Starck on Design

 Mr. Umesh Gautam, Mr. Arun Pathak, Mr. Kiron Shenoy, Ms. Saba Ali,
Mr. Ashwin Chadha, Mr. Tyronne Rebeira

The world’s most revered living designer describes his philosophy and creative approach behind the distinctive interiors at Sapphire Residences.

Sapphire Residences changed the dynamic of luxury apartments in Sri Lanka. Sapphire Residences & the ITC One hotel is undoubtedly set to be a landmark development in Colombo, not just architecturally but one that would redefine uber-luxury vertical residential living in the Indian Ocean region.

“To turn our vision for this project into reality, it was necessary to assemble a first-class team of globally renowned architects, designers and engineers,” explains Arun Pathak, Managing Director of the development company WelcomeHotels Lanka. “So, who better to design the residential interiors and leisure amenities at Sapphire Residences than Philippe Starck, the world’s greatest living designer, and his London-based team at YOO?”

YOO Inspired by Starck has completed numerous high-profile interior design projects and YOO is one of the world’s leading developers of branded residences. For the Sapphire Residences scheme, the design team drew inspiration from the island’s culture and the serendipitous nature of Sri Lanka. Discussing his motivations behind the design, Philippe Starck remarked, “I wanted to create a place that draws people together, that makes them laugh, make them more in love, more sparkling, more intelligent. I wanted to create fertile surprises to awaken people, to create conversations, to create interactions. A place where we, humans, are at its heart.”

“It is difficult to overstate the enormous contribution that Philippe Starck and his team have made to the project,” comments Arun Pathak, Managing Director of development company WelcomHotels Lanka. “His genius and his distinctive designs are widely celebrated around the world.”

To illustrate this, earlier this year Philippe Starck received a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Design Prize 2019 in Milan for his outstanding body of work, which followed the India Design Forum Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented to him in Colombo last October when he was in town to celebrate the launch of Sapphire Residences. “These prestigious international awards further consolidate his reputation as the world’s greatest living designer,” adds Mr Pathak.

sapphire residence aprtment interior

“YOO is about a philosophy,” observes Philippe Starck. “I don’t focus on concrete, stone or glass, I only care about the impact of our creations on the end user. With YOO projects we always try to create vivid communal spaces with prolific surprises that captivate the owners during the few minutes they will pass through. Our focus is in providing them with an all- encompassing, timeless and quality interior private space that is a platform upon which they can build their own nest.”

luxury apartments in sapphire

Having famously said that he can design a chair in two minutes and a hotel in half a day, how long did it take him to create the Sapphire Residences concept? “Each project is unique, and the timings depend on many factors, but the most important is helping people discover themselves through a very simple game, so that they can find exactly what they need via a Haute Couture service,” he explains.

“Buying an apartment is a heavy decision and people are often scared of making a huge mistake. YOO is unique in the world and we can say that it has created a community of smart people who love creativity and who want to build the world in a different and perhaps in a better way. Sapphire Residences was designed according to this vision. It is a vertical village built to enhance the community feeling and to embrace connectivity between residents, with communal areas to be creative, talk, play, share and love in.”

Philipe Starck with Arun Pathak with Jhon Hitchcox
YOO’s John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck with WelcomHotels Lanka’s Arun Pathak at the Sapphire Residences Experience Centre

Asked whether he places beauty over functionality when designing a product, Stark remarked that he doesn’t like the word ‘beauty’ because to him it appears superficial. “When I design a new project, I always think about the function and about the idea of timelessness. Today we tend to produce less and less but if we decide to go for it, it has to be for projects with a strong guarantee of longevity and transmission. Indeed, we should probably think of things as being ‘harmonious’ instead of ‘beautiful’. New projects need to first bear the values of, harmony and then vision, intelligence, honesty and creativity.”

You are invited to experience one of the stunning range of four interior styles by YOO Inspired by Starck; please contact us to arrange a private tour of our full-size Sky Mansion show apartment at the Sapphire Residences Experience Centre on Galle Face.

Sapphire Residences offers a range of the finest luxury apartments in Sri Lanka with state-of-the-art design and architecture, located at the epicenter of Colombo. Lanka are place at the heart of Colombo in one of the best strategic locations.

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