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Inspiring Stories: VoyagePhoenix Interview with Kathryn Mickel

Principal Kathryn Mickel was recently interviewed by VoyagePhoenix for the online publication’s Inspiring Stories series, offering a unique perspective into the backstory of one of BBGM & MONOGRAM’s respected leaders.  Providing some candid responses, Mickel grants readers some insight into her unique path to becoming a leader in the Hospitality Design arena.

 

An excerpt from the interview:

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kathryn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I actually kind of evolved into working in the Design field. I had a very focused career in theatre and dance. After receiving my MFA in the field of dance, I went on to perform and to run a College Dance Department for 5 years. A career in Dance is generally short-lived and not particularly lucrative, so in my early 30’s I started exploring other fields. In my previous career, I had extensive exposure to set design, lighting design and of course choreography which is really sculpting space. Looking at a future in the design field seemed like a natural transition. I was fortunate to be able to attend RISD’s 5 year program and managed to get through the BFA and BIA programs in 3.5 years. It was an amazing experience and in many ways life changing.


VoyagePhoenix is a lifestyle publication, covering the most interesting and inspiring people, stories and trends in the region.  The publication style is meant to be unrefined, offering a raw, artistic and authentic view of the featured people and stories.

Read the full article from VoyagePhoenix

Learn more about Kathryn Mickel


Historic Hotels of America Inducts Twenty Historic Properties, Two BBGM Projects

As originally reported by Lodging Magazine, Historic Hotels of America announced its 2017 class of inductees, including 20 historic hotels from around the nation.  Properties that were nominated and accepted will join the National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America program, celebrating the preservation of legendary hotels that have contributed to the rich history of the United States of America.

Of the 20 hotels being recognized, BBGM has provided design services for two of the prestigious properties, including the Sofitel Lafayette Square in Washington, DC and The Graham in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood.

Lodging goes on to include some notable history and fun tidbits about each of the properties:

Sofitel Washington D.C. Lafayette Square (1925) Washington, D.C.
Hotel fun fact: In the early 1800s, the site was one of Washington’s most prestigious hotels and was home to President Andrew Johnson as well as Woodrow Wilson before his inauguration.

The Graham Georgetown (1965) Washington, D.C.
Hotel fun fact: The Graham Georgetown is rumored to have been a regular haunt of Frank Sinatra, who enjoyed a particular suite that boasts an oversized deck.

A quote from the article:

“Each of these legendary historic hotels has contributed to our nation’s history,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Each is unique and has a history worth exploring and experiencing. We are delighted to recognize these wonderful historic hotels. We applaud their community leaders, owners, management, and associates for making these hotels excellent examples of historic preservation and for being great stewards of the stories about world leaders, celebrities, and other luminaries who stayed in these hotels or were involved in the original use of these historic icons.”

Read the full article from Lodging

Learn more about The Graham Georgetown


BBGM Ranked Hotel Sector Giant for 2nd Consecutive Year

BBGM made the list of Top Hotel Architecture Firms for the second consecutive year.  As part of the 2017 Building Design+Construction Giants 300 Report, BD+C culled this year's list down to the Top 60 Hotel Architecture Firms.  BBGM ranked #33 on the list of Hotel Sector Giants. 

To those familiar with BBGM’s work, the ranking comes as no great surprise.  BBGM has completed several notable projects over the past year, including the InterContinental DC Wharf, which just celebrated its grand opening, the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, the Hampton Inn Ballpark Hotel, and the dual-branded NoMa Homewood Suites & Hampton Inn – and that’s just in Washington, DC.

In addition to the firm’s strong portfolio of completed and ongoing work in the DC Metro area, BBGM recently announced that design is underway for the Residence Inn Silver Spring, while their MONOGRAM Hospitality Interiors team has several exciting projects on the boards.

Stay tuned for further rankings from the Giants 300 Report and the latest news on upcoming projects from BBGM and MONOGRAM.

Click here to view the Top 60 Hotel Architecture Firms.

Click here to learn more about BBGM.


BBGM Ranked Top Multifamily Architecture Firm

As the U.S. rental market continues to show strength, Building Design+Construction has released its annual Giants 300 report, including the market-specific reports covering top Architecture & Engineering firms within the multifamily sector.

For 40 years, the editors of Building Design+Construction have ranked the nation's largest AEC firms as part of the Giants 300 report.  BBGM ranked #83 on the BD+C list of Top Multifamily Architecture Firms. 

As a full-service firm with locations in Scottsdale, AZ and Washington, DC, BBGM has been working with developers around the country in the design and development of unique projects and vibrant communities.  Within the DMV region, BBGM has a strong reputation for reliable results and consistency in delivering projects on time and within budget.

BBGM has been working with multiple developers in Washington, DC, including several notable projects over the past year.  Most recently in the Multifamily Residential sector, BBGM provided Architectural design services for 13|U, a boutique-style luxury living development located in the historic U Street Corridor in Washington, DC. 

The firm has also been providing design services on a new residential concept for the 3401 Water Street development being planned for Georgetown.  The InterContinental DC Wharf has also been garnering attention, with the property set to open on October 12th.  BBGM served as the Architect for the prestigious hotel project on the southwest waterfront in DC.

BBGM and MONOGRAM Hospitality Interiors at BBGM are recognized leaders in their design fields and consistently rank among the top design firms worldwide. From luxury interior design to large-scale urban projects, we design projects that respect and reflect the distinct social, cultural and architectural traditions of their communities. Additionally, BBGM maintains a strong commitment to creating design solutions that are individually tailored to suit the specific criteria for each project.

View the full rankings from BD+C.

Learn more about 13|U.

Learn more about the InterContinental DC Wharf.


Residence Inn Designed by BBGM for Silver Spring

The 14-story Residence Inn hotel building designed by BBGM Architects is scheduled to be built at 8600 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland, as reported by the Washington Business Journal. With 5,000 square feet of meeting space and a rooftop terrace, the extended stay property will serve business travel and weekend demand. The design of the building is based on the history of Sliver Spring. 

 

In 1840, Francis Preston Blair discovered a spring flowing with chips of mica. The transformation of rock by water flow created dynamic shapes out of a very static element. This natural effect gave way to the birth of Silver Spring, an ever transforming community itself. The design of the hotel building uses this story as its inspiration. 

 

An excerpt from the Washington Business Journal:

“That location is not really good for office or apartments,” he told the WBJ. “It’s a good hotel site on a prominent corner in the middle of downtown Silver Spring.”

The group is working with BBGM Architects and Studio Partnership interiors. The property will include 5,000 square feet of meeting space, underground parking for 28 cars and a rooftop deck, Eden said. It will also have about 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

 

The Residence Inn Silver Spring will be managed by Marriott International with delivery scheduled for 2020.

 

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to learn more about BBGM projects.


Design Manifestos: Israel Olmos

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.

 

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to learn more about BBGM.


Melba Santos Featured on Design Manifestos

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.


HotelNewsNow: Designing Resorts That Don’t Isolate Single Travelers

Single Traveler

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.