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  • Writer's pictureGM Shay

Savannah's River Street Development celebrated with beautiful hand renderings by Saad Al-Jassar

Last Friday, The GMSHAY team embarked on a journey to make our new offices feel more like home. The biggest home maker is without question the masterpiece that has been canvased and framed to greet anyone that visits the new GMShay offices at 1719A Abercorn St.

Words from the Architects Pat Shay and Saad Al-Jassar:

The drawings are 2 elevations, one for AC Hotel at the top and the other is for Homewood Suites at the bottom. HWS has been in operation for few years and AC hotel is ready to be constructed. These 2 hotels are part of one of the largest development on the East River Street in Savannah that consists 4 hotels, restaurants, shops, open public places and a parking garage structure. They are freehand drawings, to scale, with colored magic markers. The original drawings were drawn using the latest BIM techniques but architect Saad wanted to demonstrate that freehand and marker pen's drawings are still alive!

Saad and I worked together on preparing the designs for what is now the Homewood Suites beginning with master planning in 2012, and through several iterations before the Historic District Board of Review. At that time it was the largest scale building improvement on the historic district Savannah Riverfront since the Hyatt Regency thirty years earlier, so the design was carefully vetted! When we presented our final design to the HDBR in 2013, we presented a beautiful "lantern" on the corner of River Street that was patterned after the one on Bruneleschi's Duomo in Florence in order to hide a giant ugly mechanical unit. An architect on the Board said it was unimaginative, and challenged us to come up with something unique and original. As a result Saad created the beautiful Lotus Blossom design that now has become a Savannah landmark!


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