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ULX March April 2010

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Hotels Remaking History Ten renovation and retrofit projects make over structures to meet the needs of the contemporary hospitality industry and tap the place-specific power of older buildings.

Text of ULX March April 2010

  • 1. ulx Hotels Remaking History ronnyren Historic buildings often make declined have gained new life as tectural and interior elements Ten renovation and ideal hotels, whether or not they downtowns strive to recover. to reclaim the sites history and retrofit projects make over began life as one. Converted indus- Often it is necessary to reduce provide a sense of placefor both trial structures, office buildings the room count in older buildings locals and out-of-town guests. structures to meet the and even a water towerhave to ensure that rooms are large been repurposed as hotels. In enough to meet contemporary Ron nyRen is a freelance architecture, urban needs of the contemporary other cases, historic hotels that fell standards. Modern design touches design, and real estate writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. hospitality industry and into disrepair when central cities interweave with restored archi- tap the place-specific power of older buildings.
  • 2. 1. andels Hotel Lodz LoDz,PoLanD One of Polands largest cities, Lodz served as a major London-based Jestico + Whiles and OP Architekten textile industry center in the 19th century. By the of Vienna, the facility also includes a large atrium, a 1990s, however, the industry had fallen into decline, restaurant, and seven conference rooms. On the roof, and the textile mills at the citys heart were left vacant. the ballroom and the swimming pool are enclosed in The mixed-use project Manufaktura opened in the city glass; the pool cantilevers above the main entrance. center in 2006, converting industrial buildings dating The design restored and preserved historic red-brick to the 1850s to house cultural and leisure facilities and walls, vaulted ceilings, and cast ironwork while insert- adding a new retail center. Last year, andels Hotel ing contemporary sculptural elements, such as the Lodz opened in a former weaving mill within Manufak- atriums elliptical concrete forms lit by color-changing tura and now offers 220 standard guest rooms and 58 lighting. Vienna International Hotels & Resorts of suites and extended-stay apartments. Vienna is the hotels operator. Designed for Vienna, Austriabased real estate developer Warimpex Finanz- und Beteiligungs AG by Vienna international Hotelmanagement ag Vienna international Hotelmanagement ag
  • 3. 2. The Boundary LonDon,U.K. On Boundary Street in the Shoreditch area of east London, London joint venture Prescott & Conran Ltd. created a hotel and dining venue out of a vacant, deteriorated industrial ware- house built in 1893. Design firm Conran & Partners, also of London, removed the mansard and added two floors containing duplex bedrooms with double-height living spaces. The design retains the buildings brickwork, large sash windows, and light wells. The new floors are clad in green copper with a timber sunshade. Opened last year, the build- ing includes a restaurant, a roof garden with bar and grill, a caf, and a food store. Each of the 17 guest bedrooms reflects the style of a different designer or design movement, including Bauhaus, Charles Eames, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and the Shakers. Sustainable design features include natural ventilation and materials obtained from local suppliers. A new groundwater cooling system, which relies on an artesian aquifer under the restaurant, operates the air conditioning, refrigeration systems, ice machines, and other equipment.
  • 4. 3. Citizen Hotel SaCramenTo,CaLifornia With the help of a subsidy from the city of Sacramento and historic tax credits, local devel- oper Rubicon Partners and local design firm Vitae Architecture recast the 14-story, 1920s- era California Western States Life Insurance office building as a 198-room hotel. Creating the Citizen Hotel involved gutting and rebuilding most of the interior, restoring the art deco exterior and marble-paneled elevator lobby, and seismically retrofitting the structure. The operator, San Franciscobased boutique hotelier Joie de Vivre Hospitality, held town hallstyle meetings with residents and local organizations to help brainstorm a personality for the hotel that would be in tune with the city, emphasizing an urban, historic, traditional look with graphic touches that refer to the citys role as the political center of the state. Opened in 2008, the Citizen Hotel is located across a park from City Hall. It includes a climate-controlled, tented terrace deck, plus conference and meeting space; the Grange restaurant occupies a metal-and-glass extension designed by San Franciscobased Michael Guthrie & Company.
  • 5. 4. Gladstone Hotel ToronTo,CanaDa The Gladstone Hotel is billed as Torontos oldest continuously operat- ing hotel, dating back to 1889, but by the end of the 20th century, long- deferred maintenance resulted in water damage and general dilapidation. In 2002, the family of local architect Eberhard Zeidler purchased the build- ing and began extensive renovations, completed in 2005. Zeidler Partnership Architects restored the Richardsonian Romanesque struc- tures stone ornamentation, brickwork, wood siding, and arched windows, as well as the original hand-operated elevator. Plumbing and wiring were updated and new wood floors installed. Each of the 37 guest rooms and suites was designed by a different local artist or team of artists, chosen by the Zeidlers through a juried submission process. The hotel also has a caf, a bar, meeting and conference rooms, a ballroom, and short-term rental artists studios. tom arban
  • 6. 5. Hilton President Kansas City Hotel KanSaSCiTy,miSSoUri In its heyday, Kansas Citys President Hotel played host to entertainers such as the Marx Brothers and Frank Sinatra in its Drum Room lounge. Built in the 1920s, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. But for 25 years after its closure in the 1980s, the only residents were pigeons. Developer Ron Jury of Overland Park, Kansas, and local firm Gastinger Walker Harden Architects have resuscitated the struc- ture, which reopened as the Hilton President Kansas City Hotel in 2006. The design revamped the 453 small guest rooms into 213 larger rooms and suites; restored the Drum Room and other meeting and community spaces; and reconstructed ceilings, terrazzo floors, and col- umns. It is the first completed project in Kansas Citys redevelopment of the South Loop, which also includes the Power & Light entertainment district. mike sinclair
  • 7. 6. Hotel Felix ChiCago,iLLinoiS For years, Chicagos Hotel Wacker served as a single-room-occupancy property. Oxford OBG Investment Partners of Chicago purchased the building in 2007 and, with hospitality design firm Gettys and architecture firm Cubellis, both of Chi- cago, restored the 12-story hotels historic 1926 exterior and reconstructed the interior to meet modern standards. Opened last year as the Hotel Felix, the building incorporates contemporary sculpture, prints, and photographs in the two- story lobby and other public spaces.

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