2018 Commercial Design Awards
Creative interiors stood out to a trio of judges who selected the winners in our annual Commercial Design Awards program.
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AC Hotel Madison
Best New Development or Renovation – Hotel
The AC Hotel Madison, a building with enviable views of the Wisconsin State Capitol, Lakes Mendota and Monona, and the vibrant East Washington Avenue corridor, takes full advantage of its location one block from Madison’s Capitol Square.
The 10-story, 165-room hotel has transformed what was a small, underutilized plot of land. It not only includes the Eno Vino Downtown wine bar and bistro and a stunning, two-story “diamond wall,” it is said to be a “design-centric” hotel. Rather than preserve the best views for a few lucky hotel guests and placing the public spaces on the first and second floors, the hotel was designed to provide the best views on the upper (ninth and 10th) floors, which are accessible to everyone.
The AC’s 127,000 square feet also contain a welcoming lounge located on the lobby level that features the work of local artists and spills outdoors onto the sidewalk café in warmer months, and custom artwork is placed throughout the space. Its guestrooms have an elegant European flair and in its more public spaces, judges appreciated the mixed use of stone walls and walnut panels.
A cantilevered roofline, dramatic lighting, and creative use of floor-to-ceiling glass augments its modern look. The 10th floor ceiling features suspended slats of wood in alternating directions, and cross-fill, sure-clad porcelain ventilated exterior façade panels imported from Europe allow for improved energy savings and acoustics. “It’s a cornerstone building in the State Capitol area, and as such, it doesn’t disappoint,” states one CDA judge who likes the way the hotel is visually connected to the Capitol. “I liked how they were able to bring a contemporary, clean aesthetic into the neighborhood, and it shows that contemporary architecture can be high quality and full of light and views. It’s a celebration of the vitality of downtown Madison.”
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