Posted on 28 August, 2013
Smith of Derby was proud to design and manufacture the centre piece lobby clock for the opulent reception in Hilton Worldwide's newly opened Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
A wonderful and unique lobby clock is core to Waldorf Astoria’s age-old tradition of welcoming guests.
The palatial hotel, with a championship golf course, private beach, a luxurious state of the art spa, ten bespoke dining rooms and lounges, boasts a wealth of Arabian architecture to compliment the Middle East location. The hotel preserves the signature elements to which the Waldorf Astoria brand is synonymous – the promenade space known as “Peacock Alley” (which originally joined two adjacent but independent hotels in New York, one owned by the Waldorf family and the other by the Astoria family) and a grand lobby clock inspired by the legendary hotel in New York.
Smith of Derby Ltd was engaged to create the centre piece of the lobby by leading London design practice, Hirsch Bedner Associates, HBA. The clock standing at over six metres high is a golden master piece that welcomes guests in spectacular style. The feature includes a pearlised domed glass dial set with striking hour markers and aquamarine centre; a traditional gold plated Whitehurst 7 day mechanical movement with pendulum regulation drives the four sets of delicate gold plated hands. The clock also honours its Arabic setting with 5 rotating prayer rings at its base which show the exact minute of each prayer throughout the day.
The clock which is culturally rich in design took the team at Smith of Derby eight months to build, used over three tonnes of metal, steel and Champagne gold. The inscription on the clock, "From your homeland travel abroad to find glory" is taken from Bedouin songs and poems about travel including Iman Al-Shafe'e, a Muslim scholar and poet (circa 1,200 year ago).
Bob Betts, Manging Director of Smith of Derby said, "It was an incredible privilege to be part of this landmark hotel and creating this particularly unique and culturally rich clock. During the design process we worked closely with faith advisers to ensure the time piece was authentic and pleasurable for the guests to enjoy."
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