Meet The Judge: Martin Brudnizki

BY Harper's Bazaar Interiors / Nov 2 2017 / 19:44 PM

Bazaar Interiors speaks to the man behind Martin Brudnizki Design Studio about the Middle Eastern design scene and what it would take to bag a prize at this year's awards

Meet The Judge: Martin Brudnizki
Martin Brudnizki, founder of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio

Harper's Bazaar Interiors: What are the current trends that you are witnessing in the global design industry?
Martin Brudnizki: We don’t tend to follow trends but that is not to say we are oblivious to what happens around us. We have certainly witnessed a rise in Maximalism, a richly patterned and coloured trend that is seeing the phrase “less is more” thrown out the window. Many of our interiors take on this look too with The Beekman in Downtown New York being a good example; its atrium bar made up of vintage and antique furniture in rich jewel tones and layers of textured fabrics. Our design for the new Annabel’s nightclub in London will also showcase a look inspired by Maximalism, with each room of the new-look club taking on a different, bold guise.

HBI: What projects are you currently working on?

MBOur design of the Campbell Gray Hotel in Amman is nearing completion, having completed the Campbell Gray Living apartments, which stand next door to the hotel, last year. The hotel will see a wonderful blend of western architecture with traditional Jordanian touches, including artwork. We are also very excited to be working with Four Seasons Dubai DIFC and Chef Michael Mina on a new restaurant which will hark back to traditional London brasseries but with the injection of local artwork and planting. Across the pond my New York studio is just finishing work on Madison Square Park Tower, which is a 65-storey residential development in the Flatiron area of Manhattan. In such an historic neighbourhood it was important the interiors felt both classical and contemporary and so we’ve kept a pre-war sensibility in terms of detailing, especially in the library.

An interior view of Assila Hotel in Jeddah, a project by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio

HBI: What are your thoughts on the design scene in the Middle East?
MB: People often conflate history with Western history and so forget the rich and diverse culture of the Middle East and how this has contributed to our palettes as designers. Whether one thinks of ancient times and the incredible patterns and textiles that came from Persia or the modern period with the influences of Pierre El Khoury and Karl Schayer in Lebanon to now with the incredible work contemporary architects and designers are completing, the region has and continues to have much to offer as a designer. I’ve designed numerous projects in the Middle East, including The Ivy Dubai, Oro in Dubai, The Assila Hotel in Jeddah and the Le Gray Hotel in Amman and have loved fusing the region’s history with contemporary design.

An interior view of Assila Hotel in Jeddah, a project by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio

HBI: What do you feel the Harper’s Bazaar Interior Awards mean for the region?
MB: It’s good to see a greater awareness of the interior design industry in the Middle East as well as a clear sense of growth. The awards programme helps unite East and West through art and design and as well as shining a spotlight on one of the biggest growing markets in the world.

HBI: Can you name the most crucial traits you’re looking for in the nominees across the 10 categories this year?
MB: Innovation, dedication and a true understanding of what makes great design and why.

HBI: What would a win at the HBI Awards mean for the nominated brand/designer?
MB: To be recognised in the Middle East region is a great accolade for international brands; it infers the winning brand has seamlessly transitioned into the Middle East design world, a new and upcoming market which everyone wants to be a part of.

Winners announced at Downtown Design (14-17 Nov) and in the Winter issue of Harper's Bazaar Interiors, out now.