Wednesday 19 December 2018

GM Architects wins Egypt hotel revamp work

CAIRO, November 21, 2017

GM Architects, a Lebanese architecture and design firm specialising in the field of high-end tourism, notably in the creation of luxury hotels and resorts, said it has been awarded a contract by hospitality group Sofitel for the restoration of the renowned Winter Palace Hotel located in the city of Luxor, Egypt. 
Overlooking the river Nile and the Valley of the Kings, the hotel stands to represent the importance of colonial history, archaeological discoveries and cultural context of the location that was created in the 20th century. 
It has welcomed royalty, esteemed writers and a magnitude of journalists and explorers over the generations whom have all resided in the hotel and contributed to its current alluring and romantic ambiance.
The Winter Palace experience is an inspirational promenade through spaces and periods, travelling through pharaonic regality, colonial grandeur, Arabian elegance, Victorian romanticism, French glamour, and contemporary expression.”
Galal Mahmoud, founder of GM Architects, said Sofitel and Ekoth have chosen the company to lead the project of revamping and modernizing its prestigious hotel with new creative components that reflect and embody the historical and archeological roots of its location. The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, he added.
According to him, GM Architects has been chosen for the project because of its knowledge of the region and based on its previous work with Sofitel on projects in Tamuda Bay, Morocco and Beirut, Lebanon. 
"The aim of the project is to completely re-design the exterior landscaping, so as to link the lush hotel gardens, the most beautiful of upper Egypt with the languid and magnificient blue Nile. The new and improved hotel layout will encompass the vibrant colors of Nubia, Egypt and the French 19th century lifestyle that delights both the indoor and outdoor living spaces," he noted.
Whilst some areas keep to their historical roots and showcase elements of Egyptian history such as ancient maps and historical carpentry and textiles, new contemporary art by local artists will enrich the elegance and grandeur of the renewed Palace. 
Large luminous chandeliers will be hung in the renovated 1886 Restaurant and the Victoria Lounge to create an ambiance of sophistication and class, a signature of Sofitel, explained Mahmoud.
Once completed, all hotel rooms are to receive new interior designs and to be re-imagined with inspirations from the Palace’s history and surroundings. An all new water feature is to be installed gracing the front of the hotel which will link the Nile to the other water features of the hotel, the garden fountain and the outdoor pool, he added.
The historical axis running through the gallery of the hotel highlights the rich cultural history of Egypt and allow the guests to experience a historical journey through landmarks and periods of pharaonic regality, Arabian beauty and French glamour.
Once a small trading post and the spiritual center of Egypt, Luxor today remains one of the largest cities in the world. Surrounded by its famous architectural monuments such as the temples Luxor and Karnak, it brings thousands of admirers from around the world every year.
Over 100 years old, this hotel was built in 1907 by British explorers, with its iconic colonial design it has been home to many famous writers, artists and celebrities throughout the decades. 
Visited by kings, Egyptologists and writers such as Agatha Christie who wrote her worldwide celebrated novel ‘Death on the Nile’ whilst staying at the hotel, the location has attracted many renowned visitors to the area and continues to do so today.
It is also the place that archeologists used as their base when they made discoveries of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Two famous findings were the Valley of the Kings, as well as the now 4,000-year-old tomb of Tutankhamun discovered by Howard Carter in 1922 which received worldwide acclaim, bringing an abundance of tourists and journalists to the hotel where Carter would post his findings on a bulletin board attracting many writers and explorers.
Surrounded by an abundance of geographical inspirations such as the Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings, the re-design for The Winter Palace Hotel includes features and furnishings that reflect and represent some of the archeological sites that surround the hotel.
Galal Mahmound’s inspirations for the designs The Winter Palace originated from the cultural and colorful history of Luxor and the 4-mile-long river that runs through the country. 
With the Nile being such a vital aspect of the country’s landscape, many of Galal Mahmoud’s designs incorporate blue color schemes and the fluidity of the water.
The four pillars of Egypt’s history are Water, Agriculture, Trade and Spirituality.
The Nile resembles a lotus flower which for Egyptians is an ancient symbol for the regeneration of life, therefore by incorporating the Nile into the new design for the Palace, Mahmoud is emphasizing the spirituality that is so important to the Egyptian culture.
Having been a vital element in the lives of Egyptians, not only does the Nile provide food and transportation but it has made agriculture possible for cultivation and trading, the last two pillars which were the foundations of the Egyptian civilization. In addition, the soil is extremely fertile making it possible for a large variety of plants to grow on either side of the river, he noted.
Following this geographical landscape, part of GM Architect’s plan is to build new water features, one at the entrance to the hotel which will be a new large sculpture and the second to be the transformation of the outdoor pool. 
Both structures will be surrounded with large gardens and an abundance of flowers which will be proposed by landscape designers, he added.-TradeArabia News Service 

Tags: Lebanese | Luxor | revamp |

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