wa’s design concepts for the Burj Dubai ballroom.

In line with its reputation for creating stylish interiors, renowned hotel interior designer wa international intends to introduce into the region the Californian design style, with a distinct focus on the use of light, for the prestigious Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Residence hotel project in Dubai.

The practice has recently been awarded the interior design contract for the hotel on the coastline, which is scheduled for completion next year.
While the hotel architecture is in keeping with the master plan of the Jumeirah Beach Residence, the interiors will reflect clean lines and open spaces, as seen in residential and public buildings on the Pacific coast. The finishes are light and translucent.
According to the team at wa international, the project concept statement is defined as light and shade, light finishes and lightness in terms of openness and planning.
“Textures and fabrics bring to mind the coolness and clarity of interiors where light washes rooms with unfinished stone and linen, smooth polished plaster and sun-bleached wood,” explains Stephanie Backhouse, senior FF&E designer of wa international.
The style selected complements the Mövenpick brand that is positioned as a modern, lifestyle hotel catering for guests in the leisure and business sectors. The guest profile is one of well-travelled individuals looking for a fresh yet comfortable environment to stay, work and relax – perhaps all within the same trip, she adds.
The design of the lobby will incorporate soothing elements to welcome the weary traveller into a cool and calm haven. The reception desks will appear to float above a marble floor interspersed with ‘pebbles’ of mosaic. Soft seating in rattan and knubbly linen will encourage the guests to relax and enjoy refreshments in the lounge under the palm trees. The lobby will also be an ideal venue to convene a business meeting within a peaceful ambience, Backhouse says.
 The restaurants will cater for visitors who desire a gastro-pub experience – again a newly introduced theme to Dubai – where guests can sit back and enjoy a meal surrounded by rich timber flooring and old world colours.
Meeting facilities are located on the first level.
On the second level, guests will enter a new world – the Amber Lounge, which is designed as a dining destination by day, to be transformed into a bar with a club atmosphere at night. All design facets of the Amber Lounge centre around a glowing onyx buffet and bar counter which slices through the space continuing out onto the pool deck for an open-air dining experience.
The hotel includes a well-equipped executive lounge on Level 23 offering ‘Big Sky’ views.
The well-appointed rooms and suites feature five fixture bathrooms which are in keeping with the central concept of light and space, while the finishes and furnishings are soft and light using oak wood where tones of the sea meet polished tiles and sandy textures.
“To say the suites are spacious is an understatement, particularly in reference to the Honeymoon Suite whose open-plan design will enable views of the LCD screen and sea from a luxurious freestanding bath,” she indicates. “The Royal Suites will cover five bays and enjoy a floor-to-ceiling ‘wow’ factor, providing the ambience and luxury of a cliff top residence on the west coast as light floods over exotic wood flooring, sea grass wall finishes and deep pile carpets. Oversized American furniture will allow guests to ‘chill out’ while watching the sunset over the Arabian Gulf. Each suite will also feature a dedicated bar and extensive double terrace. “
“wa international has built a reputation for producing design schemes which meet the client’s exacting needs but also achieve a balance between creativity and functionality.” says Patricia Knight, spokeswoman for the company. “Our multi-national team comprises hand-selected people who understand and share the company’s values and passion in terms of creativity and capability.”
Renowned for creating exquisite interiors and holding an award-winning track record, wa international successfully combines international experience with an intimate knowledge of local aesthetics and materials to deliver a unique product, exceeding expectations of exacting high-profile clients, she adds.
Talking about the continued expansion of wa international, Claire Craig, design director, explains that the increasing number of high-profile projects that the practice has been winning has required wa to expand its team.
“Fresh ideas and new concepts don’t just develop overnight. We have established a 33-person-strong team of creative and innovative minds dedicated to our growing number of high-end luxury hotel and resort projects in the region,” she says.
“In addition to the Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Residence, current projects on our drawing board include Burj Dubai Lake Hotel and the Sofitel hotel at the Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai, the Zamzam Sofitel Tower in Makkah, the Gulf Hotel, Bahrain and the Zamani Palace in Zanzibar, to name a few,” adds Craig.
The company clinched the Burj Dubai Lake Hotel design contract last November. The hotel situated within the emerging downtown Burj Dubai Development precinct, comprises 198 guestrooms, 626 serviced residential apartments and all public areas.
Due to the curvilinear shape of the building, quite a number of inherently unique hotel and apartment layouts were created, each offering a wide expanse of glass and thereby creating an airy feel with spectacular views.
“The overall feel for this project is stylish and sophisticated, yet timeless and unforgettably unique. At completion, programmed for mid-2008, this glamorous 63-storey building will overlook Emaar`s iconic Burj Dubai Tower, and numerous other prestigious developments within the Emaar Burj Dubai precinct,” explains Knight.
The 450-room Sofitel Jumeirah Beach Residence is scheduled for completion by the end of next year while the Gulf Hotel, Bahrain is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Founded in London in 1978, wa international – formerly known as Wrenn Associates – opened its Dubai office in 1993. The company has built a reputation on innovation, originality and exceptional style. With a broad base of suppliers worldwide, in addition to extensive in-house facilities, wa international provides a full range of services including accurately detailed design and construction documentation and post-contractual supervision.