'The project pioneers the region’s architectural movement towards adaptive reuse of heritage buildings and structures, using local vernacular and contextual choice of materials as a starting point for the architectural discourse.'
Jonathan Ashmore, practice Principal, comments: “Desert conditions present extreme heat in summer with intense and prolonged sun exposure so it is important to consider these factors when first designing the form and mass of the building, and secondly the selection of suitable and robust materials which go hand in hand.”
Desert sites are also exposed to elements such as driving rain, sand storms and low-temperatures at night. Locally sourced stone or concrete construction provide heavy thermal mass to deal with the extreme temperature fluctuations. Surface materials like Corten steel and secondary structure materials like robust hardwoods and aluminum add refinement and precision to the design particularly for over-sailing roofs, shading elements and terrace decks raised above the level of the sands. The choice of material is contextual and relevant not only to the harsh, arid, desert climate but also to the historical presence of the iron in the region.
The Lodge, Spa and Restaurant buildings are divided by a through-road which creates an unusual and dynamic urbanity to the master plan of the retreat. The buildings together with the historical petroleum pump command a presence to the road in the scarce desert landscape and will become both a destination and stop-off for those who know and for those who then discover this new intervention.
Set at the foot of Mount Alvaah in the Sharjah Emirate, the Al Faya Lodge is nestled into the UAE’s prehistoric desert landscape. The Al Faya Lodge is a new addition to the Sharjah Collection - a group of distinctive boutique hotels and eco-retreats purposefully located in key locations throughout the Sharjah Emirate.
The architecture and interior interventions purposely ontrast the original fabric of the existing buildings.
CorTen steel emphasizes the new additional layers that have been introduced to repurpose and extend the spaces to accommodate a new series of programmes.
ANARCHITECT has inadvertently drawn focus to the original buildings, creating clearly defined thresholds and the juxtaposition between that what is old and what is new.
The architecture and design of the Al Faya Lodge, by architect Jonathan Ashmore and his Dubai and London-based practice ANARCHITECT are paramount to the experience it provides.
Two single-story, stone-built buildings from the 1960s, previously occupied as a clinic and grocery store, have been re-imagined into a contemporary boutique lodge and restaurant; with the addition of a newly built saltwater spa building. The project pioneers the region’s architectural movement towards adaptive reuse of heritage buildings and structures, using local vernacular and contextual choice of materials as a starting point for the architectural discourse.