Perched 2,000 metres above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar overlooks a dramatic gorge, surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the Al Hajar Mountains. Jabal Akhdar meaning “ Green Mountain “ in Arabic, is part of the Al Hajar mountain range, which is one of Oman’s most spectacular regions. Alila Jabal Akhdar overlooks a dramatic gorge surrounded by awe inspiring views of the Al Hajar mountains.
The design aesthetic was fully inspired by the site; the local culture; unique terrain and also the Alila brand aesthetic. The result is a building and interior that is in total harmony with its context. However the planning principles are very contemporary and give the spaces a simplicity of form, however the way that strong strong natural textured materials have been used, gives the interior a warm and rustic aesthetic that you would find in a traditional local Omani mountain village home that are located in the adjacent mountains.
The materials used in the traditional village homes and details from their construction were incorporated into the design throughout.Although rocky at first glance Jabal Akhdar is known as “ Green Mountain “ and has an abundance of local flora such as Pomegranite & Juniper trees and amazingly also mountain roses. The design used these elements as inspiration through various aspects of the project including colour schemes. The mountain rose was used more significantly as a design for a ‘signature’ screen that is used as a backdrop throughout the public areas. Roses were prominent in the design as the making of rose water was a traditional speciality in this region and thought it was important to make a feature of this.
Another aspect which was key to the design was that the project Gold LEED rating which has significant impact given the harsh nature of the climate. This influenced us in all of the materials used and construction techniques, where almost everything was sourced locally. The thick walls that envelope the building are made of stones that were dug out of the site during the pre-construction digging phase. Even the artwork and accessories such as pottery are from local craftsman and rugs were made by local villagers. Artwork on the walls in the “ Juniper Restaurant ” only uses local juniper wood that had already fallen of trees.
The palette of materials and colours was conceived following traditional village principles of material and colour as well.
The resort maintains a “singular design direction” that continues throughout the hotel from public spaces through guestrooms, stone, plaster, wood, rugs and hand painted murals.
Overall, public areas floors are stone as you would find in a traditional village home. Warmth and softness was added by numerous rugs on the floor which again is a traditional touch. These also allowed us to bring some colour into the interior as local rugs incorporate strong colours within the natural weave designs.
This philosophy continues in guestrooms where the walls are a mix of raw stone and plaster. An additional touch on the walls of the bedrooms (and in some of the public areas) are “hand painted” murals of local flora done by local artists.
Alila Jabal Akhdar is truly a reflection of its location sitting comfortably within its context. ”Our very part of the project is the incredible Views! As well as the simplicity of the interior design which captures the village aesthetic but is underpinned by contemporary planning and operational philosophies.”
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