Kimpton Aertson Hotel

Submitted by Gensler

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Client: Buckingham Companies

Location: Nashville, TN, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Interior Designer

Doug Detiveaux

Gensler

Other

Bradley Chambers

Buckingham Companies

Artist

Jaehyo Lee

Cynthia Reeves

Artist

Jongrye Cha

Cynthia Reeves

Artist

Duncan Johnson

Cynthia Reeves

Artist

Anne Lindberg

Cynthia Reeves

Artist

Ara Peterson

Cynthia Reeves

Artist

Oliver Marsden

Cynthia Reeves

Artist

Mabel Poblet

Cynthia Reeves

Artist

Orly Genger

Orly Genger

Architect

Torti Gallas & Partners – CHK, Inc

Other

Lighting Design Alliance

Other

Metropolitan Engineering, Inc.

Other

S&ME

Other

Tadjer-Cohen-Edelson Associates, Inc.

Art Consultant

Cynthia Reeves

Cynthia Reeves

Overview

The 125,000-square-foot Kimpton Aertson Hotel tells a story true to its name, one of grit and honesty with elevated style. Paying homage to its neighboring university’s namesake, the hotel’s design recalls the humble beginnings of the Vanderbilt family. Their pioneering spirit elevated the family name to legendary status, characterizing the innovative soul of “Music City.” Placing emphasis on local artisans and craftsmen, the Aertson offers guests a unique, sensory experience at every touchpoint. The design team used a carefully curated mix of textures, materials and custom art installations to embody the historic, creative experience that is inherently Nashville.

Goals

The client, an art enthusiast and collector, was drawn to the influence early entrepreneurs and craftsmanship had on Nashville. This strong affinity for hand-crafted art pieces and passion for the sensical museum experience drove the direction of the design to highlight artistry at every touchpoint. From the design teams perspective, this created both a challenge and an opportunity. As the space design is typically the star, artwork is often an afterthought. No longer a complimentary element, the goal was to make the artwork within the Aertson the defining factor of the hotel design from the beginning.

Process

The design approach for the Aertson was unique from the start. Before construction even began, the design team launched into meetings with artists and craftsmen to determine which pieces would reside within the hotel’s walls.
Before concluding design-development, Orly Genger was selected to commission the lobby’s reception desk. Genger worked closely with the building team to develop a detail-sensitive, ombre rope reception desk. The hand-knotted piece served as an inspiration for the remainder of the lobby design.
The neighboring, double-sided fireplace installation was another piece commissioned early in the process. UAP North America developed an artistic suspension of wire-bound river stones to create a striking entry moment.
While several, substantial pieces were commissioned early in the process, adjustable lighting was installed in vacant areas to accommodate installations selected at a later date. One example of this was Anne Lindberg’s striking, 17-foot wide, three-dimensional installation of thread which greets guests as they enter the elevator lobby.
Every niche within The Aertson – from guestroom to bathroom – offers a new artistic experience to be explored. Collectively, these pieces were carefully curated to bring a mix of industrial-meet-organic textures together in an authentic and innovative way.

Additional Information

In 1650 Jan Aertson emigrated from the Netherlands to America. To honor his home village, Jan changed his surname to “Vanderbilt.” 200 years later, railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jan’s great-great grandson, established Vanderbilt University, a landmark that symbolizes the spirit of his family. Kimpton Hotels believes a hotel should reflect the uniqueness of the city it resides in. In developing the unique aesthetic for The Kimpton Aertson Hotel, the Vanderbilt’s trailblazing spirit inspired the team to pioneer a new and innovative design approach that ensured artwork and craftsmanship was the driving factor of the design.