From Wunder Wurkz’ case study:
The Source Hotel and Market Hall was a collaboration with Dynia Architects and Zeppelin Development in which we created the tone and feel for the built environment, the brand, the identity design and the soft finishes that act as an extension of the brand.
In 2013, we were approached with a project in the RiNo neighborhood, an area that was experiencing unprecedented growth but that lacked and community amenities. The Source was the former 1880s iron foundry that had sat unused for decades and was converted into a space that highlights local makers, restauranteurs and artisans. After our success in branding, environmental design, color study and ongoing programming for this initial project, we were asked to help bring the second phase of The Source project – The Source Hotel and Market Hall – to life. The Hotel and Market Hall represented a number of unique challenges: it was one of the first lifestyle hotels in Denver and one of the only multifaceted market-centric hotels in the world, with multiple restaurants and bars, a brewery, dynamic retail, an art gallery, a bakery, a coffee shop – all in a single complex. For three years, we worked with the developer, hotel management group, architects, and tenants to make sure The Source brand was expressed through every aspect of the project and highlighted the maker’s culture that was so deeply imbued in the first phase of the project. We worked to expand and codify our initial brand work and rolled out a unique collateral package, including a quarterly newspaper and a one-of-a-kind product line.
We didn’t stop there, we developed the wayfinding and signage system including all aesthetic and egress signage, developed the brand color used throughout the project and worked with international artists to help create and curate the art program – including our collaboration with Calico to get custom wallpaper into 60 of the hotel rooms. We designed the in-room blankets, worked with local makers to create custom pillows, and collaborated with the build team on both in-room and common area and lighting design. We also worked to create and name the sub-brand for The Woods, the bar and restaurant on the roof of The Hotel, a collaboration between New Belgium Brewing and The Source Hotel. We assisted in the recruitment of many of the tenants that make up the market hall, helping them to build their brands when needed. The results were instantly apparent, a complex that was deeply explorative and experimental but that had core elements of the brand structure in every aspect. After only two months, The Hotel enjoyed some of the highest occupancy rates in the city and has been featured in The New York Times, GQ, Wallpaper magazine, Travel Channel, Bon Appétit and other international publications as a globally unique project.
Combining over 25 tenants, 100 hotel rooms, and numerous common and gathering areas into one brand was no easy task. The Source is a wholly unique concept when it comes to a 24-hour guest experience and we accepted nothing less than making a brand system that was as innovative as the concept itself. We started with the striking Source Blue, a color touchpoint exciting all entries and signage, points of egress, and access. This visual cue is ever-present above the natural, material-based palette that the project is built around. By making a single color brand palette, we were able to create a cohesive, yet discoverable experience that spanned over a dozen different environments. It was important that we always supported and highlighted the project’s greatest benefits – the views of the mountains and city, the strong community of local and international makers, and the guests themselves. With eyes on that, every item we created was supportive to the narrative – we sourced and utilized custom waxed canvas, newsprint, and neon, all from local heritage makers located in the Denver area. We also worked to create an art program that was complementary to, and not distracting from, the raw aesthetic and additive to the sweeping downtown and mountain views. The Source Hotel has become a cultural hub in the RiNo neighborhood, highlighting makers small and large and creating a community center where people can eat, drink, gather and create. The accessibility of the space democratizes the design, allowing people from all walks of life to experience art, architecture, and design in an unconventional setting. We continue to stay involved in the ongoing brand upkeep, collateral, and cultural activations at The Source Hotel and Market Hall making sure that the project continues to be a landmark within the community.
Source Hotel + Market Hall by Wunder Werkz.