Abidi wa Hakki (Two Opposites Design), are an inventive architecture, graphic and interior design team, whose work is progressive and aesthetically charming
Feature: Anas Al Horani. Photography: Courtesy of Abidi wa Hakki
Abidi Wa Hakki is an interior architecture and branding design team established in early 2012. Their work focuses on strengthening brand identities, down to the minutest visual detail.
Abidi wa Hakki is a boutique design studio directed by two designers, Amer Al Abidi and Yasmin Hakki. Abidi and Hakki are a team of opposites. Although they are exceptionally diverse in style and aesthetic leanings, they always present their clients with a unique, unified vision that speaks for itself in quality and excellence.
In their work, Abidi and Hakki balance out their varying skills, visions and abilities, to find an eventual site of harmony. Amer Al Abidi is a self-taught, multi-award winning international 3D Guru with a degree in architecture. His passions are internal spatial architecture and furniture design. Yasmin Hakki is a 2D designer who is fairly well-known in the blogosphere, and whose areas of specialty include architecture and graphic design. Her eight-year work experience helped her find her passion in branding. And while Abidi brings the dynamism, balance, and impeccable visual actualisation and spatial composition to a project, Hakki brings the colour, identity, out-of-the-box creativity and personal client experience to it. This combination has made them one of the most exciting design groups currently working in Jordan.
Abidi wa Hakki’s approach to projects usually begins with great caution and attentiveness. After meeting the client, the team discusses the size and potential of the given project, then brainstorms and generates ideas both partners shape and reshape until they correlate and collide. If those ideas remain intact under scrutiny, they start developing a concept – usually a hidden, fictional story that binds all the brand elements. Abidi wa Hakki prides itself for its conceptual focus. Once the team creates a story, the next step is designing the brand and interiors. Comparing ideas along the way – to maintain the story and the seamless synergy – is of absolute import, of course.
Using readily available and locally sourced materials is one of Abidi wa Hakki’s main concerns and challenges. The duo always aspires to work with the local skill force and employ them in the most creative manner possible. The inventiveness necessary to reimagine the usage of weathered materials and available elements is what gives Abidi wa Hakki’s projects their special, unequalled flavour.
Among their most famous and beloved projects are, first, The Nub.
The Nub is a pub with a laid-back setting based on the idea of the “mancave”, a man’s getaway from the troubles of the world. The Nub’s architectural design emphasises the descent into the so-called cave, which greets the visitor with a multitude of warm and polished lounge settings. The visitor is encouraged to choose between these settings, from the office in the airy business cigar lounge, to the hip music area downstairs, or the traveller’s inspirational journey, etc. The Nub’s internal cosiness and comfort aims to make the visitor feel at home, and personalised touches and curious details add vitality to these interiors. A unique billiards lounge caters for communal activity and a long, elevated slick bar brings the place together, and offers an extensive beverage and spirits menu. In more than one sense, The Nub is a people’s pub, the where the visitor is welcome to unwind after a long day’s work or to relax at a causal noon with some friends.
Another one of Abidi wa Hakki’s brilliant projects is Foodsmith – FireWood Oven & Grill.
While working on Foodsmith, Abidi wa Hakki invented an origin story that guided the project: an old blacksmith’s workshop, abandoned and turned down by time, goes through rebirth many years later as a firewood oven and grill restaurant. Built almost entirely from reclaimed materials, FoodSmith restaurant reflects Abidi wa Hakki’s progressiveness and creativity. Although – as mentioned earlier – the interior décor was made almost entirely from recycled and found objects – like copper piping, cement brick tiles and discarded wood piles – Foodsmith never gives off a rugged, DIY ambience. Instead, it looks refined and sensually pleasing, an excellent restaurant for any occasion.
A third Abidi wa Hakki project that deserves to be mentioned is De Soto Restaurant.
Since the restaurant’s identity is inextricably linked to the Spanish traveller and explorer, the architecture and branding were decidedly referential, depicting – for example – a minimal biography of de Soto’s travels. The logo itself is a sketch of de Soto’s features, and the restaurant’s interiors rely on unbound woodwork that flourishes and complements the artful murals dispersed throughout. The invented origin story is a fictional narrative of de Soto’s shipwreck. De Soto Restaurant was therefore designed to be similar to a drowned ship’s hull. Unlike its fictional counterpart, however, De Soto Restaurant’s interiors are charming, spacious and elegant.
Abidi wa Hakki is a perfectionist team. Their perfectionism is evident in all of their projects. Speaking of their future plans, they state, “We aim to continue providing the hospitality industry with excellent and highly conceptual work; and at the risk of sounding conceited, we are confident that our projects will always stand out from the rest. We will always aim to provide the ‘wow’ factor in our work.”
Abidi wa Hakki has recently ventured into the residential market and are taking on a number of apartments and buildings.
To know more, visit twoopposites.com