Newport’s shoreline has always been both a welcome sight and a significant challenge for sailors. Cliffs of solid granite tower over the shore, waves crashing at their bases, constantly washing the boulders with incessant rhythmic persistence. The lobby lounge is therefore flanked by a six-foot granite waterfall, water flowing through the rocks like an ebbing shoreline tide. A cascading granite waterfall inhabits a previously hollow space with sounds of trickling water. The rocks, like ship masts, are the mainstays in this conflict. The masts, in full compressive posture, hold back a tensile trellis. The trellis sails, while letting the atrium’s natural light flow through, provide a protective enclosure to the lobby lounge beneath them. These details were created with sincere response to natural elements. The rocks, the water, the pin connections and the shapes of the masts and catenary lines, all respond to beautifully intuitive natural reactions.
The main entry boasts a chandelier made of dozens of crystal decanters, some sandblasted as sea glass would be, flanked by a massive image of a cresting wave. The registration desk emulates an abstracted vintage racing boat’s hull, heeling sharply under full sail. The lobby seating area features a concentric rope garden, within it revealing hanging chairs which surround an uplift water feature.