Two of Marriott International’s newest hotel offerings are the first hospitality industry projects in Arlington County, Virginia to achieve LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The $119 million, 14-story Arlington Capital View Renaissance and Residence Inn, the first new hotels to be built in Crystal City in the past decade, were completed in April 2011. Featured on the exterior of the two-hotels-under-one-roof development were sleek metal wall panels fabricated from Alcoa Architectural Products' Reynobond® ACM.
The centerpiece of a dynamic mixed-use complex at the northern end of Potomac Yard, a 1.5 milelong rail yard redevelopment site, the Arlington Capital View is the first to house both a full-service and an extended-stay product – a Renaissance Hotel and a Residence Inn – under one roof. Architects Cooper Carry Inc. of Alexandria, VA, were charged with the challenge of fitting two very different Marriott products with two very different clienteles into a site at the terminus for Center Park, a linear green space that incorporates an amphitheater, retail and public art spaces.
“The two products couldn’t be more different,” said Andrea Schaub, AIA of Cooper Carry Inc., “Renaissance Hotels are designed with a clean, modern aesthetic and amenities that appeal to people on the move. Guests staying in the Residence Inn are there for longer periods of time, so they’re designed with a homey ambiance. We had to find a way to pull the two disparate products together.”
In response, they looked to the sites’ history as one of the busiest rail yards on the east cost for inspiration. They created a light-filled structure imbued with the feel of motion that has the soul of a boutique hotel and the amenities for business or leisure travel. They chose metal to pull the concepts together – using it as metal spandrel and on the canopies of the Residence Inn on one side, and as exterior wall cladding to create a sleek, crisp contemporary look for the Renaissance Hotel on the other. They then used color to further define the properties. They specified Reynobond ACM panels in three different Colorweld® 500 finishes for the project because of Alcoa’s color-matching abilities and competitive pricing. “We chose metal because it has such a rich feel. It’s very clean and simple and can be formed into all kinds of shapes, a characteristic we took full advantage of on this project.”
The architects followed the curves of the site to form the shape of the building, which was so tight they had to carve out a 45-foot space for the porte cochère, wrapping it around the curtain wall to hide the valet station, a support column and a hot-air intake vent. The east and west elevations are dominated by a large curtain wall that stands 36 feet tall at the main entrance and extends 150 feet along varying flat and radius planes to enclose the main lobby of the Renaissance Hotel. The curtain wall curves along the grand staircase and finishes at the second-level conference room. On the west elevation the wall drops to just 15 feet. There the point-supported glass wall system includes a unique “glass spire” consisting of three 12-inch-diameter, 50-foot-tall vertical steel tubes wrapped in laminated glass and arranged in a triangular sloping pattern.
The Miller-Clapperton Partnership Inc., of Austell, GA, the metal panel fabricator, and Pioneer Cladding and Glazing Systems, LLC, of Baltimore, MD, the metal panel installer, worked closely with Cooper Carry on the project. Miller-Clapperton fabricated 25,297 square feet of Reynobond ACM, 4 mm, with an FR core in a Smoke Silver Metallic Colorweld 500 finish; 17,769 square feet of Reynobond ACM, 4 mm, with an FR core in an Anodic Clear Colorweld 500 finish; and 35,398 square feet of Reynobond ACM, 4 mm, FR core, in a Pure White Colorweld 500 finish for the columns, canopies,fasçia and soffits throughout the structure. The complex geometry of the architecture includes numerous concave and convex curves both horizontal and vertical, and tapered columns. “The tapering columns at the main entrance were the most difficult feature to fabricate,” said Scott Stafford, spokesperson for Miller-Clapperton. “However, our close working relationship with Pioneer helped us to develop a seamless process. The key was in the precise field dimensions taken by Pioneer’s engineers and implemented by our draftsmen.”
“This was an exciting and challenging project to be involved with,” said Alan Gordish of Pioneer Glazing, “due to the complexity in scope, design and coordination.” For example, the curtain wall segments and turns along a 200-foot run that is 35 feet tall. Pioneer installed the panels in Miller-Clapperton’s caulked-joint system utilizing a typical ½” sealant between each panel.
The 300-room, full-service Renaissance Hotel features an expansive lobby, restaurant, coffee shop, a 10,000-square-foot grand ballroom, approximately 17,400 square feet of flexible event space and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The Residence Inn at the southern end of the building houses 325 guest rooms. Both brands have their own lobbies and public spaces, and connect only on the 2nd and 3rd floors where they share a meeting space and the swimming pool and fitness center, respectively. Sustainable features include a green roof on the podium/base, the highly efficient skin and top-end mechanical systems. The interiors, designed by ForrestPerkins® of Arlington, VA, celebrate movement in kinetic and intriguing ways. The interior spaces are connected and the design flows from one inviting space to another, encouraging visitors to explore the property. The project also includes 10,000 square feet of street-level retail space, a 24,000-square-foot conference center and below-grade parking for 526 cars.