Inside two Dubai projects named finalists at World Festival of Interiors


Two Dubai projects were named finalists at the World Festival of Interiors, called Inside, in the Retail and Hotels categories.

Opus, home to ME Dubai, the only hotel designed inside and out by the late Zaha Hadid – for hotels – and Presentedby, the Dubai Mall’s luxury sneaker and streetwear resale store – for the retail – are among 111 projects named in the list covering 23 countries.

All of the shortlisted designers will compete in front of a live jury and an audience of their peers at the festival, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, December 1-3, organizers said.

The World Interiors Festival will be held in tandem with the World Festival of Architecture, which also has six projects in the UAE, including Abu Dhabi’s Zayed National Museum currently under construction, nominated in various categories.

“We are very proud to be part of the shortlisted projects in the retail category of the Inside festival. The retail industry needs a revolution and with Presentedby we have had the chance to boost a new creative vision around the world, ”said the Creative Director of External Reference. The architects, Carmelo Zappulla, tells The National. The multidisciplinary firm designed the Presentedby store.

“When we designed the Dubai store, we knew we weren’t just designing another store. We were creating an unprecedented concept: a concentrate of innovation where art and design produce the next destiny of the sneaker community, ”he says.

Presented by the store by external reference

Presentedby, which stocks rare and sought-after items and collectibles that have sold out in outlets around the world, opened on December 9 last year at Level Shoes in the Dubai Mall.

The store’s eye-catching design concept resembles Dubai’s qualities, its investment in technology, its progress and its future, Zappulla says.

Scroll through the gallery below for the interiors of Presentedby:

Designed more as an experiential space rather than a boutique, the store features 3D printed lattice walls and interactive floor projections that feel more like an exhibition space.

The sinuous 3D printed walls are inspired by the technologies used by fashion brands to produce sneakers. The design also means that the sneakers are displayed diagonally, giving customers a full view of the collections from different perspectives.

The shop is divided into three different areas: the cashier area, with the counter and the lighted lockers behind; the semi-circular clothing area, with streetwear, accessories, changing rooms and a branding machine; and the experiment room.

Located in the center of the space, the experience room presents a collection of the most exclusive sneakers, like a mini basketball museum. There is also a holographic projection show, giving the room a feeling of endless space.

External Reference, which also designed the Presentedby stores in London and Paris, touts the Dubai store’s eco credentials, claiming that the design absorbs 38kg of carbon dioxide per year.

“These 3D printed lattice walls are made from a 100% natural mineral compound, with the property of mineralizing primary greenhouse gases and reducing volatile organic compounds, allowing it to behave like a small forest. “the company said.

Opus and ME Dubai by Zaha Hadid Architects

First opened by the famous architect herself in 2007, Opus, from promoter Omniyat, is the only building that Hadid created both architecture and interiors.

Externally, the Opus was designed as two separate towers that meet in the form of a cube, with a large void in the middle that spans eight floors. The towers are connected by a four-story atrium at ground level as well as a three-story bridge 71 meters above ground.

The interior of the void is illuminated at night by a constellation of lights, each individually controllable, embedded in the rippling glass.

The building is home to the five-star ME Dubai, from ME by Melia, which opened in March 2020 with 93 rooms, including 19 suites, and three F&B outlets.

Scroll through the gallery below for photos of ME Dubai’s striking interiors:

The hotel’s striking lobby sits directly beneath the void of the Opus, which also forms the lobby’s glass ceiling. From here, visitors can see three floors of galleries with projecting balconies that surround the space.

The white marble floors contrast with the golden edges of the seats, the curved furniture covered in burgundy and created especially for the property by Zaha Hadid Design, the interior design arm of the company.

ZHD is also responsible for furnishing the entire property, including mirrors in the bathrooms which are curved to match the central void of the Opus.

Curves also dominate every other aspect of the hotel, from rounded sinks to oversized shower heads and curvy tubs.

To celebrate Hadid’s works, ME Dubai is currently hosting a selection of works by Zaha Hadid Architects and ZHD.

The organized architectural tour is spread over different areas of the hotel and includes a selection of architectural models and an audio guide that gives detailed descriptions of each model.

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Also on the ground floor are the latest collection of Zaha Hadid Design objects, as well as the brand’s activewear collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Odlo. Visitors will be able to purchase items from the ZHD x Odlo which will only be sold to the ME Dubai pop-up.

The winners of the Inside World Festival of Interiors and World Architecture Festival awards will be announced at the event, which will be held Wednesday through Friday December 1 and 3 in Lisbon, Portugal, where the World Building of the Year will also be named. .

Update: July 28, 2021, 5:48 p.m.

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