Design Middle East | Interiors and Architecture from the Gulf, Levant & Beyond
From up-to-date industry news, exclusive interviews, analysis and highlights from the latest market trends, Design Middle East is an essential tool for creatives within the spheres of lighting, furnishing, textiles and architecture, plus everything in between. Targeting professionals who command senior and executive roles within the interior design industry.
Paul Haslam, partner at Bauporte Gulf, on how their bespoke entrance systems are going to be a game changer in this region
Tell us something about Bauporte.
Bauporte was started by Karel Bouman in 1992 in Amsterdam. Bouman took over the German company Grothkarst in 1996 who were a German door producer. They had been making high-quality doors since 1908. The reason to start the business was to fill a gap in the market for custom-made doors. The market was full of companies making standard revolving doors but Bauporte has found a niche where clients want and expect something special. To date, we have produced doors over 9m tall and 6m wide with a reach across Europe, UK, Caribbean, USA, and Iceland.
The brand has recently opened its Dubai office. How has been the response so far?
In the first six months of operation, Bauporte Gulf has secured new projects with Omniyat at Opus and Dubai Real Estate Company in their new offices at Jumeirah. Enquires and negotiations are ongoing in Kuwait, India, Korea, and Saudi Arabia as well. The response so far has been really encouraging, far more than we expected in our first year.
Could you tell us more about your first project in the UAE—Museum of the Future?
In 2018, Bauporte were appointed to produce the custom-designed revolving doors for the Museum of the Future. A collaborative design with Shaun Killa and Meraas, the doors will be 4m wide and 5m high with an all-glass construction including the canopy. With a single floor mounted drive, this will be the first-of-its-kind in the UAE. The doors are due for completion on site this year in advance of the museum opening in 2020.
Museum of the Future
What kind of materials you usually work with and why?
Bauporte produces doors using stainless steel, the best German motors, and high-quality European glass. We believe that this makes the difference in quality, which means we can offer customers a lifetime warranty rather than the usual 12 months. We are currently reviewing the use of IOT sensor kits to provide real-time data on all our installations.
Who are your key clients?
Our clients are usually developers and building owners, but we often work for main contractors and facade specialists when the doors are included within the façade package.
What are the biggest challenges you are currently facing?
I genuinely think there are two issues in our business right now. First, clients have great expectations in terms of the quality of the product, but when the project is awarded to a contractor, because of the budget constraint, he ends up procuring a cheaper door. Another issue that I have noticed is that the payment in the region is delayed on every project, the specialists blame the main contractor and the main contractor blames the client. With the doors always being the last item to be installed, these delays in the cash flow can make budgeting and planning extremely difficult.
How do you see the industry at the large here?
As discussed above, the market is very challenging at the moment. I think the Dubai market might slow down after 2020 but other markets have a positive outlook especially Kuwait, KSA, and India.
Office Westend Carree, Frankfurt, Germany
What are in your opinion the upcoming trends?
Price is always an issue but more and more architects realise that the entrance is the most important part of the building and therefore deserves special attention. Glass doors are getting popular, doors, which are taller than the usual height, are also in trend (we currently have a project in Moscow with 8.5m tall revolving doors). We can offer remote access to the doors. Another amazing thing is that doors are getting more intelligent with the introduction of IOT and the ability to be net zero.
What’s next for Bauporte?
We expect a positive 2019 in this region. Also, markets such as Kuwait, KSA, and India are showing great signs of business growth. We expect to have a second factory in Europe this year and possibly to start our own production in the Middle East by the end of 2020.
Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi evokes the atmosphere of a traditional Bedouin village in modern setting
It’s a paradise in the desert! Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is set deep within the desert landscape, this luxurious resort is located 50 kilometres to the South East of Abu Dhabi, in an area where natural beauty abounds. 80 guest rooms, 10 suites, and 13 villas, inspired by traditional tents, offer a chic setting to relax in this rustic desert environment. The refined interiors incorporate traditionally inspired artwork and Arabesque accessories, alongside the latest technological features for contemporary ease.
Axel Jarosch, general manager, Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa
Design Middle East took the tour of this amazing resort and discussed with the management team everything related to the design, décor, culinary experience, sustainability, and more. How proper design helps in delivering better service, both in guestrooms and in public areas? The rooms are designed to give a sense of space with careful attention paid to the materials used, to reflect the Arabian inspiration while I featuring modern enhancements. Every room and suite has their own private terrace or balcony, allowing guests to connect with the resort and the desert. Each building features hidden elevators that help maintain the authenticity of the architecture, while also providing additional accessibility for guests and service equipments. The architecture is inspired by the growth of Arabian village pathways that allow guests to explore the resort and discover the intricate detailing, while the intertwined staircases and passageways allow for speedy service of colleagues.
One Bedroom Suite
As a hotel, how do you remain a part of the local community, whilst still attracting guests from further afield?
As a part of the local community, Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa includes local points of attraction in the guest experience, such as the Camel Race Track and Emirates Endurance Village, and also offers tours to the Al Wathba Wetland reserve and other key attractions in Abu Dhabi. Guests can also experience local traditions on the resort premises such as age-old techniques of basket weaving and bakhoor making.
Talk us a little through the Arabic influences in your designs for this hotel?
The design of the resort draws inspiration from the historic desert village, which has existed in this region for hundreds of years. The form and layout help create a village ambience consistent with these ancient developments, where the random organic arrangement of the buildings and streets create a unique sense of intimacy, while also serving a practical function of providing much-needed shelter from the desert sun and heat.
One Bedroom Villa
Tell us something about the restaurants at the resort and their designs?
Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa features six restaurants and bars inspired by Emirati cuisine and Arabic design.
–– The signature Al Mabeet Desert Camp is an elegant interpretation and homage to nomadic living, capturing the Bedouin spirit. Set apart from the resort, the organic shape of the camp resembles the dunes of the desert in which it is embedded. Live Arabic music filters through and local delicacies are served for dinner.
–– Hayaakom is the lobby lounge at Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa. Meaning ‘welcome’ in Arabic, Hayaakom sets guests up for a great arrival to the resort, one that is just like the entry hall of an intimate yet luxurious family desert house. Hayaakom features the main entrance with a beautiful water fountain and an impressive chandelier where guests are first greeted when they step into the resort.
–– Bait Al Hanine is conceptualised as the resort’s gathering place, emulating old Bedouin traditions of eating and sharing food together. Bright and spacious, with different sections as well as an indoor and outdoor space, chefs offer a taste of Arabia where flavours of the desert are brought to life. Classic Lebanese dishes are made in big open-style kitchens showcasing charcoal kebab grills and a traditional Saj oven.
–– Terra Secca is an upscale trattoria set in the midst of a boutique desert resort. Full of Italian charm and warmth, the design blends rustic finishes with contemporary accents, resulting in an atmosphere that is beautiful and sophisticated.
–– The magic of the desert comes to life at Al Mesayan, a rooftop bar on the first floor overlooking the infinite Arabian desert, where sunsets are simply breathtaking.
What is one thing/area guests must try when they are at the resort?
Here are some standout features that add to an unforgettable experience:
• The heart of the resort —1,000sqm infinity pool overlooking the desert is the must-try spot on the resort
• The Cryo Room at Talise Spa- one of the regions foremost all-encompassing Cryotherapy facilities, where guests can relax and rejuvenate as they take in the tranquillity of the resort.
• Discover the desert with activities inspired by local traditions and culture.
What difficulties come with maintaining a luxury hotel in a desert region?
The elements play a big role in the maintenance of the resort, but with a highly trained team, we try to ensure a memorable, relaxing, and unhindered guest experience.
How technology is enhancing the consumer experience?
Technology plays a big role in providing facilities like the Cryo treatment room and snow cave, which offer guests an experience unique to the resort. A newly introduced E- butler system allows guest to interact and request services from the palm of their hands. While there are various new technological enhancements across the resort, the key is to allow guests to retreat from the city life and immerse themselves in an authentic experience.
Is sustainability important for the resort? If so, how do you work it into your designs?
The resort is built between protected sections of fossilised dunes. Keeping that in mind, the resort team ensures that we maintain and protect the dunes in the activities that we offer. From fatbike rides to horse riding, the activities allow us to preserve the resort natural environment and maintain the delicate balance of the flora and fauna. The resort also takes time to plant trees that are indigenous to the area like the Ghaf Tree, which is the national tree of the UAE.
Kava & Chai is a homegrown coffee house that projects Arab culture and traditions surrounding tea and coffee in a positive and intimate way. The client wanted the branding to exude the soul of this speciality coffee shop. The aim was not just to document, but also to elevate the design.
This 1,800sqft specialty coffee shop in DIFC and has an exquisite interior which is unusual, astounding, and in complete balance. It has a striking concept and strong character that provides depth to the design. Be startled by the ceiling that serves as the focal point of the design. The teal structured pipes with leaf graphics are inspired by the coffee roaster machine that the café uses at the back of the house. These massive pipes in the ceiling were designed using a parametric process which is based on algorithm. It utilises the latest techniques to set-up the structural geometry of the project.
The intention was to create a space where people can have a richer experience with a cup of coffee or tea without feeling time pass them by. The colour palette is originally based on the corporate brand of Kava & Chai and was enriched by the leaf pattern to promote its identity. The entire space provides a cool and calming attribute of sophistication, creativity, energy, and wisdom. Together with the customised lighting design that emits a soft glow, the natural quality of the materials creates a mesmerising rhythmic visual effect enhancing the ambience of the space. Terrazzo is mainly used on the tabletop because of its features being elegant and exuberant.
It has a long-lasting finish that performs with a touch of class; valued for its integrity as much as its appearance. While on the floor, we have executed Palladiana terrazzo that is now known under sustainable products. For the chairs and seating pods, 4SPACE used the colour of the Pantone live coral that simply blends on the vibrant look and feel of the café. For the counter, we used Oakwood for its solid hardness with some inlays of coffee beans and tea leaf.
Here are top five inspiring interior trends that are set to overstay the season. From a complete makeover of a space to ways to add elements to update an existing décor, here’s a complete guide on key colours, textures, stylistic details, and curtain or blind finishes.
By Nahel Selo, creative director, Sedar Gobal
Crave-worthy colour palettes Colour experts Pantone are always looking ahead and selected two key colour palettes specifically for housewares and interior design for 2019. Returning to colours that engage and stimulate beyond the surface, work the “Cravings” palette into your home this Autumn, taking inspiration from the plate. Creating a space that is tempting for the eye designing a warm and memorable sensory experience. Using neutral walls and flooring work in accessories and eclectic colour block furnishings in shades of spicy reds, sweet flamingo orange, and jewel greens. Curtains do not just need to be for the window only but can work as a great way to inject colour into a space and as a wall decoration or artwork frame.
Continuing on from last season, this trend is a celebration of globally inspired patterns and textures. Taking your home on a journey, rich earthy pigments are thrown together offering a fusion of rugged textures with subtle details of woven finishes, tassels and poms infused into everything from the blind trims, to cushions and throws. To achieve the this look, work with powdered clays and mustard touches. Celebrating the beauty of imperfect finishes and effortlessly stylish this trend is an easy one to recreate with accessories alone. Offering a relaxed and homely feel.
New art deco
One of the most inspiring, opulent and glamorous periods in home décor history, hints of Art Deco are popping up in detailing on tables, chairs, lighting and the mixed metals trend which also gives a nod to this style. Work this decadent look into your home with velvet detail dusky rose Marco Polo curtains and cushions, mixed with minimalist lighting, marble and finishes and a statement one-wall wallpaper design.
Sustainable and natural materials
Hitting the mainstream across homes sustainable and natural fabrics are becoming key to conversation when considering interiors. Moving towards natural fabrics speaks to broader conversations across design right now and creates a finish that embraces a peaceful retreat away from the business of modern life. From Hamptons to Boho, French country and Scandi there are many styles and looks where use of natural and sustainable fabrics works. Wooden venetian blinds or French style shutters are a must for this look not only are they durable but also create a light and airy feel to any space.
Matt black is the new grey
Create a sense of drama with black. Expect to see bold, high-contrast designs everywhere this season as matt black moves from fashion and beauty into homewares and interiors. Lighting, seating, home decor objects and sideboards are all key pieces you can introduce to reference the trend. Or update a space keeping the room neutral with white, putty hues and matching camouflage style curtains, adding drama through black furniture, pillows, and throws. A look with staying power and will be with us for a long time due to its contemporary but classic feel.
Studio EM has recently delivered 1004 Gourmet located in the Onyx Tower in Al Barsha Heights, having relocated from its previous home in Al Barsha. Moving location is not the only upheaval this store has undergone. What started as a Korean and Japanese grocery concept, has now fully evolved into a multi-purpose retail space that houses grocery, homeware department, beauty store (Lamise), and a café concept. The task of creating a minimal store design that lends itself to enjoyable and relaxed customer experience was at the forefront of the mind of Emma Stinson, creative director and owner of Studio EM. Stinson says: “Grocery shopping is one of the least pleasant shopping experiences that we have to do. I actually dread it. Cluttered aisle’s, poor flow, overwhelming advertising, signage, and the old school mentality of stock it high and full, are all concepts that give me the shivers. With this in mind, we wanted to create a store, design, and customer experience that avoided all of these pitfalls.”
The design is quite atypical of a traditional grocer but yet so very typical of the modern grocer in Japan and Korea, which is exactly what owner and CEO Chang Sup Shin wanted to achieve. Stinson continues: “I love spending time in Japan and love everything about Japanese design and architecture. The complexity of design is incredible, yet on the surface appears so simple, choose great finishes, don’t overdesign it and create continuity, this is exactly what we have done with this store. We’ve picked three core materials we wanted to use throughout the store, gave them proportional balance, and went from there. During the concept design and zoning, the emphasis was put on the subtle transitions of the customer into each zone. This is where our idea of creating sculptural arches came into play. If we could design a sculptural archway that appeared as a floating, incomplete structure, that created a barrier that uninhibited and allowed for a line of sight, then we knew we had the zoning idea that we wanted.”
Arches play a key role in setting out each area, dry goods, butcher/fish/ deli, the café, and homewares. With the beauty store, Stinson wanted to create a shop within a shop that could stand alone in the future on its own, rather than lumping a concession into space and to create a statement design that popped against the clean backdrop but still gave vibrancy and would lure you in. “The combination of pink, marble, brass, and teal allowed for this, yet the store is minimal, clean, efficient but beautiful,” adds Stinson.
THE KAPE is a new brand on the scene of modest women’s fashion and has a different approach to garments, specifically the traditional Abaya. Located in the new extension of the Fashion Avenue of the reputable Dubai Mall, the name behind ‘THE KAPE’ is Hanadi al Hawi, and she approached SUPERFUTUREDESIGN* with a proposition.
To SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*, playing upon the brand’s disruptive attitude would be a demanding process, considering its products and the message it speaks. The entire project took a few years to set-up and is a reflection of SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*’s taste for significant aspects, something which is embedded without undermining modern minimalism.
In the ambient spaces, the design firm implemented techniques that would result in a relaxing environment. They contributed to a spatial effect that calms the mind, along with balanced elements that enhance the senses.
For the 70sqm space, light is used as the factor because of the way it manipulated the earthy and futuristic masses of cementitious resin. The contrasting characteristics of light and resin are skillfully blended to highlight the smoothness of one and heaviness of the other. The height of the ceiling is maximised by giving it a ‘tray’ effect by keeping the resin, flooring, and walls the same till a particular height. Also, the colour palette was kept neutral except for the pop of red in the fitting room to add a dramatic effect.
For the boutique, simplicity had a lead role in defining the ambience and mood, as contrast was defined between the rough patterns and texture that was implemented for the exterior and the smoother finish of the floors. Tasteful and comfortable sofas make for excellent seating space, and a touch of class is added by the vintage chair from the 50s upholster with Jim Thompson fabric.
The façade in the boutique was a result of some experimentation with new materials and elements; prefabricated cement panels were delicately transformed using a patented moulding technology to produce an interesting wave-like pattern and texture that would play upon the senses. It crossed the surface in a diagonal direction and created an amusing effect that would grasp the audience’s attention. Incorporation of movable mirrors and front hangers allows for a flexible and effective display of clothes. The exterior is delicately finished by adding a futuristic shop window that protrudes out of the expanse and appears similar to a fish tank. Inside, the resin flooring gives way to the other attractive features of the boutique, like the stunning red fitting room and the elegant frames that define the displays.
The 29th edition of INDEX is set to take place from 17-19, 2019, at Dubai World Trade Centre as a part of newly launched the Middle East Design and Hospitality Week 2019. A highlight in the design community calendar, the event will look to host over 500 exhibitors who are all hoping to avail the continued growth of the GCC interiors and fit out markets.
According to the Ventures Onsite’s Interiors Market Report: ‘The main focus will continue to be on residential and hotel projects in 2019, in the UAE specifically, with some of the Expo 2020 related fit-out works commencing early this year. The hospitality sector is expected to hold the majority of total spend on interior design and fit-out this year.’
Pallavi Dean, Roar
Mustafa Khamash, Kart Group
Talking about challenges that designers face when working on projects in the hotel sector, Pallavi Dean, founder of Roar explained that delivery of products within tight timelines is of paramount importance. Husain Roomi, , o-founder of H2R Design added, “sourcing materiality that we can push boundaries with, and that positively surprise the environment.”
In addition to the hospitality sector, according to Ventures Onsite, ‘the UAE and KSA have undertaken major renovation and refurbishment programmes, respectively, to upgrade old public buildings using sustainable products and smart technology’.
While appreciating the positive business climate, Roomi opines that “every space/location requires its own research, development and approach based on its context and brand ethos”.
Tony Crinion, portfolio director—dmg events Design Division said: “INDEX has been an integral event for the design community in the Middle East and North Africa for 28 years. The primary purpose of the show is to deliver an event which listens and responds to the market it serves. With a focus on the hospitality and fit-out sectors, we are very excited to be hosting a world wide selection of products for visitors to meet, source from and have long lasting successful relationships with”.
INDEX is at the forefront of promoting the next generation of interior designers in the region. Opining on looking ahead for the GCC’s design and fit-out industry. Mustafa Khamash, managing director of Kart Group said: “I believe that young designers are our future and as veteran designers, we all have a role to play in discovering and nurturing this talent”.
Hasan and Husain Roomi, H2R Design
Companies participating at INDEX are Belair, Bloomr, Caimi Brevetti, Creative Closets, CUF Milan, Gie El, Indus Heritage Trust, Le JAHAAN, Quadrifoglio Sistemi D’Arredo, Ceramiche Refin, Seteria Bianchi, Vg – Vgnewtrend – Jupiter International S.R.L., VZOR, Lunares, and Meissen the oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe to name a few.
During the Middle East Design and Hospitality Week 2019, INDEX will be co-located with The Hotel Show Dubai, Workspace, The Leisure Show, Surface Design Middle East, FIM, and INDEX Home.
The R+D department of the Cosentino Group launches another innovative surface—Grip+. It’s an advanced, innovative treatment that guarantees slip-resistance on Dekton ultra-compact surfaces, providing maximum safety to public and private projects. Dekton Grip+ also offers a smoothness that’s similar to the material’s standard finishing, thus providing a very pleasant feeling when walking across it barefoot.
Dekton Grip+ classifies as R11 under regulation DIN 51130, and also meets the Class 3 regulation. Grip+ blends together the anti-slip innovations and solutions that the Cosentino R+D department has been developing for years.
As a result, Grip+ allows Dekton to position itself as the best product for anti-slip applications on the most demanding flooring, whether located inside or outdoors. This can include dressing rooms or community access points, ramps, pavements, terraces, surfaces in and around pools, showers, or spas.
Grip+ is also easy to maintain, long-lasting, and offers resistance to scratches, stains, cold, heat, and UV rays. It also absorbs very little water, among other qualities. Dekton Grip+ will be applied to a total of 16 material colours and will be gradually incorporated into other tones in the product range.
EDGE Architects announces the completion of The Seven Gym project. A 29,000sqft high-end gym located on Al Manara Road. EDGE maintained a constant style of design and a general palette of materials that draw inspiration from contemporary art and modern design, not from the fitness sector.
Milica Jevtovic, senior interior designer at EDGE, says: “The design of the seven gyms is unique, enriched with a touch of luxury, which creates an extraordinary blend of finesse and roughness. We are lucky to work with clients whose goal is to establish a new standard in what the industry offers.”
The elegant features proudly contradict the rough and raw materials throughout the gym, yet together they create the perfect balance between natural materials such as wood and leather versus the industrial finishes using different types of concrete, stone, and metal.
Ali Aloulu, senior interior designer at EDGE elaborates: “The main goal was to give materials, colours, and textures a full exposure and preserve them in a natural form. To emphasise the luxurious atmosphere, we put a particular emphasis on the details.”
The high-end gym equipment is also a part of the design. All work out machines come in a special glitter metal coating and bespoke custom-made brown leather seats, and to make the design consistent matching brown leather is used to cover columns between the workout sections.
The floors’ uneven concrete texture is in keeping with the studio’s design ethos of using modest materials in novel ways. The rose gold reception desk creates a stylish- chic sharp touch to the white handcrafted concrete tiles used for the juice bar. In the changing rooms, EDGE designed a bespoke metal-coated locker, that placed against grey walls define the contrast between raw and polished elements. The tone outside of the changing rooms is broken down by colourful wall artwork with cartoon characters.
The first floor dedicated to the light training divides into smaller workout spaces, separated by lightening passageways. The work out areas are very straightforward and intuitive to the user and don’t require any signage. The cardio machines are positioned at a higher wooden podium, overlooking Burj Al Arab.