JOALI Maldives, art resort with the flora of a natural wonder – between the tropical delight of the coconut palm trees and sparkling turquoise ocean waters, is brought to life on the Muravandhoo Island, North Maldives. This artistic resort is inspired by Her, the feminine spirit of the brand.
JOALI luxury resort, the tourism project by Gürallar Group from Turkey, who aims to increase the quality of life and bring value to individuals’ lives in various fields they serve through knowing the value of cultural accumulation, focuses on creating a unique and artistic travel story. This private island presents a tropical environment of a sustainable resort teeming with life and blending beautifully into the natural scene of a postcard-perfect bright blue sea and white sandy beaches, placed on one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world.
Autoban, Istanbul based multidisciplinary design studio, realized certain architectural elements of this hospitality project and created the interior design. Designers combined what the island environment provided with a multi-layered design approach, which has both an integral and a unique understanding between indoor and outdoor spaces, and architecture. Through this creative approach, the studio was able to transform the limited island life by the natural flora in multiple layers. Therefore, JOALI sustainable resort gives a new meaning to the island life through an unlimited and dynamic experience and brings life to the island with a unique hospitality story – designed to take travelers on an artistic sensory journey.
The Basket chair from Kettal, created in the 1950s by Danish designers Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel. The cushion fabrics are also designed by Nanna Ditzel, the “Queen of Danish design”.
JOALI Maldives consists of 73 luxury land and over-the-water villas in tropical style, each of them inspired by the individual “design meets travel” story and created with a promise to the guests of a fairy-tale journey; restaurants that offer a wide range of culinary options for food lovers and bring together the most delicious tastes from world-wide cuisines – presenting them as if they were a natural part of the island environment; communal spaces that complement this entire sensory experience, and personalized wellness spa and fitness facilities – offering a full menu of indulging treatments.
This artistic resort takes inspiration from Her, the spirit of the brand. Her is a feminine spirit that has the intellect and a delicate maturity. Her is sophisticated and multi-faceted, she likes to travel constantly, create a story from her versatile life experiences and collect this story through artworks that she acquires, all a reflection of her lively and free-spirited character. JOALI carries the spirit of Her successfully in every meaning of the word; converges art, architecture, and craft, and presents the most successful forms of the meeting of nature and design in terms of practicality and aesthetics. To merge “Maldivian Shed”, a classic Maldivian structure typology, with the life philosophy of Her, and to create a unique perception of space is the main principle of the entire design approach.
Cala from Kettal is a high backed armchair inspired by the iconic Emanuelle. The chair has a majestic spatial presence with transparent and light surfaces. The open weave of the rope provides a latticed window for visual privacy while maintaining a connection to the natural elements.
The typical Maldivian roof structure welcomes visitors to the island from the first second they arrive. The design team from Autoban presents the guests with abstract and unique forms in the Maldivian spirit. The architectural forms they have prepared by abstracting and energizing this typical roof structure come as a direct result of their experimental and forward-looking creative approach. Mentioning that all forms on this beautiful island have an outer layer that is compatible with the natural flora and that the spaces created inside this layer are both unique and have integral interior design, is noteworthy as one of the most significant features of this hospitality design project. The building materials of the structures, as well as production techniques, carry the spirit of the Maldives.
A “jetty” with a sculpture-like layer welcomes guests on their arrival and plays the role of the island entrance point. The entire roof system that has been planned as a podium, twirling like a wave, is a wooden structure and has been laminated with a wooden layer. Classic Maldivian roof is merged with the waveform to bring out a sculpture-like appearance. “Jetty”, at some point, shows the entrance door of the island, enriched with this creative form.
The multi-layered architectural structure system starts at the front doors of the tropical style villas. The entrance welcomes the guests with artisan wood and a rich but humble look embroidered with concrete columns. Wooden columns, inspired by the works of Brancusi, also reinforce the look. As part of the feminine brand identity, smooth transitions start from the side of the structure and continue with rounded corners, bringing the structure a soft character. Natural braid used on the roof provides a beautiful flow downwards from the top of the structure. Different color schemes used on various surfaces of the space consist of neutral tones of coconut, one of the striking character features of this exotic island. Her devotion to the natural can be read from the natural palette of colors in the structure, light beige and softest tones of brown used on the side.
Terrazzo material covers all floor surfaces thus integrating the interior and exterior space perception of the structure. All surfaces, continuing with a single material, provide a backdrop with the layer system and hand-carved wooden panels placed in the interiors. The interior decorating has been thought of as clothing that enhances the richness and depth in the multilayered system of the architectural structure. This layer begins from the floor level and continues to the roof height of the structure in a fragmented way and all mechanical systems are hidden behind this layer. The hand-carved wooden panels that separate areas create a visual richness with the unique designs that reference the authentic Maldivian spirit and island culture.
Focusing on decorative details in furniture design, the masterful approach of Autoban studio exhibits itself in all forms and this can also be visible in the movable furniture, all designed and applied specifically for this artistic hospitality project. Like all other design decisions, the furnishings also integrate the tropical experience of JOALI and the Maldivian cultural spirit. The designs belong to Her and reflect Her lifestyle. In this design philosophy, the exotic materials like bamboo and coconut shell have been processed with contemporary and local forms of the furniture, thus bringing warmth to the experience of the indoor and outdoor space.
The multi-layered design approach by Autoban is also visible in the exterior spaces of the JOALI art resort project. Ana Restaurant, which has a fragmented placement, is separated into inner yards. “Her Kitchen”, “Vinery” and “Cold Kitchen” interior areas have been separated by glass, and in certain points with wooden abacuses as a part of the Maldivian spirit. Bamboo beams in the roof structure layer, created through a diagonal cut of classic Maldivian roof, give reference to the island spirit and architecture. Hand-carved wooden panel and abacus room dividers placed in the space distinguish between spaces and create private areas for the guests. Bellini bar, located at a section of the restaurant, has been designed completely as an Italian restaurant. Therefore, light green tones can be seen here, which is distinct from Ana Restaurant. Wooden dividers are also preferred here to create the backdrop of the space and mosaic and panels on the floor follow the same tones.
Another indoor and outdoor space of the JOALI hospitality project that presents unique and personalized relaxing experiences to the guests is the Wellness & Spa section. The section, which welcomes the guests with a circular entrance, continues with spiral forms to furl guests.
Maldivian spirit and island culture merge with Autoban’s design approach, which combines the unique decorative details, natural materials, and sophisticated ideas, and what emerges is a dreamy personal experience. Artisanal amenities, curated in-room bookshelves, thoughtful design expressions, as well as deluxe objets d’art create an atmosphere of a relaxing island vacation in style.
Total area – 25,000 sqm, 73 villas, 3 restaurants, spa
Client – Gürallar Group
Design – Autoban
Designers – Seyhan Özdemir, Sefer Çağlar
Photography – Ibrahim Ozbunar
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