An annex to the National Maritime Union is transformed into the Dream Downtown Hotel
The Dream Downtown Hotel presented a complex challenge for the design team. The project included the complete redesign and recladding of an existing structure, which originally served as an annex to the National Maritime Union headquarters designed by Albert Ledner. Not only did the building have to be repurposed into a hotel, but the owner struggled with the idea of distinguishing the building from the adjacent Maritime Hotel, also designed by Albert Ledner.
The design team came up numerous options to illustrate how the new hotel would have a unique identity while preserving Ledner's original design, which was important to save. The original through block building offered limited possibilities for natural light, so four floors were removed from the centre of the building, creating a new pool terrace and beach along with new windows and balconies for guestrooms, two new floors of guestrooms on the south, and a glass enclosed roof top lounge & terrace on the north with sliding exterior walls blurring the boundaries of inside and out.
The glass bottom pool, dotted with portholes of its own, allows guests in the lobby glimpses through the water to the outside (and vice versa), and connects the spaces in an ethereal way. Light wells framed in teak between the lobby, pool and lower levels allow the guest to be transported between spaces. Two hundred hand blown glass globes float through the lobby and congregate over The Marble Lane restaurant filling the space with a magical light cloud.
Fixtures, furnishings, fabrics and linens were custom designed for the public spaces and guestrooms that carry through the exterior design concepts, providing a limitless feeling between inside and out. Layers of silver, black and white are balanced with warm teak wood; pop colours provide a visual punch.