HBA Los Angeles’ vision for the new build The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton draws on the neighborhood’s creative character to create an authentic experience.
Art and music are integral, visible cornerstones of Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood located between the landmark Seattle Space Needle and the iconic Pike Place Market. So, it’s fitting that for the 142-key The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, part of the 42-story mixed-use Arrivé tower, HBA Los Angeles’ design team knew they had to do the local culture justice.
“When we began this project, we spent a lot of time exploring the neighborhood to gain a personal perspective. We spoke with locals who described the community as artist driven, a relaxed place with good food, amazing people and great nightlife. They expressed there was growing concern with a lot of the new developments in Belltown and that it might be the catalyst for it losing its flair and sense of history. We wanted to do our best to preserve and highlight that culture and history as much as possible to retain the genuine experience of the area and everything it has to offer,” said HBA Los Angeles Associate Ashley Bright.
The hotel’s design starts telling that story at the entrance. “Belltown’s streets embody the idea that art is everywhere, and the neighborhood itself is on display as an urban gallery on the harbor. It is this essence of creativity we want to imbue in the lobby where guests form their first impression upon arrival. Using items typically found in artists’ studios – like stretched canvases and flat files – and turning them into art and the lobby reception desk, or the murals evolving in process in the public restrooms, we too are creating a gallery for guests to explore,” said Bright.
From the lobby, following along the finished concrete flooring leads to the hotel’s bar and restaurant. In this space, white backdrops serve as a canvas for muted tones and softened industrial elements to craft a setting where the food can be the focal point.
On level seven is a foyer, lounge and outdoor terrace. Stepping out of the elevator, guests encounter an environment that draws on the broader context of the city with views of the Space Needle while using industrial screening elements to divide the space in a way that fits the design narrative. Rich cognac and soft blush colors make seating inviting.
The guest room floors take the theme literally with displays of art and photography evoking the local mood. The custom cascading carpet pattern in the corridors echoes regional forms and local street artists’ work. The guest rooms themselves keep the micro-local focus and all speak the Belltown language, from the welcome unit to the murals behind the headboards. Denim and flannel keep Seattle-born grunge very much alive. The junior suites reflect the more polished aesthetic of jazz. Microphone lights, sheet music and piano key murals showcase this side of the Seattle music scene.
All of these touches are much more than clever aesthetics. “I am always a firm believer in the principle that form follows function. Aesthetics are obviously also of extreme importance, but a person remembers the experiential and functional effects of a space just as much if not more,” said Bright.
Project: The Sound Hotel
Location: Washington, United States
Design Studio: HBA
Photo Credits: Will Pryce