December 8, 2020

Elkus Manfredi Architects Transforms Historic Hotel into White Elephant Palm Beach

On either side of the Gallery fireplace hang a pair of paintings by Bernhard Buhmann. The wall behind the mantle features the same marble used in other lobby areas. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 

When tasked with transforming a historic 1920s hotel into the White Elephant Palm Beach, Elizabeth Lowrey, principal and director of interior architecture at Elkus Manfredi Architects, jumped at the chance to reimagine the building down to its bones. Formerly known as the Bradley Park Hotel and now owned by New England Development, the recently opened White Elephant Palm Beach reflects the building’s history while hinting at its future, heralding in a new era for the storied locale. “This is one of the high points of my career,” Lowrey told Interior Design, noting that New England Development enabled her team to exercise much creative freedom, resulting in surprising details throughout such as eye-catching art and quirky upholstery patterns, as well as plenty of custom furnishings and millwork.

“For me personally, coming from a family of artists, all the stars aligned with this project,” she added. Given that Palm Beach now attracts serious art collectors with the global attention generated by events such as Art Basel in nearby Miami, Lowrey and New England Development decided to curate a diverse collection of notable 20th- and 21st-century original art. “The art was not done in a decorative style,” Lowrey said, making clear that each piece has the power to stand on its own. 

The four-story, 32-room property is the sister hotel to the White Elephant Nantucket, also owned by New England Development. “The soul of the White Elephant Nantucket was carefully carried to Palm Beach,” she said, adding that the team opted for a neutral palette to create a soothing space that invites guests to walk in and “immediately exhale.” 

Israeli artist Orit Fuchs’ Lady of the House hangs above a couch featuring Carrera marble tile along the base of the millwork banquette (printed) and as the baseboard. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 
White Elephant Palm Beach is the reimagined Bradley Park Hotel, built in the 1920s and designated a historic landmark in 1980. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 
In the lobby parlor, guests face a row of arched windows looking out onto the courtyard and outside restaurant seating. Sheer drapery filters the natural light and offers slight opacity, lending a sense of privacy and separation from the activity outside. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 
The lobby library’s custom, hand-tufted rug is inspired by the damask-patterned rugs found in Addison Mizner’s resort interiors that defined the aesthetic of Palm Beach in the 1920s. A built-in hospitality buffet, outfitted with catering equipment, is concealed behind custom millwork. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 
Layers of soothing neutrals create an inviting space for guests to unwind. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 
A custom, oversized, and lighted makeup mirror makes for a distinctly personal look and feel. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 
The hotel’s exterior furniture is by JANUS et Cie, all in black-and-white to keep in tune with the graphic quality of the architectural language of the exterior. Photography © Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects. 

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