Ome of the world’s top architects have switched focus from the macro to the miniature in the past decade, expressing themselves in a more intimate medium than landmarks puncturing the skyline—jewellery. It should come as no surprise; after all, both archi
From top: A rendering of the City of Dreams tower in Macau; rings from the Silene Collection designed by Zara Hadid for the House of Aziz & Walid Mouzannar
The world’s most celebrated female architect, Zaha Hadid, is one of the trailblazers. Her boldest projects are more abstract art than architecture and include an Austrian museum buried in a Tyrol peak and Rome’s Museum of Arts of the XXI Century, or the Maxxi, which feels like a walk-in sculpture. She has also left an indelible mark here in Asia with such creations as the futuristic Galaxy Soho Complex in Beijing, the Jockey Club Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan.
It’s safe to say the Iraqi-born Briton’s jewellery designs were never going to include gossamer silver necklaces or subtle diamond studs. Despite the ethereal-sounding name, her Silene Collection for the House of Aziz & Walid Mouzannar, a luxury brand from Lebanon, is not for wallflowers. The original piece, the Silene cuff, is an arm-enveloping bracelet in 18K white gold set with a spider’s web of 1,048 diamonds that wouldn’t look out of place on the wrist of a warrior princess. The line, launched early this year, features striking gold bracelets and rings that evoke the undulating, fluid shapes for which Hadid’s architecture is known. Hadid discovered the Mouzannar brothers and a shared love of antique jewellery on a
visit to Beirut nearly 20 years ago. Today the