Virtual Design Festival

4Space hopes to create "long-term relationships" between people and spaces

VDF studio profile: 4Space is a Dubai-based design studio, which specialises in interior architecture with a decidedly human-centred approach.

"We seek to integrate the design of an interior seamlessly into the daily lives of its occupants, regardless of style preferences," said co-founder Firas Alsahin.

"This creates tangible, long-term relationships between them and the spaces they occupy,"

Alsahin founded 4Space together with Amjad Hourieh, and over the last decade the duo has built up a multidisciplinary team to take on everything from residential projects to restaurant, retail and office spaces.

The Kava & Chai speciality cafe features an algorithmically designed ceiling light installation

Across all of its projects, the studio prides itself in "challenging the status quo" and pushing the boundaries of traditional interior design.

"Our design approach has always been bold and unique," said Hourieh, who is the company's managing director. "It always tells a story."

This can be seen for example in the Coffeetea cafe in Dubai, which features a split interior to suggest the impossible choice between the two titular beverages.

A two-sided interior distinguishes the Coffeetea cafe in Dubai

The coffee side of the room features a rich, brown palette with exposed bricks and recessed plants integrated into the wall in the shape of an Arabica tree.

Meanwhile, the other side is held in rich green shades and is accentuated by decorative, moss-covered pendants that are designed to resemble tea leaves in a strainer.

This speaks to the studio's biophilic approach, which is focused on bringing elements from nature into the indoors.

"Healthy and sustainable living is often lost amidst our fast-paced and convenience-focused lives," said Alsahin, the company's design director. "4Space wants to alter this mindset and reinstitute the benefits of nature."

The focal point of the Atmosfire restaurant is a giant brick brazier

Another local 4Space-designed restaurant, called Charcoal Garden, features a reclaimed wooden counter and a vertical garden of vines stretching across columns and walls.

A rustic mesh sheet is spread across the ceiling to give the space an industrial feel and as a subtle nod to the menu's focus on grilled meats.

The interior of Dubai's Atmosfire restaurant is equally centred around its cuisine. In fact, the entire space is organised around an open barbecue fire pit, topped with a vast, brick brazier that extends into the ceiling to become an architectural element in its own right.

Customers at the Tutus Kurniati boutique in Nakheel Mall can pay on their phones rather than at a counter

In the retail arena, 4Space has recently completed the Tutus Kurniati womenswear boutique in Dubai's Nakheel Mall, which features an undulating wooden bench and sand-coloured terrazzo floor to suggest waves crashing into a beach.

The shop is designed without a till counter to promote cashless payments, which Hourieh thinks is going to become increasingly important in a post-pandemic world.

"The entire context in which we design has shifted and this changes what, how and why we design," he explained.

Studio: 4Space
Contact address: [email protected]