Saraya Hotel

For the design teams approach to the Saraya Headquarters and W Hotel Tower, PerkinsWill gathered inspiration from the cavernous rock formations and Nabatean architecture of Petra. The team then set out to create an architectural expression that leaves each visitor with a unique and indelible experience. More importantly, the team sought to craft a project that embodied the spirit of place without relying on a motif-driven vernacular.
The main entry to Petra, better known as Al-Siq translated: the shaft is a narrow gorge stretching for more than 1km. Taking this as inspiration, the towers form abstracts a similar spatial experience, beginning with the entry sequence. The introduction of several major, multi-storey rough-hewn slices or canyons strategically frame the hotel and corporate office entrances. Lined with amber-hued, locally quarried stone panels, the visitor experience recalls the scale and presence of the Siq. The experience is shaped not only by physical perception ocular, auditory, and tactile but by movement through space.
Partially utilized to divert water to the interior of Petra, the Siq also became sacred to the Nabetean people, who carved votive niches into its fractured and pitted surface. These historic, but a man-made patterns of elements have a dramatic effect as the sun washes across the surface of the walls throughout the day, creating an ever-changing chiaroscuro effect. To create a faade that fully captures this play of light and shadow in a manner evocative of the Siq, the design team crafted a panelized system of multifaceted lightweight photo-catalytic GRFC on a 1500mm module. Despite its complex appearance, the standardization of the module, in combination with interlocking joint geometry, allows for several repetitive panel types to be arranged throughout the faade so pattern recognition is not immediately apparent. By limiting the number unique panels at the edge conditions and capitalizing on the standardization of the panels that comprise the field, the design achieves an economy of material.
The design for the Saraya Headquarters and W Hotel Tower is the product of the integration of the constraints of the triangular site, programmatic requirements, and cultural inspiration, combined to form a richly-layered reflection of Ammans spirit of place. The mass and textured surfaces of the exterior skin allow the desert sun to transform the building throughout the day, creating an experience that is intrinsically connected with its environment and heritage.


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