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.
An excerpt from Design Manifestos:
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.
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Click here to learn more about BBGM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BBGM Senior Principal Bahram Kamali offers valuable insights on the pros and cons of design-build project delivery, considered a successful alternative to the traditional method.
An excerpt from the article, as seen on Hotel News Now:
Design-build is considered to be a successful alternative to the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method. To figure out if this type of construction model is right for your project, all parties involved (owners, designers and contractors) must understand the advantages and disadvantages of the process.
Advantages of design-build delivery
There are many advantages of using design-build construction to carry out a project. For example, because the contractor is involved from the start of the project and the owner has a single entity that is responsible for the work, the designer and the contractor can act as a team and start off with a clear and shared understanding of the project. This can significantly enhance the overall coordination of the project.
Click here to read the full article on Hotel News Now.
As featured in boutique DESIGN:
"The Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza hotel will start a major renovation in January. The hotel's owner, Watermark Capital, has tapped interior design firm MONOGRAM at BBGM to revamp the 295-key property, which designers say will blend a modern aesthetic with locally inspired details."
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.
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 learn more about Kathryn Mickel.