Design Director Melba Santos is the most recent featured designer on Design Manifestos. The interview grants readers a more personal perspective on discovering her voice, sources of design inspiration and her rise a prominent designer.
An excerpt from Design Manifestos:
On discovering her voice as a designer
After graduating, I worked in the International Retail/ Restaurant Mixed-Use field and was lucky enough to be provided opportunities to explore creative problem solving in a team environment. It was this exchange of ideas that led me to pursue a collaborative environment that included continual mentorship from colleagues in Architecture and Interior Design.
From my broad exposure to design came a focus on the Hospitality and Restaurant industry, which I consider the time when I discovered my voice. I was hired by MONOGRAM (BBGM) because of my ability to “tell a story” through design and every story is different which keeps me challenged and energized. I understand that Hospitality and Restaurant design requires an all-encompassing approach as well as balance of technical and creative solutions to achieve a homogenous end result that can be appreciated by any given Brand, Client or Visitor.
Being a painter, the discovery of things beyond physical grasp has always intrigued me. I try to imagine who a guest will be before he/she leaves their home and what the experience will be like for them when they enter a space I have collaborated on.
Melba Santos is a Design Director and Senior Associate with MONOGRAM at BBGM, and has worked on prestigious hospitality projects around the world. Many of her recent projects have been featured in major publications and received praise from the design community, including Paséa Hotel & Spa, Irvine Spectrum Marriott and the Kansas City Marriott at Country Club Plaza.
Click here to read the full article on Design Manifestos.
Click here to learn more about MONOGRAM.
Kathryn Mickel provides insights for enhancing accommodations for single travelers in this article for HotelNewsNow. Safety and security are, of course, primary concerns for many single travelers. Mickel, a hospitality design veteran and Principal at BBGM / MONOGRAM at BBGM, takes it one step further by discussing design, technology and service aspects that can greatly improve the quality of stay for those traveling solo.
An excerpt from the article:
From the design perspective, discreetly designed and strategically placed security cameras monitor public areas without intrusion to the guest. The day of uniformed security guards has transformed to plain-clothed security officials who are often visible opening doors and welcoming guests or unobtrusively monitoring resort perimeters. Great photosensitive lighting throughout both interior and exterior spaces provide convenience and safety. Keycard access to elevators and room entry tied to personal devices all provide a heightened sense of security for singles and groups alike.
Recent decor design trends have also greatly enhanced the experience of the single traveler. Lobby and lounge spaces have evolved almost universally to become hubs of activity. Food-and-beverage spaces are often integrated in public lobby or lounge spaces, and offer a comfortable place to dine alone or enjoy a media event in an active environment. These multifunctional gathering spaces offer the single traveler the choice to sit alone and enjoy observing the active environment or to join others at communal areas to meet, dine and share conversation. Some operators host complimentary wine tastings in the evening hours, which encourages interaction, or may host popcorn and movie nights by the pool. Offering choices to the single guest to control their personal experience is key.
Click here to read the full article.
Click here to learn more about Kathryn Mickel.
BBGM is serving as Architect for a development being planned by IBG Partners and Wilco Residential which would bring 54 new condominiums to Georgetown. The project is in early planning stages, proposing a partial demolition of the existing two-story warehouses, with plans to restore the building’s shell and add additional levels.
An excerpt from Urban Turf:
The two-story warehouses on the 20,320 square-foot site would be partially demolished, with most of the exterior shell restored and an additional four stories plus penthouse built atop. Plans call for a 60 foot-tall building with 54 residences, comprised of two bedrooms and one bedroom- and two bedroom-plus-dens, ranging in size from 958 to 2,063 square feet. The design for the building looks similar to 3303 Water Street NW, a luxury residential building just down the block.
There would be one level of underground parking with 34 spaces accessible from Water Street; two vehicle elevators will transport residents to and from the garage entrance. An entry terrace and lobby will be accessible on 34th Street, which will be the second floor of the building based on the varying street elevation. The roof deck will have deck and green roof areas, along with both a swimming pool and a soaking pool.
Click here to learn more about BBGM.
(Photo by Marvin Joseph, The Washington Post)
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy Nationals games this postseason, here’s your answer. The Washington Post gives us the story behind one of DC’s most inviting new rooftop bars – Top of the Yard. The new Hampton Inn & Suites, located adjacent to the Nationals Park, comes complete with unobstructed views of the ballfield. BBGM served as Architect for the newly constructed hotel and rooftop bar, which continues to attract baseball lovers and locals with its spectacular views and great atmosphere.
An excerpt from the recent article by Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:
“We want to be a thing that fans come to see, but we also want it to be a fun place in the neighborhood for people to come and hang out,” Wittes said. “That’s really important to us, being part of the neighborhood.”
Central to the neighborhood harmony are the Nationals, and a team spokeswoman said the franchise doesn’t have any qualms with the hotel’s visual access to the field.
“When Nationals Park opened in March of 2008, the hope was that the stadium would spur additional development in the surrounding neighborhood,” Jennifer Giglio, the team’s vice president of communications, said in a statement. “With dozens of new restaurants, retail, apartments, office buildings and hotels, the transformation of the area has been dramatic, and we are thrilled to welcome all of our neighbors.”
The roof was granted a silver LEED certification for its “green space,” features a fire pit and seats 50 people.
Click here to learn more about BBGM’s hotel design.
As reported in the 2016 Giants 300 Report by Building Design + Construction, BBGM ranked #29 on the list of Hotel Sector Giants. Rounding out a trifecta of strong rankings, BBGM reinforces its longevity and status as a major player in the hospitality industry with this latest rankings update.
Touting major projects such as the $125M renovation of the Watergate Hotel, new construction of the Paséa Hotel & Spa and ongoing construction of the InterContinental DC Wharf, BBGM and MONOGRAM at BBGM continue to offer clients design solutions that complement the social, cultural and architectural traditions of the communities they serve.
BBGM was also named one of BD+C’s Top 100 Architecture Firms and Top Green Building Architecture Firms. BBGM and MONOGRAM at BBGM consistently rank among top design firms worldwide.
Click here to view the full BD+C rankings.
(Photo by Fritz Hahn, The Washington Post)
Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post provides the latest coverage following the major renovation at the Watergate Hotel. Hahn focuses on the Watergate’s new rooftop bar, Top of the Gate. According to the Post, Top of the Gate has some of the best views in Washington. BBGM was the Architect for the extensive $125M renovation at the property, completed in summer 2016.
An excerpt from the article:
The number of rooftop bars in Washington continues to climb, but most of them offer somewhat limited views. That's fine if you just want to get some fresh air with your drinks. But when you want to show off your city to visitors, or impress a date with a superb scenery, you need something a little more impressive… Order a drink at the bar and settle into one of the mod pod-shaped chairs, where you can watch boats and kayaks on the water, or the sunset over Rosslyn's towers. There's plenty of room: The sprawling space fits 350 guests.
Read the full article from Washington Post.
Learn more about the Watergate project.
HotelNewsNow recently published an op-ed piece by BBGM President and Senior Principal Nick Giordano. Mr. Giordano covers an element that is often passed over in the race for modern offerings and latest trends – families.
While many reading this article may occasionally travel on business, there is no doubt that a large portion of readers can also relate to the importance of hotel selection for a family getaway. Mr. Giordano makes the case for select-service, and why it can be a strong fit for families looking to travel.
Select-service hotels have become very popular and are now located throughout most urban areas to meet short- and extended-stay business travel. Although they’re focused on business travelers, select-service hotels can offer a great stay for families, too.
Select-service hotels can be a great choice for family vacations for many of the same reasons they work for the business travel. Not every family vacation needs to be at a resort destination with water parks, beaches or snow skiing.
Urban destinations offer a different experience from typical destination resorts, such as unique art and entertainment experiences, not to mention great food and beverage options and the pleasure of simply enjoying the culture of a particular city. Unlike a resort destination where the hotel is the focus, in an urban excursion the city is the attraction. The hotel becomes a place to sleep and unwind from a busy day out, not the destination.
Click here to read the full article on HNN.
Click here to learn more about Nick Giordano.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in style, the Lansdowne Resort and Spa completed a comprehensive renovation earlier this year. The project entailed a full redesign of all 296 guestrooms and suites for the Leesburg, Virginia resort.
Lodging Magazine brings us the latest feature, highlighting some of the finer details that were thoughtfully incorporated into the design. MONOGRAM Hospitality Interiors at BBGM provided Interior Design services that truly captured the essence of Virginia Wine Country.
MONOGRAM Principal Kathryn Mickel was also quoted in the article, providing a more in-depth understanding of the “contemporary country” design concepts, and unique project approach.
“We coined ‘contemporary country’ as the stylistic influence… Wine Country is a popular tourist destination and the wine experience is important to the Resort… We saw this as a great opportunity to subtly weave the story of the area into the design.” - Kathryn Mickel, Principal, MONOGRAM
Keep an eye out for the full print release in the July issue of Lodging Magazine.
Click here for the full article.
Click here for more project info & images.