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ON THE EDGE OF CHAOS (ORYX MAGAZINE)

This article was written 3 years ago.

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He has been kicked out of one the world’s best art schools, designed iconic interiors from the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht to Bonn’s Kameha Grand Hotel and been dubbed the ‘Lady Gaga of the design world’ by the New York Times – now he is in Doha. Meet Marcel Wanders, the man behind the first Mondrian hotel in the Middle East.

Expelled from Design Academy Eindhoven before graduating with the highest honours from ArtEZ University of the Arts in 1988, Marcel Wanders has gone on to become a designer of international repute: establishing his eponymous interior design studio in Amsterdam; co-founding furniture and lighting brand Moooi; and creating products for the likes of Alessi, Swarovski and Puma. His Knotted Chair is in MOMA’s permanent collection, BusinessWeek called him ‘Europe’s hottest designer’, and Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum held a major retrospective of his work.

His latest project is the Mondrian Doha, the first Middle Eastern hotel from American hospitality giant SBE. With 270 rooms and suites, the largest ESPA Spa in the world and seven restaurants – together with a brief that asked for something that was ‘authentically Doha’ and yet international, and part of the Mondrian family and yet reflective of Wanders’ distinctive style, he had his work cut out. ‘That is a lot of things that just don’t fit together,’ he laughs. ‘And that is the quest we had – in the chaos of the final design all those aspects had to find their own place in the guests’ experience.’