Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide unveiled Starlab, the company’s new brand innovation studio located in Manhattan’s Garment District. Starlab brings together a cross-section of the company’s digital, design and luxury brand teams in one urban office for the first time.
The 46,000-square-foot, bi-level office is an evolution of Starwood’s approach to new style workspaces, following the debuts of the Starwood Experience at the company’s global headquarters in Stamford, Conn., as well as its former Tribeca-based design center.
Starlab serves as a hub to immerse associates, owners, developers, customers and partners in the company’s latest two- and three-dimensional design work, guest technology and brand programming. Designed by Starwood’s in-house creative team with VM Architecture Studio PC, Starlab is pursuing LEED certification, reinforcing the company’s commitment to reducing energy use by 20 percent, water use by 30 percent, and carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020.
Inspired by the rise of social connectivity reshaping global business, Starwood brought digital and social content to the forefront of Starlab’s design. At the office entrance, a smart mirror doubles as a digital display showcasing Starwood’s latest video news, photography and user-generated content. A digital chandelier splays down the internal staircase – part art installation, part news ticker – bringing real time guest twitter comments into the office environment. Meanwhile, five digital feed frames rotate guests’ Instagram posts in a gallery-style space adjacent to the communal dining area.
Starlab also houses a Tech Lab to experiment and test the company’s latest digital innovations, such as the recent introductions of SPG Keyless, allowing travelers to opt out of traditional check-in for a mobile guest experience.
Starlab also has a variety of workspaces that afford more or less privacy for associates, as needed. Individual desks can be personalized for associates to sit, stand or balance on a stability ball, while modular seating areas with banquettes and objects d’art bring smaller groups together to ideate. The Library provides a semi-private space for informal meetings with bleacher-style seating and flexible tables, design boards and projectors; and dining areas, including an outdoor terrace, have communal tables with flexible seating options.
Starlab also reinvented the traditional conference room with designer suites representing The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W and Le Méridien brands. For instance, the W Suite channels the brand’s cocktail culture, replacing the conference table with a bar inset with LED lighting that highlights a beverage display, bar stools flanked by bronze mirrors and a revolving “art wall” dedicated to storytelling from W hotels and resorts around the world.
With the opening of Starlab, Starwood also launched a virtual Starlab, www.starlab.tumblr.com, showcasing the innovations and behind-the-scenes stories of Starwood teams from around the world.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and more than 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is the owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following brands: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element.