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Archive for April, 2011

Inside Zaha Hadid’s London Home | Interiors

People are usually curious when it comes to celebrity personal lives and home interiors look like. Much more when that celebrity is one of the world’s top architects known for standing out structures and iconic buildings world wide.

Zaha Hadid’s own home is more like a gallery of some of her famous furniture and accessory designs, than an actually cozy home. From the first look you can tell its hers, the famous strong architectural lines and curves are present in every piece she displays.



TAKREEM Awards for Great Arab Achievers | Event


April 30,2011 marks the date for the Arab Achievement Awards TAKREEM and will take place in Doha, Qatar.  As proud as I am that its founder is the Lebanese TV host and producer Ricardo Karam, I am even more proud that the team and jury who are part of this project are the elite of the Arab world, people who make us proud and are active in reflecting the best image possible by promoting our great achievers and leaders through highlighting Arab excellence worldwide.

The international jury members are:  Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein, Dr. Lakhdar Brahimi, Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Mr. Carlos Ghosn,  & Mr. Raja Sidawi.

The Award Categories are:

1-Advancement of Peace Award
2-Philanthropy and Charitable Services to the community Award
3-Arab Woman of the Year Award
4-Exceptional International Contribution to Arab Society Award
5-Cultural Accomplishment Award
6-Excellence in the field of Education Award
7-Young Entrepreneur Award
8-Sustainable Development of the Environment Award
9-Outstanding Corporate leader Award
10- Scientific and Technological Achievement Award


The Ceremony takes place Saturday, April 30th and will be broadcasted on regional TV Channels, such as Future TV among other channels.

You can be part of this MAJOR event by joining TAKREEM’S facebook page, following them on twitter, and checking their website for additional details.

Tom Dixon Designs Award Listed Tazmania Ballroom


Shortlisted in the ‘International Bar’ of the year category in the Restaurant & Bar awards 2011, Tazmania Ballroom has been making a splash in Hong Kong nightlife. Designed by World renowned British designer Tom Dixon, the venue incorporates numerous copper shades suspended from the high ceiling and gold plated pool tables, both elements that make up the main concept.



Many of the furniture and pieces used were designed by Tom Dixon himself. The gold, black, dim mood, and diamond like walls are all part of the luxurious mood the owner wanted for the space.



Volkswagen Reveals 2012 Beetle: More Power, Less Flower


On April 18th, 2011,  Volkswagen unveiled the third generation of their iconic Beetle in New York. This is a post I dedicate to my sister who loves this car so much, I am sure she will enjoy skimming through the photos. Below are the details taken from Volkswagen site of this beautiful car.

The Beetle story began in the United States in 1949; the 2012 Beetle continues that story for a new generation. Redesigned for only the second time in history, the all-new Beetle is a modern interpretation of the iconic Beetle design, complete with enhanced performance and fun-to-drive dynamics that define the Volkswagen driving experience.

German-engineered with no compromises, the 2012 Beetle offers the dynamic, fun-to-drive handling that defines the Volkswagen driving experience. In addition to a sportier, retro look, the 2012 Beetle will offer such now-expected amenities as Bluetooth, touch-screen radio, branded audio systems, navigation and ambient lighting. It also offers premium options such as an available panoramic sunroof, Fender Premium audio system, 18- or 19-inch wheels, keyless access and more.


Illustrations and Mixed Media Art by Linn Olofsdotter

Linn Olofsdotter is an illustrator born in Sweden yet working and living in Brazil. Her style of work has enabled her to stretch out to various mediums such as advertising, branding for well known brands such as Levi’s, Oilily, and La Perla, wall murals, and CD covers for artists. Her work is best described as surreal with use of different media in a collage-like manner focusing on form and color integration. Below is a selection from her work.



Skype Redesigns its California Offices | Office Design


With all the competition in creativity everywhere, workspaces are taking a new direction in terms of design and function. Just as we saw how Facebook and Google tackled their office designs, Skype followed in their lead.

Great companies are realizing more and more the importance of employee comfort and sense of security in order to give out the best he/she can. I am proud to say We have been working on a project here in Kuwait which is focusing in promoting creativity and standards barely met in the region before , details to come at a later stage. But for now let’s take a look at Skype’s revamped Headquarters in Palto Alto, California designed by Blitz.

Skype’s primary goal was to create a world-class office that would differentiate them from their Bay Area competitors in the recruitment of talent. The project entailed a tenant improvement of 54,000 square feet of existing office space to support 250 employees involved in high technology development.

The space reflects Skype’s spirit of innovation in a highly functional yet creative workplace designed to encourage interaction and spontaneity, as well as meet specific acoustic requirements in support of their extensive use of AV. The project is registered for and seeking LEED Silver certification.


From My Kitchen | Delightful Berry Trifle


Well it’s the 19th again, and the blog is now 8 months old, which means its time for one of the very easy and tasty recipes from my kitchen. Since its already heating up, and everyone is switching to lighter foods getting ready for the summer season, I thought this popular dessert would be just perfect. This can be made with sugar free gelatin, and the angel food cake is already a naturally fat-free food. Berries are full of benefits, your nutritionist would be proud.

For this recipe you will need:

1 package angel food cake mix

1 1/4 cups cold water

2 packets (4 servings each) Berry flavor Gelatin (jello) can be sugar-free

2 cups boiling water

4-5 fat free berry flavored yogurt such as Elle & Vire 0% fat free Blueberry

1 packet of frozen mixed berries

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix the Angel food cake mix with the water according to packet directions in a glass or metal bowl (not plastic), then put in separate loaf pans without any grease. You can use the angel food cake pan as well but the loaf bread pans are more likely to be available.


Once the cake is done and cooled as per package directions, cut it into small pieces.

Get a nice glass bowl you will put the final assembly in. At the bottom put half of the cake pieces randomly. In a bowl mix the gelatin dessert with the boiling water, mix well, add 1/2 of the berries then put the bowl in fridge for 15 minutes, before it sets.

Pour 1/2 of the gelatin mixture on the cake, layer with half of the fruit yogurt. Put the second layer of cake, gelatin mixture, and the fruit yogurt. Garnish with the remaining berries.


Cool the dessert in the fridge for at least 2 hours, after which the gelatin will set and  trifle is ready to devour.

Options: you can have single berry flavor, and you can have individual servings that would look nicer to guests, you can use glass ice cream bowls.

I’m sure you’ll love it,

Bon Appétit !

Trussardi Relaunches Furniture by Michael Young

In celebration of its 100th anniversary and for the Milan Furniture Fair 2011, Trussardi relaunches the Trussardi Design brand through a new collaboration with world renowned designer Michael Young. During  Milan’s Furniture Fair 2011, Trussardi presented at Palazzo Trussardi Alla Scala in Piazza della Scala 5 a collection that Michael Young designed to relaunch the Trussardi Design brand. Inspired by Trussardi’s commitment to product design that was amply developed in the eighties and nineties, Michael Young’s collection is the result of his research of Trussardi’s archives to review the history of the brand and its values and transform it into inspiration for his new contemporary products.



Hermès Furniture Collection Finally Revealed

Checking out one of my favorite websites, Yatzer, I came across their post with the Hermès collection in details as revealed in Milan this past week. Most people were looking forward to the final debut of this long awaited collection. In my post about Hermès  Maison, the collection was still vague, with information of their collaboration with Dedar for their wallpaper and home fabric collection.

Well known architects, Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, designed the exhibition space, the Hermès Pavillion , the furniture however was designed by Enzo Mari, Antonio Citterio and RDAI Studio.

The beautiful exhibition space was mainly made out of cardboard tubes woven with paper. The Pavilion  incorporated  rooms of different sizes resembling the spaces of a home, some private and some shared. When pieces have such simple structure and form, quality is crucial. The luxury prevails through the material used and the fine finishing details of every part of every piece.


Art Exhibition | Fatima Kawtharani "Blue or Pink?"

Fatima Kawtharani "Blue or Pink?"
Opening: Thursday, April 21 at 7pm
The exhibition will last until May 26
Art Circle cordially invites you, on April 21, to the opening of “Blue or Pink?”, a solo show by Lebanese artist Fatima Kawtharani.

Blue or Pink? Boy or Girl? This solo exhibition by artist Fatima Kawtharani revolves around her life, relationships, namely those with her family members. A constant feeling of childhood swivels around Kawtharani, it watches her, plays with her, accompanies her throughout her white canvases, forcing her naturally to use childish symbols such as fish, flowers, birds and geometrical shapes. Inside the artist lives a big playful child, wanting to play with toys, and later on break them. This is how the creative game starts with the artist. Coincidences at once, and thoughts on a child’s life and motherhood at others, are portrayed in Kawtharani’s paintings.
Born in 1971, Fatima Kawtharani graduated in 1994 from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University where she is currently achieving her Master’s degree. She has exhibited frequently in her home country namely the Salon d’Automne of the Musée Sursock in Beirut, as well as abroad.
On opening night,  Fatima Kawtharani will be present to meet you and discuss her work.

For more information please contact Alia Nohra at alia@art-circle.net or call +961 3 027776.
Open: Tuesday to Friday, 11am – 7pm • Saturday 11am – 5pm

Hamra, Antoine Gemayel street, Assaf building, Beirut, Lebanon
(in the street going down from Commodore st. to Wardeh stores)

Former Renault Factory Now a Green Roofed School

At a time when children are confined to a world of video games, indoor activities, and less resources for a natural environment, this amazing project comes up to make it up for the lucky students who will be attending this school. I don’t ever remember having gardens in our school, but our childhood was full of outdoor activities familiarizing us with the nature around us.


Zaha Hadid Designs Z-Chair for Sawaya & Moroni


Another amazing creation by Zaha Hadid in the furniture industry, a chair that simply looks like a signature, a mere “Z”, yet so futuristic and beautiful. Only she can pull this off and be admired for it. Zaha Hadid designed this chair for the Italian furniture company Sawaya & Moroni owned by Lebanese designer William Sawaya and Paolo Moroni. This chair was presented this week as part of Milan design week 2011.


Saudi to Build Tower Twice as High as Burj Khalifa

Why would anyone get the impression that all we need in the Middle East is higher towers? In a region whose tomorrow is at stake every second of  today, there are more constructive ways to use the money, creativity, and energy we have. Toppling Burj Khalifa as the highest tower in the world after only 18 months of its opening is not a good enough reason.

Architecture does not fall under “ the bigger, the better” category, architecture is about meeting human comfort in terms of design and function, its about the beauty of volumes and how they serve their role in the best way possible. It was never about requiring half a day to reach your destination going up the elevator, or standing out in an environment that is so incoherent from the actual structure.

Another thing that would make you wonder, why would they choose a name indicating the type of regime at such a critical political period “ Kingdom Tower” ?

The video at the bottom of the post is a more graphic approach of how odd it will look in its surrounding.

So far the press release for the project has not been officially out, but information on the project has been circulating a few sites:

“Kingdom Tower” will be one mile high. It will contain almost 12 million cubic feet of space. It will be part of a larger urban development built to house about 80,000 people, at a cost of almost 30 billion dollars.

In terms of scale, it is estimated that a lift journey to the uppermost level of this 275-floor structure will take 12 minutes, with the Burj Khalifa’s 828m shrinking in the wake of the Kingdom Tower’s 1,609m height. Similarly, the highly celebrated Kingkey Tower in Shenzhen is only destined to reach 441m, while Guangzhou’s Canton Tower stands at 610m high. Should this lofty new building been seen through to realisation, it will overshadow every other ‘tall’ tower in the world and push the boundaries of architectural design in a way many never thought possible.


Kingdom City| Jeddah

Source: Singularity Hub and Wan

The Style of Jolie | Jewelry by Angelina Jolie Launched

According to eOnline.com, Humanitarian actress Angelina Jolie, together with designer Robert Procop (ex CEO of Asprey) , has just launched a jewelry line called Style of Jolie, in Beverly Hills and is on display at Julien’s Auction House. The line will be for private viewing by invitation only. The money raised will be for Education for Children of Conflict.

According to Robert Procop’s website , they wanted this collection as elegant as Angelina Jolie is with her wonderful spirit and humanitarian heart. Robert Procop described this collection as reflecting Angelina Jolie’s various magnificent qualities and talents. Feminine yet bold. Each piece was uniquely designed, and the gems were carefully chosen.

You will find in the description of each piece the details and types used. Some pieces are labeled as “unique”; bearing in mind the aim behind this collection is providing a better life for those who are in need.




Nadim Karam Artist From Lebanon to the World | Art

Anyone who grew up in Beirut in the late 90’s would definitely remember Nadim Karam’s famous sculptures that were scattered around downtown Beirut before it was renovated. They looked odd back then, but I clearly remember asking my father to take us around in the car just to check them out every time we were around. They gave a breath of life to the once creepy and war engraved martyr square. Since then I kept hearing of Nadim Karam  and of his sculptures and works travelling around the globe. Below you will see a few of the sculptures and works he presented in the various continent.




Milan 2011: A Preview of What to Expect at I Saloni

As I have mentioned numerous times before, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, also known as Milan Furniture Fair, is the fair that designers and suppliers look forward to the most among exhibitions of the same nature. During this fair all brands and designers showcase their latest designs and trends for the coming year. In this post I will show you a preview of a few of the items that will be highlighted at the fair.

This Fair, Vitra will introduce the new Tip Ton Chair, that was designed in cooperation with British design studio BarberOsgerby.
The rocking base of the chair allows dynamic sitting which stabilizes the spine and encourages blood circulation. I am definitely getting one of those. This chair is stackable, comes in many colors, and best of all moves with you.



FAVN is the Danish name for ‘embrace’ and will be launched at Republic of Fritz Hansen’s showroom in Milan on Corso Garibaldi, 77 during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2011. The new sofa will be available to purchase from Republic of Fritz Hansen stores and selected authorized Republic of Fritz Hansen dealers from around the world as of September 2011.




Donna Karan Tableware Collection Revealed



Back in October I posted about the world renowned fashion designer Donna Karan collaborating with Lenox to launch her tableware collection. Well now it is officially being sold in the U.S. and very soon in the U.K. The Donna Karan limited edition tableware is an exclusive line of limited home designs which are a showcase of many old world methods based on her personal travels to different exotic destinations of the world.



Hermès to Launch Furniture and Textiles at Milan 2011

The most awaited furniture and design exhibition which takes place in Milan, Italy will be celebrating its 50th birthday. During this event most manufacturers and designers worldwide will showcase this year’s trends and new creations.

This year French luxury brand Hermès will launch its first furniture range during the Salone Del Mobile which will be taking place between April 12th till 17th, 2011.


Is This the Future of Banks? | BNP Paribas New Concept

A very unique concept for BNP Paribas in Paris was created by architect Fabrice Ausset from Zoevox. The last thing that came to my mind when viewing these photos that they would be of a bank. This bank looks more like a hotel lobby, what made it interesting was the attention to detail and the stylish furniture used from various well known designers.

This concept bank is located in the historical building of 2, Place de l’Opéra. The first element that catches the eye is the honeycombed ceiling and the use of mirrors, two elements closely related to the retro style of the 70’s and early 80’s. The combination of furniture is so funky and daring yet very inviting.


Open Box House : An Architectural Marvel by A-Cero


Architectural icon after the other, A-Cero never refrain from keeping us in awe with the amazing sculptural designs they present. I am really impressed recently with Spanish designers and their works.

The design impact of this Open Box House, as they named it, can not be missed, the open spaces, the minimal use of colors yet strong volumes are what characterized it.  The residence is located on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain and the design is inspired by Spanish sculptor Jorge Oteiza.

The interior spaces are overlapping and overlooking each other. A large mirrored partition serves as a background for a long fireplace, a glass bridge hangs over the living area and is adjacent to a large bookcase.

Natural light is plenty, tiles used are large grey ceramic tiles, furniture used is mainly from Fendi Casa. In the photo above you can see the Elisa chairs by Fendi Casa and the Canova console in black lacquer finish. The sofa is called Domino, also by Fendi Casa.




History of Gucci’s Iconic Bamboo Bag | Fashion

2011 marks Gucci’s 90th birthday, a lot of events have been taking place since last year for this occasion. Among these events were the introduction of the Fiat 500 and the new bamboo, with a display of its evolution in Gucci History.

Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini presents The New Bamboo, a 21st century reinterpretation of one of Gucci’s most iconic handbag designs. In reinventing this House classic, Giannini blends tradition with high-tech innovation, and history with high-fashion.

Back in 1947, Italy was just beginning to emerge from the devastation of World War II. Many commodities, including imported leather, were simply not available. For any other luggage and handbag maker, that shortage could have resulted in an insurmountable challenge, but not Gucci. To compensate for the lack of leather, Gucci artisans got creative and crafted a handle out of burnished Japanese bamboo. They then applied it to a pebbled pigskin purse. The result? The Bamboo Bag, which is as timeless today as it was back then.


Karim Rashid Designs Metro Station in Naples, Italy

World renowned designer Karim Rashid has renovated a subway station in Naples, Italy. The approach is a very innovative one removing the creepy image metro stations usually have. There weren’t major volumetric additions, instead he emphasized his well known organic shapes through graphic arts on the walls, floor patterns, and the lovely benches. Scroll down and see what it looks like.