Al Khan Resort Awarded at the WIN Awards 2014

Al Khan is one of the very old areas in the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. This area flourished throughout time as a fishermen’s village. It reached its mature state in the 1950s and 1960s after which local inhabitants moved away to a more modern lifestyle.

The main building materials for this traditional village consisted of coral stone, traditional mortar, layers of wood, and palm fronds. The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is restoring and transforming this village into a resort. The aim of this project is to revive the village and showcase its charm through an experience that embodies the essence of the traditional Al Khan room with a contemporary twist.

The Al Khan prototype project was completed in February of 2014. The master plan consists of two main components, a private five star resort and the more public Souq, museums, mosques and fortified towers.

Due to the complexity of the project, the client commissioned a prototype villa to overcome the challenges of balancing the old fabric with new amenities. The prototype villa is a two bedroom house with a small pantry and a Majlis (Emirati living space) that covers an area of approximately 279 sq. m.

Inspired by the waves of the sea and the lifestyle of Emirati fisherman, the Al Khan interiors manifest this concept in a sleek and contemporary approach. The colour palette utilised within the interiors reflects the serenity and earthiness of the sand combined with rich accents of blue mimicking the hues of waves as they ebb and flow onto the beach.

A unique addition to the palette is the plaid pattern used on cushions and throws traditionally seen in the clothing of old fisherman. Small details such as the haphazard layout of rugs and the incorporation of rope-like textures links these interiors to their predecessors in subtle and elegant ways. The furniture utilised complements the abovementioned themes in more ways than one. It creates the perfect balance between old and new.

As is with design, challenges create opportunities for innovation. A wonderful opportunity arose from the remnants of the existing fabric. Bridging together the existing structure and marrying it with contemporary five star appropriate interiors has yielded a rich juxtaposition that serves the experience impeccably. The design philosophy chosen to facilitate this process steers away from touching the walls with their beautiful inherent pattern.

Architect: Godwin Austen Johnson

Interior Designer : Studio M