The Address Boulevard Dubai is an eagerly anticipated project that will add to Downtown Dubai as a destination. Part of Emaar Hospitality Group’s portfolio of premium luxury hotels and residences, it is distinguished by its European finesse and understated elegance and luxury, offering a city lifestyle resort to business and leisure travelers alike.
The Address Boulevard Dubai design team selected Lasvit, the Czech glass manufacturing experts, to design and produce the 46-piece bespoke collection themed The Spirit of Timeless Luxury. Through the Bohemian craft of glass blowing more than 4,500 glass pearl drops of various sizes, over 3,500 hand-blown glass rods and more than 6,000 bespoke prism cut crystals have been incorporated into the installations and installed one at a time on site. We spoke to Jana Růžičková, the person behind it and learned more about the mesmerizing masterpiece.
Can you please describe the collection you have created for The Address Boulevard Dubai?
The flagship piece I have designed for The Address Boulevard Dubai is called Felicity and was designed to draw attention, much like a piece of exquisite jewelry highlighting a woman’s natural beauty. With jewelry as the driving force behind the design, I was drawn to pearls, precision, and Dubai’s heritage. Also working with the interior designers of the hotel, I had to understand the look and feel of the space and go from there.
The finale from a distance appears as a large pearl further embellished with refined crystals and a gleaming metal framework. And as visitors come closer to the piece the large pearl is unveiled as a collection of hand-blown crystal ‘pearls’ of various shapes and colors. The final creation appears to be a precious jewel – a creation of nature, feminine and soft yet, at the same time, strong in its physical structure and symbolism.
Felicity then inspired the additional 15 designs that make up the complete 46-piece collection themed The Spirit of Timeless Luxury. Each piece references the flagship design theme, establishing visual links in terms of shape, color, and material. Each installation carries elements of hand-blown glass combined with rod-shaped fine-crystal prisms, forming layered and intertwined creations that resemble precious jewels.
The end result was to develop a collection with a timeless sophisticated elegance, but with a definite contemporary and forward-looking feel.
How do you imagine the hotel?
I have seen the hotel on my recent trip to oversee the installation of the chandeliers and it is very elegant and sophisticated, yet soft in its color scheme. It’s contemporary and luxurious yet inviting and welcoming.
Is the collection for The Address Boulevard Dubai part of a series you are creating?
The collection designed for The Address Boulevard Dubai is bespoke and exclusive to the hotel. To see it, people would have to visit the hotel.
Was it commissioned or did it exist?
Lasvit was commissioned to develop this collection for The Address Boulevard Dubai. We were given a specific brief – Timeless Luxury. Our challenge was how to create chandeliers that reflect this idea of timeless luxury. I was reminded of the glamor and timeless beauty of Audrey Hepburn and the jewels she wears. The pearl – simple, delicate, yet strong in structure, has a strong connection to glass, jewels, luxury, and the UAE and is one of
“I was reminded of the glamor and timeless beauty of Audrey Hepburn and the jewels she wears. The pearl – simple, delicate, yet strong in structure, has a strong connection to glass, jewels, luxury, and the UAE and is one of the nature’s most timeless beauties. It made perfect sense for me to design the flagship chandelier and the collection itself around the pearl.”
What do you hope audiences take from your design?
I hope that audiences will be inspired, that they will see the link to Dubai’s heritage, to timeless beauty and be awe-inspired by the beauty of the collection and the impact on the space the collection adorns.
Tell us about your style, how did you start working in this way? Do you also work in other art mediums?
I have always liked the simplicity of minimalism and this style is reflected in my designs. Glass is a magical material and a great medium to work with. Always challenging, but always bringing new experiences.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?
With this project, in particular, being so large in scale, it was an opportunity for us to push the boundaries of our creativity but sticking to timelines and budgets.
How would you describe yourself as a designer?
My approach to design is contemporary, minimalistic – I like simplicity, clean lines and even when I design for complex briefs – I like the end result to come together in a flawless manner appearing as clean perfection.
How did you decide you would pursue design and in particular glass design as a career?
I was born and raised in the Czech Republic renowned for the tradition of hand-blown glass. I grew up surrounded by this beautiful tradition that had a strong influence throughout my life. In secondary school, I chose to study glass making but at university, I felt the need to diversify my skills so I studied product design at the Academy of Art & Design. I worked in product design for years, setting up my own studio and worked on all types of product design for 6 years.
My introduction to Lasvit came when I was invited to design a collection for them and it was a fantastic collaboration after which I was offered a full-time position as an in-house designer. With my background in glass design, it felt right to move back into glass, and I have never looked back – I have spent the past 7 years with Lasvit.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Working on projects, inspirations are always driven by the client – by what they aspire for the space in which we design – by the architecture, the surrounding environment, natural elements. There are no limits to what can inspire me in design.
Where are you from / based?
I am from the Czech Republic and as we speak I am in the process of moving from Singapore, which has been my base for the past 6 years to New York City which will be my base for the foreseeable future.
What’s next in store in terms of your next project?
I have a few exciting projects, which are going to be completed in the upcoming months. The large scale installation with interactive dynamic lighting for The Concert Hall of Prince Mahidol Music university campus in Bangkok. The installation for a very interesting environment of Changi Airport Terminal in Singapore.
Do you have favorites among contemporary artists?
There are many designers and artists I admire; for example Anish Kapoor, Tokujin Yoshioka, Olafur Eliasson, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jim Campbell, Carlo Bernardini. Most of them are artists working with optics or the physics of light.
Have you ever had any work exhibited in the Middle East before?
I have had work commissioned previously for other spaces in Dubai mostly bespoke installations on residential projects. I have also designed the trophies for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship for the past few years and we are working on a very special design for this year´s tournament.
How does having a piece hanging in a hotel differ from an art exhibition / or museum?
Firstly, the design process is different as it is driven very much by the interior direction of the hotel and in line with the overall theme of the space – whereby a museum piece will have complete autonomy in the design phase.
In a hotel – the installation becomes a part of that space permanently and there is a natural affinity that will be drawn between Lasvit’s works and The Address Boulevard Dubai. In a museum – our works stand alone.
Lastly – working with hotels allows us to bring design to the wider public and to turn these spaces into homes for design.