Hospitality Design for Other Building Types

By Lawrence Adams Principal, ForrestPerkins | September 09, 2018

The design style, ambiance, services and amenities usually associated with hotels are finding their way into buildings and facilities other than hotels and resorts. Owners and operators of Hospitals, Senior Living Communities, Airports, Student Housing, Office Buildings and Residential Buildings are all finding that their users are demanding more in the way of a hospitality experience than their traditional, and often institutional, trappings provide.

As the design of hotels has evolved into an experiential endeavor, so too are these other building types seeking designs that their guest find memorable and sustainable.  Interior Designers that specialize in hotel design are being hired to bring their experience in hospitality design to a wide range of other clientele. Developers and Owners are seeking to differentiate their products in the face of stiff competition.  Hospitality furniture, colors, lighting, spatial volumes, forms, decor and details are being employed to bring a provocative stimulating experience, ambience and lifestyle previously only associated with hotels and resorts. The process is fluid as the application of hospitality design to other building types is evolving along with the hospitality industry itself which is evolving to address a new set of users, i.e., millennials.

Senior Living

As a forerunner to bringing hospitality design and service to another building type, Hyatt Hotels Corporation entering the fray as a developer, owner and operator of high-end retirement communities, introduced its Senior Living product Hyatt Classic Residences in 1987.  Hyatt sold this company and its real estate to Vi Senior Living that now operates nine Life Plan Communities, also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). One such community, Bentley Village in Naples, Florida, resembles a luxury resort with features including an 18-hole golf course with two clubhouses, a 60-seat movie theater, a full service salon and spa, multiple dining options, a heated salt-filtered swimming pool and a wellness center that includes a state-of-the-art fitness facility.

To stay competitive and prepare for the "Silver Tsunami" with Baby Boomers flooding into the Senior Living market, companies are realizing that affluent adult children want to bring their parents to a senior care environment that looks and feels like a luxury resort that they have experienced, like a Four Seasons or a Ritz Carlton. Retirement for active seniors is approached by many as a permanent vacation so deserves suitable upscale guest accommodations. As with hospitality design the process for Senior Living should involve an approach that incorporates innovative design to please, delight and engage the intellect, creating environments that are experiential by nature.

An upscale Life Plan Community in Dallas recently interviewed two interior design firms that specialize in luxury hospitality to repurpose their Independent Living public spaces, intentionally avoiding firms that specialize in Senior Living interiors. Bozzuto, the developer of an Active Adult community called Canvas Valley Forge in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, hired an award winning luxury hospitality design firm to design its interiors.  The challenge in designing for Senior Living is to create a more invigorating and interesting lifestyle than the "guests" would experience in their homes. Providing multiple dining venues with a variety of menus helps accomplish this goal, so many upscale communities hire talented chefs and creative design firms to enhance this important hospitality experience.

Canvas Valley Forge, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania - Great Room view This age-restricted active adult community provides a hospitality environment that complements the current and future lifestyles of its residents.
Terrapin Row Student Housing, University of Maryland - Student Lounge Areas of study, including intimate “hubs” for small groups along with larger open study lounges, are paired with areas for play, including game rooms, on-site fitness center and courtyard spaces.
Parc Riverside Apartments, Washington DC - Lounge Amenities of this apartment building include a unique library/social mailroom, fitness center and yoga room, a dog wash and indoor and outdoor spaces designed for social gatherings, connectivity and entertaining.
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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.