HOTEL F+B                                              



design and architecture

issue 050.2009

June 12th 2009

text by Ronald Wan

Photos by Nicolas Dumont


Nautical Cool

sound track : 'Malay' by Riccardo Eberspacher | Voyage One CD1  by Ravin



Press Index


Time Out Abu Dhabi April 2012

D+A | Singapore June 2009

Time Out Abu Dhabi March 2009

The National  October 2008

The Yacht Club [Abu Dhabi] combines sensible aesthetics and function to create the perfect party mood and nautical lifestyle


Guests chilling out at The Yacht Club in The Intercontinental Abu Dhabi will be blown away by the industrious yet chic aluminum-steel fan mounted on the ceiling of this top notch restaurant club. These are not your ordinary fans but impressionable upsized installation pieces that are 7.3 meters wide in diameter - enough to literally blow someone's socks off.

These 'Big Ass Fans' [their real name] are intended to dazzle. Ed Poole, architect and founder of Poole Associates behind the project, says, 'Big Ass Fans are precision-made devices that move the most amount of air with the least amount of power. We used the fan as much for aesthetics as for function. Its slowly rotating blades will mesmerize the guests, similar to the effect of viewing an aquarium'.

The fans do make a bold statement on the aesthetics of the restaurant, which overlooks Abu Dhabi's most picturesque marina and is washed in a myriad of psychedelic lights that reflect the funky and jovial mood of the crowd and setting. "We use LED lighting, which consumes less energy than conventional lighting, to flood the main bar areas with adjustable colors. When the sun sets into the view, the Mood Manager can make the bar appear from deep yellow to orange and red. It then changes to purple, blue and magenta as the night proceeds,' enthuses Poole. For the record, the lighting can alternate between 16 million colors the get the right mood. 

  And let there be [more] light. Thanks to the high power lamps mounted on the rooftop, the entire alfresco and boats in the marina are washed in gorgeous colors. Considering most of the boats are white, the colors shone on them integrate the body of visual with the adjourning restaurant. 'We also use LED fibre-optic chandeliers in the restaurant. I like them for their non-design element, which resemble rain frozen in time," remarks Poole.
  A nautical color palette is used in the restaurant, evident of its surroundings. Think natural teak, white fiberglass and navy-and-white fabrics, akin to classic sailor uniforms. Accent colors include turquoise cement tiles on the dance floors and dark coconut ceilings. Poole reflects on using white as the main color: "From the washable fiberglass columns to the nautical shaped waiter stations, white is only used where it can be maintained in a spotless form and to reflect the LED lighting in its true color intensity.'

The furnishing in the restaurant is equally stellar, especially the seating. The restaurant's interior features the well-received white pill Accupunto chairs with polished stainless steel frames designed by Leonard Theosabrata. At the alfresco decks are white magnesium Go chairs by Ross Lovegrove. Its angular shape, which looks like a fish bone, complements the nautical element.

  A popular area in the restaurant club interior is the host of swanky booths, raised and separated on a grand ascending stair platform overlooking the dance floors. It's like a private sanctuary here where guests mingle and laze as if they are really in a super yacht. Poole explains, 'It's not often we come across spaces with an eight-meter high ceiling. This allowed us to play with the heights of the circular booths. People are generally like cats. If there is a high place to look over the crowd, it will be the most popular.'
  As the name suggests, The Yacht Club celebrates a boating lifestyle and the architectural elements reflect exactly that. 'It was formerly a Lebanese nightclub with no exterior. We re-oriented the space to address the marina by demolishing the exterior facade, adding sliding thermal glass walls and creating a series of stepping decks for views of the sunset and the marina. By adding the sail coth tarps and yachting masts at the entry, we brought the yachting lifestyle into the club space," quips Poole. And with the gigantic fan rotating slowly and luring the crowd into a psychotropic daze, the lounge party mood is set.'