by Dror Imagine a natural island
languorously lapped by the warm
crystalline waters of the Persian
Gulf, fringed with pristine sandy
beaches, and just a short hop by
boat or helicopter to sleek and shiny Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s most affluent city.
For multidisciplinary New York design studio, Dror, the brief from real estate developers Zaya was to create a spectacular private community of limited edition Beachfront Estates and Water Villas, each one providing its high net worth owners with the ultimate in luxury and the last word in privacy Given the diminutive proportions of the pint-sized island paradise, the dilemma, however, was how to succeed in endowing every residence with the maximum seclusion and delicious sense of privileged solitude fundamental to the Nurai design concept.
Refusing to be bound by convention, in the case of the Beachfront Villas, Dror’s inspired response to the challenge is ingenious.
A carpet of greenery unfolds across the atoll from shore to shore, its verdant swathes enveloping the sweeping structures of the Estates tucked beneath, cocooning residents in their own intimate worlds of splendid isolation and exclusivity, leaving the island virtually untouched and largely as nature intended.
In counterpoint, the Water Villas – conceived as chandeliers suspended from a structural frame – are approached marina-style along pontoons leading off from a central pier, with each arranged corner to corner to maximise on unhindered views.
Achieved through formal composition, a squarewithin- a-square in suspension and set at a kink, the resulting impression is one of a central glass cube in rotation.
Complementing the twin strands of Water Villas extending into the ocean and each one an island, the partially submerged Underwater Spa all but disappears at high tide leaving only its highest planes visible, while at low tide the angled roof is gently massaged by the waves.
Emulating the energy and tension of a waterfall, viewed from afar it seems almost an illusion created from the
rapport between sun and water.