JOALI, a new project by Gürallar, was initiated on Muravandhoo Island, in North Maldives. Autoban, who realised certain architectural elements of the project and created the interior design, have combined what the environment provided with a multi-layered creative approach, which effects both an integral and unique understanding between interior and exterior spaces. And architecture.

JOALI consists of 73 luxury land and over-the-water villas, each designed with a unique signature. Here, restaurants bring together world cuisines and present them as if they were a natural part of the island environment, while communal spaces complement the whole experience with a personalised spa and fitness facilities.

A typical Maldivian roof structure was chosen by Autoban. This presents the guests with abstract and unique forms in the Maldivian spirit by abstracting and energizing this typical roof; a direct result of their experimental and forward-looking design approach. All structures have an outer layer that’s compatible with the natural flora, and the spaces created within are both unique and have an integral interior design signature. Again, these materials and their production techniques evoke the spirit of the Maldives.

A jetty with a sculpture-like layer welcomes the guests at the entrance to the island where the entire roof system was planned as a podium, twirling like a wave, as a laminated wooden structure. A classic Maldivian roof is merged with the wave form to create a sculpture-like look. Jetty, represents the entrance to the island with this unexpected form.

The multi-layered structure system begins at the front doors of the villas. The entrance welcomes the guests with artisanal wood and a rich but humble look accented with concrete columns. Wooden columns, inspired by the works of Brancusi, also reinforce this look.

As part of the planned Her feminine brand identity, smooth transitions start from the side of the villa structure and continue with rounded corners, invoking a soft character while natural braiding used on the roof provides an appealing flow downwards. Different colour palettes in different surfaces of the space consist of various tones of coconut, one of the striking character features of the island. Her’s devotion to nature can be read from the natural colours within the structure; light beige and the softest tones of brown used on the side.

Terazzo used on all floor surfaces integrates the interior / exterior space perception of the structure. All these surfaces provide a backdrop for the layering and hand-carved wooden panels used in the interiors. This begins from the floor and continues to the roof height in a fragmented way and all mechanical systems are hidden behind this layer. The hand-carved wooden panels that separate spaces create a visual richness with the unique designs that reference Maldivian spirit and island culture.

Autoban’s focus on detailing in furniture design is evident throughout and can also be read in the movable furniture, custom designed and applied specifically for this project. As with all other design decisions, the furniture also succeeds in integrating the experience of JOALI and the Maldivian spirit. It can be recognised that the designs belong to Her, and have been realised to reflect this. This design philosophy, where exotic materials like bamboo and coconut shell have been processed with contemporary and local forms, brings a warmth to the experience of the space.

The multi-layered design approach by Autoban can also be seen in the exterior spaces of the JOALI project.

The Ana Restaurant, which has a fragmented placement, is separated into inner yards. ‘Her Kitchen’, ‘Vinery’ and ‘Cold Kitchen’ area are separated by glass, and in certain points with wooden abacuses, again as a part of the Maldivian spirit. Bamboo beams in the roof structure layer, created through a diagonal cut of classic Maldivian roof, give further reference. Hand-carved wooden panels and abacus separators used in the space delineate areas and privacy for guests.

The Bellini Bar, located within the restaurant was designed completely as an Italian eatery and here light green tones distinguish it from the Ana Restaurant. Wooden separators create the backdrop to the space and mosaic panels used on the floor follow the same tones.

Maldivian spirit and island culture merge with Autoban’s design approach, which involves unique details, natural materials and sophisticated concepts. The result is a very personal creative experience.

furniture by Kettal


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