Hotel Focus: Moxy Downtown and AC Hotel Downtown

Los Angeles Design studio  Yabu Pushelberg ingeniously blends two dynamic design philosophies in a 37-storey dual-hotel property in Downtown Los Angeles.

OPENING earlier this year, this 37-storey building showcases two distinct design identities under one roof while creating a cohesive property that spotlights the adventurous spirit of California and the artistic soul of Downtown LA.

Design studio Yabu Pushelberg created the interiors of the dual-hotel property, Moxy Downtown Los Angeles and AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. The property boasts 727 guest rooms with a total built-up area of 55,000 sqm. George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg explained: ‘We wanted to introduce the Moxy state of mind to California and develop the language of the AC brand. It was a unique opportunity to create two parallel ways of seeing Los Angeles in style and spirit.

‘California continues to attract people from around the world to experience its energy. It is a special place that has taught us how to dream, unwind and nurture ourselves. There is a sense of freedom here that makes life sweeter, and we wanted to capture this spirit and infuse these moments throughout the design language of both hotels.’

Moxy Downtown Los Angeles:

Building on the success of Moxy Times Square and Moxy Chelsea, Lightstone – developer of six Moxy hotels in New York City and South Beach – appointed Yabu Pushelberg to design the first Moxy hotel in Los Angeles. Combining Moxy’s distinct and playful brand ethos with the adventurous spirit of California, Yabu Pushelberg designed Moxy Downtown Los Angeles through the eyes of a desert nomad. Drawing from Easy Rider, the 1969 cult film that elevated the counterculture and celebrated the great American road trip, the hotel’s interiors are sexy, irreverent and playful, with references to biker culture, desert reptiles and the gritty romance of the open road.

The lobby is an expansive space with an open ceiling and an eye-catching jumble of design elements, including a retro-style motorcycle and sidecar. Inspired by the colours of desert rock formations, the neutral earth lobby walls contrast in both form and mood with reflective mirrored columns, mimicking the captivating experience of a desert mirage. The snake motif on the lobby custommade carpet designed by Yabu Pushelberg leads to the adjacent Bar Moxy.

Sofa groupings anchor the expansive lobby, featuring custom leather upholstery work inspired by motorcycle seating to evoke a cross-country trip through the Californian desert. Fun swing chairs and communal tables provide settings for guests to gather, while the side tables are finished to resemble desert sands and the lobby’s signature coffee table references desert driftwood.

Inspired by a roadside gas station, the Bar Moxy serves as a landmark along the guest journey. The bold, geometric bar constructed in vertical metal mesh functions as a liquor cabinet, featuring a terraced counter and bespoke pattern symbolising the speckles of stones in rolling sand.

Perched on the mezzanine, the studios offer inspiring views of the lobby below. The studios feature transparent technicolour glass walls that separate workspaces, and rich earth tones run throughout the furniture to ground the space. Yabu Pushelberg designed custom modular furniture to allow the space to transform from private meeting environment to a relaxing secondary lounge by night. The mezzanine can transform into a dance floor with a custom mobile DJ booth.

Guest rooms feature a custom copper-coloured mosaic wall, inspired by the glow of a desert sunset. Yabu Pushelberg leaned into this warm, crimson-and-cedar palette and worked with materials such as copper that gently reflect and refract light. The guest room headboards are made from distressed green leather, telling the stylish story of a well-worn leather motorcycle jacket. Custom handlebar sculptures hanging on the wall provide a modern interpretation of taxidermy.

A conscientious colour story runs throughout the hotel’s design

AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles:

Yabu Pushelberg imagined the new AC Hotel space as an artist’s home. The studio brought the Spanish roots of the AC brand into conversation with the Hispanic heritage of south California, envisioning the interiors as a creative space for the travelling artist. Guests can find artworks throughout the hotel that aim to present the journey to their suite as a tour of an artist’s studio.

In the Satellite Lobby, there are nods to Spanish architecture in the textured plaster walls. Occupying the building’s 34th floor and offering a 360° view of Los Angeles, the Sky Lobby Check-In introduces guests to the fluency of bespoke, handcrafted artistry found throughout the property. Yabu Pushelberg worked with artisan Dennis Lin to produce custom-made sculptural wooden totems. Five grand hand-carved wooden sculptures stand in place along the perimeter of the space, providing a first glance of the artist’s love to work with wood and natural mediums.

A dramatic, black steel fireplace defines the Library Lounge and serves as the heart of the room, surrounded by intimate corner seating. To further define the area, there are coupled round, spherical lounge chairs and L-shaped sofas with contemporary arched floor lamps to line the perimeter of the space.

Stationed adjacent to the Library Lounge, The Sky Lobby Bar brings the Los Angeles skyline into the space through a windowed wall, reflected in the mirror-clad columns and the large metal pendant over the bar. The nearby comprises a lounge, outdoor bar and dining area, with further art installations and set in something of a garden retreat.

The hotel’s guest rooms are ethereal, calming and simple, conceived to be inviting and familiar. Oak lines the space from floor to ceiling, presenting an upscale residential feeling, and artworks feature throughout. Yabu Pushelberg designed custom carpets for the guest rooms that reflect the geometric pattern and colour story found throughout the hotel, while possum birch wood flooring incorporates a cooler tonality appropriate for rest and rejuvenation.

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