Page 1

The Middle East’s interiors, design & property magazine


Power up: lighting technology for tomorrow Class act: Ralph Lauren’s enduring elegance Convention breaking: Frank Gehry true to form East meets East: Nada Debs’ contempo eloquence

® IssUE nInETysEVEn yEar EIghT OCTObEr 2011 a MOTIVaTE PUbLICaTIOn

dhs 15

Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority





THE LOOK OPEN HOUSE The look is sophisticated and the feeling, elevated. A place where straight lines and geometry take center stage. Where warm neutrals and indigo tables reflect the light in all its glory. Where open minds meet in an open house. Because the view should be great from both sides of the window.

BOLD BOLDSTATEMENT STATEMENT Originally Originally designed designed in 1964 in 1964 by by Maija Maija Isola Isola forfor Marimekko, Marimekko, Kaivo Kaivo (“well”) (“well”) was was inspired inspired by by thethe circular circular ripples ripples thatthat surfaced surfaced as as sheshe lowered lowered a bucket a bucket to fetch to fetch water water from from thethe well. well. TheThe concentric concentric design design of these of these linens linens is aismodern, a modern, rhythmic rhythmic reflection reflection of her of her memory. memory.

Mall Mall ofof thethe Emirates Emirates | Mirdif | Mirdif City City Centre Centre

N inNow in Qoaw ope Q taop n at r. e ar n . Visit us Visit at us Stand at Stand No. A9 No. / B17 A9 // B17 B18 /and B18A13, and A13, 5 - 8 October 5 - 8 October 2011,2011, DohaDoha Exhibition Exhibition Centre. Centre. Visit us Visit at Stand us at Stand No. 2A No. 101 2A/ 101 4A 168 / 4Aand 1687A and301 7A 301 22 - 25 22October - 25 October 2011,2011, DubaiDubai WorldWorld TradeTrade Centre. Centre.

Wall-to-Wall Wall-to-Wall Carpets Carpets • Hand-Made • Hand-Made & Machine-Made & Machine-Made Rugs Rugs • Vinyl • Vinyl Flooring Flooring • Wooden • Wooden & Laminated & Laminated Flooring Flooring

Carpetland Carpetland takes takes flooring flooring solutions solutions to new to new heights. heights. With With a portfolio a portfolio of internationally of internationally renowned renowned brands, brands, professionals professionals confidently confidently relyrely on on ourour expert expert team team to deliver to deliver thethe highest highest standards standards in design in design andand installation installation services. services.

Toll Free Toll Free 800 CARPETS, 800 CARPETS, Pyramid Pyramid Centre, Centre, Dubai, Dubai, Tel. +971 Tel. +971 4 3374 7677. 337 7677. Carpetland Carpetland Br. L.L.C., Br. L.L.C., Ground Ground floor,floor, Village Village Mall, Mall, Jumeirah. Jumeirah. Tel. +971 Tel. +971 4 3444 0646. 344 0646. Abu Abu DhabiDhabi Tel. +971 Tel. +971 2 6772 7800, 677 7800, Kuwait Kuwait Tel. +965 Tel. +965 2 4922 0002, 492 0002, Qatar, Qatar, SalwaSalwa RoadRoad DohaDoha Tel. +974 Tel. +974 4 4214 7941. 421 7941. Dubai Dubai showroom showroom timings: timings: Saturday Saturday to Thursday to Thursday 9am 9am to 9pm to 9pm and closed and closed on Fridays. on Fridays.

Selva Middle East L.L.C. Sheikh Zayed Road, 4th interchange, Dubai

Tel. +971 4 3411933

Fax +971 4 3411799

Foto: Studio Marcato - Italy


Home Design Store, Mall of Emirates,1st Floor, Shop F8, Dubai

HOME IS WHERE MY GROHE SPA™ IS Transform your bathroom into a haven of relaxation with GROHE SPATM luxury fittings.





Cover photography: LED is more by Davide Groppi




SLED sOFa by CassINa




28 We love Paris in the fall

60 Unique vision

Must-see highlights from Maison & Objet and the inaugural edition of Paris Design Week.

Frank Gehry’s world domination continues with cutting-edge projects across the globe.

34 Sustainable excellence

68 A world of difference

Discover green efforts being undertaken in the worlds of sport, academia, transport and more.

How Nada Debs’ Middle Eastern roots and Far Eastern aesthetic find harmony.

38 It’s a charmed life Ralph Lauren’s design philosophy translates to old world glamour in our homes.

October 2011





design Formula


issue 97 EDItOR-IN-CHIEF

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer GROuP EDItOR & MaNaGING PaRtNER

Ian Fairservice GROuP sENIOR EDItOR

Gina Johnson | GROuP EDItOR

Catherine Belbin |


Samia Qaiyum | CHIEF sub-EDItOR


Iain Smith |

Flick the switch sleek designs, green technology and customised shapes are just some of the trends seen in lighting today. identity reviews the best on show at the 26th edition of Euroluce.

EDItORIaL assIstaNt

Belinda Igaya | sENIOR DEsIGNER

Michelle Liu | sENIOR MaNaGER – PRODuCtION

S Sunil Kumar | MaNaGER – PRODuCtION

C Sudhakar | GENERaL MaNaGER – GROuP saLEs


Anthony Milne | GROuP aDvERtIsEMENt MaNaGER

Seema Kausar | aDvERtIsEMENt MaNaGER

Shweta Praful | sENIOR saLEs ExECutIvE yOOIstaNbuL, sHOW suItE, RECEPtION

Atiya Naseer | GENERaL MaNaGER – abu DHabI

Joe Marritt | sENIOR aDvERtIsEMENt MaNaGER – abu DHabI

Darryl Wiley | sENIOR saLEs ExECutIvE – abu DHabI

Hamdan Bawazir | CONtRIbutORs:

Caroline Allen | Surajit Dutta | Steve Hill | Jade Jagger | Joanne Molina | Ruby Rogers | Richard Warren


id Property + the booming bosphorus + Indelible visions + Master and commander + the lure of the local + antennae

Motivate Publishing FZ LLC Office 508, 5th Floor, building 8 Dubai Media City, united arab Emirates tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845


27 66 99 110 112 114

Head Office: PO box 2331, Dubai, united arab Emirates tel: +971 4 282 4060, Fax: +971 4 282 4436, E-mail: Abu Dhabi: PO box 43072 united arab Emirates tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, E-mail: London: acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER united Kingdom E-mail:

idEnTiTy next issue nOVeMber 2011

+ Haute kitchen recipes

Printed by emirates Printing Press, dubai

IcEbErg by DODO aRIsaN FOR tERzaNI

Website: Member of

Editorial Subscription Forum Antennae Books Icon

+ britania's design rules + Celebrating aati's big 3-O + aqua games with Paul Flowers + On the curve with Olga Polizzi + and much, much more… all prices quoted in identity are correct at the time of going to press.

October 2011



Here and now

Clockwise from top: Murat and Melkan Tabanlioglu; Olga Polizzi and Jade Jagger

photography: vikram gawde

The design season is now well and truly in full swing, despite the cancellation of millions of dirhams worth of new projects across the region. dubai’s Cityscape greeted a wave of overseas visitors as well as leading architects, including murat and melkan tabanlioglu – the multiple award-winning turkish architects who spoke during the world architecture Congress. meanwhile, olga polizzi – interior designer of the new rocco Forte hotel abu dhabi – visited the capital recently to track the progress of the luxury hotel brand’s flagship middle east property, set to open later this year. it’s expected that in another 10 years, almost a third of dubai’s residents will commute by metro. Last year, some 332 million passengers used the red Line, so the recent opening of the 18-station, 23-kilometre green Line was well received. at 75 kilometres, dubai metro is the longest automated rail system in the world – another welcome entry into the guinness Book of records for the emirate. two further lines will be added at a later date in tandem with the city’s growth. meanwhile in the capital, construction of the Uae’s first railway is expected to start before the end of the year. the 1,200-kilometre, dhs40 billion etihad railway is expected to be completed by 2014. the second phase will link abu dhabi with Jebel ali, while the third phase will see the track stretch to the northern emirates. the network has been conceived to transport 50 million tonnes of cargo and 18 million passengers annually. initially, it will focus on the transport of industrial materials, steel, concrete and petrochemicals. there is much ado about the proposed dhs605 million, 15-hectare waterpark in abu dhabi, just a splash from Ferrari world on yas island. Uae-based company alec has been awarded the contract by aldar to build the park, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Jade Jagger – yoo’s Creative director and flamboyant daughter of rock icon mick Jagger – joins the identity team from this issue. every other month, Jade will be sharing her design views with us, starting with the indian influences on her interiors. the final arrangements are still being made for the upcoming Festival of interior design, driven by the apid team in dubai in collaboration with iNdeX. Quite a few high profile speakers are expected to participate – including eames demetrios, grandson of the renowned design duo Charles and ray eames. demetrios will talk about ‘what makes things timeless?’ a number of stylish new after-hours venues, including the new embassy Club in the grosvenor house tower two in dubai marina and Chameleon Club at Byblos hotel in tecom, have opened in time for the Uae’s design events. Both iNdeX and the Festival of interior design kick off on october 22, during which we look forward to welcoming you at the identity stand (hall 6, C-31) where the identity team will be raffling design products and more…

Group Editor Catherine Belbin

October 2011



identity [interior/design/property]


We love Paris in the fall Maison & Objet is not the only reason to visit the French capital in September. identity brings you the highlights of the first Paris Design Week. text: Ruby RogeRs

While London, Milan, Tokyo and Moscow regularly host a design week, Paris had not followed in their footsteps until now. Cue Paris Design Week, making its much-anticipated debut from September 12-18. France not only boasts a number of top-ranking designers, past and present, but its capital city is a hot-house of creative talent, attracting 8,000 international designers and creative businesses. Running in conjunction with Paris Design Week was Maison & Objet, the biannual international trade show that always serves up an interesting mix of exhibitors. This year was no exception. Sharp contemporary design rubbed shoulders with everything from classic arts and craft to ethnic-inspired pieces (not to mention several taxidermists). With just three days to enjoy the highlights of Maison & Objet as well as the fruits of the first Paris Design Week, identity flew into Charles de Gaulle Airport armed with flat shoes and high expectations!

Kettal presents its Vieques collection of pieces for the living and dining room by Patricia Urquiola.

October 2011



Clockwise from top left: Palais Royal Set, Harcourt collection by Baccarat; Basket sofa by cappellini; Spirogira wire basket by Alessi; Vela chair by Vondom; Marc Chagall Collection for Bernardaud.

MaiSOn & Objet

Day one in Paris was spent perusing the impressive number of stands comprising Maison & Objet. Pockets of interest included Kettal’s new collection for the living and dining room by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. Of particular interest was her use of a high-performing three-dimensional fabric called Nido d’Ape (two years in the making and created exclusively for Kettal). Standout pieces from the collection include Urquiola’s modern twist on a traditional rocking chair, which proved to be as comfortable as it looked. Excellent outdoor offerings included Vondom’s new hardwearing Vela collection, designed by renowned Spanish architect Ramón Esteve and produced using low density polyethylene, a 100 per cent recyclable material that can withstand extreme weather conditions ranging from -60C to 80C. The signature feature of the Vela collection is its gently sloping base; consequently each piece appears to hover majestically above the ground (an effect that is further enhanced when illuminated by a hidden light source). Turkish label Stepevi led the way in fashion underfoot by collaborating with Austrian design team Pudelskern to create a collection of one-off exclusive rugs made from 100 per cent wool and featuring semi-felted surfaces and slightly irregular edges for a wonderfully time-worn aesthetic. The collaboration resulted in two designs: Patina is inspired by the cracks of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (1485) and features six different tones of the same colour to reflect time and the effects of age. The edges of the rug are blurred to strengthen Patina’s used look. Fragment is a nod to the fragile patinas of antique historical objects – similarly it is made up of varying shades of one colour, enhancing its precious and aged look. Fragment was our favourite owing to oversized classical patterns lending a sense of faded grandeur to the piece. Never one to rest on her laurels, Kelly Hoppen returned to Maison & Object with a clutch of new designs in collaboration with global brand Halo. Inspired by her penchant for vintage style and iconic designs, new recruits include the Kelly Swivel Chair – a 1970s inspired leather armchair in her signature colour taupe – and the Wire Chair, a deep sitting fabric chair embraced by a smart metal frame. Adding a healthy dose of drama is the aptly named Tear-Shape Console conceived in rich dark wood and glinting steel.


identity [interior/design/property]

“The new additions to the collection really are my star pieces for the home,” Hoppen says. “They are all based on vintage ideas, either from items that I have been inspired by or items that I have in my own collection. There is a hint of a baroque minimalism with a continuation of my east meets west ethos, which extends the possibility customers to create harmonious interiors within their home using individual or several stylish pieces or even the collection as a whole.” Hoppen wasn’t the only star of the Halo stand. Hong Kong-based designer Michael Yeung introduced his new, avant garde collection of pieces for the living room. Previously mentored by Halo’s founder, Timothy Oulton, Yeung draws inspiration from the automation and aviation industries, producing bold fluid forms that are comparable to sculptural art. “When I design, I envisage how the light will hit the piece of furniture and how the shadow of the product will be cast in the room,” he explains. “Each piece doesn’t just look visually outstanding and distinctive, it also needs to be comfortable when you sit or lay on it.” Faithful to his methodology, each piece in the Michael Yeung collection is crafted from high quality materials such as graphite leather, stainless steel, black steel, carbon leather and aluminium, and designed to be visually appealing from every angle.


Clockwise from top left: Fragment and Patina rugs by Stepevi; Menace Desk by Michael Yeung; Wire chair by Kelly Hoppen.

Rich PickingS

Day two and identity hit Paris Design Week, heading east to the Bastille where leading French label Ligne Roset celebrated its rich history with the revival of historic pieces as well as recent innovations by leading lights such as Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Jean Nouvel, Inga Sempe and Philippe Nigro. New talents were also on show, including the poetic Shadow cabinet by young Swedish designer Jessica Hansson and the cocoon-like Rewrite desk by Italian-Danish design duo Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi. While in the area we dropped by the wonderfully minimalist Hi Matic hotel, where Paris-based designer matali crasset was showing her new, multifunctional Double Side chair for Italian brand Danese. The genius of Double Side is its functionality whereby the seat back flips down to create a flat work surface. For lunch we stopped by Mama Shelter, a boutique hotel designed by Philippe Starck that is located in the 20th arrondissment, a stone’s throw from the sprawling Père Lachaise cemetery where the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Oscar Wilde are buried. In true Starck style, Mama Shelter is quirky. We discovered raw concrete walls, glass cabinets filled with curious objects, carpets scrawled with messages and gold eagle statuettes.


identity [interior/design/property]

Next stop: Champs Elysee and Etoile, where French favourite Baccarat was celebrating the 170th anniversary of its iconic Harcourt stemware at its dazzling headquarters. First issued in 1841 during the reign of King Louis- Philippe, Harcourt is still manufactured to the same exacting standards and continues to grace the world’s most exclusive dinner tables. From here we caught the metro to Opera, where Italian label Alessi was delighting visitors with its line-up of new designs. In the spotlight was Sir Terence Conran’s stainless steel Nice bowl, typical of his legendary reputation for simple, accessible design. The first products from Patricia Urquiola’s new Spirogira series were also on show; expertly crafted from steel wire (the fruit basket gets our vote). We finished the day with a quick stop at luxury French brand Bernardaud – and it was well worth the visit. Bernardaud has been granted the right by The Chagall Committee to reproduce a select series of drawings by Marc Chagall on porcelain plates, platters, bowls and mugs. The charming drawings feature themes that Chagall cherished such as animals and flowers as well as sketches destined for the ceiling of the Opera Garnier in Paris. the Final cut

Day three started in Saint Germain, where Cappellini’s crimson coloured Paris store was celebrating its one-year anniversary. On show were a number of its latest innovations, ranging from Nendo’s curvaceous Sekitei chair to the new system of Burkina Faso microcontainers by Giulio Cappellini. identity loved the Cuba 25 by Rodolfo Dordoni and Basket by the Bouroullec brothers, offering two contrasting interpretations of the sofa. Our next stop was Cassina, showcasing its new outdoor collection comprising iconic designs by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand. Each piece has been carefully updated to make it suitable for all weather conditions. Indoor solutions included Piero Lissoni’s modular Moov sofa and Rodolfo Dordini’s low-slung Sled sofa, recalling American design of the Sixties. Before lunch we were keen to relive Poltrona Frau’s new launches from Milan such as Fred, an elegant leather desk for the home office designed by Roberto Lazzeroni. We also had time to visit luxury bathroom producer Devon & Devon. Eye-catching pieces included the old fashioned glamour of the Audrey vanity in luxurious black lacquered wood with a pure white border. Our final stop was De Padova, showcasing its low key Shadow table, which was launched in Milan earlier this year. Designed by Vincent Van Duysen, it is conceived of clean, simple lines – a perfect fit for De Padova’s understated collection. ID


Mood design S. Barsacchi

Kitchen Designs Llc P.O.BOX 81553 Salahudeen Road Deira - Dubai Tel. 971 - 4 2691003 For trade only:

Pls. download our general catalog from

Scavolini S.p.A. 61025 Montelabbate (PU) - Italy Tel. +39 0721443333 Fax: +39 0721443413

For the carcase of the kitchens Scavolini uses only Idroleb: a water repellent V100 panel with the lowest formaldehyde emission, lower than specified on the Japanese standards F**** (4 stars).

System of Quality Management UNI EN ISO 9001

Discover Scavolini’s commitment for a cleaner world on

System of Health & Safety Management OHSAS 18001

System of Environmental Management UNI EN ISO 14001

The “best seller” from Italy

Sustainable excellence One of the most advanced sustainable commercial buildings in China, the largest solar photovoltaic installation in Australia and concept designs for a football stadium that could be floated to various cities around the world make this month’s eco headlines. text: steve hill


Tian Fang will be one of the most advanced sustainable commercial buildings in China when completed in 2013, according to Kevin Kennon Architects, which has designed this 90,000square-metre mixed-use commercial building for Eco-City in Tianjin. An estimated 20 per cent of the 200-metre office tower and luxury shopping centre’s clean energy will be generated on site through a combination of hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels and wind turbines while simultaneously conserving nearly 20 per cent of the energy used. The project is distinctive for its innovative design strategies, with special attention paid to the building’s relationship to its site and day lighting. It also incorporates algorithms that mimic the form and growth of bamboo forests. Solar and wind studies influenced the site orientation and building massing, with approximately 50 atriums allowing green space and natural light to infiltrate the building. The principal strategy behind this advanced Biophilic design is to utilise natural convection to heat and cool the building with filtered fresh air. The design of Tian Fang is based on a 14 square metres x 14 square metres module. A typical office building has four corners, but Tian Fang has 18, providing prime real estate in corner offices. The layout of the luxury retail – with international and Chinese cuisine on the top floor – also follows this module and is composed of 17 14m x 14m volumes which rise to become a series of distinctive angled roofs shaped at various orientations to the sun providing solar power. “This project is the culmination of years of thinking about tall building design combining environmental strategies and adaptive innovation to create signature architecture. Considering pollution is a foremost challenge in this rapidly industrialised nation, the goal of this particular project is to act as a catalyst for green design in China,” Kevin Kennon, the president and design principal of Kevin Kennon Architects, said.


identity [interior/design/property]



October 2011 March 2009



Clockwise from top: Artist’s rendering of Floating Offshore Stadium in Qatar; the electric Opel/Vauxhall Ampera; stackable vintage Dutch factory crates by Bubbledrum


german architects stadiumconcept is developing an ambitious Floating Offshore Stadium for the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar. The 65,000-seat venue could be shipped to another seaside venue thanks to its global mobility and serve another tournament, maximising long-term investment and providing better value than constructing stadia that are sometimes built for a major event but which do not have an economic second use. Engineers are working on designing a seawater-supported cooling system for the stadium as well as an independent energy supply through the use of highly efficient diesel engines, roof-integrated solar power surfaces and mobile on or off-shore wind power generators, which would further underline its carbon-free credentials. It is envisaged that a skysail, in addition to push or towboats, would assist the transfer of a venue which could easily be adapted to host other sports, rock concerts or other public event. tAKING CHARGe

The eagerly awaited opel/vauxhall Ampera – an electrically driven car suitable for everyday driving with the potential to be emissions free – is to be introduced as a rental car throughout Europe by Europcar. The first vehicles are due to be deployed in germany next month, followed by Belgium and holland before being rolled out throughout France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Britain from the start of next year. The Ampera is unique because its wheels are electrically driven at all times. A 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds an advanced, 111 kW/150 hp electric drive unit to deliver between 40 and 80 km of pure electric operation with zero emissions – depending on driving conditions – when fully charged If the four-seater Ampera is driven exclusively in battery mode, it uses no fuel and produces no emissions. For longer stretches, a petrol engine powers a generator that supplies the necessary electricity.


identity [interior/design/property]

This continuous energy supply makes distances of over 500 kilometres possible, without stopping to charge for hours, and relieves the driver of concerns about being stranded with a flat battery. It has a top speed of 161km/h. It takes less than four hours to fully recharge the battery using a boot-stored charging cable. BANGING tHe DRUM

Bubbledrum is a london-based online shop that is passionate about interiors and design… and reusing, recreating and upcycling. Its store has five sections: furniture, lighting, accessories, garden and storage, and features solutions salvaged from factories, schools and a range of industrial settings. vintage boxes from a former textile factory, for example, are extremely rigid and strong, making them perfect for home storage use or laundry baskets. And small stackable storage boxes from a dutch factory bring a touch of industrial chic to a home.



The largest solar photovoltaic installation in Australia was recently completed at the university of Queensland’s St lucia campus. The 1.22 megawatt array is almost 25 per cent larger than any other rooftop system in Australia, with more than 5,000 panels installed across two multi-storey car parks and two other buildings under the dhs30 million project, which will annually generate six per cent of the university’s power requirements, or enough electricity to power 250 homes. The installation also saves around 1,750 tonnes annually in greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 335 cars off the road each year. during the design stage, a full shading analysis of the campus was undertaken and each building individually ranked. Further engineering studies were undertaken on the higher-ranked buildings to determine the roof strengthening required to hold the weight of the panels and space for associated equipment such as inverters. Separate to the rooftop panels, the university also installed a ground-mounted, seven-metre-by-six metre 8.4 kilowatt concentrating photovoltaic array that follows the sun each day as it moves across the sky. Ingenero donated this array to allow uQ researchers to undertake detailed comparisons with a different type of solar technology. DeSIGNS WItH SOLe

melbourne-based design company ruBA was so concerned about the number of car tyres and shoe soles ending up in landfill sites that designers Sonia Attard and lisa vincitorio found a wide range of ways to recycle these nonbiodegradable products. The company states that it wanted “to create something that really gave these tyres a second life in an application that you would not first think of. We wanted to design something with substance behind it.”

Clockwise from top left: the solar photovoltaic installation at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus; recycled tyre placemats by RUBA; recycled cement washbag by Maison Bengal

diamond-shaped and moroccan-styled placemats, coasters and mouse pads are amongst items now available through State of green, an online retailer that showcases modern lifestyle products which are sensitive to the environment. Placemats and coasters are waterproof, heat resistant, dishwasher safe and non-slip. In the future, ruBA is planning to explore the use of this unique material in a furniture application. And it has advice for consumers around the world: “Almost everything can have a second life, it just needs to be discovered.” WASHING UP

maison Bengal is a British-based fair trade company set up in 2004 that works with non-governmental organisations and artisan co-operatives in Bangladesh, designing and selling a range of products that includes bags made from discarded cement sacks. Its cement washbag is perfect for eco-travellers, while also popular are the firm’s jumbo storage, shoulder and travel bags featuring the same unique recycled material. All of its products are handmade and blend traditional artisanal skills with contemporary designs and the use of natural materials such as cane, grass, jute, terracotta and leather while any dyes used are free of harmful chemicals. iD

October 2011


It’s a charmed life 38

identity [interior/design/property]

Whether you know him as a fashion mogul, cultural icon or prominent philanthropist, Ralph Lauren continues to cultivate the American dream into a global lifestyle with home collections that transcend trends in favour of timeless sophistication. text: samia qaiyum


Top: The living room features club chairs in Bradford Check, a cocktail table, an octagonal end table and accents of silver. Bottom: Walls upholstered in Lancashire Glen Plaid provide the backdrop for an Empire Revival-inspired dresser and tufted bed in the bedroom.

Not every man can pair wide, vibrantly coloured neckties with a lot of determination to create a $10 billion empire that spans the globe... but then again, not every man is Ralph Lauren. After over four decades in the business, the notoriously private father of American fashion remains synonymous with high taste, timeless style … and of course the polo player emblazoned across countless shirts hanging in wardrobes throughout the world. In 1983, Lauren became the first American clothing designer to launch an all-encompassing collection for the home, presenting furnishings that possess enduring style and exquisite craftsmanship. And like his clothing designs, his homewares are completely detached from today’s passing trends. Instead, he acquaints us with a lifestyle that was elegant yesterday, is current today and will stand the test of time tomorrow. What’s more, his take on an aspirational life somehow feels attainable. As Lauren stated: “Everything I design influences and feeds off one other. Home was becoming more of a focal point. People weren’t only interested in clothes; they were interested in their homes. I don’t think in terms of making a new set of sheets or a new jacket, but of where this woman lives, what she might do on the weekend, where she’ll go and who she’ll be with. I see the whole picture. In my mind, I create a world based around the character and a theme connects everything I do.” By melding his image of Americana classic with a dash of European civility, Lauren unites old world glamour with the new to create the unique identity that is linked with the Ralph Lauren brand. The visionary tastemaker once said: “There is a way of living that has a certain grace and beauty. It is not a constant race for what is next, rather, an appreciation of that which has come before. There is a depth and quality of experience that is lived and felt, a recognition of what is truly meaningful. These are the feelings I would like my work to inspire. This is the quality of life that I believe in.” Regardless of how you define your aesthetic, Ralph Lauren Home has something for every interior. Offerings range from luxury linens and beach towels to decorative accessories like lamps and accent

October 2011


From left: Decorative accessories from the Classics collection complement Brook Street furniture; wall art by Ralph Lauren Home

pillows, keepsake silverware and china as well as window hardware, furniture, fabric, trimmings, wallpaper and even paint. Season after season, the finest materials are carefully selected to evoke the mood for a particular collection in the best way possible. Inspiration is drawn from far and wide: English country estates, the earthy tones and textures of the desert, the spirit of adventure embodied in safari, the relaxed romance of seaside living, the faded florals and classic ticking stripes of American country or the urbane aesthetic of a city loft. Over the years, each Ralph Lauren Home collection has been impeccably designed, reflecting the fashion mogul’s lifestyle and creative vision of how modern people should live. the eteRnAL bAcheLoR

For those gravitating to polished spaces with dark tones and an element of masculinity, the Brook Street collection is one that exudes sultry sophistication… and may give you the impulse to paint all your walls black. Named after the


identity [interior/design/property]

historic street in London, the collection blends Savile Row-esque luxury with the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age to create the ultimate in refinement. A moody palette of black, white and smoky grey is offset with flashes of bright silver and crystal. Subtle touches of whimsy are speckled throughout, such as the hand-carved paws feet seen on a classic, 1940s-inspired guéridon. Throw in some luxurious textures and faux alligator-embossed detailing, and you’re left with full-of-character elements to transform your living space into a mature – and most importantly – functional interior. Furniture pieces such as the cocktail, octagonal end and dining tables are awash in rich mahogany wood, while the bookcase, desk and chests are finished in piano black. The sitting room features a classic Chesterfield sofa done in black leather and accented with silk pillows and a shearling throw blanket, as well as Art Deco-inspired club chairs with inverted scrolled arms. Recalling the vintage charm of a luxury ocean liner is the dining room, equipped with chic tabletop items from the Classics collection. The bedroom introduces elements of haberdashery in the form of satin shams, monogrammed pillows and a silk dot throw blanket atop a mahogany


The dining table draws inspiration from an ocean liner while white roses, tapered candles and crystal offset the masculinity of the dining room.

bed with tufted upholstery and a nailhead trim. A favourite of many, the chest is a modern interpretation of an Empire Revival dresser, with faux crocodile drawer fronts feminised by antiqued silver garland pulls and escutcheons.

Ralph Lauren F/W 2011

Fit FoR RoyALty

But why rely purely on accents of femininity when you can savour an entire collection that’s just for the girls? Ralph Lauren’s shifting takes on gentry never fail to surprise, and one glance at the ravishing Heiress collection would make you think Jackie O designed it herself. By blending elements of luxe refinement and bohemian romance with a sense of history, this collection is pure glamour.

Silky fabrics and luxurious upholstery in beige, browns, dusky pinks and faded greys paired with rich mahoganies give the collection a regal yet feminine feel. This is occasionally offset by strong, masculine pieces like the George III-style bookcase and Edwardian, tufted ottoman. Staying true to form, plaids and tweeds have also been peppered throughout for a masculine flair. Eclectic, gently dishevelled furnishings like the bombé-style chest of drawers with Chinoiserie motifs or the Etruscan-style George IV console featuring nautical, flora and fauna motifs are perfect for adding a touch of the unexpected to a less formal setting. The Heiress and Brook Street collections from Ralph Lauren Home are available at Bloomingdale’s Home Dubai in conjunction with the New York, New York campaign, which will take place until November 12 to usher in the Fall/Winter 2011 collections. iD

October 2011



SOLICO TRADING CO. LLC Dubai 04 8804441 Abu Dhabi 02 6226441 e.mail.

Flick the switch Turn on to the latest looks and technology influencing cutting-edge lighting design. TexT: Ruby RogeRs

Contents: 44 Looking back 46 Driving forward 46 Barely there 48 Heaven sent 50 Bright spark 50 Sustainable solutions 52 Fun factor 54 Hidden depths 55 Set to sparkle 56 Tomorrow’s world

Design f

Lighting | Design formuLa



a L u

Beehive table lamp by Werner Aisslinger for Foscarini

October 2011


Design formuLa | Lighting

Clockwise from top left: Denq lamp by Toshiyuki Kita for Oluce; Lampe de Marseille by Le Corbusier for Nemo – Cassina; Grasshopper floor lamp by Greta Magnusson-Grossman for Gubi

“All roads lead to Milan,” say Mariel Brown and Karen Rosenkranz, the hard-working trends team at Seymourpowell. “Milan is both geographically and aesthetically the centre of the emerging design universe. The cultural zeitgeist forms here first. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Salone del Mobile and we were keen to explore the broader relationships between cutting-edge design and the cultural trends that surround them.” They were not alone. Design lovers flocked in their thousands to this year’s Salone del Mobile in February, which welcomed the return of Euroluce, the bi-annual international lighting exhibition that strives – and consistently succeeds – to bring the big hitters of the lighting industry under one roof. In 2009, Euroluce was dominated by discussions about the new EU legislation to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs from September of that year. Two years on, lighting manufacturers have faced their fears and updated many of their catalogue pieces to create new designs according to the latest lighting directives. identity takes a closer look at some of the most innovating designs on show.


identity [interior/design/property]

Looking Back

A sense of nostalgia was palpable at Euroluce, where a number of manufacturers resurrected classic designs. Danish manufacturer Gubi reissued Greta Magnusson-Grossman’s 1947 Grasshopper lamp, popular in 1940s owing to the pure simplicity of its tubular steel tripod stand supporting an elongated aluminium conical shade. Cassina’s lighting brand Nemo resurrected designs by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. Corbusier’s highly functional Lampe de Marseille from 1954 takes its cue from the industrial lighting of its time, while Perriand’s practical 1962 Applique à Volet Pivotant wall lamp features a pivoting screen that directs the light according to the user’s need. Classic designs of yesteryear were complemented by classic designs of tomorrow. Toshiyuki Kita’s Denq lamp for Oluce is a simple, almost sculptural design that is intentionally timeless and detached from current fashion trends (a prerequisite for future classic designs). Ones to watch also include FontanaArte’s monolithic Building floor lamp by Italian designer Marco Acerbis, which is created

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

Design formuLa | Lighting

using two curved sheets of white glass, kept together by two vertical mirror-finished extruded plates and is instantly arresting. A number of designers paid tribute to the impending demise of the incandescent light bulb. Led is more by Italian label Davide Groppi adopts the form of the classic bulb but uses an energy saving LED. Elsewhere British company Minimalux launched the Bulb table lamp, which pays homage to the shape and materiality of the incandescent light bulb but comes equipped with a highly efficient, compact fluorescent light source providing 10,000 hours of life. Driving ForwarD

From top: Match by Jordi Vilardell and Meritxell Vidal, Link by Ramón Esteve, both for Vibia

A growing number of lighting designs are fuelled by the trend for personalisation and can be made to customised sizes and shapes. Among them is Synapse by Luceplan, the latest innovation by Argentinean designer Francisco Gomez Paz. The Synapse system comprises a series of polycarbonate “cells” which house programmable LED light sources, allowing its user to experiment with an infinite range of colours. An interlocking device makes it possible to create any number of personalised horizontal or vertical lighting configurations. Similarly Ramón Esteve’s Link lighting system for Spanish label Vibia consists of four modules in different sizes and heights which connect to one another to allow the creation of a lighting system that suits a specific space. When installed, the system requires only one electrical connection, and the light can be dimmed according to the user’s wish. Taking this idea of customisation one step further is Match, a series of hanging lamps designed by Jordi Vilardell and Meritxell Vidal, also for Vibia. Thanks to online software, users can supply details of the spaces they want to light and immediately see a multitude of variations of the product in 3-D, especially adapted to each space. Users can then choose the one that suits their space and taste. BareLy THere

Understated design is here to stay and Euroluce witnessed an influx of fixtures that become almost invisible when switched off. Roberto Paoli’s Cuma wall lamp for Artemide is one such design, a simple diecast aluminium structure with an injection-moulded thermoplastic diffuser. “To design a form that is not in fact a form but is a garment for light, I had to resort to pure geometry: two planes that meet in space, draw a line and nothing else,” Paoli explains. The masters of simple, poetic design were also out in force. Japanese designer Teruhiro Yanagihara used two metallic discs, folded in a seemingly arbitrary manner, to create his new Chords pendant lamp for Pallucco. The fold is carefully calculated to give the design an interesting asymmetric form.


identity [interior/design/property]

Synapse by Francisco Gomez Paz for Luceplan

October 2011


Design formuLa | Lighting

Equally interesting was the Hanoi table lamp by Prandina – where what at first seems a simple design is, on closer inspection, surprisingly complex. Hanoi starts life as a single sheet of white PMMA but becomes a 3-D shape thanks to a delicate folding process. The upshot is a graceful table lamp supplying a soft and gentle light. Even designers who have garnered a reputation for bold designs surprised visitors with their capability for simplicity. Egyptian designer Karim Rashid – renowned for his love of loud design – created Halo for Artemide, a ring-shaped diffuser in silicone rubber supported by a slim base. So simple and yet so very effective. Heaven SenT

Layering was a leading look at Euroluce 2011. Take Japanese design studio Nendo, which launched a suspension lamp called Maki for Italian manufacturer Foscarini. It is made by rolling together two steel sheets to create a cone-shaped light with overlapping layers. Soft light escapes through the cracks between the sheets, supplementing the stronger beam of light emitting from the mouth of the pendant. identity fell in love with Carmen by Héctor Serrano for FonteArte, created using a series of metal discs. When switched on, light gently spills through the different layers, creating an interesting contrast between light and shadow. “The first time that Carmen came to my mind was while watching the film Kingdom of Heaven directed by Ridley Scott,” designer Hector Serrano explains. “One of the main characters, Saladin, was wearing beautiful armour made of a multitude of metal disks that created an intriguing and beautiful pattern that captured my imagination. “The next day I drew very quickly what was the first sketch of the light,” he continues. “One main thing changed from the armour to the lamp: the interest of the light filtering through the different disks to create a more dramatic effect of light and shadow. Once in the studio, we start working on the computer to build a 3-D modelling until a seductive and attractive image of the light was achieved.” A similar effect is achieved by Werner Aisslinger’s debut design for Foscarini (another favourite of ours). Named the Beehive table lamp, it is created using a sequence of rings of increasing diameter and set slightly apart. The outcome is a generous round form that commands attention even when switched off.

Clockwise from top: Chords by Teruhiro Yanagihara for Pallucco; Hanoi by Prandina; Halo by Karim Rashid Artemide


identity [interior/design/property]

SENSI TRADING L.L.C. | Office 502 Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 447 4634 | Fax: +971 4 447 4635 | Email: | Website:

From left: Carmen by Héctor Serrano for FontanaArte; Trap Gionata Gatto and Mike Thompson


BrigHT Spark

SuSTainaBLe SoLuTionS

“A couple of years ago, a lot of design was driven by technology and somehow became out of touch with the end user. However, the global financial crisis has forced many designers and manufacturers to reconsider the value of design,” Brown and Rosenkranz say. “We can now see the positive impact this rethink has had.” According to Brown and Rosenkranz, designers are returning to their traditional role as inventors by questioning the norm and producing products that offer small but essential improvements to everyday life. “We were excited to see so many designers responding to the need for adding a bit of magic to mundane tasks,” they say. “A lot of work on show wouldn’t draw much attention at first glance, but revealed surprising functionality once discovered.” This inventive spirit has resulted in new product typologies. Daniel Rybakken’s Counterbalance lamp is a wall-mounted light with a two-metre reach that blurs the boundaries between task and ambient light. “In a time where technological advances enable everyone to be a designer, it is expertise and true talent that stands out again,” Brown and Rosenkranz conclude. “It is becoming apparent that not everyone can create meaningful products for the demands of our modern world. Observation, a thorough understanding of process and craftsmanship, and a connection to the end user are more relevant that ever.” Both agree that Rybakken’s Counterbalance lamp ticks the necessary boxes.

Among Seymourpowell’s favourite trends is the “survivalists”, a nod to those among us who desire to live self-sufficiently, off the grid. “The global recession, concerns over fuel shortages and political unrest are contributing a feeling of unease and fuelling this trend,” Brown and Rosenkranz explain. “In Milan the design response to this trend was seen through the creation of products that encourage independence.” The survivalist trend is intrinsically ecological in nature. Thus, visitors to Milan witnessed many examples of designers exploring new uses for old waste. “We love Gionata Gatto and Mike Thompson’s Trap light,” Brown and Rosenkranz say. “Its emphasis is on creating less of a drain on the world’s resources and rethinking the way we approach life’s necessities.” In order to claim its green credentials, Trap is designed to use photoluminescence, a procedure in which energy is absorbed and gradually released as light. Using the Murano glass blowing technique, Gatto and Thompson were able to embed photoluminescent pigments into the glass body of the lamp. Through this process, Trap becomes both the shade and light source – emitting, absorbing and re-emitting light – and a 30-minute “charge” of recycled light from a traditional incandescent or LED light bulb provides up to eight hours of ambient lighting. As a reaction to the dominance of the modern digital era, Seymourpowell argues that people are looking for reassurances and comfort in the real world,

identity [interior/design/property]

Lighting | Design formuLa

From top: Counterbalance by Daniel Rybakken; Maki by Nendo for Foscarini

October 2011


Design formuLa | Lighting

Clockwise from top left: Mistral by Moooi; Mr Light by Javier Mariscal for Nemo – Cassina; Chrysalis by Marcel Wanders for Flos

which has led to a craving for tactility. “Qualities such as volume and materiality are more important than ever before,” they say. “These give a calming and grounded feel to our living environments.” The urge for well-being and sensorial nurturing are key characteristics of this trend, with designers exploring new ways to make our homes more connected to nature, imitating natural cycles of daylight and season. An excellent example is Moooi’s Mistral lamp, a fusion between lamp and ceiling fan that features different settings for summer or winter, depending on the temperature in the room. “It’s a simple idea to stimulate our senses,” Seymourpowell conclude. Fun FacTor

Lighting designers are channelling their inner child with the launch of playful designs that don’t take themselves too seriously. “Everyday objects or even pieces from childhood memories are transformed into functional lighting pieces,” explains Heloisa Righetto, interiors editor at WGSN- Homebuildlife – an online trend forecasting service for the interiors market. “Whimsical themes and icons of pop culture are also a huge inspiration.” Nemo – the cool lighting brand of Italian manufacturer Cassina – has recently launched Mr Light, a charming table lamp by Spanish designer Javier Mariscal that brings to mind a man politely doffing his hat. Mr Light’s “head” is the bulb and his metal hat is supported by an articulated arm that moves up and down, enabling the user to guide the light in different directions. “Designing the shadow” meanwhile, is shaping up to be an equally important trend, referencing the current fondness for cutting detailed patterns into shades to create a beautiful effect. “The focus is the shadow instead of the lamp itself,” Righetto explains. “Look out for elaborate constructions or simple geometric patterns.” A playful interpretation is Agatha Ruiz de la Prada’s Corazones floor lamp for Nemo (Cassina Lighting), featuring an embossed aluminium shade punctuated with heart shapes. There is also Marcel Wanders’s Chrysalis floor lamp for Flos, which echoes the shape of a large vase and projects pretty flowers onto the ceiling, creating a captivating play of reflections.


identity [interior/design/property]


WGSN witnessed a growth in sleek, minimalist lighting designs that hide the light source. “This creates a delicate but functional lighting effect,” Righetto says. The striking 2620 chandelier by Israeli designer Ron Gilad for Flos is a perfect example, featuring 2,620 tiny LEDs embedded in rings of light. Each ring is carefully positioned to create an illusion of movement and the resulting chandelier stole the show at Euroluce. British designer Paul Cocksedge joined forces with BMW and Flos to create an installation called Sestosenso – a celebration of light. Inspired by the new BMW 6-series – the first BMW with full LED headlights – Cocksedge created a series of large, conical-shaped lamps, designed to hide the source of illumination. “What I like about them is that they are voluminous shapes; they’re cones and usually a light bulb would be in the middle. But here it’s hidden away and comes from somewhere else,” Cocksedge says. “It’s the idea of being invisible, being deleted, not showing,” Futuristic design shows no sign of abating this year. A prime example is Axel Schmid’s Manifold lamp for Ingo Maurer, an anodised aluminium structure in black comprising five identical metal parts connected by flexible joints. Equally avant-garde is Odile Decq’s Javelot collection for Luceplan. Designs include a single tapered body in aluminium with conical satin-finished methacrylate tips that shed suggestive light from a sustainable LED source. Australian designer Brodie Neill jumped on the bandwagon with his Clover pendant for Kundalini; a dream-like moulded polyurethane sculpture that calls to mind the organic form of a clover leaf. The light source is hidden at the meeting point of the three petals and, when switched on, casts a soft, sensual light.

Clockwise from top right: Manifold by Axel Schmid for Ingo Maurer; Clover by Brodie Neill for Kundalini; Sestosenso by Paul Cocksedge for BMW and Flos


identity [interior/design/property]

Lighting | Design formuLa

Clockwise from top left: Swarovski Lighting Centrepieces by Swarovski; Tangeri by Barovier & Toso; Rhizome by Matali Crasset for Arturo Alvarez

SeT To SparkLe

Righetto brings her review of Euroluce 2011 to a close with a nod to the trend for luxury. “We saw sparkling details and crystal pendants adding a touch or luxury to many pieces,” she says. Eye-catching designs included Diamonds from Amsterdam by Brand Van Edmond, a large ring-shaped pendant lamp studded with sparkling crystals, and Swarovski’s inaugural collection of sparkling chandeliers completely manufactured by Swarovski itself, Swarovski Lighting Centrepieces. “Imposing chandeliers make a huge statement and bring a bit of tradition and decadence to contemporary design,” Righetto says. Cue Tangeri by Barovier & Toso, a family of three stunning crystal chandeliers. Not to be outdone, a number of contemporary designers lent a modern look to traditional chandeliers. Italian manufacturer Terzani launched Soscic, created by interlacing metal chain over a nickel-plated frame for a cool, contemporary look. Further proof that modern design does not have to sacrifice luxury is also evident in Rhizome by Matali Crasset for Spanish label Arturo Alvarez. Despite its familiar chandelier-inspired shape, Rhizome forgoes crystals for metal plates.

October 2011


Design formuLa | Lighting

From top: multitalented lighting channel by SieMatic; Net by Philippe Starck for Flos

Tomorrow’S worLD

Innovation is not restricted to the development of next-generation lighting sources. Net by Philippe Starck for Flos features a USB socket above the light diffuser for an iPod, iPhone and iPad so that it can double as an iPad or iPod dock. The cool sophistication of its aluminium body, the energy efficiency of its light source and compatibility with various types of digital gadget ensure that Net lamp is perfectly attuned to our daily need for information and entertainment. Kitchen manufacturer SieMatic has developed a multitalented lighting channel consisting of three levels, all of which serve a different function to meet the needs of the task in hand and to set an appropriate mood for the occasion. Situated on the lower level are T-5 fluorescent bulbs, which are designed to produce a direct, warm-white working light suitable for food preparation and cooking. The second level uses LED lights to create subtle mood-lighting in a warm-white shade, while the third level gives the kitchen that all important wow factor with coloured mood lighting created through LED RGB lights, meaning homeowners can select an appropriate hue so set the mood. Choose from a fresh green backdrop first thing in the morning or perhaps a deep purple for a romantic evening in. SieMatic’s lighting channel can be operated through a small LED touch switch, a sensor switch that detects hand movement, a remote control or even through a specially created iPhone or iPad application, all of which allow the brightness and colour to be altered effortlessly. ID


identity [interior/design/property]


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

Design formuLa | Lighting

Design sources; tel: (04) 334 9943; tel: (04) 222 6226; tel: (04) 334 2433; tel: (04) 334 4478; tel: (04) 335 0006; tel : (04) 338 8286; tel: (04) 268 0424; tel : (04) 340 5795; tel (04) 347 1362; tel: (04) 330 9295; tel: (04) 282 2027

Building by Marco Acerbis for FontanaArte


identity [interior/design/property]

Unique vision Legendary architect Frank Gehry continues to increase his cultural capital with some spellbinding projects that span the globe. text: Joanne Molina


identity [interior/design/property]

“Architecture is the work of nations,” said 19th-century art critic and philosopher John Ruskin. And after decades of international acclaim and controversy, legendary Canadian-born American architect Frank Gehry (whose rivals often attempt to dethrone as a “star-chitect”) continues to expand his visions of truth, beauty and goodness with his recent and forthcoming projects in Abu Dhabi, Miami Beach and New York City. After establishing the Guggenheim’s Bilbao museum as both an artistic and architectural destination, it was not surprising when the museum and the UAE announced a collaboration with the Pritzker prize-winning principal of Gehry Partners in 2006. “Approaching the design of the museum for Abu Dhabi made it possible to consider options for design of a building that would not be possible in the United States or in Europe,” Gehry explains. “It was clear from the beginning that this had to be a new invention. The landscape, the opportunity, the requirement, to build something that people all over the world would come to and the possible resource to accomplish it opened tracks that were not likely to be considered anywhere else.” Moving beyond the typical architectural rhetoric of remaining respectful to the environment and social ethos of the community, Gehry’s vision is transformative, challenging and responsive to his previous ideas about art history


and public space, as well as the envisioning of the future of the UAE. Currently in progress, the 41,806-square-metre museum will be located on a peninsula at the north-western tip of Saadiyat Island, as part of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, adjacent to Abu Dhabi. “The site itself, virtually on or close to the water on all sides, in a desert landscape with the beautiful sea and the light quality of the place suggested some of the direction,” Gehry says. According to the Guggenheim Museum, the structure will reflect the large scale at which many contemporary artists work with gallery layouts, a scale unlike conventional museum spaces. Clusters of galleries of varying heights, shapes and character will allow for curatorial flexibility in organising exhibitions. Evolving from several main cues, galleries connected by catwalks centre around a covered courtyard. Additional vertical clusters of galleries pile on top of the central column, creating a combination of vertical and horizontal spaces for exhibition organization. When the space is completed it will feature permanent collection and special exhibitions galleries, as well as a centre for art and technology, a centre for contemporary Arab, Islamic, and Middle Eastern culture, an education facility, a research centre and a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory. The Guggenheim is also quick to mention how the design will incorporate sustainable elements appropriate for the UAE. It will feature natural cooling and

Artist’s rendering of Guggenheim Museum Abu Dhabi top: view from south, bottom: view from north

October 2011



From top: Exterior of Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; the NWS WALLCAST projection wall in New World Symphony, Miami Beach, Florida

ventilation of covered courtyards derived from the concept of traditional wind towers found throughout the Middle East. However, Gehry’s vision of global interconnectivity isn’t only about building projects around the different locales. He has made an exceptional commitment to creating nuanced places where international cultural workers can manifest their ideas in an exceptional way – including musicians. “Liquid architecture. It’s like jazz – you improvise, you work together, you play off each other, you make something, they make something. And I think it’s a way of trying to understand the city, and what might happen in the city,” Gehry once said. While saying that architecture is similar to composing and conducting an orchestration might seem like a cliché, bear in mind that Gehry’s design for the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy in Miami Beach, Florida, completely altered the landscape of musical performance and research. The New World Center includes a flexible performance hall with variable seating and a 2.5-acre public park designed by Dutch architectural firm West 8. It also includes a 700-seat natural acoustic performance space, 24 individual rehearsal rooms, four ensemble rooms and three percussion rooms – all wired for audio/video recording and Internet2 capability to serve the academy’s 86 fellows. The SunTrust Pavilion and main performance hall act as an intersection between the academy fellows and the public’s experience of the building. The structure also includes a rooftop garden area with a music library, reception area and suite for artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas. “The thrill for me is to invent with Michael – almost a member of my family – a new kind of facility, one that works for what he is bringing to music and, I hope, what I can bring to the experience of music with my architecture. I’m very excited about doing this,” Gehry says.


identity [interior/design/property]



From left: Looking west with the Woolworth Building in the background of New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street, New York; Frank Gehry

One of the most seductive and democratic features of the project was designed to encourage and enliven the Center’s audiences: the 650-squaremetre projection wall, The NWS WALLCAST, upon which concerts, video art and films will be shown free-of-charge to audiences in Soundscape. Available for audience members without a ticket, it allows concertgoers to experience select events throughout the season at Miami Beach SoundScape through a striking use of visual and audio technology. According to the New World Symphony, Gehry’s dramatic project also included additional practice and rehearsal rooms, teaching rooms and technical suites, which have also been incorporated into the design of the building. These include two ensemble rooms, each capable of holding a master class for 20-25 fellows, located within a structure called The Flower on the third floor. The Knight New Media Center will serve as a video and audio editing suite, allowing the New World Symphony to capture and distribute content in digital format. New York City, the premiere stage for architecture and design in the United States, has been under the microscope after the events of 9/11. Almost every


identity [interior/design/property]

project has been subject to scrutiny from both philosophical and practical standpoints. But Gehry’s recent project, New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street in lower Manhattan, embraced the challenge. At over 262m tall, it is the tallest residential tower in the city. The building is a 76-storey mixed-use property that houses a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade public school, office space for the New York Downtown Hospital and over 900 residential units. Close to City Hall and its beautiful park, the landmark Woolworth Building by Cass Gilbert and the Brooklyn Bridge are its closest neighbours. Using the classical proportions of New York City towers and the traditional setback rules, which created the tall wedding cake designs typical to the city, Gehry created the initial massing of the building. He then developed the design to accommodate the bay windows the client requested for the units, which range in size from 41-square-metre studios to 157.9-square-metre three-bedroom apartments at the top of the tower. But, rather than align the bay windows vertically, Gehry shifted them slightly from floor-to-floor and adjusted their sizes from unit-to-unit. Inspired by the realisation that his design for the residential units’ bay windows resembled draping fabric, he designed the rest of the building to highlight this effect, meaning that residents can literally stand in the air over the city – what Gehry calls “stepping into space” – and have the feeling of being suspended over the whole of Manhattan. Bringing ideals that connect the ancient world to the new, Gehry’s recent projects are a testament to architecture’s timeless role as part of an ongoing universal conversation. iD


limited promotion K_\D`[[c\<XjkËj`ek\i`fij#[\j`^egifg\ikpdX^Xq`e\



Home sticky home: Doug Meyer’s tape effect Here and away: design expo season kicks off Let it flow: colourful bathing spaces on tap Miller unveiled: Saarinen’s 1950s masterpiece

@JJL<E@E<KPJ@O P<8I<@>?K J<GK<D9<I)'(( 8DFK@M8K<GL9C@:8K@FE



Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

00_ID Cover and Spine SEP11.indd 1

25/8/11 17:28:20

Design in Dubai by identity

identity magazine


❏ Yes, please send me identity magazine for one year at Dhs180 in the UAE and GCC and Dhs300* outside the GCC. *Only credit card payments accepted for overseas subscription. BOOK OFFER – EXCLUSIVE TO THE UAE

❏ Yes, please send me the Design in Dubai by identity book at the special price of Dhs150.


❏ Yes, please send me both a year’s subscription to identity magazine + the Design in Dubai by identity book for Dhs330.






















Nada Debs showroom The Concrete Room


identity [interior/design/property]


A world of difference Beirut-based Nada Debs is expanding the market for her superbly crafted creations, which blend the cool minimalism and restraint of the Japanese aesthetic with the lavish warmth of Arab expression. text: Caroline allen

As an Arab brought up in Japan, Lebanese furniture and home accessories designer Nada Debs always pondered the issues of difference and contrast. “I had the curiosity of wondering how people could be so different and if there was something common in us as human beings,” she recalls. “My search for this common identity was found through my work, where I was able to mix two design philosophies in one.” Her striking designs fuse rich Middle Eastern craft with the Far Eastern ideals of purity of line, the traditional and the contemporary. Although no one else in her family worked in design, Debs made the tough decision to go against the grain and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in interior architecture. She then started her own design company in Britain, designing and producing bespoke furniture.

From top: Khatt low table in wood and mother of pearl; classic waste bin and box; Nada Debs

Returning to her roots in Lebannon after 40 years, Debs found that there was very little modern Middle Eastern furniture on offer. This spurred her on to establish her own company, East & East, in 2000, to manufacture her designs for a global market, including Dubai, where her products are sold at Bloomingdale’s Home. She now has two retail outlets in Beirut – the Nada Debs Gallery, which showcases the East & East collection and the East & West range, and the Nada Debs Boutique, which carries her collection of home accessories. In the East & East range, which features work using traditional craft in modern forms, her Arabian Nights mirror and Arabesque chair are the most popular pieces. Using modish materials such as acrylic and concrete, Debs is at the cutting edge of the international design scene. “First and foremost, I am inspired by materials and techniques of craft, then form and then the emotional aspect of it all,” she says. Wood is her favourite material. “It is a live material and has so much personality.”

October 2011



When asked if sustainability is a consideration, Debs says: “This is a very difficult word to define but I believe that when we have a very well made product, and one doesn’t want to throw it away, we are being sustainable by not recycling objects as much.” She has just finished the Psychedelic collection. “Basically people seem to think my work only involves Arabesque. In this case, I have used more contemporary patterns within the craft,” Debs explains. “My next collection is called Vintage meets Arabesque. I am exploring carving, perforating and straw weaving. It will be a fun collection, inspired by mid-century furniture.” She strongly believes there is a growing appreciation for artisan and handcrafted pieces, despite the global throwaway culture. “That is our strength in the Arab world. We are not of the mass-production industry. We are much more craft-oriented,” Debs says. The theme of preservation runs across her work. “I think that recently in the international design scene, there is a big comeback towards craft. In the Arab world, we are starting to appreciate this. I am here to remind Arabs

that we have a lot to offer from the past,” she says. While Debs says she follows the trends of people’s emotional and functional needs, she uses her own style to adapt to them. A line of children’s furniture is ensuring that design-conscious little ones are not neglected in the style stakes. “Because a lot of the work is handcrafted, the pieces are a little bit on the exclusive side!” Debs says. “I believe there are designers who are challenged to design children’s furniture but the problem with children is that they grow and become adults in no time, so the use of the furniture is very short term. It’s a real challenge to design for children, but fun.” Other challenges include constantly coming up with new ideas that will optimise the skill of her craftsmen and win the appreciation of the public. Debs also works on an ongoing basis to enhance certain design ideals such as emotional design, “making people feel good when they use my products”. She has plans to establish a craft school in the future. “It is very tedious work and the person must have patience in their DNA, but watching them

Clockwise from top left: Arabian Nights Mirror in turquoise resin and mother of pearl; Nada Debs showroom; Floating Stool New York theme exclusive at Bloomingdale’s


identity [interior/design/property]

GREAT OUTDOOR LIVING The new 2012 ACE outdoor catalogue features the widest range of outdoor furniture sets and barbeques to create the perfect outdoor experience. Look out for our NEW line of products featured in the catalogue as well as our practical and affordable Value sets. Select from our inspiring garden ideas and accessories, and create unique outdoor environments for family and friends. Get your copy at any ACE store across the UAE or visit today!

Dubai: Dubai Festival City, Tel: 800 ASK ACE (800 275 223), Sheikh Zayed Road, Tel: (04) 341 1906, Fax: (04) 341 7610, Abu Dhabi: Mina Road, Tel: (02) 673 1665, Fax (02) 673 0415, Al Ain: Sultan Bin Zayed Road, Bawadi Mall (03) 784 0561 e-mail: or


Clockwise from top left: Floating Tables different patterns; Teta Tables with inlayed crochet in resin; Nada Debs showroom; Octagonal Table in resin and mother of pearl

work is so beautiful because of the attention and patience they put in the details of the craft,” Debs says. When she awakens in her eclectic Beirut home, design is at the forefront of her mind. “I wake up and design in bed. My mind is clearest then,” she remarks. “I then go to the office and see how the designers are doing and check on prototypes at the workshop. Usually I pass by the gallery and boutique in the afternoon to see how the sales are doing and meet with clients. “What I like about my clients is that most of them are open to see the traditional work having evolved into something more contemporary. They are usually people who appreciate this change. They range from young to old and I love that.” Her own living space is decorated with objects she has picked up throughout her life and they all have some unique value, whether in form or material. “I would say it is a Nada Debs home with a vintage touch!” Out of all her own designs, she cherishes her Pebble table for its flexibility in where it can be placed. It, along with her Coffee bean table, is a best-seller in her contemporary collection. “As for projects, I was challenged to create the concept carpet in the Qatar Arab Museum of Modern Art,” she says. “In it, I like the contrast between the image of the ‘flying carpet’ in the past and the heaviness of concrete in the present, representing the state of the world we are in right now.” Her designs can also be seen in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi, for which she produced customised furniture. Meanwhile, Debs is looking forward to launching her Vintage meets Arabesque collection. “I general, I hope that I will be able to make a difference for the Arab world in that we should be proud of what we have and that we are able to be up-to-date with the times,” she reflects. “I would love to reach the young generation and be a role model for them, and for the rest of the world to see that we have a modern Arab identity and it’s cool.” iD


identity [interior/design/property]


CONTENTS: 76 The booming Bosphorus 82 Indelible visions 88 Master and commander 94 The lure of the local 96 Antennae

October 2011



identity [interior/design/property]

international | idProperty

The booming Bosphorus Thing are looking up in Istanbul, where a staple of a hot property market is very much in evidence – branded designer homes TexT: richard warren

yooistanbul, show suite, insert Philippe Starck

In 1957, British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan told his countrymen: “You have never had it so good.” MacMillan’s party, the Conservatives, were halfway through a three-term government and the economy was booming, living standards rising and thousands of new homes were being built. Fast forward 54 years to modern Turkey and the picture appears much the same. The ruling, conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) was returned at the polls for a third term in May, the economy is booming – GDP rose at an annual rate of 11 per cent in the first quarter of this year, faster than any other G20 nation. This growth is making people rich – per capita income has doubled to Dhs45,164 over the past decade and this is fuelling a consumer boom, including a market for designer homes. Tills are ringing most loudly in Istanbul, Turkey’s commercial capital and largest city, home to one-fifth of its 75 million citizens. New malls are opening, old malls are being restored and filling these spaces are big, luxury brands, some opening up in Turkey for the first time, including Versace, Armani Jeans and US bridal wear designer Oleg Cassini. In the housing market, global brands are appearing in Turkey for the first time, too. Yoo, the international property design, branding and marketing company, has embarked on a joint venture with Turkish property developer Say Yapi to construct 109 apartments within sight of the Bosphorus. Located in the Istanbul district of Ulus, the yooistanbul scheme will feature interiors inspired by yoo’s creative director, Philippe Starck. The Dhs3.67m sales suite shows buyers what they might expect to find when the development is completed in January 2013. For glamour, a matt and glossy textural theme predominates, including the use of white gold leaf for some walls. To emphasise light, the colour scheme is mainly black and white, whereby white furnishings are combined with black walls or vice versa, occasionally interspersed with bright hues, usually red, to provide a sense of

October 2011


idProperty | international

From top: Blue Mosque and yooistanbul, kitchen

homely warmth. Antique furnishings are combined with modern gizmos and, of course, chandeliers are prevalent, a trademark feature of any Starck home. Light touch architecture will enhance the breeziness of the interiors. The nine residential buildings will be clad in floor-to-ceiling windows so daylight can flood in. The glazing will allow inhabitants to gaze out on to the grounds, which will be filled with aromatic plants, including lavender, fennel and chamomile. Shared facilities designed to create a sense of community will include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, gym, library and lounge. “We attribute great importance to design and comfort, but what we value most is how the design of our projects facilitates people coming together,” John Hitchcox, the chairman of yoo, says. “We wanted to provide intimate living spaces where residents can get to know one another in the stunning surroundings of the common areas.” The project is located on the European side of Istanbul, the financial, media, fashion, cultural and education centre of the city, where 80 per cent of its population live. This is where most of the city’s famous landmarks, such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and colourful spice bazaar are located. Four additional yoo schemes are planned for Istanbul and one for the Aegean coastal resort of Bodrum. Most buyer interest in the first scheme has come from Turks, but the developers expect to attract enquiries from Turkic states like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan too. Its two, three and four bedroom apartments range in price from Dhs2.9m to Dhs15.3m. Property can be relatively inexpensive in Istanbul and plenty of new build homes are on sale through international estate agents targeting overseas buyers – in the western suburb of Esenyurt, studio flats at the Centre Point scheme, where communal facilities include Turkish baths and swimming pool, can be bought off plan for Dhs112,000 through estate agency Overseas Property Plus. Esenyurt is about 20 km away from Sultanahmet, the historic centre of Istanbul on a peninsula that juts out into the Bosphorus. For secondary market homes, buyers need to contact local estate agencies. These include Century 21 Lykia, which is marketing a three-bedroom apartment in Beyoglu, the historic embassy district on the European side of Istanbul.


identity [interior/design/property]









idProperty | international

Bedroom by Philippe Starck

Recently renovated, the 140-square-metre apartment is 40km from Istanbul Ataturk airport and is on sale for Dhs1.5m. Beyoglu sits on the northern side of the Golden Horn, an inlet that separates this district from Sultanahmet to the south. The famous Galata Bridge links the two areas. Estate agents and some economists are optimistic about Istanbul’s future. PricewaterhouseCoopers says Istanbul is the best city in Europe for property development and The Global Property Guide champions Turkey as Europe’s best residential property investment market because it is one of the few places in the world where the economy is growing strongly. The Wall Street Journal has called Turkey “Eurasia’s rising tiger”. What’s more, Turkey’s population is young and growing – 60 per cent are aged under 34 years old, so the need for housing is likely to grow. Istanbul is regarded as the centre of the Turkic-speaking world, which comprises Turkey and five former Soviet republics – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. As economic, cultural and political ties grow between these states, the numbers of Turkic visitors and expatriates ought to increase, pushing up demand for homes. Turkey’s difficulties in obtaining European Union membership has not stopped it attracting investment from Western neighbours. Most inward investment, especially in its property market, comes from within the EU. Istanbul property prices are lower than in most West European countries, so it offers home buyers good value for money, Sabri Yigit, chairman of Say Yapi, says. “Istanbul has lots of opportunities,” he says. “When we compare price structures of property Istanbul compares very well with neighbouring countries located within three hours flight around from here.”


identity [interior/design/property]

Confidence in the country has been boosted further by the re-election of the AKP with 50 per cent of the vote, Yapi says. The party is championed by the big-spending middle classes and foreign property investors because its policies encourage economic expansion, inward investment and a housing boom. “Since 2005 the economy has improved,” Yapi says. “The government performance makes it possible to have such a project as yooistanbul and they have been making it easier for foreigners to own property in Istanbul, making the rules both the same for foreigners and Turks.” In nominal terms, Turkish property values are 3.67 per cent higher than a year ago, partly reversing several years of falling prices caused by the North Atlantic financial crisis. However, Turkey’s high inflation rate is undermining property price increases. Values remain about 25 per cent below their June 2007 peak when adjusted for inflation. The Turkish authorities forecast 6.9 per cent inflation for this year and some commentators are concerned that the central bank’s policy of interest rate cuts to counteract slow economic growth elsewhere in the world could contribute to Turkish inflation rising faster. The Royal Bank of Scotland warns the Turkish economy could overheat, a point of view shared by investors who have been selling the Turkish lira, sending it to a two year low against the US dollar in August. This means the price of Turkish assets is falling for those who earn their money in dirhams, because the Dubai currency is pegged to the greenback. This could present a buying opportunity for Dubai investors, provided they invest in Turkey’s long-term future and can ride out any economic ups and downs in the short-term. id

Indelible visions From futuristic designs and cutting-edge materials, the latest facades making headlines are bold in their statements, while new store designs in Asia and Europe are enough to encourage even the most prudent to indulge. tExt: Joanne Molina And Caroline allen


identity [interior/design/property]

thE look oF silEncE

This September marked the much-anticipated opening of the official National September 11 Memorial and Memorial Plaza, designed by Michael Arad, a partner at Handel Architects, and the landscape architecture firm Peter Walker and Partners, both winners of the international design competition to create the memorial. Spanning eight of the 16 acres of the former WTC complex, the plaza was designed to honour the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.

Every name of the departed is inscribed in bronze panels that edge twin reflecting pools located in the footprints of the Twin Towers of the WTC. Each panel spans nearly an acre, and they feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. The Plaza is also one of the most sustainable, green plazas ever constructed. Nearly 400 swamp white oak trees act as a green roof for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;suspended paving systemâ&#x20AC;? that extends over the 9/11 Memorial Museum, a train station and other facilities 70 feet below street level. Its irrigation, storm water and pest management systems will conserve energy, water and other resources.

The durable and colorful swamp white oak trees have a particular resonance for the Memorial site: they were harvested and selected from within a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center site, with additional ones coming from locations in Pennsylvania and near Washington, D.C. (Maryland), areas impacted on September 11, 2001. But more significantly, each tree will grow to different heights and change leaves at different times, offering a physical reminder that each of those who died and suffered are individuals.

October 2011

Photography: Amy Dreher / National September 11 Memorial & Museum

portfolio | idProperty


From top: Artist's rendering of the UAE Pavilion; the ICADE Premier building in Munich; glass curtain facade designed by Rafael de La-Hoz

thE Art oF it

Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has announced that the UAE Pavilion, originally designed by Lord Norman Foster’s firm for the World Expo 2010, will host Abu Dhabi Art from November 16-19 on Saadiyat Island. As well as world-class contemporary art, there will also be talks, performances, workshops and VIP networking events. Abu Dhabi Art attracted more than17,000 visitors last year and in 2011 will showcase around 50 international galleries, again operating as a boutique-style fair. clEAr vision

The clear cubic ICADE Premier building in Arnulfpark, a developing urban district in Munich, between Donnersberger Bridge and the Central Station, incorporates a striking inner courtyard and a façade made of DuPont Corian. The high tech material creates a contrast to the stern pattern of the surrounding aluminium glass. Corian was also chosen for the interior wall cladding and furniture for its seamlessness. The design by architects GanzerHajek-Unterholzner/Louvieaux was developed in co-operation with Munich architectural office Landau Kindelbacher. Reflections of passing cars are mirrored in the building’s chequered glass exterior which is set against the calm of the courtyard. The façade’s eyecatching appeal is due to the thermo formability of the high-tech surface material. Individual strips were applied to look like scales of a fish. clAssy glAss

The new headquarters of one of the world’s largest fashion groups features a glass curtain wall that combines DuPont SentryGlas interlayer with the new architectural fabric, SEFAR Architecture Vision, to stunning effect. The facade of the Madrid building constitutes the first commercial application of the Vision fabric with laminated glass in Europe. The overall visual effect of the glass curtain wall is of a living, three-dimensional checkerboard in harmony with its environment. This has been achieved by alternating panels of clear laminated glass with panels embedded with SEFAR Architecture Vision. The woven fabric mesh is decorated with a reflective aluminum metal coating on its exterior-facing side, reflecting constantly changing climatic conditions. From the inside, the black fabric permits an almost uninhibited view of the outside world as well as room illumination.


identity [interior/design/property]

portfolio | idProperty

From top: the new Ermenegildo Zegna store in Paris; a mobile art pavilion by Zaha Hadid

"My idea for the project was to create a neutral, abstract facade, that at the same time comes alive with the lights and shades that change with the course of the day and the seasons of the year," said Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz, who designed the facade. “There is an interplay between shades and reflections that is never equal, with the dark squares of the inner skin interspersed by mirrors that seemingly vibrate with the light of the sun yet switch off when direct sunlight is lost.” MAdE to MEAsurE

Luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna launched its new global store at 50 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, in June, 30 years after the opening of its first boutique. Designed by architect Peter Marino, the five-floor store showcases the full spectrum of Ermenegildo Zegna collections within 500 square metres of space. On the exterior, metallic strands resemble the textile composition of warp crossing weft, transforming raw material into fibres. The interior features two state-of-the art elevators with metal design details reminiscent of a loom. In keeping with the Italian heritage of the brand, the Paris global store houses modernist furnishings such as a pair of lounge chairs designed by Gio Ponti for Cassina in 1964 and a set of Artona armchairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa. Frank Thiel’s modern interpretation of a historical loom from the wool mill in Trivero and an Oasi Zegna landscape photographed by Mimmo Jodice enhance the visual experience. The collections are displayed across different areas designed to create a virtual journey through the Zegna world, culminating in the luxury room, devoted to personal shopping. Featuring an artisan wooden floor and golden stucco walls, it is the most striking and intimate space in the store. A key inspiration for the design has been the fabrics created at Zegna’s eponymous wool mill in Trivero, Italy, for more than a century. The Paris Global Store is the 11th Peter Marino Concept Store to open. A light touch

The mobile art pavilion in front of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, designed by Zaha Hadid, is currently showcasing an exhibition of her work and Zumtobel has designed a lighting solution matching the building’s organic look. Arcos LED spotlights, devised especially for art applications, and minimalist LED spots of the multifunctional Supersystem have been installed. The mobile art pavilion was designed by Hadid in 2007 for Chanel. Having travelled to Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York, the striking structure has been donated by Chanel to the Institut du Monde Arabe, where it will be

used to host exhibitions by talented artists from Arab countries. “Our architecture is intuitive, radical, international and dynamic,” Hadid said. “We are concerned with constructing buildings that evoke original experiences, a kind of strangeness and newness that is comparable to the experience of going to a new country. The mobile art pavilion follows these principles of inspiration. “It is an architectural language of fluidity and nature, driven by new digital design and manufacturing processes which have enabled us to create the pavilion’s totally organic forms, instead of the serial order of repetition that marks the architecture of the industrial 20th century.” The fluid forms of the pavilion are continued from the outer shell into the interior, providing a structure for the torus-like exhibition loop. The Hadid exhibition is presented using different media including architectural models, projections and silver paintings, complemented by a customised lighting system. “Providing the interior lighting solution for such a unique object as the mobile art pavilion was a special opportunity for us to show that light as an accentuating factor is able to unfold tremendous creative power,” Burkhard Ehnes, Zumtobel’s project manager, said.

October 2011


From top: Aetherea natural suite by Studio Bizzarro & Partners for Hotel Spa Design exhibition; a new residential building in Sharjah

on show

There will be a focus on the topical issue of social home design at MADExpo in Milan from October 5-8. ‘Living in the Future’ will be spread over 1000 square metres and will host four installations. Architecture, contract, design and construction will all be covered at the event. A conference will provide news on legislation and planning for architects, designers, businesses and institutions. Meanwhile, at the Host Expo in Milan from October 21 to 25, hotel spa design will be in the spotlight with ‘2015 Eco Resort and Spa’, the theme. It is dedicated to the relationship between property and the environment, highlighting models where good environmental practices generate efficiency savings and profits. It will also span 1000 square metres and aims to showcase the latest trends in the hospitality and wellbeing sector. As well as highlighting state-of-the-art design, the event will host conferences, workshops and seminars. northErn dElights

Movement in the northern emirates’ property market over the second quarter of this year was led by Sharjah apartment rentals, with some areas increasing two per cent over the previous quarter, according to Asteco Property Management’s latest quarterly report. “The northern emirates continues to see rental rates at constant levels from the previous quarter, with pockets of decreases for units with high supply levels,” Elaine Jones, the CEO of Asteco Property Management, said. “While price stability and decreases were seen across the northern emirates as a whole, studios in Sharjah’s Al Khan and Corniche areas climbed by two per cent in Q2, with current rental rates ranging from Dhs20,000 and Dhs25,000 per annum. This is partly attributed to these areas being so close to the sea and Dubai.”


identity [interior/design/property]

High vacancy rates have continued in Sharjah, which has led to attractive rental rates and intense competition between landlords, according to Asteco. Another trend highlighted was the continuing shift to Dubai, with many tenants prepared to pay the premium to upgrade and move to properties closer to work and school. Sharjah’s villa market continued to fall, with three and five-bedroom villas in the Al Khan, Shargan and Al Quz areas particularly affected. The report attributed this in part to the lower relative maintenance costs of apartments versus villas. Average three-bedroom villa rental rates in Al Khan, Shargan and Al Quz were Dhs77,500, Dhs75,000 and Dhs81,000 per annum respectively, with Al Khan prices down three per cent and Al Quz down two per cent over the quarter. Sharjah’s office market saw prices continuing to increase, with the Al Wahdah area seeing a five per cent price increase. Average rental rates ranged from Dhs485 to Dhs645 per square metre, with demand increasing over the last six months due to improved access to commercial buildings. Retail units continued to stabilise, with rents ranging from Dhs755 to Dhs1,075 per square metre on the Corniche and Dhs810 to Dhs1,075 per square metre on the Al Taawun Road.

portfolio | idProperty

lEt thE sun shinE

3M Architectural Markets has launched the 3M Sunlight Delivery System, a daylighting solution that captures and harnesses sunlight in an energy-efficient lighting system for commercial buildings. The hybrid system combines multiple technologies to bring sunlight deep into interior spaces, providing consistent light levels throughout the day. It works by actively tracking, capturing and transporting the sun’s natural, full visible spectrum daylight beyond just the top floor and into the interior spaces of buildings where natural lighting is limited. It uses a GPS-equipped rooftop collector with a single roof penetration to track the sun. Horizontal and vertical ducts lined with 3M reflective film carry the light into the interior, where it is delivered with multiple light fixtures. Energy-efficient artificial lighting is also incorporated into the light fixtures, with controls that provide consistent light levels in dark or overcast conditions. “Daylighting is the original green building practice,” Dan Franus, marketing manager at 3M Architectural Markets said. “The importance of integrating sustainability in building planning only continues to grow, and there is nothing more energy-efficient than the sun.” The system is designed to meet the needs of multiple incentives, rebates and building code mandates, as well as green building code certifications such as the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation. in thE spotlight

From top: the Sunlight Delivery System by 3M; Galleria Centrecity shopping mall, South Korea

Korea’s Galleria Centrecity shopping mall in Cheonan, with its 12,600-square-metre media façade, features dynamic light shows produced by more than 22,000 LED lighting points that wrap the structure in a shimmering skin. The high-power LED spotlights, specially developed by Zumtobel, were designed to merge almost imperceptibly into the facade. Zumtobel created the lighting installation in co-operation with Bonn lighting design firm Licht AG and Amsterdam architecture firm UNStudio. “Our objective in setting the facade centre-stage was to illuminate this huge surface area in a manner that ensures that the overall impression of the building at night is in keeping with the impression it makes during the day,” Wilfried Kramb, ag Licht’s project manager, said. “We wanted our lighting design to reflect the multi-layered nature of the façade and the interplay with overlapping sections. Ultimately, this is how the basic idea of projecting light from the façade sections onto the inner skin of the building came about.” The architects developed a special structure for the façade consisting of double asymmetrically overlaid and vertically arranged aluminium sections that create a moiré effect. The inner layer of lamellas consists of an aluminium panel. For the outer layer, UNStudio designed custom-built triangular sections fitted with toughened glass. The RGB LED spotlights devised by Zumtobel are fully integrated into these sections on the outer facade. From there, light is projected onto the inner façade layer and reflected onto the surface of the building. This indirect glare-free light makes it possible to convert the tightly focused LED lighting points into large-area picture elements or pixels. iD

October 2011


Artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rendering of Kingdom Tower, Saudi Arabia


identity [interior/design/property]

international | idProperty

Master and commander Renowned for his work on the world’s most striking supertall buildings, Adrian Smith reveals the secrets of Kingdom Tower, the world’s next tallest building. TexT: Joanne Molina

Artist’s rendering of Kingdom Tower’s aerial view

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill

“To have designed the world’s two tallest buildings is a great honour for an architect, and I’m delighted and humbled by it,” Adrian Smith says. The latest coup from Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the Kingdom Tower, will be a historic accomplishment with universal significance for the future of skyscraper design. Conceived to stand at least 173 metres taller than the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa, design development of Kingdom Tower is under way, with construction to begin imminently. It is the centrepiece and first construction phase of the Kingdom City development on a 5.3 million-square-metre site in north Jeddah, near the Red Sea, and will stand at over 1,000m tall and boast a total construction area of 530,000 square metres at a cost of cost approximately Dhs4.4 billion to construct, while the cost of the entire Kingdom City project is anticipated to be Dhs73.4 billion. Inside will be a world-class array of commercial and residential splendours, including a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, Class A office space, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory; all necessitating one of the world’s most sophisticated elevator systems (59 elevators, including 54 single-deck and five double-deck elevators, along with 12 escalators). Smith’s winning design was the result of an intense competition process and the client for the project, Jeddah Economic Company, ultimately selected his scheme as the winner. “In addition to its status as an architectural landmark and economic symbol, Kingdom Tower will enjoy great cultural significance. We envision Kingdom Tower as an iconic new marker of Jeddah’s historic importance as the traditional gateway to the holy city of Mecca,” says Talal Al Maiman, executive director of Development and Domestic Investments, board member of Kingdom Holding Company and board member of JEC. Smith explains how Jeddah was integral to his design. “From the very earliest years of my career I’ve approached architecture as a contextualist. It’s important for the residents of a city and a country, especially one with the long, proud history of Saudi Arabia, to feel that the building in some way reflects whom they are as a people. Great architecture is not about having a signature style that you replicate all around the world with little or no regard for the places in which you’re working,” he insists.

October 2011


idProperty | international

Burj Khalifa, Dubai C


“In the case of Kingdom Tower, we realised at some point that one of the legs of the tower was pointing in what was very close to a direct line toward Mecca and at that point we adjusted the position of the tower slightly to make it an absolutely straight line toward Mecca. Jeddah has traditionally been the gateway to Mecca, Islam’s holiest site. Having the leg on a direct line with the city seemed like an appropriate way of acknowledging and emphasising that historic connection. “With its slender, subtly asymmetrical massing, the tower evokes a bundle of leaves shooting up from the ground… a burst of new life that heralds more growth all around it.” Gordon Gill adds: “The sleek, streamlined form of the tower was inspired by the folded fronds of young desert plant growth. The way the fronds sprout upward from the ground as a single form, and then start separating from each other at the top, is an analogy of new growth fused with technology. “Although we didn’t form the tower specifically to resemble a plant with leaves separating at the top, it did occur to us later that it could be viewed as a symbol of new growth fused with technology in Saudi Arabia as it consolidates its prominent position as a business and cultural leader on the world stage.” Smith continues: “From that point on, it has been a matter of refining the design, getting the areas of the building that would be most marketable for each function and designing the building to the client’s construction cost parameters. “There were many small modifications to the tower, but nothing that affected the primary design concept. One addition to the tower after the competition was the introduction of what was to be a helicopter-landing pad near the top of the building. After we designed it, and [carried out] further research, we realised that wind activity at that great height made the helicopter pad idea impractical. “We had fallen in love with it as an architectural element, however, so we decided to convert it into a sky terrace, which will be one of the world’s most amazing amenity spaces, overlooking the Red Sea. The client’s decision to go along with keeping the terrace in its new role showed flexibility, foresight and, I think, a certain element of fun.”


identity [interior/design/property]

Supertall buildings are becoming Smith’s signature, as this is his second claim to having designed the world’s tallest, following his work on Burj Khalifa. “I think an interest in height has been a characteristic of mankind for several millennia, dating back to the pyramids of Giza and, later, the great cathedrals of Europe. Viewing a very tall building is literally an awesome experience and we humans seem to crave that experience,” he reflects. “Tall buildings, at their most basic level, symbolise humanity’s desire for achievement, for soaring and, in a way, for joy. It’s akin to the awesomeness of climbing Mount Everest or putting a man on the moon – the idea that human beings can accomplish something that’s simply so magnificent.” Smith also notes the practical realities of extreme architecture. “It’s true, too, that many places in the world – Dubai, for example – are basing their economic hopes on tourism and the drawing power of tall buildings can obviously be a key part of that,” he says. “Having a landmark structure such as Burj Khalifa can define a skyline and crystallise a city’s identity, which in both economic and psychological terms is well worth doing. Also, the thrill of viewing the horizon and the city from the highest point is also a very thrilling experience that many people seek out and enjoy.” His international oeuvre clearly bears witness to his architectural progression. “I think my experience in the supertall typology, dating from my work on Shanghai’s Jin Mao Tower in 1990s, has been a progression that involves the gradual accumulation of knowledge and expertise,” Smith says. “In a very real sense, Jin Mao, the tallest building in China when it was completed, was the start of my major engagement with the typology and the experience informed all of the supertall buildings I’ve designed since, including Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Nanjing Greenland Centre in China, Tower Palace III in Seoul and Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.” In the case of Kingdom Tower, in relation to the three-legged footprint, Smith was thinking of certain early designs of Mies van der Rohe as well as Lake Point Tower in Chicago and his own design for Tower Palace III. “Wind force is the main challenge in designing supertall buildings. Burj Khalifa is a great advance in this area, because it significantly reduces the buildup of wind







A spectrum of fabrics at one destination. C u rt ai n Fabr i c s • U p h o l s t e r y F a b r i c s • T r i m m i n g s • A c c e s s or i e s Toll Free 800 CURTAINS, Mezzanine Floor, Pyramid Centre, Umm Hurair Road, Oud Metha, Dubai, U.A.E. Tel. +971 4 335 0626, Fax +971 4 334 7451, E-mail: Showroom timings: Saturday to Thursday 9am to 9pm and closed on Friday.

Artist’s renderings of upcoming projects by Adrian Smith (from left to right): One Park Avenue and Meraas Tower in Dubai, UAE; Wuhan Greenland Center and Pearl River Tower in China

vortices around the tower,” he says. “But our wind tunnel testing indicates that Kingdom Tower’s sloped form will perform even better.” But the precedence was not daunting. “No, I wasn’t hesitant at all – quite the opposite, since it gave me the opportunity to advance certain principles and strategies I learned from designing Burj Khalifa,” he says. “To design buildings destined to be landmarks is always a great challenge for an architect, and certainly when the building is to be designated as the world’s tallest structure, this comes with a great responsibility. I am very excited about that challenge and believe we can improve upon the previous world’s tallest.” Smith describes how Burj Khalifa was a propjet for development. “I learned a great deal from my work on Burj Khalifa,” Smith says. “For example, both towers have a three-legged footprint, which is very good for residential uses in particular, as it allows for greater privacy for building occupants.” But the key difference between Burj Khalifa and the design of Kingdom Tower is the approach he took to the shaping of the form in relation to the wind. “Burj Khalifa features a stepped pattern of setbacks that proceed up


identity [interior/design/property]

the tower in a spiraling fashion. Kingdom Tower, on the other hand, is a sloped tower that tapers upward,” Smith confirms. “Like Burj Khalifa, its base has three legs, but unlike Burj Khalifa the legs ascend in a smooth manner and then terminate at different heights. Our wind tunnel testing indicates that this shape is very effective at reducing the forces of the wind caused by vortices or ‘confusing the wind’, as we say, which is important because it minimises lateral movement of the tower due to wind forces.” As for the future, Smith is optimistic yet pensive and poised for both the ethical and environmental challenges to come. “It’s always difficult to predict how other architects will process information. I think that Kingdom Tower certainly offers an example of a successful business model, in that while the tower itself may not generate a great deal of revenue it will significantly increase the value of land and buildings in the overall development immediately around it,” he explains. “That certainly has proved true in the case of Burj Khalifa. And I’d like to think that developers and the architects they hire will consider the supertall typology as part of a potential solution to the challenge of increasing urban density.

international | idProperty

“Cities around the world are rapidly increasing in population, but how are those additional numbers to be accommodated? How can so many people live together comfortably, with a high quality of life? And how can cities avoid becoming vast sprawling metropolises in which recreational and arable land are paved over for housing? The supertall building, which accommodates a very large number of people on a small footprint of land, offers at least part of the solution. “There has been a misconception among many people, including many architects, that supertall buildings are not a sustainable typology, but I think that’s changing,” Smith asserts. “Towers such as Kingdom Tower can be super-sustainable, particularly in terms of land use. They can also take advantage of conditions unique to them, such as faster wind speeds at high altitudes, which can be harvested with building-integrated turbines.” And the possibilities aren’t only structural. “They can include amenities, such as green space, health facilities, retail, worship spaces and so on, that make them highly sustainable in a social sense, providing many of the elements that families need for a high quality of life,” he says.

“In the case of Kingdom Tower, we’re making it highly sustainable in terms of its building systems, which include a condensate collection system that will collect and reuse several million litres of moisture from the air and from mechanical systems every year. And the high-performance exterior wall system will be highly sustainable in terms of energy efficiency, blocking solar heat gain while it allows the spectacular views you expect in a tall tower.” Despite his international acclaim, Smith’s hope for his own legacy remains refreshingly humble. “Like Vitruvius, I believe that architecture must embody elements of firmness, commodity and delight. It must function well for its intended use; it should be a lasting, durable work; and it should inspire a positive and joyous reaction from those who use and see it,“ he says. “Architecture should give a sense of dignity to all who work to construct it. I think that buildings must relate to their culture, place, climate and site conditions, and they should be a reflection of the time they are built and the state-of-the-art technology available at the time of design. I want, through my buildings, to leave a contribution to the societies they serve.” iD

October 2011


The lure of the local In the first of a regular series of columns, fashion and interiors designer Jade Jagger reveals why India is a country truly in touch with its design heritage. TEXT: JADE JAGGER


We have a cookie cutter approach to design in the West. It wasn’t always like this and it doesn’t have to be this way but, in recent years, a lack of artistic input – from the high street to our homes – has left a legacy of homogenous design. As a fashion and interiors designer, I travel the world working and looking for inspiration. My hope is that countries with strong design identities, such as the big new superpowers, India and China, don’t end up heading down the same route as the West. India has been an important place for me. I have a house in Goa where I spend a great deal of time, using it as a hub to visit the rest of the country. I’ve worked in India for 20 years, with many of my jewellery workshops based there, and the country is one of the few places that still really reveres the kind of handcrafts that I’m interested in. There is huge attention to detail and old-fashioned standards. Good design in is their DNA.


identity [interior/design/property]

Of course, India has changed a great deal over the last two decades. But while it has embraced global influences like coffee shops, the streets aren’t littered with Starbucks. Instead, they have a home-grown brand, Café Coffee Day, that is hugely popular with the nation’s youth, showing you can do large scale without being bland. Fab India, a clothing and homes store which reminds me a little of Habitat in its glory days, has a similarly individual feel despite its prevalence. Thousands of rural producers help to create their products, using traditional techniques and skills. This makes for a multitude of different styles so that, say, if you find a tablecloth you like, the chances are you won’t find one to match. To me, this is hugely exciting. India itself has a number of different design identities. In Mumbai, for example, people dress differently to those in other Indian cities so it is a hugely inspirational place. The women are much

PORTFOLIO | idProperty

Clockwise from top left: bedroom, bathroom and living room of the Lodha Fiorenza, signature residences in Mumbai by Jade Jagger for yoo; Jade Jagger at the showsuite

more embellished and the men sport more outrageous styles than you find elsewhere. The refreshing thing is that this sense of style, this love of great design, runs through every social class. Everyone in India, whatever their financial situation, cherishes and owns items that are beautiful and unique. Whether it’s a fabulous shawl, a hanging on the wall or jewellery, you can see that everybody invests as much effort as they can to decorate themselves and their homes with great design. In India, if you’re looking for some metal furniture, for example, you’re more likely to go to the ironmonger and create your own chair than go to a shop. This is a country in touch with artisan production. Fine workmanship and craftsmanship is expected and appreciated. Let’s face it, an India full of shops selling the same items in Mumbai as you’d find in Manchester or Miami – like a design fast food chain – would be a design disaster. There are differences culturally and I think we should maintain and celebrate them. No design should ever be a carbon copy. Whether I’m working with unique fashion pieces, or on larger-scale interior design projects for yoo, I always seek to deliver originality. This is why the amount of design duplication in fashion frustrates me. I don’t see why the high street can’t come

up with some of its own original designs instead of endlessly copying other people’s work. India aside, there are several other places close to my heart which have a distinct design quality and a kind of visual language that is inherent in the local culture. In Morocco there’s definitely still a love for intricacy, while in Ibiza that Mediterranean whiteness and cleanliness remains strong. In northern Europe, of course, we lean toward darker colours and generally a more cosy way of finishing off our homes. My home in Ibiza is a good example of integrating with the local culture. The design for it is quite minimalistic in a way, in terms of colours, but the house has got a great combination of Mediterranean courtyard, a main room with a grand double height ceiling, and a smattering of Moorish influences. I’ve currently got projects running in Portugal, Morocco and India and, while the odd client still wants some imported marble or the like, I’m finding there’s an increasing desire for a look and feel with heritage and authenticity. People want design that is defined by their country and that sits harmoniously with the environment. In a world under threat from insipid, homogenous design, we should celebrate those who constantly seek the unique. ID Jade Jagger | Creative Director of yoo

October 2011


idProperty | antennae

Italy is having a renaissance, Florida is enjoying a resurgence and Portugal has a wall that moves to increase the size of a house’s rooms. text: richard warren



One of Britain’s most famous icons, Brighton Pier, is up for sale. The 533-metre long stretch of amusement arcades, themed rides and retail outlets was opened in 1899, and is one of the city’s key tourist attractions along with the Brighton Pavilion. Its deckchairs, fish and chip restaurant, and Horatio’s and Victoria’s bars have come to embody the spirit of a British summer holiday while owner Noble Group’s Dhs212 million investment in its restoration has made the pier Britain’s largest privately funded conservation project. Sales agents GVA Humberts Leisure is marketing the pier at an undisclosed sum. Other unusual properties for sale in Britain include a bunker in Devon built in 1952 as a radar station to detect Soviet bombers. The guide price for the 28-room Hope Cove Bunker is Dhs4.5 million. In the English Cotswolds, a 17th century convent and 11 hectares of parkland is on sale for Dhs13.6 million through Knight Frank estate agents.

United States estate agents hope overseas buyers will drag their country’s housing market out of the doldrums. They point to the “heating up” of the Florida housing market, where prices increased 13 per cent in the first three months of this year. This encouraged a 61 per cent rise in enquiries about Florida homes from potential overseas buyers compared to 12 months ago, says property portal Developments like Regal Palms in the resort of Davenport are receiving “serious interest” from British buyers, says sales agent Property Frontiers. Consultancy Capital Economics says increasing sales to overseas buyers could help lift prices in California and Florida, where 40 per cent of sales to foreigners are made. Depressed property prices and the falling value of the US dollar have attracted Chinese and Canadian buyers in particular. Sales to Indian and Chinese buyers ought to increase as their economies expand, the consultancy forecasts.


Small is beautiful in Britain’s age of austerity. House sales are increasing because Britons want to release equity to pay school fees, pay off mortgages and reduce living costs by downsizing. Estate agency Jackson-Stops & Staff reports sales are the highest for two years, with most deals being made for mid-market properties. “People fear that interest rates will rise and are buying a smaller, mid-market property and paying off their mortgages,” Quentin Jackson-Stops, partner at the firm, says. In des res central London districts like Kensington, Britons are cashing in on a boom in sales prices by selling up, pocketing some of the money and moving somewhere less expensive. Central London property values are at a record high thanks to an insatiable appetite for the city’s bricks and mortar among overseas buyers – prices are 35 per cent above their post credit crunch trough in March 2009, Knight Frank reports.


identity [interior/design/property]



Hong Kong is the most expensive location in the World Class Index of 10 cities published by Savills estate agency. Hong Kong property values are 63 per cent higher than second placed London, which is grouped alongside Tokyo, Singapore and Paris. “With its strategic location in a time zone between Europe and North America, Hong Kong has emerged as one of the world’s elite financial centres. Its position as a gateway to China has prompted increased capital and talent inflow over the past decade,” says Simon Smith, head of Savills research in Asia-Pacific. At the other end of the scale, Mumbai is the least expensive world-class city, costing 43 per cent less than the average of all 10 cities, but it is the great pretender having grown by 154 per cent over the past six years. Singapore and Shanghai have experienced stellar growth, but New York only seven per cent.

Now is the time to buy in France, says buyers agent Tim Swannie at Ellisium Parners. After a 10 per cent fall in prices in 2008 and 2009, values are rising modestly. The French National Association of Immobiliers forecasts prices will rise by six per cent across France this year and next year. This will barely keep pace with inflation, but in the most popular districts, including Paris and the Riviera, prices are forecast to rise 15 per cent over this period. What’s more, some lenders are offering 25-year fixed rate mortgages at slightly over four per cent, which means borrowing is relatively inexpensive. However, one tricky question hangs over the issue of currency. The euro’s future is uncertain and a collapse in its value would lead to a collapse in the value of French property. If the euro was disbanded that could be problematic, too.



In Tuscany, an entire village is being restored, the biggest project of its kind in Italy. At Castelfalfi, near Siena, a dilapidated village is being turned into a plush leisure resort as abandoned homes are made into 41 apartments and a hotel. New shops and a pizzeria are also being opened and the village swimming pool restored. In the surrounding hinterland, 18 farmhouses are being renovated, 11 golf villas built and a golf course created. Apartment prices start at Dhs1.2 million. Numerous other schemes centred on transforming abandoned country houses into luxury holiday homes are under way at estates throughout Tuscany and the same is also being done at former palazzo and monasteries. Tuscan property prices are down 20 per cent from the market peak of 2007, so the region is yet to enjoy a renaissance in house values.

To give Spain’s ailing property market a boost, the government has slashed value added tax from eight per cent to four per cent on new build homes. The tax cut is temporary, ending on December 31, so is likely to lift sales in the last couple of months of this year as buyers attempt to beat the deadline. Early next year sales are likely to slow down again, so it may make little difference to the housing market in the long term. However, estate agents are ecstatic because they hope this tax cut will stop many of them from going bust. “It has been fairly clear to us that some agents have been very much on the edge and this news will certainly help them ride the storm out,” says Nick Stewart, managing director of estate agency Spanish Hot Properties. The company markets Costa del Sol homes like this home at Doncella Beach, pictured above.

Here’s an idea for increasing the value of your home – make it feel bigger. Portuguese architects Consexto have created a moving wall for a 44sq/m home in Lisbon. The electronically controlled wall dividing bedroom and living room can be moved back and forth along 1.2m ceiling tracks, so that whichever room is needed at a particular moment can be made bigger. The owners installed the wall and refurbished the property because it was difficult to sell during a sluggish market. The Dhs212,000 cost was worth it, because the sales price doubled to Dhs956,000 within one year, the architects say. To maximise available space further, the wall functions as a storage facility, accommodating a television, fold down table, audio speakers and drawers. “Science, especially audiovisual and automation technologies, is constantly evolving, and thus housing and ways of living must necessarily accompany this growth,” Consexto architect Marta Costa says.

October 2011


THIS IS A CURTAIN …it just takes a special eye to see it

The most innovative design starts with a designer’s vision. Visitors to INDEX understand that great design is much more than simply assembling, arranging or editing, it is something that is felt! Showcasing products and services that range from traditional to quirky, opulent to minimalist, INDEX provides all the creativity and inspiration you need for your next design project. To find out more and to register online, visit:


w w

22 - 25 October 2011 | Halls 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Rashid Hall and Maktoum Hall | Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE Opening Hours: 11:00 – 19:00 daily. No children under 18 years of age permitted to the exhibition.

Scan the QR code and become part of the INDEX evolution


Comtempo-east The new season is bringing eastern promise in abundance, with designers having looked to the Orient for inspiration. Whether you simply dip into the look or embrace it completely, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfect for elegant living. TexT: Caroline allen

Turning The Tables

Spanish company Viccarbe has developed the Ryutaro collection of auxiliary tables by Victor Carrasco. Sporting steel legs, these flexible pieces are available in three heights and three diameters, as well as a variety of finishes.

October 2011


ecO ease

Save the planet in style with eco-friendly furnishings from THE One’s casual luxe deco collection. Featuring pieces crafted from salvaged materials and set against a backdrop of soft, muted tones, such as cream, grey and beige, this relaxed look exudes country charm and rustic appeal. Firmly establish the green scheme with key elements like the ANDO dining table and chest, both crafted from solid reclaimed elm wood with rescued iron details. Markings from years of natural weathering add character. Accessories in the form of a recycled iron LOHA tray and planters, handmade from repurposed tyres, will further drive your green credentials.

MaTerial WealTh

gO fOr gOld

Sparkle with the limited edition range of 24kt gold plated iPad 2, iPhone 4s and BlackBerry Bold 9780s, from Contours by Damas. The bespoke products are remanufactured by Gold & Co. London with pieces limited to 250 units per region. Every item is plated in 24k gold in an ISO 9002-approved facility.

faMily values

Artù by ModoLuce is a new family of lamps designed by Carlo Tamborini, painted in white, black, periwinkle blue and sand that make a real style statement when grouped together. Superimposed like pieces of armour, the modules generate alternative versions of floor, table and hanging lights. The multi-coloured zigzag shape from which the light filters, thanks to the thin chinks between the coincident bases, attracts the eye. A double light bulb facilitates flexibility – you can have a diffused light or a more direct beam, upwards, downwards or in both directions.


identity [interior/design/property]

Kinnasand has been nominated for the Designpreis Deutschland 2012 with the contract collection Colours Unlimited and the Material Structures range including the Salut, Ori and Bristol fabrics. The Colours Unlimited textile collection offers individual design concepts. Four flame retardant fabrics are available in transparent, semi-transparent or dense finishes as well as in a dim-out material. Salut shows a handsewn raster of different transparent textile structures. Ori is based on Japanese origami. With Bristol, a special binding skill gives the woven texture an irregular transparent structure. The leaching technique draws contrasting compressed parts as a grid layout, completed by hand. Kinnasand partners in Dubai include Carpe Diem and Avenue Home General Trading.


crafT WOrks

Palladio Interiors, the Dubai representative of an Italian conglomerate and supplier of Italian designs, architecture and furniture, has launched its new range to coincide with Eid. Think elegant armchairs, sofa sets, bedroom furniture, lamp tables, coffee tables and poltronas. Palladio designs furniture to specification and also fabricates pieces based on designs provided by clients. Entire boiserie rooms in solid wood can be created, and most pieces are handcrafted and inspired by Italian tradition.

sWiTched On sTyling

The Elica lamp designed by Brian Sironi for Martinelli Luce has been selected for the Compasso d’Oro ADI award. The table lamp, which has a metal body and an adjustable aluminium arm, painted white, has attracted glowing international recognition since it was launched in 2009. Its illumination is controlled by the arm rotation and it uses LED light sources. There are no switches that alter the harmony of its shape – rather it is seen as a propeller of light to capture the imagination.

sTyle dial call Of duTy

Meanwhile, Edge of Arabia and independent publishing house Booth-Clibborn will present Abdulnasser Gharem: Art of Survival during London Frieze Week from October 13-16. The originally crafted and beautifully illustrated text by Henry Hemming, explores the life and work of one of the Gulf’s most talked about young artists. Gharem, who had no formal art training, and whose work is in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture & Information, is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Arabian army.

Seeking to ring the changes with a mobile phone with a difference? Danish company Æsir – the Nordic term used to describe the group of principle gods from Norse mythology, including their strengths and powers – have devised the Æ+Y. The aim was to come up with a striking alternative to the sea of smartphones and their deluge of features. Designed by the award-winning Yves Béhar, it incorporates a sapphire crystal screen; ceramic casing; stainless steel and gold worked on by French and Swiss watch specialists. Chris MinhDoky – the ‘master of the upright bass’ – was behind the ringtones. The Tom Hingston Studio designed its icons. Æ+Y has a limited production, and is available in two versions: 316L in stainless steel, and 3N in 18-carat solid gold. The models can pre-ordered at

October 2011



acTing The parT

Fendi Casa participated at the 65th annual Tony awards in New York, which celebrates Broadway’s biggest successes. The home design line of the famous Italian maison furnished the green room and gift lounge, eco friendly spaces resulting from the partnership between Audemars Piguet and Patagonia Sur. Fenda Casa’s elegant furnishings provided resplendent respite to celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

frOM caTWalk TO cOuch

The creative energy between fashion and interiors is evident in the Kenzo maison collection at Aati. Riscio features elastic Obi-enclosing cushions. Inspired by Louis XV-style, the Louis armchair features high back and side profiles in lacquered wood. Faceted like a precious stone, Alice transforms from coffee table to pouf. The frame is in rigid gloss-lacquer polyurethane, in purple, apple green, grass, lime, chocolate, grey and red. The Yoko small table is Kenzo maison’s take on the traditional Gundun seat, from the Oriental tradition, which can be matched with the Yoko pouf. The frame is in wood with a back-painted glass top in a variety of hues.

chariTy WOrk

Design duo, Jean de Merry and Christian D. Maroselli, marked the 10th anniversary of their French deco-inspired, made-to-order furniture line with a collaborative charity project launch at their flagship LA store recently. JDM-TEN attracted an assortment of talent involving Costello Tagliapietra, Oliver Furth, Katherine Heigl, Molly Isaksen, Joe Dahan of Joe’s Jeans, Karolina Kurkova, Kara Mann, Joel Morrison, Irene Neuwirth and Gregory Parkinson. All 10 guest designers collaborating with de Merry agreed for their limited-edition design of furniture, casegood or decorative art piece to be sold with 100 per cent of the net proceeds going toward the charity of their choice. From supermodel Kurkova’s sculptural floor lamp inspired by motherhood and nature to Tagliapietra’s biomorphic, glamsurrealist throne, they delivered innovative forms for a brand that has always strived to keep art alive in furniture design.


identity [interior/design/property]

sWeeT harMOny

Asian influences abound this season, including at THE One, where Shanghai Sublime combines sleek chic surfaces with Far Eastern-inspired finishes and accessories. The clean lines are beautifully balanced by the elaborate Oriental elements such as the Venezia chest of drawers and the Shai cabinet. The look can be tastefully tied together with accessories from the range such as tactile throws, low-hanging ceiling lamps and scented candles.


Design agenda Furniture Festival 2011 Bangkok, Thailand, October 1-9 SIL Strategies in Light Europe 2011 Milan, Italy, October 3-5 INFDEX Qatar 2011 Doha, Qatar, October 5-8 MADE expo 2011 Rho Milan, Italy, October 5-8 Casa Su Misura 2011 Padova, Italy, October 8-16 WoodShow Cairo 2011 Cairo, Egypt, October 9-12 Heimtextil India 2011 Mumbai, India, October 10-12

MOving experience

Pircher won the XXII Compasso d’Oro ADI award for producer for its Sunset mobile home, designed by the Hangar Design Group. Aiming to appeal to those who hanker after a nomadic lifestyle – with creature comforts – the Sunset home on wheels is designed to be flexible, reversible and customisable while still fulfilling the requirements of a permanent home. The residential module features a fluid alternation of volumes and colour shades, underlining the close inter-relationship between indoor and outdoor environments, visible through the large picture windows.

InterCasa 2011 Lisbon, Portugal, October 11-16 Saudi Build 2011 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 16-19 Interior Lifestyle China 2011 Shanghai, China, October 12-15 Saloni WorldWide 2011 Moscow, Russian Federation, October 12-15 Art Deco 2011 Beirut, Lebanon, October 13-16 Abitare il Tempo 2011 Verona, Italy, October 15-19

geTTing a handle On sTyle

A handle by Manital, the Almaro by Mario Mazzer will be previewed at the MADE Expo, Milan from October 5-8. The door and window handle, pull handle and lift and slide pull handle in forged brass comes with finishing in polished brass, satin brass, satin bronze, chrome, satin chrome and satin nickel. The design recalls the typical lacing and grommets of uniforms, with two buttons connected by a loop cord. The front of the handle – featuring a frog figure – is flat. The rear side is rounded and the handgrip end is almost spherical.

cOncepTual cOlOurs

Functional pieces such as laundry baskets and doormats can become standout stars if they are dreamed up by Denmark’s global retail furniture chain Bo Concept. Its focus is on offering customised, co-ordinated and affordable contemporary furniture and accessories with a distinct urban edge. Vases, frames, candlesticks, cushions, lamps and rugs are among the eyecatching accessories in the latest line-up. If you crave a colour injection in your living space or are on the lookout for an interiors gift, the collection is worth checking out. We love the zesty orange laundry basket – it’s simply awash with sleek styling.


identity [interior/design/property]

InterMob 2011 Istanbul, Turkey, October 15-19 INDEX Interior Design Show 2011 Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 22-25 MOA CASA 2011 Roma, Italy, October 22-30 Gulf Landscaping 2011 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, October 25-26 Habitat 2011 Ferrara, Italy, October 29-November 6


Indulge in the timeless elegance of classic furniture. In the small town of Roman dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ezzelino, near Venice, Italy, over a hundred artisans work daily to create individual furniture pieces that are veritable works of art. The ďŹ ne Italian craftsmen are part of Francesco Molon, a family-owned business dedicated to the revival of furniture artistry in classical European style. The world of Francesco Molon offering high-end residential furniture, is now exclusively showcased in our dedicated showroom at Pyramid Centre, Dubai. To make an appointment for a private viewing of this unique showroom, please call 04-3345596.

By Appointment Only Phone: +971 4 334 5596, Fax: +971 4 334 5669, P.O. Box 31071, Dubai, U.A.E., E-mail: -


fruiTful encOunTer

sink-in sTyling

Kohler has stepped-up its popular Vault thin-rim fabricated stainless steel kitchen sink line with the launch of three new models. The apron front, smart divide and stainless steel sinks are designed to provide homeowners with a functional kitchen solution while offering value and modern aesthetics. When installed as self-rim, the sink’s ledge is only 1.25mm – about the thickness of a dirham coin – making the transition from sink to countertop appear seamless. This flush-mount profile also allows debris to be easily swept from the counter, over the rim, and into the sink basins. Constructed from 18-gauge stainless steel, the new Vault line stainless steel sinks include a bottom-basin rack, and utilise Silent Shield technology to reduce noise and vibration during normal use.

Alessi’s new collection of kitchen kit includes Blossom fruit holders, which explore the relationship between manipulation of fabric and architecture. Blossom investigates the potential of lace to produce figurations and ornaments through intricate connections. The visual sensibility of the design emerges from the fusion of digital aesthetic with traditional craft. Designed by Elena Manferdini, Blossom is in openwork stainless steel. Its design was conceived following a pattern that evolves gradually from geometric to floral forms. An object placed in front of it is reflected in such a way that it appears to be inside the bowl. This occurs due to the well-known effect of illusory contours by which our brain tends to reconstruct the missing parts of a well-known figure.

Trendy TOnes

Abstract patterns such as ikat and houndstooth come together for the playfully chic new Minimal Riad collection by @home, South Africa’s leading homeware store. Scatter cushions, throws and linen are covered in soft embroidered details, while individual alphabet letters and strong graphics (like the occasional Monarch Crown) scream funky, making an appearance on wooden pieces as well as accessories like mugs and décor. In contrast, furniture is dominated by brushed metal, high gloss and subtle studded details. Affordable, creative and just a touch quirky… what’s not to love?

cabineT MeMber

Interior designer Katharine Pooley, whose international design projects include a palace in Kuwait, has just launched her collection at Harrods. Her handpicked collection in bespoke makassar cabinetry against a grey suede backdrop is intricately embroidered with crystals to create dramatic dragon motifs, referencing the Asian influence in many of the designs. The range incorporates rare antiquities, limited edition designs and intricate handcrafted objects sourced from around the globe. Pooley also designs her own pieces and has a growing range of own label luxury home accessories.


identity [interior/design/property]

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 283429, Fax +961 1 283431, Duravit Middle East - SAL Off Shore - Rep. Office Business Bay - Aspect Tower - 2406 , P.O. Box: 390865 - Dubai, UAE, Tel +971 4 4274080, Fax +971 4 4274081, Duravit Saudi Arabia LLC, Al Hamra district, Aarafat street, Shahwan commercial center, 3rd floor â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 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,


living iT large

LG Electronic’s new 12kg front load washing machine, comes with improved energy and water efficiency. The A+++ machine incorporates 6 Motion Direct Drive technology, which tailors its cycles to fabric types. TrueSteam provides enhanced deep-clean performance. Smart Diagnosis enables homeowners to solve problems over the phone. Once the service technician is on the line, the customer pushes the button to release a series of tones, which pinpoint the problem. In the near future, diagnosis via a downloadable application on smartphones will be available.

flushed WiTh success

The global surge in demand for green-certified materials has encouraged RAK Ceramics to launch a wider range of eco-friendly bathware products. The company is working with European designers to develop new designs and effects. All water closets from previous nine-litre flushing capacity have been converted to six-litre full flush and three-litre half flush, translating into water savings of as much as 33 per cent. The company, which is now in the process of introducing a new product line for a four-litre full flush and 2.5-litre half-flush, plans to achieve further reduction in water consumption through its closets. A founding member of Emirates Green Building Council, it recently launched its Opulence suites which come in back-to-wall, wall-hung and close coupled designs.

a splash Of cOlOur

As bathrooms become personal havens of regeneration, our requirements for cocooning comfort in these spaces are growing. Whereas clinical white used to predominate, there’s now a desire for uplifting colour to add atmosphere. In Duravit’s Darling New furniture range, fronts come together to create a symphony of hues as fresh green or azure blue provide a vibrant splash. The lively structures of “pine silver” and “pine terra” add more subtle shots of colour. The body and panel tops of the furniture are either a discreet, matt white or “Terra”. Surfaces that come in for a lot of use, such as countertops and console panels, are coated in textured varnish, making them particularly scratch-resistant. WaTer WOrld

Dornbracht’s new Performing Shower range incorporates a choice of fixtures offering different water delivery methods, from a powerful cascade of water to a delicate or invigorating spray and the sensation of heavy rainfall. There are four rain showers in the programme, including a new rectangular version. Designs have been streamlined so the spray area is in line with the showerhead. The newest generation of hand-held showers has three variable spray settings. Both the new rain showers and the hand-held showers come in champagne, chrome, gold, platinum, platinum matte, black matte and white matte. iD


identity [interior/design/property]

Inspirations October 2011



The largest newly built museum in Britain for more than a century, Goettsch Partners’ spectacular master plan for Guangzhou and a commercial complex in Mumbai designed by James Law Cybertecture make this month’s architectural headlines. text: steve hill


3 5



2 7






Arhimetrics + Enota has won first prize in a competition to design a new office and residential building in an important location in the old city centre of Celje. Herman’s Square is next to a large park, and this has assisted equal opening of the facades and lengthy quality views along the whole building envelope. The architectural design, complete with circumferential balconies, descends towards the south in the form of terraces, blurring the sharp transition between starting volumes. Special attention has also been paid to connecting with existing walkways towards the city centre, which is further emphasised by directing all traffic underground.

A master plan by Chicago-based architects Goettsch Partners has won a design competition for a prominent site in the new Pazhou district in Guangzhou. Three urban parcels form the triangular site, which will be home to seven buildings totalling 428,000 square metres. The centrepiece of the development is a large public piazza while a landmark tower at the north-east corner of the site has been positioned for maximum visibility and presence. The six other buildings encircle the piazza and are designed with podium-level retail and dining venues that activate the public spaces. Sky bridges between buildings define the perimeter of the piazza and link the complex.



identity [interior/design/property]

The Museum of Liverpool is the largest museum built in Britain for more than a century. Beneath its stone cladding is a complex 2,100-tonne steel frame that allows large column-free exhibition spaces while the structure features 1,500 square metres of glazing, offering commanding views of the city. The museum is powered using state-ofthe-art renewable and energy efficient technologies with a combined heat and power system set to reduce carbon emissions by around 900 tonnes a year, equivalent to the environmental benefit of 88,000 trees. National Museums Liverpool developed the design concept for the building with 3XN before AEW were commissioned to deliver the detailed design.



International architecture studio Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has completed a luxury food retail and restaurant space at Tsvetnoy Central Market. The 3,930-square-metre scheme occupies the upper floors of the seven-storey department store and is centred around a 1,700-square-metre delicatessen food hall. Located above, a large-scale mezzanine level houses two private dining restaurants and destination outdoor terraces with views across the Moscow skyline. Floor-to-ceiling windows are featured throughout, while the suspended internal ceiling is comprised of 2,600 components made from highly-polished beaten stainless steel, creating a lively and colourful destination at the top to entice customers upwards through the building.

L’Atelier Renault, the car manufacturer’s showcase presence on the Champs-Elysées, recently reopened after a six-month refurbishment programme. It still features a large exhibition area and five suspended walkways but now also boasts a new ‘visual universe’ with a new sound system and cutting-edge equipment including LED screens. Three restaurant areas have been incorporated into the design while the second floor houses a bar, restaurant and a mezzanine lounge area with a large glass façade providing visitors with a unique view over one of the world’s most famous avenues. More than two million people a year visit L’Atelier Renault.





Construction work is underway on The Capital, a new commercial complex designed by James Law Cybertecture. It features a glazed stepped façade with each floor being supported by feature columns and cantilevered in a way that the building itself act as a shading device, while there is also an egg-shaped structure inscribed inside the sky lobby at the east elevation. There are natural waterfalls and vegetation situated on both sides of the sky lobby, enhancing the cooling effect of the atrium. Diffusers will be installed at ceiling level in the podium to reflect natural light into the atrium while windows on office floors can be opened to allow natural ventilation.

The Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is set to open a new 8,000-square-metre building designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates. The Dhs158m addition will more than double the museum’s current exhibition space and will add new gallery space for temporary exhibitions. The new building pays homage to the original 1970 building with stonework and strong lines echoing the existing architecture. The two buildings, connected by a gallery bridge, frame a pedestrian mall that runs through the heart of the university’s east campus with a floor-to-ceiling glass mezzanine providing a dramatic view from the new museum plaza to Lake Mendota.


A Dhs367 million redevelopment project has been launched to transform Zambia’s tallest building. Society House Tower, built in the 1970s, has been uninhabited since being gutted by a fire more than a decade ago. South African company Louis Karol Architectural is behind the reconstruction, which will comprise a 160-room four-star hotel, conference facilities, retail mall, A-grade offices and a garage capable of accommodating 1,100 cars. The striking structure will be re-faced in copper and remodelled beyond recognition, using a new 20-storey externalised fire escape. The redevelopment is a joint venture between Zambia’s National Pension Scheme Authority and the Zambia National Building Society.

October 2011



From lavish indulgences by the elite to the finest in architecture from around the world, this month’s books are sure to evoke gasps of admiration... and maybe a little envy. text: samia qaiyum


Luxury Toys – Top oF The worLd

GreaT BuiLdiNGs

paTrice Farameh

KeLLy KNauer


Time BooKs

dhs 115

dhs 127

Record-setting fine art by van Gogh, Klimt and Picasso, ultra-luxe vintage and modern cars, custom-made timepieces and futuristic modes of transport dive into the fascinating world of the best toys money can buy. From $200 million mega yachts that offer all the amenities of a first class hotel to private jets with full service kitchens and frivolous luxury items like diamond-encrusted cell phones, 14-karat gold chess sets and a $25 million Chopard watch, this new volume of teNeues’ Luxury Toys series showcases astounding examples of the world’s most extravagant belongings. Cutting-edge technology, chic designs, premium quality materials and true exclusivity come together to excite even the most discriminating millionaire. The book’s sumptuous photography and descriptive text illustrate how the select few (unapologetically) splurge on decadent objects of desire when money is no object. And naturally, no talk of luxury is complete without mention of exorbitantly-priced living spaces, which admittedly look more like mini resorts than everyday homes. There is nothing humble about the abodes featured, such as a $70 million penthouse apartment in Manhattan, a 16-room London townhouse located in a 19th century building and a Mediterranean fortress situated on a private peninsula overlooking the Spanish island of Mallorca. Chic on any coffee table and fun to browse, this is the definitive volume if you’re researching your next reckless indulgence, or so you can dream.

Taking the reader on a tour through the new age of great architecture while paying tribute to structural beauty from eras past is Great Buildings, a book that explores the world’s most influential, inspiring and astonishing structures as well as the geniuses who have helped shape them. Updated from the popular 2004 TIME Books classic, this 160-page hardback volume is beautifully illustrated with over 180 spectacular photographs and architectural renderings. There are also detailed descriptions, trivia and anecdotes on civilization’s most enduring sites and buildings icons steeped in history such as the Taj Mahal, Pyramids at Giza and Britain’s Westminster Palace as well as memorable homes like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. Featured alongside are true marvels of engineering, from lofty skyscrapers like our very own Burj Khalifa to striking buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum in Spain. A Buildings That Surprise section covers unorthodox gems like the all-glass Winter Garden in New York, movable igloos in the Canadian arctic, suspended structures like the 1972 Munich Olympic stadium and offbeat buildings such as the Ice Hotel in Quebec City. You’ll also find profiles of five groundbreaking architects: 20th century masters Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as contemporary visionaries Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava.

identity [interior/design/property]



Handw oven out door furniture cre ated w ith w eather-r esista nt DED ON fib er Nakkash Gallery · Al Garhoud Street · P.O. Box 26767 · Dubai-UAE Tel. 00971 4 2826767 · Fax 00971 4 2827567 ·

!All DEDON image s are prot e ct ed b y c opyrigh t. DEDON Gmb H r e tai n s th e rights of use . A n y ch ange of th e DEDON ad l ayout s and/or creative m ateria l is no t p ermitt ed.!


Akari light sculptures text: steve hill

photography: the Noguchi MuseuM, New york

isamu Noguchi is one of the most critically acclaimed and important artists of the 20th century, although he is possibly more popularly remembered for his innovative and hugely influential series of light sculptures. in 1951, this son of an american mother and Japanese poet visited the Japanese city of gifu, which was renowned for using mulberry bark paper and bamboo in the manufacture of traditional lanterns and umbrellas. the local mayor asked Noguchi to design a lamp that would prove popular overseas and therefore help revitalise an industry that was struggling to recover after the second world war. taking inspiration from the lanterns used by night fishermen to illuminate the Nagara river, Noguchi sketched the first in what was to become a series of more than 100 table lights, standard lamps and ceiling luminaires in a wide range of shapes and sizes. it was named Akari, which can be translated variously as sun, moon, brightness or light as illumination, and was an immediate success. this new electric lamp, fusing Noguchi’s sculptural background with a love of design while bringing together modernist principles with traditional techniques, replaced traditional candle-lit lanterns. Interiors magazines helped put Noguchi’s designs in the shop window, sparking huge demand, while exhibitions in tokyo and New york in the early fifties also helped take his work to the masses. he went on to become an influential landscape gardener and a prolific designer of furniture and stage sets, but his Akari lamps live on – still produced today by ozeki & co in gifu – after spawning countless imitations which, like his original creation, can be folded flat to ensure easy packaging for transportation and delivery. in today’s global world, it is easy to forget that Noguchi was a pioneer and a radical in the way in which he fused elements of Japanese art with western modernism while also combining his artistic sensibility with that of a technologist. and he will also be long remembered for saying: “all you need to start a home are a room, a tatami and Akari.” iD


identity [interior/design/property]

Identity | October 2011  

Identity | October 2011