Here's how good design can quieten noisy hotel lobbies

Justin Wells, director and global head of hospitality at dwp says good design can combat the issue of loud hotel lobbies

The lobby at W Dubai- The Palm
ITP Media Group
The lobby at W Dubai- The Palm

Being a social space, hotel lobbies can often become noisy and while it takes a collaborative effort from stakeholders to ensure the right materials are used to combat loud noise, designers need to be creative to control the acoustics.

Designers can come up with creative ways to control the acoustics of the lobby space such as carpets, clever material selection, texturing and layering of materials as well as ceiling installations that in turn can be doubled up into a key feature, according to Justin Wells, director and global head of hospitality at Design World Partnership (dwp).

Having a conversation in a lobby with poor reverberation can also be extremely disconcerting. Ensuring a healthy balance between soft and hard furnishings within the interior design would go a long way in contributing to good acoustics, he adds. Absorbent materials in the ceilings and walls especially near reflective surfaces like glazed walls must be considered.

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A good practice to break loud noise is to use screens and/or planters to break huge lobby spaces down into smaller pockets of activity. When used imaginatively, such spaces could serve a dual purpose by creating acoustically sound semi-private areas that contribute to a very distinctive lobby setting.

The soundwave light installation in the ceiling of the lobby atrium at dwp designed W Dubai - The Palm adjusts its lighting pulse seamlessly to the beat of neighbouring DJ in the living room.

“This focal feature changes the whole ambience of the lobby space and automatically changes the expectation of the guests when they enter the space. By designing a more vibrant lobby space that offers a selection of uses such as cafes, bars or alike the guest no longer expects to be moving through a quiet space and noise is a reduced issue,” Wells says.

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