Bengaluru-based architectural, engineering and interior design firm, KGD’s recent project for the Accor group in Goa, is an example of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology using Revit software. Prasanna Kumar V, technical head – senior associate and Sreeram Rama Chandran, design principal – Resorts & Destinations, KGD-architecture, elaborate on the changing dynamics in hotel designing By Steena Joy
Having designed many hotels in Kerala and Bengaluru, KGD’s recent project in Goa, the Accor group’s Hotel ibis Styles in Candolim has set new benchmarks in hotel architecture. Using the renowned BIM architectural tool, the hotel has been designed in the vernacular Goan style using local materials with a contemporary thrust. Laterite stones which have been extensively used in the design are a trademark found in most building structures in Goa. Speaking on the project brief and the challenges while designing the ibis Styles Goa, Prasanna Kumar V, technical head – senior associate, KGD-architecture explains, “The hotel was to be designed for 200 keys with a resort look and feel, as it was their first flagship hotel in the resort category and they wanted to add natural materials with a Goan touch to the architecture. The major challenge was a varying contour and to keep the building in a low rise format as the height of the building could not exceed 11.5m.” The architects team executed this project with a BIM approach; the virtual mock-up models developed in BIM help to get clear understanding of how the space is going to be used prior to construction.
Developing the concept with the segregation of guestrooms and restaurant, the spaces were divided into three blocks which were well integrated with landscape design. Great emphasis was given to MEP design specially the HVAC systems to ensure that operational costs were more effective which were further improvised by using the new technology IVRFW. All the services systems were modelled with architectural and structural model simulation.
Elaborating on the benefits of using this approach to design hotels, Kumar says, “BIM is an important tool which collaborates the design in the right intern of the designer and the end user or operational team. This tool not only bridges the gap between the consultant and architect and service provider but can be used for quantification too. Clash report on the service can be generated using this tool and can minimise the rework at the site.”
Hotels are increasingly using a lot of natural light to illuminate public spaces. Kumar agrees, “Yes natural light plays a very important role in the public space as it changes the mood swing of the people while we play with colours. As we all know light is life, and good lighting is very important to see the world around us. Good lighting also affects the way we feel. However, this helps to shape the quality of our life. And yes, if right lux level is tuned into the building it becomes more environment friendly and this can be achieved by keeping the warmth tone and low light intensity.”
This also helps hotels in reducing their carbon footprint. Kumar adds, “As hotels are becoming more green concerned, it is shaping us to become more environment friendly. As we design hotels of zero discharge, it helps us to keep the environment safe and also motivates us to utilise natural materials available in the particular zone.” Like the use of laterite stone in ibis Styles Goa which helped lend character to the building structure.
Speaking about the other projects, Sreeram Rama Chandran, design principal – Resorts & Destinations, KGD-architecture, informs, “We have done many projects in Kerala including Lulu Hotel – Thrissur, Dunes Hotel – Bekal, Kasargod; Flora Group’s Resort at Vythiri, Wayanad; a resort at Athirapally, and an ayurvedic resort at Kunnukura, Kochi. In Bengaluru we are in the process of completing the Amby Resort.”
With more boutique hotel brands like W coming in, India is set to see more futuristically designed hotels like the Burj in Dubai. Chandran opines, “Asia and India in particular and the subcontinent are going through a rapid growth phase and the big brands are in a hurry to build. So the big brands spurn sub-brands which means one brand has seven or eight sub-brands and sometimes the sub brand are all built within a close area. India is one of those places other than south-east Asia where you can find dense typologies of cultural blends and people-structure therefore there is an eclectic balance of local brands and also global ones. Hence there are people doing up bed-and-breakfast hotels, villa type stays and leisure categories too. It’s getting homogeneous in a slow manner.” He further adds, “In some categories, there is a context of history and character carried forward from generations behind, so here in India it gets interesting as there is plenty of scope to design and shape up heritage hotels, art deco hotels, old palaces converted into hotels. It is a time to cash in on the global-citizen factor wanting to gain a foothold in the subcontinent and do interesting work.”