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From its continually thriving arts and music scene to more recent trends involving environmental awareness and sustainability, Athens GA has long been a hotbed of progressive ideas. It was an understanding of this quality that lead a first time developer to a vacant urban site, and ultimately a vision of a boutique hotel experience that’s deeply rooted in the values of its surrounding community.

In addition to being an integral part of the Athens community, the owner had goals towards of the development an environmentally sustainable showcase. This all led the owner to assemble a design team that could best realize this unique vision. Having no previous hospitality experience, the Architect and Interior Design teams brought expertise from other building typologies, and were able to realize a project unique to both Athens and the hospitality industry as a whole.

The 94,000 sf, $17 million, hotel features 130 “eco-chic” guestrooms facility was the 9th hotel worldwide to achieve LEED Gold certification. An art gallery and music venue provide unique programmatic elements that compliment the guest experience as well as the surrounding community. Drawing inspiration from local vernacular architecture, the architects created an environment that is a hip re-branding of the rural south. Polished concrete floors, an abundance of daylight, reclaimed granite walls, and reclaimed wood from local sources, tell a story of sustainability while interior furnishings a warm compliment to the modern design. An exterior courtyard adjacent to the lobby doubles the public gathering space and provides a seamless indoor/ outdoor relationship.

Despite the lack of previous hospitality experience, the owner and design team were able to assemble a product that is truly unique to the hotel industry. The project grows out of Athens’ rich cultural heritage and creates a new and exciting experience for guests and community alike.

Design: Surber Barber Choate + Hertlein Architects
Photography: Phillip Spears

via Archdaily

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