A New Level of Hospitality and Luxury Living

By Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli

Published: Mon 26 Sep 2022, 8:00 AM

You will be able to experience the city from a very different vantage point, says Mansoor Kazerouni, the key architect of the project

In the architecturally rich environment of Dubai, where every building has a distinct look and feel to it, new projects often test the talent and creativity of engineers and architects. “There’s always a question of whether something new that hasn’t been done before can be achieved to make it stand out in the skyline of Dubai that is dotted with signature projects,” said Mansoor Kazerouni, Global Director Buildings, IBI Group, while talking about the role his firm has played in the construction of Atlantis The Royal on Palm Jumeriah in Dubai. IBI is the lead architect on the project. The Canadian firm collaborated with New York-based KPF architects, who are the design architects for Atlantis The Royal. “KPF is the one who envisioned the concept. It was their idea since the inception. Our role was to deliver the project as the lead architect,” said Kazerouni. IBI Group has been instrumental in the design development of the project. “We played multiple roles. We worked on the interior design of the functional areas, designed some of the standalone pavilions, cabanas and restaurants. The key role as a lead architect was to coordinate the efforts of the entire design team and to advance the design concept that KPF had put forward,” he added.

The latest iconic structure on the Palm Jumeriah has been in the making since 2016, and is likely to open doors to guests and residents later this year. “This project speaks to you at multiple levels. The building is unique in its voids that it has created on each floor. The floors are like boxes that sort of pull out, like drawers. There are some incredible sky gardens that integrate nature and architecture in quite a sculptural, dramatic and beautiful way. And this, essentially, has broken down the traditional form of the building, creating a lot of visual and physical permeability,” noted Kazerouni. The structural design of the business is reminiscent of screens that are seen in many different scales and contexts in the Middle East, mediating sunlight in a beautiful way and capturing light and shadow. “Besides, if you step back and squint your eyes, Atlantis The Royal makes a very strong reference to the traditional classic Atlantis form that has strongly become the identity of Atlantis. But it does it in a highly contemporary way. The project reflects the personality of both the palm island and the city of Dubai,” he said.

Atlantis The Royal features a series of cascading ‘sky-courts’ that open up to the sea and double as landscaped terraces attached to executive suites. Some of these terraces contain infinity-edge pools and trellis-shaped decks. The structure features two buildings seamlessly connected with the hotel tower to the west and residential tower to the east, linked by an arch spanned by a connecting bridge and topped by a pool. Hotel rooms and apartments are organised as a series of discrete modular blocks. The building also features a four-storey podium, which will be home to specialty chef restaurants, spa and meeting facilities flanked by a ballroom. There are eight townhouses.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to be involved in what will become one of the most iconic projects in the region, if not in the world. It will contribute significantly to Dubai’s already very impressive list of architecturally significant buildings. It is a great testament to what can be achieved when a visionary client with great ambition and strong ideas brings together the best talent from across the world to build something that is so audacious and hasn’t been done before. We are humbled, thankful to be invited, and to have been a part of the team creating this incredible building,” said Kazerouni, who has a strong connection with Dubai, having lived there throughout the 90s. “I was in Dubai from 1992-99, and worked as one of the designers of the Emirates Towers. That project represents four years of my life. Watching that project come alive and the impact it had on the early development of high-rise buildings in Dubai is so heartwarming,” he said.

IBI is a global multidisciplinary firm and practices in infrastructure, building and technology. “We are a highly technology driven design firm, and have projects and offices around the world. Our practice in Dubai is focused on infrastructure, urban planning, and transportation. We have infrastructure and urban planning projects in the region with a lot of work in Saudi Arabia. We have significant healthcare work in the UK with very large hospitals,” he concluded.

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