Design Awards: High Honors

Sky the Limit for Latest Design Award Winners

From the towering 54-story L.A. Live project all the way down to the eight-story Padre Hotel in Bakersfield, CA, this year’s Design Award winners all stand out. Lodging Hospitality editors chose five projects to honor that displayed innovative, effective and creative architecture and design.

Read all about the five award winners and check out photo galleries of each. Vote for your favorite award winner here.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Team: Deutsche Bank (ownership), John Unwin (Cosmopolitan CEO), Arquitectonica (building architects), Friedmutter Group (executive architects), designers Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers, Adam D. Tihany and many more.
The Brief: Create a first-class luxury casino-resort on just 8.7 acres of the Las Vegas Strip able to compete with high-end neighbors like Bellagio and CityCenter.
The Project: The $3.9 billion project opened in December with 2,000 rooms (the remaining 995 will open this summer, 100,000 square feet of casino gaming, 150,000 square feet of meeting space, a 43,000-square-foot spa, three pools and an eclectic assortment of first-to-Las Vegas boutique shops and restaurants featuring world-renowned chefs.
The Focal Points: From the moment you walk into the lobby, the Cosmopolitan looks different. Huge and stunning video art columns greet guests. On the far side of the casino, the three-story Chandelier Bar is perhaps the most striking element in the entire resort and offers visitors the chance to enjoy a cocktail in the middle of the massive chandelier. The P3 Commons provide a neighborhood feel in a relaxing and central location in the middle of the acclaimed restaurants. Three pools offer distinctly different experiences: The Boulevard Pool overlooks the Strip in a casual setting, the Bamboo Pool has a spa feel and offers more privacy and the Marquee Dayclub Pool is a lounge-like environment by day and an extension of the nightclub after dark.
The Finished Product: Despite its size, the Cosmopolitan feels more like a small boutique hotel with its unique charm. The guestrooms feel like luxury apartments—it did start as a condo-hotel project—with all but 708 rooms offering at least 730 square feet of space and private terraces. CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE COSMOPOLITAN.

InterContinental New York Times Square
The Team: Tishman Hotel & Realty LP (ownership), IHG (operator), Gensler (architecture), Jeffrey Beers International (interior design)
The Brief: To build the largest new and environmentally friendly hotel in Manhattan since 2002, combining the character and culture of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Project: The $500-million, 36-story hotel opened with 607 rooms on July 12 and is slated to earn LEED certification. It also has 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a three-bedroom, 2,700-square-foot bi-level penthouse suite on the top floor and Ca Va, a Todd English Brasserie, an 80-seat French restaurant by the acclaimed chef.
The Focal Points: The interiors mix New York’s art deco heritage with contemporary facets and inspirations from nature. A central open courtyard greets guests in the lobby, setting a backdrop of natural sunlight, a reflecting pool, vibrant greenery, local artwork and glimmering abstract tree sculptures. The bi-level penthouse suite features a grand staircase leading to the second floor master bedroom with a fireplace and master bath.
The Finished Product: Floor-to-ceiling windows in all 607 guestrooms provide stunning panoramic views of the city, but also allow for maximum natural light and ventilation. Extra large bathrooms with walk-in rain showers and countertops made of sleek, polished white terrazzo stone provide a spa-like feel. Sustainability in such a massive project doesn’t come easy, but the developers and designers made it a priority. Green roofs on the second and seventh floors feature low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plants to help retain heat in the winter and absorb sunlight in the summer. CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE INTERCONTINENTAL.

Fairmont Pittsburgh
The Team: The PNC Financial Services Group (ownership), Gensler (architecture and design) and Fairmont (operator)
The Brief: Create an exceedingly green property with an authentically local experience, while taking advantage of the surrounding downtown views of Mount Washington, PNC Ballpark and the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers.
The Project: The $42-million, 185-room hotel opened on March 29 with 12,000 square feet of meeting space, a 6,000-square-foot spa and a full-service restaurant as part of the 23-story mixed-use Three PNC Plaza, the largest high-rise construction project in the city in the last two decades.
The Focal Points: Guided by the theme “Art and Industry,” Gensler created interiors reflective of the local community, with local steel and glass inside and out. An 18-foot-tall organic wooden sculpture commissioned by a local artist greets guests at the entrance, adding an unexpected element to the more modern interior. The lobby features a dramatic high ceiling, a sculptural front desk and a grand staircase leading to a restaurant above the front desk. Unique artifacts uncovered during excavation are featured throughout the property to connect modern life to what life was like at the site 150 years ago. Museum quality displays showcase the found artifacts like glass bottles, gilded decorations, botanical prints and tiles and Kestner dolls.
The Finished Product: The guestroom’s design and décor is modern and eco-sensitive, the color schemes inspired by the rivers and bridges of Pittsburgh. The hotel earned LEED Gold certification in August, yet guests still can enjoy a luxury experience without realizing the focus on sustainability. CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE FAIRMONT.

The Padre Hotel / Bakersfield, CA
The Team: Padre Partners (co-owners Graham Downes and Brett Miller, also the operator) and Graham Downes Architecture (architecture and design)
The Brief: Restore and modernize the classic hotel built in 1928 that had fallen into disrepair, creating a whimsical boutique combining past and present.
The Project: The $18-million renovation was a complete gut, leaving just the vertical shell, circulation systems and many of the original ornamental details from the first floor. In February 2010, after a two-year project, the 112-room hotel reopened for the first time since 2002 with a 24-hour café, lounge, upscale restaurant, bar and meeting space.
The Focal Points: Decadent guestrooms and amenities, as the owners call them, highlight the historic property. In addition to standard rooms, there are also the whimsically named Oil Baron Suite (835 square feet, 14-foot ceilings, Jacuzzi, chic step-in rain shower with naughty and fun dual shower poles), the Farmer’s Daughter Suite (velvet walls, vintage leather furniture, 695 square feet perfect for romantic getaways) the Head Honcho Suite (private living room, 450 square feet, corner views) and the Double Duce Guestroom (two full-size beds and shower/tub ideal for families).
The Finished Product: The boutique hotel is perfect for business and leisure travelers, connecting the Spanish Colonial Revival building’s past with contemporary touches in a whimsical way. The design is layered with modern motifs using patterns and elements saturated in color and rich in texture. The Belvedere Room provides an elegant ambiance for dining, while the Brimstone Bar is a throwback to the saloons of old. CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE PADRE HOTEL.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Residences and the JW Marriott at LA Live
The Team: AEG (developer and ownership), Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott (operators), Gensler (architecture), Barry Design Associates (design)
The Brief: Integrate two hotels into the first new skyscraper in downtown LA in 20 years, including 80,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Project: Conceived in 1999, the $2.5 billion L.A. Live project is five million square feet of entertainment, hospitality and office components anchored by the Staples Center. The 878-room JW Marriott Hotel and the 123-room Ritz-Carlton are part of the 35-acre campus.
The Focal Points: The 54-story tower has a curved glass skin colored in blue, silver and gray that becomes more transparent as it rises, creating a stunning exterior that also helps provides energy efficiency. The unique skyline image reflects the need for the rooms varying heights and depth. The Ritz-Carlton suites and residences at the top needed to be up to 12 feet deeper than the JW Marriott rooms below, creating the need for the unifying glass curtains draped from curved steel towers at the top of the tower.
The Finished Product: The hotels opened in early 2010 and have since received LEED Silver certification. The three-story lobby connects L.A. Live to downtown and offers aplenty of room for gathering, especially before and after events at the complex’s nearby entertainment venues like Club Nokia, the Regal Cinemas or the Staples Center. Guestrooms at the JW Marriott are 375 square feet up to suites with more than 1,500 square feet. The Ritz-Carlton is on floors 22-26 and rooms offer 450 square feet up to a suite with 2,920 square feet. CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF LA LIVE.

Remember to vote for your favorite here.

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