JW Marriott Charlotte Rope Art - CODAworx

JW Marriott Charlotte Rope Art

Submitted by Madalyn Whitaker

Client: White Lodging

Location: Charlotte, NC, United States

Completion date: 2021

Project Team


Windy Chien

Windy Chien Studio



KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group


Carrie Tolman

KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group


A 23-ft by 23-ft art installation made of natural rope tied into intricate, historically-accurate fishermen knots hangs above Carolines Raw Bar to provide guests with an ambiance authentic to North Carolina’s coast. Illuminated by soft lamps that hang around the perimeter of the bar, the rope installation offers a warm glow that matches the charm of the bar design in its entirety. Careful to stand out, but not stand apart, the taught rope structure serves as a centerpiece to the bar that complements its surroundings and serves as the focal point.


The goal for integrating this commissioned piece of rope art into JW Marriott Charlotte’s Carolines Raw Bar was to celebrate the fishing tradition of the barrier islands of North Carolina. The food concept of the bar and restaurant was centered on seafood and meant to create a unique story told in subtle architectural details. The integration of the rope art was critical to the design narrative and was intended to come across as more structured and graphic versus organic. The artwork is the central focus of the space and emphasizes the collective interior story.


From the onset of this project, KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group looked to work with an artist who had a passion for rope art and understood the history of rope and knots, which they found in Windy Chien. The design team shared their initial design concept and selected 3D renderings of the art with Windy, who then came back with sketches and typical knots that historically had been used by fishermen. It was important to speak to the authenticity of what the designers were trying to express in a modern way. After sketches were approved, the pro-manila rope was carefully selected based on criteria from aesthetic to functional qualities. It was important to make sure that, over time, this artwork would hold its shape and meet the local code requirements for textiles attached to a structure. Once the major design elements were decided upon, the designers collaborated with Windy and her team onsite to start the installation. Windy worked on one section then called the designers in to ensure that they were working around the known elements of bar shelving, lighting, etc. The process was organic and collaborative while allowing Windy to fully express her art through this multi-dimensional medium.