Al Zahra, KUWAIT — September 2, 2022 – The CRTKL-designed Grand Hyatt Kuwait opens its doors today in Al Zahra. The Grand Hyatt Kuwait is the flagship hotel for Tamdeen, connecting to its iconic mixed-use development, the 360 Mall. With the Grand Hyatt, the team sought to design a hotel that blended into the architectural fabric of the entire 360 Mall development while still giving the hotel its own distinct identity.
The team set to coordinate the Grand Hyatt with the existing 360 Mall and the new 360 Mall expansion both visually and physically — creating a unique identity for this flagship hotel to distinguish it in the region. The team addressed issues in connectivity by establishing fluid transitions between the hotel and the mall on two levels—a direct connection between hotel meeting spaces and the performance arena and direct VIP access between VIP arena suites and the hotel lounge. Additional planning strategies include shared back-of-house areas and pedestrian-friendly landscaping that all make the project flow together as one united space instead of five separate ones.
Connecting to the original 360 Mall and new mall expansion was essential while creating an independent identity for the Grand Hyatt with new materials, textures and elements. To link the projects, portions of the Sunny Egyptian stone on the mall’s exterior overlap the hotel at the base to blur the transition between the buildings. On the interior, the team worked with Meyer Davis to extend portions of the mall flooring, interior stone and patterns through the hotel interior to show additional overlaps and coordination between the different entities. They selected various contrasting Italian marbles to distinguish the hotel that provided a more refined elegance.
In addition to the mall connections, the Grand Hyatt also connects to the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy. The entire development’s design supports a healthy lifestyle and promotes personal wellbeing. The community is encouraged to walk throughout the whole space, and the client has wellness programs that sponsor 5k runs, yoga, photography walks, and more on their property. Landscaping provides shade from the harsh sun while allowing guests to walk the property, play tennis and enjoy relaxing at the spa and pool areas.
In the region, hotels and malls aren’t simply a place to sleep for the night or shop; they foster a sense of community – by providing green spaces and recreation areas. The harsh climate creates an opportunity for these spaces to be a destination for social gatherings, exercise and more. The design of the Grand Hyatt Kuwait facilitates these interactions with the interior spaces able to host large crowds in addition to overnight guests.
The hotel is positioned on the southwest corner of the 360 expansion, exposing it to the intense afternoon sunlight with summer temperatures reaching 46°C (116°F). The design of the hotel’s facades passively combats solar heat gain and addresses the poor solar orientation of the site and the effects of the region’s harsh climate. Initially incorporated as an external shading device, the screens’ design evolved to be much more than simply reducing the solar heat gain from large swaths of glazing. The team studied the percentage of openings and module scales and developed a gradient pattern that transitions from entirely opaque at the screen’s top to 75% open at eye level. This design provides adequate shade on the glass while maintaining guest views from the interior and light filtration throughout all the public spaces. The parametric pattern was utilized in various ways across the exterior, maintaining a consistent design aesthetic while providing a necessary purpose, combating the intense summer heat in the region.
At the podium, exterior screens shade the glass while maintaining light filtration and views. These screens significantly drop the temperature at the hotel Porte-cochere and ensure that all the interior spaces have ample daylighting without increased temperatures. The team maintained its uniqueness by establishing patterns with these performance-driven facades and using them throughout the project’s interior and exterior designs to create a consistent and recognizable design language.