Marriott Bonvoy is the hotel group that now manages Westin Hotels & Resorts. They approached the LIV Design team to convert an existing, oversized, and often underused, hotel entry lounge in their Coal Harbour property into an upscale culinary hot spot anchored by an elegant lobby bar. It had to be welcoming, multi-functional, modern yet timeless, and glamorous at the same time. In addition, it had to blend seamlessly with the hotel’s existing adjacent spaces which had undergone renovations a couple of decades ago so were slightly dated in appearance.
LIV’s vision was to design a modern and vibrant Art Deco inspired lounge that honored, celebrated, and reflected Howard Hughes’ glamorous life including his lengthy residency at the hotel (then known as the Westin Bayshore) and his aeronautical legacy. The design’s intent was to create an inviting space that would attract hotel guests and visitors to sit and relax, to dine and socialize and to see and be seen.
Design Concept & Inspiration
Howard Hughes’ legacy would inspire and direct many of our design choices. It validated the art deco flourishes, colours and finishes we employed and, of course, his fascination with aeronautics proved integral to the design of the captivating glass installation at the centre of the lounge.
Animation Lead Design
The design of H tasting lounge was enhanced and expedited thanks to the incomparable artistic and technical skill of our CGI rendering team.
Applying a client visualization process known as Animation Lead Design (ALD), the team was able to modify and refine design conditions during all client interactions ensuring the client’s vision was understood clearly and the final project, realized to their exacting specifications. The process involves the following steps:
- Preliminary design concept and sketches
- CG rendering of concepts to help clients visualize the design
- CAD drawings for construction
- Construction administration phase
- Project close out
This is a different process from most firms. By creating thoughtfully and precisely designed CG renderings, we can more effectively communicate a vision to clients and ensure the integrity of the final product. It is the most accurate way to fully conceptualize a design plan.
The biggest challenge was designing an opulent lounge in a way that would aesthetically coexist with the rest of the hotels’ adjacent spaces finished in old maple wood panels and beige limestone floor tiles from the 80’s. We curated a pallet of interior materials and finishes that would complement the hotel’s existing interiors while still aspiring to an elegant, art deco aesthetic.
And, in order to comply with local bylaws governing licensed establishments, three custom motorized roller shutters were installed to close off the back bar to the general public during non-operating hours.
Colours and Finishes
We undertook a painstaking process of reviewing dozens of supplier’s product offerings and custom options to find the perfect palette, furnishing and finishes to ensure we delivered a space that was at once spectacular as well as cohesively integrated with the rest of the hotel.
We chose the contemporary and elegant colour pairing of blush rose and petrol blue for many of the soft finishes. Panelled blue walls act as acoustic panels, dampening sound while paler hues of blue and blush velvet cover some of the seating. Both colours are beautifully complemented by the gold trim and intricate panels throughout the lounge including the structural columns clad in long vertical gold-plated steel tubes.
The Art Deco inspired interior features a variety of finishes including plush velvet seating evocative of 30’s speakeasies, leathery banquettes, and marble topped tables with exquisite gold detailing.
A 21’ long cocktail bar commands attention the minute you enter the lounge. The bar’s leather padded front panels and natural stone countertop are accented with gold banding and LED lighting. White oak veneer was used to complement all other millwork within the space.
Front and center, drawing the eye upwards, is a custom glass art installation LIV designed in conjunction with LA-Based, Czech glass company, LASVIT. Truly an artisanal work, each unique piece of the installation is Bohemian crystal, carefully shaped, hand polished and positioned to mimic the air current generated by an airplane’s propeller. Three LASVIT installers from the Czech Republic installed the masterful creation over 4 days. We carried the visual concept of a propeller’s rotating movement throughout the space in our metal screen designs and various other design patterns on the walls, seating, etc.
To enable the hotel to use the space differently depending on the function, LIV designed a hidden, custom-built slider wall that can close off part of the lounge for more intimate private gatherings. As well, almost all of the furniture can be moved and rearranged to suit the needs of any occasion for optimal versatility.
The Final Product
The design of the space was part of a broader brand identity package that we created as well. It included custom collateral for the H Tasting Lounge from the feature logo to curated table settings, menus and attire for all the staff. All of these elements were intentionally designed to complement the Art Deco inspired interiors of the lounge and support our client’s goal of creating a bespoke dining/lounge experience.
The comprehensive and integrated approach to the space and brand identity ensured all elements blended seamlessly with the broader environment and successfully evoked the glamour of a bygone era.
LIV Elements at H Tasting Lounge
For us, the hospitality space is very important. These public spaces offer us the perfect opportunity to design spaces that enrich the human experience and reach a wider demographic. We are experts at space planning and functionality as well as décor and feel designs for this type of space can be ambitious and bold. It also gives us the freedom and latitude to work with local artists, makers, and retailers to tell a story that perhaps reflects the best of a destination or simply delivers a wholly immersive experience that will leave a lasting impression on guests.
The H-Tasting lounge is the successful culmination of all our values, expertise and design ambitions – our commitment to our original vision, meticulous space planning, unparalleled craftsmanship and bespoke details. The result is a space that embodies the very best of form and function.
Stay tuned for the next article in our Design Deconstructed series and subscribe to the LIV Design Newsletter here.