Design and Architecture
Top Interior Architects Wilson and Associates, Jeffrey Beers, David Rockwell and Adam Tihany Designed Luxury Entertainment Resort
Led by the vision of the late Sol Kerzner, former Chairman of Kerzner International, an esteemed roster of internationally known architects, designers and landscapers joined together to create an entirely original, fully-integrated entertainment destination resort, Atlantis, The Palm. Redefining the Dubai resort experience, the September 2008 debut of this unique project showcases the design talents of Jeffrey Beers of Jeffrey Beers International (JBI), David Rockwell of The Rockwell Group and Adam D. Tihany of Tihany Design. The expertise of established interior resort designers Wilson and Associates, design architects Wimberly, Allison, Tong and Goo (WATG), and the innovative landscape architecture of EDSA were all utilised in the design process. The resort also features artwork by world-renowned artists Dale Chihuly and Albino Gonzalez.
THE ROYAL TOWERS – ARRIVAL
Throughout the resort, guests experience an immediate connection to their natural surroundings, travelling on a sensory journey of discovery highlighted by nature, art and moments of wonder. Arrival in the Royal Towers Grand Lobby presents a dazzling interplay of water, light and sound with a wall of windows offering stunning vistas of the azure waters of The Palm and beaches along the Arabian Gulf. Moving across the lobby’s travertine marble floors, guests enjoy a symphony of sound as a water wall cascades into a babbling pool, a soothing reminder of the surrounding sea.
For Atlantis, The Palm, artist Dale Chihuly was commissioned to create his first installation in the Middle East – a glass sculpture that brings the essence of the sea and its inhabitants to life. The stunning result, which took almost two years to create, is a 10-metre-high sculpture with more than 3,000 pieces of intensely-coloured blown glass ranging from fiery oranges and reds to tranquil blues and greens. The piece is surrounded by a reflection pool. “This is a totally unique idea for us,” comments Chihuly.
No matter where guests direct their gaze, Atlantis delights with moments of unexpected wonder. The lobby’s 19-metre-high arched ceilings feature eight hand-painted murals on canvas by Spanish artist Albino González, one of the world’s foremost interpreters of ancient mythology. Gonzalez painted the murals in his studio near Leon, Spain. Two murals measuring 5 metres by 2.5 metres and six murals measuring 6.5 metres by 2.5 metres depict the development of the solar calendar, highlighting various constellations and planets and tell the story of the ancient mythological city of Atlantis. The calendars are distributed throughout the eight murals and represent the seasons of the year including the solstices and the equinox (spring, summer, fall and winter) and the four elements (air, earth, fire, water). Gonzalez’s work captures the major themes of Arabian mythology, a story that has been passed throughout time, from generation to generation.
A majestic walkway leads to the Wilson and Associates-designed entrance, welcoming guests to the accommodation of The Royal Towers at Atlantis.Each room and suite boast breath-taking views of the azure Arabian Sea, or the tranquil waters of The Palm.
The resort’s 1,548 rooms and suites recently benefitted from an extensive renovation to bring a fantastically fresh look and feel to each and every room. Accommodation ranges from Ocean and Palm Beach rooms (45 square metres) to a series of larger suites, sumptuously appointed with walk-in wardrobes, dressing areas and jetted tubs. Interiors are fashioned in an elegantly understated contemporary décor of earth tones, while vibrant splashes of colour bring the ocean indoors. Decadent bathrooms outfitted with marble floors, granite vanities, rain showers and twin vessel sinks provide guests with a luxurious oasis for relaxation.
The resort includes seven distinctive signature suites, each with their own distinctive qualities.
The iconic Royal Bridge Suite spans the East and West Towers, measuring 924 square metres.Reached by private elevator, this three-bedroom enclave on the 22ndfloor overlooks The Palm and the Arabian Sea through floor-to-ceiling windows. Upon entering, guests revel in utter opulence, including a dining room with a gold leaf table that seats 16, and a large, sumptuous lounge area. The suite offers a variety of media with the latest technology including six high definition televisions ranging in size from 32”-46” with DVD players, surround sound theatre-style audio, and music through CD players, iPod docking stations, or worldwide music through the multi-media system, all controlled via a universal remote, at the touch of a button. The master bedroom features a customised bed in the centre of the room, complete with luxury Frette linens. Both the master bedroom and the second bedroom feature his and hers bathrooms, while the third bedroom has two double queen beds and en suite bathroom.
The two Underwater Suites are truly extraordinary with floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom and bathroom looking directly into The Ambassador Lagoon, creating an illusion of being beneath the sea, while looking directly into the heart of Atlantis. With stunning interiors by Wilson and Associates, the aptly named Neptune Underwater Suite and Poseidon Underwater Suite measure 165 square metres each, stretched over three floors. A sweeping staircase leads from the foyer to the large living and dining area that overlooks The Ambassador Lagoon and are supported by a butler’s pantry. The master bedroom features a bespoke bed and Frette linens, perfect for taking in the mesmerising views of the marine habitat. The master bathroom features the ultimate in regenerative indulgence, a pedestal jetted tub where guests can relax in bubbles as the aquarium’s graceful inhabitants swim by, as well as a rainfall shower with an additional six body jets. A playful entertainment lounge is found adjacent to the master bedroom where guests can enjoy quality content from around the world on their high-definition television.
Internationally renowned for creating stunning dining venues to showcase some of the world’s most celebrated cuisines, designers Jeffrey Beers, David Rockwell, Adam D. Tihany and Wilson and Associates have each brought their incomparable style and design to the Arabian culinary scene.
The distinctive style of Jeffrey Beers is discovered throughout Atlantis who worked in partnership with Italian Chef Giorgio Locatelli to design Ronda Locatelli as well as Gordon Ramsay to design Bread Street Kitchen & Bar.
Tocreate a rustic yet stimulating environment for Ronda Locatelli, Beers blended the charm of the Italian countryside with the modernity of Dubai. A calming water pond juxtaposed with a custom-built fireplace greets guests upon entering, while a central stone clad structure houses four pizza ovens and grounds the open space. Diners relax within specially-designed wood basket seating pods, and various sized circular wood trellis’ adorned with custom fiery glass light fixtures suspended over the entire space, lending a sense of intimacy and drama.
At Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Beers married design cues from old and new worlds to create a warehouse style with a warm and inviting environment. The overall space has a New York loft feel, as well as a stunning mix of vintage and modern elements. Decorated with a mix of eclectic accents, the bar oozes with quirky character and charm.
The Rockwell Group collaborated again with world-renowned Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to create Nobu. Using traditional and modern Japanese elements, the 1,068 square metre space features natural elements of ash, river stones, branches, woven textiles and fishing baskets juxtaposed with light and composition to create a rich and spectacular dining experience.
A curved river rock wall spanning 18 metres marks the entry to the Nobu bar, providing casual seating for dinner guests and a hot spot for those looking to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail. The solid timber plank bar is backlit by an onyx front, and translucent flower panels form an elliptical shape around the centre of the lounge, creating private areas for guests. A rectilinear sushi bar, encased in black bamboo and embedded terrazzo, contrasts with the curving fluidity of abaca panels and their translucent forms, while a white bamboo proscenium forms a theatrical backdrop for the sushi chefs at work.Three-dimensional woven abaca panels surround the main dining room, creating an experience akin to being wrapped up in an ocean wave. Guests relax on up-lit woven banquettes formed by colourful panels cascading down from the ceiling towards the floor. For the ultimate dining experience, an exclusive private dining room is offered behind wooden arches. The room is flanked by a frosted blue mirror service bar and a curved wall adorned with metalwork flowers. The remaining walls of this space are covered with glowing sake bottles and custom artwork. Overhead, the metallic ceiling is punctuated with an artistic composition of custom suspended pendants.
Wilson and Associates brings to life Seafire Steakhouse & Bar, a contemporary steakhouse. Guests are welcomed to the restaurant through rustic, bespoke driftwood doors. Comfortable red leather chairs allow guests to enjoy their dining experience in a relaxing setting. Chocolate leather adorns the ceiling providing even more intimacy. A timber tasting room allows guests to dine in private, or to taste fine vintages from the wine wall or the bespoke 6-metre-high wine cooler.
Adam D. Tihany integrated bold and contemporary design for Saffron, the resort’s modern, interactive restaurant celebrated for its live cooking stations. Sleek and minimalist, the restaurant has high, open ceilings featuring strong red and orange colours in metallic and glass. Chefs preparing fresh and innovative food take centre stage, while flat screen TVs featuring a visual food presentation play a supporting role. Tihany’s design aesthetic results in an unexpected integration of harmony, design and architecture.
Bishop Design by Paul Bishop created a dedicated family entertainment destination that Dubai had never seen before in Wavehouse. A collection of spaces which seamlessly morph into each, these offer up endless dining and entertainment scenarios, from a dedicated restaurant, an adult-only bar and external terrace, through to gaming redemption areas, soft play zones, augmented reality experience and a bowling alley. Wavehouse occupies both ground and mezzanine levels, encompassing uninterrupted sight lines throughout which culminate with the incorporation of an active wave machine – accessible from the Atlantis’ waterpark, Aquaventure, yet dedicated to the venue itself. Aesthetic aspirations called for a hybrid of industrial meets surf shack; stripped back, refined yet synonymous with an urban style. Catering to all was an integral driving force behind the design integrity, with the venue designed to be a desirable destination for people of all generations.
About Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Atlantis, The Palm is the first entertainment resort destination in the region and located at the centre of the crescent of The Palm in Dubai. Opened in September 2008, the unique ocean-themed resort features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 17 hectares of waterpark amusement at Atlantis Aquaventure, all within a 46-hectare site. It is home to one of the largest open-air marine habitats in the world, with over 65,000 marine animals in lagoons and displays including The Lost Chambers Aquarium, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis. Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark features 18 million litres of fresh water used to power thrilling waterslides, a 2.3-kilometre river ride with tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white-water chargers. Dolphin Bay, the unparalleled dolphin conservation and education habitat, and Sea Lion Point were created to provide guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn more about one of nature’s most friendly mammals. The resort boasts an impressive collection of luxury boutiques and shops as well as extensive meeting and convention facilities. Atlantis, The Palm is also known as the culinary destination in the region where guests can take their pick from a collection of 31 world-renowned restaurants including Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Hakkasan, Nobu, Ronda Locatelli, Seafire Steakhouse & Bar, award-winning underwater restaurant, Ossiano, and traditional Middle Eastern favourite, Ayamna. The nightlife scene at Atlantis is lively, too, with the fun-filled Wavehouse offering something for everyone, and WHITE Beach & Restaurant the perfect place to unwind with a drink as the sun slips into the Arabian Sea.