When Design Wilkes began their design plans in 2014 for what was to become the Mandarin Oriental’s first hotel in the United Arab Emirates, they knew that Skyfold was going to be the piece that turned the hotel’s meeting and event spaces into an experience.
Thirteen Classic™ walls were installed in the Mandarin Oriental’s meeting rooms, event spaces, show kitchens and pre-function areas. The automated operation of the Skyfold walls makes it easy for the hotel to keep the pre-function areas separate from the ballroom until they are ready to reveal the main event space to the guests. The experience continues as Skyfold walls are used to unveil the show kitchens to the guests. Three Skyfold walls in the meeting rooms allow four meeting rooms to transform into seven separate spaces to accommodate varying group sizes and to acoustically accommodate concurrent meetings.
Jeffrey Wilkes’ (International Interior Designer and Principal at Design Wilkes) belief in Skyfold’s acoustic and functional performance was the force that kept Skyfold within the design concept, but the design possibilities was the factor that helped this flexible space project grow into thirteen Skyfold walls. Even when the initial fabric did not work on Skyfold’s panels, Wilkes was still adamant about Skyfold and changed the other interior fabrics to match the new fabric that was selected for the Skyfold walls. The absence of floor closets coupled with Skyfold’s clean appearance prompted the designers to swap the traditional operable partitions originally specified for the pre-function areas to Skyfold walls.
Opened in 2019, the Mandarin Oriental Jumeriah is the closest beachfront resort to Dubai’s financial and business districts, creating the ideal environment to mix pleasure with business. The resort overlooks the Arabian Gulf and features a signature restaurant by Portuguese celebrity chef, José Avillez.