Wellington’s Architectural Review Board recommended changes to elevation designs of the planned Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott near the Mall at Wellington Green on Wednesday, June 21.
The board agreed that the design elements presented to them posed too busy a treatment for the hierarchy of the entire structure being proposed.
The front-facing façade was detailed with light and dark earth tones and light and dark blue accents. Board Member Ron Shamash called it a “bold design.”
“For some reason, with all the different colors and wall textures and additions, it’s busy in that regard,” Shamash said. “I think it’s very lacking in the décor part of it, both on the side of the buildings and on the bottom.”
Shamash said he believes that the design is inconsistent with architectural design elements found in Wellington.
Jennifer Vail for the Wantman Group, the agent representing the hotel, said that the developer was going for a more modern and contemporary design for all the features. A green wall as part of the northwest, front-entrance façade was proposed at the meeting.
“The west end happens to be where the electrical rooms are located, where we would not be permitted to do windows. We prefer not to do faux windows. It’s the only portion of the building that really has no windows. Every other portion of the façades do,” Vail said. “We were proposing, possibly, a living wall in this location that would add some greenery and texture to this portion of the façade.”
Shamash asked for opinions from the board members about the different colors that may break up continuity in the design.
“It does look a little busy with all the color changes,” Board Member Roger Grave de Peralta said. “I think that the detail that is given to us, the trellis on the back, it doesn’t look strong enough yet to me.”
He suggested that the features might do better using the same materials. Most of the board members agreed that the elements presented needed a redesign.
The design elements had already been brought before village staff, and the architect took those recommendations and brought them to the design that the ARB saw at its meeting.
Prior to the updates, the color blue was not being used, and it was primarily all earth tones. Some of the design features are brand elements used by the hotel chain.
“The blues were not part of the original request. They were added. They used to be the darker brown element,” Vail said.
Architect Jeff Koch was present at the meeting and addressed the board to work toward the new design recommendations.
“We can look at some kind of articulation of the windows, whether it be a head piece or some kind of element to give a little more depth,” Koch said. “Right now, it’s a very clean, unarticulated product as far as what the [hotel’s] current brand image is.”
The brand of the hotel chain is moving toward a more modern, simpler look, but the elements that were added from previous requests were generally what the board felt created too much inconsistency in the façade.
The hotel chain also plans to purchase a portion of the nearby park-and-ride lot from Wellington.
“They are currently in negotiations with Palm Tran to determine the exact number of parking spaces that will remain for Palm Tran to utilize in the future,” Wellington Senior Planner Damian Newell said.
Board Member William Klein noted a safety issue near the future hotel location off of Olive Drive.
“I know there were some issues raised about crossing Olive [Drive],” Klein said. “Has something been done to make that a little bit safer? Because when a person is heading out of the mall area, on that curve, they don’t see people.”
Newell said that it is a known issue, and it will be an item brought up to the applicant at the Development Review Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 28.
Shamash made a recommendation to update the design features for the proposed Fairfield Inn. Additions included the green wall on the front of the building, a change in aluminum design elements to white, an update of the signage at the front of the building, a more uniform color pattern and the addition of a directional sign for safety purposes.
Agents for the hotel chain will come before the board again for final approval. The change in design features will not affect the timeline for construction of the hotel itself.
“We really want this to be nice, so we’re happy to come back,” said Gary Koolik, representing the hotel chain.
ABOVE: Board members were not enthusiastic about the elevation colors on the Fairfield Inn proposal.