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The Royal Atlantis Residences, set to open in late 2019, will be Dubai’s first “super prime” residential project. Deigned by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the 43 story building is made up of 231 two to five-bedroom homes, each with amazing views at just the right angle to help maximize winds during the hot Dubai summers. In addition to several amenities like private pools and more, are the recently announced restaurants from chefs like Heston Blumenthal and José Andrés.
Whitewall spoke with KPF’s director Elie Gamburg and president and design principal Jamie von Klemperer about what’s planned for The Royal Atlantis Residences, as well as their very first foray into luxury development.
WHITEWALL: What about the Royal Atlantis Residences makes them “super prime”?
ELIE GAMBURG: Modeled after luxury properties in top cities around the world such as Hong Kong, New York, and Cannes, the Royal Atlantis Residences are gracious in plan with well-appointed finishes. Truly unique to these apartments are their private sky courts, large terraces replete with plunge pools, lounge space, lush landscaping and unmatched views of the iconic Dubai skyline.
WW: What was the driving design approach to the project?
EG: Typically, luxury residential and hotel buildings are designed as high-rise structures, maybe with terraces –but often inadequate ones, offering views but little else. Appreciating Dubai as a resort destination, we wanted to create a building with a strong connection to the outdoors and with elements of this lifestyle considered from the beginning.
We began with a conventional double-loaded slab typology, then essentially split the building into smaller parts, making it more intimately tailored to the individual user. From there, we integrated a series of apertures and sky courts into the structure, and curved and oriented the building in a way that maximizes views of Dubai and the Gulf, while also passively ventilating and shading the living spaces.
As a result of this approach, the building also takes on an iconic form and will serve as an impactful addition to the Dubai waterfront skyline, its form stepping down in an instantly recognizable way. Up close, the building meets the ground at an appropriately human scale, providing dynamic green spaces for public and private use.
WW: What do the Royal Atlantis Residences offer you can’t find anywhere else in Dubai? In the world?
EG: The Royal Atlantis Residences unifies the indoor and outdoor experience to create a truly unique living environment for residents. The building combines the best aspects of the luxury high-rises found in Hong Kong and New York, specifically their density and organization, with serene outdoor elements of resorts and residences found in warm climates.
WW: What was your very first major design project? What did you learn from that project that you still use today?
EG: My first major project with Jamie at KPF was a master plan for Songdo City in Korea. It was a process of discovery, through which I learned that the success of our strategy – to create a truly human centric city – was not just to the design of a collection of buildings, but rather to base our plan on the way people experience urbanism on an individual level.
JAMIE VON KLEMPERER: One of my very first KPF projects was the Bank Niaga tower in Jakarta, Indonesia, which doubled as one of my first experiences working as an architect in a foreign culture. Given the city’s tropical climate, our team incorporated brise soleil features to shade the building’s internal spaces from morning and afternoon sun. The folded wall planes that offer this sun shading relief also provide a texturally
subdued backdrop and reinforce the tower’s simplicity of prismatic forms, contributing to the building’s position within the emerging central business district. Together, these features represent a confluence of environmental conditions and formal and structural elements that still permeates KPF’s work today.