In 1926, a 100-room inn opened in the new city of Boca Raton, Florida. Designed by architect Addison Mizner, who modeled the original inn after an 11th-century Spanish convent and furnished the public spaces with his private collection of rare antiques, the property quickly attracted an elite clientele. Many years—and several renovations—later, The Boca Raton resort has come to symbolize the laid-back glamour of a bygone era. Recently, as part of a $200-million revamp, interdisciplinary architecture and design firm Rockwell Group was asked to redesign many of the property’s public spaces, including several new signature restaurants, the Harborside Pool Club, the lobbies for the Tower suites and original Cloister building, the Palm Court lounge, and Tower guest rooms and suites.
“The resort has been added on to and renovated in a piecemeal fashion over the decades,” says Shawn Sullivan, a partner at Rockwell Group. “Our goal was to restore the hotel’s original planning by Addison Mizner and reimagine a new guest experience. We wanted to provide a fresh point of view while also animating the hotel’s historic splendor nearly 100 years later.”
Rockwell Group stripped back remnants of previous renovations, and used a palette of classic materials—blackened steel, fluted glass, antique mirror, and natural wood—and contemporary furnishings to create a juxtaposition of modern and traditional. Details such as the Flamingo Grill’s vintage Murano glass lighting fixture and a custom powder-blue paint used in Sadelle’s restaurant elevate and differentiate various areas of the property.
“Each space has its own essence, but subtle, connecting threads tie back to Mizner’s Mediterranean Revival design style,” Sullivan says. “Our design team highlighted historic features and added warmth and modern luxury with a contemporary layer that feels timeless. We also embraced the Floridian indoor-outdoor ethos throughout, opening up the interiors to the environment and celebrating the lush surroundings.”