The Top Five Most Innovative Design Hospitality Projects in the World

The innovative design in hospitality has always been synonymous with the UAE, with hotels such as the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah considered a global icon. With over 100,000 hotel rooms in the UAE and another 28,000 expected in the next year, visitors and residents are most definitely spoilt for choice.

Outbound travel is just as popular with approximately 3.5 million outbound trips from the UAE each year.Be inspired for your next adventure with these five innovative design hospitality options from across the globe. 

  • Silken Hotel Puerta America Madrid

Silken Hotel Puerta America Madrid’s rainbow-colored façade instantly attracts the eye and showcases a passion for art. This five-star hotel in the heart of the Spanish capital has eight room types across 12 floors, with each floor designed by a different architect. One such architect involved in the project was the late Zaha Hadid. Extremely futuristic, yet still understated, the rooms were described by Zaha Hadid Architects as, “a fluid space, a seamless experience; pushing the boundaries of spatial concepts”. The Presidential Suites were designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, and have been described as being closer to Heaven than Earth, in reference to the stunning panoramic views across Madrid. Other architects include Marc Newson, Norman Foster, David Chipperfield, Plasma Studio, and Ron Arad.

  • Tori Tori, Mexico City

Designed by RojkindArquitectos and Esrawe Studio, the Japanese restaurant, Tori Tori, in Mexico City is just as renowned for its design as for its cuisine. Transformed from a house in a residential area to a three-storey structure of futuristic design, the impressive white façade, made of two self-supporting layers of steel plates, represents ivy growing over the property.

Bringing the outdoors in, the theme of nature can be seen throughout the interior with each room combining greenery and contemporary design. Boasting large, open space dining areas typically seen in Japanese eateries, as well as numerous terraces, floating staircases, and a tea lounge with a vertical garden, the interior continues to inspire just as much as the exterior. In fact, the exterior and interior of Tori Tori go hand in hand, with the façade filtering light, creating shapely shadows, and altering views, adding to the artistic feel of the design.

  • Tshuggen Grand Hotel, Switzerland

Designed by Mario Botta, the Tshuggen Grand Hotel in Switzerland was inspired by the surrounding mountains of Graubunden. The design for the wellness hotel and spa was born out of the natural location of the site, a basin protected by stunning mountains on all sides. The majority of the development disappears into the earth, with only the ‘trees of light’ left standing tall. When covered in snow during the winter months, these abstract features become beacons of light, both natural light being let into the hotel and artificial light shining out. Inside, the terraced continuum is modular in its design, divided across four floors. The materials used include white granite and Canadian maple, with natural textures further bringing the idea of nature into the retreat.

  • Kakslauttanen Artic Resort, Finland

The designers of Kakslauttanen Artic Resort in Finland have taken inspiration from the surrounding snowy landscape and Northern Lights and created unique glass igloo accommodation, built for two or four guests. The resort design was planned by owner JussiEiramo, alongside architect RistoEräpohj, using many local Finnish interior design firms to complete the project.

The igloos have been positioned so they always have a view of the Northern Lights and Artic sky above, meaning the glass always needs to be clear of snow. To address this, the triple-glazed glass omits small amounts of heat, to stop the snow from settling on the window. This type of glass is also five times stronger than your usual window, and will not shatter if broken. In addition, the heat from the windows is instantly felt inside, making this an eco-friendly way of warming the whole igloo. The resort also houses Kelo-glass igloos, combining the glasswork of the normal igloo and the warm, cozy feel of a log cabin, and snow igloos made completely of snow, where inside temperatures peak at just minus three degrees.

  • The Farm, Dubai

An oasis amongst the rolling desert dunes, The Farm, Dubai located in Al Barari, is an eco-friendly concept with a restaurant and bakery, as well as yoga and cookery classes. Created by the team of EMKAAN acting as an architect of record, the structure was designed in a way that would allow for maximum space and seating within while bringing as much of the outdoors inside as possible. Al Barari, which means ‘wilderness’ in Arabic, was the perfect spot for such a haven, as 80% of the development is made up of green space.

During the cooler winter months, the outdoor wooden decked seating area provides the perfect view of the landscaped garden and flowing stream, while in summer the sides of the structure can be put up to create an air-conditioned oasis. The mix of wood and glass enhances the feel of nature, while the floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights let in as much natural light as possible.

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Giving Back To The Environment


Taking Care of and preserving the natural environment is the biggest challenge in this immensely populated planet. The natural resources are depleting, species are becoming endangered and natural beauty of the earth is fading. Now it’s the time to give back to the environment at an individual and corporate level to preserve the natural environment and resources.

As a UAE-based company, EMKAAN has a strong ‘giving’ philosophy at its core. Whether it’s offering a client a free consultation, including sustainable materials and practices into the design, or contributing to important causes, the team at Emkaan believe in giving back throughout the year.

Sustainable Community

Creating open and green spaces is only part of the promise to give back to nature. There are numerous sustainability initiatives that make all our architectural designs truly eco-friendly and sustainable. Various sustainable systems are used by our team to ensure the preservation of the environment. Strongly committed to reducing its carbon footprint, we have adopted several measures including shading, daylight harvesting, solar power, cross ventilation, smart control irrigation, radiant cooling, waste management, recycling and water treatment, as well as energy saving systems.

Initiatives to Conserve Power

At EMKAAN, conserving power is an integral part of the sustainable design and various systems have been put in place to ensure minimum consumption and wastage. To build in accordance with an Environmental and power saving objectives, our team use techniques like integrating LED and low wattage lamps and motion sensor activated lights to reduce power wastage. Apart from these measures, our architectural form and design maximises natural light and drastically reduces electrical lighting.

Composting and Recycling

Recycling is one of the best ways to preserve the natural environment. There are a number of wastes that can be recycled and reused. At EMKAAN we use the composting to develop a sustainable landscape. This compost acts as a soil conditioner and organic fertilizer and enhances healthy soil life. All of our landscape designs involve such green and eco-friendly techniques which not only ensure the sustainable development but also the environmental protection. Residents of societies and buildings are also equal partners in these sustainability measures and are encouraged to recycle through the underground waste system that separates organic from inorganic waste.

An example can be seen where EMKAAN was the architecture of choice for Al Barari, an environmentally-conscious community in Dubai with a focus on sustainability and living in harmony with nature. One of the most exclusive and eco-friendly developments in the UAE, Al Barari features 189 villas in The Residences, 27 bespoke luxury villas in The Reserve, a destination spa and wellness Heart & Soul, Body Language health club and signature award-winning restaurant, The Farm.

Literally meaning “wilderness”, the society has been envisaged as a lush desert oasis. Sixty percent of the development is composed of green spaces that surround the luxury villas. A low-density development, Al Barari is dotted with exotic themed gardens, naturally landscaped lakes, freshwater streams, cascades, and waterways. All these natural features make the development resemble a botanical garden rather than a residential community.

As the demand to preserve resources and natural environment increases, Emkaan remains steadfast in its mission to give back to society with its sustained efforts to make architecture designs greener and more ecologically efficient.