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UAE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened a 172-bedroom Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa in conjunction with the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in mid-November.

Owned by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the concept is designed by Northpoint and developed by GREC Architects, based on the existing falcon shaped clubhouse of Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Inspired by the forms and textures found in nature, the resort’s design embraces the elements of water, stone, wood and light. Natural stone, polished porcelain and timber floors run throughout the building, and are interfaced with timber cladding, glazed panels and metal screens.

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Bold statements of colour are used creatively in the finishes, as well as the fabrics, to create fun design statements. The natural stone and timbers are offset by full height bronze metal screens and vibrant, rich colours of fabrics and leathers.

Tinted glazed panels, floating steel roof structures, and balustrades that are finished with a bronze tint, complement the natural colour of the stone.

“GREC Architects and their sub consultant Gettys Interior Design were awarded the contract to design the Westin at Abu Dhabi Golf Club (ADGC) and they were chosen because of their experience and portfolio.

Together they developed the brief and concept to create the vision we see today. I became the design manager for the project when I joined TDIC in March 2010,” said Laura Gow, interior design manager, TDIC.

“The brief was to create a state-of-the-art facility while communicating both the forward progressive nature of Abu Dhabi and simultaneously reflecting the cultural values of the region.

“The hotel setting within Abu Dhabi Golf Resort provided the inspiration, which includes the iconic Falcon Clubhouse building and the natural elements of the surrounding golf course.”

Work on the project started in early 2007 when the vision of the project started to form. Construction started January 2010, and the project was completed this month.

Gow said the biggest challenge was creating a facility that complemented its surroundings (Abu Dhabi Golf Club is home to the PGA European Tour HSBC Golf Championship), while maintaining an identity and integrity of its own.

It also had to create an operational and energy efficient building that provided a return on investment. The hotel has six indoor and outdoor dining outlets, including Agadir, Moroccan restaurant, a sports lounge, gourmet cafe and Fairways, all-day dining venue, where the colour palette of lemon, fresh grass, sand and liquid blue complements the natural timbers found in the decor and furniture.

“Even though it’s part of the golf resort, the hotel is an independent venue for both golfing and non-golfing enthusiasts where sustainable materials and glass portals enchance the design,” said Gow.

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