Traders Hotel in Abu Dhabi is a powerful reminder that color can be a vital item in a designer's tool kit. Color makes big statements, as in the pebbly gold-toned panels that dominate one of the lobby walls or the backlit lime rectangles that front the reception desk. But it also offers small asides, like a hot-pink picture frame or a slice of green glass above a towel bar.
Since the architectural framework largely favors sand tones, this strong palette is enough to define the focal points of both public and private spaces, especially when texture and shape come into play.
The designers emphasized the interplay of translucence and reflection, not only as a way to modulate the effect of color but also to keep it from being too saturated. For further intensity, most items in the interiors are back-, side- and top-lit to create depth of field.
The fact that Traders shares a beachfront site with its ultra-luxe sister, the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, made it crucial to find a unique character for this upscale hotel. "Traders had to be functional and pleasing and representative of the Shangri-La brand, but in a totally different aesthetic." Thanks to the color-drenched contemporary-retro design, the Traders can bridge the gap from business to lifestyle.