The Wharf in Washington DC, which recently opened the first phase of a $2.5 billion mixed-use waterfront development to the public, features SmithGroupJJR’s design for two hotel companies that share one dynamic building.

The 300,000-square-foot, 10-story, waterfront building creatively intertwines a Canopy by Hilton and a Hyatt House, offering guests of each brand two distinct interior environments and experiences. The building includes ground floor retail, separate elevated lobbies and public spaces, and shared indoor and outdoor amenities. 

The two-flag hotel features a 237-room Hyatt House extended stay hotel and debuts the new 175-room signature lifestyle hotel, Canopy by Hilton, the latter being the first to open in North America and only second worldwide. To offer separation for the hotel brands, the building’s design provides a variety of unique public and private spaces for guests of each hotel to explore and discover. A shared central courtyard contains terraces, a water feature, and event space and it is a place for visitors to see and be seen from anywhere in the hotels while they enjoy spectacular views of the Washington Channel.

“The design of the hotel is rooted in the rich history and context of the neighborhood,” said John Crump, SmithGroupJJR’s Workplace studio director in Washington DC. “While modern, our design pays tribute to the site’s maritime and industrial history,” Crump added.

The building’s materials and design possess a nautical influence and include teak decking, stainless steel rigging and the use of water, sunlight and reflection as design elements.

SmithGroupJJR’s modern take on the building’s exterior is accented by a “sawtooth” façade design, which not only redefines the traditional hotel corridor and guestroom experience but acts as a transition to the modern architecture planned in Phase 2 of the development.

“SmithGroupJJR is an integral and valued member of our design team at The Wharf,” said Shawn Seaman, AIA, project director of The Wharf. “They brought incredible talent and expertise to design these world-class hotels and seamless project management to deliver on an aggressive schedule.”

Donohoe Construction Company, Bethesda, Maryland, served as contractor for the building.