Posts tagged with "Hotels":

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.
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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."