The Washington DC hotel of Watergate fame has reopened its doors following a revamp by designer Ron Arad.
Events in 1972, when men staying at the hotel were caught breaking into the nearby Democratic party headquarters, eventually led to President Nixon’s resignation. The place also gave the gift of the ‘-gate’ suffix to scandals everywhere.
Now, Arad has given the Watergate Hotel a refresh, revamping the lobby, whiskey bar and restaurant. The designer placed an emphasis on flowing forms in these spaces as a nod to the structure’s 1965, original undulating design by architect Luigi Moretti.
‘I have a confession to make – our initial attraction to this project was actually the Watergate scandal. It is fantastic that this starting point led us to work on a project that also has such a great architectural legacy,’ said Arad.
‘We have tried to enhance Moretti’s original curves using our own, while at the same time influencing the anticipated flow of people through the spaces.’
Arad’s design for the lobby features twisted columns, handpainted brass tubes and a sweeping 46-ft brass reception desk. He also custom-designed furniture – produced by Italian maker Moroso – including a red-felt couch.
In the hotel restaurant, Kingbird, Arad conceived pieces such as the Watergate chair.
Architects BBGM and developer Euro Capital Properties’ own design team were responsible for the hotel’s 336 rooms and eight suites, along with its rooftop and meeting spaces.
Arad’s work is the latest in several renovations the hotel has undergone since the Watergate scandal.
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