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Glow: Making the Most of Every Inch

Koncept Design Group Turned an Unused Area into a Well-Designed Moneymaker

By Rebecca Goldberg

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Nowadays, any unused space in a hotel is a problem. It’s lost revenue. At the Marina del Rey Marriott, they had such a problem. Just one year ago, there existed a space off of the lobby that had yet to be glamorized.

Anaheim-based, KDC took their unique blend of interior design, and entertainment design, skills and created Glow—a space that has garnered the attention of the Southern California hipster scene.

The destination lounge space is helping transform the Marriott name into a chicer brand.

“It’s been a very successful experiment with Marriott,” said Jennifer Termini, designer, Koncept Design Group. “We provided concepts for what the space could become. It proved to complete the unused area.”

Like the crowd it’s catering to, KDC is entrenched in the entertainment business.

Aaron King, KDC principal, won an Emmy in 2001 for art direction for Peter Pan Starring Cathy Rigby, which was featured on A&E. His firm has also created sets for networks like E!.

“I’ve owned a design entertainment company for years,” said King. “I’ve done art direction and production designs for all sorts of things. The best thing that came of it was a credential that Jenny and I can use to create entertainment-themed hospitality environments. We worked together on this project and we see eye-to-eye on design.”

King feels that hospitality and entertainment are linked, and the ability to tap into the two worlds gives them greater experience to draw from. For hospitality, it means that they can create a 360 guest experience by engaging all of the senses that returns investment dollars. After all, the longer their guest hangs out, the more money they’re apt to spend.

Taking a cue from the showbiz, they used elements like fire, water, lighting and music to build a ‘set’ of sorts for lounge-goers.

“We wanted to bring in a larger than life dynamic. Aaron had this idea for a gigantic fire feature. It makes the whole space glow; it’s what brought the name,” Termini said.

According to King, he built the over-sized fire feature, made with glowing acrylic panels, because he wanted to step beyond what’s already been done, both in his own work and in the marketplace.

“We’ve been there several times to watch people,” King said. “They’re taken by the huge fireplace and they’ll wander over to the water features. When it’s really busy, the crowd flows over to the lobby. It’s important to know that these spaces don’t always withstand on their own. It all has to flow together. We try to fill in the blanks in design.”

The space has an airy appeal because the furniture, and feature design elements, serve as the major architectural element and they create the flow. There is no roof and all overhead lights have been carefully designed to add ambiance.

“When we talk about this space, we say glow a lot. It’s got bouncing amber light everywhere—off windows and mirrors. It’s got a real hum about it. And it’s also very complimentary to skin tones too so everyone looks great at night.”

Glow is divided between a number of sitting and standing areas. Creating private cabanas and a VIP gazbo area allows for bottle service.

According to Termini, the people she’s observed in the space don’t just sit in one spot.

“It’s a big communal space and people are so welcoming. I haven’t noticed cliques,” she said.

KDC will continue to work with Marriott as a preferred vendor to implement their Great Room Concept.


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