Visitors to Dubai’s Ibis Styles hotel can take a walk through the history of the architecture of the city without leaving its winding corridors.
Each of the doors to its 191 rooms has a massive black and white print of a building or urban landscape – with the emphasis being on the older area around The Creek and Deira – both close to the hotel’s location.
Case Study for CID, May Issue Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 30, 2016 (Photo by Aasiya Jagadeesh/ITP Images);29_05_16 Ibis Stylus CID
The corridors themselves are painted black with the illumination focusing on the doors in order to bring the black and white photographs into sharp focus.
Architect Daousser Chennoufi (pictured) is CEO of Drawlink Group, who did both the exterior design and the interiors of the seven-storey building, which was originally an office before its extensive retrofit.
He said: “I wanted to create the idea that guests were walking through a photographic gallery. I sourced the prints from all across the city and they show various stages of Dubai’s development and the emergence of its high-rise skyline.”
The images show some of the traditional buildings which have been preserved in the Bastakiya area of the city alongside the waterfront.
Others show the World Trade Centre, one of the city’s first skyscrapers built in 1978. To bring the story up-to-date hotels such as The Address Downtown and the residential complexes which make up The Marina are also depicted.
“The photographs were originally in colour,” said Chennoufi. “But I changed them to black and white in order to create a timeless feel and add to the ambiance of the whole interior. There is the old part of the city and the new part – both are on display but the themed look is the same.
“I wanted visitors not to be able to distinguish the old from the new – so they went out of the hotel and discovered the buildings for themselves. But first, they will have seen images of much of the old town, within a contemporary and modern space.”