PaperCity Magazine

September 2017 - Dallas

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In the downstairs reception area, the carved wood and marble table is original to the hotel. Swoon, the Studio designed the custom stone- mosaic floor. Opposite page top: The Commerce Street entrance to the hotel includes original walnut paneling. On the staircase, carpeting was removed and replaced with marble. Opposite page bottom: In the upstairs lobby, vintage Dunbar coffee table with an antique ram's-head settee. The mirror is original to the hotel. 120 down shirts and red bow ties — inspired by the hotel's original uniforms — ferry drinks to lobby guests on silver trays from the Art Deco-style bar. "The whole directive was to be a welcoming environment where people could come and work, have coffee with friends, or meet and have a cocktail," Reitmayer Sano says. When it comes to the furnishings and branding specifics — such as matchbooks, menus, coasters, uniforms, et al. — Swoon took a cinematic approach. "The details are what help the hotel feel a little storied and a little Wes Anderson," says Taylor, in reference to the indie author and director of the The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel, whose stylish sets are methodically researched for historical accuracy and to appear visually lush. "Wes Anderson leaves no detail unturned," Taylor says. "He hires branding agencies to create a constructed world down to the pink box of pastries in the Grand Budapest Hotel. We wanted to create a similarly immersive, cinematic experience here, and part of that is how warm the rug is, how patinated the brass is, or when you pick up that matchbook and see the old logo, or feel the heft of a book. For us, you can't separate any of that experience from the overall design." The script Swoon imagined for the Adolphus centers on an imaginary couple with kids living in a grand European home filled with inherited furnishings and art. "We tried to put ourselves in the heads of these fictional characters and ask, what would they own?" says Taylor. "They would be young enough to have collected contemporary pieces, and they would have youngish children who'd be jumping on the couches — and that's okay. They would have cool Andy Warhol books, but maybe their mother also gave them this crusty old painting of Napoleon." This fictional Adolphus-in-residence family has aristocratic taste, to be sure, and it shows: Periods, styles, and materials are lavishly layered. There are blue velvet George Smith-style sofas; low Paul McCobb brass and travertine mid-century coffee tables; antique goatskin and rams'-head armchairs; cane- and-bentwood lounge chairs handmade by Soane Britain; hipster tufted leather sofas from SchoolHouse Electric & Supply Co.; vintage Persian and Turkish rugs from Nomads Loom; lighting sourced from Austria, based on original 1910 designs; large, moody artworks by Richard Serra; French carved gilt mirrors; vintage taxidermy under glass; and hundreds of books including biographies on famous Texans, French literature, and local museums, which Taylor and Reitmayer Sano selected. T he Adolphus' long history and cast of interesting characters became fascinating fodder for new branding elements. Vintage matchbooks from the hotel's early days were reproduced with an updated version of the original shield logo and vintage illustrations of Dot Franey at the Century Room. Redesigned menus, door tags, and coasters in paper and leather subtly incorporate the hotel's red-and-blue color scheme, along with former design elements such as cherubs from the now-gone '80s-era mural that once covered the French Room ceiling. A history book with original black- and-white photos recounting the hotel's early years is used as a check and menu presenter for the lobby bar, and cocktails are named after some of the chapters in the book, such as the Aloha Mai Tai, which references the hotel's 1940s-era tiki-themed Century Room. City Hall Bistro is aptly named for the hotel's location on the original site of city hall, and the upcoming Otto's cafe is named for its most illustrious GM. "It was a lot of digging, a lot of uncovering of information," says Taylor. "The more you knew what to look for, the more the story unfolded." They interviewed the grandson of Dot Franey to find out more about the Century Room, and a longtime valet told them about ghost sightings he'd heard about from guests City Hall Bistro at the Adolphus Entrance to City Hall Bistro at the Adolphus

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