Navona – Joseph Dirand


Dirand’s pieces hold an aura similar to that of large architecture.

Joseph Dirand




Joseph Dirand tackles furniture as self-standing objects.

Working in collaboration with iconic Italian brand Molteni&C, Paris-based designer Joseph Dirand was tasked with creating the furniture for The Surf Club. Inspired by the Miami club’s décor, Dirand designed a series of special custom-designed travertine furniture – almost all made-to-order – that features simple and elegant lines. The designer carefully selected our Navona Travertine for his Navona Sofa, a piece of veined stone furniture that has the ability to make the surrounding space even more architectural.

Trained as an architect, Joseph Dirand is an interior designer who draws his inspiration from modernist architecture. He tackles furniture as self-standing objects. Deprived of a given context of existence or preconceived environment, each design is given a strong personality and a solemn monumentality. Dirand’s pieces hold an aura similar to that of large architecture: an affective force generated by the tension of the materials, the physical presence, the narratives they embed.

Dirand works closely with the finest craftspeople, allowing for a wide versatility in the choices of material stone, copper, stone, precious woods, and bronze – all backed-up by the insistent excellency of their implementation.

10 Molesworth Street – Dublin

10 Molesworth Street

A subtle landmark office building in the heart of Dublin’s business and cultural life.

Henry J. Lyons




The quality of design is reflected in the combination of contemporary architecture with superior craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail.

This Henry J. Lyons’ project for developer IPUT is a subtle landmark office building in the heart of Dublin’s business and cultural life. The design combines contemporary architecture with superior craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail to produce a unique building finished to exceptionally high standards.

10 Molesworth Street is a sensitive and contemporary response to the remarkable streetscape in which it sits in the epicentre of Dublin’s Georgian and commercial core. Completed in 2018, this six-story above double-basement corner building adds a landmark office building with a heavily landscaped garden at its heart.

The site is located on the corner of Molesworth Street and South Frederick Street and forms part of the vista which terminates with Leinster House. The striking double height entrance is framed by full height, floor-to-ceiling windows and features a carefully composed texture of finely honed travertine pavements and cladding.

Highest environmental credentials.

10 Molesworth Street is the first new office building in Ireland to target LEED Platinum standard with BER A3 building energy rating. The emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency in the design of the building, underwritten by LEED accreditation, ensures that building occupiers can minimize both operational costs and environmental impact.

Responding sensitively to the historic context.

The new building has been carefully composed to respond sensitively to the rhythm, texture and variety of the historic context. This new development has been designed to reflect its prestigious environment and the rich heritage of the surrounding area.

A natural advantage.

The L-shaped block is carved out in response to its immediate context and provides natural light to lower-level accommodation via lightwells and glazed atrium. At roof level, terraces provide generous roof gardens for occupants allowing panoramic views of the city. The private landscaped gardens and terraces provide a unique outdoor amenity with unrivalled views towards Leinster House, Government Buildings, the Mansion House and further around the city.

One Kensington Gardens – London

One Kensington Gardens

London’s most exclusive residential developments designed by David Chipperfield Architects and delivered by Sir Robert McAlpine.

David Chipperfield Architects

De Vere Estates



Bearing the unmistakable hallmark of David Chipperfield, One Kensington Gardens establishes itself as an exclusive residential area in the capital of London.

The One Kensington Gardens residential development in London is located on a prominent site facing Kensington Gardens, bounded by Victoria Road and De Vere Gardens. The project comprises 97 high-quality residential units and includes the internal reorganisation of the existing site and three new buildings facing Kensington Road, Victoria Road, and Canning Passage respectively. It also involves the reuse and incorporation of the nineteenth-century terraced house façades along Victoria Road and De Vere Gardens, which sit within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s De Vere Gardens Conservation Area.

A high-end apartment complex designed according to the minimalist tenets of pure and straight lines.

The project is a single development broken down into six buildings; three new buildings and three that include the re-use of the nineteenth-century façades. The new buildings follow the massing and heights of the original terrace. A grand open loggia wraps around the apartments facing Kensington Gardens. On either side of the loggia, the façades of the new buildings intensify in rhythm and architectural language as they approach the historic façades. Internally, a series of courtyards connected by a continuous passage link the various buildings. Whilst not publicly accessible, the courtyards provide the surrounding apartments with natural light and a visual connection to an internal garden.

An collection of 97 luxury apartments situated in the heart of London’s illustrious Royal Borough.

The apartments themselves vary in size, differentiated primarily through their position within the development – 29 of the apartments are within the three new buildings and 68 are located behind the retained façades. Residents benefit from a 24-hour dedicated concierge, valet parking, health spa, 25m indoor swimming pool, a private health and fitness centre, sauna and steam room, in addition to private treatment rooms.

House of the Infinite – Cadiz

House of the Infinite

A house that emerges from the sand as a stone platform.

Alberto Campo Baeza




In Cádiz Alberto Campo Baeza have built an infinite plane facing the Atlantic Ocean.

At the very edge of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, where the sea unites the new and the old continent, emerges a stone platform built in Roman Travertine as if it were sand. To materialize this elevated plane, which is the main living room of the house, Alberto Campo Baeza built a large box with 20 meters of frontage and 36 meters deep. And under those first 12 meters he excavated two floors in the solid rock to develop the whole living space.

The platform is distinguished by the presence of a panoramic pool and several slits in the floor, which form skylights for the stairs below leading outside. Strong winds that rage on this stretch of land are contrasted by three imposing walls whose only purpose is to split the air flow and guarantee the right breeze for those enjoying the panorama from the terrace or diving into the pool.

Bolonia, the ruins of the fishing factories where the Romans produced garum and built temples to their gods a handful of centuries ago, is just a stone’s throw away. In their honour Alberto Campo Baeza have built the House of the Infinite, an infinite plane facing the infinite sea.

A wonderful travertine altar that owes much to Rembrandt and Curzio Malaparte’s house on Capri.

The name Cadiz comes from Gadir, the Arabic word for fortress. Its port, which dates back to Phoenician times, long before Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci came along, is the point where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, and as such is a place of great symbolic significance.

The house was built on the beach and stretches out towards the sea like a podium. The inspiration, Campo Baeza explains, came from a 1655 etching by Rembrandt entitled Christ Presented Before the People, the architect was fascinated by the clean horizontal line running through the centre of the scene. But this villa also shows the influence of Curzio Malaparte’s legendary villa in Capri, designed by Adalberto Libera in dialogue with the writer. The design project took its cue from these two references.

A place of worship to which the gods descend to interact with people.

The aim was to create a timeless place in which to escape from the world and contemplate the sea. Or rather,
to create something the Greeks called temenos (τεμενος), Campo Baeza adds, a place of worship “to which the gods descend to interact with people”.

There is something classical – a reminder of Roman times – about the way in which the rooms of the house are laid out and communicate with one another. And this is perhaps no coincidence, considering that for a long period the Andalusian port was a “sentinel” of the Roman Empire.

New Court Rothschild Bank – London

New Court Rothschild Bank

New Court, Rothschild London HQ, by OMA.

Ellen van Loon, Rem Koolhaas, OMA

Rothschild Bank



OMA’s new home for Rothschild is the most exciting addition to the ‘City-scape’ in years.

OMA’s design for New Court is the fourth iteration of Rothschild’s London headquarters, all of them built on the increasingly dense and architecturally rich site on St. Swithin’s Lane, a narrow medieval alley in the heart of the City. The building offers the opportunity to reinstate a visual connection between St. Swithin’s Lane and St. Stephen’s Walbrook. Instead of competing as accidental neighbours, the church and New Court forms a twinned urban ensemble, an affinity reinforced by the proportional similarity of their towers.

New Court is made up of a central cube of ten efficient and flexible open-plan office floors – which facilitate views over St. Stephen’s and the surrounding City – linked to four adjoining annexes, with meeting rooms, enclosed offices, vertical circulation, reception areas, and a staff cafe and gym. The top of this central cube features a landscaped roof garden with outdoor meeting areas. This in turn is overlooked by an adjacent Sky Pavilion – a small tower with three double-height storeys peering out over the city – which houses meeting and dining rooms and a multifunctional panorama room with extraordinary and unfamiliar views across the City, including St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The new building unites all of Rothschild’s London staff in one location for the first time in decades. A reading room and space for displaying the family’s archive ground the new building in the bank’s illustrious history. Through the reconnection of two precious open spaces in the City – the courtyard of New Court and the churchyard of St. Stephen’s Walbrook – the new New Court promises to transform St. Swithin’s Lane.

The travertine of the courtyard extends inside the glazed reception area and creates a vertiginous blurring of up and down.

At street level, the entire cube is lifted to create generous pedestrian access to the tall glass lobby and a covered forecourt that opens a visual passage to St. Stephen’s Walbrook and its churchyard – creating a surprising moment of transparency in the otherwise constrained opacity of the medieval streetscape. The travertine floor and the travertine suspended ceiling of the courtyard extend inside the glazed reception area creating an impressive mirroring effect.

The OMA-designed HQ for the Rothschild Bank is one of the six buildings shortlisted for the 2012 Stirling Prize

The shortlist for the prestigious 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize celebrates the best of new British architecture. The shortlist features six exceptional and completely different buildings from across the country which will now go head to head for architecture’s highest accolade and a £20,000 prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The seemingly simple yet highly innovative London Olympic Stadium, the thoughtful and intimate Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Glasgow, the stunningly original Hepworth Wakefield gallery in Yorkshire, the beautifully detailed and rule-breaking Sainsbury Laboratory for plant science in Cambridge, the New Court Rothschild Bank in London that rises high whilst opening new views at street level, and the crafted and careful reincarnation of the Lyric Theatre on a small suburban site in Belfast are all in the running for the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize.

40 Chancery Lane – London

40 Chancery Lane

An elegant Travertine-clad complex of connected office blocks.

Bennetts Associates

Derwent London



A welcome landscaped space in a dense urban location.

This project for developer Derwent London – an elegant Travertine-clad complex of connected office blocks – draws on the urban character of the local area and retains an existing 19th Century building on Took’s Court. The 40 Chancery Lane building is located in the City of London’s ‘midtown’, on a large corner site close to Chancery Lane station. Several existing, dilapidated structures were replaced with a ‘U’-shaped series of connected office blocks, surrounding a rear courtyard.

The Bennetts Associates’ design creates a mix of new office and retail space in the City. The historic street pattern of narrow passages leading to open spaces and courts is reinforced by a landscaped courtyard with a gated entrance off Chancery Lane. Located on a prominent corner site within the Chancery Lane Conservation Area, the scheme has been designed to respect adjacent listed buildings and to acknowledge surrounding scale, materiality and key views.

40 Chancery Lane will be the new London home for globally renowned advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, which is part of the Publicis Groupe. Working closely with Saatchi & Saatchi, Jump Studios has taken the 100,000 sq. ft, seven storey blank canvas provided by this Bennetts Associates’ designed and created a bespoke and welcoming workspace that evokes the spirit of Saatchi & Saatchi as soon you enter the building.

It set challenging targets for sustainability.

This is an extremely well-considered and resolved development, responding and exploiting the complex nature of the mix of uses: the brief, the courtyard space, and the retained building; while, at the same time, realising an elegant design and a sustainable energy solution.

The Category A design provides high-quality, flexible office space and achieved a BREEAM Offices 2008 rating of ‘Excellent’. It set challenging targets for sustainability, with innovative passive plasterboard chilled ceilings, exposed thermal mass and opening windows, to achieve significant carbon reductions compared with a more typical speculative office development.

40 Chancery Lane wins RIBA London and RIBA National awards 2017.

The jury admired the elegant travertine-clad façade and appreciated the way the scale reduced on Cursitor Street. The innate variation in any natural material and the need for relative consistency, both visually and in terms of technical performance, meant that managing the stone was extremely important. This was achieved by several visits to both quarry and stone processing works over the course of the project.

Broadgate Circle – London

Broadgate Circle

Broadgate Circle has been transformed into the most vibrant and iconic open space in the City of London.

Arup Associates

British Land Company PLC



The Circle is the Jewel in the Crown of the City of London.

Arup’s historic involvement in Broadgate, which began with the design of the original campus buildings in 1985, continues with the recent Broadgate Circle redesign, bringing it back to life as the most vibrant and iconic open space in the City of London. The Circle has been transformed into a new civic hub at the heart of the Broadgate Estate. The changes dramatically improve and enrich the retail, civic and social amenity at Broadgate, whilst enhancing the original qualities of the Circle.

The Broadgate Estate is located in the north east corner of the City of London. This frenetic and active environment is complemented by the regenerated Circle which is now a bustling place for people gathering and social interaction. The project integrates multiple functions including civic space, performance and events space, restaurants, cafes and bars all united by clear and direct circulation routes.

The 4,150m2 circular space of the famous colonnade structure – formed by 54 travertine columns – has been maintained, while three new double-width staircases have been added to provide access between the upper and lower levels. Beneath the colonnade sits the scheme’s reconstructed first floor restaurant. The triple aspect unit has been widened and the first floor now cantilevers over the colonnade with a new structure designed to transfer the loads back to the original columns.

One of the best examples of the travertine use in the UK.

The famous colonnade structure, designed by Arup in 1988 and formed of 54 travertine columns rising to an impressive 14m in height, have been maintained. The Circle is one of the best examples of the travertine use in the UK. The architectural detail and workmanship of the stone with interfacing materials is exemplary.

Bronze anodised aluminium and Siberian larch have been used to complement the travertine, and this simple and elegant materials palette enhances the elegance of the Circle’s form and geometry.

Flexible design.

The Circle is designed to facilitate an eclectic and varied mix of events including musical performances, pop up retail, theatre, cinema screenings, outdoor sports, etc. The drainage, lighting, planting and maintenance infrastructure are fully-integrated, enabling the space to be transformed effortlessly from function to function, day to night. The lighting is also integrated into the handrails of the terraces and decks. Projection technology is integrated into the design of the perimeter columns to enable images to be projected onto the Arena floor.

ExxonMobil Energy Center – Houston

ExxonMobil Energy Center

The ExxonMobil Energy Center is designed to embody the company’s commitment to leading technology and engineering while showcasing its heritage, people and leadership.

Pickard Chilton




ExxonMobil’s state-of-the-art campus north of Houston serves as home to its Upstream, Downstream, Chemicals and XTO Energy companies and accommodates more than 10,000 employees and visitors.

ExxonMobil’s state-of-the-art campus north of Houston serves as home to its Upstream, Downstream, Chemicals and XTO Energy companies and their associated service groups. The facility opened in 2014 and accommodates more than 10,000 employees and visitors. The iconic jewel of the campus, the Energy Center is designed to embody the company’s commitment to leading technology and engineering while showcasing its heritage, people and leadership. It serves as the front door of the campus, reception for dignitaries and visitors and space for training as well as larger community events.

The campus is located in Spring, Texas, on 385 wooded acres immediately to the west of Interstate Highway 45, approximately 25 miles from the cultural vibrancy of downtown Houston. By bringing many global functional groups together, the campus provides employees with the tools and capabilities needed today, and in the future, to achieve business objectives and accelerate the discovery of new resources, technologies and products. It was designed to foster improved collaboration, creativity and innovation and enhance the company’s ability to attract, develop and retain the top talent in the industry.

The Energy Center’s main feature is a 10,000-ton floating Cube.

The Energy Center’s main feature is a 10,000-ton floating Cube that appears to hover above the plaza below. The Cube offers spectacular views back to the campus and out over the wooded campus. Two multi-story atria located in the wings create gathering spaces for visitors and employees. Monumental stairs and escalators cascading openly through the space, and glass elevators at the facade, lead people through the Energy Center and up into the Cube.

The Cube itself is shaped like a wide bridge with a square hole punched into its middle, offering views in all directions. It is raised 80 ft. above ground and suspended between two cantilevered supports on opposite wings. It will serve as the campus’s front gate

The campus was constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

The campus was constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Its design incorporates extensive research into best practices in building and workplace design through extensive benchmarking of the world’s top academic, research, and corporate facilities. Sustainability touches all aspects of the campus including energy and water efficiency, land management, building and facilities programs, and transit. The site was designed for and obtained Gold level certification with the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standard.

Other firms working on the Exxon Mobil campus include Gensler’s Houston office (interior and architect of record), Houston-based PDR (campus programmer and workplace interior architect) and Hargreaves Associates (landscape architect), which has offices in San Francisco, Cambridge and New York.

Grupo Arca – Guadalajara

Grupo Arca Showroom

Esrawe Studio carves quarry-like landscape for Guadalajara stone showroom.

Esrawe Studio

Grupo Arca



Monolithic blocks of stone mimic man-made quarry landscapes for Grupo Arca’s showroom and cultural centre.

Monolithic blocks of stone mimic man-made quarry landscapes for Grupo Arca’s showroom and cultural centre in Guadalajara, Mexico, designed by Esrawe Studio. The complex is designed to promote culture and education over business transactions, with a focus on Mexican architecture, design and fine arts.

A quarry is the evidence of man’s action on nature; a manufactured landscape created in search of raw materials. The nature of this landscape nourishes the concept behind the Grupo Arca’s showroom and warehouse. Rectangular cut-outs on the building’s facade reveal a layer of ocean blue travertine underneath the black concrete exterior cladding.

Visitors access the building through a small opening in the monolithic facade and are led down a narrow corridor to the central internal courtyard. The access in the monolithic facade links the visitor with the monumental central space, the Agora.

The building is divided functionally and physically into two universes: the quarry and the warehouse.

The building is divided functionally and physically into two universes. Two separate volumes that are woven and related to each other: the universe of the quarry, which houses the Agora, the Design Center, the cafeteria, and the multipurpose room, and the warehouse, which acts as a container and distribution center, a translucent and neutral space framed in the background by a forest that links us again with the origin of matter.

A double-height space at the rear is planted with trees, separating the two buildings. Unlike the stone used in the main building, the warehouse is designed as a neutral space to shift the focus onto the material collections available to buy inside.

The sculptural walls allude the “manufactured landscape” of quarries.

Called the Forum, its walls are lined with the same travertine from the facade, designed to create the sensation of being inside an excavated space. “The character of the quarry is defined by the material,” said the studio. “The monolithic expression and the monumental scale of it makes it a one of a kind experience.

“Mexican sculptor Jorge Yazpik was invited to exhibit his artwork in the Forum for the showroom’s opening night.
The space will be lent to various cultural events over the year including exhibitions, lectures and film screenings to build a connection with the arts scene in Guadalajara.

The Surf Club – Miami

The Surf Club

Richard Meier reimagines the world’s most iconic private club.

Meier Partners

Four Seasons



Richard Meier’s iconic visual vocabulary merge with idyllic interiors designed by Joseph Dirand.

The legendary Surf Club in Surfside, Florida, was founded in 1930 by Harvey Firestone as a private membership club. The Surf Club development include a new Four Seasons Hotel rising from the center of the Club’s original exterior courts, while two 12-story residential buildings located to the North and to the South of the historic Surf Club buildings flank the hotel. The design also incorporates additional programming including a private membership club, two restaurants, four swimming pools, a state-of-the-art spa and fitness center, more than 40 beach cabanas, and an expansive park and oceanside gardens. The design for the buildings utilizes Richard Meier’s clear and iconic visual vocabulary while the idyllic interiors are designed by Parisian architect and designer Joseph Dirand.

A harmonious dialogue between historic and modern architecture creates a spectacular destination on a prime oceanfront site.

The main challenge of the project was to harmonize the relationship between the existing courtyard typology of the historic Surf Club and the new vertical buildings of the residential and hotel complex surrounding the Surf Club. This is achieved through the careful calibration of architectural proportions, the consistent introduction of natural light throughout the complex, the establishment of visual corridors connecting old and the new buildings, and the purposeful juxtaposition of the modern materials used for new construction with the historic treatment deployed in the renovation of existing Surf Club structures.

Natural light, visual corridors and open spaces up to the water.

The Surf Club boasts 965 feet of Atlantic oceanfront on a 9-acre site, and the entire project is organized to maximize the views and recreational opportunities provided by this extraordinary amenity. Three new buildings have been harmoniously integrated into the historic Surf Club architecture through the careful orientation of communal spaces to the surrounding landscapes and waterscapes, culminating in a main courtyard that opens out to the beach and ocean with a swimming pool and a series of water terraces.