Bernard Khoury

The Suspended Gardens of Manama . Manama

Bernard Khoury

The Project is located on 1800 square meter site in the developing sea-front sector of Manama Center, Bahrain. The program consists of a hotel and its amenities/services with a net total built up area of 12,000m².
The base of the building is a 30-meter high podium that consists of a drop-off level, six and a half levels of  vehicular parking and one and a half levels of services.
The visitors are elevated to a new reference level where the sky lobby of the hotel is located. On this level, an open air garden holds pavilions that house the hotel reception, all-day dining area,  a spa and a business center.
19 landscaped planes stacked 8 meters apart become platforms on which independent free standing pavilions are dispersed. Unlike the typical hotel typologies where rooms and circulation are confined within the concealed and controlled envelope of  buildings,  every pavilion enjoys a private outdoor garden with optional private outdoor pools or Jacuzzis. The height difference between the pavilions and the under-face of the subsequent suspended landscaped slabs allows for ample natural light and ventilation throughout.

The suspended garden slabs are held by a superstructure composed of peripheral columns and a central core that includes 4 guest elevators, 2 service elevators, staircases, technical shafts and service closets.
The proposed structure is also atypical in its integration of electromechanical systems and energy use. Typically, the transitory spaces such as circulation corridors are air-conditioned and ventilated mechanically. Our proposed project reflects on the logic adopted by resort hotels where rooms are dispersed in an open field. This implies that all the transitory spaces do not rely on mechanical systems therefore leading to major savings on systems and energy use.
Another particularity of the project is that it has no peripheral facades. The individual pavilions conceal the interior inhabitable spaces while the residual areas are exposed to the natural elements and remain relatively shaded.

The thickness of the slabs allows for large spans, integrating all building systems that connect directly to the pavilions from below, as well as providing enough soil depth for landscaping.
The hotel provides 8 suite types for a total of 102 keys.
4 types of standard suites (92 keys) have an interior surface of 60m2. These include open living and sleeping areas, generous suite bathroom and a walk-in closet, as well as a private garden ranging from 35 to 75m2

One bedroom suites (5 keys) with an average of 100m2 of interior surface include separate living and sleeping spaces with similar amenities to the standard suite. Each enjoys a separate garden of 115m2 and a private pool.
2 types of two bedroom suites (4 keys) with an interior surface of 100m2 enjoy the same amenities as the one bedroom suites, a private garden ranging from 65 to 85m2 and a private pool.
The royal suite has a surface of 400m2 and sits on a full suspended garden slab with 2 bedrooms, a private office, a living room, and a bar that opens onto the outdoor covered pool and includes the necessary infrastructure for private security, special assistance and necessary services.

The 20th floor plate above the sky lobby located at 195 meters above street level should be a destination in the city holding specialty restaurants. This destination should be connected to the open-sky terrace that includes a sky bar, pool, sundeck and private tanning beds.

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