Sonia Ashoor might be considered a Superwoman, as she is committed to promote Islamic art and nurture culture with every project she takes. She is a passionate advocate of “cultural identity”, proudly representing her roots, with a paternal Hajj Pilgrim ancestor from Samarkand, an Ottoman grandmother, and a Persian mother.
No wonder, Sonia is a celebrated interior designer and a cultural ambassador for Saudi Arabia, having created a series of stunning embassies and royal residences all over the world. All her work, be it UNESCO projects, homes, luxurious buildings, has something in common: her signature, which we can easily translate into timeless serenity.
Ashoor is also the founder and principal of Sonia Ashoor Cultural Design (SACD), specializing on Interior Design and Cultural Advisory services. By curating cultural interiors with every project and making global ideas space-specific, she aims to show the world how cultural richness can adapt to modern times.
A SAUDI OASIS IN DOWNTOWN WARSAW
One of her most recent projects consists of The Saudi ambassador residence in Warsaw, Poland.
Warsaw’s architecture is shaped by Poland’s turbulent history, considering its World War II bombing and communist grey buildings. Since then, the city has made culture one of its top priorities, managing to fully rebuild its Old Town center, from its glorious Golden Age. Their openness to cultural diversity has welcomed Sonia with gratitude.
The total property includes both the Embassy and the Residence and spans over 3,000sqm, connecting both buildings through an internal courtyard on the ground floor and from the Ambassadors office to the residence on the second floor.
A SAMPLE OF MIDDLE EASTERN CULTURE
The Residence consists of four floors, giving you all the reasons to consider it something like a luxurious holiday resort. The basement includes a spa with an Olympic size pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, showers, and locker rooms. The ground floor is the living area, consisting of three rooms, a powder room, a kitchenette, and a formal dining room. The first floor includes a family room, dining, kitchen, study room, and the second floor consists of three children bedrooms and the Master suite.
Sonia Ashoor and her team decided to style it like a museum interior, with 16th-century Islamic art in mind. Inspired by the Iznik tiles of the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid dynasty manuscripts, the location takes you on a trip through history with lacquer art panels with all types of oriental colors and patterns.
ARCHITECTURE AS POETRY
The modern touch of the place doesn’t clash with the Islamic accents. Instead, they complement each other in a poem of particularities. Of course, all the work couldn’t be done without the stone artisans from Metamar, responsible for the extraordinary stone carved panels, Ruba Mukabal, the graphic designer, and Warbud, contractor that specializes in cultural projects, of which we can include the Warsaw Science Museum.
Sonia herself has declared before that she seeks places of reflection, spirituality and calm and it is safe to say that her designs have this feel to them, encouraging you to introspection and self-value.
Photos courtesy of: Sonia Ashoor Cultural Design (SACD)