West Lafayette, IN
Hospitality | Interior Design
Reimagined for the first time in four decades the 182-room Union Club Hotel at Purdue University draws on the school’s history, values and contributions to society to inform sweeping changes, including an open, soaring lobby; guest rooms which playfully echo elements of student living and a wealth of design details which reference everything from Purdue’s classic crest to its focus on agriculture and engineering. Design moments throughout the hotel are used to celebrate and bring to life the story of Purdue and its people, enveloping guests in the culture of the university while offering fresh excitement and modern comforts. A two-story dynamic art piece comprised of an ebonized wood bookcase filled with white books, which serves as a screen for projected images including those of famous alum Amelia Earhart, creates a dramatic backdrop to the reception desk. Positioned in the restaurant is a large wooden sculpture reminiscent of tractor tire tracks on a newly ploughed wheat field; seating pieces are upholstered in tweeds, a nod to classic collegiate professionals.
Patterns and textures celebrate and expand the hotel’s existing historic interior architecture: stone-clad openings are repeated; a modern riff on rich wood paneling, painted a deep charcoal hue, is extended through new spaces and a bold mosaic floor in the reception area is inspired by original stone flooring found in the neighboring Student Union. Colors — the crisp black and gold of Purdue, the slate grey of blackboards, the deep blue of a Midwestern sky and warm notes of leathery cognac — help to seamlessly reflect the university’s story throughout the hotel.
Guest rooms offer yet another element of Purdue life: drawn to the concept of a “fitted” space where each element is designed to deliver both comfort and purpose, designers took inspiration from student living environments, making clever references with details such as an elevated interpretation of wall-mounted task lamps above desks — a classic dorm fixture. A crisp, graphic houndstooth pattern in full Purdue colors enlivens the carpet in the corridors and is continued in the sleeping areas in a quieted colorway of grey, black and blue. Corridor walls in cream, punctuated by dark charcoal stained doors and trim, transition to two-tone guest room walls in a velvety gray extending to picture rail height with a clean white above.