With the diverse set of materials that are on offer today makes it easier for mid-market hotels to source interesting applications for well-designed properties, said Tarek M. Daouk, founder and managing partner of the region’s first Design Hotels-certified Form Hotel.
“Being a four-star hotel you aren’t able to spend on fixtures and materials that are of as high quality as a five-star because you can’t justify the investment. But it doesn’t mean that just because it is a four-star property that you are not able to design beautiful spaces and that is why I was focused on design from day one,” said Daouk. He added that the aim was to “design smart” by using interesting materials and applications from a lower price margin, while remaining consistent with the overall design concept and visual identity.
Located in Dubai, and designed by Paris-based firm Architecture Studio, one of the challenges in designing Form was to create a property that is relevant not only today but also years down the line. This included staying away from current trends and focusing on elements that create a timeless design.
“This is where the art deco influences come into play because art deco is proven to be an era of design that has continued to survive over the years, so across the hotel you will find details such as brass elements and contrasts between curved and linear shapes; knobs on the railings – these are all inspirations from art deco,” Daouk said.
Other materials used across the hotel include white plaster, light stone and walnut wood used across the public spaces as well as the guest rooms, creating a warm and bright atmosphere.
The hotel includes an all-day dining area, a shop, meeting room, as well as a pool area.
“The public spaces such as the lobby and the restaurant are designed with large openings that connect the hotel spaces to the city. The random openings of the guestrooms provide various atmospheres depending of the time and day, as well as a large and unique view on the city of Dubai from each single room,” said Amar Sabeh el Leil, partner at Architecture Studio.
Daouk also explained that the guestroom was the genesis of the overall design, from which the elements moved outwards to connect with the rest of the hotel property.
“We wanted efficient rooms so one of the things you would notice when you walk into the rooms is that all the furniture is suspended, so you can clearly see the boundaries and edges of the room and that automatically gives you an impression that the room is more spacious and airy but also the benefits for an operator is that we can clean under these spaces much more effectively,” he said.
The guestrooms utilise the concept of open-plan spaces, where various elements of the room such as the sleeping area, the bathroom, as well as the closet area, all look out to one another, creating a sense of openness and an effective use of space.
All the furniture in the hotel is also custom-made by the design firm, allowing for “flexibility and a sense of freedom”, which co-inside with the modular use of space throughout.
“The Form Hotel’s design allows what can be called ‘the New Nomadism’ where travelers can experience the hotel with a lot of freedom and enjoy different types of modular spaces and surroundings,” said Leil.
He added: “The Middle East region, and especially Dubai, reflects modernity, youth and dynamism. This project is an answer to the new challenges created by this dynamism as well as the new ways of travelling.”#