The first Manolo Blahnik space in Doha, Qatar recently opened at Salam in The Gate Mall designed by architect Nick Leith-Smith. The forty square metre space works in harmony with the opulent interior but with an overall neutral palette echoing the quality of light and landscape of the vast expanses of the Rub’ al Khali desert and the Sabkha salt flats. An evolution of the Dubai flagship, an elaborate white hardwood screen, is hand-carved in a tessellated stone coral pattern paying homage to the mathematical complexity and intricacy of Islamic architectural detailing. A careful curation of shoes are tantalising figures against the intricate geometric canvas which unrolls against the back wall.
The circle, the basis for geometries in Islamic art is referenced in the majestic circular tiered display tables and the low upholstered ottomans, providing contrast is rich jewel hues. The story continues with shoes are perched elegantly on individual plinths and reverently displayed through curved glass cabinets. The design relating to Matsuya Ginza has been honoured with a Silver Award in the Commercial Interior Design category in the Design 100 London Design Awards as well as a Silver Award in the Interior Design Retail category in the Design 100 Hong Kong Design Awards. To be recognised twice in the Design 100’s global awards is an outstanding achievement for the studio.
Design: Nick Leith-Smith