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California Dreamin’

(July / August 2017) posted on Fri Jul 21, 2017

Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) melds Old Hollywood, new DTLA and lifestyle brand standards into Hotel Indigo’s new flagship in the City of Angels.


By Oriana Lerner

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The Indigo is a case study for a new-school approach to uniting all those moving parts. It also has a few extra parts of its own—Indigo’s original New York flagship is now up for sale by IHG and partner Brack Capital, so the brand needed a narrative that would sustain moving the flagship cross-country. Fortunately, the HBA team had scale on their side—the 18-story hotel, part of the mixed-use 6.3-acre Metropolis development, is the largest in the brand’s portfolio. So, what’s the first step?

Hotel Indigo DTLA
Playing with scale in the lobby bar makes a variety of circular shapes work for both seating and a table. Photo: Matt Walla

Alex Kuby, senior project designer, HBA, and the team sat down to script out that concept, words first, even before inspirational visuals or soundscapes. “This practice helps us focus on narrative elements and resists any initial ties to trendy aesthetics,” says Kuby. “IHG’s direction was very complementary to this process as its Indigo brand is rooted in contextual storytelling. The HBA team also worked with Indigo to scale up its brand standards to a big-box size.”



Hotel Indigo DTLA
Alex Kuby, Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). Photo: Courtesy of Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA)

They set that story at the beginning of the film industry, another time when Los Angeles incorporated both ultra glam and down-to-earth aspects. It also facilitated an escapist feel that visually removes guests from the street outside. 1920s actress Anna May Wong served as a muse. But the team still wanted to keep some of the feel of the modern city—both as it is and as it will be.

Hotel Indigo DTLA
Don't walk that way. This door is an art piece within an elevator cab. Photo: Matt Walla


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