i+D - July/August 2021 - 17

Similarly, as lead designer for the renovation of the classic Queen Kapi'olani
Hotel overlooking Diamond Head in Waikiki, Philpotts balanced honoring
the history of the 50-year-old hotel, while devising a new concept and design
for its guest rooms, restaurants, reception areas, and public spaces. " This
included overall planning of the project and the selection of finishes, fixtures,
architectural treatments, and details, " Kiggins explains. " Our goal was to bring
a fresh, contemporary feel to an old property located in a lovely location in the
resort district. "
The dated hotel posed a host of design challenges. However, the savvy Philpotts
team adeptly responded with crafty, efficient solutions. " In the lobby, the
ceilings and columns cried out for freshening, " the designers admit. But rather
than removing the original columns and plaster details on the ceiling, they
updated the column shape with squared-off, layered paneling extended to the
ceiling and created a ceiling grid and false beams to accommodate recessed
lighting. They also enhanced the arrival experience in reception with new
furniture groupings and the check-in area relocated to the porte-cochere.
Guest rooms had their own issues: They needed to be brought up to ADA
standards and also were plagued with asbestos. " The budget didn't allow for
total abatement, so the solution was to encapsulate the asbestos [in the ceiling
and walls] with a painted textured finish, " Kiggins explains on behalf of the
design team, which then also freshened up guest bathrooms with a new coat of
industrial paint and all new vanities.
Design goals for The Royal
Hawaiian were rooted in creating
a destination that felt fresh and
modern while also paying homage
to the historic nature of the location.
(Image: Art Gray)
Kiggins continues, adding, " The hotel remained open during the renovation
making it important for us to be accurate in our staging of areas and work
in general. " In the end, Philpotts pulled off a successful revamp of the
Queen Kapi'olani Hotel-which earned a 2020 Design Excellence Award of
Honor from the Hawaii chapter of ASID-that accurately conveys the nostalgia
of mid-century Waikiki in a space that's updated to modern-day standards.
" The Royal Hawaiian is an escape into another
time, " says Kiggins. " The entire resort feels like a
time capsule. You sense the glamour of yesteryear
as soon as you pull up to the pink porte-cochere.
The design goals were to honor that feeling and
make it feel fresh and relevant to today's traveler.
In our previous refresh of the space, pink was one
of the primary colors for the interiors whereas this
time around we made it more of an accent and
let the Pink Palace of the Pacific [as the hotel is
known] speak for itself. "
Philpotts's current task was to refresh the main
lobby, public spaces, and breezeways during the time
of COVID, which set back the timeline significantly
due to delivery delays and COVID protocols in
public areas. However, the design team is confident
they will be able to restore the design narrative
and vision they originally conceived for this project,
which is intended to be completed this summer.
Every detail at The Royal
Hawaiian-from the art to the
furnishings to the decorative
objects--is a reflection of its
location and local culture.
(Image: Art Gray)
i+D - July/August 2021
17

i+D - July/August 2021

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i+D - July/August 2021 - Cover1
i+D - July/August 2021 - Cover2
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