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Wind and water, sails and veils

Manama, October 20, 2007

Bahrain’s interiors sector is poised to grow rapidly in the coming years as some $29 billion worth of real estate projects are at various stages of completion in the kingdom.

Mixed-used developments are coming up all over the country and these are putting further demands on the interiors sector for more products and services. One such landmark in Bahrain is the new Bahrain World Trade Centre (BWTC) which is due to open early next year.

Situated on the Manama waterfront and in the heart of the region’s leading financial and business hub, key aspects of work have been concluded on the complex’s various components. Also, the BWTC’s 18,000 sq m shopping centre – the Moda Mall – is expected to be opened soon.

The iconic towers are the first of their kind in the world to use wind energy to power around 11 to 15 per cent of their electricity needs. Wind power will be harnessed by three massive turbines supported by bridges spanning the two towers.

“The interior design of the BWTC and Moda Mall has been influenced by the project’s unique concept that combines the elements of wind, water, motion and the veil. Each corresponds with the distinctive shape, design and technology behind the development’s iconic sail-shaped towers, which have been created to veil and harness the wind’s energy and motion. The interiors are fresh and modern and reflect the high-tech, 21st century spirit of the entire development, further enhancing the high-profile, world-class stature of the development,” says Derek Sancho, associate at Aedas Interiors, the independent design consultant for Moda Mall, the BWTC tower and the main public areas.

Highlighting some of the key aspects of the interiors work carried out at the BWTC, Sancho says: “The main entrance lobby has been created as a gateway to the BWTC towers. The expansive, ornate, luxurious and contemporary design reflects the building’s cutting-edge architecture.

He continues: “Lavish black granite reception desks – reminiscent of the towers’ impressive sail shape – provide an elegant focal point further highlighted by the striking metal-mesh-lined walls illuminated from above to create a dramatic effect during both day and night.

“The walls framing the lift lobby entrance create a dynamic sense of movement resulting from the elegant white marble panels that step in and out of the wall plane. The columns are clad in frosted glass and illuminated from the inside, greeting visitors to the office towers.” he adds.

The main entry and arrival point of the mall, the Centre Court, has been designed with eye-catching focal points that provide stunningly finished spaces for relaxation and social congregation. The design is focused round the properties of water and its ripple effects. The floor pattern mirrors the effect of dropping two pebbles into a still pond of water, says Sancho.

The retail mall’s ceiling patterns heighten the experience of movement through the arcade. The floor pattern in the arcades reflects a twisting movement reminiscent of the turning of the turbines above, a feature that is reflected in the ceiling design.

The ripple theme is repeated in the Garden Court design. Stretched fabric sails are to be introduced in the ceiling space to help soften the direct rays of the sun.

The design of the lift lobby captures the spirit of the building in a modern, contemporary and elegant manner with the use of simple, modern materials, a cool palette in general. In the podium lift lobbies, feature walls are clad in illuminated mesh screens and the surrounding walls are in white marble. In the tower lift lobbies, the feature walls are clad in white-colour back glass. The ripple pattern from the Centre Court continues on the floor of the lift lobby and is reflected onto the ceiling.

Speaking about the general trend in the interiors sector, Sancho says:

“There is a general consensus towards the o


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