Boutique Design - May 2018 - 34
2 Created by Preciosa, the crystal dragon's tail that floats
above the public spaces would be nearly 200 ft. long if
stretched out straight. The piece is lit from above with two
different types of lighting to produce a stellar effect worthy
of the installation's inspiration, the Dragon constellation.
Recognized as an emerging center for technology, Markham is a city exploring
dynamic solutions for integrating new urban developments into its existing
neighborhood landscapes. This electric fusion of progress and growth sparked
the inspiration for Toronto Marriott Markham, which opened in March as the
first newbuild outpost for the redesigned brand in Canada.
"It was an exciting time to come onboard. Marriott was at the beginning of
re-imagining its namesake brand," says Menchions. Adds Rushbrook, "We were
approached about this project because we had experience working with this flag
and because of our varied portfolio of projects, each of which has a unique look,"
II BY IV DESIGN's approach to the upscale property's reception, Great Room, M
Lounge, ballrooms, meeting spaces, pool and fitness areas (the interior design firm
Quadrangle did the guest rooms and suites) references the energetic movement of
the city outside. That begins with the arrival experience. Echoing its surroundings,
the double-height lobby leverages the basics of city-center architecture-circulation patterns, surfacing and scale-to craft a dynamic but still warm welcome.
"Transitions between the various destinations within the public spaces
effectively create a journey that engages guests and encourages them to move
beyond the reception area into the Great Room and deeper into the hotel," says
Menchions. Floors and walls become design drivers. For example, the juxtaposition of quality finishes in unexpected combinations, such as large flooring
slabs of natural stone in contrasting honed and polished finishes, and the
reception enclosure with dark oak wall panels in alternating depths, ensure
there's a visual buzz from any perspective.
Wayfinding gets elevated from science to art in the glittering ribbon of
crystal shaped like a dragon's tail that undulates above the entire span of the
lobby. Suspended under the ceiling, Draco (named for the Dragon constellation) twists and turns as it guides guests through the relaxing, socializing and
boutiquedesign.com may 2018
"energy boosting" zones. Points of light twinkling on the ceiling reference the
stars that make up the legendary interstellar pattern.
"We saw this installation as a fitting tribute to the community of Markham with
its strong East Asian cultural influences," says Rushbrook. "It also evokes Marriott's
brand values: quality, exceptional and consistent service, and comfort. Legend has
it that the name Draco means 'to see or to watch,' the perfect designation for a
property set on becoming the hub of downtown Markham's social scene."
The curves and coils of this sinuous glass sculpture subtly delineate the
three zones. At ground level, furniture groupings with a mixture of table and
seating heights make it easy for guests to personalize their home away from
home, shifting the elements of the internal landscape to match their moods/
to-do lists. Like the world outside of the hotel, its interiors morph throughout
the day. There's also a menu of experiential options ranging from a convivial
breakfast area abuzz with conversation to semi-private dining niches with
vertical screens that provide privacy for impromptu gatherings.
With so much visual and physical movement going on, the designers were
challenged to find some aesthetic touchstones that would guide the overall
look and feel of the property without interrupting the flow.
"The use of repeated textural elements establishes continuity," says Menchions.
Rushbrook observes that contrasting matte and polished materials add intrigue
while the classic palette consisting of neutral backgrounds accented with rich pops
of aubergine and small hits of teal is timeless. The extensive art program, featuring
works by local and international creatives including a vibrant and compelling installation by artist Rollo Phlecks that activates the pool area with changing reflections
on the water, links the varied aspects of this multifunctional hotelscape. "This
unique layering of colors and finishes, textures and patterns, scale and proportion
acts as a point of difference for the brand," say II BY IV DESIGN's founders.
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