Mike Khalesi hopes to boldly go where no architect has gone before.
American entrepreneur Mike Khalesi has his next-generation eye on an ambitious project in the Principality. “The size of Monaco is equivalent to some of our vineyards in California,” says Khalesi, who is hoping to transform Le Méridien Beach Plaza into an audacious, sculptural structure with curved shapes combined with hanging gardens to connect architecture and nature. “The limited land is one of the biggest challenges for reimagining the hotel and that is what makes this interesting.”
Still in a conceptual phase, Khalesi promises new possibilities, which will intertwine the exceptional site on avenue Princesse Grace with a bold, curved design. The essence lies in the spirit of the Mediterranean Sea and is influenced by Prince Albert’s protect the oceans initiatives.
“Our design DNA is always inspired by site conditions and values, and something we call fifth dimension—a response to how our design is being received and enhances well-being as a timeless creation,” explains the southern California-based entrepreneur, who is at the helm of the architecture and real estate firm Beverly Hills One. " Good architecture is much more than form and functions; it should make you feel great and engage all your senses.”
It is important to make the effort to integrate and respect the site values instead of creating a massive geometry that would negatively impact the current landscape. One of the key strategies in achieving this, he points out, would consist of integrating multi-functional gardens and terraces to bring nature into the structure, which is made of two buildings of different heights with curved shapes and a bridge (pictured) to connect them.
“No matter where you build, two aspects will always be inescapable: the environmental and the social,” describes Khalesi. “Due to these aspects, we’ve created the wedge between two spots of the buildings, being an incision for pedestrians to walk among, toward the seashore. The objective is to create an immersive experience through a dynamic form, well informed by functions to protect breathtaking corridors and continuity of flow inside and outside the project.”
The proposal for the 397-room hotel’s redesign would offer a wealth of luxuries and amenities, including reducing accommodation to 375 oversized guest rooms and suites with balconies providing exceptional views in every direction. It is all about the view for Khalesi who envisions a rooftop lounge deck with a 360-degree panorama in addition to the hotel’s three cocktail lounges. VIP cabanas, a sparkling pool and a spa by the world-leading brand La Prairie would seduce any guest debating where to stay in Monaco. There would also be 706 square meters of meeting spaces with a dedicated team for organizing events.
With this project, Khalesi clearly looks toward the future of Monaco while ensuring the existing topography is well respected. “The design aims to have a much larger urban scale impact by developing a high-performance edge,” he states. “It should serve the community while continuing to engage beyond the scope of programs. Perhaps the new model can introduce a parametric urban development opportunity for future buildings in the area.”