Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture. The 19th-century Biltmore estate in Asheville, created by George Vanderbilt, is one of the more magnificent residences ever built. The Downtown Art District is filled with galleries and museums, and in the nearby River Arts District, former factory buildings house artists’ studios. It is hard to imagine a better place to idle you time away.
The AC hotel is dead center downtown, adjacent Pack Park, city/county government facilities and all of the quaint shops and restaurant you could ever wish for. The developer already knew the potential for this location, having just developed the aloft hotel (another WLA project) a few blocks away, which has been a mega-success. A dilapidated city garage was demolished to make way for this hotel, and in turn, the developer opened much is its 338-car structured parking in the building to the public. The corner of the hotel on the main boulevard through town, had to address the important pedestrian traffic in the area, and had to serve as a visual accent to the street wall. Art walls of multi-colored brick were used in a “Mondrian” composition to add sparkle to the streetscape. The street wall was required to step back 15′ at 50′ above grade, to avoid the building canyon feel. This requirement served the hotel well, by creating private guest room terraces at the 5th floor level.
The public areas of the hotel are split, with first floor registration, admin, lobby and fitness activating the street scene, and ninth floor restaurant/ bar (open to the public), conference facility and panoramic roof terrace opening off the bar. Sunsets over the distant mountains are worth the admission. 132 oversized AC guest rooms are located on floor 5 through 8.
The structure of the hotel is post-tensioned concrete. The veneer is mostly masonry up to the 5th floor, and highly detailed EIFS work above. Guest rooms are conditioned with VPAC’s and public areas with split system fan coil units.
dba Winford Lindsay Architect (WLA)
- Asheville, NC