Client: IFA Hotels & Resorts
Operator: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
No. of Keys / Area: 154 Keys and 20 Serviced Villas
Value: Not disclosed
Type of Project: Luxury Hotel Resort comprising Hotel, Conferencing & Spa facilities, Villas and a Beach Club.
Situated on the crest of a hill on the famous Kwa-Zulu North Coast, the 700 ha resort has been designed to emphasize the wonder of its natural setting by complementing the coastal forestry and framing the wonder of the Indian Ocean beyond.
The development incorporates the luxury Fairmont Zimbali Hotel, and also various residential apartments, chalets and villas and the stunning Beach Club. It is the first large coastal ‘Leisure Resort’ to be built in South Africa.
Simple elegant architectural lines, that are traditionally associated with Asian design, have been infused with original African features to create a truly unique atmosphere.
Architectural Form: The Hotel building comprises a heavy base section of ‘rock-face’ which embeds the building in the ground. From the base, the building rises upwards with a lighter finish to emphasise the change of material. Finally it is crowned by terracotta gabled roofs and chimney features. The central focus on the sea-ward side is the mid-level Dinning areas (Level 3) and entrance level Tea lounge, Lobby Lounge and Viewing terraces above (Level 5). In order to reduce the perceived height of the building, strong horizontal corbel lines and bands embellish the building. The bulk and imposition of the building were reduced by allowing the building form to ‘cascade’ down the topography. Parts of the building step back to reduce the vertical sheer and to interpret the original form of the hillside as a context. The Hotel building has an all-encompassing and embracing form to the buildings below. The interiors are contemporary, emphasising important elements with different colours and material palettes. The soft furnishings complement the interior with a similar play of materials and colour to impart a sophisticated ambiance.
Quality of Design and Finish: The project employed eastern Balinese and Asian influences, as outlined by the Zimbali Coastal Estate guidelines, in an African context. The buildings have responded to the site context with relation to the topography, orientation and climatic factors. The finishes are luxurious, which includes the likes of marble, travertine, granite, sandstone and timber work detailing (pergolas, lattices, niche details, brackets, privacy screens, railings, gazebos, etc).
Overall Impact: The Fairmont Zimbali Resort is an unique development and design. The project sets new standards and levels of luxury, and is set to transform the Hospitality and Leisure industry in South Africa, as Fairmont is a leader in the global hospitality industry, with a distinctive collection and a worldwide reputation for excellence.
This is a collaboration of exceptional local consultants, working as a team, to envisage and procure a very intricate, sculptured and exceptional project.
DSA Architects responsibility: Full Architectural Service
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