Arthur is a native Atlantan from the Ainsley Park neighborhood, located right behind W Atlanta Midtown. Virserius Studio’s concept for the hotel is the recreation of Arthur’s estate and secret garden, decorated with his awe-inspiring collection of art and other items obtained during his extensive world travels. He takes great pride in these collections and wants to share the stories behind these possessions. He also hopes they will make great conversational pieces, inspiring special moments among friends during their visit.
Project Name: W Atlanta Midtown
Architect Name: Virserius Studio
Photography: Michael Kleinberg Photography
From the moment guests arrive they are transported into Arthur’s unique world and surrounded by his most treasured collections. They are embraced by the curved, abstract walls of the entry, created by brushed brass on dark woods complemented by a gem-toned custom-made carpet that also sets the tone for what’s to come.
These gem tones continue in the lobby, which boasts ceilings 3 stories high. To scale down the height and create a more intimate setting, Virserius Studio created grand custom light pieces, cascading abstract birdcages representing those Arthur collected during his North African excursions. Among the other standouts are the bespoke furniture, flooring and art collection lining the walls, all of which were designed by V/S, as was the large-scale digital wallcovering extension of Arthur’s botanical garden. Also in the lobby are tiered terraces with amphitheater seating, which may be cordoned off for private gatherings if desired.
The elevator vestibule is intimate and decorated with highlights from Arthur’s extensive travels to the Far East. The large green light installations, which are made from wood beads dyed jade green, drape dramatically from above the custom rug and big round ottoman in black saddle leather. Each elevator has been curated with different, surprising, playful and mysterious imagery from Arthur’s collections that also tie into his garden: we don’t know where these gardens are, we don’t know the girl running in the French boxwood maze; it is entirely up to the guest to explore and use their imagination.
Arthur’s library boasts letters of his life and travels to his friends. The room contains a collection of poetry, books and furniture, an exquisite carpet with calligraphy inscribed on it, as well as his beloved bird collection, all of which have deep personal meaning to him. All of these were conceived by Imaggo Production, Virserius Studio’s Paris-based art consulting firm. Arthur’s den was inspired by the Middle Eastern folktale, One Thousand and One Nights, and represents his many travels to that region. The den includes ceiling art designed by Virserius Studio and commissioned to a local artist to hand paint it onto the ceiling.
For the bar and lounge, Virserius Studio created a larger space providing seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living, allowing guests multiple areas to socialize and wander about freely as guests would at Arthur’s estate and garden. His global sensibility is on full display, curated with one-of-a-kind pieces throughout. The intimate seating arrangement includes tufted pieces with transitional and bohemian touches; the flowers on the ceiling are taken from the garden itself, and a standout is Arthur’s proud collection of butterflies that he wishes to share. The indoor and outdoor sections of the bar have different materials to mark a subtle change. The outdoor space also boasts a fireplace and sculptural pieces that encourage guests to enjoy for extended periods of time.
Virserius Studio created all artwork in the guestrooms and suites in collaboration with Imaggo Production. The guestrooms extend Arthur’s hospitality. V/S reconfigured the spaces to be more open and three-dimensional so guests can relax or entertain and not feel cramped. The bedrooms were carefully conceived to evoke softness, peace and tranquility while providing punches of color, transporting visitors to another place and experience. They also offer subtle nods to the Atlanta’s natural beauty, with trees that are native to Georgia. The custom ombre carpet signifies the blue sky, and it gets paler and paler until you get to tiles that are a warm gray.
The idea for the suites was to treat visitors to a layered art experience with different graphics, sculptures and installations that tell stories and treat guests to the unexpected. For example, the wall in the main area was cut in the shape of the letter W. Opposite the wall, guests may notice the burglars coming out of the vents. As guests settle into their room and begin to unpack in the open closet, they will find a carefully placed little man walking on top of their luggage, with notes falling from above. In the sleeping area, a mysterious woman appears on the wall – is she one of Arthur’s guests? A relative? A lover?
The art also pays homage to Atlanta, particularly the midtown neighborhood, as the epicenter of music and entertainment. A mural directly applied on the wall is made of mirrored Dibond in the shape of an old record with musical notes floating outward. In the bar area, the wall is a nod to black music. Back in the bedroom, six mounted photos line the walls: a man taking a picture (Arthur himself?), a film reel (honoring Atlanta’s booming film industry), a cheerleader and football players (a nod to Georgia’s huge football culture).
Another surprising moment and the highlight of the premier suites is the “King Chair” located along the hallway leading to the bathroom, inviting guests to feel royal and special. The chair is set against wallcovering created to look like a greenhouse and its design also ties in cohesively to the other abstract birdcages and Arthur’s many botanical spaces throughout the hotel’s public areas.