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Grand Rapids Will Have an Iconic Hotel to Go with its Iconic Art Museum

March 14, 2014 at 1:02 PM | by | ()

So an architect designs an art museum, the first in the world to earn LEED Gold Certification, then a few years later gets a new hotel gig across the street. That makes sense and it's nice work if you can get it. CWD Real Estate Investment, developer of the property in Downtown Grand Rapids in Michigan, is banking that it will make dollars and cents when its "hotel that kinda looks like a museum" opens in 2016.

The new 5-story hotel, as yet unnamed or branded, is being designed by Thai architect Kulupat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture, who now practices in the US. Yantrasast’s works have mostly been museums of which the neighboring Grand Rapids Art Museum made him a bit of an icon. CWD wants an equally iconic hotel and from the looks of the digital image above, their wish will come true.

At first – and second -- glance, this building doesn’t look much like a hotel, which is part of its appeal. If not for the great big “hotel” sign pasted into the image, who would know? It really does resemble a museum of sorts, with its strong geometry, lack of repetition, and little or no ornamentation. It is quite a departure in hotel design and we're gonna enjoy tracking its progress. Yantrasast typically integrates sustainable design into his projects, as the deep overhangs would suggest, and the hotel may qualify for LEED certification. Sounds like a plan.

Groundbreaking is reportedly to start later this year, and for now the plans indicate 100-150 rooms which could include extended stay or condo units on the upper floors. The hotel adjoins a commercial building and will have shared ground floor retail and dining.

Now the question is, what brand, if any, will go in here? Immediately, this sounds like a perfect spot for a 21c Museum Hotel. Also, we think Le Meridien Hotels could be right at home as well especially since their UNLOCK ART program gives guests access to the area's museums.

Only time, and successful woo-ing by the winning hotel brand, will tell.

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