The setting of the first ladies club in Abu Dhabi is set overlooking a picturesque lagoon specially created for the location to allowing the women to swim and relax safely and privately – a location that truly sets the scene for the rest of the build. This new club will become a symbol of luxury and comfort as hoped by Urbanism Planning Architecture, an international firm boasting offices in Milan and Abu Dhabi.

Studio Name: UPA Italia (Milano) & UPA Consultancy (Abu Dhabi)
Architets: Arch. Paolo Lettieri, Arch. Aswan Zubaidi, Arch. Tony Owen.
Interior Design: Arch. Paolo Lettieri, Sahar A. Yousif.
Site supervision: Arch. Aswan Zubaidi
Plot area: 180,000 sqm
Built up area: 12,000  sqm
Year: 2008-2018
Name of the project: Abu Dhabi Ladies Club
Location: Abu Dhabi Ladies Club 15th Street – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Consultants: Tony Owen Architects, Ian Banham, Structure
Client: Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy – Abu Dhabi Sports Council
Contractor: Ranya Llc Abu Dhabi
Photo e Image credits: UPA, Celso Creer II, Lucia Pizzinato, Paolo Lettieri

Abu Dhabi Ladies Club By Urbanism Planning Architecture Italia - Sheet5
©UPA, Celso Creer II, Lucia Pizzinato, Paolo Lettieri

The Italian architectural project began in 2008 with the introduction of the first conceptual sketches by renowned architect Paolo Lettieri, who is also co-founder of the firm. Other designers for the complex include architect Aswan Zubaidi, the Interior Designer Sahar a. Yousif and architect Tony Owen, allowing this to become a symbiotic group effort while also showcasing individual styles and concepts.

This structure represents an oasis of well-being and relaxation for its female visitors, respecting the customs of the local culture and their belief of male and female-dominated spaces. However, the location innovates upon this belief, creating a stylized hub for women from elite positions in society to experience relaxation and self-care in privacy and confidentiality.

Abu Dhabi Ladies Club By Urbanism Planning Architecture Italia - Sheet7
©UPA, Celso Creer II, Lucia Pizzinato, Paolo Lettieri

The modern and organic Italian architecture of the Club House (the 12,000 sqm main building) recalls the floral forms in plan as the client requested a unique building that would become iconic within its own industry but also the local surroundings at large too. The architects therefore utilized free-flowing shapes to enhance the relaxation the women would feel within its walls as an artistic and original space. The club also boasts an outside swimming pool and a solarium area that overlooks the park and the beach to the delight of all its visitors. The cladding of the building itself is in stone to ground the piece, and the floors of the prestigious areas follow suit in Carrara Calacatta marble.

The Club House includes incredible amenities of food options ranging from a restaurant to a cafeteria, a lounge area also with its own VIP options, two fitness areas of which one is for VIPs, a semi-Olympic indoor swimming pool with a relaxation area with whirlpools, a kindergarten, a collection of shops and boutiques, and also a new music school which will be inaugurated in September 2020, allowing for women of all interests to become supported and excited by the space.

Abu Dhabi Ladies Club By Urbanism Planning Architecture Italia - Sheet9
©UPA, Celso Creer II, Lucia Pizzinato, Paolo Lettieri

Tips and Tricks:

1)       The client requested an iconic, luxurious design fitting of its customers and its surrounding lagoon location. Focused at every point on relaxation and style, the project encompasses a floral plan that utilizes free-flowing shapes to house all of its amenities.

2)       The idea of the curved and dynamic walls was originally inspired by the work of the sculptor Richard Serra and in particular by his works seen at the MOMA Museum in New York in the summer 2007 exhibition.

3)       The project was commissioned and conceived in 2008, shortly before the financial crisis also reached the UAE. In those years there was a desire to design and build iconic and unique buildings.

4)       The plan form comes from a sketch drawing of a flower made in Abu Dhabi in August 2008 by the architect Paolo Lettieri in one of the first meetings with the Client.

5)       The Ladies Club represents the best of Italian Design thanks to the will of the architect Paolo Lettieri as well as numerous Italian architects and designers who over time have contributed to the project and of Made in Italy thanks to the numerous Italian companies that have contributed to its realization with the excellence of their products.

6)       The stone cladding was originally designed with a delicate pink stone such as the Riyadh Stone or a light cream-colored Cream such as the Saudi Stone, later the Client chose a more characteristic stone with a chrome-yellow stripe originally from India.


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