Form and function

In honour of this month's Hotel Show in Dubai, we decided to dedicate this issue of Commercial Outdoor Design to exploring the role of outdoor design in the hospitality arena.

COMMENT, Design
COMMENT, Design

In honour of this month's Hotel Show in Dubai, we decided to dedicate this issue of Commercial Outdoor Design to exploring the role of outdoor design in the hospitality arena.

In addition to our interview with John Galloway of 40North, a specialist firm in resort planning and hospitality design, our guest columnist this month, Geoff Sanderson, principal of Green Concepts, examines the do's and don'ts of hotel landscaping.

Meanwhile, we take a look at the part outdoor design plays in creating unique and innovative spa spaces.

These articles prove one particular point: the importance of function in design.

Design is often judged at face value. An impressive landscape or building will receive pages of press coverage and a flurry of compliments; its less attractive counterpart will be as frequently noticed but not for the right reasons.

As any designer knows, however, good design goes beyond what meets the eye and covers a range of different criteria. Can people get in and out of the building or space easily? Does it gel with surrounding areas? Does it become a place in its own right? In short, does the design work?

A successful design is often not the one with whistles and bells, but the one that is simple, effective and that works. This was evident in the transformation of Leicester Square, a treasured outdoor space in London, and our international case study this month.

"If you have clean, uncluttered, well designed spaces, then people want to come and visit," stated the client on the case.

In a region where design has almost lost sight of simplicity in its constant chasing of superlatives, perhaps a return to basics would not be a bad move.

Michele Howe is the deputy editor of Commercial Outdoor Design.
RELATED LINKS: Revamping Leicester Square, Understanding the hotel landscape, Form and function, Standing tall

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