Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 77

perspectives interview rakel cohen By Kathleen Kervin Photography by Ron Blunt, and courtesy of the Watergate Hotel (headshot) REWRITING HISTORY A design-forward developer embraces a DC relic It's not every day that someone gets to reinvent a place with as much history-and infamy- as DC's Watergate Hotel. It would be a lot of pressure for any developer, let alone a first time hotelier like Rakel Cohen. A Montreal native, Cohen moved to Washington, DC to study finance and marketing at the University of Maryland before making her way to New York. There, after a few entry-level finance positions, she met her now-husband, Jacques, and went to work with him as senior vice president of design and development at his newly formed firm, Euro Capital Properties (ECP), which he started in 2008. With the purchase of the Watergate Hotel in 2010-the first property owned and managed by ECP-Cohen took on the challenge of overseeing the restoration of the historic property, enlisting local firm BBGM as architect of record and famed Israeli designer Ron Arad to help execute her vision (Arad designed the public spaces; she handled the rooms). Here, she talks challenges, sweating the details, and embracing curves. What was the allure of rehabbing such a historic structure as the Watergate? Its name certainly caught our attention, but we immediately saw the potential to return the hotel to a state worthy of 'Washington's finest address.' The design and location are what made me want to buy it. The hotel has been renovated time and again, but we were the first to really embrace its original architecture. It's historically landmarked 1. A curving wall made from 2,500 custom illuminated bottles creates a stunning art piece in the Watergate Hotel's Next Whisky Bar. and surrounded by residents and business owners who care deeply about the future of the complex-we worked closely with the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Park Service, among others. The art scene has always been in DC, the food scene is there, the fashion scene is getting there, and it's time for the hotel scene to catch up. of the hotel, to the design, to the branding and marketing. I remember when we first went to visit the hotel before we purchased it. We stood on the roof and watched the sunset with my family. That's when I knew this property could be the most incredible urban resort in DC, and we'd definitely need to add a rooftop bar [Top of the Gate]. The views were too good. How did you choose Ron Arad? What were some of the challenges? I got my hands on as many design and photography books from the [1960s] as I could. I pored through old photos, researched online, and have spent significant time with some of the longtime residents. Hiring Ron Arad Architects was a huge part of this. Ron studied [Italian architect Luigi Moretti, who designed the original structure in 1965], and he understood that organic, flowing, avant-garde language that was needed to bring this hotel back to life. We also chose renowned architecture firm BBGM to help us maintain the architecture and bold curves. I told Ron we wanted to pay homage to the building, playing up the curvy nature and the 1960s. [But] I didn't need to brief him so much-I picked him because he understood Moretti's original concept. How involved were you in the details? I was extremely involved, from the purchase Everyone looked at the building and walked away from it. Renovating a historic building is extremely challenging, and we spent a lot of money making sure we did it right. We partnered with the right people, and preserved as much as we could from the original structure but also made the most out of the views-adding the outdoor space, blowing out the ceiling in the restaurant, raising the ground for the ballroom. Any design standouts? We embraced its original architecture to bring its signature undulating curves inside. Next Whisky Bar is a $2 million piece of art [with] 2,500 custom made whiskey bottles individually illuminated to form a curved wall that glows. Kingbird restaurant features postcard views, double-ceiling height, amazing terraces, Ron Arad's exclusive Watergate chair, pops of red, and eight amazing chandeliers. hd hospitalitydesign.com September 2016 077 http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - September 2016

Hospitality Design - September 2016
Online Toc
From the Editor
Behind the Design
People
Perspectives
Sketchbook
Places: Philadelphia
Brand Identity: Kimpton
Interview: Rakel Cohen
5 Questions for Loh Lik Peng
Products
Profile: Deborah Lloyd
Trends: Custom Art
Lighting
Textiles
Surfaces
Special Feature: The Challenge of Creativity
Projects
The Asbury
Mar Adentro
Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina
Hotel Saint George
Valencia Lounge Hostel
Hilton Wenchang
Ad Index
Back Space
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Intro
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Hospitality Design - September 2016
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 1
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 2
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 3
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 4
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 5
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 6
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 7
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 8
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 9
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 10
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 11
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 12
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 13
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 14
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 15
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 16
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Online Toc
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 18
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 19
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 20
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 21
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 23
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 24
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 25
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Behind the Design
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 27
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 28
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 29
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 30
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 31
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - People
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 33
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 34
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 35
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 36
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 37
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 38
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Perspectives
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 40
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Sketchbook
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 42
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 43
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 44
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 45
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 46
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 47
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 48
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 49
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 50
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 51
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 52
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 53
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 54
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Places: Philadelphia
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 56
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 57
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 58
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 59
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 60
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 61
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 62
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 63
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 64
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Brand Identity: Kimpton
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 66
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 67
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 68
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 69
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 70
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 71
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 72
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 73
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 74
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 75
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 76
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Interview: Rakel Cohen
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 78
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 79
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 5 Questions for Loh Lik Peng
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 81
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 82
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Products
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 84
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Profile: Deborah Lloyd
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 86
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Trends: Custom Art
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 88
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 89
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 90
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 91
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 92
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Lighting
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 94
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 95
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 96
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 97
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 98
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Textiles
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 100
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 101
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 102
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 103
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 104
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Surfaces
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 106
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 107
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 108
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 109
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 110
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 111
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 112
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Special Feature: The Challenge of Creativity
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 114
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 115
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 116
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 117
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 118
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 119
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 120
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 121
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 122
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 123
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 124
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 125
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 126
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 127
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 128
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 129
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 130
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 131
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 132
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 133
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 134
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 135
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 136
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Projects
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - The Asbury
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 139
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 140
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 141
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 142
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 143
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Mar Adentro
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 145
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 146
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 147
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 149
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 150
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 151
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Hotel Saint George
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 153
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 154
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 155
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Valencia Lounge Hostel
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 157
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 158
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 159
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Hilton Wenchang
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 161
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 162
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 163
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 164
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 165
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Ad Index
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 167
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - 168
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - September 2016 - Cover4
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