18 March 2008

"Where Passion and Purity Meet." - 1 Hotels

1 Hotel Seattle - Target date 2009

Former Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide CEO Barry Sternlicht has moved on to greener pastures. In a joint venture with Avalon Holdings, his Starwood Capital Group Global real estate investment firm is inaugurating the new 1 Hotel & Residences brand, which promises "eco luxury" via its first property in Seattle. The ground-up project, with architecture and residential interiors by Sienna Architecture and hotel interiors by Yabu Pushelberg, is now under construction for a 2009 debut.

"While some hotel brands pay lip service to the environment by asking guests to reuse towels…1 is not using eco-friendly jargon simply as a marketing tool," Sternlicht says. "Our intention with 1 is to build hotels and residences that are truly green and minimize their impact on the environment." Putting its money where its conscience is, each 1 Hotel will donate one percent of its profits to local environmental organizations.

Construction materials for the 23-story project consist of new woods harvested from sustainably managed forests, along with recycled and locally sourced products, and an emphasis on low-VOC materials. The property's landscaping is designed to reduce water waste; inside, energy-saving lighting fixtures and dual-flush toilets afford additional efficiencies. Rainwater will be collected and reused from the white, reflective "cool roof" that will help lessen air conditioning usage. Guest rooms and living quarters take advantage of natural light, while occupancy sensors and lighting controls help to minimize the use of electricity. Additionally, 1 Hotel will provide priority parking and recharging spots for alternative energy vehicles.

In fashioning 1 Hotel's interior spaces and guest accommodations, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg emphasize calming textures and organic materials, most notable in the reclaimed wood walls, stone columns, waterfalls and water pools of the lobby. The reception desk, constructed of reclaimed plywood, is meant to emulate the forms of exotic tree roots. Benches are hand-carved from wood reclaimed from forest floors, and chairs are formed from petrified wood blocks. From the lobby, a staircase leads to The Restaurant at 1, a 180-seat space by B.R. Guest founder Stephen Hanson, replete with reclaimed woods and a two-story plant wall, along with installations by both international and local artists. Organic ingredients and a farm-to-table philosophy rule the menu, heavy on seafood and Northwestern cuisine. Another food option is The Grocery at 1, a modern take on the traditional market that also emphasizes organic and sustainable goods and ingredients.

In the guest rooms, millwork from reconstituted birch mimics zebrawood, and floors incorporate hand-scraped solid hardwoods reclaimed from the floors of the Great Lakes. Bathrooms are dominated by natural Italian limestone and marble on floors, countertops and walls, and wood accents the freestanding soaking tubs.

Following the debut of 1 Hotel & Residences Seattle, the concept is expected to extend to Scottsdale, AZ, Mammoth Mountain, CA, Washington, DC, New York, Fort Lauderdale, FL and Paris. http://www.1hotels.com

Conceptual renderings of the 1 Hotel Seattle property scheduled to open 2009

In the City Suites, translucent panels become privacy screens to separate the living and bedroom quarters. Walls are of reconstituted birch wood and the hand-scraped solid hardwood floors were reclaimed from the floors of the Great Lakes.

Rendering: Courtesy of Yabu Pushelberg

Wooden objects by Canadian artist Dennis Lin share space with tranquil waterfalls and pools in the 1 Hotels & Residences Seattle lobby.

Rendering: Courtesy of Yabu Pushelberg

The Restaurant at 1, created by B.R. Guest founder Stephen Hanson, will emphasize organic foods and ingredients from sustainable, local farms.

Rendering: Courtesy of Yabu Pushelber

Natural Italian Limestone accompany Dornbracht fixtures in the hotel bathrooms.

Rendering: Courtesy of Yabu Pushelber

A view of the living room in the residential units of 1 Hotel & Residences, where remote-powered window shades keep out the heat and renewable/recyclable materials make their way into structural elements.

Rendering: Courtesy of Sienna Architecture

Kitchens in the residential units feature natural stone countertops with glass backsplashes, Neff European cabinets, Wolf/Sub-Zero appliances and Energy Star-rated refrigerators.

Rendering: Courtesy of Sienna Architecture

(article reprinted from Interior Design Magazine "DesignWire")