Best Western Premier Astana

Functional Reuse a Key Part of Sustainable Design

Functional Reuse a Key Part of Sustainable Design

This key challenge on this 4-star hotel project was finding a creative solution on how to re-use the existing concrete frame structure of a partially built business park in Astana into a new function. The client asked AD-Studio to study how the four structures could be combined into one hotel – at the same time trying to retain elements of the original building permit. This way the change could be permitted in a fast-track fashion – and still meet schedule commitments made to the city. The significance of trying to make the schedule was not only derived from the commercial interests but also driven from the sensitive location of the project – it neighbored both the US Embassy and was close to the Hazrat Sultan Mosque – making an abandoned construction site there highly sensitive. For the AD-Studio team the project was an exciting challenge. Reusing an existing structure for a new use was not only going to test our abilities as hotel planners – but also was fully in line with our search for sustainability in the built environment.

Achieving Functional Unity out of Fragmented Form

The first task was to join the four buildings which was easily achieved with a new central atrium. The new atrium would be the heart of the hotel and would function like a traditional village square and meeting place. The brief also requested a number of different food outlets, a cigar bar and several additional lounges – all of which would enhance the village square concept.

From this heart you could then walk to the vertical circulation cores in each bedroom structure to access your guestroom. Conceptually it was clean but the hotel back of house functions could not work with such simplicity. A complex system of corridors hidden from the guests ensured the hotel staff could operate behind the scenes ‘invisibly’. Following the initial studies and having a solid knowledge of how hotels operate we were able to tweak the standard operating diagram of a hotel to make it work in our situation. Recognizing which aspects of the operations have some flexibility within them and which don’t, we were able to plan the back of house in a fashion that made the project operationally functional. After analyzing a number of operating scenarios it was clear a hotel was feasible within the constraints it presented

Efficiency out of Diversity

With regard to project efficiency – we faced another challenge in the bedroom component. The four office structures were not designed efficiently for guestroom planning and the desired level of repetition. Help came from Best Western – who were insisting that the hotel needed to be their Premier product which offered extended stay rooms as well as a number of distinct accommodation types. This was an opportunity and allowed for a lower degree of room repetition than would normally be sought than in a well-planned new build hotel. However, given the higher forecast room rates – this balanced the inherent planning inefficiencies resulting from the fact that host building was designed for office space rather tha as a hotel.

Latest News Story