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The Arizona Biltmore Resort
Phoenix, Arizona
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Client BREHotels & Resorts
Architect PHX Architecture
Interiors Virserius Studios and SFA Design
Lighting Design Creative Designs in Lighting
Landscape Architect Burton Landscape Architecture Studio

The unique architecture of the Arizona Biltmore was inspired by the style of Frank Lloyd Wright and has been a destination hot spot for celebrities, presidents, and luxury travelers since opening in 1929. During the pandemic, the resort took the opportunity to close down and undergo its most transformative renovation in its glamourous history. The intent was to carve out a fresh new look, but be something Wright and Albert Chase McArthur (the original architect of record and student of Frank Lloyd Wright) might have envisioned if they were designing today.

 

Erik Peterson, owner of PHX Architects and former intern at Wright’s Taliesin Architects, was selected to “reimagine” many iconic focal points on the property. Douglas Fredrikson Architects were selected to completely rebuild the luxurious spa. Two renown interiors firms were selected to complete the architect’s vision – Virserius Studios (based in New York City and Paris) and SFA Design based in Santa Barbara.

 

The lighting design took advantage of the signature “Biltmore Block” relief designs that were developed by Frank Lloyd Wright to emulate the fronds of palm trees. There are 34 different designs and countless configurations of more than 6,000 blocks on site, many of which needed to be replaced during the renovation. Grazing these blocks emphasized the shapes and forms using light and shadows. When selecting a standardized bollard for the resort makeover, a fixture was specified for it’s complimentary design aesthetic. It was noted that the shadow of this bollard in the sunlight casts a very “Frank Lloyd Wright-esque” pattern.  Also of note, all of the bollards are installed at a 45-rotation from the adjacent sidewalk for a “diamond” aesthetic instead of a “square” aesthetic.

 

The project included the following components:

  • A new entry experience where a brilliantly illuminated palmarie outlines the entry drive leading to the newly uplighted façade beyond.
  • The event lawn is anchored by a new social center ramada and outdoor bar experience with a luminous art-deco centerpiece. It was named The Spire Bar in response to the new 30-foot spire that pays homage to Wright’s original design for an obelisk at the Arizona state capitol that is now located at the Scottsdale Promenade.
  • The new Saguaro Pool is for the adult crowd with a bar for beverages and cabanas for privacy. This pool overlooks the event lawn at one end and promises views of the mountains on the other end beyond the 140-year-old Saguaro cactus. In contrast to this pool for the sophisticated crowd is The Paradise Pool that is open for families and features a new 60-foot water slide. This is the pool that Marilyn Monroe made famous!
  • Renata’s Hearth is a new signature restaurant that basks in the glow of an indirectly illuminated gold ceiling above the surrounding Biltmore blocks. Large scale pendants hang over the tables that feature smoked Latin flavors “from the hearth”.
  • The Wright Bar is the birthplace of the Tequila Sunrise drink made famous by the Eagles song. The bar now has a vintage Art Deco style with a mirrored ceiling and emerald tiles on the bar die.
  • The Tierra Luna Spa’s new design is infuses the Earth, Moon, and astrology in the aesthetic. It features 12 treatment rooms, some of which include wet treatments and outdoor experiences. Other spaces include relaxation retreats, retail, fitness room, and spacious changing rooms.
  • The cottages, once intended for children and nannies, are now the prized lodging locations with resort level treatments by Virserius Studios. Several cottages feature a newly updated “moon deck” for romantic views of the Arizona skies.
  • The Ocatilla Room is a social meeting place for hotel guests for morning breakfasts or evening cocktails on the outdoor terrace.
  • The site landscape design was upgraded throughout the public spaces by Burton Studios and included new upgraded lighting for night time ambiance.
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Mountain Shadows Resort
Paradise Valley, Arizona
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Client Westroc Hospitality, Woodbine Development Corp.
Architect Allen + Philp Partners
Interiors Mark Zeff Design
Lighting Design Creative Designs in Lighting
Landscape Architect GBtwo Landscape Architecture, Inc.
General Contractor Balfour Beatty Construction
Electrical Contractor
Berg Electric

SIZE: 186,000 SF
VALUE: $44M
LOCATION: 5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale
START/COMPLETION: November 2015 – March 2017

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L’Auberge Del Mar
Del Mar, California
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Architect Joseph Wong Design Associates
Landscape Architect Whitin Design Works
Photographer CDL/Mark Greenawalt

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J.W. Marriott Mexico City
Mexico City, Mexico
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Architect Callison RTKL

The JW Marriott Mexico City project was recognized for international, national and regional awards at the 2014 International Hotel Awards gala in London.
• Best International Hotel Renovation/Refurbishment (international award)
• Best Hotel Renovation/Refurbishment Americas (regional award)
• Five-Star Award for Best Hotel Renovation/Refurbishment Mexico (national award)

By sweeping the assigned award category (with the national, regional and international wins), International Hotel Awards considers the JW Marriott Mexico City project to be the World’s Best Hotel Renovation/Refurbishment of 2014.

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Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch
Scottsdale, Arizona
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Interior Designer Studio V Interiors
Photographer CDL/Mark Greenawalt

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Westin St. Francis
San Francisco, California
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Photographer Image Courtesy of Westin St. Francis

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Alvadora Spa at Royal Palms Resort
Phoenix, Arizona
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Architect – Oz Architects
Interiors – Vallone Design
Landscape – Linda Eales Design Associates
Builder – Howard S. Wright Construction Co

Photos courtesy of Royal Palms Resort