Plans for a Frank Gehry-designed clubhouse have been revealed by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the Abu Dhabi-based master developer of Saadiyat Island and its Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
The clubhouse, which is the world-renowned architect’s first golf-related project, will be the centrepiece for the stunning Gary Player-designed Saadiyat Beach Golf Course – the Arabian Gulf’s first and only beachfront course.
The 18,000 sq m clubhouse will boast unique design statements, incorporating Saadiyat Island’s stunning natural beauty to create an instantaneously recognisable international landmark.
The clubhouse has been designed to meet Estidama regulations, the Abu Dhabi-specific building sustainability methodology, and is scheduled to be completed in 2013. TDIC will put the project out to tender later this year.
“We wanted someone who could push design boundaries to create visual architecture that makes bold statements. Frank Gehry ticks that box emphatically,” said Ahmed Hussein, COO of TDIC and deputy director general of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.
“A truly world-class course, designed by the world’s most successful golfer of all time, in the heart of one of Arabia’s most breathtaking natural settings, deserves an outstanding clubhouse that sets the benchmark globally.
“Frank’s unique design philosophy will form the centrepiece of this spectacular project and will serve to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a sought-after destination on the international golfing map.”
The Saadiyat Beach Golf Club gives a significant boost to the United Arab Emirates capital’s credentials as a top-tier sports and cultural destination of distinction. This first-of-its-kind clubhouse builds on the emirate’s growing portfolio of iconic architectural designs, which includes Zayed National Museum, designed by Lord Norman Foster, Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel; and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, designed by Frank Gehry.
The utilisation of space was a key facet in the clubhouse’s design, and careful consideration has been given to blend indoor and outdoor settings. Harnessing Saadiyat Island’s striking landscapes, Gehry has opted to emphasise large terraces with sweeping glass canopies to maximise visitor viewing opportunities of the surrounding landscape.
The clubhouse, which overlooks the scenic Arabian coastline, will include a boutique hotel with 26 deluxe rooms, two restaurants, a spa and a pro-shop.
“We are just at the beginning of the detailed design of the clubhouse and are very pleased with the progress thus far. The design is intended to be an ephemeral mirage floating above the greens,” said Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Gehry.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, with its Gary Player designed course, is one of the world’s most uniquely captivating golfing projects. As the Arabian Gulf’s first and only ocean course, it will feature several beach-front holes, in a course that weaves in and out of nine five-star hotels lining the beach. About one-third of the course will command spectacular views of the Gulf’s glittering, crystal waters fringed by pristine white sands.
The imaginative golf course routing provides a spectacular variety of golf experiences, with every hole having its own unique character. From the creation of an aquatic habitat, to the introduction of salt-water lagoons and restoration of the beach and sand dunes, the course has been designed with strict environmentally guidelines and sensitivity to the surrounding natural environment.
With its array of native grasses and sensitivity to local turtle habitat – just to name a few of the numerous environmental initiatives – the course has applied to become Audubon certified – an award-winning education and certification programme that helps golf courses protect the environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf.
As the social and recreational heart of Saadiyat Beach District, the club provides world-class amenities such as the golf academy, practice facilities and an iconic clubhouse with breathtaking views of the immaculate white sandy beach – all to create an “unparalleled” golf experience.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is being developed by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), an independent company of which Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is the sole shareholder.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is managed by Troon Golf, the world’s largest golf management company which oversees operations at properties located in 26 countries worldwide. Troon Golf managed courses include Abu Dhabi Golf Club, UAE; The Grove, London, and, Turnberry Resort, Scotland, host of the 2009 Open Championship.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club www.troongolf.com/courses/saadiyat_beach_golf_course.php