Place Based Design for Unforgettable Hospitality Experiences

How do you design a hotel or restaurant- even one that’s connected to a distinctive parent brand – that offers guests a singular, unforgettable experience? For each project our teams do a deep dive into local culture for inspiration, an understanding of local materials and traditions and historical context to create buildings, spaces and properties with an intrinsic connection to the local environment.

K1A2732 Web

According to design director and senior associate Andrew Kline, the best way to get to know a culture or landscape is to hit the streets and experience it firsthand – eating, drinking, reading about the history, photographing things yourself, but most importantly, connecting with locals, talking to residents and hearing their stories. In Kauai, Kline’s team took on a beach resort originally built in the universal style of the 60’s and 70’s, remodeling the property to provide a more genuine connection with the locale. We stripped away the old and filled it with a more genuine story of the Kauai island, making use of colors, textures, patterns and materials that evoke a local feel and are steeped in its rich history. Our team scoured the island and engaged experts to learn about local art, tattoo patterns, and folklore, and tried to embody its ideals in the built environment.

NRC 01 03

According to design director and senior associate Andrew Kline, the best way to get to know a culture or landscape is to hit the streets and experience it firsthand – eating, drinking, reading about the history, photographing things yourself, but most importantly, connecting with locals, talking to residents and hearing their stories. In Kauai, Kline’s team took on a beach resort originally built in the universal style of the 60’s and 70’s, remodeling the property to provide a more genuine connection with the locale. We stripped away the old and filled it with a more genuine story of the Kauai island, making use of colors, textures, patterns and materials that evoke a local feel and are steeped in its rich history. Our team scoured the island and engaged experts to learn about local art, tattoo patterns, and folklore, and tried to embody its ideals in the built environment.

Lobby2
Standard Room CAM 02 Op2

We strive to create properties that not only co-exist with the location but become one with it. If a local walks into a hotel and feels it fits his hometown, then we’ve succeeded. The goal is never to regurgitate something they have already seen but to create a new space that speaks a similar language; to find common ground where residents and guests feel comfortable and excited within the space. In our work on 1 Hotel Nashville, the team toured all of Tennessee to experience the built environment, culture and people. To avoid clichés and create an experience that spoke to the area, we took inspiration from the surrounding countryside, which often plays second fiddle to music city’s rich entertainment scene. The Cumberland River motivated the lobby design, while the restaurant was inspired by local lakes, the spa by nearby caves, and the guestrooms a nod to a country homestead.

L18 OP06
AutoCampFalmouth (Aug2020) Revised 1

Creating a design narrative is integral to a productive research process, allowing us to measure ideas against conceptual guidelines, and telling us if they feel at home within the design story. Guided by AutoCamp’s modern brand language, we researched the history of mid-century modernist architects who summered and worked in Cape Cod. Inspired by the designs of Walter Gropius and his contemporaries on the Cape and how their designs shaped a unique architectural language for quiet summer life, we created a site plan and clubhouse that honors the generation’s approach, while applying contemporary aesthetics.

MK AutoCamp 8
MK AutoCamp 1
MK AutoCamp 6

In reviving a beloved local building in Banff for an upcoming Moxy hotel, we sought to honor the original midcentury design ideals and the spectacular location within Canada’s first national park. We developed a chic mountain aesthetic that honors the area’s unique rustic vibe, blended with a mid-century feel and a young, fun atmosphere that stays true to the exuberant Moxy brand.

Check In Bar Texture
K1A3068 Web

In the Boston seaport, we took a different tack with a design for the new Nautilus Pier 4 that honors the restaurant’s unbeatable waterfront location and seafood-focused menu, while intentionally moving away from the preppy nautical vibes that define much of the Massachusetts coast’s dining scene. Workshop/APD took cues from the restaurant’s bold, modern fusion menu and classic tales like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to create a sophisticated journey from Japan’s vibrant street food scene to the Atlantic ocean’s depths with a palette of aquatic jewel tones, warm metal and wood accents, and graphic murals and wallpaper – a dramatic departure from traditional New England design but still perfectly aligned with the local lore and history- albeit with a modern twist.

K1A3029 Web
K1A3121 Web
K1A3078 1 Web