Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hospitality Forum - Lobby Design

Hospitality Forum - Lobby Design
submitted by: Foreman Arden Rogers, III  ASID, IIDA  Senior Associate, tvsdesign


I have never written a blog before but have "looked" at many.   All I know is I like to see pictures rather than read too much.  Since it’s hospitality Forum this month I am going to highlight a recent hotel we did and talk briefly about some of the influences that were a part of the lobby design…and show lots of pictures. 
I am then going to give share some great websites I find inspiration through all the time. 
Lastly, I am going to talk about Coverings which is coming to Atlanta end of April…more pictures!

Lobby Design:
 The "living room" of the hotel.  Lobbies more than ever are becoming the most exciting place in the hotel.  The trend is to have an 18 hour lobby or a place for “first drink /last drink”.   This idea makes them an all day revenue maker, whereas before they were just a waiting room or quick meeting place.  Lobbies are a place to relax, work, eat and meet.  The lobby is where you grab a coffee and quick pastry in the in the morning and at night a place to grab a bite from a limited menu and a glass of wine while you check emails.
Connected - There is a need to have as much connection as possible with lots of plug -ins and wifi.  This is a huge design element now.  You have to be clever in the placement, making sure the outlets do not stand out like a sore thumb but at the same time placing them intuitively for the guest.  Another trend is to have places just off the lobby that work as a “tech lounge”.  A place that has computers and a printer as well as a communal table that can work for small meetings.    
A space for all - For years the lobby bar was a bunch of old men drinking and watching sports.  Women are quickly growing to be the largest business travelers.   One of the biggest challenges is getting those women out of their rooms and in the lobby spending some money. 
One of the ways this is done these days is designing a space that is elegant with a bar that is sophisticated.  Think wine bar over sports bar OR smart and sexy over English pub.  It still amazes me how our designs influence the way people act.  We, as designers, have that gift to impact ones behavior by producing an environment that encourage the guests.
Seating – This is one of the most important references to Lobby design - you need different types:  from bar to counter; communal to lounge.  Then you need individual and group seating.  And on top of it all it all needs to be adaptable to go from a small group to a larger one...quickly.   This hotel for instance rents out areas of the lobby for different group events.   Once again another revenue maker.
You have to design the seating for both sexes.    For example:  Women often will want to be in the space but tucked away and not feel on display.  Men want a comfortable large bar chair with a back.   This is only to name a couple of thought processes when selecting the furnishings.
Lighting – Very important!  In the morning it needs to be bright and energetic and as the day goes on it slowly transitions to soft mood light.  The goal here is to make the space feel and look different at night than it did that morning when they left for the their meetings.
Art -The lobby has become the place to have large commissioned art.  This museum-like quality is wanted and often it can give a sense of place or highlight local artists. 
This, of course, is just one type of  hotel.  Not every hotel needs to think like this.  This was a business hotel, but for a resort or family hotel you would have another list of things to design towards. 

The business of Hospitality design is more than a beautifully decorated space.  It has purpose to the hotel owners to create an inviting and comfortable place for their guests to gather, meet, eat, and work.  Hospitality design needs are a space for all as the "Living Room" of the hotel.  But the real goal to keep in mind is instigating the additional revenue in sales of food and beverage for a hotel in the offerings beyond just the room charge itself!  This is what makes for a happy client.

Here are my favorite websites I use for inspiration:       

Exhibit at Coverings 2013!-     This is the largest tile and stone show in the Americas.   It is one of my favorite shows, I can wander around the show for hours looking at all the unique and cool materials.   It is here in Atlanta this year and it's free! 

The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience for the first time is heading to Atlanta, Georgia!
April 29-May 2, 2013 | Georgia World Congress Center

Here are some great finds from last year:
This is a 5’x10’ by 3/8” thick tile!  From Stonepeak.
Beautiful Sicis mosaic
Brushed Chinese stone

Emil Ceramic Tile
VIVA Ceramica
Check out the designer showcase while you are there.  This year we have 4 local firms doing projects:

  • VeenandaalCave - Maternity Room 
  • ASD - Bar
  • Mark Williams Design - Master bath
  • tvsdesign - hotel lobby  
They are being built during the show in 4 days!  Below is a photo from last year of the hotel bedroom that "yours truly" did.  It was all Ceramics of Italy.

David Allen Group had only four days to cut and install all the tile.

The final product The tile above the bed was the catalyst for the design.  It is actually a map of Milan by LEA

The End.


  1. Awesome post...really inspiring pics and's so impressive effort..!!

  2. wow..its so beautiful and nice..thanks for sharing it..
    Hotel furniture