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The Wayfarer DTLA

The Wayfarer DTLA

Highly Anticipated Wayfarer Downtown LA Plans to Open December 16th

Highly Anticipated Wayfarer Downtown LA Plans to Open December 16th

Pacifica Hotels, the creative team behind the Funk Zone's own Wayfarer Santa Barbara, announced today The Wayfarer Downtown LA is now accepting reservations at for stays beginning December 16, 2019, and beyond. The community-centric, boutique hotel, situated in the heart of the historic Broadway Corridor, is set to open in December. The Wayfarer DTLA will bring 156 private and shared guest rooms and suites, flexible venues, and lively communal areas to Downtown with a passion for neighborhood discovery and connection to the greater Los Angeles communities.

The Wayfarer DTLA will breathe new life into a historic DTLA building, located on the nearly century-old site of the former Ritz Milner Hotel. Pacifica Hotels is modernizing the historic building while celebrating its roots - highlighting the cultural intersection that is Downtown Los Angeles. Eclectic accommodations including 10 thoughtfully designed shared rooms and 146 private rooms each styled for the urban adventurer with standup workstations, app streaming, and rainfall showers will elevate the independent travel experience.

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The hotel showcases a variety of interactive gathering spots. The Gaslighter Social Club with its own tap wall to the heart of the hotel - The Kitchen—fully equipped for guest use to the Rooftop, perched 12 stories above DTLA; to Lilly Rose—the underground parlor bar that embraces the bizarre and the beautiful; were all specifically created to foster connection, discovery, and community.The Wayfarer DTLA has been masterfully designed with today's traveler in mind. With hotel architect Rockefeller Kempel Architects and The Gettys Group, in collaboration with Pacifica Hotels in-house Design Team, The Wayfarer DTLA will come to life through an open layout with an abundance of communal areas and points of interest. Artists were hand-selected for each of the pieces throughout the property to bring diverse and dramatic textures, stories, and points of view to life including work with Dave Lovejoy of The Last Bookstore on our custom LA library installation, Cheyenne Randall known for the Shopped Tattoo series providing visual interest in unexpected locations including guest room art, Mosstika on the striking moss greenery sculptures, and Derek Gores on our front desk collage. To encourage discovery beyond the property walls, coordinates of several Downtown Los Angeles landmarks as well as hidden gems will be placed throughout the property leading guests to undiscovered destinations.

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The Wayfarer DTLA will boast a variety of socially-driven and distinctive dining and entertainment experiences on-site including The Gaslighter Social Club - featuring shared seating—perfect for social communion or impromptu business with a beverage in-hand; The Tap Wall - 16 self-pour taps showcasing local brews, wine and kombucha, plus a café serving American bistro fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with local coffee partner Groundwork supplying the caffeine. The focal point of the property's ground floor is The Kitchen - a fully equipped community-centric cooking and dining experience that allows guests to play chef and host friends by preparing a meal utilizing fresh and responsibly sourced ingredients with a recipe selection curated by The Wayfarer's own culinary team. Guests will order from a seasonal menu of dishes with ingredients pre-portioned and delivered for their custom preparation and enjoyment.

In the evenings, Lilly Rose located in the basement of the hotel will turn into a vibrant hideaway with a spirited atmosphere featuring handcrafted and barrel-aged cocktails complemented by light fare with vintage game machines like Zoltar, and local live entertainment ranging from stand up to performance art and anything in between. For those looking to take in the famed skyline, the Rooftop, an open-air bar located 12 floors up at the apex of The Wayfarer DTLA, will boast a highly eclectic vibe from the design to signature tiki cocktails, sustainable seafood, and street-style fare.

Written by: Hospitality Net




Three years after Christopher Kempel joined forces with Rocky Rockefeller in 2002, the duo became design partners and Rockefeller Kempel Architects was born. Today, Kempel oversees the design of most RKA projects, bringing a dedicated eye for detail to each unique endeavor. Learn more in our Q+A below.

How did you get your start in architecture?

My start in architecture began in 1993 at a firm located in what was then considered West Berlin. The Wall had come down only four years prior and the demarcation between East and West was still very raw. I was part of a small group of American architecture students studying at the Kunsthochschule Weissense in former East when an internship opportunity arose through a classmate and close friend. Fascinated with the opportunity I just had to take it. Plus, I think the Brazilian born Principal was intrigued to have an American on his staff. Most of my work colleagues were former East Germans and spoke Russian as a second language, so they had lots of fun with my broken “Deutsch”. I’m sure I was the brunt of many jokes in the office and didn’t even know it.

What’s your process for getting to know a client?

My process is centered on the client and their life and spending a good amount of quality time together so that I can learn the ins and outs – where they live it, how they live it, what’s important to them. Sometimes it’s conversational phone calls or a visit from them to our office to see how we work, and what they can expect from us if we were to work together. Other times it involves meeting them in their homes and seeing how they live today, which fosters a discussion on how they want to live in their future dream home.  Being present is critical. But because I genuinely love what I do, it’s not not hard to do.

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What are some of the unique challenges of residential vs. commercial projects and how are they uniquely rewarding?

Residential projects are deeply personal, and intimate. You’re getting into the nooks and crannies of a client’s life to determine how best to design that right-fit home uniquely tailored to them. I find being involved at a personal level uniquely rewarding, compared to a commercial project with say, a developer client whose sole intention is to create a return on investment. While both types of work are about creating a quality of living and the space to support that, one feels ultimately more personal.

Tell us about a particularly memorable project and describe what made it so special/rewarding/challenging.

We recently completed a “modern farmhouse” for a family in Oregon with all the classic elements of an American Farmhouse. It began with a lot of research around what design components made a “farmhouse” because authenticity at the design level was important and remains important to us as a firm. We also spent time on the 80 acre property to strategize the orientation of the home to optimize sunlight, views, nature. What made this particular assignment a challenge was that it was unlike the classic California Modernist homes we’ve designed in the past. The “style” felt special for us. But we quickly found that designing within sound design Fundamentals produced a beautiful outcome. What was most rewarding was the fact this was our second home we’ve designed for this client, so the level of trust in our abilities was high and the process of working together very smooth. We knew each other very well. The greatest challenge may have been the distance. Getting on a plane to Oregon twice a week for construction job site visits, while invigorating, was exhausting at the same time.

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Who are some of your biggest professional role models and why?

My biggest professional role models were three people I worked for as an intern architect fresh out of architecture school at the College of Design at NCSU. One was a Partner, one was a Principal and the other a lead Design Architect. The Partner was a role model in the way he was able to command a room, secure big, big commissions and keep the firm fed. It takes a certain skill to do so. The Principal was a master negotiator and highly trusted in my abilities as a young architect and designer, which only drove me to want to do better and perform. He sat me down and said “Chris, I’m an architect, but I’m not a good designer. You’re good at that. I’m not. But I’m a good architect for other reasons that make this firm a success.” I had a lot of respect for someone that knew himself well, his strengths and weaknesses and wasn’t afraid to own them. Finally, the lead Design Architect had raw design talent and was a pleasure to work around. Plus we became good friends and remain so to this day. That was nearly 30 years ago.

What’s your dream vacation destination and itinerary?

My wife and I have had the pleasure and privilege of doing a lot of travel over the past 15 years. From adventure travel to rest and relaxation travel. My most dreamy vacation yet has been a week in Bora Bora at an island resort staying in an over-water hut. It was perfect in so many ways: the bluest water, remote, perfect weather. Simply, 100% relaxation and rejuvenation. At this point a dream vacation would most likely be a trip to Japan. It’s one of the few countries we’ve not been. Kyoto and Osaka in particular, places where the architecture is unique, connected to nature, and inspiring, along with the people and culture.

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Lightning round!

Favorite book of all time?

And film: A novellas by Steven King named Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption with the subtitle, “Hope Springs Eternal.” Hard to believe Steven King wrote it, but he’s a brilliant writer. And the film adaptation was phenomenal. I always love a story about redemption.

Go-to easy recipe?

My famous homemade meat sauce over thin spaghetti (at least I think it could be famous). It’s easy comfort food and consistently yummy.

Tattoos: yay or nay?

Nay. I believe the body is pretty perfectly designed as is.

Beach or mountains?

Beach despite not being a fan of wet sand between my toes.

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Magazine: CA HOME + DESIGN

Author: Michelle Konstantinovsky

Hotel Figueroa Gets A Renaissance In DTLA

Hotel Figueroa Gets A Renaissance In DTLA

Since opening in 1926 as an exclusive women’s hostelry by the YWCA, Hotel Figueroa has been at the forefront of social progress.

Throughout the years, it has been a home for intellectuals and artists—it exhibited “Women Painters of the West” in its lobby in 1933—and provided a platform for activists to give speeches denouncing racism and sexism, among other issues, especially in the 1950s. Today, the legacy lives on in the Hotel Figueroa’s current form.


Located in the South Park district of Downtown Los Angeles, near the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and The Broad, the hotel occupies a 13-story historic building originally designed by Stanton, Reed, and Hibbard.

In February 2018, it revealed its new face after a two-year renovation led by Rockefeller Kempel Partners Architects and boutique interior design agency Studio Collective.


Inspired by Hotel Figueroa’s original Spanish Colonial splendor and its women-centric, artistic roots, the results of the restoration begin in a grand lobby under high ceilings, where an art gallery features works by female artists.

Welcoming guests is an Alison Van Pelt painting of the hotel’s first managing director Maude Bouldin on a motorcycle. The art program celebrating L.A.’s female artists, including Whitney Hubbs, Sarah Awad, and Jesse Mockrin, is on view throughout the public and private areas.


Curvy chairs and booths invite guests to sit and relax in spaces where earthy colors are complemented with rich textiles such as velvet and suede. In the 286 rooms and suites, hardwood floors, wood beams, custom millwork, and plaster walls accompany glass, leather, and metal, while custom tiles reference Spanish architecture and colorful wallpaper reflects the city’s cultural spirit.

Thanks to a partnership with the popular L.A. institution The Last Bookstore, each one of the 23 Artist Series suites and 33 Writer Series suites comprises a collection of books by an L.A.-based author or artist. In all of the Hotel Figueroa’s carefully considered spaces, Studio Collective focused on balancing nods to the past and allusions to the contemporary creative local scene.


Renowned chef Casey Lane is at the helm of Hotel Figueroa’s two restaurants: Breva, a Basque brasserie situated inside the lobby; and Veranda, an alfresco dining venue with Mediterranean influences. Dushan Zaric—a pioneer in craft bartending—leads the libations programs at Bar Figueroa, Bar Alta and Rick’s.

In addition to the 10,000-square-feet event space, Hotel Figueroa has a surprising coffin-shaped pool on the ground floor, surrounded by fig trees, cactus, and eucalyptus, creating an oasis in the middle of the city. Honoring women and the arts, Hotel Figueroa is an ode to the buzzing cultural soul of Downtown L.A.

 Article by South Bay Digs; written by Karine Monie