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A guitar-shaped hotel is South Florida’s latest beacon

A guitar-shaped hotel is South Florida’s latest beacon

he world’s first guitar-shaped hotel, with a price tag estimated at $1.5 billion, opened in Hollywood, Fla., late last month.

The 450-ft-tall 34-story Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, sitting on 34 acres, includes 638 music-themed guest rooms and suites, a 12,000-sf rooftop bar, 14 on-site restaurants, more than 20 shops, a lagoon called Bora Bora, and a 6,556-seat, 225,000-sf multipurpose theater called Hard Rock Live, designed by the Canadian firm Scéno Plus, that alone cost an estimated $125 million. (A concert by the rock group Maroon 5 opened this venue on October 25.)

Klai Juba Wald Architecture & Interiors designed the hotel, Giovanetti Shulman Associates and Arup were engineers on this project, and Suffolk Construction the GC. The hotel/casino is owned through Hard Rock International by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The building’s façade is outfitted with 2.3 million LEDs, video mapping and lasers, capable of creating a multitude of visual effects and presentations. Boston-based custom fabricator Design Communications LTD (DCL) managed, directed, engineered, and installed the LEDs and power systems provided by SACO, with generative and sound-reactive content created by Float4 using Realmotion 4 Karat Gold Series servers. SmartMonkeys provided an integrated scheduling and automation control platform called ISAAC.


Float4 created generative and sound-reactive content for the hotel's exterior lighting effects using Realmotion servers.

The facade has five core elements that can each be used for specific effects:

  • The Front & Back are the main sections on which dynamic content can be video mapped.
  • The Outline delineates the edges of the guitar shape, and content plays with this aspect by hiding and revealing the guitar’s contours.
  • The Sides enhance the illusion of depth for visual effects
  • The Strings, which utilize lasers instead of LEDs, are used to show vertical motion and effects such as fountains, chord strums and string plucks.
  • The Spandrel Glass section is ideal for expanding content from the face and body to create the illusion of another level of content.

Videos of the hotel can be viewed view here and view here.

James Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, expects the new hotel/casino to attract between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors a day, and up to 45,000 on Saturdays. The project created 2,400 construction jobs, and the facility will employ around 4,000 people.

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