First look: Anarchitect designs El Chiringuito Ibiza, Dubai

For El Chiringuito Ibiza, Dubai project, Dubai-based design studio Anarchitect inherited an existing space which the team had to completely transform within a tight time frame. designMENA gets the first look.

Jonathan Ashmore, founder and director of Anarchitect, explains that the challenge was to divide the spaces to accommodate different activities, adding a new open-air restaurant structure and kitchen building alongside a pool deck and beach-front area.

“We had to master the levels of the site all the way from the entrance, through the garden into the restaurant, out to the pool deck and the beach beyond. We carefully considered the heights of the new restaurant structure so that we could create strategic sight lines to enhance the overall guest experience,” he says.

From the entrance, one can see through the restaurant to the DJ as well as the beach beyond. From the DJ, one can see the full restaurant guests, the entrance garden and through to the head chef standing at the pass in the glass-fronted kitchen.

“This was a very important design challenge to overcome in order to create a heightened social experience for the guests and staff; both when the venue is in the beach restaurant mode during the day and the beach club mode at night,” adds Ashmore.

The selection of materials was important given the marine environment and exposure of the location on The Palm Dubai. The outdoor deck and the elevated restaurant areas are finished in a kiln-dried solid teak wood treated with a matte sealer. The concrete work is finished with a specialist render resilient to outdoor conditions.

He continues: “We also worked closely with the lighting designers to ensure the lights were suitable for outdoor use and IP rated, yet also recreating the feeling of an indoor restaurant space for guests. The main restaurant structure is a GI steel frame structure with a treated timber cladding and suitable paint finish.”

READ MORE: Jonathan Ashmore on designing with context in mind

The main pitched roof is weather tight and finished with a synthetic thatch that resists the intense impact of the climate, which would not be commercially possible with a natural barasti.

“We added timber shutters to the perimeter of the restaurant to reduce the wind impact from the exposed site. The spaces are progressive and interconnected; while some areas are completely sheltered, some are shaded with natural bamboo or pergola slats and others fully open to the elements,” says Ashmore.

The furniture was custom designed and made in East Asia from kiln-dried teak and outdoor resilient fabric for the restaurant beach club.

“The experience of El Chiringuito Ibiza, Dubai is not of a building, nor as a landscape; the spaces created feel naturally connected with the outdoors yet manage to protect guests from the intense climate where most needed. Our focus was to create a space that felt like the Mediterranean summers in Ibiza, Spain not just through aesthetics, but by truly integrating both the indoor and outdoor spaces so that migration between them feels natural.”

With its upcoming project, Ashmore explains that its design studio is becoming heavily engaged in outdoor spaces.

“We are working closely with talented landscape architects who have knowledge of the regional climate,” he says. “Some of our current commissions are set in desert landscapes – for hospitality projects that focus on the engagement with the surrounding context. Another of our projects is set in an urban heritage context where we are activating courtyards and outdoor spaces with contemporary art programmes; created under shaded outdoor structures and coherent with sensitive and sympathetic planting.”

Watch out for a full case study soon on

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