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In pictures: The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah designed by Piero Lissoni
The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah has recently opened its doors within the Al Zorah master development, which has been planned by Solidere International and is a joint venture with the Government of Ajman. Across one million square metres of rich wetland, Al Zorah’s biodiversity is home to almost 60 species of birds and marine life. The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah is located in close proximity to the two million square metres of green mangroves.
Designed by Italian architect, Piero Lissoni, and his Lissoni Associati studio, the resort’s accommodation includes suites and villas with private terraces and swimming pools.
“The resort is divided into three platforms that run parallel to the ocean, and each building is carefully positioned in relation to its function,” Lissoni tells Commercial Interior Design. “The platforms rise up from the oceanfront and the height of the buildings increases with each, so as to guarantee superb ocean views from all areas of the resort.”
The main hotel is comprised of separate buildings connected by light walkways, with shallow water pools that extend over the inner courtyard where the main restaurant and amenities are situated.
“Positioned on the oceanfront, the beach restaurant is the place where the resort really comes alive,” says Lissoni. “The overall mood has a contemporary approach to traditional oriental architecture, producing a restaurant that is divided into different pavilions, connected together by walkways and arranged around a shallow pond.”
Al Zorah’s CEO, Imad Dana, says the choice to sign up with The Oberoi Group was, in some ways, a no-brainer. “Oberoi is famous for quality, which we were seeking at Al Zorah,” says Dana, who adds that the developer liked that the operator had just one hotel in the UAE so far, making it more exclusive.
Dana praises the design of the resort, and says that the contemporary design has been something that The Oberoi Group also loved. He adds: “It’s transparent and uncomplicated, and every piece is selected after careful thought, and with the space in mind. It’s a big resort and a limited number of suites – we don’t have rooms, just suites and villas.”
Sensio Spa by Oberoi offers Eastern, Western, and signature massage therapies, Turkish hammams and ayurvedic treatments. The resort also has a fully equipped, 24-hour gymnasium, and a temperature-controlled, 80m-long swimming pool.
“The spa is a private and secluded world waiting to be discovered by the guests, inspired by the layout of an ancient Medina. The use of large transparent openings and geometric wood partitions allows the eye to travel freely to the distant horizon. The modern architecture blends in with perfumes of the local Orient, flavours of India, spicy elements arriving from the Occident, from Africa, from China, in true Italian style,” explains Lissoni.
The property, which is the fifth five-star hotel and the first five-star resort in Ajman, offers 113 keys, 25 units of twin-bedded and 88 units of king-bedded rooms, and suites and villas with one, two, or three bedrooms. In addition to the terraces, the villas offer a private sundeck with a temperature-controlled swimming pool.
Famed for minimalist and modern style, Lissoni’s design is conceived in pure white interconnected volumes, covered in smooth white stucco.
“I like hybridisation, mistakes and mixes that are not too controlled,” says Lissoni. “I think that a genuine sense of alchemy is generated, where a lot of things happen by chance. Touches of colour – teal, chartreuse, blue, green, and even a spot of red in some places – liven up the light-flooded grounds.”
The wooden furniture echoes the outer wood panel cladding, which was designed, as Lissoni explains, to create a play of light and shadow as day shifts into night.
“I have added a playful touch, working with patterned wall tiles in the dining areas and in the rooms.”
The restaurants and bars of The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah include Vinesse, the main restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Aquario, the beach restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner; and the poolside bar, which serves light, healthy tapas and a variety of fresh juices.
Lissoni’s projects extend globally to include private villas and yachts, residential and hospitality projects such as Casa Fantini, Conservatorium Hotel, Edition Hotel, Grand Hotel Billia, Mamilla Hotel, Roomers Hotel, Shilla Stay Hotels, and Swire Hotel.
“My signature style when I design is simplicity, but I hope to have the ability to always be a bit surprising,” he says.
Lissoni has designed products for many prestigious companies including Alessi, B&B Italia, Bonacina 1889, Cappellini, Cassina, Flos, Glas Italia, Kartell, and Salvatori. As he explains, it’s not the ultimate object itself in which his interest lies, but the investigation of “shapes, dimensions, proportions, materials, and the new technologies”.
“I’m interested in the whole process and how it evolves, and I really enjoy finding out what I’ll have to design tomorrow, what my next challenge will be,” concludes Lissoni.
For this project Bond Interiors was shortlisted for the CID Awards 2017 : Interior Fit-out Project of the Year.
Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh/ITP Images.