Soaring to unprecedented heights, Kokaistudios’ AURA SKYPOOL delivers the details as well as the dramatics around the world’s highest 360° infinity pool.
25 February, 2022
Imagined as an island in the sky, AURA SKYPOOL welcomes visitors to take a break from the urban surrounds and forget for a moment the hustle and bustle of Dubai, UAE with a nature-inspired design that plays on one’s senses. Taking up the 49th and 50th floors of the Palms Towers skyscraper, the location invites leisure seekers to escape the city by ascending 210 metres above ground. while creating a dialogue amongst the indoors and the outdoors, the water and the sky, nature and the manmade surroundings through materiality, spatial planning and light and air.
Incorporating elements from nature was a big part of the process for the architecture and interior design firm Kokaistudios. The goal was to create an impactful journey when conceptualising the design for AURA SKYPOOL. So, the firm took cues from the natural world to translate them into tactile and sensory experiences befitting the exclusive destination.
Naturally, materiality played an important part in constructing the image of this urban oasis. At the heart of the AURA SKYPOOL lounge is a rock formation-inspired centrepiece, shaped to appear as a sculpturally reimagined natural boulder. Not only does the geometric structure acts as a backdrop to the central bar, but also conceals the building’s central core discretely. A space-limiting challenge was thus transformed into a signature focal point.
Further heightening the nature-inspired appeal is the bar counter made of reclaimed wood that recalls flotsam washed up on a sea shore. Meanwhile, the surrounding concrete floor tiles lend a sensation of walking barefoot on sand through its tactile quality.
Surrounding the central core are various elements that subtly evoke a feeling of being on a private island or an upscale beachfront. The wooden deck enveloping the central lounge is interspersed with floating platforms that jut out into the water for a more private experience of the infinity pool.
Throughout, suspended ceiling drapes allude to beachside cabanas while window curtains provide shade from Dubai’s scorching sun. Both inject movement into the design as the fabric sways to the motion of the breeze from the fully openable glass partitions. Needless to say, all of these design elements naturally ventilate and passively cool the interiors without being heavily reliant on air-conditioning. Greenery, too, plays a role in reinforcing the venue’s beach-like atmosphere while complementing the accents of greens and teals seen in the furnishings.
As the 50th floor main pool and lounge completely open to the outdoors, Kokaistudios imagined the auxiliary spaces to be characterised by a deliberate absence of daylight to transport visitors into an atmospheric underwater cave. This floor houses the changing rooms, staff areas and a retail kiosk.
Bringing the same form and finishes of the rock-like central core from the pool level to the underbelly below, Kokaistudios physically and experientially continued the sensorial journey by linking the two floors through colour and material. Achieving the duality of experiences between the outside and the inside, and above and below, AURA SKYPOOL transcends the carte blanche label of a ‘luxury destination’ to create a truly immersive experience worth visiting for an escape from the everyday.
Client: SHG Ventures
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Interior designer: Kokaistudios
Chief designers: Filippo Gabbiani, Andrea Destefanisc
Design director: Ian Yu
Project Manager: Yao Yao
Design team: Junyu Chen, Zheng Xu, Wei Tse Hsieh, Yuen-Wei Chen
Date of completion: November 2021
Floor area: 1,516 sqm
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