Hotel Indigo SavannahWill Speros • February 1, 2017
Overlooking the historic Ellis Square, the Hotel Indigo Savannah—housed within the iconic Guckenheimer building—revels in the rich legacy of the city through a blend of classic and modern influences thanks to the design from CJMW Architecture.
“The overall design has vintage tones, but also lots of whimsy, with materials and texture overlaying each other to create a visually rich experience similar to that of Savannah,” explains Kathleen Warner, principal and director of interior design for the Winston-Salem-based firm. “[The aesthetic] isn’t trying to recreate any one moment in time, but instead recognizes a flow and a continuity through time.”
The CJMW team’s exploration of Savannah unearthed the city’s whimsical aesthetic, from its signature open-air marketplaces to the chalk, paint, or yarn installations crafted to adorn various urban pockets by students from the Savannah College of Art and Design. These projects steered the team (in collaboration with local firm Greenline Architecture) to punctuate the neutral palette with colorful moments through vivid patterns and textured fabrics.
Original wood columns were left in tact during the renovation, and large-scale furniture in seating areas create an air of privacy for guests. The front-desk pods features jade-toned cabinets made from laminated annigre veneer for a pop of color against the wood tones. And descending from the ceiling, metal mesh recalls the Spanish moss that lines the city street, providing guests with, “an immediate sense of Savannah,” says Warner. Further details include modern lighting designed with garden scenes on the inner shell of the fixtures.
Informed by the city’s marketplace, the lobby bar features structural timber columns and a trellis for a rustic look. The bartop is topped with locally sourced zinc for a patinaed look and simple chairs made from wood and steel are set against walls of staggered reclaimed wood planks for a sense of familiarity.
The building’s architectural heritage is on display across all 252 guestrooms, featuring exposed brick and arched windows, while a handful of fourth-floor suites boast a spiral staircase that leads to an attic space. Murals, again recalling the marketplace, depict antique bottles from the Savannah Bottling Company.
Bathroom walls also bear custom wallcoverings that illustrate an abstracted take on the Oglethorpe Plan, the gridded layout of the city created by Savannah’s founder General James Oglethorpe. “It is another layer of vintage appeal as well as meaning and connection to the city, but just as importantly, it is a bold visual backdrop that anchors the vanity area,” Warner says.