Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle

Rosewood Abu Dhabi, a new 1,099,000 sq.ft. (102,000 m²) ultra-luxury mixed-use development, is ideally located on the waterfront of Sowwah Square in new Al Maryah Island financial district between the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Cleveland Clinic.

Picture Courtesy: Lester Ali

Project : Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Location : Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Completion Date : October 2013
Lead Design Firm : Handel Architects
Lead Designer : Glenn Rescalvo, AIA, Partner
Size : 1,099,000 sq. ft. (102,000 m²)
Photos : Don Riddle, Gerry O'Leary, Lester Ali

Bowah Square
Picture Courtesy: Lester Ali Picture Courtesy: Gerry O'Leary

Designed by Handel Architects with interiors by award-winning firm BBGM, the complex includes a five-star 189-room Rosewood hotel, 131 serviced apartments, banquet facilities, meeting facilities, spa, fitness center, retail space, restaurants, and parking. The project has been designed for LEED certification.

The inspiration for the design was derived from the falcon and from the art of falconry, which has a long history in the Middle East, and remains an important part of the heritage and culture. The forms, lines and textures of the falcon's body and feathers inspired the design and initiated the early ideas for the form and expression of the tower. The way in which the falcon's wings overlap its body inspired the exterior massing and the overlapping volumes and textures of the exterior wall. The design is a sculptural manifestation that reflects the falcon's beauty, elegance and precision.

Rosewood Hotel
Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle

While the interior design's inspiration comes from the meeting of land and sea, and desert and sky. Inside, the lobby is bordered on one side with a flowing water feature and on the other with a dramatic wall of art to draw guests into the space with warm tones, clean lines and sleek materials. The sophisticated design is juxtaposed with comfortable furnishings and flowing fabrics in warm colors reminiscent of a local souk. Throughout the hotel, traditional Middle Eastern textiles and details are complemented with modern lines and sleek architectural elements.

Interior Design
Picture Courtesy: Gerry O'Leary Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle
Handel Architects
Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle

The interiors have an air of understated elegance, with exquisite materials such as Italian marble, a bespoke four-meter American walnut table and custom and hand-blown chandeliers from the Czech Republic featured throughout the hotel.

Italian Marble
Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle

Exterior Wall
Picture Courtesy: Don Riddle

Luxury Design
Picture Courtesy: Lester Ali
The building acts as a central 'mixer' for the area. The hotel, residences, retail, meeting & banquet spaces and fitness center create a building that is truly active 24/7. It's a hybrid offering many uses, with building functions that support and nourish each other, as well as themselves. Visitors--whether short-term or longterm-- may use more than one function in the complex. The building was actively designed to take advantage of spontaneous desires, such as shopping after attending a meeting, as well as planned arrangements, such as fine-dining after the fitness club, or a drink after work at one of the nearby office buildings. The economic value of the project is further enhanced by the mutual relationship of complimentary functions.

Additionally, the building's position as the "gateway" to Al Maryah Island gives it a particular importance that the architecture embraces. The surrounding buildings, all new construction as well, are much more rectilinear in form. The curvilinear 'fluid' forms of the Rosewood tie the architecture of the surrounding buildings together and balance out the adjacent straight-lined forms. The 34-storey hotel is a dramatic modern structure covered with reflective glass, which was chosen for its daytime shimmer and its nighttime luminescence. Overall, Rosewood Abu Dhabi hotel design sets the standard for luxury design in Abu Dhabi.