Blue Room Hotel

The brief presented the challenge of a new business hotel to be extended to the iconic Blue Room restaurant at the heart of the Mombasa City Centre – without the interruption of its current operations.

The architectural response maintains the volume of the existing building intact by introducing a new tower that rises above it. The architectural massing not only differentiates the existing structure from the new, it also delineates the division of program. The refurbished podium houses the Blue Room restaurant, the existing commercial tenants, a proposed ice-cream outlet fronting the existing factory, and a new hotel lobby at the ground floor level. A conference level offering opportunities for permanent tenants, office hotel, and leasable meeting spaces are located on the second level. Above the podium, the hotel dining and public areas spill out on the adjacent roof terrace – these spaces, its program, and architectural treatment alike serve to mediate between the public sphere of the podium below and the private tower of hotel rooms above.

Above the podium terrace rests a nine-storey tower comprising 144 hotel rooms. The general arrangement of each hotel room moves away from the typical layout. The guest enjoys direct views towards the window – with the Mombasa skyline and coastline beyond – both from the bed and the desk behind. Each level provides one deluxe room and one suite with all rooms facing Haile Selassie Road enjoying a balcony.

With the current brick facade being a prominent and somewhat iconic feature synonymous with the existing Blue Room restaurant, brick is chosen as the key facade material of the new hotel. The solid masonry architecture is considered a natural and sustainable response to the local climate. It is also akin to traditional more solid architecture in the region, providing an opportunity to implement and enhance the coastal architectural features of the design moving forward. The project aspires to present an innovative and contemporary brick architecture that explores the material with regard to the use of mass, texture, perforation, pattern, and color.