Four Seasons Hotel

L’hotel Four Seasons progettato dallo studio Skidmore, Owings & Merill LLP (SOM) è il nuovo punto di riferimento visivo della capitale del Bahrain, grazie alla insolita composizione di pilastri in calcestruzzo e volumi sospesi. Con questo imponente hotel si apre un nuovo mondo del lusso, ed è una storia fatta di sogni e di alterne fortune.

Lo studio di architettura Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) ha visto nel nuovo Four Seasons Hotel realizzato nella capitale del Bahrain, Manama, una serie di opportunità. “Non capita spesso di sviluppare il masterplan di un progetto e poi arrivare alla fase costruttiva seguendo il progetto originale. Così come non esistono molti progetti indipendendi per la costruzione di hotel” racconta l’architetto progettista Thomas Behr. “Stiamo costruendo una relazione con la città e ci auguriamo che questo progetto possa entrare a far parte del suo patrimonio architettonico e che serva a promuovere la realizzazione di altri progetti come questo”. Lo studio SOM realizzò il suo primo progetto, l’accattivante United Gulf Bank, proprio in Bahrain quasi una trentina di anni fa e l’Arch. Behr spiega che questi primi schemi sono ancora considerati tra i più belli in città. Per il Four Seasons Hotel la posta in gioco era particolarmente alta, in quanto la progettazione prevedeva una struttura iconica fronte mare da realizzare su un’area di 432.000 metri quadrati, nota come la Bahrain Bay, che però ancora non esisteva.

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Il nuovo punto di riferimento visivo della capitale del Bahrain, grazie alla insolita composizione di pilastri in calcestruzzo e volumi sospesi.

Suggestivo ed intimo

 

Commissionato dalla Signature Hotels Management Company S.P.C., il progetto iniziò nel 2004 con un masterplan per l’arrangiamento dei terreni precedentemente bonificati in cerchi concentrici. Il Four Seasons Hotel, con i suoi 68 piani, sorge proprio al centro di questa disposizione, sulla propria isola privata di dodici acri accessibile da un ponte o in barca e ben allineato con il canale d'acqua alle sue spalle che sfocia nel il mare di fronte. L’architetto Behr spiega: “Il design dell’edificio risponde al bisogno di essere suggestivo ed imponente su scala urbana, ma al contempo intimo per gli ospiti proprio come un resort”. È un edificio di grande impatto visivo quando lo guardi nello skyline del Bahrain, perché è così semplice nella forma. I pilastri rivestiti di calcestruzzo sono una componente dal carattere dominante: rappresentano una dichiarazione, una sorta di porta di accesso alla città” - racconta Behr. “Il ristorante ‘Skypod’ si trova all’interno del volume sospeso in alto, mentre le camere per gli ospiti si trovano nel volume in mezzo e la lobby è al piano terra”.

Nella lobby al piano terra e nello splendido giardino ci si sente proprio come in un resort.

Resort-like

The urban ambitions come together to feel more resort-like at the tower’s base; through the landscaping, massing and materiality. Textures and patterning on the concrete walls, as well as the limestone-clad podium, create an earthy, natural finish that prevents it from being ‘bland and monolithic’. The entranceway is made more intimate through the addition of an external bronze powdercoated aluminium ceilinged porte-cochere, which continues into the lobby. The impact of the 200 meter tall tower is softened by a series of pavilions for the spa and conference facilities on either side, as well as a Mediterranean-style garden planted with olive trees and wild flowers. The Reynaers products, selected by façade contractor Jungbluth Alu Partners because “the company has a long-standing good relationship with Reynaers and the service is very pro-active”, says lead engineer Roland Jungbluth, add to this striking appearance and individual cosiness. Each bedroom has full-height windows overlooking the bays, while the aluminium panels throughout the building visually connect the disparate volumes. In all, as Behr explains, The Four Seasons Hotel was a very important project to get built: “With all the difficulties Bahrain went through as a result of the global economic crisis, many projects got cancelled. This is the first major project since, and has kickstarted a new wave of development.”

Thomas Behr was born in Aachen, Germany in 1969. He graduated from the University of Technology in Aachen with a Bachelor in Architecture. Now he’s a director at SOM’s New York office. He joined the firm in 2000 and has since then worked on a diverse range of international projects. After predominantly working on European projects in his early years, Behr shifted his focus to the Middle East, where he oversees and coordinates all SOM’s efforts. He is currently managing the Kuwait University Student Activity and Athletic Facilities, Thakher City in Mecca and the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi. Behr: “I believe that architects have a social, environmental and economic responsibility, and understanding these responsibilities allows me to unlock the true value of a project.”

Roland Jungbluth (Jungbluth Alu Partners)

Roland Jungbluth was born in 1953 in Raeren, Belgium. He has more than thirty years of experience in the business, working as administrative-director for almost twenty years at one of Belgium’s leading aluminium façade manufacturers Pomel Alu. In 2002 he set up Jungbluth Alu Partners sa (JAP) together with the technical director and now partner André Muller. JAP is a specialist façade company that provides technical solutions for the external building envelope in the fields of design, engineering, work management and construction. It is known for its cost-effective and flexible methods, including erecting onsite factories for each project. The company has completed projects all over the world including the 300 meter tall Aspire Tower in Doha, the Qatar National Convention Centre and Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, all in partnership with Reynaers.

Typical element CW 86-EF bespoke solution

Project solution

Systems: Bespoke solution based on CW 86-EF and CW 50-SC, CP 96, CS 77-FP

  

Project description: 

  • 15.000 m² of façade
  • 13.000 m² of CW 86-EF
  • 2.000 m² of CW 50-SC, windows and doors
  • Development of bespoke façade solutions based on the architect’s aesthetic requirements
  • Piers: CW 86 unitised façade
  • VERTICAL face caps:

- Flat caps beside the concrete cladding

- Intermediate caps: Very large face cap (400 mm D x 50 mm W) in two parts. Composition: profile + adjusted glazing bead + clamping profile + base profile face cap & second part face cap screwed together.

  • HORIZONTAL face caps:

- 1st part cap: 25 mm D x 100 mm W

- 2nd part cap: 75 mm D x 50 mm W

- Same glazing bead with smaller clamping profile fixed on one part of the frame

  • Guest rooms: CW 86 unitised façade
  • Structural glazed façade with additional double row ‘finishing cap’ every 3 floors
  • Glass glued on small profile screwed on bearing structure
  • Finishing cap: 400 mm D x 100 mm W
  • Podium (building base): CW 50-SC
  • Steel reinforced CW 50 Slim Line
  • Mullions in two parts mounted on steel core
  • Combined with different standard transoms

Elements: 

  • Piers: 1675 mm W x 3800 mm H (typical element)
  • Guest rooms: 1750 mm W x 3800 mm H
  • Skypod (top level floors): 2000 mm W x 5425 mm H

 Glazing: 

  • 8/16/10 (vision glass)
  • 8/9/10 (panel glass)
Serramentista: 
JAP
Località: 
Manama, Bahrain View on map
Fotografo: 
Waleed AlAbbas
Altri partner: 
Besix (General Contractors) Werner Sobek (Engineering office)
Sistemi Reynaers utilizzati: