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DESIGN CONCEPT// A vision for a new New York City

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DESIGN CONCEPT// A vision for a new New York City

Design and architecture firm WATG has shared its urban planning solution that shapes a new vision for a greener New York City – one that underscores the unforeseen positives revealed during the pandemic…

While the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown took force of major metropolises, an unusual thing happened across the world’s best cities: the sounds of taxi horns hushed, the skies cleared and the gloomy haze of pollution lifted – there were even reports of city dwellers waking up to the song of birds, rain pouncing on windows, and the rustling of leaves.

As New York City begins to emerge from its forced hibernation – unlocking bodega doors, flipping open blinds, and turning around its “Open for Business” signs – there are obvious unintended positives that almost instantaneously took hold of the city that never sleeps. New Yorkers should not forget what a cleaner city looks like, and fight to find a way to adopt new ways of living that contribute to a healthier, safer, more breathable way of life.

It is that spirit that fueled WATG, the multidisciplinary global design firm, to “roll out” a new vision for New York City’s streets. The concept, titled Green Block, led by John Goldwyn, WATG’s London-based master planner and landscape architect, was an internal innovation competition focused on how its team of leading urban planners, landscape architects and designers could use their skills, and lessons learned from the pandemic, to transform urban spaces in a post-pandemic world for the better. The concept at once allows for a green, carless, alfresco-hopping, streetscape vision for New York’s streets.

“Our cities have long been overdue for transformation and, as some people flee for greener landscapes in the wake of COVID-19, Green Block proves that you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other – we actually can, in fact, have both the urban and the green lifestyle,” said Goldwyn.

Focusing on the intersection of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building, an iconic symbol for the city itself, Green Block claws back space from the roads and reclaims it for the people and environment.

Green Block is built using a modular program that transforms city streets into green spaces using a kit-of-parts system that is maintenance-free and created from 100 per cent recyclable materials. Green Block not only adds greenery to existing cafes and shop fronts but it creates untapped revenue opportunities for retail, commerce, and restaurants, and helps clean and filter city air while beautifying streetscapes.

Green Block brings limitless value to cities and destinations – serving as a living, breathing solution to air filtration; reducing car noise, impact and pollution; providing homes for the world’s decreasing bee population; and increasing the amount of space for people to exercise and leisure. The solution provides greater opportunity for cyclists and walkers, replacing paved footpaths with lush plants; and increasing street appeal for restaurants and retail – providing untapped opportunities for outdoor dining and shopping. Restaurant operators can also use the new outdoor space to grow vegetables, herbs or fruits to serve on their menus.

“People who are all too often disconnected from nature should be allowed respite on their streets. The pandemic tapped into an underrepresented desire in urban dwellers to connect with nature. That desire is a human right, and the city needs to address it. Green Block is in the best interest of New Yorkers and New York City’s standing in the world,” finished Goldwyn.

“As planners and designers, we have to help communities become more self-reliant. We have to make sure we’re creating systems that help ourselves and future generations thrive,” continues Goldwyn. “Communities that are resilient with strong, built-in systems of support become even stronger during times of crisis.”

WATG is currently working with confidential land owners in the United Kingdom to deploy Green Block on select streets of London, and the concept has been recognised by Urban Design Forum, based in New York, as a solution for their “City Life After Coronavirus”call for entries, which focuses on organisations advancing a just and equitable recovery for communities most impacted by the crisis.

Main image credit: WATG

citizenM has arrived on the USA’s west coast

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
citizenM has arrived on the USA’s west coast

Designed by architecture and design firms concrete and Gensler, citizenM Seattle has opened its doors, marking the brand’s arrival on the west coast of the USA…

Inspired by the neighbourhood and the boundaries between analogue and digital blur, citizenM Seattle has opened its quirky doors.

The seven-storey building is positioned on the corner of John Street facing Denny park and Westlake avenue that runs all the way towards lake Union. The area is home to the headquarters of Microsoft and Amazon and characterised by the iconic Space needle.

Image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

The concept design of the architecture and interior was led by Rob Wagemans from concrete, the firm behind other citizenM properties in areas such as Amsterdam, Munich, Shanghai and Copenhagen. The project work was executed by the Seattle team of architecture and design firm Gensler.

All 264 rooms are prefabricated modular units stacked on top of each other, creating a building with a series of large bedroom windows which are typical for the architecture of citizenM.

The ground floor public areas are spacious with lots of daylight coming from the large store front windows facing the street.

Image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

The bar with a large bottle rack and skylight above it, together with the elevator core wrapped in a bespoke art piece by local artist Jeffrey Veregge make this a remarkable citizenM.

Main image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

A montage created by editor H. Kilburn showing John R. Williams and his work

Editor Checks In: Celebrating ‘Hollywood’s Architect’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Celebrating ‘Hollywood’s Architect’

Having followed a month of tempestuous headlines, editor Hamish Kilburn has come to the stark realisation that more education is needed in order to project equality in the global architecture and design arena…

A montage created by editor H. Kilburn showing John R. Williams and his work

I sat alone peering over London’s Leicester Square from a unique vantage point at a swanky rooftop bar. Glancing down, I was able to capture the colourful scene that was taking place below. Inspired, and feeling immensely proud, I began writing my latest Editor’s Letter, which gave a nod to diversity in design. It was Pride London 2019, and the square was packed – social distancing hadn’t yet been conceived – and I remember thinking how beautifully raw, eclectic and accepting the capital felt as the confetti cannons sounded while equality echoed from all surfaces.

Fast forward one year and here I am today, this time feeling somewhat melancholy while writing my monthly column for what feels like a parallel publication to one I was editing 12 months ago. I’m knocking on the doors, but hospitality is closed (for now) and no one appears to be home. ‘Covid-19’, a phrase we didn’t know existed in 2019, has infected my inbox, and every story in it. There’s hope, though. July 4 is re-opening day for many, but as I begin to feel optimistic (and I really am optimistic about hospitality post-pandemic), the next article I read in my morning catch-up of the headlines prevents me from showing any sign of euphoria.

A 46-year-old black male, named George Floyd, has died in the hands of two white policemen. It began with a report of a fake $20 (£16.20) bill, and ended with the death of Floyd after one of the policemen knelt on his neck, while blatantly ignoring the man’s pleas for help, for an agonising eight minutes and 46 seconds.

The footage of the incident spilled into the boundless realms of social media with the hashtag BlackLivesMatter. And like the virus itself that put a halt on our industry and forced us to adapt to meet new consumer demand, the protests for equality went global.

While on the one hand I felt concerned that social distancing and heart-felt protests are a fractious pairing, I also felt compelled to read and learn after seeing a friend’s status, which read: “I understand I will never understand. However, I stand.” It was at that point when I decided to delve into the history of our industry, and when I first read about John R. Williams and everything he was able to achieve while working in and for a society that today we would be ashamed of.

“He designed more than 2,000 homes (all of which differed in styles) and his clients included many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz among others.”

Williams was an architectural pioneer who was largely responsible for Hollywood’s eclectic, colonial and California ranch-style architecture landscape. He designed more than 2,000 homes (all of which differed in styles). His clients included many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz among others. In addition, the trailblazer designed other buildings, such as the Mutal Life Insurance Building and the LA County Courthouse. He also worked on the design of the iconic googie-styled Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport,  and in the 1940s, he was part of the team who redesigned of The Beverly Hills Hotel.

Having grown up as the only black child in his elementary school, Williams recognised that his clients of that era would feel uncomfortable sitting directly next to a black man, so he learned to draft and sketch upside down. And to avoid his clients having to shake his hand, he would often walk and talk with his hands either behind his back or in his pockets.

The real irony, in my opinion, was that so often Williams was not allowed to visit the public places he so painstakingly designed. Williams operated, where possible, under the radar in order to survive as a black architect in the western world.

“In 1957, he was the first Black architect elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).”

In his career that spanned five decades, according to the Paul R Williams Project, William’s not only imagined thousands of buildings, but he also served on a number of municipal, state and federal commissions. He was carefully active in political and social organisations, which earned the admiration and respect of his peers. Williams frequently donated his time and skills to projects he believed furthered the health and welfare of young people, African Americans in Southern California and the greater society. In 1957, he was the first black architect elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Williams retired from practice in 1973 and died in 1980 at the age of 85.

In 2017, his name joined legends such as Sir Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Renxo Piano. Williams was posthumously awarded AIA’s 2017 Gold Medal, which is the highest annual honour that recognises individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. In consequence to his many achievements, he is known today (and is documented in the history books) as Hollywood’s Architect.

Hotel Designs is not a political platform. It is, however, an educational podium where trending topics are discussed, debated and amplified. Racism and inequality in general is recurrently guised, and it is so rarely in plain sight. I hope that by looking back and identifying injustices, like how Williams felt forced to work under the radar (and arguably work harder than any other architect of his era), we can together ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself and instead celebrate and promote people for their talent and their talent alone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, disability and social standings.

I understand I will never understand. However, I stand.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Dorchester Collection/AIA

Crown Group secures land for debut project in the USA

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Crown Group secures land for debut project in the USA

The $500 million mixed-used development plans for Crown Group‘s 43-storey tower high-rise in downtown Los Angeles include 160-key hotel…

Australian residential developer Crown Group has taken the next steps in its first move into the US market, where it plans to develop a $500 million mixed-use high-rise condominium and hotel tower that will bring a touch of the enviable Aussie lifestyle to LA’s burgeoning Downtown district.

Crown Group is progressing entitlements with Los Angeles City Hall for the proposed tower, which is earmarked for the southeast corner of South Hill and 11th streets at the convergence of Downtown’s financial, fashion and South Park districts. Crown Group has formed a joint venture with a Singapore-based company, Magnus Property Pte Ltd, and one of Indonesia’s biggest property developers, ASRI, the premium lifestyle brands division of Agung Sedayu Group, which has won 20 awards for 33 projects since they were founded in 1971. Some of ASRI’s most notable developments include The Langham Jakarta (the first in Southeast Asia), The Langham Residences (the first Langham-branded residence in the world), as well as premium estates such as Fatmawati City Center and District 8 in the heart of Jakarta’s CBD. The joint venture group settled on the Downtown site in November 2019.

“We want to humanise tall buildings.” – Archtiect, Koichi Takada

The striking 43-storey tower, designed by world-renowned architect Koichi Takada, is destined to redefine the Downtown skyline and will embody Crown Group’s philosophy of melding inspired architecture with a futuristic vision of a new way of living, to become an iconic landmark for the city. The project at 1111 Hill Street is expected to be completed in 2024. 

“It is our desire, through a nature-inspired approach to architecture, to transform an old warehouse district into a living breathing neighbourhood in LA,” Takada explained. “We want to humanise tall buildings, to celebrate the pedestrian activities and consider how people experience it,” he said. “We want our tall building designs to be more engaging for the public, and to contribute to the community by activating and creating a connection with the neighbourhood.”

The high-rise sections of the building will comprise 319 condominiums with an exclusive residents’ retreat over the top two floors and a façade design that references California’s gigantic ancient redwood trees. A dramatic street canopy will ground the tower and incorporate a “breathing green wall”, designed to improve the city’s air quality and introduce a unique landscaping feature to the Downtown streetscape.

Crown Group’s LA office is also in discussions with several luxury hotel brands to incorporate a 160-key hotel in the low rise of the building, which is set to become one of the city’s’ most desirable getaways.

Crown Group CEO Iwan Sunito said the flourishing Downtown district of LA had experienced a significant transformation over the past decade. This is evidenced by LA Live’s expansion, Warner Music and Spotify establishing offices, headline retailers such as Apple, Vans and Paul Smith launching flagship stores, a bevy of iconic restaurants opening venues and numerous residential, hotel and commercial developments underway.

“It’s rare to find the central district of a large cosmopolitan city on the verge of such significant change,” he explained. “Downtown is experiencing a once in a generation revival – led by the heightened convergence of tech, media and entertainment in Los Angeles. There’s a great deal of investment and it’s exciting to think of what Downtown will be like in another few years’ time. It will be a highly sought-after place to live.”

Crown Group Head of US Development Patrick Caruso said the development would offer an appealing point of difference for buyers in Downtown LA and bring a new version of condominium living to the district.

“It’s a fast-evolving part of the city yet there is limited choice when it comes to well-designed homes,” Caruso added. “We anticipate that this new mixed-used development, which will offer attainable luxury living with never before seen facilities including an exclusive rooftop residents’ retreat, collocated with a quality branded hotel will be very well received by those looking for a new condominium.

“It’s clear that buyers are seeking more diverse offerings, so our fresh and unique Australian approach of functional resort style-living melded with sophisticated architectural design will fill a significant gap in the market.”

Established in Sydney in 1996, Crown Group has built its reputation on delivering iconic luxury developments and today has a $5 billion pipeline spanning five cities and two continents. 

Crown Group and Koichi Takada Architects are the creative pairing behind a series of major residential apartment projects in Australia including a stunning condominium and hotel tower called Arc by Crown Group in Clarence Street Sydney, which has won numerous international awards.

In 2019 they completed the sell-out Infinity by Crown Group, with its famous looped shape, at Green Square, just 4km from Sydney centre. Koichi Takada has also gained worldwide recognition for designing the stunning interiors of the National Museum of Qatar in the Middle East, which were unveiled in 2019.

Main image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

Inside JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

Hotel Designs has gained virtual access inside JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, which is expected to open in May as the brand’s second hotel to arrive in Orlando… 

Ideally situated on the doorstep Walt Disney World Florida, JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa has been appropriately designed with warm interiors that are suitable and accessible to all.

The resort’s calm, inviting social spaces and amenities will include a Spa by JW, resort pool with splash pad, specialty restaurants, as well as a rooftop terrace boasting nightly views of theme park firework displays.

Render of outside terrace

Image credit: Marriott International

Inspired by its natural surroundings, the expansive 516-key JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa has been thoughtfully designed to promote a sense of wellbeing and relaxation. The sophisticated décor includes indigenous woods, wicker, reeds and stone features from the inviting lobby to the airy guestrooms and suites.

“We are truly delighted to continue to expand our JW Marriott portfolio in Orlando, Florida,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott when the hotel’s opening date was announced. “The new JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa will bring a modern, luxurious and wellness-focused setting to our guests in Orlando, inviting them on an enriching journey of relaxation with experiences crafted with their holistic well-being in mind.”

Render of modern, light guestroom

Image credit: Marriott International

The guestrooms and suites feature lofted beds for an array of sleeping arrangements, spa-like bathrooms, and larger living areas, Family Suites are designed specially to make stays more comfortable and convenient for multi-generational families traveling with young children or any guests looking to come together and foster a true connection.

When the hotel opens, JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa will provide guests with warm, uplifting service and experiences designed to deepen their journeys. The new resort is said to offer a luxury escape for travellers who come to feel present in mind, nourished in body and revitalised.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami is about to embark on an extensive renovation inclusive of its guestrooms and suites, lobby, and pool area…

Situated in the heart of Downtown Miami, with unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay, Kimpton EPIC will be fully reimagined with Miami-inspired elements, while maintaining its beloved sophistication and high-end feel. The finishes, furniture, and amenities will be acutely refined, and elegantly minimal with an organic sensibility.

High-impact artwork will evoke several elements including the natural components of the Earth while speaking to the Miami landscape and personality in a modern and abstract manner.

“Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area.”

Upon arrival, guests will experience a different approach to minimal and sophisticated elegance in the hotel’s reimagined lobby area. Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area. Black and bronze metals, woven linen, marble and custom hardware featured throughout will exhibit the luxurious feeling that Miami evokes within.

Close up of modern furniture above abstract blue art piece in white suite

Image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Featuring eco-friendly materials, travellers checking in will notice driftwood-inspired slatted headboards, wood-look tile flooring throughout the guestrooms, marble base table and chairs and private patios with custom furniture, all overlooking Biscayne Bay. Art featured within the guestrooms will be local sourced, with a specific focus on highlighting Miami’s flourishing art scene.

Two EPICally detailed suites – a Hospitality and a Presidential, will both reside on the corners of hotel’s 30th floor. Complete with wrap-around balconies and sweeping views of the city lights, the bay, and ocean – both will feature curated, one-of-a-kind furniture, collected art and various functional considerations for entertaining and hosting.

“As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design.”

The high-end sophisticated feel of the property will extend into the hotel’s expansive 16th-floor pool terrace, with new European furnishes and a clean and modern color palette that has playful touches for an energetic pool vibe.

As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design. Virtually all furniture, lighting and artwork are custom and proprietary to the hotel. The hotel’s redesign, expected to be completed by the end of September, is masterminded by the talented in-house Kimpton design team under the helm of Ave Bradley, Creative Director & Global SVP of Design, and Diana Martinez, Senior Design Director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels

EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

800 599 Hamish Kilburn

The Times Square EDITION is the brand’s second hotel to open in New York…

There simply has never been anything like it before in New York City’s famed cultural and entertainment mecca. Ian Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, has introduced the sophisticated The EDITION Times Square, which will shelter the first Michelin-starred chef ever to grace the neighborhood, along with the creation of a new form of Cabaret theatre and a complete reinvention of billboard art.

Throughout the decades, Times Square has seen myriad changes and has taken on many iterations. By World War I, it was the center of culture, nightlife and entertainment. By the 40’s and 50’s, the Latin Quarter Nightclub presented festive floor shows that featured chorus girls and can-can dancers, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and the Andrew Sisters. There was Tin Pan Alley, the Copacabana and the Theater District. There was Roseland, Birdland, Ella Fitzgerald, marathon dancing, hot jazz, Doo-Wop and the pop rock of the Brill building as well as the invention of the now gossip columns. It was a democratic “meeting place” and nothing exemplified the disorder of the city or the dichotomy of high and low art than Times Square. Sadly, however, the Great Depression and World War II took its toll on the area and Times Square began its decline. From the 60’s onward, the area was riddled with adult entertainment, prostitution, drugs, and crime. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Marriott Marquis opened its doors and Disney debuted The Lion King at The New Amsterdam Theatre that the clean-up began with the redevelopment of new theaters, retail, hotels and eateries.

Despite Times Square’s notorious reputation, it has managed to maintain itself as a symbolic global, geographic and cultural icon. It had long been home to media giants as well as the center for theater, music, culture and entertainment. This adventurous mold-breaking, however, has disappeared. Today, Times Square and its overindulgent commercialisation that lacks the substance and sex-appeal that once distinguished its streets. It is hungry for a Renaissance and The Times Square EDITION will usher in a new era. The hotel and all of its unique offerings seek to preserve the essence of the area during its Golden Age when it was the microcosm of the best New York City had to offer.

“The Golden Age of Times Square elicited the feeling that anything was possible. New York was the City of Dreams, Times Square at its heart, where everyone came together with a common purpose,” said Schrager. “The Times Square EDITION is the embodiment of this storied past, resurrected for the present, providing hope for the future of this most beloved neighborhood.”

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

From the moment you enter the hotel’s doors on 20 Times Square at West 47th Street, guests are transported to another world—a decompression zone. A long ivory hall with venetian plastered walls and ceiling and a floating custom green mirrored stainless sphere inspired by Anish Kapoor and the colors of Jeff Koons await you. Once gusts arrive at the Lobby and Lobby Bar, a series of black and white spaces, which is worlds away from technicolour scenes located on the streets. Each of these two extremes serves the other yet each stands on its own. But together, something new, original, and even stronger is created. Indeed, with this alchemic symbiosis, a new reality and a virtual fourth dimension is created. As guests move in and out continuously, the space becomes boundaryless. This clash of worlds, this surreal sense of space and time is best experienced on the outdoor terraces, appropriately named the Bladerunner Terraces, that frame the various public space floors. On the terrace off the Lobby Bar, guests can choose to be in your own private oasis escaping in a cocoon-like area or face the brilliance of flashing light and color of Times Square for the best light show in the world.

“The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner.” – Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

Off the Terrace Restaurant, a similar feeling awaits on expansive terraces that were inspired by the L’Orangerie at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. The outdoor space in totality with thousands of plants, trees and ivy is perhaps the biggest indoor landscaping effort in the country was designed by Madison Cox and is literally, multi-level gardens in the sky. The public space interiors with their rich woods, lush velvets, waxed leathers, polished marbles and smooth metals are combined to create a chic, simple, hip, serene and luxurious setting, an antidote to the hectic life just outside the hotel’s doors.

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it.” Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

The first Michelin-starred chef ever in Times Square, John Fraser, is spearheading the food and beverage at the hotel to create a cacophony of dining experiences. The fine dining restaurant named 701 West is a gastronomic gem in a jewel box-like setting that is an explosion of color.

The Terrace Restaurant and Outdoor Gardens is an original take on a four meal, 18 hour-a-day restaurant inspired by traditional French brasseries and American chophouses but taken in a completely new direction by Chef Fraser.

The entrance to the Terrace restaurant will host the debut exhibit of specially curated candid portrayals of “the real New York City”, the one not seen by visitors, capturing energetic, gritty and poetic street and neighborhood scenes by renowned photographers Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Ruth Orkin, Arthur Leipzig and Cornell Capa to name a few. The following exhibit will shift to more current street scenes illustrating the culture and diversity that pervades the city today. The space will continue to house rotating photography and art exhibits by various well-known photographers and artists.

The Paradise Club is an inventive, chaotic, high production spectacle perfectly suited for Times Square. The brainchild of Anya Sapozhnikova, Justin Conte, Matthew Dailey and Kae Burke of House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this edgy and provocative modern-day Cabaret manifests the disorder of the City and adds a whole new dimension to the hotel and to Times Square.

The shows will be part theatre, part performance art with talent across many disciplines including dance, voice, aerial acrobatics, choreography, costume design and magic. There will be a regular ongoing performance based on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. With no formulas, rules or any specific structure, but not for shock value, each performance at Paradise Club will be different from the previous one and different from the next. For a new twist on dining and entertainment, the menu will be original and creative from hot dogs to caviar and everything in between.

“Paradise Club is a place of aspiration… Invention and reinvention… A refuge to enjoy life and forget life and the perfect place to escape into fantasy,” said Schrager.

This one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment space also features the most sensational, immersive, colorful and kinetic lighting effects designed by Tony and Academy Award-winning Fisher Marantz of Studio 54 fame and inspired by a Lenny Kravitz video, as well as bespoke hand painted murals inspired by Bosch and Dali–a modern successor to the world famous Maxfield Parrish’s King Cole mural on Fifth Avenue. Perhaps the most spectacular element of the space is the full-blown production studio and control center that allows for live simulcasts and broadcasts around the world, as well as locally to a “Best in Class” 17,000 sf-8K-8mm Jumbotron outside of the building and a high definition digital screen on the stage. The exterior Jumbotron will also display rotating art by current video artists, cinematographers and animators.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

Historic Nashville building transformed into luxury hotel

Historic Nashville building transformed into luxury hotel

1024 512 Daniel Fountain

Some of the world’s best hotels are those that have had a former life. Old, historic buildings full of richness and character made for an iconic and unique hotel experience.

A new project by restoration expert Deborah Berke Partners in Nashville, Tennessee, is one such hotel. The new 21c Nashville Museum Hotel is located in the former Gray & Dudley building. A beautiful factory that was built at the turn of the century in 1900, and that used to be a hardware store and warehouse.

It has been transformed by New York-based Deborah Berke Partners, who also turned the 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City into a 124-key boutique hotel, art gallery and museum. The hotel and its arts facilities occupy 120,000 square feet spreading across seven floors, the six upper floors of which contain the guest suites.

The architects were intent on retaining the historic character and epochal details of the hardware building. At the same time they wanted to give it a contemporary feel and imbuing it with a 20th century identity.

They also wanted to incorporate the vibrant culture of Nashville’s music and art scene into the hotel, and so recapture some of the energy that could be felt in the city at the time it was constructed, which echoes the vibrancy of the city today. High ceilings and exposed brickwork and timber beams characterise the aesthetic of the property.

The inclusion of contemporary artworks in practically all of the areas, from the common spaces of the reception and restaurants to the guest bedrooms, give flashes of colour and support the local arts scene. As well as stylish guest suites with the highest quality bed linen and bathroom amenities byMalin + Goetz. There are also a number of themed and bespoke suites, such as three Artist Suites which feature interactive visuals and are designed to allow an immersive and creative user experience. As well as stylish and comfortable guest rooms, there is a spa and the Gray & Dudley restaurant, there are conference and meeting facilities and, of course, as the name suggests, a gallery and museum showcasing the latest talents in art. All of the details are immaculately conceived of, a throwback to an age of innovation and craftsmanship that the hardware store defined at the time of its construction.

San Diego W

San Diego W Hotel to be re-branded as Autograph Collection Hotel

682 401 Daniel Fountain

Hotel Republic San Diego is preparing to debut mid-October as the city’s newest boutique luxury hotel property within Marriott International’s repertoire of Autograph Collection Hotels.

Located at 421 West B Street in downtown’s civic district, Hotel Republic will provide guests with an insider experience of San Diego through artisans, amenities and local culinary talent.

Hotel Republic stands on the historic site of the original San Diego Steam Laundry company building, which was built by Swedish immigrants in the late 19th century.

Now in 2017, following a top-to-bottom renovation—and a deliberate transformation from the former W Hotel to the Renaissance San Diego Hotel by owner Rockpoint Group and management company HEI Hotels & Resorts—Hotel Republic will act as a new social and business hub within San Diego.

IBEROSTAR Florida

IBEROSTAR opens new hotel in South Beach, Florida

749 466 Daniel Fountain

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts, known for its luxurious four and five-star properties located in the most spectacular destinations around the world, has opened the doors of its second US hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.

The historic building, now renamed IBEROSTAR Berkeley, was fully renovated under a $43 million (£33 million) investment and is situated at 1610 Collins Avenue, right at the heart of South Beach.

The glamourous IBEROSTAR Berkeley features 96 brand-new, luxuriously designed guestrooms, including 20 premier rooms with balconies, a lush Sun Deck with spectacular views of Collins Avenue, and signature restaurant BLT Steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This pet-friendly hotel also offers a fully-equipped fitness room; a beautiful heated pool and deck with lounge area on the fourth floor; 24-hour room service; full housekeeping with turndown service; and beach club with towels, chairs and umbrellas; among other amenities and services. The standard and deluxe rooms feature one king and two queen size beds, respectively, as well as a minibar with snacks and soft drinks, onyx designer rain showers, comfortable workspaces with outlets and USB ports, and much more.

IBEROSTAR Berkeley is one of the new properties the brand has been developing within the urban segment, with a plan to reach a total of 15 in the next three years in key cities like Budapest, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, New York, Havana, Santo Domingo and Lima, among others.

Adelphi Hotel, Saratoga NY

Adelphi Hotel in final phase of renovations

998 574 Daniel Fountain

The Adelphi Hospitality Group unveiled plans today for the final phase of renovation of The Adelphi Hotel, Saratoga Springs’ landmark boutique hotel.

Originally built in 1877, the newly renovated Adelphi Hotel will reopen in Spring 2017, blending old world grace and its iconic Victorian grandeur with modern touches to create a memorable hospitality experience of luxury and elegance in order to live up to the history and legacy of The Adelphi Hotel.

As the last surviving hotel of Saratoga’s Golden Age, beauty and appreciation to historic details are found everywhere – from restoring the 11-foot ceilings and grand staircase to the signature design of the hotel’s spaces, The Adelphi aims to reinvent the style of Saratoga Springs’ bygone era luxury as modern luxury.

The Adelphi Hospitality Group has also focused on the engineering of the 150-year-old building to ensure it is structurally sound for centuries to come. Crews replaced deteriorated columns, installed load-bearing steel beams, and poured concrete to replace uneven wood floors that had worn out over the years. The team now focuses on the final phase of the project: finishing the interiors to honor the past and storied history of The Adelphi.

“The revitalized Adelphi Hotel will honor the distinct style and simple elegance of Saratoga Springs, while delivering a modern and luxurious sensibility that embodies first class services of a grand hotel,” said Simon Milde, Managing Partner of the Adelphi Hospitality Group. “The 150-year-old historic boutique hotel has been reimagined for the millennium to personify a modern twist, and eclectic revival of, timeless ideals. Our goal is to honor the past by looking at every element that makes each experience memorable for our guests.”

The architect for the Adelphi Hotel renovation is Dominick Ranieri Architect, P.C. in Schenectady, New York. Ranieri is providing his architecture and historic preservation expertise for the property, transforming the 19th century building into one of splendor without sacrificing character. The exterior of the building including the Courtyard garden areas designed by Ranieri will exude the ambiance of the grand Victorian era with stone patios, fountains and landscape garden walls. Architectural and Interior Design firm Glen & Company Architecture is refurbishing the interiors of the hotel, helping to usher the Adelphi Hotel into the 21st century, while respecting its heritage through its redesign of the 32 guest rooms, the hotel’s public spaces including the lobby bar, restaurant, second floor piazza, conservatory café, among many others.

The interior will be modernised for 21st-century standards with thoughtfully designed spaces, continuing its 150-year tradition as the epicenter of the city, and the property’s grand staircase, which ascends from the hotel’s richly appointed lobby, will be restored and fully functional. Existing furnishings have been carefully removed, meticulously photographed and catalogued, then returned into place after the renovation. Many of the pieces have been refurbished and will be repurposed into new life at The Adelphi Hotel.

The front of the renovated hotel will be upgraded to have a streamlined look while still maintaining its historical character evocative of its extravagant past. French doors will open to a patio and a 1,200-square-foot, glass-walled conservatory, ideal for private dining, will overlook the hotel’s courtyard and lush gardens. Luxury services and amenities will complement the elegance of the guest rooms and suites.

The Adelphi Hotel aims to become a sought-after dining and entertainment destination in Saratoga Springs for both locals and visiting guests. Upon entering the grand lobby, guests can access the approachable bar integrated into the space, elevated bistro and marketplace that will evolve into a wine bar in the evening, and full-service restaurant with private dining wine room, all while overlooking the serene landscaped gardens on the hotel grounds.

The Adelphi Hospitality Group’s first project, Salt & Char, is a modern American steakhouse located adjacent to the Adelphi Hotel and opened in July 2016. Construction is expected to be completed by spring of 2017.

Two Manhattan hotels designed by Gene Kaufman Architect for Quadram Global’s new micro-hotel Arlo brand are slated to open this autumn

Gene Kaufman-designed hotels for Quadram’s new Arlo brand to open

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Two Manhattan hotels designed by Gene Kaufman Architect for Quadram Global’s new micro-hotel Arlo brand are slated to open this autumn in Manhattan, one in NoMad and one in Hudson Square.

The 11-storey, 325-key Arlo Hudson Square, which will open at 231 Hudson Street (also known as 503 Canal Street) on September 6, is a 97,000-square-foot hotel created by merging two adjoining parcels. The project increased in size during the design process as two sets of air rights were obtained, allowing the architects to design for a larger space than had originally been envisioned.

The hotel will have expansive outdoor space comprising a large rooftop terrace with a bar/lounge and an equally large ground floor courtyard, also with a lounge. Arlo Hudson Square will also have the latest eatery of Chef Harold Moore, Executive Chef and owner of the West Village’s successful Commerce Restaurant. Called Harold’s Meat + 3, the restaurant will be 2,400 square feet.

The hotel’s interiors, which include meeting rooms, have been designed by AvroKO. Landscape design is by MDD Landscape Design.

The 37-story, 250-key Arlo NoMad will open later this fall at 11 East 31st Street, between Madison and Fifth avenues. One of its many attractions is the roof deck, with its wrap-around views of the city and large terrace, both made possible by the stacked mechanicals that free up the maximum amount of space. The roof is just one of the many spaces the hotel offers guests for relaxing and meeting friends. In fact, with its small but well-appointed guest rooms and its large public spaces, with places to eat, lounge and enjoy cocktails, the 91,000-square-foot hotel will be a new type of high-end hotel, one designed as much for socializing as for sleep.

Says Gene Kaufman, Founder and Principal of Gene Kaufman Architect: “Our goal for each of these hotels was to create a look that reflected the neighborhood in which it resides. In Hudson Square, we’ve used aged brick to emulate the appearance of the area’s historic industrial buildings, while in the more bustling, urban NoMad we’ve designed a light, airy glass tower that floats above its neighbors and towers against the sky.”

Atlanta Marriott Marquis

$78 million transformation, modernisation for Atlanta Marriott Marquis

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Atlanta Marriott Marquis recently revealed its extensive transformation, which cost $78 million and saw guestrooms and suites get a complete overhaul, as part of a roll-out across North America.

The Greatroom features modern enhancements and programs while the hotel’s 160,000 square feet of meeting space is tailored to foster collaboration.

The latest modernisation to Georgia’s largest hotel comes on the heels of a $138 million upgrade in 2008, bringing the total investment into the hotel to more than $216 million in less than ten years. New, mid-century modern interiors in each of the property’s 1,663 rooms including 94 suites create a consistent aesthetic that now aligns with the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and its iconic architecture while offering contemporary conveniences.

Atlanta Marriott Marquis
The new Marriott guest rooms are designed with a modern, spacious, and elevated look with tailored solutions. Based on consumer insights, locally-inspired accents offer a sense of place, such as the Atlanta skyline. Multi-purpose work surfaces provide flexibility and mobility in the space, allowing guests to work and live in the room the way they want. A deluxe new bath in king rooms includes walk-in upgraded showers that enhance the bath experience.

The hotel’s 94 suites and concierge-level rooms also received a new look including new hardwoods accented by beautiful area rugs throughout each area. The hotel offers more suites than any other hotel in the Atlanta market, providing ample multi-functional space for meetings, interviews, receptions or VIP accommodations with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the city.

The expansive concierge lounge received technology upgrades and enhanced food and beverage offerings that showcase the Marriott Marquis’ award-winning culinary program. The exclusive, relaxed setting, gives guests staying in concierge level accommodations an ideal environment to socialise or work while enjoying complimentary items such as wi-fi, plug-in access for laptops and personal devices and a selection of snacks, soft drinks, coffee, bottled water. In the morning, guests are treated to a selection of freshly prepared breakfast items that are made in-house from scratch using only locally-sourced ingredients.

Evening reception hours offer a chance to unwind from the day amidst breathtaking views of the Atlanta skyline.

The expansive, multi-level Greatroom features a new layout and modern furnishings that create spaces to relax, collaborate with colleagues or socialize after hours. Wi-Fi and wireless chargers provide a flexible workspace. The redesigned space seamlessly transitions from the hectic pace of the work day to a vibrant and stylish lounge in the evening.

www.marriott.co.uk