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FL Hard Rock Delivers Guitar-Shaped Hotel

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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After unveiling the plans for the design of the $1.5 billion expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in 2017, a date for completion is in sight.

Led by joint-venture construction team Suffolk-Yates, construction on the 36-story guitar-shaped tower is slated to be complete by August.

Part of a larger 3.2-million-square-foot master plan, which is to include a new Hard Rock Live theater, additional eight-story hotel, and various hotel amenities, the guitar-shaped hotel is to stand 450 feet tall and total 596,044 square feet. The entire master plan is expected to be complete in advance of the 2020 Super Bowl, which will be held in Miami.

Planning the Hard Rockin’ Hotel

Back in 2007, James Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International envisioned a guitar-shaped hotel. When Allen first began working with Klai Juba Wald Architects, after the purchase of Hard Rock International in 2006, he realized a statement was needed to mark the home of Hard Rock.

“It became a signature piece of the plan to say, ‘We are the Hard Rock brand and this is the executive home base,’” said Steve Peck, associate principal at Klai Juba Wald Architects.

“We put together some different looks for the hotels. Some were pretty conservative—basically giant shoe boxes—and some were more daring, including the guitar tower.”

Before any final decisions could be made, recession hit, and the project was shelved. It wouldn’t be until 2013 when Allen could pick the project back up, going all in on his previous ambitions, including the daring guitar hotel, and more.

Building the Livable Guitar

Working with structural engineers DeSimone Consulting Engineers, Klai Juba Wald found a way to incorporate conventional sheer walls, post-tensioned slabs and reinforced columns.

To accomplish the curves of the guitar, each floor would narrow and widen, using sloped 40-degree from vertical columns to support the shape. Resistance of horizonal forces from the sloping columns would also use additional thrust reinforcements designed within the slabs.

Since the property lies within a flight path of a local airport, every inch was saved, resulting in the final design of 9-and 12-inch-thick slabs.

Beginning with the building’s foundation, the crews would first have to fill an existing multi-acre retention pond and extend another existing pond. This was necessary in order to balance on-site water retention.

Any materials excavated were then used to fill at the guitar tower using vibro-compaction. In total, the building’s foundation included 237 30-inch-diameter auger-cast piles that averaged 90 feet deep.

Working with Suffolk’s concrete division, Liberty Construction, partnered with Baker Concrete, then installed 36,000 cubic yards of concrete. With one floor completed a week at a time, and some only five days, the 36th floor was capped within nine-and-a-half months.

Interior and Exterior Beauty

The tower exterior is made up of a custom, pre-glazed curtain wall system and blue glass windows. Fully incorporated with an LED cannon lighting system, the “neck” of the guitar will appear to feature 355-foot-long “strings.”

“It will be the first building in the world that’s truly to scale designed as an authentic guitar,” said Allen.

Besides several restaurants and lounges, the hotel will encapsule a 41,000-square-foot spa and 1,270 rooms.

With designs still being finalized about the dramatic porte cochere entrance, the tower continues to speed toward an August completion date.


Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commercial Construction; Commerial/Architectural; concrete; Concrete Surfacing; Construction; Design - Commercial; Hotels; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Projects - Commercial

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