Texas-based hotel company La Quinta Inn & Suites held a design competition to help define the hotel’s appearance and layout. Following the competition, the company enlisted 5G Studio to design the new prototype called Del Sol. The completed plans called for bold exterior colors, shapes and textures that were unique and distinctive to La Quinta. Once the plans were set in motion, Mayse & Associates, a Texas-based architectural firm, was instrumental in selecting the material that would bring La Quinta’s and 5G Studio’s vision to life.
“La Quinta wanted the new prototype design to compete with other brands that catered to contemporary aesthetics and newer generations,” said Roger Sotelo, architect for 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.”
The firm was hired to first work on the La Quinta located in College Station, TX. After a lengthy process, Mayse & Associates settled on porcelain tile, but soon learned the porcelain was unable to produce the color needed. Soon after, Holland Marble, located in Carrollton, TX, presented Neolith, a sintered stone, as an alternative. “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 via their willingness to entertain the long and arduous process of creating custom colors.”
Iron Corten, a part of Neolith’s Iron collection with a satin finish, was the inspiration for the custom color for the exterior with its natural metal tones and textures that deliver a unique look. “They requested four different custom shades, specific to the La Quinta Del Sol design,” said Zuzana Holland, commercial sales manager for Holland Marble Imports. “The original design used different shades of terra cotta color.” The Neolith slabs measure 6-mm-thick. In order to install the large panels that were used for this project, a thin-set mortar was applied. 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 thin-set is not waterproof, it isn’t water soluble. Thin-set is also inorganic and because of that will not be a source for mold growth.
In total, 15,000 square feet of Neolith material was supplied for the exterior cladding, all custom-sized and specific to the La Quinta Del Sol Hotels. Since then, the response of the installation has been very positive and inspired many inquiries from other hotel chains, medical buildings and other exterior claddings.
La Quinta Inn & Suites
College Station, TX
Architect: Mayse & Associates, Dallas, TX