2019 GOLD KEY AWARDS
BEST LOBBY UPSCALE
CANOPY BY HILTON MINNEAPOLIS MILL DISTRICT
THE DESIGN FIRM: DLR Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota
THE MUSE: Connection and community—the mainstays of the Canopy brand. But owners wanted this taken to the next level with an interweaving of guests and locals and a link between both groups and the building’s history (it was a manufacturing facility for steam-powered wheat threshers until the 1930s). “That compelled the team to look beyond the industrial surface for meaning in its life long ago: the softer side of agrarian home roots,” says Staci Patton, hospitality interiors leader and principal, DLR Group. This was expressed in a variety of ways, one being the macramé work hung behind the arrival table. Pieces like this harmonize with the industrial skeleton of brick, steel and timber that surrounds the Canopy’s lobby “hearth.” This open, living room space centers around a large cubed glass fireplace and serves as a “social activator” with a bar and café that offers an all-day local menu of an artisanal breakfast display, a ready-made lunch counter and the chef ’s table tastings in the evening.
THE MAGIC: Blowing the definition of “sculpture” wide open—literally. Patton injected an intimacy that the lobby atrium was lacking with “Sift,” a multi-story artwork inspired by a black and white photograph of a baker sifting flour. Meant to embody these falling particles, metal squares were attached to cables and then suspended from the top of the atrium, prompting guests to look up and marvel (rather than squint).
THE MAVERICK MOVE: Hide the entrance in an alleyway. Visitors get the feeling of exclusivity without giving up the opportunity to interact with the shoppers and residents drifting in and out of the retail and apartment offerings that are part of this full city block development. All eyes are drawn to the lobby by the glow of the illuminated signature canopy, window lights, fireplace and the bar’s pendants within. A contemporary art wall also sits across from the entryway in the alley, further activating the area.
THE MESSAGE: Look beyond the obvious. The DLR Group considered not only the building’s industrial life, but the lifestyle of the people who worked there and lived nearby. That led to the inclusion of Scandinavian influences like needlework and quilted or woven leathers that embrace a “let it fray over time” mentality and a warmth found in the homelife of the farmers who frequented the building in its previous incarnation.
PHOTOS: KRUGER IMAGES