A Conversation With the Man Behind Dubai’s Latest Cultural Hotspot

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Intersect by Lexus
Photo: Courtesy of INTERSECT BY LEXUS

Located in Dubai’s International Financial Center, the newly-opened INTERSECT BY LEXUS is a unique multi-functional social space designed to act as a ‘cultural clubhouse’ for the creatives of our city. Here, Savoir Flair sits down with the man behind the project, Ben Nicholas, to learn more about this unique space.

This is the second INTERSECT BY LEXUS in the world, after the Tokyo space. How was Dubai chosen as the second location for this initiative?

The first INTERSECT BY LEXUS was opened in Aoyama, Tokyo, in 2013. After Tokyo, Dubai was the next obvious choice, due to its progressive nature and what it presents on the design, fashion, and creative levels. The idea was to find yet another global city, well-positioned on the international event calendar front, and which attracts a high influx of visitors looking for something different that would enrich their lifestyle experiences.

Intersect by Lexus
Photo: Courtesy of INTERSECT BY LEXUS

What do you hope to achieve with the Dubai INTERSECT BY LEXUS concept?
INTERSECT BY LEXUS is a unique space where people can experience the brand without getting behind the steering wheel of a Lexus. It is not another Lexus dealership, it is a space where guests will be able to engage with Lexus and meet like-minded people through an inspiring world of food, design, art, fashion, culture, music, and technology.

We like to see it as a third space, a comfortable destination between work and home that offers an inspiring networking opportunity for luxury lifestyle seekers. We like them to come and appreciate not only Lexus’ interpretation of design, but also the curated food, library, installations and other activities in the space.

How often will there be cultural initiatives in the space? And what are a few examples of the type of initiatives you’re hoping to bring to DIFC?

The aim for INTERSECT BY LEXUS is to create a link with Dubai’s cutting-edge creators through a variety of design events and workshops. We want to engage with the design communities, fashion trendsetters, and art and culture societies, utilizing this creative space through a series of tailored, by-invite events.

We want to engage with the design communities, fashion trendsetters, art and culture societies, utilizing this creative space through a series of tailored, by-invite events.

We are looking forward to hosting a Jazz night towards the end of this year catered to aficionados of this music genre in its purest form. We are also looking to bring to life some ‘Crafted for Lexus’ workshops that will help promote young and upcoming craftsmen, who will create everyday life products, inspired by Lexus philosophy.

What was the thought process behind the design of the space? How does it mirror the Lexus design?
INTERSECT BY LEXUS is designed by Masamichi Katayama, a renowned interior designer who has partnered with Lexus to create the first INTERSECT BY LEXUS in Tokyo.  He describes the project as an “environment” of new concepts that spotlight the people and phenomenon surrounding the LEXUS brand. An environment that is similar to an incubation platform generating new innovative ideas and concepts. He designed it to evoke the feeling of a clubhouse or lounge, allowing people with shared values to come together and interact in a relaxed, yet inspiring, environment. The craftsmanship and other facets of the LEXUS brand are on display at INTERSECT BY LEXUS, with a spindle-grill-inspired entrance façade and engine-part-adorned flooring, resulting in a subtle space replete with understated elegance.

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