We were asked to update the public areas of the hotel for the initial phase of a complete hotel renovation. We took on the “living room”, the restaurant and the rooftop deck in this initial phase. The hotel is used by mix of business and leisure travelers so we were tasked with creating spaces that would be comfortable for both groups. Large stacked shared tables in the living room function as both a place to plug in and meet up as well as a spot for individual or groups to enjoy drinks and food from the bar.
The intimate restaurant has one wall that opens up into a meeting room space with a décor that echoes the interior of the restaurant. This creates a very large multi-functional space for meetings, banquets etc. The rooftop now enjoys a much larger bar and new deck with additional cabanas, which has radically increased the options for both business and nightlife functions.
The W design brief was very focused on creating and maintaining an overall narrative for the project. This particular hotels narrative is focused on the idea of San Diego as a “Wild Coast” environment, both in the sense of it’s native landscape as well as it’s vibrant nightlife, fashion music and art scene. We felt that the visceral experience of a beach bonfire taps into both of those concepts. It became the nexus that visually connects all the spaces. It’s most obvious incarnation is at the rooftop stack of burning chairs, but it’s also found throughout the living room and the restaurant “Kelvin”.
“It’s a bit like how you feel after a big wave tumbles you under and you come up all dizzy… the burst of the setting sun, the colors of the water and the sunset intensified by your off-kilter state. Walking into the W San Diego, you are greeted with a graphic interior that pulls toward a far bar with DJ perched overhead. “Home Sweet Home” beckons you toward the ignition point of the graphic vortex. Twenty-five foot tall gold- mirrored obelisks lean this way and that, reflecting the graphic itnerior at angles that seem disconcerting and beautiful at the same time. Bursts of driftwood combine with brass rod to form the signature chandeliers. It’s all a bit of fantasy, flotsam and jetsam of the beach mixed with a heaping helping of California golden glam.
A short walk away the restaurant “Kelvin” spins another sunset scenario with smoke from bonfires wafting up the orange candy glass walls. The piercing blue of the ocean finds a spot at the bar and provides a contrasting color punch in the marmalade interior. The final statement of the bonfire-inspired interior takes place on the Rooftop. A stack of aluminum Emeco chairs is set ablaze nightly and tugboat rope found abanoned on the beach becomes a sparkling chandelier. And another perfect Southern California sunset passes into the night.”Location: San Diego, California, USA Architect: Mr. Important Design Project name: W Hotel, San Diego
Client/Owner: W Hotel
Size (sq m): Living Room (242 sqm), Restaurant (98 sqm), Conference Room (190 sqm),
Beach Rooftop (242sqm) = 772 sq m
Completion date: April 2012 Design team: Charles Doell, Principal and Miriam Marchevsky, Project Captain
Main contractor: Owner Contractor
Photography: Jeff Dow