Courtyard by Marriott Madurai is a destination of modern spacious accommodations and plenty of thoughtful amenities, coupled with amazing views of downtown Madurai. When Sangu Chakra Hotels wished to convert their existing hotel property into a Courtyard By Marriott, the collective team of VK Thyagarajan and Associates, Noman Fatehi Architects and TID Interiors were hired to design the renovation of this mid-priced hotel for business and leisure travel. As the need for a lighting designer was realised early-on in the project, Lighting Research and Design was brought on board for designing an improved facility in terms of physical layout and services. By combining the Courtyard prototype with the existing assets and footprint, this seven-story hotel now proudly flies the Marriott flag. The property, located approximately 35 minutes from Madurai Airport (IXM), now welcomes guests with a fresh, upscale look using harmonious selections from the Marriott’s catalogue of brand-approved furniture, flooring, lighting and finishes.
Daylight plays a critical role in almost all of the spaces in the form of skylights and clerestory windows with appropriate shading devices for glare and temperature control. As it was essential to incorporate flexible and controlled lighting to supplement the daylight, recessed downlights are used considering their seamless sophistication, flexibility and beam distribution. Decorative lighting in the form of chandeliers, scones and pendants are used extensively to add character to the hotel’s modern decor. Challenges were to accurately, carefully and seamlessly layer accent, ambient, decorative and task lighting; while striking the right balance between aesthetics and energy efficiency. To effectively blend decorative and ambient light without losing sight of the hotel’s story, architecturally enhancing cove lighting discreetly illuminates most elements and spaces.
A distinct end-user experience is created right from the entrance and façade lighting, which enhances the architectural language of simple horizontal and vertical lines. Exterior-grade linear LED strips recessed within grooves of windowsills subtly highlight the horizontal bands of windows without spillage into the guest rooms or into the night-sky. Similarly, the vertical bands of niches are highlighted with exterior in-grade LED uplights. Maintaining the same level of drama and style – especially in a demanding space like the entrance canopy where reduced glare and high clarity is critical – ambient lighting is merged with more concealed cove lighting to ensure adequate task illumination.
A state-of-the-art double-height lobby welcomes guests through its architecture, design, and ambiance. The grandiose allure is maximised with ample daylight from a double-height skylight that creates an appropriate first impression to ultimately encourage repeat visits. A wood-finned ceiling that translates into shading devices for the clerestory windows provides an unmistakable character to the adjacent restaurant and coffee shop. Surface-mounted cylindrical downlights neatly mounted between the wooden fins serve the dual purpose of delivering task illumination without subtracting from the space’s aesthetics. Accent lighting through narrow-beam spots and backlighting highlight several architectural details throughout the hotel to add pizzazz and further reinforce the hotel’s branding.
Special treatment is provided to transition spaces such as corridors and lift lobbies, as these spaces lead guests to their rooms. Additionally, hotel staffs also spend a great deal of time in these spaces, so adjusting lighting levels to facilitate working efficiency and comfort was an important factor. Adjusted lighting in these spaces reduces the ‘tunnel effect’ and makes the route more inviting and safe for guests.
Finally, the lighting for the modern hotel room, which is no longer a space to sleep in with multiple functions such as eat, work, and relax, reflects the variety of uses and provides appropriate illumination to meet all those functions.
The Courtyard by Marriott Madurai underlines the fact that designed architectural lighting – daylight and electric light – forms the very backbone of superior hospitality design.
Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar
Client – Sangu Chakra Hotels
Architecture – VK Thyagarajan and Associates
Interior design – Noman Fatehi Architects + TID Interiors
Landscape Architecture – Master Plan Landscape Architects
Lighting design – Lighting Research & Design
Luminaire supply – Gojis Lifestyle + Kapoor Lampshades + K-Lite