Feature, Hospitality/Leisure, Outdoor

Light breathes new life into the Doha Sheraton

The distinctive pyramid shape of the Sheraton Hotel in Doha has made it one of the city’s main landmarks.

Overlooking Doha’s West Bay and the Arabian Gulf, the five-star hotel has capacity for up to 5,000 people, with 371 rooms, 26 halls and conference spaces, and nine restaurants, bars and lounges.

The building, which was built in 1979, was extensively refurbished last year, and now has a bold new exterior lighting scheme.

The hotel’s unusual shape posed a challenge for the lighting design – as did the strict seven-month deadline on the hotel refurbishment, which made any on-site mock-ups impossible.

The scheme covers the building’s main façade and  two waterfront-facing sides.

Even colour distribution was required, with pre-selected colour-changing scenes – but there was no question of any light disturbing guests in their rooms.

Project manager Ammar Jano of Jano Sound & Light said: ‘In our preliminary studies, we had to overcome many difficulties regarding, for instance, the location of the fixtures, which had to be very effective while preserving the outer beauty and functionality of the hotel and in spite of the harsh weather conditions and environmental obstructions of the site.’

The main façade has been equipped with 12 Powershine RGBW fittings from Griven, with narrow and wide optics. These are installed on the mezannine floor to wallwash the building’s ‘side arm’.

The first waterfront side has been fitted with nine Powershine fittings with narrow optics, installed on high poles with antiglare shields. The second waterfront side, as well as the lower part of the hotel terrace, uses 43 Zaphir fittings with wide and medium optics installed on the cornice of the roof. Four searchlights on the roof send sweeping rays of light into the sky at night.

Projectors can be used to project patterns and images on to the building. All the LED fittings are managed by a wireless DMX system directly from the control room.

Ammar Jano said: ‘This was surely the most challenging project I had to face in 2014 from every point of view, especially in consideration of the top urgent completion schedule and of the peculiar architectural design of the Sheraton, unique in shape and dimensions.’