The Stella Collective and Artedomus - Creating Genuine Happiness
The Artedomus Series
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Speaking about The Stella Collective’s projects, clients and collaborators, founding director Hana Hakim’s passion and enthusiasm are palpable. Her genuine love of her work is evident in her projects, which are not only meticulously detailed but vibrant and engaging for all who experience the spaces created by The Stella Collective. When long-time collaborator Artedomus became client with the design of Casa Artedomus, their Sydney showroom, Hana’s passion came full-circle in a project she describes as a “love letter”.
The Stella Collective was founded some three and a half years ago, driven by “a complete and utter desire to design projects that created genuine happiness”, Hana reflects. “That’s the essence of our platform – making people feel really good through sensory experience, whether it’s an office or a rockin’ hospitality venue. We create a true feeling of welcome. At the end of the day, it’s about making people feel good to their core”.
The studio has established a strong and recognisable design language, known for their delicate balance of luxury, refinement, playfulness and restraint. Yet the focus on creating an emotional response through design, rather than the aesthetic or formal elements of design for their own sake, is arguably what elevates The Stella Collective’s work and creates a tangible atmosphere for each individual space.
Hana’s passion came full-circle in a project she describes as a “love letter”.
“The love we have for our projects is so overwhelming – the client and their narrative, we take it really seriously”, Hana says, and it is this love that drives The Stella Collective to seek out products and materials that are capable of eloquently telling that story in physical form. “We specify Artedomus on all our projects, they have been such a good resource to us, it’s amazing what they find all around the world, I could go in and spend all day talking about what they’ve found in Japan or Italy”, she continues. “They’re much more than just a supplier”.
When it comes to materials, Hana says, “we treat them like precious jewels. No matter the scale of the project, we always have to respect the clients’ budget so there is only so much of something we can have, and this makes them more special. We just try to use these precious pieces in a way that they can sing their song”. Designing new offices for Memocorp, The Stella Collective custom-designed a solid marble reception desk from Artedomus’ White Fantasy stone. “There stone is integral to the presence of the piece, the client was a bit hesitant at first, but when it arrived, he was exclaiming over its beauty”.
“We specify Artedomus on all our projects, they have been such a good resource to us, it’s amazing what they find all around the world”.
In the bathrooms, Hana sourced Italian Agape In-Out basins from Artedomus to continue the office’s unique sense of calm. Such a significant piece enhances the sense of the love and care that has gone into creating the space. Hana emphasises that “the principle for us was that any moment away from the desk should be calm and meditative, so in the bathrooms, the lighting is really low, a beautiful landscape on the wall reflects in the mirror, and the Agape basin was perfect to accompany it”.
Similarly, in the Zephyr Lounge, located in the basement of Memocorp offices at 259 George Street, Hana created the atmosphere of a Japanese spa in the bathrooms with Artedomus Sugie Series tiling. Designed as an ‘end of trip’ facility for employees who may have cycled to work or used the on-site gym, the Zephyr Lounge is again created to be a space that people enjoy engaging with. Expanses of marble in the main lounge area and kitchen combined with brass detailing, low lighting and sumptuous green curtains create an atmosphere of refined luxury akin to a prestigious club environment.
“There stone is integral to the presence of the piece, the client was a bit hesitant at first, but when it arrived, he was exclaiming over its beauty”.
Working with Artedomus on these and other projects, when Artedomus approached Hana to design their Sydney showroom she describes it as an opportunity to create “a love letter. I really felt we needed to showcase what Artedomus have done and give it the value and attention it deserves”, she says. Just as Artedomus is “so beyond the normal notion of a supplier” in their work with The Stella Collective, Hana says “I just knew it had to not feel like a showroom at all. I was adamant that people who went there, architects and design lovers, could go there and feel completely inspired in an aspirational environment”.
With this goal of creating such an atmosphere, Hana worked with Artedomus creative director Thomas Coward to bring the materials to life in a space that instigates a sense of “renewal”. Thus, Casa Artedomus is inspired by “old Hollywood film sets”, far from the realm of a typical showroom. Hana tells that “one of my favourite things is the reception counter and two palms, those three things together, yes it’s a magical background but those three things really talk to me about a paradise. That’s what we conjured there, a really good holiday feeling inspired by beautiful old Miami”.
The Stella Collective created Casa Artedomus as an ‘apartment’ with a kitchen and bathroom. Artedomus stone is transformed into screens, fulfilling the function of showcasing the material while creating an evocative form, and tiles become the facade of a planter, each examples of The Stella Collective’s approach to using materials in unexpected and exciting ways. “I wanted to feel that it’s like a design mecca, someone could go there and say ‘I never thought you could put these products together’ – as much as possible we tried to turn expectations on their heads”.
In this way, Casa Artedomus embodies the collaboration that has flourished between The Stella Collective and Artedomus – defying all expectations of the typical relationship between designer and supplier or designer and client, and in doing so, creating something truly rare.