Designing and supervising the La Cigale Hotel project is no doubt, the most challenging design project we have developed to date.
This challenge stemmed from multiple parameters that were specific to this fantastic project that has become almost immediately, a landmark for Doha, as well as a privileged address. At the same time, the La Cigale Hotel has been adopted by the citizens of Doha in specific and the Qatari at large as one of its best kept secrets, whether for its generous service, its homelike atmosphere, or its exceptional collection of triple A furniture, and a first class art collection.
It is difficult to apprehend the immensity of the task if one doesn't contemplate the brief history of the making of this project:
Our initial design instinct was one of contextual awareness, hence the solid stone volume standing firmly at one of the busiest and most dynamic intersection in down town Doha.
The crystalline skin shielding the 240 rooms, and terminating with the grandiose ellipse, came to offer a glitter, crowning the flatness of the laser flamed granite finish of the main frame.
This main volume actually seems to turns its back from the crisp summer sun for most of the day, before embracing the warm afternoon rays, while the ellipse, freely floats over on the top, seemingly a crystal ship cruising the Doha skyline; offering the fantastic open vistas to the visitors, from the Doha Corniche to the deep poetic desert landscapes. Bridges Raising Specialists were brought in for the creation of the "ship", which was both an engineering and a design achievement.
The simplicity of the exterior will strike the visitor in relation to the lushness of the interior. A strict Art Deco feel was the theme for the structuring of the main ground floor public spaces, namely visible in the great lobby triple volume hall, terminating with a golden ceiling with three opulent translucent glass clouds, ornamenting the main void and welcoming the visitor as the first thing witnessed. The intricacy of the floor marble work, the stone clad columns, the African wood cladding on the walls, the aged bronze handrails, the fantastic one off furniture pieces from the best Italian artisanal factories, the museum pieces selected from contemporary artists; all set the mood and the standard for the rest of the hotel.
A unique concept was developed by the operator for the catering area and the all-day restaurant located at the ground floor; this was built around a huge open kitchen serving fresh meals from all menus around the world, and surrounded by a selected choice of refined produce, gathered from the farthest corners of the world. These dynamic scenes of people interaction connect the hotel lobby with the all day restaurant via a viewing screen that also separates both zones, allowing the privacy of each. The feeling of openness and connectivity gives this hotel a special character of accessibility and hominess.
The rest of the hotel functions and areas each follow an eclectic style, suited for its functions: the coziness and privacy of the Madison Piano Bar, the clarity and freshness of the swimming pool area, the luxury of the royal suites... They all follow the same strategy of being individual places of special character.
This is La Cigale Hotel: a bold architecture and a rich interior design venture.
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