Thursday, September 21, 2023

Frank Gehry Designed the Newest Sustainable Conrad Luxury Hotel


Luxury hotel brand Conrad just made its west coast debut in Los Angeles, with a sustainable location inside a Frank Gehry-designed building.

The newest Conrad hotel is now open in Downtown Los Angeles in the vibrant Grand Avenue Arts neighborhood as part of a mixed-use Frank Gehry-designed development called The Grand LA.

“We are excited to expand Hilton’s West Coast presence with the debut of the first Conrad Hotels & Resorts property in California, one of our largest growing markets in the U.S. This is a monumental occasion as we open the doors to this incredible property amid downtown Los Angeles‘ development boom and we are looking forward to offering guests an unrivaled, luxury hospitality experience in this sought-after destination,” Danny Hughes, executive vice president and president, Americas, Hilton, said in a statement.

Interiors were designed by Tara Bernerd & Partners, and Chef José Andrés boasts two new restaurant and beverage concepts on the property, just steps away from Gehry’s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Frank Gehry

The iconic architect, now 93, is known for iconic buildings including the LA-based Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, MIT’s Ray and Maria Stata Center in Cambridge, Mass., among others.

He was also tapped to redesign a critical Los Angeles landmark, the LA River. The longtime Angeleno was approached in 2009 about revitalizing the riverbank’s cement paths. His “Greenway” vision included addressing water issues and sustainability. It turned the riverbank into a comprehensive bike path and restored ecosystems. The design was aimed at making the LA River one of the most ecologically impactful infrastructure transformations.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Despite his affinity for green designs, Gehry has been critical of the LEED building certification system, calling it “political.”

“It is true that we find there a lot of buildings being built with sustainability in mind, but they’re not nice to be in,” he said in an interview on PBS in 2010. “There has to be some sense of value, so an environmentally friendly building also has to be user friendly.”

Last October, The Conrad said it was working toward LEED certification for the Los Angeles location. The sustainability initiatives for the Los Angeles location have not been announced yet, but as part of the 176,000 square-foot Grand LA, the Conrad is in a sustainable location already. It’s compliant with Cal Gree, Title 24, and LEED Gold certifications. The Grand’s commitment to sustainability includes transit-oriented development; outdoor water reduction; optimal energy performance; and more than 75 EV charging stations.

Image courtesy Cedric Letsch on Unsplash

“We value social and environmental development that will benefit our residents, tenants, guests, and the DTLA community at large,” The Grand LA explains on its website.

“The Grand is registered with the USGBC for New Construction. Both towers are intended to meet LEED-Silver certification or higher for implementing practical and measurable green building strategies. These high-performance solutions incorporate sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.”

Conrad sustainability

Part of the Hilton Hotel Group, Conrad has a history of significant sustainability practices in addition to its luxury accommodations. Its Washington DC location, for example, boasts an onsite stormwater management system that captures 97 percent of all rainfall, which it uses to irrigate the hotel’s terrace gardens.

In the Maldives, Conrad has a collaboration with the environmental organization Parley for the Oceans to reduce plastic use. Guests at the hotel receive reusable stainless steel water bottles and upcycled plastic tote bags made from five plastic water bottles.

Also in its Maldives location, the hotel chain is working to protect the coral reef surrounding the resort. That project includes a coral nursery and adoption program for guests to support the effort.

Conrad’s Manila location is LEED-certified Gold. Its parent company, Hilton, named it one of its ten best eco-conscious hotels.

Image courtesy Related-Chec

“Then and now, we are committed to leading sustainability, having a strong focus on providing our guests with inspired stay, while supporting communities and leading ways in protecting our environmental resources,” Conrad Manila general manager Linda Pecoraro said in a statement.

Conrad locations also prioritize sustainable food options with emphasis on local and regional producers and eco-friendly cooking methods. Its downtown LA location will make it easy for guests to choose walking to local destinations such as The Broad Museum, the Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Grand Central Market.

The new Conrad LA hotel design features 305 guest rooms across 28 stories, a spa, a 16,000 square-foot rooftop terrace, and a pool deck.


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