Corals provide shelter and protection to twenty-five per cent of all marine life. On land, the purpose they serve as a barrier continues.

Created for Design Days Dubai 2016, the Coral I divider evokes the use of coral-rock historically in the construction of traditional dwellings in the UAE. Washed up coral rocks were collected from the seashore for hundreds of years, to build walls through cuttingnand shaping them by hand into building bricks bound by a composite of seashells and gypsum.

Hard corals are composed of colonies of single spineless animals, known as polyps. Each polyp protects itself by building a wall of calcium carbonate around its body. It is this build-up of walls that made the material so suitable for construction, as the calcium carbonate provided strength while the porosity reduced density and increased ventilation. Readily available all along the coastline of the UAE, coral was chosen for its material properties rather than appearance.

All the coral rocks used in Zuleika’s room divider have been repurposed from derelict buildings. They were buried behind mortar and plaster for decades, concealing the exquisite, delicate patterns inside each individual species of coral. In a triumphant example of where surface becomes volume, the geometries that generate these distinct patterns also provide the corals with their tensile strength, which is what allowed the designer to cut them so narrowly that they are almost translucent.

The Coral I room divider consists of slices of coral rock six millimetres thin arranged within a slender gold frame that bends to suggest the fragility of time. It references the two familiar features of coral here in the UAE. Firstly, it recalls the use of coral as a building block for the walls of houses and the societies that inhabited them; walls that no longer stand straight and tall but still evoke deep sentiment. Secondly it celebrates the inherent beauty of this natural indigenous material in its purest form.

Each rock slice is clasped by engraved gold settings, handmade by goldsmiths in Deira. The shape of the settings echoes the intricate web of polyps held between them. The coral rock slivers are composed in the form of a wall while being treated like gemstones.

Coral, found on the threshold between land and sea, has always served as a divider. Coral I brings these stories together.

Artist Biography

Zuleika Penniman is a Lebanese-American jewellery designer who marries vivid audacity with graceful fragility. Driven by the potential of using design to empower–people as much as spaces–her work spans a range of scales. She strives to make futuristic jewels that intuitively feel like they have always existed. At the very centre of Zuleika’s work philosophy is a profound respect for materials and process; one that builds on what has passed while looking forward.Zuleika began her career in fashio...

Learn More

Zuleika Penniman
Coral I

Price:
AED 50,000.00
Edition:
5
Size:
190 x 230 x 29 cm
Materials:
Coral, gold, steel

Corals provide shelter and protection to twenty-five per cent of all marine life. On land, the purpose they serve as a barrier continues.

Created for Design Days Dubai 2016, the Coral I divider evokes the use of coral-rock historically in the construction of traditional dwellings in the UAE. Washed up coral rocks were collected from the seashore for hundreds of years, to build walls through cuttingnand shaping them by hand into building bricks bound by a composite of seashells and gypsum.

Hard corals are composed of colonies of single spineless animals, known as polyps. Each polyp protects itself by building a wall of calcium carbonate around its body. It is this build-up of walls that made the material so suitable for construction, as the calcium carbonate provided strength while the porosity reduced density and increased ventilation. Readily available all along the coastline of the UAE, coral was chosen for its material properties rather than appearance.

All the coral rocks used in Zuleika’s room divider have been repurposed from derelict buildings. They were buried behind mortar and plaster for decades, concealing the exquisite, delicate patterns inside each individual species of coral. In a triumphant example of where surface becomes volume, the geometries that generate these distinct patterns also provide the corals with their tensile strength, which is what allowed the designer to cut them so narrowly that they are almost translucent.

The Coral I room divider consists of slices of coral rock six millimetres thin arranged within a slender gold frame that bends to suggest the fragility of time. It references the two familiar features of coral here in the UAE. Firstly, it recalls the use of coral as a building block for the walls of houses and the societies that inhabited them; walls that no longer stand straight and tall but still evoke deep sentiment. Secondly it celebrates the inherent beauty of this natural indigenous material in its purest form.

Each rock slice is clasped by engraved gold settings, handmade by goldsmiths in Deira. The shape of the settings echoes the intricate web of polyps held between them. The coral rock slivers are composed in the form of a wall while being treated like gemstones.

Coral, found on the threshold between land and sea, has always served as a divider. Coral I brings these stories together.

Artist Biography

Zuleika Penniman is a Lebanese-American jewellery designer who marries vivid audacity with graceful fragility. Driven by the potential of using design to empower–people as much as spaces–her work spans a range of scales. She strives to make futuristic jewels that intuitively feel like they have always existed. At the very centre of Zuleika’s work philosophy is a profound respect for materials and process; one that builds on what has passed while looking forward.Zuleika began her career in fashio...

Learn More

Opening Hours

We are open today
9:00AM - 8:00PM
Open: Saturday - Thursday
Closed: Friday

How to find us

Calendar

July

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
25 26 27 28 29 30 01
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23
24
25
26
27 28 29
30
31 01
02
03
04 05
View all events

Stay updated