Commercial Interior Design (PDF) by jagadkulon

VIEWS: 1,043 PAGES: 60

									                                                                            An ITP Business Publication | Licensed by Dubai Media City   August Vol.6 Issue 8


                  Bo                          IE W
               T H ld n                                  WI
                     A ew                                     TH
                               ST       ba                             ER
          Le                        TR    thr                               WA
              ba                       E ND         oo                             NB
          I R U ne
                                              SU        ms                                   OU
                   s      el                       NC
                                                      O                                               RO
                    DE         an                        VE
                                                              RE                                              UL
                            G N dm
                         SI                                        D
                                      a                                                                               LE
                                   V O rk s                                                                                 C
                                              T IO

August 2010


        Has the economic slowdown left
        a glut of highly-skilled designers
        on the market, or is finding high-
        quality staff as challenging as
        ever? CID finds out.

 15     DESIGNER Q&A
        An exclusive interview with
                                              05   15                                         22
        Erwan Bouroullec, one half of
        design’s most famous duo.                                                             28
22      FEATURE
        Uncovering the eight most
        important trends currently
        impacting bathroom design.

28      CASE STUDY
        The newly-renovated Sofitel
        Rabat Jardin des Roses is
        brimming with Moroccan motifs.
        CID takes a look inside.

        The low-down on Lebanon’s
        interior design industry, including
        a look at Beirut’s latest design
        landmark, Le Gray Hotel.

        A handful of kitchen suppliers
        that you should know.

45      PRODUCTS
        A showcase of new products,
        including Novecento, Noah,
        Pasha and Silhouette.

        Your monthly guide to contract
        tenders in the region, provided
        by Ventures Middle East.

 56     OPINION
        The changing face of wallpaper,
        by Björn Nilsson.                          Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   1
Lb3, design Ludovica+Roberto Palomba                                          Bathroom Culture since 1892       

                                                                                         LAUFEN SHOWROOMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
                                                                             Bahrain: Al Abbas Gallery +973 17741919
                                                                                                  Iran: Farbar +98 21 88 03 6364
                                                                           Jordan: Izzat Musa Marji & Sons Co. +962 65 52 02 84
                                                                               Kuwait: Arte Casa Trading Co. +965 4848 000
                                                                              Lebanon: Georges Nassr +961 1 482 462
                                                                Oman: Ahmed Mohsin Trading L.L.C. +968 248 17 019
                                                                            Qatar: M.S.K Building Material +97 44 440 051
                                                   Saudi Arabia: Articasa +96 6 2252 4402 (Jeddah), +96 6 1480 0720 (Riyadh)
                                                                                          Syria: Uni Group +96 31 15 32 67 00
                                       United Arab Emirates: German Home for Bathrooms & Kitchens +971 4 268 9993
                                                                  Yemen: Abu Al-Rejal Trading Corp. +967 1 272 519

Registered at Dubai Media City
PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 00 971 4 210 8000
Fax: 00 971 4 210 8080

                                                                                       Consumer is king
Offices in Dubai & London

CEO Walid Akawi
Managing Director Neil Davies
Managing Director ITP Business Karam Awad

Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell
Editorial Director David Ingham
                                                                                                                      or all its protestations, and all its efforts to become
Senior Group Editor Stuart Matthews
                                                                                                                      more sustainable, the design industry is inherently
Editor Selina Denman                                                                                                  wasteful. Good design, as we all know, is design
Tel: +971 4 210 8502 email:
                                                                                                                      that lasts. It is durable enough to withstand the test
Sales Manager Leigh Roche
                                                                                                              of time; it is functional and intuitive; and it is aesthetically
Tel: +971 4 210 8679 email:                                                               pleasing but independent of short-term fads. A truly well
Business Development Manager, Saudi Arabia
Rabih Naderi                                                                                                  designed product is one you’ll want to keep for years.
Tel: +966 1 2068697 email:
                                                                                                                 Nonetheless, there are still plenty of companies out there
                                                                                                              that purposefully produce sub-standard products with a
Group Art Editor Daniel Prescott
Art Editor Simon Cobon                                                                 limited lifespan, feeding into a frenzy of mass consumption. It’s what Philippe
PHOTOGRAPHY                                                                            Starck, in his characteristically brash but poignant way, refers to as the Kleenex
Director of Photography Sevag Davidian                                                 society: “Buy, put in the garbage, Buy, garbage. Buy, garbage.”
Senior Photographers Efraim Evidor, Jovana Obradovic
Staff Photographers Isidora Bojovic, George Dipin,                                        For Erwan Bouroullec of the famed Bouroullec brothers, this is one of the
Murrindie Frew, Lyubov Galushko, Shruti Jagdesh,
Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav
                                                                                       greatest challenges facing the design world at present. CID met Bouroullec dur-
                                                                                       ing the Middle East launch of the brothers’ latest creation, Axor Bouroullec, last
Group Production Manager Kyle Smith                                                    month. “I think the design world is fighting against big manufacturers that make
Deputy Production Manager Matthew Grant
Production Coordinator Nelly Pereira
                                                                                       products that shouldn’t exist. I think that there are too many companies that
Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn                                             make things that are not done very well,” he said.
Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell
Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami                                                      Electronic goods for the kitchen are a prime example. In many cases, they are
CIRCULATION                                                                            of distinctly low quality, with a lifespan of only a year or two. They are designed
Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati                                           badly on purpose, just to keep them cheap.
MARKETING                                                                                 It is time for the consumer to instigate change, Bouroullec insisted. “I think we
Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell                                                      really have to make people understand that it is important to buy the right prod-
Marketing Manager Annie Chinoy
                                                                                       uct, because behind the act of buying lies a really important politic,” he said. “In
                                                                                       France, some of the most interesting products for me are organic food products.
Director Peter Conmy
Internet Applications Manager Mohammed Affan                                           When you buy organic vegetables or meat, I think there is a really good deal
Web Designer Meghna Rao
                                                                                       between the producer and the customer, and vice versa.”
                                                                                          This is evident in the fact that the customer is happy to buy better vegetables,
Chairman Andrew Neil
Managing Director Robert Serafin                                                       even though they might not all be the same shape and size, or perhaps haven’t
Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies
Board of Directors K M Jamieson, Mike Bayman,                                          been washed properly. The customer is even willing to accept that they might not
Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin
                                                                                       get some produce whenever they want it. The point is that they know that they
Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 210 8000
                                                                                       are getting quality, and that is what really counts.
Certain images in this issue are available for purchase.
Please contact for further details or visit
                                                                                          This attitude should be extended to all of the products that we buy – from                                                                      coffee machines to office desks. The consumer is king after all, and should be
Printed by Emirates Printing Press L.L.C. Dubai                                        using that power to great effect.
Subscribe online at

Audited by: BPA Worldwide
Average Qualified Circulation: 6,944
(July - December 2009)

The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions
contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained
in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised
to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication
which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s
particular circumstances.
                                                                                       SELINA DENMAN, EDITOR
The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any
part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or
transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An
exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

                                                                                         Receive Commercial Interior Design                Cover image:
                                                                                                                                           Vegetal Chair, by
                       Published by and © 2010 ITP Business
                       Publishing, a division of the ITP
                                                                                         every month. To subscribe, please                 Paul Tahon and
                       Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the
                       B.V.I. under Company number 1402846.
                                                                                         visit:                  R & E Bouroullec.                                                                                                         Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   3
                                                                                                                                   DESIGN UPDATE

Material boy

UK: Courage, passion and a                “I think that one of the charac-      Situated at the top end of the        become iconic and associated
willingness to work are the great-     teristics of my work, and the thing   market, the David Collins Studio         with their location and size.
est attributes that an interior        that people respond well to, is the   has remained largely unaffected             “The Middle East is a market
designer can have, according           choice of materials,” Collins con-    by the economic slowdown, Col-           that is of interest to me, but I am
to David Collins, founder of the       tinued. “People always say that       lins explained. “We tend to work         working on a more focused and
David Collins Studio and designer      I define luxury without making         at the luxury end of the design          refined area in the Middle East –
of iconic projects such as The         it vulgar, as well as paying great    market and so our work (which is         areas where luxury and originality
Claridges Bar, The Connaught Bar,      attention to detail. These are        of course always commercially-           are part of the scale of a project. I
The Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel     the things that are subliminally      based, and has to come in on             want to do things beautifully, and
and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.          transmitted to the client and to      time and on budget) is doing quite       this means working on projects
   “I am not afraid of any of these,   the user,” he said.                   well. We are enjoying a surge of         that aren’t too enormous.”
especially hard work. That’s what         “My definition of minimal-          interest from overseas.”                    Ultimately, it is this pursuit of
people find surprising when they        ist luxury, which is a phrase I          The Middle East is of particular      beauty that drives and defines
enter this industry, that it is very   coined many years ago, is really      interest, although Collins is focus-     Collins’ creativity. “My dream
hard and requires great focus and      letting a space and volume fol-       ing on a very specific segment of         project is to have somebody en-
tenacity,” he said.                    low the dictates of the light and     the market. “I was quite inspired        thusiastically collaborate with me
   Collins started his career as       architecture. It’s also having a      by some of the work that I saw in        to create something really unique
an architect, before shifting his      strong concept with attention to      the Middle East, and the scale           and beautiful. When working on
focus to interior architecture. His    detail and a carefully balanced       of some of the projects is really        projects, I can look at designs
work is defined by intelligent use      choice of colours. Every piece of     amazing,” he said.                       which seem very interesting, but
of materials, lateral thinking and     furniture or art should be chosen        “I think that, as with every-         I always ask myself: ‘Is it beauti-
attention to detail, he explained.     because of its suitability.”          thing, time will tell which projects     ful?’ That’s the test.”                                                                                      Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   5

Light years ahead

UAE: InterContinental Hotels Group             Secondly, to be honest, the light-     those undertaken by IHG are still          Apart from anything else, being
(IHG) properties at Dubai Festival             ing that we had on the outside of      relatively rare, noted Louis Hakim,     green makes good business sense,
City are in the process of replacing           the building was failing in certain    chairman, Philips Middle East and       Lord explained. “If you are a hotel
all of their interior lighting with LED        areas and the existing lighting so-    vice president, Royal Philips Elec-     in the Middle East, or anywhere in
solutions. A total of 35,000 light             lution just didn’t have any longev-    tronics. “The hospitality industry      the world, your clients now want
points – in hotel rooms, suites                ity. But mainly, we did this because   is now more aware of the environ-       you to be greener. Your clients
and public areas – will be replaced            we thought it was the right thing      ment, whether on a local or global      want to be linked with hotels that
with sustainable alternatives.                 to do. We are on a big drive to be     level. The Dubai Department of          are responsible in that way, so I
   This is phase two of a project              a more responsible business and        Tourism and Commerce Marketing          think we will see a bigger shift.
that has already seen the InterCon-            lighting was one area that we could    is currently promoting various             “The hotel industry is only going
tinental and Crowne Plaza hotels               really start with,” said Lord.         efforts to make sure that this seg-     the same way as everybody else
replace all of their exterior façade              This new endeavour is in line       ment is leading the way to green.       is. We are all moving towards
lighting with LED solutions. The               with existing green initiatives at        “Philips is also active by con-      awareness of the environment and
hotels are partnering with Philips             the IHG Dubai Festival City proper-    ducting workshops and lighting          the fact that there do need to be
to bring this project to fruition.             ties, which include aggressive         audits in several hotels in Dubai,      changes. But also, there are such
   As a result of this initiative, the         recycling of all hotel waste, the      creating awareness, educating end       fantastic solutions out there right
hotels will reduce their carbon                use of a Lexus LS600 hybrid car        users, and providing them with          now that you’d be crazy not to,”
emissions by two million kg per                for guest transfers, and the annual    a wide variety of energy efficient       Lord pointed out.
year, and will minimise their ener-            Whatever Floats Your Boat compe-       lighting solutions to support their        “When you can change a halo-
gy costs by some 50%, explained                tition, which raises money for local   drive to be more sustainable enter-     gen for an LED bulb and it lasts
Tom Lord, hotel manager, InterCon-             environmental charities.               prises. Having said that, so far very   you 14 times longer, why wouldn’t
tinental Dubai Festival City.                     While the hospitality industry      few have followed IHG’s footsteps       you? You don’t have to change
   “We have done this for a number             is becoming increasingly aware of      and embarked on comprehensive           your light bulbs as often and you
of reasons – one is to become a                its environmental responsibilities,    programmes to become greener in         don’t spend as much money. It just
market leader in the field of green.            large-scale initiatives such as        their own right,” Hakim noted.          makes sense,” he concluded.

6   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                                    

                                               Linked in
                                               T HE ANDALUCIAN-T HEMED YA S LINKS GOLF
                                               COURSE CLUBHOUSE WA S INSPIRED BY T HE
                                               VERY OLDEST FORM OF GOLF

                                               UAE: A links course, the very         has created is an intimate and
                                               oldest form of golf course, is        warm and almost homelike feeling
                                               traditionally found in a costal       where you can sit and relax. If you
                                               setting, buried amid sand dunes.      are on your own you feel comfort-
                                               First developed in Scotland and       able and if you’re in a group you
                                               Ireland, links courses tend to be     feel comfortable.”
                                               characterised by uneven fairways,        The clubhouse started its life
                                               thick rough and small, deep bun-      as a blank piece of paper in an LA
                                               kers, with few water hazards and      meeting room in July 2008. “We
                                               even fewer trees.                     literally put in a bar, restaurant,
                                                  It was these original Celtic       lockers, pro-shop and lobby, and
                                               courses that inspired the design      we built the design around those
                                               of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Links Golf         facilities. Then the architect put
                                               Course – and, consequently, the       his structural and aesthetic skill
                                               Yas Links Golf Clubhouse. “We         to it but, again, we’ve got what
                                               had a very flat piece of land; we      I believe to be a very functional
                                               dredged the channel and used          space,” said White.
                                               the material from the channel for        Simon Black, an interior
                                               the rough earthworks of the golf      designer at Enigma Design, who
                                               course,” explained Chris White,       was sub-contracted to work on
                                               general manager of the Yas Links      the project, explained how the
                                               Golf Course.                          Andalucian theme extended into
                                                  “Our golf course architect Kyle    every aspect of the design, from
                                               Phillips, who is based in Califor-    furniture down to knick-knacks.
                                               nia, has specialised in designing        For example, custom-made
                                               links golf courses. We wanted to      duck figurines capture the rural
                                               create a piece of Scottish or Irish   essence of links golf, while a clas-
                                               coastline that replicated a links     sic chess board manufactured by
                                               golf course, and that’s what we’ve    Laing Joinery, with pieces from a
                                               done,” he continued.                  market in Antalya, Turkey, creates
                                                  A course inspired by such          a homely feel.
                                               traditional influences deserved a         “We found some bits and piec-
                                               carefully-considered clubhouse.       es in Granada in Spain and Indigo
                                               “It was very important that the       Living supplied the furniture. We
                                               clubhouse architecture aligned        had most of the furniture custom
                                               itself with the history of the golf   made, so we described what we
                                               course and links golf, so rather      wanted and they made it for us,”
                                               than having a really modern con-      Black explained.
                                               temporary clubhouse, we went             Indigo Living was responsible
                                               down the route of a sort of Anda-     for all FF&E and OS&E. This in-
                                               lucian villa,” White explained.       cluded the manufacture, supply
                                                  “Of course, traditionally, that    and installation of all interior
                                               type of home had quite high           and outdoor furniture at the club-
                                               ceilings and was very cooling,        house, including artwork, acces-
                                               using lots of stone and natural       sories, rugs and soft furnishings.
                                               products. It is purposefully not      In addition, Indigo was responsi-
                                               a massive clubhouse – it is           ble for the provision of everything
                                               6,500m², which is quite small for     from cutlery and crockery in the
                                               a golf clubhouse. But what that       restaurants to staff uniforms.

8   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                           

   APPLIANCES                                                              COMPLETE “SUPPLY AND FIX” PACKAGE
   DEFENSE REQUIREMENTS                                                    WARDROBES, DOORS AND SCHOOL FURNITURE IN
   RECEPTION COUNTERS, ETC.                                                REQUIREMENTS, AND AS PER UAE NORMS AND PRACTICES

Khoie Industries L.L.C. | P.O. Box 14535 | Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E. | Tel: +971 7 2444377 | Fax: +971 7 2444378 | Email:
That’s why we innovate.


Our products may
be floor-based,
but our ambitions
are sky-high! By using
NASA technology,
we’ve developed
an inventive new
way to cut carpet
tiles, which reduces
waste by 80% and
eliminates 310 tonnes
of waste material
each year.


w w w.i n t e r f a c e f l o r. e u / l e t s b e c l e a r
                                                                                                                       INDUSTRY SPEAK

                                     Recruiting right
                                     HAS THE ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN LEFT A GLUT OF SKILLED
                                     DESIGNERS ON THE MARKET, OR IS FINDING HIGH-QUALIT Y
                                     STAFF AS CHALLENGING AS EVER? CID SPEAKS TO THE HEADS
                                     OF FOUR DUBAI-BASED DESIGN FIRMS TO FIND OUT.

                                                ecruitment has long been a      Group, is also currently looking to fill
                                                bugbear for Dubai-based in-     a number of positions, with vacancies
                                                terior design firms. When the    for a design director, senior designer,
                                                market was booming, finding      client relationship manager, project
                                     quality design staff was notoriously       managers, business development
                                     difficult; keeping them loyal was even      people and general office assistants
                                     more of a challenge.                       currently open.
                                        When the economic slowdown first            Edward Smith, director of Global De-
                                     hit, many companies were faced with        sign Interiors, is looking for candidates
                                     the unsavoury task of slashing their       with applicable experiences, excellent
                                     workforce. Even those that didn’t have     communication skills and the ability to
                                     to downsize were forced to stop, take      “wear many hats”. “They must be moti-
                                     stock and consolidate, making for a de-    vated from within, not by the paycheck.
                                     cidedly stagnant employment market.        And they must understand our commit-
                                        Dubai-based design firm, Bluehaus,       ment to the client and to the schedule,”
                                     opted to take a cautious, long-term        Smith explained.
                                     approach to the market, and hasn’t            According to Christian Merieau, man-
                                     employed any new staff over the last       aging director, Middle East, of Samuel
                                     six months. “As management we have a       Creations, potential recruits must obvi-
                                     longevity responsibility to the business   ously be intelligent, with a controlled
                                     and our customers and as such have fo-     creativity and the capacity to both lis-
                                     cused on working with the team that we     ten and understand. “They should also
                                     have built up over ten years,” said Ben    be well travelled with a strong cultural
                                     Corrigan, design principal, Bluehaus.      and artistic background,” he said.
                                        However, with the first stirrings of        As companies begin to jump-start
                                     renewed confidence being felt in the        their recruitment processes, they could
                                     market, this is set to change. Bluehaus    be forgiven for expecting to find a glut
                                     will be looking to recruit new team        of high-quality candidates on the mar-
                                     members in the final quarter of the         ket – a by-product of last year’s lay-offs
                                     year, as part of its 2015 growth plan.     and a depressed recruitment market.
                                        “We have always believed in hir-        But that’s not necessarily the case,
                                     ing as part of a growth strategy, as       according to Martin Wojnowski, design
                                     opposed to knee-jerk during busy           principal, Design Work Porfolio. High-
                                     periods. Over 65% of our customers         level candidates are still extremely
                                     are repeat customers, and like the         hard to come by, he maintained.
                                     consistency in our team. It gives them        “Finding the right people to fill our
                                     confidence,” Corrigan explained.            vacancies is still a challenge. It seems        1
                                        Meanwhile, Dubai-based Design           like the best candidates have retained          Ben Corrigan.
                                     Work Porfolio is currently looking to      their positions throughout the econom-
                                     hire a document controller and a mid-      ic slump and they are not considering a         2
                                     level interior designer. This follows      career move,” Wojnowski said.                   Christian Merieau.
                                     the hiring of seven new members of            “In response to our job adverts
                                     staff over the last six months. Global     we receive hundreds of CVs. Only a              3
                                     Design Interiors, part of the Al Reyami    handful get shortlisted. Quite often the        Martin Wojnowski.                                                                           Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010    11

                         selected ones do not make it through         factor between two equally strong             pool of reasonably-skilled designers
                         the probation period,” he said.              candidates,” said Corrigan.                   and project managers,” Smith agreed.
                            Wojnowski looks for candidates                “Expertise and experience are             “However this is undermined by the
                         with knowledge of local FF&E markets,        the key drivers, but we also look for         transient tendencies of the workforce,
                         good budgetary awareness, the ability        strength of character and passion. I          so creating a high performance work-
                         to develop intricate design details,         have always been a big believer that          force is reasonable; keeping it together
                         exceptional documentation ability, pro-      expertise and experience are under-           is the challenge.”
                         ficiency in graphic software and, above       utilised commodities without character           Staff retention may be slightly easier
                         all, good design instincts.                  and passion,” he added.                       when your competitors are no longer
                            But finding employees that are expe-           Getting the right mix of personalities    lining up at the door to poach your best
                         rienced in high-end commercial work is       is particularly crucial if you are trying     talent – but that doesn’t mean that
                         notoriously difficult, he explained. “We      to build up a coherent team, Global De-       employers can afford to be complacent.
                         are working on high-end, commercial          sign Interiors’ Smith noted. “The most        After all, staff retention has little to do
                         interior design projects,” he said.          challenging aspect is personality as-         with economic conditions and much to
                            “The specific character of the             sessment, because everything else can         do with how a firm is managed and run.
                         projects, as well as our clients, poses      be verified,” Merieau agreed. “Due to             “I feel that many design firms suffer
                         various recruitment challenges. Very         the strong mix of nationalities in Dubai      from serious management issues,” said
                         few locally-available candidates             it is crucial that each new employee is       Wojnowski. “Designers are usually di-
                         understand the specific nature of con-        ready to make the necessary effort to         sastrous managers. Staff feel insecure
                         temporary international hotel design         communicate and understand others.            and pressured in a negative way. The
                         standards. They are not acquainted           Sheer creativity, if not communicated         atmosphere in the studio is often toxic.
                         with the appropriate references.             properly, is useless,” he said.               Staff feel they have no clear direction.
                                                                                                                       “I remember myself working for one
                                                                                                                    such Dubai company. The management

                    Designers are usually disastrous managers.                                                      was disorganised and deeply arrogant
                                                                                                                    at the same time. Eventually, they faced

           Staff feel insecure and pressured in a negative way.                                                     the challenge of staff and client reten-
                                                                                                                    tion,” he recalled.

             The atmosphere in the studio is often toxic.                                                              According to Merieau, effective
                                                                                                                    employers should offer their staff ab-
                                                                                                                    solute respect, honesty and fairness,
                                                                                                                    as well as providing them with a sense
                            “Their understanding of design in            While effective recruitment is a uni-      of belonging, and giving them the op-
                         the commercial sense is limited as           versal challenge, there are aspects of        portunity to take charge, while being
                         well. Applicants usually come from a         the local market that make it even more       supported by the management.
                         contracting background or other design       difficult in this part of the world, Corrig-      Bluehaus also prides itself on its
                         firms with no exposure to high-end            an suggested. “Predominantly because          staff retention record. “We are very
                         international projects. Very few can-        we live in an incredibly transient part of    proud of our team retention,” said Cor-
                         didates are well oriented in the locally     the world and employ based on long-           rigan. “We believe this is a reflection of
                         available materials, finishes, furniture      term strategy as opposed to short-term        our corporate culture, based on strong
                         or lighting,” Wojnowski maintained.          contracts. Long-term in the UAE can           core values. We look after our team,
                            While recruitment companies are a         mean two years. Due to this, personal         and they look after the Bluehaus brand
                         popular tool when it comes to finding         circumstances can play an important           and our customers. Transparency,
                         new staff, this is still a market that re-   role in the decision making process.”         trust, integrity and a good working
                         lies heavily on word of mouth, network-         However, for Merieau, the cultural         environment are all fundamentally im-
                         ing and personal recommendation.             diversity of the region more than makes       portant to the wellbeing of your team;
                         Companies are now also capitalising on       up for its transient nature. “There is        that’s why they stay.”
                         new, web-based recruitment channels,         a wide variety of competencies and               But this represents an investment –
                         using sites such as Dubizzle to attract      cultures. Most importantly, job seekers       of time, money and energy. “We have
                         prospective employees.                       come here with the right attitude and         employed the services of a success
                            However, regardless of the chosen         an enormous appetite for success. The         and leadership coach for 2010, Mick
                         channel, finding the right people is still    only difficulty is finding designers with       Todd. Mick continues to work with
                         a tricky business. “Recruitment is not       a true knowledge of classic craftsman-        each team member, across the hierar-
                         an exact science and regardless of how       ship,” he maintained.                         chy,” Corrigan detailed.
                         stringent your recruitment policy is,           “The general market we work in has            “We are big believers in investing in
                         decisions need to be made and gut            attracted high-quality people over            training at all levels, particularly dur-
                         feeling is occasionally the deciding         the years to the region, providing a          ing difficult times.”

12   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                               
                                           Brothers in arms          CID MEE T S ERWA N BOUROULLEC

Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010
                                                                                                     DESIGNER Q&A

                                           Portrait O a Lindal.
                                           Portrait by Ora Lindal.


16   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design
                                                                                                                                  DESIGNER Q&A

                                      3                                            4                                             5

           oftly-spoken and distinctly      had numerous exhibitions and books           Philippe Grohe, head of the Axor brand.       2
           low-key, Erwan Bouroullec        dedicated to their work.                     “No longer do mixers only have to be          Bouroullec Pelota,
           is one half of design’s most        CID caught up with Erwan Bouroullec       placed in the centre of the rear rim of       by Paul Tahon and
           dynamic duo.                     in Istanbul last month, at the Middle        the washbasin.”                               R & E Bouroullec.
   Brothers Erwan and Ronan Bouroul-        East launch of Axor Bouroullec, the             Instead, fittings can be freely ar-
lec burst onto the scene in 1997, when      brothers’ latest creation. A collaboration   ranged almost anywhere within the             3&5
their Disintegrated Kitchen debuted at      with Axor, the designer arm of German        washing area – on the integrated              Bouroullec
Salon du Meuble in Paris and caught         bathroom manufacturer, Hansgrohe, the        shelves, in front or next to the wash         Blossoming and
the attention of Giulio Capellini.          new collection took six years to develop     basin, or on the wall.                        Bouroullec Bell,
   Today, the brothers collaborate          and represents the Bouroullec brothers’         The wide, sturdy, white shelves            by Paul Tahon.
with some of the biggest names in the       first real foray into bathroom design.        play a central role in the collection,
industry: Vitra, Kvadrat, Magis, Kartell,      The new collection is defined by a         forming a consistent element in terms         4
Established and Sons, Ligne Roset, and      sense of freedom, with a total of 85         of design, functionality, serviceability      A drawing by
Issey Miyake, to name but a few.            elements that can be configured in            and convenience. Smooth, simple,              Erwan and Ronan
   Voted Designers of the Year at Salon     countless different ways. “The advan-        organic shapes make this a warm,              Bouroullec.
du Meuble in 2002, the Bouroullec                                                 o ce
                                            tage of the open system is that we force
brothers have garnered countless in-        people to ask themselves what they  ey                                                     5
dustry awards and accolades, including                                          g
                                            really want. This collection is going                                                      The brothers, by
the Finn-Juhl Prize in 2008, and have                                           ed
                                            to be a catalyser of dialogue,” noted                                                      Morgane Le Gall.

 5                                                                             Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010    17


                   6&9      uncluttered and intuitive bathroom         body is exposed, we really didn’t want       What other projects are you currently
     Axor Bouroullec is     solution. “The collection is made of       to create a cold atmosphere.                 working on?
     warm and organic.      simple building blocks. It’s not a Fer-                                                 There is a tableware collection that we
                            rari, just something really well done.     Were there things that you wanted to         designed for Alessi, which we will show
                    7&8     A certain poetry comes out of it as the    do but weren’t possible technically?         in September or October, so we are just
       The collection is    different elements come together. The      Actually, it wasn’t technically that we      working on the very last details. There
      characterised by      beauty is in the combination,” said        had problems, it was more culturally.        are some companies that we always
         its versatility.   Erwan Bouroullec. “I think sometimes       There are some things that are too wild      work with, such as Magis, Vitra and
                            the error in contemporary faucet design    for the market.                              Ligne Rosset. The other things are a bit
                  10&11     is that things are too complicated. If                                                  more of a secret!
          It is made up     everything is over-designed, in the end    Is the bathroom an area that you’d like
       of 85 elements.      you get a very noisy environment. We       to work in again?                            Are there any companies that you
                            take a very different approach.”           For now we need to let this collec-          haven’t worked with but would like to?
          12 (overleaf)        CID sat down with Bouroullec to find     tion live, and we need to understand         I would love to work with Flos, the light-
      Bouroullec Bells      out more about this approach.              people’s reactions. We have to see           ing company. Also, I would be quite
        by Paul Tahon.                                                 what works and what doesn’t. It might        interested in working in electronics
                            How is designing a bathroom different      be that giving people so much choice is      but this is quite a conceptual interest
      13&14 (overleaf)      to designing other products?               an error. They might not be interested       because I know that the reality of this
Bouroullec Clouds by        We were really focused on the ques-        in playing. But in principal, yes I would.   work is not easy.
        Paul Tahon and      tion of how to find a language that
      R & E Bouroullec.     would bring quality to every element                                               7     8

                            in the collection, without needing to
                            reinvent the idea every time. Because
                            of this, during the development, I think
                            we probably designed three or four
                            full collections but we kept having to
                            change direction because we realised
                            that while some elements were strong,
                            some were very weak.
                               It is very difficult to find a DNA that
                            you can apply across an entire collec-
                            tion. Also, we were really obsessed
                            with the idea that it should be designed
                            well, with beautiful lines, but on the
                            other hand we really wanted it to be
                            quite sensual and warm.
                               Design is sometimes too cold. And
                            especially in the bathroom, where the

18     AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                             
                                                                                                                        DESIGNER Q&A

One of our qualities is being indepen-
dent and we also have quite a small               Philippe Grohe, head of the Axor brand, on      that’s one of the best services we could
studio – seven people including me                working with the Bouroullec brothers.           offer them. Obviously, the freedom to com-
and Ronan – so we are not really in a                                                             pose is also the freedom to make mistakes
position to do that kind of work.                 Why did you choose to partner with the          so there are a lot of challenges with this,
                                                  Bouroullec brothers?                            but you also know that it is real innovation.
How difficult is it to stay independent            They have a unique approach to design.             At Milan this year, you could see that
and small?                                        This was the first time in ten years that I      there was a new seriousness. Function is
Actually, it is very simple. But you need         wasn’t addressing a product designer who        becoming more important. Total craziness
to make your choices accordingly. For             was also involved in interior design and        has totally disappeared. Something hu-
example, we are quite often asked to              architecture. If you look at what the Bour-     man, with meaning, is becoming important
design hotels or things like that, which          oullec brothers have done over the last few     again. That is all evident in this collection.
we more or less always refuse, because            years, you realise that with their product
the scale is probably too big for us.             designs they influence spaces. If you look       Is this level of customisation something
We couldn’t control everything, so we             at the Alcove sofa, which they created with     that people are demanding?
prefer to say no. It’s not that we are not        Vitra, you can say it’s a nice-looking sofa,    This has been one of the so-called mega
interested, it is more that we get the            and you either like it or you don’t. But if     trends for about two years now, but we
impression that it wouldn’t be the best           you put two of those together, you make a       recognised it six years ago when we first
working conditions for us.                        meeting room. You influence space.               started working with Erwan and Ronan.
                                                                                                  People have been saying for 30 years that
You refer to yourself as a control freak.         What sets Axor Bouroullec apart?                the consumer is king. Before industrialisa-
Is that part of your success?                     We stopped the project twice. Once it was       tion, products were made by craftsmen.
Yes. Firstly we like to stay in control           a mutual decision and the other time it         And those craftsmen made your product,
but also, we like to be responsible for           was me; I didn’t feel comfortable. And we       for you. This came at a very high price and
shooting the products once they are               were right to do so because in the end they     at very uneven quality. It came with lots
ready. Nearly all our products are shot           came up with something incredible.              of problems but also produced fantastic
by us, as are our promotional videos.                Axor Bouroullec is not a modular prod-       results. Industrialisation gave us an
I spoke recently with someone who                 uct. It is a product that can react to archi-   enormous gain in quality and an enormous
asked if it was normal for us to do ev-           tecture; a product that can be customised       efficiency in price. This is why it worked
erything and I said I think so; because           to how the user wants to handle water.          so well and for so long, and obviously we
at the end of the day, we are the ones            You can optimise your choice between            needed it. But now, more and more, we
that conceived the element so we are              functionality and aesthetics, or between        are looking at (and this is what Ronan and
quite keen on trying to explain our               functionality and originality.                  Erwan are the first and the best at) how
point of view.                                       As Erwan says, the advantage of an           with industrial quality, you can give people
   Sometimes the concept, and the                 open system is that you make people ask         the freedom and the choice to reinvent the
Axor Bouroullec collection is a good              themselves questions about what they            product for themselves. Because then you
example, is not straightforward. It is            actually want. So they start thinking. And      have the best of both worlds.
not usual to encourage the consumer

 9                                           10                             11                                                                       Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010      19

                                                     to play with things, to move things          because we have never been asked to.
                                                     around. And it’s really important to         I would quite like to. If I was asked to
                                                     explain it properly because if you don’t,    design something by Ikea or someone
                                                     people can become a little afraid of it.     like that, I would with pleasure.
                                                        I think it’s part of our success to          What I find quite interesting in
                                                     offer a strong conceptual proposition,       the world is that things can travel –
                                                     but at the same time Axor Bouroullec         pictures, concepts but also products.
                                                     is still quite simple for people that are    When we design, we think with a
                                                     not highly interested in design. It’s not    certain universality. At the same time, I
                                                     something complicated. My mother             know that there won’t ever be millions
                                                     could work it out!                           and millions of pieces produced. We
                                                                                                  don’t need one company making all of
                                                     What are the greatest challenges             the world’s taps, after all.
                                                     facing designers right now?
                                                     I think the design world is fighting          What’s your favourite interior space?
                                                     against big manufacturers that make          It’s quite difficult to say. I think my
                                                     products that shouldn’t exist. I think       favourite space is still my flat in Paris.
                                                12   that there are too many companies            Just because it belongs to me, and so
                                                     that make things that are not done           I feel at ease. It’s my private place for
                                                     very well. For example, if you take          myself and my wife and daughter. It’s
                                                     electronic accessories for the kitchen,      for us. And I would do anything inside
                                                     coffee machines and things like that,        that space to build a better life for
                                                     most of them are built to last for one       the three of us.
                                                     or two years.                                   But then, I definitely love spaces that
                                                         They are not done well enough in         have a connection with the landscape
                                                     terms of quality, and that’s just to reach   – water, for example. I think it is a great
                                                     a lower price point. I think we really       quality that you can also achieve in a
                                                     have to make people understand that          city. In Istanbul, for example, where
                                                     it is important to buy the right product     you have the Bosphorous, or in Copen-
                                                     because behind the act of buying lies        hagen where the sea goes right into the
                                                     a really important politic. When you         city, you get a lot of perspectives and
                                                     buy something it is really quite a strong    very wide spaces.
                                                     political act.                                  I like those kinds of spaces. Where I
                                                         In France, some of the most interest-    live in Paris, unfortunately, I don’t have
                                                     ing products for me are organic food         those kinds of qualities.
                                                     products. When you buy organic veg-
                                                     etables or meat, I think there is a really   What is the best thing about working
                                                     good deal between the producer and           with your brother… and the worst?
                                                     the customer, and vice versa.                I think one of the best things about
                                                         It shows in the fact that the customer   working with each other is we challenge
                                                     is happy to buy better vegetables,           each other and we discuss things a lot.
                                                     but at the same time doesn’t mind            I think it’s quite difficult when you are
                                                     that they are not all the same size, or      alone to get distance from what you
                                                     maybe aren’t clean and will need to be       do. Because there are two of us we
                                                     washed, or that you can’t get tomatoes       have this ability to question ourselves,
                                                     throughout the year.                         which is more challenging but produces
                                                         This is how things should be in the      better results.
                                                     future. People should understand the            One of the problems is that what we
                                                     reality behind a product and when they       do is really important to Ronan and me.
                                                     buy, they should do it consciously, so       It’s a really big part of what we are so
                                                     they know exactly what they are doing        sometimes disagreements can be quite
                                                     and why they are doing it.                   painful to live with.
                                                                                                     Maybe that’s part of being creative.
                                                     But doesn’t design essentially feed          If we had a company that dealt with
                                                     into mass consumerism?                       truck logistics, perhaps I would be
                                                     I think, on our side, that we have never     less engaged and it would impact my
                                                     really addressed mass consumerism            personal life less!

20   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                             
                                                                                 Y&R GROUP
                  Discretion is the secret
                  of good design.

                  A sanitary system with a
                  concealed cistern.

Concealed systems from Geberit save space by integrating the cistern and
pipes in the wall. This is not only more attractive, but also easier to clean.

                                                CID HIGHLIGHTS T HE MOST IMPORTANT T RENDS
                                                CURRENT LY SHAPING BAT HROOM DESIGN

                                                         rom its humble beginnings as      their creativity. A host of new and
                                                         a purely utilitarian space, the   exciting trends continue to guide
                                                         bathroom has evolved into         the transformation of the bathroom,
                                                         a personal retreat, a model       placing it at the very forefront of
                                                of water efficiency, a testing ground       intelligent, contemporary design. Over
                                                for new materials, and a place where       the next few pages, CID uncovers some
                                                big-name designers can showcase            of these trends.


22   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                    
                                                                                                                    FEATURE: BATHROOMS


     Colour me happy
     Bathrooms used to be characterised       keep the sanitaryware white but to bring     Ilbagnoalessi Dot range in matte black
     by their distinct lack of colour, but    colour in, in the form of colourful toilet   ceramic. Created by Dutch architect
     the tide has turned. Bold, bright hues   seats and covers and furniture.”             Wiel Arets, the Ilbagnoalessi Dot
     are making their mark, replacing the        No longer confined to just tiles and       bathroom is characterised by its clear,        1
     muted, understated tones of old. In      accessories, colour is also making a         architectonic traits.                          Laufen has launched
     keeping with this trend, Roca has        break for the sanitaryware. Villeroy            Duravit also recently relaunched one        its Ilbagnoalessi Dot
     introduced Khroma, a collection of       & Boch recently extended its Loop &          of its most successful collections, Vero,      range in black.
     bathroom accessories available in        Friends washbasin line to include the        in an eye-catching, high-gloss black.
     passion red, street and silver grey,     trendy new shades of Espresso, a strong      With its classically angular design, the       2
     and oxygen blue.                         brown, and Cassis, a striking violet.        collection is a pioneer of purist form.        Villeroy & Boch’s
        “Roca has brought colour back into       When it comes to colour, black is            Also picking up on the monochro-            Loop & Friends
     the bathroom,” said Victor Schoone,      experiencing a particular surge in           matic trend is Cosmic, which recently          collection is now
     country manager, Middle East, Roca.      popularity. Laufen identified this trend      launched black and white gloss finishes         available in Cassis,
     “We give people the opportunity to       early on and responded by launching its      for its Flow faucet collection.                a striking violet.


                                              Material gains
                                              Bathroom manufacturers are also              bathroom fittings with new iguana, pony
                                              experimenting with a growing range           and crocodile inspired products.
                                              of materials and textures. New Italian          Additions to the ten-strong collection
                                              bathroom furnishings brand, Zaninelli        include iguana in white, the black and
                                              Bagni, has launched a collection carved      piebald pony, Cocò Blanc, or white
                                              from natural stone.                          crocodile, and Cocò Retro, a vintage grey
                                                 The CNC Collection was designed by        crocodile effect.
                                              Mr Smith Studio in Milan and includes           Ceramico Cielo also recently launched
                                              single and double washbasins, counter-       the X-Tech finish, which is highly
                                              tops, built-in or floor standing basins,      resistant to corrosion and abrasion. The       3
                                              shower receptors and bathtubs.               finish can be used to coat the Jungle fit-       Zaninelli Bagni has
                                                 Meanwhile, Ceramica Cielo has ex-         tings, making them suitable for any kind       launched a collection
                                              tended its Jungle collection of decorated    of commercial setting.                         in natural stone.                                                                                    Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010     23


                                                                                        par tnerships
                                                                        A key trend currently sweeping through         business, and a very exciting thing for
                                                                        the bathroom sector are tie-ups be-            Roca,” commented Schoone.
                                                                        tween bathroom manufacturers and                 Hansgrohe is another company that
                                                                        high-profile designers. This includes           has always been happy to form strate-
                                                                                    collaborations with leaders        gic partnerships with design leaders,
                                                                                           in architecture, interior   having worked with Patricia Urquiola,
                                                                                             and product design,       the Bouroullec Brothers and Antonio
                                                                                             but also with global-     Citterio, among others.
                                                                                             ly-renowned fashion         Meanwhile, Duravit recently part-
                                                                                             designers. Roca, for      nered with Philippe Starck to create
                                                                                             example, recently         the Sensowash shower toilet. The
                                                                                            announced that it was      discrete shower-toilet seat boasts
                                                                                         teaming up with Giorgio       an unusually slimline design, while
                                                                                        Armani to create a new         technical components have been
                                                                                      bathroom concept.                miniaturised so that the entire shower
                                                                                        The Armani Roca                technology fits between the ceramic
                                                                                    bathroom will consist of an        body and the seat.
                                                                                  entire interior design solution,       A stainless steel spray wand
                                                                                including not only furniture but       extends out from the seat when the
                                                                              lighting, wallcoverings and ceil-        bidet function is activated. Water
                                                                            ing treatments. It will be available       temperature, water volume and spray
                      4                                                  in exclusive stores as early as 2011.         wand position can all be individually
Starck’s Sensowash.                                                     “This is a unique thing in the bathroom        adjusted, via a hand-held remote.

                           Sustainably sound
                           Arguably the most important trend            than four years. It consumes just 5.68L
                           to impact bathroom design is                 of water per minute, compared to tradi-
                           sustainability. Bathroom companies are       tional faucets that consume an average
                           placing sustainability at the forefront of   8.32L/min, reducing water consumption
                           their agendas and investing in develop-      by approximately 45%.
                           ing products that are long lasting, ef-         The base solid-colour model has a
                           ficient and environmentally friendly.         pitcher-like vitreous china spout that
                              Intelligent companies are taking a        provides graceful water flow, and a
                           multi-pronged approach that involves         sculpted, curved handle that resembles
                           lowering their footprint as a business,      a drooping flower stem. The Vas is also
                           with more intelligent manufacturing          available in three painted, high-design         6

                           processes and facilities; creating new       pieces, Cerana, Imperial Blue and
                           and innovative products that contribute      Silkweave. “Kohler’s aim is to help
                           in lowering energy and water consump-        its customers to act responsibly on
                           tion; and using their global positioning     behalf of the planet by offering efficient
                           to educate consumers on the impor-           products designed to help consume only
                           tance of sustainability.                     what is necessary – without sacrific-
                              Kohler recently launched its sustain-     ing comfort, design or performance.
                           able Vas ceramic faucet in the Middle        Kohler’s dedication to the environment
                           East. The sculpted faucet uses nearly        is comprehensive,” said Mohamed
                   5&6     half the water of traditional faucets, and   Nada, regional marketing manager for
    Kohler’s Vas faucet.   offers a return on investment in less        Kohler in the Middle East.

24      AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                               
                                                                                                                   FEATURE: BATHROOMS

                                         Extreme comfor t
                                         Much has been written about the bath-        downpour; Komotion, a drenching spray
                                         room’s transformation into a personal        delivered in a circular pattern; and
                                         haven. Distancing itself from its purely     Kurrent, which provides a focused and
                                         functional roots, the bathroom has           invigorating massage spray.
                                         blossomed into a personalised wellness          As the personal wellbeing trend be-
                                         retreat. This is particularly notable when   comes more and more prevalent, com-
                                         it comes to the showering experience.        panies are coming up with increasingly
                                            Kohler recently launched Katalyst, a      creative ways to transform the bathroom
                                     8   shower that simulates the large, heavy       into a private retreat. No matter what
                                         drops of a summer downpour. Con-             the space available, Effegibi can design
                                         structed from solid brass, Katalyst spray    and furnish a personal wellbeing area to
                                         technology utilises a unique air induc-      meet individual needs. With a fully cus-
                                         tion ball joint designed to generate large   tomised Turkish bath option now avail-
                                         water droplets that provide users with       able, users can enjoy extreme relaxation
                                         an intense hydrotherapy experience.          in the comfort of their own home.
                                            Also designed to offer a varied and          Installable in any shower or Turkish
                                         indulgent showering experience is            bath, Effegibi’s latest creation is the
                                         Kohler’s Flipside hand shower. Featuring     Touch&Steam digital touch display,
                                         Kohler’s innovative Flipstream technol-      which lights the glass and lets the user
                                         ogy, the Flipside sprayface rotates on an    choose from a variety of functions for
                                         axis, with each of the four sides of the     steam, colourtherapy and hot air circula-
                                         sprayface being dedicated to a different     tion. A more traditional option is the          7
                                         kind of spray.                               Finish-designed Sky Line sauna, which           Kohler’s Katalyst.
                                            This allows for four totally unique       has a glass ceiling and front-decorated
                                         experiences: Koverage, for a traditional,    panel for a sleek, modern look. The             8
                                         everyday shower with maximum water           home sauna can be fitted with custom-            Wellbeing solutions
                                         coverage; Kotton, a dense, enveloping        made decorative laser-cut wood panels.          from Effegibi.


Another factor shaping bathroom          design and function of sanitary fixtures      Khroma Robot. With electronics incorpo-
design is technology. “We are seeing     and fittings,” said Guy Wilson, head of       rated into the vitreous china of the sani-      9
a move towards greater functionality     the Gulf, Geberit international sales.       taryware, users can control the shower          Roca is launching a
as hi-tech conveniences which form          As such, Roca will soon launch a          and bidet function, and open, close and         hi-tech version of its
part of daily life are emulated in the   hi-tech version of its Khroma collection,    even heat up the seat and cover.                Khroma collection.                                                                                Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010     25

                                                                 As customers become more design-               Promoting a brushed aluminium
                                                                 orientated, they are demanding              and glass finish, Monolith is charac-
                                                                 greater flexibility and adaptability in      terised by clear, simple lines. “With
                                                                 the products they select. Increasingly      its slim profile, the Monolith can
                                                                 challenging space plans are also            be fitted into almost any bathroom
                                                                 putting pressure on bathroom manu-          without impinging on space. It is ideal
                                                                 facturers to create products that are       for the retro-fit market as it conceals
                                                                 flexible and easy to install.                marks from previous floor-standing
                                                                    Geberit has responded with the           pans and there is no need for any
                                                                 Monolith. “The elegantly designed           complex plumbing alterations.”
                       11                                        Geberit Monolith is a perfect alterna-         Meanwhile, Laufen has extended
                                                                 tive to toilets with visible cisterns. It   its Living City series to include new
                                                                 is compact and flexible, opening up a        basins, WCs and bidets. The col-
                                                                 nearly unlimited application range,”        lection, which is synonymous with
                                                                 said Geberit’s Guy Wilson.                  geometric, minimalist lines, now
                                                                     “It can be combined with floor-          includes a 60cm washbasin, with an
                                                                 standing or wall-hung toilets. It fits       additional 90cm easy-to-clean shelf
                                                                 into any bathroom construction situa-       to keep bottles, creams and soaps
                                                                 tion. Installation of the entire system     within easy reach.
                                                                 is completed in a single operation,            The ceramic shelf is available either
                                                                 with the new installation ready for use     on the right or the left hand side of
                                                                 within just a few hours.”                   the basin and can be cut to size at the
                                                                                                             factory, making it perfect for demand-

                     Unashamed                                                                               ing layouts and niches. The collection
                                                                                                             also now includes, for the first time, a

                     elegance                                                                                square WC and bidet.

                     As the bathroom has moved away from
                     a purely functional role, the aesthetic
                     quality of fittings has increased radi-
                     cally. Manufacturers are focusing on cre-
                     ating finely-crafted, sculptural elements
                     that introduce a touch of glamour.
                        Zucchetti’s Bellagio series, available
                     from Bagno Design, is inspired by an
                     aristocratic, dolce vita style, crafted
                     from chrome-plated brass with Satin,
                     Tuscan and Platinum finishes.
                        Traditional elegance is also at the
                     heart of Bagno Design’s exclusive So-
                     phia range of bathroom products. With
                     soft flowing lines, this range comes with
               10    an option of lever or cross handles, and
     Sophia, from    a full range of accessories to match.
 Bagno Design.          Tiles also create a dramatic addition
                     to the bathroom setting. Glamour tiles
                11   by Kronos add a rich flavour to any
     Glamour tiles   space. Opulent tiles can be set against
       by Kronos.    simply-designed bathrooms, such as
                     the new KS collection by Italian com-
               12    pany Karol. This bathroom furniture col-
         Monolith    lection brings back retro simplicity and
       by Geberit.   is available in a range of fresh colours.

26    AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                       
Universal Trading Co., member of Universal Group, was established in 1973 with a wide scope of
supply of both products and services, ranging from heavy equipment to electrical appliances.
We have exclusive agencies of di erent brands imported from all over the world mainly, Germany,
Italy, and the United States of America.

Our organization consists of three main divisions:
• Domestic Appliances Division
• Kitchen and Wardrobes Division
• Heavy Equipment and Machinery Division

 ABU DHABI, Istiqlal Street
 P.O.Box 4399
 Tel: 02-6335331/6336252 • Fax: 02 6211957
 P.O.Box 1503
 Tel: 03-7216660

 P.O.Box 6809
 Tel: 04 2823443 • Fax: 04 2821634

                                   Moorish designs
                                            WIT H T R ADIT IONAL MOROCC AN MOT IFS.

                                                              1                                         2                                                 3

                                   he intricate art of mashrabia      Located in the heart of the Moroc-      wellbeing, encompassing 13,000ft² of
                                   lies at the heart of the        can capital, a few minutes from the        spa and fitness facilities.
                                   recently-renovated Sofitel       Royal Palace, Sofitel Rabat Jardin des
                                   Rabat Jardin des Roses hotel.   Roses features 229 rooms, including        PALATIAL LUXURY
                        “Mashrabia is the centrepiece of this      37 suites, some of which span over         Gomez was intent on creating a
                        project, with 200 different versions       1,000ft². The property is surrounded by    palatial space that was luxurious
                        within the hotel, a symbolic representa-   a sumptuous 20-acre Andalusian park,       and contemporary but still brimming
                        tion of Moroccan culture,” explained       rose garden and eucalyptus forest,         with Moroccan references. Mashrabia
                        Didier Gomez, founder of Didier Gomez      and is a short walk from the Oudaïas,      was an obvious place to start. Other
                        Interior Design, the French firm respon-    Rabat’s little known kasbah. It also       distinct elements, such as water, roses
                        sible for the property’s new look.         features an entire building dedicated to   and amber, and a striking gold, black

28   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                        
                                 CASE STUDY: SOFITEL RABAT

                                                                              4     Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   29


               1,3&7     and beige colour scheme, reappear               At the same time, it was necessary to      “We used a very sophisticated mix of
      Mashrabia is a     throughout. However, it is the careful       bring in the French undertones inherent    furniture – old, new, oversized and all
     recurring theme.    treatment of mashrabia motifs, and the       in the Sofitel brand. The idea was to       different – as I would do for a house.
                         subsequent interplay between what is         craft a finely balanced interplay be-       The rest of the walls are in stone and
               2,5&6     seen and what is not, that defines the        tween French and Moroccan – or, more       all the floors are Moroccan marble
        The property     hotel. “I also used the idea of the gar-     specifically, Rabati – elements.            imprinted with leaf-like designs.”
     offers extensive    den and water as a centrepiece for the          The tone is established from the           Walls and floors are a subtle com-
  wellness facilities.   project. I used Moroccan materials but       outset. In the lobby, the element of       bination of beige and white, while a
                         in a different way to the pastiche that is   water is introduced in an evocative        mirrored ceiling reflects the path of the
                    4    familiar from Marrakech,” said Gomez.        combination of pools and black marble.     water. Two Murano glass chandeliers
        The design is       Instead, the design drew on Rabat’s       Eclectic furniture pieces shrouded in      reiterate a sense of lightness, and
decidedly Moroccan.      distinctive character. “Rabat is like        the hotel’s dominant colours, black and    alcoves in white and beige silk create
                         Washington, a political city, elegant        gold, make an immediate impact, while      a sense of intimacy.
                         and different to the rest of the country,”   mashrabia detailing works its way
                         Gomez explained. “The town is totally        across the marble floor.                    COLOURFUL CREATIONS
                         beige (the colour of the stone) and             “In the lobby entrance hall, the idea   While the lobby revels in its monochro-
                         white, so I added black, which means         was to have water, as a symbol of an       matic splendour, dining areas are strik-
                         luxury in the Occident, and gold, which      Arabic garden, going through the hall      ing in their use of colour. Red and black
                         is common in the culture.”                   and ending up outside,” said Gomez.        dominate in the El Patio restaurant,

                                                                6      7

30    AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                           
                          An en-suite Bathroom?
                            A basement or loft
                           SANIFLO macerator
                         pumping systems enable
                           you to add facilities
                            almost anywhere.

            Don’t move… Improve!

    UAE              QATAR         

                                                                                                            8      9

                      8    which opens up onto the park. A Moroc-      add a touch of modernity. The floors are    main room. The panels can be opened
     Plexiglass panels     can carpet custom-designed by Gomez         black, as are the big Moroccan doors,      up to offer views of the gardens and the
 separate the rooms        boldly reiterates the colour scheme.        which have been lacquered in a shiny       city, from the bathroom.
      and bathrooms,          Inspired by the 1930s and 40s, the       black. We then introduced the colours         In the larger suites, mashrabia plays
 and can be opened         space is highly geometric, with one         of spices,” Gomez said.                    an even more dominant role, with de-
up to offer extensive      wall entirely covered with a reproduc-         An aura of intimacy is continued in     signs making their way on to the carpet-
      views of the city.   tion of a traditional design by Douanier    the Amber Bar. “This is the most spec-     ing, onto wooden panels on the walls,
                           Rousseau. All the while, an assembly        tacular space for me, with the bar and     and onto oversized art work. “Attention
                      9    of mirrors creates a sense of openness.     the wall behind it all in lit alabaster.   to detail, particularly when it comes to
        Rooms feature      “All of the furniture has been specially    The ceiling is in copper and the walls     furniture, gives these suites the feel of
       vibrant colours.    designed, with round sofas and five          are a patchwork of nine redesigned ex-     a very luxurious private house, rather
                           different kinds of chairs, all in red and   amples of mashrabia, in gold. The floor     than a hotel,” said Gomez.
                     10    white,” Gomez detailed.                     is made of Moroccan marble and all the        “I love this project,” he added. “I
             Suites are       In the Moroccan restaurant, Al           furniture is black, white and bronze.”     like the way that from the lobby to the
      designed to feel     Warda, warm colours mingle with Mo-            The mashrabia theme continues in        restaurants and to the rooms, there
       like a luxurious    roccan-inspired lights and 1960s-style      the rooms and suites, where black slid-    is a continuation of the same ideas,
        private home,      furniture. “We kept the antique ceilings    ing mashrabia panels made from plexi-      the same combinations and the same
     Gomez explained.      and introduced painted aluminium to         glass separate the bathroom from the       sense of luxury.”


32    AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                           

                                                    Beirut bound

                                    t a time when Middle Eastern     people,” explained Shady Bou Saba,        malls. “We have a lot of investment
                                    economies are still reeling      whose company specialises in the          going on in Beirut, and the market is
                                    from the impact of the global    burgeoning field of pharmacy design.       getting bigger by the day. Sometimes we
                                    financial crisis, and are grap-   “They all save money to buy a fancy car   have to refuse projects because we’re
                        pling to regain lost ground, Lebanon’s       or clothes. The design of homes, hotels   overloaded,” he said.
                        interior design industry is experiencing     and restaurants follows that trend. You      To state that Lebanon boasts the most
                        unparalleled growth, with many design-       can see a Lebanese man, for example,      sophisticated interior design industry in
                        ers claiming they have more work than        wearing expensive clothes, living in an   the Middle East does not do the industry
                        they can handle.                             expensive house, but he’ll only have      justice, claimed Bou Saba. “We are
                           Businesses, whether restaurants,          two dollars in his pocket.”               more advanced than America here. We
                        hotels, banks or pharmacies, are                Dany Ghanem of Dany Ghanem Inte-       are more like Italy. And the Lebanese
                        increasingly catering for consumers with     rior Design has also seen an increase     people are becoming even more sophis-
                        a finely honed sense of aesthetics. “It’s     in commercial projects, especially        ticated; they need to see new things,
                        about the mentality of the Lebanese          restaurants, nightclubs and shopping      new designs, all the time.”

34   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                         
                                                                                                        DESTINATION FOCUS: LEBANON

                                                                                         work. “It’s difficult to find good people
                                                                                         to execute the projects,” noted Kabbara.
                                                                                         “Professionals who know new materials
                                                                                         from around the world, who know about
                                                                                         the different kinds of wood, who have
                                                                                         experience – those people are rare.”
                                                                                            Qualified contractors are often
                                                                                         overworked, and cannot take on many
                                                                                         projects at the same time, thus decreas-
                                                                                         ing the amount of work that can be done.
                                                                                            Although Lebanon was relatively
                                                                                         untouched by the global financial crisis,
                                                                                         its volatile political situation has given
                                                                                         many international investors cause for
                                                                                         concern. This uncertainty makes it dif-
                                                                                         ficult to formulate long-term plans, said
                                                                                         Traboulsi. “Politicians come and tell us
                                                                                         that we’re going to have a good summer,
                                                                                         or a prosperous year ahead, but this is
                                                                                         not what we want. We want to plan for
                                                                                         the coming years; we want to know that
                                                                                         the next five, 10, 15 or 20 years are go-
                                                                                         ing to be stable.”
                                                                                            Obegi Better Home’s Jal El Dib
                                                                                         showroom features high-end designer
                                                                                         brands from Italy, and deals extensively
                                                                                         with interior designers. And although
                                                                                         Lebanese clients appreciate and are
                                                                                         prepared to pay for high-quality de-
                                                                                         signer furniture, Traboulsi believes that
                                                                                         the 30% customs tax imposed by the
                                                                                         government prices many more potential
                                                                                         clients out of the market.
                                                                                            “Taking the tax and cost of transporta-
                                                                                         tion into account, our prices here are
                                                                                         30% to 40% more than in Europe. This
                                                                                         is our main challenge, to explain to our
                                                                                         customers why our prices are they way
                                                                                         they are,” he said.
                                                                                             “We try to compensate with the ser-
                                                                                         vice and the choice,” he continued. “If
                                                                                         people see something on the internet,
                                                                                         they can only look at the picture, but we
   Elie Traboulsi, general manager of        very expensive,” said Ghassan Kabbara,      carry the stock. They can come and have
home furniture at Lebanon headquar-          managing director of Harmouch Design,       a look, they can try it and touch it. It
tered Obegi Better Home, agreed.             a company with more than 50 years’          is very important to us that we can pro-
“We’re much closer to Europe than to         experience in Lebanon, which counts         vide this service.”
the Middle East. For other countries in      the Al Bustan Hotel, Hilton Hotel and          Lebanese clients demand a more
the region, we’ve always been a window       Bank Audi amongst its many high-profile      hands-on role in the design and execu-
to what’s happening in Europe. Instead       clients. “Companies come to us because      tion of their projects than their GCC
of going to Italy, France or Germany,        they know the quality of our work. They     counterparts, Traboulsi suggested. “In
people from the region come to Lebanon       pay money for our experience and ideas,     the Gulf, clients come to you, they give
to see what the latest trends are.”          and because they know we have a good        you the plan and let you do the whole
   With a keen eye for style and a natural   reputation,” he said.                       job from A to Z. In Lebanon, clients know
love of aesthetics, many Lebanese               As demand for good interior design       exactly what they want. They are grateful
are prepared to pay for high-quality         increases, so does the market’s need for    for the help, but they like to have their       1
materials and services. “Our fees are        professional contractors to carry out the   own touch.”                                     Beirut.                                                                                   Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   35


                           Refined design

                                           2                                3

36   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                         
                                                                                                            DESTINATION FOCUS: LEBANON

           he new Le Gray Hotel Beirut       three pieces of art that have been con-         in the lobby. Decorated with cut-out but-
           has only been open for nine       sidered, and I think that’s what makes          terflies and flowers, the wall stands as a
           months, yet so perfectly does     our design shine out as being lovely.”          “traffic-stopping piece of design”, said
           the building complement its          The hotel’s interiors reflect Lebanon’s       Campbell Gray. “The woman we found
surroundings that one has the feeling        love affair with wood. Cedar features           to do it just did lampshades – it’s really
that it has always been there. Framed        strongly and timber adds to the rich-           about finding the right artisans and ask-
by the Blue Mosque, Martyr’s Square          ness of the design. The custom-made             ing them to go a little further.”
and the refurbished Ottoman buildings        furniture, original to Le Gray Beirut, is all       Yet all the design in the hotel, Camp-
of Downtown Beirut, the striking seven-      made of walnut.                                 bell Grey claimed, would be meaning-
storey hotel offers views of Lebanon’s          Stone floors, timber ceilings, natural        less if it were not also comfortable. “I’d
famous snow-capped mountains on              slate and granite underpin the design,          say that a lot of contemporary design
one side, and the azure waters of the        and are complemented by handmade                has started to get very into its own self-
Mediterranean Sea on the other.              silk, wool and cotton fabrics. Clean,           importance, and doesn’t really serve a           1
   The hotel is the fourth property to       clutter-free surfaces give a final sooth-        purpose. I think the new wave of hotels          The hotel features
bear the Campbell Gray name, and             ing touch to the hotel’s restrained style.      have almost become a cliché of their             “traffic-stopping”
marks the company’s first foray into             The pool and bar area embody the             own modernity and silliness.”                    design features, says
the Middle East. “It’s not so much the       sensuality and hedonism that has                    A piece of furniture which is not com-       Campbell Gray.
Middle East I’m interested in,” said         come to symbolise Beirut. The rooftop           fortable cannot be an example of good
Gordon Campbell Gray, chairman of            purple-glass infinity pool is flanked by          design, he said. The definition of luxury,        2
Campbell Gray Hotels, “but Beirut.”          sunloungers and tables in blood red,            he continued, relating an anecdote, “is          The property is set
   When Campbell Gray speaks of              “the last colour you’d expect to put in         coming home and having somewhere                 in the heart of
Beirut, it is almost how one would           the heat”, according to Campbell Gray.          to put my keys”.                                 downtown Beirut.
speak of a lover; in his eyes, the city is      “I think we’ve gotten sexier with this           “In reality it’s about sitting at a desk
sexy, voluptuous, sumptuous. And like        hotel than we’ve ever done before and           and the reading light being perfect, and         3
a lover with gifts, Campbell Gray has        maybe it’s given us a taste to do it again      the bedside table being the right size –         The atrium
lavished on the city what he believes to     in other places,” he said.                      just being layers and layers of thinking         seating area.
be his sexiest hotel yet. Designed with         Along with Fox Linton, Campbell Gray         it through, so that when you sit down in
renowned interior designer Mary Fox          sourced and engaged international               the chair it doesn’t only look beautiful         4
Linton, the hotel has 87 rooms, includ-      artisans to produce the fabrics, lighting       but it’s also super comfortable.”                Rooms contain
ing 62 executive suites of 60m², 10 cor-     and furniture used in the hotel. “We                The curtains completely block out the        carefully-considered
ner suites of 90m², and two presidential     wanted lamps which look like indoor             light, the bed, sheets and pillows are of        pieces of art.
suites measuring 170m² and 220m².            standard lamps for the rooftop terrace,         the highest quality, and all the lamps
   More than 500 pieces of art, sourced      but they just don’t exist,” he explained.       in the room can be turned on and off             5
personally by Campbell Gray from Cuba        “We scoured the world and finally found          easily. “It’s so simplistic, but staying in      Gordon’s Cafe.
and the Middle East, adorn the walls.        somebody who could make them.”                  fabulous hotels around the world as I
“We have a fantastic art collection,” he        A signature design piece of Le Gray          do, it really is amazing how uncomfort-          6
said. “It’s about the rooms having two or    Beirut is the backlit metal wall exhibited      able they can be.”                               The pool lounge.

                                       4                                               5      6                                                                                        Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010     37
                                                                                                           SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW

                           KITCHEN SUPPLIERS
                           YOU SHOULD KNOW
                                     he kitchen has evolved into         Islands, meanwhile, are “an              gadgetry. Recessed handles, pull-out
                                     the heart of the home. Where     invaluable place for storage, food          larders, swing corner cabinets and
                                     food preparation used to be      preparation and cooking. Simply             glass bottom drawers are all becoming
                                     confined to a separate space      position some stools and you can dine,      increasingly prevalent.
                           away from the rest of the house, it        read, chat or simply chill out,” he said.      Sustainability is also having a
                           has now become a key social activity          Cherry, maple and white alder            notable impact in the kitchen. “Energy-
                           – and kitchen design has responded         remain popular choices when it comes        saving light fi xtures have made great
                           accordingly. Befitting its newfound         to cabinetry, but there is a growing        strides, as seen in CFL and LED fi xtures.
                           status as the hub of the home, the         trend towards combining colours in          Water-saving faucets are in vogue with
                           kitchen is becoming bigger and more        the kitchen space, agreed Mohammed          the standard ones phasing out and the
                           design orientated.                         Junaid, head of sales at Palmonade.         pullout and pot-filler faucets stealing
                              Current trends favour curves, islands   “Mixing and matching colours is also        the limelight,” noted Mohd Omar
                           and high-gloss finishes, according          very much in vogue, for instance            Shareef, assistant manager, sales and
                           to Tony Lamb, managing director,           designing a kitchen in dark oak veneer      operations, of Mac Al Gurg.
                           Under One Roof. “Curves are currently      with high-gloss white lacquer doors,”          Over the next few pages, Commercial
                           extremely popular to create a flow          Junaid explained.                           Interior Design speaks to leading
                           to the scheme, often in contrasting           With sleek and streamlined               kitchen suppliers about these trends
                           colours to the main kitchen for added      kitchens proving popular, the trend         and asks them to unveil some of their
                           interest,” he noted.                       is also towards intelligent design and      latest offerings.                                                                                   Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   39

Obegi Home

                                                CID speaks to Julia Dickerson, interior    happened completely independently
                                                designer, Obegi Home.                      of the family, to now where we see the
                                                                                           open plan kitchen taking hold. It is
                                                Tell us about your company.                the hub of the home, a place for all to
                                                Established in 1973 in Lebanon, Obegi      gather, where cooking and food prepa-
                                                Home has been a cornerstone of design      ration is an event for the whole family.
                                                for over four decades. Since opening       Varenna offers the range, selection and
                                                its Dubai showroom in 2007, Obegi has      flexibility to create a kitchen that not
                                                forged a unique reputation, partnering     only functions for the unique needs of
                                                with the world’s leading manufacturers     individuals but features materials that
                                                and designers of quality contemporary      truly reflect personal styles.
                                                and classical/contemporary furniture
                                                for the home, as well as kitchens, ward-   What’s new?
                                                robes, lighting and outdoor furniture.     One of the latest additions to the
                                                Obegi Home is committed to only work-      Varenna family is Twelve, designed by
                                                ing with manufacturers that produce an     leading international architect Carlo
                                                all-encompassing level of quality and      Colombo. This new solution from Va-
                                                design, providing the highest levels of    renna is a unique design that features
                                                comfort and durability over time. These    a 12mm thick worktop, including glass
                                                brands include Baker from the US and       top, and components, pioneering the
                                                Giorgetti and Poliform from Italy.         slick slimline trend in kitchens. Moving
                                                                                           away from the traditionally chunky
                                                What kitchen products do you offer?        kitchen, Twelve’s essential concept
                                                The 100% made-in-Italy Varenna             boasts minimal horizontal thicknesses
                                                kitchen collection by Poliform com-        and maximum width of surfaces. With
                                                prises six different contemporary styles   a notable absence of handles, Twelve
                                                and, within this, a plethora of finishes,   functions with an intelligent electronic
                                                colours and materials. It offers a free-   sensory opening system.
                                                dom of composition and personalised
                                                solutions for different lifestyles.        How do we contact you?
                                                                                           Visit our showroom on Umm Al Sheif
                                                Latest trends?                             Road, off Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm
                                                The kitchen is an ever-evolving part of    Suqeim 1, Dubai. Tel: +971 (0)4 394
                                                the home – from the era of being out-      8161; email:;
                                                side the house, where food preparation     website:

40   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                     
                                                                                                    SUPPLIERS YOU SHOULD KNOW

                                                                Catching up with Mohammed Junaid,          Any recent developments?
                                                                head of sales at Palmonade.                We launched Palmonade, Dubai’s first
                                                                                                           kitchen emporium, in November last
                                                                Tell us about your company.                year, and it has been an enormous
                                                                Palmonade is Dubai’s first kitchen          success. Footfall has been excellent
                                                                emporium. It is the first company in        and customer feedback has been very
                                                                Dubai to bring three famous European       encouraging. We are already identify-
                                                                brands under one roof: Valcucine and       ing new emerging markets to launch
                                                                Ernestomeda, which are both Italian,       our next branch in.
                                                                and Keller from Holland. Palmonade
                                                                is not just a kitchen company, it is the   Latest trends?
                                                                UAE’s foremost kitchen specialist,         The latest trend is minimalist kitchens
                                                                and going forward we aspire to be the      that are sleek and streamlined. Mix-
                                                                region’s foremost kitchen specialist.      ing and matching colours is also very
                                                                We offer a full circle service, from       much in vogue. Handle-less kitchens,
                                                                home survey, design and planning to        or recessed handles, are also liked
                                                                final home check upon completion.           by many customers. A kitchen user
                                                                Palmonade has an ever-growing repu-        always loves gadgets like pull-out
                                                                tation for its customer service and this   larders with chrome baskets, pull and
                                                                is unmatched in the market.                swing corner cabinets, glass bottom
                                                                                                           drawers and glass worktops.
                                                                Best-selling products?
                                                                Since we have the three brands,            How do we contact you?
                                                                which were chosen strategically to         Palmonade is on Jumeirah Beach
                                                                cater to any price point, we can offer a   Road. You can download a location
                                                                kitchen to pretty much fit any sensible,    map from our website: www.

  Palmonade                                                     decent budget. Prospective clients
                                                                looking for a new kitchen do not have
                                                                to look any further.
                                                                                                  Tel: +971 (0)4
                                                                                                           3488140 or +971 (0)55 2245631;

CID talks to Arturo Manso, managing        options and variety across models
director, Middle East and UAE.

Tell us about your company.
                                           than other brands, providing a seam-
                                           less blend of design and function.
                                           Within the cooking range, Teka’s 90cm
TEKA Küchentechnik is a German
brand that offers a fully integrated
range of high-quality built-in kitchen
                                           ovens and microwaves have the big-
                                           gest capacity in the market, and its
                                           range of cooker hoods have a bigger
appliances, including ovens, hobs,         exhaust capacity, with lower noise
hoods, microwaves, refrigerators,          levels as well.
washing machines and dishwashers,
along with kitchen sinks and mixers.       Any recent developments?
It has 33 subsidiaries worldwide and       Teka has recently implemented
34 factories. The company covers all       a green line strategy to promote
different product ranges, in terms of      a healthy environmental attitude
category and price, from the most          throughout the organisation. This pro-
innovative, modern and sophisti-           cess has involved all value-added ac-
cated products to models with basic        tivities in all our production processes
features. Teka is the manufacturer;        and systems. These initiatives have
therefore it provides logistical and       come together to form the TECOS plan
commercial support, without any            (Teka Environmental Commitment &
agent or intermediate, through its         Sustainability). See
regional offices and official dealers.       The TECOS commitment is not only an
                                           internal policy, as it extends to end
Best-selling products?                     users, partners and suppliers alike.
Teka’s best-selling products come
from the cooking line, as well as sinks,   How do we contact you?
since we are the world’s second larg-      Call toll free 800 TEKA, or contact Teka
est sink manufacturer. As specialists      through its website: or
in that particular field, we offer more     via email:                                                                              Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   41

                                                                     By Tony Lamb, managing director.          advice and service, and a single point
                                                                                                               of contact for our customers.
                                                                     Tell us about your company.
                                                                     We began with a product called Per-       Recent developments?
                                                                     maglaze, which is a proprietary glaze     We are increasingly working with
                                                                     that we have exclusive rights to in the   interior designers on their projects as
                                                                     Middle East. This product can reglaze a   we make their life easier. And as the
                                                                     wide variety of items quickly and cost-   exclusive Metris dealer in the UAE, we
                                                                     effectively in a wide range of colours    are also delighted that the Metris Wave
                                                                     and finishes, including baths, tiles,      Curve has won the prestigious 2010
                                                                     kitchen cupboards, interior doors and     Grand Designs best kitchen award.
                                                                     skirting boards, and window frames.
                                                                     As we grew, our customers asked us        Latest trends?
                                                                     to undertake more and more work           Curves, islands and high-gloss finish-
                                                                     because they told us they wanted to       es. Curved worktop profiles and curved
                                                                     get everything they needed to improve     ends to the unit create an organic look
                                                                     their property under one roof – hence     that’s more child-friendly. The trend to
                                                                     the name and the concept was born!        open-plan living is raising the profile of
                                                                     We provide a comprehensive service        the island unit, and it’s becoming the
                                                                     in that we have access to a group of      hub of the kitchen, both socially and
                                                                     professionals, business partners and      functionally. Gloss is a leading theme
                                                                     exclusive suppliers who can address       and is now the most popular finish in
                                                                     all property requirements, all from our   the contemporary scene.
                                                                     showroom near Times Square.
                                                                     From internal and external painting       How do we contact you?
                                                                     work, structural renovations, bathroom    We can be found in showroom 21,

 Under One Roof                                                      makeovers, tiling or designing and
                                                                     installing your dream kitchen, Under
                                                                     One Roof offers excellent standards of
                                                                                                               Street 8, Al Quoz 3, Dubai. Tel: +971
                                                                                                               (0)4 323 2722. For more information,

By Mohd. Omar Shareef, assistant                Recent developments?
manager, sales and operations.                  We recently formed an association
                                                with Aran kitchens, a leader in Italian
Tell us about your company.                     exports. Keeping up with the MAC
Mac Al Gurg is a part of the Easa Saleh         fervour, we are also planning to venture
Al Gurg Group. From our inception in            into the retail business exclusively for
1974, we have been a leader in the con-         kitchens and sanitaryware, with a new
struction industry. With a head office           showroom planned for Dubai.
in Dubai and branches in Abu Dhabi, Al
Ain and Muscat, Mac Al Gurg boasts a            Latest trends?
diversified product range encompass-             Traditional designs will continue, with
ing Yorkshire copper tubes and fittings,         contemporary following closely behind,
sanitaryware from Armitage Shanks,              while the shaker style is witnessing
kitchens, Ductile iron manhole covers           a surprisingly strong resurgence. An
and frames, drainage solutions from             open floorplan design concept is in
Blucher and Frost, and pipe joint sys-          demand and the social urge has made
tems from Viking Johnson. The kitchens          kitchen islands larger.
division of Mac Al Gurg represents the          Cherry remains the most popular colour
best kitchen brands from the UK and             for kitchen cabinetry, followed closely
Italy, and is aggressively involved in          by maple and white alder. Colours and
project and retail business.                    textures which do not match but blend
                                                very well are getting a closer look.
What are your best-selling kitchens?            Environmental awareness has had an
Our best-selling kitchen models are             impact on kitchen design as well.
Softec Cherry, Shaker Walnut and Char-
acter Oak. Other than the brands we             How do we contact you?
represent, we also have our own brand,
Mac Kitchens, which caters to budget
kitchen options.
                                                Tel: +971 (0)4 2661291; web: www.
                                      ; email: mcalgurg@
                                                                                           Mac Al Gurg
42   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                          

                                 New on the market
                                 Arturo Alvarez has unveiled Hexa,      is mixed with silicone to create a    ARTURO ALVAREZ
                                 a wall/ceiling lamp that combines      product that is flexible, washable,    +34 981 814600
                                 geometry and light to create an infi-   malleable and pleated to provide a
                                 nite number of combinations. Mesh      warm, all-encompassing light.                                                                           Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   45

Ofis has unveiled the latest                up-and-coming Spanish designer,
addition to its extensive product          Mario Ruiz. “We gave him 100%
portfolio. Mosaico, a range                freedom to create something
of office desks from Spanish                different,” said Inazio Eguskiza,
company, Coinma, answers calls             Coinma’s export manager. “The
for practical yet stylish workplace        end result is light, fresh and
solutions. It combines C-shaped            different – a breakthrough in
legs, a wooden top and an                  office furniture”.
effective wire management system
to create a lightweight, sculptural         OFIS
element. The contemporary                   +971 (0)4 330 9290
desking solution was designed by  

                                                                               TWO ALARM
                                                                               John Hutton Textiles has teamed      fabric, Two Alarm offers seven
                                                                               up with master technicians in        reversible colourways: Hot
                                                                               Germany to present a hot new         Chocolate, Hot Fudge, Black Out,
                                                                               fabric, Two Alarm. Made of           Hot Flash, Hot Shot, Hot Springs
                                                                               100% Trevira CS, it meets the        or Hotsy Totsy.
                                                                               strictest fire codes for demanding
                                                                               contract applications. For use       JOHN HUTTON TEXTILES
                                                                               as a black-out drapery, with no      +1 972 823 2322
                                                                               lining needed, or as an upholstery

Natuzzi has introduced Novecento, a modular wall unit
collection that can be fully customised. The collection
features a variety of separate pieces, including a sideboard,
wall shelves, benches, drawers, cabinets and TV elements.

+971 (0)4 338 0777

46   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                      
 GEZE Middle East | P.O. Box 17903 | Jebel Ali Free Zone | Dubai U.A.E. | Tel: +971 4 8833112 | Fax:+971 4 8833240 | |


GEZE Automatic Door Systems - Unlimited options for your door solutions

The Slimdrive sliding door range: Reduction and perfection are close friends. The very low
construction height enables almost invisible integration into the facade.

GEZE is a German manufacturer with a prestigious heritage of innovative systems for door and
window technology. GEZE was founded in year 1863 and is a family owned company.

Door Technology | Automatic Door Systems | RWA and Ventilation Systems | Safety Technology | Glass Systems

                                                                                                                    BEWEGUNG MIT SYSTEM

                                               BE AN
E                             HIBITIONIST
                                                A NEW DECADE OF DESIGN
                                                INDEX DESIGN SHOW
                                                8–11 NOVEMBER 2010
                                                DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE
                                                Book your stand now by calling
                                                +971 (0)4 438 0355 or email

                                                                                Official Media Partner:     Co-located with:

                                                         SERVICES      BATHROOMS                         UPHOLSTERY FABRICS

                                                                     Coast is a comfortable, informal      padding is made of a sumptuous
                                                                     sofa designed by Francesco Rota       quilted cotton cover filled with
                                                                     for Arketipo. An unbroken line        goose down.
                                                                     links the back and arms, and sur-
                                                                     rounds a big, comfortable seat.        ARKETIPO
                                                                     The metal structure grants the         +39 055 887 6248
                                                                     sofa with solidity, while the seat

J+J/Invision has launched          The new colourways were
Shantung Couture, the latest       selected to have global appeal,
addition to its Second Nature      with an overall palette that is
collection. Second Nature          both harmonious and alluring.     SHALLIMAR
plays on the variations of thick   Shantung Couture is standard      Part of the Medley Collection         installed to make a statement
and thin, lustre and matte, and    as broadloom, but available       from Ronald Redding Designs,          on one wall or be combined with
smooth and textured. Shan-         optionally as Nexusmodular.       the hand-painted Shallimar mural      other murals.
tung Couture features 22 new                                         is inspired by a century-old Japa-
colourways, along with three       J+J/INVISION                      nese painting. The mural consists      YORK WALLCOVERINGS
existing colourways taken from     +1 800 241 4585                   of six panels that measure 3.96m       +1 717 846 4456
its sister product, Shantung.               wide by 3.65m high. They can be                                                                        Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010   49

                                                                             New from Pedrali, Pasha is an          version. It is suitable both for
                                                                             elegant and stylish take on the        indoor and outdoor areas.
                                                                             classic armchair. Made in injection
                                                                             moulded polycarbonate, it is avail-    PEDRALI
                                                                             able in a white and black glossy       + 39 0358 3588
                                                                             finish, as well as a transparent

 CUBO 2010
 The UAE’s online furniture                The product offers a smooth,
 and lifestyle store, Filini, has          curved-corner design, available
 unveiled the latest addition              in four different shades, and     NOAH
 to its growing catalogue of               is also fitted with a full-range   Indigo Living is launching a new       rigorous European health and
 products, the Sonoro Audio                speaker integrated with a bass-   range of children’s furniture in the   safety standards. It comprises
 Cubo 2010. Designed and                   reflex tube.                       UAE. The Noah collection is built      eight individual ivory-white bed-
 crafted by Germany’s Sonoro                                                 with youngsters in mind: rounded       room furniture pieces.
 Audio, the Cubo 2010 is a sleek            FILINI                           edges, big handles and no gaps
 and stylish CD/MP3 player,                 +971 (0)4 323 3636               for hands to get stuck in! For         INDIGO LIVING
 clock radio and iPod dock.                           parents’ additional peace of mind,     +971 (0)4 339 7705
                                                                             the collection also conforms to

50   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                          

                  HOTELIER MIDDLE EAST:

                                                                                   126 HO
                                                                                 GMS A TEL
                                                                                  CONFI EADY
                                                                                  TO ATT ED




                                             MEDIA PARTNERS

                            SARAH WORTH ON +9714 2108595 OR

One of the hottest selling Indian goods
in the world economy, Indian coir is
hitting the market in a diverse array of
products, ranging from mats to pith and
carpets to geotextiles. Coir is a highly
natural fibre with all the advantages of
being eco-friendly. It is biodegradable
and can be utilised in a large number of
ways. When it comes to mats, mattings,
rugs, carpets and mattresses, Indian
coir assumes various shapes. With great
absorbency and excellent scraping prop-
erties, coir products are ideal in both
indoor and outdoor applications. They
also come in all price ranges. Mean-
while, coir ply has been found to be a
useful substitute to traditional wood.
Made from coir that is impregnated with
phenolic resin and pre-treated planta-
tion timber veneers, coir ply can be used
to build cupboards, wardrobes, kitchen
cabinets, cots, study units, wall panel-
ling, false ceilings, partitions, display
panels and roofing.

+91 484 235 1807

52   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design

Project Focus

                                                                  O M A N P R O J EC T S D ATA B A S E
 PROJECT TITLE                              CLIENT                              CONSULTANT                     MAIN CONTR ACTOR                   VALUE /         PROJECT STATUS PROJECT
                                                                                                                                                  VALUE RANGE                    T YPE
                                                                                                                                                  (US$. MN)
 World of Salalah                           Ministry of Tourism / United Real   Option One                     Wara Construction Company          101 - 250       Project under          Shopping
                                            Estate Company                                                                                                        construction           Centre
 Renovation of InterContinental Hotel       Omran Office                         Pentago Spowers International Not Appointed                       31 - 100        Project under design   Hotel
 in Muscat
 Dhofar University in Salalah - Pack 1      Dhofar University                   National Engineering Office     Al-Hashemi & Al-Rawas              21              Project under          Educational
                                                                                                               Company                                            construction           Facilities
 New Television Studio Complex              Ministry of Information             Austro Consult                 Bahwan Contracting Company         33              Project under          Others
 M.E.D.C Headoffice at Azaiba                Muscat Electricity Distribution     Abdullah Mukadam & Partners Not Appointed                         2.5 - 15        Project under design   Commercial
                                            Company                                                                                                                                      Buildings
 Development of Jabal Al Akhdar Resort      Omran Office                         AW2                            Not Appointed                      31 - 100        Project under design   Hotel
 Fairmont Hotel                             Fairmont Hotel & Resorts/The        Echo Designer Consultants      Not Appointed                      101 - 250       Project under design   Hotel
                                            Wave Muscat
 Crowne Plaza Duqum Hotel                   Omran Office/Inter Continental       KEO International              Not Appointed                      251 - 500       Project under design   Hotel
                                            Hotel Group
 Hospital in South Salalah                  Ministry of Defence                 Ibn Khaldun                    International Contractors          16 - 30         Project under          Hospital
                                                                                                               Company                                            construction
 Psychiatric Hospital at Al Amerat          Ministry of Health                  Khatib and Alami               Bahwan Contracting Company         107             Project under          Hospital
 Renovation of Sheraton Oman Hotel          Al Hasher Group                     Atkins                         Zubair Furnishing                  25              Project under          Hotel
 The Malkai at Barka                        Al Maeen Real Estate Services       Triad Oman/AW2                 Not Appointed                      250             Project under design   Mixed Use
 Musandam Airport                           Ministry of Transport &             Not Appointed                  Not Appointed                      101 - 250       Award awaited for the Airport
                                            Communication                                                                                                         consultancy contract
 Bone Marrow Transplant Unit Block          Sultan Qaboos University Hospital   Gulf Engineering Consultancy   Not Appointed                      16 - 30         Project under design   Hospital
 Commercial Building in Saham               Mr. Rashid Al Kalbani               Abdullah Mukadam & Partners Century Harwes Trading and            6               Project under          Commercial
                                                                                                            Contracting                                           construction           Buildings
 International Maritime College Oman        Ministry of Manpower                Gulf Engineering Consultancy   Al Khalili United Enterprises      35              Project under          Educational
                                                                                                                                                                  construction           Facilities
 National Cardiology Centre at Royal        Ministry of Health                  Asi Etudes                     Galfar Engineering &               21              Project under          Hospital
 Hospital                                                                                                      Contracting                                        construction
 Redevelopment of the Crowne Plaza          Ministry of Tourism                 Consulting Engineering         Not Appointed                      31 - 100        Project under design   Hotel
 Resort Salalah                                                                 Services
 Court Complex at Al-Buraimi                Ministry of Justice                 Sundaram Architects            Al Adrak Trading & Contracting 15                  Project under          Others
 Natural History Museum in Muscat           Ministry of Heritage & Culture      Consulting Engineering         Not Appointed                      16 - 30         Project under design   Recreational
                                                                                Services                                                                                                 Facilities
 Headquarters Building for Occidental       Occidental Oman                     National Engineering Office     Not Appointed                      2.5 - 15        Project under design   Commercial
 Oman                                                                                                                                                                                    Buildings
                       Note: The above information is the sole property of Ventures Middle East LLC and cannot be published without the expressed permission of Ventures Middle East LLC, Abu Dhabi, UAE

86 C
www arabianbusiness tcom/constructiont b 2007
              i lI i D i O                                                                                                                     Commercial Interior Design November 2007 t 101
                                                                                                                                                                       bi b i       /      ti                                                                                                                          Commercial Interior Design | AUGUST 2010        55

                       The changing
                       face of wallpaper
                        BY BJÖRN NIL SSON

                                         allpaper is undergoing       stick with neutral colours to give the illu-   their primary method of expression, this
                                         a transformation at the      sion that walls are further away than they     exhibition provided a sincere exploration
                                         moment, in terms of the      really are or, to create a higher ceiling      of the possibilities and power of print.
                                         public’s understanding of    effect, use wallpaper with narrow stripes         An Eco-Boråstapeter wallpaper is char-
                        what it can do for a space. No longer is      of soft pastel colours and white.              acterised by being distinctive without
                        wallpaper just an alternative to paint – it      Fashion designers have also moved           being too extreme, which is very timely
                        is now being used as an extension of de-      from the catwalk to the wall. Vivienne         and appropriate for the market. The key
                        signers’ canvases, whether it be fashion      Westwood has recently realised that a          words are young, individual and trendy.
                        or art. Technological developments in         flat surface is just as good a canvas as a      The hottest trends right now are smaller
                        wallpaper, ranging from self-cleaning to      body for her art. Westwood’s range, for all    patterns and the mixing of mini and maxi
                        scented (both general and ‘scratch and        the rebellious attitude of her fashion col-    designs. Turquoise meets pastels, but
                        sniff’) are also making it much more than     lections, is surprisingly demure and the       also the white-like and black-like, which
                        just decoration for the home or office.        majority of her prints translate beautifully   is to say whites and blacks that absorb
                            Wallpaper once knew its place. Its        from body to wall. Wallcoverings are also      other colours.
                        role as a quiet, decorative backdrop was      receiving international acclaim through           So the agreed consensus is that wall-
                        universally acknowledged. Occasionally,       awards such as the Elle Decoration             coverings are developing into more than
                        it played a more prominent role as a bold     Design Award – which Eco-Boråstapeter          just a backdrop. They are more economi-
                        feature wall. Now, however, technological     won last year for its London design.           cal, last longer and have much more pur-
                        advances and aesthetic development               Recently, the first major UK exhibition      pose in the home and commercial space
                        have turned the medium into a power-          of artists’ wallpapers, with work by over      than just a form of interior decoration.
                        fully expressive and creative force.          30 artists including Andy Warhol, Sarah        They are also a way of communication
                            Of course, interior designers no longer   Lucas and Damien Hirst, went on display        by expressing strong messages through
                        talk about wallpaper – it’s wallcover-        in Manchester, England.                        art, a way to change a space and a way to
                        ings – as the concept of wallpaper has           Kitsch ideas of home decoration were        display one’s personality through design
                        developed away from just paper with the       turned upside down as artists subverted        and colour choice.
                        use of new materials. Technology has          stereotypes of wallpaper by expressing            With regards to the development of
                        stepped in and created products with          messages about warfare, racism, cultural       wallpaper in the Middle East, it is un-
                        compounds that make them washable,            conflicts and gender.                           doubtedly growing, in line with construc-
                        pre-pasted, long lasting and bespoke,            The paper in the exhibition provided        tion development. Where there are walls,
                        allowing people to reproduce any style        an unprecedented insight into this bold        there will be wallcoverings.
                        from any period.                              and progressive contemporary art form.
                            Wallpaper can also play an important      Wallpaper has long been thought of as          Björn Nilsson is design manager at
                        role in changing the features of a room.      a backdrop to the main event, yet with         Eco-Boråstapeter, available from
                        Few know of the unique features that can      design expanding into this area of the         Kollektion General Trading, Dubai.
                        be obtained with wallpaper, and how           industry, and with so many prominent de-       Tel: +971 (0)4 3306899; email: info@the
                        it can transform a space – for example,       signers and artists using the medium as;

56   AUGUST 2010 | Commercial Interior Design                                                                                

To top