The Halayeb and Shalateen project was a unique addition to our portfolio due to the environment it is situated in and the challenges that came with the habitat itself, with the hotel being exposed to direct sunlight and being in a terrain that suffers from high temperature and humidity, which we dealt with through smart design solutions, while keeping true to the surrounding, simple environment, making the hotel part of the scenery, while offering a relaxing, uniquely designed haven for visitors.
Some of the problems we faced with the project are that the front face of the venue suffered from poor elements but with good architecture that we took advantage of when designing the front face. We were also limited to elements that could be used, due to the direct exposure to sunlight, high temperature and high humidity that the area is known for. The outdoor and indoor design of the area needed to be inspired by the environment itself, so that it blends in, instead of standing out in the area and disrupting the overall simplistic, desert, relaxed direction of the environment.
The Halayeb and Shalateen area itself is more of a simple, basics-only area to relax, as opposed to it being a luxurious, well-polished spot, where people head to take a load off their shoulders and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery and enjoy the Bedouin lifestyle and experience.
With regards to the materials used to withstand the environment, high temperature, humidity and sunlight resistant paint was used for most of the outdoor section, as the most exposed part of the venue; in addition to minimal wooden elements, due to their low resistance to outdoor elements.
The outer architecture was shaped into a deconstructed cube, creating a variety of spaces of different natures for the hotel, which we were able to translate into rooms with different functions, depending on the surrounding environment, such as an outdoor restaurant or a shaded pergola.
The main challenge with the Halayeb and Shalateen hotel was designing the venue to withstand the surrounding environment, which we achieved through three methods; ensuring that the percentage of sunlight entering the space was balanced, so that the place utilizes the natural sunlight as a natural light source, while preventing the temperature from rising, with windows being installed at an angle that allows shadows into the hotel rooms, instead of direct sunlight; increasing wall thickness with walls reaching 40 cm , depending on the direction the sunlight falls, to keep the temperature constant and unaffected by the surroundings.
The ground floor was also a tricky element to tackle, with the restaurant area not having too many light and air sources, so if not designed efficiently, the area would be claustrophobic and stuffy.
In order to treat the various challenges, we implemented the concept of mashrabiyas and placed multiple wooden square openings next to each other; making use of their wooden properties that naturally decrease humidity, in addition to the square openings, which greatly decreases the amount of intense sunlight entering the venue, introduces shaded areas into the area and allow a certain direction of air flow through the area, creating natural air ducts in the space.
Plants that do not require water and can withstand the desert terrain, were utilized throughout the hotel as greenery for the space as well.
With regards to the hotel’s interior, the simple, Bedouin lifestyle-inspired theme of the place really comes to life, with Bedouin patterns and styles being implemented all over the hotel and floral patterns on the ceramic floors and porcelain, created by the wooden square openings; and the wicker wood used in the chairs and tables.
The rooms themselves mirror the approach with basic materials, such as wicker wood used in the ceilings, utilization of sunlight from openings and table lamps as main sources of light, using elegant hardened wood in hanging chairs and fixed seating areas.
As a general direction with the materials, we opted for wholly natural materials from greens to raw wood, wicker and earth-looking flooring, further bringing the simplistic, grounded experience that the hotel offers by the sea, to life.
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