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Spotlight: The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 2021 GRAY Awards Finalist

A closer look at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, one of five finalists in the 2021 GRAY Awards Commercial Interior Design category.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Reception desk at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel with light marble surfaces and peach velvet seating

In April 2021, the storied Fairmont Olympic in Seattle, Washington introduced the first chapter of its grand restoration: A transformed lobby, elevated event spaces, and its new Olympic Bar. First opened in 1924, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the hotel is a beloved space to the Seattle community, and architecture firm MG2 (working with Spanish design firm Lázaro Rosa-Violán) wanted to maintain its character and history through the new design. To bring the concept to life the team infused modern aesthetics with existing elements, creating an elegant, community-centric experience.

Olympic bar interior design at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Historic Design

For the Olympic Bar, elements of wood, steel, and metal cohesively reflect the hotel’s history and a beautiful, graceful new era of its design. The kinetic art installation at its center, hand-crafted by designers in Spain, was inspired by the hotel's original ship logo and interprets Seattle’s nautical foundations and maritime history.

Placing the bar in a centralized location in the lobby, the designers created cozy vignette spaces with diverse seating options that allow guests a new experience every time they visit. From barstools that give a front-row seat to the action at the bar to nooks that allow for more intimate conversation, each area was carefully thought out and cohesively integrated into the whole.

Library and lobby interior design at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel

“From the moment you walk in, you will feel it. New narratives. New emotions. A new era,” explains Sunny Joseph, Fairmont Olympic's general manager. “The Olympic’s stunning transformation is a tribute to the timeless tale of this hotel—a living expression of the past, present, and future of Seattle. Opening the lobby sets the stage for a social experience that will bring forth deeper connections with our guests, our community, and this great city as we forge a new future together.”


Design Team:

Lázaro Rosa-Violán


Parker-Torres Design Inc.


Abbott Construction, Henry Reed Client PM, Reed Development Group, Lund Opsahl Structural Engineers, Lerch Bates – Vertical Transportation, Demolition Man, Magnum Construction, Standard Steel, Inland Steel Erectors, Johansen Mechanical, Interior Woodworking Specialists Master Millwork

Regional Glass, Northwest Partitions, Western Tile and Marble ,GFS Hardwoods, Alliance Contract Flooring, North American Terrazo, Grund Painting, Rainier Industries, Primarius Elevator, Viking Sprinkler, North Coast Plumbing, Johnson Electric, Chipman, Brassworks, Builder's Hardware Hermanson

Date of Completion: December 2020


Additional Architecture, Commercial finalists:


Miss Lee

Rundle Bar

The Walls Winery

Check out the Quick List to see all of the 2021 GRAY Awards finalists!


2021 GRAY Awards Party Tickets NOW AVAILABLE

Join us for the year's most exciting design event!

DEC 10, 2021 | 7pm PST

The Westin Seattle

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