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
Selva Middle East L.L.C. Sheikh Zayed Road, 4th interchange, Dubai
Tel. +971 4 3411933
Fax +971 4 3411799
Foto: Studio Marcato - Italy
A UNIQUE ITALIAN FURNITURE DESTINATION
Home Design Store, Mall of Emirates,1st Floor, Shop F8, Dubai
HOME IS WHERE MY GROHE SPAâ„˘ IS Transform your bathroom into a haven of relaxation with GROHE SPATM luxury fittings.
PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK ROSKAMS
Cover photography: Mark Roskams
22 Scope for the best
60 Unconventional wisdom
Highlights from the cutting-edge art and photography displayed at the fifth edition of SCOPE Basel in Switzerland.
Discover why the iconic Miller House, by Eero Saarinen, was well ahead of its time in the 1950s.
28 Domestic bliss
88 Show off
Eco-friendly developments like fast growing bamboo furniture, biofuel commercial flights, large-scale solar panel projects and more.
A preview of the upcoming design fairs and festivals taking place in London, Paris, Milan, Vienna and Valencia.
36 Tale of the tape
92 Made in Dubai
Vivid imaginations and endless rolls of black repositioning tape help create a New York apartment like no other.
In conversation with APIDâ€™s UAE President about the inaugural Festival of Interior Design taking place next month.
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer GROUP EDITOR & MANAGING PARTNER
Ian Fairservice GROUP SENIOR EDITOR
Gina Johnson | email@example.com GROUP EDITOR
Catherine Belbin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Samia Qaiyum | email@example.com CHIEF SUB-EDITOR
Iain Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org
Fluid forms These are no ordinary bathing spaces. Designers are re-visiting the conventional bathroom aesthetic to include rich textures, bold colours, built-in technology and a touch of eccentricity to create a spa-like ambience at home.
Belinda Igaya | email@example.com SENIOR DESIGNER
Michelle Liu | firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR MANAGER – PRODUCTION
S Sunil Kumar | email@example.com MANAGER – PRODUCTION
C Sudhakar | firstname.lastname@example.org GENERAL MANAGER – GROUP SALES
Anthony Milne | email@example.com
GROUP ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER
Seema Kausar | firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER
Shweta Praful | email@example.com SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE
Atiya Naseer | firstname.lastname@example.org GENERAL MANAGER – ABU DHABI
Joe Marritt | Joe@motivate.ae SENIOR ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER – ABU DHABI
Darryl Wiley | Darryl@motivate.ae SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE – ABU DHABI
Hamdan Bawazir | Hamdan@motivate.ae CONTRIBUTORS:
Caroline Allen | Surajit Dutta | Shraddha Dsouza |Steve Hill Ian Phillips | Ruby Rogers | Lisa Vincenti | Richard Warren
id Property + Glamour amid the gloom + Crown jewels + 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
21 34 83 94 96 98
Head Office: PO Box 2331, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 282 4060, Fax: +971 4 282 4436, E-mail: email@example.com Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072 United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER United Kingdom E-mail: email@example.com
Editorial Subscription Forum Antennae Books Icon
IDENTITY NEXT ISSUE OCTOBER 2011
+ Lighting for tomorrow's world
+ Gearing up for Gehry's latest
+ Antonio Citterio's pedal power + Ralph Lauren's debonaire interiors + Contemporary Arabian design delights
Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai
+ And much, much more… All prices quoted in identity are correct at the time of going to press.
Artist’s rendering of the Kingdom Tower, Saudi Arabia
PHOTOGRAPHY: VIKRAM GAWDE
The annual Maison et Objet show signals that the long, steamy summer recess is over as the design community makes a beeline for Paris… followed by shows in Milan, London, Paris and Venice. The UAE continues to export its expertise where major global projects are concerned, as highlighted by the news that the competitive Saudis are to build a kilometre-high mega tower that will dwarf the 828-metre Burj Khalifa, albeit with help from the team responsible for Dubai’s iconic tower. Backed by the savvy Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Al Saud, Kingdom Tower is to be the focal point of the Dhs73.4 billion Kingdom City development being built outside Jeddah. Burj Khalifa architect Adrian Smith, of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, has designed the Dhs4.4 billion tower, which will be the tallest on earth when completed by 2016. The skyscraper complex will feature the world’s most sophisticated elevator system of 59 elevators, five of which will be double-deck. Guests will be whisked to the observation terrace at the speed of 10 metres per second! The outdoor viewing deck on the 157th floor is another unique design feature, while the development’s Four Seasons hotel is guaranteed to be a major attraction in itself. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture also designed the master plan for the mixed-use Kingdom Tower Waterfront District, which surrounds the tower and will include residential and commercial buildings, a shopping mall, pedestrian-friendly promenades and other amenities. The Saudi Bin Laden Group has been named as the contractor and Thornton Tomasetti as structural engineers for Kingdom Tower, while Dubai-based Emaar Properties will manage its development. Amidst the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup scandal, the Qataris are striking ahead with plans to transform the country in time to host the tournament. Qatar – the world’s richest nation according to per capita income – has pledged to invest Dhs73.4 billion in tourism infrastructure. These efforts are mainly focused on the development of new hotels, adding an impressive 5,000 rooms every five years. Some of the first hotel chains to arrive in Qatar will be the Four Seasons and Nikki Beach, which will open on the Pearl development within the next three years. The Dhs7.3 billion city centre project will feature six hotels in total, including Rotana, Ritz-Carlton and Shangri La managed properties. Numerous new hotels have already opened, including the region’s first Missoni and W Hotel. Meanwhile, I.M. Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art has proven to be a major visitor attraction. A new Dhs40.4 billion airport, a Dhs20.2 billion seaport and a cruise terminal are also in the pipeline. Back in Dubai, momentum is building for the inaugural Festival of Interior Design that will coincide with INDEX next month. Entries for the first phase of the APID-organised Product Design competition are to be submitted by September 8. In the meantime, check out the new Chameleon Club – designed by Italo Rota – due to open soon at the Byblos Hotel in Tecom, and hop on the Dubai Metro’s Green Line, which is scheduled to start running this month.
Group Editor Catherine Belbin
Untitled (from Shadow Box #1), by Norwegian artist Ingolv Helland, is part of a series that explores spatial abstraction in photography. “We encounter a photograph with certain expectations of representation,” he says. “I was interested in working with a picture that first presented itself as an abstraction, only to transform into a spatial representation on closer examination. The picture uses the assumptions we make in viewing a photograph as an analogy for the transformation of our sense impressions, sight in this case, from optical to something that signifies and enters into awareness.” Helland entered art through philosophy and continues to focus on the theme of language boundaries.
SCOPE for the best From Asian artists presenting the viewpoints of worms and the inner self, to European artists inspired by memory and cinematic freeze frames, there were many diverse themes to follow at SCOPE Basel. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN The SCOPE art show returned to Basel for its fifth edition in June, attracting more than 14,000 collectors, curators, museum professionals and art enthusiasts. The fair returned to its city centre Kaserne venue, three blocks from Art Basel 42, which ran concurrently. Eight galleries from 17 countries exhibited artists’ works in SCOPE’s 5,000-square-metre pavilion during the five-day show from June 15 to 19. Basel is one of five global locations where SCOPE exhibits works each year. The others are Miami, New York, the Hamptons and London. The art fair has drawn 400,000 visitors since it was founded in 2002, with sales of Dhs550.7 million made over that period. In 2007, the SCOPE Foundation 501(c)3 was launched to fund art projects. “We’ve evolved from an industry niche to an influential global contributor, with ongoing events, educational programmes, and the SCOPE Foundation. We are the dynamic presence in the expanding global art market,” says Alexis Hubshman, the president of SCOPE.
PHOTOGRAPHY: © ANDREY TARKOVSKY FOUNDATION. COURTESY ANYA STONELAKE/WHITE SPACE GALLERY
Swiss artist Andy Denzler painted Room in the Past. “I’m contemplating the human psyche and the personal emotions that take place when we are alone with ourselves,” he says. “The element of time is present as well, depicted though motion, and for this piece is very much about exploring memories, past, present and future. By constraining a figure within a room, with still-life elements and a single light source, I’m able to create a heightened level of tension.” And those horizontal bands and blurs? “ It’s as if I’ve pressed the fast-forward on a video machine, then hit the pause button, so reality comes to a standstill,” he says.
PIECE OF NOSTALGIA
Multi-award-winning Russian filmmaker Andrey Tarkovsky took this photo, Near Bagno Vignoni, when researching his film Nostalgia, released in 1983. Tarkovsky and colleague Tonino Guerra were travelling in Italy looking for shooting locations and writing the screenplay at the same time and this image was captured near where filming took place. It was reproduced as an edition of 12 prints in 2007. Nostalgia won the Cannes Film Festival, Grand Prize of the Jury Award, best screenplay, in the year of its release. The filmmaker left the Soviet Union permanently in the 1980s and died in France in 1986 where he is buried at the Russian cemetery in Paris.
British artist Claire Jarvis, a recent graduate of The Royal College of Art, draws inspiration from many sources, ranging from horror to washing up, as her painting Bathroom at Night shows. “It draws on the experiences and memory of my personal everyday surroundings, such as the out-of-place vintage lamppost on the way to the local shop or the over-filled gravy boat from last night’s dinner,” she says. “I alter their original context to create a world where all is not as it appears to be, twisting seemingly banal objects and settings into an unsettling dreamscape where light fittings can beat and towels bleed.”
Barcelona artist Amadeo Berges is inspired by cinema. His photograph, El Caso del Agua, freezes “the most interesting photogram of a film”, he says, “Is it a crime or a suicide? The spectator will never know. I think this ‘not knowing’ concept is what makes the photograph so attractive. If we pay close attention, close to the victim’s shoe there is a small water puddle, so this is a riddle. Somebody finds a hanged person in a room with no furniture around. How could she hang herself? Solution: she did it on top of a big ice cube. I wanted to introduce a little bit of irony to the whole thing.”
SEEING SOUNDS AND SMELLS
Hiroshi Senju’s Waterfall series of paintings depicts not what the eye can see but the artist’s inner vision. They are conceptual forms. To reveal his inner perspective the Japanese painter makes his own pigments by crushing minerals and corals, mixing them with animal-hide glue, before applying them to heavy mulberry rag paper mounted on board. His goal is to give the viewer the experience of the “sound of the roaring water, of the cool mist or smell of the air”, he says. He began his water paintings in 1990 after exploring the subject of earth. His next area of focus will be sky. He is based in New York and Japan.
WORM WITH A VIEW
“A Worm’s-Eye View series consists of a wide range of thermal images edited and configured from a worm’s-eye view,” says Korean artist Kim Han-Kook. Shown here is pigment print Worm’s-Eye View – Butterfly2 from that series. “Mesmerised by images produced by a thermal imaging monitor at an airport security check-point one day, I came to develop a yearning for representation of this world viewed from very close range, for example, from a worm’s eye view, completely different from one that’s seen from an aerial viewpoint,” he says. By looking at many thermal images he has come to see humans and insects are the same at a “granular” level.
Forty-seven large-scale structures, called geoglyphs, have been created in 13 countries over the past 13 years by Australian sculptor Andrew Rogers for his Rhythms of Life project. Pictured above is an enlarged, stone version of his Rhythms of Life bronze sculpture in Nepal. “Rhythms of Life is an exploration of our state of reality as we interact with what is around us,” Rogers says. “The rhythms of our life oscillate as do our emotions as we move through a series of points punctuating time and space. It is a reflection of our society, our dreams and our aspirations. It is a reflection of our interaction with people and the environment.”
To question how faces are depicted in the current “Orwellian” state of portraiture Londoner Darren Coffield painted Being Pablo Picasso. Historic portraits are used for product endorsement, he says. “We see in the media faces that have been idealised, manipulated and touched up,” Coffield argues. “When viewed, the face creates in the mind a kind of Orwellian doublethink. We know that we are viewing a manipulated ‘untruth’ and yet we hold the image to be true, a notion of beauty to obtain or aspire to. An inverted face is not only difficult to recognise but repositions our sensitivity to the spatial relationships between human features.”
“This backyard is a part of Kreuzberg which is a very vivid area of Berlin,” says Austrian photographer Thomas Nowotny about his picture Berlin Backyard, Urban Series taken last year. “The sprayings, the posters give you an impression about the interests and needs of people,” he says. His Urban Series depicts the people, places and landscapes the artist comes across. “It is not about documentation, it is about my feeling for a situation which I try to capture with the image,” Nowotny says. “I am not interested in the cliché of culture, I am interested in the uncut version of life and the result.” ID
Domestic bliss Plans for a low carbon sustainable apartment building in the Chinese city of Nanjing, New York artist Steve Shaheen’s unique Metrobench and Ricoh Europe’s ‘eco-board’, powered totally by wind and solar energy, make this month’s green headlines. TEXT: STEVE HILL
LOW CARBON LIVING
BDP has been appointed to design a low carbon and sustainable apartment building in Nanjing, China, by regional developer Landsea, which specialises in green, high-tech residential developments. The design incorporates advanced passive measures such as super-insulation, very low air leakage and elimination of thermal bridging to maximise energy savings at minimal cost. It also takes into account several active technologies to further reduce the carbon emissions and running costs of the building, such as solar hot water collectors, photovoltaic cells, advanced heat recovery, LED lighting, CHP and earth tubes. The external expression of the building has significant elements that are integral to the green design philosophy. Apartments have full-height louvred triple glazing on the balconies to the southeast elevation. These balconies offer a changeable and dynamic representation of the passive design philosophy, allowing free flowing natural ventilation via the open louvres or when closed acting as passive solar winter gardens depending on the seasons. Shared double height additional outdoor space for cooking, along with traditional balconies and roof level communal gardens are also provided. At roof level, semi-open Tai Chi decks are provided beneath sculptural rainwater harvesting collectors to encourage social interaction between neighbours.
IMAGE COURTESY BDP
September 2011 March 2009
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL MACIOCE
Clockwise from top: Artist rendering of Renault’s solar panel project; Westchester Community College Gateway Centre; Pennyfields dining chairs
HERE COMES THE SUN
Renault is launching the biggest solar panel project in the global automotive industry. Solar panels covering a total area of 450,000 square metres – equivalent to 63 football pitches – are to be installed six sites across France and will eventually offer an installed power capacity of 60MW – the annual consumption of a town with a population of 15,000. The French company estimates that the move will help it reduce CO2 emissions by 30,000 tonnes a year. The project is part of Renault 2016 – Drive The Change, Renault’s strategic plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 10 per cent by 2013 and by a further 10 per cent between 2013 and 2016. Solar panels will cover the roofs of the delivery and shipping centres at the Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly and Sandouville sites, plus the staff parking lots at Maubeuge and Cléon. Installation is already under way and is due to completed by February next year.
Alex Whitney, the design manager at London-based eco-friendly furniture makers Pli, continues to make waves with his award-winning Pennyfields dining chair, which combines fast growing bamboo with refurbishable steel. The raw bamboo is produced in China to international quality standards while production is carried out by British manufacturers based in the south of England. Whitney wanted to create a simple, elegant chair that required minimal tooling and which could be manufactured at a realistic cost. Bamboo had already been used by Pli for its Hoop table and in two different collections before the launch of the Pennyfields chair, which has attracted media attention around the world.
TEACHING TO THE CONVERTED
The Westchester Community College Gateway Centre in Valhalla, New York, has been certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Dhs147 million, 6,500-square-metre, three-storey, V-shaped building includes state-of-the-art classrooms, seminar rooms, a lecture hall, computer labs, and language labs equipped with leading-edge technology to integrate students learning English into the fabric of the campus. Sustainable building elements include the recycling of construction waste, sustainable storm water management, the use of low-mercury light bulbs and indoor air quality monitoring.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE SHAHEEN
Metrobench by Steve Shaheen
Steve Shaheen has taken 5,000 New York City MetroCards and created a unique piece of furniture that is also an art sculpture. His Metrobench, recently unveiled at the Sloan Fine Art Gallery, features a base made of steel covered with discarded MetroCards that have been given a new lease of life thanks to their creative use. “I was inspired to use these discarded objects – at once very personal and expendable – in a way that reflects the manner in which mass transit joins many diverse lives into a single moment or path together,” the artist said. “The MetroCard represents movement for people; Metrobench is a point of rest for people. Millions of New Yorkers, with their separate lives, are brought together on the transit system every day. In this sculptural seat, each card, with its distinct and intimate history is stitched together into a fluid tapestry.” CHARGING AHEAD
Hawaii is to become one of the first parts of the United States to receive the all-electric Mitsubishi i as well as a network of quick charging stations for residents purchasing this innovative vehicle. The tropical island state has set itself a clean energy goal of 70 per cent by 2030 and views its agreement with the Japanese automotive manufacturer as a key part of its goal to reduce dependence on imported oil. The 66-horse power Mitsubishi i has a range of 128km-136km and uses a 16kWh lithium-ion battery that takes six hours to charge on a 240-volt, Level 2 charger, or 22 hours on a standard 110-volt charger. Billed as “the most affordable 100 per cent electric-powered mass-market production vehicle available in North America”, it has a top speed of approximately128km per hour. The i has a shift selector that allows the driver to choose between three different drive settings to optimise driving fun, increase driving efficiency or amplifying energy recycling from the vehicle’s regenerative braking system.
The eco-board by Ricoh Europe
Ricoh Europe recently unveiled Europe’s first “eco-board”, a billboard powered 100 per cent by wind and solar energy. Located in London, it features 96 solar panels and five individual wind turbines. The board is the first of its kind in Europe as it boasts dual natural sources of power so that it illuminates only when sufficient power is collected, demonstrating by example the office equipment company’s long-term commitment to sustainable business. An indicator light on the board reveals how much electricity remains in its batteries and the lighting levels are dictated by the amount of stored power. The European eco-board joins Ricoh’s solar powered billboard which was launched last year in Times Square, New York. FLYING HIGH
Thomson Airways has become the first UK airline to fly customers on sustainable biofuel. The company recently operated a Boeing 757 flight from Birmingham to Palma, Spain, ahead of launching a weekly service between the two destinations this month. At the heart of the move is the use of a 50/50 blend of jet fuel and hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids fuel made from used cooking oil. “Sustainability is key to this investment. Sustainable biofuels offer us the opportunity to improve our own individual environmental performance as well as contributing to the UK’s carbon reduction target,” Chris Browne, Thomson Airways’ managing director, said. British Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers added: “The government believes that sustainable biofuels have a role to play in efforts to tackle climate change, particularly in sectors where no other viable low carbon energy source has been identified – as is the case with aviation.” Thomson believes the adoption of sustainable biofuels by airlines will help achieve the government’s recently announced carbon budget, which commits the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. The company also believes that sustainable biofuel has the potential to reduce aviation emissions by up to 80 per cent in the long term. ID
Mood design S. Barsacchi
Kitchen Designs Llc P.O.BOX 81553 Salahudeen Road Deira - Dubai Tel. 971 - 4 2691003 firstname.lastname@example.org For trade only: www.scavolini.biz
Pls. download our general catalog from www.scavolini.com
Scavolini S.p.A. 61025 Montelabbate (PU) - Italy Tel. +39 0721443333 Fax: +39 0721443413 email@example.com www.scavolini.com
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
limited promotion K_\D`[[c\<XjkËj`ek\i`fij#[\j`^egifg\ikpdX^Xq`e\
® @JJL<E@E<KP=@M< P<8I<@>?K 8L>LJK)'(( 8DFK@M8K<GL9C@:8K@FE
The hard of it: modern floors with latitude Diane von Furstenberg’s interior wrap Basel’s on time art+design movement Aircraft regeneration: from the scrap yard Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority
Design in Dubai by identity
❏ 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.
LIMITED COMBINATION – OFFER EXCLUSIVE TO THE UAE
❏ Yes, please send me both a year’s subscription to identity magazine + the Design in Dubai by identity book for Dhs330.
❏ ENCLOSED PLEASE FIND MY CHEQUE PAYABLE TO MOTIVATE PUBLISHING OR ❏ PLEASE DEBIT MY CREDIT CARD (PLEASE TICK ONE) ❏ AMEX ❏ MASTERCARD ❏ VISA CARD HOLDER’S NAME
EXPIRY DATE AMOUNT
SEND THIS FORM + CHEQUE MADE PAYABLE TO MOTIVATE PUBLISHING THE SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER, identity, PO BOX 2331, DUBAI, UAE. TEL: +971 4 2052497 OR FAX TO +971 4 2827898
Original lighting designs handcrafted in America and specified worldwide since 1940. www.fineartlamps.com
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
From left: Designed by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, the white bedside table stands out against a background of black squiggles; the kitchen features an island made from black glass and three different widths of repositioning tape.
Tale of the tape
A New York couple and their designer stuck to their guns and went back to black in a unique way to give their home a distinctly one-off look. TEXT: IAN PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK ROSKAMS / TRIPOD AGENCY
Sylvia Heisel and Scott Taylor’s New York kitchen-cum-living room is covered with a criss-cross pattern of black tape. Not just a little bit of tape, but 40 rolls each measuring 54.8 metres. In total, that amounts to nearly 2.2 kilometres. They applied it over the course of three weeks with the help of their friend and co-conspirator, the decorator Doug Meyer. He’d pop round for dinner each evening and then they would get sticking. “Some people watch TV, some people read a book, we tape,” Taylor states with deadpan delivery. The whole process, he adds, became strangely addictive. After buying all the stocks of tape from the local art stores, they ended up having to order more off the internet. “When we ran out of tape, we were like junkies,” he recalls. “We’d be thinking: ‘It’s 12 o’clock at night. Where are we going to get more tape?’”
The result is somewhere between spellbinding and mind-boggling. Yet, listen to Heisel, a fashion designer, and she’ll tell you the initial intent was not to do something wild. “We didn’t really think of it as crazy when we started,” she insists. “It just seemed really creative.” Most of all, it was a way to jazz up a flat, which had initially appealed but had ended up looking “kind of stark” and “boring”. Located in a new building in the heart of Chelsea, the 160sq/m duplex consists of the kitchen-cum-living space on the ground floor and a bedroom, bathroom, office and vestibule in the sky-lit basement. “It was all-white and very minimal,” Heisel admits. “We’ve never had lots of stuff. Everything is on our computers.” According to Heisel, working with Meyer was “not like hiring a decorator”. The pair met at Parsons Summer School in the late-Seventies. They were both
From top: A gilded bronze Giacometti lamp and glazed ceramic Crater bowl from the 1960s are found on the walnut and brass credenza by Florence Knoll; the walls in the office have been covered in a collage of black and white images taken from books and magazines, creating a backdrop for the plastic Vicario chair that was designed by Vico Magistretti for Artemide in 1970.
15 at the time and apparently “problem children”. She still recalls them throwing water balloons out of Meyer’s dorm window on Fifth Avenue: “We hit the same woman twice and that became an issue.” They would also spend a lot of time hanging out at Studio 54, where rather serendipitously Taylor was a bartender (he and Heisel only met properly in 2004). Even back then Heisel was already intent on a career in fashion. At 12, she had sent some sketches to Calvin Klein asking for work. He politely replied that she should perhaps finish school first. Heisel launched her first independent collection in 1988 and has since gone on to dress Madonna for the musical Bloodhounds of Broadway and to work with artist Matthew Barney on the costumes for his first Cremaster films and artworks. As for Taylor, after spending most of his professional life running clubs (including one called The Milk Bar in Beverly Hills), he now devotes much of his time to creating outdoor steel sculptures. Over the years, Heisel and Meyer have remained in touch. Contact was more sporadic after he moved to Miami in the early Nineties, but soon after his return to New York two years ago he found himself walking down Seventh Avenue, admiring what he calls “really heavy-duty, biker-dude boots” a woman was wearing. “They were just below her knee and they were really chunky.” When he looked up, he discovered both the boots and the knees belonged to Heisel. Rather bizarrely, as they started chatting, they realised Heisel and Taylor were then living in a flat which Meyer himself had inhabited on two previous occasions. The work on their current place could well be termed “osmosis”. It all started with a brunch and then continued with a period of brainstorming that lasted between four and six weeks. “Doug and I would go to the gym and then he’d come over and have dinner with us,” Heisel remembers. “We’d sit around going: ‘Let’s do something’.” The first room they attacked was the downstairs office space. “Nobody ever wanted to go there because it was dark and depressing,” she says. Meyer came up with the idea of covering one wall with a collage of black and white images (a signature touch he uses on many projects). As luck would have it, Heisel just happened to have a stack of tear sheets from magazines she’d already collected. The gestation period for the kitchen-cum-living room lasted a little longer. Initially, they thought of cladding it completely in plywood and then came up with about 20 other different ideas. Once they hit upon tape, Meyer suggested using different colours in straight lines. Taylor was not impressed. “It looked like Ikea,” he sniffs. “They don’t like colour at all,” Meyer retorts. It was Heisel and Taylor who finally came up with the spider’s web idea and Meyer who chose to use three different widths. “If everything was so consistent, it just would have been boring,” he says. After a while, he also decided to break up the lines and make them change direction in order to create more tension. The type of tape was of utmost importance. Duct tape
Clockwise from top: The only room with a touch of colour, the vestibule features a diverse display of art, a gold leather ottoman purchased in Tangier as well as blue-green glass from Riihimaki and a glazed blue stoneware plate by J.T. Abernathy atop the pale turquoise blue table; Doug Meyer; the stairs in the living-cum-kitchen space lead down to the bedroom, vestibule and office.
was too adhesive, gaffer tape was too expensive and painter’s tape would have come off to easily. In the end, the perfect solution proved to be repositioning tape. Once that was up, all that was left was to find a concept for the bedroom. “Doug and I played with a lot of ideas,” Heisel declares. “Squiggles versus drips versus splatters. It was like kindergarten. We even tried finger painting.” In the end, it was black squiggles that won the day. According to Meyer, they are inspired more by Cy Twombly than Jackson Pollock. They covered the walls and floors with plastic sheeting and then stapled cotton canvas over the top. Then, tempera paint was squeezed onto them from plastic bottles similar to those used for ketchup and salad cream in American diners. The whole process took no more than three hours. A couple of days later, they created a quirky matching bed cover, which looks fantastic but is not particularly practical (it can’t be washed). “It’s only there for when someone comes over,” Meyer explains. “Otherwise, it disappears.” According to Meyer, the whole decor was conceived to vanish just as easily. Heisel and Taylor are renting. So, they know they won’t stay forever. They are
also aware that when they do leave, they’ll have to restore the flat to its original condition. For Meyer, it’s like a “Pop-Up apartment”. “It has that throw-away luxury sensibility,” he notes. “It can all come down and be reinvented at any time.” In the meantime, you can’t help wondering what it’s like to live in. “It was a progression,” Taylor says. “It was just a little every day. So, by the time it was done, it wasn’t ‘Pow!’ You gradually got used to it.” Still, there has been one downside. They had to move the bed underneath a skylight because that’s where it looked best. “Now, we’ve become like the Farmer family,” he jokes. “As soon as the sun comes up, we wake up.” And what do other people think? “There are two kinds of people,” Heisel reveals. “There are those who walk in, are quiet and are thinking: ‘Why did you do this?’ Then, there are those who, the moment the door opens, they’ll go: ‘Oh my God! This is awesome.’” To date, the most bewildered visitor has been a Chinese delivery guy. “We bought food and when he left he couldn’t find the door,” Taylor laughs. “The look on his face was pure fear. It was like a Star Trek thing: ‘I know there was a door there when I came in.’ It was like he’d lost his time hole to walk through!” ID
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: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.sensi.ae
BATHROOM | DESIGN FORMULA
Fluid forms Rethinking the use of the bathroom has inspired many designers to dream up sophisticated concepts that pair a naturalness with rich textures and a hint of eccentricity to add an element of flair to spaces increasingly being used as personal spas. TEXT: LISA VINCENTI
CONTENTS: 47 Self improvement 51 Space race 52 Colour coded 56 Donâ€™t go against the grain
Niky collection by Bruna Rapisarda for Regia
DESIGN FORMULA | BATHROOM
From top: Geisha marble wall tiles by Domenico De Palo for Antolini Luigi; Duravit’s Darling collection
As the weather gradually cools, global trend forecasters turn up the heat again. Autumn opens with two major fairs that lay the groundwork of the major directions influencing home design over the coming year. Paris’ furnishing fair, Maison et Objet, due to be held this month, reveals the thoughts that preoccupy the world of interior design in general, while Cersaie, Italy’s major bathroom fair, due to be held in Bologna later this month, clearly illustrates what’s on the minds of European designers when it comes to cutting-edge bathroom designs. The mood remains cautiously optimistic and the course set this year continues into next. Residential design continues to create a sanctuary infused with eccentricities, bold colours and a naturalness hinted at during the past year. The boundaries in bathroom design have been pushed and the result is rethought and reworked uses that are fluid, sophisticated and full of vitality. “The season’s styles are seductively sensorial; sound waves of patterns, high-pitched colours, sharp fractured shapes… we awaken to a new aesthetic,” says Victoria Redshaw, director of UK-based trend forecasting agency Scarlet Opus. “A season of change, chaos, contradictions; products that soothe us, schemes that shake us up, patterns that reassure us, colours that alarm us. A beautifully imperfect harmony.”
IlBagnoAlessi One (sanitary ware, bath tubs, shower enclosure and furniture) is produced and distributed by Laufen Bathrooms under License of Alessi Spa Italy
HEART MADE. H A N D F I N I S H E D. LAUFEN bathrooms are created with Swiss precision and high quality demands. Combined with the love for detail, exceptional bathroom concepts come to life: ILBAGNOALESSI One, design by Stefano Giovannoni
LAUFEN SHOWROOMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST #BISBJO"+.,PPIFKJ(SPVQ#4$ D LPPIFKJCNE!BKNLPPIFKJDPNt*SBO'BSCBS TBMFT!GBSCBSJS +PSEBO*[[BU.VTB.BSKJ4POT$P JOGP!NBSKJKPt,VXBJU"SUF$BTB5SBEJOH$P JOGP!BSUFDBTBC[ 0NBO"INFE.PITJO5SBEJOH--$ TXBSF!BNUPNBODPNt2BUBS.4,#VJMEJOH.BUFSJBM JOGP!NTLRBUBSDPN 4BVEJ"SBCJB"SUJDBTB +FEEBI 3JZBEI JOGP!BSUJDBTBDPNTBt4ZSJB6OJ(SPVQ VOJHSPVQ!OFUTZ 6OJUFE"SBC&NJSBUFT(FSNBO)PNFGPS#BUISPPNT,JUDIFOT JOGP!HFSNBOIPNFOFU :FNFO"M%IBZBOJ&TUGPS(FOFSBM5SBEJOH EIBZBOJDPSQ!ZFNFOOFUZF
Starck X collection by Philippe Starck for Duravit
BATHROOM | DESIGN FORMULA
Bathroom design continues to be influenced by the wellness, at-home spa theme that began a few years ago. The role of the bath as a place to recuperate, heal and re-energise has not abated and the designs coming to market take it up a notch by offering users another level of sanctuary. “Living emotional experiences in spaces dedicated to self-enhancement can only generate great positivity, not only physical but also mental, it can take us along the path of total harmony with ourselves and the environment around us,” Italian architect Simone Micheli notes. “Transported by Eastern culture, we must not remove what is wrong in us, but simply find a balance between good and bad and to do so, we must listen to ourselves while crossing the threshold of time and space.” Micheli has been involved in creating some of Europe’s most avant-garde spas, including Aquagranda Livigno Wellness Park and Atomic Spa Suisse. In his work the bathing area, for both the home and commercial settings, is not just a place to escape from the chaos of the world but also a space that must encourage users to dig deep into their souls for spiritual healing and peace. In this realm, the bathroom is not an independent space but an integral part of the home’s most private sphere: the master suite. In the past few months, designs have fostered a fluidity between the master bedroom and adjoining bathroom, with many forward designs bringing down the walls between altogether to create open, flowing spaces designed to nurture the soul. Yet moving forward, the bathroom is evolving into a new role that counts it among the other “living spaces” of a residence – an area not to be used merely for sanitary reasons or a quick escape in a soaking tub, but rather to be fully inhabited. German designer Michael Sieger, of Sieger Design, which has developed more than a dozen projects for luxury bath maker Duravit, expects the bathroom to become the focal point of the private living area and to be opened to embrace sleeping, fitness and wellness. “A bathroom is a dream bathroom if it adopts this principle of opening up and elevates bathroom living to a new level of family relaxation and communication,” he says. For Sieger, furniture plays a key role in “the bathroom’s new living-room quality”. “High-quality wooden surfaces, such as mahogany, bleached oak or rosewood, give the bathroom a lively warmth and personality. The natural warmth of wood stands in contrast to the white ceramic and acrylic surfaces of the washbasins, WCs, bidets and bathtubs and introduces a sense of the living room into the bathroom,” he says. For an understated private bungalow in Belgium, interior designer Kurt Wallaeys employed dark floors, orderly openness and a particularly liberal approach to water rituals in the master bedroom, where a pair of washbasins and free-standing Starck X bathtub stand directly next to the bed. Behind the merger of master bath and bedroom is a desire to expand the use of the bathing area beyond its usual rituals. As part of an intimate living space, it has become a place to lounge and even socialise, so more bathroom designers have begun incorporating furniture-like designs into the setting, even adding lounge seating.
DESIGN FORMULA | BATHROOM
From top: Supernova tap by Dornbracht; Sanitary module from Geberit Monolith
For the design of the Sundeck bath for Duravit, Martin Bergmann, from the Vienna-based design trio EOOS, helped to develop a foldout upholstered relaxation deck. In doing so, Bergmann created what he views as a vital element that had been missing from earlier designs. “We wanted to give the bath an additional new function so that people could use it in a greater variety of ways,” he says. The bath area thus becomes an ensemble with a wide variety of different uses and the bath “isn’t immediately recognisable… [Rather, it] creates new possibilities for everyday use. The individual lives with the bath – even after the ritual bathing experience. At the same time, these functions can also be deliberately linked with the rituals of lying down and relaxing. It’s not the designer but the user who decides about the symbolic quality of the bath.” Sundeck clearly illustrates the evolution of the bathroom, one that many designers are pursuing. Having a bath or shower at the end of the day means relaxation; erasing the demands of the day’s work and leaving worries behind. Now after the bath or shower, new designs encourage users to extend the relaxation phase to produce a deep calm. Hence the lack of walls between sleep areas and bathrooms; or the inclusion of resting places in the bathroom and décor. Now bathroom designs, with products such as Sundeck and new designs from Kaldewei, no longer require people to walk to the bedroom after having a bath but allow them to relax right where they are. Kaldewei introduced a relaxation lounger, complete with cushion, which stretches across the whole bathtub. While having a bath, Kaldewei’s individual elements are designed to enhance the experience. Placed over the middle of the bathtub as a rack, the individual elements provide space for books, magazines, or drinks.
Two elements can be combined anytime to serve as a seat to sit on when comfortably pampering your body. The individual elements are hand-sewn and water-repellent. They can be easily connected with snap buttons – going from the bathtub rack to the relaxation lounger. When sleek bathroom furnishings maker Dornbracht reconsidered the function of the bathing area, it created a stunning architectural composition with Supernova. This conceives a bathing area with no specifically defined boundaries; the bathroom morphs into a sculpture objet, demarcated from the surrounding room by its surfaces and materials. In fact, one presentation of Supernova presented the line as an island floating in the centre of the bath. The fitting represents a sophisticated, progressive design, which emphasises the striking geometry of the spout and the control elements, while built-in seating invites repose. “Today interior design is a holistic assignment that incorporates furniture systems and individual pieces, colour concepts, lighting design and luminaires, continuous materials for floors and walls as
Abrazo Lithocast freestanding bath by Kohler
BATHROOM | DESIGN FORMULA
Bossini’s Aquavolo Music-Chromotherapy shower
well as technical equipment,” state the experts at interior design show imm cologne of the influential themes presented in its Pure Village showcase. “And yet holism and homogeneous design concepts don’t automatically mean boredom. Modern man lives and grows with his interior: he seeks the special, the exciting, the personal, he combines neutral basic furnishings with unusual one-offs or heirlooms; besides technical equipment, he is again attaching importance to furniture and textiles that have been manufactured in old artisanal tradition and deliberately factors in a certain amount of latitude that allows scope for variations and reconfigurations. Thinking in norms was yesterday, today we’re looking for inspiration.” SPACE RACE
The bathroom’s altered functions and significance are not only influencing product design, they are altering the space, its size and structure as well. Which is why many manufacturers’ latest bathroom collections increasingly feature ways their products can be used to exploit and structure
the space. The sanitaryware either projects into the space or is positioned centrally, creating open sightlines, interlinked areas and secluded zones. While showers are turning into room dividers, wall sections accommodate the fittings and washbasin and the toilet is either vanishing from the bathroom entirely or at least retreating into a separate alcove. “The bathroom itself has changed,” says Gerald Böse, the chief executive of Koelnmesse, the German organiser of imm cologne. “But we also need to realise that the concept and design of the bathroom has grown beyond the boundaries of a single specialised segment. It is adapting its design to the style of the rest of the home and taking on a variety of different functions.” Glass shower enclosures and partitions continue to feature heavily in major designs, meeting both functional and aesthetic demands. Every piece of the puzzle fits together to form a new whole that heightens the ambience and emotional pull – banal sterility is no longer an option. “Beauty and simplicity are universal values, not merely related to form,” notes Elina Zucchetti, who heads Zucchetti.Kos Group. “I strongly
wanted to engender a vision of ambiences, not just of products: of new gestures, not banal rituals. I wanted a different atmosphere. A journey in search of another dimension: a new adventure.” To achieve this vision Zucchetti commissioned renowned Italian designers Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, who reworked the iconography of the contemporary bathroom in the far-reaching Faraway collection. The designers created a line they say transforms the bathroom into a sensory experience to lead users on a real or virtual journey of self-discovery. Other designers have also begun heralding the importance of creating emotive spaces designed to deliver an emotional and sensual wallop. The roots of this have already taken hold in other areas of the home, where interiors began to focus not only on providing escape from the everyday world but also leading homeowners on an emotional journey as they move from one region of the home to another. Hence, colour, interesting textures and lighting have become calling cards. “Light and colour are an important element of our quality of life and influence our sense of wellbeing to a high degree,” says Munich designer
DESIGN FORMULA | BATHROOM
Verev glass mosaic mirror from Sicis
Andreas Struppler, who believes lighting is critical in creating the perfect setting. “In the bathroom, where the day begins and ends, the right light ensures a good start to both the day and the night.” Lighting has moved far beyond its functional level of providing sufficient support for visual tasks, as its role in setting a mood has taken centre stage during the past year. In living spaces, the clever use of lighting, whether running along the floor, part of an LED wallpaper or emitted as a gentle glow from beneath furniture, continues to gain momentum. “Lighting has to be able to appeal to the emotions and generate feelings and atmosphere,” Struppler says. “When the lights shine onto the surrounding ceilings and walls and bathe them in a soothing blue, stimulating red, uplifting green or a programme with all colours in alternation, the reviving effect of a relaxing bath is stepped up a notch.”
Tubs with built-in lighting or internal illumination (such as the multi-coloured LTT illuminated bathtub designed by Jan Puylaert) and light-edged mirrors are growing in popularity. For several years, chromotherapy, or the use of colour to heal, has been a frequent device employed in creating a holistic bathroom experience through showerheads and tubs, both of which can be a source of great light. New introductions continue to delve into the science of colour. One such newcomer is the Virgin shower head designed by Daniele Bedini for Zazzeri. Embedded in the ceiling, Virgin creates a waterfall effect, with options for various sprays, and built-in LED lighting for a refreshing effect. From Bossini comes the Aquavolo Music-Chromotherapy showerhead, which weds the benefits of music and chromotherapy with a variety of jets. Yet the application of chromotherapy is
ONTO. A NEW FORM OF BATHROOM DESIGN.
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, email@example.com. Duravit Middle East (Branch), P.O. Box: 293622 – Dubai, Dubai Airport Free Zone - United Arab Emirates, Phone +971 4 7017117, Fax +971 4 7017121, firstname.lastname@example.org. Duravit Saudi Arabia LLC, Al Hamra district, Aarafat street, Shahwan commercial center, 3rd floor – Office number 4, P.O. Box 9135, 21413 Jeddah, Phone +966 2 66 580 54 / +966 2 66 176 94, Fax +966 2 66 410 38, email@example.com. www.duravit.com
Clockwise from top left: Touch2O Technology by Delta Faucet; Kross flat faucet by Isma; “Feel Free to Compose” from Axor Bouroullec bathroom collection for Hansgrohe.; Allure Brilliant faucet collection by GROHE SPA
being broadened in the bathroom and colour is being judiciously injected in other ways into this space via paint choices, furnishings and tiles. In the world of colour, forecast agency Pantone presented a road map to follow for next year’s colour story via Bridges, a theme conceptualised by the oceanside – think of the cool blues of the water, weatherworn wood docks and muted earth tones. New metallics, transparency and optical textures are shown side-by-side with very modern matte finishes and major interior trends laid out by Scarlet Opus for next year flesh out the details. “We will arrive at the spring/summer 2012 season looking at things from a different perspective, a new standpoint of positivity and determination to set things right,” Redshaw says. “A global reboot! The season’s colours work together as harmonious units, colour communities, families. It’s all about the collective!”
According to Redshaw’s team, looking to next year’s spring/summer season, the focus will be on pops of colour from her Colour Capital trend, where inspiration is gleaned from today’s youth culture. The super-charged Colour Capital is dynamic, energetic and uncontainable, and features fractured, angular shapes, bolts of colour, and clashing patterns. “Olympic blue, highlighter yellow, and a clashing pink and red, working with a concrete, city grey which adds an all-important urban edge with graffiti overtones,” Redshaw says. Digging into Scarlet Opus’s design directions leads directly into the major trends influencing tile introductions, a major element in the design of any contemporary bathroom. At this month’s Cersaie show, top European tile makers will show just how far their offerings have come in the past several years thanks to innovation and technology. New collections luxuriate in complex
BATHROOM | DESIGN FORMULA
From top: My Nature bathroom collection by Villeroy & Boch; Kaldewei’s Ellipso Duo by Phoenix Design
colours and textures, making it easier than ever to add a strong yet sophisticated statement in the bathroom. Intense colours have been introduced by top Italian ceramics makers, and concrete and graffiti-inspired collections – such as Refin’s Graffiti collection, which reinterprets cement in porcelain stoneware, and large-format Frisia tiles from LaFaenza, which offer an intriguing cement effect. Concreta by Marazzi, Transit Slim by Ragno and Urban Touch by Fioranese are other unique spins on concrete. From a graphic perspective, Mirage introduced two equally bold collections, Lab_21 and Oxy, which feature stenciled patterns, oxidised metals, subway maps and manhole covers. While DesignTaleStudio’s brand new Beside collection, designed by Massimiliano Adami, produces a patterns that resembles a patchwork of spray-painted mosaics. Amid Scarlet Opus’s Cultural Nexus trend, mixed metallics and ancient stones form the backbone of bathroom design; while the glamour of black in the bathroom relates to what it dubs Majestic Minimalism; and the obvious water associations of the Abyss trend gleans inspiration from the depths of the ocean. “New collections such as those from Bangkok-based tile maker Sonite are all about a mature take on ‘bling’ that moves luxury forward, taking on greater levels of sophistication and subtlety,” Redshaw points out. “Metallics move from being high-shine to brushed, burnished, oxidised, blackened and beaten, and we also see a shift from clean golds to warmer metallic tones such as coppers and bronzes.” The softer and warmer aesthetic of many new ceramic collections have ushered in a new era of tactile tiles: the Velvet tile by Casa Dolce Casa may look like a stone from Venice but has the hand of plush fabric. Similarly, Velvet Stone by ABK and Crystal by Rondine just beg to be touched. Yet looking ahead it is the theme of naturalness that proves one of next year’s over-arching trends.
DESIGN FORMULA | BATHROOM
DON’T GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
Wood takes centre stage in so many introductions coming to market. It plays on the major directions set in motion during the past two years to add a more natural and sometimes rural, rustic quality to the home. Now in the bathroom, naturalness, in the form of rustic stones or wood, proves a powerful force. Whether a tub wrapped in wood or a shower tray done up in teak, wood elements provide another connection to the natural world around and add a fresh energy to the latest designs. From Italian bathroom-maker Francoceccotti comes a complete series of tubs and sinks carved from wood. As part of its Natural range, Agua, crafted from a “wood essence”, reworks the classic freestanding tub into a contemporary statement that is both rustic and modern at the same time. Likewise, its wallhung Wave washbasin features a linear design that suddenly gives way to a wide and gentle curve. The look is solid and dynamic at the same time. The Onto bathroom collection, created by award-winning designer Matteo Thun for Duravit, features minimal lines and a soft curved front to give a contemporary organic look which is enhanced by the natural wood finish of not only the bathtub but the basin as well. And, being introduced at Cersaie, Boxart has created a new shower environment showcased in golden and walnut travertine, with a teak footboard, all built at the same level of the ground floor. The shower tray is modular and formed by a stainless steel tank with a central element that can be in travertine, marble, slate or different woods. For its Dialoghi collection, Mosaico+ creates solid wood tiles cut from slats of logs. The slats are dried, stabilised and finally treated with a special varnish to make them suitable for use in bathrooms on walls over which water runs. For those that prefer ceramics, there are a number of wood-inspired collections to choose from: Monocibec’s sustainable Ontario series sports a wood-look and is available with a grip or ribbed grip finish. Ascot’s Oldwood and Sadon’s Woodland are two additional faux wood tiles that have an exterior version for greater flexibility. “The bathroom is the only place in the house that gives you the opportunity to withdraw inside yourself, find peace, come to terms with yourself,” designer Mike Meiré says. “I personally think that wellness sounds a little too soft. We are on the cusp of a completely new culture, for which we currently do not even have the right questions, let alone the answers. “All we really know is that our lives, our energy and our resources are finite. Our bodies, our souls and our mental fitness are our capital. This makes it worth protecting and looking after. Wellness is nothing more than the opening credits for the main feature film. The bathroom is the only place in the house that gives you the opportunity to withdraw inside yourself, find peace, come to terms with yourself.” ID
Gessi’s Tremillimetri showerhead collection
DESIGN FORMULA | BATHROOM
Design sources abk.it aldanube.com; tel. (04) 266 7699 antolini.it antoniolupi.it bossini.it; tel: (04) 339 5660 casadolcecasa.com deltafaucet.com; tel: (050) 122 9906 designtalestudio.com dornbracht.com; tel: (04) 335 0731 duravit.com; tel: (04) 556 2232 fabioluciani.com fioranese.it geberit.com; tel: (04) 204 5477 gessi.it; tel: (04) 339 0760 grohe.com; tel: (04) 331 8070 hansgrohe.com; tel: (04) 332 6565 isma-faucet.squarespace.com kaldewei.com; tel: (04) 330 7771 kohler.com; tel: (04) 321 1330 lafaenza.it mosaicopiu.it; tel: (04) 339 5660 olympiaceramica.it palombaserafini.com regia.it roca.com; tel: (04) 347 6400 rondinegroup.com sicis.it; tel: (04) 367 1290 sieger-design.de villeroy-boch.com; tel: (04) 364 2613 zazzeri.it zucchettikos.it
Melograno mosaic tile by Sicis
From left: an exterior shot of the Miller House, designed by Eero Saarinen; gardens designed by landscape designer Dan Riley
Unconventional wisdom When mid-20th-century architect Eero Saarinen completed one of his few residential commissions working alongside interior designer Alexander Girard, few were privy to the pair’s achievement, but the J Irwin Miller House shows how their vision of modernism has come full circle. TEXT: LISA VINCENTI For half a century, the steel-and-glass home commissioned by philanthropist and American industrialist J Irwin Miller remained largely hidden from the public eye. The residence, which sits on a sprawling 13.5 acres of land, was kept out of the spotlight by its owner, who carefully guarded his home’s privacy. Recently acquired by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Miller House is now open to the public for the first time and its iconic architecture sets it firmly among other more famed American modernist masterpieces. Completed in 1955, the house, one of the few residential homes by Finnish-born American architect Eero Saarinen, can be viewed as a link in the chain of glass houses set amid bucolic scenery that heralded the arrival of Modernism in the United States. Yet unlike Philip Johnson’s Glass House (1949), Mies van der Rohe’s 1951 Farnsworth House and the Eames’ Pacific Palisades home (1949), the Miller House was not created as a shrine to minimalist mid-century ideals – it was a home built for family living. Along with the New Canaan family home built in 1954 by Eliot Noyes, who is credited with launching the careers of life-long friends Saarinen and Charles Eames, both were shielded from the public until recently and featured a practicality born of family life. Irwin Miller and his wife, Xenia, hired the largely over-looked mid-century designer Alexander Girard to bring colour, texture and whimsy into their home. Prominent 20th-century landscape designer Dan Riley was commissioned to create the gardens and his design serves as a linchpin of the home, integrating landscape and building by extending the geometry of the structure outdoors. The Miller house was a collaboration among these three great minds and offered a softer, family friendly version of the modernist aesthetic, yet done without compromise to the home’s beauty and integrity.
Clockwise from top left: the sunken conversation pit, one of the home’s most notable features; a 15-metre storage wall, running from the entrance hall to the den; tucked into a corner, the fitted kitchen with ample built-in storage feels almost invisible
Of the famous glass houses, only the Noyes House, like this one, was built for a family. Yet the 650sq/m Miller House was far more luxurious and aspirational than that one, where a certain New England Spartanism prevailed, with stone floors, colonial chairs and an outdoor passage connecting living areas to bedrooms. Saarinen’s domestic designs tend toward a plain façade that hides an open, multi-level living area, built-in storage walls, controlled lighting and a few curved elements punctuating a gridded plan. The house, a nod to van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion (1929), emulates the pavilion’s open floor plan and luxurious materials – in this case, white marble walls and travertine floors. The flat-roofed, one-storey house of glass, concrete, and steel sits like a beacon of Miesian modernism on a plain above the White River. In this Columbus, Indiana, residence Saarinen reduced architecture to the manipulation of form and function, turning to structural geometry – the square, circle, and straight line – rather than conventional furniture and walls to define each functional area. His cool, almost corporate architecture was softened by Girard’s warming and unexpected decoration, and the workmanship and attention to detail of the Miller house reveals a departure from the chilly austerity of the International style. By the time Miller commissioned Saarinen, who died six years after the completion of the home, to design his villa the two had worked together on numerous projects. Miller, a prominent businessman and philanthropist, singlehandedly put Columbus on the map. He was a devout patron of modern architecture, luring some of the biggest names to this sleepy town, which is now considered the sixth most important architectural city in the US.
Miller achieved this by using his wealth and sway, establishing the Cummins Foundation in 1954 and offering three years later to pay the architect fees for new public buildings in Columbus (an arrangement that still exists). Thus this small Midwestern city has buildings by Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen (Eero’s father), IM Pei, Kevin Roche, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, César Pelli, Robert Venturi, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, many of which feature extensive interiors designed by Girard. “Columbus and J Irwin Miller are almost holy words in architectural circles,” wrote architecture critic Paul Goldberger in 1976. “There is no other place in which a single philanthropist has placed so much faith in architecture as a means to civic improvement.” It is evident how carefully the designers of Miller House calibrated the space and the circulation sequences, managed views, and chose rich materials and warm decorative objects to create the effects they desired. Saarinen, today best known for his landmark TWA terminal at JFK airport in New York and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, brought Girard in at the very beginning of the design process (Kiley entered the scene somewhat later) and the two worked side-by-side on the interior. Girard channeled Saarinen’s Scandinavian love of craft and colour – via Mexican cottons and folk art figurines – leaving Saarinen to mine high modernism for inspiration. One of the homes most elegant expressions is the main living space’s circular fire pit. It curves seamlessly to the ceiling, dangling just off the floor. Girard, who was brought into the Herman Miller fold by Charles Eames, who headed the company’s textile division from 1952 to 1975, creating fabrics for the
designs of George Nelson, and Charles and Ray Eames. During his work there his uninhibited use of vibrant colours and patterns injected a clever playfulness and served as a counterpoint to American Modernist furniture. For inspiration, Girard turned to countries like Mexico and India, both rich in folk art and handicraft traditions. Miller was one of Girard’s biggest fans and gave him carte blanche over the décor, and he created custom rugs, fabrics, and fixtures. A 15-metre storage wall and a conversation pit (something both Girard and Saarinen had been working towards in earlier works) are two of the home’s most notable features. In fact, in one of the few public showings of the Miller House, which remained anonymous, was in House & Garden’s February 1959 edition, which featured a close-up of the storage wall designed by Girard. Running from the entrance hall to the den, it held books, sculpture, folk art and engravings, set against a backing of black-and-gold and red tea paper. Hidden behind rosewood doors were a television, bar, stereo system, and storage for camera equipment. Such built-ins were becoming commonplace in the domestic landscapes of Girard, Nelson, Saarinen and the Eameses as a way of organising and hiding the necessary stuff of life. “The great centre area is a big, handsome, festive meeting room for activities and entertainment,” wrote H&G. “Inspired by old Midwest farmhouses where all rooms opened on a common room, it has the same magnetic effect, expresses the common unity of the family.” The home’s most memorable element, perhaps its trademark feature, which seems so on point today, is its sunken conversation pit, something
From top: a marble table and the iconic Saarinen-designed Tulip chairs feature in the dining area; Eero Saarinen
both Girard and Saarinen had been toying with in earlier designs. Girard’s 1948 living room in his home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, included an encircling built-in banquette; while Saarinen created a sunken circular seating area for Vassar College’s Emma Hartman Noyes House (1954–58). The Miller House’s square seating pit, a solution to what Saarinen dubbed the “slum of legs”, is upholstered in red and lined with silk and embroidered cushions, the pit provides a vibrant counterpoint to the marble floors and adds richness to the central space, without impeding the view of the grounds. The nearby dining room proves equally intriguing, with a huge round table that allowed Saarinen to revisit the dining room his father had designed for the Saarinen House. His table is made entirely of marble, allowing him to achieve the seamless, single-material goal that was a favourite of his and others including Eames and Bertoia. The Miller project also allowed Saarinen to perfect what would become one of the era’s most iconic designs, his Tulip chair, which was taken into production by the Knoll furniture company in 1956. Saarinen first received critical recognition for an award-winning chair he and Eames designed together for a competitive exhibit, curated by Elliot Noyes, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, called Organic Design in Home Furnishings in 1940, for which the pair received first prize. “The purpose of architecture is to shelter and enhance man’s life on earth, and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence,” wrote Saarinen prior to the completion of some of his most momentous designs (including the TWA terminal). During his lifetime, he failed to receive the recognition he deserved, yet the opening of the Miller House to the public firmly establishes him among the pantheon of America’s great mid-century architects. As Miller once said: “Great architecture is… a triple achievement. It is the solving of a concrete problem. It is the free expression of the architect himself. And it is an inspired and intuitive expression of his client.” ID
CONTENTS: 68 Glamour amid the gloom 74 Crown jewels 80 Antennae
idProperty | INTERNATIONAL
Akamas Bay Villas
Homes at Aphrodite Hills golf community
Glamour amid the gloom The drama playing out in the Cypriot property market is worthy of ancient Greek theatre. But will it have a happy ending? TEXT: RICHARD WARREN
Yacht at sea off coast of Cyprus
The Playground of the Gods has been getting a bad press recently. Against a backdrop of falling property prices and declining sales transactions, a property analyst has described Cyprus as the worst property market in Europe, and a member of the European Parliament has warned voters not to buy homes on the island. Moreover, Cypriot banks have been downgraded by ratings agencies concerned about how much money they have loaned in Greece, where the debt crisis is worsening, and exposure to their own countryâ€™s shaky housing market. With so much foreboding around, now would not appear to be a good time to buy a home on the island. However, not all is doom and gloom. Exciting new housing developments, some connected to the governmentâ€™s plan to make Cyprus a hub for the worldâ€™s yachting community, are appearing that may help revitalise the housing market.
A renaissance in the Cypriot property sector cannot happen soon enough. Government stats show home sales in first quarter of 2011 were down 15 per cent on the same period last year, when the market was already depressed following the 2008 global property market crash. Prices slipped back 6.5 per cent in the six months to April 2011 as the shock waves from that crash continue to reverberate. The value of Cypriot real estate is now about 25 per cent below peak levels reached in 2007 and the numbers of British buyers, traditionally the largest group of overseas purchasers, have fallen sharply since the credit crunch and have only partly been replaced by an influx of Russian and Middle Eastern buyers. Bureaucratic bungling is making many potential purchasers think twice about signing on the dotted line. Some homeowners are asked to pay excessive
idProperty | INTERNATIONAL
From top: A villa, aerial view of a golf course and spa at Aphrodite Hills golf community
property taxes, while others complain they must wait years to receive their title deeds – up to 40,000 overseas owners of Cypriot homes do not have this essential paperwork. Worse, some have their homes repossessed by banks, because they have become responsible for unpaid debts incurred by developers who, unknown to buyers, mortgaged their building sites, a particularly cruel legal twist. Frustrated overseas homeowners have formed action groups and held street protests about such issues. New legislation aimed at cutting the title deeds backlog allows homeowners to keep their homes provided they pay off the developer’s mortgage, but as the editor of Cyprus Property News concludes: “This is ridiculous. How many people are going to be prepared to pay for their house twice?” Scottish MEP Alyn Smith has received 50 complaints from Cyprus homeowning constituents who have got into legal hot water because title deeds have not been issued to them. “I think people should steer clear of the place,” he says. “I contacted the Cypriot President to try and resolve some of these problems, and I did not even get a response, and I’m just not convinced the Cypriot authorities are treating this with any urgency at all.” A combination of falling property prices, the ongoing title deeds fiasco and the downgrading of Cypriot banks has led property information business Global Edge to conclude: “If there was a prize for the worst overseas property market in Europe, Cyprus would be the hands down winner.” Estate agents operating at the upper end of the Cyprus property market have hit back at critics. “OK, we know the title deeds issue in Cyprus is a severe one,” says Michael Reilly, director of Savills Select Resorts, in reference to Smith’s warning, “but to warn buyers not to buy now, when dedicated parties within the market are working hard to resolve the issue, was a bit unfair.” The company is marketing homes at the Aphrodite Hills golf community where half of those who bought properties in 2010 have been issued title deeds. The resort’s developer, Aphrodite Hills Property, is working with the Land Registry to issue deeds to the 200 other purchasers. “This shows that the recent changes to the law and rules are working, and that if you work with a genuine company in Cyprus you should have little trouble getting the title deeds in the future,” Reilly says. The luxury end of the property sector is less affected by a downturn than the mainstream housing market, say estate agents.
idProperty | INTERNATIONAL
Clockwise from top: Limassol marina as it exists today; CGIs of how Limassol Marina will look on completion.
“Prime property prices in Cyprus are unchanged over last 12 months, in line with much of the prime, second home destinations in Europe,” says James Price, head of international residential development at Knight Frank. “The challenges have been caused by the general malaise, but also, I believe, the market catching up with a shift in projects being offered, moving from mid-market to a higher level.” New high-end residential developments appearing include Akamas Bay Villas, where 40 detached houses, each with their own garden and swimming pool, are being built next to a beach on the island’s north-west coast. The developer, Cybarco, had permission to construct 72 homes on the 6.3-hectare site, but is building fewer than that to create a sense of luxury and privacy for homeowners, says sales manager Andreas Constantinou. Scheduled for completion in 2014, prices start at Dhs8.2 million for a threebedroom villa. Most buyers are expected to come from Cyprus, Russia, Western Europe and the Middle East. The most significant property developments are appearing at four Cypriot ports, part of a national scheme to draw the world’s yachting community to the island. Yachting marinas are being enlarged or created at Limassol, Lanarca, Paphos and Ayia Napa. The largest scheme is Limassol Marina, where 653 berths, including 35 for super-yachts, will be created by Cybarco at a new marina next to the old port in 2012. Ten hectares of land are being reclaimed as part of the 17-hectare scheme, which will have 274 apartments and villas. Prices for villas with private berths start at Dhs8.6 million. Apartments will cost from Dhs2.5 million to buy.
Warehouses in the old port area will become seafood restaurants, a cultural centre and a school for training merchant seamen. The Dhs1.839 billion project also includes construction of a 14-kilometre promenade, the longest in the Mediterranean, and Freedom Square, a public space with a church at one end and a mosque at the other. The adjacent old town, dominated by a 14th-century castle where England’s Richard III married Queen Berengaria of Navarre, will be pedestrianised as part of a wider plan to beautify this part of Limassol. “Cyprus is developing marinas to diversify the economy after the global economic problems,” says Limassol Marina marketing manager Nick Pampakas, who believes the island is an ideal port of call for yachters because it is en route for boats heading in and out of the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, and is close to Asia, Africa and Europe. “Cyprus is where three continents meet,” he says. Price welcomes the new marinas. “I think this sends a positive signal that the island offers property across a range of lifestyles, with beach, golf, country retreats and now yachting all covered,” he says. “I believe at a sensible price level there will be sufficient demand to absorb this stock, so on the whole this is positive.” The island is creating four new golf courses by 2014, doubling its current offering, to lure additional tourists and second homeowners. Building marinas, golf courses and luxurious new homes may help the island become a playground for wealthy second homeowners, but resolving property ownership issues and bank finances may be needed, too. ID
Crown jewels Journey to southern Europe to tour the stunning interiors of Barcelona’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel and learn about the restoration of Rome’s most prominent landmark by Tod's Group, returning to new property developments here in the UAE. TEXT: CAROLINE ALLEN
ON THE MONEY
A refurbished former bank, now a luxury hotel operated by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group – which is developing a resort in Abu Dhabi – provided rich pickings for Patricia Urquiola. The internationally renowned Spanish architect and designer transformed its interior into a stunning and timelessly elegant space. Barcelona’s open and cosmopolitan character is reflected in the striking interior design by style icon Urquiola for the city’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. A former bank head office, the linear simplicity of the building lends itself perfectly to Urquoila’s clean, balanced signature styling. Urquiola was the tour de force behind the spatial layout and choice of furniture design, ceiling decoration and hand-woven carpets. Nearly all the furniture was specifically designed by the artist or adapted for the hotel in
PORTFOLIO | idProperty
conjunction with such desirable brands as B&B Italia, DePadova, Flos and Moroso. From the Scandinavian-style armchairs in Moments restaurant to the fully restored early 20th century French ironing table that serves as a centrepiece to Blanc restaurant and lounge, meticulous attention to detail ensured that every area has its own distinct character. The lobby sofa was adapted from a traditional Chesterfield while the tartan carpet in the Banker’s Bar is reminiscent of gentlemen’s clubs of bygone days. In a nod to the building’s history, steel safes adorn the walls there. The 98 bedrooms, in hues of cream and white, were kitted out with avantgarde furniture, which happily co-exists with Oriental details, such as large wall screens and wardrobes inspired by traditional lacquered Chinese boxes. Light oak floors and large bespoke beige rugs add warmth while the bathrooms,
complete with oversized walk-in showers, feature mosaics by Mutina and Bisazza, conceived as magical boxes of coloured glass. An enormous, rectangular, metallic grid, suspended over the Blanc restaurant tables, to facilitate privacy, is possibly the hotel’s most striking design element. A lush ‘hanging garden’ effect was created by the addition of plants. A minimalist aesthetic is evident throughout the spa. Dark wood detailing, black ceilings, white floors and the organic look of wet stone create a cocooning effect. Metallic curtains lead to the eight treatment rooms, where sophisticated period appliqués contrast with the overall simplicity of the space. In the pool area, a large malachite-green screen hides the hammam from view. Landscape architect Beth Figueras, in collaboration with Urquiola, worked on the inner courtyard, known as the Mimosa Garden. The result is an
Terrat, rooftop terrace
Barcelona Suite bathroom
inviting garden terrace, covering 660 sq m, which has been integrated into the structure of the building. Specially designed rope chairs encourage languid lounging in this urban retreat. Every Mandarin Oriental property has a unique fan; an element that reflects the group’s Oriental origins while linking it with local culture. Urquiola’s creation for the Mandarin Oriental in the Catalan capital fuses the elegance of Asian fans with the expressiveness of their traditional Spanish counterparts while mirroring the general spirit of the hotel’s decor and architecture. The large piece of gold-coloured metal which presides over the Banker’s Bar, features an intricate perforated pattern. It references design elements found on a much larger scale throughout the hotel such as the two bronze aluminium latticework partitions at the entrance and the eyecatching grid suspended over Blanc. The beautiful meshwork comprised of different superimposed layers creates a mesmirising three-dimensional effect. Urquiola studied architecture in Madrid, transferring to the Politecnico di Milano. She graduated with a thesis supervised by the famous Italian architect Achille Castiglioni who created the acclaimed Arco floor lamp. From 1990 to
1996 she managed the De Padova firm’s new product development office, in collaboration with the designer and architect Vico Magistretti. She later headed Piero Lissoni’s design team for five years. In 2001 the dynamic designer set up her own studio in Milan, specialising in product design, architecture, installations and concept development. ‘Hurricane Patricia’ as she has been dubbed has worked with a dizzying array of big names in the design world such as B&B Italia, Bisazza, Alessi, Foscarini, Mutina, Panasonic and Viccarbe. In architecture, her high profile clients have included Roberto Torretta, Valentino, Max Mara and Moroso. Urquoila’s slew of prestigious awards include the ADI Design Index, International Design Yearbook, IMM Cologne Award, Good Design Awards of the Chicago Athenaeum, Red Dot Award and the Elle Decoration international awards. Her Fjord armchair and footstool for Moroso and Bague lamp for Foscarini are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Whether it’s a sculptural chaise longue, a blissful bath or a hip hotel, Urquiola can be counted on to bring about credible change.
PORTFOLIO | idProperty
The Colosseum, Rome
Diego and Andrea Della Valle
BEST FOOT FORWARD
The Tod’s Group, famous for its luxury loafers, is footing the 25 million euro (approximately Dhs130 million) bill for the restoration of one of the world’s most identifiable structures, the Colosseum in Rome. A leading brand representative of Made in Italy, Tod’s saw patronage of this renowned symbol of Italian history and culture as the perfect fit. The Colosseum was commissioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian and completed by his son, Titus, in AD80, with later improvements by Domitian. Located just east of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum was built to a practical design, with 80 arched entrances allowing easy access to around 50,000 spectators. It features an ellipse 188m long and 156m wide. The building is on a base of two steps above which are three floors
of arcades in travertine stone and a fourth storey with windows. There were 80 arches on every floor, divided by pillars with a half column. The four arches on the axes of the building were the main entrances. Just 31 arches of the outer ring have remained intact. The ground floor half columns are in Doric style; the second floor ionic and the upper floor Corinthian. Diego Della Valle, President and CEO of the Tod’s Group, has expressed pride at the initiative, which reflects the desire to protect and promote Italian culture, something he sees as a fundamental resource for companies working in Italy and abroad. Investing in Made in Italy – its skills, traditions and culture – will help to create more opportunities for people who work there and appreciate its history and traditions, he maintained. "We hope this important initiative encourages other companies and private patrons proud of our culture and country to follow. These signals could mark the beginning of a series of similar initiatives, strengthening our country's image and creditability worldwide,” he said. As part of the company’s intervention plan, the Flavian amphitheatre will be cleaned up and refurbished in eight phases. Works will include the restoration of the northern and southern prospectus as well as the ambulatory and the hypogea; and the replacement of the gate closures at the arches. The Tod’s Group proposal was selected as the preferred option by the Italian Ministry of Culture, which last August sent out a public works bid, inviting private sector sponsors to help restore the ancient Roman arena.The Tod's Group is also committed to the creation of a non-profit ‘Amici del Colosseo’ Association, promoting the restoration project and other initiatives, solely with a social purpose. This outreach is aimed mainly at young people and the elderly in bringing them closer to the superstructure.
idProperty | PORTFOLIO
An artist’s rendering of the Dubai Pearl
Construction of the Dubai Pearl is continuing, with the groundwork, foundations, basements and lower grounds floors of the four towers, which form the central section of phase one, now complete. Designed by Schweger Associated Architects of Germany for Pearl Dubai FZ LLC, a consortium of investors led by Abu Dhabi’s Al Fahim Group, the development will incorporate a “city within a city”. It will comprise a mix of residential, retail, hotel, office and cultural space, including a theatre complex with a 1,800-seat auditorium, which will be the future home of the Dubai International Film Festival. “Despite recent challenges in the UAE’s real estate sector, there is still demand for the right projects being built in the right location, “ Abdul Majeed Ismail Al Fahim, chairman of Pearl Dubai FZ LLC, said. “We have already sold 500 residential units, representing 95 per cent of the initial units released to date, to over 40 different nationalities. The market continues to improve, albeit slowly, but given the size and scale of this development, we can expect to see confidence continuing to grow as we start completing phase one of the development towards the end of 2013.” DOUBLING UP
Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai
The Rezidor hotel group has announced two new key properties in the UAE, The Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai, with 471 rooms and the Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah Dibba with 257 rooms. Both managed by JAL in the past, they are now operated under the group’s core brand. The hotels are owned by ACICO Industries and its subsidiary, a Kuwait-based publically listed company. Rezidor’s president and CEO, Kurt Ritter, said the Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai, will be one of its flagships in the Middle East. The Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah Dibba further strengthens its portfolio of young and stylish resorts across Europe, Middle East and Africa, opening up new leisure markets. The sleek interior of the Radisson Royal Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road was designed by Draw Link Group Dubai. It was awarded an honorable mention in the hotels’ category by the International Interior Design Association ‘Decade of Design’ Competition 2011. Situated between the Hajjar Mountains and the Gulf of Oman, guests at the Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah Dibba, can relax on a 500-metre sandy beach. ID
idProperty | ANTENNAE
PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP VILE
Bangkok is growing taller, Detroit is getting smaller and the British countryside is becoming more popular. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN
GOING DOWN UNDER?
ON TOP OF THE WORLD
A huge property bubble in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan is about to burst. Property prices continue to rise despite cooling measures, albeit at a slower rate of increase. China’s middle class has invested a fortune in the region’s property market – prices have leapt 76 per cent to record levels in Hong Kong where a quarter of buyers are Chinese looking for apartments like this Tara Bernerd-designed penthouse at Westminster Terrace, Kowloon. In Taiwan, speculators, many of them Chinese, have driven property prices out of reach of ordinary people, so the government is trying to squeeze them out with a 15 per cent tax. In China, entire city districts are empty of people because investors who bought up newly built flats refuse to let them out – a lived-in home commands a lower resale price. Economists warn Chinese homes may become worth less than they cost to build when a “market correction” eventually happens.
Australia, the only developed nation not to suffer a collapse in property values following the credit crunch in 2008, may go through that downturn now, analysts warn. Prices rose strongly in 2009 and last year, but fell 1.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year, the biggest drop since mid-2008, and prices fell 0.3 per cent in April and May. The country’s four biggest banks consider near-full employment, a housing shortage and population growth will stop the market crashing, but bearish overseas investors argue Australia’s high debt levels, unaffordable homes and rising interest rates – the highest in the developed world – mean property values may plummet 40 per cent. The median property price in Australia’s eight biggest cities was Dhs1.8 million in May, according to market monitor RP Data. Mortgage payments more than 30 days late hit a record 1.79 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
Luxury property prices are rising faster in Paris than anywhere else in the world. The value of apartments and houses valued at Dhs10.5 million or more in the French capital rose 22 per cent over the past year, research from Knight Frank estate agency shows. Hong Kong, Helsinki, Shanghai and Beijing were the other top five risers. Parisian homes are rising in value because investors from the BRIC nations are ploughing money into the city as they consider it a safe haven in uncertain economic times. A limited number of properties available for sale means bidding is strong, so that pushes prices up further. Limited supply is a key feature of the Paris housing market – strict planning controls makes building brand new homes in the sought-after central arrondissements nigh on impossible, so refurbishing existing properties is the key source of supply for the city’s luxury housing market. In most other capitals city centre construction is possible.
HOLIDAY HOME BOOM
Atop what will be Bangkok’s newest and tallest skyscraper are 194 Ritz-Carlton condominium apartments offering bird’s-eye views of the Thai capital. Soaring 313m above Bangkok’s central business district, the 77-storey MahaNakhon tower is named after the Thai word for “metropolis”. This mixed-use development includes 10,000 square metres of shops, restaurants, cafés and a 24-hour market. Designed by German architect Ole Scheeren, a partner at the design firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the skyscraper is shaped like a prism but with rough spirals and cuboid surfaces cut into the side. The architect compares his “pixellated” building to a Tower of Babel, the inspiration for Fritz Lang’s 1926 filmic vision of an expressionistic and futuristic city. With prices starting at Dhs31,000 per square metre, the Ritz-Carlton Residences will be among the most expensive leases in Bangkok and will feature plunge pools and terraces. Completion is scheduled for 2014.
Second home ownership in south-west England hit a record high last year as the popularity of “staycations” among cash-strapped Britons continues to prevail, Knight Frank reports. However, a new record is likely in 2011 because buyer enquiries leapt 70 per cent in the first half compared to the same period last year. Holiday homes are much sought-after throughout Britain and overseas buyers want them too – Hollywood star Kevin Spacey is house hunting in the Cotswolds while Arab, Russian, East European and Chinese investors are purchasing second homes in south-west Wales, buyers agency County Homsearch Company reveals. Coastal spots in Pembrokeshire are particularly favoured. In Scotland, golf enthusiasts have bought two-dozen fractional shares of apartments at the Residences at Pittormie, St Andrews, which entitles them to play on the town’s famous course.
LARGE HOUSES ON THE PRAIRIE
Things are getting desperate in Detroit. The city, once the fourth largest in the United States, is about to be downsized. Its population has shrunk from 1.8 million in 1950 to 714,000 last year following the collapse of its car industry. So many empty buildings have been torn down that the city is left with 100,000 parcels of vacant land where now only grass grows. The authorities want to abandon neighbourhoods that have become so depopulated it is no longer economical to provide services to the last few residents, razing remaining buildings to the ground. Residents, who must agree to the changes, would be encouraged to move to more sustainable areas, but many want to stay in their “urban prairie”. Estate agents continue to promise a bright future for the city, while saying five-bedroom homes sold for Dhs367,000 five years ago can now be bought for as little as Dhs147,000. It may not be long before they are re-termed “country cottages”.
The Baglioni Marrakech spa resort has won two fractional ownership awards. Designed by Jade Jagger and Six Senses Spa, The Residence Club at the resort won Best Fractional Ownership Resort Worldwide from fractional ownership trade journal Perspective, beating competition from 150 other nominees. The Moroccan holiday homes estate also won the Best Fractional Resort for Europe and Middle East award from the magazine, topping the vote among 2,400 industry professionals. The Baglioni fractional ownership residences are run by Valhalla Associates, Intelligent Partnership and resort developer Ajensa. The Residence Club has 15 four and five-bedroom private villas available for sale. Prices start from Dhs10.3m for whole ownership of a property and from Dhs1.5m for fractional ownership giving five weeks’ flexible use a year. Homes measure from 675 square metres in size, with each having a private garden and pool.
Exclusivity helps Switzerland’s housing market to avoid the extreme booms and busts that afflict many of the world’s other property hotspots. It’s difficult for a foreigner to gain residency and own property, except in ski resorts. This means none of the huge cash inflows and outflows from overseas investors that cause property prices in other, less restrictive locations to reach record highs and lows. Swiss property prices rose 5.1 per cent over the past 12 months following equally steady annual rises since the start of this millennium, even during the credit crunch. Although entry requirements remain tight, the federal government has given cantons more control over the process, so that may speed it up and make the country more appealing to would-be incomers. Niche developers and designers creating luxury homes include Finchatton, which interior designed this apartment overlooking Lake Lugano.
PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ
Tech-style This month weâ€™re styling our homes with injections of confident colour and investing in some hip lighting solutions, but sustainability and craftsmanship remain at the top of our wish list. TEXT: CAROLINE ALLEN
The latest collection of ceramics from Gabriella b, which fuses modern and classic design, is showcased at Aati. Incorporating bowls, cups, vases, lamps and a new series of golf balls, the decorative art collection by Gabriella Bottacin is all about refined elegance. It features striking yet proportioned shapes and intricate precious finishes. Every piece is unique, having been meticulously handmade with painstaking attention to detail. The colour palette is luxe, including hues of black magic, rich gold, striking platinum and pure white. Gabriella b is showcased at exhibitions of furnishings and interiors Maison & Objet of Paris, Abitare il tempo of Verona and Macef of Milan and has previously collaborated with design houses Minotti, Baxter and Visionnaire.
LIVING IT LARGE
Supersized and ultra sleek, the C SEED 201 – hailed as the world’s largest TV and the first of its kind with such high quality daylight capability for outdoor usage – combines contemporary design and state-of-the-art technology. A joint venture between Porsche Design Studio and the Global Bright Group, the 201-inch diagonal TV rises out of the ground in 15 seconds. At the top of its 4.6 metre high pillar, an 11m screen unfolds silently. Seven panels, in 25 seconds, resolve into a seamless surface with high luminosity images, regardless of direct sunlight. The C SEED 201 can be concealed as a monolith in terraced or grassed surfaces. A handmade product, it is available in limited numbers.
FRENCH FANCY TRUMP CARD
It’s eco friendly, colourful and pays homage to the traditions of French cabinetmaking, safeguarding centuries-old expertise. The latest collection from Grange, available at Carpe Diem, includes the Ermitage line, which is inspired by the furnishings of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Ornate Louis XVI-style furniture is emboldened by vibrant colours and fluted mouldings found in the tsar’s royal chambers. The Jacob range, influenced by Louis XVI, fuses leather and wood, and is uncompromisingly decorative. Exceptions de Grange features occasional furniture in avant-garde finishes.
He is synonymous with upscale living and now he has developed a new range of home lighting, available at selected Lifestyle stores throughout the UAE. Donald Trump is the high roller behind a collection that sets out to combine fine craftsmanship and materials with classic appeal. Offering a selection of table lamps from the Trump Home Lighting range, Lifestyle’s handpicked pieces highlight its design diversity. The table lamps exude opulence at affordable prices. The radiant range of Trump Home Lighting table lamps varies from contemporary chic looks inspired by the Manhattan lifestyle, to a timeless style with a detailed ornate finish.
WORKING THE ROOM
Forget hot desking and indulge in a supersized über-stylish workstation. Danny Venlet’s Goggle desk for Babini Office is a sleek interpretation of the presidential office. Presented at the Milan Furniture Fair, this shapely desk comes in a variety of materials and finishes. You can opt for glossy lacquer inside and out or glossy lacquer outside and matt inside, finished in contrasting colours. Accessories include a drawer unit, credenza and a modesty panel. Available at Smart Office Solution, Dubai, it incorporates a stationery drawer and an optional cable management system.
Design agenda MoOD 2011, Brussels, Belgium, September 13-15 Mueble Expo 2011, Casablanca, Morocco, September 14-18 Office Furniture China 2011, Shanghai, China, September 14-17 ZOW Istanbul 2011, Istanbul, Turkey, September 15-18 Salon du Mueble 2011, Reims, France, September 18-20 Cersaie 2011, Bologna, Italy, September 20-24 Habitat Valencia, Valencia, Spain, September 20-24 BRIGHT IDEA
Philips has launched its “ambience” range of household accessories that illuminate from within through tiny embedded white and coloured LEDs. The collection includes a cooler, coasters, vase, platter and table lights. Incorporating colour-changing lights with soft-touch controls, the wireless products can be used both indoors and alfresco. They are tap washable, waterproof and scratch resistant.
Habitat Valencia Kitchen 2011, Valencia, Spain, September 20-24 Habitat Valencia Lighting 2011, Valencia, Spain, September 20-24 Interior Indonesia 2011, Jakarta, Indonesia, September 21-24 100% Design London, London, United Kingdom, September 21-24 IIDEX / NEOCON Canada 2011, Toronto, Canada, September 22-24 ZUCHEX 2011, Istanbul, Turkey, September 22-25 Casa Moderna 2011, Udine, Italy, September 24-October 3 Salon de l’Habitat 2011, Toulouse, France, September 24 – October 3 Decorex International 2011, London, United Kingdom, September 25-28 DIY Homing 2011, Kortrijk, Belgium, September 25-27 Index Furniture 2011, Mumbai, India, September 29 – October 2 Home. Le Salon Habitat Design 2011, Lyon, France, September 30 – October 2
WORK IT OUT
“My goal is to design another beautiful object. It’s about challenging how we see things,” says Pablo Pardo, who devised the LIM light with Ralph Reddig of Haworth. The practical LIM, depending on its form and method of attachment, can be a primary or secondary light source. Comprising a simple aluminium extrusion profile, its magnetic and pivot platforms enable 180-degree rotation and easy adjustment. Its simple elemental approach means that it can be both a single object and a collection of lights, facilitating design continuity in a variety of applications. LIM is also sustainable as its LED lights are 85 per cent more efficient than incandescent versions, with a 50,000-hour lifespan. LIM is also up to 98 per cent recyclable.
Working with London design studio Bene, PearsonLloyd has developed a fabulously funky and clever new furniture collection. PARCs is a room-shaping furniture programme that creates an inspiring working environment for spontaneous exchange, personal encounters and collaboration. Easy chairs; small stools; upholstered benches; room dividers; wall elements; tables and shelves make up the basic components. Phone Booth was designed to provide a private area for telephone calls in open spaces. All elements can be linked to create multifunctional room-shaping office landscapes. The designers took their inspiration for the collection from around the globe, ranging from the Toguna in Mali, West Africa – a meeting place for village elders – to the Giant’s Causeway, an impressive rock formation over the sea in Northern Ireland.
FORUM – KITCHEN
IN THE RED
Bold shades of red and regal purple feature strongly in the latest collection from Crate and Barrel. These hues are evident in everything from vases to Marimekko fabrics, bed linen, rugs and throws. Warm tones of yellow and orange also make a style statement in the new textiles. And for those keen to slip into neutral, there’s also lots of beige and brown. The new Crate and Barrel collection is available at the brands’ stores in Dubai.
Like the shapes created by the Oriental art of folding paper, Karim Rashid’s arresting new Origami Island kitchen reveals a complex design that is eyecatching yet subtle. Made entirely of DuPont Corian, it was manufactured by the Egyptian producer Amr Helmy Designs. Origami Island’s asymmetrical contours create a streamlined sculptural design. Its narrow base then expands into a wide worktop, divided into three functional areas. The cleaning area has an integrated sink; the cooking area includes a hob; and there is also a snack section. A large wall cabinet with cupboard space, drawers and kitchen appliances, complements the island. The cabinet door panelling and drawers are finished in DuPont Corian, decorated with a threedimensional retro pop pattern, which is repeated inside the entire facade.
LG Electronics’ new steam dishwasher with TrueSteam technology dispenses with the need to prewash dishes. High-temperature steam particles are injected from carefully positioned pressure nozzles and once the particles attach to grease and grime, temperatures rise to melting point, so by the time the cycle is finished the dishes are pristine. Further flexibility is achieved with the Steam Dual Spray function, which allows the upper and lower racks to use independent water pressures.
If you’re in search of a speedy, easy to clean gadget to produce crunchy oil-free French fries, you should warm to the Philips Airfryer. It promises to use little or no oil as it fries as its patented Rapid Air technology enables the frying of crispy chips containing up to 80 per cent less fat than a conventional fryer. The combination of fast circulating hot air and a grill element facilitates frying of food in a quick and easy way. Since you only fry with air, it also creates less smell than traditional frying. ID
Show off After the summer break, it’s time to regroup and focus on the latest trends and innovations at design festivals and fairs in the region and internationally. Globetrotting design aficionados have plenty to choose from with a heady mix of established and new events lined up. TEXT: CAROLINE ALLEN
AbitaMi décor & design lab will debut in Milan’s Rho trade fair centre from September 8-11, to tie in with the international home show Macef. The event will feature workshops and research exhibitions, showcasing interior and exterior décor. Design-conscious children are not forgotten, with a dedicated section for them while for those who enjoy alfresco living, a 5,000 sq m outdoor display should provide plenty of inspiration. The Memories exhibition will cover trends in decorative accessories, textiles and household linen with Carlo Ninchi and Vittorio Locatelli. Research events will reflect on living in the 21st century, featuring ‘At Castiglioni’s home’, curated by Giovanna Castiglioni and Studio Museo Achille Castiglioni. In Paris, Maison & Objet from September 9-13 offers a packed programme with an emphasis on sustainability. Big global brands and emerging designers will showcase their innovations in indoor and outdoor living. The expertise of specialised craftspeople and professionals will be celebrated. A recycled and recyclable exhibition focusing on the work of Edouard François, a leading figure in the world of ‘green’ architecture, is set to be one of the highlights. Distributors seeking advice
on how to improve their business performance will be facilitated in a new space dedicated to design solutions from the point of sale. Capitalising on the dynamism of Paris, the quality of its professional network as well as its design training courses and bubbling creativity, SAFI – in conjunction with Maison & Objet – is launching Paris Design Week from September 12-18. Billed as a cultural and commercial, professional and consumer event rolled into one, its programme will bring together around 100 events including the Maison & Objet trade fair, design exhibitions, new collection launches, studio visits and debates. In Dubai, the sixth edition of the region’s annual showpiece event dedicated to the floor covering industry, DOMOTEX Middle East, will be held from September 12-14. According to Angela Schaschen, MD of Deutsche Messe’s Dubai branch, organisers of the event, the Middle East remains a key market for floor covering providers: “The region’s construction industry is due to deliver projects worth Dhs1,836 billion by 2015, providing a huge opportunity for the floor covering sector. We are also seeing an increase in government-sponsored infrastructure
Clockwise from left: Rumkugelbahn from mischer’traxler, Vienna Design Week; Pipeline carafe from Atelier Polyhedre, 100% Design; Interference salt and pepper shakers by Undergrowth Design, Maison & Objet; Chairnobyl from Helmut Palla, Vienna Design Week; Salon by Lee Broom, London Design Festival
projects. For example, in Saudi Arabia over Dhs47 billion of construction contracts have been awarded in the Kingdom in quarter one, 2011 alone. The construction sector is expected to continue its impressive growth as the Saudi government sets forth plans to develop the Kingdom’s infrastructure in the 2011 budget.” Among the international exhibitors will be Balta of Belgium and Luz Mendez from Chile. At the London Design Festival 2011, from September 17-25, the hub will once again be the Victoria & Albert Museum, where there will be 12 specially created installations. AL_A Architects, winner of the V&A’s recent international competition to design a new courtyard and underground extension, is working in collaboration with structural engineers, Arup, in the creation of the Timber Wave installation, a three dimensional spiral made from oil-treated American red oak. Within the Raphael Gallery, French design duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, will collaborate with Danish textile company Kvadrat to inspire a very different view of the famous Raphael Cartoons, owned by the British Royal Family since 1623, and on loan to the museum since 1865. Textile Field will take over the gallery with gentle undulations of soft fabric, creating an expansive, coloured foam and textile lounge. The John Madejski Garden will feature a site-specific installation, the ‘Thumbprint’ chair by Ron Arad, recreated in bronze, in collaboration with Veuve Cliquot. British designer Lee Broom will launch his fifth collection at the London Design Festival, with an upholstery line, Salon. Inspired by the curvaceous lines of 1930s upholstery, it features soft silhouettes contrasted with modern stud detailing. As part of the festival, Broom will transform his Shoreditch-based studio into a design salon.
At Feria Hábitat Valencia, in Spain, from September 20-24, the new Flash area dedicated to innovative design will showcase products from 50 trendsetting companies such as Carl Hansen, Verpan, Globe Zero 4, Vitra, B & B Italia, Magis, Viccarbe and Carpyen. Also new is a contract area facilitating face-to-face meetings for specifiers and companies. The organisers are promising the event’s biggest ever offering of furniture, lighting, textiles, furniture, accessories, and kitchens. The UK’s leading contemporary design show, 100% Design, incorporating 100% Futures, which introduces tomorrow’s design stars, and 100% Materials, a platform for suppliers of innovative materials, will be held at Earl’s Court, London from September 22-25. Among the
From top: Marco Piva’s Social Housing project, showcased at MADExpo; Aetherea natural suite by Studio Bizzarro & Partners for Hotel Spa Design
hundreds of interior design and architectural launches at the show will be Hidden Art’s eight new products from five independent designers, ranging from a coat stand inspired by a shard of ice to vibrantly-coloured fine china bowls. The fifth Vienna Design Week will take place from September 30 – October 9. Embracing product, industrial, and furniture design, the festival will include exhibitions, installations, themed specials and talks. MADE, a major international architecture and building trade expo, will take place in Milan from October 5-8. Last year, the landmark fair involving 1,700 exhibitors and 187 conferences, attracted 242,152 visitors, 23,810 of whom were from outside of Italy. The event targets the construction sector but focuses on specialisation. MADE’s Forum 2011 will consider four major fields of interest – residential buildings, industrial construction, infrastructures and large scale projects and public buildings. A forum on structural engineering will provide designers, site engineers, companies, building sponsors, suppliers and institutions
with an opportunity to exchange views and in-depth studies of the marketplace and the industry’s constantly evolving technical regulations. A scientific committee will co-ordinate meetings between academics and constructors to provide insight into how research brings about tomorrow’s innovations. Components & Contract is a new exhibition of materials, technologies and equipment for design, contract and interior decor. Social Home Design’s exhibition, Living in the Future, will host installations by Lucca and Marco Pira Scacchetti as well as a conference on social housing – the subject of special focus at the event. In the UK, Art London’s 2011 fair will draw crowds to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea from October 6-11. The cultural dynamism brought by galleries representing Asia and the Middle East will provide an added dimension. Historical highlights include paintings by Sir Peter Blake and sculpture by Jacob Epstein. Contemporary attractions include iconic photographs of HRH Queen Elizabeth II by Chris Levine and Nicolas Saint Grégoire’s light box sculptures inspired by vintage Yves Saint Laurent creations. From stands specialising in historical works, with paintings by Camille Pissarro, to new and unusual installations, photography and mixed media works by emerging contemporary artists, visitors will enjoy a varied visual feast. Back in Milan, the Hotel Spa Design expo 2011 will run from October 21-25, involving architecture practices which specialise in hotel and spa design. The emphasis will be on how good environmental practices generate efficiency, savings and profits. The latest trends in hospitality and well-being will also be showcased. Conferences, workshops and seminars will also take place as part of the event. ID
Inspirations September 2011
The CUBOiD’s library and discussion area
Made in Dubai With the goal of promoting interior design talent in the region and providing access to new opportunities, the Association of Professional Interior Designers is getting ready to host the inaugural Festival of Interior Design in Dubai next month. TEXT: SAMIA QAIYUM With the UAE’s current batch of world-class projects in development, the Middle East’s interior design industry is continuously growing, introducing new trends, brands and services in the process. According to a recent report from business intelligence and research firm Proleads, total spending for the UAE’s interior design segment is expected to grow to nearly Dhs83 billion this year. Due to the resulting increased demand for interior design services, the Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID) is striving to complement the upswing with the adoption of new strategies and creation of more opportunities for designers in the region. Further to these ambitions, APID is gearing up to organise the inaugural Festival of Interior Design (FoID), an annual event that aims to highlight the key role of interior design in society, act as a platform to discuss the industry’s issues, offer a vehicle for relationship building as well as feature the works of emerging and established talent. Held across Dubai, the festival will take place from October 22-25, coinciding with the 2011 INDEX International Design Exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event – the first of its kind in the region – underlines five pillar objectives: Educate, to increase more awareness on the interior design industry within the general public and among industry professionals; Celebrate, give homage and celebrate the significance of the industry in both traditional and modern Arab culture; Encourage, promote and discover emerging talent in interior design; Highlight, provide the necessary attention and focus on innovations and new
design trends being introduced in the industry today and Collaborate, promote and strengthen partnerships with similar interior design based groups and associations. APID has revealed that the FoID is scheduled to feature city-wide franchised events like exhibitions of design portfolios and installations; city centric design trails and visits to key landmarks, hotels and art galleries; open master classes; workshops; an interior design award program aimed at honouring innovative designers as well as screenings of design-based films. The festival will be accompanied by the Interior Design Congress, which will run on October 22 at INDEX, entailing a programme of four keynote speakers and two panel discussions featuring well-known design personalities. To tap into a cross section of local designers, firms and groups and showcase their vision and skills, a Product Design competition was recently launched. APID will also host a feature at INDEX, entitled CUBOiD. This distinctive cube-shaped structure has been designed and conceptualised by a team of local designers and will allow visitors to experience sheer creativity within an interior setting. Spread over 174 square meters, the CUBOiD will be composed of five key areas with an experimentation zone at its heart. The feature will also include a library housing materials on interior design, an information area combined with key exhibition areas displaying the latest works from student designers and competition entries, a café and a meeting lounge to hold discussions and networking sessions.
To learn more about the festival and the future of interior design in the region, identity spoke with Farida Kamber Al Awadhi, Managing Director of CINMAR Design and President of APID. The timing of the Festival of Interior Design will deliberately coincide with INDEX 2011; do you think the prominence of the latter will steal focus from what the FoID is trying to achieve? Of course not. In fact, both events have common goals and that is to highlight the significance of interior design across the region and give focus to emerging Middle East designers and firms. The Festival of Interior Design and INDEX complement the need to increase public awareness on the interior design profession. What speakers can we expect at the Interior Design Congress? What key themes/topics will be covered during this event? Globally renowned icons of architecture and interior design David Trubridge, Hadi Teherani, Khuan Chew and Rogier van der Heide have already confirmed their participation as keynote speakers. These experts will be joined by fellow professionals from the region’s interior design sector. The two panel discussions will talk about the latest trends and innovations in today’s interior design consumer market. Dubai is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, and increasingly modern. Do you think Arab culture is still reflected in interior design projects around the city? If you look around the rest of region, you will find a harmonious mix of styles that have been incorporated into architecture and interior design. The presence of an Arabic element into these designs will always be relevant and will constantly be used in both architecture and interiors. It is an international practice to integrate the influence of regional cultures into design and art. In order to pursue interior design as a career, many students travel abroad for their university education. Does the FoID plan to address this issue? Our view is that education in the region is competent enough for students to start and pursue a career. The festival will be hosting education-based programmes and activities for interior design students, with the key message being that an education in interior design can facilitate a career that is as rewarding as any other. Do you think enough training opportunities are given to young design professionals in the Middle East? Just like any other profession, an internship with a well-established firm or company is still the best on-the-job training for fresh graduates. This experience becomes more strategic when the student enjoys a more hands-on approach, as UAE-based firms work on really tight schedules with the current influx of projects in the region. Another initiative that we’re looking to implement is to send our students for study tours abroad, with the chief aim to learn more about the scope, calibre and distinctiveness of design in other parts of the world. What is your long-term vision for the annual Festival of Interior Design? Ultimately, we hope to create a world-class event that will project Dubai and the UAE as a global hub for interior design. ID Artist’s renderings of the CUBOiD
A stunning new library at the University of Chicago, Foster + Partners’ first project to break ground in Beirut and an impressive new sports complex in Uttar Pradesh capture this month’s architectural imagination. TEXT: STEVE HILL
IMAGE COURTESY FOSTER & PARTNERS
PHOTOGRAPHY © HELENE BINET
1. RAEBARELI, UTTAR PRADESH
Athletic Ripples is a sports complex designed by Indian architectural practice Studio Symbiosis which is due to be completed next year. Different zones of the facility have been imagined as resembling the shapes created when a pebble is dropped in water. A main stadium will become home to cricket, football and an athletics track as well as hockey and tennis while a number of indoor sports will also be catered for. Piezoelectricity – the kinetic energy generated by crowds in areas of heavy foot traffic – will be harvested to help meet the stadium’s power needs and solar cells are to be integrated into the stadium’s roof to further enhance the scheme’s sustainability credentials.
The renowned Holburne Museum, housed in what was originally the 18th-century Sydney Hotel, now features a bold modern extension by Eric Parry Architects. Its exterior is a deliberate contrast to the museum’s classical façade while the use of ceramic and glass as materials means the building will reflect its surroundings, taking on the movement and mood of its garden setting. Parry has also carefully repositioned the grand staircase within the original building, helping the extension link directly and logically to existing spaces. Behind the scenes, there is new air conditioning in the galleries, and automatic louvres and blinds above the skylights.
3Beirut – the first project designed by Foster and Partners to break ground in Lebanon – forms part of the prestigious Solidere masterplan. Established around direct pedestrian routes across the site, its design connects the historic city centre to the harbour on the Mediterranean. The podium level and surrounding external spaces provide a cluster of shops, cafes, restaurants, a gymnasium, an art gallery and public gardens. The glazed north side of the towers – the first in the city to boast green roofs – provides spectacular views of the harbour, while interiors of apartments are characterised by a passive environmental strategy that will maximise natural light and ventilation.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JASON SMITH
5. CHICAGO PAGE TURNER
4. MUNICH URBAN OASIS
IMAGE COURTESY FXFOWLE
Siemens’ global headquarters in Munich, Germany, is to be designed by competition winners Henning Larsen Architects. The new 41,000-square-metre structure will consist of six rectangular, rounded volumes attached to a central vertical structure that connects the entire building complex, creating six varied courtyards which will become a vibrant urban space in the centre of the city. The design was selected because of its comprehensive approach to sustainability and includes slightly sloping facades that take daylight far into the building. Construction is due to begin in the autumn of next year and be completed by the end of 2015, ready for occupation in 2016.
The Grand Reading Room of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago recently opened to critical acclaim. Designed by Helmut Jahn, it seats 180 students under a stunning elliptical dome dominated by natural light. Below ground, the library also houses cutting-edge facilities for the preservation and digitisation of books, as well as a high-density storage system with the capacity to hold 3.5 million volume equivalents. Users can access any holding within minutes of finding it online thanks to an innovative retrieval system. Books are barcoded, sorted by size and stored in units that are retrieved automatically by a robotic crane.
French architectural company Atelier Zündel & Cristea has won a competition to design four new stations on the extension of the Rennes Metro system. It identified five main qualities required for this type of facility – intelligibility, functionality, durability, accessibility and security – and set about articulating the central space’s full height, delimited by a mesh ceiling of fibrous concrete. Great attention was also paid to circulation pathways, ensuring they are brightly lit, opening out upon a variety of interior views and allowing a clear path from one level to the next, without impeding on workflow management and security.The stations are due to be completed in 2015.
The Museum of the Built Environment is one of FXFOWLE’S six active projects within the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), a five-millionsquare-metre mixed-use urban community sited on a large plaza in Riyadh. More than 31,000 square metres will be dedicated to museum functions, a 150-seat auditorium and a destination restaurant and terrace. The museum serves as a primary transportation hub for the area, while the building’s façade on the upper levels is made of prismatic laminated glass panels which create a varied textural quality and allow daylight at select controlled locations. Excavation work has already started on the scheme.
Breaking ground is due to begin next year on the Dhs320 million Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. The three-storey structure, designed by KPMB Architects of Toronto, will have three times the gallery space of the existing Mendel Art Gallery. As well as a large atrium, it will also feature a lecture theatre, classroom and studio spaces, meeting rooms, a bistro and restaurant as well as underground parking. The Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation is granting Dhs57 million towards the capital costs of the building with an additional Dhs57 million directed to enhanced programming for the new facility.
From a home that stays true to your personal vibe to one that is sympathetic to the environment, this month’s books guide you on designing and decorating from start to finish.
ECO HOUSE BOOK
HOLLY BECKER & JOANNA COPESTICK
With its vivid imagery depicting real, everyday homes, there’s something refreshingly accessible about this book. Written by Holly Becker (of Decor8 fame) and co-author Joanna Copestick, Decorate doesn’t dictate one rigid design aesthetic nor does it show beautiful interiors that seem unachievable. Instead, it focuses on practical ideas – over 1,000 of them – whether you’re starting off with a blank canvas or looking to update your interiors. With nearly 300 pages, this is an easy-to-navigate book of substance, packed to the brim with inspirational quotes, line illustrations, checklists, shortcuts and floor plans. You’ll find brilliant advice for every room and every budget by the world’s leading designers and interior décor experts including Jonathan Adler, Nate Berkus, Kelly Wearstler, Amy Butler and many more. Taken by Debi Treloar, the nearly 400 colour photographs of more than 30 remarkable homes from all over the globe are, however, the real treat. Whether you gravitate towards simple style, prefer a modern aesthetic, love exploring flea markets for quirky objects or use colour to embolden your home, the Setting Your Style section offers step-by-step guidelines and tips on how to create a stylish space that reflects who you are. A separate section, entitled Attention to Detail, illustrates how to use found objects and finishing touches such as mirrors, pillows, wall works, flowers and even apothecary jars to take any room from ordinary to extraordinary.
As you alter your lifestyle to reduce your carbon footprint, your home should reflect these efforts as well. Whether you’re designing, redecorating or making overall improvements, Eco House Book acts a comprehensive manual to every facet of the home from an eco point of view. Terence Conran – renowned designer and founder of the Habitat group of stores – has authored several books on intelligent design and his latest effort is the fifth in the House Book series. Special focus is given to guiding the reader through minor and affordable changes that can be made in existing homes to improve energy efficiency, lower water consumption and tend to the garden more productively, as well as more dramatic overhauls such as converting basements and extending your home. It includes sections on servicing – such as heating, cooling and lighting – as well as basic fabrics like windows and floors. The design chapter covers ideas for both new construction and renovation. Outdoor spaces are covered in detail, while eco-friendly maintenance gets a dedicated nod as well. A section of case studies profiles 17 examples of everything from barns to buildings and lofts to lakeside pavilions located in the USA, Europe and Australia; each illustrates how beauty and eco-friendly ideals can walk hand in hand.
BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM VIRGIN MEGASTORE
HANDWOVEN OUTDOOR FURNITURE CREATED WITH WEATHER-RESISTANT DEDON FIBER
www.dedon.de Nakkash Gallery · Al Garhoud Street · P.O. Box 26767 · Dubai-UAE Tel. 00971 4 2826767 · Fax 00971 4 2827567 firstname.lastname@example.org · www.nakkashgallery.com
St Basil’s Cathedral TEXT: STEVE HILL
Major cities can often be distilled into one iconic image. Paris, for example, has the Eiffel Tower, in Rome it’s the Colosseum, and if you close your eyes and think of Moscow, then the chances are that St Basil’s Cathedral will come to mind. Also known as the Cathedral of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, or Cathedral of St Vassily the Blessed, this defining symbol of Russia recently celebrated its 450th birthday, receiving the 21st century accolade of a Google Doodle.
Critics have described the cathedral as “a fairytale palace made of sweets” and compared it unfavourably to a piece of Disneyland architecture. But this is a building that has remained standing despite demolition attempts by both Napoleon and Stalin, and is said to have inspired architects from Antoni Gaudi to Frank Gehry. There are no known precedents for the design conjured up by Barma and Postnik Yakovlev on the orders of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the 1552 capture of Kazan from Mongol forces.
It was originally white, matching the white-stone Kremlin, before the cathedral’s onion-shaped domes received patterning and a multi-coloured approach some 150 years ago. These days it is a museum, and an impressive one at that after undergoing a decade-long restoration costing some Dhs52 million. And the eccentric approach to its original design – “a crazy confusion of colours, patterns and shapes” according to one critic – continues to influence and liberate architects around the world. ID
More than bedding... fully living. www.ploh.com
As experienced in luxury hotels and private residences worldwideâ€Ś
Luxury Down Pillows
Identity | September 2011