The design proposes the addition to the Avari Hotel in Lahore, Pakistan of approximately 200 rooms, a business center, ballroom, conference rooms, fitness center, two restaurants (one with a stage for performances), bar/café, retail space, a separate lobby, and supporting back-of-the-house services. The client requires that the space cater to both Pakistani and foreigner visitors. The hotel, with its proposed business facilities, restaurants, event spaces, and entertainment, is also intended for a local clientele.
The design, while addressing the client’s needs, is also an exploration of the theories of the hotel’s original architect, Alexis Josic, who was a member of Candilis-Josic-Woods, an influential and highly productive Paris-based architectural partnership in the 1950s and 60s. The partnership developed theories as to the flexibility of architectural spaces and the potential of buildings and cities to grow and be altered over time. The proposed design draws from these theories in developing a design strategy to address the current needs of the hotel.
The Avari Lahore Hotel has felt the brunt of regional economic uncertainty and instability; tourism can no longer singularly define the client’s hotel. ACHA’s proposal diversifies revenue-generating services with the addition of non-hotel specific facilities. These include a street-accessed shopping wing, business and meeting rooms, fitness center, and expanded banquet and ballroom spaces. The flexibility of ACHA’s design allows for offices and private apartments to occupy proposed guest rooms, thus providing an alternate revenue source.
Furthermore, the division of the hotel extension into upper and lower blocks allows for the construction to occur in two phases – the first for the lower portion of non-hotel specific functions and the second for the guest rooms in the section above. These separate construction periods might also permit benefits in obtaining financing for the second phase (based in part on increased revenue from the non-hotel services). In this way, the hotel maintains its historic position as a leading first-class hotel while securing its viability in the current economic and political climate.