Boutique Design - May 2017 - 46
2 It's all about that brass.
A futuristic abstraction
of the constellations
overhead amps up the
lobby's star power.
the gettys group
boutiquedesign.com may 2017
the gettys group
COURTESY OF THE GET T YS GROUP (NICHOL A S, SWIDLER)
"beacon of hospitality"-served as the launch pad
for all of the design touchpoints.
"In our projects where we can provide both
branding and interior design-and ideally, procurement as well-we can tell a complete and compelling story," says Ron Swidler, principal, branding for
The Gettys Group. "We view the process like writing
a screenplay: Branding conceives the story arc first,
then the interiors team designs the sets." The result
is a cohesive experience that starts when a guest
investigates a property online and carries seamlessly from check-in to check-out.
To hit their high-design expectations, the firm
looked up for inspiration. Since the mid-1900s, the
building had been known for the elaborate
lighting of its tower. Even famed aviator Charles
Lindbergh once used the skyscraper's beacon
lights to aid his navigation during cross-country
flights. Beyond that, historic architectural embellishments, such as starscape murals, terra cotta
panels of planets and cast-bronze elevator doors
featuring Greek constellations, provided stardust
memories worth celebrating.
The branding team channeled that night-sky
inspiration into the 149-key hotel's logo-a tower
sketch comprised of art deco-style lines and topped
with an H and shining star, which references the
ones found in the city's and state's flags. That motif
informed the interior design team's creative brief
from top to bottom.
"It was important to make sure our design solutions were not only tied to the brand story, but
carried through in a modern and luxurious way,"
notes Nicholas, who was named to the Boutique 18
roster of up-and-coming designers in 2006. So
custom lighting was chosen to channel contemporary touches into the property's ancestral narrative.
For starters, the design team created a sculptural light feature in the lobby as an artistic abstraction of the constellations. "We worked closely with
the manufacturer, studying the piece from several
different aspects," says Nicholas. Due to the size
and weight of the fixture, the piece was constructed
out of metal in a custom satin brass finish, another
nod to 1920s glamour.
In the guest rooms, the designers toyed with a
twinkling star concept via a custom ceiling feature
that uses acrylic stems to cast shadows within the
space. To bring the celestial theme back to earth,
the design team laid current-day interpretations of
art-deco hallmarks underfoot, with custom carpets
showcasing bold geometrics and sharp lines.
The past-meets-present concept was also
woven into the materials palette. Traditional