DHS 15

The Middle East’s interiors, design & property magazine
Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority
Eye candy: a box of art bonbons
Hooking up: logging on + tuning in
Twist and shout: classics by Paul Smith
London, Paris, Milan: exploding with colour
identity
ISSUE EIGHTY
YEAR SEVEN
MAY 2010
A MOTIVATE PUBLICATION
RALPH
Home
LAUREN
BL OOMI NGDAL E ’ S HOME T HE DUBAI MAL L OPPOSI T E AT T HE T OP, BURJ KHAL I FA 04 3505333
HARVE Y NI CHOL S DUBAI MAL L OF T HE E MI RAT E S HOME DE PART ME NT, L E VE L 3 04 4098888
AL TAYE R I NSI GNI A OPE RAT I ONS
life is richer
T H E F A S H I O N & H O M E S T O R E S
T H E D U B A I M A L L
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Scavolini S.p.A. 61025 Montelabbate (PU) - Italy Tel. +39 0721443333
Fax: +39 0721443413 contact@scavolini.com www.scavolini.com
Pls. download our general
catalog from www.scavolini.com
Kitchen Designs Llc
P.O.BOX 81553
Salahudeen Road
Deira - Dubai
Tel. 971 - 4 2691003
ayman@kitchendesigns.ae
Just for business use:
www.scavolini.biz
The “best seller” from Italy
System of Quality
Management
UNI EN ISO 9001
System of Environmental
Management
UNI EN ISO 14001
System of Health &
Safety Management
OHSAS 18001
For the carcase of the
kitchens Scavolini uses
only Idroleb: a water
repellent V100 panel with the
lowest formaldehyde emission,
lower than specified on the
Japanese standards F**** (4 stars).
Discover Scavolini’s commitment
for a cleaner world on
www.scavolinigreenmind.com
INSI DE
19 May 2010
Cover: Interior: SpaceSmith.
Photography: Vincent Leroux.
MAY 2010
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FEATURES
24 Robust sustainability
The new design scenarios revealed in Milan during the recent
2010 Salone Internazionale del Mobile lead the way to accessible
green innovation and a rainbow of colourful interior possibilities.
26 Clear blue skies
Buildings, boats, bikes, bags, bottles and batteries are all among
the newest products developed for creating and conserving
energy and recycling waste.
32 One of a kind
From Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to his Dubai boutiques, Sir Paul
Smith describes his “classic with a twist” aesthetics, but with a bit
more twist than classic.
38 Freedom of choice
In designing commercial spaces, practicality rules while the design
of private homes can be based on beauty, according to top
designer Katharine Pooley, who has done both.
60 The art of reconstruction
A decorator as passionate about art as her client created a vibrant
Parisain setting, as perfect for family living as for admiring the
stunning, yet eclectic collection.
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Contemporary, stylish, sleek – the Tailor sofa is a classy addition to any living room. Upholstered in heathered black
chambray with ticking stripes of cream and khaki, this sofa makes comfortable look uber-cool.
To turn up the chic in your room, just bring the Tailor in.
Love that Yellow
Home Furnishings. Housewares. Accessories.
Now open at Mirdif City Centre & Mall of the Emirates.
I NSIDE
21 May 2010
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer
GROUP EDITOR & MANAGING PARTNER
Ian Fairservice
GROUP SENIOR EDITOR
Gina Johnson | gina@motivate.ae
GROUP EDITOR
Catherine Belbin | catherine@motivate.ae
FEATURES EDITOR
Dorothy Waldman | dorothy@motivate.ae
CHIEF SUB-EDITOR
Iain Smith | iains@motivate.ae
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Belinda Igaya | belinda@motivate.ae
ART DIRECTOR
Karen Evans | karene@motivate.ae
GENERAL MANAGER – PRODUCTION AND CIRCULATION
S Sasidharan | sasidharan@motivate.ae
MANAGER – PRODUCTION
C Sudhakar | sudhakar@motivate.ae
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CONTRIBUTORS:
Ashlee Beard | Steve Hill | Lisa Vincenti | Richard Warren
REGULARS
23 Editorial
65 Subscription
84 Forum
90 Antennae
92 Competition
96 Books
98 Icon
PROPERTY
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identity
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ISSUE #80
+ Ecological design explosion
+ Antennae
+ Portfolio
+ Inch by inch
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+ Design goes on tour
+ Turkish architectural delight
+ Views of infinite Greek living
+ Agrarian eco treats + retreat
+ Power kitchens take control
+ Much, much more…
DESIGN FORMULA
Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai
Member of
4,741 copies
Dec 2009
67 id Property
43 Media rooms


As connectivity becomes a function as important
as sleeping, homes and hotels are adapting their
furnishings and configurations to incorporate
state-of-the-art electronics, whether you need
mobility for anywhere access or prefer a dedicated
space, media requirements are a design must today.
23 May 2010
Creative plumes
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Lars Waldenstrom.
Group Editor Catherine Belbin.
While the international design fraternity drew up plans for alternative
exit strategies from the Milan Salone as a volcanic ash cloud created airline chaos
across Europe, major real estate players convened in the UAE capital for the annual
Cityscape Abu Dhabi exhibition.
Much of the focus of Cityscape was the ambitious 2030 master plan that is well
underway and is expected to attract global investment, propelling the nation beyond
an oil-based economy. More than 250 exhibitors from over 35 countries took
part in the event, which, despite being affected by the travel crisis and the global
economy, revealed an optimistic outlook for the future of the property sector.
A Dhs5.4 billion master planned community for UAE nationals was signed with
the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, a part of the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan, with
Sorouh Real Estate building 9,000 homes for Emiratis over the next five years as
part of the Shamka development. It’s estimated that some 60,000 new homes are
required for Emirati families.
Developer Aldar signed a Dhs730 million contract to provide the infrastructure
and build 1,000 plus new villas and a school in Al Ain, close to Jebel Hafeet.
The 828-metre high Burj Khalifa and the two square kilometre Downtown
Dubai development took top honours at the Cityscape Awards for Real Estate in
the Middle East and North Africa. The world’s tallest super-tower won first prize
for a built, mixed-use project. Also by Emaar, the Eastern Harbour project in
Alexandria, Egypt, won the Best Urban Design and Master Planning award.
Abu Dhabi’s newly opened Yas Hotel, designed by Hani Rashid’s Asymptote, was
awarded the Best Commericail, Office, Retail Built Development. The still under
construction Yas Island development, complete with Ferrari World Abu Dhabi by
Aldar Properties, won Best Commercial Office, Retail, Future Development.
Istanbul’s Loft 1, developed by Akfen Holding, was awarded the Best Residential
Built Development for its approach to crafting loft-like duplex spaces.
Unfortunately, the volcano’s flight disruptions also caused the delay of the
opulent opening of the world’s first Armani Hotel in Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa
because many of the handpicked international guests were prevented from flying to
the gala ceremony.
However, even a volcano could not put a cloud over the poolside party
held at the funky Media One Hotel in Dubai Media City for Lars Waldenstrom,
the Swedish furniture executive who is credited with bringing contemporary
Scandinavian style interiors to the region. He was the creative genius behind
Swedish Design before setting up LW Design Group over a decade ago with
Morten Hansen and Jesper Godsk.
Over the past 30 odd years, Waldenstrom has left his mark on many of Dubai’s
iconic buildings and venues, from the Creek Golf and Yacht Club, to the Noodle
House restaurant, Grosvenor House Hotel and, of course, the establishment of
the region’s first Design House where LW has its headquarters.
Recently, LW Design and identity published Design in Dubai – a coffee table
compilation of some of the studio’s most dynamic projects over the past 10 years.
Waldenstrom goes into retirement while his team’s order books are brimming
with numerous exciting projects from new villas in Emirates Hills to hotels in North
Africa and the prestgious Beach Club on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.
As the volcanic cloud clears, the future is indicating brilliant hues ahead.
Congratulations!
Michael Le, winner of an Esprit rug in id’s
March competition.
24 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
The mood in Milan at this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile
was as upbeat as it was colourful. The design fraternity is united in their
stand that in good times and bad, good design must prevail. However,
good design must now delve deeper than the vibrant colours displayed
on the stands. Good design must also be sustainable.
“Our industry has undergone a year of reorganisation, restructuring
and rethinking,” says Carlo Guglielmi, President of Cosmit, organisers
of the annual design event. “The result has been extremely positive.
We have been obliged to think differently and to work in collaboration
with others to ensure a united success. We have had to rethink our
businesses and to develop new manufacturing systems that are more
ecological, that reduce costs while creating furnishings that are more
durable and sustainable.”
Designers are facing the challenge to create something better, not
merely something new, while continuously improving aesthetics and
function – a necessity for inspiring consumption in the current economic
atmosphere – and a challenge that creatives are meeting brilliantly.
“We have just come though a world war of sorts, during which time
we have undergone a significant realignment of global economies,” says
Cavaliere del Lavoro Rosario Messina, President of FederlegnoArredo,
the Italian furniture association. “We had years of continuous growth in
the furniture sector and then the recession set in. Our challenge now is
to overcome this decline in the next five years.”
With the blossoming awareness of the need to be green, the challenge
becomes even more complex. “In addition to the economic slump and
the huge decline in the US, Russian and Middle Eastern orders, European
Milan vibrated with bright, bold moves for 2010’s interiors as the world’s
top designers, architects and manufacturers look forward to a sustainable
future with determination and optimism. TEXT: CATHERINE BELBIN
Robust sustainability
Sunburst table from Versace Home.
25 May 2010
TRENDS
Clockwise from top: Ruche sofa by Inga Sempe from Ligne Roset; lounger
by Jaime Hayon for b.d barcelona design; Arabella chair designed by Carlo
Giorgetti and Massimo Scolari from Girogetti; Bdlove collection by Ross
Lovegrove; Tours bookcase by Pascal Mourgue for Ligne Roset.
26 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
TRENDS
industry has had to cope with new environmental standards set by Brussels.
This has meant, for example, a huge investment in sectors such as lighting,
where many of the iconic lamps from companies like FontanaArte are having
to be re-engineered to meet stricter standards,” explains Guglielmi, President
of FontanaArte, the lighting company established in 1932 by the legendary
Gio Ponti.
Meanwhile, Roberto Snaidero, International Relations of FederlegnoArredo,
whose family manufacturers the luxury Snaidero kitchen brands, comments
that the financial incentives offered in Italy have been successful in encouraging
consumers to upgrade their kitchens and kitchen appliances, thus giving a
well-needed boost to the Italian kitchen sector.
This year Eurocucina and the Salone Internazionale del Bagno ran
concurrently with the furniture show, exhibiting the latest innovations and
improvements that are likely to intice consumers.
Over 10,000 new products were displayed during the Salone this year by
over 2,500 exhibitiors over some 209,00 square metres of exhibition space.
Snaidero also observes that great design is no longer an Italian monopoly,
acknowledging that there are in fact numerous non-Italian designers now
working for Italian companies. “The emphasis is on quality and not nationality,
especially in today’s global workplace.”
The office furniture sector has been severely affected by the world situation
coupled with strides in the IT sector – making the traditional office workspace
almost antiquidated. “People work in a completely different way today and so
the furniture requirements have changed dramatically. It has become essential
for cabinetmakers to work in tandem with the technology providers to ensure
that office spaces offer maximum efficiency,” the organisers agreed. The Office as
Creative Hub was a forum presented as a prelude to next year’s Salone Officio
that sparked original interpretations of the workspace.
Next year the Salone del Mobile (April 12-17) will celebrate its 50
th
anniversary
as a leading furniture show. “Italy has some of the best craftsmen in the world. As
we approach this milestone we are encouraging the youth to pursue the trades of
their fathers and forefathers with the establishment of specialised schools, courses
and apprenticeships to ensure that we maintain our reputation,” says Messina,
owner of the world-renowned bed manufacturer Flou.
ID
Top to bottom: Trieste sofa from Baxter’s 2010 collection; Hand blown Murano
glass ornamental bottles at Salone del Mobile 2010.
28 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 28
The Aircruise.
Clear blue skies
From sky to sea, the aim is to re-use, re-charge and re-think sustainability in order to reduce
emissions, harness alternate energy sources and create a greener world. TEXT: STEVE HILL
TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT
The Shanghai Tower will be one of the most sustainably
advanced tall buildings in the world when complete in
2014, according to architects Gensler.
The 632-metre, 128-storey vertical city features a taper
and asymmetry that will significantly reduce wind loads,
ensuring a lighter and more efficient structure, with inner
and outer facades acting as an envelope to create a natural
warming and cooling effect.
The spaces between the two facades create nine atrium
sky gardens as the tower is organised into nine cylindrical
buildings stacked on top of each other with hotels, cultural
venues and an observation deck at the top, offices in the
central spaces and an urban market at ground level.
The highest levels of the tower, which will become the
world’s second tallest building behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa,
will house 54 vertically-aligned wind turbines, reducing
energy consumption, the funnel-shaped roof will harvest
rain water while its footprint has been greatly reduced to
make room for more green spaces.
This page and opposite: The Shanghai Tower.
March 2009 May 2010 29
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30 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 30 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
FULL NOON
Noon Solar bags are stylish and boast impressive sustainable credentials thanks to
a paper-thin flexible solar panel that charges an interior battery pack capable of
powering a mobile phone or MP3 player.
All the user has to do is point the bag’s solar panel towards the sun to collect
usable energy, either when walking, sitting or even while travelling on a train.
Even on cloudy or rainy days, energy is collected through the UV light of the
sun and on a bright, sunny day the battery should become fully charged in six to
eight hours, longer on a cloudy day.
The bags themselves, produced by the New York-based Chicago Company,
are chemical-free and naturally tanned, using vegetable dyes.
They are currently available in Dubai through Ekotribe who also stock Moixa
Energy’s award-winning USBCELL.
This ingenious battery conveniently plugs into the USB port of a desktop
or laptop computer, Playstation or XBOX, and can be recharged hundreds of
times, in contrast to alkaline batteries that are simply thrown away when their
power is exhausted.
MESSAGE WITH A BOTTLE
The Plastiki, a catamaran made from approximately 12,500 reclaimed plastic
bottles, is undertaking an 11,000-nautical mile voyage from San Francisco to
Australia to draw attention to the health of the world’s oceans.
The vessel’s super structure is also composed of srPET, a fully recyclable
material, and relies primarily on renewable energy systems for its power.
Plastiki’s crew includes Adventure Ecology founder and environmentalist
David de Rothschild, who is attempting to draw attention to the world’s colossal
amount of plastic debris by showcasing waste as a valuable resource and
demonstrating effective solutions through the design and construction of this
unique vessel.
A total of 68 per cent of its buoyancy is provided by using the 12,500
reclaimed plastic bottles while the mast is a reclaimed aluminium irrigation pipe
and Plastiki’s sail is handmade from recycled PET cloth.
Secondary bonding is reinforced using a newly developed organic glue made
from cashew nuts and sugar cane while further green credentials include the
use of solar panels, wind and trailing propeller turbines, bicycle generators and a
hydroponic rotating cylinder garden.
WASTE NOT
British Recycled Products develops commercially viable, low carbon,
construction products and outdoor furniture made from 100 per cent British
recycled waste, concentrating on plastic which is diverted from landfill.
The firm’s range of products include items as diverse as speed ramps for
cars, weather-proof fencing, picnic tables, benches, pallets and Hebden 40, eco
paving that can be filled with grass or gravel, then driven over, parked on and
walked on while allowing rainwater to permeate back into the ground.
Clockwise from above: The Plastiki; Full Noon and USBCELL; Onno Sminia
and Louis Pierre Geerinckx’s Vrachtfiets.
31 March 2009
TRENDS
ON THE MOVE
Two students at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have
unveiled a new green concept to help people moving house.
Onno Sminia and Louis Pierre Geerinckx felt there had to be a more
environmentally friendly alternative to the tried and trusted route of renting a
van, which invariably pumps noxious diesel fumes into the atmosphere. And their
response was to design an innovative pedal-based solution known as Vrachtfiets
(Dutch for cargo bicycle) to help transport items within towns and cities.
It features two sets of pedals – moving, after all, often involves more than
one person – and there are plans to add a solar-powered electrical assist to
help manage more substantial loads.
The city of Delft has already expressed interest in the low-cost, emission-free
invention, which could also easily be used to deliver and move items such as
food and any number of different consumer items.
OFFICE SPACE
Austrian architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Town Town project has been
recognised with a sustainable prize at the 2010 MIPIM Architectural Review
Future Project Awards.
The high-rise office scheme, being developed east of Vienna, features an
energy active solar-harvesting facade and an integrated wind turbine that will
help the building produce more energy than it consumes. Wind flows and
the trajectory of the sun have been analysed to help determine the shape
of the building while a photovoltaic laminated façade generates solar energy
throughout the day.
Care has also been taken to ensure the building conserves energy, with tilted
panels allowing natural light to filter through to the interiors while windows can
be opened to ensure office spaces can be naturally ventilated.
ON YOUR BIKE
The Bamboo Bike Studio in Brooklyn, New York, teaches people to make
their own bike frame from a renewable, fast-growing material that is seen as a
performance-positive alternative to steel, aluminium and carbon fibre.
The studio works with the Columbia University Earth Institute-based
Bamboo Bike Project and the Millennium Cities Initiative to offer a two-day
course where enthusiasts learn building techniques and, at the end, ride home
on their new creation.
Profits from these courses go towards building bamboo bike factories in
Kumasi, Ghana, Kisumu in Kenya and the Ecuadorean city of Quito with the
aim of addressing international development goals of improving access to
transportation and assisting sustainable light-industrial development.
The inspiration for the establishment of the studio was watching Chinese
bamboo masters construct natural scaffolding in Hong Kong without using
screws or nails.
Bamboo is a grass that grows so quickly – individual stalks can mature in three
years – it is widely considered to be a weed, albeit an extremely useful and
versatile one.
ID
Left to right: Hebden 40; Town Town.
May 2010 31
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32 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
The interior of Paul Smith’s Los Angeles store contains
part of a genuine interior from a Southern France château.
One of a kind
As British designer Sir Paul Smith prepares for the September
opening of his latest Dubai boutique, he explains why
individuality is so important in design. TEXT: ASHLEE BEARD
33 May 2010
PROFILE
If Britain is, as the 18
th
century moral philosopher Adam Smith once
quipped, “a nation that is governed by shopkeepers”, then Sir Paul Smith is the
ideal candidate for the forthcoming UK election. Since the opening of his first
shop in 1970, the maverick designer has flourished into a worldwide brand, but
what is most impressive is the creative energy that the 63-year-old continues
to exert through the 26 collections he produces annually and his incredible
success, which is based on a desire for individuality in an industry that has fallen
victim to global homogenisation.
During the London Design Festival last year, Sir Paul was awarded the
London Design Medal for his contribution to creativity. The recognition of a
fashion designer for an award that has traditionally been reserved for luminaries
of industrial design and architecture should be surprising, but given his incredibly
diverse talent, which reaches far beyond impeccable Savile Row tailoring and
signature candy striped shirts, Sir Paul has made a formidable contribution to
the marriage between fashion and lifestyle. Since creating the Mondo table for
Cappellini in 2003, he has designed everything from tableware to bicycles.
Like the famed Italian editor, architect and designer Gio Ponti, of whom Sir
Paul is a fan, his appeal is his unorthodox character. “One of the things that
was so interesting about Ponti was that he was so difficult to classify. He was
a free spirit and approached things with a childlike curiosity,” he says “I’m not
comparing myself to the great Ponti, but I always describe myself as having a
childlike curiosity, I’m always asking questions and am very curious about things.
I think that Ponti had a very honest curiosity.”
Sir Paul is a likeable man. The Nottingham accent remains, giving a
down-to-earth air, as he talks to designers at the Stockholm Furniture Fair,
where he was chosen as this year’s Guest of Honour. He switches between
careers advisor and classroom clown as he regales the audience with tales of
pulling rubber chickens and train sets out of briefcases during meetings, and
presents with pride images of a chaotic office brimming with books, boxes
and knick knacks that he has accumulated over the years. However, as we
speak before he leaves for Paris, it is apparent that while his creativity may be
unbridled, his drive and focus is not.
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PROFILE
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Beyond the quirkiness of kaleidoscopic suit lining, or a teacup emblazoned
with roses, his foundations are rooted in tradition and quality – “classic with a
twist” he suggests. “Because I never trained formally and all my teaching came
from my wife Pauline, simplicity was always important for me. The turn of
phrase ‘classic with a twist’ came about because I didn’t know how to design
clothes that were extravagant in shape or cut, so I used simplicity. Instead,
colour, humour and a sense of surprise became important. I like to take classics
and imbue them with bold colours,” Sir Paul explains. From pinstripe furnishing
fabric for it, to the striking shots of colour applied to Arne Jacobsen classics for
Stelton’s new Cylinda collection, he remains true to form.
What also sets Sir Paul apart is that in today’s cookie-cutter society he
remains vehemently individual. Forty years on, every element of the Paul Smith
empire remains overseen by its founder, from the collections and collaborations,
through to the architecture and decoration of each store. In 2007, he was
awarded Honorary Fellowship of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) in
recognition of his store designs. Even the exhibitions that take place regularly
within various Paul Smith boutiques worldwide are chosen by Sir Paul, who is
a keen art aficionado. “I’m passionate about individuality, I always have been.
Among too many magazines, too many restaurants, too many designers, we
have to find a way to do something that is special and interesting, otherwise we
are all the same,” he stresses.
The designer’s Los Angeles store is a classic example. Located on Melrose
Avenue, Hollywood’s famous busy east-west thoroughfare, Sir Paul’s challenge
when designing the architecture was to create a store that would catch the
attention of passing motorists. “I sat in a coffee shop in London, thinking about
what to do in Los Angeles, because nobody walks, everybody drives and
the roads are really long. I thought about building something that was really
distinctive and strong,” he says. The solution? A bright pink box that stands out
against the grey blandness of its neighbours.
Sir Paul waited around two decades before he finally acquired his dream
retail outlet on Paris’s Rue de Grenelle. “I’d been walking past this empty cafe
for the past 20 years and I kept thinking that it would be brilliant to have it as a
shop, without doing anything to it. Eventually, after 20 years, the owner finally
let me convert it into a shop. It’s so brilliant and charming.” The facade remains
unchanged, bearing no evidence of its current proprietor, which Sir Paul admits
does not help sales, but he is decidedly non-plussed.
The quaint, eclectic individuality of each shop is charming, of course, but
more importantly it gives each its own identity, which Sir Paul believes is vital in
Clockwise from above: Paul Smith Globe store within Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow Airport; Sir Paul Smith; Smith’s latest
collaboration is the redesign of Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Cylinda line in celebration of Danish manufacturer Stelton’s 50
th
anniversary.
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PROFILE
a world full of the same stores, same windows and same products, regardless of geography. There are two
words that enrage him – corporate rollout. “My motto is ‘think global, act local’. We’ve seen the demise
of companies that think that they can just role out the same model all around the world,” he says. “When
I opened my Milan store, I remember Giulio Cappellini saying to me: ‘It’s really interesting, because within
this triangle of stores, so many big designers have used celebrity architects to create their showrooms, but
they don’t reflect the character of the brand. What is interesting about your shop is when you walk in, you
know it’s a Paul Smith Shop because it’s full of humour, art and curiosities’.”
So what does Sir Paul have planned for his fourth Dubai store, which will open in The Mall of Emirates this
September. He refuses to say, but you can be sure that it too will come with its own individual character and
its own unique curios.
Just as Sir Paul’s stores inspired the birth of the concept store in the 1990s, today it is airport
shopping that is under scrutiny. When the British Airports Authority approached the
designer to open a shop in Heathrow’s Terminal 5, he agreed with one condition – that
the store would open on his creative terms. Fitted out with original French chateau doors
and filled with an array of novelties that people are more inclined to find at their exotic
destination, rather than at duty-free shopping, Sir Paul’s pioneering venture will undoubtedly
inspire airport boutiques of the future.
We sit on rose print chairs against a backdrop of floral photographs within the main hall of
the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Sir Paul’s eye-catching installation is a vision in pink among the
austerity of natural wood and white lacquer.
As he prepares for his departure to Paris to shop for fabrics for his next collection, I ask
the man who claims “You can find inspiration in everything, and if you can’t, look again” what
had inspired him so far today? “A lot of the Scandinavian designers are introducing a lot more
colour than before. In this troubled world, optimism, colour and energy are a nice shot in
the arm for us all.”
ID
Clockwise from above: The bold exterior of Sir Paul Smith’s LA outpost on Melrose Avenue; clothes
from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection; Maharam chair; the interior of the Paris boutique.
38 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
VIP lounge, Terminal Five, Heathrow Airport.
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39 May 2010
PROFILE
When can a designer truly be free in their work? When working for
others they always encounter restrictions of some sort. However, as two
projects by award-winning, London-based designer Katharine Pooley show,
these freedoms and restrictions can be very different depending on whether the
project is a private client’s home or a corporation’s public space.
At London’s Heathrow airport, Pooley’s company has designed VIP lounges
for Terminals One, Three and Five. She was given the freedom many designers
crave, as the airport managers took a hands-off approach, trusting her to create
a space suitable for monarchs, presidents, pop icons and ambassadors, without
interference. The designer responded by considering not what types of luxuries
these people might be used to, but what she wants to find in an airport herself.
She concluded it was a home from home.
“It probably sounds selfish, but I don’t think of them, the people who will use
it, I think of me,” she says. “I think: ‘What do I want?’ For me, what is important
is a comfortable sofa to sit on, and what is comfortable on the eye. Sofas and soft
furnishings soften the design a bit and accessories make it feel more like home.”
Pooley wanted to improve on the types of lounges found at most airports,
which she considers dull. She has had plenty of experience of airport
lounges – a former banker, the Briton was based in Hong Kong for 14 years,
has lived in Bahrain, Vietnam and Singapore, and visited 200 countries.
“When you go to an airport you do feel like you are going to an airport,
except for Bangkok and Hong Kong,” she says, “and people are getting tired
of going to these grey-looking places, therefore, I wanted to create a very
rich style.”
There are plenty of reds, golds, purples and other bright hues mixed with
quieter tones of cream, white, brown and beige in her airport lounge designs.
Many surfaces, including the upholstered sofas and armchairs, are glossy to add
glamour, and by adding accessories collected from her travels, she has tied in
influences from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Abstract art, with colours
matching the soft furnishings, complete the effect.
The restrictions she faced in designing Heathrow’s VIP lounges were
practical. Hardwood furnishings, including tables and sideboards, feature and
some walls are wood panelled, because people come and go, day and night,
seven days a week, 365 days a year, many stumbling about with bags and
40 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
laptops, and some spilling the occasional cup of tea. Therefore these spaces
need to be hard wearing.
However, when it comes to creating a home for a private client, there
are fewer practical restrictions on they types of materials used. “With a
private property you have the freedom to make a beautiful design,”
Pooley enthuses.
She feels her company has done this in central London, where she and her
colleagues designed the interiors of a three bedroom conversion flat in a period
building in Chelsea for a young couple. Their flat had been neglected for 30
years and so needed a thorough overhaul, which gave the designers a blank
canvas to work with. But while a corporation may be happy to leave the design
of its public spaces to the professionals, a private client having their home made
over may have a few ideas of their own. It is much more personal, after all,
they have to live with the final results.
“With a private client, you are always looking to what the client wants,”
Pooley says. However, the client’s brief can sometimes be a starting point not a
final vision, as happened with this property. “The client’s brief was for antiques
and Swedish, but we have done neither,” the designer says. Indeed, if anything
it is English and contemporary.
While the flat’s eventual style evolved over the course of the design process,
decisions about its functions remained the same throughout. The owners
wanted to fit a considerable amount of usage into their 180 square metres
Top to bottom: Kitchen of a Chelsea flat; VIP lounge, Terminal Five,
Heathrow Airport.
41 May 2010
PROFILE
Left to right: Lounge of Chelsea flat; VIP lounge, Terminal Five, Heathrow.
home, so the designers worked hard to maximise the available space. Some
rooms have dual functions – the kitchen is also the dining room; the master
bedroom is also a study; in the hallway two window units overlooking a
light-well double as bookshelves; floor-to-ceiling cabinets and wardrobes are
integrated into walls throughout the flat to maximise available space; and one of
the bedrooms became a gym.
The apartment was an awkward space to work on. Located on the first floor,
it is long and narrow, and has no windows along one side. The main source of
daylight comes through French windows overlooking Juliet balconies at the front
of the property, so much of the kitchen and lounge have abundant natural light.
Deeper inside the flat, it becomes scarce.
To brighten these darker areas, the designers have installed plenty of
light fittings and used a light-dark combination in their design to emphasise
light. This centres on dark cabinetry complementing light walls and soft
furnishings, especially in the lounge and bedrooms. The bathrooms and gym
are painted white.
The kitchen is the brightest spot both for light and colour with white cabinets
lining three walls. Light green glass wall panels by the work surfaces and
polished concrete floors reflect light around the room, a light green, 1.5m-long,
silk-bordered Swarovski chandelier hangs above the dining table and arranged
around it are chairs upholstered in shades of red, green, blue or yellow.
The hallway has the least amount of natural light. Rows of books on shelves
in front of two frosted windows overlook the light-well and reduce the already
dim level of light entering the space still further, but their multi-coloured covers
do brighten things up a bit. Small Swarovski lights are spaced along one side of
the corridor floor, like emergency lights on a passenger plane, and spotlights in
the ceiling add further sparkle. Mirrors, white painted walls and bleached hickory
flooring complete the package of space and light enhancing design elements.
To make the best of limited space, the narrow lounge is given its own double
life. Floor to ceiling cabinetry is fixed to the walls on either side of the room: on
one side there is a sliding panel that can be pulled across to reveal a flat screen
TV in the middle of the cabinet. The room’s lighting can be altered to suit
different moods: it can be kept low by using lights behind the wall cabinetry’s
orange, alabaster panels which produces a honeyed glow, or brightened up by
using a chandelier and other lights.
“The more freedom artists have to do what they want to do, the more they
do what other artists are doing,” American abstract painter Darby Bannard said,
while another artist, Christo, said “art is a scream of freedom”. But there are no
famous quotes connecting freedom and design.
While artists have the right, possibly the duty, to create stuff that is ‘useless’,
designers do not. They have to consider function, and that means other people,
practical materials, available spaces, deadlines and budgets. Designers are never
meant to be free, but they can turn a prison into a palace, or, at least as Pooley’s
work shows, dull and dusty spaces into something a whole lot prettier.
ID
43 May 2010
MEDIA ROOMS | DESI GN FORMULA
43
DESIGN FORMULA
CONTENTS:
45 No restraints
46 Movie nights
50 Outside the box office
52 Going mod
56 Mood lighting
Media relations
Shifting consumer attitudes and lifestyles continue to transform
home media setups, where complete mobility, state-of-the-art
electronics and sleek designs transcend any earlier limitations.
TEXT: LISA VINCENTI
London’s Soho Hotel features a private cinema
with luxurious leather seating by Poltrona Frau.
44 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
The simple, clean lines of Poliform’s latest
wall system offer infinite possibilities.
45 May 2010
MEDIA ROOMS | DESI GN FORMULA
Over the past decade, hotels have proved a barometer for future
design directions and trends in the residential market. The style lessons learnt in
the hotels guests visited and restaurants they dined in hit home, leading them to
introduce this hospitality lifestyle into their private domains, thus the reinvention
of the master bedroom as a private sanctuary and the adjacent bathroom’s
metamorphosis into a spa-like oasis.
However, when it came to media setups, hotels fell far behind what people
were getting used to at home. The media experience at home has become
increasingly mobile, inviting and seamless, not only blending in perfectly with the
surrounding interior design but also offering homeowners yet another place to
unwind. Multipurpose, sleek electronics, modular systems that continue to push
the design envelope, revolutionary lighting options, and supremely flexible and
comfortable seating prove the hallmarks of what is on the horizon for 2010.
“Post-recession and moving into autumn, we begin to celebrate and take
pleasure in the comfort and joy of being at home,” notes UAE-based Shelley
Pond, a trend forecaster and interior designer at UK forecast agency Scarlet
Opus. “We start seeing our homes in new and exciting ways; an escape from
our fast-paced modern lives, a place of different home and entertainment
experiences that were once satisfied by going out. With this change in attitude, a
growing trend in home cinema and media rooms emerges; extending what we
have already seen of hotel and restaurant styling inspiration in bedrooms, home
spa and dining-in trends, to other areas within our homes.”
NO RESTRAINTS
A quick look at the iF 2010 gold award winners, a renowned product and
graphic design competition that is known for picking up coming trends, makes
clear what we can expect from home entrainment equipment. Sophisticated
designs are now de rigueur, but the most cutting-edge additions to the market
also carry added functionality. Repeat iF gold recipient Apple changed the game
for all home electronics, not just computers via the iPhone and iPod, which
became models for new innovation. Because of this consumers have come to
expect convenience, simplicity and intuitive controls, in addition to smart styling.
iF award recipient Loewe’s spectacular Reference home audio setup is an
undeniable show stopper. “Once again, a Loewe product has earned itself
an iF gold award. Taken on their own, these extremely thin, floor-standing
loudspeakers are a total design highlight. In conjunction with the other
equipment in the range, they create a really strong impression, one that is
unique in the audiovisual market,” write the iF judges of their selection.
But that is only half of the story. The Reference Mediacenter, with its CD/
DVD, iPod/iPhone, internet radio, DVB/FM radio and USB connection, is not
just an all-in-one home entertainment system for the living room, it is also the
core of the Loewe Multiroom System. The Mediacenter handles audio contents
46 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
DESIGN FORMULA | MEDI A ROOMS
in the main room, while the Multiroom System ensures that audio contents
can be transmitted freely throughout the home. Likewise, LG’s just-released
HB965TZ home theatre system features not only super-slim speakers and a
Blu-ray player, but also Wi-Fi connectivity and an iPod or iPhone dock.
“How we access and use media at home has been completely
transformed,” says Amir Anwar of Dubai Audio, which carries high-end names
like Loewe and Geneva. “Networking has been the single most important
factor and requirement in any home media setup. Networks continue to hold
the key to driving both expectations and growth in terms of adoption of these
newer technologies. Consumer habits are being modified to the point where IT
products and traditional media or audiovisual products are converging in terms
of expectations and possible functionality.”
MOVIE NIGHTS
Design-driven boutique hotels sparked a new phenomenon in hotel design
when they appeared in London and New York in the mid-1980s. These
intimate, usually luxurious or quirky, spaces introduced a new level of high style
and service to guests. American Ian Schrager, owner of the Morgans Hotel
Group, is often credited with founding the boutique hotel, or at least generating
the buzz that grabbed the world’s attention, when he transformed the Spanish
Renaissance décor of the Executive Hotel into Morgans, a 113-room property
dressed in its now signature black-and-white style by Andrée Putman, and
recently reworked by her in a Dhs33 million renovation.
By the time Starwood Hotels introduced its W brand in 1998 to satisfy
consumers’ growing appetite for accessible style, a major trend was poised for
takeoff. Leap ahead to 2010 and trendy accommodation has become the norm,
but with such exposure, design hotels faced a major setback, so how do they
continue to offer something fresh to guests? For some, the answer lies in the
media and entertainment category, whether that means supplying the basics,
offering an extra luxury or showing off the bleeding edge of design.
“For years the technology consumers have had at home has far exceeded
what they can access when they check into a hotel,” says Michael Stano from
San Francisco’s Joie de Vivre hotel group. “Consumers are using the internet
to access more than just email and search content; rather, to access a variety
of on-demand, web-based entertainment options such as YouTube, HULU and
Netflix. We’re giving them an extremely easy-to-use portal to access all of that
in their rooms and leave their laptops at home.”
According to proprietary data just released by iBahn, a digital entertainment
and internet solutions provider for the hospitality industry, guests are spending
60 per cent more time on the internet than in earlier years, doing everything
from downloading music and videos to reading the news. In addition, based on
earlier surveys by Ypartnership, which conducted the survey for iBahn, guests
who have a poor online experience at a hotel, will not return.
“Even through the down economy we have continued to invest in the guest
experience,” says Chip Conley, Joie de Vivre’s founder and CEO. “This initiative
takes guestroom technology far beyond what anyone else we know is doing
right now.”
This rotatable mirror TV by ad notum pairs flexibility and elegant styling.
48 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
DESIGN FORMULA | MEDI A ROOMS
At the small chain’s Citizen Hotel, the company installed Mac Mini computers
with 107 centimetre flat screen televisions, wireless keyboards and streamlined
remotes – in addition to having unfettered access to the internet.
Starwood Hotels has just signed a deal with German audio-maker Sonoro
to include its stylish Elements radio alarm clock in W Hotels. In addition to its
handcrafted wood casing and glossy, lacquered piano finish, Elements features
an internet FM radio and iPod docking station. Meanwhile Kempinski hotels has
opted for Bang & Olufsen set-ups in many of its properties, some of which
include Bose iPod docking stations. For its recently opened accommodations in
Croatia, it decked out all rooms with Bang & Olufsen BeoVision televisions. One
of the Kempinski Adriatic’s two Presidential suites is equipped with a sprawling
BeoVision, two BeoLab 5 loudspeakers, two BeoCenter 2 entertainment centres.
Such in-room features are likely to become the mainstream within the next
few years.
Some hotels are entering fresh territory when it comes to the guest
entertainment experience and offering visitors a taste of the future. In Las
Vegas, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s newly opened Tower Suites, where
the owners say “sophistication and fantasy reign supreme”, has taken the
media experience to an extreme. In partnership with Skullcandy, a maker of
hip audio headphones, the HRH Tower Suites in-room music system lets
guest sample a special playlist created by Skullcandy on its Sound Matters Sound
Bar, an AMX 30 centimetre touch panel music system with iPod dock that
includes over 2,000 HRH-owned songs and playlists.
Top to bottom: This private home theatre by Goldmund features
state-of-the-art technology and futuristic pop; MCZ’s new Scenerio mirror
TV/fireplace introduces a sophisticated alternative to traditional flat screens.
50 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
But the icing on the cake is the specialty penthouses, which put
high-resolution video displays to new uses. In the Provocateur Suite, one of
eight themed penthouses, sensors detect when someone lies on the bed, and
immediately produces silhouette images elsewhere on the bed. In another
suite, a sensor and tracking system projects images directly onto a billiards
table, displaying corresponding animation that makes it appear the game is
being played on water or fire, among other effects. The Altered States Suite
leverages 11 video projectors to create a 360-degree, wraparound interactive
video environment influenced by music and motion. As the style of music or
the activities of the room’s occupants change, the system intuitively alters the
display images to match.
Between the glitz and blare of the Hard Rock and more standard room
amenities such as iPod docking stations and computer setups, another
generation of boutique hotels are adding a third, more chic layer of invention
to capture the attention of the fashionable crowd. In New York, the Tribeca
Grand offers a private screening room as well as complete connectivity. The
iSuites are fully-loaded with Apple gear including a G5 computer outfitted with
film, photo and sound editing software, as well as iSight cameras, a user-friendly
video conferencing camera with integrated microphone that will allow guests to
have face-to-face chats, and an iPod and Bose SoundDock digital music system.
However, it is the Grand’s private screening room, with seating for 100 that
really captures the imagination.
“The Charlotte Street Hotel was the first hotel in London to offer a screening
room and it certainly enhanced our guests’ experience,” says Madelein Duxbury
of the Firmdale group of hotels, which includes Charlotte Street, Covent
Garden and Soho hotels in London.
“I have never been to a cinema that I have enjoyed being in – except in
the dark. I really wanted to design a cinema that I wanted to sit in when the
lights go up,” adds Kit Kemp, co-owner and design director for Firmdale, who
introduced Poltrona Frau Italian leather seats in the Firmdale hotel cinemas.
“Having wide, extremely comfortable seats and a lot of leg room makes for a
very luxurious experience”
OUTSIDE THE BOX OFFICE
For those that can afford a dedicated cinema room, there are now no
limitations and some are taking a far less traditional approach to the screening
room. Forget the days of rows of individual seats with built in cup holders and
red velvet drapes, new personal cinemas are taking inspiration from the major
design trends that have swept through design fairs in the past year.
For one private installation underway in St Petersburg, the challenge was
to create a screening room based on organic forms and nature. “Entering the
room is like experiencing a spacewalk: infinity and the depth of the black sky;
clouds of galaxies on dark blue walls; plush white carpet underfoot; and gentle
streams soft light,” notes the designer, PIC Gallery in St Petersburg, of the
cosmic creation.
With rounded corners and soft edges, the cinema room clearly has taken
pointers from the furniture fairs in Paris, Milan and Frankfurt, where more
DESIGN FORMULA | MEDI A ROOMS
Kempinski Hotel Adriatic decks out its presidential suites with iPod docking stations and Bang & Olufsen’s BeoVision TV/audio system.
52 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
organic and feminine shapes began taking hold, and futuristic statements were
cast in a subdued and more inviting note.
With a five-star sound system by Swiss-based Goldmund, the St Petersburg
residence includes 46 speakers to completely immerse movie-goers in the
experience. Additionally, advances by companies like Goldmund have allowed
for increased flexibility and creativity in the design of home media rooms, where
furniture and speakers no longer have to be placed in a certain location to
achieve optimal sound. This allows designers more leeway in their media room
designs and even the furnishings they pick.
Fresh cinema room designs will forgo the classic row of theatre seats, opting
for more casual arrangements in their place. For the St Petersburg screening
room, contemporary, over-sized round armchairs and oblong sofas comprise
the viewing area. The overall effect is cosmic cool. “The light dies away and we
are completely plunged into a film atmosphere where only the image and sound
exist,” PIC Gallery notes. “Walls disappear, cease to exist and do not distract
the attention of a viewer, making him a participant of events, the protagonist. It
is a comfortable space-cocoon in which the person is completely immersed in
another reality.”
Even if the St Petersburg setup is out of reach, the media room in all homes
is undergoing change. “Media rooms are becoming more open and light in
their styling, and are therefore much more inviting spaces to spend time in,”
says Victoria Redshaw, Scarlet Opus’ founder. “Rather than trying to recreate
cinema styling we are seeing a move towards a less gimmicky and certainly less
ostentatious styling that is all about coming together and sharing in a comfortable
space that is increasingly a hybrid room that houses gaming entertainment as
well as a home cinema. This is all about simple pleasures made possible via
high-tech developments.”
Or imagine the home media room serving as a relaxation lounge like the
one conceived by Italy’s International Friends Corporate (IFC) for Salone
Internazionale della Piscina last year in Barcelona. The Water Wellness
Lounge included a low-table, a few chairs and three large screens: a peaceful
atmosphere with the soothing sounds of nature and a changing panoramic view
of water, fire, land and air.
GOING MOD
When architect-turned-critic-turned-industrial designer George Nelson
dreamed up Storagewall, a new concept for modern living, he created a
sensation that landed him in the pages of Architectural Forum magazine and Life
magazine in 1945. Herman Miller founder DJ Depree was so impressed by
what he read that he paid a visit to Nelson and convinced him to be director
of design for the now ubiquitous, mid-century styled Herman Miller furnishings.
Under Nelson’s leadership the company produced designs by heavy-hitters
such as Ray and Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia, Richard Schultz, Donald Knorr
and Isamu Noguchi.
But it all began with Storagewall. The concept for Storagewall came to Nelson
while penning a book, Tomorrow’s House, alongside Henry Wright, in which
he proposed the novel idea of the “family room”. Nelson, a multidisciplinary
thinker and questioner of the status quo, posed the question “what’s inside the
wall?” He began pondering the wall, an unused interior space that could serve
Media centre by Molteni.
53 May 2010
MEDIA ROOMS | DESI GN FORMULA
Meystyle’s just introduced LED wallpaper collection combines
LED lights and crystals for a fantastic, atmospheric backdrop.
54 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
a much more functional purpose. In fact, as post-war consumerism began to
surge, people’s homes filled with the clutter of this new prosperity, and Nelson’s
creative and non-architectural solution was Storagewall, an oeuvre inspired by
the shelving systems found in drugstores, hardware and grocery stores.
Storagewall was a leap forward and organised storage with tube lights, curved
corners (for easy cleaning), separated doors, variety in defined spaces and
offered a comfortable place for everything. When Nelson joined Depree he
was asked to conceive a similar system for Herman Miller and the result was
the Comprehensive Storage Solution (CSS). CSS featured tension rods between
the floor and ceiling, with no attachment to a wall. Configured with multiple
components including shelves, storage cabinets and files that could be used in
any part of the house, as well as in offices or at exhibitions.
But CSS did much more than provide a modernist framework to reduce
clutter; it provided the first instance of modular design (an approach that divides a
system into smaller parts that can be independently created and used in different
manners) and a forerunner of “systems” furnishings. Many of the top Italian names
(including MisuraEmme, Tissetanta and Lema), have continually pushed the
design envelope. In fact, after decades of introducing one ingenious system after
another, there seems no end to the infinite possibilities of this old workhorse,
which is today essential to the minimalist setting. What’s more, the continuous
introduction of new home-entertaining products has produced a new breed of
sophisticated models that allow the clutter of audio and visual gear to disappear
behind chic sliding doors, or at least hides all the cables and paraphernalia.
At Lema, a designer of furniture systems whose design director is the
renowned Piero Lissoni, one of most flexible and popular storage solutions
DESIGN FORMULA | MEDI A ROOMS
Top to bottom: Molteni&C updates its modular 505 wall-system designed by
Luca Meda; Philippe Stark makes over the wireless speakers and iPhone
docking station with an inventive twist for Zikmu Parrot.
PO Box 2331 Dubai UAE Tel +971 4 282 4060 Fax +971 4 282 7898 books@motivate.ae
Available at major Gulf bookstores
LW Design Group has been at the
forefront of hospitality interior
design in Dubai for a decade, and
this inspiring collection of some of
its favourite projects showcases the
company’s most renowned and stylish
spaces – and the UAE’s voracity for
cutting-edge design.
+
Jesper Godsk
Creative Partner, LW Design Group
56 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
is the Selecta, a library of vertical and horizontal panels. Building off one basic
structure, a bookcase, it can morph into complex configurations that can serve
as room dividers or a wall shelves. Tissetanta’s Acropolis, a new version of which
was showcased at this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, was
designed by Paolo Piva. The fitted wall unit brings out the beauty inherent in
its wall-grid structure, an elegant play on geometries and asymmetry. A lighting
system can be applied to its compartments while the shelving can be either a
wafer thin 2.8 centimetres or a bold, chunky 6 centimetres. Sliding doors, now
available in leather and cuoietto finish, offer a refined solution.
The storage wall has come a long way since Nelson and is likely to change
even more if 2010’s new offerings are any indicator.
“There is an increasing need for products to adapt and change with our
changing lifestyles,” Redshaw says. “Furniture in particular needs to offer
versatility and flexibility, and provide solutions to our everyday practical
problems, making life easier and supporting our needs, working with us rather
than simply being inanimate objects.”
MOOD LIGHTING
Soft technology is another important direction that surfaced during the home
fairs earlier this year and its application is ideal for the media room. Forecaster
Milou Ket, from APS Media Group, predicted at the end of last year that “soft
technology” would be a driving force of interior designs in 2010.
“This young direction in almost acid pastel colours is influenced by the colours
of technology, as in a laboratory. White is indispensable in colour combinations
to obtain a fresh and clean effect. We see different interpretations: from
clean and modern, sometimes even futuristic based on the results of modern
technology… The effect of light is very important,” Ket noted. “A soft artificial
effect of colours seen through a transparent or translucent synthetic material
is the key. Artificial materials such as glass, plastic, Plexiglas, silicone and rubber
give such a diffused, yet colourful effect to obtain a modern result.”
In the media room, such mood lighting was once the providence of the
entertainment system, where backlit television sets glowed blue, green or red,
but techno-infused ambient lighting options have moved well beyond early
Top to bottom: With its built-in TV and PC, Hi-Can reworks the traditional
canopy bed; LEMA art director PIerro Lissoni interprets the wall system in his
signature minimalist style.
57 May 2010
MEDIA ROOMS | DESI GN FORMULA
applications. The modular Asami sofa by Italian furniture maker Colico, which
can be used outdoors as well, is right on point. It incorporates LED lights into
a translucent base and, controlled by a remote, you can change the Asami’s
colour as often as you wish, setting the mood as the evening requires.
There are also other innovations, such as LED wallpaper, that began cropping
up in special installations such as those created by the German-born artist/
designer Ingo Maurer in 2006-2007, and Dutch designer Jonas Samson, who
gained the attention of design blogs with his conceptual LED wallpaper, which
he has just begun taking orders for. At British-based Lomox, which expects
to be able to sell its LED wallpapers by 2012, the wallpaper, which uses less
electricity than conventional lighting, has a chemical coating to produce a glow
that mimics natural sunlight and the brightness of the paper can be controlled by
a dimmer switch.
Already on the market are visually striking LED wallpapers by Meystyle,
which integrates LED lights and crystals into its work. Digital designs are printed
onto synthetic fabric for the wallpaper and can be complemented by matching
designs for upholstery and cushions.
“The low level lighting adds an aesthetic quality but also provides a spatial
marker at night when all other lights are off,” notes Ekaterina Yaschuk, a spatial
designer and co-founder of UK-based Meystyle. “The digital prints are futuristic
especially in their treatment of colour gradation, but often take the dramatic
scale of 1970s interior prints as their starting point. The use of Swarovski crystals
accentuates the impact of the LEDs as the two work in harmony to create a
dramatic statement.”
Whether for its functional role of infusing a room with a subtle glow or for
its aesthetic effect, mood lighting helps create a more soothing atmosphere.
“The home media room satisfies a growing desire to take a step back and take
time-out from our intense interactions with the rest of the world,” Redshaw
points out. “We anticipate a mental and physical withdrawal into the privacy of
our homes to reassess our priorities and enjoy a sense of sanctuary. Essentially
we need to take stock and have a ‘time-out’.
“Perhaps most importantly, the media room offers a sense of much needed
escapism from the worries and drudgery of everyday life. We can escape to another
world within our homes whenever we want with the minimum of effort.”
ID
58 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
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Design sources
60 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
New York-based SpaceSmith converted a delapidated dental office
into a colourful Parisian pied-à-terre that feeds the occupants’ need
to be surrounded by art. TEXT: IAN PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY: VINCENT LEROUX
STYLING: CHRISTÈLE AGEORGES
The art of reconstruction
Lving room: Blue and yellow Jesus Soto sculpture Mual Luna, made from metal rods and nylon
thread; Metropolitan chair by Jeffrey Bernett for B&B Italia; Omnia Apta sofa by Antonio Citterio for
B&B Italia; Ministeel sidetable by Carlo Colombo for Cappellini; purple laquered metal sculpture in
niche by Venezuelan artist Rafael Barrios; back wall clad with blackened steel, brick and concrete.
61 May 2010
DESI GN@LARGE
62 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
It was while studying at the New York School of Interior Design that
Kosovo-born decorator Violeta Lekutanoy realised just how much art meant
to her. “Any time we had to find inspiration,” she recalls, “it came from art,
whether it was a colour scheme or something more meaningful.” One of her
assignments saw her come up with a design for the apartment of a hypothetical
collector and she filled her scheme with provocative works of art, such as a
torturous self-portrait by Egon Schiele and a sculpture of an angel wearing a gas
mask by John Lekay. “For me,” she says, “the project was heaven.”
Thus, the 37-year-old was in her element when presented with her first job
after joining the New York-based architectural practice SpaceSmith. It was to
help decorate the Parisian pied-à-terre of a Latin American entrepreneur and
epicurean, who not only loves fine wine and dining, but also has a stunning
collection of art. Among the works he wanted to integrate into the space were
an imposing sculpture by Jesus Soto, paintings by Robert Matta, Francisco Hung
and Rafael de Paul, several Boteros and Picassos, a Vik Muniz photo and a shiny
sculpture of a huge candy by Laurence Jenkell.
“He loves being surrounded by art and doesn’t treat it as special,” Lekutanoy
says. “He just lives with it. Some people are like: ‘Don’t touch!’ but with him,
you’re never just an observer. You can hold a Picasso, you can run your fingers
through a Soto. You really get to experience art.”
The project was not SpaceSmith’s first for the man in question. In general,
the firm concentrates on commercial work, be they high-end boutiques for the
likes of Liz Claiborne and Polo Ralph Lauren, or new offices for the New York
City fire department at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. However, they had previously
teamed up with Brazilian architect Arthur Casas to work on the same client’s
New York residence – an apartment on one of the upper floors of Manhattan’s
tallest residential skyscraper, the CitySpire Center on 56
th
Street. The colour
palette there is dominated by soothing neutrals and earth tones.
The Paris flat, meanwhile, is located on one of the French capital’s most
elegant shopping streets, Avenue Montaigne. The client apparently bought
the 330 square metre duplex sight unseen. It had formerly been home to a
dental office. “It was dilapidated,” recalls Michel Franck, SpaceSmith’s managing
principal. “It was just a mess.”
There were still dentist’s chairs scattered around and small, dark, dreary
rooms and the two levels were connected by just a tiny service staircase.
Working once more with Casas, Franck decided to strip the space back to its
bare bones, and this included taking out what was left in terms of historical
detailing and mouldings. “They weren’t really elaborate,” Franck notes. “Of
course, we could have recreated a traditional décor, but that’s not who the
client is. It’s not our aesthetic either.”
Left to right: Bedroom artwork by Rafael de Paul; armchair and ottoman
by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia; light from Flos; freijo wood understairs
storage unit.
63 May 2010
DESI GN@LARGE
“I don’t want the Paris apartment
to be the same as the New York
apartment. It has to be different”
Muai Luna sculpture by Jesus Soto.
64 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
DESIGN@LARGE
64 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
Instead, they opted for a clean, contemporary and understated look. They
also aimed to create the largest rooms possible in order to show off the art
to its best advantage. Downstairs is an open living room, a kitchen and the
master suite. Upstairs is a family room and bedrooms for each of the owner’s
three children. Air-conditioning was installed at the behest of the client and the
sophisticated lighting system conceived with the help of the New York-based
firm Kugler Ning. Otherwise, the brief was relatively simple.
“The owner said: ‘I don’t want the Paris apartment to be the same as the
New York apartment. It has to be different’,” Franck says. More than anything,
he wanted vibrant colours.
Downstairs, Franck and Lekutanoy had to fight to impose more subdued
hues. “It took a bit of convincing the client,” Lekutanoy says. “The art works
are so strong and we didn’t want to do anything to distract from them.” Centre
stage was already the striking blue and yellow Soto, and in the end the owner
agreed, on the condition that the upper level fizzed with colour. A lemon sofa
was placed in the family room and the children’s rooms were adorned with
flashes of primary hues.
True to form, Lekutanoy developed palettes inspired by different works of art.
An 1840 Turner watercolour entitled Venice at Sunrise from the Hotel Europa,
with the Campanile of San Marco provided the starting point for the living
room. The tones in the master bedroom come from an Schiele portrait of a
woman and those upstairs from a still life of apples and pears by Belgian fauvist
Rik Wouters. Meanwhile, a rug in one of the children’s rooms was directly
influenced by a Mark Rothko painting.
When it came to the furnishings, Franck and Lekutanoy deliberately adapted a
low-key approach. A perfect example is the organic dining table, whose top was
made from a single slab of acacia wood, which Lekutanoy went to the yard in
Brooklyn to handpick herself. Attention was also given to storage. Suitcases can
easily be stowed away in flap-down drawers located in the base of custom beds.
Under the stairs is a little cabinet that can be used for housing glasses and drinks.
Throughout, the pair also chose to use a number of luxurious materials.
The handrail of the stairs is clad with shagreen and the floor in the entrance
hall is covered with white leather tiles, which contrast with the building’s more
traditional public areas. “Rather than walking onto another wood floor or hard
surface, I wanted a soft floor that exudes light,” Franck explains. “It’s an element
of surprise that takes you into another world.”
As for Lekutanoy, she refers to the project as “an unforgettable experience”.
That said, the last time she went to Paris, she turned up at the flat in the dark
and couldn’t remember how the complex lighting system worked. “I was trying
to press all these buttons and hit the one that highlights all the works of art,” she
remembers. “I turned around and saw this beautiful blue Soto sculpture and I
swear, I gasped. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful, I had tears in my eyes.”
ID
Left to right: Photo by Vik Muniz; freijo wood and leather desk custom designed
by Michel Franck and Violeta Lekutanoy; die-cast aluminium lamp Tab T for
Flos by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby; Lotus desk chair by Jasper Morrison
for Cappellini; SpaceSmith’s Managing Principal Michel Franck and decorator
Violeta Lekutanoy.
id
limited
promotion

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Bathing with art: designs for your eyes only
Fair game: winning trends for global habitats
Surprising retail: the ultimate display case
Underground investments: tracking London’s real estate
Sub page.indd 82 4/26/10 4:31:09 PM
67 May 2010
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Contents:
68 Ecological design explosion
72 Antennae
74 Portfolio
80 Inch by inch
IDP Cover.indd 67 4/26/10 4:48:05 PM
68 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
Ecological design explosion
Marco Piva, the prolific Italian architect and industrial designer,
speaks to identity about his creative ethos, the growing need for
green design and his multitude of projects. TEXT: DOROTHY WALDMAN
Rawdhat Residential Towers – Abu Dhabi
69 May 2010
I NTERNATI ONAL | idProperty
70 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 70 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
“The aim is to do something, not because it is new, but to do something
that is better,” Marco Piva says. “It could be something more efficient, or
something with a high level of functionality.”
The internationally renowned Italian architect does not see the value of
designing a product merely for the sake of giving it a new shape or to follow
a trend. Rather, his philosophy is to design things that are simple, elegant and
not linked to a particular fashion. He designs for the long-term. “We have
discovered that certain products [we have designed] have been on the market
for years. But to do something like this, it takes a big effort, not only from the
design point of view, but also from the production point of view. You have to
deal with a company and sometimes push them beyond their limits of materials
or shapes or production methodology,” Piva says.
The result is that many companies approach him to design for them, making
his list of new projects a lengthy compendium of creative thinking. At the
recent Salone Milano, his first collaboration with Altreforme was launched at
an installation of his creation. The young design company, the brainchild of
Valentina Fontana, whose family designs and manufactures aluminium car bodies
for brands such as Ferrari and Jaguar, has expanded its award-winning collection,
with Piva’s designs of objects fabricated solely from aluminium.
“It is very new,” he says. “We are presenting a full family of objects for the
interior – libraries, shelves, tables, chairs, lamps. Everything is made of only
one material but with a specific kind of colouring and texture.” The purpose is
to give a new value to the aluminium that expresses the surface qualities of the
metal with a different range of colours that highlight its characteristics rather than
covering them.
Additionally, since only one material is used, each piece can be recycled
without affecting the environment, a passionate concern of the industrial
designer. “There has been a constant evolution of materials. Now there is
awareness that we cannot destroy the planet. Products should not be negative
to the community in terms of the cost and power needed to manufacture
them. You have to be aware of these limits. This is a different ethic in the
approach to design,” Piva says. “I don’t think we are going to lose anything in
quality of design, In fact, we can achieve more.”
One example of this is another of his projects. “We are using wood in a different
way. We are combining materials with a surprise inside,” the designer says. And the
surprise inside is a heating mechanism, making it possible to control temperatures
up to 40˚C – ideal for spas, floors or seating at sports venues. “Wood is a very
natural material so we are only using wood that can be regenerated – nothing
exotic. You can use materials that have been used for a 1,000 years, but in a
different way. This is a different approach to design,” Piva adds.
Another project that required the development of an innovative production
process is the Miss You chair he designed for Pedrali, which is made of moulded
bicolour polycarbonate. “It is the first time ever the contemporary combining of
two colours in just one material [has been used],” Piva says of the lightweight
Clockwise from left: Altreforme’s Arbat table; Marco Piva; Porto Dubai.
71 May 2010
I NTERNATI ONAL | idProperty
chair that appears like almost an apparition framed by a coloured ribbon.
He enjoys the challenge of working with light and expanding existing
technology, for instance, a new range for Vitrum introduced at the Milan Salone
is “glass made with a suspension of silver, which is aimed to kill bacteria”. “It is
absolutely cleanable and has an LED light behind so when you are nearby, it
lights up,” Piva says.
On the architectural side, he is deeply involved in preparing his native city for
the Milan World Exposition 2015. “Many things are happening in Milan. It is like
the Dubai of a couple of years ago. Milan has been working a lot with design,
and fashion, production and product design, but not so much in architecture.
But now the city is under construction everywhere,” Piva says. “That is
positive. There is a changing of attitude. We are open to the idea that different
approaches of architecture should be developed.
“The theme of the Exposition is Feeding the Planet, so the idea is to realise a
place where all the world can be fed. It sounds a long way from architecture,
but it is not. We are working close to the exhibition area on two projects,
including one of the most prestigious hotels in Europe, the Excelsior Galia, next
to the major railway station in Milan.” Piva adds. It is going to be one huge block.
We are designing it for the future – a combination of a traditional building [which
will be restored] and a new one with a contradiction of shapes and materials.”
And, of course, Piva is working on a new concept for the Milan 2015 project.
“It is going to be a glass made, light projection. It will have a huge spa on the top
of it. And in the evening it will present a roof that will be lit up like a collection
of diamonds on the top of the building,” he says. “In Milan we like the concept
of an aperitif, happy hour and a late dinner, so we thought of the concept of this
huge roof open on to the square to gather people.”
And if this were not enough to keep his creative juices flowing, he is also
finishing a reconversion project near Venice. “The region said: ‘We don’t
want any more shopping malls in the area’, so we transformed it to a mix-use
building. There is a residential part of it with fantastic terraces overlooking the
land of Treviso. There is a hotel, a little residential hotel. Then there will be a
shopping centre and a spa,” Piva says.
He is also designing a football stadium made of glass and, although he will not
divulge the club it is for, Piva will say that it will be, “friendly and family oriented,
not an ugly, violent place. It is a place you can go and spend time with your family.”
He is involved in numerous projects in the Gulf, including the two glass
Rawdhat Residential towers in Abu Dhabi, each consisting of two modern
volumes connected to each other as a solid mass, with vertical and horizontal
lines, designed to promote individuality and providing social and wellness areas.
Meanwhile, his island development of Porto Dubai is also progressing, as is a
major tower project for a Qatari owner.
With so much going on, we can only hope that Piva has the time to relax in
what he calls “a magical space related to water” – his new Moove collection of
bathroom furniture for Jacuzzi.
ID
Clockwise from left: Altreforme’s Libreria modular system;
Miss You chair; wooden radiator.
UP AND DOWN
It’s boom and bust all at once in China. The
world’s three fastest growing housing markets are
all in the Middle Kingdom, according to Knight
Frank. Prices leapt 52 per cent in Shanghai, 47 per
cent in Beijing and 40 per cent in Hong Kong in
2009, growth that was way ahead of everywhere
else. China’s economic boom is enabling millions
of Chinese to get a foot on the property ladder
and ongoing migration from the countryside to the
cities will ensure demand remains high for years
to come, commentators say. But, there is another
story – in late 2009 sales of repossessed homes
were growing faster in China than anywhere
else in the world, as victims of earlier speculative
bubbles had properties seized by mortgage
lenders. Hong Kong has had many bubbles
and is restricting lending to stop another
forming – worryingly, prices continue to rise.
In the East it is all boom, boom, boom, while in the West it is all doom, doom, doom. Or is it? Some things
are never that simple. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN
TANTALISING TURKEY
The centuries old rivalry between Greece and
Turkey has been given an extra tweak. While the
Greek economy contracts and the country has its
debt rating downgraded to BBB+, the lowest in
the EU, so Turkey’s economy expands and its debt
rating is raised to BB. That is still below Greece,
but the positive momentum means property
investors feel more confident about investing in
Turkey than in the economically troubled Greece,
estate agents say. Istanbul, Europe’s City of Culture
2010, is proving particularly attractive to investors
who believe the city’s ongoing problem with not
being able to build enough homes for its
ever-expanding population means property
prices will rise in the years ahead. Estate agency
Experience International says the easy availability
of mortgage finance to both Turks and foreigners,
low interest rates and a stable banking system
make Turkey attractive.
CARRY ON AS USUAL
It doesn’t matter about Britain’s general election
result. Labour, Conservative, hung Parliament, they
all add up to the same thing – business as usual in
the long term. The housing policies of the major
parties are not so far apart to cause major ructions
in the property market in the short term either, as
nobody wants to replace the concept of home-
ownership with state-controlled communes.
What’s important is how the economy is managed
over the course of the new parliament. Failure
to pay off a big chunk of the national debt may
lead to a collapse in sterling. If so, this opens up
opportunities for overseas-based buyers, because
British property prices will be much less expensive.
Equally, if the economy recovers and debts are
paid that will bolster the housing market, good
news for anyone buying into it early. So, either
way, the long term future looks bright for overseas
buyers of British homes.
72 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
idProperty | ANTENNAE
MALTESE MAGNET
From the Pope to punk-rave icons the Prodigy,
everyone seems to be heading to Malta these
days and second home buyers are arriving, too.
Maltese estate agents say Italians are coming
over to buy second homes and South Africans,
concerned about security in their home country,
want bolt-holes on the island. Malta uses the
euro and has been a much easier place for
Europeans to buy a home since it joined the
EU and now Britons, who became scarce
when sterling plummeted against the euro, are
trickling back. Website www.maltabuyproperty.
co.uk hopes British entrepreneurs will make the
island a permanent base to escape Britain’s new,
higher 50 per cent income tax rate that compares
unfavourably with Malta’s 15 per cent flat rate. The
Irish have yet to make a come back, however,
because economic troubles at home have sapped
their buying power abroad.
RETIREMENT HAVEN
The worst election violence in the country’s
history may have preceded this month’s elections
in The Philippines, but that has not put off
investors from buying into its holiday resorts,
including Continent Fairways on Borocay Island.
Demand for second homes in The Philippines
is also boosted by an influx of retirees. The
Philippine Retirement Authority is expanding its
marketing campaign to persuade more foreigners
to live out their days in the country where they
can enjoy “the good life at an affordable cost.”
Foreign retirees need a deposit of Dhs37,000 and
a monthly pension of Dhs3,000 per month, or a
Dhs184,000 deposit, to qualify for the scheme.
You do not even need to be “old”, as it is open to
anyone aged 35 years and above. The retirement
programme has been running for 25 years, so it
ought to survive this month’s election result.
HOUSE SWAP
The news from Spain is still pain. It has more repossessed homes for sale than anywhere else in Europe. To
put this into its gloomy context, by the end of 2009 Spanish house prices were back down to 2004 levels,
the Global Property Guide reports, and they fell another 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2010. However,
not everyone has lost faith in the potent combination of sun, sand and sangria. US-based Registry Collection,
an exchange programme that allows members to use each other’s holiday homes, has linked up with a
leisure community near Cadiz, the Arcos Gardens Golf Club and Country Estates, where Novaterra Resorts
is building 535 homes. Here, fractional home owners will be allowed to swap time spent at this resort for
time at the Registry Collection’s 175 schemes around the world. Prices start at Dhs989,000 for a one-eighth
fractional share of a four-bedroom villa at Arcos Gardens.
CAMBODIAN ‘RIVIERA’
Cambodia wants to create Asia’s “first
environmentally friendly resort island.” Scott
Wilson, a consultancy firm, is carrying out an
environmental impact survey on the island of Koh
Rong and will develop infrastructure to support
tourism development, including an airport and
marina. Two golf courses are also planned.
Developer The Royal Group is calling the 80
square kilometre island, which is a boat ride away
from the mainland coastal town of Sihanoukville,
the “next Asian Riviera.” If and when Cambodia
relaxes laws on foreign property ownership this
island may become popular with overseas holiday
home buyers, because it will only be a three-hour
flight from Singapore and Hong Kong. For now,
foreigners can only buy land or leasehold property,
but a slump in Cambodia’s property market in the
last couple of years may persuade the government
to open its doors wider to overseas buyers.
BITTER SWEET
Already half of homes sold in the United States
are repossessions and this proportion looks likely
to rise. The London-based Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says the US would
have had the fastest rate of increase in distressed
property sales in the world in the first three
months of 2010. Specialist property funds are
hoovering many of them up in the expectation of
selling them for a profit later but they may need to
be patient. Rising repossession rates will contribute
to US house prices falling five per cent in 2010,
consultancy Capital Economics says. However,
there is some relief from the misery, The Wealth
Report, published by Citi and Knight Frank, says
New York has overtaken London to become the
world’s most successful city based on economic
activity, political power and the role of its media
and educational institutions. That must be good
news for the Big Apple’s housing market.
73 May 2010
74 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
Open door policy
With new hotels on the horizon and new home completions set
to come onto the market, the Middle East continues to attract
investment in the real estate and property sectors. TEXT: LYNN DAVIS
AWARD WINNERS
Top honours have been awarded to outstanding projects at the
Cityscape Awards for Real Estate in the MENA region. The Yas
Hotel in Abu Dhabi, which is wrapped in a cloak of colour-changing
LED lights above the F1 race track, captured the prize for the Best
Commercial, Office, Retail Built Development. Burj Khalifa and
Downtown Dubai by Emaar Properties won the Best Mixed Use
Development.
CONVENE IN AL AIN
A natural, sustainable environment with open spaces connected
by walkways, car-free areas and a waterway are key elements in
the design of the Al Ain Convention Centre District, a Dhs3.5
billion project by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.
Construction has commenced on phase one of the project, which
will ultimately include the convention centre, a cultural centre, hotels,
commercial and residential buildings and multi-storey car parks, and
was designed by architects Shankland Cox.
PREMIER EVENT
Ground has been broken at ADNEC’s Capital Centre for Abu
Dhabi’s first Premier Inn, a 242-room, Dhs120 million, value hotel,
marking the company’s fourth hotel in the region. Darroch Crawford,
Top to bottom: Al Ain Convention Centre; HH Sheikh Mohammed bin
Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme
Commander of the UAE armed forces at Cityscape Abu Dhabi.
75 May 2010
PORTFOLI O | idProperty
that will include an athlete’s village, restaurants and retail facilities, as well as a
400-berth marina.
PERMANENT VACATION
The Emirates Vacation Club is now affiliated with the Interval Leisure Group,
a worldwide provider of vacation services. The club’s first phase consists of 32
luxury units in the 48-storey Emirates Grand Hotel. The hotel’s Suites Tower
features a rotating glass entrance and hand crafted wooden wall panels in the
lobby. “Our vision is to provide an outstanding level of luxury at affordable
prices that appeal to consumers from around the world. Our initial primary
markets include the Middle East, Europe, and Asia,” said Ashraf El Zarqa, Chief
Operating Officer for Emirates Grand.
MOVIE NIGHT
A 105 square metre outdoor screen, composed of 176 individual monitors and
framed by a steel structure the size of a tennis court, is now ready to broadcast
managing director of Premier Inn Middle East, said: “Capital Centre’s excellent
infrastructure and proximity to Abu Dhabi’s superb new events facility makes it
an ideal location for Premier Inn.”
STERLING WORK
The Cristal Hotel in Abu Dhabi is now part of the Preferred Hotel Group and
is the first hotel in the Middle East to become a member of Sterling Hotels’
Sterling Design group. This is a collection of fashionable boutique hotels
around the world that focus on modern and contemporary style, distinctive
architecture, bold interiors and state-of-the-art technology.
BEACH BALL
Millennium Hotels and Resorts will operate its first hotel in Oman, a four-
star, 250-room facility being constructed in Musannah, near Muscat, the site
of the 2010 Asian Beach Games. The hotel, which will be complete in time
for the Games in December, will be part of a one million square metre site
Clockwise from above: Cedre Villas; Eco House; Yas Hotel.
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76 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
idProperty | PORTFOLIO
movies, major sporting events and other features in The Galleries, the flagship
project of Limitless in Dubai. Overlooking a 300-seat, open-air amphitheatre,
the huge screen is part of the social centre development of the Plaza, which
also features 200 trees, fountains, pools and shaded seating areas.
ECO FRIENDLY
Enviromena Power Systems has won the Sustainable Development of the
Environment Award at the Takreem Arab Achivement Awards held in Beirut.
The only UAE company to be selected for an award at the event designs,
installs and operates solar power plants, including the Masdar 10 MWSolar
Plant, the largest ever constructed in the MENA region. In the past year, it has
also received Engineer of the Year at the Construction Week MEP Awards, as
well as Power Plant Operator of the Year and Energy Efficiency Awards at the
Middle East Power and Water Awards.
LOW IMPACT
Dubai-based facilities management company Farnek Avireal, part of the Khalifa
Juma Al Nabooda Group, has partnered with the Swiss company myclimate
to help private sector companies reduce their environmental impact. “This
initiative complements the Ecological Footprint Programme of the United Arab
Emirates, the aim of which is to develop environmentally friendly policies,
reduce the UAE’s carbon footprint and move towards a sustainable future,” said
Marcus Oberlin, general manager of Farnek Avireal Middle East, which has an
exclusive five-year licensing agreement to utilise the Green Globe Certification
covering tourism properties within 20 different countries throughout the Middle
East. Two UAE-based hotels, The Palace The Old Town in Dubai and Miramar
Resort in Fujairah, have become the first hotels in the country to sign-up for the
internationally recognised sustainability certification.
HILL START
Using 95 per cent of the materials salvaged from the house it was built to
replace, and locally sourcing additional needs, the Hill End Ecohouse near
Brisbane, Australia, was designed by Riddel Architecture. “We were dedicated
to creating the greenest home possible without compromising style,” said
Robert Riddel of the three-storey contemporary home that is fully self-sufficient
in both water and power. With a six-star energy efficiency rating, the house has
a north-facing roof with 3kW photovoltaic panels, which generate 15kWh/day,
ample energy for household requirements and rainwater storage that supplies
the house and garden. Other green design features include awnings to provide
protection from the sun in the summer and concrete floors to capture heat in
the winter, vegetated trellis made from recycled timber and open living areas.
Emirates vacation club.
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idProperty | PORTFOLIO
There is also a monitoring system to measure energy, gas and water usage as
well as temperature and humidity.
PROPERTY PRICES
At Cityscape Abu Dhabi, a panel of industry executives concluded that the real
estate market is stabilising, identifying the rental sector as having the greatest
investment potential. Coinciding with this was the announcement by Abu Dhabi
Finance of a special mortgage promotion with interest rates from 5.75 per
cent with additional incentives, just in time to entice purchases at this major
properties exhibition.
Cedre Villas, a part of the comprehensive mixed-use, 7.2 square metre
Dubai Silicon Oasis project, offers more than 1,000 luxury villas, executive villas,
twin villas and townhouses in three distinct architectural modes – modern,
traditional and Arabic. The Dhs1.55 billion project was showcased at the Abu
Dhabi Cityscape.
Also highlighted at Cityscape was Reem Island’s Marina Square by master
developer Tamouh who will commence delivering homes in May. Marina
Square encompasses 66 acres with a built-up area of more than 827,000
square metre and will house more than 8,500 residents and provide 6,550
parking bays.
Rents in Abu Dhabi have fallen at least five per cent during the first three
months of 2010 and are expected to continue this downward movement as
more properties come onto the market, according the Asteco, the largest
property services company in the UAE. Similarly, villa rents have also declined,
especially at the higher end. An estimated 20,000 new homes are expected to
be added to the housing supply by the end of this year, many specifically aimed
at the rental market.
In Dubai, villa rental rates have remained stable while apartment rates also
decreased by five per cent, also largely due to the increased supply. However,
some areas such as Downtown Dubai saw increases averaging two per cent.
HOT SPOT
Shorooq Mirdif has been ranked as one of the hippest places to let in Dubai.
The 2,000 family-focused residential units offer green spaces to encourage
community life in a serene and secure environment as well as a variety of flats
and villas.
MORE TO COME
UK-based architectural company RMJM, whose recent projects include Capital
Gate Towers, Marina Heights, the Jewels, the Dubai International Convention
Centre and the Gate Precinct of the DIFC, has appointed Nick Haston as CEO
for the Middle East and Turkey. Based in Abu Dhabi, he will oversee offices in
the UAE, Bahrain and Turkey as well as projects in Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Saudi
Arabia and Oman. The architectural and engineering firm first came to the UAE
38 years ago and has played a significant part in the development of the area.
ID
The Palace Hotel/The Old Town, Dubai.
365 days of ideas and passion
Feria Hábitat Valencia / Spain
Trade Fair for Interiors: furniture / decor / home textiles / lighting
the contract sector / nude (young talent) / kitchen R, D & i workshops
lagranja
design
l
80 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
Staffan Tollard designed interior of a house in England.
Inch by inch
Europe’s first interior design college, the Inchbald
School of Design, celebrates its 50
th
anniversary
this academic year. It continues to grow, mirroring
the profession it teaches. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN
81 May 2010
I NTERNATI ONAL | idProperty
One of Britain’s most august institutions, the Cavalry and Guards Club,
celebrates its 200
th
anniversary this year. As a home from home for members
of the country’s elite army regiments, it is the part of the establishment most
able to defend itself in a dark alley. A legacy from the days of debs in ball-gowns
and hussars wearing off-the-shoulder braided jackets, the club holds huge
aspirational appeal for the traditionally-minded and has quarters to match.
Situated towards the Hyde Park Corner end of Piccadilly, it occupies a city
mansion built in 1875, the former home of a 19
th
century Conservative Party
grandee, Sir John Puleston, who was something of an institution himself. His
inventory of patrician responsibilities included Constable of Caernarfon Castle
and Her Majesty’s Lieutenant of the City of London.
Cavalry officers have gathered in the Palladian splendour of number
127 Piccadilly since 1890. Numbers 125 and 126 were added later, the
combined address providing some of London clubland’s most sumptuous
surroundings. Therefore it is fitting that another, younger, London institution
celebrated its 50
th
anniversary by holding a reception at the club earlier this
year, surrounded by its richly upholstered soft furnishings and oil paintings of
the great and the good fighting, because, like the club, the Inchbald School
of Design is dedicated to the appreciation of
magnificent decoration.
Some commentators say Inchbald is
Britain’s top, private interior design college,
others consider it the best in Europe.
The school has launched the careers of
many successful designers, such as Nina
Campbell, Staffan Tollard and Helen Green,
while graduates from its garden design course
include Marcus Barnett and Philip Nixon.
Twenty staff teach 85 students at the school’s
two Belgravia addresses, a big step up from
its humble beginnings. Fifty years ago, the first
classes were held in a couple of converted rooms in the home of the school’s
founder and principal, Jacqueline Duncan, and her then-husband, interior
designer Michael Inchbald.
Inchbald was the first interior design college to be opened outside of
the United States, so it’s 50
th
anniversary is significant for the profession
internationally. When Duncan began sharing her knowledge with others she
helped lay foundations for interior design’s professional development in Britain.
In the 1950s, ongoing wartime austerity meant interior designers were a
rarity, but now London is one of the world’s top design centres. Sixty-two
British colleges teach interior design and 1,000 businesses make money from
doing it, generating a large share of the Dhs24.6 million earned by the country’s
design sector each year.
Alongside quantity has come quality, because interior design has become
increasingly sophisticated over the decades. “It’s not all about rugs and tassels,”
says Alan Hughes, vice principal at Inchbald.
These days an interior designer needs to be part psychologist, plumber,
electrician, architect and lighting designer, and the training at the school reflects
this. “The courses are aimed at educating potential designers to a professional
standard, so all the practical information you would expect is in the syllabus
– lighting, plumbing, built in fitments and so on,” Hughes says. “Students
need to learn about space before they think about what to put in it
– so structural and spatial issues come top of the list.”
So, if a student wants to put a bath in the centre of a
client’s bathroom they must learn how to design the
plumbing layout for it, Hughes says. Students are taught
to think systematically.
“It’s a threefold method: Survey, Analysis, Design,”
he says. “It is about making decisions and processing
ideas, not snatching at ideas or ‘things’, to solve a much
deeper design problem. We look at why we, as human
beings, all respond to certain spatial requirements, and
Clockwise from far left: Staffan Tollard, designer and Inchbald alumni;
Nina Campbell, designer and Inchbald alumni; Campbell’s Mabel chair.
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idProperty | INTERNATIONAL
Clockwise from above: Jacqueline Duncan, founder and principal, Inchbald
School of Design; exterior of school; students working.
yet differ in terms of atmospheres and taste. It is a very wide brief and more
complex than prospective students sometimes realise.”
Inchbald teaches a mixture of full-time and part-time diplomas, certificates,
masters degrees and short courses, including five online options for distance
learners. The college continues to expand, it wants to run more online
courses and have them validated as post graduate and masters qualifications. Its
conventionally taught courses are validated by the University of Wales.
The college accepts students with no design background for its MA in
Architectural Interior Design, a challenge Hughes relishes. These students
include former bankers, doctors, lawyers and business people who want to
explore their creative side.
“Nobody assumes they are going to be in the same role for all their lives any
more,” he says. “Students include high achieving people who may have taken
a fairly academic degree, worked for 10 years or so in a profession and then
decided to pull out. Successful people travel a lot, see a lot of creative uses of
spaces and are stimulated by that.
“Some students find their former professional experiences help them as
designers, even though it may not appear obvious how at first. A business
person’s understanding of how people’s minds work may help them analyse
what a client wants and needs,” Hughes says.
“People tempted to try their hand at interior design need determination,
analytical skills and a good grasp of what works visually,” he adds. The world
economy has taken a battering in the past couple of years and many of us
would assume, rightly, that apparently foppish pursuits like interior design were
among the first to be given the boot by budget holders. However, the good
times may be returning.
“It is a challenging time but there are jobs out there,” Hughes says. “I think
the tide has turned, but certainly big speculative architectural projects are few
and far between. Residential is more ‘sure’ than commercial, but talking to
professionals, they all seem up-beat.”
He also says the college can be useful for networking. “The school can
introduce graduates to the movers and shakers in the interior and garden design
worlds, and, depending on the final portfolio, students usually move into the
profession in junior roles, some senior,” Hughes says.
As a profession, interior designers are directly affected by many of the
changes taking place in the world, especially the dwindling availability of space in
cities, environmental concerns and technological advances.
New homes are becoming smaller, so designers must work within that
constraint, Hughes says. More positively, they ought to design around the needs
of the individual, moving away from offering ‘off-the peg designs.
Developments in the types of light fittings available and the different
ambiances they create provide exciting opportunities, he says. New lightweight
building materials that help sound-proof a property, making redundant
monumental structures, are another big technological advance. The trend
towards creating energy efficient spaces built and furnished with sustainable
materials will continue to grow, Hughes adds.
Competition between interior designers and the colleges that teach them
is likely to remain intense, so it seems only fair to mention a few of Inchbald’s
rivals. London-based designer Katharine Pooley recommends Chelsea College
of Art and Design as a good place to learn the trade. Other London colleges
that receive positive mentions are Central St Martins, which will soon relocate
from Covent Garden to Kings Cross, and KLC, located at Chelsea Harbour.
The Royal College of Art, The Bartlett School of Architecture and London
Metropolitan University are also well regarded. Outside of the capital, designer
Carolyn Trevor recommends Nottingham University, and, in the United States,
New York’s Parsons College.
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84 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
On the bright side
From floor to ceiling, inside and out, new
designs and products continue to colour
our lives with vibrant hues. TEXT: ANNA HANSEN
CLEAN CREATIVITY
Exercise your inner artiste with new
bathroom collections at Bagno. In addition to
singing in the shower, you can create a work
of art with Sculpture by VADA, a showerhead
comprised of six flexible tentacles that can
be sculpted into any shape or position for a
fresh look at clean. Or experiment with the
Apaiser range of stone composite bathware
that injects innovative colours and luxurious
textures into the bathroom.
85 May 2010
FORUM
BALANCED MEALS
Seemingly defying the laws of physics, the Legless Table by Driscoll Peter
Devins for Devins Design asymmetrically floats in the air, balanced
perfectly as a free standing functional art piece with a remote control to
adjust the length of the table. Each bespoke table is made to order in
northern Italy with customised shape, size, engraving and materials such
as marble, glass, wood and stainless steel.
WHIP CREAM
Each season Alessi brings innovative surprises, and its spring collection, Essentiel
de patisserie – essentials for the pastry chef – follows this pattern. The range
includes a semi-spherical stainless steel mixing bowl with a dual-function whisk
and a spatula, which fuses a plastic spoon with a silicone blade, and a concentric
ring cake plate to serve the finished masterpiece on. Created by French designer
Matali Crasset and Parisian pastry chef Pierre Hermé, these essentials are
functionally simple and cheerfully funky in a rainbow of earth tones.
FLOATING FASHION
The first of three mega yachts to be designed by Elie Saab in collaboration with Weyves
Couture and Oceanco, the 117-metre ES117 is a reflection of the Lebanese fashion
designer’s attention to detail and sense of elegance in the form of a yacht. By introducing
high interior ceilings to the yacht industry, Saab has created a feeling of space and
refinement. Introduced at the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show, the yacht has two private owner’s
suites with 10 guest suites, a swimming pool, theatre, spa, gym, an assortment of water
toys signed by Saab and a submarine.
86 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
COLOURFUL COOKING
From red to aubergine to royal blue, La Cornue is known
for its expansive selection of hot colour choices. Fanning the
flames of the individually handmade cookers is a new colour
of enamel, aquamarine, to bring a fresh look to the Château
120 Centenaire series, available at Carpe Diem.
IN BLOOM
Grow an indoor garden of vibrant blossoms
from the original paintings by Jaci Hogan now
that they appear on a wide range of homeware
accessories including aprons, tablemats, planters
and canvas bags. They are now available at Mark
Wilkinson, which specialises in furniture for the
kitchen and bedroom.
ECO-CLEAN
The simple black and white packaging of the environmentally-friendly
specialty fabric care collection The Laundress emphasises the utilitarian
function of the product in a sophisticated way, consistent with the
quality of the clothing and home linens it was formulated to clean.
87 May 2010
FORUM
WORKOUT ON THE NET
The Technogym Run Personal, designed by Antonio Citterio, has
eliminated one of the last excuses for avoiding exercise by becoming the
first internet treadmill. Integrated VISIOweb technology and the 19-inch
display screen make it possible to workout with a friend on the other
side of the world, blog and Twitter while improving your cardio. Other
exclusive functions include iPod/iPhone connection, an online personal
trainer and plug-in capabilities.
WATER CONCEPT
The One Fifty catamaran by Sunreef, the largest of its kind in the
world, sails into the future with a unique minimal design concept that
provides a full-beam deckhouse which spans the entire width of the
vessel, creating a volume of flexible space roomy enough to provide
cabins for 12 guests. A sloping deck leading to the cockpit from the aft
creates a sleek look while giving the illusion of speed. Interior light is
provided through glass ceiling panels during the day and stored solar
energy at night. And for an escape from the rigours of life on the sea,
there is a small indoor garden for meditation and relaxation.
TIMELY DESIGN
Seven unique watch collections designed by five luminaries including Hu by
Ross Lovegrove, Trapezoid and Twelve by Naoto Fukasawa and Vakko by Harri
Koskinen for Issey Miyake, are now available in the UAE through Ahmed
Seddiqi & Sons. Each designer created a range of unique timepieces that
presents an innovative and contemporary approach to a traditional function,
produced by Seiko Instruments.
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FORUM
Design agenda
GulfBID; Bahrain, May 4-6
Madrid International Furniture Exhibition; Madrid, May 4-8
Domotex Middle East; Dubai, May 10-12
International Contemporary Furniture Fair; New York, May 15-18
The Hotel Show; Dubai, May 18-20
Ambiente Italia; Rome, May 22-24
Saudi Luminex 2010; Riyadh, May 24-27
Cityscape Saudi Arabia; Jeddah, June 7-9
American Institute of Architects; Miami, June 10-12
Expo World Middle East; Abu Dhabi, June 14-16
Neocon World Trade Fair 2010; Chicago, June 14-16
THIN ITALIANS
Twelve, designed by Carlo Colombo for Varenna-Poliform, and available
in Dubai through Obegi was among the new kitchens launched
by 155 exhibitors at the 18
th
edition of Eurocucina, the biannual
kitchen exhibition at the Milan Saloni. The contemporary kitchen is
distinguished by a 12 millimetre thick work surface and the absence
of handles, functioning instead with an intelligent electronic sensory
opening system. A variety of finishes including glossy lacquers and new
wood materials such as Spessart Oak, allows for the interpretation
of different stylistic values and offers an almost infinite number of
customisation options.
SIGN OFF
Based on the graphic patterns of television test cards that appeared
before and after early television transmissions, maverick British designer
Tom Dixon has created a four-piece collection of hand knotted Tibetan
wool rugs. Each of the rugs – Beam, Tube, Step and Tile – incorporates
the repetition of a geometrical shape – a circle, triangle, square or
diamond – and transforms it by the use of colour and natural wool.
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ANTENNAE
7
6
5
4
8
1
3
2
1. ALGIERS
MODERNIST MARVEL
The new British Embassy building, designed
by John McAslan + Partners, is the first major
example of modernist architecture in Algiers
since Corbusier completed an apartment
block in the 1940s. Sustainable design features
range from the building’s orientation to reduce
excessive solar gain, to the use of highly
efficient lighting systems. The exposed concrete
structure provides thermalmass to reduce
peak-period cooling demands and higher than
usual floor-to-ceiling heights allows hot air to
stratify, which meant a low-energy under-floor
air conditioning system could be used. A green
roof covers the building’s ground floor extension
and roof-mounted solar panels reduce energy
requirements for the heating of water.
2. JORDAN
PETRAFIED
Zaha Hadid’s design for the King Abdullah II
House of Culture & Art was inspired by the
ancient city of Petra. The principle of fluid
erosion and carving has been applied to the
mass of the building which will feature a
1,600-seat concert theatre, a 400-seat theatre,
educational centre, artists’ cafe and galleries.
The interior public foyer space is a continuous,
multi-level space that cuts through the building,
and connects the north and south side of the
valley. The eroded interior surface extends deep
into the public plaza as a welcoming gesture,
drawing the public into the building.
3. BEIJING
CENTRE OF ATTENTION
Henn Architekten has designed a new
research and data centre for Taikang Life, one
of Chinaís largest private sector insurance
companies. An extension is already planned
at a later stage of construction to include the
corporate headquarters. The new complex
will then complete the northern end of the
Zhongguancun Research and Development
Park. The four-storey buildings are arranged
in a line and feature more than 70,000 square
metres of floor space. The linear arrangement
provides the setting for a series of five courtyards
in which Chinese gardens depict the company’s
history and express its values. The courtyard
at the centre is simul taneously the central
entrance area.
Extraordinary plans for the world’s biggest indoor garden in Riyadh, an iconic five-star hotel featuring five
arms radiating out from a central core in the Indian town of Karnala and the transformation of a major rail
station in England catch the eye. TEXT: STEVE HILL
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91 May 2010
5. RIYADH
SEED PLANTED
British planning and urban design consultancy
Barton Willmore has completed its design for
the King Abdullah Botanical Gardens, which
will be set on a 160-hectare site in the central
region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The focal
point of the vast scheme will be a 10-hectare
building accommodating the world’s largest
indoor garden, where visitors will be able to
walk among trees, plants and flowers. It is hoped
that the botanical gardens will rivals those at
Kew and Singapore and become a world-leading
focus of mankind’s understanding of the process,
consequence and study of climate change,
capturing and displaying extraordinary ecotopes
from history and from the present day.
4. BIRMINGHAM
GOING FIRST CLASS
Birmingham’s New Street railway station is to be transformed into a modern focal point for England’s
second city, doubling passenger capacity. Foreign Office Architects’ design is dominated by a stainless
steel facade which will conceal the future plant areas on the roof and wrap around the existing car park.
To highlight the four main access points, large eye-shaped media screens, which will broadcast railway
information or news and commercials, have been integrated into the façade. The station’s concourse will
be three-and-a-half times bigger than at present and will be enclosed by a giant light-filled atrium. Work
is due to begin later this year.
7. KARNALA
PANORAMIC VIEWS
Mumbai firm Planet 3 Studios Architecture
has won an invited competition to design the
new Panoramic Hotel at nearby Karnala. Local
building codes restricted the structure to ground
plus one floor, inspiring a thoughtful solution
to the client’s desire for an iconic property.
Radiating from a central core with restaurants,
spa, health club, café, a large pool and suites
on the upper level, five arms extend into the
landscape with out-facing rooms on two floors.
Balconies connected with each room have
privacy and a unique view of the outdoors while
the building skin is engineered in horizontal
louvers to moderate the harsh tropical sun.
6. SAN JOSE
TAKING OFF
Gensler has designed the new central terminal,
concourse, parking for 14,000 vehicles and a
two-level roadway access system for Norman Y
Mineta San Jose International Airport. The design
team approached the project from two seemingly
disparate design influences. The first was
investigating the nature of information technology,
which is the fuel in the economic engine of San
Jose’s fabled computer-centric Silicon Valley.
The second influence was traditional Latin
marketplaces and their handling of light,
earth-born materials and light-filtering canopies.
With those influences and an innovative public
outreach programme, the concourse was
designed as a spacious, sunlit space where
passengers can relax and be entertained.
8. BRATISLAVA
PARK LIFE
The Kempinski Hotel River Park, on the banks of
the Danube in Bratislava, forms part of a major
inner-city redevelopment project by Dutch
architect Erick van Egeraat. The eight-floor
Kempinski Hotel features 263 guest rooms, a
restaurant and bar facilities, meeting rooms and
a wellness centre, pool, sport area, relaxation,
beauty and treatment zones, while River Park
will offer 25,000 square metres of class-A office
space, more than 200 luxury apartments and
top-segment retailing. Egeraat also designed the
River House residential building which hovers
over the water, offering spectacular views of the
Danube and creating a unique landmark for this
new city centre.
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COMPETITION
Visit motivatepublishing.com/competitions to answer the question below, enter the competition and see full details.
The Geneva Sound System proves that good things come in small
packages. The compact Model S iPod dock, radio and alarm clock
designed in Switzerland gives symphony hall sound quality from its two
15 watt speakers. From Dubai Audio Center, who has been bringing
entertainment technology and personalised service to the area for almost
20 years, the slick box can be perched on a matt metal base, or placed
flat on a shelf – making a sound and visual statement either way for two
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identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 94
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95 May 2010
id inspirations 2010 may.indd 95 4/27/10 5:16:20 PM
96 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
BOOKS
THE SOURCE
MICHAEL FREEMAN
EIGHTBOOKS
DHS163
Each of the 800 plus photographs
featured in this book show a space
that has been specifically designed to
suit the owner and layout, resulting
in a wide variety of solutions for
the different functions of the home.
Doorways, staircases, corridors and
floors connect – as illustrated by the
Pete Oetken-designed staircase on
the cover – and while walls, screens,
doors, handles, windows and ceilings
divide, they can also open up spaces
both physically and visually. For
example, Jun Tamaki, a Kyoto-based
architect, uses white curtains
to reconfigure the space of an
open-plan home. The dichotomy
between open spaces and areas for
specific activities is the focus of the
Space section, which involves living
and dining rooms, quiet spaces,
balconies, lighting, play and study
rooms and outside areas. Utility spaces
– kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms
and storage – offer beautiful examples
of how the necessities of life can be
approached in imaginative ways, like
Phytolab by French designer Matall
Crasset, which incorporates 100
plants in a bathroom.
FACTORY DESIGN
CHRIS VAN UFFELEN
BRAUN
DHS293
Factories are purely functional
structures, designed to house defined
production processes. The design
of such a pragmatic space, often
done on a limited budget, presents
a challenge to architects. These 70
buildings, all beautifully photographed,
transcend the pragmatic box and
illustrate how even a factory can be
aesthetically pleasing. Featured on
the cover, the Inapal Metal Industrial
Unit in Portugal, which produces
automobile components, was
designed by Guedes DeCampos and
utilises trapezoidal metal cladding
and honey-combed metal sheets,
integrating design with function. The
semi-circular McLaren Technology
Centre in the UK by Foster +
Partners overlooks a lake, which
is integral to the cooling system,
while the Golvis Zero Emissions
Factory, designed by Banz + Riecks,
specialises in eco-technologies in
Germany and has a gross energy
demand of zero. Khanna Schultz
designed warehouses in India that
maximise interior spaces and light by
utilising precast materials, exterior
textures and numerous windows.
FUMIHIKO MAKI
FUMIHIKO MAKI
PHAIDON
DHS390
The 1993 Pritzker Prize-winning
architect writes about 40 of his
key projects and the evolution of
his design philosophies, and this
runs alongside the essays of three
prominent architectural historians
about the work of one of the founding
members of the Metaboliste. Known
for his subtle, but technologically
innovative buildings, his works
include acoustic design, as in the
still-contemporary Kirishima
International Concert Hall (Japan,
1994), Kaze-No-Oka Crematorium,
which takes advantage of natural
light and the surrounding park
(Japan, 1997), Hillside Terrance, a
multi-phase residential development
that evolved over time (Japan, 1969-
1998), the Republic Polytechnic
Campus (Singapore, 2007) and
the new Novartis Office Building
(Switzerland, 2009). He has also
been commissioned to design the
UN Consolidation Building, which is
a slender white, eco-friendly tower
that complements the UN building
in New York. He is also designing
Tower 4 of the World Trade Center
redevelopment in New York.
SIMPLE HOME
MARK & SALLY BAILEY
RYLAND PETERS & SMALL
DHS130
A calm, comfortable home is simple,
uncluttered and inspired by nature,
according to the design ethos of
these authors. This does not have
to mean minimalist, but rather that
each item should be well-made,
well-chosen and appreciated even
for the imperfections that come with
age and use. Carefully select and
display collections, mixing textures
and materials to provide interest;
deliberately mismatching to provide
individuality and a more relaxed
elegance. Wood and stone are
hard-wearing, rough, tough materials
which are capable of standing the
test of time, giving them texture and
a beauty and patina to be enjoyed,
rather than covered up with paint and
plaster. Colours should be inspired
by nature, rather than trendy colour
charts, which along with clean lines
and light-filled spaces create a relaxed
atmosphere. The photographs of
Debi Treloar illustrate the ultimate goal
of creating living spaces as a serene
and tranquil domestic landscape
where you can escape from the more
stressful events of the day.
ID

BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM MAJOR UAE BOOKSTORES
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Inspiration is the theme running through this month’s reading selection with a retrospective of one of the
greatest architects of our time, books to inspire the creation of personalised living spaces, and a look at
aesthetic, functional and industrial spaces.
“COMI NG HOME”
HANDWOVEN OUTDOOR FURNI TURE CREATED WI TH WEATHER-RESI STANT DEDON FI BER
Nakkash Gallery · Al Garhoud Street · P.O. Box 26767 · Dubai-UAE
Tel: 00971 4 2826767 · nakkashg@emirates.net.ae · www.nakkashgallery.com
Visit us at the Hotel Show on May 18-20, 2010 at the Resort Experience
Hall 7 Stand A 301, Dubai World Trade Exhibition Center.
www.dedon.de/treehouse

Hans Wegner designed more than 500 chairs in a lifetime of work, but
arguably his most famous and influential creation is the Wishbone or Y Chair,
which is also still known by its original designation of CH 24.
Wenger, the son of a shoe maker from southern Denmark, trained as a
cabinet maker before becoming an architect. That background, combined
with his interest in furniture from China, was to change design history.
His Wishbone, inspired by 19
th
century portraits of Danish traders
sitting in chairs from the Ming and Qing dynasties, is named after the
forked uprights that support the curved back. It is viewed as modern yet
respectfully traditional, while simultaneously being luxurious but also spartan.
Wegner, who also created the Round Chair famously used in the
Kennedy-Nixon presidential debate, was credited with “sanding
modernism’s sharp edge and giving aesthetes a comfortable seat” but to
98 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
I CON
98 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
TEXT: STEVE HILL
the many thousands of people who own an original Wishbone, he simply
designed a chair that is equally at home in the kitchen, the dining room or
even in the bedroom with a jacket draped from the oxbow top rail.
It went on sale in 1950 and has been in production by Carl Hansen &
Son ever since. As well as being a huge commercial success, it has also
been snapped up by curators and features in the collections of major
design museums around the world.
Wegner, along with fellow designers Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjaerholm and
Finn Juhl, put Denmark at the very epicentre of furniture design after the
Second World War.
And interest in the Wishbone, originally made from Danish hard woods
such as oak, ash and beech, shows no signs of abating with the release of
12 new colours to mark its 60
th
anniversary.
ID

Wishbone chair
Obegi Home
Umm Al Shei f Road at Jumei r ah Beach Road
Umm Suquai m 1st | Dubai
t el : +971 ( 4) - 394- 8161
Obegi Bet t er Home
Jal El Di b | Bei r ut
t el : +961- 4- 711- 623
www. obegi home. com

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