GAJ were approached by Mawten Hospitality LLC to design a 4 star hotel in Riyadh targeting the mid to upscale corporate business market, while also catering for the weekend leisure demand. The DoubleTree by Hilton & Hilton Garden Inn was to consist of 260 hotel keys with a further 110 fully serviced suites. Other facilities were to include a ballroom, extensive meeting facilities, a health club and several restaurants.
As the initial design progressed, it became clear that in order to meet both client aspirations and operator brand standards, the hotel and services suites 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 final design was based on the two hotel masses interlocked to form a cube. The split between the hotel masses being 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 floors and on the upper floors of the Garden Inn Hotel.
The façade treatment was the same for both masses, however the colour changed to provide each mass with its own identity. Whilst the façade was designed to look random in nature, the number of different panel types were minimised to increase repetition and reduce costs