The Mondrian Doha, a 24-storey skyscraper containing apartments and a luxury hotel with 270 rooms and suites, has opened its doors. Six years of work by SWA, South West Architecture, went into this complex structure with its design inspired by the falcon, a great tradition in the Persian Gulf, featuring amazing ceramic decorations by FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti.
“A marvellous story unfolding in every little corner,” is Marcel Wanders’ description of the Mondrian Doha. The famous Dutch designer produced all the furnishings and much of the interior decoration, but SWA came up with the plans for the building itself and its cladding, made entirely with materials by Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti of the Iris Ceramica Group.
This ambitious hospitality project began in 2011 under the impetus of SBE, the real estate colossus that operates hotels, residences, restaurants, and luxury venues all over the world. The skyscraper in Doha’s West Bay Lagoon, located right across from the artificial island of The Pearl-Qatar, is the most recent in a list of new luxury hotels designed for an international clientele of tourists and business travellers. It has 211 rooms, 59 suites, a spectacular 2,000 sq. metre ballroom with its own 24K gold elevator and separate spas for men and women, 12 venues including Wolfgang Puck’s Cut, Masaharu Morimoto’s Japanese cuisine, and Walima’s traditional Middle Eastern cuisine, spaces specifically intended for couples, a heated experience garden, relaxation rooms with heated daybeds, and a traditional Turkish hammam, and, lastly, under the imposing glass dome on the top floor, a swimming pool with a bar and a panoramic view over West Bay.
The project’s decoration draws on local knowledge, history, styles, and figures, that have been reworked in the light of today’s sentiments and lifestyles. This melange has been translated using the most advanced materials and working techniques. Every space has an identity of its own, allowing guests to put together a set of stories revolving around the pivotal Arab cultural narrative. The interior incorporates custom-designed furniture and finishes based on local examples, Middle Eastern writing, and the imagery of the suk translated into gigantic columns with golden eggs, a tree of life made up of flowers, ornamental glass and floral mosaics in the flooring.
The indoor and outdoor cladding, floors and special pieces were made by FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti, starting with the porcelain ventilated façade embracing the outside of the entire height of the tower: 15,000 sq. metres of FMG Parana beige 600 by 1,200mm slabs wrapping around the building to form two huge falcon wings.
The falcon is a recurrent symbol in the iconography of the project. The hotel’s entrance is modelled to look like the beak of a bird of prey, while the podium is covered with a bird’s nest pattern produced using 3,000 by 1,500mm and 1,000 by 1,000mm Maxfine Titanium white polished slabs.
The interiors of the Mondrian Doha draw on the same sources of inspiration as the exterior, adding more significance and amplifying the experience of a holiday in the Middle East with all the comforts westerners demand. FMG coverings dictate the style and taste of every room and suite as well as the bathrooms: Statuario venato Maxfine maxi-slabs and Ardesia nera honed surfaces define the luxurious living spaces with bold colour contrasts, while 150 by6 1,200mm strips from the Lignum red and brown collection underline the natural wood to add domestic warmth to the restaurant area.
Titanium white Maxfine and polished Ivory black create an impressive effect in public areas such as the lobbies, where spectacular floral patterns designed by SWA are created with water jet cutting on a 1,500 sq. metre surface. The podium and spa feature FMG ceramic mosaic tiles with gold, platinum and white bright finishes. Numerous special pieces were produced in partnership with the Iris Ceramica Group’s product development laboratory, including 15,000 special theme pieces measuring 150 by 150mm illustrating the passions and traditions of Qatar, including racehorses, the falcon that still accompanies hunters, camel races, the tradition of the Shisha, Aladdin’s lamp, the mosque, and characteristic Middle Eastern imagery. On the top floor, under the dome, is a spectacular swimming pool with views over the entire bay, with a majestic spiral staircase rising four floors up to a panoramic rooftop platform.
The Mondrian Doha sets a new standard in terms of technology, comfort, luxury, and imagination. It is a project produced by a partnership between East and West, in a new scenario for life and entertainment that is halfway between two hemispheres and is not set in a particular geographic location but creates and occupies spaces that did not exist before, such as Qatar’s artificial islands.
Ventilated façade cladding: Parana beige 600 by 1,200mm
Exterior cladding: Parana beige 600 by 300mm
Podium and hotel building cladding: Titanium white polished 3,000 by 1,500mm and 1,000 by 1,000mm
Guest room walls: Statuario venato Maxfine 3,000 by 1,500mm
Bathroom walls and special pieces: Statuario venato Maxfine 1,000 by 1,000mm
Guest room bathroom walls: Statuario venato Maxfine 600 by 1,200mm
Guest room and service area, and Beer & Burger restaurant floors and walls: Ardesia nera honed
Lobby walls and floors: Titanium white Maxfine and Ivory black polished, with custom water jet cutting
Pool area flooring: Titanium white Maxfine and Ivory black 600 by 600mm, with water jet cutting
Restaurant flooring: Lignum red and brown 150 by 1,200mm
Inner walls of podium, hotel building and spa: Mosaico gold and Mosaico platinum 250 by 250mm
Inner walls of podium area, hotel building and spa: Mosaico white bright, Titanium white and Ivory black 50 by 50mm
15,000 special 150 by 150mm custom-decorated wall tiles
Photography: Roberto Leoni
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, July 2018