Earlier this year I was commissioned by CallisonRTKL to photograph the new Outlet Village in Dubai. Whenever embarking on any such project there is always a lot of organisation to ensure coming away with the best set of pictures. I like to speak to the creative team involved with the design of the building, to discuss the particular features that they want me to capture. I believe that it is important to understand the design concept behind the architect’s vision in order to relay it in the pictures. I have a similar conversation with the marketing team to establish the images that they require and where they will be using them. We can then determine a schedule for the photography taking into account capturing it at sunrise, during the day, and at night, for both the external architectural shots and the interior photography. I also liaise with the shopping mall management and security in advance of the photography to make sure that everyone is on board. And I always like to ask if they have a cherry picker to photograph from!
The Outlet Village is an indoor retail destination developed by Meraas that offers a value shopping experience in a distinctive and stunning environment. The architecture is inspired by the picturesque medieval Italian hill town of San Gimignano, located in Tuscany. Bringing together a striking design inspired by a rich past with an innovative approach to construction, The Outlet Village harmonises architectural history with contemporary lifestyle and invites visitors to explore the contrast between old and new. Located adjacent to Dubai Parks and Resorts and within easy reach of Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as Al Maktoum International Airport, The Outlet Village is set to emerge as an iconic and must-visit destination for visitors and residents.
Spanning over actual 25,000 square feet with a projection to expand shortly by adding 3 million square feet of space bringing its total retail square footage to 4.5 million by 2018, making it the largest luxury outlet shopping destination in the UAE.
Adding another dimension to Dubai’s rich retail landscape, The Outlet Village currently houses over 125 luxury retail brands including three department stores, international dining and a plethora of brands such as Galeries Lafayette, DKNY, Dunhill, Armani, Lanvin, Coach, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Roberto Cavalli, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss and many more.
The launch of The Outlet Village is part of Meraas’ commitment to build on the Dubai Fashion 2020 strategy, helping to diversify the city’s retail infrastructure and bolstering Dubai’s position as an evolving fashion capital of the world. The retail mix of prestigious high-end fashion and consumer brands within The Outlet Village is perfectly matched to the tastes of sophisticated UAE residents and visitors.
Once visitors have wandered around The Outlet Village’s stunning paved walkways and perused a selection of fabulous stores, they can relax in one of the elegant Piazzas which boast a variety of eateries.
Complimentary Tourism Shuttle Buses are also available to transport visitors to The Outlet Village from selected hotels and popular tourist destinations.
Earlier this year I was commissioned to photograph La Mer Beachfront development in Dubai for the architects CallisonRTKL, who were part of the overall ‘design and build’ team.
As a beachfront development where new Dubai meets the old, La Mer integrates minimalist and contemporary design. Located in Jumeirah 1, La Mer has little in comparison with other destinations in the UAE having prize views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s city skyline.
The Meraas development is spread over 1.24 million square metres of existing and reclaimed land taken over by sprawling timber walkways and beachside promenades packed with more than 130 restaurants, bars and shops.
The Beachfront comprises of four distinct zones, La Mer North and La Mer South, plus the beach and a leisure and entertainment hub.
Water features inspired by breaking waves sit alongside walkways bedecked by towering palm trees and marram grass verges.
Down by the beach, families can enjoy the safety of shallow waters, or take it easy in water hammocks and shower after a dip in the sea with fresh water buckets.
Driftwood has been used to build up some of the waterfront features, with half buried surfboards and paddleboards for hire.
A waterpark is on a central headland area called The Wharf, promising the usual thrills and spills along with an artificial wave for surfers.
“The destination reaffirms our commitment to contribute to Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 by diversifying what Dubai has to offer,” said Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman at Meraas.
“With a host of new and novel experiences, residents and visitors will also find an alluring proposition to explore and enjoy.”
For more information check out -
A range of new Flos designs were unveiled at an evening event on 21st June hosted by Atrium at their London Studio. I photographed the studio space and lighting before any of the guests arrived, and then captured the evening event.
Atrium is the largest independent lighting specialist in the UK, working with architects, engineers and lighting designers. They have a long term relationship with Flos and are their official UK partner. Flos is the leading Italian lighting brand, known globally for its iconic design and technology innovation, both in the decorative and architectural segments.
New arrivals for each collection in Home, Architectural and Outdoor included iconic pieces by celebrated designers, such as Arrangements and Overlap by Michael Anastassiades, indoor and outdoor lamp Bellhop by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, WireRing by the Italian artist duo Formafantasma -for the first time in a new role of industrial designers.
Some stunning innovations in the professional systems were also showcased for the first time in the UK. These included Infra-Structure by Vincent Van Duysen, The Running Magnet, The Tracking Magnet and the all new Fast Track by Flos Architectural.
Designer Michael Anastassiades introduced his new designs and spoke about his commitment to Flos. The evening was hosted by Atrium’s Ulysse Dormoy and attended by special guests from Flos, clients and press.
I recently photographed The Minster Building in London, which is the latest financial district property to be transformed. It now offers a rejuvenated, premier environment showcasing Grade A facilities, as well as nurturing a much sought-after work/life balance.
Originally built in 1992 to designs by GMW Partnership, The Minster Building has an incredibly striking pink marble neo-gothic façade. BuckleyGrayYeoman are behind the recent redevelopment, as commissioned by Greycoat Real Estate and Ivanhoe Cambridge, which involved shifting the original entrance on the corner of Mincing Lane and Great Tower Street.
A new 30 metre long boulevard leads directly to the reception where there was once the longest run of escalators in Europe. These have now been removed and replaced with an eight-storey central atrium, around which the offices are arranged. The new atrium sets the tone and material palette for the rest of the development, with curved glazing, textured jesmonite panels, marble and bronze combining to create an opulent, airy and uplifting ambiance.
It is not often my brief includes the suggestion to look up and listen, but it is understandable when entering the space. Throughout the entrance and reception, the walls are hand-finished in nearly 2,000m2 of Armourcoat’s polished plaster together with over 600m2 of the company’s Acoustic Plaster System applied to the ceilings. Designed to optimize the acoustics of interior spaces, the Acoustic Plaster system offers an elegant marble based plaster finish while allowing sound energy to pass through the surface. The zero VOC system, which consists of 80% recycled material, achieves class '0' fire rating and a class 'A' Noise Reduction Coefficient rating.
The Minster Building has already attracted some cool new tenants that include The Third Space, which will open its first luxury health club in the square mile, a Crussh juice bar to be near the reception, and Brewdog, whose space will feature a 10 hectolitre brewing facility.