Studio Allston has opened in Boston, MA, a hospitality venue updated and transformed from a former chain hotel to a boutique hotel featuring a thematic reliance on art that begins in the lobby, and continues throughout. Designed by Dyer Brown Architects, the 117-room hotel renovation focused on artists playing a key role in the design process, ensuring that the art doesn’t simply hang on the wall. Rather, the art becomes the walls, starting with the lobby — then into the bar, meeting rooms, suites, and every guest room.
Most of the displays are works created by local artists and will be refreshed regularly in a first-floor gallery. Twelve contemporary artists were selected to create murals in each guest room. Wallpaper in standard guest rooms features individual designs and five of the hotel’s 10 guest suites were designed as unique, immersive works of art. The first impression visitors encounter in the lobby is a dramatic composition by an internationally acclaimed artist that commands attention.
Artists played a key role throughout the design process of the hotel with the objective of ensuring that the art doesn’t simply hang on the wall. Rather, the art becomes the walls. “It’s a dreamy endeavor to have my art in a hotel room. I wonder how strangers will experience my work in such an intimate setting,” said Maya Erdelyi, animator and director. “I also think it’s very cool that a hotel would support local artists in this way.”
The Davis Companies, joined with Spot On Ventures, led by hotelier and businessman Robin Brown, and Highgate, an industry leading manager of hospitality assets, reimagined the 1960’s vintage building with insight and vision. Drawing on their combined experience in management, design, and real estate development, this partnership moved forward with a concept for a hotel and restaurant that would be an inspirational hospitality experience.
“We view the Studio Allston project as an exciting opportunity to make a meaningful, positive contribution to the continued evolution of Allston’s Western Avenue corridor, one of the most dynamic development markets in greater Boston,” said Stephen Davis, vice president of development for The Davis Companies. “Our dream is to create a destination that reflects the energy of the surroundings and stands as a desirable attraction for visitors to this neighborhood and as a valued amenity for those who call this community home.”
The design of Studio Allston is complemented by its setting on the banks of the Charles River in Boston’s Allston neighborhood. The location owes its name to 19th century poet and painter, Washington Allston, one of America’s early pioneers of the Romantic movement of landscape painting.
Robin Brown, speaking from experience, notes that everyone who comes to Boston from somewhere else falls in love with the city. “I know I did,” he said. “But what holds Boston in people’s minds after they leave is the memory of a fun time in a specific place. We want Studio Allston to be that place. Art lightens the heart and keeps the memories vivid.”
The Studio Allston was art directed by Isenberg Projects, a creative advisory firm based in Boston, MA. Actively engaged in this city’s creative economy, Isenberg Projects develops opportunities to bring artists and designers out of the gallery and into the public realm. Building restoration and interior design was led by Dyer Brown Architects.
The development team behind Studio Allston is expected to announce a food and beverage partner in the coming weeks. Prior to the opening of its lobby restaurant this summer, Studio Allston is offering complimentary continental breakfast options in the lobby.