The Park Hotel, located in the center of Hyderabad, is a stunning architectural statement. It’s across the street from a bustling, noisy railroad station, yet it provides a magnificent view of Hussain Sagar Lake. It is adjacent to Hyderabad’s well-known Banjara Hills locality. The Nizam’s palaces and lifestyle inspired the Park Hotel. This was India’s first LEED Gold-certified hotel, and Cityscape India awarded it the Best Hospitality Project of 2010.

Apeejay Surrendra Group owns Park Hotels. It is a modern, premium hotel chain based in India. The Park Hyderabad is the city’s first seven-star hotel, and its design is influenced by the city’s history as a textile and jewellery manufacturing hub. There are 270 rooms in all in the hotel. This project emphasizes the building’s relationship to its surroundings, daylighting, and vistas, all of which are enhanced by the integration of sustainable design principles.

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‌Project Overview

LocationHyderabad, India
Type – Hospitality
Site Area – 9,194 square meters
Building Gross Area – 49,400 square meters
Building Height – 30 meters
Number of Stories – 9
Architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Sustainable Design HeadJames Kraus
Energy Stimulation – Environmental Design Solution
Structural Engineer – Semac private limited
Geotechnical Engineer – Nagadi Consultants
MEP Engineer – Spectral
Lighting Consultant – ILD
Acoustical Consultant – Cerami & Associates
Traffic Consultant – Engg & Planning Consultant

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Design Philosophy

The project is remarkable for its persistent use of sustainable design principles, with a focus on the building’s relationship to its environment, daylighting, and views. Solar studies impacted the site’s orientation and building massing to limit solar heat gain. The north and south facades have planned areas, whilst the west facade has service circulation. The hotel rooms are raised to provide a better view of the surroundings. They are set on a podium with guesthouses, retail stores, art galleries, and banquet halls.

“This building demonstrates our dedication in creating a design that feels like home amid Hyderabad’s vivid vernacular architecture while also incorporating the latest sustainable strategies and technologies,” says Roger Duffy, Partner at SOM.

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Design strategies 

In response to zoning and height restrictions, SOM created a trapezoidal volume with six levels of guest rooms on a three-story platform and three levels of subterranean parking. The architects scooped the center of the trapezoid on the podium’s third floor to create an open courtyard with a balcony and swimming pool surrounded by the main lobby, lounges, and restaurants. Because of its elevated location, the infinity-edge swimming pool atop the podium looks to spread forever into the lake and beyond. The trapezoidal volume encircles the courtyard on three sides. This shields the veranda from strong winds during the monsoon season while letting you enjoy the lake breezes throughout summer. The train station’s dust and noise are kept at bay for guests.

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The courtyard serves as an extension of the interior space. The metalwork on the Nizam’s crown jewels, the city’s historic ruling family, influenced the perforation patterns as well as the three-dimensional designs on the panels. To keep with the jewelry theme, the interiors are decked with silver, gold, and gemstones. Many of the interior surfaces, particularly the mosaics, were developed and inspired by local artists and craftsmen. In terms of interior design, it is remarkable. 

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The exterior of the hotel is unique. The petal-like panel design of the hotel was inspired by Nizam’s palaces. The facade provides varying degrees of transparency depending on the needs of the internal spaces. Metal screens with perforations and embossing installed over a high-performance glazing system provide privacy while also allowing diffused daylight and acoustic insulation into the interior spaces. The opaque portions of the cladding conceal the hotel’s service areas.

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Spatial Distribution

Only a concierge desk could be seen on the ground floor. The reception desk is on the third floor. The Nizam Palace influenced this concept. Because there was a chowki at the Nizam Palace’s entrance (seat). This chowki guard would lead guests to the proper areas of the palace based on who they wished to meet. Similarly, the person at the concierge desk will escort visitors to the reception area. That was a profound notion.

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Notably, each floor of the hotel has its name, which is mirrored in the colors of the respective floor lobbies and the interiors. The names are: Floor 4 is Ruby, Floor 5 is Topaz, Floor 6 is Peridot, Floor 7 is Emerald, and Floor 8 is Sapphire. Aish, Aqua, Verandah, Kismet, and Carbon are the Park Hotel’s five restaurants and bars. The central courtyard is accessible from the hotel lobby. It has a private dining court as well as a swimming pool that can be seen from the surrounding areas and the club below. Dynamic patterns are created by scattered light over the pool’s water.

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The outdoor courtyard was designed as a versatile space with access from the lobby, restaurants, and bar. The city and Hussain Sagar Lake can be seen from this three-story-high balcony. The restaurant, clubs, spa, and guest rooms are the result of spectacular collaboration between design firms such as SOM and Conran & Partners, as well as local artisans who created objects such as sparkling chandeliers and radiant furnishings.

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Rooms & Suites – Unrivaled Luxury

There are 263 contemporary-style rooms, providing holistic comfort, as well as handcrafted trademark suites with accents by renowned international and Indian designers. There are 12 various types of accommodation: The Residence Rooms, Luxury Rooms, Courtyard Rooms, Lake Rooms, Trillion Rooms, Trillion Studio, Trillion Suite, Panoramic Suite, Enmeshed Suite, La Sultana Suite, Osmania Suite, and Presidential Suite.

The hotel has 263 air-conditioned rooms, each with Australian flooring and contemporary design. Each room has a distinct style that can be identified by its name and interior decor. The seven types of luxury accommodations are Trillion Rooms, Presidential Room, Courtyard Rooms, Panoramic Suites, Luxury Rooms, Lake Rooms, and The Residence. These suites give a stunning view of the heart-shaped Hussain Sagar Lake.

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Construction Technique & Material

To reduce solar gain and glare, SOM used a layering approach and tapped into the local metalwork culture to create a jewel-like exterior skin of perforated and embossed aluminum. The metal panel is installed in front of insulated Low-E glass windows with acoustic treatment. The skin not only provides privacy for the guest rooms, but it also has apertures that allow users to enjoy spectacular views of the city and the lake. LED panels are inserted between the glass to reflect vivid colors on the building at night.

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Innovation

The Park in Hyderabad has been described as “a Modern Indian Palace, something unique and unusual that resonates with India’s current aspirations.” It was required to collaborate closely with manufacturers, fabricators, and researchers to produce this low-energy prototype building. They made an innovative option, such as minimizing energy use while the elevator is empty. When there are more passengers in the elevator, however, they consume more energy. On-site water treatment and sewage treatment systems process greywater for reuse and wastewater for disposal into the city’s sewer system. The hotel’s energy consumption has been lowered by 20% as a result of the building’s orientation on the site and the design of the metal screen.

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From one viewpoint, the hotel looks like a trapezium drenched in color, while from another, it seems like an emerging yacht. The hotel’s architecture and facade were inspired by Hyderabad’s gemstones. The hotel combines cultural characteristics that are distinctive to the city. The hotel is adorned with Kalamkari antiquities and patterns. The rooms have tholu-bommalata-themed canvas walls, and the lobby lounges have Kalamkari-work ceilings. The third-floor pool looks like it might merge into the surrounding Hussain Sagar Lake. In terms of sustainable design, the hotel takes advantage of the building’s exterior to decrease heat. Daylight is used to illuminate the rooms through the use of specific panels.

Inference

As you approach the hotel, you’ll feel as if you’re leaving the rush and bustle of the city behind and entering a magnificent, beautifully created place. This dazzling gesture connects the indoors and outdoors, the building and the city, and the site and the lake. The hotel’s interiors and exteriors are equally magnificent, making it one of Hyderabad’s most lavish hotels. 

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The hotel is a unique blend of contemporary hospitality with local art and culture. In a historically and culturally significant location, the Park Hotel redefines luxury. Energy conservation, climate change, seclusion, and symbolic allusions to the location have all contributed to the creation of this one-of-a-kind place. The capacity of the hotel to adapt to its cultural and natural surroundings is exceptional. This hotel is used as a case study in Design Principles to highlight the collaborative effort required to achieve an environmentally friendly design.

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Reference

  • ArchDaily. (2011). The Park Hotel / SOM. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/149285/the-park-hotel-skidmore-owings-merrill?ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_all
  • Mostafa, D. (n.d.). The Park Hotel | SOM – Arch2O.com. [online] Available at: https://www.arch2o.com/the-park-hotel-skidmore-owings-merrill/ 
  • SOM. (n.d.). THE PARK Hyderabad. [online] Available at: https://www.som.com/projects/the-park-hyderabad/
  • www.architectural record.com. (n.d.). Park Hotel Hyderabad. [online] Available at: https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/7242-park-hotel-hyderabad
Author

Subhashinee is an Architect, Researcher, and Stereotype breaker. Deeply passionate about sustainability and environmental psychology. She is curious to learn new things in life that enhance her. An avid observer, she prefers writing over speaking. She believes that architectural journalism is as important as architectural design, as it binds knowledge providers with seekers.

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