Intense heat; an incomplete building site; the desert fringes of Dubai. Le Corbusier’s ‘Tower of Shadows’ at Chandigarh surfaces to mind.

The aim: to build a members-only workspace and social club which swiftly addresses guests’ needs on arrival, then playfully reflects the exteriors with abstract mirages of shape and colour.

Carving cool darkness out of the existing concrete structure, a bespoke copper reception desk expresses primitive raw purity, while moveable blocks of granite, stainless steel and oak proffer refreshments from the kitchen. The palette and materials are all elemental in nature, bringing a subtle, tactile sensuality to the interiors, akin to that heightened state of desert being.

Echoing the dunes’ undulations and then the unfathomable distance travelled towards a horizon of endless colour, the requirements of a modern day library with communal tables, private work spaces and meeting rooms were met within a year by keeping our design intent simple but specified in great detail through a package of over a hundred and fifty drawings.

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