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The Middle Easts interiors, design & property magazine

ISSUE nInETyFOUR
yEaR EIghT
jULy 2011
a MOTIVaTE PUBLICaTIOn

identity
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Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority
Tomorrows brief: design ethics at work
Property roulette: from London to Las Vegas
Genius at work: an exclusive with Lissoni
NYCs bright side: living in shades of green
00_ID Cover and Spine JUN11.indd 1 4/7/11 13:38:54
I NSIDE
Cover photography:
Bangboom by Ingo Maurer
JULY 2011

identity identity
FEATURES
18 Breaking with convention
Globally green: a LEED Platinum convention centre
in Vancouver, a photovoltaic skylight in Madrid, a
vertical farm in Stockholm and more.
24 On the level
Piero Lissoni: The architect and designer continues
to personify the staying power of minimalism.
28 The bold and the beautiful
Decorator Doug Meyer uses vibrant colours and
bold art to ward off the era of grey.
52 Future perfect
How the Aga Khan Award for Architecture recognises
designs influence on culture and identity.
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13 Jul y 2011
I NSI DE
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer
GROUP EDITOR & MANAGING PARTNER
Ian Fairservice
GROUP SENIOR EDITOR
Gina Johnson | gina@motivate.ae
GROUP EDITOR
Catherine Belbin | catherine@motivate.ae

FEATURES WRITER
Samia Qaiyum | samia@motivate.ae

CHIEF SUB-EDITOR
Iain Smith | iains@motivate.ae
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Belinda Igaya | belinda@motivate.ae
SENIOR DESIGNER
Michelle Liu | michelle@motivate.ae
GENERAL MANAGER PRODUCTION AND CIRCULATION
S Sasidharan | sasidharan@motivate.ae
SENIOR MANAGER PRODUCTION
S Sunil Kumar | sunil@motivate.ae
MANAGER PRODUCTION
C Sudhakar | sudhakar@motivate.ae
GENERAL MANAGER GROUP SALES
Anthony Milne | anthony@motivate.ae
GROUP ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER
Seema Kausar | seema@motivate.ae
ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER
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SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE
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GENERAL MANAGER ABU DHABI
Joe Marritt | Joe@motivate.ae
SENIOR ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER ABU DHABI
Darryl Wiley | Darryl@motivate.ae
SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE ABU DHABI
Hamdan Bawazir | Hamdan@motivate.ae
CONTRIBUTORS:
Nusrat Ali | Steve Hill | Ana Maksic | Shalaka Paradkar |
Ian Phillips | Ruby Rogers | Lisa Vincenti | Richard Warren
REGULARS
17 Editorial
75 Subscription
76 Forum
78 Antennae
80 Books
82 Icon
PROPERTY
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identity

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DESIGN FORMULA
Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai
Member of
+ Cutting edge footnotes on flooring
+ Tour de Sign with Antonio Citterio
+ DVF's wrap on interiors
+ Mystic Celtic mansion makeover
+ And much, much more
Office models across the world are evolving as
a result of growing demands and societal shifts.
Discover the latest range of design elements adding
fashion and function to the modern workplace.
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35 Whatever works
IDENTITY NEXT ISSUE AUGUST 2011
+ Victorian modern
+ Let there be light
+ Antennae
59 id Property
15 Jul y 2011
EDI TORIAL
17 Jul y 2011
Think global
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Group Editor Catherine Belbin.
Clockwise from top left: Matteo Nunziati; Ettore Alessi;
Italo Rota; Giovanni Giacobone.
Award-winning architect and industrial designer Matteo Nunziati was in Dubai
recently to promote the forthcoming MADE Expo to be held in Italy. During a presentation
hosted by the Italian Trade Commission at the Kempinski Hotel, he updated the audience of
designers and buyers on his local and international projects including the Acacia Avenues
development in Jumeirah. Nunziati, who designs for numerous Italian manufacturers, was
recently awarded the Wallpaper Award for the leather table he created for Matteo Grassi.
Industrial designer Giovanni Giacobone, of Progetto CMR, Alberto Lualdi, Vice President of
Federlegno-Arredo, and Lualdi Porte also spoke about Italys role in the construction and design
sector, and the value of this relatively new exhibition. MADE Expo 2011 will be held at the Rho
fairgrounds in Milan from October 5-8.
Haworth the American office furniture company that won several awards at this years
NeoCon show in Chicago also made an appearance in the city, launching its award-winning
Very Task chair and wafer-thin LIM light at the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel.
Established in 1968, Interiors is one of the UAEs oldest importers of quality furniture. The
boutique has recently acquired the rights to sell a new collection from Michael Amini founder
of the American brand AICO, which developed the new Hollywood-inspired line in collaboration
with actress Jane Seymour.
Meanwhile, British company Laura Ashley, best known for its quintessentially English prints,
expanded its home furnishing outlets with the recent opening of a 306-square metre boutique
in The Dubai Mall. Al Aqili, which represents numerous quality interiors brands, is the master
franchiser for Laura Ashley in the GCC.
World Interiors Day takes place annually during the last weekend of May; this years edition
was celebrated with a daylong event at the Jacob Sardini Design Studio on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Held in collaboration with APID, the networking event brought together members of the design
community and provided a platform for local university students to exhibit their projects.
identity also caught up with Italian architect Italo Rota designer of the Cavalli Club to chat
about developments on his latest project, the Chameleon Club in the Byblos Hotel. The eclectic
new nightclub is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2011.
Ettore Alessi the creative spirit involved in Alessis iconic wire basket, fruit containers and
Bomb tea and coffee set recently passed away. Earlier this year, Alessi celebrated the 90th
anniversary of the family-run company with an ongoing exhibition of its most iconic products
at Milans Triennale Design Museum, running until February 2012. Ettores technical expertise
played a significant role in developing the brand that is intrinsically linked with some of the best
contemporary designers of this era. A highly regarded global authority on the cold pressing of
metals, he oversaw a radical shift away from brass and silver nickel towards an increased use of
stainless steel for household accessories.
identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 18
March 2009
ECO
Breaking with convention
Another award for the Vancouver Convention Centre, complete with
the largest living roof in Canada; a bid for the first circumvention of the
world by a solar powered vessel; and an ambitious plan to establish
a vertical farm in Sweden capture this months eco imagination.
TEXT: STEVE HILL
Jul y 2011 19
GO WEST
The sustainability credentials of the LMN-designed Vancouver Convention Centre West have again
been recognised with a Top Ten Green Projects award by the American Institute of Architects
Committee on the Environment.
Described as the worlds first LEED Platinum convention centre, it features a 2.4-hectare living
roof the largest in Canada and the largest non-industrial living roof in North America complete
with more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses which reduce heat gains in the summer and
heat losses in the winter.
No chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides are used on the living roof, which is mowed once
a year, in the autumn, with clippings composted back into the soil as fertiliser.
A restored marine habitat was built into the foundations of the West building, improving water
quality in the area and encouraging the growth of a large variety of sea life.
And a heating and cooling system takes advantage of the adjacent seawater to produce cooling
for the building during warmer months and heating in cooler months.
The centres sophisticated black water treatment plant provides toilet flushing water and rooftop
irrigation during warmer weather, contributing to a 72 per cent reduction in the use of potable water.
Around 180,000kg, or half the total volume of waste generated annually, is recycled, including
batteries, wood, glass and plastics. And the centre operates a scratch kitchen primarily using locally
grown products and avoiding prepackaged canned goods.
ECO
identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 20
SAILING THROUGH
PlanetSolar Tranor is now more than halfway towards its aim of becoming the
first solar-powered boat to circumvent the world.
The 31-metre vessel departed Monaco in September and is due to reach
Abu Dhabi later this year en route to the Suez Canal, with a return to the
Mediterranean provisionally scheduled for April 2012, although much depends
on prevailing weather conditions.
The German-built 85-tonne catamaran is covered with 38,000 solar cells
boasting a total area of more than 600 square metres, capturing energy which is
stored in the worlds largest lithium-ion battery to power an emissions-free and
silent electric motor.
Tranor, which aims to showcase the reliability and effectiveness of renewable
energies and photovoltaics, could become a production model in the future and
is attracting great attention, particularly in island communities looking to lessen
dependence on petrol and diesel-powered engines.
It has already established two records, setting the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing
by a solar boat and the longest distance covered by a solar electric vehicle.
Its name is derived from JRR Tolkeins Lord of the Rings and, appropriately,
means power of the sun.
MARKET SHARE
Onyx Solar has designed a 168-square-metre photovoltaic skylight featuring 54
semi-transparent panels for San Antn Market in Madrid which will generate
about 8,000 kW a year, preventing the release of five tonnes of CO2.
A transparency rate of 20 per cent allows daylight to permeate the building
while still generating power.
Onyx specialises in developing smart solar solutions for Building Integrated
Photovoltaics, replacing conventional materials such as glass or ceramics with
constructive materials with photovoltaic properties in ventilated facades and
roofs, curtain walls and skylights.
The in-situ generation of electricity can be used for self-consumption or
connected and sold to the grid, ensuring that the money invested in a building
and installation can be recovered after a certain period of time.
Onyx, an official partner of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign which
showcases renewable energy solutions, completed work at San Antn Market
shortly after concluding a project at the genomic centre in Granada, where it
designed a photovoltaic ventilated faade and also confirmed its first scheme in
the United States.
TAKING CHARGE
The Kangoo Maxi ZE, the extended version of the Kangoo ZE, is set to join
Renaults range of electric vehicles when it goes on sale in the autumn.
It is recognisable because of the lack of an exhaust and the inclusion of a flap at
the front which will enable the battery to be charged in between six and eight hours.
The bonnet conceals a 44kW motor (equivalent to 60hp), which is powered
by a 22kWh lithium-ion battery located beneath the floor. The vehicles
combined-cycle range of 170 kilometre can vary depending on factors such as
type of road, temperature, speed or driving style.
To optimise range management, the dashboard has been revised to
incorporate a new MMI (Man Machine Interface) which displays the batterys
level of charge and the vehicles remaining range (in kilometres).
Eco-driving systems and the ability to pre-heat the vehicle while the battery is
being charged have also been developed.
Clockwise from top left: The PlanetSolar Tranor; the photovoltaic skylight in San Antn Market,
Madrid; Renaults Kangoo Maxi ZE electric car
COLLECTION ALLEGRETTO
Original lighting designs handcrafted in America and specified worldwide since 1940.
www.fineartlamps.com
FOUR SEASONS RAMESH GALLERY
Al Zomorrodah Building, Zabeel Road, Dubai, T: +971 4 334 9090 - Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, T: +971 4 341 3334
www.fourseasonsgallery.com
22 March 2009
I NTERI ORS ECO
identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 22
VERTICAL LIMIT
Stockholm-based company Plantagon has signed a letter of intent with the
Botkyrka municipality in Sweden to establish a massive vertical farm.
The first stage of the project, which has received funding from the Swedish
Governments clean-tech initiative, the Delegation for Sustainable Cities, is to
analyse the benefits of sustainable urban development from the establishment
of a vertical greenhouse within a geodesic dome.
Driving the project is the fact that by 2050, 80 per cent of the worlds
population will be living in towns and cities, hence there is a need to create
more farm land and reduce the carbon footprint of the food we eat.
Botkyrka Mayor Katarina Berggren said: Placing a vertical greenhouse in
the municipality of Botkyrka will be in line with both our municipal business
and climate strategy.
This investment fits in well with our ongoing effort to promote a sustainable
lifestyle in the northern parts of our county, and the greenhouse itself will be a
visible landmark for the municipality at the entrance to Stockholm.
The finished greenhouse will be spherical and 60-70 metres in diameter.
HOME FIRST
The first net zero production home in the United States has been unveiled by
Meritage Homes in Arizona.
Energy-efficient features include 100 per cent ENERGY STARcertified
appliances, extreme energy-efficient HVAC system, air-tight spray-foam insulation,
smart controllers for landscape irrigation, lighting and thermostats, double low-E
vinyl windows, dual-flush actuator toilets and low-flow showers and faucets
for water conservation; advanced CFL lighting system, and low-VOC (volatile
organic compounds) carpets, paints and finishes for a healthier, safer, and more
environmentally friendly home.
LIGHTING THE WAY
Its official name is the Claesson Koivisto Rune w101, but it is becoming more
popularly known as the DuraPulp Lamp, an award-winning design now receiving
plaudits around the world.
This story began more than seven years ago when Sdra, a Swedish producer
of pulp, wood products and bioenergy, began researching DuraPulp, a fully bio-
degradable material made of 100 per cent renewable fibres combined with
polyactic acid, a renewable biopolymer produced from starch.
This product has high wet strength, high water resistance, high dimension
stability as well as high tensile strength and bending stiffness.
Swedish lighting company Wstberg took DuraPulp and, in close collaboration
with Swedish architects and designers Claesson Koivisto Rune, developed the
DuraPulp Lamp, which features sandwiched paper sheets of this unique material
featuring thin uninsulated copper wires supplying power to LED lamps.
The end result is a product that is more efficient than its rivals in terms of
lighting technique, materials used and production process. And its makers are so
proud of their achievement they have no hesitation in saying: We dare anyone to
manufacture a more ecological electric lamp.
ID
Clockwise from top left: An artist rendering of the vertical farm in Sweden;
Americas first net zero production home; the DuraPlup Lamp by Wstberg
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Baltimora design Vuesse & Marco Pareschi
identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 24
On the level
Piero Lissoni talks about his lifelong love of architecture, how design
dominates his every waking moment and why he cannot stand
self-important poseurs. TEXT: RUBY ROGERS
Piero Lissoni
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25 Jul y 2011
PROFI LE
From top: Modern collection, Truck bedside table and Shin bed from Porro
It was always going to happen. The moment Piero Lissoni announces
that he is totally free his phone rings. Hes a busy man, shrugs his PR.
Indeed he is. It is the week of Milans Salone Internazionale del Mobile
and across the city products bearing Lissonis name are making their debut:
Ghiaccio for Porro, a simple low-slung armchair softened by fabric or
leather; Zooom for Kartell, a solid-looking extending dining table with a sleek,
tempered glass top; and a pair of understated wall sconces for Flos.
One can draw a couple of conclusions from this impressive offering.
Firstly, Lissoni is firmly on the radar of the worlds favourite brands.
Secondly, minimalism is the mainstay of his much-coveted style. While the
aforementioned designs do not demand attention, they certainly deserve
every column inch of coverage elegant, functional and precise in each and
every detail. The same sharp-eyed attention to detail is carried through to
Lissonis architecture and interior design projects of which there are many.
Its a Milanese tradition, he says of his schizophrenic approach to
working. Forget this stupid idea that you have to be specialised sage advice
for young architects and designers coming up through the ranks one day I
am an architect and designer, the next day I am a graphic designer. I choose
to be like Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I intend to continue in this way.
So far, so good. Lissonis projects run from private villas and luxurious hotels
to company headquarters, yachts and shops. And when we touch on the subject
of product design, Lissoni reels off a long list of big brands he has worked for,
identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property] 26
Clockwise from top left: Birillo liquid soap dispenser from Alessi; Deck and Zhu chairs from Glas Italia; Zooom table from Kartell and TYL wall mounted lights from Flos
including Alessi, Cappellini, Fritz Hansen, Cassina. Hes not boasting; on the
contrary, he proves genuinely unassuming, but the fact remains that Lissoni can
legitimately claim to have produced designs for every room of the house.
Accessorising the bathroom is his Birillo series for Italian tastemaker Alessi.
Recent additions include a liquid soap dispenser reduced to its bare essentials.
Furnishing the garden, meanwhile, is his first indoor/outdoor sofa collection
for Pierantonio Bonacina, taking inspiration from the shape and functionality of
everyday industrial objects. And in the kitchen is his Aprile kitchen system for
Boffi an appealing mix of natural and modern materials.
Lissoni finishes his phone call and apologises for the interruption. Where
were we? he asks. Ah yes, Boffi. I started working for them six months after
graduation and I still work for them today.
So what has changed about the industry in that time? For the worse? I
dont know, I prefer to be positive, he smiles. Whats better is that we now
have incredible technology that makes many things possible.
Among the many possibilities is Boffis recent departure into storage systems.
Its a natural progression, says Lissoni of the move. Boffi designs tools for the
kitchen and bathroom. It does not matter whether the house is big or small; it
is the tools that define it. For this reason we decided to use our knowledge and
put it inside a wardrobe.
So they did, launching Solferino, a load-bearing structure in tubular steel,
lacquered in a black epoxy powder coating and boasting integrated lighting, super-
thin shelves, drawers with aluminium front panels and Boffis patented hinged doors.
Quizzed about his approach to design, Lissoni reveals that the process
changes but the rules stay the same. They are very easy to follow, he says.
When we start a new project it is forbidden for anyone around me to refer to
books and magazines. The primary level of the design process is to think. To
be inspired and to copy are often mistaken. It is easy to jump from one to the
other. I dont like to give my contemporaries the incredible honour of copying
them, he laughs.
27 Jul y 2011
PROFI LE
From top: Aprile kitchen system from Boffi; Ghiaccio armchair and Minimo table from Porro
Im joking of course! I try to stay away from that because I dont want to
feel like a thief.
A brief pause follows, enough time for Lissoni to change the course of
conversation. I was born an architect, he muses. Its funny. I was talking to
my mother and she said that when I was a young boy my only wish was to
be an architect. I was always making things with my hands. I like this idea and I
am very proud of it.
He went on to study architecture at the famous Politecnico di Milano and
on graduating in 1985 began collaborating with Boffi. In 1986, together with
Nicoletta Canesi, he launched Lissoni Associati, which has grown into a
70-strong studio of architects, interior designers and graphic designers.
Its been hard work. A lot of hard work, Lissoni stresses. People are
convinced that this is a glitzy life. Some idiot designers show our life to be like
that of a rock and roll star. This is ridiculous. Our life is about responsibility
and hard work. There is a lot of discipline involved. Mistakes are made
because people are only interested in the glitter and sparkle, they then create
some ugly, ugly pieces of design.
Lissoni is genuinely concerned by the bad example being set to future
generations. I saw two young designers at the exhibition yesterday a girl
and a boy walking around in a self-important way. They were nobodies.
Nobody knew them but they were acting as though they were stars. He
shakes his head. This is the wrong attitude.
With his hectic schedule, does Lissoni ever find time for himself? To be
good at some professions you have to be totally involved, he smiles. I dont
like to divide my time in a precise way. I cant say: My work time finishes
now. It doesnt work like that.
ID
28 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
The living room includes a green chair from the Eames Aluminum Group and features artwork by Swiss artist Arnold Helbing.
I NTERI ORS
29 Jul y 2011
For decorator Doug Meyer, colour is everything. Ive been in some
beautiful rooms that are beige and grey, but they dont make me happy, they
dont make me think, he declares. Colour is just how I live. Its never shocking
for me. I always find it so amazing.
As a young boy, he pestered his mother to let him have an all-pink room
and was temporarily mortified when his older brother, Gene, gave a tour of
the family home to some friends and one exclaimed: I didnt know you had a
sister. He soon got over the comment. I kept it pink for another two years
Meyer remembers.
Thus, it seems rather bizarre to learn that he originally planned for his New
York apartment to be entirely grey. I was in a relationship and my partner loved
the colour, he explains. So, I sort of gave myself a challenge: Lets see if we
can make a grey apartment just fabulous. The moment the liaison ended, he
realised it had to change quick and fast. It was, Meyer notes, like a prison.
The bold and the beautiful
As his relationship with his partner came to an end, Doug Meyer realised it was time to wave goodbye
to his drab grey interiors, and embrace his love of vibrant colours and fantastic pieces of art.
TEXT: IAN PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK ROSKAMS / TRIPOD AGENCY
He put in lime green epoxy resin floors throughout (the tone was inspired by
a Schumacher fabric), painted the sitting and dining rooms a matt forest green,
and covered the bedroom walls with a blue raw Indian silk. The blocks of solid
hues, he opines, are the perfect foils for art: They really allow works to pop.
Meyer and his older brother, fashion designer Gene, certainly had a quite
colourful upbringing. He was born in Kentucky in 1961 the year his parents
built a modern, cutting-edge house in Louisville. Both the interiors and exteriors
were mainly white, with the exception of a hot-pink front door. His mother
Kitty was an incredibly stylish Candice Bergen look-alike, who had a way with
styling objects.
She would go round the house and do these amazing settings and
tablescapes, Mayer recalls. His father Eugene, meanwhile, ran a hat-making
business and was a passionate golfer. On the weekend, he had this wild group of
clothes that he would wear to the club vivid lime green corduroy pants and a
Left: The Louis XV-style chair in the master bedroom dates from the 1920s, while the Warhol Marilyn has followed Meyer around for the past 20 years.
Right: The artworks are, from left: a 1959 Eugene Berman collage entitled Ruth Smile; a watercolour by a Moroccan artist called Mohamed Raiss El Fenni; a colour
pencil drawing by Meyers brother, Gene, entitled Man with Flower (2010); an 1950s oil on canvas by an unknown artist; a fashion illustration dated 1989 by Gene.
30 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
fuchsia top, Meyer says. The colour combinations were really cool. Other early
inspirations included two David Hicks books he received for his 10th birthday.
Then, at 16, he moved to New York to study fine arts at Parsons and danced
most nights away at Studio 54. Legend has it that he would do his homework on
the balcony and in the coat check. He also started working for art dealer Holly
Solomon, who quickly became his mother and mentor in New York.
He still recalls the impression made upon him by her flat on Sutton Place,
which brought together modern paintings, traditional architectural details and
classic furniture that had been repainted by artist Kim McConnel. I never realised
until years later just how much that influenced me, Meyer says. It was taking a
classic piece of furniture and making it completely unique.
Then, in the early 1990s, Meyer moved to Miami and opened a news stand
called Beach News, which also sold gifts. Gianni Versace would pop by every
morning to pick up Corriere della Sera and Madonna would stock up on nudie pens.
His first interior project was at one of his parents houses in Coconut Grove,
Florida. He was about 16 at the time. A lot of magazines actually wanted to shoot
it, but my mother wouldnt let it happen, he laments.
Since then, Meyer has come to consider his interiors as more conceptual
than decorative. So much of what I do is about creating an environment
that is unexpected bending the rules, he explains. Since 2005, he has also
collaborated on product design with his brother, be it fashion items or accessories
for the home. This month, they are launching both a new website and a
collection of outdoor fabrics for Link.
Meyers 60sq/m New York flat is at the heart of the Chelsea Gallery District,
just half a block from the Hudson River, along which he jogs daily. His 90-minute
morning runs take him to Wall Street and back, and he often heads out a second
time later in the day. Its just so therapeutic for me, Meyer notes. As for the
apartment, he says that he was attracted by the layout (I hate where the living
Left: The linen wall covering in the entrance hall is printed with a Josef
Frank motif called La Plata and the 19th century American box front chest
was inherited from Meyers mother. Right: The dressing room features a
series of coloured pencil portraits by Gene Meyer against vintage 1970s
wall fabric from Hull Traders.
31 Jul y 2011
I NTERI ORS
The collage on the hallway was created using fashion images from books and magazines, inspired by
Meyers interest in imagery of people and because it also helped cover up an electrical panel box.
32 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
INTERIORS
room is next to the bedroom) and the fact that each space is a neat rectangular
box. I hate rooms that have angles in them, he asserts. It just throws me.
Meyer stripped the apartment of its baseboards and mouldings. I didnt want
any decorative elements. It just became about the colour, he says. He added
pattern solely in the entrance hall, where he covered the walls with a Josef
Frank print on linen called La Plata. He also created a dramatic black and white
collage of fashion images in the hallway, which took three-and-a-half months to
collect and install.
As for the furnishings, they are what he terms edited to death. If you start
layering and layering stuff, it just makes the apartment look smaller and smaller,
he comments. Meyer also believes that unique and unusual pieces need space
to breathe: Truly, no room needs more than a couple.
The only things he has a lot of are chairs. Many are still grey both the upholstery
and woodwork. One of the things I like about furniture is making it all the same
colour, he affirms. That way, it becomes more like an object or a sculpture.
There is also a vintage armchair he inherited from his mother and which has
been part of every home hes lived in. Its changed each time and even in the
same house, its changed maybe three or four times, Mayer relates. Poor chair!
Its like someone who dyes their hair the whole time. Its going to fall apart!
More than anything, Meyer sees the apartment as a showcase for art. There
are a number of works hes had for decades, like the Marilyn Monroe screenprint
in his bedroom and the Louise Nevelson sculpture in the sitting room. He also
raves about the wonderfully graphic Joseph Stashkevetch drawings in the dining
room and has decorated the kitchen with an array of fashion illustrations. In the
hallway, meanwhile, are a couple of Cindy Sherman photos, which the artist gave
him as Christmas presents when he worked at Metro Pictures in the early 1980s.
Nowadays, the gallery is just by the backdoor of his building and Meyer
rejoices at the proximity of the art scene. He finds it both inspirational and also
handy when looking for a work for a client. It does, however, have its drawbacks.
When they have opening nights, its a nightmare, he admits. There are mobs
of people. You cant get into any restaurants or even get a cab!
ID
Clockwise from top left: the kitchen walls are decorated with fashion illustrations
from the 1950s-1990s; Doug Meyer; details in the dressing room: the ties inside
the tray were designed by Gene, and the papier mch bust from the estate
of Andy Warhol was bought at an auction.
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CONTENTS:
40 The evolution of the office
43 Personal preferences
44 Remote controlled
47 Take the office home
48 Private practice
Whatever works
The work landscape continues to be
transformed, and informed, by societal
and lifestyle shifts. Both at home and in
corporate suites, the workplace is becoming
increasingly mobile and must meet a
growing roster of demands, but the range
of designs on offer never proves anything
less than inspired. TEXT: LISA VINCENTI
Creating drama in the workspace can be achieved by adding mood-enhancing
lighting, such as the black-matte version of ModoLuces Lucilla table lamp.
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Workplace solutions neednt be predictable. Above: the Bukva bookcase by
Victor Vasilev for Living Divan delivers a strong visual impact. Bottom: Jean-Marie
Massauds Flow armchair, for MDF Italia, blends familiarity and peculiarity.
When Robert Propst joined Herman Miller Research Corporation
as its president in 1960, he surveyed the all-too-familiar office scene and
concluded: Todays office is a wasteland. It saps vitality, blocks talent, frustrates
accomplishment. It is the daily scene of unfulfilled intentions and failed effort.
We get a glimpse into this traditional office scenario via the meticulously
rendered sets on the hit US television drama Mad Men. The show trains the
camera on 1960s corporate America, following Madison Avenue advertising
executive Don Draper through his office and home.
The critically acclaimed series perfectly captures the changing moods and
social mores of the era and its impeccably choreographed style served as
inspiration for many fashion and furnishings collections during the major fairs
throughout Europe last autumn and into 2011. However, one thing is certain,
while the office sets perfectly render the mid-century modern aesthetic and the
ethos of the eras workplace, which emphasised hierarchy and separation of
responsibilities, it also illustrates just how far the contemporary office landscape
has come in the past half-century and how it continues to change.
Whether you are an accountant or a designer, to successfully undertake
your work you have to undergo a creative processes; a process that is aided
by different office scenarios; variety where your brain can relax, breathe and
find alternative ways of thinking, says Isabel Pintado, associate partner at
architectural firm Godwin Austen Johnson. Breaking the barriers between the
office and home environment is the logical way forward. Examples, such as
Vitras Citizen Office, which I visited a couple of weeks ago, make you realise
how the answers are there, we just need to be brave and implement them.
While the modernist aesthetic of the 1960s remains iconic, the structure and
nature of the workplace has undergone unimaginable alteration. New design
schemes, fostered by decades of research on the workplace, the digital revolution
and societal change, have pushed the boundaries of how, where and when
people work, and begs the question of whether the topography of the corporate
office captured in Mad Men is a relic best-suited to the sets of a television drama.
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39 Jul y 2011
European furnishings makers, such as Presottos Pari&Dispari configuration,
continually present chic and stylish systems to tame the clutter.
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In fact, new ways of working have prompted the question among workplace
planners and research experts, does place still matter? The impact of changing
work styles, which are now far more relaxed, with more workers mobile,
working from home, at a caf, a central HQ, a virtual office or a combination of all
of the above is transforming how office planners envision the spaces they create.
Furthermore, according to research conducted by New Ways of Working
(New WOW), an organisation comprised of industry and academia, exploring
how the office has changed over the past several years to include distributed
work (telework) and cross-cultural work, the office remains critical yet its
function and use is undergoing a huge change.
If fewer and fewer workers come to the central office to work, how will
offices be used in the future? Or is the centralised office as a place to work an
artefact of the 20th century soon to be replaced by home, third places [such
as cafs] or virtual workplaces? asks author June Langhoff in her white paper
entitled the Does Place Still Matter? The Role of the Workplace in a Distributed
World, part of a series sponsored by office furnishings designer Haworth.
Langhoff surveyed a number of key professionals at businesses and
universities such as Cisco Systems, Gartner Inc, Haworth, Hewlett Packard,
KOKUYO Co, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SRI Consulting
Business Intelligence, Stanford University, Sun Microsystems, VTT of Finland
and the Work Design Collaborative. We still need places. Our experts were
unanimous in maintaining that place is important, even in a world of highly
distributed workers, she concludes.
40
There will be less space devoted to workplaces, due to increases in distributed
work. Certainly, there will be fewer personal workplaces as work becomes
more distributed both outside and inside of corporate offices. But workplaces
will be even more important as a means of maintaining relationships, working
collaboratively, sparking innovation and fostering employee engagement.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE OFFICE
In the decades following the corporate scenario laid out in Mad Men, where
the head honchos occupied the corner suites while the minions toiled in a far
less satisfactory settings, office designers began rethinking the layout of corporate
spaces to increase worker satisfaction and hence productivity. In fact, the open
office plan reached an apotheosis of sorts when Frank Lloyd Wright designed
the stunning great workroom of the SC Johnson Wax Administration Building
in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1936. The centrepiece of the Johnson Wax building
was an enormous expanse of open space with individual desks arranged along
the implied perimeter lines of the structural bays, an organisational structure that
was to permeate the American workplace for the rest of the 20th century.
By the 1960s, the white-collar workplace had been clearly codified: corridors
of private offices along a buildings perimeter, and open and typically dense
secretarial pools in the centre. So when Herman Millers Propst, declared the
scene a wasteland, he set out to recreate the workplace, enlisting first George
Nelson and later Jack Kelly, and the collaboration resulted in the Action Office
Above: Poltrona Fraus leather-clad Shell chair and asymmetrical Fred desk present a warm and natural profile. Bottom: The contemporary Lego-inspired Top Four
collection, by italian lighting maker Luxit, offers personality and flexibility.
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Designed by Massimo Morozzi for Edra, Paesaggi Italiani lends itself to a wide range of possibilities.
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I and II. These were the first open-plan office furniture systems made up of
components that could be combined and recombined into a variety of work
areas, not only for support staff but also for managers.
Propst sought to foster a collaborative culture by removing barriers among
colleagues, allowing each to have a broader view of their own particular role
within a company. Yet Action Office, which proved a tremendous success for
Herman Miller, was credited with spawning the age of the cubicle farm, which
afforded workers more privacy than a desk and proved a flexible solution for
corporations, but failed to achieve some of its loftier intentions.
Nelson disowned the Action Office II line and even Propst bemoaned the
regrettable uniformity to which it had been applied. In 1970, Nelson sent a
letter to Robert Blaich, Herman Millers vice-president for corporate design and
communication at the time, in which he described the systems dehumanising
effect as a working environment.
One does not have to be an especially perceptive critic to realise that AO II
is definitely not a system which produces an environment gratifying for people
in general, Nelson wrote. But it is admirable for planners looking for ways
of cramming in a maximum number of bodies, for employees (as against
individuals), for personnel, corporate zombies, the walking dead, the silent
majority. A large market.
Not until the 1990s, when small technology startups in Silicon Valley began
making headlines, did a major rethink in office design occur. Among the new
darlings of Wall Street, this breed of young entrepreneurial company abandoned
the rigidity and hierarchy of earlier office plans in favour of a more democratic,
fluid and collaborative schema, which also saved on overheads since cubicles
and permanent walls are more expensive. But the global economic recession
and further technological advances, along with new insights into human
behaviour and the workplace, altered the landscape even further.
PERSONAL PREFERENCES
The dawn of a new decade, 2011 marks the emergence of the post-recession
economy and, along with it, came a new business climate with a set of fresh
challenges for designers to overcome. According to the International Interior
Design Association (IIDA), this age of recovery is marked by corporate scrutiny of
the bottom line. Efficient working environments are increasingly in focus as clients
demand more value from their fit-out investment. Optimising space is king in
light of smaller interior footprints and the requirement for office environments to
respond to changes in business, the IIDA states.
Above: The dynamic, tilt-able Tip Ton chair is paired with the flexible Map table in Vitras latest collection for the office scenario.
Bottom: Herman Millers touch-controlled Leaf lamp task lighting folds to create ambient light, or straightens dramatic wall lighting.
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Poradas just-introduced Zeus bookcase presents an organic, natural profile.
Franco Albinis stunning nautical-inspired 1940s Veliero, now presented
by Cassina, radically re-worked the laws of gravity.
The office workplace of the next decade, the IIDA continues, must be as
flexible as possible, paying close attention to the way people interact with it and
the way in which the office impacts the health, safety and welfare of its broader
community. Embracing integrated solutions as well as innovative ideas for
individual requirements will be a complicated, but necessary requirement of the
interior design industry over the next decade, says Cheryl Durst, executive vice
president and CEO of the IIDA.
Durst shared the top eight trends that will influence and transform
commercial interior design over the next decade during a discussion at this
years Office Exhibition, the Middle Easts premier trade event for office fit-outs.
What proves so interesting about the direction corporate design is heading is
that it is taking major style cues from trends issuing from the residential design
area. Accordingly, office design will be global, green, personal, interactive,
humanitarian, minimal, elastic and democratic, Durst says.
Design is an international language that is spoken by those who design and the
clients and consumers for whom the projects and products are being created, she
adds, noting that societal and environmental issues and sustainability are uppermost
in the minds of designers and product manufacturers, since those concerns have
proven they are not just a passing fad. The days of one size fits all solutions are
gone, and consumers and clients are demanding office environments and products
that reflect self-expression and build a personal brand.
The revolutionary concepts behind office systems such as Herman Millers
Action Office were designed to inject a workplace with life and have workers
feel engaged. Five decades later, corporate office designers are still struggling to
create environments that invite, engage, elevate and enhance. Human beings
arent adjunct or coincidental to an interior space they fully inhabit it, Durst
notes. Whats more, design should reassure, relate and connect human
beings. The open office plans of the mid-20th century attempted to foster such
feelings among workers, yet often ended up having the opposite effect.
Some years back, clients used to come to us with a list of defined
requirements: We want x-number of desks with y-number of meeting rooms
for z-number of employees, notes London-based interior designer Sevil Peach,
of Sevil Peach Gence Associates, who has collaborated with Vitra for nearly a
decade. Now clients increasingly come with aspirational and qualitative visions
rather than numeric and quantitative briefs. These less tangible aspirations such
as, we want to achieve better collaboration, communication, interaction etc
etc mean that the projects are more of a vehicle for cultural change rather than
simply an environmental update.
REMOTE CONTROLLED
As more workers find themselves working remotely, touching down in the office
only once in a while, the need to make employees feel connected to others
and the company becomes increasingly important, and has spawned fresh
thoughts on the office arrangement. The role of the office becomes much more
than just a place to work, it also serves as a hub for connecting to technologies,
socialising and relaxing.
Two decades ago, Vitra embarked on its Citizen Office concept, inviting Andrea
Branzi, Michele de Lucchi and Ettore Sottsass to sit down together and contemplate
the office. They developed strategies designed to do away with the limitations set
by one-dimensional office environments and proposed an alternative setting that
was alive, that facilitated interaction and that did not draw any distinctions between
working and living. We believe you should use an office like you would a city,
says Jo Kaiser, Vitras managing director of North American operations.
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Above: Molteni&Cs Pass wall system is full of bright ideas. Bottom: Young
Asian designer Nathan Yong creates the poetic Paper Table for Ligne Roset.
The alternative the three design heavyweights proposed, which later
became the subject of an exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum, as well as a
publication, presented the office from the viewpoint of office workers who
use the latest communication technologies, network and move independently
in many different types of office scenarios at different times. Incorporating space
for group brainstorm sessions, more relaxed lounge areas and places to retreat
became the hallmark of Citizen Office and other workplace systems that follow.
Today, ideas from this project can be found applied to differing degrees
based on the work culture to offices around the globe. Not necessarily
because the exhibition or the book was so influential, but because we and the
three designers anticipated two things that would become part of a mega-trend
and redefine the offices of the information society, states Vitra in its Citizen
Office catalogue. On the one hand, we predicted that the office worker would
become an independent and self-confident team player. We call these workers
office citizens. We also predicted that they would work in an environment
where hierarchies would be getting flatter and new technological advances
would start playing a central role in communication.
Todays work styles are more fluid, interactive and mobile, and top players
in the field are addressing this. Knoll, an office furniture stalwart whose famed
products are all over the Mad Men set and which has collaborated with
innovative designers including Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Harry
Bertoia and Frank Gehry, asked six industrial designers to update the office. It
essentially asked: What would Don Drapers workspace look like if he were an
executive at a tech startup?, and the solutions they came up with were highly
flexible, green, ergonomic and designed to facilitate collaboration.
Knolls new Antenna Workspaces, which highlight the companys new approach
to workplace design, reflects the freedom and mobility people seek in todays
office. Designed by Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger, principals of Antenna
Design, the desks, tables, screens and storage of the new line combine and
recombine in an infinite number of ways for open plan environments, private
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Clockwise from top left: Alessis Hani sculptural pencil holder by Karim Rashid; Nemos clever Mr. Light short table lamp; One office collection from Moody Design
offices and meeting spaces. Counter height tables and adjustable, seated-to-
standing height desks facilitate a range of work postures. Employees can work at a
long table with colleagues and chat about an idea or share a video, and then hide
behind private screen to focus and get some work done.
The physical work environment in itself does not create innovation, but
it can support and encourage behaviours that lead to innovation, such as
collaboration across (functional and hierarchy) boundaries and team working,
notes Bettina von Stamm, founder of the Innovation Leadership Forum.
Hence, one of the primary goals that interior designers need to achieve is
building scenarios that foster innovation and creativity, the pillars upon which
the information age rests.
TAKE THE OFFICE HOME
At home, there are many lessons to be gleaned from the corporate world.
As more of the global workforce finds itself working from home, creating a
setting much like those refined and expertly crafted in the corporate landscape
is critical just on a smaller scale. Today, people work in many places
throughout the home, whether at a desk, kitchen table, the living room sofa
or a combination of all three, so thought must be given to providing plenty
of flexible, transformable solutions.
Multi-functional furniture that nests, folds, flips and transforms can be tucked
away when not in use to provide more floor space and help the at-home
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worker unplug after hours while clever storage solutions allow one to organise
and hide the clutter that makes a space seem smaller and chaotic. The established
European furniture makers (such as Molteni & C and Porro) have always led the
way in stylish modular storage solutions. One recently introduced smart system
is Boxetti, an example of a new area of exploration: the office in a box.
Designed by Latvian Rolands Landsbergs, the Boxetti collection offers a slew
of clever features for its Practice workspace module, which contains a set of
integrated furniture that can be hidden away once the work is done. A manual
foldaway desk top with a block of drawers, a bookcase system and an uber-cool
upholstered chill-out niche for a more relaxed posture, are just some of the
highlights of the handmade line.
The collection is driven by three basic design principles functionality,
advanced technologies and contemporary minimalist aesthetics, says
Landsbergs. Each of (the) Boxetti modules is designed to achieve maximum
efficiency. The capability of the modules to be transformed into compactly solid
blocks is essential for the design concept, and to obtain an unobstructed and
comfortable space free of uselessness.
PRIVATE PRACTICE
Despite the leap forward ushered in by entrepreneurial tech companies two
decades ago and programmes such as Action Office, new office spaces of the
early part of the 21st century often lacked what so many are looking for. In fact,
as the walls have come down in corporate settings, and as many homeowners
have likewise adopted an open living arrangement at home, a lack of order
and boundaries plagued many designs. Privacy, or a lack thereof, has become a
major issue to contend with.
In the residential sphere, the past year witnessed a number
of new products designed to help produce a more secluded
atmosphere for escape. Seat backs and armrests began to
rise, and nest-like designs have been on point. Montiss Scene,
designed by Dutch designer Gijs Papavoine in 1998, has now
been launched in a super-sized model with towering back, which
can be configured in a number of ways. Slender backrests fold
around the seating element as a collar raised high in the wind,
creating a shielded and private area for the sitter.
Vitras Alcove Highback Sofa, whose side and back panels
reach an exceptional height, was designed by Ronan and Erwan
Bouroullec to create an oasis in the midst of a spacious setting.
From prolific London-based designer Kelly Hoppen comes her
interpretation of the vintage Bubble Chair, where an acrylic orb
rests on a circular pedestal, providing the bests of both worlds.
Likewise, two introductions from Cappellini, the cocoon-like
Secret Clubhouse and extra-large Wanders Tulip Chair, offer chic
escapes as well.
In the office environment, as offices spaces brought down walls
and eschewed the cubicle, issues of noise and nosing around,
often proved counter productive and introduced a new variable
for office designers to consider. Research has shown that privacy
disruptions created by acoustical and visual distractions are a
major complaint when evaluating workplace job performance and
satisfaction, state Teresa A Bellingar and Virginia W Kupritz, who
have published research on the topic.
From top: Bangboom pendant lamp by Ingo Maurer;
Paul Sumit tiles from Messara Trading
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From top: Living Wall from Ahrend; Very Task chair and Eddy task table both from Haworth
The number one desire in the workplace is privacy the ability to perform
distraction-free, individual work when necessary, states global office furniture
maker and space designer Haworth of its years of research in the field.
New introductions by many office furnishings makers today address
the point. From Vitra comes an array of items from sound-blocking
movable walls and acoustic neutralisers to high-back sofas, designed for
retreat. Vitras latest Net n Nest introductions by Jasper Morrison and the
Bouroullecs present not only a protected private zone, but a space for a
private meeting with a colleague or two. Likewise, the companys Network
Office series, designed by Peach, creates carrels, a library and sofa islands
to meet this need.
In the corporate world, individuals have alternatives to either work at their
desk, if they have one, at a large dining table, at a sofa or at a booth, notes
GAJs Pintado. There is a clear symbiosis between the different areas within
a home and the different work scenarios appearing in corporate office design.
The more variety of scenarios, the more an individual can personalise their
day and, as such, perform to the best of their abilities.
People are magical tools that, given the correct environment, can thrive
and outperform their employers expectations. I believe large open-plan
offices, where there are no visual barriers and no vertical elements to break
the eye, will slowly be eliminated in favour of smaller-scale, collaborative
environments where the individual is treasured and allowed to flourish.
ID
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A design classic, Kartells Portariviste magazine rack by
Giotto Stoppino remains an ingenious solution to paperwork.
Design sources
ahrend.com
alessi.com; tel: (04) 340 2933
arflex.it
atipiconline.it
bouroullec.com
boxetti.com
cappellini.it; tel: (04) 295 2180
diamantinidomeniconi.it
edra.com; tel: (04) 324 0202
fdvgroup.com
gaj-uae.ae; tel: (04) 335 4545
haworth-asia.com; tel: (04) 886 5713
hermanmiller.com; tel: (04) 283 3040
ingo-maurer.com
kartell.com; tel: (04) 348 8169
kellyhoppenretail.com
knoll.com; tel: (04) 336 4666
kundalini.it; tel: (04) 335 0006
lemamobili.com
livingdivani.it; tel: (04) 334 9943
marcelwanders.com; tel: (04) 340 57 95
matteograssi.it
mdfitalia.it; tel: (04) 334 4478
messara.biz; tel: (06) 533 6625
modoluce.com
molteni.it; tel: (04) 297 1777
moodydesign.ae; tel: (04) 339 7177
nemo.cassina.it
porro.com; tel: (04) 334 9943
poliform.it; tel: (04) 394 8161
poltronafrau.com; tel: 295 2981
porada.it
presottoitalia.it
sedus.com
sigel.de
tisettanta.com
vertijet.de
vitra.com; tel: (04) 228 3008
walterknoll.de
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Future perfect
Farrokh Derakhshani, who steers one of the
most unique prize programmes in architecture,
discusses how design can shape identity.
TEXT: SHALAKA PARADKAR
For over three decades now, one of architectures most unique prize
programmes has been rewarding architects, builders and clients in communities from
Indonesia to France, from Portugal to Zanzibar and several countries in between.
Its also been called the wisest prize in architecture.
In the 34 years since it was established, The Aga Khan Award for
Architecture has been bagged by a wide array of projects, on sites ranging
from tropical beaches to denuded wadis, deserts to rainforests, modern cities
to secluded wilderness reserves.
When HH The Aga Khan founded the award, it was aimed at enhancing the
understanding and appreciation of Islamic culture by way of its architecture.
Since then 85 projects that are not overtly Islamic, but are definitely rooted in
a local idiom, born out of a communitys need and thus, extremely contextual,
have laid claim to the award, architectures richest prize purse.
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53 May 2011
But perhaps the most unique and visionary aspect of the award is that,
unlike architectures other big prize, the Pritzker that awards only the architect,
the Aga Khan Award is given to the team that realised the project.
As compared to art, an architecture project is not the creation of one
person, says Farrokh Derakhshani, director, Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
The clients vision is very important as are the architects, the users, the
craftsmen and the engineers; depending on the project, each of these people
can have a greater or lesser role. This award does not celebrate one person,
it is a celebration of the project and collaboration between these people.
Derakhshani has been associated with the Award since 1982. Having trained
as an architect and planner at National University of Iran and the School
of Architecture in Paris, his main field of specialisation is the contemporary
architecture of Muslim societies. He has served as a jury member at various
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international competitions and schools of architecture and collaborated on a large variety of
publications on architecture.
Speaking to identity on the sidelines of Art Dubai, Derakhshani discussed the challenges facing
architecture in the Islamic world and how design can make a difference.
Much has been said about the Awards stringent selection process: the three-year award cycle is
governed by a Steering Committee chaired by the Aga Khan. Each cycle has a new committee that
establishes the current eligibility criteria for the projects, provides thematic direction to the selection
process and develops plans for the future. The Steering Committee is responsible for the selection of
the Master Jury appointed for each Award cycle over the last 11 cycles of the award, the juries have
been notable for their depth, balance and pluralistic nature. They are not changed with every cycle.
Prizes totalling $500,000 (Dhs1,825,000) are presented every three years to the five projects
selected by the jury. Sometimes people want to know why the awards cycle takes so long. It must
be remembered this is the only award that sends the jury to visit the site of the project. Its important
to see how people are using it, whether its being appreciated or not. Evaluation post occupancy is a
very important part of the award. The projects shortlisted for the award have to be recent, have to
be completed and in use. Therefore its only after one year that users know if they are happy with the
building, Derakhshani says.
Shortlisted buildings can be in any part of the world where Muslims are present and the project
can be of any scale and programme.
Architecture is any intervention in the built environment; and they are all equally important [for
the award]: from a small shed to a large scale urban planning project, from a landscape scheme to
an area conservation. It is what man does to his environment. We dont look at a specific scale. But
we look at excellence how that project has been achieved, its excellence in process and design.
At the time of our conversation, Arab cities from the Maghreb to the Levant were on the boil.
In a time of such socio-political upheaval, can design play a role at all?
The images in this feature highlight the various
aspects of the Ismaili Centre in Dubai, which was
opened in 2008 by Prince Karim Aga Khan. Nestled
among the concrete and glass in Oud Metha, the
serene complex is utilised as a creative space for
contemplative, cultural, educational and recreational
purposes. Designed by Egyptian duo Rami El-Dahan
and Soheir Farid, the complex a combination
of interlinking interiors, courtyards, gardens and
watercourses draws inspiration from the Fatimid
mosques in Cairo. Built primarily in Aleppo
limestone, the detailing in the multi-directional
domes, marble interiors, carved hardwood exteriors,
elaborately patterned doors and masharabiyya (lattice
work) testifies to rare artisanship. With its rolling
lawns, date palms, cool ferns and seasonal plants, the
landscaping tempers the heat and creates almost a
microclimate for the centre.
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DESIGN@LARGE
Derakhshanis response was measured. Design has an important role to play
in culture. It is tied with identity, which is the culture of any place. Right now
in some parts of the world, people are searching for their own identity and
asking this question repeatedly; other tend to be in the nostalgia of the past.
The reality is that today is what shapes a new identity. Its a work in progress.
What is different today is the speed of change. Thats why it is more difficult for
people to step back and see where they are.
In such a situation, public space is very important. They existed in
traditional cities, but have been swallowed up by the rapid change brought
upon by urbanisation. What has been lacking in most of the Arab world, and
in other developing countries in Africa and Asia, is that the public was not the
focus of the development.
It is indeed a striking reference, for in the protests across Arab cities, it is
public space that has been reclaimed by people.
Derakhshani cites the example of the award-winning project from Tunisia, the
revitalisation of the Tunis hypercentre. This was a place where the post colonial
city had been changed, boulevards had become parking spaces. Now they
have transformed and rehabilated this space with trees and landscaping it has
become a pleasant space for people to use. Citizens are using it (perhaps a little
too much!). Appropriating public space is very important. So also the Wadi Hanifa
project in Saudi Arabia is an extremely important, being one of the few projects of
its kind in the world. The landscaping of a once-barren flood plain has created a
public space where people now go jogging, picnicking and spend time.
Once the project has won the award, Derakhshani visits the site to celebrate
with the community who are using it. At the same time, it is discussed in the
local universities from the academic point of view. This has been one of the
major changes in the awards. The other is the level of transparency brought
into the selection of projects.
During the 11th award cycle of 2010, the 19 shortlisted projects were shared
with the public through a book to promote further discussion.
A recurrent theme runs through the shortlisted buildings: they are notable for
their use of local materials and appropriate technology. Derakhshani says this is a
trend that has grown over the recent cycles of the award.
The contribution of local architects is more evident now. We have awarded
civic projects designed by an international star architect who worked very
closely with a local architect a big reason for the projects success. Its not
something packaged at Houston or elsewhere and installed here. It recognises
that which is deeply rooted.
ID
Farrokh Derakhshani
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59 Jul y 2011
idProperty
CONTENTS:
60 Victorian Modern
66 Let there be light
72 Antennae
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Victorian modern
A new wave of Middle Eastern home buyers in
London are going native. They want Victorian houses
and modern European style. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN
Victorian Britain and the modern day Middle East share a common
characteristic large families. The average size of a UAE family is 7.28 persons,
about the same size as the typical family in Victorian England which had
between five to six children. Rather neatly, this means todays average-sized
Middle Eastern family fits snugly into a London family home built during the
latter half of the 19th century. This is fortunate, because the number of Middle
Eastern families looking to buy homes in London is growing and the type of
abode they want most are Victorian-era houses.
According to estate agency, Knight Frank, Arab buyers invested Dhs16
billion in central London property in 2010, a substantial increase on the
Dhs10 billion they spent in 2009. In 2011, the agency forecasts they
may spend up to Dhs21 billion, which is good news for London property
Reception room, upper basement. Garden in
background visible through sliding French doors.
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61 Jul y 2011
INTERNATI ONAL | idProperty
developers busy renovating Victorian houses for them. These developers
include Finchatton which has three Middle Eastern clients.
We have noticed a significant increase in levels of interest in London
property from most Middle Eastern countries including Kuwait, Qatar,
Egypt and Saudi Arabia, says Alex Michelin, co-founder of Finchatton. In
comparison with this time last year, we are pleased to report that enquiries
from Middle Eastern clients are up by 50 per cent.
The hike in oil prices coupled with a fall in British property prices and
value of Sterling over the past four years has made London property more
affordable for Middle Eastern buyers he says.
They see London as a great store of wealth, says Finchattons other
co-founder, Alex Dunn. It is almost an asset class in itself.
The developers Middle East clients include a wealthy businessman who
bought 26 Moore Street, a multi-million pound, mid-Victorian Chelsea town-
house, in 2010, for his family of six children and one grandmother. Not
unsurprisingly for a family of that size the house has lots of places to sleep.
Only one of its five floors, the ground, does not have a bedroom. Michelin
says the 381 square meter house can sleep up to nine people, the maximum
number of family members expected to be there at any one time.
Middle Eastern families want a lot of bedrooms and have more space for
family, says Michelin.
There are plenty of stairs in this five storey house, so those members of
the family with the youngest legs are given the most stairs to climb. The third
floor, at the very top of the building, has two bedrooms for the familys twins
Kitchen, ground floor
Dining room/front entrance area, ground floor
62 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
idProperty | INTERNATI ONAL
From top: Master
bedroom, second
floor; bedroom en suite
bathroom, second floor
and nanny. The second is given over entirely to the parents large master
bedroom and en-suite bathroom, providing them with privacy. The first floor
is a quiet, adult space that accommodates a study and formal reception room
which does not have a TV. The ground floor has the kitchen and dining room
which doubles as the entrance area to the house. The upper basement has
the granny flat which has its own entrance to the street, a kitchenette and
shower room, so she can live independently of the rest of the family if she
wants to. Opposite granny is a family lounge with TV. Compared to Britains
Victorians, modern Middle Eastern families need more space, because there
are must-have gadgets around today that didnt exist 150 years ago. With
this in mind the developer has dug a lower basement to house the buildings
electronics, the utilities room, fifth bedroom and an informal cinema room.
Old photos show the house was tired and poky before Finchatton started
work. Now it is filled with light. A skylight, measuring 2.8 metres by 1.8
meters, above the stairwell allows light to filter down five floors to the
basement, helped on its way by a reflective mirrored wall, 18 metres tall,
the full height of the stairwell.
Despite its basement location the upper basement lounge feels airy,
because light is allowed to enter the three meter high room through French
doors that open out onto the garden. Natural light is drawn into the lower
basements cinema room from two light-wells in the garden above. The
designers light and dark interior design-theme emphasises these types of light
enhancing features, and dozens of ceiling spotlights and other light fixtures
brighten rooms on the gloomiest of Londons grey days.
Light is such an important factor, says Dunn, Light is one of the pillars
of our design philosophy, it is very important to the overall design. It is not
just about volume. You can have a large space, but it can feel small and dark.
Subconsciously, light is the first thing we look for. I am from the Caribbean, so
light is very important to me, but in a north European country we are starved
of light, so we like to have lots of light (sources) in a place as we do here.
The house is fully kitted out with bespoke furnishings, commissioned
artwork and high end appliances. Like many other Arab buyers arriving in
London today, the owner wanted a home designed along contemporary,
European lines rather than in a traditional Arab way.
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More than bedding... fully living.
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64 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
idProperty | INTERNATI ONAL
from GCC states attend British universities,
and the wealthier among them have their
accommodation bought by parents.
We have had a great deal of interest from
Middle Eastern buyers wishing to buy an
apartment for their children who they are
sending to the top London universities, says
Ian Brownridge, partner and Head of Sales
at Carter Jonas Chelsea and Knightsbridge
Office, They are buying multi-million pound
apartments in prime areas for their children to
use for three to four years while studying and
which are considered safe investments.
British government plans to cut overseas
student numbers may mean fewer Arabs attend British universities in future.
But the authorities want to make it easier for the worlds wealthy to live
in the country, so demand for family homes from Middle Eastern buyers
may increase. If passed by Parliament, new rules would allow foreigners
with Dhs59 million in assets to live in Britain for only six months of the year
instead of the current nine months, and they need wait only two years to
gain residency, not five years. Foreigners with GBP29 million to invest would
wait three years and those with GBP5.9 million, five years. Residency rules
for overseas entrepreneurs would be relaxed. Politics is also having an impact.
Immigration lawyers are receiving more enquiries from wealthy Middle
Eastern families since political unrest swept through the Arabic-speaking world
earlier this year. Add all this up together and more Victorian houses may
become home to large Arab families in the years ahead.
ID
From top: Twins bedroom, third floor;
reception room, first floor
They said they wanted it to be a typical Chelsea townhouse, says
Michelin, The buyer is well travelled, has grown up in US. There is definitely
a shift as they (Middle Easterners) travel and see the options. They say I am in
London, therefore I want a London home, I am in France, therefore I want a
chateau, and so on.
One British preference that is given short shrift are baths. The house has
only one bath, but it does have four showers.
Like many other Middle Eastern buyers, the owner bought this home so
they can have their children educated in London.
This family will spend up to six months of the year in the UK, because the
children will be educated here, says Michelin.
Education also drives demand for another type of accommodation much
sought after by Middle Eastern buyers large flats. About 15,000 students
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idProperty | PORTFOLIO
Let there be light
From the Venetian countryside to the
theatre, hotel interiors are drawing
inspiration from unconventional and
eclectic vistas. ID explores two new
properties designed by the prolific
Marco Piva and David Rockwell.
TEXT: NUSRAT ALI
idProperty | PORTFOLIO
66 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
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67 Jul y 2011
PORTFOLI O | idProperty
DESERT DRAMA
Silly themes and kitschy dcor remain the norm in Las Vegas and
providing the perfect antidote is the recently opened Cosmopolitan Hotel
in Las Vegas. With its stunning interiors designed by David Rockwell, the
resort caters to the curious class a group of travellers who are creative,
enjoy foreign foods, the arts and new experiences. After a dozen years
of designing in Sin City, Rockwell joined Jeffrey Beers International, Bentel
& Bentel, Studio Gaia and Tihany Design in completing the interiors for
his latest visual feast. Speaking of the project, the architect explained: "A
large part of the design sensibility was the notion of curation collected so it
doesn't feel like it was all bought at exactly the same time from exactly the
same place." In collaboration with the Vegas based Friedmutter Group,
Rockwell focused on a shared sense of openness and intimacy created
by semi-enclosed "micro-environments" that tie together larger areas.
Illustrating this idea is the spectacular 65-foot-tall, two-million crystal piece
chandelier that doubles as an inhabitable bar/lounge. Opaquely transparent
and spanning three levels, it subtly breaks up the resort's massive size and
acts as focal point. Speaking of The Chandelier Bar, Rockwell said: The
idea was to simultaneously have a central, vertical focus and imagine what
it would be like to be inside a chandelier.
67 Jul y 2011
68 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
idProperty | PORTFOLIO
Above: Jaleo restaurant,
The Cosmopolitan.
Left: David Rockwell
Rockwells commitment to design is evident from the moment one enters
the lobby. Guests are greeted with an out of this world visual experience eight
massive columns surfaced with 384 LCD screens present ever-changing images,
from dancers to bubbles. Check-in takes place at one of the red Louis XIV-style
registration desks, instead of the long counters found in most hotels.
The Cosmopolitans condo-style rooms are also a unique feature. With
kitchenettes, large bathrooms with soaking tubs, sitting areas with dark indigo
sofas, quirky accessories and coffee-table books, each has a residential feel.
Keeping the hip and high-tech in mind, rooms give guests access to advanced
electronics to create a personalised ambiance with music, mood lighting and
temperature controls.
Unlike most Las Vegas hotels, The Cosmopolitan is built on less than 10
acres, giving it a more vertical, urban feel. Most rooms have large outdoor
terraces that offer spectacular views of the Strip. Casino space is given up in
favour of avant-garde retail shops, several of which are new to the Las Vegas
market. Most of the resorts restaurants sit around a common area, rather than
being spread out through the casino like other Strip properties. The sunlight-
filled casino another rarity features draping around casino cabanas for a
more intimate gaming experience. All these elements come together theatrically
to reinforce why the eclectic Cosmopolitan is being hailed as the next
generation of Las Vegas hotels.
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69 Jul y 2011
70 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
MARCOS MOVE
With his unusual creative flair, Italian architect and designer Marco
Piva never fails to impress. Armed with a rational approach, his
design solutions are pervaded by stylistic freedom and compositional
sobriety, drawing inspiration from his innate curiosity with the
world. The latest feather in the maestros cap is the new four-star
Move Hotel in Mogliano Veneto, created in collaboration with
DHK. Opened in May, the innovative hotel structure is strategically
located just a few kilometres from the airports of Venice and Treviso,
immersed in the tranquil countryside of Trevigiano. The main
element of the projects design was the development of a formal
continuity between the structure and its context a recurring
theme in Pivas projects with a focus on light colours and natural
idProperty | PORTFOLIO
70 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
71 Jul y 2011
PORTFOLI O | idProperty
materials such as stone and wood. Inspiration comes from the surrounding
countryside and charming Venetian villas, and with the building characterised
by a dynamic arch shape that develops over two floors, its impact on them is
reduced to a minimum. The leitmotif of the hotel became the environments
abundant sunlight and Piva translates this into the key design element using
archite, glass and teak to form the bulk of the interiors. Light continues to
play a leading role into the lobby tubular lamps hang in the void with an
abundance of natural light filtering in from the large glass facades, characterising
the common areas of the ground floor. The reception banquet is covered in
lightly coloured Lessinia stone, providing contrast with the dark tones of the
grey veined stone covering the lobbys floors and walls. The Move Hotel has
203 rooms, all of which feature sober and elegant accents designed by Piva
himself, such as the Ayers di Leucos blown glass table lamps and the Reverso
di Novello sinks. A large Congress Centre is located in the hotels centre, and
is surrounded by an artificial lake with a fountain. The foyer develops into a
reception and relaxation area decorated with boiserie and glass showcasing.
Light colours and comfortable furniture set the tone for moments of relaxation
in the hotels wellness centre, comprising of a covered pool, sauna, Turkish
baths, Kneipp spa, sensory showers and fitness room. The contrast between
the teak floor and the exposed cement around the walls constitutes a
characteristic and sophisticated detail
in the pools large solarium. Fluid and
functional, Piva describes the new hotel
as the result of the perfect integration
of comfort, hospitality and high quality
services, standing as a symbol of
affordable luxury for everybody.
idProperty | PORTFOLIO
Clockwise from top left: The
hotel's internal court; an aerial
view of the lobby; Marco Piva
71 Jul y 2011
BUYERS MARKET?
South Africa is a buyers market, says estate
agency Cluttons. Prices fell 15 per cent in most
areas during the recession, which bottomed out
in 2009, and the length of time a property stays
on the market has been lengthening since the
end of 2010. Whats more, only 15 per cent of
sellers are managing to achieve their asking price.
According to the Global Property Guide, prices fell
2.9 per cent over the past year. However, there
are glimmers of an upturn in Cape Town, which
benefited from Dhs5.2 billion of investment in its
transport infrastructure prior to the football World
Cup in 2010. The citys property market is being
helped by banks lending mortgages more freely
and overseas cash buyers purchasing homes.
Jacques Ellis, managing director of Cluttons South
Africa, says: The middle and luxury end of the
market offers substantial opportunity for price
increases over the next few years.
From Portugal to South Africa to the United States buyers markets prevail as global property
values weaken... yet again. TEXT: RICHARD WARREN
FORCE INDIA
The home of Bollywood will be a top 10
international city by 2021, the worlds
millionaires believe. Mumbai is currently 38th
in the Knight Frank Global Cities Index, third
from bottom. But, according to a survey of high
net-worth individuals carried out by the estate
agency, Indias commercial capital will be seventh
on that list by 2021, ahead of Tokyo and hot
on the heels of Singapore. If this acceleration
in fortunes happens, then Mumbai will be the
planets fastest developing urban area over the
next 10 years. A top international city needs
housing to match, so the worlds property
developers, architects and interior designers
are moving in. They include Jade Jagger for
yoo, which is designing Lodha Fiorenza, a set
of 452 apartments in four towers scheduled for
completion in 2013.
idProperty | ANTENNAE
72 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
BAILOUT BLUES
Portugals Dhs409 billion bailout from the EU and
the International Monetary Fund is good news
for the countrys property market, according to
developer Michael Nascimento. Investors looking
for medium to long-term property investment
returns shouldnt ignore the existing opportunities
that the market offers during this period of economic
difficulty, he told website A Place in the Sun. Things
will eventually improve. According to Nascimento,
there were plenty of bargains to choose from
following several years of price falls. However,
consultancy Capital Economics throws cold water
on such optimism, forecasting the economy will
contract two per cent in 2011 and that speculation
over whether Portugal needs to restructure its debts
will continue. Neither this ongoing depreciation of
national wealth or uncertainty about the countrys
finances, implying higher taxes and public sector cuts,
are good for the property market.
WAVE OF OPTIMISM
At the height of the global property boom in 2007, we were encouraged to move off land and out to
sea. Developers became ship builders and marketed apartments on three residential ships that were,
in effect, floating condominiums the Megellan, Orphalese and Four Seasons Ocean Residences would
circumnavigate the world, stopping off at travel hotspots like the Monaco Grand Prix and Rio Carnival,
we were told. Plans for all three ships were abandoned following the credit crunch of 2008. The World,
which set sail in 2002, remains the only residential ship in existence. Now, American investors want to
revive the dream of living at sea by launching Utopia in 2014. Marketing begins in the next few months
for the ships apartments that range in price from Dhs14.6 million to Dhs95 million. The ships backers,
Frontier Group, are confident their plans wont sink without trace, because personnel who launched The
World successfully are involved in Utopias launch.
HEALTHY HOMES
Weve seen resort communities centred on
golf, sailing, polo and even football emerge in
different parts of the world. Now we have the
spa community. In Switzerland, 30 apartments
and a hotel are being built as part of 51 Spa
Residences, a thermal spa complex in the
mountain town of Leukerbad in the Valais region.
Spa facilities at its 900sq/m Banya Experience
Spa include a number of thermal water pools of
varying temperatures, a Russian style Banya Suite,
a crystal steam bath, an ice fountain and outdoor
pool. Prices for apartments at the development
start at Dhs78,000 per square metre. Developer
Swiss Development Group promises to have the
whole scheme completed by 2015. Leukerbad
is the largest spa and wellness centre in the
Alps, boasting 30 thermal pools. Surrounded by
mountain peaks, some 4,000m high, the town
can be used as a base for skiing and hiking.
TWIN DIPS
Property prices in the United States are falling
faster now than at any time since the height of the
financial crisis in late 2008. Prices have fallen 5.5 per
cent over the past year and are 19 per cent below
the 2007 peak. Consultancy Capital Economics
believes these official statistics underestimate the
true extent of price falls, because they only relate
to mortgage-backed purchases, not cash purchases.
Many cash buyers target homes offered at heavily
discounted prices by desperate, indebted sellers
and the banks which foreclose on them. So many
US homes have been repossessed that banks now
own half of the properties in many cities, including
Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland. However,
not all is doom and gloom. In Manhattan, Wall
Street money and foreign money means sales of
apartments remain brisk at luxury condos like the
17-storey Centurion, pictured above, which was
designed by Pei Partnership Architects with IM Pei.
THE BRITS ARE BACK IN TOWN
Prices in central London have risen by an average
of Dhs4,640 every day over the past year. Thats
Dhs1.7 million over 12 months, more than
enough to buy an average priced home elsewhere
in Britain. In addition to the 60 different kinds of
foreign nationalities purchasing like mad in London,
Britons are also eager to buy. UK buyers still
account for around half of all transactions in the
market and buyers in business and financial service
employment represent at least 40 per cent of all
buyers in the robust 1 million (Dhs6m) to 5m
(Dhs30m) million sector, says Knight Franks Liam
Bailey. Assuming that central Londons jobs market
can continue to outpace the wider UK market
during 2011, it is likely that prices at current levels
will be sustainable even if overseas demand begins
to wane. To cater for this demand property
developers, like Finchatton and Oliver Burns, are
building new luxury homes (pictured above).
WORLD DOWNTURN
Global housing markets have taken a turn for the
worse, says the Global Property Guide in its latest
survey of international house prices which shows
they are falling in a growing number of countries.
The Eastern hemisphere continues to do better
than the West, but there are one or two surprises.
Thailands property market, which had been
blighted by price falls for several years, has turned
positive, with prices rising 4.6 per cent year-on-
year. Now, it is previously booming Chinas turn
to become the laggard of Asia, recording a 3.5 per
cent fall in property values. Meanwhile, in Europe,
the bounceback in the Baltic states has slowed,
while prices fell in Ireland, Spain and elsewhere.
Norway tops the region with a six per cent increase.
Prices have turned negative in Australia and New
Zealand, and they continue to fall in the United
States. Price rises have also slowed in Canada.
73 Jul y 2011
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76 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
SEA SENSATION
Winner of the Wallpaper Design Award in the Best Boat category, the new Aquariva
speed boat reiterates the collaboration between renowned Italian design houses, Gucci
and Riva. Customised by Guccis Creative Director, Frida Giannini, the Aquariva celebrates
the era of La Dolce Vita, when glamour and elegance defined a lifestyle. Characteristics
include a fiberglass hull and detailing painted in Guccis glossy white alongside Rivas
signature use of varnished mahogany for the cockpit, walking decks and awning cover
hatch. The waterproof fabric covering the seats and sundeck features the emblematic
Guccissima print, while Guccis green-red-green web detailing adds an iconic touch.
DESIGNER DUO
Art seduces form. The result is the creation of the
sophisticated, sturdy and timeless Baltazar Maison-
a-Porter brand, which forms connections between
the sensuous vision of fashion designer Nuno
Baltazar and the rational traces from architect Vitor
Almeida. Featuring consoles, trunks and folding
screens intricately carved with the Baltazar insignia
as well as ottomans,
cabinets, coffee tables
and accessories, the
collection has a style
proposal for every
environment. Graphic
elements and colour
palettes from Baltazars
most emblematic
collections are recreated,
with natural wood, high
gloss lacquer finishes,
polished brass, bronze
and leather becoming
the protagonists.
STATEMENTS IN STYLE
Luxury. Elegance. Style. Celebrate the melding of these to
create a statement where essence meets expression.
GREEN LANTERN GETS MOODY
Moody Design offers furniture for children and young adults that can be customised in a
variety of fun and functional ways. Their distinct wardrobes and flag bookcases with rotating
shelf doors allow variations quickly and simply. Exclusive right owners for Warner Bros DC
comic characters the Middle East, Moody Design offers users a range of characters to choose
from for furniture personalisation, and Green Lantern is the latest addition to the range.
77 Jul y 2011
KI TCHEN + BATHROOM
OLE! OLA 20
Snaidero invests again in the ambitious fusion of
traditional, classic and extremely contemporary;
Pininfarina rises to the challenge and the result is
Ola 20 winner of the Trophee Sadecc for kitchen
furniture design during the prestigious Lyon Expo.
Stepping away from the bourgeois, the elegant and
sophisticated kitchen has accurate and au courant
features. Characterized by fluid round corners, a
table extension of the countertop, sculptural design
of the base and a powdered mica finish makes for a
fresh and futuristic environment.
CRYSTAL CLARITY
Debuting at Galeries Lafayette is Airfrees limited
edition S-Exclusiv range of air purifiers. Hand
crystallised in the UAE, with more than 20,000
genuine Swarovski crystals per unit, the units are
quintessentially Dubai. The S-Exclusiv models
showcase the brands trademark element of bling.
Design agenda
K & B 2011, Cairo, Egypt, July 14-17
SAITEX 2011, Johannesburg, South Africa, July 17-19
The Manchester Furniture Show 2011,
Manchester, United Kingdom, July 17-20
Decoration + Design 2011,
Melbourne, Australia, July 21-24
Homedec 2011, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, July 22-24
Gift + Home Las Vegas, Las Vegas, USA, August 1-5
Casa Brasil 2011, Bento Gonalves, Brazil, August 2-6
Home Decor Exhibition Hometex 2011,
Shenzhen, China, August 3-5
HOME EXPO & LIVING CONCEPT 2011,
Bangkok, Thailand, August 6-14
TIME TURNS TO ART
Smith of Derby pays tribute to its
40 years in the Middle East with the
worlds first bespoke Islamic clock.
Launched at Interiors UAE 2011,
the luxury clock made with gems,
precious stones and precious metal
covering has geographic-specific prayer
time settings by city, combines local times
with the five daily prayer times and comes
with a call-to-prayer sound.
ARTE PLUNGE
Arte Casas modern and opulent bathroom creations and fixings stand out with their sophisticated
fabrications. Choose from the range of bathtubs, whirlpools, spas, fixtures and tiles in ceramic,
mosaic and antique marbles to add a touch of luxury to any bathroom.
78 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
ANTENNAE
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1. ADDIS ABABA
MARKET FORCES
Currently under construction in the Ethiopian
capital of Addis Ababa is Lideta Mercato, a new
market in a dense neighbourhood dominated by
mid-rise buildings. Designed by Barcelona-based
XV Studio, the project is carved to create an
interior world in a multi-storey contemporary
building. The roof contains gathering and
recreational areas, making a new urban oasis
protected from the rain and the sun. The circular
porches and the roof collect rainwater, which is
processed and re-used. The porches also hold
a network of photovoltaic panels that produce
and store electrical energy for the interior and
illuminate the faade at night.
2. HERLEV, DENMARK
HOSPITAL EXTENSION
A 54,000-square-metre extension to Herlev
Hospital is to be designed by Henning Larsen
Architects. The project will comprise a new
emergency department and maternity services
centre, including a paediatrics unit and maternity
ward. The project consists of three circular
buildings placed on rectangular bases which are
displaced from each other creating a number
of inviting outdoor spaces. The new extension
thus constitutes a downscaled and compressed
contrast to the 120m-high rectangular geometry
of the existing hospital. Construction is due to
begin in May 2014 and the extension is expected
to be ready for use in October 2017.
3. KAOHSIUNG
HIGH NOTE
A Marine Culture and Pop Music Centre in
the harbour area of Kaohsiung is due to be
completed in October 2015. Designed by STL
Chicago, it has been conceived as a world-class
music performance venue featuring a large
performance hall and several smaller halls which
will serve the television entertainment industry as
well as theatrical events. It will also act as a home
for the pop music industry and offer a marine
culture exhibit space. The music box and
landmark tower will provide the entire bay with
a renewed, iconic identity and, it is hoped, will
establish Kaohsiung as a fulcrum for Asia-Pacific
pop music production.
A cultural complex in the Albanian capital of Tirana featuring a Museum of Religious Harmony; a new
dinosaur hall at Los Angeles renowned Natural History Museum; and the award-winning Balancing
Barn in eastern England catch the architectural eye. TEXT: STEVE HILL
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79 Jul y 2011
5. LOS ANGELES
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is
this month due to open its new dinosaur hall,
which marks the halfway point in a seven-year
Dhs495 million transformation. The 1,300-
square-metre hall will feature more than 300
fossils, 20 full-body specimens, an array of
manual and digital interactive displays, and video
presentations. The museum is due to celebrate
its centenary in 2013, by which time it will host
new visitor amenities including new stores, a
caf, restrooms and elevators as well as 12 new
galleries and five new exhibitions, while spacious
grounds in Exposition Park are being reinvented as
a nature destination in the heart of the city.
4. SUFFOLK
IN THE BALANCE
Living Architecture, a non-profit organisation founded by Swiss philosopher and writer Alain de Botton
and devoted to the experience of modern architecture, has commissioned MVRDV to design the
Balancing Barn, an award-winning holiday rental home in eastern England. It is 30m long and cantilevers
over a slope, with 50 per cent of the building hanging in free space and giving views over a wildlife
nature reserve. It is clad in reflective stainless steel, which reflects the surrounding nature and changing
seasons. Four en-suite bedrooms accommodate up to eight people while a hidden staircase provides
access to the garden beneath and surrounding landscape.
6. MOHALI
BUSINESS CLASS
The Indian School of Business has hired Perkins
Eastman to act as design architects for its second
campus in northern India. The 28-hectare
campus is designed to accommodate 1,200
students enrolled in ISBs one-year graduate
programme and a maximum of 100 students in
one to two-week executive courses. The main
academic buildings canopy is a defining campus
element, dividing the complex into smaller
academic blocks, and creating courtyards for
students and faculty to interact and socialise.
The canopy superstructure also plays a role in
moderating the extreme climate, with shading
from sun and shelter from rain. The project is
striving to achieve LEED Gold certification.
7. MOSCOW
THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE
Mecanoo has won a competition to design the
new 40-hectare campus of the National University
of Science and Technology. It will be sited in a
new district of Moscow which is expected to
become home to 300,000 residents over the
next 20 years. The campus comprises housing
for 10,000 students and 3,000 academics, seven
faculty buildings, several research institutes, a library,
business centre, hotel, recreation park, cinema,
cafs and shops. Sustainability measures include
a 45-degree building orientation which avoids full
north exposure, maximum use of natural light,
climate walls, thermal heat and cold storage, natural
lighting and ventilation, and rainwater storage.
Construction will begin at the end of the year.
8. TIRANA
CULTURAL COMPLEX
The Bjarke Ingels Group is part of a team
selected to design a new 27,000-square-metre
cultural complex in the Albanian capital of
Tirana which will consist of a mosque, an
Islamic centre and a Museum of Religious
Harmony. The mosque can accommodate
up to 1,000 people performing their daily
prayers and, through a unique layout of
courtyards and public spaces, can be expanded
to cope with groups of 5,000 on Fridays and
up to 10,000 on special holy days. A facade with
a multitude of rational, rectangular windows
finds its inspiration in Islamic mashrabiya
screens, which provide shading and privacy
while still allowing views out.
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80 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
BOOKS
BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM BLOOMINGDALE'S DUBAI
This month, id explores the workspaces of tomorrow and discovers coastal living at its finest. TEXT: NUSRAT ALI
THE 21ST CENTURY OFFICE
JEREMY MYERSON AND PHILIP ROSS
RIZZOLI
DHS 105
Offices are no longer dull, dreary spaces. The contemporary workplace
of the 21st century demands different spatial, organisational and
material characteristics from the mechanistic, process-driven model of
the 20th century office. Workplaces are knowledge connectors, social
landscapes and have now become synonymous with brand experience.
Written and researched by Myerson and Ross the authors of The
Creative Office the book uses four distinct themes to illustrate the
shift: narrative, nodal, neighbourly and nomadic office designs.
The 21st Century Office features 45 international case studies of offices
planned or opened after January 2000 that showcase revolutionary designs
in response to contemporary design challenges,and talks about the process
behind the artistic decisions. Capturing emerging themes and ideas in
beautiful and sharp images that alone provide inspiration, The 21st Century
Office is the second attempt by the two authors to expand our thinking on
what office design should encompass. From Sony in London and Fuksas
in Rome to Duffy and Winstar in New York City, some of the most iconic
office interiors are showcased.
SEASIDE STYLE
ELEANOR LYNN NESMITH
RIZZOLI
DHS 120
Stylistic currents have ebbed and flowed, but Seaside Style is not
about a look or fashion it celebrates the joys that coastal life has
to offer. The book provides the reader with a privileged view of the
inside of Seaside, Florida a town designed as the ideal seaside
community using a thoughtful approach to urban design. Drawing from a
palette of refined materials, attentive detailing and appreciation of
Seasides traditions, residents have shaped out an urban drama that
sets the precedent for all coastal communities.
The book lays out a vision of coastal living based on how people in
this idyllic community have arranged their spaces, furnished their homes and
planted their gardens to make the most of the beauty that surrounds them.
Each profile features background information on the homeowner and why they
decided to purchase or build in Seaside, as well as how and why the homes
architect was chosen. Steven Brookes spectacular imagery and Nesmiths
in-depth descriptions of houses highlight front porches, verandas, picket fences
and pitched tin roofs with ample overhangs all architectural elements that will
find resonance in Dubais houses that are buoyed by the beach.
HANDWOVEN OUTDOOR FURNI TURE CREATED WI TH WEATHER-RESI STANT DEDON FI BER
www.dedon.de
Nakkash Gallery Al Garhoud Street P.O. Box 26767 Dubai-UAE
Tel. 00971 4 2826767 Fax 00971 4 2827567
nakkashg@emirates.net.ae www.nakkashgallery.com
82 identi ty [i nteri or/desi gn/property]
ICON
Few drinks are instantly recognisable by the shape of the bottle they come
in, but for 60 years Orangina has been a design icon thanks to an inspired idea
by Jean-Claude Beton.
The sparkling fruit drink already had a foothold in the French and North
African beverage markets before Beton in 1951 took over a company
established by his father and put in place changes that have endured to this day.
The original orange-shaped bottle design featured two separate containers,
holding orange concentrate diluted with water and essential oil which ensured a
bright, fruity taste. Breton simplified this design into a single vessel more closely
resembling the shape of a teardrop or a pear, but retained the dimpled orange
peel-like texture that has stood the test of time to remain popular today.
That sit in the hand approach to shape and structure has proved to be
extremely influential, establishing a bond with a product and its packaging that
many other manufacturers have attempted to replicate but rarely bettered.
Easy to find among anonymous drink rivals in shop coolers or on
supermarket shelves, Orangina continues to have universal appeal, partly thanks
to a projected personality that is fun and friendly.
This image is also based on the work of French painter Bernard Villemot
who, in 1953, launched his famous orange peel parasol on a blue background
as well as a series of bold colourful advertising posters that have also been
widely imitated across a varied range of products.
ID
TEXT: STEVE HILL
Orangina