This project involved designing a building to house an exclusive club at Pearl-Qatar, a complex of artificial islands being built at Doha in the Gulf state of Qatar. The single-storey structure comprises 9,400 square metres of floorspace. The vast body of the main entrance, with its two symmetrical wings, contains executive and operational spaces while the club itself extends sideways from one of these wings: here you will find restaurants, a spa, the gym and the swimming pool, the nightclub, lounges and other themed rooms. The building is very much in the Qatari style, with ancient Islamic elements, typical of Qatar, forming the basis of the decorative scheme. The overall effect is like a fine lace doily: many of the surfaces comprise a complex and delicate pattern of perforations.
The main entrance hall is the building’s handshake, so to speak, a welcoming introduction to all of the admirable qualities with which the visitor is about to become acquainted. In this room, twelve pillars form a square. The pillars are connected by pointed arches, above which is a row of ogival windows and a highly decorated flat roof.
The curved arrangement of the seating is a key element of this composition. It ahas a powerful presence that draws the eye back from the decorated arches and the perforated screens in such a way as to reassert the unity of this impressive lobby. The colour scheme, meanwhile, is warm and cosy, consisting of deep red and gold hues. The multicoloured marble floors emphasise the geometric form of the space, giving definition to its extent, and making the entire composition even more dynamic.
The smoking room has a rather more frivolous character – it could be described as somewhat cinematic. The muted peach-pink colours, the curtains that obscure the room’s edges, the coloured drapery that masks the ceiling, the crystal chandeliers suspended in ogee domes like birds in a cage… these elements conspire to disguise the true shape of the room.
In the Nimro restaurant, the floorspace is subdivided by screens, so as to create private areas. Here the colours are sharper: the cornflower blue of the upholstery makes for a fine contrast with the gold and blond wood of the furniture. The ceilings are painted a pale purple, and this light tone seems to make the vaults somehow weightless. Illumination is provided by elegantly perforated golden lanterns that send beams of light to every corner of the space.
The indoor pool, next to the spa and gym, is equipped with every comfort. It is finished in a colourful mosaic, while the poolside is inlaid with marble. A Jacuzzi, large enough for several people at once, is situated to one side of the pool. Though it is under a roof, the pool has an airy, outdoorsy feel, due in part to the light tones of the furniture and the sky-blue ceiling. It is just a short walk from the pool through the archways of the gym and out into the garden.