Situated between the urban neighbourhood of Jumeirah Lake Towers and the large green expanse of Emirates Golf Course, Dubai’s Vida Hotel Emirates Hills designed by Lulie Fisher Design Studio boasts a simple elegance and neutral colour palette, quintessential to the Spanish hotel brand’s relaxed, design-led spaces.
Positioned as an upscale lifestyle hotel, with simplicity and relaxation at its core, the design studio’s proposal for the hotel includes a residential environment that offers a sense of homey comfort. Muted tones, natural forms and textures, including circular timber columns, oak veneers, and woven wall coverings help to accentuate this.
Lulie Fisher Design Studio was commissioned by Dubai-based developer Emaar to design the main public areas for the hotel and residences, including the main entrance lobbies to both the hotel and the serviced apartments; the main lobby lounge which includes check-in and concierge facilities; the coffee bar; the executive meeting suites and meeting lounge as well as the all-day dining restaurant, Origins.
The 12m-high entrance lobby features circular columns that are clad with vertically ri-bbed timber, walls of silver grey and oak veneers that form niches and naturally woven wall coverings that are illuminated by cylindrical glass pendent lighting.
“The material palette was carefully selected to promote and enhance relaxation,” Lulie Fisher, design director and founder, tells Commercial Interior Design. “Current trends were carefully eschewed in favour of rich and layered textures in neutral colours, which provide the perfect partner to the verdant golf greens of Emirates Hills which stretch out from the hotel’s public areas and terraces.”
The spaces are accessorised with Reiki pottery, rustic black ceramics, artwork inspired by Italian painter and sculptor Alberto Burri. Preserved olive trees, live succulents and fresh herbs further add to the nature-inspired spaces; complete with vertical niches that create a measured rhythm and symmetry.
Two giant folded planes of ribbed oak outlined with sharp black metal folded plates stretch upwards on both sides of the entrance lobby walls; one forming a bridge and mezzanine leading to the second floor lobby lounge, while the other reaches higher still and folds over to form the lobby ceiling.
Black linear slots are recessed into these ribbed planes to neatly house the lighting, supply and extract grilles and the plethora of other necessary MEP items. The lighting, that is also hidden, washes the adjacent white wall surfaces with a warm glow.
On the second floor visitors are welcomed to the lobby lounge which also houses the check-in and concierge functions. This area is lined with timber niches containing black metal and glass lighting pendants that double up as planters for draping live greenery.
The coffee bar, Stage Two, is set at the end of the lounge standing against a feature wall of perforated brick tiles, consisting of a minimal white marble bar counter and topped by suspended black metal shelving laden with pottery and draped with greenery. A fully folding and sliding glass façade runs the entire length of the lounge, inviting in the external terraces, an infinity pool and the lush green lawns of Emirates Hills golf courses.
Connected to the lobby lounge via a giant sliding timber door is the central break-out lounge, servicing the adjoining executive meeting rooms. The room is lined with pale timber panels offset with flush black ribbed fronted cabinets, housing marble backed display shelving for books and artwork.
A mass of black, white and green wire pendants are suspended from a mirrored metal ceiling creating the illusion of an endless volume. The meeting rooms are equipped with the latest AV technology hidden behind black timber and marble lined joinery.
From the lobby lounge, a glazed and gently curving corridor leads to the all-day dining restaurant. Origins is a farm-to-fork concept where the bright colour scheme, layout and material selection lends itself to the naturally-driven concept design that highlights the fresh ingredients on offer.
Spatially, the restaurant spills into the lounge area without any formal demarcation with lounge seating mixing comfortably with dining furniture.
“The interior design language and vibrant colour scheme contrasts with the main public areas whilst retaining a common thread of base palette neutrals,” Fisher explains. “The pale oaks and marbles from the main areas continue through into the restaurant in the flooring and the buffer counters respectively.”
The restaurant also features hand glazed eucalyptus green tiles, columns and fascia, as well as patterned olive green and warm grey porcelain tiles demarcating areas for communal tables and buffet counters and terracotta pendants and natural cane wall sconces that highlight dining tables, food service areas and feature walls. Bar stools are upholstered in sunny yellow leather and complemented by sofa cushions in shades of muted greens and mustard.
“It is important for any hotel’s all-day dining restaurant to have an identity inspired by the concept of the cuisine it serves rather than to slavishly follow the design palette of the main areas but at the same time, to have this common thread that unites,” Fisher added.
Winner of the Boutique Design Studio of the Year prize at the 2018 Commercial Interior Design Awards, Lulie Fisher Design Studio has completed a number of projects across various sectors within the UAE including The Novotel Beach Resort on Palm Jumeirah, Anwa Apartments for Omniyat at Maritime City in Dubai, as well as the Photography Studio at Manarat Al Saadiyat for the Abu Dhabi Cultural Authority.