Lick this, Brooks! Atwood wins Creative Spark design award in Los Angeles [Video]

by | May 15, 2019 | Design, Events

(From L to R): Kimberly Brown, Rolf W. Schmidt, Brooks Atwood, Hogan Chun & Darrel Long at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Los Angeles. Photo by Jule Grass.

A hipster hotel in a hipster city, Brooks Atwood’s Woodlark Hotel project wins top honours at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Los Angeles

He’s known as the designer who likes to lick every last detail. Literally, if possible.

Little wonder then that Brooks Atwood’s Woodlark Hotel project was voted as winner of the Creative Spark design award by top-level hospitality delegates at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Los Angeles, who gathered at the beautiful Hotel Indigo LA Downtown.

The feminine touch

Atwood, Design Director at R&A Architecture + Design, fended off tough competition from Gensler’s Hogan Chun who presented the Arts Club in West Hollywood; and HBA’s Darrell Long who showcased Dream Palm Springs.

“For me, one of the biggest highlights of the Woodlark Hotel project is its feminine design,” Atwood told TOPHOTELNEWS of his hipster hotel in a hipster neighbourhood in a hipster city.

“The Woodlark is the Pacific Northwest expressed through subtle soft and elegant detailing. From an eclectic mix of lux textiles, wood and leather to plant life, lacquer and brass, the materials and treatments hint at Portland’s surroundings in an elevated way,” he added.

Lively and bright, the hotel’s interiors take cues from nature. Lush, mossy velvet and natural wood tones complement oceanic blues and shiny metallic accents.

Fitting into the hipster city

Portland, known for both its rugged beauty and sophistication, is growing and evolving. “The Woodlark embodies what the city can become,” Atwood said.

Giving new life to one of Portland’s earliest commercial skyscrapers, The Woodlark reimagines the opulence and ornate detailing of the site’s historic structures. The design balances an urban and natural aesthetic in the core of downtown. The 150-room lifestyle hotel combines accommodation with 2,500 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant, and a lounge bar.

Opening up to the neighbourhood on the ground floor, the restaurant and lounge marry the spirit of Portland with a unique culinary heritage. On top, a new elevator penthouse and stair tower rise above the roof of the Cornelius. Restoring the hotel’s exterior French Renaissance style and iconic mansard roof, the design respects the original Cornelius structure and Woodlark Building to restore the glory of both buildings.

Atwood tells TOPHOTELNEWS about his thoughts on winning Creative Spark; personal highlights of the Woodlark Hotel project in Portland, Oregon; and his advice to fellow architects and designers on entering Creative Spark.

Reaction on winning Creative Spark

Atwood: Actually, it feels like an award show. Like I won something at the Oscars, and then I didn’t have a speech prepared. So then I got really nervous. But I mean it was really exciting. I wasn’t expecting to win. I’m just overwhelmed and really pleased. It’s a lot work to put into the project. It feels good to be rewarded and recognized for the authenticity of the project, and its universal appeal.

Personal highlights of the project

Atwood: I’m just really proud of using the local community and the artists. In particular, all the female aspects of the project. From the painter Maja, to the photography by Imogene, and the local rugs. Everything had a vision and it was working towards that kind of female power. We set the stage for new style of the Pacific Northwest. I feel like we just set the bar really high.

For authenticity, you’ve got to be able to lick the details

Atwood: In order to be authentic, you have to actually do it and speak, and live it. So, the attention to detail is really serious. I take it seriously. Of course, you’re having fun doing it. Like, you have to test the soaps out and the glasses. But also, you have to test out what the materials feel like, and how it’s all going to come together. So you know what the rooms will sound like. What the wood is going to smell like.

It’s that attention to detail that I think gives it an authenticity that is unexpected. And a level of sophistication in the design is really also quite beautiful. So people are taken back by how sophisticated it is, but also like welcomed at how comforting is. The joke is like to lick the details. But, literally I do. I like, feel how, what the temperature of the door handle is, and I want to know what the space feels like, cause that’s incredibly important to me. People are really reacting positively to that. So, I’m very proud of the work.


Atwood: Oh, it’s a wonderful event all day. I mean, I’ve met so many amazing people. And just to be able to speak about the project, and present, but also hear everybody’s ideas, and, and sharing their visions of the future. What works, and what doesn’t. And like war stories, in a way. It’s like, really great a genuine to hear those stories. So it’s really, really a spectacular day.

Advice on entering Creative Spark

Atwood: The whole Creative Spark was really exciting and fun. The competition aspect adds a little bit of a twist. Rather that just normally presenting the project. I like a good little good competition. It’s good. You got to be on game and come ready. It’s a great idea. I love Creative Spark as a name, because that’s what it is. It’s about sparking ideas and innovation, and sharing what you’ve learned. So, I think it’s wonderful.

About B. Atwood

Brooks Atwood is an award-winning designer and educator who has attained international success in the fields of architecture, industrial design, and interior environments.

His cutting-edge designs have earned him the distinction of being named one of six emerging designers in 2013 by the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City.

Creative Spark is a hotel design competition between three architects/interior designers, which is judged by delegates at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR conferences. Shortlisted finalists present their innovative projects, and further discuss their work as part of a stimulating panel discussion.

For information on how to enter Creative Spark, get in touch with TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.

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