The Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Phoenix, formally the Adams Hotel, has a rich history on this site. This is the third hotel to occupy the plot of land. The first hotel was built in 1896 and burnt down in 1910, the second hotel built shortly after was demolished in 1973 and the third, known as the “cheese grater” building for its precast and curved concrete shaped windows designed by Schwenn & Clark, was built in 1975.
Today, the modernist building has recently gone though a major $13 million renovation designed by international architectural firm, Gensler. The building looks absolutely beautiful.
While I did not have time to properly photograph the “cheese grater,” I did manage to capture this photograph which I find to be an interesting graphic composition of the mid century icon with the modern day light-rail train in the foreground.
I’m interested in concrete buildings and I particularly like the creativity of the window design on this one. I find the curves to create a visually pleasing and unique pattern, effectively standing out amongst its neighbors, while also being 100% functional by blocking up to 70% of the sun’s heat.
Based on my first glimpse of the updated hotel, it appears Gensler did a wonderful job keeping the historic architectural icon alive. I look forward to revisiting the building next time I am back in downtown Phoenix.