Rooted in local culture, the design concept behind Andaz The Palm strives to bring an emotionally engaging experience to the world’s biggest artificial archipelago. Gerard Glintmeijer, founder of GDS | Glintmeijer Design Studio talks us through how this was achieved.
How did the project come about?
GDS worked closely with Wasl Hospitality and the consultants’ and contractor’s teams to create Andaz Dubai The Palm. The concept design was developed in collaboration with Fg Stijl, founded by Gerard Glintmeijer and Colin Finnegan in Amsterdam back in 1995
What was the initial design brief?
Andaz Dubai The Palm is a hotel in the neighbourhood for the neighbourhood. The client wanted to create an emotionally engaging experience that celebrates a sense of belonging. For their guests with a hectic life, Andaz provides an escape on the Palm Jumeirah where every necessity is within easy reach.
The client’s main aim for the guests of Andaz was to provide a familiar and trusted place to connect, socialise and rejuvenate. They are introduced to a new kind of experience at Andaz, where the interior reflects a young, dynamic, and quirky side of the city. Another important objective was that Andaz shared the story of the contemporary Emirati culture manifested through design. Showcasing contemporary art pieces made by local artists curated seamlessly with casual chic interiors. The hotel should also provide un-expected surprises and subtle references.
How was this achieved?
The design of the project was already in progress but the client WASL and operator were not content with the outcome at that time. Around the same time we contacted WASL development, they requested to create a new design for this location. The intent of the original brief was firstly for all public areas, all F&B outlets, meeting and event spaces, the pool and the spa area.
When these designs were completed the client was amazed and requested to also include the guest rooms and apartments to the scope. Looking back now, this makes the story of Andaz complete and a giving it full experience.
What are three specific design highlights of the Andaz hotel?
The interior inspires guests to explore not only the property, but the UAE – a country of rich heritage, with its eyes on happiness. It focuses on bringing the Arabic home feeling to the lobby. It is optically a compact lobby but it connects well with the surrounding outlets.
The 116 designer apartments feature a lofty feeling and are designed with meaningful luxury in mind and will inspire one to lead a life well-lived.
Another signature design is the pool area, a future-forward, yet revering heritage and tradition. GDS designed an Arabic design for the pool and invited Khalid Safar (a local artist) to integrate his unique palm tree sculpture.
An additional important item is the carpet GDS designed together with ‘ICE International Rugs & Carpets’ for the meeting and event space. A setting was created where the carpet didn’t stop at the floor but continued throughout the walls and the ceiling.
The design included an abstract calligraphy element combined with the bold colours it became a beautiful item.
Anything else about the project that you want to share?
Andaz is a surprise on The Palm, from the outside you do not have a clue of what happens inside. Once you enter it’s an oasis of materials, colours, design and art. The LOCAL restaurant is a contemporary and creative neighbourhood setting serving culinary treasures.
The Hanami restaurant on the top floor is calm design with a translation of highlights of street food.
GDS, as a brand, believes in the ethos of being authentic to a context and addressing every hotel’s needs individualistically. It is important that when a concept like Andaz Dubai The Palm wants to highlight both, the history and advancements of Dubai it chooses a local design studio as an integral part of the process. This is a key aspect of hospitality projects and it is becoming increasingly celebrated amongst designers to collaborate with other local artists and vendors. It helps to provide valuable insights about the region the trends, the guest experience, and a holistic approach to design suites for the region.
Suppliers at a glance
ICE International Rugs & Carpets
Appiani by Casamia