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The Middle East’s interiors, design & property magazine

identity ISSUE eightythree

Year seven
august 2010

dhs 15
Jack of all trades: master of design
Walk the plank: rustic woods and wools
Out with the old: in with the new
Dubai’s original: LW’s smorgasbord Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority
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Cover: Uzbekistan’s Palace

of International Forums.
Photography: Zooey Braun/
Andreas J. Focke.



18 28 52


18 Outside the box 52 The sound of silence

The fresh new design trends for living out-of-doors are Light artist Bruce Munro and a fleet of volunteers planted a sea
bursting with innovative shapes, high-tech materials and of CDs to create a gigantic interactive art installation that reflects
original reinventions. the ebb and flow of colours and light.

22 Powered up 82 Pioneering spirit

Dance your mobile to power, withstand the fiercest blow in Lars Waldenstrom began revolutionising design in Dubai ten years
a straw house and drink organic coffee from a carbon neutral ago by introducing the sleek, clean lines of Swedish mimimalism to
cup to live green and help preserve the planet. numerous restaurants and hotels in the Arabian Gulf.

28 Master minds
An expansive vision provides German architects Ippolito Fleitz
Group with the ability to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach
to finish projects in record time.

August 2010 13



Obaid Humaid Al Tayer
Ian Fairservice
Gina Johnson |

Catherine Belbin |

Dorothy Waldman |


Iain Smith |
Stand out with the latest trends in flooring. Make a
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT statement with the technological innovations that
Belinda Igaya |
create the foundation for your space. Experiment
ART DIRECTOR with new colours, forms, patterns, shapes and
Karen Evans |
materials for the ultimate underfoot experience.
S Sasidharan |
C Sudhakar |


Anthony Milne |
Seema Kausar |
Shweta Praful |
Atiya Naseer |


Joe Marritt |
Darryl Wiley |


Ashlee Beard | Steve Hill |Ruby Rogers | Richard Warren

59 id Property
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Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai All prices quoted in identity are correct at the time of going to press.

August 2010 15

Restructuring success
This summer there has been much focus on rescheduling, redesigning
and restructuring finances in a bid to ensure the last quarter of the year is a
dynamic and creative one for the sector. With the boom days and crazy shaped
buildings a thing of the past, architects, designers, contractors and bankers are
concentrating on creating a master plan for sustainable, long-term development.
As such, many firms have undergone radical structural changes to make them
financially viable.
There are many who see this current challenge as a positive one and
are investing in heightening their presence with a more aggressive approach
to marketing.
Nicolò Rubelli, of the Venetian Rubelli dynasty, was in town recently to plan
a design event for the last quarter of this year, primarily to promote the new
Rubelli Sahco collections, which include those produced in collaboration with
Giorgio Armani for Armani Casa – examples of which can be found in the sleek
Armani Hotel. Rubelli is also planning to open a showroom here soon.
Similarly, the Italian Trade Commission is planning a major event in the
emirate, which will include exceptional designers selected from the many talents
in their home country to experience first hand the Italian influence on Dubai’s Clockwise from top left: Nicolò Rubelli; Michel
design scene. Ducaroy; Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; Michel Roset.
Squisito, led by Belgian design consultant Leen Vandael, is also spreading its
wings and opening a 500 square metre office/gallery off Sheikh Zayed Road.
Squisito will use the additional space and custom designed tent to host events,
including a week-long open house in October, and to display their increasing
portfolio of luxury brands, which now include Selva fabrics, mirrors by Deknudt
and Val Saint Lambert crystal. Squisito are perhaps best-known for dealing with
some of the finest wall covering brands, including Arte, Backhausen, Deltracon,
Wind, Vano and Rash.
Tivoli Audio is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a Global Design Challenge
this autumn in collaboration with Designers, photographers
and artists from all over the world are being invited to enter. The winning
billboard design will be featured in Times Square, New York.
Meanwhile, Ligne Roset, the only French designer, manufacturer and
distributor of designer furniture, is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Now
managed by the fourth generation of the Roset family, Pierre and Michel, the
company which has been represented in the UAE by Aati, part of the Al Tayer
Group, for almost 30 years, was one of the first contemporary furniture brands
in this market.
The anniversary is being celebrated with a special offer on the iconic Togo

seating system designed by Michael Ducaroy, currently on show at the Ligne

Roset store, Aati and Bloomingdale’s.
Flamboyant British design guru and TV personality, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen,
was in Dubai recently for the inauguration of the Matalan department store
in Lamcy Plaza, where he presented his bedding and homeware accessories
collection designed exclusively for the department store. Group Editor Catherine Belbin.
Ramadan Kareem!

August 2010 17
Outside the box
The latest trends for enjoying the outdoors in all its glory
are definitely beyond the ordinary. TEXT: DOROTHY WALDMAN

A soothing array of cool loungers and chairs have ignited the market for easy living.
Among the innovations introduced at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan were
these new forms, which are perfect for enjoying the fresh richness of the outdoors. The
latest trends in alfresco living include sculpted curves, chiselled angular planes and updated
indoor classics re-engineered in high-tech materials for poolside decks. Whether designed
by versatile award-winners or a design student, these new creations add a dash of personality
and elegance for enjoying sea air and clear blue skies, making casual living a breeze.

Winner of numerous design awards, including Design Plus, the Geo

180, designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba for Kos, is the result
of extensive ergonomic research to bring beauty and pleasure to the
outdoors, especially when paired with a cascading rain shower.

18 identity [interior/design/property]

Barceloneta, by Raffaella Mangiarotti for Serralunga, is the first time the

classic Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair has been redesigned for the
outside, substituting the quilted leather of the original with the practicality
of plastic made possible by a sophisticated rotating molding system.

Presented at the Salone del Mobile 2010 and

made from 100 per cent recyclable materials,
the Lazy Yacht collection of deckchairs by
Serrallunga presents a minimal chic aesthetic
in a variety of colours.

Inspired by Michelangelo’s David, Onur Mustak Cobanli,

a student at Politecnico, Milan, created Nuova Testa del
David (New head of David), a sculpture that functions
as a stool, for OMC 2 design studios.

With the look of delicate lace, the artisan braiding of the Maia
collection, designed by Patricia Urquiola for Kettal, gives the
impression of openness, but the aluminium frame and new
Porotex and chenille fabric of the upholstery create a cosy energy. The classic American Adirondacks chair, first designed by Thomas Lee
in 1903, has been refined by Pierre Stelmaszuk for Royal Botania’s New
England Collection, introducing a more aesthetic balance, a variety of
paint colours and a number of styles to choose from.

August 2010 19

Rest, by architects Joaquín Torres and Rafael

Llamazares for Vondom, is inspired by the
Japanese art of origami to create simple,
light geometric forms manufactured by
rotomoulding technology.
Design sources:; tel: (971) 4 337 1870;; tel: (971) 4 339 5660;;; tel: (971) 4 282 6767;; tel: (971) 4 421 8022;

Royal Botania’s D-Lux collection is a luxurious selection of garden furniture with organically curvaceous lines
available in a spring bouquet of colours. The high-back dining chairs (left) co-ordinate with the aluminium
supported table, while the unique sunlounger (right) sports the daring design ethos of a race car.

20 identity [interior/design/property]
Powered up
Giant airships fuelled by farmed algae,
disposable, compostable paper cups and
a low carbon house made of straw that can
withstand hurricane-force winds captain the
eco imagination. TEXT: STEVE HILL

Lace Hill.

22 identity [interior/design/property]


Vincent Callebaut’s latest conceptual project imagines algae farms in the ocean that produce biofuel
from seaweed and which act as hubs for environmentally-friendly airships that would double
as floating farms. The Belgian architect claims that energy derived from farmed algae would be
superior to any form of biodiesel or bioethanol currently available.
Hydrogenase, designed for a site off the coast of Shanghai in China, would be self sufficient in
every aspect, with this unique mode of transportation emitting zero carbon emissions. The airships
would be capable of flying at a height of 2,000 metres and could carry 200 tonnes of freight at
a speed of 175 km/h. Callebaut also envisages that they would be 400 metres tall, featuring
housing, offices, scientific laboratories and entertainment facilities, and could also be utilised
for humanitarian missions and rescue operations. Wind turbines and flexible photovoltaic
cells would help power the airships, with 32 hydro turbines transforming tidal energy into
electricity for the floating farms.

March 2009
2010 23
Left to right: GotWind’s Orange Power Wellies; Villa Nyberg; Mark Langan’s
three-dimensional artwork.


Music festival fans no longer have to stress about finding an electrical socket
to plug in their mobile phone recharger thanks to the innovative Orange
Power Wellies.
Created by the UK mobile phone company in collaboration with renewable
energy experts GotWind, the unique footwear features a power-generating sole
that converts heat collected from feet into an electrical current.
Twelve hours of walking will generate enough power to charge a phone for
an hour, while bursts of energetic dancing will provide an even larger charge.
Phones are plugged into a power output at the top of the boot after electric
energy is collected via a process known as the “Seebeck” effect.
The Power Wellies were unveiled at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

SUSTAINABLE SOUP done in our more than 30 years as indoor climate solution experts. It opens a
new world of possibilities in countries with good solar irradiation.”
Mark Langan has taken inspiration from Andy Warhol’s 1960s’ rendition of the Gerard Whelan, the managing director of Kingspan Renewables, said: “This is
Campbell’s soup can to again put the focus on recycling. a stepping stone towards massive global growth for Solar Cooling.”
The Ohio-based artist’s three-dimensional work eschews paint and instead
features branding and packaging from corrugated cardboard can cases to give YOU’LL GO SPA
this iconic artwork a new 21st century perspective.
The Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay, on the northern Musandam Peninsula in
SOLAR COOLING Oman, was designed to blend in with its natural surroundings.
The luxury get-away destination also features a long list of environmental
Scandinavian Cooling/Kylsystem and Paxkent have collaborated with ClimateWell and sustainable features that have helped it win “green” awards. The Six Senses
and Kingspan Renewables to install a Solar Cooling solution in the new ESAB Holistic Environmental Management Programme focuses on improving the spa’s
offices in Dubai. ecological and carbon footprint while also raising awareness of green issues with
ESAB, a welding products supplier, needed to expand into new offices and hosts, guests and the local community.
was concerned about the environment and the operating costs of the air Monthly reports are compiled on energy and water consumption, waste
conditioning needed. So Scandinavian Cooling designed and installed a Solar generation plus the use of chemicals and paper products.
Cooling solution based on ClimateWell equipment, and used experience in All waste water generated on the resort is treated on site and reused to flush
high-tech indoor cooling systems with energy storage concrete to provide the toilets and for irrigation. And it also purifies and bottles its own drinking water
perfect performance conditions. through reverse osmosis, UV light and re-mineralisation.
Lars Olof Johansson of Scandinavian Cooling/Kylsystem said: “We have cut Re-usable glass bottles have replaced plastic bottles while all paper, plastic,
the peak power needed in half by using the building as an energy storage metal and glass is recycled. Rechargeable batteries are used at the resort while
[facility] and we have cut energy consumption in half by using Solar Cooling by empty printer cartridges are sold to the Green Offices Campaign for reuse,
ClimateWell. The result is the best indoor climate installation that we have ever recycling and correct disposal.

24 identity [interior/design/property]

Left to right: BaleHaus@Bath building; Six Senses

Hideaway Zighy Bay; PLAnet Cup.


have retained a plastic lid, the PLAnet Cup is entirely compostable, from the
A team at Bath University in England has created a low carbon house made of cup to the innovative bioplastic lid which is made from biodegradable
straw that is strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, let alone any plant-derived material.
huffing and puffing. Floreani developed the product after identifying a gap in the market. “As
The BaleHaus@Bath building was recently put through its paces and passed a coffee supplier, I was frustrated that I couldn’t provide my customers with
the test with flying colours, further increasing interest in a home that also boasts a genuinely eco-conscious disposable cup,” she says.
impressive thermal insulation qualities. “Modern consumers want to limit the impact they are having on the world,
ModCell is the designer, manufacturer and inventor of the pre-fabricated but they want this to fit with their lifestyles, too. With PLAnet Cup, cafés can
straw bale panels which allow the quick and efficient construction of homes provide their customers with an easy way to preserve their green conscience
using renewable, locally sourced, carbon sequestering materials that save on without sacrificing their treat-to-self.”
transport costs and minimise a building’s carbon footprint. PLAnet Cup can be supplied to any café, either pre-printed with individual
“If we are completely serious about being ‘carbon free’ we need to rethink the branding or as a white cup with minimal branding, accommodating the current
design of our buildings on a large scale,” says Craig White, director of ModCell. trend for white cups with an ink logo stamp.
“The ModCell BaleHaus system is designed to deliver just such a sustainable
method of construction, combining the lowest carbon footprint and the PASSIVE RESISTANCE
best operational CO2 performance of any system of construction currently
available.” The two-storey home was completed last year and is being Architectural company Kjellgren Kaminsky has designed Sweden’s first series
monitored for a 12-month period for its thermal performance, air tightness, of passive houses, including Villa Nyberg which was recently completed.
sound insulation and humidity levels. These homes are extremely well insulated buildings that are largely heated
by energy generated by occupants and household appliances operating in their
CUP WINNER customary mode.
Villa Nyberg, situated in central Sweden, is also extremely airtight, setting new
The PLAnet Cup has been launched by Melissa Floreani, the owner of Espresso national standards in blow door tests to further reduce heat loss.
Syndicate, a company that supplies sustainable, organic fair trade coffee to cafes The round shape of the 156 square metre villa eliminates cold bridges and
across Melbourne. reduces the enclosing wall area of the house. The kitchen and living room
The disposable, compostable paper cup – made from forest-friendly open towards views of a lake, while more private areas such as bathrooms and
paper – is lined with biodegradable PLA (corn starch) that is harvested from bedrooms are located on the other side of the home with smaller windows
renewable resources and can be composted after use. Where forerunners overlooking a forest. ID ID

August 2010 25
Master minds
A creative cross-fertilisation has proved a wildly
successful formula for German architects Ippolito
Fleitz Group, according to founder Peter Ippolito.

28 identity [interior/design/property]

Left to right: Interior of the IF Group designed House F, overlooking the

historic town of Denkendorf, Germany; ; Peter Ippolito (right) and Gunter
Fleitz of Ippolito Fleitz Group.

Historically the term “Jack of all trades” implied failure to excel in

a particular area, but as our knowledge grows and our skills become more
diverse, who is to say that we can’t be a master of many, or excel in any field
through collaboration?
For architect Peter Ippolito, co-founder of Ippolito Fleitz Group, a
multidisciplinary design studio based in Stuttgart, versatility is a laudable quality,
and the foundation upon which he and his partner, Gunter Fleitz, have created
a successful and creative practice. “We think that the problems of our clients
are much too interesting to answer via just one discipline because today’s
tasks, especially in the commercial markets, are so complex that it’s not only
a spatial answer or a 2-D graphic answer,” he says.
As trained architects, Ippolito and Fleitz met while studying in the 1990s
(Ippolito attended Universität Stuttgart, while Fleitz attended Hochschule für
Technik Stuttgart), but for Ippolito, a practice dedicated strictly to architecture
never appealed. “I did a lot of things before I studied architecture. I did a bit
of advertising, worked on a construction site, lived the bohemian life in Paris,”
he says. “When I did projects in school I found it much more interesting to
work with people who were not a part of the architecture world. I did all my
projects with philosophers and people working in literature and the arts. My
first commission was a job for a doctor’s practice, which I did with a literature
colleague and an artist, so this was part of the idea of how I like to look at
the world.”
Today, the team at IF Group work in a broad range of disciplines, from
corporate identity and electronic media, to landscapes and architecture,
although interestingly it is interior design commissions that form the bulk of the
architects’ projects. “I kind of like the scale of interior design, because you are
closer to the user. Part of the quality of our work is that we design our spaces
from the perception of the user and the client, so that kind of scale is very
interesting to us. Of course, we like to build houses, but it’s the sensibility of
interiors that we like,” Ippolito explains.
Curiosity is the impetus that drives Ippolito and it plays a major part in his
studio’s work. “I think that it is the core of what we do today, that’s why we do
not specialise in just office or retail, but instead have a broad interest in the tasks
of our clients, which are very different. It’s a very broad portfolio,” he says.

August 2010 29

Left to right: The Belfry, an annexe of the Palace of International Forums, is

dedicated to jewels from the region; IF Group were responsible for the interior
design of the luxury residential project Quant in Stuttgart.

An innovative spatial translation project for food and beverage giant Nestlé,
the brand concept for a new restaurant chain and video postcards are just
some of the projects, past and present, that have won the studio a host of
awards, including no less than three reddot awards last year for its work in
communication design. concurrently with the interior architecture) the exterior is clad in Thassos marble,
Last year, IF Group’s explorative approach led the architects to the brink of a nod to the city’s previous Turkish name of Chachkand, which translates as
potential disaster, which, fortuitously, resulted in its most celebrated project “Stone fortress.” Beyond the palatial exterior, the inside is no less modest. Three
to date. Imagine the scenario; a colleague calls and asks if you fancy a job in Islamic inspired carved wooden doors lead visitors over the threshold into
Uzbekistan? Great, what kind of job is it and what is the timeline? There lies the the main foyer, a vast 16 metre-high room clad in an Arabesque motif, which
rub. The challenge was to create the interior architecture of a 33,700 square acknowledges the city’s Silk Road history and fifth century Muslim heritage.
metre unbuilt auditorium and international visitor forum in celebration of the The most impressive aspect of the new landmark, however, is the enormous
2,200th anniversary of the city of Tashkent… within six months. circular auditorium, which measures 50 metre in height and 50 metre in
“Our clients told us: ‘If you want to do it, you must prepare a quote and diameter, meaning acoustics were a major challenge for the architects. “The
contract within two days,’ but we didn’t even know exactly what we would President specifically wanted a big volume, but for acoustic reasons it was really
be undertaking, whether it would be an opera or an auditorium. We then bad because it creates a huge echo, so we decided to subdivide the auditorium
found out what it was and what the timeline was. We got the contract on in two horizontally,” Ippolito says.
March 8, 2009, and it had to be finished by the end of August,” Ippolito recalls. “In the lower part we used Corian, which was folded according to the
Fortunately for the architects, the Government’s involvement with the project calculations of an acoustic specialist. The upper part is clad in acoustic
allowed them to bypass the notorious red tape that often hinders even the absorbing plaster. However, the plaster could not be fixed in stages, so the
most straightforward projects. craftsmen had to apply it in one movement, so if they messed up, they would
Tashkent’s Palace of International Forums stands not only as an important have to have ripped it off and started again. The poor guys were standing on
political symbol; the historic significance of such monumental architecture for top of the scaffolding, creating this wonderful surface while steel beams were
a country in the process of finding its own identity following the end of Soviet being fitted because we had to build the auditorium at the same time!” The
rule almost two decades ago is immense. Made from a steel structure (built result is an incredible grand volume that has a delicate ethereal feel thanks to

30 identity [interior/design/property]


Clockwise from above: Staircase and interior of House F; Bella Italia Weine
store and restaurant in Stuttgart. The award-winning design by IF Group was
inspired by the warm, convivial atmosphere of the popular Italian dining spot.

the fusion of the materials with fluorescent and LED lighting that circumscribes

the amphitheatre.
While working on the project, the architects were commissioned to create
an additional structure to mark the momentous occasion, with a deadline of just
two months. “In July, they decided that they wanted to include another project,
the Belfry, within this historic programme, so this also had to be finished by the
end of August, ready for September 1, which was Independence Day and the
2,200th year celebration of Tashkent.” Ippolito recalls.
The Belfry, a gallery dedicated to jewellery from the region housed within hoping that the Palace of Forums will raise their profile among Islamic and Arab
one of the Forum’s bell towers, is no less lavish. Inspired by its content, the states, including Dubai.
interior resembles a beautiful, ornate jewellery box. The interior walls are “I must admit, I’ve only really spent a couple of hours in Dubai, so I don’t
overlaid in shiny, polished, stainless steel panels, which are laser-cut, following really know it very well, but it’s always tough to create a city out of nothing and
a similar decorative motif to the palace foyer and tinted mirrors, which are there is always the danger of collecting jewels – items that are rich in image and
positioned at each end to give an elongated feel. expression, but when you put them together the result can be very scary and
IF Group’s commendable achievements, despite such challenges, have not artificial,” Ippolito says.
gone unnoticed. In addition to a number of projects worldwide, including a “However, in Dubai, you understand the economical needs of that and it
variety of restaurant chains throughout Germany and a Manhattan townhouse has worked, at least certainly before the financial crisis. There are so many
(which Ippolito admits has been much more problematic than the Palace), interesting projects that I saw during my few hours in Dubai, it’s a magnificent
the team are now back in Tashkent working on two large private mansions. place. It’s incredible how all the cultures come together to try to create
Although the UAE remains uncharted territory for the architects, they are something new.” ID

August 2010 31
The Essential Arabian Library
In celebration of the centenary of the birth of Sir Wilfred Thesiger, the last of the great
explorers, we offer 17 books and a limited edition print from The Arabian Heritage Series.

Described as a This book is a The authorised biography

“Masterpiece” in The breathtaking pictorial of Sir Wilfred Thesiger
Times, this classic of travel edition of the travel investigates this fascinating
literature is a must-read classic Arabian Sands, figure’s family influences,
for anyone interested in and contains the same his wartime experiences, his
the Arab world. The special fold-out map which philosophy as a hunter and
Centenary Edition celebrates appeared in the first conservationist, his writing
the anniversary of Thesiger’s edition of Arabian and photography, and his
birth in 1910, and includes Sands in 1959. friendships with tribal people.
84 photographs and a
fold-out map.

Dhs 120 * Dhs 185 * Dhs 165*

normal retail price

This title by Daniel and Serga Nadler takes an A wonderfully illustrated book that covers Arabian Destiny is an insightful autobiography
in-depth look at the world of silver and the fascinating history of shawls from their and a very personal account of the life of the
how it is valued for its many purposes by earliest origins. The history of the Kerman late Edward Henderson – a man whose life was
different cultures around the globe. shawl, is one of its delightful highlights. inextricably linked to the history of the UAE.

Dhs 295 * Dhs 295 * Dhs 55 *

This enchanting book is a showcase of the A wonderful photographic memoir by world This personal record of the seafarers of the In this concise, yet thorough, description of
people of the Emirates during the mid-20th renowned photographer Ronald Codrai. This Emirates focuses on a time when the Gulf the Arabian countries benefiting most from
century. A superb collection of photographs by book focuses on Codrai’s time spent in the was home to the largest merchant-sailing 21st century affluence, Edward O’Sullivan
Ronald Codrai, documenting times gone by. Arab world during the past half-century. fleet in the world. summarizes years of experience.

Dhs 185 * Dhs 185 * Dhs 185 * Dhs 85 *

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Worth Dhs 350
Launching a Dhow, Abu Dhabi, 1948 by Sir Wilfred Thesiger (16” x 12”)

an aerial tour

Dubai is an emirate of spectacular sights.


With post-modern architecture and high-rise

towers that jostle with one another, the city’s
aerial views provide a magnificent insight
into its different landscapes – be they man-

an aerial tour
made islands or landscaped villas, magnificent
highways or grand hotels, verdant green parks
or giant shopping malls – taking the reader on
an awe-inspiring scenic tour.

Beyond the city’s limits, turquoise-blue

waters with sandy beaches, symmetrical palm
trees and ancient desert landscapes provide
photographers with many opportunities.

International aerial photographer, Dirk Laubner,

has produced a fine portrait of the emirate
that reveals why Dubai is such a popular
tourist destination. Published in a single,
five-language edition, Dubai – An Aerial Tour
is a collection of brilliant images of the emirate
and a fascinating record of Dubai from the air
as we see it today. Placing tourist attractions
and significant landmarks in perspective, it
provides a magnificent aerial tour for visitors
and residents alike.
Dirk Laubner

Dirk Laubner

This book by internationally acclaimed This intimate and colourful view of the Emirates is This book is part of the ‘Noor Ali Rashid’s Royal
photographer Dirk Laubner takes you on a a reproduction of one of famed British artist Trevor Collection’, and includes beautiful historical images,
breathtaking aerial tour around the emirate Waugh’s journals, kept while travelling the length highlighting the 40 years of remarkable transformation
of Dubai. and breadth of the land. undergone by the UAE.

Dhs 125 * Dhs 145 * Dhs 185 *

Patrick Lichfield’s photography has

spanned four decades of change. His

iconic images from the early 1960s to the

present day, include notable personalities
and events that characterised their times.
A cousin of Queen Elizabeth, The Earl of
Lichfield, launched himself as a photo-
grapher in 1962. He soon progressed from
photographing London’s party set to
editorial work for national daily news-


papers. Success in notable London

magazines, such as the highly influential
magazine, led to commissions from
,  and #& ! magazines in the
United States.
Since that time, his pictures – ranging from
formal and informal portraits, including
many members of royalty as well as
celebrities, prominent figures from the
world of fashion and beauty to high profile
advertising – have become well known
around the world.
In recent years, Patrick Lichfield has been
a frequent visitor to Dubai, a destination
he admires and enjoys and one which
certainly provides a wealth of fascinating
subjects for his camera. ' 
!#!# is the outcome of these visits; it is
a rich study of one of the world’s most

dynamic and fastest growing cities.
Patrick Lichfield


P a t r i c k L i c h f i e l d

Patrick Lichfield’s portrait of Dubai presents A beautiful heartfelt tale of two cultures, and A compilation of poetry by Dubai’s leader, Dr Frauke Heard-Bey’s definitive history of
images of a cosmopolitan city, a vibrant a love and understanding between a Western Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. the UAE is a must-read about life in the seven
emirate and a dynamic people in tribute to and Arab family. The Times called it “a deeply Sheikh Mohammed reveals his passions but Trucial States before the wealth of oil, and
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From rustic wooden planks and sparkling metallics to
geometrically-themed rugs, flooring helps to set the tone
of a space. identity guides you through some of the most
daring and contemporary themes. TEXT: RUBY ROGERS


36 Into the wild

36 Switched on
38 Centre stage

40 Spotlight on soft floor coverings

42 Colour confidence
44 Close-up on wood
47 Targeting tiles
47 Looking ahead
48 Exotic influences
49 Globetrotting
49 The final word
Dinesen flooring.

August 2010 35

You walk on it; sit on it; your children jump on it – in fact flooring is in use as we invite nature into urban environments rather than trying to keep it
24/7, so it makes sense to invest in well-made, quality products that will look out – co-existence is key.”
good for years to come. “Flooring is key,” says Tara Bernerd, chairman and head What this means for flooring is grey carpets with a gritty, speckled
of design at Target Living. “I think that you can never underestimate the floor, it appearance, rugs featuring dry brushstrokes and concrete flooring softened by
has a major impact on design and it has a huge effect on how we feel.” foliage patterns. Mossy or verdigris elements seen on tiles and vinyl flooring give
the impression that nature has been left to run wild while carpets, rugs and tiles
INTO THE WILD are decorated with leafy geometrics in bold colour combinations. Also watch
out for smart striped carpets in tones of grey or perhaps a more daring mix of
“Urban jungle” is one of the key trends shaping floors in autumn/winter 2010, black and luscious greens.
says Shelley Pond, trend forecaster for Scarlet Opus. Last winter, the buzz was This new dialogue between urban and rural living speaks of our respect
all about glamour set against a gritty backdrop whereby hard-edged industrial for the world beyond the front door and how our choices affect it. Expertly
elements were thrown into the mix with a touch of sparkle (think concrete designed, well-made products proven to stand the test of time are in demand.
meets crystals). A similar city aesthetic is set to make waves this winter, although Think natural fibres (wool, cotton), solid woods from sustainable and
this time it is softened by references to Mother Nature. well-managed sources, solid marble and stone. When it comes to floors, shop
“Surface pattern design appears overgrown and overlaid, with foliage taking for natural alternatives such as sisal, seagrass and bamboo.
over as the principal pattern,” Pond says. “Smart geometrics, grids and stripes
are over-printed, embroidered, sometimes transparent or layered. Hard SWITCHED ON
and soft materials are intertwined with distinctly grained hardwood furniture
featuring textile inserts and inlays.” Concrete, tarmac and brick are also present Pond has identified “light” as another source of inspiration for artists, designers
– uneven, worn away and bearing the faint remnants of graffiti – also watch out and product developers in new creative fields, “channelling the qualities of cutting
for traces of erosion. edge scientific and technological developments to produce amazing results”.
As its name suggests, urban jungle is a fusion of nature and the city. “The She calls this trend “light fantastic” and credits its look and feel to metallics
answer it seems is to invite nature into every aspect of our lives – complete – a dominating presence on the trend agenda – as well as water influences
integration, complete harmony,” Pond says. “Cityscapes and landscapes merge on surface finishes. “The brilliant colour palette enables a broad spectrum of

36 identity [interior/design/property]
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and a fantastic rippled beaten texture.

Art references. “Interaction is a key element of this trend with many products
displaying ‘sensitive’ qualities [such as heat-sensitive and touch-sensitive] that
transform surface colours and reveal hidden patterns,” she says.
So how does all this translate to flooring? Watch out for thick velvet pile
carpet in deep shades of ultramarine and Atlantis green, glass floor tiles
incorporating LED lights and high-shine mosaic floor tiles in interlocking
geometric shapes. Make a statement with iridescent mosaic floor tiles, geometric
patterns (such as repeating hexagons and horizontal zigzags seen on carpets,
rugs and tiles) and intensely coloured peacock feathers subtly placed on rugs.
When it comes to colour, the buzzword is blue, a highlight on the spring /
summer catwalks of 2009 and set to make an impact on interiors in 2010. “The
colour palette for ‘light fantastic’ projects a brilliance in the truest sense of the
word, and clearly marks the renaissance of ‘blue’,” Pond says. “It is based on
dark, deep sea and space shades, illuminated by radiant accent colours of green
oasis and deep amethyst with a beautiful iridescent shine.”


“Silent theatre” is the final trend under the spotlight for autumn/winter 2010,
special effects to be achieved on surfaces for furniture, furnishings, wall coverings which takes its influence from the spirit of The Ballet Russe (1909-1929). “The
and flooring including iridescent and reflective sequins, changeant silks and foils form and flow, and the drapes and folds of the costumes are subtly felt in this
reminiscent of butterfly wings, transparencies that simulate refracted light, liquid trend,” Pond explains. “There is a strong theatrical mood and we continue to
and mercury looks, dip-dyed ombrès, holographic and 3D effects, metallic foils, see exaggerations of scale creating drama with impressive ‘stage set’ interior
integrated LEDs providing luminescence and crystalline glitters creating textured schemes that dwarf us. It is quietly striking, sculptural, unobtrusive, calm and
shimmer,” Pond says. easy to appreciate.”
She associates a “busy, restless” feeling to this trend, a nod to our fast- Silent theatre is also understated; its mission is to make the complex look
paced existence, which is surpassed only by the speed of communication simple and allow what appears to be simple to have an underlying layer of
technology. Pond suggests we shop for geometric patterns – in particular complexity. “Simplicity layered with complexity – simplexity,” Pond says. “This
repeating hexagons – horizontal zigzags, diamonds within diamonds and Op design philosophy has no room for excess; everything is significant, resulting in

38 identity [interior/design/property]

Clockwise from above: Wicander’s cork flooring; Bisazza’s Basic Brown glass
mosaic from the Opus Romano collection; Maison Guerlain Paris.

August 2010 39
Always on the pulse of leading fashion palettes, Stepevi has introduced evocative shades of red, grey and berry for its luxurious 2010 collection.

elegant innovations. Beautifully detailed surface finishes and intense decoration Hand knotted rugs by former architect Jürgen Dahlmanns are a lesson in
attract our attention and appreciation. Concentrated layers of pattern are fusing traditional craft techniques with contemporary patterns, colours and
applied in a modest way. Modesty is crucial to this trend’s attitude reflecting a materials. “Rugs are my obsession and they always will be,” he explains.
growing mood in society that is slowly turning its back on ‘reveal all’ celebrity “Nineteen years ago I was in the Himalayas and bought a very old rug from a
culture and turning instead towards professionals and experts.” Tibetan farmer. From that moment I became a collector of old Tibetan rugs but
Bring silent theatre to your floors with carpets featuring lace patterning, after some years I became addicted to the beauty of the product, the country
“appearing slightly fuzzy and woolly”, Pond says. Look out for sculpted carpets and the people, so I built my own workshop. That was 2001 and since then I
and rugs – “embossed and impressed with ‘low relief’ raised surface patterns” have been very happy.”
– as well as carpet and floor tiles patterned with ornate Baroque scrolls and Art Although Dahlmanns respects the traditions of hand-knotted weaving he is not
Deco geometrics. a fan of repeated patterns, preferring to produce what he calls “supercharged
Oversized rugs in deep smokey purple or liquorice featuring large-scale landscapes with life and colour”. The upshot is a range of fearless designs that
patterns are bang on trend – “creating a striking drama”. As is high-shine run from simple geometrics to Chinese influences in psychedelic colours. “I see
lacquered flooring in barely there nude tones and rugs with laser-cut detailing. a movement towards strong colours like lime, turquoise, pink or deep purple
“The quiet colour palette ranges from pale nudes, intimate pinks and warm contrasting with natural materials like hemp and natural silk,” Dahlmanns says.
tinted greys to dreamy night time purples and liquorice,” Pond says. Rose-tinted “I am also sure that combinations of mauve and beige, light blue with sand and
and pale golds together with translucent black complete the look. light pink with white beige will be seen a lot in the near future.”
Dahlmanns’ creations sit well with our pursuit of personal expression, which
SPOTLIGHT ON SOFT FLOOR COVERINGS is driven by the demand for products that strike a different vibe. “A rug can be
unexpected,” he concludes. “There is so much inside of us that is unexpected; I
Nature continues to inspire soft floor coverings together with growing concerns am happy when something in the home reflects this.”
for the environment and traditional values. These trends identify with our desire Also striving to raise the bar in rug design is The Rug Company, a leading
for timeless understated luxury and easy elegance, achieved by mixing old with name in contemporary, handmade rugs which has recently collaborated with
new, contemporary with tradition and heritage. Tara Bernerd to produce a collection that brings Bernerd’s passion for colour,

40 identity [interior/design/property]

Rug by Esprit.

August 2010 41

Stratos is an eco-friendly stone effect surface from NovaBell.

texture and detail to the floor. Similar to the standards set by Dahlmanns, each COLOUR CONFIDENCE
piece in the new collection is hand-made by skilled artisans using traditional craft
skills and the highest quality yarns. Rugs and carpets should be sensual and practical, says Joanna Ramsden,
Designs include Honeycomb, a timeless geometric in subtle creams and creative manager of Wools of New Zealand, citing “inviting colours” and “tactile
mossy greys. “I wanted something that would work in a room without being textures” as key ingredients to the new ranges being launched.
too imposing but bring a punchy impact that is still stylish and has a modern feel; Leading looks include subtle shades of grey, taupe and winter whites, delicate
a rug that suits many different scenarios,” Bernerd explains. Another is Papillon, pastels, frozen neutrals and powdered minerals – “beautiful and sophisticated
which pays homage to her passion for butterflies. colour options”, Ramsden says. Stormy greys, teals and midnight blues are also
Bernerd’s top tip when buying rugs is to factor them into your design early bang on trend, complementing chic and mysterious shades of teal, ink and soft
on. “When starting from scratch I always begin by looking at the layout and how charcoal, platinum, pine, gunmetal and amethyst.
the room actually works. Next I look at the finishes: the floors, walls, doors, “Fresh leaf and vegetable tones blend with herbal, moss, olive, antique gold
ironmongery. And at that point, if my client is considering a wood or resin floor and bronze shades in an eclectic palette of greens,” Ramsden says. “Nostalgic
that lends itself well to a rug, I start thinking about size etc,” she says. and romantic hues of faded rose, mulberry and Chantilly merge with rich wild

42 identity [interior/design/property]
Left to right: Barcelona-born Cristian Zuzunaga presents his new Digit rug collection for Nanimarquina;
carpet from The Orientalist.

berry tones. Vintage pinot noir and russet are layered with shades of dusky recycled wood fibres are fusion bonded for “unsurpassed structural integrity and
violet, pink almond, glace fondant and chocolate. Sumptuous tones of coffee, unrivalled eco-integrity.”
caramel, cocoa and melted chocolate blend with soft warm paprika and an To further the advantages of using environmentally conscious materials,
indulgent cochineal.” “green” installation techniques with low-emitting adhesives and sealants should
Other key palettes include old and mellowed golds fused with warm aromatic be used. The international Italian producer of numerous LEED-compliant
spice tones of cinnamon, saffron and burnt orange; energising hues of burnt products, Mapei, available in the region through Innovative Building Solutions,
amber and pumpkin blended with caraway, nutmeg and warm brandy; and is a leader in the research and development of low VOC (volatile organic
vibrant, energising brights with accents of cobalt, vermillion, azure, aquamarine, compounds) and low-dust adhesives that magnify the benefits of using
spring green and lilac. “These add a touch of zest and bring the palette to life,” eco materials.
Ramsden concludes. The enduring popularity of wood is easy to understand; it brings warmth
and character to the home and lasts for decades, looking better from one year
CLOSE-UP ON WOOD to the next. “I have never tired of a beautiful wooden floor, for me there is
something timeless about it,” says Tara Bernerd. Her preference is for wide
Raw and ragged ruled the summer catwalks, sending out a clear message that floorboards in a striking dark finish – “usually I like to use oak flooring but I
rustic has arrived to rescue our wardrobes from polished chic. It’s a similar story would avoid very pale looks”, she says.
for flooring, where smooth polished surfaces have been replaced in part by Bernerd believes that the ubiquitous use of light wood is due to a lack of
specialist smoked and heat-treated finishes that bring out the grain of the wood. consumer confidence. “Flooring is such a huge cost and takes up such a huge
Rustic means brushed and bevelled wood floors and stained surfaces together amount of space that even if one flirts with the idea of a dark wood floor or
with rustic grains – imperfections in the wood that were once removed now a lime washed finish we revert back to a natural oak because we feel more
reinforce this rustic look. Exotic species are scarce so dark and light pigmented comfortable with it,” she says.
oak floors from sustainable sources are shaping up as an excellent alternative. In the same way Bernerd would not encourage a client to paint a wall pale
Eco-friendly designs are driving global trends. Al Aqili Furnishings Flooring cream – “we have so many pale creams and they don’t push any boundaries”
Division is showcasing the latest range of flooring solutions from Shaw Contract – she encourages people to take a slightly bolder approach to flooring. “There
Group, whose collections combine quality design with recyclable raw materials are ways of stepping outside the box without going too far,” Bernerd says.
and are created using environmentally efficient production processes. Look “My advice is to call in lots of samples and put them together with the other
out for EnviroCore, the first engineered hardwood to be Cradle-to-Cradle materials that you are using in your room and at least explore the opportunity
certified. Made with 50 per cent recycled content, its densely compressed of using darker woods.”

44 identity [interior/design/property]

Hand-knotted rugs by Jürgen Dahlmanns fuse traditional craft

techniques with contemporary patterns, colours and materials.

August 2010 45
Stua’s Adrianna rug by Javier Guerrero
pays homage to broken tiles.

46 identity [interior/design/property]

Laminate flooring from Boen.

TARGETING TILES muted and burnished with pastel shades, deep purples, blues and black and
white graphics in abundance.
As minimalism shows signs of diminishing, coloured tiles have increased in
popularity as a way to add depth and contrast to a space. “Injection of colour LOOKING AHEAD
can create a bold statement when used on feature walls or floors to ceiling
surfaces, whilst subtle splashes of vibrant colour work well when combined with If you are looking for post winter fun, then flooring for spring/summer 2010 will
a more neutral palette,” says David Portalés Mañanós, a representative from the hit the spot. According to trend forecaster Victoria Redshaw, it is time to break
Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers of Spain (ASCER). the rules with the “feel good factor”, which will inject some serious fun back
Responsible production processes that reduce waste and lower energy into our lives and home décor. “The mood is witty, bold and daring but there
consumption are also a key consideration for tile manufacturers. And while using is also a laid-back feeling that stops the trend from being frantic, and instead
less material is one way to reduce their carbon footprint (hence the noteable gives it a very carefree atmosphere,” she explains. “Designers embrace the
trend for super thin tiles), the other advantage is that these slim formats can be opportunity to be controversial, to forge new collaborations and co-operatives.”
fixed on top of an exiting tiled area, making it easier for the end-user to give Miami’s Art Deco District reflects the true spirit of this trend – “the bright
their home an instant makeover. pastel architecture, glamorous beach lifestyle and night-time neon lights”,
Italian manufacturer NovaBell has gone one step further and announced its Renshaw says. Art Deco architecture will inspire interiors; think bas-relief stucco,
commitment to “NovaBell ecosystem” in 2007; a programme dedicated to cast concrete, patterned terrazzo flooring, giant murals and strong colour
the sustainable development of ceramic tiles. Products contain at least 40 per blocking (mono colours, two-tone duos and eclectic multi-coloured groupings).
cent of recycled ceramic content and are produced following an ecological An upbeat 1980’s vibe is also influential with a nod to the Memphis
production process. Movement, a group of Italian designers and architects who joined creative
Advances in technology have taken faux look tiles to a new level. Stone forces in 1981 to challenge the minimalist aesthetic of the time with a series
effect tiles are seen on walls and floors in polished and matt finishes, working of unconventional products. Look out for unexpected shapes, big curves and
particularly well in the bathroom when contrasted with pure white sanitary strong angles, explosions of pattern and clashing uncomplimentary colours.
ware. Ongoing themes include marble-effects – more realistic than ever before The sea is also a major influencing factor with many creatives inspired by
– chic leather looks and faux woods. Tiles that imitate wallpaper are also bang waves, deep sea creatures and ocean colour palettes. “Undulating and liquid
on trend: look out for flock, wood panels and geometric repeats. Colours are forms are emerging in the work of international architects, interior designers and

August 2010 47
Edition 2 developed by the Parador design team uses completely new patterns for laminate floors; Edition 2 developed by the Parador design team uses
completely new patterns for laminate floors.

product designers, and the slices of ‘surreal’ elements that are apparent in some The first stop is Egypt, with several trends embracing 1920s undertones – “it
autumn/winter 2010 / 2011 trends become more exaggerated during 2011 makes perfect sense that one of the biggest influences on design during that
resulting in a distinct Dali-esque influence of meting and liquid design aesthetics,” period would also have an impact on this 2011 trend, namely the discovery of
Renshaw says. Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922”, Renshaw says. African influences can still be felt
In terms of flooring, have fun with palm trees and flamingo motifs, multi- throughout interiors, although the Middle East is set to serve up a large dose of
coloured polka dots, jazz-age diamond patterns, zigzags, kaleidoscope prints in glittering exotic glamour.
saturated colours and candy stripes sometimes digitally manipulated into swirling Look out for surface patterns that appear slightly streaked as if blown by the
patterns. Indulge in swimming pool patterns and oceanic themes such as ripples, desert winds, seen on tiles and rugs featuring undulating sand dune ripples and
waves, water effects, corals, anemones and jellyfish – shimmering and subtle or matte surface textures. There are signs of erosion on ceramics and metallic tiles
bright and bold. while burnished metals also look slightly rusted as if they have been left out in
“Pixelated mix and match coloured tiles give an edgy modern look that’s bang the elements. Moreover, chiselled dry rock textures inspire stone flooring.
on trend,” Renshaw says. “Super-resilient rubber flooring also sets the tone and “This rawness is also created via embroidery work in course threads and
comes in a whole spectrum of gorgeous fashion colours and textures.” patchwork elements of hessian, jute, flax, hemp and linen for rugs,” Renshaw
Be inspired by the work of Ron Arad and Nanimarquina, who recently says. “Sisal, raffia, coconut fibre and fine bamboo strips are worked into
collaborated to create Do-Lo-Rez, a rug and sofa conceived as a single element. statement rugs. Dry brushstroke patterns are oversized and expressive as are
‘cracked earth’ textures.” Metallic wire and panel inlays are also to be found in
EXOTIC INFLUENCES many flooring products, but Renshaw stresses that their presence is subtle and
can be only appreciated on closer inspection.
Next up on the trend agenda is “desert oasis”, a nod to African Safari-styling, Shop for rippled surface textures inspired by rolling sand dunes, mismatched
which has filtered down from fashion. “The dry earth colour palette and tribal mosaic tiles, tribal geometrics, medallion motifs and intricate dot design. Ikat
geometrics have proved popular because the neutral base is easy to live with, weaves continue to be a key pattern for carpets, rugs and tiles, while African
and it can update and add character to plain room schemes simply,” Renshaw safaris inspire subtle animal and retile skin prints and textures, animal motifs,
says. “The geographical reference point has never shifted very far but spring/ and even bone inlays. Look out for weathered leather flooring as well as
summer 2011 brings a much more diverse take on this look, leading us through stylised papyrus patterns, sunbursts and geometric patterns based on triangles,
the deserts of the world in search of adventure, shelter and treasures.” diamonds and chevrons in reference to Egyptian inspired Art Deco designs.

48 identity [interior/design/property]

Clockwise from above: The new Basic collection by SICIS is suitable for floors in
residential and public settings; wall to wall carpet from Masland; Habana Brown
natural stone covers the floor in this L’Antic Colonial bathroom.

“As we socialise on a global level via social networking and even online gaming,
many people are ‘virtual nomads’ with no relevant fixed abode,” she says.
From a design perspective, this trend sources inspiration from India and South
America. Craft is strongly apparent as we cherish traditional skills that satisfy our
need to connect with the past but apply them in new ways to new objects –
something old seen on something new.
“Ambrés sit alongside ikats, Indian florals mash-up with Madras checks,
paisleys play against ticking stripes, tie-dye takes its place next to henna
patterns,” Renshaw explains. “Mixes of South American textiles create a dynamic
styling with lively patterns and pulsing colours, ordered Aztec geometrics and
blocky Inca and Mayan animal motifs.”
Looks for flooring include wood decorated with intricately patterned inlays,
highly polished tiles that are reminiscent of agate and malachite to give a mineral
edge and elaborate mosaic tiles adding subtle patterns and colours. This is an
upbeat trend so watch out for vibrant hues: coral, pimento red, turquoise,
malachite green, agate violet and indigo.


The colour palette for desert oasis includes natural leaf greens and khaki
tones used to break-up the sandy shades and the dappling of rich browns. “We have to be careful when we use the word ‘trend’,” Tara Bernerd advises.
Desert blooms bring splashes of colour as do insects; the iridescent wings and “As a designer, I strive to create something that has lasting value and I think the
hard shiny shells of beetles introduce purples, Lapis Lazuli and turquoise blues. greatest compliment I can have is when 10 years later someone walks into a
house I have designed and says that it still looks great. Style evolves but you
GLOBETROTTING must always be genuine to what your tastes are.
“The trick is you need longevity, but longevity does not mean being the
Going global is the final trend identified by Renshaw for spring/summer 2011, a person with a pale oak floor and cream walls because you are nervous
nod to the notion that “where we are from” is increasingly less tangible as we to experiment. Longevity doesn’t mean being scared and not testing the
travel the world and live in different countries and multi-cultural communities. boundaries,” she concludes. “Test the boundaries!” ID

August 2010 49

Flooring from Dinesen.

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50 identity [interior/design/property]
The sound of silence
On the eve of the summer solstice in June 2010, at a site
a few miles from Stonehenge in southwest England, a work
of art that shows the transformational power of light was

52 identity [interior/design/property]

Interactive art, the type we can touch and even play with, is hugely
popular, so when given an opportunity to go one stage further and help
make an artwork, many people jump at it. When artist and lighting designer
Bruce Munro sought help with creating an installation at his home in Wiltshire,
southwest England, hundreds of people responded. His aim was gargantuan –
to turn a four-hectare field into a fantastical, man-made version of the sea, using
not water, but compact discs.
To achieve his goal he launched a media appeal in October 2009 for people
to send him unwanted CDs and DVDs, and by early summer 2010, 600,000
discs had arrived, some from as far away as Brazil and California. Forty-thousand
CDs were donated by just one man. The artist then sent out his second appeal,
for people to help lay out these CDs on his field over a single weekend in June.
One-hundred-and-forty of us arrived to help and by Sunday evening we had
created a work of art. Yes, the vision for CDSea was Munro’s, but the role of
individual volunteers was bigger than many would have anticipated, because we
not only laid out this sea, we helped shape it.
CDSea’s design is straightforward enough – a rectangle of discs massed close
together with a meandering ribbon of grass running diagonally through it. When
the sun shone, the CDs lit up like a mass of individual coloured lights and from
a couple of metres away you could see bright bands of red, blue or green light
streaked across them. Further away the discs became lines or pools of colour,
mostly turquoise and other similar shades. When the sun went behind a cloud,
the sea became a mass of pale, silvery grey violet. At night, it appeared like a
carpet of over-sized, blue pearl buttons.
Walking along the installation’s serpentine grass path was to experience CDSea
at its most brilliant. Light reflected off discs with the same blinding intensity as it
does off water; around you the air filled with flashes of piercing white light, so
objects and people beyond the installation were temporarily lost from view;
unlike water, heat rose from the discs, generating extra intensity. The path’s
squiggly-shape gave it a fantasy feel, and brought to mind labyrinths and even
the Yellow Brick Road.

August 2010 53

Top to bottom: Water tower; CD Sea installation. Made from 600,000 compact
discs laid out by 140 helpers.

“The field at Long Knoll has a public foot path through it. It’s an integral part
of the design,” Munro says. “I love the idea that people can walk through the
middle of a sea. The sea makes adults become like children; walking across the
sea is every child’s fantasy.
Unplanned, two sides of CDSea are wobbly, two straight. The start line for
laying out discs was the same, so that side of the installation was straight, but
helpers worked at different speeds, came and went, and moved from spot to
spot. Helpers also began to work in two directions, so two sides, those where
they finished, had irregular edges, an unexpected result that delighted Munro.
“The irregular edge is one of those lucky occurrences, it just happens to
look like a tidal line on a beach,” the artist says. “One has to be pragmatic about
these sort of things. Laying down rules often stunts the result. I am a great
believer in letting things take their own course, with a gentle nudge here
and there.”
Helpers shaped the sea in another way, too. Some of us laid CDs in straight
lines, adopting Asian, rice planter-style positions of legs apart, bending down
and planting the crop as quickly as possible, because we knew time was limited.
But most planters sat on the grass and placed their CDs slowly, carefully, while
chatting, making sure the spacing between discs was just so – not overlapping,
nor revealing too much grass between them. To make sure the spacing
between CDs was just right, some would stand up and dip a toe into the “sea”,
to carefully nudge a disc this way or that. From a distance, it looked like they

54 identity [interior/design/property]


Field of Light installation of 10,000 orbs planted in a four-hectare field.

were gingerly dipping toes into water to test its temperature – a sign the illusion afternoon, he was sitting on a rocky peninsular at Nielsen Park, Sydney. “The
of sea was starting to appear. light was still strong, like a blanket of shimmering silver light,” he says. “I had this
Other planters scattered discs carelessly. I was slightly contemptuous of these childish notion that by putting my hand in the sea I was somehow connected to
helpers until I overheard the following conversation. Planter A: “Your lines my home in Salcombe in South West England, where my father lived. I came
are nothing like as straight as Jane’s.” Planter B: “Really?” Planter A: “Oh yes, away from the beach in a very positive frame of mind”
hers are very regimented.” Planter B: “So, does that say something about our It was the first time he was aware that the “play of light” had transformed his
minds?” Planter B: “Oh definitely. I think we need a bit more self-expression mood and was astonished that something so familiar had the power to alter
here (starts scattering CDs randomly). We need to get spontaneous about this.” his emotional state. CDSea is a reconstruction of this moment. He chose CDs
As much as it pains me to write this, he was right. In quite a few places, lines to represent the sea because of their light reflective qualities. “I have always
are not neat and straight, but arc, bend and wobble, just like water appears to wanted to do something with a CD or DVD,” he says. “Luckily it just popped
do when there are ebbs and flows in currents and wave formation – so much into my mind that this was the medium I needed to recreate this lighting effect.”
more authentic than my own ranks of disc soldiers. In the name of art, I have CDSea is the second large installation Munro has created in his field. In
promised myself to be more untidy and careless in the future. Through chaos 2005, he sowed the Field of Light, 10,000 orbs on stems of different heights,
greatness comes. planted in groups of concentric circles. Every few seconds the clusters of orbs
Fuelled by a lunch of barbecued meat and apple juice on the second day, our slowly changed colour, one after another in a domino effect. A version of
small army of helpers, many getting sunburnt by the bright, hot light reflecting this installation was later recreated at the eco-conscious Eden Project tourist
off the CDs, completed its task by around 6pm, just as the sun was starting its attraction. The artist’s next big scheme is two installations at Salisbury Cathedral
slow, mid-summer descent into the West, casting a soft, golden glow over the in Wiltshire, including a light maze of 69 water towers, which will be completed
countryside and the “sea” as it did so. The CDs twinkled gold here and there this coming winter.
in reply. Weather permitting, CDSea will stay on public view in the artist’s field near
Munro would like to recreate his installation in Australia, the country that the village of Kilmington until the end of August 2010 after which the discs will
inspired it, and where he lived for a spell in his 20s. One homesick Sunday be sent for recycling. ID

August 2010 55
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72 Portfolio

70 Antennae
64 Moulded from clay
60 Home for the holidays

August 2010
The Dune House in Suffolk, designed by Jarmund/Vigsnaes
Rocky Lane, combines
Architects nine contemporary,
combinesthree bedroom,architecture
low carbon
with houses
classic at St. features.
vernacular Agnes.

Home for the holidays

Author, philosopher and founder of Living Architecture, Alain
de Botton talks exclusively to identity about his biggest challenge
to date – changing Britain’s perception of modern architecture

60 identity [interior/design/property]

In The Architecture of Happiness, author Alain de Botton quotes the 20th

century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: “You think philosophy is difficult,
but I tell you, it’s nothing compared to the difficulty of being a good architect.”
Prompted by his discoveries while researching, the author decided to challenge
Britain’s perception of contemporary domestic architecture with the creation of
Living Architecture, a not-for-profit enterprise offering short-term holiday homes
in England designed by a selection of world-class architects.
“Many people in Britain are still suspicious of contemporary architecture
on the whole because they don’t know it from close up. The great modern
buildings in the UK tend to be either in the public realm, such as railway stations
or airports, or they are in private hands and cannot be visited. The idea of Living
Architecture is to introduce people to domestic architecture of a very good
quality and in a small way, to change the debate about the sort of buildings that
people could be constructing here,” de Botton explains.
Since commencing the project five years ago, de Botton has drawn up a
team of experts, including Dickon Robinson, Living Architecture’s chairman and
the former director of development for London’s oldest housing association,
The Peabody Trust; Mark Robinson, former project manager for London’s
Serpentine Gallery Pavilions; Richard Day of the National Trust; and architect
Meredith Bowles, a leader in sustainable architecture. Working with practices
from both Britain and Europe, the organisation aims to begin a dialogue similar
to that of the 1950s California Case Study Houses.
The first of the five homes is Balancing Barn, a 30-metre long structure that
hangs semi-cantilevered over its sloping Suffolk site, designed by Rotterdam-based
MVRDV. Dutch designer Jurgen Bey worked with the architects to create the
barn’s cosy, contemporary interior.
In October, NORD’s Shingle House will follow, offering guests the chance to
experience the extreme landscape of Dungeness – Britain’s only desert – from
within a tarred shingle structure that tips a nod to local history. Due to planning
issues and land buying difficulties, all of the locations chosen had existing post
war structures still standing and Shingle House follows the footprint of the site’s
former residents, a shop, smokery, shed and fisherman’s cottage.
Next January will see the opening of JVA of Norway’s first UK project, Dune
House, in the village of Thorpeness. Although still under construction, the
studio’s modern reinterpretation of a classic seaside retreat has already become
de Botton’s favourite of the five projects, despite some initial disagreements.
“In JVA’s first scheme, each room was to be accessed by a ladder, but that just

August 2010 61

Clockwise from left: de Botton; MVRDV’s Balancing Barn in Thorington, Suffolk

is Living Architecture’s first completed project; the main living and dining area
of JVA’s Dune House; first floor bedroom and mezzanine of NORD’s Shingle
House; the Long House in Cockthorpe, Norfolk, designed by Hopkins Architects
will be available to rent from March 2011.

wanted there to be a Dutch firm, as I think that both countries have done very
well in architecture, but other than that, we ran some competitions of which
JVA and NORD won. The rest was general consensus,” he says.
Since the beginning of his literary career in 1992, de Botton has tackled a
wasn’t going to work for us. We liked the scheme and thought it was fun, but it diverse range of subjects inspired by personal experiences, from a detailed
was just impractical. They were very disappointed, but it was just impossible for analysis of the processes of falling in and out of love, to his most recent topic, an
us,” he says. account of life at Britain’s Heathrow Airport. However, it was The Architecture of
As the project takes form – without ladders – de Botton admits: “I think the Happiness, a philosophical investigation into our relationship with buildings that
JVA house is going to be really special. I thought that it would be nice, but I think sparked his current crusade.
it’s going to be absolutely exceptional. It’s quite modest, but it’s going to be As we sit in the lounge of a pre-war apartment in north London, the writer
really sweet.” recalls the ideas behind the book. “I think that living in London you are faced,
However, the final two of the initial planned projects are the star turns. In on a daily basis with bad architecture that’s the result not so much of poverty,
Norfolk, Sir Michael and Lady Patty Hopkins of London, and Dubai-based but of bad ideas. As a thinking person that seemed to be a challenge, the way
Hopkins Architects have reinterpreted the traditional long house with clad flint that people still say: ‘You can’t tell what’s attractive, it’s all subjective, it’s down to
walls reminiscent of the region’s flint-walled barns and churches, while within the individual’,” de Botton says.
the hills and valleys of Chivelstone in south Devon, Pritzker prize-winner Peter “That seemed to be a very dangerous argument and not one that you
Zumthor will build his first UK project, a hilltop retreat dedicated to reflection would make about morality or law, for example. It seems strange that when it
and creativity. comes down to aesthetics the argument is made that nobody knows what a
When it came to deciding the line-up, Zurich-born de Botton admits good building is. I think this is a bonus for developers who think that they can
that Swiss compatriot Zumthor was his choice, although the selection was do whatever they like and when people don’t like it they can use one of those
democratic “We all had very similar tastes. I was pushing for a Swiss and I also classic rebuttals like: ‘Who are you to say?”

62 identity [interior/design/property]




It’s not only Britain’s domestic architecture that de Botton finds disappointing,
he also has a strong opinion about Dubai. “It’s following a model of urban
planning based on Le Corbusier’s ideas of towers dotted around the landscape,
connected by giant motorways,” he says, going on to explain that since WWII,
new theories have been developed as to what makes cities work, raising the
question as to whether this is the best path a dynamic city as Dubai should tension, but I think that the good and the wise architects will learn sometimes to
be following. make compromises. We had fierce battles over things for the houses, but I think
He admits that Dubai’s hospitality sector is getting it right with gardens and that the houses are all the better for them.”
sensitively designed spaces on a more human scale. But for de Botton, it is the As I leave, allowing him to return to his current project, a new book on
Netherlands that holds some of the best examples of domestic architecture, religion based on the less explored facets of faith, including architecture, I
due to, among many reasons, a communally spirited mindset and the fact that recall a passage in The Architecture of Happiness, where de Botton says that
the Dutch are comfortable with modernity, while respecting their past – a far although we can be moved and touched by architecture, a beautiful home is no
cry from the UK’s “Stubborn individualism”. guarantee of happiness.
Living Architecture has offered de Botton his closest encounter with What aspects of architecture make you happy? I ask him. “A good question to
architecture to date, so what he has learnt from the experience so far? “I think ask someone is: ‘What do you fear?’ I most fear overload, so I’m very attracted
that there’s nothing more satisfying than a good building, it’s a joy. I think to be a to calm places. I’m also attracted to a kind of elegance in architecture, by which
client and to be in a good relationship with an architect is tricky,” he admits. I mean that complex things have been resolved in a way that looks quite easy.
“Somebody once compared it to getting someone else to scratch your back I like buildings that don’t advertise the work that’s gone into them, but you pick
– you have to tell them: ‘A bit to the left, no, no a bit to the right’ and, on the up that there’s a lot of thought gone into it,” he surmises.
whole, client/architect relationships are tense because architects want to do You can guarantee there’s no dearth of thought behind Alain de Botton’s
what they want to do and clients have their ideas, so there are moments of philosophically-inspired scheme. ID

August 2010 63
Moulded from clay
In Cornwall, Britain’s first eco-town is being planned,
but this is evolution not revolution – progress will be
leisurely and “organic.” TEXT: RICHARD WARREN

Rocky Lane, nine contemporary, three bedroom,

low carbon houses at St. Agnes.

64 identity [interior/design/property]

August 2010 65

The Eden Project.

William Blake may not turn in his grave so much as leap out and cheer “more organic”, less likely to unbalance the local economy and housing market.
if he had an inkling of what was happening in deepest, south-west England. “We believed that the ‘hub and spoke’ approach is more appropriate to the
In 1804, he penned the lines to Jerusalem, a poem that became a Socialist song existing patterns in mid-Cornwall,” says John Hodkin, director of Imerys, one of
and has gone on to become an unofficial English national anthem. Its lines the project’s developers. “A single urban extension would not be feasible. We
refer to building “Jerusalem”, a utopian society, among England’s “dark Satanic will enhance the quality of the existing clay villages by increasing critical mass to
mills”, a reference to the polluting, landscape-scarring rapaciousness of the offer community facilities and services which don’t exist today.
Industrial Revolution. “Our focus is on providing alternatives for people to make viable decisions
Based on his nostalgia for the green and pleasant land that existed before about living in a more sustainable way. For example, walkable neighbourhoods
the mills and mines appeared, Blake’s vision for the future was for something with shops and local facilities to avoid having to travel everywhere for basic
more in tune with nature. Two centuries on, his dream is starting to become provisions and services.”
reality in mid-Cornwall, quite a turnaround for this part of England’s most Residents will have access to 500 hectares of open green space and a marina
south-western county. at Par Docks, where Imerys’ clay shipping operations are based, a short way
Over the past couple of centuries, industry’s gluttonous appetite for raw up the coast from St Austell. Home working will be encouraged by installing
materials meant much of mid-Cornwall was ripped open by clay miners. They high speed broadband connections and there are ambitions to make Eco-Bos a
hacked away at the hillsides to get at the valuable china clay, hollowing out the green industry hub.
gentle slopes where green grass and trees once grew, creating great gashes, “Green industries could include a whole range of opportunities, from
raw and deathly white. Huge pyramids of rocky debris dumped by the miners at increasing the supply of locally sourced food products for sale in local markets,
various high points stood like tombs for the murdered countryside and could be research and manufacture of sustainable building materials using surplus
seen for miles around. Thousands of hectares of land were disfigured in this way. secondary aggregates, energy industries such as the manufacture and provision
The mining continues today, but the area affected is smaller and the wounded of photo voltaic and geothermal energy sources, manufacture and maintenance
land is being healed – the pyramids are being levelled and grass and trees are of electric vehicles,” Hodkin says.
growing again. But that is just the start. Some disused clay pits will find new life St Austell will be integrated with the former pit villages via improved public
as districts of Eco-Bos (“Bos” is Cornish for home), Britain’s first eco-town. transport facilities to create an “Eco-zone”. This will form part of Cornwall’s
Covering 700 hectares, Eco-Bos will be an expansion of eight existing clay wider re-invention of itself as a “Green Peninsula”, an initiative led by the
mining villages that lie in an arc to the north and east of Cornwall’s biggest town, county’s principal local authority, Cornwall Council, which plans to establish
St Austell (population 22,000). These interconnected villages will have 5,000 Britain’s first solar energy park and first council-run wind farms. Part-funded by
new homes, shops, businesses and public amenities built in six disused clay pits the UK government, planning permission for Eco-Bos will be sought later this
next to them. Construction will happen over decades, because that is deemed year, with construction work scheduled to begin in 2011.

66 identity [interior/design/property]

is attracting internet-using professionals who wanted to escape the pollution

The Cornwall, a new hotel and holiday homes estate near St Austell,
Cornwall, UK; Higher Reen, Perranporth, thatched cottage. and high costs of living in Britain’s big cities. He envisions the Eden Project’s
new research and education facilities and St Austell’s new college, which runs
environmental courses, would attract more of them, making Eco-Bos and St
Austell magnets for knowledge-based, green businesses.
By giving the local economy a boost, Eco-Bos might help mid-Cornwall’s
property market, where a two-bedroom cottage in an inland village near St
The scheme’s coalition of developers is more diverse than Britain’s governing Austell costs approximately Dhs530,000, says estate agent Mark Lewis, a
Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition at Westminster. Egyptian conglomerate partner at St Austell-based Lewis Property Consultants, who believes Eco-Bos
Orascom Development is lead partner. It is famous for building El Gouna will support St Austell, where a new town centre has been built. “I very much
(population 10,000), a posh resort town on the Red Sea Riviera. Other partners like the idea of my home town expanding and becoming the centre of power it
include French clay mining firm Imerys, which owns the disused clay pits where once was,” he says.
Eco-Bos will be built, and conservation charity the Eden Project, which occupies Other regeneration projects include restoration of a 17-hectare country
a former clay pit close to the eastern end of Eco-Bos. Eden is famous for having estate on the edge of St Austell that was abandoned for 30 years. Cornish
the world’s largest geodesic domes; huge bulbous hothouses where visitors developer CMR is building The Cornwall, a hotel and 60 detached holiday
can see exotic plants from around the world grow. It is Cornwall’s best-known homes set in woodland. The estate’s manor house has been converted into the
tourism attraction and will be supplying geothermal power to Eco-Bos. bar, restaurants and reception for the hotel, which is built on a hillside behind it.
The developers’ consensual approach to gaining planning approval is in tune These facilities and those of the spa, gym and swimming pool
with Westminster’s new politics. At a public exhibition of the developers’ plans next door are available to holiday home owners, with CMR maintaining owners’
in St Austell in March 2010, Orascom’s chairman, Samih Sawiris, became properties when they are away. The first 22 homes are already
concerned his company’s vision for Par Docks, where the developers want built and on sale, with prices starting at Dhs1.6 million for a fully furnished, two-
to build new homes, was too high density, so he scribbled on a display board bedroom house.
“please tell us what you think”. The Cornwall contributes to mid-Cornwall’s socially responsible
Hugely enthusiastic, St Austell’s mayor, Brian Palmer, thinks the developers’ redevelopment. As a source of purpose-built holiday homes it helps relieve
plans will assist with his town’s economic regeneration. It has suffered over demand on conventional housing from second home owners, making it easier
recent years due to the mechanisation of the clay mining industry. “This [Eco- for St Austell’s first time buyers to get a foot on the ladder, Lewis says.
Bos] is an opportunity,” he says, “We have a chance to find something new, to Developments around St Austell are complemented by new projects
develop knowledge-based industries and create well-paid jobs”. elsewhere in Cornwall, including designer hotels, restaurants and homes, like
Palmer says the modern Cornish lifestyle of surfing, dining out at celebrity Rocky Lane, a set of nine contemporary, low-carbon, detached houses on a
chef-run seafood restaurants and visiting art exhibitions at the Tate St Ives gallery hillside overlooking the sea at St Agnes. ID

68 identity [interior/design/property]
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Exciting new projects are appearing in Asia, but others in the United States have stalled, while Europe
continues to offer homes with old world charm. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN

ASIA ON THE RISE The French property market recovery that started
in late 2009 continued gingerly in early 2010. It’s a sign of the power shift from west to east.
Prices rose in half of the locations monitored by Figures from estate agency Knight Frank, show Three years ago an Irish developer in the United
the Knight Frank Global House Price Index in the French property prices crept up 0.5 per cent in the States announced he would build the world’s
year to the end of March 2010. The index of 47 first quarter of this year, so there’s little chance of a tallest residential tower, the 610 metre-high
countries rose 1.6 per cent, the first rise for five bubble forming, welcome news for anyone buying Chicago Spire. Located on Chicago’s Lake
quarters. Top performers were China, Hong Kong a home there. The French holiday homes market Michigan waterfront this twisting, tapering building,
and Singapore, where prices surged more than went into hibernation during the recession, but designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava,
24 per cent. Bottom were Ukraine and the three developers are looking to draw overseas buyers was scheduled for completion in 2011. Not only
Baltic States which had price falls of more than to their projects once again. In the Southern will that completion date be missed, the building
30 per cent. “Arguably, the most noticeable trend French department of Midi-Pyrennes, developers may never be built – too few people can be
in global house prices is the ease with which the have converted a chateau into five apartments and found to finance it. Right now, it is a hole in the
performance of global housing markets can now created 58 apartments in former outbuildings and ground. On the other side of the world, a new
be grouped by world region,” said Liam Bailey, new premises on its 340 hectare grounds. Prices pretender to the throne of tallest residential tower
head of residential research at Knight Frank. “The for apartments at Chateau de la Durantie start in the world is appearing in Mumbai, where
top four positions in our rankings are all occupied from Dhs1.1 million. Facilities include three heated Indian developer, Lodha Group, is constructing
by Asia Pacific locations, whilst Europe dominates swimming pools, 24-hour concierge, spa, tennis World One, a 442 metre-high building of 276
the bottom half of the table.” Fortunately East courts, screening room and seasonal brasserie. apartments. Some consolation for the West,
Europe’s downward curve is levelling out, the The estate is surrounded by rolling hills and a the tower’s architects will be New York-based
statistics show. 7,000 hectare forest. architects, Pei Cobb Freed and Partners.

70 identity [interior/design/property]

Marrakesh is the least expensive major property

market in the world, information that may
appeal to anyone looking for a low cost holiday
home. In a survey of 35 destinations by estate
agency Savills, Marrakesh beat Cairo, Muscat and
Hanoi to have the lowest prices. An apartment
in Marrakesh averages Dhs6,928 per square
metre. Monaco is the most expensive market,
AS YOO LIKE IT posting a whopping Dhs241,000 per square
metre. A series of luxury resorts are appearing
The housing market is hotting up in more ways than one in Singapore. Property prices leapt 25 per cent in around Marrakesh, including a scheme fronted by
the city state over the past 12 months, and a row has broken out over whether estate agents are properly Monaco’s Prince Albert II following a Monegasque
regulated following allegations that sellers are being pressurised into selling at low prices. One estate agent decision that their own country was too expensive
told a client the “market is going to crash.” One vendor that won’t want to be pressurised into lowering its for a new project. Estate agency, Aylesford, is
sales price is international developer, yoo, which has collaborated with Singapore builder, Heeton Holdings, marketing several holiday home developments
to create iLiv@Grange, a set of 30 apartments in a building designed to resemble a Calla lily. Apartment near Marrakesh. These include Assoufid, which
interiors are designed by yoo’s design team which is headed by Philippe Starck. Located near Orchard has 80 villas with views of Marrakesh and the
Road, Singapore’s principal thoroughfare, the development has residents’ gardens and swimming pools. Atlas Mountains, says the agency. A Rocco Forte
Apartment sales prices start at Dhs16.5 million. The 16-storey building will be completed in 2013. Collection hotel, spa and 18-hole golf course
completes the 222-hectare resort.


Central London residential prices are pretty much
Ireland and the United States are expected to back to 2007 boom market levels, farmland Running gun battles in the streets of Kingston,
have the biggest rise in distressed property sales prices are higher than ever before and residential Jamaica, between police and soldiers on one
this summer, homes subject to foreclosure or development land values are rising at their side and gangsters on the other, earlier this
placed on the market by mortgage lenders. Both strongest rate for five years. The abolition of HIPs summer has done little for the Caribbean’s
countries suffered the biggest rise in distressed (home information packs) has encouraged more image as an easy going place to get away from
sales at the start of 2010, says the London-based homeowners to sell, providing buyers with more it all. However, drug wars aside, the Caribbean
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). choice, but without denting prices. An increase remains largely peaceful and is opening its doors
Banks are scaling down their property loan books in the maximum rate of Capital Gains Tax to 28 wider to incomers. In St Lucia, for example, a
in Western Europe, a process that is likely to per cent won’t deter investors, pundits assure. new airport terminal and super-yacht marina for
accelerate in Ireland, surveyors forecast. Irish Overseas investment is surging, with half of visiting yachties are planned. Plenty of Caribbean
property prices continue to fall as life is sucked investors in central London new build homes in beach-front properties are on the market,
out of the country’s housing market by its parlous the last 12 months coming from East Asia. All including 56 homes on Jumby Bay, a 120-hectare
economy. Ireland has Europe’s highest budget good news then? Well, no. Swinging public sector private island a ferry-ride away from Antigua.
deficit, GDP is contracting and tax revenues falling. cuts and several tax rises in June’s emergency Only home-owners and their friends are allowed
Regardless of this, Ireland has some beautiful budget will reduce household wealth which on the island. Prices start at Dhs18.3 million.
homes. Estate agency Knight Frank is marketing means less money to spend on homes, and Alternatively, on the private island of Kamalane
Bellamont Forest, a palladian villa set in 1,000 that means lower property prices, especially Cay, in the Bahamas, a three bedroom house
hectares of parkland, woods and loughs in County in public sector-dependent northern Britain, with direct beach access is on the market for
Cavan, 110 kilometres from Dublin. commentators warn. Dhs7.7 million.

August 2010 71
Light years ahead
A stunning, gigantic chandelier sets new world
records in Doha recently as Jumierah expands
further into London. TEXT: LYNN DAVIS

LIGHT FANTASTIC says McClellan, who was commissioned to design the centrepiece that flows
through the atrium on the Al Hitmi project, located along the Doha Corniche,
Reflective Flow, which has been officially designated as the World’s Largest after construction had begun.
Chandelier by the Guinness World Records, was recently unveiled at the Al Consisting of a seven-storey office block anchored by a 15-storey residential
Hitmi building in Doha, Qatar. tower, the project was designed by Dubai-based Norr International and was
Designed by award-winning lighting designer Beau McClellan, it is also the inspired by imagery of stone formations cantilevered over a body of water,
world’s largest interactive LED light sculpture, measuring in at 38.5 metres creating a link between the land and the Persian Gulf.
long, 12.5 metres wide and weighing 20,000 kilograms. It glows from 2,500 Clad with dark tinted glass and polished and textured natural stones, the
individually hand ground optical crystals and 55,000 LED lights which can be contemporary structure features a striking atrium with a glass ceiling and two
individually controlled, creating a gigantic, interactive light display. glass walls that provide natural light for the internal gardens and the setting for
During the day, groundbreaking technology creates a constantly changing, the flowing chandelier.
organic creation that reflects the ambiance of the building and the moods of the
people inside. BARGAINS IN BRITAIN
“The chandelier will react to a person’s mood as they enter the building and
display a subliminal moon effect… or lava, or a lightning bolt. If there are more Interest in high-end residential property in London by GCC companies
people, there is more content,” McClellan says. has increased due to the strengthening of the dollar and sterling weakness,
At night, light and colour are introduced and the unique coating becomes prompting increased activity from Middle East investors. According to Richard
either fully or semi transparent, creating a truly mesmerising masterpiece. Angel, head of International Investment at Dubai-based Asteco, the majority
“I knew how it would look. Now everyone can see what was inside my head,” of Savills UK (Asteco’s UK partner) web visitors live within the GCC, which

72 identity [interior/design/property]
PORTFOLIO | idProperty

Clockwise from left: Reflective Flow chandelier; Al Hitmi building in Doha, Qatar; Beau McClellan.

doesn’t come as much of a surprise because compared to a year ago, GCC a special management agreement with Hamra Hotels and Resorts. The
investors will now save approximately Dhs6 million on an investment valued world-class amenities and value-added benefits surely make Al Hamra
at Dhs34 million. Residences one of the most exciting residential and hospitality destinations in
the region,” he says.
Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based international hospitality company, has added
a new level of luxury to the London hotel scene with its new 155 square metre Hilton Worldwide will be making its debut in Jordan this autumn with the
Royal Suite at its Knightsbridge hotel, Jumeirah Carlton. Designed by Khuan Doubletree by Hilton, Aqaba, a 181-room, newly built property on the
Chew, the suite features a fibre-optic “star-lit” ceiling, Swarovski crystal and silk country’s southern coast. “We are delighted to have signed this management
pile carpets as well as state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen audio-visual technology. agreement with Jordan Maritime Complex for Real Estate Investments for
our first Doubletree by Hilton in Jordan. It will also become our first Hilton
INCOME GENERATION Worldwide property to open in Jordan, an important market for us in our
regional development strategy,” says Mahmoud Mokhtar, vice president of
Designed in a distinctive modern Arabic style, the Al Hamra Residences have operations for Egypt & Levant for Hilton Worldwide.
opened in Ras Al Khaimah. The 218 fully-furnished one to five-bedroom In late 2013, the hotel group’s presence in Jordan will be further expanded
apartments introduce an investment opportunity new to the area, according with the opening of a 285-room waterfront resort overlooking the Dead Sea.
to Toufic El Hajj, director of sales and marketing for the project. The Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa will be part of Emaar International Jordan’s
“We have introduced a novel investment concept wherein property owners Samarah Dead Sea Resort, an integrated community that will also include 1,000
at Al Hamra Residences have the option to generate additional income through residences, as well as retail and leisure facilities. ID

August 2010 73


The Emirates Woman of the Year Awards 2010 will be the most prestigious and inspiring event held this year. Now is the time to
put forward your entrants – women from the UAE who inspire and achieve in all that they do. We aim to recognise and honour
mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, colleagues... women who break down barriers, shatter stereotypes and stride forward in a
quest to do remarkable things. Nominate today for your chance to win a Philips beauty hamper, including a SalonDry
Pro hairdryer, SalonStraight Active Ion Straightener and a Salon SuperStylist multi-styler.


in association with

Official venue Official car sponsor Official beverage partner Sponsor of the
Achievers Category

Imagination unleashed
Innovative individuals continue to take design to greater
levels of creativity, as can be seen from the shelves,
sports cars and inspirational toys featured this month.


Celebrating its 10th year, Barcelona design presents new versions of Ross Lovegrove’s Bdlove
public seating with new finishes that are either metallised or lacquered. The collection includes a
bench, which can seat up to 10 people, and incorporates a lamp, the Bdlove lamp, and another
version that is combined with the Bdlove planter. Constructed of rotomoulded plastic, a process
that dates from the 1940s but which was not widely used until recently, the designs look to the
future while being perfectly suited for today.

August 2010 75

The Levita shelves, designed by Alessandro Loschiavo, his first for OMEV, are
made entirely of stainless steel. The slim shaped rod frame supports a series of
hammered sheet metal planes that are spaced further and further apart as one
ascends the shelves.


Novecento, by Natuzzi, literally means “900”, a fitting name for a modular

wall system that can be customised in a multitude of combinations to ART AND DESIGN
create a truly personalised space. The range consists of three basic
components – a floor unit with a contemporary pull-out drawer that When contemporary artist Sacha Jafri, who won Young Artist of the
can adjust to fit almost any space, and height-adjustable sideboards and Year 2010 as well as being shortlisted for the 2010 World Artist of
cube cabinets, either vertical or horizontal, which, like the sideboard, have the Year in New York, discovered reclusive bespoke furniture maker
a push and open system – with special features for today’s technology. Sandi Rushforth, the result was a collaboration that fuses both art and
furniture into a unique collection of numbered, limited edtion pieces
signed by both. Their Signature Collection of statement pieces, designed
by Rushforth, depict seven of Jafri’s paintings which are now on display
at the Cuadro Gallery. For example, The Water Carrier is depicted
on panels that form the backs of a stepped series of chairs, while
Rushforth’s green and yellow chairs incorporate elements from another
of Jafri’s paintings.

76 identity [interior/design/property]


In subwoofers, no vibrations are the best vibrations. The

sculptural tulip-shaped Bang & Olufsen BeoLab11 has reduced
vibrations so the speakers can either be mounted on a wall
or, due to its unique design, placed on the floor – even in a
corner. Composed of two identical loudspeaker cabinets,
dressed in a choice of aluminium shell colours, with baffles
facing each other, they enhance the sound of any system
while adding a vivid design element to the room.


Vibrant and original, Pucci prints are recognised around

the world. Celebrating 60 years of innovation, Pucci, the
one-of-a-kind tome with each copy bound in a printed
Pucci fabric, traces the innate creative talent of the man,
fashion designer, and worldwide brand known as Emilio
Pucci, who was among the first to bear a logo on his
creations and to diversify into related endeavours such as
interiors, athletic wear, accessories and even yachts. His
free-flowing, lightweight fabrics with pop

art prints expanded fabric and printing

technologies and became favourites
of such mid-century luminaries as
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn
Monroe. The book will be available at
the Emilio Pucci Boutique at the Dubai
Mall this month.

August 2010 77

As its name suggests, Mosaico, designed by Mario Ruiz for Coinma and now available in the
UAE at Ofis, is a simple form that can be combined with other simple modules to create
sculptural, yet highly efficient workstations. The basic white or graphite grey metal base,
characterised by its C shape, is topped with a wood worksurface, creating a minimalist starting
point. Injections of partitions and other various units, in colour or white, increase functionality.


With a piano black finish, chrome buttons and Brita Water filter
cartridge, the Siemens Espresso Coffee Machine is as aesthetically
pleasing to look at as the coffee it brews is perfect to drink. Whether
a frothy cappuccino or a strong espresso, it can be programmed
to remember individual blends, strength, cup size and even the
proportion of milk to be added, ensuring a perfect beverage every
time. “It is generally believed that Arabs were the first to brew coffee MEGA MANIA
back in the 15th century,” says Anamika Priyadarshi of Better Life.
”Whether it is having coffee with friends or stealing a few moments Made of non-carbon vinyl-like “White
of peace and quiet on your own, a moment of relaxation is the perfect Matter” but designed to inspire the grey
way to sample your favourite blend.” matter of your brain, MEGAs are blank
eight-inch humanoid figures that can be
morphed into beings that are governed
by your imagination. The brainchild of Emirati
designer Mohammed Abedin, who founded
Foo Dog to cultivate the urban art scene and
to create limited edition designer toys, art and apparel,
each MEGA has adjustable and detachable arms, a 360-degree
rotatable and detachable head, detachable ears, a detachable
back rocket and hands that can grasp and hold. One hundred
professional UAE-based artists each customised a MEGA, one
of the largest artistic collaborations in the UAE, debuted at a
Bloomingdale’s Dubai Mall exhibition.

78 identity [interior/design/property]

Design agenda
Lifestyle Expo, Oman, August 15

Ceranor Expo, Porto, Portugal, September 1-5

Habitare, Helsinki, September 1-5

Maison & Objet, Paris, September 3-7

Meuble Paris, Paris, September 3-7

Now! Design a Vivre, Paris, September 3-7

FAST FORWARD Macef, Milan, September 9-12

MoOD, Brussels, September 14-16

The McLaren MP4-12C is the first car from McLaren Automotive
and is expected to race onto the Middle Eastern market through Zow 2010, Istanbul, September 16-19
Al Habtoor Motors in the UAE and Ghassan Motors in Saudi Arabia
Abitare Il Tempo, Verona, September 16-20
in early summer 2011. There will be a limited edition of 1,000 of
the sleek, aerodynamic car, designed completely from scratch by London Design Festival, London, September 18-26
Frank Stephenson, McLaren’s design director. It is low, compact and 100% Design, London, September 23-26
lightweight, features gullwing doors and is the first car in its class to
Decorex International, London, September 26-29
offer a carbon fibre framework at its core.


Celebrating its 150th year, Ligne Roset is known for its cutting-edge design. Among the notables who have designed for the only French company to
be creator, manufacturer and distributor of high-end luxury furniture are Arik Levy, Jeffrey Bernett, Pierre Charpin, Peter Maly, Philippe Nigro and Ingo
Sempré. Jean Nouvel, architect of the Saadiyat Island Louve, even designed Profil, a modern banquette for them in 1988.
“Good furniture gives great pleasure,” says Michel Roset, of the fourth generation involved in the family business founded by Antoine Roset in 1860,
“and we take great pleasure in making good furniture. One reason for this is because we have always worked with fascinating, creative people.”
Today the company collaborates with more than 70 international designers to create a diverse design portfolio of contemporary furniture available in
71 countries. The Togo collection of ergonomic chairs, loveseats sofas and ottomans designed by Michel Ducatoy in 1973 continues to be one of their
most popular designs, and was introduced in a mini-version three years ago in their first ever kids collection. Throughout its history, Ligne Roset has been
synonymous with elegance, creativity and non-conforming designs.

August 2010 79

New Zealand’s first drive-through library, a competition-winning design for a new office building for the
Dalian Electric Power Bureau and a sustainable showcase at the University of New South Wales are
making waves in the world of architecture. TEXT: STEVE HILL


6 3




The Convensia Convention Centre is an
The Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre is a Brisbane-based DMA Group Architects has important component in New Songdo City’s
purpose-built new generation 2,600 square won an international design competition for a development as an international business hub.
metre structure. Designed by Archoffice, it new office building for the Dalian Electric Power A low-rise complex conceptualised as a series
features New Zealand’s first drive-through Bureau in this northern Chinese port city. The of folded roof planes, it is prominently located
book return facility. Laminated Purple Heart and 53,000 square metre structure houses the in Central Park, the main public green space in
Alaskan Yellow Cedar vertical “fins” undulate and administrative and operational requirements of this master-planned community. Alternating gable
screen the west façade, acting as a sun control the power bureau, and embraces low energy and boat forms suggest the jagged profile of the
while patterned laser cut sheets form a striking initiatives in the form of a twin wall facade system surrounding Korean mountain ranges rising from
internal perforated screen to the south-east to the tower structure that insulates the building the clouds. The centre features 60,000 square
façade. Precast patterned lightweight panels and captures air to be used in the building’s metres of exhibition space, 8,000 square metres
form the exterior south-east façade while laser air-conditioning system. Other green initiatives of ballroom space, and 4,600 square metres
cut perforated ceiling panels provide dappled include passive solar orientation to minimise heat of meeting and conference rooms. Kohn
light through roof lights. The library features six load, narrow building depth to maximise natural Pedersen Fox’s sustainable design strategies
meeting rooms and a learning centre on the light penetration and rainwater collection to include parking for electric vehicles and a
ground floor. service toilets and landscape irrigation. grey-water recycling system.

80 identity [interior/design/property]


Lerida, one of the oldest towns in the Spanish

region of Catalonia, is now home to La Llotja
Theatre and Conference Centre, which
4. MIDDLEFART sits on the banks of the Segre. Designed by
Dutch architectural company Mecanoo, it
GROWING INTEREST accommodates a 1,000-seat theatre, two
congress halls (400 and 200 seats) which can
The Danish island of Fyn is home to a spectacular new head office for the Middelfart Savings Bank. be divided into smaller halls, an exhibition
Danish architects 3XN won a competition to design the structure which features one large wooden space, two multi-functional foyers, press room,
roof, complete with 83 prism-like skylights, enclosing the entire building. The research and development restaurant, lounge and extensive retail space.
department at 3XN utilised the latest energy efficient heating and cooling technologies in the building, The building’s horizontal form provides a large
using the mass and the ability of concrete to adjust room temperatures by absorbing and releasing heat garden on the roof, which keeps the centre cool
via pre-fabricated decks with embedded plastic pipes. Energy savings of between 30 and 50 per cent in the summer and serves as an extra meeting
can be secured thanks to these moves. place for guests attending conferences.

VISITOR CENTRE COULD VANISH The Tyree Energy Technologies Building
Due to be completed in 2013 is a new Dhs235 at the University of New South Wales will
million School of Business building for the A proposed new visitor centre for the British accommodate and showcase state-of-the-art
University of Albany in New York. Designed tourist destination of Stonehenge is in doubt and leading edge research in clean energy
by Perkins & Will, it has been inspired by an because of UK Government cutbacks. Denton including photovoltaics, carbon capture and
existing academic podium and residence halls Corker Marshall’s design called for the removal storage. The 16,000 square metre building has
on the campus by renowned US architect of an existing visitor centre and car park with been designed by FJMT and will be the focal
Edward Durell Stone. The new structure will new facilities being constructed about 2.5 point for the University’s Centre for Energy
feature technologically advanced classrooms kilometres west of the iconic 5,000-year-old Research and Policy Analysis and will also house
and meeting spaces, as well as a trading room stones, which attract 800,000 visitors a year. the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable
on the first floor with Bloomberg terminals. Small valley slopes and landscaping would Energy Engineering, the Centre for Energy and
The business school’s design integrates LEED conceal parking facilities – which would be linked Environmental Markets, the School of Petroleum
measures, incorporating green building design to the stones by a low-key transit system – while Engineering and the laboratories of the ARC
elements to improve energy savings, water exhibitions, a café, shop and general facilities Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence and the ARC
efficiency, CO2 emission reduction, improved would be accommodated in a pair of single- Centre for Functional Nanomaterials. Named
indoor environmental quality and stewardship of storey spaces – one glass, one timber-enclosed after Sir William Tyree, the building is due to be
resources and sensitivity to their impacts. – sitting beneath an undulating roof. completed in October 2011.

August 2010 81
The intricate coiling
pattern in the ceiling
echos the marble floor.

Pioneering spirit
The genesis of contemporary design in Dubai can
be traced back to one man, the visionary Lars
Waldenstrom, who introduced the clean lines
of Swedish minimalism to the Middle East.

82 identity [interior/design/property]

Design in Dubai is “becoming more and more international, universal,”

says Lars Waldenstrom, who established LW Designs in 1999 and recently
celebrated its 10th anniversary by announcing his retirement. He was the first
person to introduce the clean lines of contemporary designs to the emirate,
making Swedish minimalism his trademark in the wide range of projects he
has spearheaded.
“You can take a hotel here and put it in San Francisco and it works. No one
could tell the difference, really. That is the biggest change,” he says.
To keep abreast of trends and the direction of design around the world,
Waldenstrom and his partners, Morten Hansen, Jesper Godsk, Colin Doyle and
Finn Theilgaard would make yearly sojourns to other important cities where
they would spend four or five days visiting the newest hotels and restaurants,
absorbing what they saw.
“When we were in New York walking down one of these avenues, [we
saw a hotel and I thought that the] hotel we did there [Dubai], like the Ibis
hotel near the Trade Centre, would be perfect here and that hotel [we saw in
New York] would fit in,” he says. “Most of the projects we have done in Dubai
would easily fit in anywhere in the world because the design market today is
so international. You must remember that Dubai is so multicultural, people are
travelling here from all over the world.”
A quick glance at the LW Designs portfolio of hotels, which includes
Grosvenor House, Raffles, Hyatt Regency, Le Méridian Airport, the Beach
Rotana and Al Bustana Rotana, illustrates his point.
Among the two newest projects to be completed are the young and trendy
Media One in Media City, which features a quirky sense of humour as well as
providing a refreshing venue for Waldenstrom’s farewell celebration, and the
recently-opened Bonnington Hotel, a business hotel designed by M3ar, which is
located in the Jumeirah Lakes area.
The four-star Bonnington is a symphony of marble, counter-balanced with
the lightness of reflective metal and glass surfaces, and a plethora of LED lights
and crystal. A pathway of Nero Absoluto black marble, inlaid into the lighter,
grained Arabescato marble, welcomes guests in a unique re-interpretation of
the red carpet treatment, providing a sense of place while leading them to the
reception area and beyond.
The intricate pattern of the inlaid marble is echoed in a ceiling sculpture that
follows the movement of the path below. A three-storey chandelier rains down
from above, dripping through the leather and wood Author’s Lounge, which
exudes a comfortable gentlemen’s club ambience, to the restaurant areas on
the floor below. The glass elevators begin at a lighted crystal garden on the
lowest level and whisk guests up through a contrasting chorus of marble and
transparent glass, shiny, cool metals and glittery crystal chandeliers.
Every class of room, as well as the business centre, offers the comfort of
soothing colours and textures, and is designed to cater to the needs of the guests,
once again illustrating why the LW Design ethos endures in timeless sophistication.
A new venture for the group is their entrance into the value hotel market.
“It’s really fun, the challenge is to make a three-star hotel really good and

August 2010 83
Clockwise from above: Author’s Lounge at the Bonnington Hotel;
Lars Waldenstrom; Healy’s Bar at the Bonnington.

inviting. It is easier to make a five-star hotel than to make a three-star. I think When asked about the future of LW Designs and whether he thought it
Ibis is a really good example of a three-star hotel that has a really good design,” would expand beyond Dubai, Waldenstrom replies: “Yes, I’m 100 per cent sure
Waldenstrom says. of that. Whether we want to or not, that is another question! We are slowly
“We are developing a brand called Centro and it is going to spread all over expanding out of Dubai to Syria and Lebanon, but then we have a market that
the Middle East. So whenever there is a Centro hotel coming up, most of the is enormous and that is Abu Dhabi. So why move too far from this? I think that
time we are doing both the architecture and the interior. That’s what we like to LW Design is one of the very few international design companies that is based in
do – interiors and construction – the whole shebang.” Dubai. Most international design companies are based in London, Chicago, or
The restaurant sector in the UAE has also been greatly influenced by whatever. But we are based here. This is our headquarters, giving LW Designs
Waldenstrom. From the perennial favourites of the Buddha Bar, Prego and the advantage of being local as well as international in vision.”
Noodle House, to the exotic Okku in the Monarch Hotel, which opened its Projects on the drawing board include Aquitainia, a mixed-use development
doors last year, and the five up-market designs in the new Terminal 3 at Dubai on The World islands of France and Spain, and the Hatta Mountain Resort, as
International that redefine airport catering, each one exhibits its own style and well others in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and London.
timeless elegance that reinforces the flavours of the cuisine. Although Waldenstrom is retired and has already passed on the baton of the
“For me, going into a restaurant is absolutely about the food,” he says day-to-day operations, his presence will still be felt, as he continues to consult
modestly. However, he recognises that the design of the restaurant has to make on a variety of projects. “I think it is important to explain how much I love
diners feel comfortable and welcome, and that the open kitchen concept has this place and how much I admire what Dubai has done. When they built the
added a new dimension to restaurant design. Burj al Arab, all the talk was about how it was the biggest white elephant ever
“When you can merge really good design with a really good kitchen, and the created and afterwards, this is the biggest white icon ever built, and it is fantastic.
designer understands what the kitchen, the restaurant, would like to do and can This is Dubai in my book,” he says.
carry that out, is when you have a really good restaurant,” says Waldenstrom. “It has been tough. We can talk about this financial crisis and where the
In addition to hotels and restaurants, LW Designs is known for spas and [growth] was too fast and all of that, but they have done it, and I think it has
recreation facilities such as H2O Spa, Emirates Towers, Angsana Spa Arabian been incredible. In the end, Dubai is going to be OK, it’s going to be a fantastic
Ranches Golf Club & Montgomerie; Timeless Spa andThe Harbour Hotel and place. Also, Abu Dhabi will become a fantastic place, so the UAE as a whole will
Retreat Spa, as well as the spa at the Grosvenor House. be a dream.” ID

84 identity [interior/design/property]
We are an ITALIAN interior design company in Dubai.

From us you can get

Furniture. Light. Building Materials.
Save time, give your home to the professionals

Storia Moderna Showroom

Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz Area, Smark Bldg, Showroom 1
P.O.BOX 38450, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 338 1131 | Fax: +971 4 338 1161 | Mob+971 50 343 5537

86 identity [interior/design/property]

August 2010 87

This month’s reading selection focuses on beach houses, an experiment in community planning,
contemporary interiors and the evolution of one of the world’s great furniture companies.


DHS163 DHS275 DHS185 DHS220

More than 50 architectural houses The history of Knoll furniture mirrors Although a somewhat nebulous term The idea was for six different
built along the water’s edge during the history of modern design. Hans to define, modern is an international emerging architectural practices
the last decade are featured here, Knoll realised the company he design designation that is immediately in Singapore to design six unique
with beautiful full-colour photographs founded in 1938 had to do more than recognisable when seen, while chic houses for a sloping triangular plot
by Scott Burrows of Aperture & merely import European designs into is a fashion element that is even less which would have no boundaries or
Associates, along with floor plans, the United Sates, and so he began easy to define. However, the 40 fences between them. Zigzag House
illustrating the setting of each. For nurturing local talent to provide the projects beautifully photographed by Ministry of Design, shaped as its
example, the Peregian Beach House in designs he manufactured. Adding in this book give striking examples name suggests, can be viewed from
Queensland, Australia, was designed design services to his repertoire, he of interiors that are both. All are Cubic House by Zarch Collaborative, a
by Middap Ditchfield Architects to developed a full-service company located in the Asia-Pacific region and combination of light open spaces and
step down the elevated plot and that not only manufactured and several themes dominate. The striking more private, closed spaces. It began
open onto the dramatic ocean views. sold furniture, but also provided contrast of black and white, as seen in with the same cube aesthetics as the
Predominately a single room wide, consultations that resulted in the the Zoeppritz Apartment featured on 8-Box House by PODesigns, but that
it takes advantage of natural light and design of one of the first office systems the cover, uses lighting and selected is where all similarities between the
cross ventilation. The Truro Residence ever devised. Knoll is responsible infusions of vivid colour to create two homes end, as the latter appears
in Cape Cod, United States, by for producing such iconic pieces as drama as well as practicality. Box as a playful jumble of blocks rather
ZeroEnergy Design, produces most the Brno chair (this month’s identity columns were built to divide space than something designed with sleek
of its own energy as it blends into the icon), the Ludwig Mies van der as well as for the ventilation system, sophistication. Screen House by K2LD
coastal topography. A large section Rohe designed Barcelona chair, Eero rather than creating a non-essential appears as a linear block facing the
that is designated for guests can be Saarinen’s Tulip and Womb chairs; wall. Conversely, the Gemdale Green street, but presents surprises on the
decommissioned when not in use and Harry Bertoia’s Wire chair. This Spring residence is a fluid assortment opposite side of an elevated curved
to conserve energy. In Arduaine, richly illustrated monograph is a of circles and ovals within a virtually pavilion above a central communal
Scotland, Tigh na Dobhran by fascinating read, providing informative square white outer box that is garden. The result of the Lien Villa
studioKAP is a rural home, exposed biographies that include interesting filled with colourful and curvelinear Collective, named after the family
to the open sea along the rugged details of the life and influences of furniture and accessories to delineate whose patriarchal home anchors the
coastline, where the natural and Hans Knoll and his talented wife, the different functions and spaces. community and was rennovated as
man-made meet. Materials, Florence, including how shortages Elements such as materials, patterns part of the project, it is an intriguing
composition and orientation interact to during the Second World War inspired and colours evoke the essence of mix of contemporary styles that work
provide both excitement and refuge, creativity and spurred the growth of the natural world and provide other amazingly well together. ID
while acknowledging local traditions. the new company. widely used themes. BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM MAJOR UAE BOOKSTORES

88 identity [interior/design/property]


Nakkash Gallery · Al Garhoud Street · P.O. Box 26767 · Dubai-UAE

Tel: 00971 4 2826767 · Fax: 00971 4 2827567 ·


Brno Chair

Brno is the historic second city of the Czech Republic and a thriving routinely imitated but arguably never bettered.
metropolis of some 370,000 people that will be forever associated with a The Brno Chair is unique because it is as at home in a conference suite
chair designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. and a bedroom as a dining room or an office.
The German went on to become one of the most important and influential This timeless classic is still available today, some 70 years later, in either
architects of the 20th century with the Villa Tugendhat in Brno a compelling flat or tubular steel versions with Knoll continuing to produce each chair to
part of his Modernist legacy. its original specifications thanks to collaboration with the Mies van der Rohe
Mies was responsible for every aspect of the villa’s design as well as its Archives and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
furniture. He originally intended his MR20 Chair to feature in the dining room The iconic nature of the Brno Chair can be gauged by the fact that critic
but, because of space constraints, produced an adapted version that, in many Dan Cruickshank selected it as one of his 80 man-made treasures of the
respects, has become more famous than the home it was intended for. world in his celebrated BBC TV series.
Startling simple, this classic cantilever chair was soon celebrated for its It continues to inspire furniture designers and remains highly collectable.
clean lines, lean profile and meticulous craftsmanship, marrying Italian-leather But, tellingly, this is a chair that also demands to be sat on thanks to Mies,
upholstery with stainless steel to produce a piece of furniture that has been who designed all his furniture with his own comfort in mind. ID

90 identity [interior/design/property]
P.O.Box 29860, Dubai U.A.E T +971 4 2691377 - F +971 4 2665461 -