Online Exclusive - Doha City Center Complex, QatarMay 9, 2012
By Alia Akkam; photography by Tom Arban
Project design director Randa Tukan, vice president of hospitality and retail at Toronto-based HOK, says the hotels’ looks were inspired by the region’s historic Spice Route: “The mission was to create a balance between East and West, tradition and modernity, and regionalism and globalism to tie the entire development together.”
In the lobby of the Renaissance, for example, the central flooring pattern references local mosaic inlay traditions, a desert palette, and the art of Gustav Klimt, “all applied with an understated presence that fits cohesively within its surroundings,” notes Tukan.
On the other hand, the more casual Marriott Courtyard, with its earthier colors, “offsets the museum-like Renaissance lobby to instill a more intimate sense of space organized around a fireplace-like feature.”
By having a team that spanned planning, landscape, architecture, and interiors work collaboratively, all three properties were able to maintain a sense of unity. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges. “As you can imagine the volume of furniture, fabrics, wallcoverings, and hard finishes being specified were tremendous. It was tricky to ensure there was no duplication of design elements or applications,” Tukan points out.
To find synergy, she explains how strategies varied: “In some cases where the materials were the same—for instance, a certain stone among the properties— their application differed, sometimes by scale, design, pattern. Where materials did differ, like stone versus tile, the colors, tones, and hues were complementary. Also, the level of detailing and intricacy varied. If you consider moldings, the Courtyard has simpler profiles while Renaissance has more tailored details, and the Executive Apartments slightly more classical.”
In 2013, look for three new towers to sprout up on the East side housing Shangri-La, Rotana, and Merweb hotels. “Each brand has its own unique interior design style, look, and feel to complement its position within the development,” says Tukan.