royal palm hotel // 2020

Detroit, Michigan


Client: Midwest Hospitality Group

Sq. Ft.: 3,267

Category: Hospitality

Awards: Exceptional Student,

The historic Hotel Park Avenue is undergoing a renovation and rebranding as a Hilton Tapestry Collection boutique hotel.  The Park Avenue Historic District is located in Detroit, Michigan along Park Avenue, between Adams Street and I-75. Park Avenue earned its significance in the city of Detroit during the automotive boom of the 1920s when commercial development in the city began to spill up Park Avenue from Grand Circus Park.  With such a rich history, the design of a newly renovated restaurant and cafe had a large precedent to follow which strongly informed every single design decision from the branding + logo design to the tiniest of architectural details.  CLICK to view the final design package that includes the research, programming, schematics, design development, and more.  CLICK to view the renovated kitchen floor plan.

branding + logo.png
branding + logo.png


In the beginning of the design process, 3 unified concepts act as the core in order to formulate Castile including relationship, service, and experience.  From visiting the site, inspiration is taken from the historical lobby to bring back to life what once was in a more modern and sophisticated manner.  The main entry/right after entering the hotel’s main vestibule are French doors.  The French doors are the root that lead to further research France and make the connection architecturally between the old and what will be new.  CLICK to view Castile's design presentation. 


The restaurant's intent is to achieve the same concepts as Castile while also designing a modern, clean, and diversely unique restaurant +bar from the pre-existing architecture.  Additionally, to implement a design with efficiency and focusing in on the important elements including acoustics, the variety of social gatherings, and circulation for both the staff and visitors.  Lastly, using Detroit’s Motown history and a little bit of French connection to establish a modern twist of a stately and memorable dining experience.  CLICK to view Reign's design presentation.

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The café is named after Blanche of Castile, a clever negotiator and a strong leader.  The idea of a woman in power speaks volumes and is one of the main highlights.  France’s National Animal is the Gallic Rooster, which is implemented through the lighting fixtures.  Thirdly, France’s National Flower is the Iris which is the color purple; the color purple for the United States represents royalty and power.  In addition to some research on France, the history on Detroit takes precedent as well, specifically looking at the 1920’s which was the time period the hotel was constructed.  

The history of Motown brings much to the design.  Music of Motown includes artists like Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, and The Supremes to name a few.  But essentially, the music that these talented musicians created brought together a racially divided country/segregated society that touched the lives of all ages and races. Reign will bring together people of today with a variety of races and ages in a time shortly after an insane pandemic.  

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During the beginning phase of naming the restaurant, it was a fact that the hotel is to be renamed as the Royal Palm.  Reign is defined as: Hold Royal Office.  So to reinforce the design approach of modern, clean, and stately, the name Reign does that justice.