RMJM and P&T go head to head about hospitality trends

What new features and trends have you seen in the designs of hotels?

Blanca Pedrosa – RMJM Architects says: They are no longer buildings with a reception and rooms, as other parts of the program like lounges, restaurants, rooftop bars or gyms take gradually more importance making them a diverse system of spaces with sometimes differentiated designs.

Levi DaCosta – P&T Architects says: Architectural influences and ideas stem from several places. This means that the starting point for every project is always different however buildings should always be a clear and true statement of the times in which they are built and functioning.

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Should the major influences on their architecture be traditional Arabic – or should they reflect more global aspects?

Blanca Pedrosa says: Dubai´s international fame comes from its commitment with modernity and the new, and it has become part of its identity. It is at the same time an Arab country, and it is always encouraged from the authorities to include some cultural references in any new building.

Levi DaCosta says: More than simply a style –traditional or otherwise – ait is a very important fact and function of architecture that it truly represents the “crystalisation” of society’s inner structure.

Is social media an important indicator of user experience?

Blanca Pedrosa says: Social media is nowadays the main source of opinion for choosing one hotel over another. The image an institution uses to project a certain lifestyle becomes even more important than before, which is something designers have to have in mind.

Levi DaCosta says: Social media is inherently one of the best indicators of user experience. It has an incredible potential to bring the user, the owner and the designer together in achieving a worthy architecture, one that is as a “true symbol of its time”.

Will Dubai be ready for the influx of visitors for EXPO 2020?

Blanca Pedrosa says: Dubai is already an important touristic hub with a more than acceptable offer of hotels, but has plans for building a significant number of new buildings. Although the high end sector is well covered, new hotels should aim to fill the demand for more variety in the mid-level price range.

Levi DaCosta says: Dubai has demonstrated a tremendous capacity to successfully organise and accomplish visionary and “extra” large scale projects. I don’t expect that EXPO 2020 to be any different. I am certain that in 2020, Dubai will be in a great position to show all of its accomplishments.

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