top of page

Sawyer & Company Unveils Design Process Behind the Philadelphia Marriott Old City New Interiors

We are pleased to unveil a look into the design process behind the brand-new interiors of the Philadelphia Marriott Old City. Located in the heart of the Historic District, a place where culture, ideas, industry and architecture meet, the design narrative of the newly renovated Marriott property focuses on the storied building serving as a connecting point between the two iconic neighborhoods of Old Town and Society Hill.

When creating the interiors of the Philadelphia Marriott Old City, our team drew inspiration from the local warehouse structures and centuries-old colonial detailing found throughout the property’s neighborhood. Utilizing industrial elements and artisanal craftsmanship paired with hardwearing garments and intricate tailoring, the building location’s past is woven into every element of the freshly modern design. Raw materials meet refined finishes, innovative art meets traditional touches, and the old and new are inherently interconnected.

The arrival moment features open blackened steel frames holding large textile art installations spanning between the brick clad columns in the freshly transformed atrium. Here, an intricately woven piece is juxtaposed with a braided roll of vintage denim, setting the general tone for the property. As guests approach the reception area, the well-known sentence “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” has been deconstructed and applied to the wall with golden metal letters. The reception pods are each clad with oxidized copper and a leather writing pad.

The atrium is now host to a large bar with a separate barista café counter. The heart of the Marriott Greatroom, this voluminous space features large communal tables at bar-height and a variety of lounge seating, well suited for bigger groups as well as single individuals. A large skylight above tracks the sun and brings in natural light throughout the day. An overhead custom designed blackened metal grid is added as a layer within the large volume to bring down the scale, adding intimacy and creating a structure for appropriate lighting. The columns around the atrium arcade have been partly white-washed and clad with a backlit metal mesh for an added layering of color, materiality and texture, allowing for intimate mood lighting.

The Food and Beverage area is designed with flexibility in mind, able to separate and expand areas based on guest demand via a system of sliding doors and large decorative architectural screens. The M Club has been relocated from the guestroom floors to a prominent area just adjacent to the Greatroom. Millwork and metal mesh frame the glass entry door, itself clad with a fragmented, pixelated privacy pattern. An added window wall lets more daylight into the M Club and is designed with a nod to historical window facades featuring traditional awning windows and café curtains. The furniture and artwork are distinct for the space with an up-market feel, continuing to draw from the overall narrative.

The extensively trimmed out millwork walls and ceilings in the Media Room are painted in a midnight blue, adding character and drama when juxtaposed with the adjacent bright and open Greatroom. Leather upholstered swivel chairs are set up for viewing the large screen in the Media Room, while the golden clad bucket dining chairs and oversized Chesterfield sofa offer an intimate and upscale atmosphere in the private dining room.

The overarching design narrative resumes in the corridors, as the carpet pattern creates the sense of an outdoor cobblestoned street with door drops printed with a metallic finish and a custom pattern of industrial, rustic sheet metal and rivets.

Finally, the guestroom finishes remain are bright and airy, with a reclaimed, whitewashed wood finish on the case goods, mixed with dark wooden accents. Various metal and glass finishes add a raw, refined touch. The bathrooms are executed with a porcelain tile to create a vintage, concrete look.

“At the Buccini/Pollin Group we are really proud of the brand new Philadelphia Marriott Old City. With an irreplaceable location in the heart of the country’s most historic square mile, yet just a short walk to Philadelphia’s vibrant CBD and the emerging riverfront district, this landmark hotel needed a thoughtful new design to connect with today’s experiential travelers,” said Dave Pollin, Co-President, Buccini Pollin Group “Sawyer & Company created a remarkable setting for business and leisure guests that immerses them in an authentic Philadelphia design. Indigenous materials pay homage to the city’s rich history and manufacturing craftmanship. Their designs are innovative and modern but pay homage to the many stories that have unfolded in Old City and Society Hill over the past three plus centuries.”

All areas are designed with different personalities in mind, including expressive art moments, to give the guest a variety of experiences throughout the day. Our curated ethos of natural luxury carries throughout the design concept, and the result is a singularly charming interior that is at once old and new.

View more design work in the Sawyer & Company portfolio, here.




bottom of page