Ammar Basheir Creative Studio have been Shortlisted for Hotel Design – Africas & Middle East Award in The International Hotel and Property Awards 2021.
Ammar Basheir Creative Studio was tasked with the restoration of a traditional Bahraini house to a 6 suite luxury boutique hotel. Situated in the old streets of Muharraq, the hotel is largely inspired by the mythical epic of Gilgamesh’s The Flower of Eternity. Though the designer wanted to give the hotel a contemporary feel, Ammar Basheir felt it was crucial to stay respectful and keep the essence of the traditional home intact. Preserving the bones of the house, architectural elements like the doors and the breeze blocks which are quintessential to the design of that era were maintained, as well as the layout of rooms and courtyard.
Each suite is named after a theme from its poetic muse. Light has pale lavender walls evoking an airy feel with subtle hints of velvet purple and sage green drapery. Vision, a pale green room with wood and woven cane bench and chair. Flower of Eternity, painted in coral walls and gold toned drapery with custom wood furniture. Sea is painted with light blue walls with contrasting dark blue drapery. Hope, pale blue walls and rich green drapery. Sun, the largest suite, boasts Tuscan sun yellow walls and opens to a beautiful garden terrace with artful greenery.
The central courtyard has been transformed with wood and woven cane armchairs nestled amongst lemon and orange trees. The tiles are custom made with a blue and green bird motif reminiscent of old colonial tiles, as well custom terrazzo in the bedrooms and bathrooms. The majlis has been transformed into a chic reception sitting area with furniture from Bellavista Collection and Munna Design, and sheer curtains from Dedar which contrast the vintage accessories and bespoke tapestry with a Gilgamesh motif.
The studio also designed a complex oak and steel parametric staircase in the courtyard made using 700 pieces of wood. Each piece was hand carved and individually fixed. “As soon as I saw the house I envisioned the parametric staircase amongst a verdant atmosphere. I am fascinated by old Bahraini boats and I love working with wood, so it was mainly inspired by that. I wanted to create something unforgettable. As monumental as the staircase looks, it also blends well with the surroundings.”
Celebrating Bahraini craftsmanship, Ammar Basheir commissioned local artisans to be involved with the design: the staircase used local wood and local carpenters, the bedding was made by a young Bahraini fashion designer, the tiles were customised locally, and all the artwork in the hotel was sourced from local Bahraini artists.
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