The Riverwalk Vista Inn is a 17 suite boutique hotel situated in the top 2 floors of an 1880’s vintage downtown commercial building. The existing building presented both challenges and opportunities. The highly detailed historic façade was attractive, but an entry point was not clearly defined. Limestone and brick walls, wood floors, cast iron columns, and high ceilings created an interesting interior vocabulary, but an odd plan configuration, awkwardly placed corridors, and a wood floor framing system created both technical and functional problems.
The new exterior design subtly creates a visible entry with the addition of a custom designed retractable awning system. The metal and cloth awnings are fitted into the existing colonnaded façade, with the awning elements ‘floating’ between existing columns to allow the historic fabric of the building to shine through.
The remodeled floor plan creates a code compliant exit system while maximizing the exposure of historic interior materials. Guest rooms are organized around the perimeter, and more public spaces for meeting, dining, and the like occupy the center of the plans. Street noise is minimized by room design, by use of heavy drapery, and by adding an additional layer of glass laminated to the interior side of the building’s large wood framed windows.