Guest room floor configurations

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Guest room floor configurations of a hotel will vary depending on its location, attractive view, and orientation. It is important to plan guest room floor configurations to determine an efficient floor plan for hotel guest rooms. Three common guest room floor configurations are: (1) slab configurations, (2) tower configurations, and (3) atrium configurations. In slab configurations, a single loaded slab, where guest rooms are laid out on single side of a central corridor, is suitable for narrow sites or for taking advantage of views. A double loaded slab, where rooms are laid out on both sides of a central corridor, offers the most efficient options for elevator cores, exit stairs, and service functions, while offset slabs offer interior core efficiency and more variety for facades. An advantage of slab configurations, normally with two orientations only, is energy saving. Tower configurations comprise a central core, at which guest and service elevators, exit stairways, and pantry are located, surrounded by a single loaded corridor of guest rooms. Their exterior architectural treatment depends on the geometric shape of the plan. In an atrium configuration, first introduced by architect John Portman for the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in 1967, the guest rooms arranged along single loaded corridors, encircling a multi-story lobby space. Most atrium hotels feature glass enclosed elevators that allow hotel guests to overlook the hotel lobby. Many atrium designs are irregularly shaped to respond to various site constraints. In terms of fire safety, fire shutters are immensely used in an atrium configuration to limit the spread of fire and movement of smoke through the multi story lobby. Generally, the double loaded slab is the most efficient, with about 70% of the gross floor area devoted to guestrooms, while the saleable space drops to 65 and 60%, respectively, in tower and atrium configurations.


Rutes, W. A., Penner, R. H., & Adams, L. (2001). Hotel Design, Planning, and Development. Oxford: Architectural Press.

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