Design Buzz: Madinat Jumeirah, Waldorf Hilton in London

madinat jumeirah

From a new luxury events space in the UAE to a 1920s Edwardian-style revamp of the Waldorf Hilton in London, here are the biggest headlines in hotel design. 

Madinat Jumeirah to Open Event Space in October

Madinat Jumeirah, the Arabian Resort of Dubai will open the largest hotel event space in the UAE when the Fort Island expansion is completed this October.

The venue - originally commissioned in recognition of the history, culture and character of old Dubai - was inspired by the Al Fahdi fort located in the oldest existing part of the Dubai creek. The venue will be tripled in size to measure 18,837 square feet. It will then be able to host up to 1,400 people, subject to layout.

Upon completion, the venue will also have a new sustainable landscape, as well as views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Guests staying at Fort Island can access the venue by one of four bridges or via traditional abra boats when staying in one of Madinat Jumeirah’s three hotels. Madinat Jumeirah also offers a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces ranging from meeting rooms, banquet and events facilities to over 40 restaurants.

Fort Island is part of the existing Madinat Jumeirah’s Conference Centre.

The new island will increase the center’s capacity to 9,000 people over 107,639 square feet. The Conference Centre is home to international events such as Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and the World Economic Forum.

the waldorf hilton in london

Fox Linton Associates Renovates Waldorf Hilton, London

The Waldorf Hilton in London recently completed a £13.5 million hotel-wide renovation that saw the property restored to its 1920s Edwardian style.

The Waldorf Hilton opened in 1908 and is a Grade II listed building. Completed over several phases, the hotel-wide renovation encompassed all 298 guestrooms and seven meeting rooms and event spaces, including the Palm Court, Good Godfrey's Bar, Adelphi Suite and the executive boardroom.

Fox Linton Associates, who was involved in the renovation, drew inspiration from the 1920s for the guestrooms that now has antique brass metalwork, silver-leaf and mirrors. Pastel colors and bespoke furniture are also in the guestrooms. Subtle variances in pattern and texture come from Italian leather headboards with antique brass studs, chaise lounges and fabrics that reflect the classic style of the hotel’s early years.

The bathrooms were designed with a monochrome palette of white ceramic tiles, black trim and nickel fittings, also reflecting the 1920s era.

The Adelphi Suite function space was given a new “champagne elegance” color palette and now has bespoke chandeliers with 1920s flute glass shades. The original wall lights were also restored to match, while fan designs, popular in the era, are reflected in the carpet design and curtain trim. Technology was added, as well as new lighting system.

Originally the gentlemen's smoking room and bar of the hotel, the Executive Boardroom was restored and converted to a boardroom. It has traditional fireplaces and oil paintings.

The traditional public spaces were also revamped. The Palm Court was restored to its former Edwardian glory. Old aspects of the ballroom were brought back to life, including the black clock, lanterns, columns, cornicing and balustrades.

Good Godfrey's Bar and Lounge opened its doors in 2011. The brand new interior has large antiqued mirrors and a bar with illuminated marble, chrome and granite elements. 

aloft element dallas love field

5G Studio Collaborative, Clark Contractors Collaborate on Dual-branded Aloft & Element in Dallas

Starwood's recently-announced plans for a 224-room dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel in the Love Field area of Dallas, Texas, is estimated to cost over $40 million. The architect for this project is 5G Studio Collaborative, while Clark Contractors is the general contractor.

Set to open in December 2016, the hotel will be constructed within one multi-story building with a shared entrance point for the Aloft and Element hotels, but with separate ground-floor public areas and lifts. Shared facilities include 6,500 square feet meeting space, outdoor swimming pool and fitness center.

Aloft Dallas Love Field will include 133 rooms and will include such amenities as: re:fuel, Aloft’s one-stop grab-and-go food and beverage area, and W XYZ bar.

Element Dallas Love Field will have 91 studios with kitchens and spa-inspired bathrooms. Amenities will include the complimentary RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception.

The building, which is expected to receive the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, will be part of West Love, a 37-acre development that will also feature apartments and more than 24,000 square feet of retail space. 

w amsterdam

Office WINHOV Teams Up With BK Architects for W Amsterdam

W Amsterdam recently opened its doors in the Dutch capital in two iconic buildings – the "Exchange," the former Telephone Exchange building; and the "Bank," originally the KAS Bank. 

The 238-room hotel was designed by Office WINHOV, which was responsible for the structural design of the buildings, and BK Architects, which imagined and created the interiors. The hotel mixes the individual personalities of both buildings, bringing the historical structures back to their original state while incorporating contemporary features.

The property's 238 guestrooms include 21 suites, two WOW suites and two Extreme WOW suites (the brand's take on the Presidential suite). The Bank building will be fully operational in late 2015, and when it does, it will house 66 guestrooms. The rooms use SPG Keyless, the hospitality industry's first keyless entry system that allows guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key.

Taking reference from the Dam Square, the rooms in the Exchange building have an elevated sense of space with high ceilings and wide windows. BK Architects worked with local designers for design elements in the rooms, including hand-woven bedspreads designed by Bertjan Pot that depict stories of Dutch culture, curtains imprinted with classic Amsterdam canal houses and shower cabins inspired by traditional Dutch phone booths. The rooms and suites in the Bank building use black and gold bedspreads inspired by the original bank vaults, and pillows that represent the Amsterdam windowsills.

W Lounge has over five kilometers of copper pipes, paying tribute to the telephone wires and electricity lines that exchanged information on a daily basis when the building was home to Telephone Exchange.

There are gold lines printed on the windows, specially produced by glass manufacturer Saint Gobain. Stairs that mimic the steps of Dam Square on the streets below complete the design.

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