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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

click an image below to view slideshow

So, they utilized the full size of the hotel to give scope to each of those contrasting needs. Grand public spaces become a canvas for statement pieces. Guest room walls feature streetscape murals that contrast with the views outside their windows. Bicycle wheel fixtures suspended from the ceiling are set progressively lower as guests approach the reception desk and punctuate the lobby. Rounded architectural elements define a dining area and pay tribute to the underground tunnels in the area. “Once seated in the restaurant, you feel removed and protected from the voluminous lobby, just as you would wish to feel removed and protected in a speakeasy during Prohibition,” says Kuby.

Kuby and his team turned to a secondary theme suggested by the nearby Jewelry District, the nation’s largest and located within walking distance of the hotel, to further insulate the guest experience in areas such as the ballrooms, function rooms, meeting rooms and breakout spaces from what’s outside. The concept became a vehicle for a palette with pops of color, elegant metal accents and soft textures. It also supplied them with a rich range of materials such as creamy leather, velvet and elegant glasswork (both in the windows and pendant lights) that becomes a visual cushion from the street outside.

Hotel Indigo DTLA 
Integrating interior design and architecture in this new-build hotel allows for rounded alcoves to become a focal point. Photo: Matt Walla

Within that cocoon, life-size black-and-white photographs serve as edu-tainment to give a history lesson. “Monochromatic photography inherently takes the viewer back in time,” says Kuby. “However, the experience is far more immersive when the imagery is at 1:1 scale. Building on that intimacy, we tried to select scenes with characters and expressions guests could engage with. In a final softening and refinement of the overall effect, we calibrated warmer lighting temperatures and placed natural wood materials within the composition.”

Hotel Indigo DTLA
Bathroom stall doors become a stomping ground for yesterday's stars in the form of monochrome photos. Photo: Matt Walla

Those images include full-length portrait photos of Wong and other actresses of the era, as well as other Golden Age of Hollywood graphics. In keeping with the all-out glamour of that era, even often-overlooked spaces like the fitness center, elevator lobbies and bathroom stall doors host some of the coolest images. That’s not just a coincidental moment—Kuby notes that guest circulation studies pointed them to the elevator as a budget-maximizing engagement point for guests.

From melding influences to using multiple design narratives, here’s a new evolution on doing “local.” Not every new hotel needs to just fit into its neighborhood. Sometimes, it’s the hotel that becomes the bellwether and the neighborhood has to catch up.

CLIENTS: Greenland USA; InterContinental Hotels Group
DESIGN FIRMS: Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA): Richard Tennill, associate; Alex Kuby, senior project designer; Valeria Lassalle, senior project designer; Jana Dadant, project designer; Greenland USA: Winston Yan, chief technical officer; Susan Shen, senior designer; Shawn Yu, director of construction
DESIGN CONSULTANTS: Altitude Design Office (signage); Illuminate Lighting Design (lighting); JVA Art Group (art)
FIXTURES: Kohler; Moen; Pan Pacific
FLOORING: Golavabia; Grato Flooring; Rouse Co.
FURNITURE: Foundation Hospitality; Provado Hospitality; Senyuan Furniture Group
LIGHTING: Delightfull Lighting; Diamond Life
WALLCOVERINGS: Eleganza Tile; Stone Source


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