In Boston, Massachusetts, a historic former YWCA building has been transformed into a luxurious downtown hotel

Today’s travelers are looking for immersive experiences, beyond standard hotel room comforts. Meanwhile, today’s cities are looking to repurpose their historic buildings in a way that helps revitalize their downtowns. One recent result of this convergence is Conde Nast Traveler’s 2019 #1 Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts: The Revolution Hotel.

Responding to their client’s vision for an ode to the city’s history, architectural firm Prellwitz Chilinski Associates (PCA)’s design team took a multi-layered approach to create exciting, immersive, and engaging moments within the stately setting of a 1950’s former YWCA.

The clean lines and expansive architecture of the mid-century modern building are contrasted against au courant graphics, and street-style art. A collaboration of PCA with Adam&Co and Provenance Hotels generated myriad stories that use the hotel as the perfect backdrop for social media.

The 164-room hotel offers a high-end boutique stay within an efficient room size, averaging 125 square feet.

Constrained by the existing building’s dorm room architecture, a one size fits all furnishing approach could not be applied, resulting in 41 room variations, each with custom casework and furnishings. Most rooms lack the space for a private bath, in turn, spa-like bath suites down the hall offer the amenities of a luxury stay.

Large scale art including Tristan Eaton’s freehand spray-painted mural, The Individual Collective’s three story collage of Boston’s inventions, and Mark Grundig’s mid-century modern pattern embellished on the original concrete floors sets an expressive tone.

Smaller scale discoveries, like custom wallpaper showing icons of Boston’s firsts, and important historic moments embedded in a slab of Boston’s “Big Old Elm bar top”, allow guests to find something new at every turn.

Downstairs, the hotel introduces the first co working space within a Boston hotel. Offering nomadic workers and hotel guests unlimited coffee, tea, water, and chit chat, the space becomes home to Boston’s future revolutionaries during the day, and a place to connect at night.

Using the mid-century modern building as a stage, the Revolution Hotel preserves the past while creating something entirely new. The design celebrates the building’s mid-century modern bones with tasteful upgrades and stately architecture juxtaposed with bold, modern art and graphics.

The contrast enhances and highlights the building’s history, providing weight and context for the stories told an authenticity that simply cannot be re created from the ground up.

Geared toward today’s experience-seeking traveler, the hotel combines efficient rooms with dynamic and engaging common spaces at a budget-friendly price. This mix of art, culture, and experiential storytelling is hugely successful, drawing a wide range of travelers and local residents to discover the city in a new light.

All images courtesy of Prellwitz Chilinski Associates.

See Prellwitz Chilinski Associates website.

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