28 Jul Inspiring Interview with Tracey Sawyer of Krause Sawyer Design Firm
Tell us about the Krause Sawyer brand.
Krause Sawyer is a design firm that brings a unique problem-solving approach and inherent sense of effortless style to a vast range of hospitality projects. We work with clients to develop and execute a cohesive guest experience that sets them apart from their competition and withstands the ultimate test of time.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Many of our projects are inspired by the neighborhoods in which the properties are located. Often a location will have a rich history, a story or a local feel to the place that we draw from and interpret into the design of the hotel. When guests are looking for a home away from home, they are able to immerse themselves into local culture within hotel itself. Sometimes this inspiration is clear, such as the Brooklyn names and neighborhoods that are hung in laser cut metal over the fireplace at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, or sometimes its more subtle, expressed through the selection of materials as in the use of steel, glass and metal accents at the Westin Times Square reflecting the hotel’s central urban location.
The inspiration for the Atlanta Marriott Marquis is more nuanced and is drawn from the building’s architecture and the people who move throughout the hotel. It celebrates people arriving, meeting and traveling, and the transition of those rhythms from day to night.
The Krause Sawyer Design Firm uses the “problem-solving approach”. Can you expand on this?
Through our design we not only aim to create beautiful, dynamic interiors but designs that enhance the experience guest experience. Today, travelers are not simply looking for a room to sleep in but they require flexible functionality, the ability to stay connected and socialize as well as a place to retreat and rejuvenate. Our ‘problem- solving approach’ ensures that our designs meets these needs as we create flexible and functional spaces that appeal to the many needs of today’s traveler.
For example, the guestrooms at Marriott Brooklyn Bridge are designed with traveler needs and guest experience in mind. The rooms are designed with a clean lined open closet system where guests can put away what they need to without the fear of leaving their belongings behind, a sectional sofa that can transform into a secondary sleep area as well as a casual or focused work area with easy access to power.
Your portfolio holds many impressive projects. One that stood out to our team was the Westin Penthouse. Can you walk us through what the conceptualization/design of this project.
The brief was to create a space that would feel warm and residential and that would appeal to groups looking for off site meeting space. We created a series of 3 zones to provide for different styles of meetings, formal tables meetings situated next to a screen, a more relaxed lounge focused around a feature wall, and a third area for brainstorming and break out meetings. All of the areas focus around the central glass marker wall.
We loved your Brooklyn Bridge Marriott project. How did the hotel’s unique location effect the conceptualization/design of this project?
When beginning to re-imagine the interior design of the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, we looked to Brooklyn’s rich history and culture pulling inspiration from the local surroundings to create the full atmosphere of the hotel. The design is inspired by Brooklyn and its many layers of history, culture, languages and means of connection and transportation.
From the public spaces to the guestrooms, hints of Brooklyn can be found throughout the entire hotel. In the public space, guests are greeted with Brooklyn names and neighborhoods hung in laser cut metal over the fireplace with the concept continuing throughout the space with inspiration taken from the grids, geometry and materials of the city. We used blackened iron structures from the local subway to accent the hotel bar while modern bronze laser cut box structures form chandeliers and represent local building structures.
The juxtaposition of Brooklyn continues in the design of the hotel’s guestrooms. The bright shiny white bathroom materials are designed to represent a modern interpretation of the classic subway tile, where wood finishes represent the reclaimed finishes of navy yards. The fabrics used throughout the room are an interpretation of canvas and old fashioned vegetable tanned leather reflecting workman’s aprons, baseball gloves, sports, subway straps, saddles and machinery belts.
Briefly describe the type of experience you are trying to create for your guests at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott
When re-designing the Marriot Brooklyn Bridge, we wanted to create a space where guests felt connected to the neighborhood while they relax and rejuvenate throughout their stay. When designing the guestrooms, we wanted to create a room that met the needs of today’s traveler, who require flexible functionality, the ability to stay connected and socialize as well as a place to retreat and rejuvenate. With each traveler having an array of needs and reasons for travel, we wanted to design a room that met each of these individual needs by crafting a room that was as dynamic and multifunctional as it is aesthetically beautiful.
What’s next for the Krause Sawyer Design firm?
We are very excited to explore new locations. We have had a strong focus on urban locations and are excited to work in other countries, with other cultures and in destinations with more remote natural environments.