Design House: Al Barari Apartment
Mirko Sala Tenna of Etereo Design take us on a tour of their newly renovated Al Barari abode.
Words by Laura Beaney in Design & Architecture · Sep 26th, 2022
Specialists in luxury residential architecture, Etereo Design, have cast their gaze towards a cosy two-bedroom apartment nestled in Dubai’s vibrant green community, Al Barari. The award-winning boutique practice was commissioned by a couple craving a space that cultivated a sense of harmony between the interior and exterior environments.
Simplicity and a seamless blend with the natural surroundings set this address apart. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame unspoilt views of the landscape while a palette of monochrome and earthy tones facilitates an intimate encounter with the outdoors. Etereo Design co-founder Mirko Sala Tenna suggests that rooms have been designed to speak the same "aesthetic language”. Now Mirko invites us on a walk-through to discover their design transformation.
Mirko: Etereo Design was enlisted to reinvigorate this two-bedroom apartment located in Al Barari, a community known as the “green heart of Dubai”. The clients, a young couple, wanted an interior environment that formed a dialogue with the natural exterior. Situated on the ground floor, their apartment opens out onto the community’s lush vegetation, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows that filter in natural light throughout the day.
Our aim was to establish a retreat-like serenity that flows throughout the apartment. We updated all the existing finishings as part of the renovation. We introduced flooring that has a natural resin finish, it flows seamlessly throughout the space, from the living room to the bathrooms and bedrooms without any grooves or interruptions. This addition amplifies the proportions of the property and cultivates a feeling of calmness and coherence between spaces. The light grey flooring and pastel-hued walls formed the backdrop upon which to introduce colour and unexpected design elements including our own customised furniture designs.
We worked to ensure that all rooms were afforded equal prominence and that there was harmony between the spaces. I consider this flow between rooms as them speaking the same “aesthetic language”. We placed a firm focus upon thoughtful material selection as well as consideration of the relationship between elements, proportions, colours, and textures.
Mirko: We were greatly impacted by the 20th-century modern architecture movement given its focus on elegant simplicity. In dialogue with the structure of the apartment and its striking natural setting, we pioneered an aesthetic that draws from these historical codes in a contemporary and personal manner.
We established a calm and neutral colour and material palette to complement rather than compete with the outdoor environment. We customised a pewter-grey Antigua marble dining table which is illuminated by a highly contemporary geometric, jet-black chandelier. The marble is invested with character yet it also balances with the neutrality of the micro topping on the floor. Other types of statement marble continue the natural palette throughout the home and form a thread throughout the address.
Other furniture pieces - from mirrors to dining chairs - exhibit clean lines as well as geometric and organic forms to cultivate a sense of serenity in the space and retain a minimalistic aesthetic. A standout piece for us is the black mid-century armchair that we discovered in a vintage market in Italy. We remodelled this historical piece in a contemporary and bespoke manner making it a talking point in the living room.
Mirko: We wanted to maximise the apartment’s flow of natural light as much as possible so the lighting has been composed to avoid overexposure. In the master bathroom, we introduced smart glass to facilitate the flow of natural light and to preserve the visual connection to the outdoors without compromising the privacy of the home. It’s subtle additions like this that helped us to achieve the balance between the interior and exterior worlds that the client hoped to achieve.
We introduced technology into the home to uplift the lifestyle of its inhabitants. These modifications can be found in the multifunction bathtub for example as well as the introduction of an advanced automation system embedded within the apartment that controls the lights and curtains. The clients are also able to establish their own preset scenarios which is better for both the environment and their electricity bill.