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AlUla Lounge: A Cultural Fusion

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Dutch architecture studio Cloud and designer Sabine Marcelis have collaborated to bring the essence of AlUla, Saudi Arabia, to Milan design week. Their scenography for the AlUla lounge, located in Milan’s Brera neighborhood, aims to promote the design and culture of this historic city.

Custom furniture design takes center stage in this immersive lounge experience. A massive seating area adorned with a table crafted by French design studio Hall Haus invites visitors to relax and soak in the atmosphere inspired by AlUla. The furniture, including sculptural chairs by Leo Orta and lamps by Studio Raw Material, was created during a design residency in AlUla, adding authenticity to the space.

Marcelis and Cournet’s vision extends beyond mere aesthetics. They’ve incorporated elements like ambient sounds and soft lighting to transport visitors to the heart of AlUla. The overhead cylinder, softly illuminating the space, mimics the downward-facing lights found in AlUla to reduce light pollution, creating an immersive environment that mirrors the city’s ambiance.

Custom furniture design becomes a vehicle for storytelling as each piece reflects the rich heritage of AlUla. From the steel screen by Bahraini Danish to the wooden platforms by Leen Ajlan, every element celebrates the local culture and craftsmanship. Curated collectible design pieces by Samer Yamani further amplify this narrative, utilizing materials sourced directly from AlUla to create unique and meaningful furniture pieces.

The lounge not only showcases the final products but also offers insights into the creative process. Tables displaying raw materials used in crafting the furniture and infographics detailing their significance provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the design journey and its connection to AlUla’s history.

AlUla’s significance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is brought to life through this exhibition, offering a glimpse into its architectural marvels and cultural heritage. As visitors explore the lounge, they embark on a journey through time and tradition, experiencing the essence of AlUla through the lens of contemporary design.

This collaboration between Cloud, Sabine Marcelis, and a diverse array of designers underscores the power of custom furniture design to transcend mere functionality and become a medium for storytelling and cultural exchange. Through thoughtful curation and innovative craftsmanship, the AlUla lounge serves as a testament to the enduring allure of bespoke furniture in capturing the spirit of a place.

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