The Siren Hotel references Detroit's grand history | Dezeen

The Siren Hotel references Detroit's grand history says Ari Heckman

ASH NYC co-founder Ari Heckman explains how The Siren Hotel recalls Detroit's glamorous past in this video produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD Awards.

Design development firm ASH NYC overhauled a derelict historical building in downtown Detroit with the help of Quinn Evans Architects to create The Siren Hotel.

The property was awarded the title of Hotel of the Year at last night's AHEAD Americas hospitality awards, which were held at the Faena Forum in Miami.

The Siren Hotel in Detroit by ASH NYC was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Americas awards
The Siren Hotel in Detroit was named Hotel of the Year at this year's AHEAD Americas awards

According to Heckman, the hotel avoids the post-industrial aesthetics that have come to be associated with Detroit, instead referencing the city's early 20th-century grandeur.

"One of our goals when we were conceptualising the hotel was to harken back to the grand hotels of Detroit of the turn of the century," he says in the video, which was shot by Dezeen at ASH NYC's Brooklyn office.

The Siren Hotel in Detroit by ASH NYC was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Americas awards
Design development firm ASH NYC renovated the derelict Wurlitzer building to create the hotel

The hotel occupies the former headquarters of organ manufacturer Wurlitzer, designed by local architect Robert Finn in 1926 and located just off the city's Grand Circus.

Heckman stated that ASH NYC's purchase of the building effectively saved it from being knocked down.

"When we found the building, it was essentially collapsing from the top down," he said. "If we hadn't bought the building when we did and started the immediate stabilisation of the facade, the city would have ordered the building to be demolished."

The Siren Hotel in Detroit by ASH NYC was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Americas awards
The design of The Siren references the grand hotels of Detroit's past

The design of the hotel's interiors mixes details from the building's past with bold colours and luxurious materials.

Very little historical detail remained in the building's lobby, so Heckman's team referred to an article from 1926 that described the space as it looked then in order to recreate it.

"We took creative license from what we read in this article to paint the walls this mossy green colour and then finish them in extensive panel moulding," Heckman explained.

The Siren Hotel in Detroit by ASH NYC was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Americas awards
The hotel's interiors combine period details with modern touches

The guest rooms draw from a colour palette of navy blue and muted pink and burgundy, and were designed to offer guests "a sanctuary above the city".

The bathrooms feature terrazzo tiles in red, green and blue variations, which the designers based on patterns that they found in the derelict site they took on.

The Siren Hotel in Detroit by ASH NYC was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Americas awards
The bathrooms feature terrazzo tiling in green, blue and red variations

Amongst the hotel's numerous food and beverage spaces is a restaurant named Albena, which represents a minimal departure from the decadent style employed throughout much of the building.

"We wanted something that felt very simple and soulful," Heckman said. "It has an arched ceiling and plaster and natural woods and metals."

According to Heckman, guests often remark on the escapist qualities of ASH NYC's hotels, which also include Hotel Peter and Paul in New Orleans, winner of the Visual Identity category at the AHEAD Awards.

"People often say of our hotels, and of The Siren specifically, that they feel like cinematic fantasies," he said. "There's something romantic and nostalgic about it, but there's also qualities of it that are very modern, our own interpretation of the past and the future."

The Siren Hotel in Detroit by ASH NYC was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Americas awards
The Albena restaurant represents a minimal departure in style from the rest of the hotel

This movie was produced by Dezeen for AHEAD. It was filmed at ASH NYC's office in New York. Photography is by Christian Harder, courtesy of ASH NYC.