AMES, Iowa — A team of recent Iowa State University College of Design graduates won the student category of the 14th HD Awards competition.
This national competition, sponsored by Hospitality Design magazine, recognizes outstanding design projects in 23 categories related to the hospitality industry.
The student category's winning project was "Arrowhead Resort" by Taylor Bryan and Holland Shodeen, both 2017 ISU graduates in interior design. The winner was announced and teams were honored Wednesday at the HD Awards ceremony in New York City.
Out of the five finalists in the student category, three were from Iowa State, including the winner. Iowa State’s two finalists were “The Isthmus” by Shawn Barron, 2018 alumnus of the architecture master’s program, and Matt Lechowicz, 2018 alumnus of the architecture bachelor’s program; and “Rainforest Hotel and Spa” by 2018 architecture alumni Nolan Christensen and Lucas Confalonieri; and 2018 interior design alumna Kyla Peterson.
Bryan and Shodeen developed their winning project in the spring 2017 interior design senior studio taught by associate professor (now emerita) Çigdem Akkurt.
Students were tasked with designing a boutique hotel with a lobby, restaurant, spa, exercise facility, event space and multiple guest room types, including standard queen and king rooms and suites. They were able to choose their project’s location.
“Both Holland and I have a strong passion for skiing, which led to the design of ‘Arrowhead,’ a luxury ski resort at the foot of the Teton Range in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,” said Bryan, now an interior designer with Engler Studio Interior Design in Edina, Minnesota.
“We developed our concept through extensive research of ski resorts as well as the location and site. We chose the name Arrowhead based on the region’s Native American history as well as the idea that Jackson Hole is where people come for adventure and it begins at Arrowhead Resort.”
The team added a second restaurant, a pool and a private cabin option to the required elements in their design. The spaces all share the same architectural language and a palette of cool blues and warm neutrals found in the Wyoming landscape. All rooms were designed to have the mountain view as a focal point. The students incorporated materials such as concrete and metal to provide a contrast to the natural surroundings, with wood and stone accents.
“Through our research, we learned that few hotels in Jackson Hole have taken a modern design approach, which also influenced our choice of materials and architectural style throughout the resort,” said Shodeen, now a designer with Simeone Deary Design Group in Chicago.
“Every aspect of Arrowhead Resort is about the adventures that await in Jackson Hole, and we worked very hard to create this feeling throughout the design.”
“The Isthmus” and “Rainforest Hotel and Spa” were developed in the fall 2017 Panama integrative design studio taught by Lee Cagley, professor and chair of the Department of Interior Design, and Morrill Professor Thomas Leslie, the Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture.
Cagley and Leslie asked students to design a high-rise luxury hotel, spa and convention center for an entertainment district on the Amador Peninsula at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. Among the requirements were to make use of local labor and materials, incorporate sustainable elements and devote at least 40 percent of the site to rainforest restoration or to highly biodiverse habitat.
A majority of the class traveled to Panama last September to visit the proposed project site and learn more about Panamanian culture, the canal, the rainforest, existing luxury hotels and local efforts to preserve and restore biodiversity.
For “The Isthmus,” Lechowicz and Barron chose locally-sourced timber as the primary structural material for their undulating 38-story hotel instead of the typical concrete, and they specified mahogany finishes on the interior to make the spaces inviting for guests. Instead of a massive parking garage, the team proposed innovative, vertical automated parking towers, which allowed them to open up the site and incorporate extra public green space.
Christensen, Confalonieri and Peterson designed “Rainforest Hotel and Spa” with themes of water and vegetation in mind, providing guests with a rainforest experience and the ability to adjust their individual spaces to suit their needs. All guest rooms have shower units “at the intersection of inside and outside,” Christensen said, with adjustable wooden louvers, clerestory windows and planters that make up the building façade. These elements allow for privacy and climate control as well as natural light and views.