Briefing: A sense of place and community

Author: Guy Lean

How to create effective social spaces is a question posed by many designers of parks, universities, and more recently offices. ABX, a leading building industry event in America is even holding a competition this year to create an innovative design for a social space.

A hotel is a unique kind of space, it overlaps public and private, home, work and leisure. As our experts discuss in the videos below, community elements have become very important to a hotel’s design and sense of place:

An article by suggests that three key elements of a ‘Good Space’ are that the physical space should encourages social activity, there should be a mix of public and private, and there should be mixed uses for the space. These are all things a well-designed hotel can achieve. It should make both business and leisure travellers feel comfortable and ideally be a space that even those who aren’t staying in the hotel would want to enter, when this mix of guests begin to interact, your social space is successful.

Social space is becoming increasing important also in offices to encourage well-being, as discussed in this bizjournals article earlier this year.

This Guardian article discusses how in university spaces, comfort and usability of a space can sometime be compromised in order to create a unique look. This is also very relevant to hotel design, innovation and creativity should always serve a purpose, and the ultimate goal should always be make a better experience for the guest.

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Video clips produced by for the Hospitality Channel, including interview from industry conferences such as the IHIF conference as well as specific Hospitality Channel shoots.