Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Hotel in The Netherlands by Mecanoo
March 30th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Mecanoo
The diagonal pattern of the hotel serves to emphasize the iconic appearance of the building. The facade pattern strengthens the unity of the building’s volumes by masking the individual rooms and floors of the building. The facade also harmonizes the three volumes; the plinth, the guest room tower and Schiphol Traverse. The facade will be made out of prefabricated composite sandwich panels. In fact there are just three types of panels: straight, curved and strong curved. With a smart infill they together create a random pattern façade, with a subtle shine and relief. By grouping the glass and the grey and white composite panels, a large scale diamond pattern is created, recognizable from a substantial distance.
Dutch design interior
Merkx + Girod designed a continuous 200 m copper wall that incorporates and connects all the different functions and facilities on the ground floor. All sorts of elements that would be found as loose pieces of equipment in the lobby and restaurant have been fitted in this wall. For example screens with meeting schedules, flight information, showcases, speakers, seating and the restaurants’ food counters. The wall is made of copper panels with perforations and profilations and encourages all senses. The LED light behind the copper wall creates the possibility to have different appearances and atmospheres during the day and make the wall very visual. Besides an acoustic function the perforations can ‘produce’ sound – music and announcements – that transform it into a ‘whispering wall’. The surface implies a tactility that invites guests to take a seat. Finally the freshly prepared food of the counters that are incorporated in the copper wall provides a nice fragrance in the restaurant. The paneling system makes it possible to replace a copper panel and fit in something new in the future.
The reception and kitchen counters have a top, front and plinth made of the same natural stone that is used on the entire floor. The bar has a different appearance.
Especially designed layed-in carpets mark the different types of seating areas, from lounge to more private. The wool carpets are inspired on Dutch bulb fields. Another Dutch treat can be found in the public toilets, where the walls are cladded with typical Dutch tiles.
The 1st floor an 2nd floor comprises Hilton meeting centre, a business centre with 23 meetings rooms, boardrooms, and large ballroom surrounded by various break out areas. This area is directly connected by a covered walkway, the Traverse, to Schiphol Plaza. On the first floor, with a view into the lobby and to the surroundings, is also a health club provided, with sauna and wellness centre. Levels 2 through 11 include the hotels’ guest rooms. Level 9 through 11 form the executive area, with a centrally located large executive lounge on the 10th floor. The interior of the meeting centre, as well as the health club and guestrooms are designed by HBA.
The concepts for these areas draw their inspiration from traditional Dutch handicrafts such as finely stitched lace and the motifs painted on ceramic Delft artefacts. However, these have been re-imagined through a contemporary lens to form a design that feels authentic yet also fresh and relevant for travellers today.
Sculpted with a sophisticated vibe, the public spaces feature sofas in gracefully curved minimalist shapes, clusters of dazzling Swarovski pendant lights, and a sinuously flowing wall that winds through the conference areas. Within each of the 23 meeting rooms, timber doors with detailed fretwork provide an attractive solution for concealing equipment, while the room’s acoustics are softened by plush upholstered furnishings and wool carpets whose pattern echoes delicate embroidery.
Stylised Dutch patterns have been cleverly woven throughout the décor of the ballroom. For example, service entry doors are astutely concealed by backlit wall cladding that is perforated in a modern allusion to traditional lace. Their rich metallic and cool pearl-toned palette provides an elegant contrast the dark timber finishes found in the furniture. Illuminated, precision-cut faceted crystal rods project down from the ceiling in varying lengths to create a glamorous landscape of light and reflection.
The spacious footprint of the Executive Lounge allows travellers to choose between nooks of quiet privacy and more social seating arrangements, all offering panoramic views from the 10th floor of the hotel. Whether sinking into a high-back leather armchair in a smartly designed library or catching-up with the news in the separate TV lounge, guests can relax and enjoy the hospitality in a variety of settings.
Spa & fitness
The Hilton Amsterdam Airport hotel now operates within the Green Key measures. For the new Hilton hotel it is the ambition to operate under Green Key Gold.