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2018 Commercial Design Awards

Creative interiors stood out to a trio of judges who selected the winners in our annual Commercial Design Awards program.

(page 10 of 12)

AC Hotel Diamond Wall

Most Innovative Feature

When people talk about Madison’s luminaries, they no longer confine the conversation to various big-shot public officials or notable citizens. They now include the AC Hotel Madison’s sparkling, two-story diamond wall.

The wall, on display from the AC Lounge at the corner of East Washington Avenue and North Webster Street, features 1,248 cut crystals imported from the Czech Republic. The diamond wall is backlit with LED “luminaries” offering a dynamic display for pedestrians and vehicles approaching the AC Hotel Madison from East Washington Avenue or from the south on Webster Street. Now it’s one of the most-viewed displays of public art in Madison.

Czech and local craftsmen installed the custom art piece. Its cut crystals are set at 90-degree angles on a stainless steel wall, and each crystal is individually illuminated by 1,248 LED (light emitting diode) luminaires. A computer program that allows for custom static or multi-colored light displays controls each individual “luminaire.”

CDA judges feel the wall activates the space and the street. “Yeah, it’s fun,” states one judge. “Architects are always looking for ways to create dynamic spaces that constantly appear fresh and new. This one looks like a perfect pairing to a good martini.”

“It creates a sense of drama in the space that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” says another judge. “Often times, innovative and elegant don’t go together, but this was an element where we got both.”

A third judge characterized the wall as a distinctive feature that separates the hotel from its local counterparts. “It’s a focal point and a point for discussion,” he opines. “It’s a really unique feature that’s incredibly well designed and really draws attention to the hotel. This element probably is the most common point of conversation when guests discuss how they liked their stay.”

Project credits

Location: 1 N. Webster St., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: North Central Group
General Contractor: Kraemer Brothers
Architect: Gary Brink & Associates
Interior Design Architect: Gary Brink & Associates/North Central Group
Engineers: Pierce Engineers
Completion Date: May 2017

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