W Hotels Starwood, W Santa Fe Mexico City, W Retreat Kanai Mexico
W Hotels Mexico : Mexico City + Kanai
W Hotels for Starwood – W Santa Fe in Mexico City + W Retreat Kanai
5 Apr 2011
W Hotels for Starwood in Mexico
RICHARD MEIER DESIGNING TWO W HOTELS FOR STARWOOD
Meier enters Latin American Hospitality Industry
New York, NY – April 01, 2011 _ Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier has designed two new W Hotels for Starwood in Mexico. The W Santa Fe in Mexico City and the W Retreat Kanai on the Riviera Maya are scheduled to open in 2013 and 2014 respectively. One urban, one Eden, they are both owned by co developers ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos of Mexico. It is the first collaboration for Meier and Starwood, and Meier’s first official foray into the world of hospitality in Latin-America. Migdal Arquitectos are helping to execute these detail-driven projects at the local level.
W Retreat Kanai:
Kanai Retreat – renderings : Vize.com
“I believe these two modern structures, each with their own sense of space and identity, will be a welcome addition to the beautiful modern architecture being built in Mexico today. As our first foray into hospitality in Central America, we couldn’t be working with a better company or brand,” said Richard Meier. “While I have designed hotel interiors and currently have two hotels in construction in China and Italy, I have never designed one from the ground up in Latin America, and I am grateful to our clients ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos and to the hotel operator Starwood for coming to us with this opportunity. I have always been impressed with W Hotels for their creative and contemporary approach to design, which I feel will be complimentary with our modern, contextual and timeless architecture.”
W Retreat Kanai – Mexican Resort
W Retreat Kanai is the centerpiece of the Kanai Resort which includes four hotels and a Beach Club. Kanai is located on a natural reserve in Mexico’s magnificent Yucatan coast line. The 180-room hotel is spread out over 183 hectare of lush mangroves and pristine beaches. It has unparalleled accommodations, state of the art leisure, spa and fitness facilities, two restaurants and three bars. The dramatic forms of the architecture are incised into the site and the hotel floats on a carpet of mangroves against the infinite horizon of sea and sky. Building and landscape flow into one another, as meandering gardens and courtyards, sinuous pools and waterworks intersect with brilliant terraces and foot paths that seamlessly connect indoor and outdoor spaces.
W Retreat Kanai:
Kanai Retreat – rendering : Vize.com ; elevations courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Guest rooms have unobstructed views toward the sea and have been developed as continuous living areas, with the interior space continuing to an exterior deck furnished with lounge seating, cocktail bar, exterior tub and shower. The decks are enclosed by retractable privacy screens and sun shading louvers. The hotel interiors are being designed by the New York based firm Meyer Davis Studio.
Abraham Metta and Fredy Helfon, the developers who are also trained architects said:
“As architects we have always admired Richard Meier’s architecture above any others and always hoped for an opportunity to invite him to participate in a project worthy of his art. With beautiful sites and a great program for both projects, we felt these were up to his reputation and with great honor he accepted to participate in both.
We are sure Liberty Plaza, a Mixed Use Development in the city’s newest financial district of Mexico City will be an icon with two corporate office buildings and the best hotel brand we could ever had for the area: a Starwood’s W. With Richard’s clean and modern style, this will be a sure success”
In regards to the W Retreat Kanai Riviera Maya project, Mr. Metta and Mr. Helfon added:
“Having a breathtaking 135 acre site with a beautiful seafront of more than a mile and only four hotel sites for roughly 600 rooms required the best firms both in resort architecture as well as Hotel operators. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which we did not want to waste. We were very careful to select Park Hyatt, St. Regis and Auberge Resorts and the design teams with different proposals. But the one that really stands out for its presence and strong concept is the W Retreat by Richard Meier which is unlike anything we have seen for a Resort before. Elegant and sensible, it is beautifully integrated with the privileged nature of the site. We are very excited with the W-Meier combination, and very confident we made right choices”
Riviera Maya, Mexico
The Kanai Retreat is located on Mexico’s magnificent Yucatan coast line, comprised of lush mangroves and pristine beaches. W Retreat Kanai is the centerpiece of the Kanai Resort which includes four hotels and a Beach Club. The 180-room hotel has unparalleled accommodations, state of the art leisure, spa and fitness facilities, two restaurants and three bars. The Beach Club services the entire resort as well as future residential housing units along two surrounding golf courses.
A natural preservation order limits the development of the 183 hectare site to 3.8 hectares of buildable land and landscaping. Elevated above the flood plane, the hotel floats on a carpet of mangroves. The dramatic forms of the architecture are incised into the site against the infinite horizon of sea, sky, and landscape, juxtaposed by a playful merging of levels and floating planes that seamlessly connect indoor and outdoor spaces. Building and landscape flow into one another, as meandering gardens and courtyards, sinuous pools and waterworks intersect with terraces and foot paths. Guest amenities are dispersed throughout the site as destinations within a framework of platonic geometries. This playful network of interconnected pathways and outdoor areas links the main building to the seashore.
The strong T-shape geometry of the main hotel building surrounds the main pool, maximizing daylight with its south-west orientation and engaging the spectacular views. The arrival is from the north-west, leading to a porte-cochere, flanked by the sculptural conference center. The north facade contains vertical circulation and service areas. This façade is divided into three distinct planes penetrated by viewing platforms overlooking the mangrove landscape. A perforated screen wall at the entrance is landscaped as a green wall and punctured by a vestibule to mark the main hotel entrance.
The public spaces are located in the center of the main building. The double height Living Room, envisioned as a raised platform, and the 3-Meal Restaurant are open to a generous deck, extending toward the central pool area. Located perpendicular to the sea the double-loaded south wing is augmented by an angled-room layout with panoramic views toward the beach. Extending east-west, the main bar is single-loaded and is designed as a lush courtyard and tranquil sanctuary.
Set back superimposed stories provide generous terrace spaces for the individual guest rooms with unobstructed views toward the sea. The guest rooms have been developed as continuous living areas, with the interior space continuing to an exterior deck furnished with lounge seating, cocktail bar, exterior tub and shower. The decks are enclosed by retractable privacy screens and sun shading louvers.
Elevated service paths link the destinations (Beach Club, Spa, Specialty Restaurant, Night Club and Secret Bar) to the hotel golf-cart drop-off areas as well as to back of house underground parking and loading areas on the basement level.
The entrance of the Beach Club along the curvilinear wall reveals the view toward the ocean. Comprised as two distinct volumes the east wing contains the double height restaurant and the west wing provides administration, support spaces and a game room on the ground floor and locker rooms and gym on the second floor. The curved deck that extends to the dunes is a lively gathering area for the pool and the restaurant. The second floor bridge connects the terraces and gardens of the two wings.
The Spa is a discrete modern three-story building nestled between the mangroves. The cantilevered third floor floats above the entry court that leads to a three story high glass enclosed foyer. The horizontal louver system wraps uniformly around the introverted building and is occasionally peeled back to expose the glass enclosure from particular vantage points. The Gym, the Kids Club and Hair Salon are located on the first floor and the locker and support spaces on the second floor. On the third floor the foyer culminates in a sky lit, light-flooded space that opens onto the public spa areas.
The Specialty Restaurant is a one story building located by the ocean pool bordering onto the beach. The striking roof silhouette is inspired by nautical themes and emulates the hoisted sail of boats on the ocean.
The Night Club is a whimsical adult playground. This semi-enclosed multipurpose space allows for daytime game activities and nighttime entertainment. The undulating curvilinear enclosure contains a circular bar at the center and intimate lounge seating nested into the curved wall recesses.
The Secret Bar is located to the east amidst the dense mangrove. There is a sense of surprise, exclusivity and intimacy as one descends the stair down to this semi-submerged vault.
The architectural material palette, responsive to the southern climate, includes stucco walls, natural stone, pre-cast concrete, concrete paving and wood that complement the dramatic interplay of stark architectural forms, light and shadow.The dynamic interweaving of nature, landscape and architecture embodies the spirit of W Hotels and the energy of the international clientele that allows for a unique experience unlike any other resort of Riviera Maya.
Kanai Retreat exterior renderings: Vize.com
Kanai Retreat interior rendering: MeyerDavis Studio
Kanai and Liberty Plaza courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
About ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos
Alhel is a real estate group with more than 40 years of experience, leader in the industry due to its high quality standards, as well as innovative and outstanding passion. Dedicated to the development, construction, commercialization and administration of real estate, Alhel offers first-class products conceived and built with the highest quality, based on a solid and integral structure planned to exceed clients’ needs.
GIM Desarrollos is formed by a group of companies engaged in the conception, design, planning, execution and marketing of all types of real estate developments. Founded in the mid 70’s, this family group builds and operates office buildings, shopping malls, residential, affordable housing units, tourist developments and industrial parks, all based on a coherent and innovative business philosophy offering quality products and services that generate value to clients.
About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 41 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment.
W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts and signature spas. With more than 12 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012. W Hotels and W Retreats have been announced for Paris, St. Petersburg, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, and Verbier, among other international destinations.
W Hotels for Starwood in Mexico images / information from Richard Meier & Partners
Liberty Plaza, Mexico
Richard Meier & Partners Architects
courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Location: Riviera Maya, México, North America
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