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Project Constraints The site for the hotel was an awkward size of 26’ wide by 150’ in length. What made for a unique design problem was that, being in a downtown setting, the site for the hotel was surrounded by other buildings. Therefore, the only existing natural light entered on one of the 26’ sides of the building. Other project constraints required the inclusion of a minimum of: 14 guest rooms and bathrooms, a lobby, a pool, and a bar area. The Concept The concept for the Verspreiden Hotel was inspired by the microscopic view of a leaf. Akin to the human circulatory system, a plant also has a circulatory system that carries nutrients through it’s cells. When examined microscopically, a plant’s leaf contains veins similar to those in the human body. As the design for the hotel developed, two corresponding concepts emerged through the exploration of the leaf vein patterns informing how light is distributed and views are shaped. Design Approach Further exploration of the two primary concepts continued to evolve throughout the design process. In addition to shaping light and views, the leaf vein patterns took on additional interpretations. First, that the form and shape of these veining patterns informed the finishes throughout the hotel, especially the façade treatment. Second, that the meandering nature of the vein patterns shaped the circulation throughout the space, becoming the primary basis of the expansive ramp systems that dominate the finished design. Design Solution In order to achieve maximum natural daylight entering the space, the hotel was split into two towers, accessed by a series of ramps that spans between them. The South Tower contains the Lobby and 4 guest suites. The North Tower contains a loft-like lounging deck for the pool, 10 guest rooms, and a private staff area. The pool was designed as a subterranean feature that spans the entire basement and can be seen from the ramps that span between the two towers. The ramps, were a dominant feature of the design and were not meant to function merely as circulatory elements. They also became gathering spaces for people to cross paths between the two towers and to create vantage points from which to survey other people and activity. At any given location along one of these ramps one could be able to see throughout the entire atrium space and even peak into the subterranean pool. On the third floor, the ramp actually swells in width to accommodate the bar. And on the other floors, this “swell” effect allows for bench seating to encourage guests to experience the ramps and gather together. The material of the ramps is a laser cut metal that mimics the form and shape of the leaf veins. As light passes through the metal a beautiful pattern of dappled light is scattered throughout the atrium.

Verspreiden Hotel

The Design Problem In an effort to increase tourism in the Broadway District of Los Angeles and to bring new life to what was once a dynamic and energetic area, the city of LA sought to create new lodging facilities in this area. Thus, the Verspreiden Hotel was born. As the new star of the Broadway District, this boutique hotel was designed to inhabit an underutilized, and previously run-down, 7-story retail space. The design of the hotel called for an innovative façade treatment that would be responsive to the solar orientation of the building in order to create comfortable and strikingly beautiful interior spaces.

The design process for the exterior facade began with the veining patterns of a leaf. These patterns were then manipulated into 3D objects that could be manufactured using Fuse Deposition Modeling.


1.1 Initial Inspiration Image

Winter Elevation

The final product is a series of individual cells that formed the facade treatment. These cells are intended to be individually fabricated using a base material of recycled wood flour.

1.2 Digitally Traced Outline

1.3 Subdivided Polygons



2.1 Initial Extrusion and Cell Rotation




Exterior Elevation

Prototype Elevation

With the hotel facing south, it was incredibly important to create a facade treatment that would shape solar heat gain and minimize temperature uctuation in the interior. In addition, it was important to shape views from the interior to the exterior and vice versa. On the ground oor, the facade is densely populated with cells, but the subtraction of some cells give way to a preview of the interior for those passing by on the street.

Facade Elevation

Fabricated Prototype Cell

2.3 Final Sculpted Configuration


The Verspreiden Hotel called upon the design and implementation of a facade system that would be incredibly unique, beautiful, and functional. The original 6’ x 10’ “Vascular” curtain wall was reshaped to t the exterior of the hotel.

2.2 Subsequent Extrusion Blocks Solar Heat Gain in Summer and Disperses Solar Illumination in Winter


To w h t u So

Facade Fabricated with Fuse Deposition Modeling out of wood flour

Glass Printed with Leaf Vein Pattern

To w h t r o


In a backwards approach to a more standard design process, color palette was considered first. This approach lent itself to an organization of spaces based on color. In the guest rooms and guest suites the color choices respond to the design concept by balancing warm and cool finishes in response to the solar orientation of the structure.


North Tower- Guest Rooms North Tower- Staff Area South Tower- Guest Suites

Basement- Pool Area


South Tower- Lobby


3rd-6th Floors: Typical Plan



1. Guest Suite 2. Balcony 3. Guest Room 4. Atrium, Open to Below 5. Bar, 3rd Floor Only

5 3 2




2nd Floor


1. Open to Below 2. Exit Ramp 3. Trash Area 4. Laundry Area 5. Break Room






1st Floor




1. Lobby/ Seating Area 2. Guest Services Desk 3. Additional Seating 4. Ramp Seating 5. Open to Below 6. Guest Room

4 6


Basement 3 6


4 5


Plans & Section

East Section


1. Public Restrooms 2. Storage Area 3. Exit Stair 4. Main Pool 5. Jacuzzi 6. Lounging Area


Stacked Stone Between Layers of Plywood

Honed Concrete Jacuzzi Surround

Natural Slate Stone Floor

Bent Plywood Sealed with Protective Sheer Stain


Silver Material Printed on Glass Fenestration in Leaf Vein Pattern

Black Terrazzo Floor

Laser Cut Aluminum Cladding

Metalic Orange Paint Finish


Guest Rooms


A rich, deep green that takes its na aromatic juniper berry, this color w off-white and neutral tones.

Laser Cut Curtains in Copper Mesh

Benjamin Moore Paint in Juniper

White Lacquer Finish

Reclaimed Oak Floors

Reclaimed Wood Floors in Shell Stain

Iridescent Recycled Glass Tile in Eggplant

Silver Material Printed on Glass Fenestration in Leaf Vein Pattern

Guest Suites

Benjamin Moore Paint in Passion Plum

Verspreiden Hotel  

Competition Entry for 2013 IIDA NC Honor Awards

Verspreiden Hotel  

Competition Entry for 2013 IIDA NC Honor Awards