Jennifer Bradley Franklin • May 13, 2020
New York- and Paris-based Virserius Studio has unveiled its refresh of the W Atlanta – Midtown, the first major update to the 466-room hotel since it opened in 2009. “We changed the whole concept around the storytelling of the hotel,” says designer and firm founder Therese Virserius, who added that the team reimagined the property around a fictional character named Arthur, an Atlanta native. The two-year renovation is designed to be an imagining of his estate and hidden garden (Atlanta’s nickname is “a city in a forest”), evidenced by the floral motifs in wallcoverings, carpets, and upholstery.
The changes are evident from the moment guests step into the hotel’s entryway. “We opened up the space so much architecturally,” says Virserius, who took down a wall to create a dramatic double-height entry. “From a design point of view, the boldness of the space is interesting and intriguing.” In the spacious lobby, she created a variety of seating options for guests to congregate for impromptu meetings or a drink and for individual travelers who might want to settle in to work or read. For guests who want an intimate private space, there’s a nook—dubbed Arthur’s den—tucked beneath the stairs. “It’s very curated,” she says.
The overhauled guestrooms “are based on Arthur’s interest in the music and movie scene in Atlanta, and, in some of the rooms, his passion for nature,” says Virserius. Custom digital wallcoverings—such as one inspired by vintage vinyl records and another tone-on-tone reminiscent of a forest—punctuate the theme, creating an otherworldly oasis in the heart of the Southern city.
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