Hesperia Hotel & Conference Centre
Construction of the Hesperia Hotel and Conference Centre was divided into four distinct phases.
In the first phase, a two-storey, in situ concrete basement ‘box’ was constructed. This included a naturally-ventilated car park, support facilities (including a kitchen), and an auditorium.
The second phase focused on the construction of an eight-storey, concrete-covered steel frame structure, ‘straddling’ the basement area. This structure is supported by four piles, each of which is forty metres long and 2.5 metres in diameter, and has exposed painted steelwork bracing. The external structure provides a series of double-height, column-free internal spaces, in which steel mezzanines are suspended. The building’s major plant is located on the eighth storey. This level provides a structural transition zone, which externalises the load of the internal structure.
In the final construction phase, the tower was topped by a ‘pod’ which houses a restaurant. The steel and glass roof of the restaurant was entirely constructed on the ground by Belapart, a local company, and then lifted into position. The glazed atrium was constructed by the same company. This atrium is supported on compression struts which radiate from three nodes. The nodes are held in place using high-tension cables.
Extensive studies including a full shading analysis were carried out in order to create optimum environmental conditions for all of the internal spaces, in particular the extensively glazed atrium and the roof top restaurant.
The separation of the major architectural components lends legibility to the scheme at the macro and micro scale.
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