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Architectural Design in UK Hotel Industry

The UK’s Design Council mission is to motivate and facilitate the best use of design to make the UK a more competitive, creative and sustainable nation. It aspires to build the nation’s capacity to innovate and bring world class brands, products and services by supporting the use of design in business. It is in line with the above mission statement that the council encourages the hotel industry in UK to embrace and implement the new architectural design presented below.

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The UK is a party to the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity. This convention, plus the World’s Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) urges nations to pursue measures to taking care of the environment for future generations. The hotel industry has to pursue architectural design that is innovative and creative enough to capture the existing and future markets without compromising on sustainable development. A modern architectural design will add value to the hotel industry, and act to reverse downward market trends especially in the wake of the global recessions that have threatened the economies of many nations.

There have been demographic changes in the world. The UK has not been left behind; there has been an increase in both the population as well as the income levels of the citizens. The population provides a good market base for the hotel industry for customers as well as employees. The demographic changes have created a great need for the expansion of the hotel industry, marking an increase in the number of hotels in the industry. The UK hotel industry has been affected by the increase in the older consumers. This is an age bracket that is well endowed in terms of resources and hence a good target for the hotels. The change in the demographic variables such as service quality, perceived value, and image and customer satisfaction are a key determinant of the performance of customers in the industry. The same might translate to more customers and hence more profits (Hung, 2009). When a customer reacts positively, there is an assurance of nurtured loyalty which confers many benefits to the hotel. A positive image is enhanced by an architectural design that incorporates the aspect of customer satisfaction as well as sustainable development.

The forthcoming London Olympics in 2012 presents an opportunity for the hotel industry to reap maximum proceeds from millions of visitors, who will flock not only the hosting city of London but the entire UK (Blake, 2005, 12). The expected economic benefit for UK and London amounts to about 1,067 million pounds, with the largest beneficiary being the hotel industry (Blake, 2005). Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive program to build new hotels and expand existing ones using the new architectural designs. The ageing populations in the UK and fashion change are social changes, which are creating an impact in the hotel industry in UK. People want to go into an ultra modern hotel which offers high quality services and world class facilities. The UK society exhibits a low tolerance to an uneven distribution of power between the gender divide. This has resulted in a near none existence of trade organizations in the hotel industry. The hotels can run smoothly without the fear of industrial unrests (Nord 2006, 37).

Technological revolution provides an array of opportunities to the hotel industry. New forms of technological innovations are the key to the implementation of new architectural design in UK hotel industry. An architectural design will help the hotels to develop interior designs that will give them a niche over the rest in the competitive industry. This is driven by the new trend in the behavior of people. Many people in UK depend more on meals in restaurants than in homes. There is therefore the need for a design that will meet the expectations of the customers. (Schwartz, n.d. 5, 6). There is a new architectural design that is gaining popularity in the hotel industry, the theatrical design of hotels. The brains behind the idea were Ian Schrager who regarded the hotel as a theatre where customers can enjoy the attitude, glamour and exclusivity offered by the ‘boutique hotels’. The success story of this design is on record for having spread from New York to London with profit margins of between 35-45% (Adner, 16)

Globalization is a phenomenon that has brought its tremendous impact on the hotel industry. It has resulted in the countries opening their economies to usher in an open market economy. This means there are now amazing business opportunities that need to be tapped. However, on the other hand, it has brought in the aspect of a highly complex and competitive battleground (Roll, 2011). There are hotels from the Asian economic giants such as Singapore and United Arab Emirates that offers equal competition to UK hotels. In order to maintain a competitive edge over other external players, the hotel industry has to put in place innovative architectural designs that will brand them as strong players in the global hotel industry. They need to put into consideration their cultural differences and the ensuing consumption patterns. There is a need to turn the cultural challenge into a business opportunity. In such case, hotels learn from the many very best players in the industry to come up with a unique brand that reflects the preferences of the customers (Roll, 2011). For instance, Roger Myers has invested in hotel industry in St Louis where he has put up an ultra modern hotel named Tides Sugar Beach. The architect hired, Lane Pettigrew designed a hotel with a small village where the locals can set up their own shops selling Caribbean produce.

As discussed earlier, sustainable development and social-corporate-responsibility are the keys for consideration when developing a brand in the hotel industry. The various stakeholders are interested in seeing the conscious ones to the environment. The main aspect involves the use of renewable energies such as solar power. When coming up architectural designs, it is advisable to put up hotels that can tap into the solar energy, on the rooftops and on the glass walls. Some hotels around the world are embracing this with others like Kempiansiki in Budapest using their own geo-thermal energy. Such a technological innovation enabled the hotel to cut on cost of ebnerg to a significant level. It has also created a positive image of the hotel as sensitive to the environment hence prospects of more customers. Why should we be left behind? There is a calling for recycling the waste water for social and environmental reasons (Nord, 2006, 18). Such measures will enable hotels in the industry to reduce the impact on the environment, on top of saving money. A good example is Rezidor Hotel Group which through its program Responsible Business has focused more on the social, environmental and economic performance in all of the hotel’s operations (Nord, Teresa, 2006. 17).

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The aspect of green building is an aspect of architecture design. It involves energy resource saving strategies such as reflective roofing, solar technology, low E-window for natural lighting, and efficient plumbing and electrical systems. A good architectural design is able to reduce by a tenth the amount of water used in a hotel this is made possible through the use of low water capacity toilets, flow restrictions at shower heads and faucet aerators. The new architectural design of building green has more radical approaches of saving water. They include diverting waste water into flower beds, harvesting rain water and landscaping with drought resistant plants to save on water (Hart, 1). The aspect of green building cut down on costs on top of saving our precious environment.

A good architectural design lays much emphasis on energy conservation. As discussed earlier, there are hotels which are heated by solar. Such hotels are designed in such a way that the energy provided is just enough for absorption into the room to keep the temperatures constant even in the absence of sunlight. This is a genius way of saving on electricity. To complete this design, there is the aspect of a balancing of the temperatures such that the rooms are warm when required to be and cool when needed to be.

A god design is a timeless concept which is best represented by a final object that is constructed in a standard way. It is an architectural design that works efficiently for its purpose transcending its forms and functions. Fuelled by the growing concern for the environment, a modern architectural design should be economical, simple and sensible. This is the main reason behind the move by architects to lay emphasis on durability, reusability and practicability of designs they develop. The council would like to urge all players in the hotel industry in UK to join hands in embracing new technology and ideas especially in architectural designs. This will make UK not just competitive in an open market full of many opportunities, but equally strong competition.


Adner,R. n.d. Lifestyle of the Rich and Almost Famous: The Boutique Hotel Phenomenon in the United States.

Blake, A. 2005. The Economic Impact of the London 2012 Olympics. Nottingham: Nottingham University.12.

Hung, C.W. 2009. An Empirical Study of Behavioral Intentions in the Taiwan Hotel Industry. Thesis. Lincoln University.

Hart, K. Thirteen Principle of Sustainable Architecture. Web. 2011.

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Nord, T. 2006. Corporate Social Responsibility in the Hotel Industry- A Cross Cultural Perspective. Thesis. Stockholm University.17,18,37.

Roll, M. 2011. ‘Cross Cultural Branding’. Venture Republic. Web.

Schwartz, M. n.d. Impact of IT on Hotel Industry and Hilton Corporation. 2011. Web.

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