As a new year begins, it’s customary to think about what has gone before and focus on goals for the future, which is exactly what this issue of the magazine does. And as we come to end of celebrating the Year of Zayed in the UAE, it seems fitting that Qasr Al Hosn, the heritage site in Abu Dhabi, was reopened in December with a suite of new architectural innovations that respect the past while looking confidently to the future. Survey the spectacular results on page 28.
The stories in our Portfolio section all showcase a thoughtful melding of old and new, from interior designer Katharine Pooley’s transformation of two Mayfair townhouses into a chic home for a Middle Eastern family (p.90), to Jean-Louis Deniot’s remodelling of a Haussmann-era Paris apartment into a pied-à-terre for a millennial tech millionaire (p.114). What could be more 2019 than that? Elsewhere in the issue, we profile people who are forging a more futuristic path. Read about the young Middle Eastern designers who are setting the creative agenda in the region (and beyond) on page 20. They are definitely three names to know.
Another notable innovator features on this month’s cover. I flew to Manila to meet the property entrepreneur Robbie Antonio, whose billion dollar start-up Revolution Precrafted is aiming to bring modular homes to the masses with the help of some of the world’s most influential architects. It’s a noble aim and I hope Antonio achieves his democratic design vision on a global scale. He already has $9 billion dollars of deals on his books – including two projects in the Middle East – so it looks like 2019 is set to be a stellar year.
Enjoy the issue!
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1. THE LATE UAE LEADER HH SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN ALNAHYAN AT QASR AL HOSN 2. MYSELF 3. THE JEAN-LOUIS DENIOT DECORATED APARTMENT IN PARIS 4. ANCIENT EGYPT-INSPIRED JEWELS BY HEMMERLE, P.544