Rockwell Group reimagines interiors of The Boca Raton resort

Posted in Projects on 8 August, 2023

In celebration of the historic hotel’s 100th anniversary, Rockwell Group completes an inspired redesign, uncovering historic details and adding modern luxury.

Rockwell Group, the leading New York-based architecture and design studio, has completed the interiors for the guestrooms and many of the premiere amenity and dining venues at The Boca Raton in Florida, which was originally founded in 1926 as the Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn. Set on over 200 waterfront acres, The Boca Raton is one of the premiere resort destinations and private clubs in the United States and one of the largest hotels in South Florida. Rockwell Group designed and undertook a comprehensive multi-stage renovation of the Tower’s guestrooms and suites and a plethora of public spaces, such as Palm Court lobby lounge, four restaurants for Major Food Group, and the Harborside Pool Club.

Throughout The Boca Raton, Rockwell Group redesigned spaces to add cohesion and a sense of luxury to the property, while celebrating Florida’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle.  In many cases, the design details embrace and uncover original architect Addison Mizner’s Mediterranean Revival ideals to tie back to the property’s origins, in time for the celebration of the hotel’s upcoming 100th anniversary.

Rockwell Group stripped away remnants of previous renovations of The Boca Raton’s storied Palm Court to re-centre it as the heart of the property, embracing the hotel’s original Mediterranean Revival-style architecture to create a welcoming lobby lounge. Functioning as a bar and main social space, Palm Court features a storefront with glazed arches framed in black steel—a contemporary interpretation of the arches found throughout the property—that enhance views out to the lake and encourage connection between the indoors and outside.

The Boca Raton, Florida, USA. Above: Japanese Bocce Club, Dining Room. Image by Michael Stavaridis. Top: The Palm Court. Image by Scott Frances

One of four signature restaurants created in partnership with Major Food Group, the minimal, contemporary Japanese Bocce Club embraces the simplicity and beauty of Japanese design through a neutral material palette with indigo blue accents. The corner entrance is screened with traditional noren panels and pale wood-wrapped columns that begin to suggest the tonality of the interior. The modern, clean-lined dining room glows under a blue ceiling with clusters of paper lanterns in varying sizes and lengths. Defined by a dimensional wood block feature wall, the combined liquor and sushi bar is a carved monolithic curved sculpture with a smooth plaster finish. Outside a covered dining patio overlooks Japanese rock garden-inspired bocce courts.

The Flamingo Grill. Image by Michael Stavaridis

The Flamingo Grill by Major Food Group is a classic Floridian restaurant and members-only club with a tropical feel. The dining room spills out onto a covered terrace with a bright and airy atmosphere, custom patterned floor tiles, and views of the golf club. In the interior dining room, which was inspired by local flora and fauna, Rockwell Group enhanced the existing vaulted ceiling by adding white painted wood louvers along the perimeter. The outdoor club is shaded by large trees and has its own bar—an intimate oasis for members, with ping-pong and pool tables for an afternoon of fun.

Principessa Ristorante. Image by Scott Frances

Major Food Group’s fine dining restaurant Principessa Ristorante transports guests to lakeside dining on the shores of a northern Italian villa, bringing forth elegance, grandeur, and modern touches. For this historic room Rockwell Group brought in rich jewel tones and celebrated the timber beams in the ceiling. Warm wood wainscoting lines the dining room, which has a restored original terrazzo floor. Dramatic crystal light fixtures accentuate the historic beam ceiling and add a warm glow, while sconces and mirrors reflect water views. An outdoor dining terrace and bar, adjacent to the Palm Court patio, offers uninterrupted views of Lake Boca.

Harborside Pool Club. Image by Scott Frances

Harborside Pool Club’s design invites guests through a grand arched entrance adorned with glowing lanterns into the reception area with greenery and exposed wood beam ceilings. The club leads to the main family pool, ringed with lounge chairs and cabanas, followed by the adult pool featuring a sophisticated, darker palette with emerald green touches and private cabanas. Completing the pool club is an open-air bar, a restaurant, and a roof deck, all of which evoke the historic architecture of the resort towers with a lounge area and shaded seating.

Ocean View Corner King Studio Suite

Built in 1969, the 27-story Tower is the tallest building in Boca Raton and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and South Florida coastline. Rockwell Group reimagined the Tower from the ground up, including its lobbies and guestrooms, with a contemporary coastal feel. The bright and spacious rooms and suites have a casual luxury, with linen fabrics and bleached wood accents that emphasise the spectacular 360-degree views. Sand-like travertine tiles, ribbed glass, and warm textured wood in the bathrooms respond to the waterfront setting. Florida-inspired artwork throughout the guestrooms celebrate the hotel’s location and add pops of colour to create a residential feel.

About Rockwell Group
Based in New York with satellite offices in Madrid and Los Angeles, Rockwell Group is an interdisciplinary architecture and design firm that emphasises invention and thought leadership in every project.  Founded by David Rockwell, FAIA, and led by David and partners Shawn Sullivan and Greg Keffer, the firm merges theatre, performance, and architecture to create extraordinary experiences and built environments across the globe.

Projects include 555 Pennsylvania Avenue and Hopkins Student Centre for Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore); Perelman Performing Arts Centre (PAC NYC), Restaurant and Lobby Interior Architect (New York);  Jacqueline (Barcelona); Zaytinya (New York); Amtrak and LIRR’s Waiting Room at Moynihan Train Hall (New York); Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide; exhibition design for the National Centre for Civil and Human Rights (Atlanta); Equinox Hotel (New York); Moxy hotels (Times Square, Chelsea, East Village and South Beach); W Hotels worldwide; the restoration of the Hayes Theatre (New York); The Shed (Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect); TED Theatre (Vancouver); the pro bono DineOut NYC initiative; product design for LASVIT and Paola Lenti; and set designs for more than 100 productions, both on and off-Broadway, including She Loves Me, Kinky Boots, and Hairspray. David Rockwell’s newest book, DRAMA, developed in collaboration with designer Bruce Mau will be published by Phaidon in the Spring. Honours and recognition include a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design for She Loves Me; the AIANY President’s Award; the National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for outstanding achievement in Interior Design; the Pratt Legends Award; and the Presidential Design Award.

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