When the owner was looking to create a water feature for Etihad Towers, the unique, hand-crafted ceramic designs of Craig Bragdy were the ideal choice.
A landmark in contemporary architectural design, Etihad Towers is a high-profile development on the stunning corniche in Abu Dhabi city, incorporating three towers of mixed occupancy; residential, office and leisure. The owner wanted to showcase the view over the shoreline from the grand lobby, and created a 12 metre high space with a vast glazed wall. The vista was enhanced with a reflecting pool at its base.
A feeling of coolness and tranquility
The pool makes a grand statement in the hotel atrium, sweeping out in an arc from the central bar and lounge area, and measuring 45 metres long by six metres wide. With a water depth of just 100mm, the pool is designed to provide ever-changing colours and reflections, thanks to the subtle movement of the water. However, the pool isn’t simply decorative but doubles to perform a useful ‘function’ too. With a regulated water temperature, the pool acts as a supplementary cooling system to complement the lobby’s air conditioning.
Craig Bragdy was tasked to design and manufacture the ceramic artwork on the base of the pool. The expert Craig Bragdy designers took their inspiration from the spectacular views of the Gulf, as well as the coral reefs. The designers steered a careful course between imitation of nature and stylised pool design. Highly patterned ceramics appeared closer to the viewer, and as the design moved towards the curtain wall the details diminished and elements figured in a larger scale. Colours also changed across the width of the pool, with dark vivid cobalts and pastel sky blues becoming ever deeper towards the glass. In a reflection pool design such as this, whilst texture of the ceramics is a key component, there are none of the obvious benefits associated with slip resistance but the designers still model and carve the surface of the tiles over which the glazes ebb and flow during firing, giving the artwork a unique character.
An award-winning destination
To keep the standing water fresh at all times, the pool employs an engineering system, which creates a slight ripple of movement. This gives the pool a life and vitality all of its own, and visitors have commented that it creates a special aura within this huge space. DBI Architects have recently won the coveted World’s Leading Hotel Award for the Jumeirah Hotel and the hotelier is particularly pleased with the end result. Click here to see more water features.