Identity - April 2020

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The Middle East’s architecture, design, interiors + property magazine



Surface matters: Spring's exciting new fabrics, flooring and walls 2020 vision: Andrew Whalley’s designs for sustainable living Framed style: the art of living with art, by interior guru Shalini Misra Design check-in: Zaha Hadid’s indelible ME hotel makes its debut

ISSUE 197 YEar EIghtEEn aprIl 2020 a MOtIVatE pUBlICatIOn

DHS 25.00 OR 2.70 SR 25.00 KD 2.10

BD 2.60



a p r i l 2 02 0 ®


anDrEW WhallEy, chairMan, partnEr at GriMshaW architEcts


chEynE placE


ME Dubai

vEssEls by utility anD utopia

INSIDEART from ceramica sant’agostino



Off the wall


Welcome to the neighbourhood


Legacy of luxury


Creative power


Modular wonders

art is more than wall decoration – and shalini Misra believes art is as integral to a space as the furniture and colour palette

ME Dubai, the only hotel in the world designed by the late, great Dame Zaha hadid, has now opened its doors to guests


Designed for thought

the Expo 2020 pavilion by Grimshaw architects will be the world’s most sustainable lEED platinumcertified building

tia lindqvist talks to us about what gives the first site-specific hotel indigo in the Middle East its stand-out individuality

ruggero ottogalli, Downtown Dubai’s new MD, on how he will expand its offering ahead of this year’s edition in november

MEan* has won usM’s ‘live-Work’ design competition with its co-cross: machine for living + working concept

april 2020







Ian Fairservice GROUP EDITOR






Anthony Milne | GROUP DIRECTOR

Andrew Wingrove |

Surface meaning

The quest for authenticity has led designers to rediscover the tactile dimension, artisan skill and natural shades in a range of surfaces and finishes.





Daniela Prestinoni | CONTRIBUTORS:

Steve Hill | Penny McCormick Max Tuttle | Dorothy Waldman ®

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The id guide to today’s stylish new bathing spaces The meteoric rise of Dubai-based interior influencers Architect Asif Khan finds his roots en route to Expo 2020 Talking shop: the UAE’s best design sources for interiors And, much, much more…

All prices quoted in identity are correct at the time of going to press.

APRIL 2020



An era of change yvonne Farrell + Shelley mcNamara

photo: Shiv ahUJa

Zaha hadid

Nada debs

photography: vikram gawde

as designers decamp to home offices and maid services are put on hold, the whole community has found a renewed appreciation of hygienic practices. as we all make sure that we keep our shoes outdoors and use doormats, wash our hands regularly and disinfect surfaces like never before, it begs the question: how will the dreaded coronavirus pandemic influence the world of design? will it create new interest in antibacterial and seamless surfaces that leave no nook or cranny for germs to hide in? will the guest washroom take on new focus? will hand basins, taps, soap dispensers and the humble hand-towel come to the fore? will we soon see hand sanitiser dispensers built into kitchen counters and bathroom surfaces? will the demand for automatic taps and hand-dryers increase? while sanitation companies and the manufacturers of disinfectants are enjoying a boom like never before, many in the creative sectors – from architects to decorators – are growing increasingly concerned about the future, as projects are placed on the back burner. as social distancing becomes the norm, it’s a period of change for all. it’s a good time, however, for decluttering spaces and taking a tip or two from the world’s great minimalist designers, as well as the global master of tidying-up: marie kondo. it’s an opportunity to clean out our spaces to ensure that they sparkle with joy and good health. despite the threat of Covid-19, design does go on, and a flurry of designers visited dubai recently, continuing to bring new ideas and products to the market place. British sculptor david harber and furniture designer tom Faulkner were among the well-known design personalities who flew in for the inauguration of the British design house by John Cullen Lighting in Jumeirah, where their unique works are temptingly displayed. Lebanese design star Nada debs was undeterred by the situation and flew in to launch her first collection for ikea, in time for ramadan. the Uae’s first me by meliá boutique hotel, situated in dubai’s Business Bay and designed by the late dame Zaha hadid, has finally opened after being almost a decade in the making. high street furniture and accessory brands like 2XL are bucking the trend and have opened new stores, including in al ain mall and abu dhabi’s elegant the galleria mall. despite the immense disappointment of major international design shows being postponed, we can still look forward to Salone del mobile.milano (rescheduled to 16-21 June), and the downtown design team is forging ahead with plans for the 10-13 November show. Congratulations to yvonne Farrell and Shelley mcNamara of dublin, ireland, who are the 2020 pritzker prize Laureates. “architecture could be described as one of the most complex and important cultural activities on the planet. to be an architect is an enormous privilege. to win this prize is a wonderful endorsement of our belief in architecture,” they said. at the id hQ in media one, we are putting the finishing touches to the 2020 id design awards, and we will be ready to receive your entries very soon.

Group Editor Catherine Belbin

p.S. please follow us on social media for the latest news throughout the month…

april 2020

photo: andy roberts

10 sustainability


Good as gold

A new student hub at the University of Technology Sydney is home to an array of sustainability features, postconsumer plastics have been used to construct a Canadian car park, and Italian label Max Mara has embraced upcycling in the production process of a new line of clothing. TEXT: STEVE HILL

STUDENT HUB The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has completed a 17-storey student hub and faculty space that features a wide range of sustainability features. The project, designed by Australian architectural firm FJMT, accommodates the Faculty of Law, the Blake Library, the UTS Reading Room, the Research Excellence and Support Hub and the Scholar’s Centre, along with a student learning hub and food court. An intertwining double helix staircase, inspired by the structure of a DNA molecule, connects levels four to seven. Careful attention has been paid to bespoke sun shading systems that control solar penetration, regulating light and internal temperatures, while geometric panels on the building’s northern façade are programmed to respond to the path of the sun across the complete calendar year. Innovative urban partnerships, meanwhile, are aimed at reducing the university’s use of energy and potable water. Recycled water is used for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation, while a district cooling connection from the nearby Central Park underground energy centre runs air-conditioning, providing space, power and maintenance savings for the university. Outdoor terraces are home to 12 mature olive trees which were rescued from an abandoned farm, as well as 12 mature fig trees that were craned-in during construction. A total of eight outlets are based at the food court, which has a strong sustainability focus. The use of single-use plastics – including bags, coffee cups, straws, bottled drinks and packaging – has been eliminated, while reusable, fully compostable and recyclable products are used instead, including cardboard, bamboo and plant-based packaging.

april 2020



green for go

pHoTo: MVrDV

MVrDV has revealed designs to transform an area close to Utrecht’s central station by constructing a green-roofed convention centre. Winy Maas, a founding partner of MVrDV, describes the goal of creating “a garden in the city” through a 600,000-square metre masterplan that’s dominated by accessible green space, a car-free boulevard and a focus on sustainable design. The green roof of the 120,000-square metre convention centre will be home to a park, gardens suitable for hosting urban nature, events and recreational activities, as well as water storage and energy generation. The scheme, which is due to begin construction work in 2023, is pursuing BreeAM-excellent certification. Maas said: “This under-utilised area has the potential to become a fantastic neighbourhood with the venue as its core – an attractive green ‘hill’ in the city. The plan is also an opportunity to significantly improve the city and properly connect the centre, the station area, the Merwede Canal zone and the Kanaleneiland.”

sADDling Up Micro-mobility company Helbiz has been awarded a one-year permit to operate a fleet of almost 2000 dockless electric bicycles in Washington, D.C. The firm Helbiz chose D.C. as its first dockless e-bike market in the U.s. after recently launching electric scooters in Miami and its first-ever e-bikes in rome. The company’s customised e-bikes offer users a safer and more reliable ride, with a 36-month lifespan per bike. each bike is equipped with a 250-Watt motor and an interchangeable battery of 14 Ah, with a guaranteed range of up to 80 kilometres on a single charge and a maximum speed of 32 km/h. Helbiz uses a customised fleet management platform, artificial intelligence and environmental mapping to optimise operations and business sustainability. Users can download the Helbiz app to geolocate, rent and unlock e-bikes directly from their phones with a tap, and park them at bike racks or at available designated parking hubs when finished with their ride. salvatore palella, founder and Ceo of Helbiz, said: “our technology will allow residents and commuters to better navigate every corner of the city and connect with existing transit services, while also allowing visitors to explore and enjoy all that Washington, D.C.’s vibrant communities have to offer.”

fAnTAsTiC plAsTiC post-consumer plastics have been diverted from local landfills and used as an important material in the construction of a car park in a Canadian supermarket. sobeys recently opened a new outlet in Timberlea, nova scotia, whose parking lot incorporates the equivalent of more than six million plastic check-out bags. The company worked with developer Crombie reiT and local small business goodwood plastic products to research and develop the new asphalt pavement mixture. Vittoria Varalli, Vice president, sustainability, sobeys inc said: “The post-consumer plastics parking lot is one more way we are doing our bit to integrate sustainability and innovation into our business. “projects like this represent the changes we all want to see – reduced single-use plastics, more reuse, and increased recycling of plastic waste.”


NEW LINE Italian label Max Mara has embraced upcycling in the production process of a new line of clothing. It has created a new form of insulation known as Cameluxe. Discarded camelhair fabrics from its renowned coats are sorted by the company’s manufacturers and transformed into fine fibres before being blended with recycled polyester to create a high performance insulating mix. Max Mara states that this process “is less impactful in terms of energy consumption, waste production, water usage and CO2 emissions” and “is a new frontier for ecologically-responsible fashion, giving new purpose to otherwise discarded precious materials.” Cameluxe features in 11 styles of the Max Mara The Cube SS20 collection, an integrated collection of outerwear and accessories.

TOXIC-FREE SOLUTIONS Mashu is a London-based label that specialises in highend vegan handbags and accessories. Founded by Ioanna Topouzoglou, it aims to conserve raw materials by finding what it terms ‘toxicfree solutions’ that have minimal dependency on natural resources. The company states: “We are using materials [derived] from recycled polyester and plastic. That means reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 80 per cent compared to the traditional petrol-based polyester production process. “We also use natural fibres such as Piñatex, a leather alternative made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves. “All of our materials are recyclable at the end of their useful life. Our handles are all made from wooden offcuts, from a furniture company in Greece, that would otherwise be thrown or burned – creating a circular economy and ‘cradle2cradle’ design system.” ID

APRIL 2020


PhOtO: tOmmy Clarke


Bowl by Objet de CuriositĂŠ


Off the wall

Art is more than wall decoration. Shalini Misra believes it is as integral to a space as the furniture and colour palette. TEXT: dOrOThy wAldMAn

The client’s desire was to have a house where his family could spend time during every season of the year, not only during summer time.

Tray by Gio Bagnara

april 2020




ocated in London’s fashionable King’s Road, a luxurious new Cheyne Place apartment is as much a liveable art gallery as it is a home. The multi-award-winning interior and architectural designer Shalini Misra curated the apartment with an eclectic collection of art pieces that encompasses a variety of forms. A qualified architect who specialised in Urban Planning at Columbia University in New York before studying Virtual Reality in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, Misra has been creating spaces in her own multifaceted practice for over 20 years. Misra’s design philosophy involves a holistic approach where old and new items are fused together and lighting, texture and pattern are layered. Because art plays a central role in all her interiors, she works with artists and galleries, imbuing each space with individuality and creativity, all in accordance with the client’s needs and vision. No two of her projects are ever the same. Known for always seeking the unusual, Misra collaborates with internationally known artists and craftsmen as well as young graduates who are working with new technologies in innovative formats. She mixes these contemporary pieces with vintage items and the owner’s own beloved pieces to add layers of materials that play within the volumes of space. As in all this designer’s creations, there will be an element of surprise that intrigues the mind and delights the eyes.

h Misra’s design philosophy involves a holistic approach where old and new items are fused together and lighting, texture and pattern are layered. g The wave-like, threedimensional glass sculpture by Danny Lane rests upon a bespoke glass console that allows people to view it from various vantage points.

Shalini Misra


Art by SML; bust by Lee Yun Hee , tea cup and saucer by Richard Brendon; tray by Objet de CuriositĂŠ; Purple glass bowl by Artel

april 2020




The two-storey, four-bedroom Cheyne Place luxury apartment features an open-plan layout on the ground floor. The large space allows for the creation of visual vignettes comprised of carefully selected objects that are meant to be read together. The different perspectives of each element are considered in the placement of beautiful and interesting objects, so the eye is tempted and enchanted, no matter where it wanders or from which vantage point the objects are viewed. For example, the wave-like, three-dimensional glass sculpture by Danny Lane rests upon a bespoke glass console that allows people to view it from various vantage points. It is placed to overlook the void to the dining room, thus generating maximum impact. A nearby solid bowl by Objet de curiosité lends balance to the transparency and translucency of the glass sculpture. People will pause and admire the changes that occur as they view, from various perspectives, the 3D bespoke metal artwork showcased on the large staircase wall. Misra’s love of travel and her ability to absorb the subtle differences in cultural designs is reflected in the eye-catching yet useful accessories she chooses. Handmade pots from Hidden Gallery in India are filled with living greenery to provide artistic interest on the outside terrace, alongside copper trays by Haidee Gallery. All decorative pieces are chosen to accent the tones and materials both of the owner’s own furniture and new pieces selected by Misra. The client’s own furniture in the dining room is enhanced by paintings by Soonthron Suikiew, table linens by Claudia Barbari, reflective, striped crockery by Richard Brendon, and cutlery by Bottega Veneta. As well as ensuring delicious treats for the senses, Shalini Misra incorporates wellness into her designs in order to promote a healthy, successful lifestyle. Wellness relates not just to interiors but also to the wider concept of environment. Sustainable materials, including repurposed vintage and owner pieces, are used extensively, as is flexible lighting for different moods and tasks, and the latest technologies to ensure efficient energy usage. Natural light and air flow help create quiet, peaceful zones, while bringing nature indoors and efficiently organising spaces has created a smooth, healthy environment. The impact of these vital considerations is greater than the initial impression when entering a room. It is also the special moments resulting from art, the views through the windows and within the internal spaces, and the colours and textures that provide the perfect environment for the client’s desired lifestyle. ID

h The client’s own furniture in the dining room is enhanced by paintings by Soonthron Suikiew, table linens by Claudia Barbari, reflective, striped crockery by Richard Brendon, and cutlery by Bottega Veneta.

i Handmade pots from Hidden Gallery in India are filled with living greenery to provide artistic interest on the outside terrace.


People will pause and admire the changes that occur as they view, from various perspectives, the 3D bespoke metal artwork by Rana Begum showcased on the large staircase wall.

april 2020

The Middle East’s architecture, design, interiors + property magazine



The latest architecture, design + interiors news, now online: identityae






nf or

Design formula floors, walls + surfaces

Surface meaning

The quest for authenticity has led designers to rediscover the tactile dimension, artisan skill and natural shades in a range of surfaces and finishes.

Art of Performance from Bolon

TexT: Penny mccormick

april 2020


Design formula floors, walls + surfaces


H2O system from Wallpepper

wedish design company Bolon is recognised for its award-winning flooring and has clients such as Armani, Google, Four Seasons hotels, Chanel, Adidas, Apple and Missoni. In its new Art of Performance range, Bolon focuses on the core attributes of woven flooring: designability, sustainability, cleanability and durability. “For us, great design is design that lasts,” explains Annica Eklund, Bolon’s Chief Creative Officer. All collections contain recycled material – the company sources its raw material from best environmental practice PVC suppliers, while its flooring is non-toxic and approved for healthcare environments. Bolon’s approach could summarise the focus for surfaces in general, which now prioritises

sustainability and also draws inspiration from nature. Take, for instance, Séché Studio’s up-and-coming designers, Laura Bilde and Linnea Ek Blæhr, who were inspired by childhood memories of the coastline when creating a collection of organic, textured carpets called A New Wave for Ege Carpets. The sustainable designs are made from fishing nets and water bottles reborn as the hardwearing ‘econyl’ yarn. As for wallpaper – no less innovative or sustainable are Wallpepper’s designs. The brand’s new H2O system is the result of careful technical research to bring artworks to areas that are in contact with running water or have high humidity levels. The technical fabrics, which are PVC-free, are also are breathable and water-resistant.



april 2020


Design formula floors, walls + surfaces

Serene Blue from Jotun

Nautilus by Feanne for Technografika


First Light from Benjamin Moore

The new focus for interiors is the use of natural materials and patterns that are inspired by the beauty of nature, from canyons to deserts, replicated in furnishings and accessories by twisting shapes, fabrics with graceful patterns and strikingly material, pigmented surfaces. These surfaces are transformed with new finishes – soft, matt or polished – and are able to adapt to different styles, from vintage to industrial, and from modern to maximalist. Colour can be one of the simplest and most effective routes to creating an inspiring environment; the shades with which we surround ourselves have the power to change our moods and mindsets. Colour determines the atmosphere of a home and expresses the personality of the people who live in it. So, when making a change in our everyday lives, the colour of our home is a good place to start. Benjamin Moore revealed its Colour of the Year 2020 as First Light 2102-70 – a soft, rosy hue. “We selected First Light 2102-70 as our Colour of the Year 2020 to represent a new dawn of idealism, design and living,” explains Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore’s Director of Colour Marketing and Development. “First Light 2102-70 reflects a new definition of the home – a shift in mindset from the material to satisfying the core needs in life: community, comfort, security, self-expression, authenticity and ultimately optimism.” It’s one of ten colours the brand has selected to guide us into the next ten years and beyond. Meanwhile, Jotun has unveiled its 2020 Colour Design under the theme of ‘Celebrating Colours’ – 12 new colours matched with eight timeless hues. “Each colour conveys a deeper meaning, helping to create an environment that will enable people to thrive,” says Rana Khadra, Colour and Creative Manager at Jotun Middle East, India and Africa. For example, Serene Blue evokes the freedom of the sea. Also emphasising serenity is Novacolor, which endorses a ‘joyful revolution’ in its new collection – to restore harmony and balance in social spaces. Novacolor has been an active and constant player in this global movement for several years, not only through its communication campaigns but also through its ongoing commitment to transforming production using biomass raw materials, and studying products that are not only sustainable but also functional – linked to well-being and awareness. Technografica’s new capsule collection features lush vegetation, wild animals, local plants and sea life from the Philippines, hand-drawn by local artist Feanne before being digitally printed. The graphics are customisable with a range of finishes, from waterproof wallpaper to soundproof options, as well as an ecological cellulose fibre version.


Janneli & Volpi

april 2020


Design formula floors, walls + surfaces

Euclid from Urbi et Orbi

Komon Natura from Made a Mano

Diverge collection from KAZA



WALL TILES AnD PAnELS Specialising in catering to the window and wall interior industry for over 125 years, Sedar Global has launched its e-commerce site, delivering to homes throughout the UAE. This coincides with the launch of its #YourSpaceYourArt campaign, encouraging expressionism through design and textile selection. With eleven brands to choose from, new collections include wallpaper and spring-inspired crafted fabrics from Fujikawa, sophisticated botanical designs from Jannelli&Volpi, and opulent patterned wallpapers from Versace Home. Combining Scandinavian elegance with the rawness of untreated lava stone is the Komon series by Made a Mano, inspired by the patterns found on traditional Japanese kimonos. This combination creates ornamented yet aesthetically strict tiles with a strong emphasis on graphic patterns. Designed by Urbi et Orbi studio, the Euclid concrete 3D wall tile is an equilateral triangle with an escalating increase in thickness, from 1 to 4cm. Post-installation, the sought-after effect is a 3D view that can produce various patterns, and which is suitable for outdoor or indoor use. Urbi et Orbi tiles are not produced with traditional production methods. They are hand-made products, cast on a vibrating table, while their maturity is achieved in a natural environment. This results in tiles that are always individually unique. Also innovative are Lapitec’s natural sintered stone tiles, which imbue spaces with an elegant austerity. The large-format tiles are stain-resistant and waterproof, making them ideal for spas and bathrooms. The versatility of Lapitec tiles sees them used in outdoor spaces, as shown in collaborations with Roda, Dedon and Exteta. The quality of Lapitec products is reinforced by 25 patents that guarantee its resistance to UV rays, weather and changes in temperature, as well as fire, scratches, knocks, chemicals and acids. In addition, its pore-free surface prevents fungus and bacteria from breeding and is completely waterproof and easy to clean. All of these features mean Lapitec is ideal for table tops, coffee tables and outdoor accessories – particularly when specified with smooth, satin or glossy finishes – and as a surface for terraces, floorings and pools, where a coarser, anti-slip finish is preferable.

Woven Image from Zen

april 2020


Design formula floors, walls + surfaces

Daytona from Villeroy & Boch

Marblelous from from Vives Azulejos y Gres

flooR TIlES The 2020 collection from Villeroy & Boch is true to the brand’s philosophy: ‘The Art of Simplicity’. Understated yet striking, the high-quality ceramic tiles fit any interior scheme – whether natural, urban, modern or timelessly classical. The Alta tile range is defined by its quartzite glimmer and artisanal relief finish, while the Rocky.Art wall and floor concept combines natural stone and concrete with abstract floral designs such as opulent hydrangea blossoms in nuances of yellow and green. And the Daytona range, with its clear and simple concrete design, offers an excellent foundation for most living spaces. The new Marblelous collection, manufactured by Vives Azulejos y Gres, is a luxurious version of ceramic marble. Its polished finish visually eliminates the edge of the tiles to generate continuous surfaces and increase the sensation of space. The inspiration for the Overclay collection by Marco Corona comes from architectural marvels of the past – from the ziggurats of Mesopotamia to the terracotta army of Xian, and from the city of Shibam in Yemen to the terraces of Machu Picchu, as well as Middle Eastern kasbahs. Overclay floor and wall tiles come in seven colours, five large rectified sizes and two different finishes. In addition to the natural finish, the series also features a textured ‘R11’ finish, designed for use outdoors or in settings subject to continual stress. Overclay from Marca Corona


Inseideart from Ceramica San’t Agostino

april 2020


Design formula floors, walls + surfaces

Narrow Stripe Icon from Kasthall

CArpeTS AND upHoLSTery Long-forgotten yarns, leftover dyes and historical patterns inspired Kasthall Design Studio to create its new Colors In Between collection. “We were reminded of the design language that came out of the Bauhaus school, which celebrated its centenary last year, and have been inspired by their love of pattern. We have also drawn on the 1980s feel of the Memphis Group’s designs, not to mention Kasthall’s own Arkad pattern from that period,” says Lena Jiseborn, Design Director at Kasthall. La Manufacture Cogolin’s new collaboration is also inspired by the past – In this instance with the French decorator André Arbus, considered the leader of the traditional revival movement during the 1930s. The result is five rug designs with geometric designs, emblematic of Arbus’ work, and surprising re-editions of lesser-known designs using cord patterns. Lelièvre’s Signature collection draws its inspiration from the Himalayas and from headdresses worn by Tibetan monks. The palette of natural shades, ranging from warm browns to terracottas, is enlivened with shimmering ochres and copper. Likewise in Row from Northern, nature – in this instance a bird’s-eye view of a ploughed field – inspired the rugs that are made from New Zealand wool. The new Sahco collection, Echoes, plays with contrasts between heavy and light weaves, rich textures and sheer transparency. Fine velvets, elegant moirés and jacquard chenilles evoke luxury. Meanwhile, glazed cotton and iridescent taffetas bring a modernity to the range to create richly nuanced textile combinations for interiors.

Allure from Dickson


Row from Northern


Matignon Brume by AndrĂŠ Arbus for La Manufacture Cogolin

Himalaya collection from Lelievre

april 2020


Design formula floors, walls + surfaces

Darks collection from Caesarstone

CounTerToPs Perfect for creating a dramatic look in the kitchen, Black Tempal, Oxidian, Piatto Black and Empira Black are four new dark surfaces with a textured matt finish, and part of Caesarstone’s 2020 palette of quartz surfaces. Marmoker is Casalgrande Padana’s collection of porcelain stoneware tiles, which recreates the image of natural marble and stones in a vast colour palette and range of versatile shapes and sizes. These tiles are perfect for high-traffic settings, as they stand out thanks to their resistance to wear and aggressive chemicals, as well as their durability, colour inalterability and hygiene. The new tiles all recreate the typical traits of the natural stone they are named after – Calacatta Extra, Titan White, White Musk, Oyster Grey, Caribbean Green, Brown Forest, Tangerine, Orange Black, Rosso Francia, Night Storm, Fior di Pesco, Ossidiana, Canoca and Ana Grey – completing

Marmoker’s already vast colour palette, which now boasts 48 colours. Dekton, the innovative, ultracompact surface created by Cosentino, has introduced four urban and ecological colours in collaboration with architect and designer Daniel Germani. The Industrial collection contemplates the beauty of metals and cement at every stage of their lives; it pays homage to the beautiful imperfections of the oxidation and degradation processes undergone by certain materials. “The result is a collection of colours that highlights the richness and depth of natural, organic processes,” says Germani. Industrial comprises three new shades – Nilium, Radium and Trilium – which are based on the look of aged, rusted metals with irregular, organic patterns, giving a hybrid appearance taken from weather-worn and exotic natural stone. ID


Marmoker from Casalgrande Padana

Nilium by Daniel Germani for Dekton by Cosentino

april 2020


Design formula floors, walls + surfaces

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Project: Battersea Arts Centre Location: London, United Kingdom Designed by: Martin Lydon, Haworth Tompkins Ltd.

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LIFESTYLE + PROPERTY 52 56 60 64 66 68

Legacy of luxury Designed for thought Welcome to the neighbourhood Antennae Creative power Modular wonders

Designed by the late and renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid, ME Dubai is located in the breath-taking Opus building.






april 2020



Legacy of luxury

ME Dubai, the only hotel in the world with interiors and exteriors designed by the late, great Dame Zaha Hadid, has now opened its doors to guests. TEXT: maX TuTTlE

O Spa entrance

ne of Dubai’s most eagerly anticipated hotels opened its doors in March. ME Dubai has, according to parent brand ME by Meliá, been designed to appeal to “stylish urbanites and sophisticated travellers with an appreciation for design and contemporary luxury.” Even at first glance, the hotel wows with light-flooded atriums, curved spaces and minimalist, chic interiors. The hotel was designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid. It represents a legacy project for the worldrenowned Iraqi-British architect, as it is the first and only hotel for which she designed both the exterior and interior. The building is fully representative of her futuristic architectural style, characterised by curves, sharp angles and bold materials. As the only hotel in the world to be designed in its entirety by Dame Zaha, ME Dubai features interiors full of bespoke furnishings and a level of detail that reflects the visionary starchitect’s

unorthodox approach to design. ME by Meliá says that, “With awe-inspiring originality, Hadid’s design reinvents the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior.” The hotel’s 74 rooms and 19 suites include the Passion Suite, Personality Suite, Vibe Room and the ultra-luxurious ‘ME Suite’. All enable guests to enjoy the most detailed of Hadid’s design touches, from exclusive furniture to the sophisticated bathrooms’ Porcelanosa sanitary fixtures that were designed by her. Signature furniture also features in the lobby, lounges and reception areas; every item was either designed or personally selected by Dame Zaha. The rooms are full of advanced technology that can be controlled through a smartphone, allowing guests to stay connected and informed, or to relax and switch off. Suites also feature Oculus Quest, an all-in-one gaming system that offers a wireless all-inclusive virtual reality experience.

Guests and visitors can choose from three food and beverage outlets, including Central, the Refuel & Relax pool bar and The Opus Studio. In addition, the Opus building will offer 15 F&B outlets including ROKA, the contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant, as well as MAINE Land Brasserie. The spa at ME Dubai offers a variety of luxurious treatments for individuals or couples, while the spacious pool and wet deck overlook the Dubai skyline. There is also a 7000-square metre state-of-the-art gym, and the largest nightclub space in Dubai. ME Meliá says that ME Dubai aims to raise the bar on sustainable practices for hotel operations in the city. Initiatives being introduced across the hotel’s operations include a partnership with UAEbased company No More Bottles to install drinking water filtration systems throughout the hotel. All rooms will be stocked with pure, filtered water in glass bottles, reducing the hotel’s footprint. ID


Atrium lobby

april 2020



Atrium lobby podium

The Opus



Guest room bathroom

Dame Zaha Hadid

Stefan Viard, General Manager of ME Dubai, said: ‘’ME Dubai brings a new dimension to Dubai that will delight status seekers, culturalists and the creative elite across visitors and residents alike. The new property will act as a cultural epicentre for those looking for a personalised approach, unforgettable experiences, unparalleled gastronomy and exceptional service. An integral part of the brand will be to add a personal touch to all experiences, going above-and-beyond your average concierge service. To be putting the final touches to our much anticipated offering and watching the mesmerising Zaha Hadid vision come to life is exciting, and we are looking forward to marking a new decade by welcoming guests to ME Dubai.’’ ME Dubai is located in The Opus by Omniyat building, located in the Burj Khalifa district of Dubai. Also designed by Dame Zaha, the landmark building spans 186,000 square metres and comprises two separate towers that coalesce into a cube that has been ‘carved’ to create an eight-storey central void, providing views to the exterior from the centre of the building. The two towers are linked by a fourstorey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric 38-metre wide, three-storey bridge that is 71 metres above the ground. Spanning 186,000 square metres, During the day, The Opus reflects the Dubai sun, while by night its LED lighting amplifies its character. ID

april 2020




Designed for thought

Created by Grimshaw Architects, ‘Terra’ - the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020 - will be one of the world’s newest, most sustainable LEED Platinum-certified buildings. TEXT: caThErinE bElbin


nique solar-powered carbon fibre ‘Energy-Trees’ that follow the sun like sunflowers do and a dew-harvesting ‘Water Tree’ are highlights of the Sustainability Pavilion at the Expo 2020 site. The state-of-the-art pavilion, designed by Grimshaw Architects with input from NASA scientists and revered European academic research institutes, features the very latest sustainable building concepts. Equipped with over 1000 photovoltaic panels, the pavilion has been designed to LEED Platinum building standards, regarded as the highest available accreditation for sustainable architecture. Grimshaw Architects and its partners have created a pioneering structure and exhibition that will set the sustainable practice benchmark for decades to come. The Sustainability Pavilion has been conceived to be part of the Expo Legacy collection of structures that will keep the Expo 2020 memory alive for decades to come. According to Andrew Whalley, Chairman, Partner at Grimshaw: “The actual construction has been very efficient. The building is now complete, and we are finessing various elements. Commissioning will start soon, and the exhibition is starting to go in.” The permanent structure will be transformed into a Children and Science Centre post-Expo, when it will be self-sustaining and will generate 100 per cent of its energy and water supply. “Designing a sustainable net-zero building in the challenging desert climate was interesting – but if you can do it here, then you can do it anywhere,” says Whalley. “It was always intended to be a permanent building – to foster innovation and research – and so we designed it [first] with the legacy in mind, and then re-designed it to be a sixmonth-long Expo pavilion centre.” The pavilion also features innovative landscaping to enrich the experience. “We hope this will demonstrate that you can create an exciting lush and varied landscape in the desert. Working in collaboration with Dubai-based Desert ink, we have used a lot of plants that haven’t been used in public landscaping before. The entire 25,000 square metres of grounds will feature innovative irrigation techniques, including a greywater recycling system and local plants, to reduce water use by 75%.

april 2020



Some 10 tonnes of reclaimed wood will cover the auditorium walls, while rocks excavated from the desert site during construction form the wall elements. The exhibitions – with content created in collaboration with US company Thinc Design and the UK’s Eden Project – will be displayed over 6300 square metres. The pavilion will host 4400 people per hour, with each visit taking about 45 minutes. “We have split the circular exhibition into two semi-circular parts so that everybody gets to see similar yet different experiences, allowing twice as many people through it,” he explains. “It’s quite a departure from the traditional closed box-type pavilion, as people can walk up on to the roof and look inside from outside, and therefore enjoy part of the internal experience without entering. “We sank the building, so all the exhibition space is underground, beneath the landscaped roof that provides natural shading and insulating. “The specially designed sun-powered ‘Water Tree’ uses metalorganic frameworks that capture moisture from the air like a sponge. “There’s a hidden gem in the centre of the building: when you step

into it you look down and see a pool of water – water that the building is harvesting through its Water Tree system. You will see the sky reflected through the central funnel, connecting the sky and the water.” The building will also use solar energy to sterilise water and remove micro-bio-contaminants. “In many ways, this is a new generation of the Eden Project; about the environment and how we live in the future, rather than just plants,” he says. “An immersive theatre is how I’d describe it. You need to immerse people in the landscape and nature, and to entertain them and catch their imagination, to draw their attention to the need to be more sustainable.” “The UN has categorically said that all new buildings should be netzero by 2030; we [Grimshaw Architects] have committed to do that. In December 2019, we stated that all our global operations would be net-zero from this year [2020]. That’s the way to encourage clients to join in this journey. “This pavilion will be a path leader, demonstrating what can be done for the UAE.


Andrew Whalley

“We hope that the whole experience will make visitors reflect and pause for thought. We need to change the way that we do things and to be truly sustainable; we must change our habits.” AndreW WhAlley

“Much of the technology was built just 20 minutes away. The whole 130-metre-wide canopy roof, inspired by the Ghaf tree, was fabricated at a nearby steelworks. Around that, we have E-Trees influenced by the waxy-leaved Blood Dragon trees seen in Oman, that grow in arid conditions and follow the movement of the sun. Our E-Trees will do the same to ensure that the area enjoys the maximum shading throughout the day. “We had to make the E-Trees very light and so collaborated with Premier Composite Technologies ( PCT) to make them from carbon fibre. “We hope that the whole experience will make visitors reflect and pause for thought. We need to change the way that we do things and to be truly sustainable; we must change our habits.” Grimshaw Architects has worked on a number of Exporelated structures over the years. “Our first Expo pavilion was in Seville 1992. It was actually one of the first buildings that used photovoltaics to generate energy – we had to borrow them from BP.”

Whalley’s award-winning projects include the International Terminal at Waterloo, the Eden Project in Cornwall, the redevelopment of London Paddington station (all in the UK) and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, New York. Going forward, the firm has a number of exciting projects on its drawing boards. “We have a couple of large master plans in the infancy stage, a lot in transport and railways projects such as: the Euston Station Redevelopment project in the UK; the new light rail system in Auckland, New Zealand; Heathrow, new JFK and Newark airports; and a master plan for Washington, D.C.,” says Whalley. “Interestingly, a lot of money is going into infrastructure; a lot of public transit systems – all of which are geared towards a more sustainable world.” Recently, Grimshaw completed a major bus shelter project in New York and the new Frost Museum of Science in Miami. ID

april 2020



Welcome to the neighbourhood Dubai Downtown is welcoming the first site-specific Hotel Indigo in the Middle East. identity reached out to Tia Lindqvist, Senior Interior Designer, to discover what gives this hotel its stand-out individuality. TEXT: doroThy waldman


ecause no two places are alike, the InterContinental Hotels Group creates each property in its Hotel Indigo brand to reflect its specific neighbourhood. The soon-to-be-open Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown is a reflection of the totality of Dubai: its past, present and future. Tia Lindqvist, Senior Interior Designer at Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) led the team that created the design for this 269-room hotel, which is a mirror on all that is Dubai. Here, we share the insights she gave id into how the hotel’s design evolved into reality.


What is the special narrative of the Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown? Downtown Dubai is a neighbourhood of creative contrasts. Dubai grew outwards as a city from the banks of the Creek in Old Town Dubai, referred to as Bur Dubai, to the commercial heart of Dubai in Deira. Historically, the development of Dubai has grown in tandem with the development and extension along the Dubai Creek into new areas of Dubai. We drew inspiration from the idea of the Creek extending into Business Bay and, therefore, Business Bay becoming a part of the Creek neighbourhood. What specific influences directed your design? We drew inspiration from the rich heritage and vibrancy of Dubai Creek. The Creek was traditionally where activities such as pearl diving, fishing, trading and shipping once took place, with the souks providing the backdrop for trading. The fascinating history of the Dubai Creek is a story of transformation from the old to the new, and this is one of the key themes of the design of the hotel, where there is a strong juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern.

This transformation of the city and the hotel’s neighbourhood, through the expansion along the Creek, is a bridge between two different sides of the city. Visitors to the area can still see the hustle and bustle and the fascinating traditions on the banks of the old Creek in Deira, where dhows are filled with all kinds of cargo in crates. One of the ideas we had was to incorporate the idea of using shipping crates to create eclectic and quirky pieces for the interiors. The story is further supported by the selection of rich fabrics and patterns that are featured throughout the hotel both in public areas and guestrooms, adding to the vibrant, eclectic, quirky and arty interior spaces. Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown has drawn strong inspiration from specific areas of the neighbourhood along Dubai Creek, including Dubai Design District (d3) and the Bastakiya area, one of the charming parts of old Dubai that is now a hub for Dubai’s burgeoning arts scene. With the hotel located in very close proximity to d3, it followed that a nexus of art and design would inspire an exciting approach through which to express the interiors of the hotel.

april 2020




Tia Lindqvist

Who are some of the local artisans/designers you worked with? Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown features more than 200 curated pieces of art that were acquired over a long period of time. Our aim is to form a collection of art that plays a role in telling the neighbourhood story. For this, we approached Alserkal Cultural Foundation to provide artwork not only from local artists but also from locally based expatriates who have resided in Dubai and have drawn inspiration from the city, the Emirati culture and heritage of local art practices. Through collaboration with XVA Gallery and Opera Gallery, a number of pieces by Baseem Rayyes were acquired, as well as pieces from artists based in d3 – including Fadi Sarieddine, and Tashkeel-based artists Studio MUJU and Rand Abdul Jabbar. The hotel also features a number of artists from outside the UAE who have a connection to the region, including Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI), who created unique rugs as part of the overall concept. Every piece of selected artwork that will be on display at the hotel has its own connection to the overall neighbourhood story. Collectively, they encompass many different art styles – including photography, shadow art, collage, oil on canvas, watercolour, mosaic, acrylic, calligraphy, fabric art, metal and digital art. We intend to change the collection regularly to ensure a fresh guest experience and to provide opportunities for other artists to display their work in the hotel. One of the visual artistic surprises that will be revealed at the official opening is a site-specific, tech-driven, cutting-edge piece that combines a parametric data sculpturing/painting approach and live audio-visual performance into an immersive installation, embedding media arts into architecture. No-one will know who the artist is or how the artwork will perform until the unveiling at the opening. ID

april 2020



1 2






Henning Larsen has unveiled plans for an urban transformation project in Brussels, Zaha Hadid Architects has designed a new contemporary art museum in Changsha and construction work is underway on the International African American Museum.








ING, the Netherlands’ largest bank, has a sustainable new home for its 2800 employees. Cedar, designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects and HofmanDujardin, consists of two fivestorey volumes connected by a glass footbridge. The building, its interior and surrounding park are designed as an integral, welcoming whole, establishing a new typology for financial institutions: instead of emphasising security and power, the architecture focuses on transparency, connectivity and collaboration. The smooth, curved façades and floor-to-ceiling windows give Cedar a friendly and approachable front, while daylight floods into bright and airy atriums at the heart of the office.

Construction work is underway on a major new building for HEC Montréal, a business school affiliated with the University of Montréal. Designed by Provencher_Roy and due to be completed in the spring of 2022, it will feature 27 class rooms, a 300-seat auditorium and a conference centre to help address a lack of space and facilities at the fast-expanding school’s current campuses. Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) Gold certification is being sought for the project which will feature green roofs, geothermal wells, landscaping that promotes biodiversity, tree transplantation, mobility-friendly measures and charging stations for electric vehicles.

MICA, the new contemporary art museum of Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre, has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. It features eight juxtaposed exhibition galleries that offer 10,000 square metres of space centred around an atrium for largescale installations and events. The MICA art museum also includes dedicated spaces for community workshops, plus a lecture theatre, café and museum shop. The scheme, which is adjacent to Changsha’s new metro system, further accommodates a 1800-seat theatre with supporting facilities and a multipurpose hall which has a maximum capacity of 500 seats, along with hospitality suites, administration offices and rehearsal studios.









lHenning Larsen has unveiled plans for Brouck’R, an urban transformation project for the Belgian capital’s Place de Brouckère. The scheme, a collaboration with Brussels-based studio a2rc and developers Immobel and BPI Real Estate, features 48,000 square metres of commercial, residential, hotel and green space. It aims to unify city living and working in a single, central city block that balances the architectural heritage of Brussels’ grand Belle Époque structures with a contemporary approach to style and scale. Construction work is due to begin in the middle of next year and be completed in 2024.

WATERFRONT SITE Construction work is underway on the International African American Museum. Designed by New York–based architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, it is located on a waterfront site that was the port of arrival for nearly half of all enslaved Africans brought to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum will be housed in a 130-metre-long, 25-metre-wide single-storey volume hovering four metres above the ground and supported on 18 cylindrical pillars arranged in two rows. As well as historical and cultural exhibits, the 3900-square metre building will house a family history centre for ancestral research, as well as a social justice action lab.


NEW ARRIVAL Due to open in September 2021 is the Wyndham Garden Suites Spring Hill Brisbane. Located two kilometres from the city’s central business district and 15 minutes from Brisbane Airport, the all-suite property will feature 120 hotel rooms and 14 residential apartments and will accommodate a swimming pool, fitness centre and restaurant along with two flexible meeting rooms for corporate meetings and events. The 13-storey project will also be home to a ground floor cafe and communal open space; also planned is a rooftop common recreation area complete with planters and green spaces.


WATERFRONT SITE Paracelsus Bad & Kurhaus is a new public bath designed by Berger+Parkkinen Associated Architects in the centre of this historical Austrian city. The entire roof level of the three-storey structure is dedicated to sauna facilities and an outdoor pool that offers views of Salzburg. The project also includes diving facilities, a children’s pool and a pool for relaxing. Three saunas have views over the city while the central and largest sauna focuses on a local church. The scheme is the first indoor pool in the country to receive Klimaaktiv Gold certification in recognition of its energy efficiency standards.


LUXURY PROJECT Scheduled to open in the autumn of 2021 is LXR’s first luxury hotel in Asia Pacific through its partnership with Hilton. Located at the foothills of the Takagamine mountains in the north of Kyoto, the 114-room hotel will be within walking distance of the iconic Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion and other historic temples. It will be part of the 11.5-hectare Shozan Resort Kyoto, which is home to idyllic gardens, historic Japanese architecture, authentic tea houses and five restaurants offering authentic local cuisines. The hotel aims to cater to “affluent yet adventurous travellers.” ID

APRIL 2020



photo: mustufa abidi

Creative power

Ruggero Ottogalli, Downtown Design’s newly-appointed Managing Director, reveals how he will be consolidating its operational model and expanding the fair’s offering ahead of this year’s edition in November. TEXT: pEnny mccormick


“What is currently happening on a global scale will have long-term impact and we must look at these challenging and revolutionary times with the outlook to create a better environment for the industry.” ruggero ottogalli


hat can we expect from the eight edition of the fair? Downtown Design is so much more than just a design fair. Over the years it has established itself and as an ecosystem, nurturing the cross-pollination of ideas, cultures and talent, and an industry agent, connecting design with commercial opportunity. The fair’s curatorial approach – filtering brands for quality, originality and context – remains strong as ever, [and is] re-mastered yearly with a fresh and relevant theme, to offer a dynamic experience of the global contemporary design scene. We continue to build on that DNA with solutions that maximise the return on investment for exhibitors. We understand that exhibitors are different – in scale, offering, local presence and in terms of their expectations and key objectives. So, we will have tailored packages designed around the specific needs of the exhibitor. This year our visitors will be able to engage with the latest trends and collections from around the world, as well as explore limited-edition design at Downtown Editions. The fair’s section for individual designers, studios, collectives and design collaborations is fast establishing itself as the platform for the next generation of designers to get discovered. From The Talks programme, what can we expect this year? The Forum at Downtown Design is the intellectual heart of the fair, annually bringing together global design leaders. Last year we had Dara Huang, Christian Louboutin and Greg Natale, among others, to discuss the industry’s most pressing matters and offer insight to better navigate the market. Without giving much away just yet, the team is working on a very exciting theme that will explore the future attitudes towards design creation and consumption. We will be announcing this year’s theme soon and will be announcing updates via Instagram, and online. Who and where do the visitors come from? The visitor profile can be seen as an indication of Dubai’s position as a design hub for the Middle East and the gateway to the wider GCC, Africa and Asia. Each year we collaborate with a regional designer to mastermind the fair’s look and feel, and the public areas. That, coupled with creative content

that goes beyond brand showcases – such as specially commissioned installations, talks and networking events – attracts top design firms, design investors, hoteliers and developers. Last year visitor numbers grew by 20 per cent; these included locally-based designers, many of whom are servicing not only regional projects but also Europe and America. In addition, The fair welcomes regional industry decision-makers, as well as private clients. As a key event of Dubai Design Week, we see a deeper engagement with design enthusiasts and consumers as well. One of the key objectives for this year’s edition is to increase the wider regional participation, particularly from KSA and North Africa – markets where the demand for design innovation is high. How has demand for contemporary design changed in recent years? While there is definitely a growing appreciation and demand for contemporary design solutions across the region, pressure on cost-efficiency is a fact. Our industry players – from brands to designers and clients – must increase the level of internal communication, sharing their requirements and expertise with transparency while being ready to listen, learn and adapt. I believe Downtown Design can be, now more than ever, the ideal platform for a similar symposium and we are working unceasingly towards this goal. What is currently happening on a global scale will have long-term impact and we must look at these challenging and revolutionary times with the outlook to create a better environment for the industry. What excites you about the lead-up to the show? Over the past seven editions, Downtown Design has proven itself to be an industry platform that continually responds to needs of the design industry. Now more than ever, it is vital to support emerging talent, to give visibility to design innovation from the region and around the world, and foster meaningful relationships. Communication, engagement and collaboration are key. It is challenging and immensely exciting to evolve the fair’s model to offer tangible value to exhibitors, the design industry, our visitors and the community. ID

Downtown Design 2020 is scheduled to take place from 10 to 13 November at Dubai Design District (d3) waterfront.

april 2020

co-cross 68


machine for living + working

Winner: Co-Cross, system for living and working by MEAN*

Modular wonders

MEAN* – Middle East Architecture Network wins USM’s ‘Live-Work’ design competition with its co-cross: machine for living + working concept. TEXT: CATHERINE BELBIN



Runner-up: Winky Bike system by NIU Studio

he conceptual design contest was organised in collaboration with identity magazine, and the two runners-up were NIU Studio and Killa Architectural Design. Leading UAE-based architects and designers took part in the design competition, which involved conceptualising a USM configuration that responds to the needs of a hybrid environment, whether for the home, office or both. The entrants were encouraged to look to the future, just as USM has for over 50 years, and present a design that delivers functionality and complements the designs both of today and the years ahead. The jury included identity Group Editor Catherine Belbin and Eric Berchtold, USM’s Sales Director Middle East, Africa and India. “MEAN’s design responds perfectly as a unit of four distinct spaces. The attention to detail and usage of all the USM components makes it practical, and it could be built immediately,” said Berchtold. The Dubai-based designers from MEAN* Studio won a three-day trip to Switzerland, including a visit to the USM Future Office. The winners said: “Our proposal, co-cross, is an exploration of the future of work-live scenarios for young professionals wanting the flexibility and freedom of working from home.

Runner-up: Anything is possible… in Space by Killa Architectural Design

“co-cross stands for this emerging desire in the collaborative crosspollination of life and work. The design integrates the thinking behind the novel theories of productivity and lifestyle. “MEAN used different USM products to envision a modular unit shaped like a cross. Instead of rooms, the unit is separated by partitions. “The co-cross unit integrates the geometric use of ‘voxels’ (3D pixels) to achieve added aesthetic ornamentation, which also serves the duality of lighting in the sleeping area and seating-storage/planting pods for the living area.” According to the jury, the novelty factor of the Winky bike system by NIU Studio allows it to really make a statement; it’s a functional piece of art that could be used in an office, home or retail environment. Berchtold describes the Anything is possible… in space entry from Killa Designs as “Polarising. It’s certainly ‘out of the box’ and shows that there are endless ways to use USM’s components. The 360-degree design is multifunctional, creating zones [in which] to meet, sleep, dream, create, work and play. The winning designs will be showcased at USM’s regional distributor showroom, one 52, in Jumeirah One. ID

APRIL 2020



Home time

With the advent of social distancing resulting in more people being home-bound, the id team has hand-picked some new products that can help make this new lifestyle more relaxing and comfortable for the whole family… TEXT: PEnny mccormick

The Fab Four Whether you’re watching a show on Netflix, listening to your favourite song, or working while music plays in the background, there are four bang & olufsen gadgets which will improve any home sound experience. The beoplay Stage is the brand’s first soundbar, which brings the rich and powerful signature bang & olufsen sound to any television. The beoplay e8 3.0 earphones

are the latest to be upgraded, with more battery life and better design that allows users to plug in and work in peace. beosound Balance is a powerful home speaker, while the beosound 2 is a powerful speaker system that delivers a spectacular sound performance and fits effortlessly into any home environment.


sCents of plaCe having invented the rattan stick home diffuser in 1990, Culti milano has now created a new way to perfume a space. its (refillable) Scented Granules can be spread around the home, in an elegant canvas pillow, and modulated in intensity as well as mixed with other Culti milano fragrances to create discreet and original scents. available in five fragrances, Aramara is a bitter orange citrus blend with bergamot, cardamom and sandalwood notes. the aromatic Mareminerale brings a reinvigorating freshness and combines the appeal of sea, lymph and mineral musk notes. the enveloping floral Tessuto relies on bergamot, with the addition of cassis leaves and cotton flowers, finishing with jasmine notes. in the finely-balanced The fragrance, a pure blend of bergamot is mixed with Japanese green sencha tea, with notes of guaiac wood. Supreme Amber is especially bewitching and is a blend of incense and patchouli; its heart of black vanilla also includes a note of myrtle-leaved orange.

in the frame

personality and playfulness the aim of Crate and Barrel’s newest kids’ collection is to bring out a child’s personality while optimising space through modern design. every item in the collection has a character of its own and also boasts a sophisticated finish that blends with a variety of décor. the Jenny lind White Twin Bed is adorned with intricate woodturnings that provide the piece with a beautifully detailed and playful look. Complementing the product is the kids’ Wrightwood 9-drawer dresser with clean, grey finish – perfect for adding the practicality parents love with the lively touch kids adore. as for colour, the super-soft Large Rainbow Nod Chair adds just that. When coupled with the patterned Map Rug, parents can create a customised space that supports their child’s growing individuality. meanwhile, items like the Blue Melange Toy Cube Bin and the Hanging Storage Organiser ensure toys are kept neatly hidden and allow parents to optimise room dimensions. the collection is available at Crate and Barrel’s dubai stores in mall of the emirates, City Centre mirdif and online.

longchamp’s distinctive elegance and femininity are at the fore in two new eyewear designs. the new frames play with contours and thin profiles, while maintaining the core features of lightness and comfort. the new styles feature in the brand’s ss20 advertising campaign, where they are worn by supermodel Kendall Jenner, photographed by Columbine Goldsmith in the California desert. they are offered in classic colours and pastel nuances, and brand aficionados will recognise the iconic horse emblem on the flat tapered temples. meanwhile the optical frame is inspired by the iconic Le Pliage handbag; the acetate rectangular shape is embellished with a metal plaque embossed with the horse symbol and paired with the longchamp logo. the new frames are available in all longchamp boutiques and through selected retailers and online.

april 2020



CreaTIVe COLLaBOraTION Logitech G and Herman Miller have announced an exclusive partnership to research, design and manufacture high-performance furniture solutions for gamers. Says Tim Straker, Herman Miller’s Chief Marketing Officer, “We’re excited to combine our ergonomic, research-driven approach with Logitech G’s excellence in technology and innovation. Together, we’ll develop high-quality solutions that provide gamers and esports athletes with the utmost support and comfort.” Like traditional sportspeople, esports athletes and professional streamers need the right gear to perform at their best for long periods of time. In addition to long-term health concerns, esports athletes may also experience a loss of focus and a decline in overall performance due to discomfort. Many of the products on the market today focus primarily on aesthetics, rather than research-proven ergonomic design, and can cause more harm than good. Peter Kingsley, Chief Marketing Officer at Logitech G says, “Herman Miller was the obvious choice for us to partner with, given their more than 100 years of expertise. Together we will deliver amazing products with advanced ergonomics, comfort and performance that gamers deserve.” Both brands will analyse and incorporate the feedback from esports teams including Complexity Gaming, TSM, NaVi and others into products that address their needs and concerns. The first product is set to launch imminently.

eaSTer TreaTS Marks & Spencer is offering a wide selection of sweet treats and gifting options for easter. They include expertly crafted Easter Sundae milk egg chocolates and Marks & Spencer’s popular Extremely Chocolatey Biscuits which have been transformed into the new extra-thick Extremely Chocolately Biscuit Egg. The full range is now available in Dubai Festival City, Mall of the emirates, Ibn Battuta, Springs Souk, Dubai Marina Walk and Festival Plaza, and can also be found on the Marks & Spencer Food app. Customers can get same-day delivery on orders before 2pm and next-day delivery for orders placed after that. The home delivery service is free with a Dhs150 minimum spend.

HOMe STyLe Homegrown furniture retailer Chattels & More and quirky home accessories store Kare will be taking part in the Dubai Home Festival, in collaboration with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, between 9 and 23 april. Dubai Home Festival is an annual sale and shopping event that takes place across the city, in stores and in malls. Chattels & More and Kare will be offering up to 75 per cent off selected ranges in their Dubai stores. In addition to the sale, the stores will be offering all shoppers who spend Dhs1000 in store the chance to win a living room set worth Dhs50,000. Chattels & More’s flagship store is in Oud Metha, with other branches in Mall of the emirates and City Centre Mirdif, while Kare has a showroom in Oud Metha and a standalone store in Dubai Festival Plaza. / ID



Fancy some escapism? These two new books dedicated to masters of contemporary palatial designs are inspiring. TexT: penn y m c cor mick

Signed Sybille de Margerie: beSpoke inTeriorS

a 21ST CenTury palaCe: aSia

by Laure Verchère, foreword by Hélène Arnault Flammarion

by Geoffrey Bradfield and Landry Design Group Floating World Editions

The Cheval blanc Hotel in Courchevel, the Mandarin oriental Hotel in paris, the old and new Cataract in aswan, the Hotel d in Strasbourg, The grand in amsterdam … all reveal the milieu of French interior designer Sybille de Margerie. Her forte: dreamy palaces, hôtels particuliers and some of the best addresses in the whole world. Having trained at the École boulle and worked with the Taittinger group, she sums up her signature style: “i like the balance between tradition and modernity; i attach great importance to the fluidity of spaces, light and comfort. My work is equally highlighted by attention to detail, choice of materials and the harmony of colours.” de Margerie now has three offices globally – in paris, in Florence, and in dubai where kerzner commissioned her to design the residential area of the royal atlantis. She is currently working on serviced residences with Four Seasons dubai. “i’m not looking to leave my imprint on everything i do, i’m more interested in revealing the soul and uniqueness of a place,” she has said of her functional yet detail-oriented designs. This new book explores eight themes that are representative of her work and her distinctive architectural style.

Well-known in the field of luxury residential design are geoffrey bradfield, who with roric Tobin heads of b&T global, and architect richard landry, who together with business partner brian pinkett leads landry design group (ldg). bradfield’s roster of high-profile clients includes Jack Ma, co-founder of alibaba group, and Chairman Huang of Star river group – both listed in the Top Ten philanthropists in China. ldg’s client list includes gisele bündchen and Tom brady, Mark Wahlberg, eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stallone. in the latest edition in the A 21st Century Palace series, bradfield teams up with landry to create a palatial property in asia. it consists of some 23,000 square metres and incorporates grand entertainment halls, intimate salons and over 30 bedrooms on 30 landscaped, lakeside acres. This sumptuous coffee table book documents how the monumental louis XiV-style château, with landscaping by robert e. Truskowski, is a synthesis of eastern and Western cultures. landry translated european classicism into a 21st-century vision in the heart of asia, while bradfield infused the château with his signature, elegant interiors. both design firms incorporated eastern principles of feng shui, numerology and symbology into their work, without abandoning the home’s classic French inspiration. ID

APRIL 2020


Split-flap display


cons are usually the result of intelligent design used to meet a specific need. That’s certainly true of this month’s subject. The split-flap display was invented shortly after World War II and put into production by the long-established Italian company Solari. The display originally comprised four flaps of ten digits – sufficient to show time information. When its design was evolved to incorporate 40 flaps, it could show words as well as numbers – making it ideally suited to displaying constantly updated public transport information in airports and railway stations. In 1956 Solari created the world’s first ‘information viewing system’ in Belgium’s Liegi train station, after which the system was widely adopted around the world, and regularly referred to as the ‘Solari board’. The system’s rapid mechanical movement and ‘click-clack’ sound epitomised the excitement – and sometimes frustration – of travel. The boards have also regularly played brief but important roles in numerous films and TV shows, illustrating pivotal moments in stories as well as displaying game show scores. The design of the ‘Solari board’, with white numbers on black flaps,

This month we take a nostalgic look at an icon that elevated

the art of delivering information clearly, quickly and in style, and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. TEXT: maX TuTTlE



was awarded the prestigious Compasso D’Oro award shortly before the first example was sold. While the split-flap display has largely been replaced by the dot matrix and LED display, its aesthetic appeal has seen it used in art, while a combination of nostalgia and a desire for more visceral experiences means it is enjoying a renaissance away from its original home – in restaurants, hotels and museums. The legacy of the split-flap display even lives on in some of its successors. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in the Unites States has designed the new LED replacements for its Solari boards at Boston’s North Station and South Station to emit an electronically generated flapping noise to alert passengers to train boarding updates. At the time of writing, with travel severely restricted, it seems likely that even more people will look back on the split-flap display as representative of a golden age of travel. This icon has certainly played an invaluable role in helping countless people over the decades keep appointments and reach their destinations. ID