Back to Baroque

Back to Baroque

GAJ, Sharjah

UAE: Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) has used a customised fabric wall panel by award winning artist, Anne Kyyro Quinn, as one of the features for a private office in Sharjah for Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, the founder and CEO of Kalimat Publishing House.

The piece, which sits above a chrome plated reception desk, sets the tone for the rest of the office where there is a constant play between modern and baroque styles.

The waiting area has six black Marten Bass Smoke Chairs, a Melogranoblu chandelier, a Capellini antique table and Josephine lamps by Jamie Hayon.

“This office had to be a bespoke design that would reflect the eclectic taste of the client,” said Pallavi Dean, associate, GAJ.

“Combining contemporary Baroque elements and accessories with modern lines, patterns and forms we have created a distinctive blend that provokes a reaction or opinion and inspires the users of the space by its design.”

The boardroom has switchable smoked black glass, a custom designed Nero Marquina marble top table and Vitra aluminium chairs.

The area is carpeted wall to wall by a tailored black and white carpet in a David Hicks geometric pattern and the walls are clad with white back-painted glass, which serves as a writing board for presentations. The client, who is also president of Emirates Publishers Association, has private access to the meeting room from her office via a flush concealed door clad in white leather.

The client’s office includes Elitis croco print wallpaper with a pale white/silver stucco finish. The floor standing modesty panel is custom designed to match the David Hicks pattern used on the carpet.

“The client’s personal powder room has a different language to the rest of the office and this was intentional as she wanted a powder room with a dressing area where she could escape to,” added Dean.

“We’ve used the Jamie Hayon wash hand basin and mirror, the elegant baroque styled pieces are balanced by the clean lines within the space and the modern Agape toilet fittings.”

The biggest challenges the design team faced was the size of the floor plate and the limited amount of natural light but by using reflective materials on the floors and wall surface in predominantly white it has successfully made the space look larger than it is.

GAJ is currently working on five star hotels in Salalah, Marakkech and Abu Dhabi.

“One big factor driving most projects in the future will be environmentally sustainable design and budget constraints. Sustainability is now becoming less of a buzz word and more of a requirement with the government in the region establishing new regulations,” said Dean.

“The downturn has made many clients more cautious about their fit-out budgets and design choices. We will be seeing a big emphasis on regionally sourced materials and interiors will increasingly feature works of local artisans and artists.”

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