The innovative interior design and architecture studio, H71, headed by Rami Adly, has earned a reputation for creatively revamping spaces and turning them into contemporary works of art. Originally established by his father, the well-known interior designer, George Adly, H71 made a name for itself as an exceptional interior and architectural design firm before Adly junior joined the firm in 2008. Since becoming CEO himself in 2013, with the passing of his father, Adly has built on his father’s vision, while simultaneously rebranding the company, and introducing new technology to maintain its position at the forefront of the local design scene.
Reflecting on how he entered the design business, Adly recalls, “Although both my father and grandfather worked in contracting, my father always advised me to forge my own path.” Adly took his father’s advice and decided to join the German University in Cairo to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Little did he know then, that when his father would ask him to help prepare some AutoCAD drawings for a very important project, he would enjoy it so much that he ultimately fell in love with the field as a whole. His passion for the creative process drove him to pursue interior design courses on the side, and that zeal and enthusiasm still remains until today.
Building on his father’s legacy, Adly’s new school skills coupled with his originality and unique eye for detail, have been behind some of the most impressive residential spaces in Cairo, making H71 one of the most popular design houses in Egypt. Today, H71 serves as a one-stop shop, providing customers with the full gamut of services, from interior design, architectural design and general contracting, all the way to providing turnkey solutions and customised furniture.
Adly admits that it wasn’t an easy road for him. “I remember the first time I went to a building site after my father passed away. I was very hesitant and unsure that I had the skills needed to run the business,” he recalls. “However, I thrive on challenges. The fact that I didn’t have a formal degree in design emboldened me to self-educate. Until today I make sure that I am well read on design topics, and that I’m up-to date with the latest trends in the industry,” he adds. Besides keeping up with the design trends in major capitals like Paris and Milan, Adly is also well informed on spatial psychology, which aids him in creating bespoke interior spaces for his clients.
When designing residences, Adly starts out by learning all about his client’s lifestyle. “To design the space most suited to your lifestyle, I must know even the little things, like, what you do first thing in the morning, and which room you choose to spend the most time in. This helps me conceptualize the space according to your needs,” Adly explains. Using his analytical skills, Adly also likes to delve into his client’s style, “When you go out, do you dress formally? Or are you more of a casual dresser? These subliminal things heavily influence the space that will suit your lifestyle and your personality as well.” The fact that Adly is well read in the fields of psychology and spatial design, helps guarantee that the spaces he designs are well-suited to his clients’ requirements.
One particular residential project Adly is fond of, is a house he designed for one of his dear college friends in 6th of October City. “It was the first time I used an industrial theme in the design. It’s a risky theme because the materials used are concrete, bricks, and steel, and they can appear very rough. However, I was able to turn it into a cozy and welcoming space,” he recalls.
Despite the success he has achieved with residential spaces, Adly’s preference is commercial design. “Commercial projects give me the room to be more daring especially since commercial clients have begun to realize that creating unique spaces is a great marketing tool for them,” he explains. Over the years, H71 has been the go-to design studio for commercial spaces, having worked with top commercial establishments like the Four Seasons Hotels, Mohamed Alsagheer, Beit Ghaly, Orangette, and BTM Marie Louis. Most recently, H71 has attracted the exceptional high-profile artist Farouk Hosny as a client. “I can honestly say that I learned so much from him. His paintings alone can turn a space into a full-fledged museum,” says Adly.
H71 prides itself on flawlessly executing commercial projects promptly and with panache. “We can finish projects in a matter of weeks. For instance, when collaborating with world-renowned designer Dianna Wong on the Four Seasons’ Caesar’s Casino, we were able to finish the space in a record 22 days,” says Adly. The team at H71 not only finished the casino swiftly, but with the opulent chandeliers and gold accents, it is evident that no compromises were made on luxury and refinement.
Adly’s vast experience with commercial spaces means that he understands the subtleties of the business, as well. “I recognise that when designing a commercial space, it is very important to respect the brand’s message and not to overstep or overshadow it with my designs,” he states. Reaching that happy equilibrium is what he strives for and successfully accomplishes every single time.
Most recently, Adly collaborated with leading couture designer, Rafik Zaki, on his new atelier in Kattameya. According to Adly, “The project had bohemian elements, with classic undertones, as well as touches of modernity with very avant-garde furnishings. It was a huge accomplishment that I was able to fuse all of these styles together successfully.” Most of the furniture pieces in the atelier will not be found anywhere else as they are products of Adly’s furniture production company. “Since we love to put our unique touches in furniture, we often end up producing them.”
Looking forward, there is still much more that this young innovative designer hopes to accomplish. Adly explains that most of the furniture they provide is produced in their factory, while the rest is bought from select stores in Egypt. “Later this year, H71 will be launching its own furniture brand,” he reveals. “There will be two distinct lines. One line will feature our own designs and the other will give customers the opportunity to customize their own furniture,” he adds. Adly notes that his new furniture line will fuse timeless elegance with contemporary design.
Adly is quite aware that H71’s road to success could not have been possible without the extraordinary team he has by his side. He fondly explains, “You have to invest in people. You are not going to get anywhere in life if you are a one-man show. So you have to believe in people.” Adly likes to add a personal touch to his office by going out with his team members, getting to know their family and friends and making sure that they are more than just employees.
Looking forward, Adly’s ambitions go beyond participating in the local design landscape. He aims to contribute creatively to the international design scene. Having already carved a unique space for himself in Egypt’s competitive landscape of accomplished designers, it is clear that with Adly’s vision and persistence, the sky is the limit.