June 2019

Handcrafted for the Wallpaper* Handmade X: With Love exhibition, the ‘Blushing Bar’, a vibrant pink circular bar stole the spotlight at this year’s Salone del mobile Milan. Made out of American red oak, the bar not only pushed the boundaries of the material but also of its designers and maker – Sebastian Cox. According to Cox, we are in the dawn of the wood age and it’s important to invite people to constantly reconsider wood as it’s the only material that stores CO2 and is such an obvious part of the solution to our current climate crisis.

Here in the UAE, ANARCHITECT have recently completed the architecture and design of the Al Faya Lodge, specifying thermally-modified American ash for the façade of the property. The project involved two stone-built single-storey buildings from the 1960s being re-imagined into a contemporary boutique lodge and restaurant. Set at the foot of Mount Alvaah, the Al Faya Lodge is nestled into the UAE’s prehistoric crimson desert landscape; factoring in the location, ANARCHITECT selected TM ash along with other suitable and robust materials that can withstand the desert conditions.

Staying in the region, Koichi Takada Architects – who are nearing the completion of their scope of work after almost 8 years in the making – has completed two gift shops inside Jean Nouvel’s National Museum of Qatar in Doha, featuring undulating wooden surfaces. Taking inspiration from Qatar’s famous Dahl Al Misfir cavern, the architecture is a representation of the desert rose mineral formation; a connection to nature if you will. Using cutting-edge 3D modelling software, the studio has achieved a design of curves and surfaces that words fail to describe.

This issue also takes a look at the technological advancements being made by SCM, Biesse and HOMAG, all of whom presented their latest offerings at LIGNA 2019. I’m sure these advancements in wood processing will make their way to our region very soon, particularly since the UAE is an important wood processing hub in the GCC.

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