Inspiration and style in the world’s great design cities
5 world cities that symbolise great design
When we talk about design cities, we’re not necessarily talking about the most stunning destinations from a scenery point of view, but rather in terms of the emotions they elicit and their positive impact on both the environment and the lifestyle of their residents. Their skylines continue to evolve as Archistars develop innovative and creative designs that draw inspiration from a range of sectors, building a rich and varied architectural universe of style and new trends.
As a result, the cities that best symbolise design are those that expand their cultural and artistic traditions via the creativity of architects and designers who think outside of the box and relish the opportunity to shape the environment we live in both in the literal and figurative sense.
We take a look at 5 cities that demonstrate this approach, with an inspiring example of a villa or apartment in each.
For many decades, Turin was associated primarily with the automotive industry, but it is also considered Italy’s flagship city when it comes to design, so much so that in 2014 it was designated a UNESCO Creative City.
Great interior design is about knowing how to marry the décor itself with the atmosphere and personality of its location and this private residence is the perfect example. The combination of the hewn-wood effect of our Raw texture and the intimacy of the dark brown stone captures the two spirits of Turin. It represents the rawness of an industrial city, while the warmth speaks of the diligence and the work ethic of the residents in a world and city that is constantly changing.
Tel Aviv is a captivating city, shaped by a long and fascinating history, full of tradition, but from an architectural point of view, in recent years it has proved itself unashamedly modern. The past century has seen an incredible evolution that has positioned the city at the forefront of the style and design sectors and today, Tel Aviv is a flourishing financial and technological oasis.
This fascinating Middle Eastern atmosphere is the setting for a contemporary villa looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, where it melds into its surroundings. Decorated with deft minimalism, it benefits from the light that pours in through the oversize windows to add movement to the elegant beige-grey tones of Silk Georgette®. The light bathes the Plissé walls and creates a delicate interplay of light and shadow.
Dubai can be summed up as a city of futuristic luxury. Everywhere you look you are confronted with immense skyscrapers that exude wealth and financial stability. However, as glittering as they may appear from the outside looking up, the climate of Dubai calls for materials inside that counteract the searing heat.
Natural stone is the ideal solution for hot and muggy conditions, as its low thermal conductivity means it keeps interiors fresh and cool. Hardwearing and designed to last, it is also timeless and elegant, making it the perfect counterpoint to the glamour and glitz that is often associated with Dubai. It was therefore an obvious choice for this villa in Dubai Hills designed by Anarchitect, where the delicate tones of Silk Georgette® limestone lend a sense of harmony and tranquillity to the interior.
New York is, without doubt, the beating heart of the design and architecture sector when it comes to the latest trends. Its dazzling skyline is a Who’s Who of iconic silhouettes, from Brooklyn Bridge to the Statue of Liberty, so it is little wonder that it represents the apex for designers and architects the world over. Television and film have made the cityscape as recognisable as our own, no matter where we live. Even if we haven’t visited, we still feel as though we know New York, with its yellow cabs, hot dog vendors and the bright lights of Time Square.
Against this frenetic but immensely stimulating backdrop, we designed the décor for a typical Manhattan loft in Salvatori style. Harmonious forms, pared-back style and a soothing, luxurious floor in dark brown stone come together to create a stylish metropolitan haven that provides a welcome respite from the New York hustle and buzz of the streets below.
Copenhagen is the city that encapsulates the best of Nordic design, and the minimalism that is the hallmark of Scandinavian architecture. Clean, pared-back lines and soft neutral colours that amplify the light are the characteristics that define Copenhagen’s style.
Scandinavian design is known for its functionalism and the use of natural, simple materials, such as Crema d’Orcia limestone, used in our Stone Parquet texture for the floors of this Copenhagen home. The muted colour palette and minimalist style is lifted from any risk of becoming bland or banal by pairing it with a little understated glamour in the form of a living room wall in Gris du Marais® Tratti with its gold metal accents. Designed by Elisa Ossino, this feature wall adds a gentle intensity that is perfectly in keeping with the pale cream.
There are certain events in the calendar of every design lover, with visitors from from around the world flocking to discover the latest and greatest trends in design, architecture and furniture. Attending the major international design fairs is a fantastic experience, where you get up close and personal with leading talents in the sector as well as interacting with others who share your passion.
First and foremost is, of course, Milan Design Week, which by now has evolved from what was predominantly a furniture fair to a week-long celebration of design with initiatives such as Fuorisalone that sees the city brimming with visitors and innovative installations.
Then of course there is London Design Week where leading global brands are on show and visitors soak up the buzz of the UK capital while on the other side of the Atlantic the latest trends can be found in New York at the NYCxDESIGN festival.
International design cities showcase how style and design are integrated in an urban environment in such a way that they elicit intense emotions. It is always a pleasure and a privilege for us to be involved in projects that contribute in some way to the evolving social and architectural fabric of any location. The versatility and timeless elegance of natural stone makes it an ideal element that works with any setting and context. We invite you to take a look at some of our projects in the great design capitals of the world, and be inspired not only by those covered in this article, but also in locations as diverse as Paris, London, Shanghai and Chicago.