“When designing a hotel I don’t think about my client, I focus on my client’s client, meaning the person that will use the hotel…” Aurelio Vazquez Duran
In the hospitality industry most of the people involved have a strong belief that we have to provide to our guests a home away from home. But when it comes to hotel design and architecture, a distinguished architect’s opinion: “I do not think that when in a hotel you have to feel “at home”, on the contrary, you have to get the feeling that you are definitely elsewhere…” may summarize the other side’s opinion.
The goal of the Project Development and Construction course is to introduce us to the fascinating world of hotel design and architecture from a managerial perspective. Throughout the lectures, the students learn the steps of development, the construction process, and the involvement of various parties. Architecture and design elements concerning the plans and the drafts are presented. The importance of functionality, sustainability and cost efficiency is also underlined. Hotels are designed from the inside out to ensure the practical functionality and relationship of its parts.
The course’s objective is not to transform us into hotel design and architecture experts. It is something perhaps more simple and relevant to hospitality management. By introducing us to each and every step of the development process through real examples and case studies, we gain the necessary knowledge to be able to efficiently accomplish a hotel construction, conversion or refurbishment.
The same standards underlie the project we have to undertake for the course; a real-time development plan that includes the conversion of an existing historical building into an operational hotel. Working in groups, after reviewing layout plans and undertaking research and feasibility studies, we have to act as consultants and advise the building owner on the most appropriate operating company to contract with for hotel operations and to gain the most beneficial and sustainable return on investment.
According to a renowned architect, all projects are the result of the correct mix of creativity, functionality, originality, innovation and quality. The purpose of the assignment and the course in general is not only to teach us about project construction and development, but also to learn to coordinate and lead people with different ideas, to overcome difficulties, and to be proactive.