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COMMERCIALInterior design

The essential guide for Middle East interior design professionals An ITP Business Publication Jan Vol.6 Issue 1
January 2010 Vol.6 Issue 1

ROSS LOVEGROVE
Catching up with the champion
of intelligent, organic design

BEST OF BAHRAIN
Exploring market opportunities
on the island of Bahrain
The essential guide for Middle East interior design professionals

ALL EYES ON YOU


Art and crystal collide in a brand new retail concept by Swarovski
An ITP Business Publication

Licensed by International Media Production Zone


CONTENTS

January 2010
06 DESIGN UPDATE
Sporting success.

09 INDUSTRY SPEAK
Leading designers outline their
projections for the coming year.

12 DESIGN FORENSICS
Why the Rivington Grill is an
example of great design.

15 WHITEPAPER
12 17 27
Exclusive extracts from Kenneth
Laidler’s paper on the continual
assessment of interior designers.

17 DESIGNER Q&A
CID gets up close and personal
with the champion of organic
design, Ross Lovegrove.

22 CASE STUDY
Swarovski unveils a new retail
concept in the heart of Vienna.

27 DESTINATION FOCUS
CID takes a closer look at the
Bahraini market.

31 SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW


A handful of kooring suppliers
that you can’t afford to ignore.

35 PRODUCTS
A showcase of new products.

38 CLASSIFIEDS
CID’s own directory of suppliers
and manufacturers.

39 CONTRACTS
Your monthly guide to contract
tenders in the region, provided
by Ventures Middle East, in
conjunction with CID.

40 OPINION
Modar Al Mekdad of Gulf
Extrusions outlines the merits
22
of extruded aluminium.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 1


COMMENT

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EDITORIAL t’s probably safe to say that no one’s sorry to see the back of 2009.
Senior Group Editor Stuart Matthews It was a year brimming with uncertainty, instability, caution and
Editor Selina Denman
Tel: +971 4 435 6209 email: selina.denman@itp.com contradiction. For the region’s interior design industry, it was a year
ADVERTISING steeped in setbacks.
Publishing Director Jason Bowman
Tel: +971 4 435 6344 email: jason.bowman@itp.com Overheads remained steady while design fees plummeted. Clients
STUDIO became more demanding, but less likely to commit – or pay on time.
Group Art Editor Daniel Prescott ‘Value engineering’ became an unavoidable and inextricable part of
Designer Lucy McMurray
the design lexicon. Unsightly squabbling over contractual small print
PHOTOGRAPHY
Director of Photography Sevag Davidian grew increasingly commonplace. And a summer exodus combined with
Chief Photographer Khatuna Khutsishvili
Senior Photographer Efraim Evidor, Thanos Lazopoulos Ramadan to wipe out the best part of a quarter.
Staff Photographers Isidora Bojovic, George Dipin,
Lyubov Galushko, Jovana Obradovic, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav All in all, not the best of years. But when we spoke to some of the
PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION region’s leading interior design jrms for this month’s Industry Speak
Group Production Manager Kyle Smith (page 9), we sensed an inkling of conjdence creeping back on to the
Production Manager Eleanor Zwanepoel
Production Coordinator Louise Schreiber market. Nothing dramatic, of course, but dejnitely the feeling that
Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn
Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell 2010 might bring some stability in its wake.
Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami
The past year has forced companies (the smart ones, anyway), to
CIRCULATION
Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati reassess who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Any interior
MARKETING design jrm worth its salt has spent the last year taking a long hard
Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell look in the mirror. Maybe that’s the great lesson of 2009: know your-
ITP DIGITAL self, celebrate your strengths, do not shy from your weaknesses.
Director Peter Conmy
Internet Applications Manager Mohammed Affan As an upshot of all this introspection, many jrms have come int0
Internet Design Manager Hitesh Uchil
Web Designer Meghna Rao 2010 smarter, leaner and far more agile. And maybe, just maybe, the
ITP GROUP industry is better off as a result – no matter what the balance sheets
Chairman Andrew Neil
Managing Director Robert Serafin
say. After all, as the straight-talking Ross Lovegrove pointed out in
Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies
Board of Directors K M Jamieson, Mike Bayman,Walid Akawi,
an exclusive interview with CID (page 17): “Things needed to become
Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin more efjcient. They were terribly obese”.
Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 435 6000

Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact
itpimages@itp.com for further details or visit www.itpimages.com

Printed by Emirates Printing Press L.L.C. Dubai Selina Denman, Editor


Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions selina.denman@itp.com
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contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained
in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised
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the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for
the purpose of fair review.
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www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 3


DESIGN UPDATE

Sporting success
In light of last month’s Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, CID speaks to John Rabone
of R&R Design about the challenges of designing a world-class stadium from scratch
UAE: Converting a patch of desert stand with 15,000 seats, a multi- “We now had 18 months, no to close in December 2006,” he
into a multi-purpose stadium storey car park and a medical/ site and one of Dubai’s biggest explained. “By the end of July, we
capable of hosting a world-class press block, all in time for the IRB global annual events to stage,” had the draft masterplan and ini-
sporting event – over a period of World Cup in March 2008. In terms noted John Rabone, managing tial concept sketches of the main
only 18 months – is no straight- of a time frame, they were already director of R&R Design, and lead buildings complete.
forward task. cutting it thin. designer on the project. “By the “The Al Ain road site was now
When R&R Design was brought Soon after, and somewhat out end of June 2006 a site on the Al a vast area of desert with no
on board to prepare visuals for of the blue, it transpired that the Ain road had been located and power or water available, and the
Emirates Airlines’ IRB World Cup 7s existing Exiles site was in fact going a new brief had been dejned by development was to consist of six
bid, the intention was to stage the to be demolished to make room for Emirates. Initially we needed to rugby pitches, a clubhouse for
event at the existing ‘Exiles’ site. the impressive Meydan develop- get two pitches ready by February local teams, including 12 changing
This would be extended to include ment. For all involved, this pre- 2007 for the local rugby teams to rooms, a bar and banquet hall,
two new pitches, a back-to-back sented a whole new set of issues. use, as the Exiles ground was due a grandstand to seat 15,000 and

6 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


DESIGN UPDATE

contain ten world-class changing representing a ‘step up’. The club- build it. I’d be a liar if I said there grandstands for an hour or so.
rooms, and VIP facilities, including house, for example, blends ‘old weren’t mistakes but this is the “When looking at the concept
executive boxes,” Rabone said. rugby club charm’ with contempo- inevitable fact given the speed of I’d just returned from the cricket
The aim was to create a facility rary chic. Warm, vibrant colours the project,” Rabone said. World Cup and had seen the
that would lend itself to most major are combined with high-end jnish- “The main change in the design successful grass bank in Antigua
sports. It had to be able to comfort- ings and jxtures. was, after the costs were found where they’d even incorporated
ably host intimate ‘local’ events, as A members club was put on hold to be unrealistic, we decided to a small pool for fans to cool off,”
well as large-scale, international until February this year and will only construct the lower tier of Rabone revealed.
sporting extravaganzas. consist of a gymnasium, sports the grandstand, with the option “This was a big inkuence when
“The design, whilst being a hall, four squash courts, a res- to build the upper tiers in the we created the banking around
functional day-to-day venue for taurant, a health spa, kid’s gym, future,” he noted. pitch two where fans could sit and
local rugby, netball and football, crèche, dance studios, a 50m lap One of the most striking enjoy the games in an informal at-
which caters for around 2,000 pool, outdoor pool and bar, jacuzzi features of the overall design, mosphere. Its incorporation would
people some nights, also had to and four tennis courts. according to Rabone, is a central, also allow the pitch to be used for
be designed around the running of The extremely condensed grass bank that kanks pitch two. concerts,” he continued.
the Sevens and be able to cater for timeline had a signijcant impact “When we looked at the master “Seeing the response at the Sev-
50,000+ spectators.” on how the project unfolded. “A plan, we wanted to create a family ens and World Cup to this area was
Emirates wanted the new site timeline like this means there’s no feel to the area between pitch one really pleasing – and for once I new
to retain the feel of the old Exiles real review time. It’s discuss the and two, where you can relax, exactly where to jnd my 14 year
7’s venue, whilst simultaneously problem, make the change and meet friends and just escape the olds when it was time to leave!”

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 7


INDUSTRY SPEAK

Looking forward
Leading interior designers talk to CID about the lessons they learned
in 2009, and cautiously outline their expectations for the coming year
Consistency and stability are the two
things most businesses need in order “The key challenge was reading the
to perform effectively – and 2009 was
noticeably lacking in both. An inabil-
market and sifting genuine facts from
ity to differentiate fact from jction
compounded the problem, and made for
speculation. Consistency is key to the
truly murky market conditions.
“The key challenge was reading the
success of a business; the turbulence
market and sifting genuine facts from made it difkcult to make decisions”
speculation,” noted Ben Corrigan, man-
aging partner, Bluehaus. “Consistency
is key to the success of a business and Fortunately, the jnal quarter of the in Dubai. 2009 has been especially
the turbulence of 2009 made it difjcult year brought some respite. A slight pick quiet compared to previous years for
to make fundamental decisions.” up injected an inkling of stability back all design and architecture practices,
In practical terms, the economic cli- into the market and has left interior and this will have a knock on effect for
mate translated into a series of everyday design jrms marginally more upbeat as the contractors who follow behind the
difjculties, highlighted Ellen Bishop, they move into the New Year. design companies, so tend to suffer in
owner, Bishop Design Associates. For “Quarter four was optimistic, and we the second wave.
one, overheads stayed the same while saw an increase in enquiries and new “It feels much the same as the UK in
design fees spiralled downwards, result- business. Existing clients were also 1989/90 when the government jnally
ing in slashed projt margins. Projects making decisions that were previously realised there was a recession on and
were terminated midway through, and on hold. We anticipate that 2010 will the construction industry ground to a
clients became skittish about commit- bring much the same as quarter three halt overnight. Certainly there will be
ting and, more crucially, paying. and four of 2009. The summer months problems for the contractors and shop-
“Also, clients started going directly will be down, but the year ahead in jtters who concentrate on the Dubai
to contractors and not appreciating the general should be much more consistent market, and you can see this already
value of professional design services. than 2009,” said Corrigan. with rates becoming difjcult to predict.
Interior design is viewed as a luxury ser- “We are more conjdent, but very cau- “All this will lead to some companies
vice and people, in general, are looking tious at the same time. 2009 was incred- failing, so it will be survival of the jttest
at cutting costs by going directly to the ibly unpredictable, and we seem to be – which Dubai needed to return to some
architects or contractors,” Bishop said. returning to a (albeit still difjcult) more degree of sanity,” Rabone detailed.
To make matters worse, the sum- consistent level of business heading If there is a silver lining to be found in
mer slowdown was more pronounced into 2010,” he projected. the struggles of 2009, it is this ‘matur-
than ever. A veritable exodus combined The jrst half of the year will be ing’ of the market. “I see last year as be-
with Ramadan and unstable market crucial, warned John Rabone, managing ing a good thing for Dubai as the market
conditions to create the ‘perfect storm’, director, R&R Design. The challenges needed to be shaken and some of the
rendering the best part of a quarter experienced by design jrms will have deadwood removed,” said Rabone.
essentially obsolete. This catastrophic to work their way through – and out This ongoing cleansing process will
combo was particularly damaging when – of the market. “Survival will be the leave stronger, more competitive jrms
it came to developing and securing new word for everyone! I think the jrst six in good stead, Corrigan agreed. “We
business, Corrigan noted. months will be critical for the industry believe that this recession will mature

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 9


INDUSTRY SPEAK

1 2 3

the consultancy market, and ultimately something which excites us,” said Cor- uncertain, unstable market conditions
improve the quality of organisations in rigan. “We have just completed a joint of 2009 should be cautiously conjdent
the region,” he said. venture with a reputable residential coming into the New Year. After a year of
“The organisations with a genuine, organisation, as Bluehaus’ strength has questioning their business models, pro-
long-term commitment to the region always been commercial, leisure and re- cesses and practices, they are stronger
‘should’ survive, and come out stronger tail. We feel that with the right partner, than ever – even if their projt margins
and better equipped. The less profes- Bluehaus can add genuine value to the suggest otherwise.
sional, ‘quick-buck’ organisations will residential market. We are also looking “I would say that we are more con-
be pushed out. Long-term, this will at opening further regional ofjces in jdent coming in to 2010 than we were
mean that consultancy businesses will unexpected markets.” going into 2009 because we have a bet-
need to look inwards at who they are, Rockwell Middle East is also broad- ter understanding of what is happening
what their market is and what makes ening its geographical scope, Wood with the economy and what we can do
them different or better.” explained. “We are focusing on regional to adapt,” said Wood.
This process of introspection is the markets that have strong economies “We also have a year under our belts of
key to survival, insisted Chuck Wood, and sound development models. We are re-evaluating how we work and of mak-
managing director, Rockwell Group also looking at ways that we can strate- ing adjustments so that we can deliver
Middle East. “I feel that jrms need to gically partner with other design jrms projects more efjciently and competi-
take a hard look at how they deliver where what we do best complements tively, while at the same time remaining
services and at the quality of what they what they do best, and where we can true to our DNA as a jrm. I think that it is
offer, as there is a real need for an over- offer clients a more compelling overall important to keep in mind that reces-
all improvement in both areas. solution for their needs. Finally, we sions create opportunities, for both our
“Firms that have an ability, and a real are looking to broaden our reach more clients and for us as designers.”
interest, in deeply understanding their deeply into healthcare and transport, The market has changed, probably
clients’ needs, and that are able to de- where we believe our unique approach forever. For many, this is both scary and
liver great ideas and design that serves can add a lot of value,” he revealed. exciting in equal measure. After all, it
their clients’ needs, will succeed. Those Bishop Design Associates, meanwhile, is often in times of turmoil that large-
that can’t, won’t,” he warned. will be exploring ways of offering more scale, lasting change comes about.
Design jrms will have to be agile, holistic design solutions. “We will imple- “Obviously, clients are less likely to
nimble, willing to adapt and quick to re- ment a strategy to offer full turnkey solu- experiment now, but will want longev-
act. Intelligent diversijcation is the order tions,” said Bishop, who anticipates that ity of jnishes, so this puts a bigger
of the day, and companies that remain “clients will be more focused on budget emphasis on being cost effective and
committed to uncovering new opportuni- and will want full turnkey solutions, so using more sustainable products,
ties will jnd 2010 far easier to bear than there will dejnitely be a stronger rela- which really needed to happen,”
1. Ellen Bishop. those that are resistant to change. tionship between interior designers and Rabone maintained. “I still think you’ll
“During the current climate, diversi- contractors, as they will start teaming up see plenty of gold and marble, as it is
2. Ben Corrigan. jcation has become more of a prior- to offer a ‘one stop shop’.” a time-consuming exercise to change
ity than growth, as we feel this is a The consensus? Companies that peoples’ tastes, but there’s no better
3. Chuck Wood. much more stable business model and were able to evolve and adapt to the taste dejner than budget!”

10 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


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DESIGN FORENSICS

When Interior Design Works:


The Rivington Grill, Souk Al Bahar
If there is one thing that most of us have there’s something for everyone, that At its best, the interior design of a
in common, it is that we’ve all been we mention all the right people, in the restaurant acts in seamless harmony
present somewhere when someone right order, and remember to thank the with both the operation and the brand,
has made an inappropriate speech. sponsors, or the vicar, or Uncle Sid for and nowhere in Dubai is this better
Weddings are fabulous places for this, the loan of his lawn-mower. demonstrated than in the Rivington
although I once stood at a funeral where If we translate this practice into busi- Grill at Souk Al Bahar.
the vicar began by lamenting that the ness parlance, what we are really trying Owned by the Caprice Holdings group
promise of youth and vigorous manhood to do is to make sure that we are ‘On in the UK, the restaurant is shamelessly
had been so untimely plucked by our Message’. Even with a wedding speech, British in its approach. But this is not
Lord, only to be told his schedule was we are taking our language to market, exactly Ye Olde English Pub. Nor does it
wrong, and the deceased had, in fact, where it will be judged on its appropri- celebrate 400 years of colonial plagia-
been eighty-six. And female. ateness, suitability, integrity, and how rism, and it couldn’t be further from the
But weddings are still the most fertile well it rekects the occasion. fussy Victorian styling that we have come
ground when it comes to uncomfortable It matters, and it matters a great deal. to associate with off-the-shelf, off-shore
silences, shocked gasps, muted rage There’s no comfort in being told ‘Great ‘typically British’ interiors. On the con-
and, invariably, tears from Aunty Meg. speech, mate’, when half the audience trary, this is the unfussy, uncluttered and
And all this jrst-class entertainment are asleep, and the other half want no nonsense interior of smart-city Britain.
is the result of giving a microphone to you railroaded out of town. It can be a Apparently, being educated in the
somebody with unpracticed communica- very unforgiving experience. It is the UK at the moment is all rather ‘tut-tut,
tion skills, who jne-tunes those skills by language that you choose to use that haven’t the Brits been naughty boys
shouting at the dog, complaining down dejnes you. And it’s exactly the same over the years’. Celebrating British-ness
the pub, or mumbling at the television. with interior design. is very much frowned upon, and the
Most of us have had to give a speech It’s difjcult not to wax pretentious at apologists are very much to the fore. Not
at some point, and we know how this stage, but the fact is that design is these guys, though. They have clearly
much time we spend making sure that very much a language in its own right. decided NOT to throw the baby out with
And being a language, it is subject to the bathwater. This restaurant seems to
misinterpretation. The clarity with which look you squarely in the eye and chal-
a designer can successfully communi- lenge that most tittered at of oxymo-
cate an idea is often where an interior ron’s: British Cuisine.
space either lives or dies. The struggle And so it is. Roast beef and Yorkshire
to be “On Message” is still the same. pudding salad. Barnsley lamb chop
The language of interiors can be with bubble and squeak. Game faggots
every bit as elegant, or witty, or dull and (excuse me?). Sticky toffee pudding. And
dreary, as the spoken word. It can be as you know what? It’s fabulous. This is not
inappropriate and offensive as any tired a foodie review, but I really could go on.
Gavin Mackenzie and Justin Penketh and emotional father-in-law. Or it can This highly refreshing ‘hold-the-line’
are the managing partner and senior charm, seduce, and enchant. Just like British approach to the menu is equally
design manager of Outcast, a Dubai- the spoken word, it can appall and repel rekected in the service offering. Walking
based company that boasts over 100 us, but it can also awe and inspire us. in shortly after 6pm, three busy kitchen
years of collective design experience When you design a restaurant, you staff looked up at us and said “Evening,
in Europe, south-east Asia, the US and are inviting your clients, and customers, mate”, and I couldn’t help feeling that
Caribbean, and the UAE. to live with what you create. There is no I was experiencing something of the
If you are interested in nominat- room for apologies if it doesn’t work. restaurants City of London, Shoreditch
ing a space ‘Where Interior Design Get it wrong, you won’t get a second roots. And that is very much the impres-
Works’, or in contributing to this sec- chance. Get it right, and it can be the sion that you get. There are no fawning
tion, please contact Selina Denman at most rewarding, satisfying, and (let’s not waiters or subservient staff. Quality
selina.denman@itp.com. beat about) projtable thing you can do. service has dispensed with any need

12 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


DESIGN FORENSICS

for servility. This is good honest people And it works. Not just as an inte- There, you see, they have a strong YBA
serving good honest grub to good hon- rior space, but as part of the overall (Young British Artist) clientele. It’s chic,
est people. There’s a sense of equilib- Rivington Grill experience. The design is trendy, and very, very cool. And their
rium among staff and diners and it feels, absolutely in sync with the service. The neon sign reads Lujtuaeb Gnikcuf,
to be honest, good. service is absolutely in sync with the which is meaningless, of course. Even
And here’s a question; how much menu. The menu is absolutely in sync with a mirror on the opposite wall.
can you learn about a restaurant from with the interior. It’s on message, on So, a subtle echo of the original?
a three panel, collapsible screen? Well, brand, and it simply works. A little in-joke, aimed exclusively at
perhaps more than you might think. But there is more to this than meets people ‘in the know’. I can almost hear
Most designers in the Middle East are the eye. You can’t help but notice, as Monty Python’s Eric Idle saying “Nod-
familiar with the concept of ‘localising’ you approach the restaurant through nod, wink-wink, say no more, say no
their designs to be in keeping with the the dimly lit passages of the Souk Al more”. How wonderfully British!
region. Again, The Rivington has stood
by its guns and resisted the tempta-
tion to be drawn into this. So even the It is really nice not to be bullied
screens, which would have been ever so
easy to convert into an arabesque trib-
by the interior designer
ute, are resolutely plain and understated.
I suppose that is what appeals about Bahar, that there is something rather To get back to the issue of the lan-
this interior. It’s sleek, contemporary and weird, red, and glowing at the end of guage of interior design, what The Riv-
uncomplicated. The layout works, with the corridor. On getting closer, you jnd ington’s interior tells you is exactly what
the kitchen protruding conjdently into yourself reading a sign that says “never they want you to know. It is concise,
the space. It’s a diner’s restaurant, and let me go” in cursive neon strip lighting. classic, appropriate, unfussy, ‘on brand’
you get the feeling it’s about the diner. What? It’s the same inside, where two and ‘on message’.
In a region where we have all become equally inexplicable signs read “I love If this interior was a speech, it would
almost immune to being overwhelmed to boo hoo” and “fast fast slow fast”. probably be something like the Get-
by spectacular and awe-inspiring inte- They are so at odds with the rest of the tysburg address. A mere 268 words.
riors, it is really nice not to be bullied interior that you’re left wondering what But my, my, what words they were.
by the interior designer. This interior is on earth is going on. The difference would be that behind
clean, comfortable, and welcoming, and But you need to know something the lectern, Lincoln would be wearing
you get the impression that it’s more about the original Rivington in Shored- Union-Jack board shorts.
about ‘you’, and less about ‘them’. itch to understand what this is about. By Justin Penketh

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 13


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Technolight was established in 1980. Over 30 years, Technolight has become


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marking a landmark in the right direction. Not only did we introduce some of
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Our outstanding performance could not have been realized without the family
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Technolight is run by a management team. The managing director and five


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WHITEPAPER

The continual assessment


of professional designers
CID is publishing exclusive extracts from former APID president Ken
Laidler’s paper on the need to constantly assess interior designers
COMPETENCE IN SPECIFICATION skills with both outside bodies and the Traditionally, in architecture, a clerk of
The evolution of a qualijed designer team involved in the project. works or contract manager in the employ
into a fully conversant, materials-selec- Furthermore, the FF&E designer must of the architect would supervise on-site
tion adviser has in recent years given appreciate the jnancial implications of works. In recent times, project mangers
birth to the FF&E designer. The selection his or her selections, from the cost of tend to be the main point of contact for
of furniture, jttings and equipment supply, shipping, jxing and delivery. contractors, consultants and clients.
must be initiated from the design con- As interior design implementation
cept stage by, or in conjunction with, the ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERTISE becomes a more complex issue, requir-
concept designer. However, in most cas- While it is clearly understood that most ing co-ordination of MEP services, audio
es the FF&E designer should themselves designers dislike administrative duties, visual and room management systems,
be capable of intuitive, creative design, because of the complex contractual na- to mention only a few, it follows that
as in the same manner that we can no ture of interior design, a company needs the specialisation of site supervision
longer have a draughtsman, we cannot to formulate an effective administration becomes increasingly important. To this
accept a materials selection clerk. system. Failure to do so will undoubt- end, a design construction manager –
The FF&E designer requires a full edly lead to contractual problems with who is distinct from the project manager
knowledge of historical and period de- clients, contractors and suppliers. – has become an integral part of the
sign, as well as geographical relevance, All levels of personnel within the design team. Note that this is a specialist
to ensure that the materials they are design team need to understand the de- service which may not be included within
selecting and proposing are in harmony sign process and how their deliverables the normal scope of design services.
with the design concept or theme. jt into the overall mix. However, it is The interior design contract manager
Perhaps one of the most important important that one person co-ordinates is required to fully comprehend the
roles of the FF&E designer is to know the these matters and ensures that the design concept, and know the logic of
technical specijcation of the materials chain of communication is understood, the selection of all materials and fur-
that they are selecting, from weights, unbroken and, most importantly, moni- nishings. He or she must be involved in
pile height and tufts/m² in carpets to tored and up-to-date. A design manager total co-ordination, delivery procedures,
absorption rates of liquid into natural or administrator’s responsibility is to completion deadlines, contractor’s pay-
materials such as stone and granite. follow the project through from receipt ments, architectural parameters, techni-
Given the huge and ever increasing of initial enquiry to handover of project, cal specijcations and jxing methods of
list of materials available for interior by monitoring letters, transmittals and all jnishes and jttings.
specijcation, the FF&E designer must be all other communication. It is clear that the role of the contract
constantly researching, cataloging and manager is pivotal to the successful
jling information for instant retrieval. CONSTRUCTIONAL EXPERTISE completion of a project.
The FF&E designer is the interior design Naturally, everybody involved in the Next month, Laidler will highlight the
consultant’s face to the world of sup- design process must have a high level of importance of client awareness and cul-
pliers and manufactures and, as such, expertise in construction issues at the tural comprehension, and reiterate the
must have excellent communication stage of design implementation. need for continuous examination.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 15


For further details please contact:
MALLY CLARKE
GEZE Middle East FZE
P.O. Box 17903
Tel: +9714 8833112, Fax: +9714 8833240
Mob: +97150 6540632
www.geze.com
DESIGNER Q&A

Dodging irrelevance
Ross Lovegrove tells Selina Denman why it’s easy to be ‘different
and stupid’, but extremely difkcult to be ‘different and intelligent’

R
oss Lovegrove is feeling “It’s the feeling that if I can stick with I’m working a lot with Artemide and with
conjdent. Having championed it, now is a good time,” he explained Yamagiwa in Japan, on new lighting. I
organic, environmentally- recently in an exclusive interview with just jnished Issey Miyake’s new watch
intelligent design for most of his career, Commercial Interior Design. and I’m working on new projects with
he feels like his message may jnally be In Dubai to speak at the IFI Design Moroso. There are also new bathrooms
‘topical’. With people increasingly seeing Congress, Lovegrove sat down with – the work I do with Vitra in Istanbul
innovation as a way out of the current CID to discuss the potentially positive is very important; and I’m working on
economic crisis, Lovegrove’s philosophy repercussions of the economic crisis, some architectural projects.
of harnessing modern technologies to and explain why the Middle East should
promote intuitive, sensitive, sustainable be a region of jrsts. That’s incredible breadth. Is there
design, is resonating strongly. anything that you haven’t designed
The Lovegrove trademarks: using re- What are you working on right now? yet but would like to?
sources wisely, humanising design, and I’m doing Calvin Klein’s new perfume I think perhaps I’d like to design an
reaching, unapologetically, for a more bottle and I’m working on a new yacht incredible house, out of brand new ma-
viable future, are striking a chord. in Italy. From an interiors point of view, terials, like carbon jbre or something, 1. Ross Lovegrove.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 17


DESIGNER Q&A

4 6 8
5 7

2
3

where I could express the beautiful What were the highs of 2009 for you? It’s not a specijc high point, but it’s
changes that could come about as a It was an unusual year and not just the feeling that if I can stick with it,
consequence of a material. because of what happened in the global now is a good time. It’s a good time for
Just the idea that I could take my economy. I would say, on a positive note, everything that I’ve been talking about.
organic design out into a private space, what’s been good for me is that people Maybe this is my window.
where I would be given absolute carte are still interested in innovation, and I didn’t even take a holiday last year.
2. Cosmic Leaf blanche to express myself creatively, they see innovation maybe as a way out. I didn’t take a day off all year. I haven’t
for Artemide. that is very interesting. With all of the work that I do environ- stopped travelling – I do two or three
I’m not bullish, though. I’m not mentally, with the solar and the wind, countries a week. I just want to keep my
3&4. Cosmic Angel. someone who has this incredible jnally there’s a wonderful synergy head down at the moment. Just keep
determination or aggressively goes for between organic design, the natural en- doing what I do, and see how the future
5. Aqua Cil. something. I mean, I’ve never called a vironment, and the technology needed unfolds. There’s a lot of irrelevance in
client in my life, and I work with amazing to make things happen – harness- the world which doesn’t turn me on, and
6&8. Droplet. companies. And although in a way I am ing energy, sustainably, for free, for which I don’t crave to be a part of.
a bit passive like that – I just see what example – which is something that I’ve
7. Lovegrove comes to me – maybe that helps guide been talking about for a long long time. Do you think that irrelevance is particu-
also works my life, rather than me guiding my life I’m not a designer that has just jumped larly prevalent in the design world?
closely with and being disappointed when it doesn’t onto that idea. I have been doing it since There’s so much. And everybody thinks
Vitra, in Turkey. happen as I expected. I was very young. it’s easy these days. It might be easy to

18 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


DESIGNER Q&A

be different and stupid, but it’s really you have to push forward with ideas. I’m not a one-night stand and they’re
difjcult to be different and intelligent. You have to lead from the front. And the not a one-night stand. You’ve got to
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have unfortunate thing, often, is that people develop with people – and everyone
joy in it. The thing is that one has to don’t do that. They jnd a formula and benejts. That was the old model.
keep a very broad perspective. they keep churning it out. Well, that’s The new model seems to be that you
jne but, personally, it doesn’t do much can pick up anybody and pay them noth-
It’s interesting that you see a potential- for me. I jnd that quite vacant. ing and get them to design for you. And
ly positive outcome from this crisis. that’s jne but you wouldn’t want to buy
Well, there has to be. Things need to So, how are you evolving? art that way, would you?
become more efjcient. They were terribly That’s a good question. I’ve kept pace
obese and we need a level of jtness. with the potential of how you create, Do you think that the design industry is
Dubai, for example, is an environment meaning that I’m somebody who was suffering as a result?
where I see incredible materials being taught geometry with a compass and Well, there’s a bit too much of every-
used – materials that are rare. They are then I did all my ink drawings; I draw thing these days. But everything hap-
so rare and yet they are thrown around so beautifully and I can illustrate and visua- pens naturally, so if there is too much
easily. I don’t see the point, really. I have lise – I can do all of that. And now that’s design, there is a reason for it. So many
a deep respect for how we use materials. all gone through and we’re embracing more people are buying more design, so
I think design has become a trend the age of the computer, with amazing maybe there’s a need for that.
within itself. It’s not a bad thing because programmes and things to visualise with. There’s certainly been a massive
it means there are more people who That’s the feat that everybody was faced transformation in the way people live
are aesthetically tuned, so maybe they with. And your average kid from Vladi- and in the quality of things around us.
have a better understanding of beautiful vostok with a computer can do that now.
things. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just So, what is it that you are offering that What are your thoughts on design
that people that go into design think nobody else can offer? I think it’s a phi- in Dubai? 9&10. Lovegrove
it’s really easy. They only really see the losophy. I’ve been around long enough, I haven’t seen much of it, to be honest. has a long-
glamorous side of it. I think, to try and establish a very strong Everything is new so it’s a little bizarre. standing
There must easily be a million design- and relevant philosophy, and to know It can feel really soulless. It sometimes relationship
ers out there. And if you are in the top how to work with companies. doesn’t feel natural to me. with Artemide.
jve or ten, it’s a pretty signijcant thing. I am somebody who can, in a mature I’m interested in contributing to
It’s signijcant in that you have to stay way, be solidly behind certain ideas. I countries, as a kind of cultural transla- 11. He designed
vital and you have to stay relevant, and like to work with people and feel as if tor. Often when I go to new places, I Freedom for Vitra.

9 10 11

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 19


DESIGNER Q&A

12

think: ‘What could I bring, what could I or something. You could do it here if They are a symbol of modernity and
do?’ And I’m not particularly interested there was somebody wealthy enough to the environment and giving something
in designing a skyscraper. I could do it, say, ‘Why not?’. That doesn’t happen in back to people, as well as functioning
but just because it’s big, it doesn’t mean other parts of the world. I don’t mean to in a really important way. These are the
it’s important. sound so direct but that’s the way it is. things you should see. You should see
Maybe because there is an enlight- You need the patronage. To do extraor- incredible vehicles that respond to the
ened wealth here, I know people have dinary things, you need extraordinary heat. We have a global condition where
come to these places as creatives to do people and extraordinary belief. the world is heating up, and they should
things that they couldn’t possibly do So, the thing is, if you take this use this as a test bed.
in other places, because the jnancial region, it should be a region of jrsts. This is a place in the world that is
support is there. Because they have the jnancial power, jghting against nature to survive –
They can be extreme – and I like the they should be accessing really incred- and it’s taking incredible resources
idea of being extreme. Like I was talking ible, vital ideas. The solar trees that I to do that. So this is a time to use the
12. Mercury for about building this incredible bubble, or designed for Artemide, for example, resources wisely and to prototype new
Artemide. this amazing organic villa, out of carbon they should be everywhere. ideas for living.

20 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


CASE STUDY SWAROVSKI WIEN

All that glitters


Swarovski Wien is an alluring testament to the
diverse nature of the Swarovski brand

1. The new Eclectic


Panthers collection
is being showcased
at Swarovski Wien.

22 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


CASE STUDY SWAROVSKI WIEN

P
erched nonchalantly on Vienna’s diversity. “We have one over-arching
Kaertner Strasse 24, Swarovski goal and that is to create amazement
Wien is a dazzling celebration of and inspiration in people. We are trying
the Swarovski brand. to show that we are more than just great
Trademark jgurines brush shoul- jewellers or great producers of crystal.
ders with elaborate chandeliers by For us, it’s very important to empha-
world-class designers. Jewellery of all sise the poetry, and the amazement.
colours, shapes and sizes mingles with Any kind of touch point with Swarovski
mind-boggling works of art by Belgian should be enchanting and, therefore,
artist, Arne Quinze. A collection of inspiring,” said Langes-Swarovski.
multi-coloured crystal panthers skulk in The company called on Innsbruck-
a hidden alcove. And a shimmering in- based architects Hanno Schloegl and
stallation by Japanese designer, Tokujin Daniel Suess to transform the ground,
Yoshioka, towers overhead. mezzanine and basement koors of a
19th century industrial building into an
MORE THAN A STORE awe-inspiring, crystalline playground.
When he meets with journalists to The building, which is set on one of
mark the ofjcial launch of Swarovski Vienna’s busiest thoroughfares, is also
Wien, Markus Langes-Swarovski, great home to a hotel.
grandson of the company’s founder,
and a member of the executive board, is BOXED OFF
reluctant to refer to it as a store. The architects opted for a radical
“It is a store – but not really a store. transformation of the 1,000m² space,
Yes you can interact with products rather than a run-of-the-mill renovation.
jnancially but we have really tried to “A traditional renovation wouldn’t have
show Swarovski’s various facets. People been spectacular enough,” noted Daniel
normally associate Swarovski with jew- Suess. “So we have built a building
ellery and jgurines and, in some cases, within a building.”
architecture as well, in a more business- The original interior was ripped out
to-business context. and replaced with a giant cube struc-
“Here, we have really tried to link ture. The structure, which is covered
Swarovski with the world of art and ar- with an outer glass skin, sits snugly
chitecture, which is why we have, for the within the boundaries of the building’s
jrst time, introduced our architectural original columns, creating an interesting
element for the exterior, the Honeycomb interplay between the old and the new.
façade, which you can use as a more The exterior of the cube is enveloped
formal architectural element, rather than in the Honeycomb, a sparkling surface
just a decorative element.” consisting of cut crystal and thousands of
Swarovski is keen to highlight that it LED light points which can be controlled
is more than just a ‘company of techni- to create a variety of effects – from glow-
cal invention’ – and the new ‘store’ is a ing lava to glittering ice. “The inner cube
physical manifestation of that mindset. is dissolved by light and crystal. This is a
This is a space where people can learn novel type of façade,” Schloegl said.
about the brand, interact with its vari- Meanwhile, a series of smaller, irreg-
ous product lines, and appreciate its ularly-placed cubes extend out through

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 23


CASE STUDY SWAROVSKI WIEN

2 3

CID SPOKE TO MARKUS LANGESSWAROVSKI ABOUT THE COMPANY’S NEW RETAIL CONCEPT

Is this a concept that you will be rolling out to other markets?


Not necessarily. We chose Vienna because of its historical relevance for our company. The founder of the company, my great
grandfather, Daniel Swarovski, came to Vienna as a young boy – he used to live in Bohemia, which was the epicentre of glass
cutting, and he came to Vienna in 1883 to be exposed to the first electric exhibition. This is where he got the inspiration to build
the machines that were able to create crystals, which were basically the foundation of our company.
We also wanted to place it in Vienna because today Swarovski is very much inspired by the cultural mindset of Vienna at the
end of the 19th century, where, for the first time, they tried to combine different creative disciplines – fashion, design, architec-
ture, furniture products etc. This is something that we’ve tried to permanently infuse into Swarovski. Obviously, if the concept
works well, we will try and find new and strategic locations for it, but it would always be very specific to the city.

Are we going to see you moving more and more into architecture?
Well, we are taking our first steps here, with the Honeycomb façade concept. We wanted to create an architectural element
rather than something purely for décor. A lot of visionary architects have played with the principal of crystal in architecture,
and we have never leveraged on the principle of crystal, as opposed to the properties. The Honeycomb is a first step, using LED
technology to create something that is beyond décor. We are trying to move there slowly. Lighting and architecture are very
important fields that we really want to engage in more in the future.

Are you looking to extend the brand into hotels and restaurants, or anything like that?
Well, we had a concept ready for Swarovski Hotels but we said for the time being that we are going to hold back. We’re working
on different kinds of entertainment formats right now. One potential is hospitality and hotels, but we are also looking at other
formats. We would like to take crystal to a more experiential level, rather than just a decorative level. We had a hotel planned
and ready – it was designed by Ron Arad and it was beautiful – but it hasn’t been built yet. It might be built one day.

24 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


CASE STUDY SWAROVSKI WIEN

the façade, breaking down the barrier with cameras,” he said. “For me, it was a unifying element that extends across
between inside and out. Set at various important to create the impression of all three koors. The 88m² wall is made
levels, these clear glass cubes jut hap- Big Brother watching you from the top up of 16,000 small, independent mirrors
hazardly into the streetscape, teasing of this stilthouse. to form a silvery, shimmery surface
passers-by with their curious contents. “Then you have the crystals that are reminiscent of a lake. Each mirror can be
“The cube is a stage where artists can rekecting and absorbing light. Together, individually controlled to create a variety
present their work and showcase their all these things make it very human. of motifs and patterns of movement.
installations,” Suess explained. That is how I see my installations.” The overall result is what Langes-
These koating stages are currently Quinze was also responsible for ‘Bi- Swarovski refers to as a ‘multi-level’
home to installations by Belgian artist donville Wall’, a one-off piece of artwork experience. This is literal, of course,
Arne Quinze. His ‘Japanese Stilthouses’ that greets visitors as they step through considering the three-storey space, but
combine recycled materials with crystal the main entrance of the store. The jery also metaphorical, referencing Swarov-
to create a poignant commentary on the red installation makes a striking jrst ski’s drive to ‘democratise luxury’.
pace of human development. impression and reiterates some of the “Swarovski is not technically a luxury
“Much of my work is related to hu- themes introduced by the stilthouses. brand but, at the same time, it is a
man beings,” Quinze explained. “My Apart from this initial, intense splash luxury brand. We have created a very
stilthouses are like humans. They stand of colour, the interiors of Swarovski specijc dejnition of luxury, which we
on their long legs and they look very Wien are characterised by a decidedly call a ‘modern luxury’ approach. It be-
fragile, but they are very strong and they muted tone. Dark greys dominate, with a comes more and more important, even
will survive, just as we humans have white koor chosen for obvious contrast. in times of recession, this understand-
survived. They are full of contradictions Lighting has been carefully selected and ing of luxury, because luxury is not only
and that is so very human. positioned to ensure that the crystals dejned by exclusivity or scarcity or 2. The new
“Then you have the eyes. I didn’t want are presented in their full glory. “The price,” Langes-Swarovski detailed. Honeycomb facade.
it to look like a human eye; it was impor- inside is more muted so that the focus “For us, luxury is more about love of
tant that you couldn’t tell whether it was falls on the products themselves. The detail; of being inclusive rather than 3. Bidonville Wall
human or animal. Today, we are living in cube glitters on the outside but is darker exclusive; of trying to offer the best pos- by Arne Quinze.
this Big Brother planet, and everybody on the inside,” explained Schloegl. sible quality with each and every prod-
is watching everyone, and everyone is Tokujin Yoshioka’s Lake of Shimmer uct that we create; while not excluding 4. The interior is
competing, and the streets are jlled forms an arresting centerpiece, and is the elite,” he concluded. more muted.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 25


DESTINATION FOCUS BAHRAIN

Best of Bahrain
Bahrain is forging ahead with a number of large-scale projects

W
hile Bahrain’s construction in- islands. Construction work is expected to be growing at a great pace,” noted
dustry has experienced an in- to commence this year. Laurence Dehlen, sales manager, Purity.
evitable slowdown, a handful The $2.5 billion Bahrain Bay mega- “There is also a lot of design work
of large-scale, high-projle projects are project is also proceeding, albeit slower taking place there for projects in Saudi
moving ahead – preventing conjdence than planned. The project is located Arabia and Qatar, since it is strategi-
levels from dipping too dramatically. off the north eastern coast of Manama cally located between these two larger
One such project is a $4.7 billion ex- and will consist of more than 40 build- countries. We have noticed that many of
pansion of Bahrain International Airport, ings and towers designed by leading the design jrms present in Dubai have
which will include two new terminals, architecture jrms. Two of the anchor been opening up ofjces in Bahrain over
new aprons, separate piers, a people developments, Four Seasons Hotel and the past few months, and there seems
mover system, car parking, road works Rafkes City Bahrain, have both suffered to be great yearning for design and
and related infrastructure. There will signijcant delays, but the third anchor knowledge about luxury brands in this
also be an adjacent ‘airport city’ with development, the $150 million head- small kingdom,” he said.
hotels, conference centres, and retail quarters for Arcapita Bank, is expected In response, Purity will spend the next
and recreational facilities. to be jnished by the end of 2010. three months refurbishing its gallery in
The design contract for the two new Meanwhile, Dubai developer Ishraq Bahrain, in order to offer a larger space
terminals is due to go to tender in the recently announced that it had broken that features all of the brands currently
jrst quarter of 2010. The jrst phase of ground at the site of the 22-storey Holi- offered in Dubai.
the expansion will increase the airport’s day Inn Express hotel in Manama. The According to Afaf Ebrahim, direc-
annual passenger capacity from seven 279-room hotel is due to open its doors tor of Bahrain-based Inoui Designs,
million people to 12 million. in the third quarter of 2011 and marks the standard of interior design in the
Durrat al Bahrain, which includes the Holiday Inn Express brand’s jrst kingdom is particularly high. “There is
20km² of reclaimed islands at the south- GCC venture outside of Dubai. great competition in the Bahraini market
ern tip of Bahrain, is also moving for- “We are very excited about our entry when it comes to design. Most design-
ward, with Atkins having recently been into Bahrain and the opportunities its ers are equipped with great talent and
selected to undertake the architecture hospitality sector holds,” said Sami Al the latest technologies and techniques,
and infrastructure design of the third Ansari, CEO, Ishraq Gulf Real Estate. which result in unique and mature
phase of the project. Dubai-headquartered Purity, a sup- design solutions. To enter the Bahraini
Atkins will design and document plier of leading Italian brands, reiterated market you need to be aware of certain
the infrastructure works, landscaping the growing attraction of the Bahraini challenges, and of the nature of the
and architectural engineering of villas market. “Bahrain has some interesting market, in order to compete with these
and facility buildings for four of the 13 developments at present and it seems extremely talented companies.” 1. Bahrain.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 27


DESTINATION FOCUS BAHRAIN

Club class
The Capital Club
A
s a general rule, if you can get “The brief was to create a club with a
people waxing lyrical about the residential feel, to meet the demands of

Bahrain offers bathrooms, it’s fair to say that


your interior design scheme has made
those from the top echelons of busi-
ness, jnance and government, who are

luxury in all its an impression. And, clad in black marble,


with unending views of the skyline and
powering the city’s growth and turning
Bahrain into the international business
different guises koi jsh adorning the walls and ceilings,
the whimsical bathrooms at the Capital
hub of the Middle East,” said Kristina
Zanic, founding partner, DWP.
Club Bahrain are the talk of the town. The 1,500m² facility is set over two
They round off a project that pro- koors, and encompasses a bar, two
motes luxury in all its different guises. dining rooms, private meeting facilities,
The company behind the interiors, a lounge and a library. DWP wanted
Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP) to create a series of highly individual
was brought on board to create a facil- spaces that promoted a strong sense of
ity that was extremely high-end but still character. “It was critical to give people
radiated a comfortable, homely feel. variety so the club didn’t feel the same

1. The Jade room


promotes a Chinese
design language.

28 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


DESTINATION FOCUS BAHRAIN

3 4 6

in all the various rooms,” Zanic said. ceiling is part smoked bronze mirror out in shades of taupe and off-white.
“The client, Russell Matcham, executive and part tan-coloured suede fabric. The Mashrabiya-patterned stone wall panels
director of Signature Clubs International, carpet is jet black, with a curved pattern divide the space and are brought into
was open to this idea, so we have rooms to give it a softer edge. Booths are lined focus by light jttings from Istanbul.
that are very light and luxurious, and in red leather and a velvet curtain detail. “I also spent time going to Damascus
others that are dark and intense. There is The design comes to a climax in the and designed several pieces of mother
personality in each of the areas.” Anan and Jade rooms. The Jade room of pearl furniture, which really helped to
In the lounge, shades of cream and is shaped by an overridingly Chinese create a feeling of authenticity. The ceil-
taupe dominate, with splashes of aqua- design language. “In the Jade room we ing is an interesting series of triangular
marine and burnt orange for contrast. used shades of green and gave this a shapes in a 3D effect,” Zanic said.
The Members Bar, meanwhile, is highly very oriental and Chinese feel. Beautiful “Shades of off-white and chocolate
intimate. Ceilings and walls are clad in green onyx was used for the koors and brown simply gave the room a serene
a dark walnut jnish and enhanced with table tops, and there are rich carpets in contrast. The views are also very special
tan leathers. The bar is clad in a whisky chocolate brown with Chinese patterns and I always say that the inspiration of
coloured onyx, and low seating is mixed in a deep green shade, which were all the room was to feel like you were a part
with high stools to break up the space. custom-designed,” Zanic said. of Bahrain, as you simply blend in with
The library is home to a more tradi- “Silk green curtains were specijed, the city and its architecture.”
tional design style. Art sourced from as well as Chinese lattice screens, to The only challenge was sourcing
Thailand and the US is coupled with give the room an overall oriental touch. the necessary materials to create such
rugs from Istanbul to create a cosy We decorated the room with amber sumptuousness, Zanic maintained. 2,3&4. Each
retreat. “The library is very eclectic and candle holders and Jade pieces. There “Getting the materials was a challenge space has its own
I guess it’s more my style,” said Zanic. was also a special Chinese seating area as these were all imported. unique character.
“The art also makes a statement as with antique furniture which was all in “Working with the contractor to
there is a blend of modern and classical a rich dark timber. The intensity of the achieve the quality and details was a 5. Bathrooms
touches, with contemporary classical room is perfect and it gives a true sense task in itself. I guess with perseverance are ‘the talk of
furniture. I think the eclectic direction of of luxury,” she continued. we got through it. Not everything comes the town’.
the design is very inviting,” she added. The Anan room promotes a far more out how you expect it and sometimes
The Signature Grill Dining is brim- regional feel. In stark contrast to its you have to compromise – but overall 6. The
ming with dark wood and black textured Asian-inspired counterpart, the Arabic we achieved a new standard for Bahrain library is
leather panels that line the walls. The themed space is almost entirely decked in terms of design.” more eclectic.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 29


SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Flooring suppliers
you should know
T
he kooring industry has long Al Aqili Furnishings has announced kooring choices, and manufacturers are
been at the forefront of the that it will be making a point of promot- responding accordingly.
sustainability movement, and ing its eco-friendly product lines this For example, Ege offers its popular
ecologically-sound business principles year. This includes cradle-to-cradle Highline design bank, which incorpo-
continue to guide its evolution. The carpets and carpet tiles from Shaw rates hundreds of designs. This enables
major players have placed sustainability Contract Group, another leader in the designers to experiment with countless
at the very top of their agenda and sustainability stakes. Reiterating the colours and combinations. The company
continue to focus on developing eco- trend is Instep, a local supplier of high- has also launched its Modular Shufke
friendly products and practices. quality timber kooring, which is pushing collection, which is interesting in that
InterfaceFLOR, for example, has its LEED-certijed wood koors. there is no recurrence in the pattern.
pledged to take its environmental The other key trend impacting the Each tile is unique, making for entirely
footprint down to zero by 2020. ‘Mis- kooring industry is increasing demand original kooring solutions.
sion Zero’ is currently impacting every for choice and variety. Interior design- We talk to some of the key players in
creative, manufacturing and business ers are demanding heightened levels the kooring industry to jnd out more
decision that the company makes. of freedom when it comes to their about what they have been up to.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 31


SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Ana Seixas, marketing director, MEA, on recipient of the Red Dot Award in 2008,
InterfaceFLOR’s eco-credentials. has to be one of the favourites of the
design community in the Middle East.
Tell us about InterfaceFLOR. But, the Convert range – the jrst to
InterfaceFLOR is a worldwide leader be manufactured with a full colour
in the production of innovative, spectrum of post-consumer recycled
environmentally-responsible modular yarn – has also been received with great
koor coverings. The company invented enthusiasm; its variety of patterns and
the concept of the carpet tile nearly 50 colours is amazing and its sustainability
years ago and has been systematically credentials have made it a favourite for
developing it ever since. Today the green building projects.
company offers a wide range of com-
mercial modular kooring, combining Any recent developments?
style, innovation and practicality to suit We are very excited about our new
all kinds of buildings. showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road.
We have designed it as per LEED Gold
What sets you apart? standards and are looking forward
We have a passion for design, innova- to receiving designers and architects
tion and sustainability, and we love and showing them the latest trends in
to set trends. We were the jrst carpet sustainable modular kooring. We have
tile manufacturer to incorporate the also reserved each jrst Thursday of the
concept of biomimicry into our designs month for what we call “Awarehouse
and, through our Convert range (the Tours”, an open day for university
only in the industry with post-consumer students, in which we will highlight the
recycled nylon content) we can offer a sustainable attributes of the space and
total recycled content as high as 73%. address sustainability topics through
different workshops and presentations.

InterfaceFLOR
What are your bestselling products?
With hundreds of thousands of square How do we contact you?
metres sold, Straightforward, an Tel: +971 (0)504568436. Email: ana.
unusual micro-tufted carpet tile, and seixas@interfacekor.eu

Instep
S.V. Vanitha, business development like borders, medallions, and inlays to
manager, gives us the lowdown. make your koors more distinctive.

Tell us about Instep. What sets you apart?


For distinguished and superior-quality All our wood koors are manufactured in
timber koors, take a step to Instep. various countries around the world. We
Instep Trading Co. brings you excep- do our best to meet the requirements of
tional wood kooring sourced from our valued clients.
around the globe.
We offer all kinds of wood kooring, What are your bestselling products?
for internal and external use. By offering Our bestsellers are specially treated
the jnest service, with genuine-quality wood koors which are completely resis-
wood kooring, for the past sixteen tant to moisture and water.
years, Instep has earned a reputation
for being a specialist in this jeld. This is Have there been any recent develop-
also thanks to the impeccable knowl- ments at your company?
edge and expertise of the owner of We aim to serve the environment by
Instep, the man who turned his passion offering LEED-certijed wood koors and
and inspiration into one of the jnest have also introduced Ekotile, which is
wood kooring companies. made of coconut shells.
Instep’s core competencies and
services range right from design to Where do we knd you?
installation, and also renovation of Warehouse #3, Al Hathboor Warehouse,
hardwood koorings. We also design and Marrakech St, Umm Ramool, Dubai.
bring to life beautiful jnishing touches www.instep-koors.com.

32 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Al Aqili
CID speaks to Rashid Youssif Al Aqili, What are your bestselling products?
operations director. Due to the quality of the brands we
stock, all our products retail very well.

Furnishings
Tell us about Al Aqili. For the coming year, however, we are
The Flooring Division of Al Aqili Furnish- trying to promote our eco-friendly
ings is the premium koor covering prod- products and hope to become a commit-
ucts and services provider in the retail, ted player in the region’s move toward
corporate and distribution sectors. We environmentally-viable products. Our
offer the jnest design specijcations major focus in this group will be on the
and quality standards, and are backed cradle-to-cradle certijed carpets and
by 18 of the biggest brands in the carpet tiles from Shaw Contract Group.
industry. Our division services all scales
of residential, corporate and hospitality Any recent developments?
projects, offering the full range of luxuri- In the last few years, the Al Aqili Flooring
ous wall-to-wall carpeting, rugs and Division has witnessed major growth,
hard koor materials in laminate, wooden both vertically and horizontally. We have
parquet and vinyl. expanded the range of our offering and
have moved ahead in our regional ex-
What sets you apart? pansion plan by launching operations in
We have under our brand umbrella 18 Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. In addition,
of the most exclusive kooring suppli- we will soon enter Oman.
ers, including Shaw Industries, Dixie
Group, Nourison from the USA and Where do we knd you?
Boen, Fischer Parkett and Beauliue We are based in the Pyramid Center,
from Europe. The group also possesses Oud Metha, Dubai. Tel: +971 (0)4 337
a strong team of over 500 trained layers 7717; Abu Dhabi: +971 2 677 7800;
and installers, and an enormous ware- Qatar: +974 421 7938; and Kuwait:
housing facility. +965 2 482 2767.

Michael Bøgsted, director, Ege Middle special attention to the importance of


East, promotes freedom of design. quality and freedom of design.
Wall-to-wall carpets, tiles, borders
Tell us about Ege. and matching corridors, for both large
Ege is a leading European supplier of and small projects, the Highline collec-
unique carpet solutions. We provide tion meets all demands. The compre-
our clients with a multitude of carpet hensive Highline design bank consists
concepts, focusing on quality and free- of hundreds of designs. It is possible
dom in design. to experiment with colour shades and
We do not limit our clients; we combinations to create an expression
provide possibilities. By means of ad- matching the individual project.
vanced production technology, only the
imagination limits what is possible. This Any recent developments?
means that we are able to create the The unique tile collection, Cityscapes
best-suited kooring solution for each from Modular Shufke. The special thing
individual client. about Modular Shufke is that there is
no recurrence in the pattern. Each tile
What sets you apart? is unique and when mixed together and
The shortest delivery time in the busi- randomly installed, unprecedented and
ness and total freedom of design. We varying koor designs are created.
own the world’s most advanced plant
for colouring of textile koorings and can How do we contact you?
deliver within four weeks – also special Ege Carpet Middle East, Saba Tower 1,

Ege
orders down to 20m². Ofjce # 1006, P.O. Box 346017,
Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai.
What are your bestselling products? Tel: +971 (0)43756490, Fax: +971
The Highline concept from Ege is an (0)44270306. E-mail: middleeast@
exceptional carpet concept bringing egecarpet.com.

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 33


PRODUCTS

New on the market

FEONIC F SERIES DRIVES


MINDCo Middle East has launched an innovative new audio product, FeONIC
F Series Drives, in the Middle East. The audio drives are produced by the UK’s FeONIC
Technology and can transform a range of surfaces, from tables, walls, ceilings
and koors, to doors and even bathtubs, into speakers. The drives are small in size
and can be easily integrated. They have the capability to convert commonly-used,
resonant building materials such as MDF, glass panels, plasterboard, plywood, metal
sheet and structures, plastics, laminates, honeycomb panels, acrylic, jbreglass pan-
els, wooden structures and so on, into speakers that provide superior quality audio
while making the source of audio output completely hidden from view. Importantly,
FeONIC Technology also minimises noise pollution, offering near perfect distribution
of sound with no reverberation, bounce or echo.

MINDCo Middle East


+971 (0)50 554 8958
www.feonic.com

MÓZ DESIGNS
Móz Designs, a specialist in decorative metal surfaces,
has launched a dramatic new colour palette character-
ised by earthy, burnished hues. The trendy new tones
include shades of copper, gold, champagne, goldenrod,
chocolate and cabernet. They are part of an exclusive Móz
colour collection that includes more than 30 jewel-rich
tones. Móz decorative metals are utilised in a range of
architectural environments. Popular applications include
wall treatments, suspended ceilings, entry canopies,
column covers, counter fronts and bar dies. Double-sided
Móz metals can also be specijed for use as room dividers
and interior decorative elements.

Móz Designs
+971 (0)4 364 3936
www.MozDesigns.com

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 35


PRODUCTS

VILLEROY & BOCH


Villeroy & Boch has completely revised the design of its whirl-
pools, and is presenting the second generation of its successful
Whisper system. Side jets are now 70% more powerful, making
the massage feature more effective and the overall system more
energy efjcient. The system sets new standards with a noise level
that is no louder than the rustling of leaves. The new kush-jtted
side jets, which lend the Whisper a special aesthetic look, are
a further highlight. The company’s Ultimate Fitness system, de-
signed to provide the ideal prevention and regeneration massage
after sport, has also been enhanced. With the Ultimate Fitness
system, Villeroy & Boch can now offer the jrst completely invisible
whirlpool system with base and side ‘Invisible Jets’.

Villeroy & Boch Middle East


+971 (0)4 3642613
www.villeroy-boch.com

MUKUL GOYAL
New Delhi-based Mukul Goyal is the designer of a
range of objects for the home, including furniture,
lighting and accessories. His designs blend tra-
ditional materials with contemporary expression,
and his chosen medium is metal with chromed
brass. Some items are complemented or embel-
lished with black aluminum, stainless steel and
even granite. Mukul Goyal’s signature range of
products is now available in Dubai and Oman with
plans afoot to expand to other cities in the GCC.

Dubai Gifts – Synergy Enterprises


+971 (0)50 7706247
www.mukulgoyal.com

PAYDAY
J+J/Invision has introduced Payday, the newest addition to its
existing Lucky Break Collection. Payday, an all-loop texture, was
designed based on the popularity of its sister products, Jackpot and
Windfall. It has a somewhat woven and grid-like quality which offers
structure to the collection’s product assortment. Payday is created
with several tonal and subtle multi-coloured space dyes, combined
with Encore SD Ultima nylon. It is available in both broadloom and
eKo PVC-free modular backing. “In designing this collection, we
wanted to create something that offers both dealers and designers
a set of coordinating products with a budget friendly price but that
also has personality that can be creatively designed around,” said
Sarah Miller, senior product designer, J+J/Invision.

BSH Walls and Floors


+971 (0)4 887 2664
www.jj-invision.com

36 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


PRODUCTS

MORE AMORÉ
Perennials Fabrics has combined the classic elegance of 15th
century Florence with a modern freshness in its new More Amoré
collection. The colours and textures of the collection are remi-
niscent of the walls of a Florentine basilica. The jacquard-woven
surface of ‘Tried & True’, for example, creates the impression of
an ancient stucco wall, while Sea Salt harkens to images of Medi-
terranean sunlight shimmering on the water. Other colourways
include Pumice, Pecan, Citrus, Dove, Patina and Medici Gold.
In addition to romantic colours and textures, the new collection
boasts sumptuous over-printed patterns.

Perennials Fabrics
+1 888 322 4773
www.perennialsfabrics.com

JIZARO
A specialist in jne, handmade designs in lighting and silverware,
Jizaro has extended its range of lights to include jve new prod-
ucts. The company is renowned for providing stunning set pieces
and exclusive, one-off designs. Each piece is individually crafted,
using high-quality materials and techniques that are thousands
of years old. The new, exclusive collection, which includes the
KT10, HH10, DES10, PTN20 and TT200, is handmade by an award-
winning designer and master craftsman. The lights are made from
100% solid brass, which means that they won’t rust or pit, and
are luxuriously coated in chrome. The collection is also offered
in nickel, silver or gold, with a complete bespoke service available
for one-off designs.

Jizaro
+44 (0)8456 806786
www.jizaro.com
OPALE
Italian design studio, Sand & Birch has launched
the Opale wine cellar. Created for Ellemme Cantine,
this is a follow up to the recently-launched Wine-
bag. Opale is a high-end refrigerated wine cellar,
designed to mimic a precious black stone wedged
into a smooth white base. The wine cellar is 2m
high and has a capacity of 100 bottles. It is built
in metal and hard polyurethane, while the door
is made of insulating glass, which guarantees
different levels of thermal and light insulation.

Sand & Birch Luxury Design


+39 (0)773 1762584
www.sandbirch.com

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 37


20 years Guarantee
FREE FREE FREE

REAL WOOD FLOORS LLC

38 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com


CONTRACTS

PROJECT FOCUS
Commercial Interior Design is committed to helping its readers grow their businesses, so we have teamed up with Ventures Middle East to bring you the latest
tenders from around the region on a monthly basis.

KUWAIT PROJECTS DATABASE - Building Projects Focus


PROJECT TITLE CLIENT CONSULTANT MAIN CONTRACTOR VALUE / VALUE PROJECT STATUS PROJECT TYPE
RANGE (US$. MN)
Center for Research & Studies Ministry of Public Works Gulf Consult Al Jaraih Contracting 12 project under Commercial Buildings
at Sharq construction
College of Technological Studies Public Authority for Ap- Al Dowailah Engi- Not Appointed 16 - 30 award awaited for Educational Facilities
at Shuwaikh plied Education & Training neering Consultants the main contract
Vocational Training Institute in The Public Authority for In House Not Appointed 31 - 100 award awaited for Educational Facilities
Jahra Applied Education & the main contract
Training
Injassat Tower Injassat Real Estate Projacs/KEO Inter- Ahmadiah Trading & 20 project under Commercial Buildings
national Contracting construction
Al Aqeelah Tower Al Aqeelah Finance Leas- Al Mousawi Engi- Kharak National 16 - 30 project under Residential Buildings
ing & Investment Co; neering Consultant construction
Administration Building at Directorate General of Dar Al Handasah/ Not Appointed 101 - 250 award awaited for Commercial Buildings
Kuwait International Airport Civil Aviation (DGCA) Jassim Qabazard the main contract
Health Center at Bayan Palace Ministry of Public Works In House Alamiah Building 53 project under Hospital
Company construction
Immigration Headquarters at Ministry of Public Works Kuwait Technical Not Appointed 2.5 - 15 bidding underway Commercial Buildings
Farwaniya Consultant for the main
contract
Ideal High School at Aqaila Ministry of Public Works/ Al Zamami Con- Bader Al Mulla & 17 project under Educational Facilities
Ministry of Education sultant Brothers Company construction
Kuwait Business Town at Al Kuwait Business Town Projacs/Pace/Fen- First United General 96 project under Mixed Use
Mirqab Area - Zone 3 Holding Company tress Bradburn Trading & Contract- construction
ing
Al Hamra Tower Ajial Real Estate Company Al Jazeera Consul- Ahmadiah Trading & 241 project under Mixed Use
tants Contracting construction
Hotel at Salmiya Mr. Fahad Al Maiylem Al Aliyan Consulting Not Appointed 31 - 100 project under Hotel
design
Neighborhood Centre at East of Ministry of Public Works Kuwait Technical Not Appointed 40 award awaited for Mixed Use
Al Ahmadi Consultant the main contract
Special Forces Training Facility Ministry of Public Works/ Dar Al Handasah Alamiah Building 204 project under Educational Facilities
Ministry of Interior Company construction
Kuwait Institute of Justice Ministry of Public Works/ Al Zamami Con- Not Appointed 31 - 100 bidding underway Educational Facilities
Ministry of Justice sultant for the main
contract
Kuwait Business Town at Al Kuwait Business Town Projacs/KEO Int'l/ First United General 108 project under Mixed Use
Mirqab Area - Zone 1 Holding Company Gensler Associates Trading & Contract- construction
ing
Immigration Headquarters at Ministry of Public Works Kuwait Technical Not Appointed 2.5 - 15 bidding underway Commercial Buildings
Farwaniya Consultant for the main
contract
Avenue Shopping Mall Expansion Mabanee Company PACE/Gensler Not Appointed 908 project under Shopping Centre
- Phase 3 design
Medical Village in Mahaboola The Commercial Real SSH/Bernard Not Appointed 220 project under Mixed Use
Estate Company Khoury Architect design

Note : The above information is the sole property of Ventures Middle East LLC and cannot be published without the expressed permission of Ventures Middle East LLC, Abu Dhabi, UAE

86 arabianbusiness
www com/construction
Commercial Interior Design October 2007 Commercial Interior
wwwDesign November
arabianbusiness 2007 101
com/construction

www.constructionweekonline.com Commercial Interior Design January 2010 39


OPINION

Moulding the future By Modar Al Mekdad

In an age where structures are taking downstream. There is a growing consen- Corrosion free, great conductivity: As far
on more complex forms, and iconic sus on the need to build an integrated as anti-corrosion properties, extruded
buildings with sophisticated blueprints regional industry to gain a bigger share aluminium is resistant to corrosion due
continue to be considered a status of global primary aluminium production, to its extra layer of oxide jlm. Aluminium
symbol among developing economies, which the Gulf currently holds 5.3% of. is also a great conductor of electricity –
construction professionals and interior far better than the heavier copper – and
designers are continuously in search of ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION can even be used as a heat conductor or
methods that will allow them to create The process of extruding aluminium as a heat rekector in heat shields.
innovative designs, while offering innu- involves a billet of aluminium being Accurate and cost effective: Extrusion
merable options, without compromising pushed by a ram through a die land produces a very accurate match across
on aesthetics, strength and purpose. that is the desired product shape. It is the entire length of the extrusion and any
Given these factors, extruded alumini- the preferred method to manufacture extra pieces, with little wastage, adding
um is gaining widespread popularity. continuous complex projle shapes to the cost efjciency of the process.
for interior design purposes and to be Light but strong: Aluminium is known
ALUMINIUM IN THE MIDDLE EAST used in several important industries, for being lightweight, particularly in
Aluminium is a key industry in the Gulf including construction, aeronautics and relation to other popular metals such as
because of its close afjliation with both automotive. Known for its excellent fab- steel and copper, which are over twice
construction and real estate. This sec- ricating properties, extruded aluminium as heavy. However, its weight does not
tor has managed to remain productive is widely used in modern structures to take away from its inherent strength.
despite the recent jnancial crisis, due improve the appearance of a product. Aluminium is a preferred material
to ongoing construction work across the among contractors and designers due
region. Several far-sighted developers BENEFITS to its various advantageous proper-
are taking advantage of an estimated The advantages of extruded aluminium ties, such as its ability to resist high
40% drop in construction costs since the take effect even before it is used in de- moisture, sound and heat, as well as its
last quarter of 2008 to push projects dur- signing the interiors of a structure. For natural air conduction, which lessens
ing the slowdown; this has had a positive one, it can be produced in large quanti- the need for air conditioning. Aluminium
domino effect on the materials segment. ties in a short period of time, which will also has a signijcant edge in terms of
There have been a number of notice- ensure that companies will break even production and distribution. Production
able developments as aluminium has at a faster pace. Further benejts that is very cost-efjcient due to the availabil-
assumed a greater role as an integral can be derived from using extruded ity of cheap natural gas feedstock and
component in the initial and jnishing aluminium from an interior design per- the accompanying low-priced labour.
phases of construction. For one, the spective are detailed below: The Middle East also has excellent port
material is increasingly being used in Malleability: Extruded aluminium is easy facilities for exporting, and aluminium is
the external parts of buildings, such as to mould into shape, and can be bent or easy and convenient to ship. These fac-
gates, gardens and arches, in order to moulded to very tight radii without the tors are fostering the continuous growth
lend a more aesthetic look. use of any special tooling or machinery. of extruded aluminium in the interior
Another trend is the heavy invest- The very nature of the material means it design market, among other sectors.
ments being made by governments is easy to drill and jx. The extra accuracy
across the Gulf to expand their alu- of the extrusions process makes the join- Modar Al Mekdad is general manager of
minium industries, both upstream and ing of two identical parts very efjcient. Gulf Extrusions.

40 Commercial Interior Design January 2010 www.constructionweekonline.com

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