W Los Angeles – Westwood will undergo a meeting space makeover that will combine the hotel’s narrative of indulgence and escapism with organic elements that tribute the property’s lush landscape. Scheduled for completion at the end of this month, the project features updates to the property’s about 5,000 sf of meeting space, including three studio spaces as well as Studio Four. A complete renovation of Studio Four will transform the space into “Strategy,” a new take on the traditional boardroom, featuring fully adaptable conference equipment.
Mister Important Design, an Oakland, Calif.-based, interior design company, is spearheading the project. Prevue spoke with Charles Doell, principal at the design company, to discuss the hotel’s new boardroom concept and how the renovation will affect group events.
Describe the new design of the meeting spaces.
Doell: The overarching brand narrative is an embrace of music, fashion and art which applies to all their properties. They individualize each hotel by creating a narrative that ties the brand to the location of the hotel. This particular hotel’s narrative is dedicated to indulgence and escapism with the lush Los Angeles landscape serving as a backdrop for artists, musicians and actors to meet and mingle. For the interiors, we are looking to bring a sense of that landscape and glamor inside.
How is the “Strategy” meeting room a modern take on a traditional boardroom?
A strategy meeting room is a space with interior that fosters creativity by tapping into the hotel’s narrative. We recognize that these spaces need a great deal of flexibility, but that doesn’t mean the space needs to be bland. Our job is to help activate these rooms and the patrons that use them.
A big part of that is creating custom elements that reinforce the spirit of the hotel’s narrative. For instance, The W Westwood is partially covered in vines, which we used as a jumping off point for the creation of an abstracted over-scaled carpet pattern that helped to bring the outdoors in. That pattern weaves in some gold tones to bring the other element of L.A. glamor from the W Westwood narrative into play. That combination of organic and glam also inspires the custom wall covering art and accessories. We started with a photo of a sunset off the hotel’s pool and abstracted it for feature walls in the meeting room. We also used simple pentagonal mirrors arranged in a pattern similar to branching growth to suggest the organic and the glamorous.
What fully adaptable equipment will be available in the meeting space, and how will it make meetings more effective?
Large screen TV’s, Wi-Fi with plenty of places to get plugged in, Bluetooth connectivity for presentations, as well as available projection systems on demand.
What do you see as the future for interior design in meeting spaces? What are groups starting to expect out of these spaces and how will interior designers continue to meet those needs?
I think as hotels see these spaces as being integral to the overall experience of the hotel you will see more and more attention paid to making these rooms sing. In the case of the W Westwood, I think it was critical to find an abstracted visual language that supported the hotel’s narrative and to apply it throughout, including in these meeting rooms. These rooms need to be suggestive and transportive, yet not be visually overbearing. We wanted people to intuitively feel the hotel’s creative vibe and be inspired by it. The technology for these rooms will change with advances in sound and lighting and most hotels will stay up-to-date, but it’s the creative and inspirational side that brands like the W will be pushing the envelope on.