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Shared Inhabitation: The Spiral Hotel

Part 2 Project 2009
Liam Saunders
University of East London London UK
The project engages with the typology of the hotel and essentially its integration with a secondary function; a casino. Taking this principally private building type and combining it with a predominantly public building type to explore how conventions of public and private space can be challenged.

The design strategy for the building is based upon the idea of sharing space. Public and private elements are intertwined in a double helix like trajectory of solid form and the residual void. The 2 programmes exist together but remain separate whilst being visible in a voyeuristic play on public and private space. The private functions of hotel accommodation are located within the closed solid volumes whilst the public functions occupy the open void space.

Sited in Istanbul; a city of a complex cultural nature that actually shares its area out over 2 continents. A hotel casino in Tophane, an area of great social, economic and cultural importance that serves the people of Istanbul and the visitors that contribute to the thriving tourist industry. The idea of sharing space is applied to the urban scale to transform this largely inaccessible region into busy shopping streets, commercial buildings and civic areas.

Liam Saunders

Koolhaas in ‘The Generic City’ describes the hotel as the final typology of the generic city as within it provision is made for: living, working and leisure. His analysis is ideologically neutral but could be re-interpreted to propose a utopian hotel. If the hotel becomes a world within itself, the final typology, the possibility of public circulation must be developed from the purely functional.

Liam’s project intertwines the brief of a luxury hotel together with a public casino into an intricate spatial weave. Thus the efficiency driven lobby-lift-room circulation system is challenged. The public brief of the casino in his project doubles as circulation spiralling up thought the hotel. It acquires a more significant role and a strong social component. The process of moving through the hotel becomes an architectural experience in itself. New ways of allowing for greater public access to the public parts of the hotel and new methods for separating private spaces are use in his design.

Liam’s project aims to operate as projective urban structure that promote the production of new forms of urban life in Istanbul, challenging conventions of private and public urban space and contesting the ‘ground-building’ dichotomy.

Mr Robert Thum
Mr Jeffrey Turko
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