The ScottAlia Akkam • Photography by Tanveer Badal • May 10, 2018
Melding the vibrancy of circa-1950s Cuba with Bauhaus-era functionalism, the Scott, in Scottsdale, Arizona’s Old Town, is a thoughtful departure from the area’s bevy of cacti-laden hideaways.
“We are always up for an odd concept juxtaposition,” says Greg Bradshaw, partner at global firm AvroKO. Bradshaw explains the muse for the resort was Cuban-born Julian Duarte, one of the founding fathers of contemporary Scottsdale, who wound up in the city “with a dream to create an oasis of sorts. The Scott embodies everything he envisioned, including a sense of escape into tropical comfort.”
For the first phase of the property’s $15 million refresh, with rebranding courtesy of Los Angeles studio Rinker Design and architecture by Tempe, Arizona-based Synectic Design, AvroKO focused on the lobby, the adjacent indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar Canal Club, as well as a duo of pools. New York and San Francisco firm Hart Howerton handled the meeting and event spaces.
AvroKO partner Kristina O’Neal says this distinct design story “folded into the Spanish Revival architecture, using it as an overall backdrop. We also modernized the space by incorporating pure white fascia that allowed pre-existing details to be more pronounced.” Integrating such elements, adds partner William Harris, is “nearly always the best choice in the end and well worth a bit of a journey.”
In the light-filled lobby, original arches and a bar adorned with handcrafted Spanish tiles amplify the design history, while rattan settees and caning screens conjure Duarte’s native Havana. Chandeliers, simple brass, and geometric forms infuse the calming island aura with European elegance. A paradise aesthetic is reinforced throughout: take the large tree standing in the center of the lobby, or the greenery-filled indoor-outdoor Canal Club restaurant, with floral patterns found on wallpaper and chair seats. “The abundance of flora in the space creates a front-porch Havana feel—both domestic and a little wild,” says partner Adam Farmerie.
At the lagoon-style pools dotted with striped umbrellas, solitude is found in the cabanas, which pair teak with linen. That same sense of serenity is also on display in the breezy, neutral-hued guestrooms. Slated to fully debut this summer, they are heavy on wood but balanced by black and white photography and another spate of Bauhaus-influenced, clean-lined light fixtures. hd
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