Water Works

Trident’s flagship residential development, The Waterfront, in Dubai Marina welcomed its first homeowners through its doors less than two months ago in mid July. Billed as being the residential version of a five star hotel, Trident’s aim was always to target a niche market of buyers seeking an apartment with uncompromising luxurious finishes.

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By  Charlotte Butterfield Published  September 4, 2006

|~|Trident-body-1.gif|~||~|Trident’s flagship residential development, The Waterfront, in Dubai Marina welcomed its first homeowners through its doors less than two months ago in mid July. Billed as being the residential version of a five star hotel, Trident’s aim was always to target a niche market of buyers seeking an apartment with uncompromising luxurious finishes. To accomplish this it commissioned Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to do the interior design for the whole building and to create an appealing show apartment.

Wazir Ali Daredia, executive director & CEO, Trident International Holdings, says: “We didn’t compromise on the calibre of the interior designer we chose; HBA are the best in the world. It has a great reputation after doing the design for the Ritz Carlton and Grand Hyatt. In fact, it is doing all our projects at the moment.” The tower consists of two and three bedroom apartments, sky view flats and penthouses, all of which sold out in 2002, within a couple of months of the initial launch.

A spokesperson for Hirsch Bedner Associates says: “Our designs reflect the developer’s philosophy and the level of this luxury residential project. Trident wanted us to bring in our experience and skills as the leading hospitality designers in the world. It wanted this to be a leading project in all respects: design, finishes, and the use of the latest technology.”

||**|||~|Trident-body2.gif|~||~|The first stage for HBA was to design and refine the layouts of both the public areas and the apartments. “What sets this project apart from all the others in Dubai Marina is that the public to private ratio is immense, the floor area dedicated to public facilities adds to the luxury. We were uncompromising on this. We could easily have put in a few more apartments but we would have lost the feeling of space in the communal areas that we believe is so important,” Daredia says. HBA agrees: “We aimed to create spaces that are harmonious, well proportioned, welcoming and enjoyable, but also dramatic and exciting. All the while we also kept an eye on making sure the spaces are functional and practical.”

Trident intended the building to appeal to both Western and Eastern buyers and thus its design brief to HBA was to create a space that was not defined by the ethnicity of the potential buyers. HBA, however, believes the term ‘mass appeal’ can hamper the creation of an innovative space. “In terms of design we do not consider whether the design will have mass market appeal. For us it is important that the designs reflect the ever evolving understanding of luxury living yet that they are timeless. The design has to be high end but comfortable and residential, something that the owners of the apartments will enjoy for many years to come.”

||**|||~|Trident-body-3.gif|~||~|Certainly the practical aspects such as quality, durability, ease of use and maintenance, as well as health and safety issues are important factors, but for HBA, every project needs to be unique in its own way. “There is no conscious effort to achieve a mass appeal. That would downgrade the unique qualities of a project, because it is the unique and innovative qualities that make it appealing.”

In the public areas, HBA worked to make the spaces feel generous and luxurious. “We used light coloured woods and neutral marbles to make the spaces feel large and airy. Texture and depth were created with the base fabrics and decorative wall finishes. Mood and accents were created with the lighting and eye catching details.” Examples of the attention to detail are the fabric wallpapers used in the communal corridors; black marble from Alicante and paintings sourced from Milan.

Creating the show apartment was an important step in the marketing process. HBA says: “The apartment has to reflect the same philosophy as the design for the entire project. Yet an apartment needs to be especially functional and comfortable. We emphasised all of this and also highlighted the special qualities of the project and the site location such as the views.”
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The furniture in the show apartment was built by JC Maclean in Dubai, based on the selections and specifications from HBA. The decorative lighting is from various, primarily European, manufacturers such as Porta Romana and Donghia, who are well known for their high level of quality and design. The three dimensional bejewelled wallpaper on the walls of the living area and the master bedroom was by UK firm, Prime Wallcoverings.

The bathrooms are very well executed, with sanitary ware from Ideal standard and Grohe, but sourced through local firm, Sultaco. “You can easily get the same looking bathrooms cheaper but they won’t be the quality and why would you settle for second best when you’re aiming at the luxury market?” Daredia says. This was the reason Trident stipulated that each master bathroom would have a jacuzzi spa bath from Ideal Standard.

||**|||~|Trident-body-5.gif|~||~|The mosaic tile strips in the bathrooms and kitchens are by Keraben in Alicante, Spain: “The decorative strip costs more than the actual tiles, but it is the attention to detail that sets this project apart from its competitors,” he adds. Similarly, Trident opted for kitchen heavyweight, Bosch, for the appliances in the kitchens too. He continues: “We use the best names and go with them everywhere.” The oven with ceramic hob top is the latest solution that combines sleek aesthetics with the safety aspect of having instant cooling rings. The chrome and stainless steel appliances are complemented by custom-made beech units and terracotta marble work surfaces, sourced from Alicante.

A key feature of these apartments is the inclusion of smart home technology in every unit. Curtains, air con and lights can all be controlled by touch screen pads in each room and by remote control. This smart home automation means you can set the mood, have a motion control system and even a zone check control for the sprinkler system in case of fire. Trident told us that the Civil Defence were very impressed and wanted to showcase it as the first building in the Middle East to have this.

Daredia says: “We have quite a few unique selling propositions and we are the only building in the marina that has every room with smart home automation. Our research proved that homebuyers increasingly want a high global standard of fixtures and fittings, and so we ensured that we are associated with very high-end providers.” Daredia adds: “Luxury is a term that is much abused in the residential market, but we really do target a luxury-sensitive market.”

Supplier information
Decorative tile strip – Keraban
Kitchen appliances – Bosch
Bathroom sanitary ware – Ideal Standard
Taps and faucets – Grohe
Jewelled wallpaper- Prime
Wallcoverings
Lighting - Porta Romana and Donghia
Custom-made furniture - JC Maclean||**||

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