Cambria Hotel Boston, Downtown-South Boston

RODE Architects and VJAA collaborated on the Cambria Hotel Boston to create a modern, eclectic and playful space.

  • area / size 100,000 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Type Hotel,
  • Located in historic South Boston, Cambria Hotel Boston, Downtown-South Boston’s architecture and design pay homage to its surrounding neighborhood, and bring 159 upscale rooms to one of Boston’s most vibrant communities. In addition, the hotel features a rooftop restaurant with unobstructed views of Downtown, Back Bay, Dorchester, South Boston, Seaport and the Harbor; a lobby lounge; a 160-person event space; and fitness center.

    In designing the hotel, RODE worked to curate a sophisticated, Boston-specific character, referencing the architectural language of South Boston and the Fort Point neighborhood with concrete, brick, and wood textures, then layering on references to the region’s iconic natural seasons and its rich contributions to literature and academia. Light and nature appear as engaging, active elements applied in a simple, refined palette of high-contrast shadows traced over solid forms and accented by jewel-tone emerald greens. The personality of New England is represented by the occasional touch of an inspirational quote or reading-room-inspired fixture, establishing an intellectual presence that connects to history and inspires travelers.

    Based on a concept design by Minneapolis-based VJAA, the hotel embraces the drama of the bustling streetscape at its front door. The form of the building reflects Boston’s irregular street grid with folding planes and geometries that spotlight the surrounding urban bustle. RODE’s design features floor-to-ceiling glass curtainwall throughout the main public spaces of the hotel, and stone flooring in the lobby and at the sidewalk draws a visual continuity between interior and exterior spaces. The energy of the public realm connects with the adjacent lobby of 14West, a 49-unit condominium building also designed by RODE.

    Key features in the building’s interior include custom collaborations resulting in two unique installations. RODE collaborated with London-based artist Simon Heijdens to bring his Lightweeds installation of light-projected tree-forms to the hotel’s common spaces, providing an interactive experience for guests that replicates each of Boston’s distinct seasons. Additionally, RODE collaborated with Yellow Goat Design to create a custom chandelier, which was inspired by the weeping willows of Boston’s Public Garden. The chandelier has more than 1,200 leaf ‘elements’ suspended from a 16-foot-long armature, hanging 16-feet-high against the glass curtainwall of the lobby.

    The hotel is positioned to frame a prominent gateway into South Boston, and is a hallmark of that neighborhood’s elevated position as an economic and cultural engine for the region.

    Design: RODE Architects and VJAA
    Contractor: Consigli
    Photography: Erin McDonald, Peter Vanderwarker