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Park Hotel, Hyderabad by SOM: A Glittering Piece of Sustainable Design

Posted by
on August 17, 2015 at 06:01 PM

The Park hotel in Hyderabad is the first LEED® Gold certified hotel in India. Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merill studio (SOM), The Park Hotel stands out for its unique facade and exquisite interiors. SOM have the distinction of not only being one of the leading architecture studios in the world today, but also of designing some of the most well-known and iconic hotels of the world such as the Burj Khalifa. The Park group is a renowned one of India; and this project was launched and led by a totalitarian design enthusiast Priya Paul as the Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. Completed in 2010, the hotel epitomizes a successful sustainable architectural masterpiece.

© Courtesy of Internet Resources

The design of The 270 room Park Hotel covering 531,550 sq ft built up area, located near the iconic Hussein Sagar Lake at Somajiguda in Hyderabad, takes into account multiple factors like local conditions: daylight, orientation, solar gains and climate, the city and its views around, sustainability in building technology, maintenance and operations as well as showcasing Hyderabad as the city of gemstones and textiles. The hotel group claims this as "a 5 star luxury boutique hotel is a modern day work of art. With a stunning facade and inspirations from the rich and traditional culture of Hyderabad, this property is created as a socially responsible one, which intends to pay back to the environment." While SOM has designed the hotel and some of the interiors as well, many other designers were commissioned to work on different parts of the rest of the interiors.

The entire exterior, primarily built of a high performance glazing system, has been wrapped using perforated and embossed metal screens, which form a wavy pattern across the facade. These metal screens offer optimum weather protection through their perforations while allowing a filtered amount of daylight to enter all parts of the building, and also prevent it from getting reheated on account of trapped heat. In collaboration with Stevens Institute of Technology`s Product Architecture Lap in Honoken, New Jersey, SOM’s design could successfully cut down energy consumption of the building by 20%. 

This double external envelope also ensures acoustic insulation from the sound of trains passing nearby. The embossed screens, especially when lighting from within shimmers through the perforations at night, make the facade a glittering ambassador of the city’s famed gemstone enterprise.

In plan, three wings of the hotel wrap themselves around a massive horizon pool located in the elevated courtyard at the heart of the hotel. This plan opens three sides of the pool for beautiful lounging areas to be located, surrounded by exquisite restaurants and bars from which diners and revellers can spill over on to the lounging deck. The aura of exclusivity created by the lights reflecting off the ripples of this central pool, as one glances over the edge of the water towards the cityscape while lounging on the luxurious deck, can make a lasting impression of royal splendour in a throwback to the times of the Nizam. No wonder then that this hotel is often referred to as the Modern Indian Palace.

Many different designers had been commissioned to design the interiors for the various areas, rooms, clubs and restaurants at various levels in the hotel, including the ones surrounding the pool. SOM also designed many of the project’s interior spaces, including the lobbies, the lobby lounge, retail, and banquet halls which continue with the theme of jewellery and silver, gold and gemstones throughout.

Khosla and Associates, with Sandeep Khosla and Amaresh Anand as the principal architects, was the studio commissioned to design the interiors for the ‘Carbon’ lounge bar. Creating dark, faceted walls and ceilings, with backlit edges to the facets that change colour to create the mood and aura, the designers have alluded to the black diamond among the gemstones that form the theme of this exclusively designed hotel. As one enters this faceted space, highlighted by colour changing led light bands bordering the facets, one is given the impression of entering deep into the heart of a black diamond.

‘Sustainability’, though one of the key parameters for good architecture today, is difficult to come by in a regular sense in most projects.  An entire generation or two of designers are still grappling with the nuances of the exact practical translation of this quality.  To be able to control energy utilisation during construction as well as through the entire life of a building involves controlling too many parameters, some of which may well be out of the designer’s reach given the multitudes of people involved in construction and usage of a building. A high end hotel launched by a premium business group would perhaps offer a more controlled set up to give sustainability a chance in its design. Aesthetics of royalty and splendour meet successfully tackled issues of energy consumption and sustainability inf this ‘contemporary Indian palace’ by SOM.

Designer : Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, USA
Photography :Internet Sources

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