‘Memorable’ does not do justice to the design of the Jumeraih Beach Hotel

We are surrounded by the manifestations of 3D “design”. Much of it is not “good”. Of the mass that falls outside our critical reach, there are places that may be described as “memorable”. In the case of the Jumeraih Beach Hotel (International Restaurants and Bars Showcase, DW 29 September) the adjective has not been qualified and, in the spirit of accuracy, I must set the record straight.

The building is extraordinary. Visiting the bar, which projects over the Gulf, 200m above sea level, in the early hours of the morning does not fail to elicit a response. I watched the distant lights of the city in an inky darkness without definition, I sat at the edge of a platform, curved glazing sweeping beneath my feet leaving me uncertain of my stability and within a multi-layered riot of form and colour that challenged my sensibilities.

An engineering feat, yes. A remarkable catalogue of excess, yes. Memorable, yes. A reason to question all that we do and why we might do it, certainly. Examples of what we accept as “good” design are easy to experience nowadays, thankfully. But it is worth asking serious questions about what lies beyond, how it impacts on our environment and why we are beset with all manner of “memorable” excess.

David Chaloner

Creative director

Conran Design Group

david.chaloner@conrandesigngroup.com

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