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Goettsch Partners Tapped for New Saudi Arabia HotelGoettsch Partners Tapped for New Saudi Arabia Hotel

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Posted: 06/02/09 06:30am  Reply with quote
Goettsch Partners Tapped for New Saudi Arabia Hotel

Chicago architectural firm Goettsch Partners will design a new 5-Star, 214-room business hotel in the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 17-story tower, to be operated as a Wyndham, will include a business center, an executive club, signature restaurants, a lounge, and a spa/health club.

Goettsch is planning a prism-shaped tower with a nine-story opening that separates programmatic functions and allows for views and light to penetrate the mass of the building. The podium structure houses the hotel amenities and conference facilities and links the building to its surroundings at the pedestrian level. The podium incorporates a multipurpose hall, restaurants, a spa, outdoor gardens and a rooftop terrace.

The hotel sits directly adjacent to a wadi, a dry, manmade riverbed that organizes the overall development district and provides the main pedestrian circulation and recreational promenade. According to KAFD master plan guidelines, any building that faces the wadi must be faceted in its design. As such, Goettsch is planning a north facade that features an undulating, faceted skin; the south facade is similarly designed while giving the building a dynamic, changing appearance from every perspective.

The north facade comprises a semitransparent aluminum-and-glass curtain wall with two layers of ceramic frits that create a moiré effect. In an effort to optimize this effect, the pattern changes from a smaller pedestrian scale on the tower's lower levels to a larger urban scale as it ascends the building's full height. To mitigate the extreme heat conditions throughout much of the year, the south facade is designed to be mostly opaque, clad in stone with 150-millimeter-wide, single-level slots that rhythmically alternate up the tower. On the podium, these slots become windows to allow for select light and views. Both the north and south building facades will be lit at night in order to give the hotel a distinctive appearance and character within the larger development.

The tower's long east and west facades, meanwhile, feature a saw-toothed design with continuous slab edges. This pattern reveals the scale of the rooms while providing maximum shade from the most extreme desert sun and still allowing for measured light and views.

Designed to achieve LEED certification, the project incorporates many sustainable strategies, including energy modeling, daylight control and solar shading, photovoltaic panels on the roof, and proximity to alternative transportation systems within the KAFD.

The $130 million project is is scheduled for completion in 2011.
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