Portman Architects is a world renowned architecture firm that is over 60 years old. The firm was founded by Architect John C. Portman Jr and is known for working on a diverse range of projects across the globe. Some of their most significant projects pertain to the hospitality industry. The firm has designed 3 major hotel complexes in Atlanta, acting as a catalyst in establishing Atlanta as one of the premier convention cities in the US. 

Portman Architects is known for dealing with seemingly simple, symmetrical shapes. Its founder, John Portman Jr, is famous for designing buildings with multi © storied interior atria. This neo © futuristic approach towards architecture has made the firm an icon in the industry. Famous not just for creating a meaningful architecture, but also for invoking a new urban style and ideal.

The firm believes in creating people © centric architecture. Their philosophy is simple and succinct, “We live in buildings, but buildings shouldn’t dictate how we live”. While the firm has designed numerous important projects, we will be looking at just 15 projects listed below.

1. Hyatt Regency Atlanta

The Hyatt Regency in Atlanta was built in the late 1960s. The building is famous for its radical 22 story atrium, which makes it one of the most well known buildings in Atlanta till date. The hotel has a total of 1260 guest rooms and ‘Polaris’, a rotating restaurant. The building is easily recognized by its vibrant blue colored dome, becoming an important part of the city’s skyline.

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Hyatt Regency Atlanta ©Wikipedia

2. Hyatt Regency San Francisco

The Hyatt Regency San Francisco opened in 1973. The hotel has over 800 rooms and a distinctive, futuristic appearance. Like the Hyatt hotel in Atlanta, this hotel also has a signature revolving rooftop restaurant. An interesting fact about the hotel is the design of its lobby, which was inspired by the science fiction film Things to Come.

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Hyatt San Francisco ©www.tripadviser.in

3. Renaissance Center

The Renaissance Center is one of the largest commercial complexes in the world. It consists of 7 interconnected skyscrapers located in Detroit, Michigan. Its central tower has been the tallest building in Michigan since 1977. The Center includes a shopping complex, several restaurants, and other commercial outlets. The structure was renovated in 2004 but retains the original concept of John Portman.

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Renaissance Center ©dailydetroit.com

4. Shanghai Center

This is a mixed use high rise building with a total of 472 apartment units. It also contains a luxury hotel complex, a theatre, a supermarket, and an office area. The complex has 3 main towers, with smaller structures clustered around them.

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Shanghai Center ©booking.com
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Shanghai Center ©zenhotels.com

5. Beijing Yintai Center

Located in the core of Beijing’s financial center, this complex consists of 3 towers in total. The central tower is the tallest and is flanked by the two shorter towers on either side. It hosts several penthouses, residences, and the Park Hyatt Beijing. 

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Beijing Yintai Center ©China ©yintai.com
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Beijing Yintai Center ©China ©yintai.com
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Beijing Yintai Center ©China ©yintai.com

6. Bund Center

This 50 story tower located in Shanghai was completed in 2002. It is a primarily commercial tower. The crown of the structure, which emits a warm golden glow during the night, is its main eye © catching feature. The Center is named after one of its investors, the Shanghai Golden Bund Real Estate co. ltd.

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Bund Center ©dichandadang.com

7. CODA Tech Square

This L © shaped building located in Atlanta, Georgia was completed in the year 2019. It is a 21 story tall structure with a striking glass façade. The defining feature of this structure is its spiral staircase, which is the tallest freestanding, helical stair in the world.

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CODA ©portmanholdings.com
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CODA ©portmanholdings.com

8. Tomorrow Square

Tomorrow Square is a mixed © use building located in Shanghai. The structure consists of a luxury hotel along with some residential units. It is the 8th tallest structure in Shanghai with over 63 floors. The tower is well known for its unique and distinctive shape.

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9. Hilton San Diego Bayfront

This is a 30 story tall luxury structure with over 1000 guest rooms and 30 suites which opened in 2008. The building has a sleek, attractive appearance. It overlooks the clear, shining water of the San Diego Bay.

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Hilton San Diego ©hilton.com

10. Hyatt Regency Houston

This is a 30 story tall luxury hotel building located in Houston, Texas. The structure exhibits all the signature hallmarks of Portman Architects. It consists of a central atrium and also a revolving restaurant offering panoramic views of the city.

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11. Atlanta Marriott Marquis

The Atlanta Marriott Marquis is a 53 story tall building located in Atlanta. It opened in the year 1985 and is currently the 14th tallest building in Atlanta. The structure is home to one of the largest atriums in the world, which spans the entire height of the building. The building contains over 1660 guest rooms and numerous other luxury accouterments.

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12. SunTrust Plaza

This 60 stories tall building has been the tallest in Atlanta since 1992. The building is an example of a postmodern architectural style, with its box-like square tower and elaborate base and crown. Several of the artworks displayed in the building have been designed by John Portman himself.

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SunTrust Plaza ©upload.wikimedia.org

13. Capital Square

This is a primarily residential high rise structure located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It also hosts a shopping mall and an office space. The tower has a total of 42 floors which encompass 180 apartment units. Its smooth glass façade makes the structure a sight to be seen.

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14. Menara Multi-Purpose

This multi-purpose skyscraper is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is 40 stories high and has a box- like shape. The Menara Tower was completed in 1994 and is currently the headquarters for several companies and banks.

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Menara  Multi Purpose ©virtualglobetrotting.com

15. Peachtree Center

The Peachtree Center is a complex of buildings designed according to modern architectural style. This complex contains numerous hotels, shopping malls along with office spaces. The buildings are oriented in an inward © facing manner to avoid interaction between the pedestrians and people working in or visiting the Center.

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Samruddhi Shendurnikar
Author

Samruddhi Shendurnikar is an architect in the making. Between trying to keep up with her college submissions, successfully managing her book-club for one and sketching whenever she can, she attempts to write too. Merging architecture and writing to create concinnity is one of her aims’ in life.

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