HD Talks

Designing DC: Old Façade, Modern Amenities

Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Projects, Trends | 0 comments

By David Delcher, senior associate, BBGM

Washington, DC is a city full of contradictions centered on politics, of course, but also on its architecture, a blend of old and new design that creates a cityscape unlike any other.

Though renovating an existing building comes with a list of challenges—unknown conditions, an existing structure, and limitations on how the façade relates to the interior—renovating a historic hotel in Washington, DC presents its own unique obstacles. Because of the Height Act, passed in 1910, commercial buildings can be no taller than 130 feet, leading to low floor-to-floor heights that pose some design issues. Additionally, a variety of government agencies, such as the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Park Service, have purview over some historic locations in the city. Their oversight limits renovations to many buildings and can create complicated red tape that hinders the design process.


BBGM renovated the W hotel in 2008, retaining its opulent lobby while adding modern updates.

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Guest Post: Eat. Sleep. Refresh. Repeat.

Posted by on July 22, 2015 in Trends | 0 comments

By Rebecca Ruggles, associate, Gensler

In the ever-evolving hospitality industry, we’re all constantly wondering what’s coming next. Gensler’s hospitality team shared a peek at the hottest trends influencing design at an open house event at the Chicago office the morning of HD’s NextGen Forum in June. Here’s a look at some of the trends we’re seeing across three categories: Eat, Sleep, and Refresh.



The Maker Movement: Professionals and novices alike are flocking to fabrication labs, cooking classes, incubator kitchens, and DIY workshops to experiment and fuel their own creative ideas. Agriculturally based restaurant concepts and “maker” classes have become everyone’s favorite weekend destination.

Artisanal Bakeries: The next bread craze to sweep the nation started in San Francisco’s Sunset district. Toast is the new cupcake.

Mocktails and Mixology: Bartenders are the newest celebrities, and alcoholic free, low alcoholic, and wine cocktails are sweeping the nation. Bed and boîte concepts are popping up that feature bars as the main hotel amenity.  Continue reading →

Going Platinum

Posted by on July 15, 2015 in Events, People | 0 comments

By Michael Adams

PC_logo use_HDA few years back we made the somewhat dramatic decision to move HD’s Platinum Circle Awards event from Las Vegas to New York. It was a bit of a risk: PC, celebrating the career achievements of select industry leaders, had become a Las Vegas staple, held in tandem with HD Expo, so there was a chance that it wouldn’t catch fire at a different time and in a different place.

Happily, our fears were unfounded. The 2013 Platinum Circle Awards Gala, honoring Margaret McMahon, Ian Schrager, Daniel Boulud, and Pamela Anderson and Laurie Miller, was a spectacular success that was matched, if not surpassed by the 2014 event: Art Gensler, Adrian Zecha, Danny Meyer, and Lauren Rottet were the honorees, with a special Visionary Award that went to Rockwell Group for 30 years of creative excellence. The black-tie festive evening was sold out, and it was one of the best parties I’ve ever attended. Continue reading →

Office Space: Designers Revamp Home Base

Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Projects, Trends | 0 comments

In our July issue, out soon, we added to our usual display of hospitality projects, looking into the new workspaces of a few design firms.

The ideal office space, much like any hospitality project, has to offer comfort while also being inspiring. Most people spend more time at their office than anywhere else. Coworkers know more about you than your own family, and your desk becomes your personal sanctuary (though mine looks more like a post-apocalyptic war zone).

Because of that, the office is vital to creating the heartbeat of any company, as we learned from one of the firms we talked to: Dyer, Indiana-based IIG, which recently renovated its space.


IIG’s new 5,000-square-foot office space includes orange highlights and smartboard technology.

Why: After a decade in business, the company outgrew its 2,000-square-foot space. “We hit the drawing board” and created a 5,000-square-foot space that includes private offices, collaborative work stations, a design studio, conference rooms, additional small meeting spaces, waiting areas, and a break room, explains firm president Patti Tritschler. Continue reading →

On Teamwork: HD’s 2015 Wave of the Future

Posted by on July 1, 2015 in Events, Trends | 0 comments

June is one of our favorite months here at HD in terms of discovering exciting up-and-coming talent in our industry. It’s the issue where we feature our annual Wave of the Future honorees, and also when we get to hear from them directly, at NextGen Forum, which was held a couple of weeks ago in Chicago.

Each talked about their most recent and upcoming projects, their challenges, and how they create a powerful experience for guests in the hotels and restaurants they design. But what really stood out was each designers’ attitude about collaboration—both on their own teams and with others they work with.

Cabanas at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach's rooftop pool.

Cabanas at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach’s rooftop pool.

Here are some of their thoughts on successful teamwork:

  • “It’s really important that everyone we work with has an open mind,” said Starwood Capital Group’s vice president of design, Liubasha Rose. She worked hand-in-hand on 1 Hotel & Homes debut property in South Beach with Meyer Davis Studio.
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