WATG aces design challenges of Covid-19

Hindsight has enabled WATG to incorporate lots of flexibility in their pipeline designs in order to adapt to any further black swan situations.

Park Hyatt Aviara

David M. Moore, President and CEO of WATG

Despite being hit very hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, developers in the travel and hospitality industry are still forging ahead while operators have quickly adapted to new behavioural requirements such as social distancing, one-way traffic flows, and the use of plexiglass, says David M. Moore, President and CEO of WATG.

“The vast majority of immediate changes when it comes to open and physical buildings have been operational in nature,” he adds.

However, with projects on-the-boards or under construction, the award-winning architectural firm has had the benefit of hindsight. It has been able to make some quick design adaptations such as meeting space configuration to allow for more flexibility in layout; greater emphasis on landscape architecture and designing more robust outdoor spaces which are always a strong revenue-generator in the appropriate climates.

Citing an example, Moore says: “In one of our master plans in the Middle East, we were able to quickly implement smart-city technology to enable contact tracing and adapting the public realm spaces to accommodate temporary shelters should the need arises again in the future.”

The firm is also speaking to clients about urban guestroom design that allows fresh air from open windows, in-room fitness space and microbial-resistant interior materials.

Flexibility is key

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