African Design Magazine August 2016 - Page 25

African project Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence – South Africa legacy. The current scheme builds on this within a contemporary context. The glamour of travel While international hotel sentiment is starting to favour a more pared-down aesthetic, this scheme explores the glamour of urban travel destinations within the context of sensible modern relevance. What sustainable initiatives are being implemented in the design? As a studio, we firmly believe that sustainable design starts with something as simple as ‘good’ design. If buildings are designed well, sustainability would be intuitive rather than an added layer. For example, we elected to retain large areas of natural stone cladding and even to rework some timber cladded areas to suit the new scheme. This meant less waste, especially of precious natural materials. The building itself was designed to provide as much natural light as possible to as much of its floorplate as it could. We peeled some elements back to capitalize on this. What challenges have been encountered during the project and how are these going to be overcome? Repurposing existing buildings as hotels always brings restrictive parameters. Especially when the original building was not designed as a hotel, which requires far more specialized services, circulation sensitivity and areas of particular sizes than a typical building. However, challenge brings opportunity. It means we have to work a little harder to solve the puzzle that will eventually become a successful scheme. As a studio we relish this challenge. 3D renderings of the new facilities