December 2016

Earlier this year, the design world lost an icon in Zaha Hadid. Her sudden death came as a shock to the world and we close our final issue of the year with a special focus on some of her work. Whilst Zaha was not necessarily the biggest advocate of timber, for her final collection of furniture, she surprisingly, employed more traditional materials including walnut, silver, glass and leather – which sit alongside her most loved of media, clear acrylic. UltraStellar is her final collection of furniture for her long-term gallerist and close friend David Gill under the creative direction of Francis Sultana, CEO of the gallery. Several pieces have been fashioned in walnut, walnut and leather and walnut and acrylic and marry Zaha’s post-modern manipulation of the most contemporary of materials acrylic but with the most traditional – wood.

We also throw the spotlight on Zaha Hadid Architects’ competition-winning design for Forest Green Rovers, which aims to be the world’s first all-wood stadium. To be constructed near the Gloucestershire market town of Stroud, the arena will form the centerpiece of the GBP 100 million ‘Eco Park’ development – a proposed 100 acre sports and green technology business park. As per the design team, the choice of a natural material for the stadium falls in line with the development’s environmentally-conscious concept – the wooden structure will allow the stadium to have the lowest embodied carbon of any stadium in the world. In many ways, it’s then fitting that a team who was the world’s first all-vegan soccer club and has the word ‘Forest’ in their name should play in a stadium made entirely of wood.

The winner of the ‘Outstanding use of American hardwoods in the Middle East’ earlier this year, our design feature explores the new offices of Unique Properties in Dubai. Using American white oak and ash, studio bruno guelaff have been able to make a bold design statement and create a modern urban office environment for the company. From using sustainably-sourced American hardwoods to using the right matte sealer, it was crucial to get the design aesthetic studio bruno guelaff wanted in the office. Whilst these small details are painstaking but they required proper attention to detail and hard work. As a result, Unique Properties now has a ‘unique’ branded office setting, which is not only a dynamic space but also provides its employees with a stimulating as well as serene work setting.

With the holiday season approaching, I would like to wish all of you Happy Holidays and the best for 2017. As always, I would like to encourage you to log on to the website for the latest updates and please get in touch if you have any suggestions for subjects we should consider covering.

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