When Boston’s award-winning hotel Kimpton Nine Zero embarked on its bold, top-to-bottom transformation last year, they also wanted to take its on-site bar/restaurant Highball Lounge and undergo an extensive makeover to better reflect the hotel’s traditional-meets-contemporary transformation.
Las Vegas, NV, October 09, 2018 — When Boston’s award-winning hotel Kimpton Nine Zero embarked on its bold, top-to-bottom transformation last year, they also wanted to take its on-site bar/restaurant Highball Lounge and undergo an extensive makeover to better reflect the hotel’s traditional-meets-contemporary transformation.
Enter up-and-coming Las Vegas-based (with offices in Denver, Los Angeles, and New York City) design and architecture firm Punch Architecture, which was tasked with the makeover of the Highball Lounge to become the Better Sorts Social Club, a glamorous cocktail-forward, elevated-food concept that better fit with Nine Zero’s concept of melding the city of Boston’s history and tradition with the luxurious contemporary design and social aesthetic of today’s finest luxury hotels.
Punch Architecture, better known as simply Punch, was tasked with all the interior design and fabricated a portion of the new lounge’s furniture. The project, from conception to construction, took about 18 months for the 3,200-square-foot space
“We wanted it to be a little quirky, fun and playful, but also classy,” says Zak Ostrowski, one of Punch’s three partners along with Drew Gregory and Clemente Cicoria. “We wanted it to appeal to the higher-end Boston Brahmins era and still relate to a younger crowd. It has high-end cocktails and food, but it’s also a place you could go to after a game at Fenway (Park) or after a Celtics game.”
Ostrowski said they wanted to strike a balance between the traditional social club and its low lighting, dark wood panels and stateliness and a more modern upscale cocktail lounge with its open, airy atmosphere, brighter lighting and contemporary furniture. They also wanted to dovetail with Nine Zero’s new aesthetic, which blends modern sophistication with a nod to Boston’s storied history.
He says Better Sorts’ design concept is “a throwback to the golden age of classic spirit bars with its elegant sexiness, cheeky sensibilities, and enigmatic sensuality.”
The interior materials consist of rich and warm American Black Walnut wood walls and flooring contrasted with moody burnished dark green plaster colors, Nero Marquina marble, weathered leathers, textural sea glaze green tiles, exotic yet subtle wallpapers, dark and mysterious antique mirrors, and sultry lighting throughout the space.
The custom furniture pieces are made of rich leathers, soft velvets, and jewel tone colors set off by hand-crafted walnut and ambrosia maple tables with metal and burl inlays (designed and made by Punch), gently resting on colorful vintage Persian rugs. Better Sorts décor is filled with whimsical photos, a mix of reclaimed decorative art deco and regency objects made of handblown glass, crystal and brass.
“It was a great project,” says Ostrowski. “We were able to use a rich, yet comfortable material palette, that works well with the hotel’s redesign. There were a lot of parties involved in the design, so it was a fun collaborative process. We also wanted to be open-minded and have the flexibility to incorporate the Boston environment.”
Punch is no stranger to high-end restaurant and lounge design, winning an AIA award for celebrity Chef Chris Cosentino’s Jackrabbit at The Duniway Hotel in Portland, Oregon and designing such dazzling establishments as Maison Pickle in New York City, and Element Kitchen & Cocktail in Denver, Colorado. Punch has also been recognized for its commercial and residential designs. The Punch firm also includes Punch Fab, its fabrication, furniture, and R&D department and Punch & Pie, its business strategy and concept department.
Founded only three years ago, Ostrowski feels Punch’s work on Better Sorts Social Club is another feather in its cap.
“We’re stoked,” he says. “We are very satisfied with the results.”
About Punch Architecture
Punch creates spaces, environments, and objects that are site-specific to the client and their brand, while being conscientious of the impact the design makes on the surrounding environment and interaction between the end user.
Our firm’s process starts with an idea that is ultimately layered with multiple elements; building up within the project context through transformative design, exploration, and storytelling. Each project’s success lies in the research, innovation, design strategy, and social context that is specific for each space and client. Our designs are original works that embody passion, integrity, quality, and beauty; yet maintain functionality and simplicity.
Punch Architecture is a licensed architecture and design firm in the United States with international project experience. Punch Fab is our fabrication, furniture, and R&D department. Punch & Pie is our business strategy and concept department that works with new and established brands through various forms of visual media such as film, motion graphics, and interactive site-specific installations.
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ABOUT KIMPTON HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the original boutique hotel company, which pioneered the concept of unique, distinctive, design-forward hotels in the United States in 1981. Anchored in one-of-a-kind experiences, Kimpton now operates more than 60 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up and coming markets in the United States, Europe, Caribbean and Greater China.
Kimpton spaces and experiences center on its guests, offering inspiring design that evokes curiosity to forward-thinking flavors that feed the soul. Every detail is thoughtfully curated and artfully delivered, so that guest experiences remain meaningful, unscripted and ridiculously personal. Kimpton’s employees, empowered to provide heartfelt service and experiences, have built a highly regarded workplace culture that appears consistently on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. In January 2015, Kimpton became part of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) family of hotel brands. For more information, visitwww.KimptonHotels.com.
Kimpton and its ownership group, Brookfield Hotel Properties, engaged Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), the world’s leading hospitality interior design firm, along with Boston-based branding firm, Korn Design, to create a completely new aesthetic that blends history and contemporary design in Kimpton Nine Zero.
Located in Boston’s historic Ladder District, at the crossroads of Beacon Hill, the Theatre District, Downtown Crossing and the Financial District, Nine Zero has transformed its 190 guest rooms and suites, living room, and 2,400 square feet of private event and meeting space into a seductive and design-forward hotel that uniquely nods to Boston history.
Nine Zero is located at 90 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02108. For reservations please call 866-906-9090; for the hotel please call 617-772-5800. For more information and updates, please visit www.ninezero.com and follow @ninezerohotelboston on Instagram; @NineZeroHotel on Facebook and @Kimpton on Twitter; #ninezerohotel.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901