Inspiring streams of colours, textures and forms that celebrate the Marriott brand

At the heart of a rising city centre, the Toronto Markham Marriott hotel was designed to be a glittering embassy for the senses. Recognized as a thriving community, the city of Markham’s exciting union of progress and growth is the inspiration for this new hotel; a building that seamlessly integrates hospitality, residential, and retail functions and celebrates Marriott’s brand values of creativity and ingenuity.

Interior Designers: Keith Rushbrook, ARIDO; Dan Menchions, ARIDO

Design Firm: II BY IV DESIGN  

Photographer: Gillian Jackson; David Whittaker

Bar area with a light blue shelving feature behind the bar and a relaxing lounge area with purple accent lounge chairs

Responsible for Marriott’s first North American rebrand, our design team reinvented the brand to showcase its true identity – contemporary, classic, and brilliantly inspired by the community. These values are echoed throughout all areas the team was responsible for the reception area, Great room, third and fourth floor amenities, and indoor pool.

The Great room imparts a sense of wonder and enchantment, a central gathering place captivating your attention with a 68-metre long crystal installation that dances across the ceiling, titled Draco. Draco is one of the largest sculptural crystal ribbons of its kind, and the largest in Canada, custom handcrafted and designed with 1,235 crystal rods, and inspired by a dragon’s tail.

Reception area in modern finishes in gray color scheme, with a grouping of modern couches as the lounge setting

Complementing Draco’s expansive reach, is an undulating ceiling wave, a custom wall feature, connecting the superior Great room height with that of the drastically lower cocktail cubbies and elevator corridors. Unifying the interiors is an impressive illuminated staircase, rounded banquette seating layouts, halo-like lighting fixtures in the Grand Ballroom and elegant custom-carpet design in the third floor pre-function area. Surrounded by an enlightened community, the Toronto Marriott Markham is an opportunity to feel and live hospitality at its finest through the excellence of design.

Close up of Draco, a long crystal installation that dances across the ceiling

Creativity, collaboration, and ingenuity are Marriott’s brand values that are celebrated in the design. Marriott’s hospitality team goes above and beyond, striving to nurture an environment for guests to imagine, conceive, and live the stories that make each of their journeys unique. This narrative is reflected in the design, dedicated to move and motivate through inspiring applications of colours, textures, forms, and finishes.

Resembling what could be the setting of a modern public place, the warm and regal neutrals effortlessly cultivate a feeling of hospitality and belonging. The space evokes a sense of elegance and approachability, reminiscent of the luxuries of home but offering premium services at every opportunity.

Lounge area in the lobby in predominantly neutral color scheme with some pink velvet chairs as accents

Our team worked closely with the client to refine and incorporate the brand’s identity through improved details and fabrication techniques. A great importance was placed on allowing the movement of air and energy to freely follow the curves and flow of the interior. Thoughtful space planning resulted in flexible seating areas, cocktail cubbies added with built-in monitors, charging areas, and power ports. The operational and functional features provide many opportunities for guests to socialize in the lobby and fully enjoy the space.

A view of the modern pool, with black and white tile wall in the back and contrasting colorfull glass feature wall on the other side

Creating designs that resonate, bring forth feelings of empathy, discovery, and connection – was the driving inspiration behind this project. Toronto Marriott Markham personifies what great design really is, which is to honour the brand and the neighbourhood – reimagine them, give them life – and remind people why they are there in the first place.

California cool meets British eclecticism in this serene resort

For their 45 room resort venture, the clients envisioned the modernity of California beach houses with British eclecticism.

Interior Designer: Eric McClelland, ARIDO

Design Firm: Fleur-de-Lis Interior Design Inc.

Photographer: Nhuri Bashir

Allowing the cliffside topography, climate, and budget to dictate the strategy, the client’s personal preferences of roomy bathrooms, luxurious bedrooms, and exterior sitting areas guided the details.

The design team addressed the long-term life of the resort by sourcing durable finishes and moisture-resistant millwork, incorporating hurricane shutters and awnings for emergency lockdown. Tasteful beachy elements were added: nautical lamps, alongside wicker and teak furniture, keeping the focus on the breathtaking ocean views.

Beyond COVID-19: The future of hotels?

The COVID-19 pandemic has people feeling insecure about their surroundings and their connection to nature is more important than ever. It’s a well-known fact that the virus spreads less in open spaces and that nature brings a sense of peace, serenity, and security. Our post-pandemic hotel takes an old 70s & 80’s atrium lobby converted into a modern biophilic space.

The repurposed atrium space easily allows for social distancing and immediately transports the guest into a sense of well-being through the biophilic environment. The impression of an indoor park psychologically conveys the message of distancing as people understand organic spaces. Meandering curves meaningfully direct the guest through tall bamboo trees that stretch to the sunlight and fresh air from the operable skylights. Water features further promote the sense of nature and serenity and add sound masking through fountains and running water.

Sketch of a post pandemic hotel space.

The multi-purpose reception desk has an interactive transparent glass screen that can be used for self check-in, information, and navigation. When the desk is unmanned, a fun and interactive display will be projected. Contactless credit card readers are installed at the front of the desk.

Rendering of post pandemic hotel space design.

Decorative light fixtures including pendants, wall sconces, table lamps and an illuminated tree are equipped with UV lighting that are activated during sanitizing periods. Materials and finishes will be treated with anti-microbial/antiviral coating in addition to the regular cleaning by the hotel staff.

The bar is designed to allow one-way traffic by staff. Interactive glass separators keep patrons safe in groups of 2, and dividers can be lowered to allow for large groups. A diversity of seating options is achieved through booths, deuces, and bar seats.

This design addresses not only our version of physical distancing but also repurposes an old-fashioned building into a unique experience. Biophilic design, a trend gaining popularity, also attracts a younger demographic. We wanted to create confidence in the guest that this is a safe, clean space, and to be considerate of the health of the guest.