How can typologies of our past shape the future?

Villa Moda, 2010-2015

In my capacity as a senior architect/ project manager working within Villa Moda Lifestyle KSCC, reimagining regional archetypes of retail space and collaborating on interventions woven into bespoke luxury shopping experiences

Consumer culture has dramatically refashioned the urban condition of the Middle East in the 21st century, often replacing the historic typologies of the Souk and the Bazaar which once played an important role in the evolution of the urban social. These spaces of commercial exchange, which evolve over time and are unique in their (often informal) organization, always manifest as fluid and intrinsically inviting social configurations. Juxtaposed at the threshold between culture and consumerism, these typologies became the precedent and inspiration behind my oversight of the design, development, and planning of the Villa Moda luxury-brand stores and retail projects.

Working with multiple collaborators and coordinating the variant aesthetics of a number of luxury fashion brands and internationally acclaimed designers, each of the flagship stores evolved with a unique story and a ‘choreographed’ luxury shopping experience. This holistic approach aimed to reshape both the concept and function of the retail experience for the discerning contemporary shopper, yet was rooted within the social architecture of the historic Middle Eastern marketplace.

For the Women’s Multi-brand store at the DIFC, a particular focus on expert craftsmanship was woven into the design, whereby master-craftsmen from Iran were commissioned to create intricate mirror work set within dusky pink plaster. The concept store invited local artists to collaborate on window displays and holistically build within the eclectic aesthetics of vintage bespoke furniture and unique chandeliers. A one of a kind luxury shopping experience crafted in an entangled choreography between modernity, fashion, and cultural tradition.