Grace and Poise

Built Area: 495 m²
Status: Executed
Location: Koraytem - Beirut, Lebanon
Category: Residential / Interior

Located in the upscale residential neighborhood of Koraytem in Beirut, this luminous apartment’s vast volumes presented a blank canvas for our intervention. The result is an emotionally charged space, impeccable aesthetics for an uncompromising design with a purpose. Through monochromatic undertones, light, shape, and texture coming together in an endless dance of warm shade it is designed to receive the owner’s collection of objects, art, and sculptures. The tone is set with the Unknown, a bronze and resin Raffi Tokatlian sculpture dominating the outer entrance hall transitioning into the formal reception. Designed with the flair of a large open reception lobby partially opened to the dining room, the space is a purely architectural setting using a monochromatic color scheme with emphasis on light and materiality. The ceiling is designed to enhance the perspective as linear lights highlight its rhythm reflected on the patterned marble floor pattern directing the gaze towards a focal point where light warmly flood the wall mounted artworks creating a serene ensemble that is an invitation to contemplation and tranquility.

An oversized double back to back Ipe Cavalli sofa sits in the center of the space. Its unconventional configuration opens up the space onto opposing seating arrangements establishing a dialogue between all the elements for a cohesiveness punctuated by an unexpected journey into the discovery of the owners’ eclectic art collection. A powerful, imposing and touching painting by Michel Pelloille depicting a bullhead, its bloodshot eyes so alive and expressive seem to leap off the canvas to penetrate the soul. Across, Cartesian and structured but yet not lacking in playfulness, a lobby-inspired lounge with four vintage fabric upholstered arm chairs two on either sides of a low central table and a 3-meter MDF Italia sofa positioned on the central axis of a three-section white wall. Two vertical incandescent recti-linear translucent recessed light panels running the length of the wall set the stage for an Eric Bottero photograph. The artist is known for his shadow and light photography and trademarked technique of photography drawn into negatives by utilizing a color inversion scheme of natural makeup and hand painted palettes allowing his photographs to capture the magic of the inside that is not usually seen by the human eye. On either side of the vertical light two eye-catching art-deco light fixtures complete the wall composition.

To the left, a distressed wall finish serves as backdrop for a series of seventies inspired solar form brass sculptures signed by Curtis Jere. To the right, The Muslim Woman Mauro Corda’s composition of four female heads gradually depicting the four faces of Hijab. On the opposite side, an oversized corner sofa sets an imposing gesture in styling the layout as a single entity replacing fragmented seating elements. It frames a glass center table that remains light despite its large scale, hovering over a bespoke modular black and white patchwork of delicate table bases. Atop hangs a powerful triptych of a bullfighting arena, by Pelloille.

The imposing dining room, a Baal Creations design pays tribute to Klimt Le Pommier. The bronze base recalling the trunk of the tree is topped with a glass top inlaid with delicate branch-like metal swirls. The trunk is rooted in a white carpet with black geometric maze and reminiscent of ancient Greek friezes, a The Rug Company design.  Hanging on one side of the table a unique masterpiece by Sabhan Adam adorned with a calligraphed poem by Nizar Kabbani. On the opposite side, Evolution, a hand carved dark oak wood console by Ferruccio Laviani, symbolizes the delicate balance between ancient and modern. Piecing all those elements together, subtly punctuated linear lights diffused through the walls and ceiling and on the marble floor break the formality of the space. The overall result is a striking serenity and elegant invitation to discovery. An interior influenced by art and poetry in a powerful symphony where shapes and colors resonate in unison.