Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn Features New Flight-Inspired Design by Award-Winning Architectural Firm

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O’Kelly+Kasprak Re-Envision Region’s Long History of Aviation through Modern Storytelling

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We set out to create a space that perfectly translated the modern take on the turn of the century aviation influence.

The architects behind the Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn’s innovative new interior design scheme that embraces the dawn of flight expect the hotel to be in the running for the hospitality industry’s most prestigious design awards. Situated near the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn has been lauded for the recent relaunch of its renovated space, which includes a striking new lobby, farm-to-table restaurant, public corridors and meeting rooms. The Chicago-based architectural firm of O’Kelly+Kasprak applied several goals to achieve this transformative fete, including: giving the hotel an iconic identity motivated by aviation, opening up the lobby and making the bar and restaurant an integral extension, and enhancing the finishes and functions of the public corridors.

Taking a design cue from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the design team was inspired by the iconic images of aviation and by the Wright Brothers who first perfected flight in the Dayton area. “We set out to create a space that perfectly translated the modern take on the turn of the century aviation influence,” said lead architect Belinda O’Kelly. “We enjoyed the amount of creativity it brought to our team and appreciate that we have a client that truly embraced the concept.”

The Lobby
First off, the designers introduced a large sweeping curve to draw guests into the space. Seating groups of mixed types were artfully set around the curve to soften the hard line between the restaurant, bar and lobby so that the entire space feels related and open. Focal design elements were then introduced to anchor the concept and provide separate and more intimate zones within the lobby expanse.

“Removing the walls that divided the restaurant and lobby was a bit of a risk, but the reward is really stunning,” continued O’Kelly. “As you walk into the hotel, you can see where everything is, relaxing the barriers and welcoming guests by providing different micro-environments to fit their needs. Whether you want to eat, drink, watch TV, work in quiet, or gather and socialize – there is space to do it all.”

Carefully pairing industrial with warmer elements, the design team wanted the overall public spaces to feel welcoming, yet stimulating. Examples of the industrial materials utilized include custom stainless steel aircraft cables and riveted panels on the reception desk reminiscent of an aircraft hull (all millwork was created by a craftsman out of Cleveland). The warm toned wool custom carpet design, raw wood finishes, and the richness of textures in the upholstery balance the space to create a sense of comfort.

The Restaurant
The aptly named Wright Place delivers a design that has richness in detail that intrigues the mind. Some of the standout materials utilized in this new farm-to-table (spearheaded by executive chef Justin White) are the large scale hangar doors made from reclaimed wood, which serve as a partition to the dining room. The concept brought on the unique challenge of taking history and finding a way to tell it through a contemporary story. O’Kelly+Kasprak achieved this by using many subtle details, such as, when the hangar doors are open, the larger than life images of the nose of a propeller is seen mounted to the back wall. The upholstery on the curved booths is executed in the way a cockpit bucket seat would have been in the early 1900s. The lighting is an eclectic mix of the old and the new with a touch of industrial. The clean lines of the furniture, from the communal tables and chairs in the bar area to side by side lounge sofas, bring a sense of the 21st century to the expanse.

The Public Corridors
The artwork concept for the primary focal areas are stunning back lit images of clouds and nebulas that adorn the public corridors leading the way to the adjacent meeting rooms (which are all named after famous aviators, space flight pioneers and their crafts). The artwork in the smaller scale spaces include candid photos, drawings, and early imagery from the dawn of flight presented in a rough draft format to express the development progress of the era.

According to O’Kelly, “Durability of the design and of the finishes is always in mind when doing hospitality work, and this hotel project was no exception.” The wood, carpet, porcelain tiles, quartz stone surfacing, and the use of vinyl that has a weathered leather look all helps provide a design that not only wears well and looks attractive, but will continue to indefinitely. “In short, the Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn has a timeless new design” she concluded.

About Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn
The 203-room Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn hotel offers a convenient location that has easy access to I-675 and is just minutes from downtown Dayton, Ohio. The hotel is near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as well as the Dayton International Airport, Wright State University, The Ervin J. Nutter Center and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The newly renovated Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn is the ideal, full-service hotel with state-of-the-art A/V services, superior catering and refreshed meeting facilities which create memorable conferences, conventions, military reunions and weddings. The on-site restaurant, The Wright Place, offers farm-to-table cuisine by award-winning executive chef Justin White.

About O’Kelly+Kasprak
O’Kelly+Kasprak is a Chicago-based full service architecture and interior design firm with a focus on the hospitality industry. O’K+K’s portfolio of work mainly includes hotels, restaurants, gaming/casinos, recreational facilities, bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. Principals Belinda O’Kelly and David Kasprak lead a studio of talented, diverse architects and designers that are assembled carefully to customize a team for each new challenge. O’K+K has worked with most of the known hotel brands, including Marriott and Hilton on a larger scale, as well as individually branded hotels. O’K+K has a strong restaurant and food service portfolio, which makes them a great fit for hospitality spaces, both in new construction and renovation.

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Jody Grimaldi