The Ahwahnee Hotel – This South Bay Designer pick for Interior Design in Harmony with Nature
As a South Bay Designer, I appreciate interior design choices that reflect and stand in harmony with nature. They are such a treat to the senses. The Ahwahnee Hotel, in the heart of Yosemite National Park, is an example of just that. When I came across this photo recently, it reminded me of a trip Jerry and I had taken to Yosemite. The Ahwanee Hotel has a very special meaning to both of us, since we spent our honeymoon there. Many years have passed, but the hotel is exactly the way I remembered it the first time that I had seen it and example of sustainable design at its best.
Completed in July 1927 for $1,125,000, this hotel was build to last and was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood. The hotel sits just below the Royal Arches rock formation and it’s site was chosen because of the amazing views.
Strategic Site Choice – Views in Harmony with Nature
- Half Dome
- Yosemite Falls
- Glacier Point
I remember standing in the magnificent grand ballroom and the cathedral like dining room, in looking around I was once again struck by the importance of creating structures that are relevant to the environment. In this case, the Ahwahnee fits in this breath taking setting as though it were naturally planted there. Thoughtful use of building materials makes all the difference.
Exterior & Interior Design – Materials in Harmony with Nature
A little something you may not know. The Ahwahnee Hotel was designed to be fire proof. Even the “redwood siding” is concrete, which was poured into large wood beam forms, thus taking on the very authentic look of redwood. This is the ultimate attention to detail for lovers of harmonious design.
Very little has been done to modernize this hotel, but it is very well maintained. The bathrooms have been modernized, while still reflecting the traditional somewhat rustic look and although the kitchen is now state of the art, it is still the same Grand Hotel. The carpets have been replaced, as has the upholstery, but the interior designer took great pain in replicating the original look. This is the best definition of timeless, sustainable design.
Carol Woodard – Woodard and Associates