(2001) Sheikha Fatima Palace Al Ain

client : HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Sheikh Mubarak Al Kethbi
typology : Residential
services : Architecture
where : Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Balancing between the formal and private functions of this 7,700 sqm palace involved an examination of the complex personal needs of the end users and a well-balanced planning approach that would mediate between design ostentation and restraint. Such an exercise resulted in the placement of the master bedroom suites and bungalows along a curved walkway around the swimming pool (see Ground Floor plan), whereas all public functions were located on the upper level. With this approach, the residents enjoy full access to the gardens at all times without compromising a sense of privacy.

There are two main access points to the ground level: one from the first floor private lifts and another from the private road at the back of the plot. The ground floor houses all the private functions and includes 2 master bedroom suites and 4 bungalows arranged along a single-loaded arched corridor facing the grounds and swimming pool, culminating in the gym structure. Each bungalow can be accessed independently from the back road depending on the nature and age of the users and is elevated off the ground to optimise the views over the gardens.

Features such as fountains and swimming pools give the design an uplifting resort feeling and together with the soft palette of materials, the project as a whole is intended to elevate the spirit of the inhabitants in what is, after all, a weekend palatial retreat.