- Competition (2005)
- Location: Abu Dhabi
- Use: Offices, Residence
Up until the 18th century, it was very prestigious to design the palace for the most powerful man in the land, a circumstance reflected in our design. The centrepiece is a fortress-like rectangular courtyard typical of an Islamic palace within which the actual palace is sited on an artificial elevation. The monumental gate leads to this complex.
Having passed through a generous gate lodge the palace is accessed via an elongated ramp framed by promenades. The air-conditioned auto access road provides a lead-in to the breathtaking central lobby area with its gallery extending over two floors. Trick fountains and palms provide the decoration in the air-conditioned room. The adjoining Circulation Space provides access to the prestige rooms on the ground floor.
While the first floor is reached by glazed elevators, impressive stairs lead to the upper storeys. Throughout the building exquisite materials are used for the walls, floors and ceilings. Both the studies of the President and Vice-President but also the Presidential Suite face the sea, with views out over the Arabian Gulf.
The formal language evolved for the design is a translation of regional and historical styles into a contemporary prestigious architectural idiom that reflects the nation’s importance.