Intense heat; an incomplete building site; the desert fringes of Dubai. Le Corbusier’s ‘Tower of Shadows’ at Chandigarh surfaces to mind.
Following a scorching first experience in the desert void, the great architect’s renowned structure – built to prove the sun ‘can be controlled at all four cardinal points of an edifice and, in a hot country, even manipulated to reduce temperatures’ – became the studio’s inspiration.
The aim: to build a members-only dining oasis designed to address guests’ needs swiftly on arrival, then playfully reflect the exterior with abstract mirages of shape and colour.
The restaurant is a space in which desert elements are tamed – a place to revel in the outside whilst safely within; the deep, planted greens and streaks of gold are an homage to old Dubai – a fishing port and waystation for smugglers en route to India.
As Le Corbusier wrote, ‘You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is Construction…but suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: ‘This is beautiful’…that is Architecture.’
Photography to follow…