Posted inInterviewDesign & Architecture

The art of luxury

From the aesthetics of mixed-use developments to the integration of wellness in design, Architect Amar Sabeh el Leil shares insights into creating spaces that blend beauty, functionality, and an effortless way of living

The art of luxury

Blending contemporary designs with functional mixed-use spaces is a trending challenge in the UAE. Architects are pushing boundaries to merge aesthetics with practicality, creating captivating buildings that cater to diverse needs. The emphasis on wellness and an effortless lifestyle is paramount, with designs incorporating elements like natural light, green spaces, and fluid layouts to enhance daily living. This approach reflects the evolving desire for spaces that support a balanced, health-focused urban life in modernity.

We had the opportunity to discuss these trends with Amar Sabeh el Leil, a renowned architect and Associate Founder at Amar Sabeh Studio Paris. He is known for his innovative work in contemporary mixed-use buildings, including The Nadd Residence, managed by Seddiqi Properties. Sabeh el Leil, with a rich portfolio of international and regional projects, brings a unique perspective on modern architecture. His co-authorship of influential projects worldwide and his leadership in several large-scale and cultural projects have established him as a pivotal figure in shaping modern architectural landscapes.

Amar Sabeh el Leil, Architect at Amar Sabeh Studio Paris

How have architecture and design trends evolved over the past decade, and where do you see them heading?

Architecture is a field that is constantly changing. In fact, it has experienced radical change within the past decade. The most prominent emerging trends are the need for greener design solutions and enhanced building usage. These two elements are absolutely linked. In our studio, we believe that the best guarantee that a project can ultimately offer in terms of its sustainability lies in the openness of its usage.

Even when it is perfectly completed, it must be able to leave room for play and, ultimately, a measure of indeterminacy: possibilities given to future ‘Metamorphoses’, a space of potentialities that have not yet come to fruition but to which it is already welcoming. It is these that best achieve its durability.

How do you balance modern design and practicality in your projects?

We trust that ‘aesthetic’ proposes an enhanced definition of utility, a more than successful fulfilment of what is called ‘use’ or ‘function’, irreducible to the order of the ornamental, the optional, or the superfluous. Beauty is not a decorative aspect added to the functional quality, but the formal blossoming of a necessity, enhanced by imagination, drawing new ways of doing and being, and of relating to places and forging links with them.

For The Nadd Residence, which Seddiqi Properties manages, the building is organised with a grid of 365cm, creating an innovative structure that allows for total flexibility of the residences, facilities, and common area in order to adapt to the different typologies requested and to anticipate the mutations in a rapidly changing city.

How does The Nadd Residence’s design promote wellness and an ‘effortless’ lifestyle?

The spaces that we design can significantly influence the way we live. Wellness in architecture is a key issue. The work on lighting is incorporated into the selection of materials and carefully combined to ensure the emergence of the desired forms. The Nadd Residence is organised around a central garden that provides natural daylight in the heart of the building and creates a unique interaction for the user.

All the apartments are designed with full-height high-performance glass façades with solar protection and are equipped with advanced air purification solutions. The rooftop level is dedicated to wellness, offering a full range of amenities overlooking the city of Dubai. The final result is an identifiable architecture designed to bring a sense of belonging to the end user.

How have your experiences with acclaimed international projects shaped your approach to new projects?

In our studio, we act more like researchers, and we take an approach between art and science, meaning we are rigorous yet, allow ourselves to make the best of our intuition, pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation.

Each project is unique. Buildings are like singular characters which take form by becoming part of a story that was started before them, where they come to draw new possibilities, open new horizons, and carry new experiences.

This is exactly what we applied to create the Nadd Residence. We have worked with the Seddiqi family for over a decade on numerous projects. This collaboration has shaped a unique way of interpreting luxury and imagining a new way of life that is more exciting. Luxury in architecture cannot be just bought; rather, it is a ‘feeling’ and an architecture that always meets the highest quality standards.

What are your upcoming projects or collaborations following the success of The Nadd Residence?

The studio conducts several global projects that always integrate interior design. We are working on high-end residential projects, headquarters, green towers, and cultural projects in the Gulf region and Europe. We are also designing a complete furniture collection set to launch by the end of 2024.