Luxury hotel commissioned by the Ruler of the Emirates and located in the town of his birth, the original site adjoined the lush oasis of Al Ain. The site was later changed and removed from the oasis by a distance of one-half mile; the current site lies at the edge of experimental farm lands. Much emphasis has been placed in the project on landscaping and the use of water, as the project is intended as a country retreat for the ruler as well as to accomodate visiting guests and international travellers.
The L-shaped plan comprises public areas and services on the ground floor; 265 guest rooms on three floors are stepped and terraced, and culminate with private dining rooms on the landscaped uppermost floor. Guest rooms are oriented to reduce the effects of direct, harsh sunlight, and angled balcony walls and overhangs also provide shade. Wooden grilles are employed to further diffuse sunlight, while affording views to the gardens and landscape
The interiors are richly decorated and much use is made of geometrical patterning achieved in a variety of contrasting materials and colours. The sober, exterior façades are surfaced with a sand-cement rendering whose colour is reminiscent of desert sands.
The principal structural system is re-inforced in-situ concrete column, beam, and plate construction; major public spaces are spanned with steel trusses.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture