What is Architectural Design and How is it Beneficial for Hotels?

Building Information Modeling


Architectural design for hotels is behind the planning and execution of spaces within hotels and the construction of hotels themselves. You can hire architects to design a single room or a skyscraper, depending on the type of work they do. Many architects can jump between scales and work on a variety of projects. Some architecture firms specialize in specific building types and are experts in their chosen fields. Other architects are happy to approach the creative challenge required by any and all jobs and work on a much wider range of projects. If you are considering renovating your hotel, hiring an architect to provide architectural design work is likely a good investment. A quick aside: architectural design refers to work done by an architect. Architects are licensed professionals who are typically required to have a university degree in architecture, work a required number of intern hours and pass a series of professional exams. Architectural designers might do similar work but they are not always licensed architects. Depending on the type of work you are doing, you may or may not need to hire a licensed architect. While architects are not always “necessary” to complete a job, they are likely necessary to complete a job successfully. Architects are trained to consider a plethora of issues and will likely make your hotel more attractive and ultimately, worth more money. While taste is subjective, architects are trained to understand architectural history, different styles/trends and the consequences of every design move they make. Architects often produce thoughtful designs that will improve the quality of your space or building.

Architectural design involves a number of components. Some of the biggest categories are:

  • Program. A hotel’s program refers to what users do in a hotel space and how they do it. This may seem elementary, but programming determines how many toilet stalls are in a movie theater, keeping in mind that everyone probably has to go to the bathroom at the end of the movie! A hotel’s program often originates from the client but is further developed by the architect and innovative practices. Programming helps determine how big rooms are, what happens in each room and the flow of space that makes a hotel function like clockwork. This portion of design typically occurs at the beginning of the design process and doesn’t involve details like aesthetics or building materials. In this phase, space is treated in an abstract manner and can be thought of as a puzzle or a set of building blocks that come together to make a whole. Programming can be quite complicated, especially when dealing with dozens (or hundreds) of employees in a hotel, or a sophisticated business model like in a restaurant. Architects can help consider the flow of goods and materials throughout a space, as well as the support services that keep a building operating smoothly. Consider a luxury hotel, for example: architects help plan the spaces where all of the sheets, cleaning materials and staff lounges are located in a way that totally obscures these behind-the-scenes processes from the hotel guests. Fine dining establishments need efficiently planned kitchens that are in close proximity to dining areas to effectively serve food. Even in private hotels, architects can help plan the flow throughout throughout the rooms to reflect the daily life and habits of the client like green design.
  • Aesthetics. Architects for Hotels are known for having a “good eye” and their knowledge of aesthetics is probably the main benefit of architectural design, like Art Deco. Architects learn all about architectural history and theory in school. While people may know what they like, this typically does not translate into the world of architecture, where historical legacy and a vast knowledge base dictate taste. Aesthetics refers to the look, proportions and style of a hotel. Architects are able to translate your needs and wishes into tangible design solutions. Architects are able to design spaces that privilege light, openness, comfort, etc. More than mere technical aspects of a job, architects are able to see the poetry inherent in a hotel and treat buildings as an art form. Architects never design in a vacuum and have the accumulated traditions, theories and solutions inherited from countless previous generations of builders and designers.
  • Materials. Somewhat related to aesthetics, architectural designers select materials that enhance the look and performance of a Hotel – like creating a new world. Architects can specify materials that are appropriate for every hotel and must consider numerous issues when selecting materials. The Hotel industry is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and architects’ choices can help mitigate this impact on the environment. Architects are oftentimes trained to prioritize environmentally responsible materials. Architects should also select materials that are durable, easy to maintain and stable. Increasingly, building materials are comprised of recycled or recyclable elements. Architects are responsible for the big picture of a hotel and should take great care when sourcing building materials. From an aesthetic point of view, materials have a big impact. Material selections impact the look and feel of a space and can be the make or break element in the poetic experience mentioned in the previous point. Architects draw, down to the most minute details, the ways materials meet and interlock. This detailing is what yields a seamless, smooth and coherent space. Materials add texture to spaces and can have a big impact on how a space is used and experienced. Everything from energy performance to acoustics is related to material selection when it comes to Architectural Design.

If you are on the fence about hiring an architect for your redesign, renovation or construction job, you would likely benefit from their work in the end. Hotel Architects have the expertise to guide your project through to completion and have the technical know-how to answer questions that you didn’t even know to ask.  They are like Renaissance men and women. The world would likely be a more beautiful place if all buildings required input from architects. Design, rather than a luxury, should be considered a necessity for your design/construction Hotel. If anything, an architect will be able to conceptualize what you are trying to accomplish and provide you with a unique perspective.