Riyad CapitalcommissionedDavid T’Kint to rebrand the Burj Rafalhotel to become the firstluxury JW Marriott onKing Fahd Road inRiyadh.2022has seenthe first phase of the multi-yearconversion, including theextensivepublic areas.The brand pillar of JW Marriott, ‘Be presentinmind, nourished in body and revitalised in spirit’, was at the heart of the brief, allowing guests tofavourably experience nature in a tactile way through carefully curated sensory sophistication.
Project Name: JW Marriott in Riyadh
Studio Name: David T’ Kint
The studio’s inspiration came from one of the most inspiring ancient poems of the ArabianPeninsular that reads, “For when the south wind blows the sand over them, the north windsweeps it away”.The JW Marriott captures the region’s charming nature in the interior features; the lines areorganic and softand expressSaudi Arabia’sever-changingwindblown deserts. The colours areearthyandperforated with green hues resembling the nourished landscapes as ‘Rain finallycomes to the land’, an excerpt froman ancient inspirationalpoem. As guests journey through thehotel, theyaresurrounded by a series of green elements cleverly integrated into thevariousinterior spaces, immersing them in a world of peace,tranquillityand harmony.T’Kint completedthe first phase in triple the forecasted time,injust over one and a half years.
Upon entry to theJW Marriott, abeautiful triple-volume lobby welcomes guests with a glazedfaçade overlooking the elegantly landscaped outdoor water feature. Thewalls feature heritage-inspired patterns which resonate with the modern façade of the building. The seven-metre-widereception desk is an imposing sculpture on marble flooring, backlit and highlighted by beautifullytextured cladding. A Bomma pendant light installation of hand-blown glass sparkles in the ceilingdepicting a clear desert night; it illuminates the comfortable, organic-shaped seating below.
Thehotel’s interactive concierge library encourages guests to explore the rich cultural heritage ofSaudi Arabia.The Capital Lounge offers guests an extraordinary luxury tea experience. Each piece of furniturehas been hand-selected to create a sense of intrigue around the Rosso Levantoclad counterfeature. A tea cellar completes the unique experience. The tea sommelier creates craft beveragesfor guests and visitors to enjoy a voyage anddiscovera unique blend ofteas from around theworld.Casa Cacao, a chocolate retail outlet, is the brainchild of thethreeRoca brothers,whoarefamed for El Celler de Can Roca, a three-star Michelinchocolatierin Girona, Spain.TheirSpanish-styleoutletinspires the tile-clad counter, whilstthe rich walnut wood wall is the perfectbackdrop for their artisan chocolate products.
The Kitchen on 3 is an all-day dining restaurant celebrating century-old culinarytraditions. In linewith the JW Marriott brand identity, lush greenery and splashes of colour create a nourishingvibe.The restaurant is thebeating heart of thehotel,seamlessly blendingtraditionalgastronomictraditions with the energy of a contemporary world. This spice-filled dining experience servesauthentic Middle Eastern dishes in a modern market-inspired kitchen.
Thehotel’spartiallyrefurbished executive lounge includes exclusive benefits and privacywith splashes of naturalgreensthatplay with otherwisepeacefulneutral tones.David T’Kintand his team of designers,Riham Farajy, Eilyn Xin, Majd Johar and Sara Alameenworked closelytogether as bynature, a refurbishment project is infinitely more complex than anew-build property. When parts of a buildingare demolished, it’s common to find unexpectedchallenges.FEBCsourced and procured all of the furniture, light fittings and accessories, whilstBomma provided the decorative glass installation.Themeetings, incentives, conferences andexhibitions, MICE spaces, and 349 guestrooms over 66 floors will follow in the next phase.