Hilton Hotel, Kathmandu, by Studio Symbiosis Architects


Note: The contents below are published as provided by the architect/designer.

Hilton Hotel, Kathmandu, by Studio Symbiosis Architects.

Hilton Kathmandu located in the heart of Kathmandu valley, is a fusion of the rich heritage of Nepal interwoven with contemporary spaces and maximizing the breath-taking views of the Himalayan mountain range visible from Kathmandu valley.

“Prayer Flags” are an integral part of the culture of the city. These colourful flags dominate the landscape and cityscape in Nepal. A person moving across the city, visiting the monuments, trekking or even ascending Mt Everest will inadvertently notice these prayer flags. These flags have a very pure meaning whereby the prayer flags have a message of spreading peace, compassion, wisdom and strength that is supposed to be spread by the wind and dispersed into the surroundings, to promote goodwill and compassion into all prevailing spaces. It is also believed that when the wind passes through these flags it is purified and sanctified by the mantras.

This project looks at integrating and imbibing the culture of Nepal. The design ideation is not to copy the existing architectural motifs literally, but rather to create a subtle interpretation of the culture. These prayer flags have been translated into vertical dichroic laminated glass fins that rise from the ground till the pinnacle of the building. During the day the dichroic colour of the fin changes based on the angle of incidence of light as seen from the street giving subtle pastel colours, and during the night these vertical fins come to live in the colours of the flags which represent the five elements, resonating the experience a guest would have during the day extending to the property in the night. “As the city of Kathmandu goes to sleep the prayer flags being represented by the dichroic glass infused in Hilton Kathmandu come alive by night.”

From the site, Langtang mountain range is visible that is the highest mountain range visible from Kathmandu valley. The design responds to the intense urban street on one side, curves and opens up towards the views of the mountain range. This also enables us in generating more rooms per floor improving the efficiency of the floor plate.

The view of the mountains is further accentuated by the treatment of the facade. Seamless lines move across the facade creating a strong design move and balconies for rooms on every alternate floor. This branching facade element creates a duality in the design of the facade. One side is occupied by vertical lines interpreting the flags and the other with clear glass responding to the views. This results in the animation of the façade when passing by and giving different elevations to the building to enhance the experience.

The building is 64 meters high, resulting not just in a local but a global experience of visibility of the vertical fins light up as prayer flags throughout the city.

A generous cantilever has been embedded in the design where the ground floor peels back to create a generous welcoming drop off area for the visitors.

Building section has been setup in such a way that the Lobby, banquet hall, meeting rooms and service floor occupy the lower levels of the built form. This results in uninterrupted views starting from the first guest room floor and onwards, ensuring the guest experiences the majestic beauty of the mountains and Kathmandu valley.

All day dining, and swimming pool have been located on the top of the building. These spaces are used by the guests most of the time in the hotel apart from their rooms.180 degree views have been provided from the All Day Dining and the terrace to allow the guests to soak up the natural beauty of the surrounding emphasised by an over edge infinity pool.

Being located in Nepal seismic design becomes a very critical part of the design. Dampeners, shear walls have been provided to create this as an immediate occupancy building.


Site Images


Architects: Studio Symbiosis Architects
Landscape Architects: Studio Symbiosis Architects
Client: Jagdamba Hospitality
Operator: Hilton Worldwide
Site area: 3157sqm
Built-up Area: 19351sqm
Number of Floors: 19
Height: 64m
Number of keys: 176
Status: Under Construction – opening 2023

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