Gensler, Mimi Burns, Kris Lajeskie help design Heritage Hotels & Resorts’ property in Old Town, Albuquerque

Heritage Hotels and Resorts announced plans for a new multi-million dollar hotel in the heart of Old Town, Albuquerque.

The 118-room project will break ground by late fall, with the property’s completion set for spring 2016. The property will be built adjacent to Hotel Albuquerque, sharing Hotel Albuquerque’s pool, ballrooms and chapel. The hotel will be comprised of five levels with guestrooms designed to extend outdoors onto terraces with views of the Sandia Mountains and downtown skyline, or overlooking the hotel's gardens and pool terrace below.

The design goal is to create a hotel that captures the legacy of New Mexico’s Native American culture and history in a modern and luxurious way.

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The hotel will be the first New Mexico property planned by global design firm Gensler, which drew inspiration from the Anasazi people and the indigenous ruins of Chaco Canyon. According to Adam Gumowski, design director at Gensler, the property’s design creates an architectural aesthetic for New Mexico and the greater Southwest region.

Specific designs that have been incorporated from the Native American cultures include building the hotel in solar alignment. Ancient masonry techniques have been incorporated into this project. Like the designs of Chaco Canyon, this hotel will be constructed so the property’s solar orientation can make the most of the heat in the winter, and the coolness in the summer. Guestrooms will be deeply recessed to allow for solar gain in winter but protect from the sun in summer. The hotel’s five floors will also be built in a traditional stacked pueblo style with the façade stepping back at the upper floors. 

The entrance to the hotel will be designed with soothing sounds, flowing water and warming fires in winter before arriving to the main lobby that will offer a two-story Kiva-inspired space. Beyond the lobby, local landscape architect Mimi Burns of Dekker Perich Sabatini has designed a landscape inspired by the randomness of raindrops touching the earth. She will also design gardens and landscaped opened areas.

Interiors of the hotel will done by Santa Fe based designer Kris Lajeskie and will focus on a merger of ancestral knowledge with contemporary materials, furnishings and art. The color palette for the project will be the natural wool colors used by the weavers of the Navajo reservation. 

Future plans for the hotel will include a signature restaurant featuring Native American cuisine, a spa, a rooftop restaurant, and a rooftop wedding chapel.

Hotel Albuquerque will be the owner of the new hotel, and managed by Heritage Hotels & Resorts. Hotel Albuquerque was acquired in 1999 by a group of local New Mexican families, led by Jim Long.

Upon completion, the 120,000-square-foot property will have 118 guestrooms, including 10 suites; rooftop event terrace to accommodate up to 250 people; conference room facilities to accommodate up to 100 people; signature restaurant to accommodate 150 people; rooftop restaurant and lounge to accommodate up to 250 people; 6,000-square-foot spa; 1,200-square-foot fitness facility; 3,000 square feet of street-front retail; and an outdoor pool and lounge.

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