We are excited to announce the preview for our forthcoming Design sale on the 16th of January, featuring a curated selection of Contemporary and Collectible Design from the collection of renowned architect and designer Rabih Hage.
14 December 2023
Rabih at 4308 Baltimore
Rabih Hage is an award-winning RIBA chartered architect and designer with offices in London and New York.
Working on a ‘human scale’ – typically building his projects from the inside out - his interiors layer dramatic pieces of design with a luxurious mode of living. Mixing antiques with contemporary design, since the early 2000s he has partnered with designer-makers to create unusual one off or limited-edition furniture for clients and collectors. Some of these pieces form part of a 78 lot selection in our Design sale on January 16.
'For Sail', 2008, a unique 'Nikki' sofa upholstered in the reclaimed sail from a 470 regatta sailing dinghy (£800-1,200)
Do you normally buy with a project in mind or does the piece lead the project?
It’s a mixture of both. I buy pieces impulsively for my own collection which, from time to time, as my clients trust my taste, end up in their projects. I also travel with my clients to show them specific pieces and collections, or accompany them to confirm or reassure them in their own choices. I also design pieces myself, and therefore my projects both shape and are shaped by specific designs.
Can you discuss the different disciplines required when designing a building and designing its interior?
The disciplines required to design a building and its interior are manifold. Space planning is of course imperative, but it’s really the emotional element that will make it become architecture, or meaningful interior design. Sociology and Anthropology play their part too; understanding how the inhabitants of the building live and how they will want to live in the building. All these elements combine to create an ideal space where functionality is concealed by the emotions that you feel in the space.
If you want to simplify my design philosophy, you could say I design horizontally and vertically. Horizontally meaning that I design with the movement of the client, with a mix of items from the client’s travels and with consideration to how they will navigate the space. Vertically, which is the layer of time, by mixing antiques and existing pieces from the client’s past – their family, friends and pieces found along their own journey, as well as new pieces sourced for their future. The alchemy is putting it all together so that it becomes meaningful and useful while also wrapped in beauty.
a 'Diagonal Bookcase', 2012, designed for the 'Leftover Collection' (£800-1,200)
What do you feel an antique brings to an interior that contemporary piece doesn’t?
It brings this verticality, an authenticity, a temporal quality which is the opposite of designing a house in an afternoon. I am interested in the layering of time and experiences through the combination of antique objects and contemporary pieces. Looking ahead I have a penchant for collecting vintage and contemporary designs which will be the antiques of the future, built on encounters with designers and makers whom I support and champion. I am captivated by their stories and want to have a piece of it through the commissioning and collecting of their work.
Regarding your collection in 16 January auction, when were some of the pieces acquired and from where?
Some pieces are my own design which were created specifically as bespoke pieces for former clients, and what I’m selling is either the prototype or an edition. The other pieces are from artists and designers that I really love and respect like Piet Hein Eek, with historical pieces of his work dating from 1989 the 2000’s.
Major pieces in the sale are the unique Collector’s Cabinet by Piet Hein Eek, as well as the Welded Armchair which is both a prototype and the first of a limited edition of Piet Hein Eek’s humungous armchair. You will also find some very special antique pieces like the double doors by Bugatti, and vintage stools in the style of Jean Prouve.
a 'Corian Chair', 2012, designed as part of the 'Leftover Collection', the Corian frame finished in yellow, green, and white (£300-500)
Why have you decided to sell now?
I am about to start a new chapter in my collection and as such it is an occasion of renewal. By selling these beautiful pieces that I love which have accompanied me for the past 20 years, I hope they will find new homes to extend the love I have for them, as children flying the nest.
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