Designed by Anarchitect, El Chiringuito is a new venture into the UAE’S dynamic hospitality scene.
At the tip of the eastern crescent of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah lies El Chiringuito, the sister project of Ibiza’s restaurant and beach club. Designed by Dubai-based Anarchitect studio, the new restaurant houses an open-beach house structure served by a dedicated kitchen building, a terraced lounge garden, pool deck and private beach. The architects have captured the Balearic relaxed atmosphere, synonymous with the original Es Cavallet Ibizan restaurant and beach club.
“El Chiringuito Ibiza.Dubai was conceived following a rare opportunity to acquire a strategically central location on The Palm, which is accessible by both boat and road with a private beach and open sea, yet remains perfectly removed from the bustle of the mainland Dubai metropolis,” explains Jonathan Ashmore, Anarchitect’s founder.
The client intial brief to the design team was to create a venue that both contextually responded to the region’s climate and also the more fast-paced Dubai social dynamic while balancing a restaurant, beach club and party experience – all in one single location.
The design team was briefed to design and build a new dedicated kitchen building (180m2), open-structure covered restaurant (700m2) pool deck and DJ booth, kids club (Little Chiringuito) and re-plan the beach and beach bar providing new showers and upgrading the private beach cabanas.
“Similar to the original Ibiza project, the Dubai El Chiringuito restaurant took influence from traditional Indonesian and Balinese beach structures with natural thatch rooves and the landscape and balance of hard and soft scapes from the beach clubs of the Greek islands,” says Ashmore.
The project had to carefully consider the multiple levels of the site without dislocating any area, to create a natural and open flow for guests to feel comfortable to explore and inhabit all corners and not to feel over-scaled or limiting visual interaction or connection between different areas and programmes.
Ashmore continues: “For us the design challenge was to master a diverse and dynamic project that is neither a building, nor a landscape while translating our architectural design approach to all disciplines of architecture, interior architecture and design to create spaces that feel naturally connected with the outdoors yet manage to protect guests from the intense climate. We also designed site and project specific bespoke elements (furniture and lighting) that are unique to the project and create the overall character, materiality and detail of the project across the vast location.”
The team also had to ensure the project, which covers an area of approximately 5000m2, was well planned to be connected for efficient operation so the clients could offer a high-quality and responsive service for guests without feeling overpowering with a constant presence of staff.
The architects carefully considered the heights and openness of the new restaurant structure so that they could create strategic sight lines to enhance the overall experience for the restaurant and beach club guests.
From the main entrance, one can see through the restaurant to the DJ area and the beach beyond, while from the DJ booth one can see all restaurant guests, the upper garden and through to the glass-fronted kitchen.
“This was a very significant design challenge to overcome in order to create a heightened social experience for the guests and staff, both as a restaurant space during the day and the beach club venue at night on the weekends,” explains Ashmore.
The selection of materials was important given the marine environment and exposure of the location on The Palm. The outdoor deck and the elevated restaurant areas are made out of matte-sealed solid teak wood, while the fluid concrete works are finished in a soft-textured render.
The main restaurant beach house structure is constructed from a GI steel sub-frame structure with treated timber cladding and applied aged paint finish. The main pitched roof is weather tight and finished with a synthetic recyclable thatch that resists the intense impact of the climate. Bi-fold timber shutters were installed to the exposed perimeter elevations of the restaurant to reduce the wind impact from the exposed location. The spaces of the restaurant and beach club are interconnected. While some areas are completely sheltered, some are shaded with natural bamboo or pergola slats and others entirely open to the elements.
The restaurant and lounge furniture was bespoke designed by Anarchitect and made in East Asia from kiln-dried solid teak, along with a custom designed bamboo feature light over the central bar.
The selection of the material palette had to be responsive to the harsh and intense marine environment.
“Starting with the roof, we were able to create different conditions from fully enclosed to partially shaded,” he says. “Synthetic 100% recyclable java thatch was used for its aesthetic, practicality and durability to sustain the locations, conditions and demands for fire-retardant, resistance to pests and waterproof properties which are not feasible or practical with natural barasti. Natural bamboo from Southern India was selected to create the perforated shading due to its aesthetic, sustainability, natural strength, long lengths and also durability.”
The main beach house restaurant structure is a GI steel sub-frame for strength, large spans and also the speed of construction. The frame is carefully clad in large section white wood with an outdoor-resistant paint finish.
“The intention was to see the natural cracking in the wood (like a solid timber structure in a more temperate climate. But due to the commercial nature of the project and volumes of guests, we had to design and construct a hybrid structure,” says Ashmore.
The pool deck and upper levels of the restaurant and timber detailing are from natural teak hardwood while the bespoke furniture is made from kiln-dried teak and exterior grade fabrics.
“We selected natural tones, from off-white for the main structure to taupe-grey for the floors and selected wall surfaces to the warm tones of natural rope (beige) and the sand colours of the hessian carpets and Balinese baskets. The context of the beach, the natural dune and grass landscape together with moments of tropics and the weathered teak were the basis for the selection of the complimentary colour, textures and tones,” he adds.
The experience of El Chiringuito Ibiza.Dubai is not of a building, nor of a landscape, says Ashmore.
“The spaces created feel naturally connected with the outdoors yet manage to protect guests from the intense climate where most needed,” he says.
Choosing his favourite feature, he says that the most successful design achievement was the seamless transition of levels.
“I also believe that we successfully considered the dynamic and visual interactions of the people in the space to create a high social and connected environment that feels perfectly natural so that people can be free to enjoy themselves in their individual ways,” concludes Ashmore.