GID First Issue

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COVER IMAGE COURTESY: LIVING IN INTERIORS, RESIDENCE IN EGPYT.

OCTOBER 15, 2014

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GRAPEVINE

A round-up of the latest and most significant design and architectural news making local, regional and global headlines.

14 ANTIQUITY

DUBAI’S FIRST SKYSCRAPER

Despite the price of construction rising exponentially, the tall tower trend is still hot in the region. Here is a quick look at the history of the megaprojects for Dubai.

18 ANTIQUITY MASTERMIND: THE FORGOTTEN

BUILDINGS OF LE CORBUSIER

An interesting look at the rediscovery and renovation work of an iconic building by the master architect Le Corbusier.

22 THE THING

FROZEN

Maxim Velcovsky, was inspired to simulate the process of a natural miracle to create a ‘frozen’ sculpture.

24 THE LIST

Get the Look. The items featured here offer options to make your space both stylish and ergonomic.

PAGE 68

MONOCHROMES AND PATTERNS, PAGE 32


COLOUR RICH INTERIORS, PAGE 60

KNOPPARP PAGE 25

28 THE DECONSTRUCTION

The ONE homestore shows you how to create a boudoir reminiscent of an age of glamour gone by.

40 THE RETAIL SPACE CONTRAST IN FOCUS

30 THE FOCUS MONOCHROMES ARE OUT

Alia El Tanani, the creative designer at ‘Living Interiors’ and her daughter, Tamara El Tanani, give their take on discerning design styles.

36 THE DISCUSSION DIALOGUE BETWEEN DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

GLAM Interiors & Design scouts through the new store opened by Qatari entrepreneur, Aysha Alsuwaidi, at The Pearl Qatar which uses colours, or rather the lack of it, to highlight fashion.

44 THE EXPERT SPACE IS NOT A CONSTRAINT

Experts share their insights to help you create spaces that are stylish, calming and well designed.

46 THE PROFESSIONAL FIVE MINUTES WITH NIGEL ECKERSALL

Meet the astute professionals behind the exponential growth in the architecture sector. Fuelled by passion, and plain old hard work.

58 SPOTLIGHT FURNITURE IN A LEADING ROLE We throw the spotlight on where you

can locate those instant solutions and ready-to-arrange furniture pieces.

60 THE FOCUS THE ORIENTAL INFLUENCE London-based French-Lebanese

What is sustainable architecture? We chatted with Dr Alex Amato, a stalwart of the sustainable construction and green building sector and his associate, Anna Lupi, an architect.

architect and designer, Annabel Karim Kassar, uses her eclectic design sensibilities to increase the design quotient in the United Arab Emirates. BRILLIANCE SCONCE, PAGE 24

PAGE 28

ELEGANT, SOPHISTICATED AND LUXURIOUS, PAGE 40


EDITOR SINDHU NAIR

CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT SENIOR CORRESPONDENTS

DEBRINA ALIYAH ABIGAIL MATHIAS

EZDHAR IBRAHIM ALI AYSWARYA MURTHY

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

MAHEERAH GAMIELDIEN

PHOTOGRAPHER ROB ALTAMIRANO

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR

DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR

VENKAT REDDY HANAN ABU SIAM

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

MAHESHWAR REDDY B

SENIOR MANAGER – MARKETING

FREDRICK ALPHONSO

MANAGER – MARKETING

ASSISTANT MANAGER – MARKETING

SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS

SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

SENIOR DISTRIBUTION EXECUTIVE

DISTRIBUTION SUPPORT

AYUSH INDRAJITH

SAKALA A DEBRASS THOMAS JOSE MATHEWS CHERIAN

HASAN REKKAB PRATAP CHANDRAN BIKRAM SHRESTHA ARJUN TIMILSINA

BHIMAL RAI

PUBLISHER AND EDITOR–IN–CHIEF

BASANTHA. P

YOUSUF JASSEM AL DARWISH

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

ALPANA ROY

VICE PRESIDENT

RAVI RAMAN

SANDEEP SEHGAL

GLAM INTERIORS & DESIGN IS PUBLISHED BY ORYX ADVERTISING CO. WLL. The contents of this publication are subject to copyright and cannot be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher and/or license holder. All rights rest with Datalog media solutions. The publisher does not accept responsibility for any advertising contents carried in this publication. Contact info@omsqatar.com, gid@omsqatar.com www.issuu.com/oryxmags www.facebook.com/glamqatar Call us: +974 44550983, 44672139, 44671178, 44667584 Fax: +974 44550982



YOU EXPERIENCE A SORT OF OUT-OF-BODY MOMENT WHEN YOU GET TO DO SOMETHING YOU HAVE CRAVED FOR AGES; WHEN YOU CAN FINALLY PUT TO USE THE PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS OF AN ARCHITECT THAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PROUD ABOUT.

FROM THE DRAWING BOARD

Coupled with this is the experience of putting together the regional version of one of the most stylishly conceived magazines in the world – The New York Times Style Magazine’s Qatar edition, TQatar; a capability that refines your sensibilities and gives you an impetus like no other. All these and an intense passion from the entire team to produce quality work specifically the design team headed by our local Jan White, Venkat Marri, who lives, breathes and eats magazine designs, when he is not smoking and feeding his brain cells with much-needed carbon dioxide, gave birth to this creative venture, Glam Interiors & Design. We have created a niche, touching on a segment that has to date been untouched in the country. A design magazine that dwells on spaces, objects, buildings and construction from the world over, with a special focus on offerings from the region. A magazine that speaks to the creator of things, be it a simple lamp to a grandiose building; a magazine that discusses design principles; has an on-going discussion with architects and construction managers who build or try to build sustainably. From Doha’s skyscrapers to designer architects’ most precious babies, Glam Interiors & Design picks and chooses the best in the industry, to help readers understand the ideology behind the final creation. Crave for products sourced by our team and read about the latest trends in interior design as you join in on our conversation with environmental experts and architects from the region working on iconic projects in the country. To revere the monumental figures in architecture, we flip through pages of history and the works of Le Corbusier, the master architect who felt that space, light and order are the things that man needs as much as bread, water and a place to sleep. Welcome to the world of Glam Interiors & Design and be immersed in space, light and order. SINDHU NAIR

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GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN



GID

GRAPEVINE

“Chocolate brown is the new charcoal.” Neil Stemmet, owner of dekeldersprivate retreat.com, South Africa

NOUVEL’S NEW MUSEUM IN CHINA DUBAI PLANS $32 BILLION (QR120 BILLION) AIRPORT EXPANSION Dubai’s ruler has endorsed a $32 billion expansion plan for the city’s second airport that aims to make it the world’s biggest, according to the Emirate’s airport operator. The approval sets in motion a vast building project that will boost capacity exponentially at the airport known as Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central. Backers envision it will eventually handle more than 200 million passengers per year. First phase: Capacity to accommodate 120 million passengers a year and 100 mammoth Airbus A380 double-decker jets at any given time.

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Renowned French architect Jean Nouvel has unveiled designs for the National Art Museum of China, a vast cultural programme to be built in Beijing. Located next to the city’s historic axis – symbolically connected to the Forbidden City – the institution will contain an array of important collections from the Ming era to the present day. Across its 30,000 square metre footprint, the museum houses a range of permanent and temporary galleries, research and education centres and an auditorium. A host of public spaces, including an expansive grand terrace, provide visitors with venues for recreation and contemplation.


MIRROR ON THE WALL

(THE TOP 5 FAĆADES)

REGIONAL

REGIONAL RIPOSTE right: Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi; above: Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi’s Al Maryah Island; left: King Abdullah Financial District.

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

New National Stadium, Singapore The US$1.33 billion Singapore National Stadium designed by Arup features the world’s largest dome-shaped, retractable roof spanning 310 m that is light-weight, weather-resistant and blocks the sun’s heat.

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station, Saudi Arabia (Planned completion: 2017) Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, this major interchange between six metro stations will feature façade patterning to reduce solar grain and its composition will reflect Saudi’s natural land formations. Flagship Sowwah Square multi-use development, Abu Dhabi, UAE Sowwah Square is a major new commercial development on Abu Dhabi’s Al Maryah Island designed by US architects Goettsch Partners. The façades feature passive and active solar shading systems and a closed double skin façade system to enhance performance. Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi, UAE The world’s furthest leaning tower – The 160 m-tall leaning tower in Abu Dhabi has a striking 18 degree incline. The asymmetrical façade was designed by RMJM and is one of the most technically challenging engineering projects in the world.

Crit Building, University of Kent, UK The Crit Building has won the World Architecture News Façade of the Year 2013 Award and has been described as “intelligent and graceful”. Designed by Guy Hollaway Architects, the façade utilises natural wind energy and dynamic aluminium flaps to elegantly reflect the passing students.

CONSTRUCTION MARVELS right: Singapore’s National Design; adjacent: Crit Building, Univeristy of Kent.

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“A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.” Louis Kahn

GRAND OPENING OF WANGJING SOHO IN BEIJING Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the mixed-use development consists of three curvaceous structures that make it the most visible landmark en route from Beijing’s capital airport to the city centre. The streamlined volumes are arranged to form a fluid mountain profile and serve as a trio of majestic peaks overlooking the city. The highest tower stands 200 metres high, while from above the design mimics three graceful fish spread across the site.

“We like to work with fluidity in our architecture because it visually simplifies everything. Elements within each design fit together to form a seamless continuum. This allows us to build much more complexity into each project without cluttering the visual scene. This architectural language of fluidity, elegance and coherence should not be restricted only to our cultural buildings.” Zaha Hadid

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FLUID Zaha Hadid’s signature landmark in Beijing.



GID

GRAPEVINE

BO O K R E V I E W

SUSTAINABLE

H A M A D I N T E R N AT I O N A L A I R P O RT ( H I A ) , D O H A

DEVELOPMENT:

AN APPRAISAL FROM THE GULF REGION

SIZE:

5,400 AC R E S O F L A N D

U N I Q U E F E AT U R E S : 2 O F T H E LO N G E S T R U N WAY S I N AS I A , E AC H M O R E T H A N

14,000 F E E T LO N G

THE WORLD IS GOING

N A N O

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Nanotechnology can offer tangible benefits for sustainable buildings says Khaled Al Hamzawy, Managing Director, Subdivision Inc. Nanotechnology refers to the scientific field which deals with very small structures, usually sized below 100nm. Al Hamzawy said: “We most frequently focus on building insulation by reducing conductivity as described by a certain U-value. While such insulation is needed, one should closely observe how heat is transferred into buildings especially in the Gulf area: the sun radiates all around the day and the infrared radiation of its rays transfers heat onto our surfaces. In this manner, we most frequently observe that the temperature of our surfaces is much higher than the ambient air temperature. Nanotechnology comes in to solve a considerable part of this problem by creating paints that are highly reflective in the infrared zone where heat is transferred.” Such paints reflect more than 94 percent of the infrared radiation, and also re-emit back into space most of the energy that they may have absorbed.

The author of ‘Sustainable Development’ Paul Sillitoe came to Doha about five years ago to teach and research sustainable development at Qatar University (QU). He spent three years as Shell Chair in Sustainable Development at QU. According to Sillitoe the book has its origins in an international, inter-disciplinary conference on sustainable development that was held in 2009. Currently he is the Professor of Anthropology at Durham University and he has now launched and edited publication called Sustainable Development: An Appraisal from the Gulf Region, a book that saw its beginnings at QU’s Centre for Humanities and Social Science Research. The book features a foreword by QU President Sheikha Al Misnad and an introduction by Sillitoe. Of the 20 chapters, 10 deals with issues specific to Qatar. The 572-page book takes the best of university faculty research and government personnel’s analysis from the Gulf and the Middle East.


REAL ESTATE PRICES HIGH BUT WITHIN FUNDAMENTALS OF FAST GROWING ECONOMY The Real Estate Price Index (REPI) published by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) suggests average prices for land, commercial and residential properties in June 2014 stood 20% above their peak in September 2008. This could suggest a potential overheating of the real estate sector. Closer analysis, however, indicates that the increase is still within the fundamentals of Qatar’s fast growing economy and rapid population growth, QNB Group noted recently. According to the latest data, the REPI increased 21.5% in the first six months of 2014, showing a significant acceleration compared with the 6.2% increase in the second half of 2013.” We compared the real estate price index to two measures of fundamentals in the economy. One measure is based on push factors affecting real estate prices. The other measure is based on

price movements in the economy. Both measures suggest that real estate prices continue to be in line with economic fundamentals,” QNB analysts said. First, real estate prices in Qatar have recently been pushed up by both a base effect (population) and an income effect (income per capita). The base effect is the large increase in population experienced

since mid-2012. As population grows, the demand for housing increases, pushing up real estate prices. The income effect arises from the higher GDP per capita as a result of the rapid economic growth over the last few years. As per capita GDP rises, more income will be spent on housing, pushing up the value of real estate properties.

EID PRAYER GROUND OPENED FOR EID AL ADHA AT MSHEIREB DOWNTOWN DOHA PROJECT

The historic Eid Prayer Ground located at Msheireb Downtown Doha development opened to the public for Eid Al Adha prayers. Msheireb Downtown Doha is a QR20 billion regeneration project in Doha’s historical commercial centre. The mixed-use development is made up of more than 100 buildings, with a combination of commercial and

residential properties, retail, cultural and entertainment areas. The aim of the project is to revive the old commercial district by recapturing Qatar’s heritage and architectural traditions.

GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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GID

ANTIQUITY

DUBAI’S

FIRST SKYSCRAPER

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TECHNICAL DATA BURJ AL ARAB

HEIGHT (TIP)

320.96 M HEIGHT (ARCHITECTURAL)

320.96 M HEIGHT (ROOF)

210.00 M FLOORS (ABOVE GROUND)

DUBAI HAS 18 COMPLETED AND TOPPED-OUT BUILDINGS THAT RISE AT LEAST 300 METRES (984 FT) IN HEIGHT, WHICH IS MORE THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN THE WORLD.

60 CONSTRUCTION START

1994 CONSTRUCTION END

1999 ELEVATORS

18 BUILDING COSTS

$230,000,000

Dubai has 73 completed and toppedout buildings that rise at least 200 metres (656 ft) in height, which again is more than any other city in the world. Based on the average height of the ten tallest completed buildings, Dubai has the tallest skyline in the Middle East and the world. As of 2012, the skyline of Dubai was ranked fifth in the world with 236 buildings rising at least 100 metres (330 ft) in height after Hong-Kong, New York City, Tokyo and Chicago, with 909 high-rise towers and 448 skyscrapers. There are 223 new towers in the pipeline including the 1,050 m Nakheel Tower. Within a few decades Dubai has evolved from a sleepy fishing village with a few bedouin tribes into a bustling metropolis. World record-breaking projects include the 828 m Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure, the 414 m Princess Tower, the tallest allresidential building, and the 355 m JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Hotel, the world’s tallest hotel. Of the tallest towers in the world, two of the top five are in the Middle East and both were completed in the last five years. With property prices rising exponentially and positive investor sentiment all round, Dubai’s construction industry is reviving stale projects and developers are announcing a number of new megaprojects for the city. GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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GID

ANTIQUITY

FACTS

+ This is the tallest operating hotel building in the world (not counting mixed-use buildings like Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai or the unfinished Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea). + All of the hotel’s 202 rooms are two-storey suites, ranging in size from 170 square metres (1,830 square feet) to 780 square metres (8,396 square feet). + The atrium is 180 metres high, one of the tallest in the world. + The Al Muntaha restaurant is located 200 metres above the Persian Gulf, offering great views of Dubai. It is accessed by a panoramic elevator. + The hotel features a total of eight restaurants and bars. + The building’s design is influenced by the profile of an Arabian sailing ship. + The building’s external lighting schemes, from white light to a multicoloured one, change from one to another every 30 minutes expressing the evening’s progress. + Burj Al Arab is the world’s tallest structure with a membrane facade. +

A 24 metre (79 feet) wide helipad projects from the building 210 meters above the ground.

+ “Burj” is Arabic for “Tower”. + The “Assawan Spa” is situated on the 18th floor.

Built in a structural expressionism style, the awe-inspiring design of the Burj Al Arab, which measures in at just under 321 m, was completed in 1999 and was ostensibly Dubai’s first tall tower. Dubai now has the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which tops out at a lofty 828 m. The Burj Al Arab was the tallest tower and the tallest hotel in the world at the time, but its magnificence has been eclipsed by the Burj Khalifa as the ambitious Emirate continues to build towers at a rate of more than 70 per year since 1995 18

GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN



GID MASTERMIND

THE MEDIA FRENZY THAT ACCOMPANIED THE ANNOUNCEMENT MADE BY A STUDENT OF ARCHITECTURE IN 2005 WAS ENOUGH TO SPARK PRESERVATION EFFORTS BY IRAQIS BEMOANING THE APPARENT LOSS OF THEIR CULTURAL AND ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE OVER THE LAST DECADE.

THE FORGOTTEN BUILDINGS OF LE CORBUSIER

DISCOVERED City of Sport, the Baghdad Gymnasium designed by Le Corbusier; Above: the Franco-Swiss architect and urbanist Le Corbusier. 20

GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN


FLUID STROKES Views of villa "Le Lac" built by Le Corbusier, for his aging parents, on the shore of Lake Geneva near Vevey. Two houses, antipodal from each other, but both built on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The forgotten and overlooked Le Corbusier building was “rediscovered” in 2005, when Caecilia Pieri, researching her thesis on modern architecture in Baghdad for the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (Urban Observatory, French Institute of the Near East) came across the gymnasium and contacted the Le Corbusier Foundation in France. Surprisingly, the Foundation had no record of the building or photographs of the work in progress. Nothing had been kept at the site and those in charge had no idea what had happened to the documentation. In Baghdad, the gymnasium that was completed in 1982 was worse for wear, displaying on its walls and its facilities decades of violence, poverty, and poorly planned and executed renovations. The story starts with Iraq’s unsuccessful bid for the Olympics in 1957. The 22-year-old King Faisal II picked the Franco-Swiss architect and urbanist Le Corbusier – whose real name was Charles-Edouard Jeanneret – to design the Baghdad Gymnasium. Le Corbusier’s enthusiasm for the Olympic complex did not escape notice. Addressing issues of PICTURES: AFP PHOTO

lighting, climate, landscape, irrigation and capacity, the architect entertained a myriad of provocative and exciting ideas. He notably envisioned a mechanism that allowed the water from the River Tigris to flow directly into the outdoor pool, and suggested that the stadium could be used alternatively as a concert hall. In fact, Le Corbusier had previous experience in stadium design and the Baghdad gymnasium shares major similarities with the design for a stadium in Paris that was never realised. In June 1958, after months of extensive research, Le Corbusier handed over a master plan for the City of Sport in partnership with the engineering firm of George Marc Présenté. The complete design illustrated Le Corbusier’s conception of the role of sport in urban life. On the grounds that sport should be integrated in the daily lives of people, he included various exercise fields and facilities in the plan. He also made the complex easily accessible by any transport, insisting that the citizens of Baghdad should be able to enjoy the many on-site gardens, restaurants and non-Olympic swimming pools. As such, one could argue that Le Corbusier

foresaw the massive development of multi-functional sports complexes in the second half of the 20th century. The master plan was approved, but fate had different plans for Baghdad. The 1958 revolution resulted in the assassination of King Faisal II as well as the overthrow of the monarchy. It was in 1982, under the reign of Saddam Hussein, that the City of Sport was completed – years after the death of its architect. Once it was ready to host sporting events, the stadium welcomed ‘generations of Iraqi athletes’ as well as international competitions, says its current director Wasfi al-Kinani. For the country, it illustriously represents a ‘historic inheritance, a symbol’, he argues. But the future of the complex was once again compromised when America invaded Iraq in 2003, triggering violent sectarian conflicts that shattered local sports initiatives. Although the gymnasium was granted a lot of media attention during Le Corbusier’s lifetime, it rapidly fell into obscurity. The project was not mentioned in the Le Corbusier Encyclopaedia published by the Centre Pompidou to celebrate the centenary of his birth in GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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GID MASTERMIND

ICONOCLASTIC above and inset: The Chapel of Notre Dame du haut in Ronchamp, completed in 1954, is an important example of 20th century modern architecture and is considered one of the extreme designs of Le Corbusier. Though small, the chapel is beautiful and complex.

City of Sport by Le Corbusier is a “historic inheritance, a symbol” to the Iraqi people.

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1987, nor was it listed in the various Œuvre Complète dedicated to his works. This is partly due to the widespread suspicion about Le Corbusier’s authorship of the stadium. These rumours were sparked because only a fraction of Le Corbusier’s authentic design was used in the post-mortem construction of the building, but also because the bulk of the design was conceived outside of Le Corbusier’s office in Rue de Sèvres. As a result, the architecture historian Mina Marefat argues that the Baghdad gymnasium was long perceived as a ‘bastardised project’. However, extensive documentation demonstrates today that Le Corbusier was actively involved in the City of Sport, a project that in fact he held close to his heart. For instance, almost 1,500 drawings related to the gymnasium bear the signature of the architect. In addition, Le Corbusier relentlessly worked on the project in the face of communications

obstacles, political turmoil and deaths in his family. Recent exhibitions, such as the small 2008-2009 show of Le Corbusier’s drawings at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Barcelona exhibition which focuses on architecture in Baghdad, have also confirmed Le Corbusier’s ownership of the project. Despite the failed bid, Faisal’s overthrow, mounting financial difficulties, and Le Corbusier’s death in 1965, the plans remained pending. They were finally taken up again during the reign of Saddam Hussein and finished in 1982, under the guidance of one of Le Corbusier’s associates, Georges-Marc Présénte. But in 2003-4, the Iraqi people saw another overthrow, this time of Hussein, and the gymnasium went from housing athletes to American soldiers. The years of violence and shoddy reconstruction have affected the Gymnasium’s design: the roof, originally designed to allow


“There were... the pangs which accompanied its longoverdue birth, not to mention the disorienting identity shift from a sort of “people’s palace”– Le Corbusier had maintained that the grounds be open to the city’s citizens – to functioning as a vanity project of a despot.

natural light, has been blocked by a false ceiling; the seats are brightly coloured; and the gymnasium’s perspective has become crowded with newer constructions. However, the building’s preservation may be the first step towards a greater movement. As Pieri noted to the AFP: “After all this upheaval, we are witnessing the renaissance of new awareness about [Iraq’s] modern heritage, and it can lead to similar movements, sparking positive momentum for other major modern buildings.” According to Mélissa Leclézio, in an article on culturetrip.com, ‘Le Corbusier’s industrial, sober style has been partly lost: brightly-coloured seats fill the stadium and the design of the roof that originally allowed natural light to go in was modified. Nevertheless, the motto of the architect proudly adorns the front of the building: ‘Where order is born, well-being is born’. In addition, the ‘survival’ of the site throughout the years

undermines the common assumption that Iraq’s rich cultural and historical legacy has been ruined by the recent upheavals, and it gives hope to the people of Iraq who fight for the preservation of their heritage”. Samuel Medina, Architizer.com, said, “Though still in use, the site has seen its share of traumas. There were, of course, the pangs which accompanied its long-overdue birth, not to mention the disorienting identity shift from a sort of “people’s palace”– Le Corbusier had maintained that the grounds be open to the city’s citizens – to functioning as a vanity project of a despot. More recently, the U.S. military’s occupation of the space in the last decade cast a dark cloud over the structure and contributed to its neglect. Yet, the gymnasium has well served its community, hosting several international events and competitions since its completion.” Its director, Wasfi al-Kinani, states that it must be preserved as a “historic inheritance, a symbol” to the Iraqi people ON DISPLAY An image from Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition on the architect, “Le Corbusier: An atlas of modern landscapes”.

GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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THE

THING

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FROZEN THE FROZEN COLLECTION BY MAXIM VELCOVSKÝ WAS INSPIRED BY THE TRANSFORMATION OF WATER INTO ICE. THIS MOMENT IS SIMILAR TO WORK IN A GLASSMAKER SHOP.

Creating a solid object from a liquid material is an essential characteristic of glass. Each designer attempts a small miracle – turning liquid glass to solid form. Velcovský allows the glass to spill over a metal form and seeks advantage in its natural properties. Each piece traces a unique record of the process, becoming an original. Maxim found inspiration among pieces of ice created by nature and applied that element of randomness in nature to his craft in the context of glassmaking. The result is a ‘frozen’ sculpture, combining the richness of glass textures, wrinkled details, bubbles and varied thicknesses. Frozen is a series in which no shape is possibly the same. Glassmakers understand their material always ‘freezes’ at some moment in the process and only the most skilled hands are capable of creating a unique form. Maxim Velcovský has participated in 90 joint exhibitions and his works are included in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The New Pinakothek in Munich, the Museum of Art and Design in Prague and the Design Museum in Lausanne. In 2007 he won the Designer of the Year award and in 2011 became Art Director of Lasvit, also heading the Ceramics and Porcelain Atelier of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Lasvit was one of the lighting firms which took part in Downtown Design, an international curated design trade fair featuring the world’s finest industrial and commercial design brands alongside an exciting programme of activities. The second edition of Downtown Design took place from October 28 – October 31 at The Venue, a custom-built marquee located on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard at the foot of the Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai

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THE

LIST

QUIRKY URBAN ITEMS

A CRAFTY MOVEMENT

ANCIENT CRAFTING above and left; items reflecting the designers revival style.

RED IS THE NEW HUE

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Brilliance sconce is a product from luxury brand Koket with patterns in agate stones that are cast onto gold rays of metal giving this sconce showstopping qualities. In the fall season, Koket is back with the fashion world’s hottest new hue: red. The designs are inspired by the Paris and Milan fashion weeks. Koket is highly influenced by the decorative arts, fashion, flora and fauna, forms and decorative techniques from the glamorous eras that reappear in the most sophisticated contemporary trends. Available at www.bykoket.com

A product of human emotion and energy, Nada Debs’ work glorifies ancient craft techniques and brings them to the fore, inspiring a movement aptly named ‘Craft Cool,’ which serves as a platform for designers reviving and celebrating valuable crafts and techniques. Nada Debs is a celebrated, 10-year-old concept, developing both furniture and home accessories. Showcasing designs in significant establishments such as the Jordanian Royal Palace and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi, as well as providing VIP gifts for the World Economic Forum, Nada Debs the brand continues to spread the explicit Zen-like lifestyle across all platforms. Available in London, New York, Paris, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.


CEMENT IN MY LAPTOP BAG? The PPC Cement Laptop Bag is as practical as you can get. There are two sections and two pockets; carry your laptop cables in one pocket and an iPhone or mouse in the other. After stitching, the bag is coated to make it water-resistant – so yes, you can use this bag even when it is raining! So how are they made? An unused Pretoria Portland Cement paper bag is the beginning of each piece. (Have a look at www. ppc.co.za to see the original packaging.) Available online with different cement brand logo’s (if you are into that sort of thing!). Available from www.the wrendesign.com. Cost: QR300 (approx). SCAN

TRENDY This is one easy solution to brighten up a dull part of your living room. Spruce up the corner by adding this bright yellow two-seat sofa, KNOPPARP from IKEA. Cost QR375.

HOLD ON TO YOUR BUCKETS This stool bucket is made from lacquered iron and comes in a range of colours with upholstered seats. If you want a bucket to sit on, head to Kare Doha at the Lagoona Mall.

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THE

LIST

DESIGNER

WARE

THE

V

POWER

Some things in life come with luxury; like this exclusive limited version of Versace, the new iconic Via Ges첫 family. The Atelier edition of the Via Ges첫 sofa is upholstered in luxurious black and white leather, with gold metal finishes. At the heart of the sofa is the V of Versace, from the V stitching at the back, to the sloping angle of the arms. The arms, trimmed in gold metal, are each highlighted by a gold metal Medusa head. The base of the sofa is also in gold metal. This special edition of the Via Ges첫 sofa is exclusively available in the Versace Home Boutique on Via Borgospesso, Milan. 28

GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

It is sacrilege to call this beautiful piece of art a dining table, but that is essentially its purpose. This award-winning Ottawa table is designed by Karim Rashid and is available at the BoConcept store here. This table is available in matt white lacquered or black lacquered. Cost: QR6,899. Ottawa chair is available in fabric or leather. QR3,370 each. The Ball pendant featured is in chrome and costs QR449.



THE

DECONSTRUCTION

HOW TO CREATE YOUR GLAMOUR ROOM THE ONE BEDROOM, DECONSTRUCTED. Jiang Cushion Cover 45 x 45 QR83

Vania Table Lamp QR839 Yong Cushion 30 X 60 cm QR105

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Yong Throw QR419


Nia Mirror 120 X71 QR1155

Oifa Wall Deco QR839

Slim Chest QR3885

Andy Bed Stool QR1225

Adele Bedside Table QR2825

Chinchi Throw QR419

Kamil Vase QR6295

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PICTURE PERFECT The mother-daughter design team, Alia and Tamara Al Tanani at their apartment in the Pearl. 32

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“MONOCHROMES ARE

OUT” TRENDS TO FOLLOW, INTERIOR PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY; ALIA EL TANANI, THE CREATIVE DESIGNER AT LIVING IN INTERIORS, AND HER DAUGHTER TAMARA EL TANANI, GIVE THEIR TAKE ON DESIGN STYLES THAT WE NEED TO DISCERN.

BY SINDHU NAIR

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DESIGN RULES One of the residential projects executed by the Living In Interiors team in Egypt.


AMALGAMATION From below and clockwise: a living space designed by the Tanani’s in Egypt, interior accessories that add character to the space, the design duo in their residence at the Pearl, and the interiors of the office of a top excutive in Doha.

“WE ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF FASHION WHERE EACH SEASON A NEW TREND EMERGES. TRENDS LAST LONGER IN INTERIORS.”

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Alia El Tanani declares that the monochrome fad in interiors is about to be obliterated. “It lasted for much longer than it deserved. It was too boring a concept,” she says. While trends in interior design are less ephemeral than those in the fashion industry, this is one whose end will mark the next epoch in interior design. Years of designing for clients in Egypt and with collaborations in Qatar lending weight to her expertise, Alia, accompanied by her daughter Tamara El Tanani and their team of workers, seems to know the nuances of the interior industry in Doha. Creative Director of Living In Interiors, Alia has led numerous interior projects in the country, some of which she can speak about, like turnkey interior projects of Kahramaa and Ashghal, and many residential projects on which she cannot elaborate much. The company provides expertise in four key departments: According to Tamara, “Design, contracting, retail and maintenance.” Other than the interior design and turnkey projects, the company also has a furniture house that retails premium brands and outstanding art. Living In is the sole agent for some of the most highend brands in the design world and their warehouse houses 5,000 items available for shipment, complementing the displayed collection and all of the same high quality. Every space, from the restaurant and the office to commercial buildings and personal spaces, starts with the needs of the person using it. So designs, be they in Egypt or in Doha, will mostly stem from the requirements of the person using the space. “The need, the space, the location, these are the constants that the designer works with”, says Alia. Of course the needs of each client differ, some ranging 36

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from an Indian theme to a Moroccan palace; while some even take inspiration from a television programme, says Alia. “Every client comes with a dream and it is up to us to steer those dreams,” she says. Recounting some of the varied requirements she’s had to cater to, Alia remembers one unusual request where the client wanted their house to resemble the one that was featured in Revenge. While the needs of clients might change, the one constant is the basic requirements of any room, like the bed in a bedroom. Some clients have a detailed approach, which is the best-case scenario for the designer, there are some clients who are very confused about their needs and these are ones that Alia categorises as being a bit more complicated. “We try to guide them towards a design that is close to what they might have imagined and that which is practical and livable,” she says. Interior spaces, unlike fashion, have to last for a long duration and be a good investment too. “We do not sell cheap things nor do we do any cheap work. The money that has been spent is not insignificant and hence we make sure that the design stays relevant for a long duration. We keep in mind that the trend or the design we have assimilated does not look obsolete,” she says. Interior Trends While Living In Interiors stores interior fittings and accessories that stand apart from the mundane ones, it is not just accessories that it specialises in. “Woodwork is our specialty. We also take pride in our detailed and well-researched work. We love to leave our bespoke signature on each of the projects that we do,” says Alia. What Alia and Tamara love to do

is to break the rule but to do it in a constructive way. “I do not go by trends. We are not in the business of fashion where each season a new trend emerges. Trends last longer in interiors,” says Ali. But she can perceive an emerging trend, a trend to break rules. To have that one element that creates the “wow” factor in the interiors. “The matchy-matchy look of earlier times is certainly out,” says Alia. If a simple design was the norm earlier, it no longer excites the user now. “ If you feel you have created a ‘nice’ design, try to think harder. A simple approach is certainly the norm and we need to go beyond that. Monochromatic interiors were easy; it was exciting; it was a simple approach with minimum details, and all that is now on its way out. The monochromatic pattern works well, if it is executed well. If not, then you have something that will soon tire out the people living in it.” “We do not live in a monochromatic world, we need more colours in our interiors,” she says. We are collectors, says Alia, we have this urge to buy more if we can afford to. Office spaces, meanwhile, have a completely different set of rules. “Office spaces need to be unified, it should portray the company’s image, it should be comfortable, flexible, and it should keep in mind the needs of the organisation,” she says. These are the trends that the team followed in the interiors of Ashghal and the Kahramaa corporate spaces that have been just completed. While spaces are defined by their function, it is the designer who moulds the space and gives the form much more than function; the soul that makes the space very personal to the user


PALATIAL The interior of a residence in Egypt, warm colours set the tone for this sprawling yet cozy living room. GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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DISCUSSION

CREATING SPACE

FOR DIALOGUE:

BETWEEN DESIGN AND

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE? IS INTERIOR DESIGN THE STEPCHILD OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY? THE CHANGING NATURE OF ORGANISATIONS, WORK AND WORKPLACES MEANS THAT CONTRACTORS, ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS AND PROJECT MANAGERS INTERACT IN VERY DIFFERENT WAYS THAN THEY DID A GENERATION AGO. MUCH OF THIS PROGRESSION HAS BEEN TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN BUT, AS DR ALEX AMATO OF QATAR GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL (QGBC) SAYS, “IT JUST MAKES SENSE FOR ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN PROCURING A BUILDING TO WORK COLLABORATIVELY FROM THE OUTSET.” BY MAHEERAH GAMIELDIEN

CONSTRUCTION 38

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“We should be asking more questions...‘If I drop the item will it break? How long will it last? What material is it made from? Am I purchasing a throw-away item?’ ”

Glam Interior & Design met with Dr Alex Amato of QGBC and Anna Lupi of Innerspace at the QGBC Passivhaus in Barwa City to look at the questions that everyone seems to be able to ask but not answer about sustainability, architecture and construction. Anna Lupi gave us some amazing insights into how sustainable design is not contrived but merely necessitated by the function. As we sat at a table in the Passivhaus, she picked up a pale blue candlestick from IKEA Doha. Beautifully designed, agrees Anna, but we should be asking more questions: “If I drop the item will it break? How long will it last? What material is it made from? Am I purchasing a throw-away item?” In other words, we need to address the question: Can interior designers take sustainability

further and if so how? Anna added here that interior design has evolved and there are now interior consultants who specialise in designing hospitals, offices or schools interiors. But, essentially, “If you are an experienced architect or interior designer, then the design method is the same.” Interiors, design and furniture generate and attract a lot of attention and excitement but, when designing, it is only common sense that architects start from the interior by gaining a real understanding of its function requirements and not vice versa, says Dr Alex. As we spoke about planning buildings, I asked about obsolete buildings. “Don’t tear them down,” said Dr Alex, “refurbish them if possible.” A good example of this is the Qatar Museums project at the old Doha

Fire Station. Anna said that it was not an architectural or sustainability problem if there was redundancy in the existing building stock. In fact, Dr Alex emphasised that investors and developers are simply reacting to market demand and opportunities, buut sometimes thhis can go wrong if the market changes rapidly as we saw in the financial crisis of 2008. But how does it all tie in, I asked? Dr Alex pointed out that the construction industry is the only one where development design and production are executed separately by organisations that often have very different agenda, aside from the basic intent to make an honest profit. Compare these inherent schisms to say the automotive industry where innovation is rapid and the build quality is comparatively exceptional. It may be that in the future the situation will correct itself through contractors incorporating desin process into their organisations and that ‘design and build’ (D&B) or similar procurement paths become the industry norm. This creates a platform for interaction and information to flow both ways between design and production. One further step would be to also subsume the development function as this has the potential to secure a steady demand, which then would encourage the industry to invest especially in offsite fabrication. It is only then that the industry can attempt to match the productivity, quality and innovation of other production based industries. We have examples of how this might occur by looking at the highly eficient Japanese house building sector. However, said Dr Alex, this only happens GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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if the contractor is ‘enlightened’. In fact, he went so far as to imply that ‘enlightened contractors’ should also pay attention to safety onsite, the welfare of the construction workers, ethical procurement and real quality control. Anna emphasised that today the best products came out of a partnership where the contractor and architect created a mutually beneficial dialogue. She brought us back to the IKEA designs in the Passivhaus. IKEA differentiates itself from others in that almost all of its products are purposeful and ergonomically designed. Anna says that this is not by accident. The collaboration between product manufacturers and specialist subcontractors can give birth

Ethical procurement and responsible sourcing: Knowing the provenance of an item allows us to use and dispose of an item appropriately or even to choose not to use it. to products that are not only unique but also functional and most importantly for the future, truly sustainable. And this is when the conversation about design and sustainability really comes together. Dr Alex says it’s vital that we look at some of the critical issues that the sector needs to tackle: + Ethical procurement and responsible sourcing: Knowing the provenance of an item allows us to use and dispose 40

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Bamboo is one of the most rapidly CO2 sequestering florae and is increasingly being modified and adapted to be used as flooring, ceilings, cladding, carpets, and furniture; even as structural elements. of an item appropriately or even to choose not to use it. Questions need to be answered: How will it be disposed of? Can it be reused or recycled? Has it been produced using exploited labour or worse still, child labour? What are all the embodied environmental impacts of each material or products? How often will it wear out and how often will it need to be replaced? + Materials: Using materials that sequester CO2. It has become more evident that the easiest way to sequester CO2 is to use timber and other similar organic products. An example is bamboo. Bamboo is one of the most rapidly CO2 sequestering florae and is increasingly being modified and adapted to be used as flooring, ceilings, cladding, carpets, and furniture; even to be used as structural elements. QGBC as an organisation has been advocating green building practices since its inception in Doha almost five years ago and it is moving into an exciting period. Dr Alex shared two new ideas that will be coming out of QGBC in the near future. He said that QGBC is in the process of developing a Green

Product Directory which will list all green products available in Qatar. This will be the ultimate showcase for the manufacturers and retailers of green products to the market. The second idea is a venture that will involve Anna and the company she represents, Innerspace. They have been exploring using light gauge steel instead of other structural elements for the manufacture of buildings employing prefabricated modular and volumetric production methods. According to the duo, the frame can be clad in any material. It can also be numbered and colour-coded to make assembly a cinch. Detractors say that all the buildings end up looking the same but D. Alex points out that this is certainly not the case as uniformity of the production process is the real breakthrough, not uniformity of the product. He again cites the Japanese example, where consumer choice is truly maximised in shape, form and style. The modular nature of the frames, says Anna, can only create additional efficiencies down the line. Dr Alex emphasised that government incentives could quite easily be put in place, that would help turn this potential advance into a reality by stimulating the market and shaping the procurement process. The investment in setting up prefabrication lines requires a large commitment of capital but once the manufacturing capability is established, it would be able to compete on cost as compared to traditional building methods. Anna added that the bathrooms and the kitchens for the modular living units can be preassembled for quick onsite installation. Dr Alex has long been an advocate of modular building. And, though it is not perceived as currently turning out the most fashionable products, it ticks many of the sustainability boxes and its potential is encouraging. The initiative is in line with the philosophy behind the Passivhaus: Looking at housing solutions that make as little impact on the environment as possible, and maximise the positive impacts on communities; it touches the earth lightly



THE

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CONTRAST IN F

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GLAM INTERIORS & DESIGN SCOUTS THROUGH THE NEW STORE AT THE PEARL QATAR, WHICH USES COLOURS, OR RATHER THE LACK OF IT, TO HIGHLIGHT FASHION.

PICTURES: WAQAS FARID


STARK right: The collection is set within black alcoves. below: The window setting gives a preview of the black and white setting inside. opposite page: The central focal point forms the force from which the details emerge.

There is a lot of curiosity when fashion comes to Doha’s shores, and when it is brought by a Qatari entrepreneur the attention is much more intense. So when The Pearl Qatar opened another multi-brand boutique by a local, all eyes were trained on this petite store. And Per Lei Couture, meaning “for her” in Italian, didn’t disappoint. Under the expert guidance of the passionate owner, Aysha Alsuwaidi, Per Lei Couture–– which houses clothes from avant-garde, emerging designers, presented to its visitors The slick black-and-white interior in a retail space that is design is a setting to showcase the on par with the clothes it fashion-forward products carried sold. Smart, savvy, closer by the boutique. Elegant, sophisticated to edgy, and luxurious, and luxurious is how Aysha describes the store evoked an her setting. interest that spilled over to the clothes it exhibited. Alongside the rare mix of designers in store, collections by established names also shared store

space. The boutique’s intent from the outset was to walk on the edgier side of style refusing to “play it safe” and leading it away from the expected stock list of designers. Instead, over 60 independent designers are sold alongside distinguished names like Antonio Berardi, Giles, and Jonathan Saunders. The slick black-and-white interior design of Per Lei Couture is a setting to showcase the fashion-forward products carried by the boutique. Elegant, sophisticated and luxurious is how Aysha describes her setting. Recounting the designing process, she says, “These words were interpreted by the interior designer in his own vision. He really understood the character of who I was and the vision that I had. We chose a contemporary neoclassical design for the boutique.” “I was involved in every stage of the process, from approvals on the furniture to choosing the wallpaper for the VIP GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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lounge. As the design started to come together, ideas came to mind and it was easier to work stage by stage to reach the final look.” The colour scheme is the striking black and white, which seems to have worked well to put the clothes in focus. Aysha explains, “The walls, floor and “The black chandelier, the rounded ceiling were all in white white sofa, and the shoe display while all the display fixtures were chosen carefully to units, fixtures and enhance this area,” she says. accessories were all in glossy black. We worked with polished chromes, black lacquered wood, leather, and clear glass. This chosen colour palette is a perfect backdrop to highlight any colourful merchandise.” The designer created a strong focal point which is the circular shoe section. It is the first interactive area that the client 44

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sees as she enters the boutique. “The black chandelier, the rounded white sofa, and the shoe display fixtures were chosen carefully to enhance this area,” she says. During the designing process, the VIP extension was added by Aysha, as she wanted a place where customers could feel like they were walking into their wardrobe. “A wardrobe of a home,” explains Aysha. A stickler for perfection, Aysha doesn’t believe in half-baked design execution. She says, “The designer and I worked together to perfect the look and there were times that things had to be re-done in order to get it perfectly. I don’t believe in doing half the job, if it is going to be done, it should be done right the first time.” Aysha wanted the design of the store to reflect what is sold inside so that “when PICTURES: WAQAS FARID


THE FOCAL POINT OF THE DESIGN: THE CIRCULAR AISLE WITH ITS BLACK ELEGANT CHANDELIER AND FIXTURES SET A CENTRAL HUB FOR THE BOUTIQUE.

A TEXTURED LAYER opposite page: The VIP segment is like a wardrobe set within a luxurious home, above: another view of the VIP segment, below: the rounded white sofa, the black chandelier and the shoe display around the central design element.

people come in they will anticipate what type of merchandise we are selling”. The design of the space is luxurious and timeless, and classical with a modern twist. “This concept is also reflected into the collections we have in the boutique as we have different arrays of styles ranging between traditional, classic, and contemporary displayed in one space.” And a few months since the opening of the store, Aysha feels the concept has worked with the interiors enhancing the clothes. “Black and white are two colours that are a good background to display clothes. The boutique doesn’t distract attention from the clothes themselves.” She continues, “The pieces speak for themselves and the environment is open, elegant and yet sophisticated. We wanted the overall beauty to be from the design of the interiors to the VIP lounge, fitting rooms, to the cash desk and the garments. It is an experience.” GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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EXPERT

SPACE IS NOT A

CONSTRAINT

Lemya Osman is the regional communication and interior design leader for IKEA UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman. She has been part of the IKEA family for 10 years and she believes that beauty and commerciality are equally important in all furnishing inspirations. “This means mixing home furnishing competence with retail skills to create smart solutions that appeal to people. Commercial solutions that combine function, beauty and value for money are highly inspirational to create satisfied customers who return again and again,” she says.

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PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK


Lemya gives Glam Interiors & Design readers some valuable advice on home furnishing. So if you want to add some bling to your rooms, she has all the tricks up her sleeves. What can be done to change the mood and drastically change the look of the living room without spending huge amounts on the furniture? One of the best ways to change the feel of a room is by refreshing it with new textiles. Textiles provide warmth and comfort. They hide and divide spaces, block draughts and affect the acoustics in a room. They also provide the colours and patterns in a room that can create an atmosphere or style. Changing the textiles can refresh and renew the space, or transform it entirely. Every kind of textile has its own properties and effect, and choosing textiles has much to do with personal taste.

Mood lighting: This is fairly popular and helps create the room’s atmosphere, making it feel warm and interesting, cosy or dramatic. Mood lighting also eliminates harsh contrasts. General lighting: Most commonly found, general lighting provides an overview of the whole room. Often task or mood lighting is enough to supply general lighting when all or most of the lights are switched on. It is convenient to have a general light that can be switched on at the entrance to a room so a person can easily get oriented. But there are ways of getting a mix of the above. For example, general lighting is important for chores like cleaning, so it might be a good idea to have it installed. But also add a dimmer switch which can make it possible to adjust the brightness of the light according to the changing activity performed in the room. The best results are achieved when combining all three types of lighting in every room.

What options of lighting are best suited for the living room? Light is essential for all life and for well-being. That is why people feel comfortable in a room with a balanced, well-planned lighting scheme. But, good lighting does not necessarily mean bright lights. When working with lighting we work with three main points: Task lighting: This helps to perform a variety of tasks comfortably and efficiently, whether it is reading, writing or working on hobbies. Task light pools are the strongest and most concentrated beams of light.

How do we maximise space in a 100 sqft area living room? It’s always a great idea to maximise socialising; and socialising takes place mainly in the living room with friends and family getting together. A few common functions that can support socialising are: comfortable, flexible seating and overall lightweight, flexible/ functional furnishings that are easy to change and rearrange for different occasions, depending on changing requirements. To accommodate more people it is possible to pull in an extra chair from another room or use multi-functional

furniture such as side tables that also work as seating. My dining area is drab and cluttered. How do I bring in an element to remove the drab look? Do you have any space saving options for the dining space? Sure! There are a quite a few ways of making a dining space engaging and warm. Here are a few points that you could bear in mind: Eating a sit-down meal with family and/or friends requires sufficient space for sitting comfortably around a table, as well as storage for everything that is placed on the table. So ensure you get a dining table that caters to your exact requirements. Also, materials and products for eating should always be durable and easy to clean If your family has substantial requirements, but you are restricted on the space, then we have a solution for you - foldable tables and chairs are easy to add when required and to store away depending on the number of people at the table. Serving trolleys and sideboards placed nearby are also very useful when serving a large group! Remember that meals aren’t just about comfort and food - but also about engagement. We prefer round tables because they allow eye contact among everyone around the table, making it easier for everyone to join the conversation. Tip: Round tables also make it easier to squeeze in that one extra guest! If you want to add a smart chic look to your dining space, consider using benches instead of chairs. This is yet another way to make room for more, while increasing your style quotient

W R I T E TO U S I F Y O U N E E D E X P E RT A D V I C E , D R O P Y O U R M A I L T O S I N D H U @ O M S Q ATA R . C O M

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PROFESSIONAL

FIVE MINUTES

WITH NIGEL ECKERSALL

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◊ What would you say is your day job? My day job is to listen to my clients. It is all about listening to your client. By listening you can help them deliver beyond their own vision and help create a project that exceeds their needs but reduces their budget. ◊ Did you always want to be a designer/architect/entrepreneur? Indeed yes. I was a natural artist and, being a sufferer of ADHD and dyslexia, I was gifted with a natural talent of being able to decipher structures, buildings and forms through artistic study to come up with solutions for new designs that pushed our understanding and boundaries. When God gives you a gift of a talent for understanding forms it leads one to the world of design. ◊ Describe a typical day. My day always starts with me personally meeting every member of my team and making them smile. A smile is the best way to start the day. My typical day starts with reading all of the new Headlines and understanding what business news may impact projects or potential trends in the market place maybe a year from now. This allows you to plan and create business plans that can be guided by events. I then sit with my design managers and engineering teams to discuss the projects for the day, how we can make

a difference through each project and agree on the day’s plan. ◊ What inspires you? I am inspired by nature. Nature has been building cities and communities before we came along with technology, and nature will always be the inspiration for what we can achieve in our personal and business lives. ◊ What motivates you? I am motivated by creating communities that work, by creating spaces that give something special to each person who will experience the space. ◊ What do you do when you are not working? I enjoy cycling and motor sports. I find that these sports need so much concentration that it allows you to clear the mind of work. ◊ Structures or interiors? Structures inspire me as much as interiors. The perfect forms in nature are from the structure of organisms. If you can reflect these pure forms then you have success. ◊ What building do you wished you had designed? The Coca-Cola pavilion by Asif Khan at the London Olympics. It was pure harmony of music, architecture and human interaction.

◊ Do you dream in colour or ‘black and white’? I dream in black and white, which is a scary thought. I draw with a 0.13 and a 2.0 Rotring ink pen, which seems to be my medium, black ink on white paper. ◊ Who is your favourite designer/ architect? Ralph Erkine. Once you actually walk into one of his spaces and spaces he creates externally you experience space like no other. ◊ Who would you most like to work with? Will Alsop. He and I have tried many ideas, but no projects have yet started. His cavalier attitude to creating space with my passion I think could ignite a new genre of architecture. ◊ What is your favourite city and why? Hereford in England. I was born in this ancient city and spent my life sketching buildings dating back over a 1000 years. This understanding of vernacular created my sustainable sympathetic passion of today. ◊ When was the most iconic period in design for you? The 1940’s post-war modernism. This era saw buildings that for many years we did not understand. Now we understand the spaces these buildings create and they have become icons of what we strive to achieve

Nigel Eckersall is the Senior Design Manager at Shapoorji Pallonji. Nigel has been recognised as a visionary leader in the development of mixed use sustainable projects across the region for the past 12 years. Nigel was recently placed in the Power Top 50 in the Qatar Power 100 and was also elected to the top 50 Architects in the GCC. His works have been recently published in China and his research into sustainable vernacular architecture has helped shape many future large-scale projects. More recently Nigel designed one of the first Qatar Foundation Migrant Workers Villages. He is now championing Design & Build as the best fit model to create real change to clients and to users of projects in the Region. GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK


SPOTLIGHT

Furniture in a leading role GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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PRIME FACTORS TO CONSIDER, ALONGSIDE THE REQUIRED DESIGN ELEMENTS, WHILE PLACING FURNITURE IN ANY SPACE ARE: ERGONOMICS, EFFICIENCY, LOW MAINTENANCE AND, OF COURSE, LOCATION.

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Furniture should add to the ambience of a space. Wisely chosen and correctly placed pieces can create a living space in a home rather than give off a storage effect. Without question it needs to be aesthetically appealing. An experienced interior designer can help to impart quite different interior signatures - ranging from eclectic to contemporary classical. On the flipside, it comes down to the simplest things like the fabric that covers the mattress on your bed, to the height of the bed from the floor, and even the amount of cushions on the sofa. The tremendous advances made in the craft of furniture design means that the use of linoleum with wood is commonplace. Skilful fusions of

design, craftsmanship and high-end manufacturing make high-impact products play on the particular characteristics of the materials used, making them suitable for every environment. A factor that is influencing furniture trends for this decade is that furniture buyers are younger women. Women now have more buying power than ever, and are more involved in choosing and buying furniture. The emergence of furniture that serves technology is an integral part of our lives and something that furniture designers ignore at their peril. Lastly, the globe continues to shrink, and global citizens are taking up the cause in defending the diminishing natural resources available. PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK


EVERYONE LOOKS FOR TIMELESS DESIGNS THAT ARE THE PERFECT CROSS BETWEEN ART AND FUNCTIONALITY. Living in a city that is in a state of flux has numerous advantages for interior design and its aficionados, it becomes possible to imagine a wholly new urban fabric, and with it there arises a demand for contextual architecture and design. The cultural credibility that is being built in a city like Doha lends itself to the bold design decisions one can see everywhere from commercial spaces like hotels, public spaces like museums, and the palatial private homes that are a common feature of the Qatar urban landscape. In this fluid urban scape, the interior space plays an even more vital role. With the large ratio of the expatriate

population here, instant solutions and ready-to-arrange furniture pieces are preferred and even with these pieces there is no dearth of opportunities and creativity. From family game nights to book club gatherings, home detailing starts from the living room, a social hub. The proper placement of the room’s furniture goes a long way toward making the space feel welcoming. Everyone looks for timeless designs that are the perfect cross between art and functionality and the items featured here begin to offer options to make your home stylish and practical

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ADVERTORIAL

Quality and expertise:

Fine Art Furniture & Interiors

QUALITY PRODUCTS, DESIGN EXPERTISE AND HOSPITALITY ARE WHAT DEFINE THE TEAM AT FINE ART. THE FINE ART GROUP WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2005 AND COMPRISES FOUR COMPANIES.

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THE PROPER PLACEMENT OF A ROOM’S FURNITURE GOES A LONG WAY TOWARD MAKING THE SPACE FEEL WELCOMING.

The flagship brand is Fine Art Furniture & Interiors which is located on Salwa Road in Doha. Fine Art aims at offering products for interior designers, ranging from furniture, furnishings, decorative items and also special requests for discerning customers. “We exclusively represent several fine furniture lines, fabrics and lighting companies such as Century, Bernhardt, Sanderson, Kravet, and many more. On the interiors side, we have a group of fine workmen delivering bespoke gypsum and interior works,” says the spokesperson. Fine Art Projects is the division that caters for interior design needs of commercial projects like offices and

hospitality facilities like hotels. Products are sourced from leading office furniture suppliers from around the world. Fine Art Home sells all home textiles, bed and bath products, furnishings, knick knacks, decorative items, kid furniture, and many more accessories that turn a house into a home. Fine Art Home can be found at The Centre shopping mall. Cilek, from Turkey, is one of the largest manufacturers of children’s furniture. With more than 444 retail points their designs are aimed at parents who are looking for something fun for their children’s bedrooms and play areas. The Fine Art Projects Cilek showroom can be found in Ezdan Mall, Gharafa, on the second floor GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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ADVERTORIAL

creates the complete home While offering fine classic and traditional designs, Homes r Us constantly strives to bring inspired and exciting new concepts as well. Homes r Us is built keeping in mind modernday home décor needs and changing customer lifestyles. Choices to fill the home space, and any space Homes r Us showcases contemporary and classic styled furniture, cutlery and crockery, home décor and gift ideas all of which will make any homemaker smile with pride. With a variety of themes and expressions, Homes r Us caters to a wide range of clients from interior designers to homemakers, network stores, galleries, hotels, offices, etc. The showrooms are spread across the region, adapting to the varied cultures and providing a vast treasure trove of possibilities. 56

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THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOMES R US WHEN IT COMES TO HOME DECOR. THE NAME HAS BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH HOMEMAKING WITH ITS COMPLETE SPECTRUM OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR HOME INTERIORS.

Building homes in hearts Creating exceptional value for all its clients, Homes r Us has grown from just one store in 2003 to 13 across the region providing high standard of service, quality, innovation and professional expertise, assuring satisfaction to build long term customer relationships. The unique nature of contemporary and traditional designs available at Homes r Us has ensured continued success for the brand paving the way for its expansion. As a brand, Homes r Us has constantly delivered on its promise of creating inspiring home décor trends that help customers find furnishing that either define their personal style of home decor or accent the living spaces they have already created. Growing beyond borders Homes r Us was established almost

12 years ago with the vision of being an exclusive conceptual lifestyle store designed with open spaces for easy browsing, high ceilings, and stunningly colourful display areas. The first outlet was opened at Madinat Zayed Gold Centre in Abu Dhabi and subsequently the brand expanded its base to thirteen stores across Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, where it is known as the ‘Home Store. The initiative to focus on key growth opportunities has strengthened the brand’s position in the market allowing it to be the one-stop-shop for home furniture, furnishings and lifestyle accessories. Homes r Us has been awarded the Superbrands award by the Superbrands Council of UAE five times in a row.


Glitzy accessories The right furniture and décor are vital in creating an impact on the overall look and feel of your home. Homes r Us has creative accessories in a variety of themes and designs, to create and embellish a beautiful and personalized living space.

The range Housed in a contemporary set up, Homes r Us offers a distinctive shopping experience to its customers. The store offers some of the most exquisite furnishings promoted by qualified, courteous and warm store staff who offers professional consultancy solutions to all its customers truly making it a homemaker’s paradise. With clearly customized departments for each part of home furnishing, Homes r Us offers for your home, a variety of bedrooms, living rooms, kids rooms, dining areas, TV units, kitchens, rugs and accessories to ornament the décor of your home.

Brand Values Today, Homes r Us is well-known for offering stylish home concepts and products from around the world. It reflects the expectations that people have of its products and services, and the accountability that the organization holds for its customers. Offering a kaleidoscope of designs and styles that vary across cultures, genres and personal taste, the

brand has earned its place in the hearts and minds of discerning shoppers. Apart from offering quality decor, the brand believes in carving exemplary brand values. Even after a decade of success, Homes r Us remains an ambitious, energetic and inspiring brand that is empathetic to the needs of the ever changing consumer. More information about Homes r Us and the various offers or promotions through the year, may be accessed at Facebook.com/HomesrUsgroup, Twitter.com/Homes_r_Us www.homesrusgroup.com QATAR: HYATT PLAZA, ENTRANCE, NEAR KHALIFA STADIUM, DOHA -+974 469 8999

CREATING EXCEPTIONAL VALUE FOR ALL ITS CLIENTS, HOMES R US HAS GROWN FROM JUST ONE STORE IN 2003 TO 13 ACROSS THE REGION.

Creating homes for elegant living Every room is a living room, as the brand’s recent campaign states. So, whether it is about having breakfast in bed, or sharing a cup of tea with friends, or watching a favourite show with the kids on a comfy sofa, Homes r Us creates elegant and thoughtfully created living spaces out of every room. Offering a fine collection of traditional and contemporary furniture, the living sets at Homes r Us will fit flawlessly into the décor of your living area. So whether you want to create a warm ambience or add a sophisticated feel to your home, the living-room inspirations from Homes r Us will help you leave your signature in every inch of your home! Symbolising elegance and style, the dining sets from Homes r Us are a perfect accompaniment for any dining area. From conventional designs to fun-filled themes, you will be sure to find one that matches your style and comfort. GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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ADVERTORIAL

Hempel

revolutionary ‘Gem of Paints’ emulsions set sights on green future QATAR– HEMPEL PAINTS, A WORLDLEADING MANUFACTURER OF PAINTS FOR THE DECORATIVE, PROTECTIVE AND MARINE SECTORS, ROLLS OUT ITS NEW PRODUCT RANGE IN THE DECORATIVE SEGMENT, “TOPAZ” A PRODUCT RANGE THAT GIVES SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON ECOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.

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TOPAZ Emulsions, dubbed as “The Gem of Paints” is a high performance product range that can be used for both internal and external applications. TOPAZ is a selected range of products that offers superior performance to smarten every home with emulsions, enamels, glosses, textures, primers and putty fillers. They come in a wide variety of finishes, textures and colours, and can be used on interior and exterior surfaces. And being waterborne, TOPAZ is therefore environmentally friendly. They can be applied to many different substrates including concrete, wood, plaster, gypsum board and steel. Commenting on the new TOPAZ range of coatings, the Country Manager at HEMPEL Paints- Qatar, Phil Gabriel, said the company puts environment as a top priority which “leads us to introduce environmentally friendly painting solutions that will make you feel a lot better about using paints, since these products are not just made,


‘GOING GREEN’ ISN’T JUST A CATCH PHRASE ANYMORE. IT HAS EXPANDED INTO EVERY AREA OF OUR LIVES. HEMPEL TAKES EVERY STEP TO DO ITS PART IN GIVING BACK TO OUR EARTH.

they are derived from experience and environmental awareness, with a foresight into the green future.” “At HEMPEL, we are concerned about the environment and the earth on which we live. ‘Going green’ isn’t just a catch phrase anymore. It has expanded into every area of our lives. At Hempel we make every effort to do our part in giving back to the earth. We offer many ecofriendly solutions to all your painting projects,” he added. Underlining the “green” qualities of TOPAZ paints, Phil Gabriel explained that “we know what it takes to select the paints that will work best for your home, or your commercial / industrial project. You not only can have a beautiful newly painted project, but you can have it without the strong odors and harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) more normally associated with painting.” TOPAZ emulsion paints have been manufactured with low odor and low VOC and offers perfect permanence to ensure the wellbeing of all, with

particular emphasis on the youngest members of the family. The TOPAZ range provides endless possibilities in design, choice and application, and gives an extra edge to the creative experience. It offers thousands of shades that can be customised and tinted as per individual choice. All sheen levels are available along with a wide variety of textures Moreover, Hempel also launched Topaz Zero and Topaz Zero with silver ions (both in matt, silk, semi-gloss) – 100 percent acrylic coatings with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, in addition to being zero VOC products. “They have been tested and have

passed the most aggressive dual test procedures (seven years of accelerated weathering test and anti-bacterial and anti-mould test), making these two particular products the most suitable for hospitals, surgery rooms, kindergartens and hotels, among the many other sensitive application areas. On a final point, Phil also comments, that we are here manufacturing in Qatar and have been since the early 1980s, holding license number 1 of any manufacturing company. We pride ourselves in being Qatar’s only truly International paint company, making products for Qatar, here in Qatar GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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ADVERTORIAL

WAW serves up luxury Miele THE WOOD ARCHITECTURAL WORKS (WAW) SHOWROOM IS A METICULOUS MERCHANDISE MASTERPIECE THAT SHOWCASES THE VERY BEST OF EUROPEAN STYLE AND DESIGN.

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Located at 12 La Croisette, the Pearl Qatar. WAW is the dealer for a number of extremely high-end and high-quality German-made products with multiple brands such as Miele appliances, Hacker Kitchen and Luxury Furniture such as Rolf Benz and Hulsta. Exclusive interior world of WAW Driven by the philosophy of quality and style, the WAW showroom features 777 sq meters of iconic international interior brands. The distinctive showroom on


MIELE WILL CONTINUE TO WIN THE TRUST OF CONSUMERS, SEEKING WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE. IT WILL ALWAYS BE FOREVER BETTER.

The Pearl Qatar houses stunning German products of international brands. These brands combine contemporary interior design ideas with innovative technology, creating the ultimate living environment. Products range from: complete living space interiors to kitchens, domestic appliances and lighting, which include crystals and Murano chandeliers. With this selection we focus on those who like to surround themselves with the highest possible standards of contemporary interior design. Besides offering the ultimate design experience

our highly experienced décor consultants will guide you through the many and exciting possibilities offered by these unique collections. Miele – Running a tradition of quality Miele has been a family-owned and family-run company since its inception in 1899. Managed today by the fourth generation, the company has been a pioneer in the field of premium home appliances ever since a butter churn inspired the design of its first ever washing machine in 1901. The butter

churn has become Miele’s icon, the epitome of the company’s ongoing effort to make home living better. Today, Miele research and development teams continue to pioneer the way in technological advancements to develop firsts in durability and design. Our Miele testing procedures are stringent, ensuring every individual part is inspected. Nothing but the highest quality appliance reaches the homes of our customers. The Miele première a LivingKitchen with the new Generation 6000 of built-in appliances, Miele has set the standard extremely high for the competition.The new design lines PureLine and ContourLine represent the most harmonious design concept, the greatest level of innovation and the best quality available on the market. Miele’s dedication to quality has won the hearts of consumers the world over. We have grown over the years around the world. Miele will continue to win the trust of consumers, seeking ways to improve your life. It will always be ‘Forever Better’. ‘Immer Besser’ is the Miele mantra. It represents an absolute and uncompromising commitment to quality and innovation. Elegant in every detail, better in every way Miele products make any holiday wish list ‘Forever Better’ GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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LONDON-BASED FRENCH-LEBANESE ARCHITECT AND DESIGNER, ANNABEL KARIM KASSAR, HAS SET HER SIGHTS ON TRANSFORMING THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.

BY NINA STARR

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF AKK & ASSOCIÉS


TRANSFORMATION top: Tradition and memory woven into contemporary design; and above: The folding, cantilevered roof clad in resistant, fishscalelike zinc tiles, which isolate and shine at times, features spotlights resembling birds that project a tartan pattern at night.

It’s 9.30 p.m. on a cool Wednesday night in Dubai and I’m waiting for Annabel Karim Kassar to arrive. We’re meeting for dinner at an Indian restaurant at the Pyramids at Wafi, with its extremely kitsch EgyptianTurkish décor beset by Christmas trees; a rather strange mishmash of architectural styles. It’s little wonder she chose this place. The laid back, quirky, Paris-born architect and designer with a can-do attitude has an intense passion for travel and loves to discover new cultures, having lived in France, England, Morocco, Lebanon and the UAE. She tells me that she established her architecture practice in 1994 in Paris, and today has offices in Beirut, Dubai and Chengdu. Not only does she work on commercial, industrial, hospitality and residential architecture and interior projects, but she also designs furniture and lighting. Intrigued by transforming tradition and memory into contemporary designs, Annabel is credited as a major player in the renaissance of Lebanon’s capital. She reconstructed the fabled souks of Beirut that had been destroyed beyond recognition by the 15-year-long civil war

– resulting in a daring reinterpretation of a cultural icon – and created extremely trendy venues that helped the city regain its pre-war reputation as the cultural capital of the Middle East. Examples of her work include the former cinema that she converted into an after-hours chill-out spot known as the Strange Fruit nightclub, featuring shiny red industrial plastic, silk-printed portraits on the walls and table tops, and silhouettes and slogans recalling the 1970s; the corner Bali-Balima terrace café/bar in contemporary black and stainless steel facing the Intabli fountain in the Beirut Souks; the Souks Entertainment Centre comprising theatres, food courts, shops and offices with its brightly-lit façade; and the four-level Momo at the Souks restaurant opening onto terraces and gardens and featuring hand-painted and embossed Cordoba wallpaper and colourful fabrics. French-Algerian restaurateur, Mourad Mazouz, whose food empire stretches from London and Paris to Beirut and Dubai, says, “I first started working with Annabel buying her design pieces for my restaurants Sketch and Momo in London: the deer head lights, stocking GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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and splashing light fixtures and colourful plexi trays. Her objects were very architectural, unique and modern yet retained a craft identity that never made them outdated, and are always beautiful and real. We then started collaborating architecturally on the Almaz restaurant in Dubai, then Momo at the Souks in Beirut, Almaz Abu Dhabi and soon the Almaz beach club. I say ‘collaboration’ because Annabel has a quality that I cherish: she regards her client’s ideas and opinions as creative and valuable. It allows her to modify her incredibly original, beautiful ideas into practical yet one-of-a-kind commercial ones. She is very versatile and inspired by so many different cultures. She can do buildings, restaurants, bar and club interiors, objects and homes in London, Paris, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Beirut and never be out of place. She is a true out-of-the-box, talented thinker.”

I say ‘collaboration’ because Karim Kassar has a quality that I cherish: she regards her client’s ideas and opinions as creative and valuable. It allows her to modify her incredibly original, beautiful ideas into practical yet one-of-a-kind commercial ones.

CRAFT IDENTITY: top and above: Her objects are architectural, unique and modern

Annabel has an intense appreciation of the modern influenced by the Oriental. It was because of her experience in Morocco - where she had opened an office and taught architecture at the University of Rabat – that she could easily understand the functioning of the souks of the past and present and uncover their future potential. She recalls, “I was trying to share my knowledge of Arabic ornamentation and how to use it well because it’s not well used in many Arabic countries, even in Morocco. I learnt Arabic ornamentation by travelling to places – you can see what it’s made of and, in a way, it’s extremely modern. So I’m not afraid of doing new things in an Oriental way because I’m very used to the Arabic essence and structure – the real power of Arabic ornamentation.” Her Notting Hill house in London shows off her signature style of blending different materials, patterns, textures and textiles, mixing North African GLAM INTERIORS + DESIGN

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ethnic flair with modern design and eclectic pieces of furniture. A 19thcentury Ottoman villa, Domaine Cochrane, located in one of Beirut’s most traditional neighbourhoods that retains an original mix of residences and commerce, allowed her to work with the past in a contemporary manner far from the pastiche afflicting many similar constructions. In its high-ceilinged rooms with tall arched windows, light floods in, and a rich variety of furnishings and materials are juxtaposed in an unrestrained interpretation. The dramatic, colour-rich interiors of Villa Gemmayze in Beirut were inspired by a palm tree with orange dates and green leaves standing in front of the house. The pink, orange and green walls are matched with customized and contemporary furniture, gold leaf doors, oversized lampshades, The dramatic, colour-rich spot lighting projecting interiors of Villa Gemmayze motifs onto the walls in Beirut were inspired by a and geometric-patterned palm tree with orange dates flooring. and green leaves standing in The same freedom to front of the house. experiment that Annabel felt in Lebanon is now what she is experiencing in the UAE. Having fled Beirut during ATRIA SPACES the 2006 Lebanon War to move to Dubai above: Highfor its stability and security, she is today ceilinged rooms with tall arched based in London where she is planning to windows helps open a new office along with a showroom light flood in; left: to display her furniture and lighting. She Blended design retaining the best of laments, “I’m still working in Beirut, the original; Below: but with the situation, it’s not easy. You Cool and inviting. do something one day, and the next day you can’t go out. Everything is blocked. As architects, we are really linked to the economic or political undercurrents of a city.” Annabel and I visit the Al Zorah Pavilion, her new project underway in Ajman in the north, the smallest of the UAE’s seven emirates by area - just 260 sq km. The land here is relatively untouched by human hand, as the expected development boom never took off, with most planned real estate projects having fallen wayside due to the 2008 global financial crisis and, since then, many have been delayed or abandoned. Business is picking up though and Dubai will play host to World Expo 2020. Likewise, Annabel’s


ETHNIC FLAIR The pink, orange and green walls are matched with customised and contemporary furniture, gold leaf doors, oversized lampshades, spot lighting projecting motifs onto the walls and geometric-patterned flooring.

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TASTEFUL: left and above; Interiors of wood, glass, mirrors and stone that shimmer, reflect and sparkle.

pavilion, first conceived in 2007 with construction beginning in 2008 before coming to a standstill in 2009 because of the economic downturn, was left abandoned as a skeleton structure. A new investor was subsequently found but with a scaled-down budget and a change in the building’s programme: the rooftop café became a guest residence for the owner’s personal use, with a large staircase running up the middle of the building providing direct access. Emphasising the light, the residence features ample use of materials that reflect, shimmer and sparkle. The interiors are made from wood, glass, mirrors, stone and marble and lights custom-made by her lighting company Caï that she runs with two other French designers. Responsible for all aspects of the building - which includes an auditorium, exhibition hall, café and administrative office - Annabel took care of the exterior, interior, furniture, lighting and landscaping. She notes, “It’s very rare that you can get to work on everything. Because in Ajman they realised, ‘OK, she’s an architect, she will do the building; she’s in interior design, so she will do that; she’ll also do the landscaping.’” Set to be a new cultural landmark for Ajman, the ultra-modern building with its matt granite flooring and rigid geometry, located just off one of the main roads that connects all the emirates, is a radical departure from the existing architecture in the area abounding in townhouses adorned with arches in a 68

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style architects believe to be Islamic architecture but in reality is extremely kitsch and caricatural. Annabel believes in being regional and working in context without being tasteless. Sitting on virgin land in a preserved site, the pavilion with its dark glass façade turns its back to the south and opens towards the north to avoid the heat from the sun’s rays, and the large belvedere faces the natural surroundings, which consist of a mangrove dotted with pink flamingos, the sea just beyond where future marinas may be built, and the skyline of the conservative, Saudi-influenced emirate of Sharjah to the west. The folding, cantilevered roof clad in resistant, fishscale-like zinc tiles, which isolate and shine at times, features spotlights resembling birds that project a tartan pattern at night. Annabel will build a golf club on the hill of sand dunes opposite, which is oriented toward the pavilion, and maybe a yacht club and wellness centre thereafter. Over in Abu Dhabi - which has taken on a more considered, sober and humanscale development than Dubai, with a focus on arts and culture - we head to the brand-new Sowwah Square shopping mall. The Almaz by Momo restaurant is buzzing. In shades of orange, brown and pink that blend Moroccan style with contemporary lines, the eatery opens up through extensive glass windows to a large outdoor covered terrace for smoking shishas, which faces the water

and the Abu Dhabi cityscape. Annabel worked from the outside in, as the space was deep, and she played with different levels so everyone could take advantage of the views of the water. There are layers of ornamentation, a complex grooved wooden blade false ceiling like in traditional markets, zellige tiled walls, hexagonal oak wood parquet, marquetry and leather tables and a juice bar as no alcohol is served in the restaurant. “I don’t do the same thing, but I take into account what I’ve done before,” comments Annabel, who had created a convivial, sumptuous Arabian Nights atmosphere at the first Almaz by Momo restaurant in the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai that opened in 2006, her first project in the UAE. The new Almaz Dubai at JBR will launch in May 2014, whose main feature is a tree-like structure spanning two floors, the result of much architectural reflection on how lines bend and transform. As an outsider driving the aesthetic revolution of the UAE, Annabel says, “I’m very proud in a way. I understand that if I create a good project and put in all my energy, I will connect with people, and it’s working because I’m rewarded when I do projects that can be appreciated. I have made a connection that has opened me to new people and a new way of thinking. And I start to exchange ideas with people with whom I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet in my life.”



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SHADOWS AND REFLECTIONS Architect and sketch book artist, Tim Makower, the main force behind Makower Architects, reflects on one of Doha’s most memorable buildings.

IN PRAISE OF

SKIN &

BONES

Looking across Doha Bay at the glistening towers opposite, there is one building which stands out – the Burj Doha by Jean Nouvel. From a distance, its surface is smooth but with a lustre which draws the eye. As one approaches, the building’s skin reveals itself to be made up of three layers; a single geometric pattern cut from silver metal plate, each layer of a different scale to the others. Behind the skin is a cavity; space for the window cleaners to do their work in safety. It creates a veil of protection from the harsh sun and filters the light within into a pattern of continually moving dappled shapes. This building is a beautiful object, sitting among the other isolated towers of West Bay. However, having enjoyed the way it nestles into a soft green pocket set into the ground, the profound thrill is in understanding its skeleton. The above extract is from Tim Makower’s Touching the City: Thoughts on Urban Scale, published by John Wiley. 70

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An exhibition of Makower’s sketches entitled, ‘100 Thoughts: Chapter 1’, was on at VCUQ gallery.




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