The Oberoi Beach Resort, a new resort designed by Lissoni Casal Ribeiro in Al Zorah, about 45 km from Dubai, is part of a wider-ranging masterplan for a small city with a population of about 40,000 in a nature park with lagoons and mangroves by the ocean. The resort is the first part to be completed in the masterplan developed by Solidere International in partnership with the government of Ajman, which includes a variety of hotels, luxury residences, a marina, private beaches and a golf course.
The project by Lissoni Casal Ribeiro goes beyond the concept of the hotel, offering guests the experience of a living community in dialogue with its natural surroundings. The resort is composed of 113 suites, 15 of which are villas, with 2 restaurants, a wellness centre and a pool. The architects designed all the spaces as different buildings connected by gardens and terraces. The resort is arranged on three macro-platforms parallel to the ocean, stepped back from the beach so that all the suites on each level have ocean views. The resulting image is that of a desert oasis, where all the spaces are intentionally built on a human scale, dotted with local vegetation. The result is an ideal place for tranquillity and physical and mental well-being.
People get around the resort only on foot or by golf buggy; guests leave their cars at the drop-off area and follow a winding path shaded by wooden pergolas with views of the surrounding gardens to reach the lobby. This is the gateway to the resort, designed to underline the ritual nature of this passage: the lobby has a prevalently vertical dimension, measuring 9 metres in height, underlined by the long lamps suspended from the ceiling. The mysticism of the place is underlined by the incomparable view over the infinite expanse of the ocean and diffuse natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows on either side, filtered by the sunbreaks surrounding the building.
Unlike the lobby, which welcomes visitors coming from the world outside, the spa is an inward-looking place inspired by the ancient medina.
As in a true desert oasis, the water is “the beating heart of the resort”, playing a dual role, connecting the common areas and reflecting the built volumes and the sky to become a trait d'union between the buildings and their surroundings. Volumes, pathways, vegetation and materials all contribute to establishing a harmonious dialogue between the architecture and its natural environment.
Images courtesy of Lissoni Casal Ribeiro photo by Simone Bossi
Project Name: The Oberoi Beach Resort
Location: Al Zorah, Ajman - United Arab Emirates
Architect: Lissoni & Partners www.lissoniandpartners.com
Design Team Lissoni Casal Ribeiro: Piero Lissoni with Miguel Casal Ribeiro and Monika Tyborowska,
Stefano Giussani, Alessandro Bongiorni, Sara Orru, Pino Caliandro, Samuel Lorenzi, Tania Zaneboni, Chiara Rizzarda, Carla Iurilli, Jun Ho Chen, Ettore Vincentelli, Simone Caimi, Roberto Berticelli, Pablo Gomez, Rodrigo Tellez, Mihai Denes, Ricardo Hernandez, Philip Sramek, Chiara Andreatti, Fabrizia Bazzana, Giorgio Pappas, Laura Cucchi, Sonia Mion
Project management: Mitla Morato
Rendering: Alberto Massi Mauri, Alessandro Massi Mauri
Models: Matteo Candiani, Lorenzo Volpato
Photo: Simone Bossi