Within walking distance of the Trinity River, which cuts diagonally across the city of Dallas, and a host of local attractions, including the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, a new Virgin Hotel has opened in the Dallas Design District. Like the nearby Trinity River Park, the hotel is part of a plan to revitalize this area of the city. Designed by 5G Studio Collaborative, the hotel is the first Virgin property in the Southwest and the fourth in the country. It’s been designed to reflect the style and iconic forms of the brand, as well as the traditions and history of the location. The result is a structure that captivates and inspires people from outside with its easily recognizable Virgin imagery, which carries through to the interiors with even more emphasis.
With its white facade, the Virgin Hotel Dallas rises to a height of 17 floors. Even at first glance, it’s obvious how much attention has gone into creating an artistic design to reflect the city’s lively arts scene. The celebration of this tradition and a sense of place are communicated through natural textures, materials, and handcrafted elements, as well as the façade’s playful lines. The façade itself is a custom, hand-made aluminum grid with a diamond pattern, some full, some empty, and sometimes with perforated grilles. The visual interplay created is also visible from inside.
The hotel entrance, a large glazed area marked from the outside by abundant plants, opens at an angle at the intersection of the two wings of the building. Above it and an intermediate public area, there are large terraces with transparent balustrades.
The diamond-esque façade also creates shade in various public areas – a ground level outdoor space towards the back of the building in particular – improving comfort levels in summer.
The traditions and artistic history of the city of Dallas are also reflected inside the Virgin Hotel, where a total of 890 artworks are on display in the public areas and rooms. And there are 268 rooms, including two penthouse suites. While the rooms are mainly decorated in soft colors, the dining areas have brighter shades, with some elements reflecting the corporate emblems. A particularly quirky touch is the Funny Library Coffee Shop, where you can stop for a read or a good coffee. The chromatic contrasts here are quite strong, ranging from the greens of plants and some of the carpets to the red-orange of the low armchairs and other carpets, and the mix of colors created by the magazines and posters.
The main restaurant, the Commons Club, features elegant furnishings and forms, while the spaces for events and conferences – totaling over 167,000 square feet (15,500 m2) – have more functional appointments.
Finally, the fourth floor rooftop Pool Club offers views over the Dallas skyline.
In Larry Scarpa’s editorial for The Plan 124, he talks about promoting quality of life and social change in the United States in connection with the revitalization policies of cities and neighborhoods. Titled “Dense-City,” the digital version of the article is available here.
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Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
Architects: 5G Studio Collaborative
Photography by Robert Tsai, courtesy of 5G Studio Collaborative