VICTOR EKPUK’s mural at Kimpton Banneker featured in Inspire Design

7 Dec

06DEC

CAPTURING THE CAPITAL CITY

ABBY ELYSSA

Partnering for the second time with Kimpton Hotels (its first being the Kimpton St. George in Toronto), award-winning interior design firm Mason Studio’s latest project, the Kimpton Banneker in Washington, DC, is a sophisticated, alluring space layered with unique local elements and thoughtful hidden meanings, all which pay homage to the Capital City.

“For the Kimpton Banneker in Washington, DC, our design approach considers the unique characteristics that make up the Capital City, to provide a hotel experience that celebrates local art and culture and is meant to create a sense of place,” said Stanley Sun, cofounder, Mason Studio. “We’ve achieved this through a curated collection of art, furnishings and objects, which have all been intentionally selected for the spaces to appear as if they were collected over time. Traditional materials throughout the hotel are realized in new ways to create a connection between the old world and new.”

A common bird theme runs throughout the hotel design, beginning with the eponymous Lady Bird Bar and Lounge, which takes inspiration from Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson’s—a prior First Lady of the U.S.—dedication and interest in DC’s arts and culture scene.

The Lady Bird Bar and Lounge represents a nest perched on the top of the building, made up of unique new and antique objects curated from across the city (much like how a bird collects shiny items to build its home).

DC’s official bird, the Wood Thrush, also makes an appearance throughout the design, seen through subtle hints of bird’s wings and patterns throughout the building. Local artist, Meg Biram, was chosen by Mason Studio to incorporate birds in her mural artwork behind the rooftop bar area.

Mason Studio has also provided a platform for local notable artists and BIPOC creators within public and private spaces of the hotel to reflect the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene and provide an opportunity to showcase emerging and established artists’ work to international travelers, Sun said.

In a tribute to the hotel’s namesake, a unique abstract portrait by Rob Matthews of the influential Black innovator from DC, Benjamin Banneker, at work with one of his tools—a compass—and a page from one of his almanacs, welcomes guests into the hotel’s main lobby.

The lobby also features an abstract mural by Nigerian-American artist Victor Ekpuk in addition to work from Aziza Claudia Gibson-Hunter, a co-founding member of Black Artists of DC.

From the Banneker’s lobby, to the two restaurants, to the oversized hotel suites, Mason Studio has ensured guests are immersed in a well-curated boutique hotel design experience, filled with thoughtful, provocative and memorable details from the minute they step through the lobby’s front doors.

“The interior design of the hotel communicates a narrative of Washington’s history: its monumental architecture mixed with contemporary culture, to offer a guest experience that is both reflective, yet a unique interpretation of the city,” Sun said.

Available Artwork by Victor Ekpuk

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