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Qatar Sheraton Doha Hotel starts a new life
Overlooking the West Bay of Qatar's capital city and the clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, the 5-star Sheraton Doha Hotel and Resort, also known as the Pyramid of the Gulf owing to its distinctive three-faced pyramidal outline, has recently been restored to its former glory. An iconic landmark in Doha for more than 30 years, the structure has been revamped by a complete renovation plan aimed at preserving the hotel’s original architecture and design, while upgrading its operational and technology systems to meet the needs of today’s business and leisure travellers. According to an accurate research and recovery plan, every single detail of the hotel looks now new but substantially unchanged, romantically retrieving the unforgettable atmosphere of the early ‘80s.
Close to the Qatar Exhibition Center, the Arabian-themed hotel hosts nine restaurants, bars and lounges and is a preferred venue for high-level meetings, weddings and happenings with its 371 rooms including 64 luxury suites, 26 halls and conference spaces with a total capacity of up to 5,000 persons. This family-friendly, oasis-like urban resort provides a perfect mix of facilities, including one of the finest recreation centres in the city, the Sheraton Fitness Center. An exterior swimming pool, indoor and outdoor multi-purpose courts for tennis, squash, badminton, along with extensive landscaped gardens and a well-equipped private beach, leave no space for boredom.
The renovation of the first 5-star Middle East's hotel has been completed in the record time of seven months in order to allow the re-opening of the structure at the very beginning of December 2014 in due time to host the 35th Summit of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The mission of achieving the biggest and quickest renovation process in Qatar and the Gulf at large has been successfully accomplished owing to the ability and professionalism of all the engineering, planning and working teams taking part in this process.
The general upgrade has also involved the exterior lighting design of the hotel that should bring a new nocturnal life to further emphasise Doha’s waterfront skyline. Owing to the utmost urgent delivery and installation schedule, the illumination of the Sheraton was a tricky task that couldn’t be simplified by on-site mock-ups that could reveal in advance the final effect. Moreover, the shape of the hotel was a challenge by itself. Placed on top of the tree-faced pyramid that builds the hotel core structure, a reverse pyramidal section, decentralised to the main axis, protrudes from two sides of the hotel body, building the unmistakable profile of the Sheraton Doha. A huge side arm artistically links both pieces of architecture, while technically supporting the upper part of the structure. The close Al Majlis Congress Center, a secondary lower building with a four-sided pyramidal section, needed a coordinate lighting scheme. Its smooth, concrete surface resulted quite difficult to be evenly lit up as the lighting fixtures could be installed only at a very short distance (maximum 4m).
The lighting requirements foresaw the enhancement of the upper part of the hotel and of the side arm from different levels, with the absolute must not to disturb or annoy in any way the hotel guests when in their rooms. For both structures, an even colour distribution was also required along with pre-selected colour changing scenes.
In order to achieve the best-lit effect, selected LED fixtures with different optics have been installed at the hotel, following a scheme divided into three lighting areas:
- Main façade;
- Waterfront - side A;
- Waterfront - side B.
The main façade of the hotel has been equipped with 12 POWERSHINE MK2 D RGBW with narrow and wide optics installed on the mezzanine floor with the purpose to wall wash the side arm of the building. The waterfront – side A has been fitted with nine POWERSHINE MK2 D RGBW with narrow optics installed on high poles in order to light up the front part of the reverse pyramid section crowning the hotel. Antiglare shields have been installed on selected fixtures in order to avoid glaring effects. The waterfront – side B, as well as the lower part of the hotel terrace, has been enhanced by 43 ZAPHIR RGBW with wide and medium optics installed right onto the cornice of the roof. To complete the design, four GLOBE 7000 MK2, the CYM single beam colour changer searchlight that tops Griven’s catalogue, have been located on the roof of the hotel to sweep with their powerful rays the sky of Doha at night. According to different occasions or needs, abstract patterns and various images can be projected on the front side of the concrete arm of the hotel with the help of powerful image projectors, such as GOBOSTORM PLUS MK2 and ZENITH.
The even colour distribution on the walls of the close Al Majlis Congress Center has been achieved by using an impressive array of 89 POWERSHINE MK2 D RGBW units with narrow, medium and wide optics. They have been positioned all around the pyramidal section building, at a very close distance from the walls owing to the lack of space, and with different aiming in order to reach the required effect. The double cluster configuration of this powerful fixture enable, beside an independent control, a different optics and a different pointing.
ll the LED fixtures of this installation are managed by a wireless DMX system directly from the control room. The DMX signal starts from the control room located on the ground floor of the hotel and is transmitted to the DMX receivers installed on the mezzanine, managing a total of more than five DMX universes. Three repeaters are located on a half-way building in order to connect the fixtures of the Majlis Congress Center to the central wireless system. Signals amplifiers are used to allow the best DMX signal diffusion. Moreover, the user-friendly programming system is endowed with an array of different dynamic colour scenes that can be automatically or manually alternated according to festivities, occasions or daily settings.
Project manager Eng. Ammar Jano says: “This was surely the most challenging project I had to face in 2014 from every point of view, especially in consideration of the top urgent completion schedule and of the peculiar architectural design of the Sheraton, unique in shape and dimensions. In our preliminary studies, we had to overcome many difficulties regarding for instance the location of the fixtures, which should be very effective while preserving the outer beauty and functionality of the hotel and in spite of the harsh weather conditions and environmental obstructions of the site. My top priority was to carefully follow every single phase of the installation and, owing to the professional cooperation that I received from all the staff, I can state that we managed to overcome all the obstacles, reaching a result which is undoubtedly satisfying for all the parties involved in this huge project.”
2nd February 2015
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