Managing Partner of ZAS Architects takes Downtown Design through the journey of designing the hugely anticipated Rosemont Hotel in Dubai

With over 35 years of experience in design, DJ Armin’s extensive expertise includes the design and management of large scale, mixed-use, high rise and master planning for projects. DJ’s international experience has helped contribute to the successful completion of various cultural, corporate, institutional, residential, commercial and urban planning projects world over.

With a focus on developing high quality design, supported by service and management excellence ZAS Group of Companies is a dynamic full-service design consulting firm that has been operational for over thirty years. ZAS Architects has been ranked on the ENR list of top 225 International Design Firms in the world.

Downtown Design speaks to DJ in this feature about the Rosemont Hotel, the luxury hotel experience and the indoor rainforest

How is the Rosemont Hotel different from other projects in the region? What can we expect? 

With Rosemont Hotel and Residences poised to bring a new type of luxury hotel experience to Dubai, we have explored how and why design is an essential component of the branding and marketing strategy for any hospitality project, and any city. As the designers behind the world’s first destination hotel with its own rainforest, ZAS Architects understands how innovative hospitality design can positively impact the tourism economy.

From arrival; technology, lighting, and eye-catching design ignite a sense of curiosity. Created as the ultimate destination for families from around the world who visit Dubai each year, Rosemont will bring Dubai an exclusive, ultra-luxury home-away-from-home. Inside the central podium connecting the soaring towers, expansive leisure spaces include a fully immersive indoor/outdoor entertainment center elevated against Dubai’s skyline. Luxury amenities and entertainment encompass a myriad of high-tech indoor gaming including a bowling alley, trampoline park, laser tag and more.

Few developments in Dubai offer year-round outdoor space that can compete with harsh summer temperatures. One of the project’s core amenity features – a massive 75,000 sf outdoor rainforest features lush vegetation and advanced sensory rain systems, creating a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience not found elsewhere in the region.

How is the design of the hotel set itself apart in language, style and tone?

Immersive guest experiences and imaginative amenities set Rosemont apart as the ultimate destination for family-focused entertainment. Upon arrival, advanced technology transforms the upper ground floor drop-off and arrival area with ever-changing dynamic 3D projections from a lush rainforest to an underwater paradise.

The building is conceptualized as a fluid form inspired by a flowing river while the façade’s dynamic lighting enhances its bold architecture. Wrapping the soaring tower and podium, the hotel’s façade lighting spirals around the podium, diving directly into the projected pool from above and continuing to flow through the bottom of the pool into the lower level, shaping and highlighting the canopies. Representing a shell and pearl; moving lights illuminate the core of the building in a pattern inspired by atomic, orbital rings.

Star-lit from below, the hotel lobby’s eye-catching Skypool – a 30 ft. cantilevered, zero-edge, glass-bottom pool mimicking the night sky – sits adjacent to the Skypool deck and pool bar.

Take us through how technology has been incorporated into the design of the hotel.

At Rosemont we have created an “Arrival Experience“-Upon arrival at the ultra-luxury destination, guests are instantly immersed in a sensory experience. Advanced technology transforms the upper ground floor drop-off and arrival area with ever-changing dynamic 3D projections from a lush rainforest to an underwater paradise.

Two separate, opulent lobbies accessible from the upper ground floor drop-off area provide exclusive and private access for guest to Rosemont Hotel and Rosemont Residences. Visitors to the rainforest and entertainment area arrive from a third, separate lobby connecting to the entertainment podium. Steps inside the upper-ground floor hotel lobby on the floor, guests are welcomed by robotic luggage handling, digital waterfalls, and evocative hi-tech projections. High-speed elevators transport guests to check-in on the 26th floor Skylobby, with magnificent views of the Gulf and city beyond. A floating kinetic sculpture is suspended above, with shimmering LEDs moving slowly to create a mystical, ever-changing visual centerpiece, in addition to a high resolution digital aquarium.

This is the first ever project in the region to recreate a rainforest inside a hotel; what are the design challenges you face when implementing this aspect?

Unique designs lead to challenges which if addressed properly can also be an advantage to create a better design. We used technology to bring this unique new amenity to the desert region. 

Located on the podium roof, Rosemont’s 75,000 sf outdoor rain forest features 3D mapping on the trees, an artificial rain room, splash pool, sand-less beach, and rain forest café. Guests are surrounded by an alluring immaculately landscaped tropical oasis, dappled sunlight and tropical mist lightly spraying through the trees. The mist spray helps reducing temperature for a couple of degrees.

Technologically advanced, a sensory rain system creates a 360-degree experience, simulating the sensation of being surrounded by rainfall without actually getting wet. Volumes of stored recycled water create a high humidity level, mimicking the tropical rain forest environment. The advanced system utilizes multiple sensors that control the areas where the water is falling when people are detected. Water will be collected and stored from condensation and constantly recycled.

Our specialists have chosen plant species which allows for less soil depth and is adaptable to local environment. We have solved structural challenges of the building and created a design where every room has a full or partial view of the Gulf. This was created by an advanced off Center Core structure design.

What element of this project is most exciting to you?

The Rainforest! We are extremely excited to bring the city of Dubai and the Middle East Region a new destination for family entertainment. 


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