GAJ SAYS ‘ARCHITECTURAL SIMPLICITY’ INSPIRED JUMEIRAH AL WATHBA DESIGN
Godwin Austen Johnson helped bring Abu Dhabi’s Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa to life
With Persian-style rugs and handcrafted metalwork, the recently-opened Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is a place of welcoming ambiance, Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) told Commercial Interior Design.
Architectural design firm GAJ worked on the luxury desert retreat in Abu Dhabi and described the hotel’s interior design as one that skillfully blends traditional Arabic décor with a contemporary twist.
“Using the architectural simplicity as a backdrop and with neutral homogenous floor and wall finishes, elements of rich patterns and textures, such as traditional Persian inspired carpets and handcrafted metalwork of lighting and accessories, were added,” said GAJ’s lead creative designer, Jacinda Raniolo.
The design of the peaceful hotel aims to create an ambient space more reminiscent of a family home than a luxurious hotel. Intricate curated items of loose furniture accentuate this.
Traditional ambiance is further supported by the barasti and chandral timber ceiling, as well as the craftsmanship by virtue of the traditional form of plasterwork called tadelakt.
GAJ partner, Keith Gavin, added that the resort’s “pared down” interior design compliments the hotel’s relaxed architectural style.
“Although notionally modelled on an old Arabian Village, the resort is a mix between traditional and contemporary elements, with a pared down architectural aesthetic complemented by a similarly pared down interior approach,” he said.
“The Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa was originally conceived as a larger and more upmarket desert resort than the other resorts in the market. Designed for the Jumeirah brand from the outset, it includes a full Talise Spa and Wellness Centre and individual villas, as well as more standard hotel keys, all within the confines of an outer village wall.
“Courtyards, narrow streets and shaded gardens all offer selected views out to the desert beyond whilst retaining the feeling of seclusion and protection of the village. Within these spaces the inclusion of pools and water features further adds to the feeling of serenity and relaxation.”
Source: Commercial Interior Design