#COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURE PROJECTS
Atelier Nomadic's overwater bamboo restaurant emerges like a sea creature in the Maldives
OVERWATER YAKITORI RESTAURANT AND BAR BY ATELIER NOMADIC
Throughout human history, explorers, sailors, and seafarers have told tall stories of sea creatures found in the depths of the ocean – from the leviathan that swallowed Jonah, the giant squid that grappled with the Nautilus to Moby Dick seeking revenge on the Pequod and its crew. Recently emerged in a calm, tropical lagoon in the Maldives, this overwater Yakitori Restaurant and Bar nods to these gentle giants, inviting a select few to dine on fine Japanese cuisine, deep in the belly of the beast, beneath its dramatic bamboo ribcage. Netherlands-based Atelier Nomadic from Nomadic Resorts completed the design as a revamp of the existing jetty structure at the Banyan Tree Vabinfaru resort, creating a new scenic dining experience.
A BIO-CLIMATIC STRUCTURE SHAPED LIKE A RAY FROM THE MALDIVES
This clear example of biomimicry takes its inspiration from the sleek silhouette of the Pink Whiprays (Pateobatis fai) that graze in the surrounding lagoon. The naturally ventilated, bio-climatic structure features a sea saltwater infinity pool and several overwater catamaran nets where guests can relax with sunset panoramas. With a roof structure crafted entirely from bamboo, the overwater Yakitori Restaurant and Bar by Atelier Nomadic is shaped by a series of hyperbolic paraboloid columns and roof trusses, reflecting the endo skeleton of the Mobulidae family. Its design is further amplified by the dramatic Maldivian landscape and reflected in the mirror-like lagoon, with its looping, shingled tail winding back down. The architecture, dubbed Madi Hiyaa, also takes cues from the Dhivehi language, where Madi symbolizes ‘ray,’ and Hiyaa signifies ‘shelter, paying tribute to the graceful rays that migrate across the Indian Ocean.
CREATING A BAMBOO ‘RIBCAGE’ WITH RHYTHMIC, WAVE-LIKE PATTERNS
Lead architect Olav Bruin opted for bamboo to demonstrate its potential as the fastest growing renewable building material. ‘[B]amboo is an extremely effective carbon sink, as we need to move towards a future where buildings actually sequester carbon instead of expelling it,’ he shares. The team opted for Dendrocalamus Asper bamboo as the primary structure and the smaller Gigantochloa Apus bamboo for the grid infill. Meanhile, the sleek interior features a bar and services blocks clad with black Gigantochloa Atroviolacea bamboo that subtly contrasts with the pale bamboo columns and timber decking. The rhythmic pattern of the material internodes refers to the movement of the waves. Madi Hiyaa, is the latest member to the family of ray-inspired structures that Nomadic Resorts has developed and joins The Den at Soneva Kiri and the treehouses at Playa Viva, as part of an improbable family of bamboo rays stretching from the pacific coast of Mexico to the gulf of Siam.
Name: Overwater Restaurant
Location: Vabbinfaru Island, Maldives
Architecture firm: Atelier Nomadic | @nomadicresorts
Design team: Olav Bruin, with Louis Thompson, Habiba Mukhtar
Client: Banyan Tree
Contractor: Asali Bali
Photographer: Joe Chua Agdeppa
Renderings: Atelier Nomadic
Floor area: 850 sqm
Design year: 2020
Completion year: 2023