Client: Confidential
Location: Madinah, Saudi Arabia
Size: 360,000 gsf
Program: 300-key 4-star hotel, 50 branded condominiums, Ballroom + Conference Center
Cost: Confidential
Status: Active; Concept Design completed
Scope: Comprehensive Architectural Design Services

RAFT Project Team: R Anthony Fieldman, Christian Kotzamanis, Dimitri Papadopoulos, Maria Doutel

Image credit: © RAFT Architects







Set within the historic core of Madinah – bounded by the King Faisal Ring Road – the Kempinski Madinah is a hotel for Hajjis who have come to see Islam’s second holiest shrine, just two blocks away. The enormous Grand Madinah Mosque’s eight minarets dominate the district, and so the design of the hotel responds to its context by turning all of its windows toward the pilgrims’ destination – creating focused bay windowed views of the shrine.

Though the hotel’s materials are governed by strict local zoning codes, we reframe local historic typologies with the use of domestic limestone cladding that has been robotically milled to allow filtered daylight into the rooms; East-facing low-e glass with custom, integrated sunshading screens, a recessed ground-level loggia framed by piers rotated to maximize solar protection from punishing heat for pedestrians; and a latticed rooftop restaurant that affords unobstructed views of the nearby minarets. Finally, the hotel’s internal atrium uses heliostats to drive daylight to the three-level, tiered garden that houses the hotel’s amenity spaces: restaurant; shisha lounge; fitness center and check-in functions.