The Detroit Foundation Hotel is a collaborative effort of the city’s luxury design, art, architecture, and manufacturing communities. Celebrating community, social entrepreneurship, and economic engagement are among the building blocks that inspired the collaboration between Aparium Hotels, McIntosh Poris Associates, and Simeone Deary Design Group.
According to Archello, the program is about the historic preservation and renovation of the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters and adjacent Pontchartrain Wine Cellars building into a new 100-key boutique hotel featuring a modern restaurant, private dining room, chef’s table, luxury bar, lounge, retail, two business meeting rooms, and podcast studio. The hotel will also include a fitness center and new modern building addition to the fifth floor to host banquets and parties for up to 160 guests.
Simeone Deary Design Group’s vision for the Detroit Foundation Hotel was to honor Detroit’s past and to celebrate the city’s promising future. The conceptual design was inspired by the idea of “Coming Home to Detroit.” This inspiration resulted in the commitment to “Repurpose History” by taking historically relevant moments and materials from the Fire Department Headquarters, as well as from Detroit, and create a contemporary design.
Entering the five-story Neoclassical building through a massive arched, terra cotta-faced portal, originally one of the fire engine doors, guests are transported into a voluminous, story-and-a-half space that once housed the fire engines. The space incorporates the check-in experience, lobby, and a luxury restaurant aptly named “The Apparatus Room.” Existing glazed brick tiles celebrate the building’s history yet the new finishes, decorative lighting, and interior architecture add modernity.
An open display kitchen and antique brass metal rail system, reminiscent of a fireman’s pole, runs through the contemporary restaurant and highlights the strong architecture. The front desk is comprised of vintage, found furniture credenzas. Video screens behind the desk showcase footage of local artisans and fabricators whose skills, craftsmanship, and art are incorporated into the hotel’s luxury design. Overhead, a feature chandelier, inspired by the building’s history, resembles an abstract smoke-inspired structure.
Guestrooms, curated specifically for Detroit, feature repurposed trim and moldings as a wall art installation. An unexpected nod to fordite mining and photographs of historic Detroit architecture become an inlaid art piece. A color palette of deep chocolates, along with pastel metallic punctuated with pink and blue accents reminiscent of the paint colors of 1960 automobiles, add an unexpected hue to the clean and modern guestrooms.
The furniture celebrates Detroit’s prominent industrial design and is offset with luxurious materials. A channel-tufted velvet sofa and soft-curve, high-lacquered finish headboard draw inspiration from the craftsmanship of high-end automobiles to add a touch of nostalgia.
General Contractor: Sachse Construction
Interior Design, Positioning/Graphics, and Branding: Simeone Deary Design GroupMEP Engineer: MA Engineering
Structural Engineer: Structural Design, Inc.
Civil and Traffic Engineer: Giffels Webster
Lighting Design: Illuminart
Acoustical Design: Soundscape
Historic Preservation Consultant: Kraemer Design Group
Food Service Consultant: Next Step Design
Low Voltage Design: Sorbis
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