When building on the original site of the studio occupied by the legendary Eames design company, one may feel pressure to pay proper tribute to the design gods. The firm Belzberg Architects rose to the challenge, and designed the aerodynamic Hotel Ray. Although never constructed, the eco-hotel earned the firm critical acclaim and a Green Concept Design Award.
The Eames studio occupied the popular Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach from 1943 until 1988. The Hotel Ray was to be a green property featuring 57 private guest rooms, promoting ecotourism in the diversely cultured area of Venice. Fully taking inspiration from the design techniques of Eames, Belzberg fused that style of research with digital design programs, creating a curvaceous space that echoes the dynamics of an Eames chair. The hotel has a pool on one roof, and lush garden on the other.
To achieve the bending and turning exterior, recycled woods were put into the plan, as they are more flexible. Recycled fiber board also has the ability to not only be milled and molded, but also set in a texture that brings life to the exterior. The five storey hotel would be the highest in the Venice area, which was a roadblock for the project, as most buildings in the area reach 30 feet, as opposed to the Ray Hotel’s 55 feet.
The spa, hotel and restaurant were to be operated with green technology, developed by the Ambrose Group, who regularly develops green properties.