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Mon 2 Oct 2006 04:00 AM

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Italian flair in the Marina

Designer Matteo Nunziati injects some inimitable Italian minimalistic style into Abyaar’s Pier developments in Dubai Marina.

Kuwaiti real estate developer, Abyaar, has joined forces with hospitality heavyweights, Rezidor SAS, in a deal that will see two new towers adorn the skyline of Dubai Marina. Abyaar has invested over US$150 million in the KEO-designed Pier 24 and the WS Atkins-designed Pier 8, the first stage of its US$1.4 billion investment in Dubai’s burgeoning property market.

Befitting the concept of ‘Made In Italy,’ three leading Italian interior designers were in the running for the contract, but Abyaar appointed Matteo Nunziati, above Antonio Citterio and Marco Piva.

Nunziati told CID that Egyptian monumental buildings and traditional Arabic architecture has been the basis of the design. “By using light, design and contrasting textures, I want to offer distinct living spaces unlike any others currently available in this market. It is very important for me that I have thoroughly researched how I can implement local culture and traditions into my designs.”

In this project he used warm colours; beiges, browns, with an emphasis on natural woods such as teak and expensive ebony. Brown lacquered glass is also used throughout to maximise the earthy tones in the décor.

The lobby is an expansive space covered with travertine marble, cut by slices of vertical light lines in lacquered glass. On the floor will be pools of black travertine marble illuminated with directional LED lights to create effects on the water’s surface. The restaurant will be covered with elegant dark Palissandro Rosewood. Large back-lit columns in onyx will divide the space. The main counter will also be in onyx, back lit, with big chandeliers in tempered glass.

The floor of the Wellness Centre will be covered in stone quartzite and teak. The areas with the teak floor will be approximately 10cm higher than the stone floor illuminated from underneath. These islands will seem to float on the stone, illuminating it with additional light effects.Nunziati says: “Abyaar, in spite of very high costs, still wanted to exalt the concept of total quality by involving Italian firms in the project.” These companies include design giants such as Poliform and FEG Group for the furniture; Salvarani and Varenna for the kitchen; Fontana Arte for the decorative and technical lighting; Rapsel for the bathroom furniture; Florim for the ceramic coverings and Lualdi Porte for the doors.

“It is very important the developer and the designer share the same philosophy. In this case that is to create a standard of excellence in Dubai,” he adds. The mock up room will be ready in Nov/ Dec 2006, and final completion will be Summer 2007.

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