The long-awaited Dubai EDITION opens its doors as the extraordinary new flagship hotel in this vibrant city and overall hospitality industry in the Middle East. The iconic hotel boasts minimalist luxury and already has intrigue in the local community with its subtle appeal. Location and people are paramount to the brand.
Project Name: The Dubai Edition
Studio Name: LW Design
LW Design has created arguably the best looking EDITION hotel in the world to date; it is the first hotel of its kind in Dubai with elevated style, materials and design language. The Dubai EDITION is also the first hospitality project LW Design has completed for both architecture and interiors. The EDITION collection celebrates the diversity of cities across the world, reflecting the best of cultural and social environments and a new generation of understated luxury.
Founder and CEO of LW Design Jesper Godsk discussed the new EDITION Hotel and the forever exciting marketplace. Godsk has been in the region for three decades working on hospitality design and understands that the world is changing. A sophisticated traveller is now the norm and not the exception. “The Dubai EDITION is understated and represents exquisite luxury, attention to detail and being bold. Its extraordinary location on Downtown Boulevard affords the hotel an enviable view of the Burj Khalifa and the Old Town.
Dubai is a world capital for design and is used to setting the bar for outstanding service and luxury hotels. It is the brave that will survive and set the tone for travel into the future. It is the first five- star luxury property that we have managed both architectural and design projects. Our vision has allowed us to successfully launch and manage many game-changing concepts such as the Vida Downtown, Zabeel House in the Greens and Media One Hotel”.
Having started on the project almost five years ago, Pooja Shah-Mulani, design director at LW Design, describes the journey as the most intense but rewarding experience, making its completion the pinnacle of her career to date. “The fusion of working with an international brand such as The EDITION, in one of the most prestigious locations in Dubai, and for a client that trusted us to deliver an exceptional product, meant that expectations were only ever going to push creative boundaries into delivering something very special.
The result of ideas being challenged throughout the entire process has led to some of the most iconic moments in the hotel today, namely the arched ceiling. LW Design conceptualised The Dubai EDITION almost five years ago; the doors are now open to a design that’s ahead of its time, yet timeless and current.
It was more complicated than we thought to create something effortless while still creating something that would have the biggest impact in the market by being completely different. Having maintained our philosophy of designing to current trends through organic simplicity, the result has exceeded expectations, and we are incredibly thrilled with the outcome”.
Expect the unexpected. The vast triple-height space showcases a dynamic journey through various spatial volumes. Considered and intentional space planning is critical to balance the geometry and guide the guest’s journey. Every transition creates an awe-inspiring moment; every turn has a unique vista making each visit more memorable than the previous. The breathtaking chandelier upon arrival immediately grounds the triple-height volume, creating an intimate yet elevated lounge experience. EDITION hotels are known for their activated and buzzing lobbies that engage evolved travellers seeking the next new experience, a clear departure from the traditional lobby format.
As with every EDITION hotel, a central spiral staircase connects the lobby to other public spaces and dining destinations. Upon arrival through the double doors, you catch a glimpse of this design feat, which reveals its seamless triple-height cascade. The staircase is a unique design statement and an impressive structural achievement.
The layered experience is consolidated with carefully planned lighting levels that unify the contrast between high and low, dark and light, creating a friendly welcome to the heart and soul of the hotel. Matching the EDITION’s vision about design, the brief was to ensure that the spaces never look ‘designed’ but feel appropriately comfortable with effortless and elegant luxury. The furnishings chosen are not lent to a particular era; they are timeless, classic and comfortable and flatter the understated luxury synonymous with the brand.
When designing the Dubai EDITION, LW Design made a conscious effort to respect local regulations yet create a layered experience for guests to discover in keeping with the EDITION philosophy. This led to Duomo, the theatrical Italian restaurant within the lobby that captures the buzz of people connecting. The design seamlessly continues from the lobby but with a vibrant pop of yellow to accentuate the change. The clever seating layout affords each diner uninhibited views of the dramatic arched ceiling and the immersive artwork that enhances the delightful dining experience. Iconic central booths provide breathtaking views of the Burj Khalifa.
The signature restaurant is filled with natural, earthy colours from the bronze finishes, tan hide chairs, and raised olive and gold bar chairs lining the ‘U’ shaped bar. The restaurant has a slight ‘orangery’ feel with rattan and teak chairs interspersed with olive-green banquettes. Parlour palms and other tropical plants give a sense of privacy, whilst the seamless Terrazzo flooring is the statement design element throughout the restaurant. The expansive semi-enclosed balcony- inspired terrace is covered and overlooks the old town. Landen Nordmann artwork adorns the walls on the terrace and depicts urban living.
Leon is a cosy speakeasy-inspired bar just off the main lobby. It’s an exciting juxtaposition to the rest of the hotel with its punchy accents against a dark background. Clever lighting further enhances the vibrant colour blocking throughout the space. It’s satisfyingly unexpected and exudes energy, whereas the rest of the hotel is an oasis of calm. In theory, the EDITION ethos is all about surprising guests with the unexpected. Leon is a prime example of how playful the EDITION brand is.
Although the new Dubai EDITION hotel has 275 rooms and six different room categories, including an impressive penthouse suite, they are all designed in a uniform design language using the same high-quality materials throughout the bedroom and bathroom. The material palette is minimal; LW Design has selected a limited collection of finishes following the brand’s stipulations on simplicity and comfortable luxury. The light oak wood and stone accents flow from one room to the other.
The simplicity of the design immediately brings attention to the minute details; matching the veins in the natural stone and wood was time-consuming and complex. Each piece was hand- placed and considered so that the bands did not repeat or appear stripy. All of the materials were intentionally not chosen to be up-to-the-minute but with timeless appeal. The Dubai EDITION is a unique example of the brand; the entire project has taken exclusivity to another level. The materials are the same and carefully placed as if on a journey through slightly different hues and colours.
Floor to ceiling windows give ample light and spectacular views over the iconic Burj Khalifa and lead onto large glass balconies. Each bed has a soft leather headboard. The timber-lined walls give an overall feeling of luxurious warmth, a sense of serenity and peace, an impressive upgrade to the predictable timber headboards and wallpaper backdrops of previous EDITION hotels.
The monochromatic colour scheme and contemporary minimalism make each room feel fresh and light and complement the elegant lines of the custom-made furniture, textured upholstery, wooden-lined walls and the scenery. The guestrooms have minimal artwork, as an unexpected departure from the symmetrical design. Carole Benitah’s artwork is inspired by the Dubai fountains and a young girl who dances in the water. It’s unusual to see such luxurious choices of wall coverings in a hotel bedroom. The combination of leather, wood and stone is an exceptional upgrade; such expansive glass balconies are remarkably rare in urban locations.
Continuing the cohesive design language, the corridors are free of artwork. Low lighting levels accentuate only the room numbers creating an intimate journey to the guestrooms.
The signature Dubai EDITION spa is small, with just two treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and outdoor swimming pool. LW Design has used soft-coloured materials such as travertine and timber throughout.
Based in the heart of Dubai, the EDITION hotel has been designed with an elegant urban character, responding to the sophisticated nature of its unique location and grain of the city. An impressive 100-metre-high tower sits atop a podium rotated 45 degrees off-axis to maximise views of the nearby Burj Khalifa. The views from the hotel are celebrated throughout.
Each of the hotel’s suites occupies the primary corner of each floor and commands views of Downtown and the spectacular sunset that bathes the Old Town with golden light. The evening experience is serene as the subtle specialist lighting gives an air of seduction. A planned rooftop restaurant will provide unique sweeping panoramic views of Dubai’s iconic skyline.
The exquisitely crafted façade is a blend of bronze screens, subtly textured grey cladding, natural stone and timber. The neutral colour palettes accentuate the glazed frontages. Each room extends outside with a large glazed balcony creating a rhythmic feeling to the building. The floor- to-ceiling windows accentuate the impressive sculptural internal double and triple-height spaces, filling them with natural light.
Colin Doyle, partner and lead architect at LW Design, says of the Dubai EDITION, “EDITION Downtown, the operators’ first property in Dubai, is situated on the city’s fashionable and buzzing boulevard. The design is guided by simplicity and sophistication, free of ornament yet a luxurious international standing project”.
Madison Cox from the USA created the concept for the dreamy outdoor spaces, gardens and terraces. The densely populated plants create intimate spaces throughout the gardens, punctuated with bold terracotta pots and olive trees that encapsulate a feeling of timelessness. The arrival experience is enhanced with the clever landscaping in the gardens on the terraces; it’s almost as if you are not in the UAE but a magical garden. Lighting has been beautifully woven through the gardens to create something magical with the playful use of light, shadows and plants creating art.
The infinity pool and its surrounding terraces are multi-purpose and overlook Old Town and the contrasting modern icon, the Burj Khalifa. By day the fabric-covered cabanas are used for lounging and, by night, as part of the food and beverage experience. The loungers are interspersed with teak wood furniture, terracotta pots, and verdant plants that create an intimate vibe.
LW Design worked closely with Isometrix of London to embrace the importance of lighting. They have created intimate spaces throughout the hotel, whether its cosy pockets of seating in the dramatic lobby, subdued lighting in the bedrooms or atmospheric illumination in the spa, bars and eateries. At night, the lighting is further dimmed, and the hotel vibe is enhanced with twinkling candlelight. The intimate lighting levels are focused at eye level to really draw guests into a cosy cocoon.