Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) has taken the wraps off its designs for the new Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown. The hospitality interior design firm is taking cues from four decades of the city’s entertainment-centric past to create the look of the 350-key flagship property, which is slated to open in February as part of the Metropolis development in LA’s Historic Core. HBA was selected to design the project in spring 2015.
“Being involved in the hotel boom that is happening in Downtown Los Angeles is an incredible opportunity for our office—we were able to reinterpret Indigo’s brand story by infusing whispers of Downtown Los Angeles’ famed history,” says HBA associate Richard Tennill. “In addition to being able to design a project in our own backyard, we’re able to create a look that is unique to LA’s past where visitors can discover and explore portions of the area’s history they have never before seen.”
The designers say four local narratives from the late 1800s to the 1920s influenced their vision for the interiors: The Fiesta de las Flores parade of the late 1800s; the bourgeoning movie industry and vaudeville glamour; 1920s underground tunnels and speakeasies; and cinema’s actresses and directors. The hotel’s look will blend these concepts with industrial undertones.
The hotel’s entry experience will recall moving machinery decorated with flowers at the Fiestas de las Flores (now known as the Rose Parade). Large murals with ghosted flowers layered over imagery of carriages and crowds will cover the walls of the lobby lounge. Above the reception desk, a custom chandelier by HBA’s lighting consultancy, Illuminate, will hang horizontally, illuminating a freestanding, floral-decorated “penny-farthing” bike set. The consultancy has created vintage-style luminaires crafted with industrial materials and LEDs for the space.
The lobby-level Metropolis Bar + Kitchen restaurant will pay tribute to the neighborhood’s Prohibition-era secret tunnels and underground parties. The designers split the space into two by inserting seating and a passageway through concrete tunnels. On one side of the tunnel, a bar will be embellished with brass and copper metals reflecting onto the space’s 20-ft.-tall wall and ceiling, which will be clad in pressed tin tiles. The other side will feature a speakeasy vibe with softer tones and a mural of jazz bands.
Influenced by the theaters in Downtown Los Angeles, the 18th Social lounge and bar—located on the 18th floor–will be decked out with blue velvets, a mix of modern patterns, neon lighting, metal finishes and framed vintage photographs of the theaters lining Broadway. The lounge ceiling will feature an oversized worm’s eye view of a high-profile theater.
The designers are drawing inspiration from the period’s movie starlets and directors with a focus on Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star, to create the guest rooms and suites. Both room types will feature loose pieces of furniture for a residential feel. Over-the-bed murals will depict what window views would have looked like during the turn of the century.
The first style of guest room will take cues from Wong’s experience living in Downtown LA, incorporating colors from the bougainvillea flower. Director-inspired executive guest rooms will have a more masculine feel with brown and maroon tones reminiscent of the leather and woods found in an office.
The hotel’s meeting and convention space will reflect the formalwear patterns and textiles of early 1900s pre-Hollywood galas. Oversized images of precious stones will be displayed along a dark blue-painted corridor facing a glass façade. Upholstered walls and wood veneers will line the corridors leading to the meeting spaces. On the fourth-floor, two large murals portraying dancers at these galas will lead to the outdoors.