rooms and private rooms alike in order to keep
prices low, DesignAgency was also generous, giving
even hostel rooms their own bathrooms.
Yet, ultimately, “the goal is to get people out of
their rooms and into the social spaces,” Mekhayech
says. “We wanted to create experiential spaces
that had cool places to hang out within them,
underscored by a strong art program and really
approachable materials.” At Generator Amsterdam,
for example, which is located in a century-old
zoological museum in the popular Oosterpark neighborhood, a large auditorium was converted into a
bar, while wildly colorful artwork abounds, such as
a pair of Pop Art tiki totems bookending the entryway. At Generator Barcelona in the Gràcia district,
a 1960s office building was converted into a kind of
controlled explosion of color and eclectic, exuberant art and design, most notably a stunning cluster
of 300 lanterns in the lobby set against reclaimed
wood walls, a quilt-like array of multihued Flaster
floor tiles by IVANKA, and orange sofas.
“It’s those Instagram-able moments, those touch
points, that people remember,” notes Mekhayech,
adding that Generator is arriving in America next
year with a South Beach location. “We’ve got a bunch
of them in each Generator. I love when I see people
tagging different installations or design rooms.”
Where Generator takes on spaces that once served
myriad purposes, others tackle the grand task of
updating classics. Since its completion in 1929, the
Art Deco-style Roosevelt Hotel has been an icon on
Seattle’s skyline, topped by its signature neon sign.
When Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels
purchased the hotel in 2015, the challenge was to
retain what people loved about the Roosevelt, even
as it was ultimately reborn.
“This hotel has a lot of resonance in the community and people have affection for it,” explains
Provenance’s principal and president, Bashar Wali.
“But not all historic hotels are created equal,” he
Located at the heart of Seattle’s
thriving downtown, the reimagined
Hotel Theodore will open this summer.
“When you’re handed a
historic building it’s an
easier canvas to work on.
… Once we have a nugget
of a story, we just want to
let the interiors help tell it.”
A restful urban retreat awaits
guests at Hotel Theodore.