(1991) Al Diar Regency Hotel

client : Ali Said Al Badi
typology : Hospitality
services : Architecture
where : Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Retrospective 1991-2000 video: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPyTSojDdNX/

While under construction as a residential building, this project was converted into a 167 room hotel. Despite the difficulties imposed by the existing structural limitations, the adjustments were successful in achieving a boutique hotel with all the necessary requirements. The design challenge was to adapt the structure and the main volume of the building to the new hotel functions.

This 9400 sqm hotel faces the Sheraton beach Resort and overlooks the views of the sea and the newly developed island. The entrance is located on the side street, and leads directly to a reception area that overlooks a lounge room and links to all the other facilities in the hotel. Rooms and suites are distributed between the third and the 14th floor. The first and second floors accommodate offices and the health club. The 15th floor is a large panoramic restaurant overlooking the splendid views of the beaches and the new island across from Abu Dhabi.

The building volume is very exclusive to Cassia’s style in sculpting and shaping structures. It is very unique though as it displays repetitive sharp edges similar to wild desert plants. Site limitations are still visible through the tall architectural elements that define the building initial limits and also frame the protruded volumes on the main façade. On all corners, spike-like balconies cantilever as free standing platforms. They are distributed on specific floors to a structure that seems similar to an organic growth of a plant. All other façades have small balconies of only about 40 cm wide, just enough for the rooms to have an outdoor lookout if ever needed.

The building envelope is all white ceramic cladding. It is easy to clean, low maintenance and long lasting. Glass balustrades are used throughout all balconies to allow transparency for all the room. The building stands with a sense of vertical and tall movement. This is reinforced by the clear and uninterrupted vertical lines as well as the repetition of the spike like balconies in a vertical sense.