Melia Dubai

June 2011


idProperty | PORTFOLIO

Clockwise from top left: artist rendering of a Presidential Suite, lounge bar and Khazana restaurant

coffee shop, a Euro-Asian fusion restaurant, and five bars including a tapas gastro bar, a sky bar and a disco bar, a smoking lounge, a business centre, and a 300sq/m meetings and events space. If the mock-up room displayed at ATM is a teaser of what lies ahead, the hotel will employ a relaxed and restrained sense of sophisticated style. Looking like a well-appointed yet lived-in living room, Mangili has stuck to a limited and muted palette in taupe, ecru, chocolate brown and grey. Sofas and armchairs are upholstered in soft, natural linens and nubby cottons. “This is the concept of the bedroom and the suite,” Mangili says, running his hand over a linen-clad armrest. “It feels like home though it’s a business hotel. That’s important when you are a businessperson who travels a lot. Even for me as a businessman, I like that the hotel room feels like home.” Mangili has specified luxury materials for the accommodation, including a special kind of treated leather imported from Europe, which is used to clad the


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walls. “All the finishes are matt and bronze, instead of the usual shiny stainless steel and chrome,” he says. “The walls are panelled in leather and wood.” The overall look is of seamless and smooth surfaces – even the entertainment system is a magic mirror that transforms into a television screen. When I remark on the similarity in ambience to that of Dubai’s Armani Hotel, Mangili laughs and responds: “Armani is from my city of Milan, we share a similar heritage and conceptually similar influences.” As the hotel represents Sol Melia’s first foray into the region, there are also reference to its Spanish roots – in parts of the design, the colours and iconography. “However, this is a global brand and we did not want it to look overtly Spanish,” Mangili says. His other projects in the Middle East include the headquarters for refrigeration company FFCO, the private residential palace for a member of the Ajman royal family, and private residential villas in Dubai and Lebanon.

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Clockwise from top left: Marco Mangili; lobby of the recently opened Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa in Cape Verde; Dos restaurant at ME Barcelona Hotel, another recent launch by Melia Hotels

“My style is influenced by my Italian heritage,” Mangili expands. “It is modern, with warmth. I like to give the spaces I design a feeling of home – there should be nothing bright or shiny.” Mangili believes that light is one of the most important elements of interior design. In many of his projects, he works to introduce natural light so the spaces feel smoothly lit. “I also use a lot nature in my interior design – bringing in a lot of water and plantation into the interiors.” He describes the residential palace of the Ajman crown prince as the most exciting and challenging project that he has worked on yet. Being built since the past five years, the 8,000-square-metre building sits on a 60,000-square-metre plot of land. “In this project I have worked on merging the outside and inside. The landscaping was thus an important aspect of the building,” Mangili says. “It can be challenging to deal with such a big scale – comparing the human scale with the size of this building, it is very difficult to get the proportions just right so it feels like a residential building and to create the feeling of home inside. My approach was to create spaces where inside and outside merge. The garden is one such in-between place, which feels like it’s outside the house, but is really inside the house. A lot of outside areas have been landscaped as part of the living spaces – opening to the roof and the lake, and we have incorporated water features inside and outside the house.” Of his 11 years working as a designer, Mangili has spent seven in the Middle East. “The most unique aspect of working here is the number of opportunities,” he expands. “While the financial crisis affected a lot of real estate developments, in Dubai at least, the hotel scene is still growing. People here are open to experimentation; they don’t care if it is an untested idea – if it’s new and fresh, they want it.” ID


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idProperty | ANTENNAE

The world’s luxury housing markets, and their residents, are doing well; the world’s poorer housing markets, and their residents, less so. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN


In Britain, the rich have rarely had it so good. Figures from estate agency Chesterton Humberts show the top fifth of Britain’s most expensive homes, like these in Regents Park, London, pictured above, increased 3.4 per cent in value over the past 12 months, bringing them close to 2007 peak levels. However, poorer households are getting poorer – homes in the bottom fifth of the housing market have lost 5.1 per cent in value over the past year. But if homeowners at the bottom of the property ladder think they have it bad, then spare a thought for those who cannot even get a foot on its first rung – depressed earnings and a lack of mortgages mean greater numbers of younger Britons must rent. This is great news for cash-rich landlords who are outbidding first time buyers in the sales market and increasing their rents in the lettings market.


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Aston Martin is moving into property. The British car manufacturer will lend its name to new luxury resort developments across the world. Working with property company. First Logic, its brand will be stamped on a mix of ski, golf, beach, polo and marina resorts that will include hotels, sports clubs and leisure facilities as well as villas and apartments. “Aston Martin has an inherent beauty,” says Alvaro Hidalgo of First Logic. “It is this design expertise, and an understanding of aesthetics combined with functionality, that will differentiate Aston Martin developments.” The car company joins a long line of luxury brands to enter the property sector, some with mixed results. The number of schemes bearing the Bulgari name continues to grow, but Four Seasons may wish it had not entered the residential ships market – plans for a luxury, floating condo bearing its name evaporated during the global financial crisis.

Turkish property sales to overseas buyers rose 40 per cent in 2010. Popular with foreigners was the Bodrum peninsula, in the southwest corner of Turkey, where resort developments like Gravillia Beach & Residences are being built. Istanbul is another target. “With a population of nearly 18 million people and a burgeoning middle class, demand for new build highly quality Western-style housing continues to grow,” says says Alexander Tomlinson, director of estate agency Gem Invest, “The European side of the city remains the most sought-after, with suburbs such as Bahcesehir, just 20 kilometres to the west of the financial centre, becoming increasingly popular. Equally, many Istanbulites, especially those with families, are attracted to districts like this as they offer green spaces as well as shopping malls, leisure activities and schools all within easy reach of the city centre.”


With China and India’s growing middle classes demanding more food, these countries’ agricultural combines are gobbling up land overseas, especially in Africa and South America. In Brazil, China’s investment in that country has rocketed from Dhs305 million in 2009 to Dhs110 billion in 2010, much of it in farmland. Investors are getting in on the act, especially in Europe, where they buy everything most productive, from vineyards in Bordeaux to arable farms in eastern England. In Britain, investment purchasers have more than doubled over the past year to 31 per cent of purchasers. Land prices are rising worldwide in response to this buying spree and will continue doing so analysts say. Ken Jones, Director of Savills rural, says: “The challenge of feeding the fast growing world population in the future is seldom out of the news, and there is therefore tremendous interest in food commodities and the basic means of production; farmland.”

London and New York will remain the world’s two most important hubs for the rest of this decade, but may struggle to maintain their duopoly afterwards, millionaires believe. These findings are contained in The Wealth Report 2011 published by Citi and Knight Frank, which surveyed the opinions of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) around the world. Respondents named Mumbai, Shanghai and Sao Paolo as leading world centres in future decades. The rise of these BRIC cities is reflected in their luxury property prices – prices of Shanghai’s most des res homes rose 21 per cent in 2010, faster than anywhere else in the world. Prime residential markets in 85 cities, tax havens and resorts favoured by the world’s rich were surveyed by the report’s authors who found prices rose in 40 per cent of them last year, with Asian locations the strongest.




The Eurozone lurches from crisis to crisis, sending property values tumbling in its wake. Worst affected are the so-called PIGSs – debt-laden Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Property prices fell in Portugal last year and will do so in 2012, the London-based Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors forecasts. Some commentators say prices could drop by 20 per cent by the end of 2012 providing “bargains” for overseas buyers. Economists warn Ireland may go back into recession and need another bailout, exacerbating five years of price falls. In Spain, the country’s central bank says the housing market downturn will last five years, which means values won’t stop falling until 2013. The country’s two previous slumps lasted that length of time. In Greece, that country’s central bank expects prices to fall this summer following two years of decline, and Athens University forecasts demand for Greek homes will fall to record lows.

Political turbulence in the Middle East is having contrasting consequences for property markets inside and outside the region. The fall in the Egyptian Pound since that country’s crisis began in February has drawn overseas investors to the holiday resort of Sharm El Sheikh, including its Sunny Lakes development in Naama Bay. Meanwhile, thousands of kilometres to the east, the housing market in Bangladesh is reeling from the effects of hundreds of thousands of its citizens based in the Middle East being unable to send back remittances, because they are losing their jobs. Remittances are an important source of capital for the Bangladesh housing market. Adding to the chaos is the government’s decision not to allow gas and electricity connections to new buildings, to save energy for agriculture to avoid food shortages. This means new homes cannot be handed over to buyers’, estate agents say.

Overseas buyers are returning to Thailand, albeit in smaller numbers than before the financial crash. According to estate agents Knight Frank, the number sales to foreign buyers in Phuket is higher now than this time last year when demand was half what it was at the 2007 market peak. Showing most confidence in Thailand’s prospects are buyers from Britain, China and Hong Kong, agents report. These investors must be planning for the long-term, because analysts say prices are unlikely to rise significantly until more foreign buyers return. The seeds of a boom in overseas demand are being sown however – Thailand is the favourite destination for Westerners looking for a new life abroad according to HSBC’s 2010 Expat Explore Survey. Factors that helped the Land of Smiles beat off competition from close rivals Spain and Australia include national cuisine, work-life balance, social life and education facilities.


June 2011



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Tall stories Adrian Smith, Burj Khalifa’s design architect, discusses his passion for creating tall buildings, and the role architecture can play in shaping tomorrow’s world. TEXT: SHALAKA PARADKAR

Skylines have often been described as the shorthand of urban identity. When he designed Burj Khalifa, architect Adrian Smith not only spearheaded a unique feat of engineering, but also reshaped Dubai’s identity forever. Burj Khalifa put the city on the map. Smith says that is part of the power of architecture – to profoundly affect the community and the world at large. Smith, who was working at the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) when he designed Burj Khalifa, left SOM to set up his own practice Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), with another ex-SOM designer. The firm has accrued a sizeable number of big-name projects around the world, including the Masdar HQ in Abu Dhabi, the new head office of the Federation of Korean Industries in Seoul and a green retrofit of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago. In his 40 years as an architect, Smith has gained a reputation as the foremost designer of supertall buildings; including the world’s first net-zero energy skyscraper, Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China. Smith has also taken on a new role as design consultant to hardware giant Dorma, with whom his firm are working on several projects. It has designed (and Dorma Gulf has installed) custom-operable partitions at the restaurant pavilion known as Function Island at Burj Khalifa. His designs for Dorma include a single-lever solution for a sleek, modernist design that will work with both ANSI and British Standard hardware.

From left: Rendering of Meraas Tower Dubai; Burj Khalifa Dubai; Rendering of One Park Avenue Dubai

June 2011


From top: RS 120 – The simple, chic, concealed sliding door system for multiple applications from Dorma Gulf; Adrian Smith

UAE, but I think it’s a growing trend – is to diversify their economies through tourism. To that end, architecture has a clear role to play. As we saw spectacularly in Bilbao, Spain, the home of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, people will travel to see great buildings. The economic development associated with tourism can be substantial, even transformational, as it has been in Bilbao.

When was your passion for skyscrapers ignited? Was there a defining moment? As a sophomore in high school taking a course in mechanical drawing, the first building I drew in perspective class was 40 storeys. They said draw a building – and everybody else drew little houses. I drew a 40-storey building with lots of detail and a very dramatic perspective. I was at grade, looking up. I also remember making sand castles on the beach and trying to get them tall. So I guess you could say my love of skyscrapers was always there. What is the greatest challenge facing cities in the Middle East given the current socio-political and economic context? And what role can architecture play? The current economic and political situation in the Middle East presents obvious challenges for everyone concerned, in some countries more than others. The hope of many cities in the region – particularly in the


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How does the experience of designing supertall buildings in China, differ from that of the Middle East? The most obvious difference is the climate and other environmental conditions, which in the Middle East are generally harsher, although it can be quite hot and humid in various parts of China as well. At AS+GG, we start the design process for every project with an extensive environmental analysis of the building site and that information influences the design process in every conceivable way. Of course there are also some differences that arise from the systems of government in those locations. In China, there is somewhat more government oversight and involvement in the planning and approval process, in the Middle East less so. But in the end the differences are not really significant. Developers all over the world want the same thing, which is the best building they can get for the money they have to spend. That’s what we try to give them. Please tell us more about designing tall buildings that are green as well as supertall. Skyscrapers are inherently sustainable because they accommodate a large number of people on a small footprint of land. They also offer efficient vertical and horizontal transportation systems, encouraging the use of public transit and creating increasingly walkable cities. Supertall buildings can also be formed to further decrease their environmental effect and become “super sustainable”. These structures can take advantage of the faster wind speeds at higher altitudes and drive wind toward building-integrated turbines to generate power. Because they are less likely to have shadows cast on them, high-rises also make efficient use of building-integrated photovoltaic systems to absorb solar power and


Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai

generate energy. And deep foundations make them ideal for geothermal heating and radiant cooling systems. Burj Khalifa is not widely credited for its array of sustainability features. In fact, the building’s form and systems responded in a variety of ways calculated to perform optimally in its environmental context. Besides the issue of the building’s shape in relation to the wind, which I discussed above, there were other aspects of good practice and sustainability incorporated into the design. A station for the Dubai mass transit monorail is being incorporated into the development; there also will be a local trolley service along the Boulevard to serve the project. Indeed, Burj Khalifa was the catalyst for these transit features, which will serve the entire city, to be built. Burj Khalifa has a high-performance window wall system with thermally broken aluminium frames and insulating glass with selective coatings that provides a low shading coefficient while maximising natural daylight and views. At the higher elevations, the intake of outside air takes advantage of the natural drop in temperature, and the spaces are naturally ventilated where possible. A site-wide grey water system is used for irrigation, including recovered condensate. Lastly, Burj Khalifa is one of the first towers in the world to apply extensive stack-effect mitigation strategies at design stage. What are your words of wisdom to anyone starting out as an architect? I think any young architect starting out should approach the profession as a privilege and a responsibility. Architecture has always had a profound impact on the world and that’s true now more than ever. The most rewarding thing about being an architect is, of course, seeing the project you designed actually be built. In my own case, there’s nothing like the satisfaction I get from visiting Burj

Khalifa, Jin Mao Tower or other projects I’ve designed over the past 40 years. The most saddening aspect of our profession is not when our designs are not built, for whatever reason; that’s part of the business, and you have to accept it going in. The sad part comes during economic downturns, such as the one we’re still emerging from now, which causes many architects – especially the younger ones – to lose their jobs. It’s a terrible thing to be without work, but unfortunately it’s the nature of a business that’s so dependent on the economic cycle. The good news is that for every downturn, there’s an upswing. If you stay patient and optimistic, you can accomplish great things as an architect, and that’s why it will always be a great profession. Looking back, what was most memorable about designing the tallest building in the world? In what ways do you think Burj Khalifa will influence the architecture of other Gulf states? I think the most memorable aspect of the design process was getting the proportion right, which was difficult for a building that’s so tall and thin. Emaar Properties was interested in having Burj Khalifa be the tallest building in the world, but that standard could have been met with a building much shorter than the one we ended up designing. However, I envisioned Burj Khalifa as a very elegant, slender building and to resolve the design in an appropriately proportional way required a great deal of height – quite a bit more than Emaar had originally expected. Fortunately, Emaar, and particularly its chairman, Mohamed Alabbar, understood the issues I was dealing with as a designer and gave me the freedom to create a building that was as tall as it needed to be. Of course, we learned a great many things from the project. In particular, we learned about the relation of architectural form and wind loads in supertall

June 2011



From left: Dorma Gulf; Adrian Smith

Head Offices of the Federation of Korean Industries, Seoul

buildings. We conducted extensive wind tunnel tests to ensure the tower would Meraas Tower rendering perform optimally in response to weather conditions. In response to the tests, we sculpted the tower’s shape, in particular by staggering the setback heights, to shed the negative forces of the wind moving around the building, which we call “confusing the wind.” We also took several steps to mitigate the stack effect, which in Burj Khalifa means that, due to the height of the building and difference between the internal and external temperature, indoor air tries to travel downward and flow out of the bottom of the building. To address this issue, we minimised the infiltration/exfiltration of the exterior wall. We also created a sky lobby elevator system in which the shuttle and local elevator shafts are separated and did the same with the shafts enclosing the exit stairs. In effect, the building acts as a series of shorter, separate buildings stacked on top of one another. It’s for the above reason that the building will likely be most influential on future architecture in the Gulf states and elsewhere. How do you see the future of architecture as a profession in the next decade? That depends to a significant degree on the state of the global economy. Architects generally work for real estate developers, who depend on markets, the availability of credit and other economic factors. The last three years have been challenging, obviously, but we’re beginning to see some improvement, especially in some parts of Asia and the Middle East. So, overall, my outlook for architecture is optimistic. Another major challenge facing architects over the next decade is the increasing need for high-performance, sustainable design to reduce the carbon emissions associated with both new and existing buildings. Certainly it’s an exciting time to be an architect, since how we do our jobs really does have such a major impact on the world, both in terms of the built environment and the environment in general. ID


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Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing

June 2011



In vogue with tomorrow This season is a celebration of the luxurious and the individual, with a definitive nod towards functionality. Let contemporary and practical designs, bright colours and sensual textures take over your home.


Feel good. Create happiness. Evoke emotions. These are the driving forces behind the FAVN sofa for Fritz Hansen. Inspired by the hard exterior and welcoming interior of a shell, FAVN â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Danish for embrace â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by designer Jaime Hayon creates an organic form that embraces and adds aesthetic appeal from all angles. This timeless creation is presented in several selections, utilising a mix of three fabrics to express the form of its three main components: the shell, seat and cushions.


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Design agenda GILE Lighting 2011, Guangzhou, China, June 9-12 Home Fashion and Decor 2011, Beijing, China NeoCon 2011, Chicago, United States, June 13-15 Dallas International Lighting and Accessories Market 2011, Dallas, United States, June 23-26 Inter Build 2011, Cairo, Egypt, June 23-27 MOBEXPO 2011, Bacau, Romania, June 23-26 House & Garden Show 2011, Durban, South Africa, June 24-July 3 Archidec 2011, Kuala Lumpur, June 30-July 3 Kitchex 2011, Tabriz, Iran, July 4-8 PERSIAN PIZZAZZ

With his family working in the trade for generations, Hossein Rezvani has always been surrounded by the craft of carpet making. It comes as no surprise then that the spectacular Tabriz Lilac carpet from his Persia Reinvented collection has been awarded the Red Dot Design award for 2011. Mass production and mechanical or chemical treatments have been shunned, while traditional patterns have been reinterpreted for the third millennium. As up to one million knots per square metre guarantee durability, each bespoke carpet creates a legacy in its own right.

Office Furniture Japan 2011, Tokyo, Japan, July 6-8


The Total Office – the UAE-based company specialising in modern, ergonomic and environmentally friendly workspace solutions – celebrated the opening of its 650-square metre outlet in Grosvenor Business Tower, Dubai, last month. Designed by Mehdi Moazzen of Point of Design, the LEED rated showroom displays innovative new products from leading international commercial interior design brands like Teknion, Codutti, Emmegi, Frezza, Office Electrics, Manerba, Orangebox, and Office Essentials. The outlet features mock-up offices and extensive use of glass, consuming 30 per cent less energy than a typical showroom of the same size due to automatic dimming lights, LED lighting and energy saving appliances. Canadian couture designer Annie Thompson marked the opening with an eco-friendly fashion show; fabrics used in Teknion’s furniture lines inspired the eclectic collection.


Celebrate the advent of spring with Indigo Living’s eclectic range of accessories. The Oriental-inspired lanterns in nickel and stainless steel offer subtle lighting solutions for home and garden, lending to a soothing and romantic atmosphere. Victorian elements make a comeback with the dining accessories collection. Be it the platter with the glass bell, the hammered glass water decanter or the silver plated wine bucket – all stunning accents to your tabletop. But the springtide doesn’t stop there – think ostrich egg accents in sage and amber, spun bamboo salad bowls and natural cushions with intricate beadwork in teal and azure.

June 2011




Practical yet edgy, KitchenAid’s industrial loft-style appliances have made their UAE debut. Leading Italian chef Tommaso D’Amato, who worked with the company to design the revolutionary award-winning Sous Vide (airless) equipment, demonstrated the advantages and the growing phenomena of this new food preparation and cooking technology. The vacuum-sealed method ensures that there is 42 per cent less water loss from meat, while vegetables lose up to 89 per cent less weight. The Chef Touch cooking system is perfect for Sous Vide cuisine, comprising of three different products: the vacuum machine, the steam oven and the shock freezer for rapid chilling. A number of new design innovations also featured, including a practical in-sink dishwasher – an idea that seems to have been inspired by similar dishwashers seen in Italian café bars. The nifty KDIX 8810 InSink is designed to provide dishwashing support while you cook. The machine is actually built

into a double sink and the racks can be removed to provide regular sink usage. Similarly, the lid can be closed if more counter space is required. The range also features a 30-minute fast wash program to minimise water and power consumption. KitchenAid was in fact the world’s first company to manufacture the humble dishwasher in 1949. Al Ghandi Electronics recently hosted a lavish launch event for the launch of the KitchenAid cookers, induction hobs ovens, dishwashers, wine coolers and more at the Meydan Hotel. Already, the company’s iconic mixer and other countertop appliances are popular with UAE’s gourmet cooks and design aficionados. Part of the Whirlpool Corporation, the KitchenAid brand enjoys iconic status mainly due to its 90-year-old mixer range which has been expanded recently to include coffee machines, blenders and toasters.


Italy’s best-selling kitchen company, Scavolini, celebrates 50 years of fitted kitchens with three new models – Scenery, Absolute Classic and Vuesse. Designers King and Miranda combine original lacquered, laminate and glass finishes with the must-have Mirage & Peninsula kitchen structure and high-tech appliances, making Scenery seem almost like a piece of art rather than furniture. Absolute Classic, by Gianni Pareschi, melds together the classical and contemporary. Brass and bevelled glass are set in fresh compositions, exuding a decidedly modern feel. Vuesse opens new horizons for personalisation and functionality with its Crystal design. Elegant and imaginative breakfast bars, cupboards and storage units in aluminium and tempered glass finishes create a classy backdrop for the individual lifestyle.


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The Darling bathroom range, created by Duravit in collaboration with designer Dieter Sieger, was unveiled in 1994. Its essential philosophy of “plenty of design for little money” soon made it “everybody’s darling” – a status it retains a generation later. Duravit revisits the range together with Sieger’s sons, which now includes a total of 52 furniture items, 25 ceramic models and 12 bathtub models. Its focal point is its exquisite LED-lit rim, which is featured throughout. Vibrant and stylish yet hardwearing, all the furniture is coated with textured varnish for scratch resistance.



Zucchetti captures the essence of everyday living with a collection of super stylish ceiling and wall-mounted showerheads designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba. The collection – with its simple form, essential lines and finishes in different colours – melds well in any setting. Precisely controlled water flow, soft forms, sleek geometry and great versatility provide muchneeded relaxation and rejuvenation. The pure lines of SUN by Zucchetti.Kos R&D are mindful of functional ergonomics and adapt well in any bath ambience. This collection pays attention to details: the bathtub mixer is fitted with a coaxial diverter, so that simply pulling the flexible hose can operate the hand shower. It respects green values of reduced flow capacity and can be fitted with optional energy saving cartridges.

The new @home collection, Minimal Riad, introduces abstract patterns such as Ikat and Houndstooth across the homeware range. Embroidered details embellish scatter cushions, throws and linen adding a touch of softness while alphabet letters and strong graphics make an appearance on mugs and decorative accessories. Furniture is accented with studded detailing, brushed metals and high gloss.


Doing the dishes and rinsing veggies just got a lot more stylish. The new K7 line from GROHE for heavy-duty use and everyday practicality takes faucets for the domestic level to new grounds. It features a 360degree swivel spout spray, a rocker switch that enables change from the spray to the mousseur function with ease and proven GROHE SilkMove technology that ensures accurate water flow control. Choose between the StarLight Chrome or SuperSteel finishes to add that extra zing to your kitchen’s aesthetics. ID

June 2011



The spotlight falls on a spectacular new entrance portal planned for the Swedish capital of Stockholm, a state-of-the-art library in Kaohsiung designed by Mecanoo and a head-turning two-tower development in Kolkata linked by a three-storey bridge. TEXT: STEVE HILL

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Hugging a sloping site overlooking Aberdeen Harbour, the Canadian International School provides teaching facilities for 1,250 primary and secondary school students. Designed by the P & T Group, it is organised along an airy central circulation spine of open staircases and terraces which cascade down the hillside. The pitched roof of the central spine is supported by a series of 10m-wide cedar trusses imported from Canada. The library, canteen and administrative offices are located on one side of the spine, while three tiers of classrooms each with their own playgrounds are formed on the other. Below the classrooms are the car park, bus drop off, gymnasia and swimming pool.

Kaohsiung’s new 38,000-square-metre public library, designed by Dutch architectural company Mecanoo, is a state-of-the-art multimedia research, study and entertainment space that allows for maximum flexibility. Described as a “monumental green cube”, shops are located on the lower ground floor and make the library a modern destination for the city’s citizens and visitors. It also features a theatre complex with reading rooms, conference facilities, book store, exhibition space, open air theatre, underground parking, public plaza and outdoor space, sedum moss roof, parking garage, and library garden. The use of soft material for the ground allows water infiltration and collection to be reused for irrigation.


Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is to design a new headquarters for Vietnam’s national oil and gas company, creating a landmark development in Hanoi. The 79-storey structure will contain the company’s headquarters and a luxury hotel. The tower is hexagonal at the base and becomes triangular at the top. An adjacent 84,000sq/m podium is composed of curving forms and will include a petroleum museum, media centre, shops and a skating rink. At the opposite end of the podium will be a 47-storey residential tower with curved facades and a sloping top. Part of the podium roof will be clad in photovoltaic panels.


identity [interior/design/property]



An entrance portal to the Swedish capital at the intersection of a newly planned super junction is to be designed by the team of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) with Grontmij and Spacescape, who combined to win a master plan competition. Intersecting roads have been reconnected through a continuous circular bike and pedestrian loop aligned with public buildings and functions. And a focal point has been the design of a reflective, self-sustaining hovering sphere mirroring Stockholm. Some 30 per cent of the sphere’s surface is covered with Photovoltaic film that faces the sun and produces enough energy to keep it floating while supplying 235 houses in the neighbourhood with electricity.





Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) has won an international competition to design the University of Sydney’s new Faculty of Law and transform a key site into a powerful new gateway. The development is confidently modern, providing state-of-the-art workplace, study and learning environments, general teaching spaces, lecture theatres, library, retail, basement car parking and integrated public domain. Significant sustainable innovation has been incorporated into the design, including a double skin ventilated façade with occupant controlled timber louvres, to control solar gain and glare, mixed-mode, chilled-beam and displacement air-conditioning, precinct stormwater collection and an iconic light tower which fills below-grade spaces with an abundance of filtered, natural light.


BDP has won a competition to design the University of Strathclyde’s Dhs540 million Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), which will be the cornerstone of the new International Technological Renewable Energy Zone – a global economic hub bringing innovative businesses to Glasgow. The TIC will bring together 850 academics, researchers, engineers and project managers from the university and its leading industrial partners to work side by side in a stateof-the-art building in the heart of the city. BDP is lead designer in the Gardiner and Theobald-led project team, and it is anticipated that work on TIC will begin early in 2012 with completion expected in late 2013.

Vienna-based Coop Himmelb(l)au’s (CORRECT) first project in Albania will be a new parliamentary complex in the capital city of Tirana. The competition-winning design incorporates democratic values such as openness and transparency while the configuration of the building form and the optimisation of the building envelope together with the use of renewable energy sources reduce reliance on fossil fuel energy sources. The office building is covered with a second skin made of perforated steel that is configured to improve building performance related to optimum daylight use, views, solar control, glare protection, thermal insulation, natural ventilation and noise protection.

International engineering consultancy Web Structures has been recruited by West Bengal developer Forum Projects to design and build two 39-storey towers in Kolkata which will be linked by a three-storey bridge featuring a jogging track and swimming pool. Work on the city’s tallest skyscrapers is scheduled to begin early next year. The project will cover a total of 37,100sq/m and feature stylish villas. Kolkata is rated as a very high damage risk because of winds and cyclones while the city is also in an earthquake zone, hence particular attention is being paid to the engineering and construction of the structures.

June 2011



This month, id explores how creativity and innovation are best exploited and get a taste of Midde Eastern cuisine with a contemporary touch. TEXT: NUSRAT ALI








The future is yours to create. After all, a book cannot craft a business model, develop a new design or be innovative on your behalf. Rather than delivering sermons on how to be original, Creative Genius attempts to make a paradigm shift, to instigate the reader to take action. Inspired by the imagination and perspective of Da Vinci, Creative Genius is a compelling read. It includes practical tools such as scenario planning, context reframing and market entry, plus 50 tracks, 25 tools and 50 inspiring case studies to drive creativity, design and innovation in radical and powerful ways. Peter Fisk’s lucid writing gives riveting insights into the inspirational stories of the most pioneering and successful businesses of our time. Basic concepts of good design, modern marketing and the product development process are interwoven with interesting excerpts from history’s brightest and boldest. From Apple to BlackBerry and GE to Google, innovative companies stand out from the crowd for the way they challenge conventions, redefine markets and change consumer expectations. And Fisk provides business blueprints for making that innovation happen. A collection of ideas and stories about unlocking creative assets, the book describes itself as an “innovative guide, a genius lab and also an inspirational set of tools”. Creative Genius is "the best and last" in the Genius series by the best-selling author; others include Business Genius, Marketing Genius and Customer Genius.

Suzanne Husseini is anything but a newcomer on the culinary scene. After contributing to several prestigious publications, appearing at major food events as well as hosting one of the most popular Arabic cooking shows on TV, compiling a cookbook seemed the most natural next move. But this is not just any cookbook; it might as well be the ultimate guide to Middle Eastern cooking. Divided into five sections depicting breakfast, mezze, lunch, dinner and dessert, Suzanne whips up wholesome meals in minutes proving that great tasting food need not be tedious. According to the author, the books is a passionate attempt to showcase the diverse cuisine she grew up with; one that encompasses East Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle East. Recipes for traditional Arabic favourites like falafel, shawarma and stuffed vine leaves all are presented with a modern twist. With delectable appetisers like koftas with sour cherry sauce, grilled fish with date and rice pilaf or baby okra stew for mains and sweet endings of Umm Ali and the baked baklawa cheesecake, this collection will all make a professional Middle Eastern cook of an amateur in no time. Delightful, crisp shots by renowned food photographer Petrina Tinslay convince the reader to venture into the kitchen, step-by-step guidelines guarantee a successful result each time while a detailed glossary helps acquaint the reader with the unfamiliar.

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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 ·


Marilyn Monroe TEXT: STEVE HILL

Marilyn Monroe may have died almost 50 years ago, yet the troubled actress remains the quintessential Hollywood figure and an enduring icon. Arguably the most photographed woman of the 20th century, she appeared in only 30 movies, but thanks to her beauty and glamour – inextricably linked to a tragic vulnerability – is still as revered today with only Elvis and James Dean anywhere close in terms of appeal. The Authentic Brands Group is certainly convinced of her continuing popularity, after purchasing the star’s image rights for an estimated $30 million earlier this year. It’s only a matter of time before images of Monroe are used to sell clothes, jewellery, handbags and even fragrances thanks to the ongoing fascination with the starlet, who was born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles in 1926.


identity [interior/design/property]

Her metamorphosis into a screen star, complete with trend-setting clothes, platinum blonde hair and perfectly lacquered lipstick, has clearly inspired modern-day celebrities such as Madonna and Lady Gaga, who have similarly created and controlled their professional persona. And one of Monroe’s most revered images – involving a pavement ventilation system and a white dress – is still regularly recreated, after featuring in the movie The Seven Year Itch in 1955. Andy Warhol’s famous painting, made the year Monroe died, further added to her mystique and allure. She is the focus of an estimated 300 biographies, which trace every detail of a life that came to a premature end at the age of only 36. The iconic starlet is still setting trends, too, as can be seen by the popularity of a fashionable faux-mole piercing, known as ‘The Monroe’, which sits above the upper lip. ID

Identity | June 2011  

Identity | June 2011

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