The Ace Hotel . New ORLEANS
Having worked with Ace to create Ace Hotel New York, Roman and Williams felt the time was right to work in the cultural crucible that is New Orleans. The firm viewed this as an opportunity to play with the syncretism that is a key theme in their work — in the place that does it best. Robin Standefer points out that “This project creates a real opportunity to voice the soul of the city of New Orleans, to respond to this fractured American moment, where people are becoming ever more detached and mediated. We strove to embrace — in a fluid and perhaps more feminine way — some of the discord and the complexity that New Orleans has always managed to weave together.”
The building, a regional sensation for its size and ambition when it opened,challenged Roman and Williams to create a venue that would
encompass both the languor and ease of the city as well as its chaos and strangeness within the formal lines of the structure. On their journey through time and across cultures the firm drew directly from the history of New Orleans as a melting pot, incorporating feminine elements of French design, as well as the elevated simplicity of the Bloomsbury Arts movement balanced by the powerful geometry of African art, awash in a soothing palette of deep, rich, shadowy colors. The result is a balance that attempts to create a dark allure by raising the domestic to the level of sublime. These themes also connect to the Gothic Romanticism of New Orleans, it’s susceptibility to nature and it’s acceptance of the ripeness of life along with the inevitability of it's decay.