News for the Hospitality Executive
May 24, 2012 (Seattle, WA) - After a three-month closure and a $2.5 million renovation of its main floor Living Room, bar and restaurant, W Seattle opened its public spaces in early March creating one of the city’s most eye-catching and architecturally interesting ventures. The goal of the project was to create an open, yet continuous space consisting of unique areas that encourage an interactive guest experience. Design for this new, modern renovation is a result of collaboration between W Hotels Global Brand Design Group and Portland, Oregon’s innovative design firm, Skylab Architecture www.skylabarchitecture.com, whose notable Portland projects include Departure Restaurant & Lounge at the Nines, Nike Studio at 255 and Doug Fir, restaurant, lounge and music venue. Funding for the project was made by Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., multi-branded portfolio owners of luxury and upper upscale hotels that includes W Seattle. W Seattle is located at 1112 4th Avenue Seattle, WA 98101 9206)264-6000 www.wseattle.com.
Skylab’s overall concept for the space reflects their vision of W Seattle as a “Sonic Lodge,” an eclectic and warm mix of materials and textures influenced by Pacific Northwest history and craft merged with the city’s aspirations. Jeff Kovel, Principal of Skylab Architects explains, “There is a specificity of place to the design. Since its inception, W Seattle has been a regional destination for design enthusiasts. The interior draws connections to the geography and regional culture with the organization of the space and with furnishings and finishes. Design is employed as abstract storytelling. In this case we are extracting the history of the future to conjure a unique experience around the W Seattle identity."
To that end, 31 impressive, floor-to-ceiling sculptural “lodge” or “totem poles” comprised of 174 sections run throughout the space. The centerpiece of the Living Room is a 3-story fireplace that riffs on a traditional national park service look-out and is covered with nearly 1,000 stainless steel, industrial-inspired tiles; a nod to Seattle’s interplay with the aviation industry. A built in DJ booth high above the fireplace and metallic banquettes in an amphitheater formation add a modern take and create the perfect setting to enjoy one of the hotel’s signature beverages. Bright pink blown glass chandeliers from Portland’s hip Esque Studio subtlety light the fireplace and indirect up and down lighting adds just the right mood and ambience for work or play.
Elements of regional craftsmanship are represented in the vibrant pink and grey stripe fabrics used on the banquettes in the Living Room, which draw inspiration from weaving patterns found in Native American arts. Hanging string curtains of nylon thread shape the window treatments and multi-colored cording, harkening to the notion of fabric looms, provides seating area separations.
The Northwest corner of the Living Room represents the “library,” offering a large community table for group meetings, social gatherings or an individual workspace. Skylab Architects, in collaboration with New York City’s Flavor Paper , produced 6 by 22 foot wallpaper panels featuring a classic record album collection, which frames the space and creates a jaw dropping visual impact. With a nod to the Flavor Paper owners personal music tastes, the wall graphic reflect a lifetime collection of funk, soul, early rap and old rhythm and blues with 25 percent of the records paying homage to Seattle’s history of musical contributions.
Since cocktails and dining are at the heart of the W Seattle experience, the hotel’s new restaurant and bar, TRACE, uses the open floor plan to allow maximum access to great food and drink. With seating for 80, the bar is surrounded by concrete panels fashioned after Pendleton blanket designs and the Sensitile Terrazzo™ tiled bar, composed of a fine concrete mix with embedded light conducting channels, creates a sophisticated and magical countertop that “twinkles in response to shadows, light and movement creating a playful, living surface,” according to the Sensitil website. The bar and restaurant are grounded with soft brown embossed ceramic floor tiles that look like end-cut tree rings that might be found in the forests of the Cascade Mountains.
The restaurant’s design materials and finishes in cool bronzy metallic gray, chrome and glossy black are balanced with overall warm, shimmery gold-hues that create an enveloping, ember-like glow to the room. Anchoring the south end of the restaurant is a lenticular mural, 20 x 12 feet wide, designed by The Felt Hat, a Portland, Oregon “Design Thinking” company. Depending on one’s vantage point in the room, guests see either a jellyfish that may be floating in Puget Sound, or from the other side, a sonic boom and fighter jet racing across the sky. A beautiful, 10-seat sushi bar with a custom-fabricated walnut counter top and low-slung contemporary wood chairs provide a haven for the sustainably caught wild seafood and fish offered fresh daily from the expert sushi chefs. For those wanting space for group dining, TRACE offers a 12-seat private dining area with a modern gaming theme punctuated by a sleek and unique table with a top that references a backgammon board. The room is closed off by a sheer curtain, which allows the energy of the room to permeate the space, yet provides privacy for the dining party.
"The opportunity to revision W Seattle has been an incredible honor,” says Jeff Kovel. “The W brand has curated significant design projects worldwide. Since its inception W Seattle has been a regional destination for design enthusiasts and the hotel’s sphere of influence is significant. Our approach has been to interpret the region through the W lens. The built environment combined with W hospitality is sure to propel this legacy forward."
About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 41 hotels and retreats, including 14 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. With more than 12 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach more than 60 hotels by the end of 2015. W Hotels have been announced for Paris, Guangzhou, Milan, Shanghai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, Muscat, Mumbai, and Santa Fe, Mexico, while upcoming W Retreats include Verbier and Mexico’s Riviera Maya. For more information, visit www.whotels.com. To live the W Hotels lifestyle 24/7/365, visit www.wresidences.com. Follow W Hotels on Twitter: @WHotels.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,071 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)
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