The Watergate Hotel

Project Details


Hotel Public Space Design Finalist

Design Practice:

Ron Arad Architects

Project Title:

The Watergate Hotel

Project Location:

Washington DC, United States

Design Practice Location:

London, United Kingdom

Originally built by the Italian architect Luigi Moretti between 1960-65, the Watergate Hotel is the only example of his work in the US and is listed as a national monument. The complex was made famous following the Watergate political scandal, which led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon in 1974. The public spaces are arranged over the ground and lower ground floors, and include the main lobby and reception foyer, an emblematic whisky bar, an additional bar, two restaurants, external terraces, and main circulation routes. The design balances Moretti’s original sensibilities but adds a rich palette of patinated metals to the existing marble and plaster. Sinuous motifs are expressed continuously through innovative use of bent metal, layered woodwork and subtle texturing of stone surfaces, and complemented by custom-designed furniture, upholstery and rugs.