Sawyer & Company Unveils Designs of First North American Canopy by Hilton in Washington, DC at t



The Sawyer & Company team is proud to unveil our latest project - conceptualizing the first ever North American Canopy by Hilton (Hilton’s newest lifestyle hotel brand) from the ground up, in Washington, D.C. Having just opened its doors this October at The Wharf, a sparkling new multi-use riverside development encompassing hotels, retail, restaurants, and leisure activities, the 175-room Canopy by Hilton features stunning multi-use public spaces, the Canopy Central café and bar, Transfer Lounge, guest Retreat with an outdoor garden, guestrooms, suites and corridors that embody our signature natural luxury design sensibility. Atop the newly developed hotel, we have also designed a singular rooftop bar – Whiskey Charlie, which opened to the public on November 17, 2017 – that features an expansive terrace with panoramic views over the Potomac River and the historic skyline of Washington, D.C.


The Canopy by Hilton is a truly unique new property in D.C., and our team approached the design by pulling inspiration from the rich history of the area and the recently renovated and expanded Municipal Fish Market, as well as the transformation of the marina throughout the years. Three guiding narratives bring out the essence of the space: The Weathered Fisherman, Stacking and Supported Structures, and Reflective and Textured Details. The Weathered Fisherman recalls the nostalgic era of early settlers in the burgeoning capital city, and reflects the determination and spirit of the Wharf area in ages past. The Stacking and Supporting Structures are seen throughout the property, echoing early waterside construction, and the Reflective, Textured Details draw the design aesthetic back to the water on which the property sits.



“Working to develop the first ever Canopy by Hilton property in North America has been such an inspiring project for us,” says Tracey Sawyer. “We were honored to get the chance to collaborate closely with the incredible Hilton and Hoffman-Madison Waterfront teams.”


“Canopy by Hilton Washington D.C., The Wharf is an exciting opportunity to showcase the unique design elements of our lifestyle brand in North America,” said Larry Traxler, senior vice president of global design, Hilton, “The team’s talent and overall alignment in design vision was critical in bringing this concept to life for our guests to experience.”


CANOPY CENTRAL. For the main public space within the hotel, Canopy Central, the team thoughtfully identified the key feature moments within the hotel experience, conceptualizing large wall and ceiling design elements to create a visually enticing welcome space. We also played with contrasting materiality throughout as seen in the rough woods and metals juxtaposed with smooth liquid finishes as well as shimmering glass and lighting installations. The play of dark to light coloration adds a rich visual experience to the ambiance of the space, and the built-in millwork detailing continues to speak to the overall design aesthetic.



The continuous floor to ceiling window wall within Canopy Central is counter-balanced with large-scale architectural elements of wood and metal to anchor the space, which our design team ideated based on traditional fish market, dock constructions, and warehouse features. A large, two-sided stone fireplace functions as a centerpiece of the business and social areas of the public spaces, surrounded by stepped built-in seating as well as sofa and club chair seating groups, convenient for both working and relaxing. A large black and white print with three-dimensional texture on reclaimed, painted bead board creates a key focal point of the hotel’s unique common areas.


THE BAR/ RESTAURANT AT CANOPY CENTRAL. The butcher-block and zinc clad bar offers incredible views of the marina from which to enjoy fresh food and drinks throughout the day, set affront of a full height, backlit wood tile wall. The bar and the adjacent communal table functions as set up for the artisanal breakfast buffet on offer for guests at the Canopy. Later in the evening, flatbreads are baked and fired right at the L-shaped bar as the light is being dimmed for the evening’s craft cocktails and local beers and wine.



THE TRANSFER LOUNGE. Amongst the many unique features of the Canopy brand are the Transfer Lounge and the Retreat. The Transfer Lounge is located just behind the check-in area, and is fully equipped with a shower, changing area and lockers, available for guests that have an early morning or late evening meeting and need to freshen up before or after check-in/check-out – a thoughtful convenience that echoes the brand’s focus on guests’ needs. The design of the Transfer Lounge is in line with the amenities of the guest bathrooms, and feels like an extension of the guestrooms themselves.


THE RETREAT. The second space, the Retreat, is centrally located directly off the elevators, to the side of the reception and Canopy Central, offering a more quiet, contemplative, and private experience that is connected to an outdoor terrace. Floor to ceiling screens divide the seating areas, including individual chaises looking out over the Washington Channel and Potomac River. The materiality and palette are softer and reflective, with less contrast than what is seen at Canopy Central.


THE GUESTROOMS. The “Just-Right Rooms” have a soothing and fresh palette, with a large headboard with a signature Canopy over the pillows, that recalls market containers and fish crates, set atop of light, grey-washed wood flooring and a custom inset carpeting, whose pattern plays off reflections from the water. The room is showered with daylight through the floor to ceiling windows. Personalized messages to guests are featured on a local art wall that adds a genuine touch, including corkboard detailing with handwritten suggestions for local delicacies, entertainment, and activities for guests to enjoy. As a signature design element of the “Just-Right Rooms,” the Canopy Washington, D.C. The Wharf guestrooms features the Canopy “uncloseted” open-closet, designed to make unpacking easy so guests feel more confident about not leaving items behind.



As The Wharf development fulfills a singular, fresh take on life and travel to the nation’s capital, the tasteful interiors within the Canopy add a functional, organic viewpoint on the city’s unique history and maritime culture. With never-before-seen views and a previously under-utilized water frontage, the Canopy by Hilton has helped bring to life a new Washington, D.C. destination like none other with North America’s first ever Canopy by Hilton.


To learn more about The Wharf development in Washington, D.C., click here.


To learn more about Canopy by Hilton or to book a stay, click here.


To browse more Sawyer & Company designed projects, click here.

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