Czech architects from Jestico + Whiles designed beach front eco-resort in Zanzibar

Czech architects from Jestico + Whiles designed beach front eco-resort in Zanzibar

Published at: 2018-11-30 13:40 | Author: Crest Communications
International architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles is behind the design for the new Zuri Zanzibar hotel resort located in Kendwa, on the idyllic northern west shores of Zanzibar’s Spice Island, Unguja. From 2016 to 2017, Tanzania recorded a doubling of tourists from 162,242 to 376,000 and this trend has continued since Zuri Zanzibar opened in summer 2018.

Zuri Zanzibar is a beachfront 12-hectare resort featuring 55 stylish bungalows, villas and suites all with spacious private terraces overlooking a 300m stretch of west-facing private beach on the Indian Ocean.

The cabanas are set in small clusters just steps from the beach among a gently sloping landscape of sand, palm trees and timber walkways. A grass thatch roof extending out over a private garden subtly shades the living and relaxation space, creating a retreat where guests can relax and spend time outdoors. This arrangement differs from standard hotel layouts and is a unique design for the island.

Ecology and sustainability are fundamental to the design of the resort which features very strong eco credentials including environmentally-friendly architecture using locally-sourced materials, the hotel’s own desalination plant and energy-saving initiatives such as waste water recycling for irrigation. The development has also brought forward a number of local community projects including the provision of wells around the village of Kendwa and the renovation of a local school. The project has also facilitated the training of local people to relearn traditional methods of construction such as palm thatch and established a ‘hospitality training centre’ in the local village to provide employment opportunities for local people.

The cabanas have been designed in such a way that they are ‘levitating’ above ground to make use of shade and sea breeze, aiding a natural ventilation system within the hotel interiors. This preserves the natural landscape of the land, not destroying the natural fauna and flora. Rain water is harvested and several wells on site pump salty water into a desalination plant, supplying clean, fresh water to the whole resort. At the centre of the resort, a lush tranquil spice garden brimming with an array of indigenous plants and trees contains dedicated relaxation pods, ideal for meditation and yoga. Traditional Swahili cooking classes using many of the spices grown in the garden are also available in the Spice Garden House.

The design responds to Zanzibar’s culture, climate and geography through the use of locally available materials, the organisation of spaces and strong references to the island’s rich heritage and craftsmanship. African design features such as Omani doors, traditional grass thatched roofs, coral stone structures and typical local finishes create a tranquil and elegant atmosphere throughout the resort.

Zuri Zanzibar is a member of The Design Hotels collection with striking interiors that blend contemporary features with traditional African touches.

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