June 26, 2019

AvroKO Channels Savannah’s Hospitality at the Perry Lane Hotel

From a distance, it looks like it’s been there for a century. But in reality, the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia, is a new ground-up structure—actually, two structures (more on that later). Its interiors, however, conjure a bygone era, yet still feel fresh and modern. That’s the work of AvroKO principals Greg Bradshaw, Adam Farmerie, William Harris, and Kristina O’Neal, who immersed themselves in Savannah, even invented a muse to guide the project, their first in the Hostess City.

The facade of the Perry Lane Hotel in Georgia features an arched wall in a sandy palette
Panels of glass-fiber reinforced concrete and gray brick form the facades of the Perry Lane Hotel, a 167-key, two-building property in Savannah, Georgia, by Hansen Architects with interiors by AvroKO. Photography by Eric Laignel.

But first, the exterior. The hotel occupies two buildings bisected by Perry Street, which runs between the pair of cast-stone facades. (A parking garage and hotel services join the buildings underground.) Because the property is located in the city’s Historic Landmark District, it needed to be approved by the Savannah Historic District Board of Review, a process that was navigated with the help of local firm Hansen Architects, which also specializes in historic preservation. “The street is an integral part of the city plan, which was laid out by General James Oglethorpe in 1733,” senior principal Patrick L. Phelps says of one of the U.S.’s oldest gridded cities, famous for its charming tree-lined streets and leafy squares. “It was important that we not only maintain the street but also restore it for public use.” As such, it was resurfaced with granite pavers reminiscent of the district’s cobblestones.

> Watch highlights of Interior Design‘s Giants of Design 2019 event from Savannah, Georgia

Notable stonework appears inside the 189,000-square-foot, seven-story hotel, too, which has the main reception, the restaurant, and the rooftop pool and bar in one building, and the Andie Kully Boutique, the bar, and conference and meeting spaces in the other; the 167 guest rooms and suites are split between both structures. It’s in reception that visitors encounter the first instance of checkered flooring—in this case, black-and-white Italian marble. Check-in proper is a pair of wooden desks, rather than the usual hulking mass. It’s AvroKO’s effort to imbue the hotel with a warm, residential vibe inspired by the beautiful homes lining the historic district. To further that effort, the team enlisted an art-consulting firm to source an eclectic collection of objects that might appear in the manor of a worldly Southern belle, and the art consultants and designers, in turn, all gave a name to her: Adelaide Harcourt. “We were thinking of Dorothy Draper and other fantastic, powerful, creative women as the general muse,” Harris says.

Wooden tables and chairs pop against a black and white checkered floor near a blue accent wall with shelving
Silk wall covering that nods to the city’s indigo-dye production history backs reception’s pair of walnut desks. Photography by Eric Laignel.

As the story goes, Adelaide is a wealthy heiress with a passion for travel and a penchant for collecting. After jet-setting to New York, Paris, and Istanbul, she returned to Savannah and opened the hotel. A fictional portrait of her graces the ground-floor parlor opposite a Steinway piano. Built-in bookshelves display curios like Civil War bullets on the shelves and in library-style flat file drawers. In fact, nearly 4,000 artifacts and antiques were sourced from Savannah and beyond with the goal of making the property feel lived in. “Savannah and the surrounding areas being such an antiquing culture, we found great, little gems,” Harris notes. He and his co-principals also incorporated many pieces brought in by Jon Kully, an architect by training and the managing partner of Flank, which owns the hotel and spent five years bringing it to fruition.

Of the 1,200 pieces of art throughout the site, more than 100 were commissioned specifically for the project. Naturally, the Savannah College of Art and Design was a source. There are pieces by 81 artists with ties to SCAD, including large murals by Kyle Millsap and Marcus Kenney by the rooftop bar Peregrin and in a sitting area, respectively. “Some of my favorite pieces are the looser, rougher things, like the sketches and charcoals on paper,” Harris says. “There’s a ton of them in the Wayward.”

A white sofa and two chairs offer guests a place to rest in this common area with a fireplace
Vintage fur­nishings, including the mantel, join a custom pendant fixture in a lounge off reception. Photography by Eric Laignel.

The Wayward street-level bar is one of three dining and drinking venues on the property and the most casual. A motorcycle hangs above the bar and vintage postcards adorn the walls, lending an upscale-dive vibe. Guests can play pinball, Skee-Ball, and help themselves to popcorn from the popcorn machine. Peregrin boasts a deck patterned with gray-and-cream cement tile and fantastic city views, inviting locals and visitors to mingle over cocktails while listening to live music. (The restaurant, Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market, was done by Dash Design.)

> Browse through more hospitality projects featured in Interior Design

The rooms and suites have texture and personality, thanks to abundant moldings and custom millwork, unique artwork, and AvroKO-designed bar carts instead of the typical minibars. Beds boast luxurious padded-leather headboards and feminine sconces. Checkered flooring reappears in the guest bathrooms along with custom vanities topped in black marble. Walls are painted in rich colors like deep indigo. “Blue is a big color story here,” Harris explains. “We were riffing off typologies we found in town.” He’s referring to the area porches with traditional “haint” blue ceilings but also to the city’s history as a major producer of indigo dye. Reception’s silk wall covering in the shade beckons guests to come make themselves at home.

Inside the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia 

An oil portrait enlivens one wall in this teal room with a wooden bookcase and a grand piano in the Perry Lane Hotel
Deborah Brown’s oil portrait of the hotel’s fictional muse Adelaide Harcourt hangs in there, too. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A brushed-brass pendant brightens the adjoining parlor
A brushed-brass pendant brightens the adjoining parlor. Photography by Eric Laignel.
The lounge in the Perry Lane Hotel features wood flooring and antique furnishings
In the lounge and other public spaces, flooring is oak planks. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A sitting area with wood paneled walls and a black and white marble floor
Meanwhile, a sitting area alternates Nero Mar­quina and Bianco Statuario marble. Photography by Eric Laignel.
The bar in the Perry Lane Hotel features a tiled floor in colorful patterns and a stools for patrons
Porcelain tile enlivens walnut paneling at the Wayward bar. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A canvas mural by Marcus Kenney of a boy playing the trumpet with birds replacing music notes
A sitting area’s mixed media on canvas mural is by Marcus Kenney, an alumnus of the Savannah Col­lege of Art and Design. Photography by Eric Laignel.
The Perry Lane Hotel rooftop pool deck
Custom daybeds and cement tile outfit the rooftop pool deck. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A guest room with a custom leather bench between two guest beds with white sheets
A custom leather bench separates the beds in a double guest room. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Civil war-era bullets on display at the Perry Lane Hotel
The hotel displays thousands of artifacts, including Civil War bullets. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A king guest suite at the Perry Lane Hotel
Crown moldings embellish a king room. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A guest bathroom in the hotel with a double sink and two mirrors
Guest bathrooms feature custom vanities, mirrors, and sconces. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Project Team: Hansen Architects: Architect of Record. SESCO Lighting: Lighting Consultant. NINE Dot ARTS: Art Consultant. Brand Bureau: Custom Graphics. Tharpe Engineering Group: Structural Engineer. RWP Engineering: MEP. Coleman Company: Civil Engineer. Cornerstone Interior Woodworking; Elements Contract Furniture: Woodwork. DPR Hardin Construction: General Contractor.

Product Sources: From Front: Wausau: Windows (Exterior). Wilson Composites; General Shale: Facade Material. Bev­olo: Lanterns. Design Communications: Custom Plant Trough. Southern Pine Company of Georgia: Planter. Phillip Jeffries: Wall Covering (Recep­tion). Daltile: Floor Tile (Reception, Sitting Area, Bar). Decca Contract: Desks (Reception), Tables (Par­lor, Lobby), Sofa, Coffee Table, Side Table (Lounge), Armchairs, Side Tables (Sitting Area), Cus­tom Banquette, Custom Daybeds (Pool Deck). Doris Leslie Blau: Rugs (Lounge). Goodshop Manufacturies: Custom Pendant Fixtures (Lounge, Parlor). RH: Sconces (Lounge, Bar). Circa Lighting: Floor Lamp (Lounge). Menu: Coffee Table (Sitting Area). Rejuvenation: Pendant Fixtures (Bar). Room & Board: Ottomans (Pool Deck). Design Within Reach: Chaise Longues. Tuuci: Umbrellas. CM Hospi­tality: Carpet (Guest Rooms). Moore & Giles: Head­board Upholstery (Double Room). Illumination Lighting: Sconces. Belstone: Custom Vanity. Through­out: Benjamin Moore & Co.: Paint. Junckers HardwoodTerramai: Wood Flooring.

> See more from the June 2019 issue of Interior Design

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