We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2018 CID Awards, which will take place on Wednesday, September 19 at the Joharah Ballroom in the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. This year, we have received 420 submissions across 18 categories from 114 companies throughout the region. Over the coming week, we will be releasing the names of the finalists in all the categories.
Interior Design of the Year: Retail category
014 Warehouse Gym, Dubai, UAE by VSHD Design
The client had commissioned the design firm to turn a challenging space - due to the shape and volume - into a gym with high tech facilities and innovative interiors, with great attention to detail. The gym space is divided into two floors: the ground floor was designed as an open space for classes and fitness training with a small juice bar at the entrance, which is highlighted with a fern-coloured grout. The mezzanine double height space is the main gym floor with all the equipment.
Taking a vertical design approach, and using a grid system and abstract forms, the design team utilised the double height space. The suspended timber structures were used to highlight the different exercise zones on the gym floor. Designed as a massive light fixture with concealed lighting, the timber structure was also used to hide all MEP service and machines. The materials used in the project were inspired by farm life, copper piping, sheds, corrugated metal fencing and bumpy plastered walls. The staircase on the mezzanine level is covered in corrugated metal. The curves of the building were used to complement the space with a functional wall for hanging bags and members’ belongings. The exposed copper pipes and the big farmhouse sink gives the space a raw industrial feel.
Delpozo boutique, Dubai, UAE by IL Architecture/In Architects
The first Delpozo store in the Middle East at the new Fashion Avenue extension in Dubai Mall extension, has been designed by IL Architecture in collaboration with Josep Font, creative director of Delpozo, and IN Architects as the local architects. As the brand’s collections are an explosion of colour and richness in materials, the shop provides a sophisticated but muted backdrop for the clothing. The material palette includes black marble, natural oak wood and polished brass as well as big extensions of bare walls painted in Delpozo's signature off-pink tones. Much emphasis has been placed on carefully-crafted details and lighting, complemented with a carefully curated collection of vintage furniture and rugs that contribute to the overall feeling of warmth and comfort.
The challenge here was to adapt a shop design concept inside of a shopping mall, with extremely high ceilings and a very deep floor plan, while keeping the original essence of the brand intact. The use of gigantic pieces of marble, jumbo-sized mirrors and extra-large brass vitrines provide a bigger scale for the backdrop. Its massive black marble walls protect the inside of the shop from outside views and provide a foil for the brass shop front shelves and the colorful merchandise. Going with a sustainable approach, instead of sourcing furniture from Europe, the design team employed local artisans. The collaboration with a Sharjah-based metalworker allowed the team to reduce the carbon footprint.
Oli Oli, Dubai, UAE by Sneha Divias Atelier
The entire project is a conflation of four things: children's museums, innovative playgrounds, children's art museums, studios as well as maker spaces and creative labs.The brief on this project was to create a space for children that would engage, educate, empower, spark creativity, trigger imagination and growth at the same time. The design firm reimagined antiquated playgrounds, providing children with a fun-filled, creative and enriching alternative to passive play, while nurturing their sense of curiosity in an exploratory setting. Creating a conceptual journey through the galleries that are whimsical, the design team has mainly used vibrant accents with neutral materials. The existing architecture of the warehouse premise has been retained, preserving its industrial character. While details such as arches have been added to enhance the spatial flow.
Housing eight different galleries of interactive exhibits and play equipment over two floors, it features common areas such as the reception, bathrooms, corridors, cafe, birthday party rooms and quiet room for kids. There are quirky details in every corner from birds to butterflies, pops of paint colour to sculptures. One of the particular highlights is a gallery called Toshi’s Nets, a knitted and free flowing structure which children can use to swing or climb.
Muscat Market, Muscat, Oman by ODG
Retail concepts within the airport environment should reflect an understanding of traditional architecture but represented within a contemporary manner, that adds a local sense of place (Oman, in this case) to the narrative. Local palm groves have been taken as an inspiration. It has been designed to engage with and excite passengers, creating memorable, photo-opportunity experiences.
ODG was appointed to develop the design, prepare the tender for construction and manage the project till the opening of the airport duty free. The design firm drew inspiration from the cool palm groves with their falaj systems irrigating the lands. The concept recreates the feeling that one would feel while walking beneath the cool shaded avenues of intertwined palm fronds. The timber ceiling structures mimic the palm tree, radiating out from structural and dummy timber-clad columns forming the palm trunks. An exploded version of these fronds have been used on the shopfront façade. The layered scale like texture of the trunks, form counter facings. The cool rippled sands of the grove are seen along the main walkways, with a lighter grey tile under the merchandised units.
Bean to Bar Chocolatier, Kuwait by Studio Toggle
The architects were commissioned by the young Kuwaiti chocolatier, Bean2Bar to design their debut boutique in Arjan Square, a trendy F&B concept in Salmiya, Kuwait. The client wanted a very cool chocolate shop that also exhibited their products and their packaging design. One of the main requirements was to have a lot of a storage and flexibility while having a bright and airy atmosphere in the narrow available space.
The 33m2 space with a narrow frontage posed a significant challenge for the architects who desired to create a bright and airy atmosphere with plenty of storage space and flexibility. The architects devised a simple solution that featured a slender, cellular waffle vault along the longitudinal axis of the store that morphed into a sleek secondary enclosure. This eliminated the need for a conventional ceiling and created an illusion of a greater expanse. The dimensions of the cells of the vault was based on the modular packaging unit used by the chocolatier and this led to new synergies like re-imagining the vault with its cellular modularity as an analogue screen with the cells doubling up as pixels. Messages or patterns could be displayed on it as required by using a combination of empty cells or changing the colors of the packaging unit. This opens up possibilities for the store to change its ambience in an easy and intuitive way to suit various occasions.
The vault was parametrically generated and optimized for digital fabrication as a slot-in waffle system. The symmetry of the vault is broken and emphasised at the same time by employing an algorithmically generated steel chandelier. By juxtaposing these strongly opposing elements, the architects have created a refined industrial look for the boutique while maximising the efficiency and the lightless of the space. Vein-cut silver travertine adds a warm undertone and balanced the overall ambience.
DNA Lifestyle, Amman, Jordan by Schwitzke
Schwitzke Group was commissioned to work on the entire spectrum of the project – from brand development and visual identity to store design and instore communication up to the implementation of the first store. The task was to create a lifestyle brand and retail concept to address the millennials in the Middle East - a young, progressive and technology-savvy target group that is globally inspired and regionally rooted.
To represent the brand’s core, the newly developed name embraces what the concept is basically about: As an abbreviation of Digital‘N’Analog, the store`s name DNA represents both the primarily technical assortment as well as the true experience and emotion the gadgets are supposed to create for the customer.
For the store design, a sleek and urban retail environment was created to put emphasis on the variety of products. While the different divisions all show a special tweak to reflect the offered product range, a seamless brand identity is maintained all over the store. The material scheme reflects natural simplicity, using concrete, warm wood or white and dark grey colored steal elements. The lighting concept was created to achieve contrasts by using warm white spots with high color rendering, and to set the right scene for the products.
The Kape, Dubai, UAE by SuperFutureDesign*
The Kape, a boutique that specialises in women`s modest fashion, took a few years to set up reflects modern and meaningful minimalism through its choice of materials, colours and textures. In the ambient spaces, the design team implemented techniques that would result in a relaxing environment. They contributed to a spatial effect that calms the mind, along with balanced elements that enhance the senses. Lighting was treated as one of the main protagonists because of the way it manipulated the earthy and futuristic masses of travertine stone and epoxy resin respectively. While both elements are distinctly opposite, they seamlessly transition from one to the other. Even in the use of contrasting features of both elements, specifically between the smoothness of one, and grainy accented veins of the other. The rest of the premise was adorned with decorations like sofas, hanging bars, and a chaotic fitting room that was set-up center stage. It was created using metallic screens with a champagne-tinted finish, by wrapping them around each other in a circular, whimsical pattern, which also disguised a colossal pillar. The façade of the boutique was a result of some experimentation with new materials and elements; prefabricated cement panels were delicately transformed using a patented molding technology to produce an interesting wave-like pattern and texture that would play upon the senses. The exterior is delicately finished by adding a futuristic shop window that protrudes out of the expanse and appears similar to a fish tank. Inside, the epoxy resin flooring gives way to the other attractive features of the boutique, like the striking red fitting room and the elegant black frames that define the displays.
Al Rawi, Sharjah, UAE by Pallavi Dean Interiors
The client wanted a space to reflect Sharjah’s literary heritage (the Sharjah International Book Fair began in 1982), in addition to being a restaurant. It has been designed as a contemporary hub for its community of booklovers, writers and publishers, incorporating a cafe, restaurant, event space, bookstore and children’s creative zone..
The two-storey, double-volume space offers expansive views to the corniche in Sharjah Al Majaz waterfront. We played with the concept of the positive/negative space that books create on a shelf. Most of the bookshelves are in the centre of the floor, not against walls, allowing light and shade to move around the space. The stitch detail from book spines is a recurring theme. It has been used on a large scale as space dividers, and on a more intimate scale as a handrail detail. The tactile rubber material invites visitors to touch and feel the physical space, as they do a book. The design firm also created custom sculptures and light mobiles inspired by books and words. The eclectic furniture reflects the different ways people read and write, from relaxing in an armchair to task chairs for writing on laptops. The custom-designed moveable retail pods display the stationery and book-related merchandise that the cafe sells.
A grab-and-go coffee bar punctures through the facade of the restaurant, to draw attention from pedestrians on the waterfront promenade. The signature, sculptural design installation is a giant, custommade mobile suspended from the ceiling, made up of dozens of wireframed books. The impact is visually dramatic, and an unmistakable trigger in the minds of visitors that they are in a bookstore.