Posts tagged with "Hotels":

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Rockin’ guitar-shaped Florida hotel celebrates construction milestone

Hoteliers and musicians smashed guitars in Hollywood, Florida to celebrate a construction milestone at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, a $1.5 billion entertainment complex featuring a mega guitar–shaped hotel. The 450-foot-tall hotel will boast more than 600 rooms, around half of the complex's total, plus a 41,000-square-foot spa and a few restaurants. At the tower's base, guests can swim underneath waterfalls in plunge pools, relax in private cabanas, and partake in water sports in a giant artificial lake. Right now, the existing Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood hotel has almost 500 rooms, as well as a casino, meeting space, restaurants, and a lagoon pool. Guitars are a popular motif all over the Hard Rock hotel and restaurant empire, but this is the first of the company's buildings to so closely resemble the actual instrument. Vertical fins up the tower's midline resemble strings, while horizontal banding act as 'frets' (though unlike real frets they extend outward to mimic the curve of the instrument). “It will be the first building in the world that’s truly to scale designed as an authentic guitar,” James 'Jim' Allen, Seminole gaming CEO and chairman of Hard Rock International, told the Sun Sentinal. “So it’s not just an exterior facade, the curving of the building will be identical to an authentic guitar." Though it might be the largest guitar building, it might not be the first. In 1996, architect Glenn Williams designed a Guitar House for himself in Venice, California that was inspired by Picasso's cubist rendering of the instrument. The Architect's Newspaper (AN) has reached out to Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood for more details on the building's design and construction, and will update readers as more information becomes available. Footage from the October 25 event showed workers atop the first few swishy floors. "To do this...to have a guitar shaped hotel—the only thing I'm a little concerned with is it's not a drum!" joked Nicko McBrain, a resident of nearby Ft. Lauderdale and a drummer in the British metal band Iron Maiden. The hotel opening is slated for summer 2019, but the complex's revamp goes way beyond its signature structure. In March, the 5,500-seat onsite theater will be demolished and replaced by Hard Rock Live, a 7,000-seat, $100 million venue. The casino will double in size, too, and the Seminole tribe is adding meeting space and 60,000 square feet of new retail and restaurants. The projects are timed to open before 2020, when NFL championship teams will face off at the Populous-designed (and HOK-renovated) Miami Dolphins stadium. It's a couple of states away, but this jammer should put rawkers in the mood for the hotel's opening:
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Neil Denari designs nine-story West Hollywood hotel development

Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA) has unveiled renderings for a new mixed-use hotel and apartment complex in West Hollywood, California that features filleted corners, tapered walls, and wedge-shaped windows. The midrise block would bring a 91-key hotel as well as eight apartments to a corner site along the city’s La Brea Avenue corridor. The somewhat sleepy quadrant of the city that has seen renewed investment interest in recent years, especially from the hotel industry, Wehoville reports. NMDA’s proposal rises nine stories and is arranged with its tallest levels hugging the street. The hotel’s double-loaded corridor configuration is supplemented along lower levels by the building’s parking podium, which wraps around the hotel program, taking up the entirety of the site. The four-level podium is topped by an amenity deck that contains a swimming pool and lounge, among other uses.   The building also features ground floor retail spaces that are set back from the sidewalk and exist below overhanging building elements. The structure is supported by large piers along the street that carve up storefront spaces and demarcate the building’s lobby areas. The tower’s facade is studded with gridded, floor-to-ceiling window assemblies that are interrupted by alternating vertical window bands. The exterior of the structure is clad in what appear to be black metal panels. NMDA’s proposal would take over an existing car garage and would help to spread development southward from the city’s bustling Sunset Boulevard, where Gehry Associates is attempting to build its controversial 8150 Sunset project. Gehry’s project has drawn community ire for being perceived as too tall for the area and for not having enough parking. Initial reaction to NMDA’s hotel has been more muted, however, with Gwynne Pugh, principal of Urban Studio—West Hollywood’s urban design consultant—giving the project positive marks, saying, “this building will act as a significant marker and gateway into the city of West Hollywood. In addition, the choice of color, a dark grey, really creates an eye-catching and slightly foreboding vision.” A timeline for the project has not been announced.
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Wellness design is spreading across hospitality architecture and beyond

Fifty years ago, the term wellness—if it was used at all—essentially meant “not sick.” Then, throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the rise of gym culture and workplace wellness snowballed into an explosion of fitness boutiques in the early aughts. In city centers and upscale suburbs today, specialized fitness boutiques such as SoulCycle, PureBarre, Barry’s Bootcamp, and FlyWheel are nearly as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Combined with the rapid expansion of “health” branded grocery stores, an uptick in haute athletic wear, and a plethora of juice and smoothie companies, not to mention the surrounding media buzz, wellness has become not so much a trend as a booming industry.

Hotel conglomerates took note about a decade ago, assuming that the same kale-juice-chugging travelers frequenting SoulCycle and Whole Foods would want to stick to their wellness routines on the road. In 2010, Wyndham acquired TRYP, a subset of hotels that offers amenities like in-suite fitness equipment, healthy snacks, and an “energetic fitness center.” In 2012, Las Vegas’s MGM Grand introduced 41 “Stay Well” rooms featuring wellness amenities such as  aromatherapy and air purification systems and access to Cleveland Clinic programs for “sleep, stress, and nutritional therapy.” In 2014, InterContinental Hotels Group launched EVEN Hotels with six locations in Norwalk, Connecticut; Rockville, Maryland; Times Square, Midtown East, and Brooklyn, New York; and Omaha, Nebraska. EVEN Hotels not only boast athletic studios, but also in-room personal training, group classes, and the Cork & Kale™ Market and Bar for healthy snacks. The branding, though aggressively green-washed, is apparently successful: Six more EVEN Hotel properties are slated to open in the next few years.

In 2017, fitness companies flipped the script. Luxury fitness brand Equinox recently announced it will open its first hotel in New York’s Hudson Yards development in 2019 with plans to open a second location in Los Angeles soon after. Equinox operates nearly 80 clubs in nine cities in the United States, with additional locations in Toronto and London, with approximately one million members overall. Although sources wouldn’t disclose which architects worked on initial designs, the revealed rendering shows a massive tower, expected to be home to a 60,000-square-foot “super gym” with indoor and outdoor pools in addition to the hotel.

Equinox isn’t alone. Chicago’s Midtown Athletic Club, a tennis-and-fitness center established in 1970, is adding a 55-room boutique hotel on top of its facilities. Evanston, Chicago–based DMAC Architecture spearheaded the design of the addition and the redesign of the existing structure to create a 575,000-square-foot complex that will have 15 indoor tennis courts; four pools (including one that converts to an ice rink in winter); one full-size basketball court; several studio fitness spaces for yoga, Pilates, boxing, and spinning; locker rooms; retail and dining options; outdoor and lounge recreational spaces; as well as other hotel amenities such as meeting and banquet rooms, deluxe suites, and a penthouse presidential suite. “Rather than being 98 percent hotel with 2 percent amenity, [the Midtown Athletic Club] will be 96 percent amenity and 4 percent hotel,” said Dwayne MacEwen, founder and principal of DMAC architecture. “There are three floors of primary club space, with the third being an all-glass in-between space with the lobby, and the hotel component occupies floors four and five,” he explained. MacEwen emphasized that the prevailing design directive is to create something “intimate and choreographed,” eschewing a “big-box-gym atmosphere.”

Designing for wellness rather than merely fitness or hospitality involves a careful consideration of social and nonsocial areas. MacEwen and his team crafted specific spaces for conversation, like the monumental staircase on the second floor; spaces for solidarity, like the meditation room; and spaces for “being together, alone,” like the lounge. “We didn’t want to over program any one room—when you do that no one hangs out there—but we wanted to create an emotional impact through our use of materials, sense of compression, lighting, and wayfinding,” he said.

This strategy continues through the exterior of the landmarked building: The Midtown Athletic Club is located at a busy intersection in Bucktown, and MacEwen was cognizant of its impact on the neighborhood. “People choose to live in the city for a reason,” he said, “so we wanted to give something back to the urban street experience. It is more like an urban island oasis; you feel like you are a part of the city because you can see the traffic and feel the energy, but there is a solitude and quietness to it as well.” The Midtown Athletic Club hotel and renovation is set to be complete early this summer.

As hotels increase the amount of fitness and wellness offerings on deck, boutique fitness brands also feel obligated to provide key hospitality tenets—most importantly, forging a community with and among their members. Principal Chad Smith of Desbrisay & Smith Architects in New York has been working with boutique fitness brand Barry’s Bootcamp since 2012, both designing its studios and contributing to its branding. It is no coincidence that the tagline on the Desbrisay & Smith Architects website is “causing communities.” “We look at the organization of the space, as well as its touch and feel, and explore how the patrons come together and what happens before and after a workout,” Smith explained. This isn’t just “Kumbaya” feel-good vibes. “Boutique fitness companies want their communities to form a gang, not only because it has material impacts on their health and wellness, but [because] it increases retention so the businesses make more money.”

There is no singular approach when it comes to organizing spaces that make people feel as though their intraclub relationships are springing up organically. When Smith worked on CrossFit company I.C.E.’s New York location, he started by examining where and how clients interacted. “In CrossFit, people hang out and talk to each other in the workout space, so we wanted it to be chic and luxurious, very Manhattan,” he said. “Basically we thought, ‘If you had to pick a classic New York space to work out in, something that’s durable and glamorous, what would you choose?’ The obvious answer is Grand Central Station, so we picked up on its material cues, such as brass and dark blue paint.” But behind these sleek walls and floors, there is a lot going on: sound isolation, floating, spring reinforced acoustic floors, and superinsulated windows and walls.

Not only are these technological elements crucial for spaces like Barry’s Bootcamp, where 25 people run on 25 treadmills simultaneously within a mixed-use building, but they are also needed for when people sit completely still.

Meditation centers—that is, places where people go to sit and experience a guided meditation—are still new to the built wellness environment. When designing the Inscape Meditation Center in Manhattan, Archi-Tectonics founder Winka Dubbeldam spent months focusing on a seamless experience for clients. “It demands a different type of precision,” she explained. “If you meditate in all kinds of positions—walking, sitting, lying down—then you are very aware of yourself and the space around you. A few things became quite apparent. I wanted to create a continuum, an immersive environment: Walls and ceilings become one in the Dome; there is clean purified air; there is perfect sound and lighting. All the senses are soothed.”

Inscape has two meditation rooms: The Dome room is a large ellipse, while the Alcove room is smaller and wrapped in textural cloth. Both rooms feature color therapy lights, a smooth transition between the ceilings and walls, and carefully curated sound. “When we first soundproofed the space, we over-perfected it,” Dubbeldam said. “It was too soundproof! It actually hurt my ears. So we had an acoustics engineer come in and soften it and add a small amount of white noise to achieve a more comfortable silence.” The lighting was designed to avoid any pinpointed spots of light; rooms are equally lit, each with a soft horizon line around the Dome room where distracted meditators can focus their gazes and regain their senses of calm.

To achieve this level of design, Dubbeldam created a full-scale prototype in a warehouse in Brooklyn and meditated in it with Inscape founder Khajak Keledjian, who also founded the clothing boutique Intermix. “I see design as a process, a series of tests to achieve moments of precision,” Dubbeldam said. “It looks super simple, but it takes massive amounts of design and engineering. I really feel like that is where architecture should go, and, in our case, is going.”

Evan Bennett of New York–based Vamos Architects concurs.“Environments are shifting dramatically as technology shifts,” he explained. Bennett recently completed Honeybrains, a concept cafe in New York’s NoHo district that serves up information on brain health alongside healthy food options and a honey-focused retail section. Owned by two siblings—one who worked in neurology—the cafe features circadian lighting by Ketra disguised in a clever ceiling-light baffle. “We were careful not to have direct lighting, but instead created a honeycomb pattern that could reflect light off of the interior paneling,” Bennett said. “It lets us hide the track lighting, the AV system, and a projector up there as well.” Bennett admits that spending 30 to 40 minutes in a circadian-light-controlled system might not have major effects on one’s health, but he believes in Honeybrain’s mission to become a platform for discussing brain health and the possibilities of design that straddles the intersection of health and technology.

Though the wellness trend will play itself out and change over time, people-centric, health-focused design will endure in hospitality architecture. Combined with our current propensity toward mixed-use spaces and advanced technology, building boundaries will continue to blur—not only between hotel and gym, but across industries of all kinds.

Want more on wellness? Read how it's influencing the workplace too.

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Hotelier and architecture patron Andre Balazs steps down as chairman of Standard International

Celebrity hotelier and architectural patron Andre Balazs is not known for doing anything “standard.” That was the irony in the name he chose for the hospitality brand he created 18 years ago, Standard Hotels. This month Balazs stepped down as chairman of the company he founded, Standard International of New York. According to The Financial Times and hotel industry publications, he will maintain a 20 percent stake in the company as well as stakes he holds in individual hotels. Balazs, who heads the privately-held Andre Balazs Properties, could not be reached about the move. But according to The Financial Times and Hotel Management, a publication that follows the hotel industry, Balazs has described his decision to leave Standard’s board of directors as a “friendly parting of ways.” Standard International is currently developing a 270-room hotel in London, and Balazs said in a published statement that he is “no longer involved with the design or any other aspect of the development of the London Standard.” A representative for Standard International said a new chairman has not been named. Standard’s portfolio includes five Standard hotels around the United States, including The Standard Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard; The Standard in downtown Los Angeles; the Standard High Line; The Standard East Village and The Standard Spa in Miami Beach. It also has a separate division called the Bunkhouse Group. Balazs, 60, has drawn acclaim for revolutionizing the concept of affordable hospitality, with irreverent and playful touches such as putting a clear partition between the shower and the sleeping area in guestrooms at the Standard in downtown L.A. He has employed first-rate architects and designers, such as Ennead Architects and Roman and Williams for the Standard High Line. He has worked on residential projects with architects Jean Nouvel, Richard Gluckman, and Calvin Tsao. He was early to see the development potential of the High Line and other areas. According to its website, Andre Balazs Properties portfolio includes the Mercer Hotel in New York City; the Chateau Marmont in California, Chiltern Firehouse in London and Sunset Beach on Shelter Island in New York. Educated at Cornell University and Columbia University, Balazs has also drawn attention for dating celebrities such as Uma Thurman and Chelsea Handler. One project he pursued with Standard but didn’t bring about was a hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport, using Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal for the common areas. Another developer was subsequently named to lead that venture. What’s next for Balazs? It’s not likely to be standard. Observers say they expect him to stay in the hotel business and turn his attention even more to the luxury sector, as he hinted he might do in a statement published by Hotel Management. “The lack of uniqueness in the luxury sector is lamentable,” he was quoted as saying. “I think we changed the affordable category. I think the luxury market is crying for exactly that.”
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Renzo Piano is designing a 36-story hotel in San Francisco’s Transbay neighborhood

New York City–based Renzo Piano Building Workshop and developer Pacific Eagle have revealed renderings for 555 Howard, a new, mixed-use hotel project slated for San Francisco's Transbay neighborhood. The project, if completed as planned, would become the fourth tallest structure in the city. According to documentation submitted to the city’s Planning Department, the project is slated to contain 69 dwelling units and 255 hotel rooms. Of the 69 dwelling units, 15 percent would be set aside at affordable rates. The rectangular tower, clad in transparent glass and rising to an overall height of 385 feet, would be built on the site of a collection of low-slung masonry buildings dating to the early 1900s. Those structures were analyzed by the Transit Center District Historic Resource Survey in 2012 and were not found to be “Contributory or Significant Buildings” for the neighborhood. Renderings released for the project showcase a glassy, boxy tower that steps back slightly roughly halfway up its height. According to the report, the residential portion of the building would be located between the 20th and 36th levels, with the hotel program sitting below. The 21st floor, where the building steps back, will include an outdoor terrace meant for use by building residents. The structure also features a triple-height ground floor lobby area with what looks like retail uses. The lobby is lifted on slender, pencil-tipped columns similar to those the architect used in the firm’s Modern Wing addition to the Art Institute of Chicago building. The lobby also features a pair of intervening mezzanine levels. The project proposes creating an “under ramp” park spanning one full side of the structure, underneath an adjacent elevated highway onramp. The building’s massing is split at roughly the centerline along that expanse, creating a wide reveal in the facade that, according to the planning documents, is meant to minimize the massing of the structure.
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Midcentury modern bank building in Memphis to become boutique hotel

Historic urban buildings across the country are being converted into boutique hotels, and Memphis, Tennessee, is seeing its own set of downtown makeovers. The latest is the forthcoming hotel at 158 Madison Avenue in the 1962 Leader Federal Savings and Loan building with a new nine-story neighboring addition. Seattle-based Chris Pardo Design: Elemental Architecture is transforming the five-story midcentury modern building into a 70-room hotel and the planned addition would take the room count up to 150. Along with the hotel, Pardo is also designing a ground-floor restaurant, Teller, and a rooftop bar, Errors & Omissions, names that pay homage to the building’s original program. The building will retain its distinctive precast facade. “We will be restoring the entire exterior of the building, adding back the fifth-floor planters, repairing the windows, and adding architectural facade lighting. The building is a real jewel and speaks for itself; we intend to honor its originality,” Chris Pardo said.

Architect: Chris Pardo Design: Elemental Architecture Client: Wessman Holdings Location: Memphis, TN Completion Date: Spring 2018

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A newly remodeled 1920s building adds to Chicago’s growing list of boutique tower hotels

Apparently, Chicago has an insatiable hunger for boutique hotels in vintage Chicago skyscrapers. In 2015, the newly renovated downtown Chicago Athletic Association (CAA) became the go-to hang-out for architects during the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Virgin opened anew hotel in the 1928 Old Dearborn Bank Building; Goettsch Partners has completed the LondonHouse Hotel in the 1923 London Guarantee Building; and the 1928 Chicago Motor Club, the 1929 Carbon and Carbide Building, and the Burnham and Root–designed 1895 Reliance building have been converted into a Hampton Inn, a Hard Rock Hotel, and Kimpton Burnham Hotel, respectively. Now, another “new hotel, old building” is opening outside of this downtown cluster, to much fanfare.

The Robey hotel, named after the historic street name of what is today Damen Avenue, is located at the major intersection of Damen Avenue, North Avenue, and Milwaukee Avenue, an area called Six Points in Wicker Park. Located in a 1929 building officially known as the Northwest Tower, and more locally known as the Coyote Building, the 12-story art deco tower is the tallest building by far in the neighborhood. It is a local icon, and for decades it was the center of an annual arts festival called Around the Coyote. In the more recent past, however, the tower has laid largely empty, often on the verge of bankruptcy.

Over the last three years, the Coyote Building has been transformed with major brickwork repair, all new windows, and a flagpole and Robey flag atop the building’s cupola. Chicago-based Antunovich Associates was the architect of record on the project, with design work by Brussels offices Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merckx Interiors. The hotel is being managed by the Mexican hoteliers Grupo Habita.

Along with the hotel, the building includes a hostel called the Hollander, three restaurants, two bars, and a small rooftop pool. The hotel itself has 69 rooms, including rooms in the sharp southeast corner with unblocked views of downtown, three miles away. The rooftop Cabana Club bar and restaurant on the roof also offers panoramic views of the city.

When the Northwest Tower was designed by Perkins, Chatten & Hammond in the 1920s, it was one of the first towers outside of Chicago’s downtown. Since then, it has remained one of the tallest to not be in the city’s center or along the lakefront. Though a handful of slightly shorter transit-oriented developments are popping up in the Robey’s vicinity, it is unlikely that it will lose its status as an icon of the near northwest side.

This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect's Newspaper's coverage of your city and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

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“Military-inspired” design and decor defines this Texas hotel

The army may seem like an unlikely inspiration for a hotel, but it was the jumping-off point for Cavalry Court, a “military-inspired” 141-room motor court hotel, in College Station, Texas. Designer Rottet Studio chose corrugated metal and vintage brick to form a Spartan palette, while details, such as pool cabanas resembling field tents, complete the kitschy theme. Due to its proximity to Texas A&M University, the hotel features 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space to accommodate meetings, weddings, and receptions. Appropriately, guest rooms and suites have been dubbed “barracks” and “officers’ quarters” (but are sans soldier-style bunk beds), and “gourmet Texas cuisine” is served at the Canteen Bar & Grill. “Like the motor courts of yesteryear, Cavalry Court’s aesthetic coupled with Texas A&M cadet history uniquely captures the true essence of College Station, of Texas, and embraces a bit of Americana,” Valencia Group president Doyle Graham Jr. said in a statement.

Cavalry Court is near part of Houston-based developer Midway and Valencia Group’s 60-acre Century Square, a mixed-use development adjacent to the A&M campus. The George, a more upscale boutique hotel, will be located next door.

Cavalry Court 200 Century Court College Station, TX Tel: 844-313-7337 Developer: Valencia Group

This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

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Dramatic faceted tower planned for Downtown Los Angeles’s Historic Core

New details are emerging for a striking tower designed by Buffalo, New York—based Adam Sokol Architecture Practice (asap) for Downtown Los Angeles’s Historic Core. The proposed 28-story Spring Street Hotel will replace an existing parking lot sandwiched between 19th-century skyscrapers and will feature a 170-key hotel. The tower, developed by New York—based Lizard Capital, will rise to 338 feet in height and will feature an automated parking garage that will contain 63 stalls. The project was originally expected to rely on existing parking structures in the surrounding neighborhood for guest parking, but a draft environmental impact report for the project details three levels of subterranean parking with two floors of automated stalls. The report also indicates that the mixed-use project will contain ground-floor retail, including a 7,050-square-foot restaurant and a 3,780-square-foot “gallery bar.” The project will make ample use of rooftop amenities further up the height of the tower, including a 3,780-square-foot rooftop bar and lounge, as well as a 2,770-square-foot pool deck. The inside of the building is set to contain a large conference and movie screening room as well as a 1,000-square-foot gym and 1,000 square feet of office space. The tower’s unconventional, faceted upper floors cap a more traditional and contextual, gridded base that's designed to match the surrounding structures in terms of scale and proportion. This lower section also matches at the cornice line with the surrounding 12- to 13-story early skyscraper towers along Spring Street. The remaining height of the tower not only changes geometry and texture, but also steps back as it rises further. The upper section of the tower features a regular array of punched openings that turn irregular toward the sharply faceted crown. There, renderings released by the architects showcase a series of larger, square-shaped openings and loggia spaces, presumably the lounge and restaurant spaces. HLW International will act as Executive Architect and Architect of Record for the project. The project is expected to start construction later this year and is due to be completed by mid-2019.
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A Marfa, Texas hotel recreates an 1880s structure with reclaimed materials

Despite its remote location, Marfa, Texas, continues to grow as an art and tourist destination. In April, Houston-based Carlos Jiménez Studio finished the Hotel Saint George, a 55-room boutique hotel built on the site of a former 1880s hotel that burned down in the 1920s. The firm incorporated the site’s structural history into the new building, keeping the frame within its original columns and utilizing an existing steel core.

Marfa Book Company, a small bookstore, publisher, and arts space that’s inhabited the site since 1996, is now located within the new hotel. “Through combining remnants of this newer structure, including a unique and irregular column grid and concrete floors, with reclaimed materials such as brick, marble, and wood from local sites, a simple and unpretentious language was created,” said Mary Alice Palmer director of hospitality interior design at HKS Hospitality Group.

Palmer said that the main challenge of the design was to create a place that was “warm and authentic” to everyone, including the local communities. “We attempted to bring [Marfa’s] special spirit to the design in an unaffected, almost accidental way that is true to the unpretentious nature of the place,” she said.

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Donald Trump’s Grand Hyatt Hotel illustrates what’s wrong with development in New York

Have you ever wondered why the Grand Hyatt Hotel's Midtown branch was allowed to build a restaurant out and above the sidewalk on 42nd Street? It’s a unique feature for New York City, which has historically guarded its public space from encroachment by private development. But the story of this space is an illustrative tale of development in New York. The hotel is famously Donald Trump's first project (done with the Hyatt Hotel) in Manhattan and its design presages the Trumpian aesthetic that we see in today’s streetscape. In 1976 Trump was able to convince the city's now-defunct Board Of Estimate to approve a plan to rebuild the 1919 Beaux Arts  brick-and-stone-detailed Warren and Wetmore–designed Commodore Hotel. The cantilevered restaurant was part of that plan. The new design for the hotel was done by Gruzen and Partners with Der Scutt as consulting architect. Rather than tear down the Commodore’s brick facade, the architects simply sheathed its walls with a skin of bronze-colored glass set in a grid of dark anodized aluminum. Peter Sampton of the Gruzen office remembered in a recent conversation that when the architects first met with Trump he said “I hate granite. I like shiny and want glass and aluminum.” That was it for the generic, but more appropriate, brick-and-stone facade developed by Warren and Wetmore. For the interior, Trump told the architects he wanted a “big atrium.” But according to Sampton, it turned out it was impossible to create a typical Hyatt central atrium because of the 1919 structure's multiple columns. Instead of a vertical atrium, the architects proposed a grand horizontal lobby. Trump loved the idea because “he was getting something for free.” The restaurant was a spatial extension of this concept and was even pitched as a hotel sign to get around the requirement of building over a public sidewalk. The interior of the hotel went through a renovation in 2011 by Bentel & Bentel—commissioned after the Hyatt Hotel had a falling-out with Trump—but the building extension naturally remains. In fact, this cantilevered sign-slash-restaurant was possible because the developers proposed it at the height of New York's fiscal crisis. The mayor at the time, Abe Beame, thought it was important to realize this project and he allowed the private space to span the public one. It was a valuable lesson for Trump on how to deal with a public entity and one that he has continued to learn—and earn—from.
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Deborah Berke redesigns an old Albert Kahn factory into a hip hotel

In 1916, trains could pull up directly to Oklahoma City’s Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant to deliver kits of parts for cars; in 1968, Fred Jones, once an entry-level worker at Ford, bought the plant and founded Fred Jones Manufacturing Company; and as of June 2016, hotel guests can check into the very same building to browse 14,000 square feet of art. Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson of 21c Museum Hotels worked with Deborah Berke Partners on their sixth collaboration together to transform the assembly plant into a boutique hotel.

The building, originally designed by Albert Kahn, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Berke and her team restored or recreated many of the plant’s original features, such as the Model T showroom’s terrazzo floor, casement windows, storefront, and entry, as well as the exterior lighting and Fred Jones Manufacturing signage. The car showroom space has been reimagined as a bar and lounge, and the original train shed is an outdoor bar and dining area. Industrial and mechanical fixtures throughout the 23 guest rooms and common areas reflect the structure’s automotive history. The building’s original penthouse apartment is now a suite. 

21c’s curator, Alice Gray Stites, commissioned artwork that also references the site’s industrial past with Woozy Blossom, a misting mechanical tree by Matthew Geller; James Clar’s River of Time, in which conveyor belts are covered with colored acrylic sheets to create moving panels that “flow” over a large LED clock, and other site-specific works. Rotating exhibitions will come through the hotel that highlight up-and-coming artists and the city’s own art scene.

21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City 900 W Main Street Oklahoma City, OK Tel: 405-982-6900 Architect: Deborah Berke Partners