<span class="vcard">Amir Hossein</span>
Amir Hossein

The Tr88House, a fabulous place to relax in Dubai

Designed down to the last detail by award-winning architect Shahrooz Zomorrodi, the nearly 9,290-square-meter, three-building Tr88House entertainment complex on Bluewaters Island features exaggerated scale and takes design and entertainment in the UAE to a new level. From the Hive Food Hall, which resembles a magical forest, it offers a multi-sensory experience, created exclusively for this unusual project.

Designed by Shahrooz Zomorrodi, Tr88House is nature-friendly. Tree trunks, imported from New Zealand, underline this concept whose illusory expedition begins on the first floor with a natural forest, with nearly 200 imposing pine trunks, housing ten tree houses and among which are suspended cocoon lanterns, which are reflected and multiplied in the octagonal mirrors of the walls. Vertical slats of aluminum, wood and metal panels, placed between the wall coverings, reinforce the robustness of the place. Concave mirrors create optical illusions, especially in the number of trunks. Double-height ceilings in the dining room and triple-height ceilings in the outdoor lounge maximize the volume. A rustic atmosphere accentuated by the wood, metal and concrete tables and the macro cement floor. The project enjoys all-age entertainment facilities. The decoration incorporates the latest technology. In the changing stations of the children’s restroom, intriguing graffiti slogans on the floors and walls. A gallery-like lounge, where adults can recline on custom-made sofas and giant beanbags and engage in board games, overlooks the treetops of the Hive dining area. A clear invitation to relax while enjoying one of the seven courses offered. The 88 Terrace seems to hover just a few feet away from the Ain Dubai Ferris wheel, overlooking the Dubai Marina skyline. The walls surrounding this nightclub serve as a canvas for provocative hand-painted murals. Resting on an aluminum and stainless steel structure, a luminous Barrisol canopy, composed of 140 octagonal panels, shades the bar. The panels combine and form the number 8, very clear seen from above. Monochromatic colors for the roof terrace facing a bright red for the clients’ bathrooms. Iranian artists sign the artworks of the complex. Custom fiberglass sculptures are everywhere: a large white one depicting hands guiding guests and arms, by Zomorrodi, greets guests at the entrance to the comfortable rooms; a red teddy bear, perched on the side of the roof, symbol and mascot of the rooftop lounge… Contemporary entertainment destination for a dip in a design forest.


The Tr88House, a fabulous place to relax in Dubai

Out of the Box – Design Middle East 2022

The fantastic Tr88 House recreation complex on Bluewaters, designed by multi-awardwinning architect Shahrooz Zomorrodi, incorporates exaggerated scale and is pushing design and recreation in the Emirates to new heights. The approximately 100,000-square-foot (9290-square-meter) complex offers a multisensory experience that was designed by the architect exclusively for this out-of- the-box project. From a magical make-believe forest-like Hive Food Hall to the sophisticated 88 Terrace, the complex offers a multis-sensory experience that was designed by the architect exclusively for this out-of-the- box project.

The interiors were designed using bionic architectural concepts to ensure that they are environmentally sustainable and complement the concept. Zomorrodi imported over 190 sustainably grown pine tree trunks from New Zealand to be the main protagonists of the forest setting. “The interior is a visualisation of a dream or even a nightmare that I had as a child – one that centres around both the lure and the fear of the forest. A place where you can get lost, discover new things, a place where you never really know where to look or who and what is observing you!” he says. The architects played with scale maximising the scale capacity and volume of the spaces, which includes ceilings of double-height in the food hall and triple-height in the outdoor lounge deck. Tree trunks spanning from six to 16 metres were used to emphasise the design concept. Zomorrodi adds: “The design is empirical but also relates to the human subconscious.” In keeping with the client’s brief, the design team created purpose designed spaces, with activities for all age groups.

Hive Food Hall
The illusory design expedition begins on the ground floor, where Zomorrodi and his team have recreated a natural forest, complete with almost 200 towering pine tree trunks, which house ten tree houses. Among the pine trunks hang numerous cocoon lantern lights which reflect and multiply in the octagonal mirrors on the walls. Vertical slivers of aluminium, wood and metal panels were strategically placed between the wall cladding to add to the ruggedness of the space. The strategically placed concave mirrors generate optical illusions and give the impression there are considerably more tree trunks than there really are.

“The use of familiar shapes leads to a sense of déjà vu, of childhood nightmares, yet the exaggerated sizes make the scenography a little weird,” he says, adding “I wanted to create spaces that would create unique reactions and emotions in every person who visits.” The rustic and casual ambiance is accentuated by the wood, metal and concrete tables that sit atop the macro cement floor. An element of comfort and softness is created by the custom-designed low sofas and enormous cosy oversize bean bags that encourage diners to linger and unwind as they enjoy any of each of the seven different cuisine options. Zomorrodi has been working over the past 18 months on this project that includes entertainment facilities for the whole family – from a fun-filled trampoline zone, a soft play area, ‘Mystic Mini Golf’, and a futuristic laser tag games centre. Beyond the concept, Zomorrodi also designed every detail of the three-floor complex, down to the baby changing stations in the children’s rest room . All the spaces are enticing and radiate positivity. “I always prefer to design everything; that way the theme is more fluid and obvious and is more harmonious,” he says. A gallery-like lounge area, where adults can recline on custom-made sofas and gigantic oversize bean bags and play board games, overlooks the treetops of the Hive food hall.

88 Terrace
The more sophisticated 88 Terrace offers a completely different sensation. There is no doubt that this recently opened lounge is going to be one of Dubai’s most sensational nightspots. 88 Terrace seems to hover just metres below the iconic Ain Dubai Ferris wheel and provides a unique view of the Dubai Marina skyline. Here, the seven-metre-high walls that wrap the outdoor space provide a canvas for provocative hand- painted wall murals of beautiful faces, legs and, of course, entwined hands. Sitting on an aluminium and stainless steel frame, a stunning illuminated Barrisol canopy, comprising 140 octagonal panels, shades the bar and provides an intriguing attraction when viewed from the nearby Ain Dubai Ferris wheel. The designer combined the panels to form the shape of the digit eight, which is more apparent when observed from above. In contrast to the monochromatic colour scheme of the roof top terrace, the walls of the guest washrooms are painted in a bold traffic light red and feature hand-painted wall murals. A large white fibreglass sculpture of hands and arms by Zomorrodi welcomes guest at the entrance to the comfort rooms. The hands were also conceived to lead guests upwards on the path to infinity.

Having created the concept, the design team commissioned Iranian artists to create the artwork found throughout the spectacular complex. Together they hand-painted every blade of the grass that decorates the walls of the ground and first floor, as well as the murals and fibreglass animals. Bespoke welcoming or guiding fibreglass hand sculptures can be found throughout the spaces. According to Zomorrodi, “In this mysterious world, the hands beckon and point us in the right direction. Exaggeration adds imaginative spice to this hallucinatory environment.” Perched on the side of the roof top is a giant seven-metre-high fibreglass and wood red teddy bear, which is the symbol and mascot of the terrace lounge, The bear’s design was conceived by the client, in keeping with the brand identity is best seen from the entrance to the Tr88 House complex. Zomorrodi has succeeded in creating a contemporary entertainment and recreation destination that offers unique spaces for all ages, strategically spiked with the latest state-of-the-art technologies, from lighting to sound, to encourage total immersion into a design forest which is rich in ideas, textures, and experiences.


Inside the Mind Of Shahrooz Zomorrodi

A civil engineer with a passion for Architecture and maximalism, Shahrooz Zomorrodi is famous for his larger than life design concepts that have come to life in projects such as The Address Foodhall, Cedar, and the Tr88House projects. His ultimate aim is to build interiors that are seemingly impossible and challenge the basic laws of physics and design to bring them to life.

Address FoodHall Address FoodHall

Tell us about your design journey? 

My introduction into this field started as a child. My family was into the design and build environment – my uncle an architect and my father a building contractor. As a kid, I loved geometry, physics and solving puzzles. I was also very good at mathematics and physics, and was accepted into the Civil Engineering Department of the local University. This part of my education helped me understand structures, which in turn could be used as an architect. I do not have a formal architectural degree, but I learned architecture by taking courses, internships and reading a lot. This is where I learned of the possibilities for creating unusual structures.

I used a lot of these concepts in my projects. In The Address Foodhall, we implemented large size consoles with 2 cm sheets. The Cedar project has 279 axis columns, none in a line, and are very different from the normal axing method. Only 81 of these columns reach the ground. My suggestion for architects is not to help them find simplified solutions but to find the effective and executable ones.”

My story is full of successes and failures… until today. My first design was of a TV Table, which the client did not like, but that didn’t stop me. However, my landlord at the time saw my sketches and projects and was very impressed. He introduced me to The Address Foodhall project team.

This project initially had another location and I had conceptualised it in a 1940s style aircraft factory theme. But then the restaurant location changed and the theme was not relevant anymore. I changed the design and the current concept of the space came into action in 2016. The design was considered impossible to execute, but a week later, I assured them that I could make it possible and the project started. This project became a turning point in my career.

Then came an industrial design project spanning 12,000 square feet with a surreal concept of an iron forest, for which I relied heavily on my background in Civil Engineering and my Architectural expertise to put forth a unique design. This space received a lot of recognition and went on to receive so many international awards.

The Address Foodhall project resulted in attracting more challenging projects, most of which were in the commercial and F&B segments. The Tr88House project’s client insisted that we design the concept in Dubai after reviewing the Foodhall project. We had initially been briefed to design only a 1,000 square feet of foodhall space, but MERAAS Holding teams saw the accuracy and quality of our plans and design details, and ended up handing us the whole 10,000 square feet.

What do you feel is most challenging about being an interior designer in Dubai?

The first challenge in Dubai is the competition. Every idea presented is formulated in order to make this city better and bigger, which worked out in my favour for me since I had a history of working in other regions as well.

The clients, contractor and the approvals team here review every architectural document and details after submitting them, and only when all logic, accuracy and details are correct does it get approved. This rarely happens in other parts of the region.


What has been the most exciting or challenging project of your entire career?

I like all my projects, but I don’t love them, because there is always space to improve and be better. Each project has its own challenge for me. But there are a few that are a little more exciting for certain reasons, like the Tr88House, The Address Foodhall because it was my first commercial project, Cedar for being respectful to the nature of the location, Simurgh for showcasing the culture and history of the people of Iran.


How would you describe your design style and what inspires you?

My design approach is to face each project with the purpose of creating a sequence, a planet or a location in a unique, weird, magical, and a little transcendental way. This tends to look at issues with a surrealistic point of view.

Most of our projects have an element of exaggeration, and these are based on my special interests in forests, which I try to showcase as often as I can. I like to invite people to explore the city that I create, its forests, and share my imagination and make them see the beauty  of these places the way that I pictured it.

Obviously the style varies based on the needs of each project – the target customers and the flavour of the client greatly affects the design style. For example, for public spaces, my design style is usually shaped by the laws of nature.

Cedar, Tehran

What is your favourite design sector, and why?

It has to be designing public spaces, since it’s visited by a large number of people. I was seated in the Tr88House project and a pedestrian who passed by suddenly stopped and entered the premises. He immediately proceeds to take pictures of the space enthralled by the effect. This is what I think is a designer’s job, to be able to invite people into the spaces that they design and have an architectural surprise packed in them, which is more likely to create that curiosity in these public projects.


If you could design anything without constraints, what would it be?

I have been very passionate about designing toys for children. I have a concept project called Time Capsule, a concept designed to educate children specifically in unfavourable conditions. Unfortunately, there weren’t many investors for this project during the first year of the pandemic when many projects and business went down. I dedicated most of my time designing this toy.

Furniture design is another field that I am passionate about, which led to the birth of my own brand, DecoZ.

My other dream is to design an extraordinary tower with unusual use in different levels. I also have an idea combining theatrics and architecture together as a project for which I am on the lookout for investors.

TR88HOUSE, Bluewaters Island

What are you working on at the moment?

The team and I are designing some projects in Dubai, like a gaming club for adults, equipped with some rare games. We are also working on a beach club and a cigar bar. Outside of Dubai, we are working on a 54,000 square metre residential building and some villas, and we are expanding my furniture brand DecoZ, which is another work in progress.


What has been the best advice you have received and alternatively what advice would you like to give aspiring designers?

I do not believe in advice because it is better to experiment even if it leads to failure.

But if I were to pick, I would say the best advice I have ever gotten is to work and never give up. My first ever advice to upcoming designers would be to follow your interests and act according to that. For example, the kind of projects that we take up need a lot of courage to ideate and execute. Secondly, become an expert in what you do. We need to be well versed with different architectural softwares and presentation methods to be able to show our ideas to clients.


Lastly, could you tell us about Shahrooz Zomorrodi, the man behind the designer?

I am a person who doesn’t like to face ideas in a normal way. I aim at thinking and wandering through things that are hard to reach and impossible to create. I like to think that usually others don’t dare and make a challenge out of subjects to come up with creative solutions, like playing games. I like to design, but my hobbies include reading books and watching movies. A few of my recommendations are Game, Seven and Gone girl. Fincher movies are my favourite, and my favourite writer is Yuval Noah Harari.

But in the end, what you must know about me is that my job is my passion, and if not a designer, I would have become a director and a scriptwriter. I would show the audience what’s in my mind, and create an element of surprise in my films.



The Architecture MasterPrize – Architectural Product Design Awards, 2022 (Furnishing Award)    Designed by architect Shahrooz Zomorrodi and handmade by DecoZ Studio, the unusual and …

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