A building is known for its architecture. When a visitor arrives to see a building, he/she expects the building to look elegant and defined. Design of hotels, in the same way, provide a vital feature to the city, it could be one of its kind landmarks or smart-designed styled hotels complexes or style icons from an era.
A hotel is a form of expression which initiates tourism and lets the people understand the culture of the city. It could be Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid featuring its unique style, The Murray Hotel by Norman Foster blending into the monotony of the town, or Nhow Rotterdam by Rem Koolhaas stepping into the futuristic tower. Hotels are not only the way to seek out luxury but also a representation of the creativity and culture of the city.
Thus, here are some tips to remember while designing a distinctive hotel complex.
1. The conceptual storyline formation of the hotel | Hotel Design
The first step to begin while designing is to understand the story or concept behind it. There should be something to represent the importance of the hotel complex because it helps to preserve the individuality of the building. It reflects the character of the surroundings and maintains the elegance of its architecture. We can take the example of The Four Seasons Hotel in Prague by an architecture firm Dům a Město.
This hotel gives the historical significance of Prague by its conceptualization. The Four Seasons is based on three types of architectural styles, i.e. Neo-Renaissance, Neoclassical, and Baroque. It consists of four buildings, the first one is based on the oldest style of Baroque architecture retaining its original cross vaultings, stone architraves, and masonry vaults. The second building is Neoclassical, initially used as a factory. The third building is a Neo-Renaissance house with a restored façade featuring a double sloping roof. The last building was constructed entirely in modern architecture style to blend with the era of the other three buildings. It was built in such a way that it combines the huge ochre sandstone and pale plaster facades with dark roofing to ensure syncing with the historical buildings.
The hotel complex of Four Seasons is designed to maintain harmony with each other and refines the conceptual story of the structure for visitors. There are many hotels like Langham by Dirk Lohan (grandson of Mies Van Der Rohe), and Hotel Marques De Riscal by Frank Gehry, etc. that are conceptualized better to elaborate the theme of hotel design.
2. Including site benefits while designing the efficient planning
The site is another factor while designing a building. It is essential to analyze the constraints and opportunities of the site, what factors can affect the hotel complex. Some of the features are- Surface conditions, i.e. analysis of contours and vegetation, Sub- Surface conditions, i.e. bearing capacity of soil and water table, Character of site, Orientation, and Adaptability, which are technically part before designing the plans but one should consider it. Designing in different climates impacts the building too, we can take an example of the Nomadic Hotel in Costa Rica by Salagnac Arquitectos.
The hotel is orientated in such a way that the reception and living area get more view and makes space for natural air. The climate of Costa Rica is tropical type, which involves the average highest temperature of 27-degree centigrade and lowest of 18 degrees with a slow breeze. Nomadic Hotel is U-shaped allowing the visitors to access the central public areas. The whole building complex is covered with vegetation while allowing the visibility of both the road network and seawater.
The hotel is designed by putting simple forms and shapes so that it blends easily with the surrounding vegetation and environment equally to create better adaptability. The planned building should be functional concerning the site, like in Nomadic Hotel, the central patio has been provided with the swimming pool and gathering area. At the same time, corridors are wide open to provide better circulation.
3. The zoning and layout designing
Before making plans, we decide the zone in the buildings to give a sketch of how the accessibility of the structure will work. This part of designing requires studies and research work from various books and building codes. You need to decide the role of areas allotted to each group, public facilities, sports facilities, services, and administration with at least a minimum floor area. The layout is another side of the same coin, while zoning we draw an image of the shape of one particular area, i.e. how space is going to look. For better understanding, let’s take an example of a hotel in the Sahara Desert, the Anantara Tozeur in Tunisia. It is based on Kansan- Agora architecture but in modern style.
The hotel is divided into zones that are private, semi-private, public, occasional, and semi-occasional areas. It consists of 93 guestrooms and villas each overlooking the landscape of desert, the central swimming pools aligned with restaurants, spa and hammam, fitness center, and meeting facilities. The hotel complex has separate Royal Villas of 800sqm of indoor living space with an open plan lounge and sunken dining rooms.
The layout of the hotel features Arabian and North African designs with a palette of desert colors. It consists of keyhole archway spaces, a mosaic infinity water feature, and a spacious modern lobby which is a tribute to Moorish architecture. As we can see that this hotel offers various range of cultural excursions which represents a different type of layout style. You’ll be fascinated to know that four series of Star Wars were shot here in Tunisia, which allows the essence of the Star Wars set too.
4. Services core designing in hotel | Hotel Design
As we all know that due to the sudden growth of urban population leads to a lack of space because of which vertical hotels are in trend. If you ever come across the designing of hotels in places like New York or Dubai, service core designing will be the complicated part. If you look at the buildings like Burj Khalifa or Burj-Al-Arab, you will find that the most crucial part is service core with structural solidity. The services of the building include elevators, escalators, fire staircases, ramps, electrical system core, plumbing system, and HVAC system.
We can take an example of Burj Khalifa, with 163-floor levels, 900 apartments, and 304 hotel rooms. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and includes the amazing design of the services. The electrical services enter via underground concrete encased duct banks into the building, which was connected to the Dubai electricity power plant. Due to extreme heat and humidity, the transformer rooms of concrete duct are air-conditioned and have ventilation fans as a backup.
The center core of Burj Khalifa is designed for elevators and escalators. There are a total of 57 elevators with 8 double-decker elevators. They even have provided an emergency elevator that stops on every floor. The building has 2909 stairs from the ground floor to the 160th floor. The main part of the building is to design shafts for plumbing purposes, because of the height Burj Khalifa requires more power by mortar to pump water. Thus, they have developed the solution of tanks that are built on every 40th floor to serve water on nearby levels.
5. Landscape designing improves the aurora to the hotels
Landscaping is an essential part of architecture as it provides a significant to the physical environment as well as protects the natural character and cultural identity. It also provides the aesthetic features to the building and maintains biodiversity.
We can take the example of Dar al Hossoun, which consists of 900 different varieties of plants, including agave, aloes, cacti, kalanchoes, euphorbias, and opuntia. This hotel is located in Morocco surrounded by 100 acres of olive groves which are beautifully constructed by local builders and craftsmen with natural materials using ancestral techniques. It is the first and only eco-garden hotel in Morocco, offering both traditional and modern architecture of the city. The gardens of Dar al Hossoun are designed in contemporary style by Eric Ossart and Arnaud Maurier’s.
The hotel consists of several gardens that are Ornamental ‘dry’ gardens, Experimental gardens, and conservation gardens. It also provides hot water via solar panels, water from the sink and showers is recycled to water the gardens and the compost for it is made out of kitchen waste. You will find the orchards in the different courtyards. Dar al Hossoun encourages the sustainability of the extinct species of vegetation, which creates soothing aurora and keeps the tranquillity of nature.
6. Deciding the suitable materials for the building
To implement the sketch of plans on the site, one should take care of the availability of the raw materials. To withstand the structure, both the quality and quantity of materials matter. Building materials not only refine the aesthetic feature of the hotel complex but also adds thermal comfort and weather protection. To understand material science better, one should do the experimental research on it, which takes time accordingly.
We can take the example of an Ecork hotel in Portugal, which is the world’s first cork-cladding hotel. It is inspired by the Medieval village of Alentejo and influenced by vernacular and Arabic architecture. The creation of small openings to the outside which, together with cork coating, is fully recyclable, ensuring thermal protection of the building.
Another example is Zand Hotel in the Netherlands, which was constructed to look like a castle. It has a thin layer of a wall from inside and reinforced with the sand from outside. The bathroom fittings and furniture are made out of traditional materials that are available locally in those areas.
7. More flexible spaces in the hotel
Resorts and hotels are changing rapidly to accommodate today’s visitors. If we focus on a variety of hotel designs, we can see that it performs different functions at the same time. The structure is designed, that it operates critical operations as well as entertains the guests. Flexible spaces are designed to be transitional for specific functional areas. We know that nowadays people use more flexible furniture for multiple tasks and most of the hotels are based on it.
If you take the example of Moxy Hotel – a subsidiary of hospitality company Marriott, you will find that spaces designed are both compact and multifunctional. It includes co-working spaces cum bar, which at night turns into a club. The services area for elevators is separated from the other half, which is created as an adaptable space and lounge area that can be deconstructed in five minutes. Private rooms can be converted to a private deck, and a wooden table can be folded out to form a more massive desk for the meetings.
Room features inbuilt wooden beds which range from the king, queen, double, and bunk beds. Most of the chairs and tables are foldable to create more space in the room. Most of the areas are designed in such a way that it combines indoor-outdoor functionality without disturbing each other’s privacy. When you do the correct designing of the regions, the transformation will be successful in serving multiple purposes for the visitors.
8. Aesthetics/ interior designing of the hotels
The potential of the building is measured by the interiors. The customers are intrigued by the designs they find inside the premises/hotels, which represent their first impression. It grabs the attention and persuades them to stay and experience the actual facilities of the hotel. Interior designing is not only meant for aesthetic purposes, but it’s a service that the hotel provides to the customer and the type of environment you create with the help of design.
Many hotels are famous for their interiors, for example- Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia. Rosewood, Hong Kong. Kudadoo, Maldives. Conrad Washington, DC.
9. Technological involvement in the hotel
Technology has created a fantastic impact on hotels. It increases both the security and luxury of the visitors, staff members, and administration department. The managers of the hotel can easily access the services required by the visitors and vice versa. As we can see, nowadays people use card key locks for their rooms which give them easy access.
We can take the example of the Sheraton Hotel in New York Times Square, which allows guests to do more fitness easily, in this technology they can access a bicycle and let the hotel know their location to serve them cocktails then and there. Another feature is the capability of using a room key to lock and unlock the drawers to protect visitor’s expensive items. You can add the scheduled menu to the hotel room screens so that the staff members can serve the food at your scheduled time. These advanced developments will leave an impact on how guests can utilize the space and give them better opportunities to operate or regulate the environment of their rooms.
10. Facade treatment in the hotel
The façade reflects the culture and aesthetics of the hotel. It is an identity on which the hotel’s theme is based. Façade is the visual connection of what the public observes and what image they perceive in their heads. It can be made of any color, size, shape, and material. The essential function of the façade is not only the aesthetics, but it also refines the architectural element and protects the building against weather conditions providing thermal insulation, protection from the wind, and fire. Some examples of beautiful façade designs are- The Parador Hostal San Marcos de León, in California is the oldest hotel with a historic façade. The Megaro Hotel in London with graffiti on its façade. Hotel Las Ramblas in Barcelona with its intricate and colorful façade. Jade Hotel in Greenwich Village with its old brickwork style.