The Watergate Hotel is deeply ingrained in the nation’s consciousness, an icon that walks the line between premier hospitality and the country’s elite.
Euro Capital Properties is not afraid of such inherent challenges and capitalized on the hotel’s history through a massive $125 million renovation, selecting BBGM as the Architect for the project. Financial Times provides the latest coverage, with a deep look into the history of this iconic property and the massive opportunity it presented for its new ownership.
An excerpt from the article by Kate Salter in Financial Times:
The hotel’s new owners, Jacques and Rakel Cohen of Euro Capital Properties, who bought it in 2010 for $45m, say they “immediately saw the potential to return the hotel to a state worthy of its reputation as Washington’s finest address”. They know that the scandal is their most powerful marketing tool and are enthusiastically milking it: the telephone reservation line ends in 1972, the room keys say “No need to break in” and pens are inscribed with “I stole this from the Watergate Hotel”. There are plans to play extracts from Nixon’s speeches in the toilets. Even the name of the hotel is written in a version of the typewriter font used in the Senate Watergate Committee case documents.
Aside from American history buffs, the new owners want the hotel to appeal to a younger, design-conscious crowd — the kind of “hip” people that Buttaro-Pfeffer says the complex needs to attract. The hotel’s 336 bedrooms, designed by BBGM, have a masculine, mid-century corporate feel (and with rates starting at about $500, it may be businessmen rather than young hipsters who can afford to stay here). Later this summer a spa is due to open, along with a rooftop bar and Michael Santoro’s fine dining restaurant.
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Following a $125M renovation, Washington's Watergate Hotel has reopened, and is nothing short of spectacular. Boutique Design provides the latest coverage on the project, going into detail on the extensive design efforts that restored the famous hotel to its full potential. BBGM was the Architect on the project, providing mid-century modern details that complement the avante-garde architectural style of the building.
An excerpt from the article in Boutique Design:
“The Watergate is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous and illustrious hotels in the world,” says Rakel Cohen, senior vice president of design and development, Euro Capital Properties. “We paid meticulous attention to every detail in its renovation and we're excited to bring our vision to life. Its intrigue is driven by evocative design, from the deep-rooted retro feel to the mystique that lies behind every curve of the hotel's architecture.”
Click here to read the full article on Boutique Design.
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.
Senior Designer Israel Olmos is the most recent featured designer on Design Manifestos. This interview with Modelo grants readers a personal perspective on his journey through the profession, sources of continued inspiration and predictions for the future of architecture.
On becoming an architect
The truth is that I became an architect by accident. I started a business right after finishing high school, which I ran with my brother for ten years. Life circumstances took me back to school, and when it was time to pick a major, I chose architecture because I had some regular clients in my used car dealership that were architects. They would receive cars as payments and then would sell them to me for an excellent price. So I saw Architecture as a way to expand my business, little did I know that I would fall in love with design and architecture. I have not looked back since.
On discovering his voice as a designer
I believe any architectural designer could never forget the first presentation they give directly to a client. Seeing a group of people paying close attention to what are you saying, understanding, and appreciating the work that you and your team put so much effort into is extremely memorable. At that moment I realized the kind of responsibility we as designers have to create meaningful projects that, in one way or another would change people's lives. Since design is so subjective, it's hard to pick somebody specific that influenced me as a designer. I am convinced that I have learned something from every single person I worked with in multiple projects. This includes, of course, junior staff that remind you of those big dreams that you had when you first finished school.
Israel Olmos is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as an Associate and Senior Designer with BBGM. His work on major projects around the world has been recognized by the design community and industry publications alike. His recent work includes the new InterContinental DC Wharf, historic renovation of the W Hotel DC and the recently completed DC Ball Park Hotel.
Click here to learn more about BBGM.
Following its debut, the Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach continues to garner press attention. The latest article from Hospitality Design goes into detail on design inspiration for the 250 ocean-view guestrooms and suites. MONOGRAM at BBGM Principal Kathryn Mickel provided additional insights on the essence of the design concepts, capturing the California allure of this newest addition to the Meritage Collection.
An excerpt from the article:
“The hotel’s design celebrates the culture and the magnificent views of Huntington Beach,” says Monogram at BBGM principal Kathryn Mickel. “We wanted to offer luxurious coastal living with clean lines and elegant materials. Our designs incorporate the local area’s charm and were based on our interpretation of a modern California beach house.”
The design includes local artwork, distressed wood finishes, and teak accents. Included among the guestrooms are eight luxury one-bedroom suites and the 1,900-square-foot penthouse suite.
Click here to learn more about the MONOGRAM design.
The Hyatt House Hotel in Virginia Beach, designed by BBGM Architects & Interiors, is now open.
BBGM was the Architect and Interior Designer for the newest Hyatt House Hotel located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The newly constructed building consists of nineteen stories, an extended-stay hotel right on the boardwalk of Virginia Beach. The hotel offers 156 extended-stay guestrooms, a fitness center, indoor swimming pool, flexible meeting spaces, and dining facilities. The project entailed a custom design for its prime beachfront location. One of the unique design features focuses on the location of the bar, which has a vertically operable exterior glazing, creating a flexible space that opens up to become accessible directly from the boardwalk.
“The project has been very challenging since its frontage to the beach was narrow and the client requested a design that would offer ocean views from all guestrooms,” said Bahram Kamali, AIA, Principal-in-Charge of the project. “BBGM’s design solution delivered direct ocean views to all of the guestrooms while incorporating custom design elements to meet the client’s desired ambiance.”
27th Street Hotel Associates LLC as the owner and AHP Construction, LLC as the general contractor / design-builder worked with BBGM Architects & Interiors in creating this unique destination hotel that provides a fresh extended-stay option along the Virginia Beach shoreline.
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Press coverage of the historic Watergate Hotel renovation continues with the latest feature from Hotel Management. Following the property’s acquisition by Euro Capital and $125 million renovation, the rejuvenated hotel is ready for prime time.
BBGM was the architect for the project, and teamed with other firms for design of select interior spaces. The revitalized hotel will offer guests unique options for R&R, while still appealing largely to the affluent and business crowds.
An excerpt from the article in Hotel Management:
The property now has 336 guestrooms, half of them elevated with balconies with views of the city as well as the Potomac River. The floor-to-ceiling Zebrano marble bathrooms have solid granite vanities. Six Diplomat Suites, 24 premier suites, and two Presidential Suites are also available.
For dining, the property has onsite dining options including the contemporary Kingbird restaurant, a dual-concept American-French venue with patio seating; the lobby’s Next Whisky Bar, framed by a wall of sculpted whisky bottles highlighted by bronze light; and the Top of the Gate rooftop lounge.
Click here to read the full article from Hotel Management.
Click here to learn more about the Watergate Hotel design.