March 7, 2018
Nashville’s Noelle Hotel Uses Design to Channel the City’s Past, Present, and Future
Alongside Nashville-based architecture and design studio DAAD, 55 local designers, makers and artists contributed work to the hotel.
Nashville’s recent hotel boom has been a welcome salve for a city struggling to accommodate an infinite swell of tourists. And it’s also caught the attention of design studios from New York who have seized the opportunity to design some of Music City’s first boutique hotels, including The Thompson, 21c, and The Fairlane.
But Noelle, one of the most recent additions, is thoroughly Nashvillian. Alongside Nashville-based architecture and design studio DAAD, 55 local designers, makers and artists contributed work to the hotel. “The history of this building is so important to its narrative,” says DAAD’s founder Nick Dryden of the building, which opened in 1929 as a hotel. “We wanted to take where Nashville has been historically, where it is currently with the rapid change, and what it’s becoming.”
Most recently a bank, the building retained only a few of its original architectural details—Tennessee pink marble, terrazzo, travertine, and brass railing and grates, water fountains and mail slot—which can mostly be found in its new bar space, Trade Room. DAAD, a practice known for its sensitive rehabilitation of old buildings, worked hard to preserve the elegance of the era that bore the original hotel.
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The Noelle brand’s refreshing pink and green color palette derives from the tones of the original marble. A blue heron—indigenous to Tennessee—is the cherished “mascot,” popping up not only in Noelle’s logo but throughout the hotel in different forms, including restroom wayfinding and the moniker of the rooftop bar, Rare Bird. Branding for the hotel—a deft fusion of modern and nostalgic—is all the work of Nashville studio Peck & Company.
The presence of the city’s creatives is strong throughout the 224-room lodgings—each floor of the hotel features artwork by a local artist or photographer, curated by Bryce McCloud of letterpress workshop Isle of Printing. Custom lighting by Southern Lights Electric, millwork by craftsman Aaron Rosburg, custom wallpaper by New Hat, and furniture by Steric Design and leathersmith Emil Erwin feature throughout. The custom retail space, Keep Shop—curated by creative consultant Libby Callaway—also champions local makers and brands.
Complementing its restaurant Makeready Libations & Liberation, Noelle also houses Drug Store, an outpost of Nashville-born coffee brand, Barista Parlor. An onsite portrait studio and print shop, helmed by Isle of Printing, will open in the spring.
Though a proud Nashvillian himself, Dryden credits Noelle’s owners Rockbridge for ensuring the hotel captured the true spirit of the city. “They really wanted us to make this a place that genuinely expresses Nashville in every way that you can think of.”
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