The List’s Project Spotlight column features unparalleled projects created by our forward-thinking List members. By going straight to the source—and having the designers demystify the methods behind their designs—we hope to enlighten and inspire our creative audience to further push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of design.
Though ideally situated for business travelers, Midtown Atlanta’s Canopy by Hilton is trying to combat the sense of detachment that clings to the conference crowd with a little help from New York-based design firm Krause Sawyer. Thanks to their careful work, the creativity of a neighborhood anchored by The Savannah College of Arts and Design and a rich history of local writers and artists seeps into the relaxing spaces through subtle—and not-so subtle—allusions and references. The overall effect is a hotel that, yes, serves as a comforting stopover for travelers who barely have to think, but one that reminds even the most harried of them where they are. If all our business trips took us through such spaces, we might revise our opinions on jumping on a redeye for work.
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Inspiration: The Canopy by Hilton’s Atlanta Midtown site explores the different layers of art, food, and iconography integrated within the Midtown Atlanta neighborhood: the graffiti artists, the homegrown celebrity chefs, and numerous literary inspirations. The design language intends to juxtapose raw, industrial forms derived from iconic signage and structures throughout Atlanta against subtle design details, which take their cue from the art and food influences in the Midtown area. The narrative developed by our team and told throughout the space focuses on celebrating the local art community in Atlanta, with the interior architecture serving as the canvas for the art installations throughout the public spaces.
Uniqueness: One of the unique aspects of the Canopy by Hilton brand is the Retreat areas that offer a quiet, contemplative and private experience for guests to enjoy between moments of travel. The Retreat area at the Canopy Midtown Atlanta is between the business area and the bar and features materiality that shifts from that of the spaces around it to a more tailored, saturated-wood look with residential seating around a large, two-sided fireplace—ideal for treasured quiet moments while traveling. A unique butcher-block installation along the wall is printed with names of local artists and artwork, and screens of stacked canvases with paint dripping across them are curated by a local artist and separate the space between the Retreat area and the bar, resulting in a more intimate experience.
Takeaway: We hope that the guest experience is one of art that interacts on a personal level, as the hotel design’s intention is to be a natural extension of Midtown’s vibrant, urban neighborhood. There’s a rich culture of art here given that the site lies at the intersection of The Savannah College of Art and Design, The High Museum, and The Woodruff Arts Center. The many design details throughout the guest rooms and public spaces highlight local artists, always pulling inspiration from the artistically rich surrounding area. It is our intention throughout all Krause Sawyer designs to instill a sense of place that highlights the uniqueness of whatever area one of our designs is located.
(Photos: Courtesy Krause Sawyer)