Sriram Palakad: Hospitality design, post Covid-19


Sriram Palakad, principal designer – Resorts & Destinations, KGD – A Katerra Design Partner, shares his insights on how hospitality spaces are going to see a drastic change in the post Covid-19 landscape

The intent of Hospitality Design is to elevate spaces with a distinct style and ambience in mind, while also elevating a space’s functionality for financial gain. When it comes to Hospitality Design Adaptation and Client-Relations comes first, Business later!
A seasoned Hospitality-Designer is well aware as to how to strike a balance between high-end luxury and
optimal functionality, to create spaces that both business owners and customers/guest would love and soak
in them. This is utmost important for businesses looking to make a great first and lasting impression such as in Hotel /Resort Design, where this balance plays a prominent role in customer experience.
In Hospitality Design , adaptation is the key! Be it good or rough times! We as Hospitality Designers are putting more efforts now to recognize, simulate, new patterns of spatial and human behaviour included, that will be incorporated into designing Hotels/Resorts post-Covid 19.

Two aspects, primarily and importantly would affect the Hospitality Industry, at this juncture and context.

1. The Behavioural-Pattern of the Guest/Customer

1a – One thing that would remain etched in a guest/customer’s mind upon entering the hotel/resort premises
is how many surfaces and surface-area they would be prone to touch and how often, during the tenure
of their stay! A substantial amount of behavioural-pattern of the guests/customers, will determine
Design-Trends that will take birth from now on.

1b – Hereon, all the entities and spaces will be designed with as-less-possible-human-contact, and will make
guest-experience-spaces through more of visual sense. A paradigm shift towards disinfection will be seen as the new-normal , same time allowing guests/customers and staff into the buildings to experience the spaces in equal visual delight without any dilution whatsoever.

1c – Minimal maintenance hotel/resort-properties, touch-free interaction and technology-based sanitization will be crucial and needs to be embraced upon herewith. For instance, sensor-based lighting in common areas, sensor-taps and gesture-controlled flushing in washrooms, will be in trend.
In short, Automation will have to be embraced into the designs now on, as peripherals, Automation in
customer data handling, guidance and moving around, Automated Entry Systems be it into common areas or
the rooms, Automatic guidance through the premises, Automatic screening, Automatic lighting systems,
Automatic dispensing, will see the light of the day. Automation to avoid human contact with vulnerable surfaces would rule preference above the rest of the factors!
This in turn leads us to the point of discuss on the design pattern of built spaces, now on.

2. The Design Pattern of the Built Spaces

2a – At the Master-Plan level. The Business Model would go Boutique as against the previous lavish-spread
out. Ground coverage would shrink a little in favour of relatively more open, green lung -spaces, aiding in
natural air flow and thus reducing having conditioned atmospheres within enclosed spaces.

2b -Customer screenings and concierge will be most elaborate and will be airport-like scrutiny and will be
subjected to Automation and considerable space in terms of Spatial Planning, as this will be the decisive point of entry into the hotel/resort premises for the customer, for instance a conventional-airlock would now
graduate to a double or a triple-airlock at the point of entering the premises.

2c – Lobby/Foyer/Front Desk etc will now be punctuated with more green-spaces from within, to facilitate
more of natural-air movement and reduce use of conditioned-air, which is a determine- factor in containing
Covid19. Also the 3-side-enclosed and 1-side-open design-concept may come into being for most designed
spaces within the Hotel/Resort

2d –There will more prominence given to transition-spaces/interconnecting-spaces in the aftermath of Covid
19, wherein a substantial footprint of area, would segregate important spaces and interconnecting them,
these connecting spaces could be glorified-vestibular, also equipped with automated sterilization techniques, further screening human movement through them.

2e – Public Spaces in the Hotels/Resorts viz a viz, Coffee Shops / Restaurants/ Bars would be semi-open and not conventionally matchbox-clustered like before, whilst allowing more natural air and breeze flow within them from within and outside, this ambience would calibrate further upward and would reduce any unwanted spread of any virus.

Switzerland through my lens

Switzerland Article

Manjarabad Fort

Manjarabad Fort
Manjarabad Fort in Hassan district is one of the few remaining star-shaped forts in the country. The fort is a fine example of the French influence on Tipu sultan’s military architecture. The Manjarabad Fort was built in 1792 when Tipu Sultan wanted to guard the approaches to Mangalore and Coorg. It is situated 7 km from Sakleshpur in Hassan district, on a little hill, 988 m above sea level. One can arrive at it after crossing short path and then 270 nos of steps, which lead into a wide passageway flanked by solid, looming granite walls. Two 90 degree turns are given to slow down the enemy and allow very little space for the runway to break arched entrance gate. There are 3 gateways to be crossed before entering into the main large court of the fort. Each gateway is having a gate on both sides and cabins for guards.

The first gateway have 8 corner star map carved on ceiling. Complicated movement path, small court and the high wall around it make conquering the fort very difficult. Fort is guarded with 50 feet high walls and 15 feet deep moat around it. Small chambers are designed at each end of the star to have watched around the terrain without being seen. One can see the French influence in these forts, especially parts of the forts related to artillery use, such as in the widely splayed openings for firing cannon. Star-shaped bastions are to reduce the so-called ‘dead zones’ or blind spots in front of bastions. In the center of the fort, there is a deep well with steps leading down to it from all four sides. Close to the well is an armory, partly subterranean structure with vaulted roofs.


1. Access from the main highway
2. Courty before the entrance gate
3. First gate with two cabins for guards
4. First internal court
5. Broken gate structure
6. The second wall of defence
7. Moat
8. The first wall of defence
9. Main fort wall
10. Watch cabin
11. Broken cells of soldiers
12. The topmost platform for watch
13, Storage of gun powder
14. Kund (water storage)

Article By: Rajiv Vyas I Katyayini I MD Fateen

Sick Building Syndrome!

sick-building-1-672x372Article By:  Nisha Gopinath,  Manager-Administration

All living beings depend on healthy air to breathe, however, atmospheric air also contains certain components called as air pollutants that are harmful to both plants and animals. Outdoor air quality depends on the pollution (and the control measures are taken up) caused by emission from industry, agriculture, and automobiles, while indoor air quality depends on the materials used for the building’s construction and the ventilation systems that limit exposure to various toxic chemicals within the indoor air spaces.

Sick building syndrome describes a situation in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects linked to time spent in the building. Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building. The causes of contributing factors to sick building syndrome are inadequate ventilation & chemical contamination from indoor and outdoor sources.

Concentrations of indoor pollutants are often two to five times higher than outdoor concentrations. Indoor air pollution consists of toxic gases or particles that can harm health. These pollutants can build up rapidly indoors to levels much higher than those usually found outdoors. Moreover, “tighter” construction in newer homes can prevent pollutants from escaping to the outdoors. Modern residences contain a staggering variety of synthetic materials from carpets and foam cushions to insulation and chemically treated pressed wood products. These products outgas which means that the chemical compounds they contain break down with age and are slowly released into the air over time in the form of toxic fumes.

The effects of indoor air pollutants range from short-term effects [eye and throat irritation] to long-term effects [respiratory disease and cancer]. Exposure to high levels of some pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, can even result in immediate death. As energy-efficient construction becomes absolutely essential, green building designers have become justifiably concerned about this indoor air quality dilemma. The most effective way to control most indoor air pollutants is to eliminate the source. Improving ventilation by bringing cleaner outdoor air inside can also be beneficial.