HOSPITALITYDESIGN: The Joseph Nashville Puts a Spotlight on Great Art

Living with art is a vastly different experience than viewing it in an austere gallery, says hotel and real estate developer Joel Pizzuti, who grew up surrounded by his parents’ extensive collection. Sharing that experience is the concept behind the 297-room Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville, housed in a glass and steel tower by Arquitectonica in the city’s SoBro neighborhood. Open to guests since last August, it’s Pizzuti’s second location of the Joseph brand, after debuting the similarly art-focused Le Méridien Columbus, the Joseph hotel, in his hometown in Ohio in 2015.

“Art can be intimidating, and we wanted the Joseph Nashville to feel warm, welcoming, and comfortable,” Pizzuti says. “Our goal is to stimulate people intellectually and emotionally.”

The Joseph Nashville

The custom reception desk features leather paneling by Lucchese and ceramic art by Brie Ruais

Residentially informed to reflect and invite in the local community, the property’s neutral palette and natural materials such as copper, marble, oak, and saddle leather create a posh yet cozy environment for guests to feel as though they are living with, rather than just viewing, a rotating collection of curated art that includes everything from digital installations to vibrant collages.

“Nashville has an amazing tradition of decorative art, which hit its heyday in the 1940s and ’50s,” explains New York-based INC Architecture & Design partner and creative and managing director Adam Rolston, who crafted the interiors with partners Drew Stuart and Gabriel Benroth, and their team. “It has an exuberance that reminded us of midcentury Italy.”

That blend of local and international touches is a hallmark, highlighted in the lobby’s marble flooring, which is inspired by the patterns of the Italian Renaissance and churches, and the 16-foot-long reception desk’s ornate hand-tooled leather paneling by Lucchese—a nod to the Texas boot company’s traditional patterns.


A floral motif, found in guestroom throw pillows, lobby rugs, the leather reception desk, and in the Rose Spa’s backlit reception desk, further anchor the property to its location. “We connected to local crafts in a genuine way without being thematic or fake,” Rolston explains.

Furnished with built-in sofas and clean-lined side tables with pulls shaped like guitar knobs, the guestrooms and suites pay homage to the luxury caravans that musicians call home when on tour, while also showcasing pieces by local artists commissioned specifically for the hotel.

“Nashville is a welcoming and convivial place,” Stuart says, “and you can still convey that warmth in a modern setting.”


Related: 2021 Development Update: Nashville

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