The subject site presents a unique opportunity to mark the importance of the edge of the Deira Palm development and its relationship to the historic precinct of Deira and the creek environs.
We have approached the design with the intent to celebrate this corner with a simple tower form and a collection of supporting low and mid rise buildings that may generate an appropriate human urban scale. The resulting composition develops stepped sequences from waters edge to containing streets with substantial linear buildings that mark the North and East extremes of the site.
A fundamental decision erodes the inner street corner of the site to establish strong and simple geometries that also support the creation of an arrival plaza with vistas directly to the South to the appropriate edge of the waterway and historic Deira. The resulting framed view commences the sequence of movement and vistas that inform the site organization. From this plaza, a ramped route moves west to arrive at the grand arrival plaza, for the Hotel, its Banqueting facilities and recreation centre and Spa. The main entry to the Hotel develops a linear sequence past arrival, and amenities to the water views immediately to the West.
The extended master plan for the Deira Island front provides for a continuous water edge promenade. This scheme accepts and extends this proposition with activated edges whenever possible to develop a rich urban terrain that connect to major internal retail mall areas. The waterway erosion into the site enriches the pedestrian experience and opportunity for public amenity and enjoyment. Rooftops of buildings wherever appropriate support recreation and amenity for the users which together with extensive planted roofs provide a considered, sustainable and ‘green’ objective fundamental to the total design of the project.
Townhouses define a low rise scale to the Western water edge abutting the promenade and commence a rising sequence to apartment buildings immediately to the east with office buildings defining the Eastern street edge. This order contains and secures the site and structures of a two level linear retail mall running North South between the apartment and office blocks. This internal extension to the promenade is the public heart of the development.
The Hotel zone incorporating the signature tower and its surrounding amenities also includes a destination spa building, which with its screened exterior form a sculptural cube set into a water court providing separation, reflected light and unique contribution to the urban richness of the arrival plaza. The public promenade transforms into a semi circular amphitheatre with the stepped cascade rising up to the banquet terraces over.The hotel tower marks this place and its urban significance with an architectural expression that is derived from, but reinterprets the traditional idea of the screen. The fundamental substance of the tower programme is held behind a veil of perforated metal that is in turn incised and eroded to expose major event places within the substance of the tower form. These places are in turn celebrated with strong colour to develop a façade composition that is unique to the Dubai skyline and appropriate to the significance of this place.
The major public spaces of the lower levels of the hotel develop a multi level engaged spatial sequence that structures a transparent base to the floating elegance of the tower form above.
The residential elements incorporate a fundamental approach to an indoor/outdoor living style that responds to the extensive views, and utilizes sliding screen devices that animate the surface and respond and moderate the year round extremes of climate.
The office building facades incorporate an external double glazed skin with internal timber vertically pivoted screens, to provide conditioning of sunlight and develop a rich expression to the total composition.
This proposal does not pursue formal gymnastics to mark its presence, but commits to an architecture based in simple elegance, with a fundamental commitment to the provision of a pedestrian scale and connectivity that will create a major destination that marks the beginning of the new Dubai.