This project in particular has sentimental value to me. The Ghazale Residence is three-story villa which is a collaborative work between architect Gilbert Zarka and myself, Sahar Ghazale.
Located in Chtoura, in the beautiful Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, this residence stands out in terms of design. It is the only such architecture in the area, as opposed to the traditional designs surrounding it.
On the exterior facades, we used Basalt stone in both white and grey, and Béton brut (architectural concrete). You will notice several volumetric elements such as concrete pergolas, a 13m high chimney and high glass structures allowing as much light as possible into the house. One of the main features of the garden is the shallow pool with fountains and teak wood pergolas.
In more than one area there are double height voids and skylights. Even the basement enjoys natural sunlight through a garden continuing from the exterior to the interior. The main entrance boasts a long runway of stamped concrete in two different grey tones with contracting white sea stones flanking from both sides leading to a 3meter high solid walnut main door.
The owner is a person who loves his garden and cherishes every single plant, thus requested numerous water features and a beautiful olive tree he raised on a separate hill. Palm trees which are usually synonymous with humid and hot areas such as the gulf, composed a large portion of the plantation in the garden of this villa, something which is unusual for this specific location.
The interior design is a continuation of the exterior. The basalt stone continues to the inside on numerous walls. A red wall supports the main staircase. Apart from that all finishes are in neutral tones indicating luxury and simplicity. Wood used on the ground level is Palisander which contrasts beautifully with the dark tinted walnut doors. All doors were in the form of panels reaching ceiling height.
Most of the furniture used was from Roche Bobois, which is the owner’s favorite brand. Ceiling design is very simple. Lighting is mainly in the form of indirect lighting, halogen spotlights highlighted certain areas for warmer color effect. In future posts I will be introducing more interior photos of the different rooms on the upper floors.
For further information you can contact me directly on my contact page or email.
A few days ago, I was driving with my aunt; she is a smart lady, the kind of person you like from the first hello. We spotted an old white Rolls Royce passing by us and we started talking. She mentioned that she liked old cars, old fashion, old furniture specially 30 and 40’s. For her, they embedded a richness that people used to have in themselves, the showiness we experience nowadays but in a glamorous classy way. I tried to explain to her that furniture changed because our lives changed; palaces became villas and large homes became 3 bedrooms apartments. Not only kings and ministers own expensive furniture; now, everybody wants a Masterpiece in his house. In addition to the fact that life runs in a faster pace thus, as a joke, cleaning modern furniture is easier!
Then I started thinking; what was the real difference between the antique and the modern?
In the age of kings, the makers were not known. The furniture piece was called by the king’s era. No one ever heard of Charles Rohlfs or Thomas Chippendale or even George Hepplewhite who influenced the Regency era’s furniture. But I bet all the money in my pocket that nine of ten people can recognize Philip Stark or Le Corbusier or even Armani who started his home collection a few years ago.
Furniture in the past centuries relied on workmanship, full of moldings, animal and floral shapes. Furniture in the late 90 and 21st century relies on names and labels. The age of craftsmanship is over. Now is the time of designers!
Being more of a modern thinker, some would accuse me of trashing antique furniture, which is not true in anyway; I am sure these beautiful pieces have reached their purpose of showing off for the most ornamented piece in palaces of kings and queens. I am not elevating banality in design either, where four pieces of wood and a top make a table. I plead the case of creative modern design because they are down to earth, down to people who look for inspiration every day. The marketing movement made people believe that they are worthy of getting whatever they dream of. And they are!
While antique pieces sell richness and showiness, modern pieces sell esthetic and comfort. For me, a rich piece is not one with heavy ornament or even labeled by a famous designer; it is the piece that speaks to me, shares its rich visual in a space, bonds with the feeling and atmosphere that people are looking for.
The designer must sell his vision not his hand making, his concept not his label. Whether he/ she are marketing antique or modern designs, he/ she are reflecting a sentiment, a way of life and their vision to the buyer. I agree that everybody deserves to own treasures in their homes because everybody is allowed to realize their dreams.
So here is my vision: If your dream is to have a gigantic antique clock, buy it. If your dream is to have Le Corbusier’s relaxing chair, buy it. But don’t buy a Masterpiece to show off; buy a Masterpiece to fulfill its Master’s desire.
by Pascale Azzi – Interior Architect
I love how the UK based designers at Campaign came up with such an artistic and bold concept for Kirk Originals eyewear London flagship store. The shop is located on Conduit street and has become a design icon in a very short time.
There’s a new doll coming to the Barbie I Can Be… line this Fall 2011. It’s the Barbie I Can Be…Architect. The Barbie I Can Be line is truly showing girls that they can be anything they want to. From a vet or a movie star to a news anchor or an architect. In the 50 years of her career, this is the first time Barbie is an architect.
Girls can imagine designing their very own Dream House with Barbie® I Can Be…™ Architect. Ready to tackle the daily responsibilities of a real architect in or out of the office, Barbie® I Can Be…™ Architect includes a hard hat and a set of blue prints. Wearing an architecturally inspired dress showcasing a city skyline, Barbie® doll’s outfit is symmetrically stylish with bold colors and clean lines. In designing this doll, Barbie® partnered with the American Institute of Architects to keep Barbie® I Can Be… ™ Architect doll authentic to the career.
“New York City inspires and fuels everything I do. Donna Karan New York and DKNY embrace the energy of the city. One is luxe sophistication, the other is fast, hip and spirited. Both are modern and reflect how we live day into night. To me, they’re like caviar and pizza, a limousine and a taxi, the skyline and the street.” Donna Karan
You can only imagine what type of life a fashion designer as popular and hard working as Donna Karan could be leading. After a long hectic day and living in the “city that never sleeps”, the best haven to return to is one of minimal design yet with an elegant touch fit for an elegant designer.
Mash is an interesting concept in Stuttgart, Germany which serves as a café by day, restaurant for lunch and dinner, and a club by night designed by local architects Ippolito Fleitz.
The bar divides the elongated room into three clearly differentiated zones that can be used individually. Each of these zones can be further subdivided by means of string curtains. The main area can therefore be rescaled and redesigned at will according to the type and size of event, without ever losing its intimate feel.
Another world record broken by a Lebanese company. This time its not hummus or tabbouleh, but an elegant purse. Taking its inspiration from one of the world’s most epic tales of romance, intrigue and fantasy, Mouawad introduces the “The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse”. With a value of USD3.8 million, this breathtaking creation from the globally renowned House of Mouawad takes its place in the Guinness World Record as the most valuable handbag in the world.
“Just as the tales of Scheherazade have captivated readers with their intricately woven plots of uninhibited passion and daring, so the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse is designed to mesmerize with its lavish attention to detail and elaborate workmanship incorporating thousands of diamonds,” said Pascal Mouawad, co-guardian of the House of Mouawad.
The heart-shaped purse, handcrafted from 18kt gold, incorporates 4,517 diamonds (105 yellow, 56 pink and 4,356 colorless) with a total weight of 381.92 carats. “To create this bejeweled masterpiece required the skills of 10 craftsmen working continuously over a period of four months and for a total of 1,100 hours” said Fred Mouawad, co-guardian of the House of Mouawad.
The exceptional level of craftsmanship exemplified by the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse has been a hallmark of the Mouawad name since the company was founded in 1890. From those early days Mouawad rose to global prominence through its passion for precious gems and mastery in the art of creating some of the world’s most breathtaking jewelry. “The 1001 Nights Mouawad Diamond Purse” is the second record-breaking creation from the House of Mouawad.
Source: Mouawad Press Release
It seems that pop princess Britney Spears has just purchased a $20million mansion in the private Hidden Hills community a couple of miles from the $8.9 million property she currently lives in.
The new property sits on over three acres and boasts a massive 20,000 square feet of indoor space.
The pop princess’ new home is in the same community where superstars like Jennifer Lopez, the Osbournes and the Kardashians have all owned homes.
The mansion house has ten bedrooms and 13 bathrooms all with high ceilings and dark hardwood floors.
For their one millionth fan milestone on Facebook, German automaker Porsche thought of celebrating by coming out with a special exhibition inside the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart solely dedicated to a unique custom-made 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid . Starting February 11, 2011, the Porsche museum will be presenting a Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid adorned with the signatures of more than 27,000 Porsche Facebook fans.
The 911 GT3 R Hybrid was chosen for this extraordinary signature-gathering campaign because it impressively embodies the future of motorsport – with Porsche Intelligent Performance.