Edie Cohen | January 01, 2013
A 1960’s hotel turned student housing that fell into yellow-painted dereliction — such was the downward trajectory of a two-building complex in Santa Cruz, California. Totaling 116,300 square feet,it was ripe for conversion. The price was right for hotelier BPR Properties, and ODADA principal David Oldroyd was convinced of its potential. “I could see it as refined white concrete boxes surrounded by redwood trees,” recalls the designer.
The modernist aesthetics reflect the lexicon developed by ODADA president and Interior Design Hall of Fame member Orlando Diaz-Azcuy. As for the obeisance to nature: the site, which is at the wooded base of the Santa Cruz mountains, demanded it. Once the dual design concept was established, the property’s name was a no-brainer: Hotel Paradox.
Oldroyd employed digital simulation and nature-inspired furnishings to bring those woods inside. Beyond the new porte cochere and pair of massive concrete pillars,granite like porcelain floor tiles kick off the earthy vibe in the lobby, which, like all the public spaces, is housed in the single-story first building. The reception desk is an enormous felled eucalyptus log; side tables are the same wood. A glass-fronted photo mural of a stand of redwoods encloses the adjoining conference room. A floor-to-ceiling cypress bookcase, seemingly endless and inset with a sky blue banquette, lines the corridor linking the lobby to Solaire, the restaurant and lounge; a digitally printed canopy of leafy branches overhangs a portion of the latter. Outside,the swimming pool is ringed with cypress planks.
The 170 guest rooms in the separate five-story structure continue the theme. Art and upholstery supply the woodsy palette. The genuine thing comes via headboards: vertical planks repurposed from Colorado snow fences. But in hallways, the scampering squirrels are resin.