Boutique Design - July/August 2017 - 22
3 Drama doesn't stop in
the lobby. A sensual
sheen on dark tile
gives bathrooms a
boutiquedesign.com july + august 2017
4 Playing with scale in
the lobby bar makes
a variety of circular
shapes work for both
seating and a table.
5 Don't walk that
way. This door is
an art piece within
an elevator cab.
that visually removes guests from the street outside. 1920s actress Anna May Wong
served as a muse. But the team still wanted to keep some of the feel of the modern
city-both as it is and as it will be.
So, they utilized the full size of the hotel to give scope to each of those
contrasting needs. Grand public spaces become a canvas for statement pieces.
Guest room walls feature streetscape murals that contrast with the views outside
their windows. Bicycle wheel fixtures suspended from the ceiling are set progressively lower as guests approach the reception desk and punctuate the lobby.
Rounded architectural elements define a dining area and pay tribute to the underground tunnels in the area. "Once seated in the restaurant, you feel removed and
protected from the voluminous lobby, just as you would wish to feel removed and
protected in a speakeasy during Prohibition," says Kuby.
Kuby and his team turned to a secondary theme suggested by the nearby
Jewelry District, the nation's largest and located within walking distance of the
hotel, to further insulate the guest experience in areas such as the ballrooms, function rooms, meeting rooms and breakout spaces from what's outside. The concept
became a vehicle for a palette with pops of color, elegant metal accents and soft
textures. It also supplied them with a rich range of materials such as creamy leather,
velvet and elegant glasswork (both in the windows and pendant lights) that
becomes a visual cushion from the street outside.
Within that cocoon, life-size black-and-white photographs serve as edu-tainment to give a history lesson. "Monochromatic photography inherently takes the
viewer back in time," says Kuby. "However, the experience is far more immersive
when the imagery is at 1:1 scale. Building on that intimacy, we tried to select scenes
with characters and expressions guests could engage with. In a final softening and