Posts tagged with "Hotels":

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.

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.

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.

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

Construction starts on reworked Nobu Hotel in Chicago

The Nobu Hotel in Chicago’s West Loop has finally broken ground. Chicago-based Modif Architecture now leads the project with Chicago-based Booth Hansen, who has worked with Nobu Chicago for some time. Local firm Studio K will see to the building’s interior design.

Despite calls to curtail the hotel’s height to eight stories, the building is now due to top out at ten floors. It will house 103 rooms, along with an indoor swimming pool, lounge, 10,000-square-foot restaurant, private event space, and rooftop bar. 

However, to realize the project, developers Nobu will have to alter their applications regarding the building’s density under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus scheme. Essentially, by purchasing a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 3.1, zoning classification for the site can potentially be changed from a C1-5 to a DX-5. Revenue from the sale will be placed into a fund that goes toward investment in Chicago’s poorer neighborhoods. Mayor Emanuel, however, will have the ultimate say on what neighborhoods this money goes to.

Despite a completion date penned for 2017, the new Planned Development application will of course have to be approved. That said, this could prove tricky as opposers of the project from the Neighbors of the West Loop (NOWL) continue to voice concern over the building’s height as well as the project’s valet parking plan.

Waldorf Astoria to be mostly converted into luxury apartments starting next year

A major renovation is in the works for the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel, which will be gutted and converted primarily to luxury apartments over a three-year period. The building will close for renovations starting in spring 2017 until 2020. While the exact details of the renovation haven’t been revealed, The Wall Street Journal reports that the hotel’s owner Anbang Insurance Group plans to convert up to 1,100 of the hotel’s 1,413 rooms into private apartments and sell them as condominiums. The other 300-500 rooms will also be upgraded but will remain in use by the hotel. Until recently, a similar plan was in place for the Sony Tower on Madison Avenue, but the building was sold to owners who scrapped a scheme to build luxury apartments in favor of offices. The Waldorf Astoria is one of the world’s most famous hotels, and has been synonymous with luxury since opening in 1931. The architecture firm Schultze & Weaver designed the Art Deco style building in the late 1920s, after the hotel’s original building was torn down to make way for the Empire State Building. High-profile tenants have included Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, and Douglas MacArthur; currently there are fewer than 200 suites available for monthly rental. The hotel is a popular destination for celebrities and others looking for a luxury stay in New York. Anbang Insurance Group will invest up to $1 billion in the renovation. The Chinese holding company purchased the hotel for $1.95 billion in 2014, making it the most expensive hotel sale in history.

Watergate Hotel reopens after a $125 million gut renovation, with design nods to the 1960s

Bellhops dressed in Sixties-themed uniforms created by costume designer Janie Bryant from the Mad Men television series. Guest rooms that resemble cabins on a cruise ship, only filled with midcentury modern furniture. Guest room keys bearing a message that makes a not so subtle reference to the Nixon era: “No need to break in…” Those are just a few of the design touches guests will find at the Watergate Hotel, on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D. C. Located at 2650 Virginia Avenue N. W. and closed since 2007, the hotel reopened today after a six-year, $125 million renovation. As part of the work, the number of rooms has increased from 251 to 336, including 32 suites. 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space have been added, including a 7,000 square foot ballroom. The developer is Euro Capital Properties of New York, headed by Jacques and Rakel Cohena, a husband and wife team. The architects were BBGM of Washington and Ron Arad Architects of London. Room rates start at $435 per night. Originally designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti in 1961, the Watergate Hotel gained attention for its contemporary design, and it came to epitomize the lifestyle and sophistication of its time. In the latest renovations, the 1960s exterior was preserved, but the interior was gutted and rebuilt. The architects put emphasis on playing off the midcentury modern design and playing up the sense of retro luxury and swank that distinguishes this hotel from more traditional Washington hotels such as the Willard InterContinental on Pennsylvania Avenue. Much of the furniture has been designed to look as if it dates from the 1960s. In a nod to the hotel's Italian heritage and inspired by its curves and undulations, Arad looked to sculptural, modern furnishings by the Italian designer Moroso. Arad also designed a new whiskey bar that's marked by a sculpture made of metal and whiskey bottles. The rooftop bar has a fire pit and sweeping views of the Potomac River, the Capitol, and the Washington Monument. The designers and developers didn't shy away from the Watergate’s link to the break-in that brought down a president. The hotel's customer service phone number ends in 1972, and recordings of Richard Nixon’s speeches will play periodically in public restrooms. “The Watergate is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous and illustrious hotels in the world," said Rakel Cohen, senior vice president of design and development for Euro Capital Properties. "We have paid meticulous attention to every detail in its renovation…. Its intrigue is driven by evocative design, from the retro feel that we have infused to the mystique that lies behind every curve of the hotel's architecture."

Deborah Berke Partners renovates McKim, Mead & White building into hotel

Lexington, Kentucky’s oldest skyscraper, the 1913 15-story McKim, Mead & White-designed Fayette National Bank Building, has been remodeled into the fifth iteration of the 21c Museum Hotels. 21c’s founders, two Louisville art collectors, spent $43 million converting the former bank into an 88-room boutique hotel. The Louisville-based chain is notable for including contemporary art spaces in its hotels. 21c Lexington includes 7,000 square feet of exhibition area with original art throughout the guest rooms and public spaces.

New York–based Deborah Berke Partners were the design architects for the project, while Pittsburgh-based Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel acted as executive architects. The hotel’s restaurant, Lockbox—a nod to the building’s heritage—includes a 12-person private dining room in the original vault with a functional locking door. 21c’s exhibition space is free and open to the public, with tours offered on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Moon Camp complex and Space Hotel debated by congress

The purpose of the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) was debated by congress last month. Congress agreed on the role NASA could potentially play in the future, contemplating the possibility of a hotel on the International Space Station (ISS) and and camp base on the moon. Despite the somewhat whimsical ideas being thrown about, the notion of re-aligning NASA's objectives was paramount. The race for the next frontier in space may have already started with Russian firm Orbital Technologies. That company has put forward the idea for a Commercial Space Station (CSS), though space get-away's wouldn't be cheap. Travel costs are estimated to begin at $800,000 with another $160,000 piled on for your stay. The space hotel concept relies solely on prefabricated components, a method successfully employed for the ISS. Architects and engineers, however, would be free from the earthly worries of damp-proofing, load bearing walls, vapor checks though envelope performance, and making sure the structure is sturdy. When a new addition is sent up to the ISS, it is primarily function-orientated with little attention given to its aesthetic qualities. For a commercial space station, this would likely change. The debate for moon camps in congress however, only arose as an idea to give astronauts six-month training prior to lengthier expeditions to Mars. Whether NASA plans to construct such a spectacle remains to be seen, though it appears the decision is out of their hands.

Florida’s Seminole tribe unveils guitar-shaped hotel as part of $1.8 billion project in the Sunshine State

Those who frequent Hard Rock Casinos will have become accustomed to the larger-than-life guitars that have become a trademark feature. However, none will be quite used to the scale of the Florida Seminole tribe's latest endeavor, part of a $1.8 billion project on U.S. 441, north of Stirling Road, in Hollywood, Florida.   Rising 34 stories high, 800 rooms will be encased in the form of a cut-away guitar's body. While some may argue that this duck is a potentially cliché aesthetic, tribe leaders were eager to emphasize their desire to make an architectural statement. Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen spoke of tribes aims to create an icon. "We could have easily just built some rectangular building...but the tribe is once again trying to create something that is iconic, that creates international tourism coming to Florida," he said to the Sun Sentinel. "We truly believe that design alone will create additional tourism." The expansion to the pre-existing complex will see room capacity boosted to 1,273 with the introduction of a nightclub and five new restaurants. $100 million will also be spent on a swimming pool (the second in the vicinity). As part of a deal between the Seminoles and the local governor, the development is set to see bring a influx of employment to the area as well. The tribe estimates that 19,452 jobs, including 4,867 full-time positions and 14,585 construction jobs, will be created due to the development. https://twitter.com/Chabelih/status/694191104854458370 Seminole plans are pointed skywards as they claim to rival Las Vegas and other major global gambling destinations. "We truly think this will rival not only anything in Florida, but Atlantis and anything in the world," said Allen.

Architects in Sweden implementing solar technology to keep popular ICEHOTEL open year-round

Each year, guests flock to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, for a chance to stay at ICEHOTEL, a seasonal hotel made of ice from the Torne River. But in 2016, guests will have the chance to enjoy ICEHOTEL all year long. The new 12, 900-square-foot extension will connect to ICEHOTEL’s existing structure during the winter months and feature a curved roof with greenery, providing space for tobogganing. To prevent ice from melting, Swedish energy company Solkompaniet will install a solar-powered system to keep the building cool during the summer and the 100 days and nights of the midnight sun. “We will use the physics of Isaac Newton. In the same way we normally make energy efficient housing that keeps the cold out, for this project we’ll use it in reverse to keep the cold in,” architect, sustainable construction design expert, and hotel, bar, and art gallery project partner Hans Eek said in a statement. Some aspects of the design will change on a yearly basis. “Ice has an interesting effect on creativity. As it’s not permanent, it makes you dare to try ideas that you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s very liberating. The idea of a project that marries this transient tradition with a semi-permanent, year-round element is very exciting,” project artist and creative senior advisor Arne Bergh said in a statement. The project is currently sourcing investments and is scheduled to open December 2016.

TEN Arquitectos tapped to design a new mixed-use luxury development in the Cayman Islands

Mexico City– and New York–based architecture firm TEN Arquitectos has been tapped to design a new mixed-use luxury hotel in the Cayman Islands. The $250 million project’s developer, Beach Bay Land Ltd, announced the selection this week at Art Basel. The project, which will be located in St. James Point, Grand Cayman, will feature a 200-room hotel with more than 90 residential units, high-end retail, restaurants, and, of course, spaces for water sports activities. According to the developer, it will create “a unique experience with service levels unprecedented within the region.” Sensitivity to the existing tropical environment will be an important component of the design scheme. As described by the architect, the mixed-use resort will integrate architecture “in harmony with nature while offering the highest standard of luxury accommodation.” “Providing more integrated environments for living and travel, without their losing connection to nature or sense of place, is key to the success of a project like this,” said Enrique Norten of TEN, in a statement. “We have a unique concept here that will fit harmoniously within the landscape.” The development will “provide everything necessary for St. James Point to compete successfully,” Cayman Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell told the Caribbean Journal. Slated to open in Fall 2018, the project represents TEN Arquitecto’s first in the Caribbean. The firm’s latest project, CENTRO, a cross-disciplinary university focused on the creative fields, opened this past October in Mexico City. Another recent TEN project includes the Mercedes House, one of the new luxury rental additions to Manhattan's Midtown West. Enrique Norten, who founded TEN in 1986, was also this year’s recipient of the Richard Neutra Award for Professional Excellence, joining the ranks of renowned architects Samuel Mockbee, Thom Mayne, and Tadao Ando.