Apartments in Dubai
Maria Giulia Zunino
Matteo Nunziati, Dinah Wille, Elena Colombo, Giuseppe Nigro
If you want to see a country where anything is possible you should go to Dubai. There, in the middle of the desert, there is an air of energy and enthusiasm. The cranes challenge the storms of crisis and – although the current economic situation is inevitably causing slowdowns and changes of plans – they continue to multiply, constructing artificial islands, shopping malls, super-equipped hotels and buildings of all shapes, sizes, colours and materials.
At Dubai Marina – the heart of the tourist area with a small leisure harbour, shops and cafés – the appeal of Italian products is much in evidence. The twenty floors of the VQ Radisson Sas Residence stand out for their typically Italian elegance, a sense of luxury that does not need to be ostentatious because it is part and parcel of the materials, along with attention to detail and choice of furnishings.
The project was assigned to the architecture and interior design firm of Matteo Nunziati, renowned the world over for his experience and tireless capacity for research in projects such as villas, hotels and wellness centres.
“I worked for three years on the project for this building, which was opened recently at a party with a magnificent firework display,” the architect explained. “In a country like Dubai where so many designers aim to achieve very high standards but opt for Chinese products and furnishings that imitate Italian taste, I wanted to use exclusively high-quality Italian products for the VQ Radisson Sas Residence, with no half-measures. I believe that architects have a responsibility to educate, and this is particularly true of the environment. The fact that the apartments have already been purchased or rented confirms that this market is ready for the quality for which Italian products are renowned.”
All 152 apartments have a floor space of approximately 150 square metres but come in 23 different types so as to satisfy the most varied requirements. They are exquisitely furnished (Varenna, Feg and Salvarani for the kitchens; Fontana Arte for the lighting fixtures; Rapsel for the bathrooms; Floor Gres – Made in Florim tiles for the floors and walls) and also offer a hotel service.
Ceramic tiles, chosen from the extensive Floor Gres catalogue, provide a link between the interiors and exteriors and add a natural visual and tactile appeal.
The use of Ecotech/ for the outdoor areas (lounges, cark parks and terraces) and for the swimming pool (“this is the first time that this has been done… so for installation the Floor Gres Design Division provided essential consulting support”, comments Nunziati) creates a highly characteristic landscape but without abrupt interruptions. This sintered porcelain tile not only combines the aesthetic qualities of rock (“the swimming pool appeared to have been hollowed out from the rock”, he continued) with the technical characteristics of durability and functionality in terms of maintenance and costs, but is also eco-friendly because it is produced industrially from reused powders, body and processing residues of other ceramic products.
Inside the apartments the idea of stone returns and the Globe series reigns supreme. The solid (through-bodied) but varied material emulates the colour of individual portions of rock and is used here in two finishes, matt for the floors and bushhammered for the walls. Its natural elegance is in perfect harmony with the most varied types of wood of the furnishings and all the different types of fabrics, from the casual lines to the most sophisticated silk.
Floor Gres, Ecotech/ and Globe collections
60x60, 30x60 (Globe), 60x60, 60x120, 40x40, 20x40 (Ecotech/)
Crema, Gold, Smokygrey (Globe), Ecodark, Ecolight, Ecogreen (Ecotech/)
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UHA, ULA, UA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <150 mm3
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >40 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9, R11
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant