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Monumental City Gate

Monumental City Gate

This month saw the opening of the elegant new Bahrain Bay Hotel in Manama, Bahrain. The Four Seasons Hotel, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) officially opened its doors to guests at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Four Seasons officials and other dignitaries. Set on its own private island, and rising over 200 meters above the bay, the structure is the focal point of the emerging waterfront district in Bahrain’s capital city.

“The completion of the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay marks a key moment in this district’s transformation,” stated SOM Design Partner Roger Duffy. “The hotel’s bold architectural expression reflects the spirit of its surroundings – a growing city brimming with energy.” The 54,000 sq m, 68-storey hotel combines 273 guest rooms with extensive event and meeting spaces, a business centre, spa and gym facilities, five pools, and a 2,200 sq m ‘Skypod’ restaurant.

Guests arrive on the private island via bridge from the mainland, or from boats coming in through the harbour. At ground level, an elegant composition of limestone pavilions cluster within the lush grounds of the hotel. At the centre of the pavilions, the main entrance defined by a grand 12-metertall bronze porte-cochere, whose ceiling extends inside to form the iconic hotel lobby.

The hotel is composed of two textured concrete piers that support a stack of 17 hotel floors at lower elevations and two restaurant and conferencing floors at the building’s summit. All of the suspended floors feature extensive, floor-to-ceiling glazing on the north and south facades, providing unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf and surrounding Manama skyline. The shimmering glass expanses transform as the quality of light changes throughout the day. Viewed from a distance, the building’s dynamic form evokes a monumental gateway to a growing city.