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.
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.
My photographs were featured in the April edition of FX Magazine. The four page article showcases the London offices designed by CallisonRTKL for a large global tech company. The design consultancy aimed to transform the client’s three floors into a modern, flexible space that would reflect the cutting-edge nature of the client’s brand.
From the outset, CallisonRTKL wanted to create a journey, both for visitors and employees. As well as building workstations and creating breakout areas to allow for flexible working and encourage collaboration, the designers’ brief was to create a meeting space for the client’s sales team and visiting customers.
The fifth floor is dedicated to the new visitor centre, for both new and existing customers. With a red wall and light strips, the reception desk makes a high-impact first impression. The ‘lines of light’ are a key part of the design concept, being a three dimensional manifestation of the human and digital connections of the business. Adjacent to the reception is a waiting area with various types of seating, a new customer lounge and focus rooms.
The open area connects with the main meeting suite via timber links on both sides, while the dynamic lines of light highlight the route through the corridors. There is an emphasis on connectivity of systems, data, people, physical areas, knowledge sharing and collaboration. Some 22 meeting rooms are placed at angles from each other to avoid long, narrow corridors, reduce acoustic reverberation and assist way-finding through tonal coding of floor and wall finishes
The LED dali lighting system is fully dimmable, and lighting and daylighting are linked along with the external blinds and controls. Dedicated perimeter lighting control zones enable full daylight linking. Meeting rooms and offices are fitted with in-room temperature control systems. The fifth floor meeting suite has a multi-channel, wall mounted, scene-setting light to tune the environment to a range of scenarios.
One of the core ideas was to “bring nature in”, to balance the digital and virtual worlds with people, and humanise the space. This was interpreted throughout with the use of organic patterns, materials and finishes.
See the full article at FX Magazine
For more information go to CallisonRTKL
I have photographed some amazing features in various Nandos restaurants, as thought up by the creative team at STAC Architecture, but the recent interior in Woking really made me wonder what they had been drinking when they were pitching the design?
There are seven thousand beer bottles suspended at different heights from the ceiling to create an incredible fluidity to the feature. The wave like installation is lit from behind to play on the bottles transparency and colour.
The bottles had to be individually hung in place with some "breathing" space in between as there was some concern of potential vibrations from the air conditioning.
The bottles are now a feature which draws the public into the restaurant. They run along the length of the restaurant front to be seen from the street, with the staff telling me that people often enter with their eyes fixed looking up.
I suspect that if we asked STAC Architecture what factor instigated this amazing design feature, they would say "Whatever it is, you would make a fortune if you bottled it"
And if one green bottle should ...