Creating a Dual Branded Hotel

By 2022

Located on the Northern Ring Road Al Gadeer Area in the rapidly growing area of Riyadh is the unique Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Financial District, DoubleTree by Hilton Riyadh Financial District.

The design of this unusual hotel was inspired by the practicality of the project brief where both hotels were to be contained within one building.

As the initial design progressed, it became clear that in order to meet both client aspirations and operator brand standards, the hotel and serviced apartments would need to fall under separate brands. On this basis a concept evolved which created a dual branded hotel development, where the hotel and hotel apartments were different brands with shared back of house facilities to maximise efficiency.

From a design perspective it was important that this duality was reflected in the architectural approach. Each hotel needed its own identity and access, while the overall development also needed to read as one. GAJ, developed a number of different massing options which explored this approach, while also looking into the practicalities of obtaining the required accommodation mix, and operational efficiencies.

The generated form was cubic where the two hotel `L` shaped masses were flipped and interlocked to shape the cube. The interlocking was then separated by a continuous curtain wall glazing which illustrates the Yin & Yang nature of the project. The split between the hotel masses is expressed by a glazed slot, which snakes its way up the building. This glazed slot also provides views out to the city from the guest lift lobby on each of the DoubleTree by Hilton floors and on the upper floors of the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. 

The development includes a 260 room Hilton Garden Inn hotel and 110 room DoubleTree by Hilton serviced apartments. Both hotel brands share a host of business facilities including a large, multi-purpose function room, eight meeting rooms and four boardrooms. Two all-day dining restaurants and a speciality restaurant are also included. The Hilton Garden Inn forms the bottom mass of the building whereas DoubleTree by Hilton forms the crown and completes the interlocking.

A shaded walkway has been provided on three sides of the building leading from the open car parking area at the back of the plot towards the hotel tower. The tall walkway is double storey high and has mashrabiya screens which provide additional shading to the colonnade.

Natural light and ventilation were also considered essential for the project and as a result a large courtyard was introduced within the meeting room floor located on level one of the project. The courtyard allows natural light to flow into the pre-function spaces for the multipurpose hall and other meeting room facilities and also serves as an outdoor breakaway space.

On the floor above is the DoubleTree by Hilton all-day dining which also features a shaded external seating area along with a water feature designed to cool the surrounding temperatures. This seating area is located right above the meeting room courtyard on the floor below.

The podium has been designed as a green zone which has wadi pools, lawns and swimming pools which helps in reducing the urban heat island effect.

Photos by Chris Goldstraw