After 3 decades of operation, the InterContinental Hotel Bahrain started undergoing a top-to-bottom refurbishment. The Hotel’s Management launched an interior design competition for its Steakhouse and Italian Restaurant which they required on a fast track basis. The brief was for two restaurants with a modern and elegant environment, which would each have their own design character while maintaining a connection to the overall concept of the hotel’s interiors. The target was for these restaurants to become dining destinations not only for their guests, but for the business community and local dignitaries.
Two contemporary restaurants with a distinct identity which remain sensitive to the luxurious design philosophy of the hotel. Both restaurants feature a modern style with classic references, but each has characteristic finishes, architectural elements and lighting concepts which differentiate them. Having won the two restaurant design contracts, we were further tasked with the external façade and entrance canopy of the hotel building. Fully integrating an aesthetic upgrade with technical performance, the 18,000 sqm composite aluminum panel façade was designed and built in a record time of only 2 months.
The chic ambience and fine dining experience of The Steakhouse turned it into a hot spot for local and visiting VIPs, while the Italian Restaurant, with its casual luxury environment and visible traditional pizza oven, quickly became a dining hub in the city’s bustling business center. The Hotel’s external facelift has given a very tired building a current and high-tech façade worthy of the city’s modern skyline.
Legendz’s interior design features a juxtaposition of geometric and organic forms in a neutral two-tone color scheme with accents of bright orange. Classic references are brought into the modern shell through soothing creams, rich wood tones, and custom-designed traditional furniture with gentle curves and plush fabric. A hanging system of amoeba-shaped pendant lights floats above the dining areas bringing the necessary contemporary edge. Floors and walls are dressed in custom designed carpets and wallpaper with a freeform pattern of abstract lines which fluidly harmonizes all the design elements.
Having to separate the restaurant from the mezzanine corridor without closing it off, we designed a partition system with a Mondrian-like grid. The dark wooden frames with frosted acrylic panels form a semi-translucent wall which preserves a basic sense of privacy for the guests while creating an impressive façade. These partitions also act as dividers within the restaurant for the bar, a large private table and the main dining area. Orange panels are strategically placed in selected frames for contrast, and tie the restaurant theme to the hotel’s general color palette.
On the other end of the mezzanine floor, overlooking the busy hotel lobby, Medzo with its open façade resembles a restaurant in an Italian square where one gets to enjoy their food while feeling connected to the outdoor action. The interior design focuses on a classy casual style with clean lines and touches of texture and pattern. The muted blue-tint tones within the restaurant visually contrast the golden tones of the lobby area, creating an interesting interplay of cool and warm between inside and outside space.
Herringbone floors, a matching angular patterned wallpaper, dark wood, beige leather, a marble clad open kitchen, glass balustrades and a flat arch entrance synthesize an ambience of contemporary Italian finesse. Randomly placed Tom Dixon mirror ball lights hanging at different levels fill the space with character, light and reflections adding one more dimension to the design.
For the new façade of the 35-year-old concrete exterior, our design was geared towards modernizing the aesthetics of the outdated structure and improving the performance of the building envelope. Taking into account technical and environmental factors such as weight, condensation, heat transfer, breathability, high temperatures, water infiltration and light transmittance into the interior space, we created a complete façade system with composite aluminum panel cladding in a two-tone pattern. We chose to preserve the vertically protruding lines of the historic design, converting them to slanted surfaces under the recessed windows to create protection from the sunlight while allowing larger viewing angles of the capital’s beautiful city.
In addition to the restaurant and façade design contracts, we also undertook the construction and project management of the entire multi-million-dollar renovation, under the umbrella of G.P. Zachariades, our own construction company. The works consisted of stripping out the hotel to bare concrete, fitting out 13 floors, including 360 rooms/suites, ballrooms, business centers, lobbies, restaurants and lounge bars, as well as the façade, MEP installations, outdoor areas and pools. The Project Management Team headed by Stelios Lampaditis successfully completed the project to an exceptionally high standard in a record time of only 11 months.