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14 November 2019
Shalini John

The Importance of Interior Modelling and Detailing for Hotels

Relaxation, entertainment, wining and dining, the hotel experience includes all of these and more. Customer experience, though, is driven by the ambience, the personality and the brand characteristics of the hotel, and one of the most effective methods of communicating these features is through thorough planning, the sort of planning that helps envisage interiors and the interior detailing of the hotel. The devil is, after all, in the details. It is crucial to accurately predict the what, where and how of interiors to achieve the most appropriate ambience. The emergence and popularity of BIM (Building Information Modelling) services, especially architectural BIM modelling, enables project stakeholders to view, assess, modify and perfect interior modelling and detailing to showcase their brand.

Imagining the interior of a hotel need not be a vague impression any longer. Using BIM services, an accurate 3D model of interiors can be created so that designers and hotel owners can view hotel interiors at any stage of its design. Some of the steps to creating a high-quality model include the following:

  • Measurement of Dimensions – Exact measurements must be provided for floor plans, elevations, sections, doors, arches, windows, etc. of the hotel interiors.
  • Plan of Floors – The unit of measurement is set in the preferred software and a sketch is created with correct measurements of hotel features.
  • Frame Creation – A frame is created of each hotel room, with floor, walls, doorways, windows, etc., including alignment, input of exact values, rotation, scale and other features for an empty interior model.
  • Placement of Furnishings – Hotel room furniture, accessories and other elements are placed in the model, where the furniture can be modelled with individual files and can be accessed or created in a library of furniture models
  • Texture Selection and Assignment – Textures for a variety of materials, for each feature in the hotel interior model, can be created through drawings, photographs or from a materials library and assigned to the corresponding room feature.
  • Lighting – Hotel room lights can be placed to see their effect on the interiors.
  • Visualisation – The process of architectural 3D rendering and other techniques can realistically show how the hotel interiors will appear from any side.
So, which parts of the hotel should ideally be modelled and how?
Front Office

The Front Office desk and staff create the first impression for guests. This area must be a creative introduction to the hotel’s theme, and this can be seen in its model.

Lobby

Furniture, colour, finishing details, lighting and accessories in the lobby must balance the ambience with its functions, which are both social, private or business related, needing different furniture and materials. Lobby size is determined by the hotel type and traffic circulation – large lobbies for resorts and convention hotels, small lobbies for budget hotels. Comfort and spaciousness are needed for easy movement. Placing bars, restaurants and retail counters in the lobby increases the feeling of spaciousness. Since the lobby represents the hotel’s image, its interior detailing is important for business interests.

Eateries

Rooftop restaurants, lobby restaurants, coffee shops, bars or specialty restaurants are integral to a hotel, and the moods they create can be planned through viewing interior models.

Corridor on Guest Floor

Corridors provide a transition from a public space to the private guest room. Typically, the width of guest floor corridors should be six feet, and an elevator foyer should be wider than the corridor and should include seating and a full-length mirror. The created model can also include a darker colour on the bottom of the corridor wall compared to the upper portion of the wall, as trolleys and luggage may collide and leave marks.

Guest Room

The luxuriousness, or lack thereof, determines the dimensions of a guest room. Most guest rooms feature twin beds, a dresser, a cupboard with drawers, an armchair with a cocktail table near the window, a closet and luggage stand, all of which can be modelled accurately.

Guest Bathroom

The combination of tub-shower, a toilet, a wash basin, a toiletries ledge and bright lighting can be effectively viewed in a model.

Service Space on Guest Floors

Storage rooms on each floor require enough space to store linens, cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaners, pails and room service carts, and these storage rooms must be placed near service elevators, all of which can be designed and viewed in an interior model.

Miscellaneous Areas

Elevators at the middle of a corridor, pool areas, changing rooms, banqueting facilities with portable, separating walls, loading/unloading docks at the back of the hotel, kitchens, plant rooms, laundry area, housekeeping areas, accounts and administrative offices are other hotel areas that can benefit from interior modelling so as to minimise congestion and bottlenecks in the running of the hotel.

In addition to the areas mentioned above, hotel areas and concepts that can benefit from viewing interior modelling include:

  • Spas and fitness facilities
  • Public spaces and rooms, which require more natural light
  • Boardrooms and meeting spaces
  • Disguising or placing fire prevention/fire protection devices that are easy to access and easy on the eye
  • Incorporating local natural materials for ‘green’ hotels

Key Considerations of Interior Detailing in Hotels

Colours: Create the Mood

Hotel rooms should offer relaxation, and interior modelling and detailing can show why soft pastel shades and rich jewel tones are preferred colours.

Focal Point: Create an Impression

A fireplace, an antique furniture item, a painting, sculpture or even interesting carpeting can become a room’s memorable focal point, linked to the hotel’s theme through style, scale and colour, all of which can be designed and viewed through interior modelling.

Scale and Proportions: Design Musts

Detailing is important to showcase the cohesion between room size, furniture and accessories. Adding small pillows to a large sofa makes it seem empty and less modern.

Unity: Harmony in Interiors

Similar colours and shades create unity. Materials used can reflect that harmony, and this detailing can be included in interior modelling.

Balance: Visual Weight Distribution

Cluttered guest rooms can be uncomfortable for guests, so interior design layouts should strive for relaxation through balance. Room elements with equal visual weight achieve balance, either symmetrical, asymmetrical or radial symmetry balance.

Interior modelling can be executed by using any number of different software solutions.

Top 5 Preferred Interior Design Software Tools
1. Autodesk Revit

Enables digital construction of buildings and models, with coordinated model-based process

Specifically created for BIM, Revit enables the quick development of plans, elevations and sections through architectural drafting and modelling

2. Autodesk 3ds Max

Simple functionality and easy to learn

Ideal tools for rendering, simulating and visualising interiors

3. Autodesk AutoCAD

Hyper-realistic details and high productivity tools

Detailed images of design plans

4. SketchUp

Has an online open source library of free model assemblies

Modelling complex surfaces and visualising complex 3D models can be challenging

5. Infurnia

Feature-rich interior design software

Can create detailed multi-storey floor plans in 2D and 3D, with customised furniture

Detail drawings and the use of BIM services to create interior models for hotels require a holistic approach. Different elements of the same space must seem to flow and connect with each other – colours, lighting, textures and furniture. The interior detailing will define the ‘class’ of the hotel, so the interior modelling and detail drawings must be both accurate and of high quality.

Though many options are available to provide this modelling, Revit 3D modelling is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Due to the technical knowhow and time constraints involved with training in-house personnel on new software solutions, many firms in Western countries are looking eastward to India for architectural BIM modelling services. Companies under Western management and with production centres in India are a smart choice for those looking for experienced and technically qualified staff to provide accurate hotel interior views with Revit 3D modelling and detailing of high quality, delivered on time and within budget. These offshore enterprises recognise how crucial interior modelling and detailing of hotels are for the hotel’s long-term benefits.