Talk About Exclusive: SOM’s Four Seasons Bahrain Bay Built on Man-Made Private Island

Architecture International Newsletter
(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

Conceptualized as a gateway to the budding tourist destination city of Bahrain, the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay Hotel looks like it could measure up to its zealous marketing.

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

The vaguely H-shaped building comprises two textured concrete piers supporting a stack of 17 hotel floors at lower elevations, and two additional floors of restaurants and conference rooms above. These suspended floors are effectively like glass boxes sandwiched between the piers—which themselves contain guest rooms—each floor featuring floor-to-ceiling windows on the north and south sides of the building.

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Guests are hence privileged with sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf and Manama skyline—not to mention in-room luxuries such as the fully customizable Four Seasons bed and 1930s ocean liner-inspired interiors designed by household name Pierre-Yves Rochon. Modern lines and Art Deco accents combined with a calming color palette render a quintessential luxury haven-like feel.

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

At the building’s summit is the requisite rooftop watering hole—the 23,700-square-foot “Skypod” restaurant. The 68-story hotel is outfitted with five swimming pools—yes, one of which is an infinity pool that visibly “spills” into the Bahrain Bay—a business center and one of Four Seasons’ largest spas. In line with a strengthening Middle Eastern hospitality sector predicated on cultural values, the lobby features a visibly floating limestone pavilion latticed with bronze mashrabiya screens (traditional screened windows seen throughout the Arab world).

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

Amping up the exclusivity is the fact that the hotel is situated on a man-made private island solely accessible via a bridge connected to mainland Manama or boats pulling in from the harbor. Bahrain Bay Four Seasons was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), which is also spearheading a mixed-use waterfront development Master Plan to transform the entire Bahrain Bay into a luxury local and tourist destination. The hotel hence serves as a centerpiece around which to articulate the bayfront buildings.

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

(Courtesy Four Seasons Bahrain Bay)

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