Krause Sawyer was recently appointed to re-imagine a majority of the 424-room W Seattle. Driven by the idea of a juxtaposition of the local urban fabric and the surrounding outdoors, the project’s final aesthetic recalls the “Urban Lodge,” an ideal concept for the progressive-thinking Pacific Northwest city. Fully completed in the first quarter of 2017, the renovation covers guestrooms, corridors, elevator lobbies, as well as the reception and concierge areas of the W Seattle.
Inspiration from Seattle’s legendary music scene and street life, the grunge movement of the early-mid 90s, seamlessly merges with sleek design details and materials taken from the local high tech and aviation industries - all set against low tech, naturally tactile materials. The result is a unique blend of nods to local industry and the outdoorsy nature of the region, epitomized by the Lodge Cabin feel that permeates the public spaces and guestrooms alike.
“This is our fifth time collaborating with the W Hotels Brand, and we absolutely love the depth to storytelling with this brand,” says Kajsa Krause about this latest project. “Although this is our fifth time working with the W brand, it is our first project in the northwest pacific part of the U.S. It was an exciting opportunity for us to draw inspiration from the richness of Seattle’s urban fabric and street culture, which is so beautifully surrounded by breathtaking nature, while also weaving in the core brand elements that have become signature to all W properties,” adds Tracey Sawyer.
Krause Sawyer executed the guestrooms to feature an entry hallway with a custom wall print based on a pattern from a Pendleton blanket, reinterpreted in shiny silver and grey tones. The carpet features overlapping layers of patterns from sonic pulses and equalizer meters, leading guests into the room and echoing the feel of an airport runway. The headboard, rendered in a photo-realistic image of wood planks stretching across the entire wall, is mounted in front of the same image that is printed across a real wood veneer creating a three-dimensional illusion.
Up-lighting on the headboard adds a warm glow to the wood look, and custom graphics on the pillows and throws recall the world of aviation. That theme continues throughout the rooms via the custom lighting fixtures, and together, the elements relay a throwback industrial feel in chrome and black finishes. The Krause Sawyer team thoughtfully added a sculptural desk chair, clad with a grey metal vinyl with airplane rivet details, offset with the chair’s colorful interior. An asymmetrical sectional sofa includes a footstool and offers flexibility with multiple configurations to accommodate any desire a guest may have.
In the largest of the suites, designated EWOW (or, Extremely WOW), the narrative of the lodge, aviation, and grunge music references goes even further. A built-in ledge with a faux fur seat and pillows plays against a distressed, texture-clad tile wall. Utilizing a modern timber frame structure, the installation frames a crack in the wall through which a “light of fire” emerges, recalling the outdoor fireplaces in an abstract manner. The bar is inspired by turntables and guitar cases, with additional trunks set on a built-in ledge, plays host to a variety of board games.
A large communal table and asymmetrical coffee tables speak to the sleek, refined and rugged urban landscape with shiny metallic details and interesting organic patterns, parlayed against roughly woven and textured upholstery fabrics crowning the seating areas. The EWOW suite headboard is inspired by reclining beds in first class airplane cabins, with a cocoon-like feel and angles that seem to fold in on the already comfortably reclined guest. A neon light says “Buckle Up” as you enter. The signage works in unison with the overall design aesthetic, pulling the narrative back to the lodge concept with a wood frame and a torched metal backdrop. The large walk-in closet is designed as a proper dressing room with retail-like components and movable mirrors.
Krause Sawyer finished off the corridors with a patterned carpet based on sound waves, expressed in a web of lines that meander through the cosmopolitan feeling hallways. Finally, the team was tasked with refinishing the reception desk with materials that speak to the room design, and implementing the full wall graphics flanking the newly created custom reception desk.