By Yomna El-Saeed
Under the “Hospitality Building of the year” category, the Egyptian design firm, Eklego Design, has been short-listed for the LEAF Interior Design Awards 2013. The firm is acknowledged for designing the interiors of Oobé (named for supplying its customers with an Out Of the Box Experience), a restaurant/bar/lounge in the high-end commercial district of Shmeisani in Amman, Jordan. The design concept was based on the idea of inversion, bringing the outside in, and taking what is normally inside and using it outdoors. It is worth mentioning that Eklego Design is the only Middle Eastern firm in the LEAF’s shortlist this year.
The Leading European Architects Forum (LEAF), founded in 2001, brings together chief international architects and designers from all over the world to share their experiences, network and help create new partnerships. The winners of the prestigious award of this year will be announced in Berlin, Germany on 18 October.
Eklego was founded in 2000; it is owned and run by three Egyptian women; architect Dina El Khachab, interior designer Hedayat Islam, and business manager Heba El Gabaly. According to the company’s website: “The name Eklego is the Greek origin of the word ‘eclectic’, which means to draw upon various styles, sources and cultures.”
Marketing manager Hala Said told Daily News Egypt: “This is not our first award; Eklego was short-listed in LEAF awards in 2008, and we also won The Arabian Property Award in association with Bloomberg television.”
What was once just a vision for three talented women 13 years ago is now an award-winning, growing, full-service design firm. It consists of a team of over 40 employees, with 20 devoted architects and designers, weaving together their shared passion for arts and culture. The company works on a wide array of architecture and interior design projects in Egypt and the Middle East, designing innovative spaces such as Left Bank, Aperitivo, Articulate Baboon & Tache art galleries, as well as high profile corporate projects like the SODIC Sales Centre and Forty West.
Said added: “Most of our current projects are in Egypt, but we also have other projects in Jordan and Kuwait.” In addition Eklego has recently launched its services in Qatar.
“The Company has its own retail division, started in 2005, designing and selling Eklego’s own line of Egyptian-made furniture. We have two retail outlets in Zamalek and Heliopolis. The outlets also offer a decoration service because of our honed experience in interior design. The company’s work is divided between customizing designs and designing for the outlets. It’s like we have two different companies working under the same umbrella,” Said said.
More information can be found on the company’s Facebook page, Eklego Design.