It’s now clearer than ever that the women of the global design community are at the top of their craft, constantly innovating in their mediums.
In honour of International Women’s Day 2021, Israel’s Forbes 30 Under 30, designer Yaara Gooner – a leading creative powerhouse behind some of the most remarkable projects launching this year and beyond – spotlights her work and news on upcoming milestone projects set to open in 2021.
Yaara Gooner is Lead Architect and Designer at LABS and STAY and one of the major players in the world of contemporary architecture and design. In her work, she creates category defining spaces across residential brand STAY in Hawley Wharf and flexible office space provider LABS, across nine locations in London, all optimised for sleep, work and connection.
At LABS, her contributions to architecture and interior design of flexible workspaces are changing the game, in particular with her most recent project of the transformation of Grade II-listed landmark Victoria House in Bloomsbury, which launches this Spring. Her distinct design DNA focuses on interiors that boost productivity, helping people to thrive and spark creativity, providing a supportive framework and healthy environment for a balanced life. At STAY, her design experiences are specifically chosen to create a residential ambience for long-term guests that also offer a sense of place and home.
When describing her role at LABS and STAY, Yaara comments:
“I see my role as Lead Designer at LABS and STAY as someone who creates spaces that are nurturing and personal – the scale, materials and finishes are all designed to care for the people using them, to provide a stage for people to flourish, connect and collaborate. This is especially important in my thinking behind Victoria House, opening at a time when people and businesses are starting to think about a return to the office.”
When thinking about interior design in 2021 Yaara shares her trend predictions and insights for this year:
“As the vaccine rollout gathers pace it’s natural to start to picture “normal life” again and what this means for the office and return to work. It’s no doubt that the pandemic has triggered a change in the attitude to office design which will now be focused around collaboration and face to face interaction more than ever. There will be more emphasis on private spaces with an open plan layout, where individuals can get together and interact once again. We’re also looking into solutions where teams can collaborate both remotely and in person, allowing for a seamless approach to modern working.”
“Gearing up to open Victoria House in a pandemic, the team and I have learnt to excel at tackling challenging situations creatively. In addition to investigating ways that people will want to collaborate in an office environment again, we’re very excited to unveil our new design solutions – we have used this time to find the golden ticket between proper hygiene levels and comfort.”
When thinking about the materials and textures of 2021, Yaara suggests:
“My favourite material to work with this year has to be polished plaster, due to its unique ability to bring depth and sense of movement to any space. Alongside St.Leo Interiors, we’re incorporating polished plaster into Victoria House. The tangible nature of their eco-friendly material plays with the natural light and helps to elevate the experience of the building’s architecture, giving warmth to what is a very grand space.
In regard to natural stones – Travertine is also one of my favourite materials for 2021 as not only is it cost effective, the texture helps to uplift the ambience while offering a calm and serene finish to the space. You’ll notice that throughout LABS and STAY, we often use brass finishes. This year we have moved away from brass and are incorporating more bronze throughout our spaces. Owing to its subtle character, it allows us to enhance and emphasise important elements of the spaces.”
Yaara comments on what the challenges have been on designing spaces, such as Victoria House, during the pandemic?
“This past year is a stark reminder of the need for resilient design that can adapt and weather unforeseen crises. At LABS and STAY, we have ensured through our interiors and architecture that our spaces mediate between the perceived needs of current situations and the uncertain needs of the future.”