WA International creates a contemporary fusion of Far Eastern design and five-star hospitality
Award-winning Dubai-based interior design firm WA International turned a vision into reality for a couple of savvy sophisticated businessmen looking to create a contemporary fusion of Far Eastern hospitality and service in the heart of Dubai’s business district.
Asiana Hotel, located adjacent to Deira’s bustling Salahuddin Road, opened its doors to guests less than 12 months ago yet in this time has become the ‘go-to’ hotel for both Asian and Western business travellers looking for cutting-edge design and five-star luxury.
With a brief to create the “essence of Asia in Dubai”, the team at WA International draws upon the influences of the ancient civilisations of the Far East. Bringing together the five elements – wood, fire, water, earth and metal – and introducing them into the reception, public areas and guestrooms, WA International fuses these themes with contemporary design principles to create a number of unique spaces.
Asiana’s public areas are airy with a subtle use of light throughout. By adding modern textures to wood, metal and stone, including vibrant and tactile fabrics such as silk, chenille, leather and suede, an interior of welcoming comfort and aesthetic calm is created.
As guests move through the hotel, flavours of Asia are experienced in a contemporary style without being bias to any specific country or Asian influence. The 136 stylish guest rooms bring an element of oriental elegance into an interior of welcoming comfort with ultra-modern amenities. Glazed screens between the bedroom and bathroom area of the guestrooms create an open plan feel and provides natural light into the bathroom. Sliding screens commonly used throughout Asia are also used to separate the bath giving privacy when required in the suites.
Claire Craig, WA International’s design director explains, “The essence of the rooms is transparency and simplicity, with horizontal and vertical lines balancing each other – yin and yang.”
ESSENCE OF ASIA
From a region famed for its delicious and varied cuisine, no five-star Asian hotel would be complete without a mix of world-class speciality restaurants. There are five eateries ranging from Japanese to Chinese, Seafood, Filipino and Korean cuisine, as well as a roof-top barbecue and pool venue. In each of these establishments, the walls and floors of wood and stone are reminiscent of the sea, the landscape and ethnicities of the cuisine.
Ancient artefacts and authentic Asian art decorate the surfaces of each restaurant. Joey Samera, associate, WA International explains: “Sculptures from the ancient Terracotta Army stand strong on pillars overlooking Jade restaurant, while the Chinese restaurant’s four private dining rooms are adorned by panels featuring Chu Chi style poetry, an ancient mix of prose and verse.”
Samera continues: “Ancient poetry has also been transposed into a decorative piece of art in Asiana’s Korean restaurant, Sonamu. A collection of striking backlit glass panels is scribed with 15th century Korean poems, while full size and miniature authentic Korean pine trees bring an element of nature to this informal dining experience.”
Japanese restaurant Hanabi also “incorporates Japanese traditions such as Bonsai and Samurai swords within its interior design as well as wall displays showcasing authentic Japanese Kimonos and Obis,” adds Samera.
At Hanabi, guests can dine as formally or informally as they wish; a typical trait of the Japanese eating culture. An informal sushi bar is juxtaposed by the four private dining rooms which combine a mix of bamboo and slate with formal seating and a drop floor, giving the illusion of traditional Japanese floor cushions without the discomfort.
Distinctive design feature across Asiana’s remaining outlets including the stacked timber block wall in the seafood restaurant and the galaxy fibre optic lighting in the hotel’s exclusive Boracay nightclub.
A peaceful union of the riches from Asia, the interior design of Asiana provides its guests with the perfect mix of the ancient and modern for which the Far East has become rightfully renowned.
About WA International
Founded in London in 1978, WA International established its Dubai, UAE, studio in 1993. The Dubai team won an international award for its work on One and Only The Palm Dubai. Its portfolio includes the Address Hotel, Al Maha Desert Resort, JW Marriott, Le Meridien, Radisson SAS, Hilton, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Sofitel and Movenpick among others.