Contract - Sibling Revelry: h2hotel by David Baker + Partners

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Sibling Revelry: h2hotel by David Baker + Partners

18 April, 2011

-By Amy Milshtein; Photography Brian Rose, Zubin Shroff, Midstate Construction


Little sisters have it easy. The first born softens up the parents with good grades and responsible choices, giving the baby a wide berth to explore. The same could be said for buildings. For instance, the Hotel Healdsburg in Healdsburg, Calif., offers stately grace and award-winning comfort so it makes perfect sense that the sister hotel right down the street, h2hotel, by David Baker + Partners Architects, rebels with a groovy, green interior and a simple, rustic vibe.

Designed as a value option, h2hotel is the brainchild of Circe Sher, daughter of Hotel Healdsburg owner Merritt Sher. “Hotel Healdsburg opened in 2001, and by 2008 we were turning people away,” she says. “We knew we could fill additional rooms.” As it turned out, a value option was just what travelers hungered for at the time.

Sher looked a few hundred feet down the road to a postage stamp-sized, 27,000-sq.-ft. lot that formerly held a gas station. The site would need work. After reclaiming the brownfield and restoring Foss Creek, which runs through the town and directly behind the property, David Baker dug a basement. “That was expensive, but without it we had nowhere to put services and storage,” says the partner at his eponymous San Francisco firm. This gave the architect the freedom to open up the ground floor, creating a sweeping energetic space with lots of options and amenities.

Guests transition from busy Healdsburg Avenue to a tranquil entrance court which features “Spoonfall,” a kinetic sculpture created by Ned Kahn from thousands of espresso spoons. The sculpture is powered by rain captured from the living roof and filtered through an underground cistern. From there, guests move to the custom zinc “receptobar,”

reception desk/coffee bar by day and cocktail spot by night. The face of the lobby restaurant opens completely to the sidewalk, enlivening the street scene. “It has become the watering hole of choice in the neighborhood,” says Baker.

A lounge area, dubbed the “chill space,” sits farther back. It features low-slung Missoni fabric couches and a rotating display of art, objects, books, and games set in a steel display grid. The grid and artwork also visually shield the pool area from the lobby. A chill space needs a crackling fire, and this one is a complete departure from the expected. Instead of a gas fire licking obviously fake ceramic logs, the single flame is surrounded by bound copper Steinway piano wires. The entire piece floats in a steel grid assembled with Japanese-style joinery.

The nearby conference room also offers surprises. The floor is made from a basketball court floor reclaimed from a defunct health club. The unstripped boards were reassembled, mosaic-style, revealing a pattern of black, green, and natural wood. Light-filled and tranquil, the space hosts events, meetings and Sunday morning yoga class.

Upstairs, 36 rooms offer simple, yet elegant accommodations. Baker found himself freed from the predictable confines of the standard hotel room. “I’ve seen about a bazillion hotel rooms at all different price points, and they all look the same,” he laments. “H2hotel’s rooms are wide and shallow instead of the typical long and narrow. It feels roomier.” There are three room configurations, each featuring built-in storage designed to accommodate rolling, carry-on luggage, operable floor-to-ceiling shutters, custom elm beds, and streamlined work areas.

Bathrooms are a study in luxury with iconic white Health Ceramic-tiled surfaces. Japanese soaking tubs offer relaxation. And the operable window in each bath area set the rooms apart. Baker found the extra space for the bathroom windows by using flat-screen televisions in the rooms, eliminating the need for bulky armoires. Suites feature a private deck or balcony, and more than 90 percent of the regularly occupied space has a direct view to the outside.

H2hotel offers plenty of amenities, but management assumes that guest will want to do things for themselves. For instance, there is no valet or even a parking lot but plenty of no-charge spaces on the street. Free loaner bikes let patrons explore the town and surrounding wine country. Rooms don’t have a minibar. Instead each floor has a water station where guests can fill a glass bottle with hot, cold, still, or sparkling water and ice. “Hotel Healdsburg is a destination unto itself,” says Sher. “H2hotel is more of a home base—a fun place to eat, sleep, and relax between adventures.”

The hotel is rated LEED Gold and is the only LEED-certified hotel in Sonoma County. More than 60 percent of the total site, including the living roof, was preserved as landscaped open space to promote biodiversity. The hotel is designed to use 27.8 percent less energy than the standard California hotel. This appeals to the hotel’s younger target market, as does the price. Rates start at $195 per night in the low season, $295 in the high.

who
Project: h2hotel. Client: Paolo Petrone, Merritt Sher. Architect: David Baker + Partners; David Baker, FAIA, LEED AP; Peter MacKenzie, AIA; Bradley Sugarman, AIA, LEED AP; Kevin Markarian, AIA, LEED AP; Padma Mahadevan, LEED AP; Sara Mae Martens. LEED AP. Interior designer: Marie Fisher Interior Design; Jen Gadiel Design; David Baker + Partners. Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects. Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden. Mechanical/plumbing engineer: Guttmann + Blaevoet. Acoustical Engineer: Wilson Ihrig + Associates. Contractor: Midstate Construction. Art Curation: Swarm Studio. Custom Fabrication: Pacassa Studios. Signage: NRF Studio. Photographer: Brian Rose, Zubin Shroff, Midstate Construction.

what
Doors: Nanawall. Lighting: Hanging Tree Chandelier, Pauwlonia and LEDs, Pacassa Studios. Communal Table: Black Acacia, Pacassa Studios. Communal Table Dining Chair: Vitra. Dining chair/barstool: Modernica. Upholstery: Designtex, Missoni, Kenzo. Custom “receptobar”: Zinc and Acacia, Pacassa Studios. Stacking Sofa: Roche Bobois Mah Jong. Lounge Chairs: Lignet Roset. Coffee Tables: Piet Hein Eek. Rugs: Peace Industry. Accent Light: Ingo Maurer, Knoller Floor Lamp. Side Table: Saarinen Side Table with Calacatta marble top. Art: Photograph by Stephen Galloway. Custom fire element: Leonidas Kyriakopoulos; steel casework: Pacassa Studio. Meeting table/chairs: Vitra. Flooring: Reclaimed gymnasium floor. Custom Bedframe: Salvaged American Elm locally sourced from Arborica. Custom Built-in Armoire: Valchromat composite board with salvaged American Elm doors and leather pulls. Guestroom flooring: Woven Strand Bamboo, Bamboo Hardwoods. Area Rugs: Regionally sourced from Ukiah, Stark Carpets. Guestroom chairs: Emeco Navy arm chair. Bath Tile: Heath Ceramics. Stools: Gaiam.

where
Location: Healdsburg CA 95448. Total floor area: 32,540 sq. ft. No. of floors: 4. Total staff size: 16 hotel staff; 45 bar + restaurant staff. Number of guestrooms: 36.




Sibling Revelry: h2hotel by David Baker + Partners

18 April, 2011


Brian Rose, Zubin Shroff, Midstate Construction

Little sisters have it easy. The first born softens up the parents with good grades and responsible choices, giving the baby a wide berth to explore. The same could be said for buildings. For instance, the Hotel Healdsburg in Healdsburg, Calif., offers stately grace and award-winning comfort so it makes perfect sense that the sister hotel right down the street, h2hotel, by David Baker + Partners Architects, rebels with a groovy, green interior and a simple, rustic vibe.

Designed as a value option, h2hotel is the brainchild of Circe Sher, daughter of Hotel Healdsburg owner Merritt Sher. “Hotel Healdsburg opened in 2001, and by 2008 we were turning people away,” she says. “We knew we could fill additional rooms.” As it turned out, a value option was just what travelers hungered for at the time.

Sher looked a few hundred feet down the road to a postage stamp-sized, 27,000-sq.-ft. lot that formerly held a gas station. The site would need work. After reclaiming the brownfield and restoring Foss Creek, which runs through the town and directly behind the property, David Baker dug a basement. “That was expensive, but without it we had nowhere to put services and storage,” says the partner at his eponymous San Francisco firm. This gave the architect the freedom to open up the ground floor, creating a sweeping energetic space with lots of options and amenities.

Guests transition from busy Healdsburg Avenue to a tranquil entrance court which features “Spoonfall,” a kinetic sculpture created by Ned Kahn from thousands of espresso spoons. The sculpture is powered by rain captured from the living roof and filtered through an underground cistern. From there, guests move to the custom zinc “receptobar,”

reception desk/coffee bar by day and cocktail spot by night. The face of the lobby restaurant opens completely to the sidewalk, enlivening the street scene. “It has become the watering hole of choice in the neighborhood,” says Baker.

A lounge area, dubbed the “chill space,” sits farther back. It features low-slung Missoni fabric couches and a rotating display of art, objects, books, and games set in a steel display grid. The grid and artwork also visually shield the pool area from the lobby. A chill space needs a crackling fire, and this one is a complete departure from the expected. Instead of a gas fire licking obviously fake ceramic logs, the single flame is surrounded by bound copper Steinway piano wires. The entire piece floats in a steel grid assembled with Japanese-style joinery.

The nearby conference room also offers surprises. The floor is made from a basketball court floor reclaimed from a defunct health club. The unstripped boards were reassembled, mosaic-style, revealing a pattern of black, green, and natural wood. Light-filled and tranquil, the space hosts events, meetings and Sunday morning yoga class.

Upstairs, 36 rooms offer simple, yet elegant accommodations. Baker found himself freed from the predictable confines of the standard hotel room. “I’ve seen about a bazillion hotel rooms at all different price points, and they all look the same,” he laments. “H2hotel’s rooms are wide and shallow instead of the typical long and narrow. It feels roomier.” There are three room configurations, each featuring built-in storage designed to accommodate rolling, carry-on luggage, operable floor-to-ceiling shutters, custom elm beds, and streamlined work areas.

Bathrooms are a study in luxury with iconic white Health Ceramic-tiled surfaces. Japanese soaking tubs offer relaxation. And the operable window in each bath area set the rooms apart. Baker found the extra space for the bathroom windows by using flat-screen televisions in the rooms, eliminating the need for bulky armoires. Suites feature a private deck or balcony, and more than 90 percent of the regularly occupied space has a direct view to the outside.

H2hotel offers plenty of amenities, but management assumes that guest will want to do things for themselves. For instance, there is no valet or even a parking lot but plenty of no-charge spaces on the street. Free loaner bikes let patrons explore the town and surrounding wine country. Rooms don’t have a minibar. Instead each floor has a water station where guests can fill a glass bottle with hot, cold, still, or sparkling water and ice. “Hotel Healdsburg is a destination unto itself,” says Sher. “H2hotel is more of a home base—a fun place to eat, sleep, and relax between adventures.”

The hotel is rated LEED Gold and is the only LEED-certified hotel in Sonoma County. More than 60 percent of the total site, including the living roof, was preserved as landscaped open space to promote biodiversity. The hotel is designed to use 27.8 percent less energy than the standard California hotel. This appeals to the hotel’s younger target market, as does the price. Rates start at $195 per night in the low season, $295 in the high.

who
Project: h2hotel. Client: Paolo Petrone, Merritt Sher. Architect: David Baker + Partners; David Baker, FAIA, LEED AP; Peter MacKenzie, AIA; Bradley Sugarman, AIA, LEED AP; Kevin Markarian, AIA, LEED AP; Padma Mahadevan, LEED AP; Sara Mae Martens. LEED AP. Interior designer: Marie Fisher Interior Design; Jen Gadiel Design; David Baker + Partners. Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects. Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden. Mechanical/plumbing engineer: Guttmann + Blaevoet. Acoustical Engineer: Wilson Ihrig + Associates. Contractor: Midstate Construction. Art Curation: Swarm Studio. Custom Fabrication: Pacassa Studios. Signage: NRF Studio. Photographer: Brian Rose, Zubin Shroff, Midstate Construction.

what
Doors: Nanawall. Lighting: Hanging Tree Chandelier, Pauwlonia and LEDs, Pacassa Studios. Communal Table: Black Acacia, Pacassa Studios. Communal Table Dining Chair: Vitra. Dining chair/barstool: Modernica. Upholstery: Designtex, Missoni, Kenzo. Custom “receptobar”: Zinc and Acacia, Pacassa Studios. Stacking Sofa: Roche Bobois Mah Jong. Lounge Chairs: Lignet Roset. Coffee Tables: Piet Hein Eek. Rugs: Peace Industry. Accent Light: Ingo Maurer, Knoller Floor Lamp. Side Table: Saarinen Side Table with Calacatta marble top. Art: Photograph by Stephen Galloway. Custom fire element: Leonidas Kyriakopoulos; steel casework: Pacassa Studio. Meeting table/chairs: Vitra. Flooring: Reclaimed gymnasium floor. Custom Bedframe: Salvaged American Elm locally sourced from Arborica. Custom Built-in Armoire: Valchromat composite board with salvaged American Elm doors and leather pulls. Guestroom flooring: Woven Strand Bamboo, Bamboo Hardwoods. Area Rugs: Regionally sourced from Ukiah, Stark Carpets. Guestroom chairs: Emeco Navy arm chair. Bath Tile: Heath Ceramics. Stools: Gaiam.

where
Location: Healdsburg CA 95448. Total floor area: 32,540 sq. ft. No. of floors: 4. Total staff size: 16 hotel staff; 45 bar + restaurant staff. Number of guestrooms: 36.

 


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