© SHAPS - Shu He Architectural photography Studio

Hotel Nouveau: 8 Elegant Renovations That Add Polish to History

Celebrating details and craft, adaptive reuse hotel projects reveal how the built environment evolves over time, telling stories that create a powerful sense of interiority.

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

Successful adaptations draw out critical relationships between history and contemporary design. Giving new life to existing buildings, these projects require careful attention to structure, space and circulation. Celebrating details and craft, adaptive reuse projects reveal how the built environment evolves over time. As a typology found across the world, hotels are deeply connected to movement, gathering and rest. Hotels that are developed as adaptive reuse projects tell many stories, creating a powerful sense of interiority.

Hotels are designed around memorable experiences that cater to residents and tourists alike. Showcasing adaptive reuse hospitality projects, the following collection focuses on renovations through an interior lens. Drawing connections between social spaces and accommodation, the projects each explore elegant and diverse design languages that express brand identity. Formed to resonate with a sense of community, they open visitors to their contexts and each other.

© SJB

© SJB

© SJB

© SJB

Harbour Rocks Hotel by SJB, The Rocks, Australia

Demonstrating how to redesign a heritage-protected building, this hotel has set a new benchmark for hospitality in The Rocks. The project included unveiling a subterranean basement in the historic warehouse, as well as drawing out the details of sandstone blocks through lighting and subtle detailing.

© Studio 3LHD

© Studio 3LHD

© Dusko Vlaovic

© Dusko Vlaovic

Hotel Adriatic by Studio 3LHD, Rovinj, Croatia

As a renovation of an existing hotel built in 1913, this redesign lies in the urban heart of Rovinj. Experimenting with texture, shade and color, the hotel explores atmospheres and aesthetics around more than a hundred pieces of art.

© Mark Ballogg Photography

© Mark Ballogg Photography

© MICHAEL MUNDY

© MICHAEL MUNDY

Hotel Allegro Renovation by GREC Architects, LLC, Chicago, Ill., United States

The Hotel Allegro renovation project was designed to bring back the building’s Art Deco elements. Elegant detailing, strategic lighting and a refined material palette create a new identity for the hotel.

© Shanghai Dushe Architectural Design DSD

© Shanghai Dushe Architectural Design DSD

© Shanghai Dushe Architectural Design DSD

© Shanghai Dushe Architectural Design DSD

Jiahe Boutique Hotel in Yushan Bay by Shanghai Dushe Architectural Design DSD, Jiangyin, Wuxi, China

Located by Yushan Lake, this boutique hotel included the transformation of a former office building into dining rooms, banquet and meeting areas, guest rooms, and a swimming pool. Integrated interiors, architecture and landscape incorporate the use of a steel structure around the existing building and site.

© gad·line+studio

© gad·line+studio

© gad·line+studio

© gad·line+studio

Seclusive Jiangnan Boutique Hotelby gad, Hangzhou, China

Located in a historic district next to the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, this hotel was built around two affordable housing projects. The renovation keeps the original form of the buildings, but reorganizes spatial divisions and interior circulation.

© SHAPS - Shu He Architectural photography Studio

© SHAPS - Shu He Architectural photography Studio

© SHAPS - Shu He Architectural photography Studio

© SHAPS - Shu He Architectural photography Studio

CHAO hotel by GD-Lighting Design, Beijing, China

Conceptualized as a “nest,” the CHAO hotel merges private customization and social spaces. As a model of hotel renovation, the project explores light as a defining element that shapes spatial quality and experience.

© FME Architecture + Design

© FME Architecture + Design

© FME Architecture + Design

© FME Architecture + Design

The Battery by FME Architecture + Design, San Francisco, Calif., United States

As a cultural destination formed to reinvigorate a members-only club community, this hotel design centered on the transformation of an empty warehouse building. Combining a new penthouse, glass counterweight elevator and seismic upgrades, the design created a new space for gathering and assembly.

© MAD

© MAD

© SHAPS - Shu He Architectural photography Studio

© SHAPS - Shu He Architectural photography Studio

Beijing Conrad Hotel by MAD, Beijing, China

Created around the idea of an architecture that grows, the Conrad Hotel responds to the rectilinear city grid with a “neural network” façade. The interiors were made to compliment this unique envelope and expand on its initial idea through an interwoven redesign.

+