Tag Archives: Anna Wunderlich

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

7 Dec




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

Victor Ekpuk | Kimpton Banneker Hotel | Washington, DC

1 Oct

Sep 30, 2021,07:00am EDT

Washington, D.C.’s Most Stylish Rooftop Bar Is Opening At The Kimpton Banneker Hotel On October 8

Katie Chang

Contributor Travel

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Lady Bird Rootfop Bar Washington DC benjamin white house le sel
Lady Bird is the sophisticated new rooftop bar at The Kimpton Banneker Hotel in Washington DC. THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

After months of pandemic-related delays and setbacks, Washington, D.C.’s Kimpton Banneker Hotel is unveiling its highly anticipated bar, Lady Bird, on Friday, October 8. Set on the top floor of the buzzy Dupont Circle property that opened this summer, the sophisticated rooftop lounge inspired by former First Lady Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson will offer craft cocktails and light bites Tuesday through Saturday evenings.

While there’s plenty of rooftop bars in the nation’s capital, Lady Bird sets itself apart from the competition. The aesthetic is unabashedly cozy and colorful, with spruce green walls, an oversized mural by area artist Meg Biram, and vintage tchoctchkes (like Japanese Kodeshi dolls and tea pots) that nod to Johnson’s love of traveling. In addition, Lady Bird offers uniquely intimate and unobstructed views of 16th Street’s historic rowhouses, churches, and The White House. And the hotel’s discreet address – it’s located in lively Dupont Circle, but easy to miss unless you’re looking for it – ensures a less rowdy and more laid-back vibe.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House BENJAMIN roof
The Kimpton Banneker Hotel gets its name from Benjamin Banneker, an accomplished surveyor, … [+] THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

Even better? Lady Bird is among many reasons why The Banneker is one of D.C.’s most exciting new hotels. Because here, nearly every detail has been considered. The name, for example, comes from Benjamin Banneker. A Renaissance man, Banneker was many things: a surveyor, astronomer – even the signs in the gym and guest room hallways are based on constellations – mathematician, and the first Black presidential appointee. “To this day, a lot of people don’t know about Banneker and all his contributions,” says general manager Raeshawna Scott. “After everything we went through in 2020, naming the hotel after him felt befitting.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House Victor Ekpuk
Contemporary art is a focal point at The Kimpton Banneker Hotel. In the lobby, you’ll be greeted … [+] THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

You’ll also notice thought-provoking, original art throughout, from the lobby – where you’re greeted with a striking mural titled “You Be Me, I Be You” by Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk – to the accommodations, all the way up to Lady Bird. But at The Banneker, art is about far more than aesthetics and sprucing up a space. The entire collection was carefully curated with some of today’s most pressing issues (like race and gender) in mind.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House MASON STUDIO
The Kimpton Banneker Hotel’s 144 rooms and suites are equal parts chic and comfortable thanks to the … [+] THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

As for the 144 rooms and suites? They’re equal parts chic and comfortable– thanks to the efforts of Toronto-based Mason Studio – and have been designed to feel more like a cozy home away from home than a staid hotel. While all room categories are super-spacious, book one of the Art Studio Suites. With 475 square feet and an airy, open layout, they’ve got all the essentials for a well-lived life: those blissful signature Kimpton beds, contemporary furnishings, abstract art, and plenty of space to work or just lounge around.

Kimpton Banneker Hotel Washington DC Hotel Travel Dupont Circle White House le sel french
Le Sel is a contemporary, all-day French bistro led by Chef Laurent Hollaender. THE KIMPTON BANNEKER HOTEL

Le Sel, the hotel’s all-day eatery, is a French bistro with plenty of modern appeal. Helmed by Chef Laurent Hollaender, the kitchen excels in the classics (think buttery escargots, niçoise salad, and moules frites) and turns out wonderfully original dishes, too. (Don’t pass up on the grilled chicken thighs smothered with onion soubise and lardons. It sounds simple, but is craveable and deeply delicious.)

Though The Banneker has everything you need for a stylish stay in a convenient location, it’ll also serve as a hub and gathering space for the local community. “We’re going to use our common spaces for pop-up trunk shows and art exhibits with local creatives,” says Scott. “It’s not enough to just be in the community like other hotels, we want to be part of it.”

Check out my websiteKatie Chang

Available artwork by VICTOR EKPUK