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modern, spanish-style hotel guest room in neutral colors

Drift Hotel by ANACAPA Architecture; Photograph by Erin Feinblatt

GRAY Media announces the breakout category, historic restoration / renovation finalists for the 7th Annual GRAY Awards.

SEATTLE, January 30, 2024 — Now in its 7th year, GRAY Awards — the international cross-disciplinary design awards program — continues to recognize the outstanding work happening around the world. Finalists have been selected in the fields of ARCHITECTURE, INTERIORS, LANDSCAPE, and PRODUCT DESIGN.

Designers and manufacturers were invited to submit their projects in nine judges categories plus an editors’ pick Design for Good category. An esteemed panel of international design luminaries will select a winner in each of the initial nine categories. The winning designers will receive print and digital recognition as well as a custom designed trophy by acclaimed glass artist John Hogan.

GRAY encourages designers and manufacturers to create "Design for Good" projects —projects that have made a positive impact through design on a humanitarian, community, or environmental issue — and offers an award dedicated to these works each year.

In 2020, when the GRAY Awards expanded from a regional to international program, GRAY added a Legacy Award dedicated exclusively to a Pacific Northwest-based designer's lifetime achievement, honoring the region where GRAY began and the home to the GRAY Awards Parties. GRAY will name the next Legacy at the Party.

Newly introduced at the 6th annual GRAY Awards last year, GRAY added several Breakout Categories, opening up opportunities to win GRAY Awards in micro-categories from Kitchens to Collaborations.

All winners will be announced at the GRAY Awards Party in Seattle in March, 2024 at Block 41, Seattle. The party is one of the most highly anticipated design bashes of the year, where all guests are treated like winners.

To purchase tickets, visit the 7th annual GRAY Awards Party page.


design judges black and white portraits

It is our privilege each year to welcome an international group of distinguished creatives to the GRAY Awards judging panel. Each working at the top of their game, these professionals now focus a discerning eye on determining the winners of the coveted GRAY Awards trophies.

7th annual GRAY Awards judging panel: Lee Broom, Brigitte Shim, Alessandro Munge, Silvia Tcherassi, Stephen Burks

bright hotel restaurant with large ceiling inlay and hanging pendant lights

Photograph by Doublespace

A key challenge in this project was restoring the lost luster of the 31,000-square-foot Royal Hotel, while also elevating it to a contemporary version of itself. When the project started, the building was in a state of ruin. A part of the roof had caved-in, letting in rain and snow over a few seasons, leaning blistered walls, moss covered floors, a compromised structure, and a waterlogged central staircase. The design team salvaged three brick walls and reconfigured the back of the building to add terraces and open the interior to increased natural light. Inside the restored building, the team established 28 guest rooms with relaxed, open-concept layouts that offer a transporting experience.

Playing on the expectations of the hotel’s history and context, guest rooms feature a rich contrast between the formalities of British tradition and the informalities of rural Ontario. The six room types are named after local varieties of apples and pears, distancing the hospitality experience from its buttoned-up past and signaling guests to enjoy a more relaxed approach. Vestiges of the original hotel’s formalities still find creative expression, but in ways more likely to delight modern travellers. Curved, fumed oak walls reminiscent of Victorian-era fireplace screens enclose soaker tubs, and scalloped bathroom vanities mimic starched linens being pressed into service in a surprising new way.

long, galley kitchen with hunter green cabinets and warm wood

Smith House II by Measured Architecture

Photograph by Ema Peter

Smith House II, designed by Erickson/Massey Architects, is a quintessential example of West Coast Modernism. Thoughtfully positioned on its rocky site near Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, the original design is truly in and of its place. Originally built in 1964, the house is a harmonious interweave of the client's creativity and Erickson’s site-first design approach. It is rich with Erickson’s signature—indoor and outdoor interplay, striking structural expression, and a strong sense of local materiality.

As part of the home’s continued stewardship, Measured Architecture was asked to oversee the refurbishment and stabilization of the existing buildings. This was a significant undertaking for Measured aided by Principal Architect, Clinton Cuddington’s role on the Board of the Arthur Erickson Foundation.

This was a process to preserve and protect while simultaneously augmenting a building in a manner that was derivative of the essential spirit of the historic building. Further, Measured needed to look at aspects of the building that perhaps were underperforming with the continually changing climatic context. This building is essentially a glass box, without a desire to have strong filtration to the sun, so Measured needed to think about how it could manage escalating degradation over time. Working with Kindred Construction, Measured’s subtle interventions included improvements to the heating and electrical systems, updates to the kitchen and bathrooms, and refurbishment of the original finishes. This work was completed thoughtfully and discretely in an effort to conserve and complement the original design.

modern, spanish-style hotel guest room in neutral colors

Drift Hotel by ANACAPA Architecture

Photograph by Erin Feinblatt

This restoration introduces a vibrant use of a previously dilapidated and vacant building, bringing a new demographic of travelers into Santa Barbara. The hotel’s architecture connects the space to its surrounding community of Spanish influences, preserving the building’s history.

Through intentional design decisions, ANACAPA Architecture re-imagined this building. They created a space for locals and travelers, returning its purpose to its initial intention of hospitality while preserving and salvaging the white stucco walls, arched windows, and terracotta tiles. ANACAPA wanted to do the unexpected and provide a youthful look in contrast to the exterior Mediterranean architecture while preserving the architectural bones of the historic structure—bringing new life to the space as a hotel, coffee shop, and cocktail bar.

The primary color used throughout the interior space was black, accented by concrete for an industrial feel. Wood warms up the spaces, with the white oak accents explicitly chosen to tie the interiors to the building’s exteriors and the greater community’s design style. The architectural bones of the building had minor shoring work done over the years. Extensive work was needed to retain the masonry walls, adding rebar, shotcrete, and steel frames to ensure the building was prepared for its new life. Through this process, the team determined materials that could be salvaged, with the original wood framing repurposed for the walls and aesthetics within the penthouse and behind the headboards in each room. The team managed the square footage through creative design choices such as an alcove built under the bed frame and a shower featuring a glass corner to make the room look and feel more spacious. Drawing inspiration from the hotel's first property in San Jose del Cabo, this remodel is dressed with goods from Californian and Mexican makers, paying homage to the brand’s Baja roots while celebrating its coastal Californian locale.

native mural

Clatsop Nehalem Mural Restoration Project (project within a project) by Lawson A+D

Photograph courtesy of Lawson A+D

Lawson A+D donated hundreds of hours of labor and studio space for this project. As a tribe member, this was a multi-year passion project for founder, Todd Lawson, who helped fundraise, netting over $27,000 to hire local artist, Jeff Mihalyo, and pay for expenses. 

The good of the project came from many directions: saving a piece of art by a NW Master, getting the public involved with fundraising and labor volunteering, invigorating the mural's place in the community, putting artist education on display, and renewing the tribe and community's understanding of the history and the stories depicted on the mural.

The Clatsop-Nehalem mural restoration project started as a simple effort to repair puncture with holes and damage left by an unfortunate drunk-driving accident. It quickly evolved into a full restoration and preservation project and an educational tool for the tribe and community. The hope is a copy of the mural will become a future installation in a museum or cultural center.

modern interior design with bright white walls and rounded furniture

Alma House by Measured Architecture

Photograph by Ema Peter

Alma House was born out of the modernization of a historic 1912 house in Vancouver, and achieved with a very trusting and supportive client and strong commitment from collaborators who were willing to explore varying approaches to bring new life to an old home.

The client wished to modernize their home while preserving aspects of its history. With any renovation, particularly for historic sites, Measured Architecture aims to find a balance between the protection of the host site, and the advancement of contemporary responses. They thrive on creating modern interventions that are antithetical to the host site, rather than trying to mimic the home’s original style. Providing this contrast allows the historic elements to shine, while contemporary elements stand out.

The primary focus of this project was on making a historic house more livable for a contemporary family. A revitalized kitchen and dining area allows the family to come together in a common space. A reclaimed basement provides a comfortable nest-like environment, rejuvenated with Venetian plaster, pixelated blue millwork, and hospital curtains (a nod to the clients’ medical professions). Subtle details have been incorporated throughout the interior to add color and light, including an angled pivot mirror in the kids’ bathroom to reflect the sunset. Scandinavian millwork and contemporary lighting throughout contrast the home’s history, while heavy fabrics in drapery and cushioning for built-in seating bring cozy comfort to the space.

7th Annual GRAY Awards finalists' announcements began December 18, 2023 and will continue to publish daily until all categories have been announced. For more information, visit our GRAY Awards Party page.


Thank you to our 7th annual GRAY Awards sponsors and industry partners:


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