Dallas—Interior architectural design firm Wilson Associates announced their participation in the Jabal Omar Development Company’s (JODC) most recent development in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The design firm has been selected to design 19 of the 26 hotels in the project that is part of Makkah Development Authority’s plan to develop Makkah’s central region by 2020. “After 39 years in the business, we are thrilled to be selected as the designers of this prestigious and spiritual development,” said Trisha Wilson, Founder and CEO of Wilson Associates. “As a firm we have designed and installed over a million guestrooms and we are honored to be selected to design over 10,500 rooms simultaneously for one client.”
Allowed only 12 minutes to make the original pitch for the business of all 19 hotels, Wilson Associates succeeded in communicating their design goals and expertise. Design based on cultural and historic traditions of the past with a contemporary refinement is their focus, while capturing the spirit of the place is Wilson’s core design philosophy. “We don’t have one look, we design for the client and for the market, incorporating the culture, traditions and topography of the project’s location,” says Wilson. “Here in Makkah, our design focus is to create a balance between contemporary elegance and strong architectural elements punctuated with luxurious finishes.”
Makkah, the center of the Islamic World and birthplace of both Prophet Muhammad and the religion he founded, is a center for religious teaching and welcomes over 65,000 pilgrims at the Grand Central mosque daily. The scope of Wilson Associates project, over the 2 million sq. meter area, includes 25 towers (ranging from 20-48 stories), 17 grand lobbies and 40 food & beverage outlets, each offering views of Makkah and surrounding holy sites. Hotel brands confirmed to date include the Conrad, Westin, Marriott, Hyatt and Sheraton, among others.
Each hotel location will be connected by a vehicular ring road for easy check in and out accessibility. The complex will also be served via separate grand pedestrian walkways connecting all the hotels. Wilson Associates is working closely with many contributing professionals, including project management company, Abnia Consulting Engineers; hospitality consultant, Equinox Hospitality Group; architecture firms, Dar Al Handasah and OGER International; purchasing agent, Benjamin West and construction development companies, Saudi Binladin and Saudi OGER.
“There are few hospitality design firms worldwide with the depth of design talent and technical and production resources to handle such a huge creative challenge for a fast track development,” said Michael Linczyc, Wilson Associates’ Principal in charge and Corporate Director of Development. “Each of the 19 hotels and nearly 3 dozen restaurants has a unique and original interior design presentation,” added Linczyc.
“It’s a testament to our company culture of collaboration and client service.”
20 years in the making, JODC is proud to steer this project through to its current state. It took a team to literally “move mountains” in the redevelopment of the site which included rock cutting, demolition and construction of roads, 4 bridges, tunnels and water, sanitation, electricity and communication networks. The development is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2011.