Rawal Lake

Islamabad, Pakistan
2008

Program

Design a 5-star resort style development on a 10 acre plot of land near Rawal Lake in Islamabad, Pakistan. Program will include 25 individual bungalow units with a mix of 1 and 2 bedrooms. Each unit will have a living/lounge space and an individual plunge pool. The units will be separate, with a minimum 25 meters of open space between them.  Project amenities will include communal dining/restaurant, a spa, and exercise courts. A service zone will be located away from the units with a perimeter service road allowing for discreet servicing of hotel guests. Pathways will connect the units and will accommodate pedestrians and golf carts.

Concept

Since the site is generally flat, we used earthen berms to create a buffer zone between the road and the private resort areas as well as privacy between the guest units. The main entry lobby is a dramatic, triple height space that links a subterranean lounge and spa building with an elevated living room and restaurant building. As the site is heavily forested, there was an opportunity for architecture to interact with nature. We blurred the line between interior and exterior spaces by wrapping the elevated restaurant building around clusters of existing, mature trees. In an effort to lessen the visual impact of this building on the site, free-standing support columns were utilized.  A linear water element was introduced to emphasize a major axis of the project and to draw guests through a series of dramatic interior and exterior spaces throughout the site. The partially subterranean bar building, on axis with the water element, is intended to house a lounge off the lobby, a gift shop, administrative space, and a spa that opens out to an intimate subterranean garden. The roof of the bar building serves as an outdoor dining area for the restaurant and as a lounge area and fire pit with views to the grounds and gardens below. Using the pool deck and cabanas to bisect the site, the guest units were distributed along the perimeter where they can be easily serviced by the outer service road. Natural materials such as reclaimed timbers and antique limestone slabs will be used throughout the project to add character and significance without compromising the elegant purity of the architectural forms.