Case study: Snim Hotel, Mauritania

Sponsored by the National Industrial and Mining Company (SNIM), the five-star hotel is located in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Designed by Draw Link Group, it is intended to be an oasis of relaxation within the heart of the city. The main building is swathed in greenery and vegetation to create a core of tranquility. Landscaped grounds link a central reception building to living and recreational areas, including a spa and pool. Part of the connecting area was designed as a public gallery. The rooms are in a two-band formation with a mix of public, semi-private and private spaces.

The site
The project is located between the Congress Palace and the Police Academy. To accommodate the windy climate, rooms are oriented on a south-western axis with shielding plant screens to reduce the impact of sandstorms. Protective walls, shelter areas and vegetation keep the north-eastern portion of the property shaded and reduce harsh winds. This creates a microclimate set apart from the denser urban area. Draw Link sought to bring every element of the outside world into the hotel with shops, a Moorish café, restaurants, a business centre and more.

The concept
The structure taps into the regional architecture of Saharan Africa, expressed in natural, local materials in earth tones. Terracotta, wood, raw concrete and glass are all used in the design. The hotel’s rooms include bay windows that open out onto private gardens. Galleries and walkways link the double banded rooms, inspired by the alleyways of traditional Saharan villages. The experience of an oasis was maintained with tree canopies, foliage, water and the alleyway system. Relaxation facilities in the spa area include an indoor pool, treatment rooms, jacuzzi, saunas and gym.

The details
Hotel rooms are laid out in a banded system, with the most private spaces protected by the outside ring. A vegetated wall subtly separates the path leading from public to semi-private and then private areas. The rooms are designed around an open plan bathroom with vinyl flooring, while woven fabrics are a contemporary fusion of traditional mats. Protective walls line the rest of the property along with a large slatted roof that shades the reception area. Materials are designed to capture solar energy and adapt to the climatic conditions of the site.

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