Only 20 minutes from Muscat lies Barr Al Jissah, a secluded luxury development and marina. Applying their distinct superyacht style to the residential world for the first time, Bannenberg & Rowell will be designing a section of exclusive townhouses for the community. Dickie Bannenberg reveals more about the project and what drew the designers to Oman.
“The Barr Al Jissah team were looking for a yacht design studio to set the design direction for their limited edition townhomes, a line of eleven properties that sit in an elevated position with views down across the headland and out to sea. They are currently shells which will be constructed and fitted out to our design. We’re also designing the whole entrance experience (I am becoming more fluent in property speak!) as well as the outside terrace areas, even including the rooftops.
We have a pretty flexible brief which allows us to do our own Bannenberg & Rowell thing but we are pretty commercial when we want to be and realise that our designs have to be approachable and appealing. It’s not unlike when we are doing the interior of a yacht built on spec: we can’t wade in there and do something right outside the box. Equally, we would not be doing our job correctly if we went down a path of bland middle-of-the-roadness. We wanted to reference our yacht interiors with rigorous space planning, choice of materials and restrained references to yacht design.
We have planned out the townhouses to offer a dramatic entrance leading to a ground floor with expansive space for living and dining. On the floor above, there is a generous master suite facing out to the ocean, with a slightly small VIP with the same orientation. Two further bedrooms, both en suite, are at the rear of the townhouse. Materials are rich in texture and feel. It is sophisticated but welcoming. Stone, marble, gauzy fabrics, teak, bronze and intense blues all combine for a Bannenberg & Rowell take on yacht life in Barr al Jissah.
We paid our first site visit in June this year and were struck by the beauty of the site: along a long and winding road down the coast from Muscat. It has always appealed as a destination in any event. I hope we’ve been intelligent in incorporating references to the region: not least areas of wall using the local stone which seems to capture the hues of the sun (and which I was careful to put in my pocket and bring home after our visit). We have designed mashrabiya-inspired screens with a contemporary motif. It’s likely that we will be using local marble as well.
For a destination to attract superyacht and high end travellers, you need infrastructure for sure, but beautiful coastline and a deep sense of heritage are equally compelling. Oman boasts both of these. A sense of space and distance are attractive to sophisticated superyacht and residential owners. I think the discerning yacht owner will come to Oman.”
For more information on Oman as a superyachting destination, read the next issue of The Superyacht Owner, out in February.