Top mosaic artists for $652m Versace residence
Dubai, July 1, 2009
More than 100 specialist artisans have been recruited to produce the detailed mosaics for various areas of a $652 million fashion-branded residence in Dubai.
Palazzo Versace, overlooking the waters of Dubai Creek, is said to be the world’s first fashion-branded residences and resort chain. It is a luxurious collection of 169 private residences and 217 hotel suites within a classic palace featuring Middle Eastern architecture throughout exterior cornices, friezes, pillars and capitals, said a statement.
Almost 90 per cent of the artisans working on Palazzo Versace Dubai will be based in the UAE, but Versace’s Italian origins are underlined by the fact that all the hand-cut marble and glass tesserae – the small pieces which make up a mosaic – for the palace are being developed by an Italian master mosaic expert in Italy.
In total, 12,000 sq mt of mosaic artwork depicting the famous Versace icons will be hand laid throughout the coming 12 months by world-renowned mosaic company Fantini Mosaici.
The new Versace features a central reception area for guests and a grand entrance graced with elegant pillars, whilst on either side of the main façade, the Ala Sinistra and Ala Destra (the left and right wings) accommodate the private residential condominiums.
The unique Versace mosaic designs include meanders, Medusas, Cornucopias, vases and Greco-Roman decorative boarders. The porte cochere (drive way) stones will be sourced from Lombardy, a Northern Italian region, and will take a team of 20 skilled workers more than two-months to complete.
Specialists have also been flown to the Palazzo Versace Dubai site to hand-craft the wall paneling and ceiling vaults made from specially designed plaster moulds.
The detailed marquetry, made from a selection of locally sourced and imported Italian wood, will feature throughout all private condominiums illustrating elaborate patterns. In addition, skilled Italian stonemasons and sculptors have been appointed to create the enormous pillars and detailed capitals in the trademark Versace patterns.
“When people choose to buy designer clothes over high street brands, they do so because of the outfit’s style, the way it has been cut to complement its buyer’s shape, its high-quality material and the degree of craftsmanship,” said Soheil Abedian, founding director of Palazzo Versace.
“For Palazzo Versace, the same principles apply which is why we are investing so much time and attention to detail with the interiors and exterior of the development. This will ensure residents and hotel guests experience the ultimate luxurious lifestyle the Versace brand emulates,” he added.
“We have sourced the most experienced and renowned mosaic artists and stonemasons to create what would effectively be a modern day palace. Like the Arabian Princes who once strolled through ornately designed stately buildings and lush, exotic gardens, guests and residents can also experience a lifestyle fit for royalty.”
The head of the team of mosaic specialists said: “We take the overarching building structure created by Versace architects and develop interior spaces with mosaics fashioned by our Italian-based artisans team.”
“The Italian team develops the layout of the mosaics along with the careful selection of colours and materials, which is extremely important in this stage. The main patterns were inspired by original Ancient Greece and Roman art.
“The Greco-Roman designs were modified by Gianni Versace in both shapes and colours, to give them a modern, sophisticated edge and have now been adapted with a traditional Arabian flare.”
Palazzo Versace Dubai’s landscaping is designed around a series of water features, fountains, reflection pools and lagoons creating a series of visually stunning leisure and entertaining areas.
All the plantings have been specially chosen for their environmental and visual appeal<