Located in Boston’s bustling western fringe, the owners of a dated chain hotel wanted to transform the 30 year old structure into a vibrant multi-amenity hotel. The project created a refined hospitality setting within the city’s changing suburban context. The new hotel’s ambience is intended to appeal to the various business travelers visiting companies along Boston’s Route 128 technology corridor, bringing a more urbane option to the suburbs.
For the business travelers and locals tired of predictable environments featured by brand name American hotels, the Verve offered clients a different hospitality experience in suburban Boston. This was achieved in part through the unique palette of materials, colors and textures that were designed to trigger associations with food, music, art and cultural icons during the visitor’s formative postwar years. For instance, spaces were defined in part by recycled materials, equipment, art and imagery representing 20th Century America. Reused milk bottles, refurbished refrigerator doors, and rolling pins were used in defining and cladding the spaces of the Pantry, the hotel’s main restaurant. In contrast, the lobby spaces featured recycled plastics and plywood as both screens and surface material through a variety of CNC cut patterns.
This collage of past and present materials was held together by virtue of the way the public spaces were reorganized. The hotel’s original plan was in keeping with 1980’s design standards, relying heavily on rotating geometries. Rooms and spaces were rotated 45 degrees relative to each other, often creating awkwardly shaped public spaces. Navigating through this web of corridors and lobbies was confusing at best. In response, one of the first design decisions was to create a spatial diagram of the hotel’s public spaces, one which would help organize the hotel’s ground floor.
Where possible, all extraneously angled or rotated spaces were eliminated. Spaces were squared-off, and organized in relationship to a new major axis, which connected the entrance vestibule and Pantry restaurant. A new curved orange wall embraced the newly created spaces while directing visitors to the reception desk, elevator and ballrooms. Simply by removing a few existing walls, platforms and ceilings and adding new strategically located walls, the entire volume of space is experienced in a more dramatic yet clear manner.