Interior Designer Sybille de Margerie unveils her design approach
Words by Aneesha Rai in Portfolio · Aug 31st, 2021
Award-winning designer Sybille de Margerie is well-known for her luxury interior design projects around the world - from resorts to residences. Growing up in the Tattinger family, a name synonymous with fine champagne and prestigious hotels, Sybille understands luxury at its core which is all cleverly reflected in the design of Atlantis The Royal Residences on the Palm Jumeirah. In this edition of the 'Open House', Sybille talks about how she managed to harness the city's light in its different forms from sunrise to sunset in the interiors.
Stepping into the lobby of Atlantis The Royal Residences, is just a precursor for the ultimate luxury one can experience within the space. Starting with a sculptural marble staircase taking centre stage in the expansive light-filled space, there are stunning sea views on both sides juxtaposed with marble, crystal and exquisite textiles exuding elegance and sophistication. Given a 'carte blanche' by the Kerzner Group for the design, Sybille has managed to create an atmosphere of refinery and timelessness.
The interiors carry with them a sense of French savoir-faire and her signature touch. “At one time my family owned the Hotel de Crillon in Paris. We had all our family gatherings there and had the privilege of being raised in an atmosphere of wonder and luxury. My aim as an interior designer has always been to recreate this in my work.” reveals Sybille.
As with all her projects, creating a sense of space was very important for Sybille. First impressions of Atlantis The Royal Residences will reveal her signature touch of creating a strong identity and location - she has managed to create a harmony between the sea that surrounds it as well as Dubai culture. Her design language is communicated via textures and art.
The starting point for Sybille was harnessing the light. “It was of utmost importance to create the right interior architecture to accommodate the light in the design of the space and choice of colors and textures that would represent the reflection and material expression of these illuminating effects. I was overwhelmed by the play of light from the morning until the evening and how it cast its spell over the city." she said, recalling her first visit to Dubai. "So, we decided to develop color schemes that would reflect the quiet combination of blue and grey in morning through the silver grey palette; the strong sun at midday through the gold palette and the intense rose and copper hues at sunset through the rose gold palette." Drawing inspiration from the architecture of the building, there is zero conflict in Sybille's design as she has only further emphasized by the connection between the indoors and the outdoors of the units through contemporary clean lines.
Atlantis The Royal Residences is made of 231 one to five-bedroom residences, all with large terraces and unrivaled views. Gearing up to be one of the most iconic locations in Dubai, it was only natural that its future residents would want the interiors to be equally spectacular. Sybille has worked on three different color palettes that residents can choose from. Each option comes with its own wood finish, specific marble, carpets, textiles and matching metal finishes for door handles and other features. Some of the newer design highlights not seen in Dubai yet are its contemporary details that are not seen in Dubai, metal door frames and plinths. Sybille's interiors are refined yet distinctly livable, sophisticated and effortless, and, at the same time - fluid and functional. Special attention to detail has been used, from the skirtings, to how the drawers are lined in leather and even the huge variety of marble. “Once you have selected the marble, you have to find the slabs around the world—in China, India, Greece and Italy. Finishes are really important for us because texture is central to our language. The beauty is in the detail,” says Sybille.
The curve of the building posed a design challenge which Sybille managed to overcome by designing multiple layout possibilities to draw in the best living experience for its future residents. “The shape of the building has different curves, which implies adapting the design a lot - with different typologies. There is also a shift of the building every four floors, due to the shafts location, which means there are 82 different floor plans - which is unique in Dubai and the world,” said Sybille. “Layout is key for any high-end project and it’s the height of the ceilings and the doors, the size and flow of the rooms that provide that sense of luxury and comfort here." Sybille also stated that sourcing the right marble proved to be a challenge because of the required quantity and quality needed. "A lot of travels were made around the world to source consistent marble" she said.
Sybille states her personal favorite layout is the Garden Suite, due to its connection with the outdoors, the garden and the beach. She also likes the the Sky Courts (private residences with garden terraces and pools) due to the views. Overlooking the beach and the lush gardens, the townhouses can be seen in an array of colors: tawny, ecru, green, and bronze. The combination of materials: marble, mother of pearl patina, and wood, accentuates the interior design. Sybille also lists the Penthouse as one of her favorites due to the stunning Dubai skyline views from the terrace. "I felt I was looking down at the view of Dubai from the sky.” she said. In the penthouses, the grey and silver underline the contrast of black and white, using noble materials: leather, wood, and shimmering glass.
Sybille has also commissioned five female artisans to create a series of decorative pieces, to personalise each home to create unique works in materials ranging from leather, metal and porcelain to glass and gold leaf. They include sculptural porcelain wall reliefs from Isabelle Poupinel; gilded tapestries from Céline Alexandre; hand-sculpted leather walls from Helen Amy Murray; intricately woven fabrics by Annie Corbière, a former textile designer for fashion houses Chanel and Christian de la Croix (and who wove the golden textiles on the walls in the lobby); as well as metalwork embroidery by Annie Trussart, who created the stunning glass screen.