The Art of Vacationing

07.01.19

Conceived as an immersive island retreat, Joali Maldives has opened with an array of original, experiential works of art and dynamic design, reflecting the beauty of nature, and with sustainability at their core. Situated on the idyllic isle of Muravandhoo in the remote Raa Atoll, just 45 minutes by seaplane from Male, this unspoilt island celebrates the creativity of world-class talent.

Art

Dotted around the resort, adorning villas and hidden beneath the waves are a collection of extraordinary works by 13 international artists, hand-picked by curators and concept developers of No LaB; Ala Onur and Zeynep Ercan. From sculptures to design and experiential pieces, No LaB has chosen pieces which capture and conserve nature both visually and materially. Each artwork is thoughtfully integrated into its natural surroundings: some pieces were created by artists on-site, other creative concepts were adapted for Joali’s tropical climate. Joali will continue to curate surprising, interactive art experiences, with new pieces added throughout the year. An annual art calendar will host a roster of workshops and residencies with visiting artists, designed to inspire, inform and enchant.

Heron Chair & Manta Ray Treehouse - Porky Hefer, Cape Town

Vernacular architect Porky Hefer, who recently partnered with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation at Art Basel, displays his signature passion for local wildlife and endangered species, with his hanging 'Heron' chairs, which overlook the beach. The grey heron is the national bird of the Maldives and Joali's signature, spirit animal. Hefer's astonishing Manta Ray hideaway, woven in-situ from natural materials is suspended in the trees, offers experiential dinners in the treetops. His imaginative, nature-inspired works are designed for functionality as well as style, and have a message of conservation.

Club Tropicana Table & Underwater Coral Sculpture Garden - Misha Kahn, New York

Renowned for his sculptures which use unconventional materials, including recycled rubbish, bronze and glue, at Joali, Kahn has created an underwater sculpture garden using a combination of vibrant-coloured and pale mosaic tiles to reflect the coral bleaching occurring in the Indian Ocean. Visitors to the island will be able to snorkel or dive to interact with this piece, and coral itself will gradually attach as part of the regeneration of the reef. Above land, Kahn's Gaudi-esque communal table, which echos the shapes of the underwater pieces, is the perfect spot for sunset drinks and experiential dining experiences overlooking the beach.

Thread tapestries – Soojin Kang, South Korea

Believing in a human need to rediscover the art of hand-crafting their own furnishings with needle and thread, Soojin has woven elaborate tapestries for Joali’s Four Bedroom Beach Villa using only natural materials. The scale of the pieces accentuate the high ceilings with long strands flowing artistically down the wall from top to bottom.

Terracotta Furniture – Chris Wolston, United States

Inspired by his past experience working in a Colombian brick factory and emphasising the importance of human influence on the production process, Wolston has created a set of clay chairs where the finger marks of the artist can still be seen. Residing outside Joali’s Boutique, these intricately-detailed chairs contrast with the beautiful fauna around them, and challenge visitors to take a seat.

Glass Pineapples & Coral – Feleksan Onar, Turkey

With a gift for forming glass into intricate objects, Onar's tropical, pink-tinged glass drinks decanter in the shape of a pineapple and coral, is an amusing, eye-catching element to each of the villas’ mini bars.

Design

Joali’s impressive roster of artworks are integrated with impeccable design and architectural skill by acclaimed Istanbul-based Autoban, whose other projects include House Hotels Istanbul and London’s Duck and Rice. They used custom-made furnishings, hand-carved wooden panels, local wood, bamboo and terrazzo flooring to create the ultimate sense of jungle chic. In designing the resort, Autoban worked to preserve the natural flora of the island as much as possible, saving more than 1,000 palm trees in the process. On arrival, guests are wowed by an impressive Manta Ray-shaped welcome jetty complete with undulating Maldivian thatched roof crafted by Istanbul’s Atölye4n, while Tokyo-based Studio Glitt are behind standout Japanese restaurant SAOKE, with its majestic pyramid roof made up of timber blocks like origami, with clean lines and soft lighting reflecting Japanese aesthetics.

Joali has rooms from $1,924 (approx. £1,456) per night based on two sharing a Beach Villa with Pool on a B&B basis. For further details and booking, please visit www.joali.com.

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