Custom designed Neolith surfaces create new look for La Quinta’s hotel design prototype
First impressions are everything. When embarking on a next generation hotel design, La Quinta Inn & Suites held a design competition to help define the hotel’s appearance and layout. The Texas-based hotel company, in its commitment to taking a fresh approach to the interior and exterior design, specified NEOLITH® by TheSize for the exterior cladding.
Following the competition, the company enlisted the expertise of 5G Studio to design the new prototype called Del Sol. The completed plans designed by 5G Studio called for bold exterior colors, shapes, and textures that were unique and distinctive to La Quinta. Once the plans were set in motion, architectural firm, Mayse & Associates, was instrumental in selecting the material that would bring La Quinta’s and 5G Studio’s vision to life.
"La Quinta wanted the new design to compete with other brands that catered to contemporary aesthetics", said Roger Sotelo, architect, Mayse & Associates. "With three Del Sols operating, 18 under construction and an additional 62 in development, we ran into the challenge of which material to use to address regional variances while still catering to La Quinta’s and 5G Studio’s vision."
Armed with a list of "must haves", the architects originally looked into solutions that would not sacrifice vital elements to the design. After a lengthy process, Mayse & Associates settled on porcelain tile, but soon learned the porcelain manufacturer was unable to produce the color needed and did not have enough technical support nor the capability to guide the architects with the installation process. Soon after, Holland Marble, a leading provider of stone products in Texas, presented NEOLITH®, a Sintered Compact Surface, as an alternative. After further investigation, the design and construction teams agreed that Neolith was a viable option for this large project.
Manufactured by TheSize, NEOLITH® is a fully customisable surfacing product used for commercial or residential interiors and exteriors. Made from natural materials, the slabs are created through a high-pressure and high-temperature sinterisation process that replicates in just a few hours the same formation process of natural stone over thousands of years.
The result is a lightweight product resistant to fire, graffiti, UV damage, scratching, high impact and water, making it an ideal exterior material that will withstand the elements. Aside from the unique durability and appearance, NEOLITH® was able to create the custom colours that were crucial for the project and Holland Marble was able to provide the technical support needed to guide the installation process.
"NEOLITH® and the team addressed our concerns from a whole project perspective; both NEOLITH® and Holland Marble were exceptional in their collaboration and execution of La Quinta’s desired design concept", said Sotelo. "Neolith was willing to work with La Quinta to achieve the custom color iterations they wanted for their prototype design. They were head and shoulders above the competition in their bids for the prototype material and were willing to entertain the long and arduous process of creating custom colors."
Iron Corten, in NEOLITH®’s Iron collection, was the inspiration for the exterior custom colour; its impressive natural metal tones and textures delivering a unique look. La Quinta had a very specific aesthetic and quality it wanted to achieve with its new contemporary prototype, and NEOLITH® was the only brand able to create the custom color to achieve the desired look.
With its large slab format, lightweight features and ability to easily cut the panel into any size, NEOLITH® is the perfect option to suit any project. In order to install the large 6 mm panels for this project, a thin-set mortar application was preferred. The advantages of a thin-set application is that it may be used in areas where there are high amounts of moisture present and although not waterproof, thin-set is non-water soluble. Thin-set is also inorganic and so is not a food source for mold growth.
La Quinta needed its new Del Sol design to match the integrity of the brand both inside and out. NEOLITH®, a pioneer in the sintered compact surface industry, was able to provide just that -integrity and durability - while successfully combining iconic brand elements with streamlined architecture and clean geometric lines. NEOLITH® provided the confidence the team needed and the freedom to create their dream design.