This is about the renovation of an old building in the center of Vancouver into a hotel boutique with a contemporary museum. One of the strongest inspiration for this project was the 21C Hotel Museum, an American hotel chain with the same purpose. The founders say “old looks better in the presence of new” and in the case of this renovation, it was more than applicable. It was the true inspiration.
The existing building has 5 storeys and for the museum area, it was demolished a great part of the second floor in order to have enough space to accommodate big pieces of art and sculpture. The idea was to increase the circulation and visual space to have in the same place the entrance, the lobby, the museum, a cafeteria and the shop museum altogether, harmonically. In the middle, it was created a hole coming from the second floor up to the 5th to receive an art installation (my inspiration was “The mimicry chairs”, by Nendo). This was also intentional in the meaning of the guests have the sensation of being part of the museum all the time, breathing art all the time. The materials of the old building were basically raw bricks, concrete, and the wooden beams. In order to give lightness to those materials, it was applied white paint to the walls and white perforated metal sheet in the cafeteria area. To balance the coldness of the white color and make the mezzanine more interesting, big wooden frames were disposed of in special points so the public could feel curious to go and see highlighted artworks inside of it. In the guest rooms, the main inspiration came from the Memphis Group but in a modest way, not so colorful but still very stylish and art-oriented.
The first phase of the project was made in Autocad where all of the drawings were designed to give as many details as possible. It was made all the from existing, demolish, construction, furniture, ceiling and lighting up to sections and elevations. Then I used 3d Max and Vray for the renders, using all the materials and finishes selected previously from manufacturers and suppliers as maps. For the mood board, I used Photoshop and I have also the physical version of it used in the final presentation, where I could present the furniture in more detail to the audience.
This project was really special for me because I could combine things that I love: interior design, architecture, graphic design, and art. From this experience I could see how important it is to understand the project holistically, understanding the brand, the purpose of everything, projecting how people will feel themselves. In the end, it’s all about delivering an experience to someone who could be ephemeral or more permanent but sure that by creating something you will certainly impact one’s lives.