Inspired by the movie 'Sleuth', we take a look inside Sam Massadi's duplex in Downtown Dubai.
Words by Aneesha Rai in Portfolio · Apr 29th, 2021
Cool and monochrome, Sam Massadi's duplex apartment in Downtown Dubai is stylish and reflects his love for iconic and functional design. We catch up with the Chief Architect at Work Inc. to chat about his personal style inspirations and love for smaller spaces.
Sam: There was a movie that I really liked, called 'Sleuth' starring Jude Law and Michael Cain. I liked the movie because of the space the whole movie was shot in - a small apartment that looks similar to this. I remember it was a very dramatic looking house. The design of the house was part of why the movie was so successful. It's a very boxy looking apartment, and in one area, everything was concrete and dark wood and it was a lot of playing with lights and that's what made this place so interesting.
I've owned the apartment for 10 years, but I renovated it about five years ago. I've demolished everything and knocked down all the walls, all the structures of the section and then all the walls or the partitions, all the fittings, toilets, and kitchens and then rebuilt everything from scratch. I wanted a monochromatic color scheme; I was trying to keep it to one color and maybe just two tones. I kept jumping out of this idea and then putting myself back into staying within the monochromatic color scheme. I happen to be an architect and have my very own fit-out company - usually a project takes me two to three months maximum to complete, but the apartment took me six months as I really wanted to pay special attention to the details. And when it's your own space, it's a bit more special. It takes longer to decide things.
Sam: The dimensions of the space helped me make the right decisions for the space so it works for me. It's not a very large apartment...I don't like to live in a large space. I was focused on making it as functional as can be. Everything is within easy reach and everything is visible from all points of the house. This is the main connection between me and the space. In terms of technology, I worked a lot on making it a smart space and fusing technology and design. Everything is controlled by an iPad, from lighting, opening the curtains, setting a mood to programming electronics. I've also integrated a fireplace and built-in as much as I could - including a Gaggenau kitchen with grill. You can also make the kitchen invisible through various cabinetry and panels.
I love to be active, so I've placed both my snowboard and sandboard within easy reach. Minimalism works really well for me, I focused on using sustainable and natural materials, such as volcanic stone for the flooring. I have also added a skylight, and changed up the MEP work.
Sam: Part of what I like to do is to bring nature indoors. I like to you don't have to make sure not only decorative, but part of the space. I wanted a tree that looked like it was growing out of the dining table.
Some of my favourite pieces in the home is my vintage Bang & Olufsen CD changer. It's something I loved as a teenager in school. By the time I was able to afford it, this design became out of production. And now it's like a collectible item. So I searched for it in Europe and found a supplier in London who rebuilt it and based all of my sound systems around this one. I also love the B&B Italia Mart chair by it.
Update (May 2022): This property is now sold.