GAJ’s Brian Johnson discusses the vision behind Oman’s Shaza Salalah’s design
With the Shaza Salalah Hotel & Resort in Dhofar, Oman moving into the final stages of its construction, Dubai firm Godwin Austen Johnson reveals the inspiration behind the the project’s design.
“Our mission was to create a culturally appropriate architectural design that values its relationship with its environment, and our main priority when we first looked at this project was obviously to maximise the views out over the coastline to the north and the natural mangroves to the west of the resort,’ said Brian Johnson, managing partner at Godwin Austen Johnson.
“This approach determined the orientation of the resort to ensure that all guest rooms were positioned to enjoy uninterrupted views of the ocean, mangroves or mountains in the background.”
According to Johnson, the architects also employed the same approach with the 66 villas that were arranged to take advantage of the change in levels and to ensure that they all enjoyed the same views of the sea.
Godwin Austen Johnson further maintained a technical advisory role during the construction works on site to ensure that the final result stayed true to the architects’ initial vision.
“The client and the operator both shared a common vision for a contemporary property but which also acknowledged Oman’s rich cultural heritage and this was achieved by the addition of locally available materials and design elements including domes, arches and mashrabiya screens,” said Johnson.
One of the key design features of the resort is the entrance which creates a magnificent sense of arrival. Driving through a domed gateway, guests are directed to either the hotel’s main entrance, to the spa or to the villas with a separate entrance for the ballrooms. Landscaped courtyards and water features open the hotel up to its surroundings providing clear use of spacing and vistas as well as access to the beach.
The resort comprises 286 rooms and villas as well as four restaurants, two ballrooms, two swimming pools and a spa.