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Web Exclusive: Urban Spoon

(April 2013) posted on Fri Apr 12, 2013

CCS Architecture’s design for the Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s eateries takes the “hotel” out of “hotel restaurant.”

By Mary Scoviak

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The commission that CCS Architecture, San Francisco, got for the Hyatt Regency Atlanta wasn’t going to top any designer’s list of easy projects. The task: giving a 1967 John Portman building three separate food and beverage (F&B) offerings that would give a 22-story atrium a human-sized impression and compete with local restaurants.

“The main challenge was to create very different, distinctive eating and drinking venues within a large generic space,” says principal and CEO Cass Calder-Smith. “Our solution was to create three 'brands', each with their own material identity that made them unique, and also with varying degrees of openness to the lobby so they still relate to one another.”

 Answering that need started with finding ways to create separation between the eateries and the atrium. The first of those spaces is Sway (short for Southern Way), an all-day eatery that’s styled with a palette of white oak, American walnut and marble. Glass and wood vertical panels create a visually penetrable but distinct divide between the restaurant and the lobby. Market, a take-out offering, shares the same material profile.

22 Storys, the bar, eschews the buttoned-up vibe of many lobby drinking spots for an informal take on the aesthetic of the other venues. Low leather walls and a cantilevered ceiling give the 5,100-sq.ft. space a character of its own. Barstool-height tables further point up the casual atmosphere, as do booths with built-in beer taps.

Trying to create hotel restaurants that echo the feeling of local eateries has become a must-do for designers everywhere. Semi-transparent and half-height dividers add a feeling of visual separation without closing down the space. 


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