The hotel’s concept plays with the history of the area, the fame of the building and local traditions, taking the visitor on a journey of discovery that is revealed room by room, space after space.
As the largest town in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Picton is a small community deeply tied to its culture and land, characterized by a thriving winemaking tradition and to the historical buildings of the town center, which are constructed in the vernacular style of Loyalist architecture, developed between late 8th and early 9th centuries by Jeremy French. Defined by geometry, symmetry and graceful moldings and decorations, this movement features neoclassical lines and has left an important footprint on the urban fabric of the city.
Giannone Petricone Associates is giving a piece of history back to the community through its redevelopment project of The Royal, an abandoned hotel dating back to the second half of the 19th century. The hotel was built at the same time as the development of the railroad and the construction of a network of canals that paved the way for new settlements.
Bought in 2013 by the Sorbaras – a family of Canadian politicians that own a real estate development group – the building was saved from demolition and has now been restored and brought back to life as a bridge between past and present, a witness to local history and a catalyst for a future dedicated to tourism and to the exploration of food and wine in the area. The work took almost ten years and involved the complete gutting of the building, of which only the historic façades were maintained, and the subsequent creation of a three-story luxury hotel, with 28 rooms, a restaurant, spa, outdoor pool, gym, library, and four bars.
Giannone Petricone Associates’s concept plays with the history of the area, the fame of the building and local traditions, taking the visitor on a journey of discovery that is revealed room by room, space after space. Furnishings that are rich and generous, atmospheres that are sophisticated and elegant while also informal: the interior design embraces the Victorian style of the building, remodulating it in a minimalist and contemporary tone.
British classicism and the rural style typical of Ontario find a perfect union in the finishings. The materials and furnishings were selected to evoke Victorian charm with a modern touch: carpets with a tartan pattern, echoed in the mosaic tiles in the bathrooms of the rooms, marble-clad fireplaces, wood-paneled rooms and rippled ceiling rosettes create a welcoming environment with a classic flair. Against this canvas, the contemporary elements are the design accents with a strong architectural mark – like the zig zag light fixtures in the main floor hallway, the steel-framed cage elevator with industrial mesh illuminated by strips of LED light, or the fireplace surround in the lobby designed with a wave pattern reminiscent of a linen tablecloth being unfurled or, lastly, the leather-clad walls of the lobby and cafeteria that take their color from the area’s clay soil.
The back of the hotel slowly opens towards the outside: a large veranda acts as a filter between the dining room and the garden, which ends with the pool area. The red bricks of the pavement join with the boundary wall and echo the tones and materials of the main façade, which has been restored and enhanced by the metal balustrade that echo the former balcony and by the ground floor, which opens onto the street with large windows, reinforcing the connection between the city and the life of the building.
Location: Picton, Ontario, Canada
Client: 247 Main Street Picton LP
Gross Floor Area: 2,880 m2
Architect and Interior Designer: Giannone Petricone Associates
Main Contractor: Structure | Construction Managers & General Contractors
Heritage: ERA Architects
Acoustics: J.E. Coulter Associates
Kitchen: Trend Foodservice Design & Consulting
Landscape: Janet Rosenberg & Studio (JRS)
FF&E Procurement: P360 Concepts
All photos courtesy of Giannone Petricone Associates
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